Nicknames: West Brom, Baggies, Albion, WBA, Throstles
Manager: Steve Clarke
Ground: West Bromwich Albion Football Club, The Hawthorns, Birmingham Road, West Bromwich B71 4LF
Founded: West Bromwich Albion were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888. They started as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 before adopting the name Albion in 1880.
Getting in touch with West Bromwich Albion
Tel: 0871 271 1100
Getting to Albion
West Bromwich Albion's Hawthorns stadium is situated on Birmingham Road (the A41), just off Junction 1 of the M5, heading towards Birmingham.
A number of local facilities run parking schemes on match days, with costs varying from £2-5. For more information about parking for West Brom matches click here.
The nearest railway station is The Hawthorns on Halfords Lane, about 250m from the ground.
Albion results, table, trophies and tickets
WBA Titles and Trophies:
- First Division (old) Champions: 1919/20
- Second Division (old), Division One (modern) Champions: 1901/02, 1910/11, 2007/08
- Division Two (modern) play-off winners: 1992/93
- FA Cup: 1888, 1892, 1931, 1954, 1968
- League Cup: 1966
- FA Charity Shield: 1920, 1954 (shared with Wolves)
With such a long, rich history there are plenty of players jostling to be considered for our Albion ‘roll of honour’. Here’s our six of the best, in order of appearance:
West Bromwich Albion hero Jesse Pennington
West Bromwich-born left-back Pennington earned the nickname "Peerless Pennington" during his 19 years with West Bromwich Albion. In a career was interrupted by World War I, he made 455 league appearances for the club.
He was part of the team promoted from the Second Division in 1911 and captained the team to the league title in 1919/20 . He was capped 25 times for England.
Pennington helped expose a betting scandal in 1913 when he was approached by Pascoe Bioletti who was offering £5 a player for Albion to try to not win a match against Everton. Pennington tipped off the police and Bioletti was arrested and jailed.
West Bromwich Albion hero Ronnie Allen
Albion career: 1950-61
234 goals in 458 appearances
Stoke-born Allen started his career at Port Vale before signing for West Brom for a then club record fee of £50,000.
Centre forward Allen made an immediate impression, scoring a goal on his debut two days later in the 1-1 derby with Wolves. He scored two goals when Albion won the FA Cup final in 1954 and was First Division top scorer in 1954-55 with 27 goals.
He scored two goals in five full internationals for England and in 1961 moved to Crystal Palace, where he finished his playing career.
Allen took his first steps towards a career in management when he joined Wolves as senior coach. He replaced manager Andy Beattie at the helm in September 1965.
He was sacked by Wolves in November 1968 and over the years managed a number of clubs, including two spells at West Brom and time at Athletic Bilbao, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Walsall, the Saudi Arabian national team and Panathinaikos,
West Bromwich Albion hero Tony Brown
Albion career: 1963-1981
279 goals in 720 appearances
Tony Brown was on the verge of signing for Manchester City aged 15 when he was persuaded to take a trial at Albion, the club he joined instead. He said later it was “the best decision I've ever made in my life” and he went on to set appearance and goal-scoring records for the club.
After joining Albion as an apprentice professional in 1961he turned professional on September 27 1963 and was called up to the first team squad at Ipswich Town the next day where he scored the only goal. The next month he scored on his home debut against Aston Villa.
But Brown failed to secure regular first team appearances and at one point put in a transfer request which was rejected. In 1965 an injury to Clive Clark gave him the chance to reclaim a place in the first team, scoring against Everton on his return and remaining a regular in the side.
That season Brown finished as the club's top scorer overall, with 27 goals including a run that saw Albion win the League Cup in 1966.
Brown remains the only Albion player to have scored a hat-trick in a European competition.
In May 1968 he was part of the Albion team that won the FA Cup against Everton. In 1970–71 Brown was the leading scorer in Division One with 28 goals. He won just one full England cap, in 1971.
