West Bromwich Albion F.C.


West Bromwich Albion F.C.

Infobox Football club
clubname = West Bromwich Albion


fullname = West Bromwich Albion Football Club
nickname = "Albion"

"The Baggies"

"The Throstles"

"West Brom"
founded = 1878 (as "West Bromwich Strollers")
ground = The Hawthorns
West Bromwich
capacity = 28,003Matthews (2007) p70. "2006 – With extra seating, the capacity of The Hawthorns rose to 28,003."]
chairman = flagicon|England Jeremy Peace
mgrtitle = Manager
manager = flagicon|England Tony Mowbray
league = Premier League
season = 2007–08
position = The Championship, 1st
(promoted as champions)
pattern_la1=_white_stripes|pattern_b1=_navystripes|pattern_ra1=_white_stripes
leftarm1=000077|body1=FFFFFF|rightarm1=000077|shorts1=FFFFFF|socks1=000077
pattern_la2=|pattern_b2=|pattern_ra2=
leftarm2=FFD630|body2=FFD630|rightarm2=FFD630|shorts2=000077|socks2=FFD630
shirtsupplier=Umbro
shirtsponsors=LDV Vans

West Bromwich Albion Football Club (also known as West Brom, The Baggies, Albion, The Albion, The Throstles or WBA) are an English professional football club based in West Bromwich, West Midlands. The club was formed in 1878 by workers from Salter's Spring Works in West Bromwich, and have played their home games at The Hawthorns since 1900.

Albion were one of the founding members of The Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England only once, in 1919–20, but have had more success in the FA Cup, with five wins. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and the most recent in 1968, their last major trophy. They also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. Since the early 1980s the club has been less successful. From 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever period out of the top division, although there has been something of a revival in recent years: 2008–09 will be the club's fourth season in the Premier League since 2002.

The team have played in blue and white stripes for most of their history. They have a number of long-standing rivalries with other Midlands clubs; their traditional rivals were Aston Villa, but more recently their major rivalry is with Wolverhampton Wanderers, with whom they contest the Black Country derby.

History

The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salter's Spring Works in West Bromwich, then in Staffordshire but now part of the West Midlands administrative county.ref label|FormationDate|A|McOwan pp7–10.] They were renamed West Bromwich Albion in 1880, becoming the first team to adopt the "Albion" suffix. Albion was a district of West Bromwich where some of the players lived or worked, close to what is today Greets Green. The club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way. In 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the same year; this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. [McOwan pp13–14.] In 1885 the club turned professional,cite web
date=2007-05-14
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/History/0,,10366~1022925,00.html
title=In the record book
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
] and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time, losing 2–0 to Blackburn Rovers in a replay. They reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, beating strong favourites Preston North End 2–1 in the final. [McOwan p20.]

In March 1888, William McGregor wrote to what he considered to be the top five English teams, including Albion, informing them of his intention to form an association of clubs that would play each other home and away each season. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the twelve founder members. [McOwan pp19–21.] Albion's second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0. They met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns. [McOwan p30.] They were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. [McOwan p32.] The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the following season reached another FA Cup Final, where they were defeated by Second Division Barnsley in a replay. [McOwan pp36–37.]

Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the only time in their history following the end of the First World War, their totals of 104 goals and 60 points both breaking the previous league records. [McOwan p42.] The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, but were relegated in 1926–27. [McOwan p45.] In 1930–31 they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. [McOwan pp50–51.] The "Double" of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since. [As of 2007. Matthews (2007) p23.] Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later. [McOwan pp53–55.] They gained promotion in 1948–49, [McOwan p58.] and there followed the club's longest unbroken spell in the top flight of English football, a total of 24 years. [Cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/blackcountry/sport/clubs/baggies/history.shtml
title=West Bromwich Albion Football Club History
publisher=bbc.co.uk
accessdate=2007-11-18
] [Cite web
url=http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/W-BROMWA.HTM
title=West Bromwich Albion
publisher=Football Club History Database
accessdate=2007-11-19
]

In 1953–54 Albion came close to being the first team in the 20th century to win the League and Cup double. They succeeded in winning the FA Cup, beating Preston 3–2, but a loss of form towards the end of the season meant that they finished as runners-up to fierce rivals Wolves in the league. [McOwan pp67–68.] Nonetheless, Albion became known for their brand of fluent, attacking football, with the 1953–54 side being hailed as "The Team of the Century". One national newspaper went so far as to suggest that the team be chosen "en masse" to represent England at the 1954 World Cup finals. [Citation
last=Wilson
first=Peter
title=Let 'Team of Century' play for England in World Cup
newspaper=Daily Mirror
date = 1954-03-17
pages = p15
year=1954
] They remained one of the top English sides for the remainder of the decade, reaching the semi-final of the 1957 FA Cup and achieving three consecutive top five finishes in Division One between 1957–58 and 1959–60.

