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West Bromwich Albion History – All about the Club

This article discusses West Bromwich Albion history, including all the noteworthy events, victories, defeats, and more.

West Bromwich Albion Football Club, simply Albion, is a professional football team located in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England.

They currently compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football.

The club’s inception dates back to 1878, and they have called The Hawthorns their home stadium since 1900.

West Bromwich Albion honors include the distinction of being one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888, which marked the birth of professional football leagues worldwide.

Over the years, they have predominantly competed in the top tier of English football, boasting an impressive 82 seasons in the highest division.

West Bromwich Albion trophies history includes winning the English championship in the 1919-20 season and securing runner-up positions on two occasions.

Additionally, Albion has an illustrious FA Cup history, having reached ten finals and emerging as champions on five occasions, with their first victory coinciding with the league’s inception in 1888.

They were also triumphant in the Football League Cup in their debut season in 1966 and reached two more finals.

West Bromwich Albion’s longest uninterrupted tenure in the top division spanned 24 years from 1949 to 1973, and they endured their lengthiest absence from the top flight between 1986 and 2002.

The team is widely recognized for its iconic navy blue and white striped jerseys and features a club badge depicting a throstle bird perched on a hawthorn branch.

Albion maintains intense rivalries with other West Midlands clubs, with Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers being their traditional adversaries.

Their fierce local showdown with Wolverhampton Wanderers is known as the Black Country derby.

Telling You All about West Bromwich Albion History

Telling You All about West Bromwich Albion History
  • Full Name: West Bromwich Albion Football Club
  • Nicknames: The Baggies, The Throstles, The Albion
  • Year of Formation: 1878
  • Place of Origin: West Bromwich, West Midlands, England
  • Home Stadium: The Hawthorns
  • Owners: Lai Guochuan
  • Chairman: Lai Guochuan
  • Manager: Carlos Corberan
  • League: EFL Championship
  • Market Value: €62.65m

The Beginnings

The Beginnings

The club’s origins can be traced back to 1878 when it was established as West Bromwich Strollers in the town of West Bromwich, then part of Staffordshire but now located in the West Midlands administrative county.

However, older records initially indicated the year of formation as 1879, as evidence of the inaugural Strollers match in 1878 only came to light in 1993.

The team’s debut match took place on November 23, 1878, resulting in a 0-0 draw in a game with 12 players on each side against a team comprised of workers from a local soap factory called Hudson’s.

A significant portion of the Strollers’ players were employed at George Salter’s Spring Works.

Many of these individuals were enthusiastic cricketers looking for a sport to play during the winter months.

West Bromwich Albion history says that the name ‘Strollers’ was adopted because footballs were not available for purchase in West Bromwich at the time, necessitating a walk to nearby Wednesbury to acquire one.

In either 1879 or 1880, they underwent a name change, becoming West Bromwich Albion and becoming the first team to incorporate the ‘Albion’ suffix.

The choice of ‘Albion’ was inspired by a district of West Bromwich, where some of the players lived or worked, situated near what is now known as Greets Green.

During the initial two seasons of their existence, Albion engaged in matches with local teams on park pitches across West Bromwich, Smethwick, and Wednesbury.

On occasion, they traveled relatively far, such as to Stourbridge, to secure a game.

The turning point came at the commencement of the 1881-82 season when they made the decision to pay a subscription to join the Birmingham & District Football Association, thereby gaining eligibility for their first competition, the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Gaining Attention

Gaining Attention

It was their impressive journey to the quarter-finals of that tournament, defeating established sides like Elwells FC from Wednesbury and Calthorpe from Edgbaston, that earned them recognition in the Birmingham press.

Consequently, local newspapers began to notice the club and reported on their matches.

By 1882, the club had also become a member of the Staffordshire Football Association.

After another successful campaign in the Birmingham Cup, they secured their first trophy by winning the Staffordshire Cup with a 3-2 victory over Stoke at the Victoria Ground.

This achievement marked the beginning of their national success.

