History of West Bromwich Albion F.C.


History of West Bromwich Albion F.C.

West Bromwich Albion F.C. are an English football club based in West Bromwich. The history of West Bromwich Albion F.C. covers the years from the club's formation in 1878 to the present day. The club were founded as West Bromwich Strollers by workers from Salter's Spring Works in West Bromwich, and were renamed West Bromwich Albion in 1880. The club have played their home games at The Hawthorns since 1900.

Albion were one of the founding members of The Football League in 1888 but have won the league title only once, in 1919–20. They 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, with three seasons spent in the Premiership between 2002 and 2006.

Early years: 1878–1902

The club was founded in 1878 as "West Bromwich Strollers" in West Bromwich, then in Staffordshire but now part of the West Midlands administrative county. [Older sources quote the year of formation as 1879, as evidence of the first Strollers match in 1878 came to light only as recently as 1993.] McOwan pp7–10.] The team played their first match on 23 November 1878, drawing 0–0 in a 12-a-side game against workers from Hudson's, a local soap factory. [Matthews (2007) p10.] Most of the Strollers players worked at George Salter's Spring Works; many were keen cricketers and were looking for a sport to play during the winter months. The 'Strollers' name came about because there were no footballs on sale in West Bromwich, so a walk to nearby Wednesbury was necessary in order to buy one. They were renamed "West Bromwich Albion" in either 1879 or 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.

For the first two seasons of their existence, Albion played local sides on parks pitches throughout West Bromwich, Smethwick and Wednesbury, occasionally travelling as far afield as Stourbridge to get a game. The real breakthrough came at the start of the 1881–82 season, when they decided to pay a subscription to join the Birmingham & District Football Association, thus becoming eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Senior Cup. It was their run to the quarter finals of that tournament — beating, as they did, established sides such as Elwells FC (from Wednesbury) and Calthorpe (Edgbaston) — that made their name in the Birmingham press. Suddenly, the local papers began to take notice of the club, and began reporting on their games.

By 1882 they had also joined the Staffordshire FA, and after another good run in the Birmingham Cup, they won the Staffordshire Cup — their first trophy — by beating Stoke 3–2 at the Victoria Ground. That was the catalyst for national success. At that time, every county had its own cup competition, and the various cup holders were welcome visitors all around the country; so it was that Albion began to arrange choice fixtures against the likes of Preston North End, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, and Wrexham.

They also moved ground. They had spent a season in their own enclosure, The Birches, but the drainage there was poor and so the club rented Four Acres from their former rivals, West Bromwich FC, where they would remain for three years. The conditions of the lease allowed them to play home games on Saturdays and Mondays only, but not in the summer as the ground was used then by the Dartmouth Cricket Club.

They also entered 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 reached the FA Cup final for the first time, losing 2–0 to Blackburn Rovers. In 1887 they reached the final again, but lost 2-0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 they went one better and won the trophy for the first time, beating strong favourites Preston North End 2–1 in the final. [McOwan p20.] Of all the clubs that went on to join the Football League, only Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa had also won the FA Cup previously, and were the two clubs that had beaten Albion in their first two finals.

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, but were promoted as champions the following season, [McOwan p30–32.] when Chippy Simmons was the leading goalscorer in Division Two.cite web | title=English League Leading Goalscorers 1889-2007 | url=http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engtops.html | publisher=RSSSF | date=2007-09-14 | accessdate=2008-05-04]

Fred Everiss era: 1902–1948

Albion secretary Frank Heaven resigned in May 1902, and was replaced by 19 year-old Fred Everiss, who remained in the post of secretary-manager for 46 years.McOwan p32.] The team performed well on their return to Division One, topping the league for a large part of the season, but their title hopes were ended by a run of 11 games without a win—including eight straight defeats—and they finished seventh. [Willmore p50.] Disagreements in the boardroom in the summer of 1903 led to the resignation of three directors, including chairman Harry Keys. Albion won just seven league games in 1903–04, and were again relegated as the First Division's bottom club. This time there was no quick return as the club finished tenth in Division Two, three points clear of having to apply for re-election. The 1905–06 season saw a marked improvement, with a 16-match unbeaten run between October and January helping the team to a 4th place finish. [Matthews (2007) p16 & p208] In 1906–07, Fred Shinton finished as top scorer in Division Two, with 28 league goals.