Although their league form was less impressive during the 1960s, the second half of the decade saw West Bromwich Albion establish a reputation as a successful cup side. In 1966, under manager Jimmy Hagan, they beat West Ham in their first League Cup appearance, winning 5–3 on aggregate in the last two-legged final. The following year they reached the final again, the first at Wembley, but lost 3–2 to Third Division QPR after being 2–0 up at half-time. [McOwan pp87–88.] Albion's cup form continued under Hagan's successor Alan Ashman. He guided the club to their last major trophy to date, the 1968 FA Cup, when they beat Everton in extra time thanks to a single goal from Jeff Astle. [McOwan pp94–96.] Albion reached the FA Cup semi-final and European Cup Winners Cup quarter-final in 1969, and were defeated 2–1 by Manchester City in the 1970 League Cup Final. [McOwan pp97–99.]

The club were less successful during the reign of Don Howe, and were relegated to Division Two at the end of 1972–1973, [McOwan p105.] but gained promotion three years later under the guidance of player-manager Johnny Giles. [McOwan pp113–114.] Under Ron Atkinson, Albion reached the 1978 FA Cup semi-final but lost to Ipswich Town. [McOwan p120.] In 1978–79, the team finished third in Division One, their highest placing for over 20 years, and also reached the UEFA Cup quarter-final, where they were defeated by Red Star Belgrade. [McOwan pp124–127.] In his second spell as manager, Ronnie Allen guided the team to both domestic cup semi-finals in 1981–82. [McOwan pp136–138.] The mid-1980s saw the start of Albion's longest and deepest decline. They were relegated in 1985–86 with the worst record in the club's history, [McOwan p144.] beginning a period of sixteen years outside the top flight. Five years later the club were relegated to the Third Division for the first time. [McOwan p154.]

Albion had spent the majority of their history in the top-flight of English football, but when the FA Premier League was founded in 1992 the club found themselves in the third tier, which had been renamed Division Two. In 1992–93 Albion finished fourth and entered the playoffs for the first time, having just missed out the previous year. Albion's first appearance at Wembley for over twenty years—and their last ever at the original stadium—saw them beat Port Vale 3–0 to return to the second level - now renamed the First Division. [McOwan pp158–159.] Manager Ossie Ardiles then joined Tottenham Hotspur however, and a succession of managers over the next few seasons saw Albion consolidate their Division One status without ever mounting a serious promotion challenge.

The appointment of Gary Megson in March 2000 heralded an upturn in the club’s fortunes. Megson guided Albion to Division One safety in 1999–2000, and to the playoffs a year later. He went on to lead the club to promotion to the Premiership in 2001–02. [cite news
title=Baggies back in big time
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/1935828.stm
publisher=BBC Sport
date=2002-04-21
accessdate=2007-11-11
] After being relegated in their first Premiership season, [cite news
title=Baggies relegated despite win
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/2936479.stm
publisher=BBC Sport
date=2003-04-19
accessdate=2007-11-11
] they made an immediate return to the top flight in 2003–04. [cite news
title=West Brom 2-0 Bradford
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/3634667.stm
publisher=BBC Sport
date=2004-04-24
accessdate=2007-11-11
] In 2004–05 Megson's successor, former Albion midfielder Bryan Robson, led the team to a last-day “Great Escape”, when Albion became the first Premiership club to avoid relegation having been bottom of the table at Christmas. [cite news
date=2005-05-15
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/4525119.stm
title=West Brom 2-0 Portsmouth
publisher=BBC Sport
accessdate=2007-11-11
] However they failed to avoid the drop the following season, [cite web |url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~823497,00.html
title=Albion suffer relegation
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
] and Robson was replaced by Tony Mowbray in October 2006. [Cite news
title = Mowbray leaves Hibs for West Brom
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/6043410.stm
publisher = BBC Sport
date = 2006-10-13
accessdate = 2007-12-01
] The club competed in the Championship promotion playoff final at Wembley Stadium on 28 May 2007, but lost 1–0 to Derby County. [cite news
last=Fletcher
first=Paul
date=2007-05-28
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_div_1/6689971.stm
title=Derby 1-0 West Brom
publisher=BBC Sport
accessdate=2007-11-11
] The following season Mowbray led the Baggies to Wembley again, this time in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They lost 1–0 to Portsmouth, [cite news
last=McKenzie
first=Andrew
date=2008-04-05
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/7320356.stm
title=West Brom 0-1 Portsmouth
publisher=BBC Sport
accessdate=2008-04-09
] but one month later were promoted to the Premier League as champions. [cite news
date=2008-05-04
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_1/7368623.stm
title=QPR 0-2 West Brom
publisher=BBC Sport
accessdate=2008-05-04
]

