“The Kop gave us a standing ovation,” he recalls.
“What a moment.
“No one gave us a chance, and I remember travelling on the team bus and saying to Tony Towner: 'Can you imagine if we get a result today? Maybe a draw?'
“Steve Mardenborough scored a header, we got battered for most of the 90 minutes but somehow we held on and won it.
‘When you look at the players in that Liverpool team that day they were amazing, probably one of the best teams in the world, and we were adrift at the bottom of the First Division.
“I will certainly never forget that day, one of the best during my short time at Wolves.”
Heading into that fixture Wolves had won just three of their first 22 games of the season and were propping up the division, as opposed to pace-setting Liverpool, who had lost only three enroute to a third successive league title and treble of league, League Cup and European Cup.
And so, with Wolves preparing for the usual daunting task of heading to Anfield to face the current Liverpool crop this weekend, maybe there are reasons to be optimistic.
Maybe the class of 2022/23 can follow in the footsteps of that side of 1983/84, or Mick McCarthy’s in 2010, or Paul Lambert in 2017, and produce a rare Wolves win on the red half of Merseyside.
Perversely that memorable January afternoon was only Troughton’s fifth appearance in a Wolves shirt, and was the third of those where he finished on the winning side.
At just 19, he was a player boasting plenty of technical ability, operating on the right of midfield, and also exuding a confidence that had originated on the streets of Lisburn, a town eight miles south of Belfast in Northern Ireland.
“Street football, that’s how I played growing up, which feels like it is something that is missing a bit in the game now,” says Troughton.
“We used to earn our stripes playing in the street, building a reputation, that’s how it went.
“I was quite decent as a youngster, captaining my primary school and playing for Hillsborough Boys which is a good junior team in Northern Ireland.
“I was part of the Irish schoolboy team which won the European Championships in 1979, alongside players such as Norman Whiteside and Alan McDonald.
“Playing football growing up I was often mixing with players who were schoolboys at Manchester United and Everton and that not only led to good competition but also meant I had to develop and improve to make sure I could keep up.”
Eventually Troughton himself was offered schoolboy terms at Everton, and, whilst things initially went well, ultimately he was released and returned home more determined than ever to work even harder and earn another chance.
Playing back home part-time with Glentoran provided more invaluable experience and, as he continued to impress, a conversation with his coach one evening set in motion a chain of events which has shaped the rest of Troughton’s career.
“The coach told me there was an English first division club interested, and there was me thinking, ‘is it Liverpool? Manchester United?’
“Then he told me it was Wolves, who were bottom of the table, but that didn’t bother me, I was really keen to go over and try it.
“I think they made a deal for around £30,000, and I made the move.
“It was my mission in life to try and succeed in England, I was obsessed with making it, so whatever the situation was with Wolves at the time, nothing was going to stop me.”
The situation at Wolves wasn’t great in all honesty.
Graham Hawkins had masterminded a fantastic promotion success in the previous 1982/83 season, but hadn’t been given funds to strengthen.
His summer shopping list had included names such as David Seaman, McCarthy, Paul Bracewell and Gary Lineker, but the only signing that arrived was Towner, who became Troughton’s closest friend at Wolves when he later checked in to make his debut at Ipswich on Boxing Day.
By this time, after such a poor start to the season, Wolves were already in plenty of trouble, and had sold chief goal threat Andy Gray to Everton a month before Troughton was snapped up.
That did, however, leave the number nine shirt vacant and up for grabs!
“Obviously the numbers were one to 11 in those days and nobody seemed to want to take that number nine shirt – so I said I’d take it,” Troughton explains.
“I was confident and ambitious and ready to take my chance, but as a team we just had way too much to do.
“I’m not sure the club had the right structure in place and we were just too far behind by halfway through the season to be able to get back.”
That campaign was, unfortunately, the catalyst of Wolves’ great decline, tumbling all the way through the divisions and almost into extinction.
With funds so scarce, the squad was a mix of legendary experience including John Burridge, Kenny Hibbitt and Geoff Palmer – “they were tough with me at times but terrific guys and I learned so much,” says Troughton – young up-and-coming talents trying to make their way, and any bargains that could be picked up in the market.
It was a mix that was always going to make top-flight survival an almost insurmountable task, but Troughton, who was also training with the young players in the afternoon, went into that environment with a hunger to succeed, even if looking back he thinks he could have done things differently.
“I found Wolverhampton to be a nice place, I was in digs with a lovely family who treated me as one of their own,” he recalls.