During this period in West Bromwich Albion history, every county had its own cup competition, and the various cup holders were sought-after opponents from all over the country.

Consequently, Albion began arranging fixtures against prominent clubs such as Preston North End, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, and Wrexham.

In 1883, Albion achieved their first piece of silverware, the Staffordshire Cup.

The same year, they became members of the Football Association, which allowed them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season.

Their transition to professionalism took place in 1885, and in 1886, the team reached their inaugural FA Cup final but faced defeat, losing 2–0 to Blackburn Rovers in a replay.

They made it to the final once more in 1887 but were again unsuccessful, this time losing 2–0 to Aston Villa.

However, in 1888, the team claimed their first FA Cup title, defeating the strong favorites Preston North End 2–1 in the final.

As FA Cup champions, they earned the opportunity to play in a Football World Championship match against the Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat.

The Football League Title Winners

West Bromwich Albion history - The Football League Title Winners
credit: wikipedia

In March 1888, William McGregor communicated with what he regarded as the top five English teams, Albion included, outlining his intention to create an association of clubs that would compete against each other home and away every season.

Consequently, when the Football League was established later that year, Albion became one of the twelve founding members, an interesting note in West Bromwich Albion history.

The club secured their second FA Cup victory in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0.

They met Villa again in the 1895 final but were defeated with a 1–0 score.

In the 1900–01 season, they experienced relegation to Division Two, marking their first season at The Hawthorns.

They quickly bounced back, achieving promotion as champions in the following season, but faced relegation again in 1903–04.

The club clinched the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11 and reached another FA Cup Final the following season, where Second Division Barnsley beat them in a replay.

They clinched the Football League title in 1919–20 for the only time in West Bromwich Albion history following the conclusion of World War I.

Their totals of 104 goals and 60 points surpassed previous league records.

In the 1924–25 season, they finished as Division One runners-up, narrowly losing to Huddersfield Town, but they suffered relegation in 1926–27.

In the 1930–31 season, they achieved both promotion and FA Cup success, defeating Birmingham 2–1 in the final.

This “double” of winning the FA Cup and securing promotion remains unmatched before or since.

Albion reached the FA Cup final again in 1935, where they lost to Sheffield Wednesday but were relegated three years later.

Spending 24 Years at the Top Flight

Spending 24 Years at the Top Flight

They earned promotion again in 1948–49, starting the club’s longest unbroken spell in the top tier of English football, lasting for 24 years.

In the 1953–54 season, Albion came close to achieving a rare feat in the 20th century, nearly becoming the first team to secure the League and Cup double.

They did manage to win the FA Cup, defeating Preston North End 3–2.

However, injuries and a loss of form towards the end of the season led them to finish as runners-up in the league to their fierce rivals, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Despite this, Albion gained recognition for their stylish and attacking style of football.

In West Bromwich Albion history, we read that the 1953–54 squad was even celebrated as the “Team of the Century,” with suggestions from a national newspaper that the entire team should represent England at the 1954 FIFA World Cup finals.

They remained one of the top English sides throughout 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 performance in the league was less impressive during the 1960s, the latter part of the decade saw West Brom establish themselves as a successful team in cup competitions.

In the 1965–66 season, they entered the Football League Cup for the first time and, under the management of Jimmy Hagan, won the final by defeating West Ham United 5–3 on aggregate.

This was the last two-legged final, and in the following year, Albion reached the final again, the first played at Wembley.

However, they lost 3–2 to Third Division Queens Park Rangers after being 2–0 up at half-time.

The Last FA Cup They Lifted

The Last FA Cup They Lifted

West Bromwich Albion managers history shows us that under the leadership of manager Alan Ashman, the club achieved their most recent major trophy, the 1968 FA Cup, securing victory over Everton in extra time with a single goal from Jeff Astle.

In 1969, Albion reached the FA Cup semi-final and the European Cup Winners Cup quarter-final, ultimately losing 2–1 to Manchester City in the 1970 League Cup Final.