Colours

Football kit box
align = left
pattern_la = _redpinstripes
pattern_b = _thinredhoops
pattern_ra = _redpinstripes
leftarm = FFFFFF
body = FFFFFF
rightarm = FFFFFF
shorts = FFFFFF
socks = FF0000
title = Albion's strip from 1882–83 was one of many variations worn by the club during the 1880s. Note that the actual kit had long sleeves.
Football kit box
align = right
pattern_la = _green_stripes
pattern_b = _greenstripes
pattern_ra = _green_stripes
leftarm = FFFF00
body = FFFF00
rightarm = FFFF00
shorts = 007700
socks = FFFF00
title = Albion's most common away colours during the late 20th and early 21st century
West Bromwich Albion have played in navy blue and white striped shirts for the majority of their existence, usually with white shorts and white socks. The team is occasionally referred to as "The Stripes" by supporters. [cite news
first=Emma
last=Cullwick
coauthors=Lepkowski, Chris
title=Fans joy as Albion book Wembley trip
url=http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/mail/news/tm_headline=&method=full&objectid=19118105&siteid=50002-name_page.html
publisher=Birmingham Mail
date=2007-05-17
accessdate=2008-07-14
] A number of different colours were trialled during the club's formative years however, including cardinal red and blue quarters in 1880–81, yellow and white quarters in 1881–82, chocolate and blue halves in 1881–82 and 1882–83, red and white hoops in 1882–83, chocolate and white in 1883–84 and cardinal red and blue halves in 1884–85. [McOwan p13.] The blue and white stripes made their first appearance in the 1885–86 season, although at that time they were of a lighter shade of blue; the navy blue stripes did not appear until after the First World War.cite web
url=http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/West_Bromwich_Albion/West_Bromwich_Albion.htm
title=Historical football kits - West Bromwich Albion
publisher=www.historicalkits.co.uk
accessdate=2007-11-11
] For the regional leagues played during the Second World War, Albion were forced to switch to all-blue shirts, as rationing meant that striped material was considered a luxury. [McOwan p56.]

Like all football clubs, Albion sport a secondary or "change" strip when playing away from home against a team whose colours clash with their own. As long ago as the 1890s, and throughout much of the club's early history, a change strip of white jerseys with black shorts was worn.Matthews (1987) p241.] The away shirt additionally featured a large 'V' during the First World War. [Matthews (1987) p188.] In the 1935 FA Cup Final however, when both of Albion and Sheffield Wednesday's kits clashed, a switch was made to plain navy blue shirts. An all-red strip was adopted at the end of the 1950s, but was dropped following defeat in the 1967 League Cup Final, to be replaced by the all-white design that was worn during the club's FA Cup run of 1967–68. Since then the away strip has changed regularly, with yellow and green stripes the most common of a number of different designs used. In the 1990s and 2000s a third kit has occasionally been introduced.cite web
url=http://www.kitclassics.co.uk/kits/westbrom.gif
title= West Bromwich Albion historic kits
publisher=www.kitclassics.co.uk
accessdate=2007-11-11
]

Albion players—along with those of other Football League teams—first wore numbers on the back of their shirts in the abandoned season of 1939-40, [cite web
last=Young
first=Peter
coauthors=Goodwin, Chris
title=England's Uniforms - Shirt Numbers and Names
url=http://www.englandfootballonline.com/TeamUnif/UnifNosNames.html
publisher=England Football Online
date=1999-04-09
accessdate=2008-07-15
] and names on the back of their shirts from 1999–2000. [cite news
title=Put your shirt on squad numbers next season
url=http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/1999/4/9/775565.html
publisher=Lancashire Evening Telegraph
date=1999-04-09
accessdate=2008-07-15
] Red numbers were added to the side of Albion players' shorts in 1969. BSR Housewares became the club's first shirt sponsor during the 1981–82 season. The club's shirts have been sponsored for the majority of the time since then, although there was no shirt sponsor at the end of the 1993–94 season, after local solicitors Coucher & Shaw were closed down by the Law Society. [cite news
last=Foster
first=Howard
coauthor=Lightfoot, Liz
title=Solicitors' image soiled by surge of complaints
url=http://corruptlawyers.co.uk/articles.aspx
publisher=Sunday Times (reproduced at CorruptLawyers.co.uk)
date=1994-02-06
accessdate=2008-08-25
] Unusually for a Premier League club, Albion were again without a shirt sponsor for the start of the 2008–09 campaign, as negotiations with a new sponsor were still ongoing when the season began. [cite news
last=Atkinson
first=Simon
title=Does Baggies shirt saga signify Premiership slowdown?
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7563013.stm
publisher=BBC News
date=2008-08-15
accessdate=2008-08-25
] The longest-running shirt sponsorship deal agreed by the club ran for seven seasons between 1997 and 2004 with the West Bromwich Building Society. [cite news
title=Baggies shirt sponsorship up for grabs
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~485609,00.html
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
date=2004-02-10
accessdate=2007-11-11
] Since 2006 Albion's kit has been manufactured by Umbro, who also produced the club's clothing during the late 1970s and early 1980s. [cite news
title=Albion sign up UMBRO
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~809085,00.html
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
date=2006-03-31
accessdate=2007-11-11
] [cite news
title=Albion extend UMBRO deal
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1223588,00.html
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
date=2008-01-24
accessdate=2008-01-24
]

