Promotion number one tops the list for West Brom hero Chris Brunt
Albion legend Chris Brunt feels out of the three promotions he won with Albion, the first is his favourite.
But he says the eight-year spell playing in the Premier League following the second promotion is probably his most enjoyable time at the club.
After 13 hugely successful years, Belfast-born Brunt waved goodbye to The Hawthorns last week.
Incredibly his final Albion campaign ended in exactly the same way as his first – with the Baggies winning promotion to the Premier League following a final day clash against QPR.
After joining the Baggies in 2007, Brunt went on to win promotion in 2008, 2010 and this year.
But while all three were exceptional achievements, he says there is something special about getting that promotion feeling for the very first time.
“I think probably the first one,” Brunt said, when asked which promotion was his favourite.
“It’s because I’d not played in the Premier League before and that was always what I had wanted to do when I was a kid living in Belfast.
“I’d wanted to play Premier League football. Coming here and getting promotion and being given the chance to do that, that was great.
“The second one was probably the one I played the most part in. I scored a few goals and I played the majority of the games. But I think looking back on it, you probably enjoy the first one the most.”
Following Brunt’s second promotion, Albion went on to enjoy eight years in the top flight. And the 35-year-old believes when he looks back on his career that will be the time he enjoyed the most.
“We had a bit of a tag as being a yo-yo club so to establish ourselves in the Premier League for so many years – I think that will be something when I look back on it that I will be most proud of,” Brunt continued. “It’s all very well getting to the Premier League, but to stay there is tough.
“You have got to keep producing year on year, and we did that as a team.
“We had a group of lads that were here for four or five seasons, or six or seven seasons maybe. Myself, Ben Foster, Gareth McAuley, Jonas (Olsson), Mozza (James Morrison). Core players that grew with the team in the Premier League. It was a good place to be.
“I think when I look back on my career, that will be the time I probably most enjoyed.
“The likes of Steven Reid, and people like that, big characters. People I enjoyed being around. Everybody was a similar sort of age group, which I think helped. It’s probably similar to the lads now.”