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Club News

Baggie Shorts: 27.03.15

27 March 2015

Unbelievable Jeff

Good afternoon. So, how was it for you?


It’s been Astle all the way this week – we’re so gratified that supporters have been moved by the launch video for Astle Day. 

And not just Baggies fans either. Supportive comments from fans of our arch rivals Villa and Wolves, along with Manchester City and Crystal Palace, were in the first wave of acclaim for the announcement proving the football family can rise above its often tribal clashes.

Gary Neville, eminent journalists led by Henry Winter, the Premier League and the FA and PFA were others to use their huge social media followings to spread the word which, by the end of the first day, had clicked an audience reach of more than one million.

Including, it must be added, a couple of recently-born German Shepherds currently being trained by the West Midlands Police for future duties.

The police name their dogs in a phonetic alphabet and it just so happened this pair came along to co-incide with the letter “A”.

The names chosen? Astle and Albion of course.

And here they are: Claire Astle holding 'Astle', and Jeff's widow Laraine holding 'Albion'.


Best Tweet of the Astle Day announcement . . . that goes to the Birmingham Mail’s Bill Howell who wondered if anyone had given a thought for the referee at the Leicester City clash. "With no names on the shirt," 

Howell pondered, " is he going to tell Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley apart?"

If that made us chuckle, perhaps Jason Wheeler’s comment captured the mood perfectly.

"Just shown the kids the @WBAFCofficial #AstleDay video - they watched in complete silence & took it all in, that speaks volumes."


Slightly baffling Facebook comment of the day came from one supporter who declared: "That kit brings back memories of the 1968 FA Cup Final…"

Er, yes. 

Biggest gaffe of the day?  That was committed by - and there’s no point denying it - us. Towards the end of the day, Norwich City were in contact to confirm that the promotion-chasing Canaries had extended until the end of the season the loan of midfielder Graham Dorrans (good luck Dozza by the way).

We were too quick off the mark and name-checked Norwich boss as Neil Adams. Of course he left in early January to be replaced by Alex Neil.

Apologies. But then we had enjoyed a day living in the past…


We’ve naturally been scouring the pop-picking Hit Parade books of 1968 – sorry, that’s how folk used to speak back then, kids – to get ready to ‘retro’ the play-list before the Leicester game.

All of which has been a problem for the youngest member of the media team, 21-year-old Gez Mulholland who thinks The Kinks is Smethwick’s newest night club. 

Cue conversation.

"Can you name a Dylan song, Gez…?"

"Dylan Who?"

"How about the first four names of the Beatles…?”

"Well, there was one called John wasn’t there…?"

"What about The King. You must be able to tell us who the King was."

"Yeah – Jeff Astle."

That’s what you call a triumphant gaffe.

P.S. The 1968 final is the only one attended by a Beatle. But which one? Tweet us with the answer and we will sort out a prize for a winner drawn from the hat.


This just in . . . we have a late runner for Facebook Exchange of the Week.

Supporter One: "It would be good if the club were allowed to play one game wearing the kit…"

Supporter Two: "They are. They are playing in it against Leicester."

Supporter One: "Oh, didn’t see that bit."

What on earth did he see, then?


Already Albion fans are wondering who will wear the No.9 shirt. One supporter has already made his pick. Tweeted Lloyd James Munroe (@Baggielloyd) to Brown Ideye: "Morning Bobby, no pressure but if you could score your goal on 9 minutes, that would be perfect."

No pressure at all.


Albion fans, keep your eyes peeled for more during the build up to the big day against Leicester City - not least a bumper Albion News, our magazine that comes out on matchdays, along with other media content in the week leading up to the match. 

And if the launch video moved you, wait till you see what we've got lined up in the final countdown to the game...

See you soon. Oh, and don't forget: #AstleDay

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