Crest

Albion's main club crest dates back to the late 1880s, when then club secretary Tom Smith suggested that a throstle sitting on a crossbar be adopted for the crest.McOwan p15.] ref label|Throstle|B| Since then, the club crest has always featured a throstle, usually on a blue and white striped shield, although the crossbar was replaced with a hawthorn branch at some point after the club's move to The Hawthorns. The throstle was chosen because the public house in which the team used to change kept a pet thrush in a cage. It also gave rise to Albion's early nickname, "The Throstles". As late as the 1930s, a caged throstle was placed beside the touchline during matches and it was said that it only used to sing if Albion were winning. In 1979 an effigy of a throstle was erected above the half-time scoreboard of the Woodman corner at The Hawthorns, [Matthews (1987) p239.] and was returned to the same area of the ground following redevelopment in the early 2000s. [Cite web
url=http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/westbrom.htm
title=West Bromwich Albion ground guide
publisher=Internet Football Ground Guide
accessdate=2007-12-01
]

The crest has been subject to various revisions through the years, meaning that the club were unable to register it as a trademark. As a result of this, the crest was re-designed in 2006, incorporating the name of the club for the first time. The new crest gave Albion the legal protection they sought.cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~777862,00.html
title=Albion unveil new badge
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
]

The main club crest should be distinguished from the badge displayed on the first team strip, as the two have rarely coincided. No badge appeared on the kit for most of the club's history, although the Stafford knot featured on the team jerseys for part of the 1880s.Matthews (2007) p64.] The West Bromwich town arms were worn on the players' shirts for the 1931, 1935 and 1954 FA Cup finals. The town's Latin motto, "Labor omnia vincit", translates as "labour conquers all things" or "work conquers all". The town arms were revived as the shirt badge from 1994 until 2000,ref label|TownCrest|C| with the throstle moved to the collar of the shirts.

Albion's first regular shirt crest appeared in the late 1960s and featured the familiar throstle, but without the blue and white striped shield of the club crest. This continued until the early 1970s, with a similar design used during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the mid 1970s, a more abstract version of the throstle was used on the club's shirts, while in the late 1970s through to the mid-1980s, an embroidered WBA logo was displayed, a common abbreviation of the club's name in print. Not until the early 21st century did the full club crest appear on the team's shirts.

Grounds

The speed with which the club became established following its foundation is illustrated by the fact that it outgrew four successive grounds in its first seven years. The first was Cooper's Hill, where they played from 1878 to 1879. From 1879 to 1881 they appear to have alternated between Cooper's Hill and Dartmouth Park. ["Full Throstle" DVD 0:05:36] During the 1881–82 season they played at Bunn's Field, also known as The Birches. This had a capacity of between 1,500 and 2,000, ["Full Throstle" DVD 0:06:37] and was Albion's first enclosed ground, allowing the club to charge an entrance fee for the first time. From 1882 to 1885, as the popularity of football increased, Albion rented the Four Acres ground from the well-established West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club. But they quickly outgrew this new home and soon needed to move again. From 1885 to 1900 Albion played at Stoney Lane; their tenure of this ground was arguably the most successful period in the club's history, as they won the FA Cup twice and were runners-up three times.