The club’s performance declined during the tenure of Don Howe, resulting in their relegation to Division Two at the conclusion of the 1972–73 season.

However, they managed to regain promotion three years later under the guidance of player-manager Johnny Giles.

Under the management of Ron Atkinson, Albion reached the 1978 FA Cup semi-final but were defeated by Ipswich Town.

In May of that year, they became the first English professional team to play in China, going unbeaten on their five-game tour.

In the 1978–79 season, the team achieved a third-place finish in Division One, their highest placement in over two decades.

They also reached the UEFA Cup quarter-final, where they were beaten by Red Star Belgrade.

During this time in West Bromwich Albion history, the team notably featured three black players, Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham, and Brendon Batson, and played a significant role in promoting the acceptance of black footballers in the English leagues.

During Ronnie Allen’s second term as manager, the team reached the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions in the 1981–82 season.

However, the mid-1980s marked the beginning of Albion’s most prolonged and most severe decline.

They were relegated in the 1985–86 season with the worst record in the club’s history, initiating a 16-year period outside the top flight.

Relegated to the Third Division For the First Time

West Bromwich Albion history - Relegated to the Third Division For the First Time

Five years later, the club faced relegation to the Third Division for the first and only time.

For the majority of their history, Albion had been a top-tier English football club.

However, when the Premier League was established in 1992, the club found itself in the third division, now known as Division Two.

During the 1992–93 season, Albion finished fourth and entered the play-offs for the first time.

Their first appearance at Wembley in over two decades, which also happened to be the last event held at the original stadium, resulted in a 3–0 victory over Port Vale, earning them a return to the second tier, now called the First Division.

Nevertheless, after Manager Ossie Ardiles left for Tottenham Hotspur, a series of managers over the following seasons saw Albion maintain their status in Division One without mounting a serious challenge for promotion.

Looking at West Bromwich Albion history, we understand that the appointment of Gary Megson in March 2000 marked a turning point for the club.

Megson ensured Albion’s safety in Division One during the 1999–2000 season and guided them to the playoffs the following year.

Under his leadership, the club achieved promotion to the Premier League in the 2001–02 season.

Although they faced relegation in their debut Premier League season, they quickly made a return to the top flight in 2003–04.

In the 2004–05 season, under the management of Bryan Robson, a former Albion midfielder, the team executed a dramatic “Great Escape” on the last day.

They became the first Premier League club to avoid relegation after being at the bottom of the table during Christmas and on the season’s final day.

Roy Hodgson Keeping the Club in the Premier League

Roy Hodgson Keeping the Club in the Premier League

However, they were unable to stay in the Premier League the following season, leading to Robson’s departure and Tony Mowbray taking over in October 2006.

The club made it to the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2007, but suffered a 1–0 loss to Derby County.

In the subsequent season, under Mowbray’s management, Albion reached Wembley again, this time in the FA Cup semi-finals, where Portsmouth defeated 1–0.

A month later, Albion secured promotion to the Premier League as winners of the Championship.

However, they were relegated at the end of the 2008–09 season.

Mowbray departed, and Roberto Di Matteo took charge, leading the club back to the Premier League in their first attempt.

However, Di Matteo was dismissed in February 2011 and replaced by Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson led Albion to an 11th-place finish in the 2010–11 season.

This marked the beginning of an uninterrupted eight-season run in the Premier League.

During this period, the club achieved notable accomplishments such as an 8th-place finish in the 2012–13 season under Steve Clarke, as well as 10th-place finishes under Roy Hodgson in the 2011–12 season and Tony Pulis in the 2016–17 season.

Lai Guochuan, The New Owner

Lai Guochuan, The New Owner
credit: facebook

West Bromwich Albion history states that on August 5, 2016, it was announced that long-standing owner Jeremy Peace had sold the club to a Chinese investment group, with Lai Guochuan at the helm.

