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Albion 8: Strike partnerships

8 December 2015

Striking pairs

Welcome back to Albion 8.

This week, on our round-up of Albion-related nonsense, we bring you strike partnerships.

Some were amazing, some were short-lived, some will probably leave you scratching your head.

In no particular order:

REGIS & THOMPSON (1983-84)
Hear this Albion fans: during the mid-1980s Cyrille Regis and Garry Thompson played together 37 times in the League, scoring 33 goals. Thompson, scored 21 goals, while Regis grabbed 12, before the partnership was unceremoniously broken-up way too prematurely by the latter's sale to Coventry in October 1984. 'Thommo' left the following summer. And they wonder why we finished bottom in 1986, scoring just 35 goals.

BOMBER & ASTLE (1964-74)
Ok, so Tony Brown was never a conventional striker - despite Don Howe's pursuit to convert him into one - but so many of Bomber's goals came as a result of Astle's work and vice versa. The duo worked together for 10 years, becoming best friends and Bomber even being best man at Astle's wedding. They scored 52 between them in 1967/68, alone. One without the other just wouldn't be the same.

With apologies to Ishmael Miller, Albion's best partnership of the 2007/8 season looked to be the link-up between Kevin Phillips and Roman Bednar. Super Kev helped himself to 24 goals with Bednar bagging 17 himself. Miller wasn't far behind with 16 as Albion marched to the Championship title and an FA Cup semi-final. 

WALSH & HAINES (1947-49)
The Baggies found themselves back in Division Two after the Second World War. Their top flight exile ended in 1948/49 when they finished second, with Jack Haines and the brilliant Dave Walsh - currently Albion's oldest surviving player - helping Jack Smith's side towards second spot. Walsh netted 23 goals, with Haines grabbing 14. Albion went up by one point.

GOODMAN & ROBSON (1987-91)
Whether in midfield, or up front, Gary Robson was an able player during Albion's bleak late 1980s and 90s. His best outings came alongside young Don Goodman, who arrived in 1987 for just £50k from Bradford. The two played up top for the first time at Leeds on the penultimate game of the 1986/87 season, before each scoring the following weekend against Bradford. It wasn't until Brian Talbot took over from Ron Atkinson in late 1988 that the partnership became a regular fixture, with the two scoring 23 goals between them (Goodman 15, Robson 8) in what was arguably their best individual campaigns with the club.

TAYLOR & HUNT(1993-98)
Albion were starting to flag in February/March 1993. Three wins in 10 games was threatening the promotion push. And then Ossie Ardiles remembered Andy Hunt, a player he'd managed at Newcastle, who wasn't getting much game time under Kevin Keegan. He and Bob Taylor played together 13 times from there until the end of the season - scoring 21 times, en route to promotion via a Wembley play-off. It was a partnership that remained in place for five years. 

BROWN & REGIS (1977-83)
Albion's team of the late 1970s was lauded for all sorts of reasons, but few ever mention the excellent partnership of Regis and Ally Brown. Paired off together for the first time in September 1977, the pair really hit it off the following season scoring 37 goals between them (Brown 23, Regis 14). Regis was lauded for his power and explosive pace, but without Brown's contribution Albion's attacking players would not have gelled as well as they did.

ALLEN & NICHOLLS (1952-57)
The Baggies were on the cusp of great things in the mid-1950s, winning the 1954 FA Cup and going close in the League. It was Johnny Nicholls and Ronnie Allen who provided the main goal threat. The two men played 116 times together in the League, scoring 110 goals (Allen 66, Nicholls 54) - including 15 goals between them in their first 11 outings. They peaked during the 1953/54 season, when they netted 68 in all competitions. 

See you next week...

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