By 1900, when the lease on Stoney Lane expired, the club needed a bigger ground yet again and so made its last move to date. All of Albion's previous grounds had been close to the centre of West Bromwich, but on this occasion they took up a site on the town's border with Handsworth. The new ground was named The Hawthorns, after the hawthorn bushes that covered the area and were cleared to make way for it. ["Full Throstle" DVD 0:15:16] Albion drew 1–1 with Derby County in the first match at the stadium, on 3 September 1900. [Matthews (2007) p79.] The record attendance at The Hawthorns was on 6 March 1937, when 64,815 spectators saw Albion beat Arsenal 3–1 in the FA Cup quarter-final. [Matthews (2007) pp83–84.] The Hawthorns became an all-seater stadium in the 1990s, in order to comply with the recommendations of the Taylor Report.Cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Hawthorns/0,,10366,00.html
title=Grounds for debate
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-12-01
] Its capacity today is 28,003, the four stands being known respectively as the Birmingham Road End, Smethwick End, East Stand and West Stand.Cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/StadiumPlan/0,,10366,00.html
title=Stadium Plan
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-12-01
] At an altitude of 551 feet (168 m) above sea level, The Hawthorns is the highest of all the 92 Premier League and Football League grounds. [Matthews (2007) p72.]

upporters

rquote|right
"The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want:" "He makes me down to lie" "In pastures green; he leadeth me" "The quiet waters by."|Lyrics to first verse of "The Lord's my Shepherd"|from CCEL [cite web |url=http://www.ccel.org/ccel/anonymous/scotpsalter.p24.html | title=Psalm 23: The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want | publisher=Christian Classics Ethereal Library |accessdate=2007-08-05]
The official West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club has branches throughout the United Kingdom, as well as in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Malta and Thailand. [cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Branches/0,,10366,00.html
title=Albion Supporters' Clubs Directory
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
] Albion's "club anthem" is "The Lord's my Shepherd"; [Cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~480525,00.html
title=Hawthorns set for a tenor treat
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-23
] the hymn, whose tune is known as "Crimond", is generally attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine. [Cite web
url=http://songsandhymns.org/hymns/tunes/detail/crimond
title=Crimond
publisher=Center for Church Music - Songs & Hymns
accessdate=2008-10-07
] Supporters of the team celebrate goals by bouncing up and down and chanting "Boing Boing". This dates back to the 1992–93 season, when the team was promoted from the new Second Division. [cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~63609,00.html
title=Lyttle things mean a lot
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2008-01-26
] In recent years fans of the team have celebrated the end of each season by adopting a fancy dress theme for the final away match, including dressing as vikings in 2004 in honour of Player of the Season Thomas Gaardsøe. [cite news
title=Gaardsoe hails fans
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~523574,00.html
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
date=2004-05-11
accessdate=2007-11-12
] In 2002–03 Albion's fans were voted the best in the Premiership by their peers, [cite web
date=2004-11-17
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~551945,00.html
title=Prove you're No.1 again
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
] while in the BBC's 2002 "national intelligence test" "Test the Nation", they were found to be "more likely to be smarter than any other football supporters, registering an average score of 138". [cite news
date=2002-05-13
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1984648.stm
title= IQ test is ratings hit
publisher=BBC Sport
accessdate=2007-11-11
]

Publications

The club has published an official matchday programme for supporters since 1905. [Citation
last=Millichip
first=Sir Bert
title=Past glories and future hopes
newspaper=Story of the Baggies - Birmingham Evening Mail souvenir
date = 1995-01-16
pages = p3.
year=1995
] The publication was entitled "Albion News" for many years, but was renamed "Albion" from the 2002–03 season onwards. [cite web
url=http://www.westbrom.com/0/programmes/overtheyears.html
title=The Programmes : Over The Years:2000-01 to 2005-06
publisher=westbrom.com
accessdate=2007-11-11
] It won Premiership Programme of the Year in 2002–03 and Third Division Programme of the Year in 1991–92. [cite web
url=http://www.pmfc.co.uk/awards_page.php
title=Programme of the Year Awards
publisher=Programme Monthly & Football Collectable
accessdate=2007-11-11
] In 2007–08 it was awarded Championship Programme of the Year by both Programme Monthly and the Football Programme Directory. [cite news
title=Double up for 'ALBION'
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1287194,00.html
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
date=2008-04-11
accessdate=2008-04-12
] The programme has a circulation in excess of 8,000 copies. [cite web
url=http://www.albionbusiness.co.uk/advertising-opportunities/programme_advertising.html
title=Programme Advertising
publisher=Albion Business
accessdate=2008-07-15
] The first West Bromwich Albion fanzine, "Fingerpost", was first published in 1983. It was followed by several others, most notably "Grorty Dick" – named after a Black Country stew – which was in circulation from 1989 to 2005. The club no longer has any fanzines dedicated to it. [cite web
url=http://www.albiontillwedie.co.uk/history/overtheyears/fanzines.html
title=Over the years – fanzines
publisher=AlbionTillWeDie.co.uk
accessdate=2008-01-10
]

