West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion, nicknamed The Baggies, have been around for some 140 years and more playing in their famous blue and white stripes.

Situated in the West Midlands, West Brom have numerous local rivals including Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and, in theory, Walsall too although the clubs rarely meet.

Listed on betting coupons as West Brom or WBA, The Baggies are always a popular bet.

A Brief West Bromwich Albion History

The West Bromwich Strollers were first founded in 1878 by a group of George Salter’s Spring Works employees, though renamed the club West Bromwich Albion in 1880.

The club grew and developed, first joining the league and then setting about attempting to win leagues and cup which they did on several occasions in their early history. In 1954, The Baggies almost became the first team that century to win the League and Cup double; winning the FA Cup but being pipped by local rivals Wolves to the league title.

While not particularly strong in the league during the ’60s, West Brom was very much up for the cup and went on repeated runs. At their first attempt, the club won the League Cup in 1966 and did well in the FA Cup on numerous occasions.

In 1978, West Brom was led to an FA Cup semi-final by one of the most famous managers in English football history, Ron Atkinson, but began another period of bouncing around between the First Division and Second Division.

These days, Albion seems to be almost permanently in football purgatory. Just about always good enough to win promotion, but never good enough to gain a proper foothold in the Premier League.

The Hawthorns

West Brom pre-date their current home, The Hawthorns, having first played at Cooper’s Hill before quickly moving to Dartmouth Park.

Their third home was at Bunn’s Field (aka The Birches) which was a very short-term solution, with the club then moving on to Four Acres, home of West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club.

Having outgrown this, the club moved to Stoney Lane for fifteen years or so, but after the lease there expired the club finally looked for a custom-built stadium option just outside of town. To this end, an area strewn with hawthorn bushes was cleared to make way for the new ground with The Hawthorns finally completed in September 1900.

While the record attendance at The Hawthorns is 64,815, the capacity these days in the all-seater era is just under 26,700. The ground is made up of the West Stand, the Birmingham Road End, the Smethwick End and the East Stand.

West Brom’s Best Known Players

While West Brom has not always plied their trade at the top level, they still have an impressive array of club legends to look back fondly on.

While others could definitely be mentioned, the likes of John Wile, Ray Barlow, Cyrille Regis, Billy Bassett, Jeff Astle, Ronnie Allen, Bryan Robson, W.G. Richardson, Jesse Pennington and Tony Brown have all performed with huge distinction and hold a special place in the hearts of the club’s fans.

Many of those players played what seems like an age ago, however, but in recent years stars such as Sam Johnstone, Matt Phillips, Jay Rodriguez, Dwight Gayle, Salomon Rondon, Darren Fletcher, Craig Dawson and Ben Foster have all helped the Baggies along and become crowd favourites.

Club Honours

Although they do have the reputation as somewhat of a yo-yo club, bouncing back and forth between what is now the Premier League and the Championship, West Brom have had all their major success only in the top two divisions.

The Baggies became champions of England back in 1920 (First Division), and have taken automatic promotion from the second tier no less than eight times, three as winners in 1902, 1911 and 2008.

As well as this, West Bromwich Albion has also managed five FA Cup wins in their history, though none in the last 50 years. Their Wembley successes in the top domestic cup competition came in:

  • 1888,
  • 1892,
  • 1931,
  • 1954 and
  • 1968.

More domestic success came in 1966 as the team won the League Cup, while the Charity Shield was won by the club in 1920 and 1954. Between those three cups, West Brom has also managed losing final appearances on fully nine occasions between 1886 and 1970.

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