They 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.] The war-time diaspora of a promising young team did not stop individuals from playing football in charity matches, amateur teams and regional leagues. 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.] Fred Morris was the league's top goalscorer, finding the net 37 times. 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.] The following season, Jimmy Cookson scored 38 league goals to finish as Division Two's top scorer.

Albion scored a club record 105 league goals in 1929–30, but could only finish sixth in Division Two. [Matthews (2007) p23.] In 1930–31 they won promotion to Division One. Only the goal-scoring exploits of Dixie Dean of Everton deprived Albion of the Second Division championship. In the same season they also won 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 p23.] Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday. [McOwan p53–54.] In 1935–1936 W. G. Richardson scored 39 league goals, still a club record. Albion reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1937, but lost 4–1 to Preston North End, although the Albion players were clearly affected by the death of chairman and former player Billy Bassett two days before the game. [McOwan p55.] The following season, 1937–38, Albion were relegated to Division Two. [McOwan p55.] With the 1939–40 season only a few games old, the Second World War broke out and football was suspended. Once normal league competition was resumed in 1946 (the 1945–46 season had been organised on a regional basis) Albion remained in the Second Division.

Cup success and a near double: 1948–1973

The turning point arrived with the retirement of Fred Everiss in 1948. Unlike most other contemporary clubs, Albion had yet to implement the modern role of coach or manager. Everiss, who was the club's administrative secretary, delivered the pre-match talk; the board of directors, which had replaced the old Club Committee, selected the team. Kicking a football played no part in training, which was for fitness alone. Albion's first modern manager was Jack Smith, who led the team to promotion in 1948–49. [McOwan p58.] 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
]

A talented new squad started to develop, marked by the arrival of Ronnie Allen in 1950, scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. on his home debut in front of a crowd of 60,000. However, the board were frustrated by the lack of trophies and Smith was dismissed in 1952. Radically, Smith was replaced by Juventus F.C. coach Jesse Carver who introduced football into training. Though Carver was soon to be seduced back to Italy by S.S. Lazio, (although domestic household pressures were a paramount factor) his eight months in charge were a defining moment for the club. His replacement, Vic Buckingham, recruited from the amateur leagues, inherited an intelligent, well-co-ordinated team, playing a flowing style of attacking football that he was to build upon.

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
] Later in 1954 Albion played in 'Le Soir Festival de Football', losing 5-3 to Hungarian side Honved in Brussels. Ronnie Allen was the leading Division One goalscorer for 1954–55, scoring 27 league goals. In 1957 Albion became the first British professional team to win a game in the Soviet Union, at that time firmly under the Iron Curtain. They played three games, drawing against FC Zenit in Leningrad (Russia) and beating Dynamo Tbilisi (Georgia) and the Soviet Army side, CSKA Moscow (Russia). The Soviets were invited back to England in October and Albion beat the Soviet Central Army 6-5. The 1950s also saw the arrival of players Don Howe, Derek Kevan and Bobby Robson. In the season 1957-58, Allen, Kevan and Robson scored 78 goals between them. Despite never matching their achievements of 1953–54, Albion 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. Following Buckingham's departure to Ajax in 1959 the club saw another decline, although Derek Kevan's 33 league goals in 1961–62 saw him finish as joint-top goalscorer in the First Division, alongside Ray Crawford of Ipswich. Jimmy Hagan was recruited to arrest Albion's slide in 1963.