"Baggies" nickname

Although known in their early days as "The Throstles", the club's more popular nickname among supporters came to be "The Baggies", a term which the club itself looked down upon for many years but later embraced. The phrase was first heard at The Hawthorns in the 1900s, but its exact origins are uncertain.McOwan pp38–40.] One suggestion is that the name was bestowed on Albion supporters by their rivals at Aston Villa, because of the large baggy trousers that many Albion fans wore at work to protect themselves from molten iron in the factories and foundries of the Black Country. ["Full Throstle" DVD 0:08:48] Club historian Tony Matthews however suggests that it derives from the "bagmen", who carried the club's matchday takings in big leather bags from the turnstiles to the cash office on the halfway line.cite web
url=http://www.baggies.com/faq/#BAGGIES
title=Why are we called The Baggies ?
publisher= [http://www.baggies.com BOING]
accessdate=2007-11-11
] Other theories relate to the baggy shorts worn by various players during the club's early years. The official club mascot is named "Baggie Bird", and is based on the throstle depicted on the club crest. [Cite news
title= Fanzines - No 5. West Bromwich Albion
url=http://football.guardian.co.uk/fanzines/story/0,,437994,00.html
publisher=GuardianUnlimited
date=2001-02-14
accessdate=2007-12-01
]

Rivalries

Historically, Albion's greatest rivals were Aston Villa from nearby Birmingham. The two clubs contested three FA Cup Finals between 1887 and 1895 (Villa winning two and Albion one). More recently however, most Albion fans have seen Wolverhampton Wanderers as their main rivals. Albion and Wolves have contested the Black Country derby more than 150 times; their first major clash was an FA Cup tie in 1886. The rivalry came to prominence when the two clubs contested the league title in 1953–54, and during the 1990s it intensified to new heights among supporters, with both clubs languishing in Division One for much of the decade and only local pride at stake. [McOwan p162.] A 2004 survey by Planetfootball.com confirmed that the majority of both Albion and Wolves supporters consider the other to be their main rival, Baggies fans naming Aston Villa and Birmingham City as their second and third rivals respectively. [cite web
url=http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s120/st44186.htm
title=Football Rivalries: The Complete Results
publisher=Planetfootball.com
accessdate=2007-11-11
] [cite web
url=http://www.footballfanscensus.com/issueresults/Club_Rivalries_Uncovered_Results.pdf
title=Rivalry Uncovered!
publisher=The Football Fans Census
format=pdf
accessdate=2007-11-11
] Walsall are seen as lesser rivals, having played in a lower division than Albion for most of their history. The hooligan firm who associate themselves with Albion are known as Section Five. [cite news
last = Kelly
first = John
title = Woz on the telly: Bunch of cowards
publisher = The Sunday Mirror
date = 2002-05-19
url = http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_20020519/ai_n12843434
accessdate = 2008-03-24
]

Ownership and governance

In the club's formative years, West Bromwich Albion were run by a seven-man playing committee, and funded by each member contributing a weekly subscription of 6d (six pence). [Matthews (2007) p10.] Albion's first chairman was Henry Jackson, appointed in 1885, with the club becoming a limited company in June 1891.Matthews (2005) pp267–269.] Other early chairmen of Albion included Jem Bayliss and Billy Bassett, both of whom had earlier played for the club. Indeed, from 1878 to 1986 there was always an Albion player or ex-player on the club's committee or board of directors. Bassett became an Albion director in 1905, following the resignation of the previous board in its entirety. The club was in deep financial trouble and had had a writ served upon them by their bank, but Bassett and returning chairman Harry Keys rescued the club, aided by local fund-raising activities. [McOwan p33–34.] Bassett became chairman in 1908, and helped the club to avoid bankruptcy once more in 1910 by paying the players' summer wages from his own pocket. [McOwan p34–35.] He remains Albion's longest-serving chairman, having held the position until his death in 1937. [Matthews (2005) pp25–26 & p267.] The club's longest-serving director was Major H. Wilson Keys, during the period 1930–1965, including 15 years as chairman. He became FA vice-president in 1969. [Matthews (2005) pp267–268.]

