“It was inevitable that Albion’s remarkable run, the best in the clubs history, would come to an end sooner or later, and would of course be painful when it eventually happened. Very few I’m ertain, thought it would be at the hands of lowly Middlesbrough, but their tenacious performance knocked the wind out of the ‘Baggies’ sails, and in the end no one could deny that they were the better side on the day. That said, if anyone had suggested at the start of this campaign that come the New Year, Albion would be joint league leaders with Leeds United, on 51 points, and an amazing nine points above the rest of the pack, then your sanity would have been seriously questioned, so before the doom and gloom merchants get too carried away, just take into consideration the fantastic four months or so that you have enjoyed so far, and the fact is, Albion are indeed still top of the pile, as we enter the New Year.

Having said all that, the highlight of the day has to be the return to The Hawthorns of legendary captain Jon Greening, who aside from joining former team mate Nigel Quashie in the East Stand suites for Q and A sessions, was honoured by the club in the half time interval, when another club legend Brendon Batson OBE presented ‘Jono’ with his club cap, the latest former player to receive this accolade. Jono then enjoyed a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the centre circle by a packed Hawthorns for the Middlesbrough game, one of his former clubs of course.

Also ‘on duty’ for the association were Gary Hackett and Nicky Cross, who joined pre match tour groups and visited other corporate areas before the kick-off.

On the other side of the ‘Shrine’ in the Regis Suite, President Brendon Batson was joined by Treasurer Norman Westbury and former players, Ally Brown, Ally Robertson and Bruce Collard, with ‘flying’ visits from the legend that is Tony Brown and 2002 promotion hero Andy Johnson, now a member of the clubs media team of course, and an excellent job he does as well, with excitable matchday commentary’s!! It was also a nice touch that Cyrille Regis was remembered on the front cover of the matchday programme, two years on from his tragic passing. A man and a legend that will always be in the thoughts of all right minded people who follow the fortunes of our famous football club.

We now look forward to the mouth watering Hawthorns clash with Leeds United on New Year’s Day. Certainly no place for the faint hearted.

That only leaves me to wish all readers of our site, a very happy and healthy New Year, on behalf of the Former Players Association.”