West Bromwich Albion

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James Morrison / Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic
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Zoltan Gera / Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic
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Shane Long / Action Images / John Sibley Livepic

About the club

About the club
Season 2012/13: 
8th Place
Nickname: 
The Baggies
Stadium: 
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Heart of England
Capacity: 
26500
Away end: 
Smethwick End
Top scorer 12/13: 
Romelu Lukaku
Manager: 
Pepe Mel
Assistant Manager: 
Keith Downing
Home kit: 
White shirts with blue stripes, white shorts and white socks
Away kit: 
Red shirts, dark blue shorts and dark blue socks
Honours: 
• Div One: 1920 • Div Two: 1911, 1902 • Championship: 2008 • FA Cup: 1968, 1954, 1931, 1892, 1888 • League Cup: 1966

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Around and about West Bromwich

1. Where is West Bromwich?

West Bromwich is in the Black Country. It is half way between Birmingham (home of Birmingham City and Aston Villa) and Wolverhampton (home of Wolverhampton Wanderers). This means that there are four Premier League teams within a 12 km radius of West Bromwich.

2. What’s the difference between West Bromwich and Bromwich?

In fact, there isn’t a town called Bromwich at all. There was an area called Broomwich Heath, and in the 19th century, coal was discovered to the west of this. An industrial town quickly developed, and this new town was known as West Bromwich.

3. Is it true that West Bromwich is the largest place in England without its own railway station?

Not entirely. West Bromwich had a railway line and a station until the line closed in 1972, and the station building was demolished. However, a tram service (the Midland Metro) now connects Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, and uses much of the old railway line.

4. Are there any famous people from West Bromwich?

For a small city (population 140,000), West Bromwich has produced more than its share of rock stars! Several members of the top rock bands of the 1970s Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, and Judas Priest were born here.

5. Why is the team called ‘West Bromwich Albion’?

‘Albion’ is an old name for Britain. West Bromwich were the first to add the word ‘Albion’ to their name. Several other English football teams also have the word ‘Albion’, including Brighton and Hove Albion (a League One team). But Albion is also a district of West Bromwich, where several of the players lived in 1880, when they adopted the name ‘Albion’.

6. What about West Brom’s nickname –‘The Baggies’?

No-one’s 100% certain, but here is one theory. In the early days, before the start of each game, the staff used to carry all the money from ticket sales to the club’s office. They used big cloth bags to carry all the coins, and were accompanied by police officers. When the fans saw this, they shouted ‘Here come the bag men’, which evolved into ‘Here come the baggies’. Before long, ‘Baggies’ had become the club’s nickname.

7. Why do fans shout ‘Boing Boing’ at matches?

Again, this is a bit of a mystery. ‘Boing boing’ is supposed to be the sound of a ball bouncing. One theory is that fans started shouting this (and jumping up and down) when West Bromwich Albion were newly promoted from the Second Division in 1992-93. But staff were so worried about this that they brought in staff from Birmingham University to see if the jumping was damaging the structure of the stadium.

8. What is the Black Country derby?

This is when West Bromwich Albion play against their Black Country rivals Wolves. This fixture is believed to be the fiercest rivalry in English football.

Click here for a vocabulary activity

Task

What do you remember about West Bromwich

Read the statements about West Bromwich and decide if they are true or false.

Exercise

Task 2

What is unusual about West Brom’s stadium, The Hawthorns? Search the web to find the answer.

  • It is the oldest stadium of any Premier League club.
  • The pitch is larger than any of the other Premier League sides.
  • No other Premier League stadium is as many metres above sea level.
  • More Premier League matches have been played here than at any other stadium.

Find out more about West Bromwich from Visit Britain's destination guide.

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