WEMBLEY ‘54-…’THE PENALTY’
There are ‘History pics’ and there are ‘History pics’. Many of the pictures already featured in this series, will have been ‘new’ to many who visit our site.
The photograph featured this month, however, will definitely NOT fall into this category. Most ardent football fans, let alone, fervent Albion fans, will have seen this image, many times. It is probably the most ‘iconic’ post war photograph of it’s kind, and is immediately associated with ‘West Bromwich Albion Football Club, and indeed, everything that is memorable about the great game we enjoy.
1954-01.05-Allen penalty goal at Wembley-Daily express
A Daily Express image, taken from way back, behind the opposite goal by the ‘imaginative and brilliant’ cameraman, captures, not only the action of the moment, but the personal feelings and ‘stress’ borne by just one ‘sole’ person. That person, was the late great Albion goal-keeper Jim Sanders.
Whilst all around him were focused on Ronnie Allen, about to take the spot-kick’, that would of course equalise Preston’s slender lead, Sanders, just couldn’t bear to watch, instead, turning away from the action and ‘hugging’ the goal-post in hope and prayer. Hope that was realised, as Allen’s kick was perfectly placed, beyond the reach of Thompson in the Preston goal. A goal that would deflate the men from Preston, and ‘spur-on’ the men from West Bromwich, to subsequently lift that prize of all prizes, the F.A.Cup.
Did Jim say a little prayer? We will never know. Only Jim knew, and he is no longer with us. If he did, then his prayer was answered, and gave us all an image, that will never fade, or lose it’s poignancy.
Laurie Rampling-October 2010