YESTERDAY we named William ‘Ginger’ Richardson second in our list of Albion’s all-time top ten greatest goalscorers.
At No.1 we have Jimmy Cookson – who scored 110 goals in 122 appearances for Albion between 1927-33.
Manchester-born Cookson had the most lethal of finisher’s instincts right from the outset of his career.
He joined the Throstles in August 1927 for £2,500 after scoring 85 goals in three seasons at Chesterfield and immediately showed Albion fans what he could do.
He scored on his debut, a Second Division game away at Oldham Athletic, as Albion lost 3-1, scoring in four of his first five Albion appearances.
In his sixth, he created a club record that still stands, becoming the only man to score a double hat-trick in league football for us, getting all the goals in a 6-3 win over Blackpool at The Hawthorns.
In an extraordinary season, he followed that up by scoring four in each of two consecutive league games in January 1928, first in a 6-0 win at Grimsby Town, then in a 5-3 home win over Reading.
He ended the 1927/28 campaign with a club record 38 goals in 38 games, but Albion could only finish eighth.
Injury limited him to 31 league games the following year – 21 goals, including a hat-trick in a 5-3 defeat to Reading – but he took a real shine to the FA Cup.
He scored seven times in six games as we made it through to the sixth round, helping himself to four in the 6-0 win over Bradford Park Avenue who finished that season in third to Albion’s seventh.
There was no sense that Cookson’s powers were on the wane the following year either as he smacked in 33 goals in 34 appearances.
Once again, when his eye was in, he made the most of it, ending the season by scoring 11 times in the last four fixtures, two more four goal hauls coming as Albion continued their gradual progress, this time finishing sixth.
As the legendary double winning season of 1930/31 began, Jimmy was still entrenched as Albion’s centre forward.
In the opening 16 games, he helped himself to 11 more goals - including four in a 6-3 win at Cardiff’s Ninian Park, his eighth Albion hat-trick.
Injury was to bite in November 1930 though and that created an opening for a youngster who was just as prolific in the reserves as Cookson was in the first team – WG Richardson.
He came in and never left.
Extraordinarily, that meant that in the next two-and-a-half seasons, Cookson played just three more games without troubling the scorers.
In August 1933, he left The Hawthorns for Plymouth Argyle, but he wasn’t qute finished with the Albion yet.
In 1944, he was the scout that spotted the great Ray Barlow and recommended him to the Throstles, perhaps his single greatest day’s work for the Albion in a career littered with them.
10. Tommy Glidden
9. Bob Taylor
8. Joe Carter
7. Tony Brown
6. Fred Morris
5. Jeff Astle
4. Ronnie Allen
3. Derek Kevan
2. W.G. Richardson
1. Jimmy Cookson