So why are Wolves fans called Dingles?
They aren’t the only set of fans that have that nickname, Burnley fans have been given that moniker as well.
So what is the story behind it?
It is all related to one of the UK’s most popular soaps.
So let’s find out more….
Why Are Wolves Fans Called Dingles?
Wolves fans are called Dingles after the dimwitted Dingle family that has featured in the popular British soap Emmerdale since 1994. It is a term mainly used by West Brom and Birmingham fans to insinuate Wolves supporters are similar to the family of simpletons who are frequently on the wrong side of the law.
It is Because of a Popular TV Family
Back in 1994 a new family was introduced into the British soap opera Emmerdale.
Little did viewers know that almost two decades later they would still be going strong and that they would in fact be the largest family in the soap.
That family was the Dingle family.
They are depicted as a rag-tag bunch of chavvy simpletons, always coming up with absurd ideas, constantly in trouble with the law and with barely two brain cells to rub together.
Naturally, the family name has gone on to become a way for football supporters to insult their rivals by calling them Dingles, and suggesting they are like the disparate family.
Wolves fans are not the original Dingles though.
But then Birmingham and West Brom fans latched onto this and started referring to Wolves as Dingles on local radio phone-ins around the same time and the term also became associated with Wolves fans.
Now supporters of a number of clubs local to Wolverhampton, including Walsall and Aston Villa alongside the already mentioned West Brom and Birmingham, call Wolves fans Dingles.
And once a nickname has stuck it is very difficult to get rid of!
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Why Are Wolves Fans called Yam Yams?
Yam Yam is a term generally given by people from Birmingham to anyone from the Black Country, so towns like Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and, of course, Wolverhampton.
It essentially is a way of taking the mickey out of the Black Country dialect, which contains a lot of “am’s” and “ay’s”
So if you ever listen to someone from the Black Country say ‘I am’, usually what you get is ‘yam’.
In the same way ‘You are’ becomes ‘Yow am’ and ‘they are’ becomes ‘they am’.
Whatever you do though, don’t call a Brummie a Yam Yam and don’t call a Yam Yam a Brummie, it will not go down well!
The Wolves v West Brom Rivalry
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The rivalry between West Brom and Wolves is one of the longest-established in football history.
Both were founder members of the football league, playing in the very first-ever season in 1888-89.
That first season Wolves took the bragging rights. They beat West Brom 2-1 at home and 3-1 away and went on to finish 3rd in the 12-team league, six points ahead of 6th-place West Bromwich Albion.
However, the first meeting between the two clubs came five years before that when West Brom beat Wolves 4-2 in the Birmingham Senior Cup on 20 January 1883.
West Brom also triumphed in FA Cup matches between the two teams in 1886 and 1887.
On 18 March 1911 West Brom beat Wolves 2-1 in a Division Two match.
That gave West Brom 15 wins to Wolves 14 wins in the 37 meetings between the teams (the other eight games between the pair had finished all square).
Since then West Brom has always held the upper hand in the head-to-head record with Wolves. As of May 2021, it stands at
- West Brom: 65 wins
- Wolves: 53 wins
- 44 draws
The heyday of the Black Country derby came during the 1950s when both teams were regularly battling it out at the top of the First Division of English football.
From 1952 to 1960 West Brom finished in the top five of the First Division five times and won the FA Cup once in 1954.
Wolves were even more successful during that period in what was the club’s golden period. From 1952 to 1960 they won the league three times, finished 2nd twice and 3rd three times.
In fact, in the 1953-54 season, Wolves won the title and West Brom finished as runners-up.
It was after this that one of the most memorable Black Country derbies took place when almost 50,000 fans watched the 1954 Charity Shield.
The match took place at Molineux as Wolves were the title holders, and at that time the league champions would always host the Charity Shield.
Wolves lead 2-0 and 4-2, but the game eventually finished 4-4 with West Brom’s Ronnie Allen scoring a hat-trick.
Despite Wolves dramatic decline which saw them fall from the top flight of English football in 1984 to the Fourth Division in 1986, every league meeting between the two clubs has taken place in the top two divisions.
When the two teams clashed in the Premier League on 16 January 2021, it marked the end of the longest period without a Wolves-West Brom derby.
Their previous meeting took place almost 9 years earlier on 12 February 2012.
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So Wolves fans are called Dingles for exactly the same reason Burnley fans are, after the slightly stupid, rather backward family in Emmerdale.
It seems like Blackburn fans brought the nickname to attention by calling Burnley fans it, then West Brom and Birmingham fans picked up on it and started using it as a way of insulting Wolves fans.
You might also hear Wolves fans called Yam Yams, although this is a generic term given to anyone from the Black Country due to their dialect and the way they say ‘I am’ and ‘You are’.
The Wolves and West Brom rivalry is one of the oldest rivalries in world football dating way back to 1888 and there is certainly no love lost between supporters of the two teams.