SUPPORTERS who braved the wintry conditions to attend Saturday’s thrilling derby with Villa could have been forgiven for thinking the game had never been in doubt, judging by the shortage of snow at The Hawthorns come kick-off time.
But the scenes that greeted fans from both clubs as they arrived at the stadium belies the extent of the snowfall that descended on B71 on Friday – and the efforts the club’s ground staff went to to get the game on.
Our photos above from Friday show what must at times have felt like a losing battle, as staff attempted to clear huge swathes of snow from the pitch, stands and stadium approaches in blizzard-like conditions.
The snow drift reached as far and as high as five rows from the back of the Birmingham Road End.
But all of their hard work paid dividends as it allowed the 25,583 supporters packed into the stadium, plus millions of TV viewers around the world, to witness one of most exciting Albion-Villa derbies in years.
Albion chief executive, Mark Jenkins, said: “We have a proud record of making sure games go ahead at The Hawthorns and that is all down to the hard work of our head of facility operations & development, Mark Miles, and his staff.
“Mark ensured we were prepared as well as we possibly could be for the forecasted snowfall and he and his staff, plus the extra help we hired in, did a fantastic job in clearing the snow and ensuring all spectator areas were ready for the game.
“They had to work in some truly awful conditions and I’m sure our supporters were grateful for the efforts they went to – especially when Peter Odemwingie’s equaliser went in!”
GALLERY PICS: PIC 1 (Friday - 11.23am); PIC 2 (Friday - 11.54am); PIC 3 (Friday - 12.17pm); PIC 4 (Friday - 1.52pm); PIC 5 (Friday - 4.01pm); PIC 6 (Saturday - 3.17pm); PIC 7 (Saturday - 7.14pm)