Club News

MY ALBION: “There were grown men around me crying”

Baggie living in Edinburgh reveals all

IT’S Wednesday afternoon and that means only one thing here on – the return of My Albion, the feature dedicated to documenting the stories and experiences of the club’s fans.

We’ve been criss-crossing the globe to meet the supporters who have revealed their favourite games, goals and kits, their most memorable Albion moment and also what the club means to them.

This week we are linking up with one Baggies fan, who is similarly well travelled. His story is below.

Hi Jason, thanks for taking part. Please introduce yourself…
My name is Jason Burt, I’m 45-years-old and I have lived in Edinburgh since 2012. Prior to that, I lived in New Zealand for two years having moved to London from Halesowen in 1994.

How long have you supported the Albion for and is there a reason as to why you follow the club?
I’ve been a supporter all my life. I went to my first game when I was four. All my family are Albion fans. I think that is both a blessing and a curse.

When was the last time you were at The Hawthorns?
I’m actually still a season ticket holder so I get down as often as I can. There’s a flight from Edinburgh to Birmingham which makes home games doable. I tend to make about eight games a season.

Is there a particular game that sticks out in your memory?
I made the trip back from New Zealand to see the Villa game at home when we won 2-1 with ten men. Mulumbu got the winner and there were grown men crying all around me. We hadn’t beaten them for ages if I remember correctly.

Do you have an all-time favourite player?
Laurie Cunningham. It was a magical time to be associated with our club and he embodied the flair of that side. Bomber should always get a mention here as well. I was always a big fan of Jason Koumas as well.

You previously mentioned that you are able to make about eight games a season. How do you follow Albion matches on the occasions when you can’t attend the games?
Albion radio. If it is on the television I will watch it. In New Zealand it was crazy. I would get up in the middle of a Saturday night to tune in. Thankfully we had a pretty good side at the time. I would go into work on a Monday even more tired than when I would leave on a Friday.

Are there many other Albion fans in places you have lived?
There are none here in Edinburgh as far as I am aware. When I was in New Zealand I was walking down my street in Wellington and I saw a car which had the number plate "Baggie". I went and knocked on the door and standing in front of me was an Albion fan. His name was Peter Tovey and from there we became mates.

Do you have any other interesting stories from your time as an Albion fan?
I have quite a few but many of those probably aren’t suitable for this feature. One of my Albion supporting mates used to play football professionally. We were playing Grimsby once and he said that he knew one of the opposition subs when we were sitting in the Halfords Lane, which was quite empty on that occasion. We all laughed at him saying that he knew one of the subs. He stood up and shouted at the player in question who then peered into the stand and actually recognised my mate. The Grimsby sub proceeded to climb over the seats in the Halfords Lane to come and greet my mate. It turned out they were former team-mates.

What has been your favourite Albion kit?
It’s easy to say the Umbro kit in the 1970s. I quite liked the kit the year we won the league under Tony Mowbray.

Finally Jason, can you describe what West Bromwich Albion means to you?
The Albion to me has precious little to do with the actual game. We haven’t been very good for long periods of my life so glory has nothing to do with it either. For me, it’s about the tribal rituals of turning up, seeing the same faces and finding absurd things to laugh about. I am passionate about us winning and I get as frustrated as the next bloke when we don’t, but really, it’s about sharing experiences with kindred spirits. Listening to Albion Radio gives me a sense of familiarity that you would have if you were sat next to your mates in the Smethwick. You still get the moaning and the highs when things are going well. That’ll do nicely.