Come on in, make yourselves at home
WELCOME back. It seems like a while ago since we brought you trivia, fun and general nonsense from within the darkest corners of Albion HQ.
And this time we're back to talk the FA Cup, visitors from Eastern Europe, car problems, heating troubles at Turf Moor and ask where we've seen that Darren Fletcher before.
Come on in. You can leave your shoes on, just this once.
When Albion went out of the FA Cup in a third round replay at West Ham in January 1980, it was an event of great historical significance for it was the night when Tony Brown scored the 279th and final goal of his Albion career. It was mere consolation as we lost 2-1, coming from a header, about as likely as West Ham's Trevor Brooking winning the cup itself with one...
Bomber came on a substitute with a quarter of an hour to go as Albion trailed 1-0, Ron Atkinson passing on highly detailed tactical instructions to him: "Go and win us the game".
As Tony trotted into position, he ran past Cyrille Regis. "Hey, Cyrille! Which way are we kicking?"
Regis pointed, realised he'd been had and then came out with a sentence quite unbecoming of someone who would go on to be awarded the MBE.
There were strange goings on before Wednesday's game against Swansea.
Two gentlemen arrived at the Birmingham Road End before the game, stating they were from the Czech Republic. Oddly they were each carrying a suitcase.
Bringing a large item of luggage to a football match might be the norm in Prague but is clearly a no-no in the high-profile Premier League environment.
When advised by a steward to leave the cases in their car, our Eastern European delegation replied that their vehicle was parked up...some 1000 miles away, back in their homeland.
After some umming and ahing, a steward helpfully piped up: "We can keep the cases secure for you at the club, provided we can check what's inside of course...."
And there we stumbled into one, final hurdle. One of the men mumbled something about the potential state of his underwear and, with that, our duo made their excuses and headed for the exits in quicker time than it takes someone to ask: "I wonder if they know Roman Bednar?"
Did they get to solve their luggage issue in time to watch the game? We may never know...
Gents, if you're reading this: please let us know how you got on.
You’ll have seen Top Gear, when they put a star in a reasonably priced car? Well sod Clarkson, we’ve been doing it at the Albion for ages, although we don’t do much racing - we can’t afford the insurance.
Hard though it is to believe, some footballers come to The Hawthorns unable to drive, not because they’ve had a brush with m’learned friends but because they haven’t actually passed the driving test.
Jason Koumas was one such. While he had no trouble slaloming between defenders, bung a traffic cone in front of him and he would instantly run it over. So it was in his early days at the Albion that programme writer Dave Bowler ended up ferrying him around the locality in a club Daihatsu. It may have been a 944, I’m not sure…
Younger readers will be shocked to learn that in days of yore, there was no such thing as Sat Nav either. So it was that when Kanu signed for the football club, he needed help getting from the training ground to his appointed press conference at The Hawthorns, leaving Dave to jump in the passenger seat.
We got halfway up the A34 when the Kanuvian gaze alighted upon the Shell station. "Petrol!" he exclaimed. He may well have added, "This is football," his stock answer for everything, but that is lost in the midst of time.
The ageless Nigerian filled up the SUV - he may have used all the petrol in Great Barr to do it - as the locals stopped to point at this international megastar, doing something as mundane as buying petrol while, quite unaccountably, wearing a fishing hat.
Did Cuadrado do all of that when he washed up at Stamford Bridge last week? I think not.
You might have thought it was cold if you ventured to Turf Moor on Sunday, but that’s nothing compared to an encounter there back in April - yes April - 2001, when Albion eked out a 1-1 draw on the way to the play-offs. To get from pre-match media room to press box, you had to walk through the stands. So cold was it that as we walked out at half-time, somebody in the stand had set fire to a litter bin and there was a covey of clarets clustered around it like night-watchmen around a brazier.
And, finally, part 271 of 'things we've noticed this week'...
We put this to you:
Here's Darren Fletcher, our recently signed midfielder...
And here's Gary Monk, Swansea boss...
Uncanny, don't you think?
And on that note, we'll see you next week.