However, during this time, the club began to experience a decline in performance. It was eventually relegated at the end of the 2017–18 season, concluding their eight-year stay in the Premier League.

Pulis and his successor, Alan Pardew, were both relieved of their managerial duties during the season.

Under the management of Darren Moore, Albion secured a fourth-place finish in their first season back in the Championship but lost the Championship play-off semi-final to Aston Villa on penalties.

Slaven Bilic took over as manager on June 13, 2019, and steered Albion to automatic promotion back to the Premier League in the 2019–20 season.

Upon their return to the Premier League, Bilic was surprisingly dismissed on December 16, 2020, and Sam Allardyce was appointed as his replacement on the same day.

However, after Albion’s relegation from the Premier League at the conclusion of the 2020–21 season, Allardyce resigned from his position.

The club faced disappointing results upon returning to the Championship during the tenures of Valerien Ismael and later Steve Bruce, who left the club in the relegation zone in the 2022–23 season.

Carlos Corberan, Marcelo Bielsa’s former assistant, was named his successor on October 25.

Regarding West Bromwich Albion Champions League history, they have competed in European competitions but not at that specific level.

Read More: Wrexham Association History – All about the Club

Bromwich Albion Badge History

Bromwich Albion Badge History

The primary emblem of Albion traces its origins back to the late 1880s, when Tom Smith, the club’s secretary, proposed the idea of featuring a throstle, a song thrush, perched on a crossbar as the emblem.

This badge has undergone several modifications over time.

It consistently includes a throstle, typically set against a blue and white striped shield.

However, West Bromwich Albion logo history depicts that at some point after the club relocated to The Hawthorns, the crossbar was replaced with a hawthorn branch.

The choice of the throstle stemmed from the fact that the pub where the team used to change rooms kept a pet thrush in a cage.

This association also led to the early nickname for Albion, “the Throstles.”

The hawthorn bush was a favored spot for throstles, which were frequently spotted in the area around the stadium before its construction.

Remarkably, as late as the 1930s, a caged throstle was positioned beside the touchline during matches, and it was said to sing only when Albion was winning.

In 1979, an effigy of a throstle was installed above the half-time scoreboard at the Woodman corner of The Hawthorns, and it was reinstated in the same area after the ground’s redevelopment in the early 2000s.

West Bromwich Albion history informs us that in 1975, a modified version of the badge, presented in a roundel format rather than a shield, was officially granted by the College of Arms for licensing to the club through the Football League.

The heraldic description of the badge read, “On a roundel paly of thirteen argent and azure, a mistle thrush perched on a raspberry branch with leaves and fruits in their natural colors.”

No Badges on Jerseys

No Badges on Jerseys

It’s worth noting that this description is unique as it referred to a raspberry branch rather than the typical hawthorn branch, and this discrepancy may have resulted from an incomplete briefing to Rodney Dennys, the officer of arms responsible for the design.

In 2006, the club underwent a badge redesign, marking the first instance where the club’s name was integrated into the emblem.

This fresh design was introduced to strengthen and solidify the club’s identity.

Prior to this, the primary club badge rarely matched the one worn on the first team’s uniforms.

Throughout most of West Bromwich Albion history, no badge was displayed on the kit, although, during the 1880s, the Stafford knot briefly adorned the team jerseys.

The West Bromwich town arms were featured on the players’ shirts for the FA Cup finals of 1931, 1935, and 1954.

The town’s Latin motto, “Labor omnia vincit,” translates to “labor conquers all things” or “work conquers all.”

The town arms were reintroduced as the shirt badge from 1994 to 2000, with the throstle being relocated to the shirt collar.

Albion’s initial regular shirt badge, which appeared in blue, emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

While it included the throstle, it omitted the blue and white striped shield seen in the club badge.

A similar design was also used during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In the mid-1970s, a more abstract rendition of the throstle graced the club’s shirts, while in the late 1970s through to the mid-1980s, an embroidered WBA logo was displayed, representing a common abbreviation of the club’s name in print.

