They came from the Potteries
ALBION have signed eight players from fellow Football League founder members and Saturday's opponents Stoke City.
Can you name the knighted centre-forward, the Canadian striker and the right-back signed by Tony Mowbray?
128 appearances 15 goals (1989-91)
It is a source of some pride for both clubs that we can say that Tony Ford played for each of us on the way to posting his record haul of 931 league games. Ford joined us in March 1989 as our push towards promotion was faltering, unable to turn fortunes around. Always reliable down the right of midfield, perhaps his most celebrated moment came in the cup tie with Charlton played in a deluge and on a swamp the following season when his shot struck a puddle in the six yard box but still had just enough in it to creep over the line and win the tie.
83 appearances 6 goals (1988-91)
Ford was brought to The Hawthorns by Brian Talbot, another who joined us from Stoke and, for all the iniquities of that Woking debacle, he retains a certain place in our affections for masterminding our record 6-0 win over the Potters in December 1988 – we’ve barely had a Christmas present like it since. Still a consummate midfielder when he arrived here, Talbot’s troubles as a manager came once he hung up the boots and found it impossible to replace himself on our increasingly anaemic budget.
61 appearances 0 goals (2007-09)
Financial fortunes were somewhat improved by the time Carl Hoefkens made the move down the M6 in the summer of 2007 as Tony Mowbray looked to rebuild the team in the wake of the Wembley play-off defeat. The 'Hof' was initially a regular at right-back, but seemed to suffer a series of identity crises during his time here, represented by the medium of the haircut, going from Jonathan Greening doppelganger to Wolverine stand-in and finally the shorn bleached blonde look. Like Samson, the shorter his hair got, the weaker his powers became and Gianni Zuiverloon was bought to replace him.
Sir Geoff Hurst
12 appearances 2 goals (1975-76)
It would be remiss not to mention the fact that Sir Geoff Hurst joined us from Stoke City too, though the World Cup winner was somewhat past his best when summoned here by John Giles in 1975, playing only 12 times, scoring twice.
157 appearances 1 goal (1908-1914)
Achieving greater longevity than Hurst, we roll back the years to 1908 when George Baddeley, born and brought up in Fegg Hayes, made the move to The Hawthorns. Over the next six seasons, he was an integral part of the team that won the Second Division in 1910/11 and then lost the FA Cup Final in a replay a year later. He played 157 games for the Throstles, scoring just the once, in a 2-0 win against a team that long since passed from the Football League, Glossop.
51 appearances 21 goals (1996-97)
Rather more prolific was Paul Peschisolido, who achieved the remarkable feat of going from being public enemy number one in the days when he would routinely score bagloads of goals as Stoke beat us time and again to being a bona fide Hawthorns hero once he donned stripes of the proper colour. With 21 goals in 41 starts, it’s no wonder the tiny Canadian international was so popular.
69 appearances 5 goals (1986-89)
Less fortunate perhaps was Paul Dyson who arrived here as the club was struggling in the second half of the 1980s and, finding himself powerless to stop it, headed off to invent the vacuum cleaner instead.
128 appearances 1 goal (1999-2004)
But it is the role of centre-half that gave us possibly the greatest of our buys from Stoke City in the formidable shape of ice warrior Larus Sigurdsson, simultaneously the most pleasant and frightening of men. When discussing the physical prowess of successive generations of Throstles, it has long been the tradition round these parts to reduce it to Fight Club. However big or intimidating the figure, the question goes out, “Yes, but would he beat Larus in a fight?” The answer is always no, for Larus stands alone among competitors, the kind of man who simply refuse to be beaten. He always said that he would go back to Iceland and perhaps do a little farming, a little fishing. Perhaps, perhaps.