Sir Bert Millichip served as Albion chairman from 1974 to 1983, after which he chose to concentrate on his role as chairman of The Football Association. [Matthews (1987) p309.] In 1996 the club became a Public limited company, issuing shares to supporters at £500 and £3000 each. [cite web
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/History/0,,10366~1018329,00.html
title=Albion's timeline
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
] The shares were quoted on the Alternative Investment Market, but the club withdrew from the stock exchange in order to become a private company again in 2004. [cite news
date=2004-11-21
url=http://www.footballeconomy.com/archive/archive_2004_nov_11.htm
title=West Brom Go Private
publisher=The Political Economy of Football
accessdate=2007-11-11
] The name of the company thus reverted from West Bromwich Albion plc to West Bromwich Albion Limited, the latter becoming a subsidiary of West Bromwich Albion Holdings Limited. Current chairman Jeremy Peace took up the post in 2002, after a rift between previous chairman Paul Thompson and manager Gary Megson forced Thompson to quit the club. [cite news
date=2002-05-01
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/1960590.stm
title=Baggies chief quits over rift
publisher=BBC Sport
accessdate=2007-11-11
] In September 2007 Peace acquired additional shares in West Bromwich Albion Holdings Limited, taking his total stake in the company to 50.56%. This triggered a requirement, under the Takeover Code, for him to make a mandatory cash offer for the remaining shares in both WBA Holdings Ltd and WBA Ltd. [cite news
date=2007-09-17
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1113928,00.html
title=Jeremy Peace statement
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
] Later that year, Michelle Davies became Albion's first female director. [cite news
date=2007-12-05
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1182978,00.html
title=Official WBA Statement
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2008-05-10
] Jeremy Peace announced in June 2008 that he was looking for a major new investor for the club, [cite news
date=2008-06-13
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1327630,00.html
title=Albion put deadline on investors search
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2008-06-14
] but no firm proposals were received by the 31 July deadline. [cite news
date=2008-08-04
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~1357635,00.html
title=Peace: We've had no investment offers
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2008-08-05
]

Records and statistics

West Bromwich Albion's record victory was their 12–0 league win against Darwen on 4 April 1892. This is still the widest margin of victory for a game in the top-flight of English football, although the record was equalled by Nottingham Forest when they beat Leicester Fosse by the same scoreline in 1909. [cite web
url=http://www.footballsite.co.uk/Statistics/Articles/NottmF1909.htm
title=Nottingham Forest 12 Leicester Fosse 0
publisher=FootballSite.co.uk
accessdate=2007-11-11
] Albion's biggest FA Cup victory came when they beat Chatham 10–1 on 2 March 1889. The club's record league defeat was a 3–10 loss against Stoke City on 4 February 1937, while a 0–5 defeat to Leeds United on 18 February 1967 represents Albion's heaviest FA Cup loss.

Tony Brown holds a number of Albion's club records. He has made the most appearances overall for the club (720), as well as most appearances in the league (574), FA Cup (54) and in European competition (17). Brown is the club's top scorer in the league (218), the FA Cup (27) and in Europe (8). He is also the club's record scorer overall, with 279 goals. W. G. Richardson scored 328 goals for the club, but this includes 100 during the Second World War, which are not normally counted towards competitive totals. Richardson holds the club record for most league goals in a single season, scoring 39 times in 1935–36. [McOwan p319.]

Albion's most capped international player, taking into account only those caps won whilst at the club, is Stuart Williams, who appeared 33 times for Wales. Jesse Pennington is the club's most capped England international, with 25 caps.Matthews (2007) pp404–405.] The highest transfer fee paid by the club is £4.7 million to RCD Mallorca for Borja Valero in August 2008. [cite news
title=West Brom sign midfielder Valero
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/7577128.stm
publisher=BBC Sport
date=2008-08-22
accessdate=2008-08-24
] The record transfer from Albion to another club is probably that of Curtis Davies to Aston Villa in July 2008, for a fee believed to be in the region of £8–10 million.ref label|CurtisDavies|D| [cite web
url = http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=36726
title = Curtis Davies player statistics
accessdate = 2008-08-31
work = soccerbase.com
publisher = Racing Post
] [cite news
title=Aston Villa's Curtis Davies targeting comeback against West Brom
url=http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/2008/07/04/aston-villa-s-curtis-davies-targeting-comeback-against-west-brom-89520-20630995/
publisher=Daily Mirror
date=2008-07-04
accessdate=2008-07-21
] [cite news
last=Hill
first=Graham
title=Villa boss O'Neill expects Davies to make quick return from achilles injury
url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1037003/Villa-boss-ONeill-expects-Davies-make-quick-return-achilles-injury.html
publisher=Daily Mail
date=2008-07-21
accessdate=2008-07-21
] [cite news
title=West Brom sign £3.2m Dutch defender Zuiverloon from Heerenveen
url=http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/sport/article-23506346-details/West+Brom+sign+3.2m+Dutch+defender+Zuiverloon+from+Heerenveen/article.do
publisher=Evening Standard
date=2008-07-02
accessdate=2008-07-21
]

Players

:"As of 25 September 2008." [cite web
title=Profiles
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/ProfilesDetail/0,,10366,00.html
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2008-08-08
]

Current squad

Out on loan

"For recent transfers, see List of English football transfers summer 2008."