Following Albion’s relegation to Division Two in 1973 Brown scoring the goal that clinched promotion in 1976 in a 1–0 away victory at Oldham Athletic.
He left The Hawthorns in 1980, moving to the US to join the New England Tea Men. Returning from the States in 1981, he played for the Albion reserves before joining Torquay United and later Stafford Rangers. He later coached at Birmingham City and West Brom.
West Bromwich Albion hero Jeff Astle
Albion career: 1964-74
174 goals in 361 appearances
Nicknamed ‘The King’ by Albion fans, Astle joined Albion from Notts County. His most famous Albion goal came in the 1968 FA Cup final victory.
In 1970 he became the first player to score in the finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup, when he scored Albion’s goal in the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City.
During the late 60s the Primrose Bridge in Netherton became known locally as the Astle Bridge after someone daubed it with the legend ‘Astle is the King’.
Astle was the leading scorer in Division One In 1969/70, with 25 goals. In 1970, he was called up to the England squad for the World Cup finals in Mexico. Unfortunately his is remembered by many England fans for missing an easy chance during the finals. He won five England caps in total.
In later years Astle’s fitness deteriorated, largely through repeated injuries, and in 1974 he left Albion to join Hellenic in South Africa and later Dunstable Town.
Following Astle’s death in January 2002 an inquest found that he had suffered a degenerative brain disease partly brought on by by the trauma of heading the much heavier footballs used in those days. The coroner recorded a verdict of death by industrial injury.
West Bromwich Albion hero John Wile
Albion career: 1970-83
29 goals in 619 appearances
Centre half Wile joined West Brom in 1970 after playing for Sunderland and Peterborough United, forming a famed partnership in defence with Ally Robertson.
He was Albion’s captain during the late 70s and early 80s, a period which saw Albion claim third place in the First Division. He is most famous for playing with blood pouring from his head in the 1978 FA Cup semi-final against Ipswich.
After manager Ronnie Allen’s departure in December 1977, Wile was briefly appointed caretaker manager until Ron Atkinson took over the next month.
Wile left Albion in June 1983, returning to Peterborough to be player-manager. He was West Bromwich Albion’s chief executive from 1997-2002.
West Bromwich Albion hero Cyrille Regis
Albion career: 1977-84
112 goals in 302 appearances
Centre-forward Cyrille Regis was playing for semi-professional Hayes in 1977 when he was spotted by Albion’s chief scout Ronnie Allen. So sure was Allen of Regis’s abilities that he offered to put forward some of his own money to snap up the young player.
Regis scored on his debut for Albion reserves and repeated that feat twice over when he scored two on his first team debut in the League Cup against Rotherham United. Just three days later he found the net again in his league debut as Albion beat Middlesbrough 2-1.
Regis was part of the famed ‘Three Degrees’ partnership with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson, among the first high-profile black players in the English game. He was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1978.
After leaving Albion, Regis was an FA Cup winner in 1987 with Coventry City, later going on to play for Aston Villa, Wolves, Wycombe Wanderers and Chester City.
Famous Albion fans
Adrian Chiles (TV and radio presenter), Frank Skinner (comedian), Lenny Henry (comedian), Julie Walters (actress), Richie Woodhall (boxer)
And finally . . .
As part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations in 2004, a poll was held on the Albion website and in the Express & Star to pick the greatest West Brom players of all time.
A modern-day 16-man squad was compiled and all 16 are depicted on a commemorative mural at The Hawthorns.
They are Billy Bassett, Jesse Pennington, W.G. Richardson, Ray Barlow, Ronnie Allen, Don Howe, Tony Brown, Jeff Astle, John Osbourne, John Wile, Willie Johnston, Bryan Robson, Derek Staham, Laurie Cunningham, Cyrille Regis and Russell Hoult.
West Bromwich Albion on ExpressandStar.com
Last updated: January 20, 2009