“On 1st May 1954 Albion’s ‘Team of the Century’ as it was so aptly dubbed, lifted the FA Cup at Wembley defeating the ‘Old Invincibles’ of Preston North End in a dramatic final, to maybe ease the pain somewhat of narrowly missing out on the League Championship to local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, whom they had pretty much gone ‘head to head’ with for the whole of the season. One of the heroes of ’54 was goal-keeper Jimmy Sanders, who had joined ‘The Throstles nest’ from East London’s finest at the time, Charlton Athletic, and would go on to appear in over 300 first class matches for the Baggies, and feature himself in one of the most iconic Wembley photographs of all time as he famously could not watch as Albion talisman Ronnie Allen stepped up to take the penalty that would springboard Albion to Victory.
On Saturday, as the very same Londoners from the Valley, breezed into town, Jimmy’s son Terry was presented with his Father’s cap pitchside at half time, by another legend, Tony Brown, as the football club continues to honour its faithful servants both past and present. The Association has recently been able to present caps to many former players families, including most recently the son and Daughter of another Wembley hero, Jimmy Dugdale. Next February, at the Preston North End home game, it is hoped the families of Ray Barlow and Len Millard will be honoured in the same way, and plans are in place to be in touch with the families of the remaining members of that great side.
From the past to the present, and ‘On duty’ at the Charlton Athletic match for the Association, were Bernard McNally, Darryl Burgess, Wayne Fereday and Des Lyttle. Bernie and Darryl Joining pre-match tour groups and visiting Corporate boxes, Des and Wayne giving their expertise both pre-match and post match in the various East Stand suites.
On the other side of the Shrine, Secretary Geoff Snape and Treasurer Norman Westbury, were joined in the Regis Suite by Ally Robertson, Joe Mayo, Gordon Nisbet, Vernon Hodgson and David Ashman, son of the late great former manager Alan, with timely visits from Tony Brown and Andy Johnson, on their way to the media gantry for their matchday commentary duties.
We move on to Stoke next Monday week, still top of the table and hopefully continued success on the road in the Potteries”