Notable former players

As part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations in 2004, a survey was commissioned via the official West Bromwich Albion website and the Express & Star newspaper to determine the greatest West Bromwich Albion players of all time. A modern-day 16-man squad was compiled from the results; all selected players are depicted on a commemorative mural displayed at The Hawthorns. Fourteen of the sixteen players are English-born, with a fifteenth, Cyrille Regis, being a full England international. The list of sixteen is as follows: [cite news
date=2004-11-17
url=http://www.wba.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/0,,10366~547701,00.html
title=The wraps come off 125th anniversary mural
publisher=West Bromwich Albion F.C.
accessdate=2007-11-11
]

Honours

*Football League First Division (old)ref label|DivisionChanges|H|
**Champions: 1919–20
**Runners-up: 1924–25, 1953–54
*Football League Second Division (old), Division One (modern), Football League Championship
**Champions: 1901–02, 1910–11, 2007–08
**Runners-up: 1930–31, 1948–49, 2001–02, 2003–04
*Division Two (modern)
**Play-off Winners: 1992–93
*FA Cup
**Winners: 1888, 1892, 1931, 1954, 1968
**Runners-up: 1886, 1887, 1895, 1912, 1935
*Football League Cup
**Winners:1966
**Runners-up: 1967, 1970
*FA Charity Shield
**Winners: 1920, 1954 (shared with Wolves)
**Runners-up: 1931, 1968
* Victories in minor cup competitions
**FA Youth Cup: 1976
**Tennent-Caledonian Cup: 1977
**Birmingham Senior Cup: 1886, 1895, 1988, 1990, 1991
**Staffordshire Senior Cup: 1883, 1886, 1887, 1889, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1924, 1926, 1932, 1933, 1951, 1969 (shared with Stoke City)
**Watney Cup: Runners-up: 1971

Footnotes

:A. : Older sources quote the year of formation as 1879, as evidence of a Strollers match from 1878 came to light only as recently as 1993.:B. : "Throstle" is a colloquial Black Country name for the song thrush.:C. : The town crest remained on the away strip until 2001.:D. : The fee for Davies was undisclosed by the two clubs. The highest disclosed fee received by Albion for a player was £6 million for Diomansy Kamara from Fulham in July 2007.:E. : Kevan was joint-top scorer with Ray Crawford of Ipswich Town.:F. : Secretary-manager. Albion did not appoint a full-time manager until 1948.:G. : Current manager. Figures correct after Queens Park Rangers vs West Bromwich Albion, 4 May 2008.:H. : The Football League First Division was the top division of English football until 1992, when the Premier League became the top division. At the same time, the second, third and fourth tiers of English football became known as the Football League First Division, Second Division and Third Division respectively. These three divisions were renamed again in 2004 as part of a Football League re-branding exercise, becoming known as the Football League Championship, League One and League Two respectively.

References

;General
*cite book| last=McOwan | first=Gavin | title=The Essential History of West Bromwich Albion | publisher=Headline | year=2002 | isbn=0-7553-1146-9
*cite book| last=Matthews | first=Tony | coauthors=Mackenzie, Colin | title=Albion! A Complete Record of West Bromwich Albion 1879–1987 | publisher=Breedon Books | year=1987 | isbn=0-907969-23-2
*cite book | last = Matthews | first = Tony | title = The Who's Who of West Bromwich Albion | publisher = Breedon Books | date = 2005 | isbn = 1-85983-474-4
*cite book | last=Matthews | first=Tony | title=West Bromwich Albion: The Complete Record | publisher=Breedon Books | year=2007 | isbn=978-1-85983-565-4
*cite video
people = Adrian Chiles (presenter)
year2 = 2005
title = Full Throstle: The Official History of West Bromwich Albion
url = http://www.pdimedia.co.uk/
medium = DVD
publisher = Paul Doherty International
location = Manchester, England
accessdate = 2007-12-03
id = Cat No. WBADVD05

;Specific

External links

* [http://www.wba.co.uk Official site]
* [http://www.wbascofficial.co.uk Official Supporters Club]
* [http://www.oldbaggies.com Former Players Association]
* [http://www.wbawfc.co.uk Women's team]
* [http://www.expressandstar.co.uk/archive/sport/albion/ Albion news from expressandstar.com]
* [http://www.premierleague.com/west-bromwich-albion.html Premierleague.com - West Bromwich Albion]


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