Our unique moment
WE are in the midst of a momentous week Throstletariat, for this is the anniversary of possibly our greatest ever achievement, one of the most remarkable of any football club.
For in this week in 1931, we recorded the still unique double of winning the FA Cup and promotion to the First Division.
A modern day view might be that these feats were easier to accomplish way back then, but since it has only happened once since the Second Division came into existence in 1892, I think we can discount such a jaundiced approach.
Albion’s was a genuinely phenomenal season, one that encompassed 42 league games and nine FA Cup ties on the way to immortality.
That FA Cup run was especially intriguing for it pitted Albion against three of the sides that were vying with us for promotion too. We dismissed Tottenham in round four, took two goes to defeat the Wolves, winning the replay at Molineux, and then saw off the division’s runaway leaders, Everton, Dixie Dean and all, in a semi-final at Old Trafford where the ground was so packed, there were people on the pitch and it certainly wasn’t all over.
That set up a grand finale of 11 league games and the cup final in 43 history-defining days. With only two teams going up, and the Toffees over the hills and far away, it was a straight fight between Albion and Spurs for second.
Having played a game more, Tottenham held the whip hand until we finally caught up with them the week before the cup final. We went to Wembley on the penultimate Saturday of the campaign to play First Division Birmingham, goalscoring tyro WG Richardson knocking in as brace as we carried off the cup 2-1. Spurs, meanwhile, were beating Barnsley 4-2 meaning that to ensure promotion, we had to win our last two games.
After the assorted festivities surrounding the return of the cup to God’s country, the players went into hiding to prepare for a Thursday night visit to Stoke’s Victoria Ground. In those days, we used to win in the Potteries on a regular basis and a 1-0 win set up the final day’s climax, less than 48 hours later, as we welcomed Charlton.
In an enthralling game that SeeSawed this way and that, the armies of righteousness prevailed, we won 3-2 and had achieved what had hitherto seemed unthinkable, the double.
Pearson, Shaw, Trentham, Magee, W Richardson, Edwards, Glidden, Carter, WG Richardson, Sandford, Wood. Their achievement makes us a unique football club.
We should scream it from the rooftops.