It wasn’t until the early 21st century that the complete club badge finally made its appearance on the team’s shirts.

Read More: Tottenham Hotspurs History – All about the Club

West Bromwich Albion Kit History

West Bromwich Albion Kit History

Throughout the majority of their history, West Bromwich Albion has donned navy blue and white striped shirts, typically paired with white shorts and white socks.

Supporters occasionally refer to the team as the “Stripes.”

However, we see in West Bromwich Albion jersey history that they experimented with various colors for their kits during the club’s early years.

These included cardinal red and blue quarters in the 1880-81 season, 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.

The distinctive navy blue and white stripes first appeared in the 1885-86 season, although they were of a lighter shade of blue at that time.

The darker navy blue stripes only became standard after the First World War. During the regional leagues played in the Second World War, the club had to switch to all-blue shirts due to rationing, as striped material was considered a luxury.

Like all football clubs, Albion also maintains a secondary or “change” strip for away matches against teams with clashing colors.

As far back as the 1890s and during much of the club’s early history, the change strip consisted of white jerseys paired with black shorts.

The away shirt featured a prominent ‘V’ design during the First World War.

In the 1935 FA Cup Final, when both Albion and Sheffield Wednesday‘s kits clashed, the team adopted plain navy blue shirts.

An all-red kit was introduced at the end of the 1950s but was abandoned following their defeat in the 1967 League Cup Final.

It was replaced by an all-white design worn during the club’s FA Cup run in 1967-68.

Shirt Numbers and Sponsors

Shirt Numbers and Sponsors

Since then, the away strip has undergone regular changes, with yellow and green stripes being the most commonly used among various designs.

In the 1990s and 2000s, there were occasional introductions of a third kit.

Like their counterparts in other Football League teams, Albion players introduced the use of numbers on the back of their shirts.

West Bromwich Albion history lets us know that names on the back of their shirts were introduced from the 1999-2000 season.

In 1969, red numbers were also added to the sides of Albion players’ shorts.

BSR Housewares marked the club’s first shirt sponsorship during the 1981-82 season.

Since then, the club’s shirts have generally featured sponsors, with the exception of the end of the 1993-94 season when local solicitors Coucher & Shaw were closed down by the Law Society of England and Wales.

In an unusual move for a Premier League club, Albion started the 2008-09 campaign without a shirt sponsor due to ongoing negotiations with a new sponsor.

The club’s most extended shirt sponsorship agreement, lasting seven seasons, was with the West Bromwich Building Society between 1997 and 2004.

Since July 2018, Puma has been the manufacturer of West Brom’s kit.

Previous manufacturers have included Scoreline, Influence, Pelada, Patrick, Diadora, Umbro, and Adidas.

Read More: Aston Villa History – All About The Club

West Bromwich Albion Stadiums

West Bromwich Albion Stadiums

The rapid establishment of the club after its formation is evident in the fact that it outgrew four consecutive grounds within its first seven years.

The initial ground was Cooper’s Hill, where they played between 1878 and 1879.

From 1879 to 1881, they seemed to alternate between Cooper’s Hill and Dartmouth Park.

During the 1881-82 season, they used Bunn’s Field, also known as the Birches, with a capacity of approximately 1,500 to 2,000.

This marked Albion’s first enclosed ground, enabling them to charge an entrance fee for the first time.

From 1882 to 1885, as football’s popularity grew, Albion rented the Four Acres ground from the well-established West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club.

However, they soon outgrew this venue and needed to relocate once more.

From 1885 to 1900, Albion played at Stoney Lane, which was arguably the most successful period in West Bromwich Albion history, winning the FA Cup twice and being runners-up three times.

In 1900, when the lease on Stoney Lane expired, the club required a larger ground yet again and made its most recent move.

All of Albion’s previous grounds were in proximity to the center of West Bromwich.

However, on this occasion, they chose a site on the town’s border with Handsworth and Smethwick.

The new ground was named The Hawthorns, after the hawthorn bushes that covered the area and were cleared to make way for the stadium.

