Club News

Albion: As you've never seen us before

Highlights from Ewood Park, but not as you know it...

HERE are West Bromwich Albion - as you've probably never seen us before.

This 45-second archive clip is being presented as the earliest film footage of a football match. A version of this clip also appeared on our Full Throstle DVD, back in 2006.

It was our fourth game of the 1898/99 season, played on September 24, at Blackburn Rovers' Ewood Park. 

Sadly, we lost 4-1. 

Our line-up that day included the legendary Billy Bassett, who was in his final season as a player for the Baggies, having already twice won the FA Cup. He later became a shareholder, director and then chairman of the club, serving more than 50 years in total. He also scored eight times for England in 16 internationals.

Goalkeeper was Joe Reader, who also played for England, with Ralph Brett, our recent recruit from the army, while William Richards was to later join Newton Heath (who were to become Manchester United in 1902)

Our goalscorer at Ewood Park was Ben Garfield, who had already netted three times during this particular campaign.

Albion XI: Reader, George Cave, Billy Williams, Tom Perry, Abraham Jones, Jack Banks, Bassett, Albert Flewitt, Brett, Richards and Garfield. Choosing the side was secretary and headline-writer's dream Frank Heaven.

Thankfully, we bounced back to win our next game - 2-0 against Sheffield Wednesday. 

Anyway, we hope you enjoy this clip, and for those of you watching in black and white, we're wearing the stripes...

* would like to thank the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University for providing this footage. 

[Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion. Autumn 1898] from NWfilmarchive on Vimeo.