In September 1964 a young striker was signed from Notts County F.C. who, over the next decade, was to become the club's most iconic player ever: Jeff Astle. The club was already feeling the effects of the dramatic social changes of the 1960s, in the form of falling attendances and the end of the players' maximum wage. Hagan, despite the spirit of the times, was a martinet on the training ground and frequently bred conflict with a playing squad that was beginning to enjoy the new economic and social freedoms. However, he shrewdly built the team in personnel and skill, leading them to a League Cup triumph in 1966 as Albion (in their first League Cup appearance) beat West Ham 5–3 on aggregate in the last two-legged final. During this time the club's attack was built around the strike duo of Astle and Tony Brown, with Bobby Hope prompting from midfield and Clive Clark on the wing.

The following season was a hollow disappointment, with Albion losing in the final of the League Cup to Third Division Queens Park Rangers F.C. (losing 3–2 after being 2–0 up at half-time), [McOwan pp87–88.] making an early exit from their first European campaign and struggling to maintain their place in the First Division. Had Hagan had more friends at the Hawthorns, he might have been given time to fix the problems but, in 1967, he was replaced by Alan Ashman. Ashman led Albion to FA Cup victory in 1968, Astle becoming the first player to score in every round of the competition including the only goal of the final against Everton. [McOwan pp94–96.] Albion also defeated the newly crowned European Champions Manchester United 6–3 at the Hawthorns. In 1969 Albion again reached the FA Cup semi-finals but narrowly lost out to Leicester City. The following year the club reached the League Cup final again but lost out to Manchester City 2–1. [McOwan pp97–99.] In the same season, Jeff Astle finished as the First Division's leading scorer, an achievement matched by his team mate Tony Brown in 1970–71.

Former Albion player Don Howe replaced Ashman as manager in 1971. Howe had just coached Arsenal F.C. to the League and Cup double and was regarded as one of the game's foremost theoreticians, but he was unable to prevent Albion's relegation to the Second Division in 1973. [McOwan p105.]

Back in the top-flight: 1973–1986

Failure to achieve promotion back the following season and the departure of Astle in 1974 seemed to presage a gloomy future, and cost Howe his job. In his place, the club were able to secure the services of player-manager Johnny Giles, who led the club to promotion in 1976, [McOwan pp113–114.] but then dropped a bombshell on the club by submitting his resignation in order to give more attention to his other job, manager of the Irish national team. The board was able to persuade Giles to stay on for another year however, and he led them to a comfortable finish back in the First Division, after which the club reluctantly let him go. After being turned down by Lincoln manager Graham Taylor, the club appointed Ronnie Allen as Giles' successor. Allen led the club to a brilliant start to the season, but following a row over both transfer funds and his own pay packet, accepted an offer to manage in Saudi Arabia and left after only five months.

When a relatively unknown young manager named Ron Atkinson arrived at the club in 1978, he inherited a team that already included youth-team graduate Bryan Robson and Derek Statham, Ally Robertson as well as the black pair of Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis, both acquired inexpensively from lower divisions. Aware that he had the makings of a great team, Atkinson augmented it by bringing Brendan Batson from his former club Cambridge United F.C. Never before had an English team simultaneously fielded three black players, and the "Three Degrees", as they became known (in reference to the contemporary vocal trio of the same name), challenged the established racism of English football. Their success in the Albion side marked a watershed that allowed a generation of footballers to enter the game who would previously have been excluded by their ethnic background. Albion reached the 1978 FA Cup semi-final but lost to Ipswich Town. [McOwan p120.]

In May 1978, Albion became the first British professional team to play in China. Their three-week tour, comprising four matches, was covered by the BBC TV documentary "Albion in the Orient". 1978–79 was dominated by fantastic football at the Albion. The Baggies should have won the league, but a huge pile up of fixtures and an end of season slump meant that Albion slipped to third, losing the title to Liverpool. It was nevertheless their highest league finish for more than 20 years. Albion also reached the UEFA Cup quarter-final, where they were defeated by Red Star Belgrade. [McOwan pp124–127.] Many Albion fans consider the highlight of the season to have been the famous 5-3 victory away at Manchester United. This was the last time, to date, that an away team scored five goals at Old Trafford.

