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Memories of West Bromwich Albion & The Hawthorns

the hawthorns Memories of West Bromwich Albion & The Hawthorns

Congratulations to Derby County on being promoted to the English Premier League after beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 today at Wembley. While not a scintillating match, Derby was yet again impressive in the way they defended a lead and prevented West Brom from hitting the back of the net. Their defense should especially be commended.

I have fond memories of West Brom. On the pitch, yes, but also off the pitch. The day was September 5th, 1981. I was eleven years old and a massive supporter of my local team, Swansea City, who had just weeks earlier played their first match in the First Division after shocking everyone (myself included, I was on the terraces) in a 5-1 win against then mighty Leeds United.

September 5th, 1981 was to be my first ever away match. I talked it over with my teenage friend and his father and agreed to order the tickets for the away match at Birmingham. My friend’s father asked me, “and you have your parent’s permission?” “Yeah,” I nervously answered.

Of course, I hadn’t asked my parents and I was caught in a trap where I wanted to go more than anything. I knew that if I asked my parents, there’s no way they would have let me go. So, instead, I lied.

The night before the away match, my friend gave me the gameplan. “Okay, we’ll pick you up from your house at 4:30 in the morning and we’ll then drive to Swansea to catch the supporter’s bus.”

Stupidly, I went to sleep that night without still having said anything to my parents. I slept through the night and was awoken at 8am by my furious parents who wanted to know why my best friend and his father were knocking on the door of our house waking everyone up (except for me, who was in a deep sleep dreaming about a trip to the Hawthorns probably).

Swansea ended up getting beat 4-1 against West Brom at the Hawthorns.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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2 Responses to Memories of West Bromwich Albion & The Hawthorns

  1. The Scout says:

    Don’t leave us hanging! Did you actually get to go to the match at West Brom? :)

  2. The Gaffer says:

    Nope, I was stuck home after I missed the supporter’s bus to the match.

    A trip from Wales to Birmingham as a youngster seemed like a world away.

    The Gaffer

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