Behind the scenes at the Baggies
PLEASE give a big welcome to BAGGIE SHORTS, our fresh sideways-look behind the scenes at all things Albion.
To start matters off in the inaugural edition of our regular column, can you guess which former Baggies player was a mystery guest at Monday's draw against Man Utd at The Hawthorns?
#Answer at the bottom of the page - no cheating!
It's a big hello to our new signing from Ireland.
Felan Hennigan has joined Albion as head chef following a 'transfer' from Dublin's Aviva Stadium, where he cooked up culinary delights for the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Rugby Football Union.
The 34-year-old, who was born in Ireland but grew up in Coventry, will become a regular ingredient in the kitchens at The Hawthorns and the training ground.
So, good luck Felan. We'll quit now, before too many cooking metaphors spoil the broth...
Six years ago, 15-year-old Gez Mulholland joined the club’s Academy with dreams of transferring his striking skills from school to the Baggies.
Then came the first words from his new coach.
Says Gez: “’Listen son,’ he told me, ‘we’ll try you at left midfield because there’s this fella’ Saido up front and . . . well, you’re probably not going to get in ahead of him.’”
At 18, Gez got even worse news. While Berahino blossomed, he was told ‘Sorry son’ by the Academy staff. But, enthralled by life within the club, he set his heart on breaking into media and last month landed his debut post as Media Support Officer.
And when it came to interviewing Albion’s England Under 21 star at the recent European Championship play-off first leg against Croatia, who else but Mulholland could be chosen?
“It was strange really,” says Gez. “Saido kept taking the mickey while I was getting everything set up but he has always been a team-mate to me and not a football superstar.
“I had three great years in the same team and you could always tell he was a cut above the rest.”
A host of familiar faces were back at B71 last week as four Albion legends visited to help our media team out with a special project.
Joining centre-forward Cyrille Regis and captains extraordinaire Graham Williams and John Wile, was defender Brendon Batson.
And it was the former right-back who revealed that, sometime after his retirement - he reckoned it was around 1987 - he discovered he'd spent the last six years playing with a broken toe, courtesy of a hefty training ground challenge back in 1981.
Brendon remembered exactly where, and when it happened, even though he remained oblivious to the severity of his injury.
But, Albion fans, whodunit?
Was it: A) Martyn Bennett, B) Martin Jol or C) Ally Robertson.
We'll bring you the answer in the next edition of BAGGIE SHORTS.
Finally, well done for those of you who guessed our mystery fan: it was, of course, Paul Scharner.
The former Albion man was back at The Hawthorns on Monday watching the Baggies in action.
Scharner left football behind following his departure from SV Hamburg and subsequent retirement but was thrilled to catch up with old friends.
"Albion has had a transformation - lots of new faces but old friends as well," he said.
"When I stopped playing football I completely stopped following the sport, I wanted to see if I could live without football and actually I could.
"I don't miss football, which is unbelievable as it was my life for so long, but I got back into it on during the World Cup and it was good being back at The Hawthorns to see so many friends and fans."
It was also three years ago to this very day that Scharner entered Albion folklore by unveiling his memorable t-shirt away at Villa Park, where the Baggies secured their first win since May 1979.
See you all next time! BoingBoing