News from within
GOOD afternoon. Happy April 24th to you all.
Why's it a good day? We'll tell you more...
BUT first, Liverpool means painful memories for our legendary photographer Laurie Rampling.
New Year’s Eve 2005 at Anfield. It’s not the best way to spend that particular night, even less so when you’re the evening kick-off, but it turned out be a rich and eventful evening.
Watching on from the press box, much of it kicked off at half-time. First of all, one pressman, long since disappeared, but well known for being a trencherman first class, returned to the press box at half-time with four sandwiches in his mitts, a couple more in his trouser pockets and a cup of soup in his shirt pocket, an impressive feat.
Meanwhile, Rampling was walking around the pitch and stopped in front of us, some 20 yards away, and was waving frantically while mouthing something. We waved back, thinking he was getting over excited about a first half snap and thought no more about it. Until full time.
It turned out that in getting out of the photographer’s pit behind the goal, with his camera round his neck, he had toppled over, banged his head and broken the extremely expensive camera and lens.
St John’s Ambulance crew had descended upon him to minister to him in his hour of need but the great lensman was not interested.
"Me camera, they’re me babies, I can’t believe it!"
The medics wanted to take him for a check up but Laurence was having none of it, more concerned as he was about his gear. He tried to shake off their attentions using some pretty fruity language, at which point stewards were called and he was escorted away and, very nearly, thrown out.
It was a frosty, silent car journey home in which the Albion Radio team tried to raise his spirits, initially by offering to concoct a false accident and insurance claim at The Hawthorns to make sure he didn’t lose on the deal – if the Police are reading, this is merely inserted for comic effect and clearly did not ever happen, under no circumstances – and then by laughing at him. Oddly, neither approach helped.
We returned to The Hawthorns with Laurie in no state to drive home, still in a state of shock. It was clear that a livener was required and that, dear reader, is how we came to usher in the year 2006 in the warm embrace of the saloon bar of The Flowerpot on Spon Lane.
Oh, and we lost 1-0.
Don't forget to give a huge round of applause to our special guest Blind Dave Heeley at The Hawthorns tomorrow.
The Baggies supporter recently completed an incredible Tri-Albion challenge, including a gruelling 160-mile marathon across the Sahara desert.
As sapping as it might have been, Blind Dave clearly didn't lose any of his sense of humour.
During his recent home coming, one of the guests awaiting his return stumbled over a step as he went to greet our long-distance running hero.
Sensing a commotion, Blind Dave asked what had happened and, quick as a flash, chipped in with: "D'ya wanna borro' me dog?"
Today's date marks not one, but two, wonderful achievements in our post-war history.
It was on this day 11 years ago that Albion players broke away from their pre-match warm-up to watch, on the Hawthorns' big screen, the closing stages of a football match some 100 miles away.
Sunderland's failure to win at Wigan (0-0) in the lunchtime kick-off ensured Gary Megson's side were promoted before their 2-0 win over Bradford City - the partially-full Hawthorns being surely the most surreal backdrop to any of Albion's more recent celebrations.
And, 39 years ago today, THIS happened:
And on that happy note, we'll see you soon...