Atkinson's team played some of the most exciting football in England during his term at the club but, as early as 1979, the board allowed the playing talent to start slipping away; Cunningham's move to Real Madrid (for a record fee) marked the start of the trend. The club managed 3rd and 4th places in the First Division, and twice reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, but trophies continued to elude them. In 1979, the club signed Peter Barnes and Gary Owen from Manchester City.

Following the tragic death of director Tom Silk in a plane crash, the club fell again under the conservative leadership of Bert Millichip. Atkinson, despairing of the support he needed to build and maintain a winning team, took the vacant manager's post at Manchester United F.C. in the summer of 1981.

The surprise choice to replace Atkinson was Ronnie Allen, returning for a second spell in charge. When Atkinson made a bid to take two of the club's prize assets, Bryan Robson and Remi Moses, to his new club for a combined fee of £2.5million, the board immediately encouraged Allen to sell. Their replacements were Romeo Zondervan, Martin Jol and Andy King; for a while things looked rosy, as Albion reached the semi-finals of both domestic cups. [McOwan pp136–138.] At the time, although the record has now been surpassed by Manchester United, Albion had reached the semi-finals more times than any other club. But the usual post-Christmas slump left the side needing to win its final home game, against Leeds United, to stay up; the game was won 2–0, and Leeds were relegated instead.

At the end of the season, Allen was 'kicked upstairs' and Coventry City coach Ron Wylie took over. He halted the slide, for a while, but resigned in 1984 after falling out with his head coach, Mick Kelly, and his players. A trio of high-profile names was recruited to take over: Johnny Giles, Norman Hunter and Nobby Stiles, and hopes were high; but their first game in charge—at home to Third Division Plymouth Argyle, in the FA Cup—resulted in defeat. "The A Team", as the management trio were known, reversed the sinking trend in the 1983–84 season and things improved the following year.

Albion's financial difficulties however forced Giles to sell players to lighten the wage bill, beginning with Cyrille Regis, and the replacements were generally inadequate. By October 1985 it was looking grim; Giles resigned, and his assistant (also his brother-in-law), Nobby Stiles, reluctantly took up the reins. Stiles lasted only a few months before being replaced by Ron Saunders. By this time, Albion were bottom of the table, and were eventually relegated with the worst record in the club's history. [McOwan p144.]

Years in the wilderness: 1986–2000

The Albion directors kept faith in Saunders after their relegation and he tried to put the club back on track by building a new team. But these changes did little to halt the rapid decline at the Hawthorns and he was sacked after they finished in the bottom half of the Second Division in 1987.

Atkinson returned to Albion in the summer of 1987 and halfway through his second season at the club they led the Second Division table, looking all set for promotion. But Atkinson was lured away to Atlético Madrid and midfielder Brian Talbot, 35, took over as player-manager. Talbot was unable to maintain Albion's good form and they were unable to claim even a playoff place at the end of the 1988–89 season. 1989–90 brought even more frustration as Albion finished 20th in the Second Division - their lowest final position up to that time. The Albion board finally lost patience with Talbot in January 1991 after they lost 4–2 at home to non-league Woking in the Third Round of the FA Cup. He was replaced by Bobby Gould, who was unable to prevent Albion from being relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history. [McOwan p154.]

Albion just missed out on the Third Division playoffs in 1992, and shortly afterwards Bobby Gould moved to Coventry City. His successor was Ossie Ardiles. Ardiles was in charge at Albion for only one season, before being lured away by Tottenham, but he guided them to promotion: a 3–2 aggregate win over Swansea City in the playoff semi-final set Albion up for their first appearance at Wembley for over twenty years (and their last ever at the original stadium), when they beat Port Vale 3-0 to return to the second level - now renamed the First Division. [McOwan pp158–159.] Bob Taylor's 30 league goals made him the top scorer in Division Two.

