PETER Odemwingie paid tribute to Shane Long for his commitment to Albion's cause in the wake of his Nan passing away as he delivered a blistering display in today's 2-1 win over Chelsea.
The former Reading striker revealed a T-shirt saying ‘Rest in Peace Nan’ after giving the Baggies an early lead - and later teed up Odemwingie’s second-half winner as Albion collected an unforgettable three points against the European champions.
And the Nigeria international was full of respect for Long after discovering what he is going through.
“I didn’t know when I was playing but I saw that he was a bit sad when everyone was celebrating in the dressing room afterwards,” said Odemwingie.
“I noticed there was something wrong with him but I didn’t know what had really happened.
“He deserves a lot of respect as he came to help us when we needed him even in this situation and he deserved his man of the match.
“We must say thank you to him for staying strong because we needed him today and without him the result could have been different, so well done to him.
“I hope he is able to get over his loss and he is happy and smiling again soon.”
Odemwingie also revealed how Steve Clarke’s half-time team-talk inspired Albion to overcome the Blues after the disappointment of conceding a late first-half equaliser - and move into the Champions League qualification places.
“It felt great to be in the top five and today was an opportunity to climb a little bit more up the table," he added.
“We believe in ourselves and we’ve proven that so far with some quality football.
“After they equalised we were disappointed but the gaffer told us that we shouldn’t be disappointed being 1-1 with Chelsea.
“That lifted us up a bit and we started the second half well, as we did the first.
“I think we totally deserved our victory.
“The better the results we get the more the confidence grows and also the faith we have in ourselves.
“Our desire to be in the top five keeps us working hard for every point.”