The first match at the stadium, on September 3, 1900, ended in a 1-1 draw with Derby County.

The Highest Stadium

The Highest Stadium
credit: X (twitter)

The highest recorded attendance at The Hawthorns occurred on March 6, 1937, when 64,815 spectators witnessed Albion defeating Arsenal 3-1 in the FA Cup quarter-final.

In the 1990s, The Hawthorns transitioned into an all-seater stadium to align with the recommendations of the Taylor Report.

The current capacity is 26,688, with the stands named the Birmingham Road End, Smethwick End, East Stand, and West Stand (Halfords Lane).

Positioned at an altitude of 551 feet (168 meters) above sea level, The Hawthorns stands as the highest among all 92 Premier League and Football League grounds.

The Hawthorns holds the highest UEFA pitch surface certification, making it suitable for hosting a wide range of competitions.

There is potential for development in the West Stand, extending over Halfords Lane to create an upper tier, which could increase The Hawthorns’ capacity to approximately 30,000.

West Bromwich Albion owns retail outlets in the vicinity of The Hawthorns, including the Stadium Megastore and, during certain seasons, a club store in West Bromwich town center.

Additionally, they possess the former Hawthorns Pub, a Grade II listed building situated behind the West Stand at the corner of Halfords Lane and Birmingham Road.

This pub serves as the official club fanzone, featuring licensed bars, live music, and fan-favorite elements like mascots and children’s activities. It is also shared with a high street food outlet.

The pub competes with The Vine pub in Roebuck Lane, which is a popular destination for both visiting and home football fans year-round.

Read More: Wolverhampton Wanderers History – All about the Club

West Bromwich Albion Rivalries History

West Bromwich Albion Rivalries History

In the past, West Bromwich Albion’s primary rivals were Aston Villa, located nearby in Birmingham.

The two clubs faced off in three FA Cup Finals between 1887 and 1895, with Villa winning two and Albion winning one.

However, more recently, some Albion fans have come to regard Wolverhampton Wanderers as their main rivals.

This shift in focus on Wolves as the primary rival was particularly evident between 1989 and 2002 when Albion and Villa were not in the same division. In contrast, Albion shared the same division with Wolves for 11 out of 14 seasons.

Consequently, Aston Villa supporters now tend to view Birmingham City as their fiercest rivals.

A somewhat less intense rivalry also exists with Birmingham City, with whom Albion contested the 1931 FA Cup final and a semi-final in 1968.

Several hooligan firms are associated with Albion, including Section 5, Clubhouse, and the Smethwick Mob.

Albion and Wolves engage in the Black Country derby, one of the oldest derbies in world football, and it is widely regarded as one of the most intense rivalries in English football.

West Bromwich Albion history lets us know that a 2008 survey revealed it to be the most intense rivalry in the country, with one in four fans from both clubs acknowledging that their rivalry extended beyond football.

The two teams have faced each other 162 times, with their first major clash occurring in an FA Cup tie in 1886.

Both Albion and Wolves were founding members of the Football League in 1888, making the derby one of the oldest in English league football.

Vs. Villa and the Wolves

Vs Villa and the Wolves

The rivalry gained prominence when the clubs contested the league title in 1953-54, and it reached new heights among supporters during the 1990s, as both clubs spent much of the decade in Division One, with local pride being the primary stake.

In addition, in 2002, Albion staged a remarkable comeback, erasing an 11-point deficit to overtake the Wolves and secure promotion, an unbelievable event in West Bromwich Albion history.

The rivalry was further intensified when the teams met in the play-offs in 2007.

A 2004 survey conducted by revealed that a majority of both Albion and Wolves supporters considered each other to be their main rival.

In February 2012, West Bromwich Albion defeated Wolves 5-1 in an away match, with Peter Odemwingie scoring a hat-trick.

This game became known as the ‘demolition derby’ and stands as the highest-scoring Black Country derby of the 21st century.

