Monday, 3 November 2014

A south Essex Baggie follower!

A question that I am regularly asked is how somebody born and bred in south Essex ended up a lifelong supporter of West Bromwich Albion. The answer is not unusual where football allegiance is concerned. Before I was born the family lived in the Midlands and I had a brother who was 11 years older than me and was a fanatical WBA follower. In the circumstances I really had no choice being indoctrinated from a very early age.

The situation was sealed beyond doubt when almost the first televised match I can recall watching was the 1968 FA Cup Final when Albion beat Everton thanks to a Jeff Astle goal. Little did I know that almost 50 years later I would still be waiting for some further significant silver although there have of course been many memorable and uplifting times along the way.

It was a unique experience attending my local Grammar School as the only Albion supporter being viewed by my class mates with a combination of disbelief and pity! Everyone else seemed to follow one of the big London clubs, although there did not seem to be to same attraction for locals to follow the main Manchester and Liverpool clubs as seems to be the case with many of my daughters’ friends.

The problem is that when a club gets into your system it is simply impossible to change allegiance and whilst I rarely get to live matches these days I still watch Albion’s televised matches whenever possible, follow their progress on twitter and feel a surge of pleasure or despair depending on the final result each week.

So if I could go back to the 60s knowing then what I know now would I change anything – no of course not. After all I am sure that this is the season for that cup or league win. Or if not this year then surely next. Come on you Baggies!

1 comment:

  1. Like you the 1968 was my earliest footballing memory. However, I have burdened myself since 1971 with Aston Villa - and I have no connection whatsoever (I just happened to like their name).

    I was born in the same road as the Shrimpers ground, and so Southend United are my second team. If I am allowed a third it is Millwall - my father hailed from Peckham.