Following Ardiles' departure, Albion promoted his assistant Keith Burkinshaw to the manager's seat. Albion survived relegation back to Division Two at the end of 1993–94, but only because they had scored more goals than their nearest rivals, Birmingham City. Burkinshaw was sacked soon after that, and replaced by Alan Buckley. Albion's form under Buckley was consistently below average, but just enough to avoid relegation. In October 1995 they were second in Division One and hopeful of automatic promotion, but then came a drastic loss of form which saw them lose 13 games, draw one and win none: one point out of a possible 42. They looked set to be relegated to Division Two, but a big improvement in form during the final four months of the 1995–96 season saw them climb to mid table. Later during the season, the club signed Richard Sneekes from Bolton. He would prove an instant hit and a cult figure with the fans.

Buckley was sacked in January 1997 and replaced by Ray Harford, who led Albion to Division One safety in 1996–97, and in the first few months of the following season the side established itself in the top six. Harford then stunned Albion by moving to QPR after less than a year in charge, making way for Denis Smith, who struggled to maintain the momentum created by Harford, and Albion could only finish 10th. In 1998–99, Lee Hughes scored 31 times in the league to finish as top goalscorer in all four English divisions, but Albion finished only 12th and Smith was sacked in the summer of 1999. His successor Brian Little failed to make any progress at The Hawthorns and was sacked in March 2000, with Albion in real danger of relegation.

Albion reach the Premiership: 2000–present

Gary Megson was named as the new West Bromwich Albion manager in March 2000, and his arrival at the club heralded a revival of Albion's fortunes. Megson quickly signed several new players as the transfer deadline approached, including veteran striker Bob Taylor, who returned for his second spell at the club. A 2–0 win over champions Charlton Athletic on the last day of the season meant that Albion remained in Division One while rivals Walsall were relegated. Megson's rejuvenation of the side continued in 2000–01, as Albion finished sixth, their highest league finish since relegation in 1986. They qualified for the Division One promotion playoffs, where they faced Bolton Wanderers in the semi-finals. The first leg finished 2–2 after Albion had led 2–0. Bolton won the second leg 3–0 to reach the final 5–2 on aggregate.

In 2001–02 Albion reached the FA Cup quarter-finals, their best run in the competition for 20 years, eliminating Premiership sides Sunderland and Leicester City along the way. In the league meanwhile, the team were 11 points behind neighbours Wolves in the Division One table with eight matches left to play. Albion won seven and drew one of their remaining fixtures, including the notorious Battle of Bramall Lane, to overtake their rivals. Automatic promotion — as runners-up to Manchester City — was secured on the final day of the season in a 2–0 home win against Crystal Palace. [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
] Chairman Paul Thompson left the club several days later, following disagreements with manager Megson, [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=The Political Economy of Football
accessdate=2007-11-11
] and was succeeded by Jeremy Peace. Albion won just six games in their first Premiership campaign and were relegated. [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
]

In the 2003–04 season Albion had their best League Cup run for 22 years, beating Newcastle United and Manchester United before losing to Arsenal in the quarter-finals. In the league the team remained in the top two from mid-October until the end of the season, winning promotion back to the Premiership, again as runners-up, at the first attempt. [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
] The club won just one of their first 11 games of 2004–05, and Gary Megson was sacked in October after announcing that he would not be renewing his contract when it expired at the end of the season. [Cite news
title = Megson sacked by West Brom
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/3954309.stm
publisher = BBC Sport
date = 2004-10-26
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] He was succeeded the following month by former Albion midfielder Bryan Robson, [Cite news
title = Baggies appoint Robson as manager
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/w/west_bromwich_albion/3990013.stm
publisher = BBC Sport
date = 2004-11-09
accessdate = 2007-12-08
] but the team failed to win a game under the new manager until January 2005. Results improved over the remainder of the season and with one game to play Albion were bottom of the Premiership, but only two points below Norwich City who were 17th. On the last day of the season, Albion beat Portsmouth 2–0, while Crystal Palace, Norwich and Southampton all failed to achieve the results they needed. [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
] Albion therefore became the first team in the history of the Premiership to avoid relegation after being bottom at Christmas, although their total of 34 points was the lowest by any team to avoid relegation frm the Premiership.Fact|date=November 2007