Despite their geographical proximity, fellow Black Country club Walsall is considered a lesser rival since they have often played in lower divisions than Albion throughout their history.

Now, onto their old rivalry with Villa; according to The Daily Telegraph’s 2010 ranking, matches between Aston Villa and West Brom were particularly intense, considered the fiercest in the region then.

The initial encounter between these two teams took place on December 9, 1882, during the second round of the Staffordshire Cup.

In front of 13,900 spectators, Villa hosted a 3-3 draw, and in the replay, West Brom secured a narrow 1-0 victory with an attendance of 10,500.

Face to Face with The Villans From Time to Time

Face to Face with The Villans From Time to Time

On January 3, 1885, they faced each other for the first time in the third round of the FA Cup, with a goalless draw at West Brom followed by a 3-0 victory for West Brom in a match played at Villa’s ground.

The following year, both teams played a pivotal role as founding members of the Football League.

They first met in a league fixture on January 19, 1889, with Villa winning 2-0 at home.

The following week’s match ended in a 3-3 draw.

In the 19th century, the two teams also clashed in two FA Cup finals, with West Brom winning 3-0 in 1892 and Aston Villa securing a 1-0 victory in 1895.

In subsequent years, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers were relegated from the Premier League in 2011 and a season later, respectively.

This left Aston Villa and West Brom as the only West Midlands teams in England’s top division.

West Bromwich Albion history says that the absence of their primary rivals, along with West Brom finishing above their nearest competitors for two consecutive seasons, reignited the historic rivalry to a level of competitiveness reminiscent of the pre-1990s era.

However, at the end of the 2015-16 season, Aston Villa was relegated, leaving West Brom as the sole West Midlands team in the top flight for the 2016-17 season.

Following West Brom’s relegation at the end of the 2017-18 Premier League season, the teams faced each other in the Championship.

In the 2018-19 EFL Championship play-off semi-finals, Villa controversially eliminated Albion on penalties, with Albion having two players sent off over both legs.

Read More: Brighton & Hove Albion History – All about the Club

Fan Base

Fan Base

The official establishment of the West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club took place on October 4, 1951.

Since then, more than 30 branches have been set up across the United Kingdom and internationally in locations such as Jersey, Ireland, Spain, Malta, Croatia, the USA, UAE, India, Thailand, and Australia.

Various supporters’ groups have also been formed, catering to individuals with disabilities, those seeking mental health support, Punjabi supporters, members of the emergency services and armed forces, and the LGBT community.

The club anthem of Albion is “The Lord’s my Shepherd,” which is a rendition of Psalm 23.

This song originated following a rare Sunday game in the 1970s and has been sung at matches ever since.

Fans of the team have a unique tradition of celebrating goals by bouncing up and down while chanting “Boing Boing,” a practice that began during the 1992-93 season when the team was promoted from the new Second Division.

Additionally, the instrumental track “The Liquidator” by the Harry J. Allstars has been a popular choice in the stadium since the late 1960s.

Another club anthem, “West Bromwich Albion” by Ray King, is often played before matches.

In recent years in West Bromwich Albion history, fans have embraced the tradition of adopting a fancy dress theme for the final away match of each season, such as dressing as Vikings in 2004 in honor of Player of the Season Thomas Gaardsoe.

Famous Fans & the Albion News

Famous Fans & the Albion News

In the 2002-03 season, Albion’s fans received the distinction of being voted the best in the Premier League by their fellow supporters.

Furthermore, in the BBC’s 2002 “national intelligence test” called Test the Nation, West Bromwich Albion supporters were found to be “more likely to be smarter than any other football fans, with an average score of 138.”

Notable fans of West Bromwich Albion include goalkeepers Aaron Ramsdale and Ben Foster, comedian Frank Skinner, TV presenter Adrian Chiles, Liam Payne of One Direction, comedian Lenny Henry, actress Julie Walters, Ronnie Wood, the guitarist from The Rolling Stones, John Bonham, the drummer from Led Zeppelin, tennis players Ann Jones and Goran Ivanisevic, television presenter Cat Deeley, DJ Dave Haslam, boxers Richie Woodhall and Tommy Langford, and guitarist Eric Clapton.

