Albion fans ecstatic as West Brom promoted to Premier League

West Brom have been promoted to the Premier League after a dramatic final day of the Championship season.

Celebrations at The Sportsman Pub as West Brom win promotion
Celebrations at The Sportsman Pub as West Brom win promotion

Albion, who were last in the top flight two seasons ago, head back to the Premier League at the second time of asking, having faltered in the play-offs last year to local rivals Aston Villa.

Supporters partied late into the evening outside The Hawthorns on Wednesday after a match full of twists and turns despite pleas from health bosses for supporters to stay away after a spike in Covid-19 cases in the area.

The Baggies came back from 1-0 down against QPR to lead 2-1 and eventually draw 2-2 thanks to goals from Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson.

However Brentford's 2-1 loss to Barnsley ensured that Albion secured promotion via the automatic places, with Leeds United already confirmed as Champions earlier this month.

It also means that Brentford and Fulham, the only sides who could have taken the second spot on the final day, will both have to settle for a place in the play-offs.

Flags, shirts, scarves and messages of good luck tied onto the gates of The Hawthorns along with tributes to Chris Brunt

The news guarantees two Black Country sides will do battle in the Premier League next season, with Wolves comfortably sitting sixth in the table, with a single game remaining.

There's also opportunity for Aston Villa to secure their place in the top flight this weekend.

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They face West Ham needing to match Watford and Bournemouth's results this Sunday to confirm survival, with a win guaranteeing safety for Dean Smith's side.

That would mean the top flight would feature three sides from the West Midlands next year.

The focus now for Albion though is starting their preparations for the upcoming campaign, with Slaven Bilic's side likely to face a hectic summer to help bolster for the 2020/21 season.

Fans buzzing for future

Devoted fans of the Baggies said they are “buzzing” for the future as the club returns to the top tier, with celebrations expected to continue throughout the night.

Summing up the joyful mood, legendary fundraising and Albion fan Blind Dave Heeley, 63, said: “It will be amazing how many smiles promotion back to the Premier League will bring to local fans. It is fantastic for the club, the foundation and the supporters.”

Harvey Johal, manager of The Sportsman pub in West Bromwich, where fans gathered to watch the game, said: “Promotion is great news for Sandwell. Albion fans are big and proud. I think regardless of the division, Albion fans will always come to support their team.”

Messages from fans were shown on the big screen

Lifelong fan Alistair Jones, 39, from Dudley, who watched the game at the pub, said: “I am ecstatic, it is a fantastic result. It is something we deserve, we have been in the top two since December.”

David Fox, 32, an accountant from Great Barr, watched the game from his father’s house, who is also a a Baggies fan. David said: “I’m absolutely buzzing. I knew it was going to be difficult without the fans.

“It’s a massive relief to finally be able to say we are premier league.”

Meanwhile lifelong Albion fan Brad Timmins, 29, who is originally from Sedgley, watched the action from home up in Lincolnshire.

He said: “After losing to Huddersfield. I thought our automatic chance had gone. So for us to finish second, I’m absolutely buzzing.”

Andy Taylor, from Wednesbury, who has been following the club for 45 years, believes the team may not be ready for Premier League football - but heralded the economic benefits promotion will bring.

The 51-year-old said: “Promotion will give Sandwell a boost and lift people’s morale.

“The teams that comes to The Hawthorns in the Premier League, they tend to stop overnight and for the weekend.

“You don’t really get that in The Championship.”

He continued: “I was at Queens Park Rangers when we lifted the trophy when we went up as champions last time. To be playing QPR tonight, it is weird.”

He said it was important Albion fans followed guidelines from authorities to stay at home - following a spike of Covid-19 cases in Smethwick and West Bromwich.

West Midlands Police asked supporters not to gather outside The Hawthorns, while Sandwell’s public health teams were calling pubs and bars to see what safety measures were in place after a spike in cases in Sandwell.

The Sportsman pub, in West Bromwich, screened the game to supporters with measures in place including social-distancing. The pub was fully booked two days before the game.

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