“As the last post rang out around the Shrine prior to the clash with Leeds United on Saturday, and The Hawthorns community, along with the Leeds United travelling thousands, paid homage to those that lost their lives one hundred years ago, in that terrible 1914-18 conflict, one could not help but feel , football had very little consequence in the scheme of things. Millions of young men and Women, laid down their lives in that and many other conflicts, in order that we could all be free to enjoy such pleasures as simply following our favourite football teams enjoying the beautiful game, and it was very moving to feel the emotion of the moment, as the stadium fell silent to remember and reflect. It was of course particularly poignant for the football community, given the tragic events at The King Power Stadium, Leicester just two weeks ago, when the clubs charismatic owner and four other members of his staff, including the pilot, lost their lives in such horrific circumstances.
But life, as they say, must go on, we all know that, and following the moving build up to the game with high flying Leeds, emotions were suspended, for ninety plus minutes at least, and the ‘beautiful’ game was once again ‘afoot’ and boy, what a game it was. Albion, needing to bounce back following four games of under achievement, did so in style. Everything that boss Darren Moore would have called for in his pre-match preparation, was met with the desired response, as Albion, strong at the back, busy in mid-field and dangerous up front, gave the visitors very little space to show the form that has taken them to the top of the table, and in a second half display of sheer quality, they simply blew the men from Yorkshire away, with four superb goals.
It was certainly a celebration of football, that complimented the off-pitch festivities, as once again the football club honoured their former ‘heroes’ with Chris Whyte, Kevin Donovan and Steven Reid, all receiving their ‘debut caps’ pitch-side at half time. In the Regis Suite, caps were also presented to the family members of Brothers George and Joe Dorsett, both local young men who signed for the club in the early years of the twentieth century, but both moved north to Manchester City to further their careers, and it was indeed poignant that another of Manchester’s favourite sons, Tony Brown was on hand to present the caps to the family on the clubs behalf.
Also joining Tony in the Suite, was President Brendon Batson MBE, OBE, Chairman Ray Wilson, Secretary Geoff Snape, Treasurer Norman Westbury, Stan Jones, Jack Lovatt and Derek Monaghan, with a pre-match visit from club skipper Chris Brunt, who was unfortunately side-lined with a hamstring problem for the game against Leeds.
In the East stand, The aforementioned Chris Whyte, Kevin Donovan and Steven Reid, were joined by Ian Hamilton in the various suites both before and after the game, inter-acting with Corporate guests, and without doubt the discussions on such a memorable day and result would have continued long after the lights at The Shrine were dimmed.
Yet another International break now, but hopefully the cohesion shown by the players on Saturday will not be affected, as we look forward to the next game at The Hawthorns, the clash with old rivals Brentford on Monday 3rd December, which is preceded of course, with the Associations AGM at 4.45pm pre-match, and very much looking forwarded to catching up with old friends.”