The club has been issuing an official matchday program for supporters since 1905.

This publication was initially known as Albion News, but it was briefly renamed Albion during the 2002-03 season, only to return to the name Albion News in the offseason of 2013.

The program received several accolades, including Premier League Programme of the Year in 2002-03 and Third Division Programme of the Year in 1991-92.

In the 2007-08 season, it was recognized as the Championship Programme of the Year by both Programme Monthly and the Football Programme Directory.

The program has a circulation exceeding 8,000 copies.

The Baggies

The Baggies

The first West Bromwich Albion fanzine, Fingerpost, was published from 1983 to 1992, followed by others, notably Grorty Dick from 1989 to 2005, and Last Train to Rolfe Street from 1992 to 1995.

Since Grorty Dick ceased publication in 2005, the club now has only one fanzine dedicated to it, called ‘Baggie Shorts,’ produced by the West Bromwich Albion Supporters’ Club London Branch.

In their early days, the club was known as “the Throstles,” but the more widely recognized nickname among supporters is the Baggies.

The club initially looked down on this term but later embraced it.

The origins of the nickname are uncertain, with one suggestion being that Aston Villa’s fans bestowed it on Albion supporters due to the baggy trousers many of them wore while working in factories and foundries to protect themselves from molten iron in the Black Country.

Another theory relates the name to the “bagmen” who carried the club’s matchday earnings in large leather bags from the turnstiles to the cash office on the halfway line.

Yet other theories connect it to the baggy shorts some players wore during the club’s early years.

Regarding West Bromwich Albion mascot history, the official club mascots are named Baggie Bird and Albi, both inspired by the throstle depicted on the club crest.

Read More: Leeds United History – All about the Club


West Bromwich Albion history - Records

West Bromwich Albion’s most significant victory in their history was their 12–0 league triumph over Darwen on April 4, 1892.

Remarkably, this still stands as the most substantial winning margin for a match in the top flight of English football.

It’s worth noting that this record was equaled by Nottingham Forest when they defeated Leicester Fosse with the same 12-0 scoreline in 1909.

West Bromwich Albion history shows that in the FA Cup, Albion’s most dominant victory came when they outclassed Chatham with a 10–1 score on March 2, 1889.

On the flip side, the club’s most significant league defeat occurred in a 3–10 loss to Stoke City on February 4, 1937, while their heaviest FA Cup loss was a 0–5 defeat against Leeds United on February 18, 1967.

Tony Brown holds several of West Bromwich Albion’s club records.

He boasts the highest number of overall appearances for the club, having played 720 matches.

This includes the most appearances in the league (574), FA Cup (54), and European competitions (17).

Brown also stands as the top scorer in league matches (218), the FA Cup (27), and European competitions (8).

His remarkable 279 goals make him the all-time leading scorer for the club.

The Most Capped & The Most Expensive

The Most Capped & The Most Expensive

Notably, W. G. Richardson scored a total of 328 goals for the club, but this includes 100 goals during World War II, which are not typically counted in competitive totals.

Richardson still holds the club record for the most league goals in a single season, an astounding 39 times in the 1935–36 season.

Considering only the caps earned while playing for West Bromwich Albion, Chris Brunt holds the distinction of being the club’s most-capped international player.

He made 55 appearances for Northern Ireland as an Albion player, accumulating 65 caps in total before retiring from international football in 2017.

On the England front, Jesse Pennington is the club’s most-capped player with 25 caps.

In terms of transfers, the highest transfer fee paid by the club was £15 million to RB Leipzig for Oliver Burke on August 25, 2017.

Conversely, the largest transfer fee received by Albion from another club was £16.5 million for the transfer of Salomon Rondon to Dalian Yifang in July 2019.

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Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.


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