“One thing for sure when you play a Stoke City side, you know that it is never going to be an easy ride. You know that the men from the Potteries will give you absolutely nothing, and under their new management, they are a completely different side from that faced by Albion last November at the Bet 365 stadium. I suppose, the biggest consolation from a disappointing night is still seeing the ‘Chirping Throstles’ sitting proudly at the top of the perch in the Championship, as we move into the next round of FAC matches, traveling down to London to face the Hammers at the London Stadium on Saturday.

On the bright side of the disappointing evening, it was great to welcome ‘home’ former striker Peter Odemwingie to the Hawthorns, as he joined another former Potter, Gasry Hackett, in the East stand suites, ably assisted by mark Grew and Kevin Summerfield, who both joined pre-match tours, amongst their various other match day duties.

On the other side of the shrine. Chairman Ray Wilson was joined by President Brendon Batson OBE, Treasurer Norman Westbury, Ally Robertson and Stan Jones, with pre-match visits from Don Goodman, on duty with Sky TV, Andy Johnson, now a member of the clubs media team and of course the one and only Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown, also on his way up to the media gantry.

A pleasure, also, to welcome back to the ‘Shrine’ ou former gaffer, and Stoke City legend, Denis Smith, who gave such great service to the ‘Potters’ between 1968 and 1982, making 407 first team appearances for the club, scoring 29 goals before moving to York City, and eventually into management with six cubs, including of course West Bromwich Albion between 1997 and 1999. A thoroughly nice man, and dare I say, a footballing icon!