“I was a youngster enjoying my football and it was a terrific time in my life.
“Maybe at the time I wasn’t quite mature enough to take it all on board as I feel I could have done better.
“Do I have any regrets? Well, I think you just have to move on, don’t you?
“What I would say was at the time, when I was training with the youth squad in the afternoon, Wolves had a lot of very good young players.
“Maybe a few of them could have been thrown into the first team because of the hunger which they had but with the team under pressure and struggling so much it would have taken a lot of balls to do it.
“But it was a hell of an experience for me, character building, and I will never forget those days at Wolves.”
In total Troughton made 20 appearances in gold and black, scoring two goals, one against Norwich in his third appearance and another, at Molineux, against the might of Manchester United.
Having grown up in a United-supporting family, which was ingrained into him due to the talent of the one and only George Best, that one was particularly special.
Troughton also got to toast the moment thanks to, like Best, another Northern Irish footballing legend, previous Wolves striker and then chief executive, Derek Dougan.
“I scored in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United, and the Doog brought a bottle of champagne into the dressing room after the game to celebrate,” he recalls.
“We shared a few slugs!
“The Doog looked after me during my time at Wolves, maybe it was because we were both Northern Irish boys!”
And it was indeed Dougan who then paved the way for the next phase of Troughton’s career as his Molineux stay came to a fairly quickfire end.
He started suffering from injuries at the end of that 1983/84 season and, with Wolves relegated, and Tommy Docherty arriving as manager bringing in his own players, Troughton was no longer a major part of the plans.
From progressing from part-time football with Glentoran to playing against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, it had all been an upward trajectory.
But now, his future looked far from secure, with a trial at Watford his only potential next move.
Until, that was, Dougan stepped in.
“The Doog asked me to meet with him and the chairman of a club in South Africa called Arcadia Shepherds, and so we went and had a spot of lunch,” Troughton recalls.
“He had experience himself of playing for Arcadia, and said this could be a great opportunity for me to go and get my game back together after suffering with injuries.
“He said I could give it a go for six months, and if it didn’t work, I could come back.
“Well, I’ve now been out here for the grand total of 36 years!
“It was a choice between a trial at Watford and a contract with Arcadia and I remember chatting to my late father, who was always my main advisor, and he suggested it would be worth trying something new and something different.
“I’ve been asked so many times why I didn’t stay in England, but in South Africa I managed to progress and win trophies, and even though it’s obviously a different level of football, it has all been very enjoyable.
“The lifestyle is something else as well.
“Going over as a young man I was living on a plot of land, what you might call a farm plot, with a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool, snooker table and cars available for us.
“It was certainly a different life, and pretty quickly I thought this will do for me!”
Troughton played for several clubs following Arcadia, including helping Jomo Cosmos to their first ever cup final and also Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
He did round off his playing career back home with Glentoran before heading back to South Africa to start a new chapter working as a coach and manager.
Again, he has worked for many different clubs and chalked up many different successes, and has now stepped up to the role of Technical Director with the University of Pretoria, known as the AmaTuks, in the National First Division.
“It worked very well for me coming out here as a player and that has continued in coaching and management,” Troughton says.
“Coaching was always something I had an interest in and there’s a decent set-up with the leagues here.
“With the University of Pretoria we lost out in the play-offs for promotion last season which was disappointing but we started again on Sunday and are ready to go again.
“We’ve seen some players depart as we have developed some who have gone on to play for big clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs and for the national team but we are confident of having a successful season.
“I was made technical director last season which means working with the young coach here and that has gone well.
“The game is popular over here and there are plenty of very good players but we probably need more qualified coaches – that is the only side of it which hasn’t really picked up with hosting the World Cup back in 2010.
“For me it’s a great life, still being involved in football, still enjoying going to work every day working with coaches and passing on advice and long may that continue.”
Troughton, now 58, is well settled in South Africa with wife Melanie and their three sons Dylan, Jordan and Cole, and his remaining family in Northern Ireland still visit from time to time.
He also remains a keen follower of English football with so many games available to watch on television, and particularly Wolves, whom he is delighted to have seen establish themselves in the Premier League in recent years.
So no doubt he will be closely following events at Anfield on Saturday as Bruno Lage’s team aim to become only the fourth Wolves side to win away at Liverpool since 1950.
They can perhaps take heart from the day that Troughton and company pitched up from the bottom of the league to produce an unforgettable upset that has established their names in Molineux history.