Albionship 3000
Albion News|WBA v AFC BOURNEMOUTH on 25.02.2017 in the Premier League

The Football League resumed just as this season will end, with the Throstles winging their way to Swansea, albeit that back on August 31st 1946, Swansea City were then still just a Town, playing their football on the Vetch Field rather than the Liberty Stadium.

It wasn’t a top tier fixture either, this being the curtain raiser on Division Two, but if all of those things will have changed by the time we go there in May, let’s hope the result remains the same – we won 3-2 with goals from our oldest living player, Frank Hodgetts, and two from the man he succeeded in that position, Dave Walsh.

A week later, we kicked off at The Hawthorns by beating Tottenham by the same 3-2 scoreline, Dave and Frank on the scoresheet again, Ike Clarke weighing in with a goal too. By the end of September 1946, Ike was to write himself into the history books with the first postwar hat-trick for the Albion. Indeed, he went one better by scoring four as we won 7-2 at Newport County.

That result stood as our best away win after the eradication of Hitler until Easter Monday, April 18th 1960, when we smashed Birmingham City 7-1 at St Andrew’s, both Ronnie Allen and Derek Kevan scoring hat-tricks, Alec Jackson completing the scoring. We played Blues again the following day at The Hawthorns. It finished 1-1, Kevan on target again. It was a vintage period for ‘The Tank’ as on March 19th, he’d become the only Albion man to score five in a post-war league game as we defeated Everton 6-2 at The Hawthorns.

Returning to Ike Clarke for a moment, he had the honour of notching the first Hawthorns hat-trick of the post-war years too, and that was an Easter event too, this time on Easter Saturday, April 5th 1947, when he got all three goals in the 3-0 win over Bury. In spite of Albion’s goal scoring exploits in that first season – 19 goals for Clarke, 28 for Walsh – we finished seventh, ten points short of promotion.

We were still in Division Two when we clocked up our 100th post-war league game, a 2-0 win at QPR’s Loftus Road on November 6th 1948. The goalscorers? Walsh and Hodgetts, just as in game one. The season had a happier outcome this time, Albion winning promotion, thereby commencing a top flight stay that lasted almost a quarter of a century.

So began the process of making us one of the leading lights in the modern game, for over that First Division stretch that lasted from 1949 to 1973, we constructed a major reputation for ourselves as a power in the land, one that regularly battled away in the top half – often the top six – of the division.

It was a period when many of our biggest names came to the fore, men like Ronnie Allen, the great Ray Barlow, Jeff Astle, Tony Brown, Derek Kevan, Sir Robert Hope and a host of others. It was also one heralded by some huge Hawthorns crowds, including the 60,945 that filed into the stadium to see us draw 1-1 with Wolves on March 4th 1950, the day when Allen made a goal scoring debut, on his way to setting a new club league record of 208 goals, a mark that only one man was able to beat in the fullness of time.

That man was, of course, Tony Brown. He made his Albion league debut on September 28th, 1963, at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road – a goal scoring debut like Allen’s. That was league game number 724 since the war. His Holiness finally played his last Albion league game on January 12th 1980, as a sub against Nottingham Forest. That was game number 1,410.

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Albionship 3000

The Football League resumed just as this season will end, with the Throstles winging their way to Swansea, albeit that back on August 31st 1946, Swansea City were then still just a Town, playing their football on the Vetch Field rather than the Liberty Stadium.

7 mins read
Albion News
WBA v AFC BOURNEMOUTH on 25.02.2017 in the Premier League

Middlesbrough v Albion

We’ve been here before – notably at Hull and Sunderland – but the conundrum is, was this a point won or two spilled.

4 mins read
Albion News
WBA v STOKE CITY on 04.02.2017. Premier League

Chairman - John Williams

Things get taken for granted very quickly in football, such that very often, credit doesn’t get dished out when it’s due.

8 mins read
Albion News
WBA v Crystal Palace on 04.03.2017 in the Premier League

Jonny Evans - the way he plays . . .

The transfer market. It’s a difficult beast to handle, one fraught with danger, however good your research, however smartly you approach it. There’s always another club looking to steal a player from under your nose, or the player who looks a sure fire winner only to fail once a move is made. You can bring ten new faces in and watch them queue up to flop, or place your eggs in a solitary basket and still be crossing your fingers as the contract is inked.

10+ mins read
Albion News
WBA v ARSENAL on 18.03.2017 in the Premier League

albion v derby county

this was a 90 minutes that did have all the hallmarks of a classic fa cup tie but unfortunately those hallmarks tend to include the big club losing out to the smaller one after an impassioned rearguard action, helped by a healthy dose of (mis) fortune. on that score, this was the kind of game that has given the fa cup its huge reputation both in this country and around the world, but to be honest, we’d have much preferred a quiet, uneventful afternoon where, in the finish, the form book was upheld.

3 mins read
albion news
wba v sunderland on 21.01.2017. premier league

Darren Fletcher

‘We were pleased that the supporters at least had something to take home with them after following us in such good numbers in terrible conditions’

3 mins read
Albion News
WBA v STOKE CITY on 04.02.2017. Premier League

Albion v Stoke City

Given the demise of alternative football clubs in the locality, Stoke has become our de facto derby game these days and did this one ever live up to that kind of billing, a feisty, feverish, blood and guts encounter that included home heroes, pantomime villains and a fairytale ending where we all lived happily ever after. Or at least the ones who count did – us.

4 mins read
Albion News
WBA v AFC BOURNEMOUTH on 25.02.2017 in the Premier League

Albion v Sunderland

It’s a mark of Albion’s growing confidence, maturity and, overall, quality that without ever really getting close to our best form, and coming out of the shadow of consecutive defeats, this win over Sunderland was every bit as routine for us as Manchester United’s was for them when they were at The Hawthorns before Christmas.

4 mins read
Albion News
WBA v STOKE CITY on 04.02.2017. Premier League

Tony Pulis

‘We have given ourselves a chance of having our best season in the Premier League era, and we really want to capitalise on that opportunity over these next three months’

2 mins read
Albion News
WBA v AFC BOURNEMOUTH on 25.02.2017 in the Premier League

Albion V Crystal Palace

The problem with getting used to the finer things in life is that if, on occasion, you are deprived of them, it stings all the more. And that’s exactly what happened against Palace for, after an amazing run of seven home wins in eight Premier League games at The Hawthorns, a run where we’ve been scoring goals and creating chances aplenty, this was one of those afternoons where we could have played until Sunday and still not scored.

4 mins read
Albion News
WBA v ARSENAL on 18.03.2017 in the Premier League
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