Albion failed to avoid the drop in the 2005–06 season, despite home wins over Everton, Arsenal and Spurs. They were relegated to The Championship following Portsmouth's 2–1 victory over Wigan Athletic. [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
] Robson left the club "by mutual consent" in September 2006 and by was replaced the following month by Tony Mowbray. [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
] In Mowbray's first game in charge, The Baggies beat Wolves 3–0, their biggest win over their rivals for over 25 years. Albion briefly led the Championship on goal difference in February, but indifferent form over the remainder of the season meant that automatic promotion was out of reach. A 7–0 victory over Barnsley on the final day of the league season secured a place in the play-offs, where they met Wolves again in the semi-finals. Albion won the first leg 3–2 at Molineux, while in the second leg at The Hawthorns Albion won again, 1–0. This booked them a place in the final at Wembley Stadium against Derby County, but Albion lost 1–0. [cite news
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
]

In 2007–08 West Brom reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1982, but lost 1–0 to Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium. [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=2008-04-06
] The crowd of 83,584 was the highest ever for an FA Cup semi-final. [cite news
last=Hughes
first=Rob
title=Nwanko Kanu repays Harry Redknapp’s faith in one moment
url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/portsmouth/article3689897.ece
publisher=TimesOnline
date=2008-04-06
accessdate=2008-04-06
] A month later they won a third promotion to the Premier League by winning the Football League Championship. [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
]

Footnotes

References

*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=West Bromwich Albion: The Complete Record | publisher=Breedon Books | year=2007 | isbn=978-1-85983-565-4
*cite book| last=Morris | first=Peter | title=West Bromwich Albion: Soccer in the Black Country | publisher=Heinemann | year=1965
*cite book| last=Willmore | first=G.A. | title=West Bromwich Albion: The First Hundred Years | publisher=Readers Union | year=1980
*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 = 2008-09-15| id = Cat No. WBADVD05


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  • West Bromwich Albion F.C. seasons — West Bromwich Albion Football Club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salter s Spring Works and turned professional in 1885. [McOwan pp7 ndash;8.] [cite web date=2007 07 13… …   Wikipedia

  • 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 …   Wikipedia

  • West Bromwich Albion F.C. former grounds — Four Acres redirects here. For the community in California, see Four Acres, California. From their formation in 1878 as West Bromwich Strollers, until their move to The Hawthorns in 1900, West Bromwich Albion F.C. occupied five different grounds …   Wikipedia

  • List of West Bromwich Albion F.C. managers — The following is a list of West Bromwich Albion managers from the founding of West Bromwich Albion F.C. in 1878 until the present. It includes both those who have been in permanent charge as well as caretaker managers. All managers prior to 1948… …   Wikipedia

  • West Bromwich — Bromwich redirects here. For the mathematician, see Thomas John I Anson Bromwich Coordinates: 52°31′30″N 2°00′58″W / 52.525°N 2.016°W / 52.525; …   Wikipedia

  • West Bromwich — Localidad de Inglaterra …   Wikipedia Español

  • History of West Ham United F.C. — See also West Ham United F.C. by season : See also West Ham United F.C. timeline West Ham United Football Club are based in Upton Park, Newham, East London and have played their home matches at the 35,647 capacity Boleyn Ground stadium since 1904 …   Wikipedia

  • Albion (disambiguation) — Albion is an alternative and archaic name for Great Britain or England. Albion may also refer to:PlacesAustralia*Albion, Queensland, a suburb of Brisbane *Albion Park, New South Wales, a suburb of Wollongong *Albion, Victoria, a suburb of… …   Wikipedia

  • Albion — (Ἀλβιών in Greek) is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island. It is the basis of the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba . EtymologyGallo Latin Albiōn (Middle… …   Wikipedia

  • West Midlands (county) — Not to be confused with West Midlands (region) or West Midlands conurbation. West Midlands Shown within England Geography …   Wikipedia