They headed for the HammersALBION and Saturday’s opponents, West Ham United, haven’t done much transfer business over the years, but a couple have left The Hawthorns for the East End, including our one-time centre-forward David Cross.
62 appearances 23 goals (1976-77 & 1984-85)
Cross was brought to the Albion in 1976/77 to act as target man at the sharp end of John Giles’ after we had won promotion back to the top flight after three seasons in Division Two.
Cross settled to the job with relish. A player’s player, the big number nine had an impeccable work ethic, as well as a real eye for goal. With a bit of help from a Jack Russell dog, he scored on his home debut in a 3-0 win over Everton and ended the season with a dozen goals in 27 league starts, playing a big part as Albion finished seventh.
Life was to change for David early the following season as he picked up an injury in our third game, a 3-0 defeat at Anfield. That meant he was unavailable for our League Cup tie with Rotherham United and in his stead, a young man named Cyrille Regis put on he number nineshirt, scored twice and, when he followed it up with a Roy of the Rovers goal against Middlesbrough at the weekend, became a firm fans favourite.
Cross returned to the fray, at Cyrille’s expense, in late October, scoring twice as Manchester United were beaten 4-0 but as Albion went four games without a goal through November and into December, the crowd made it clear they wanted Cross out and Regis in.
It was a sad end to an important, if brief Albion career, Cross heading for West Ham, on their way to tumbling out of the top flight. David had the last laugh though, collecting an FA Cup winner’s medal in 1980 as the Hammers beat Arsenal at Wembley. Like Cyrille, he’d had to go elsewhere to get one.
30 appearances 1 goal (2006-07)
Nigel Quashie’s Albion stay was a little less successful than Cross’ after he joined on deadline day in January 2006, signed by Bryan Robson. Quashie, who had previously been relegated at QPR, Nottingham Forest and Southampton, joined with Albion just above the drop zone and impressed on debut in a 2-0 win over Blackburn.
His next home game went less well, red carded for the second time in the season, incurring a four game ban, to which another was added after he was further cited for foul and abusive language to the officials on his way to the early bath.
By the time he returned, Albion were in free fall and he endured his fourth relegation at season’s end. Tony Mowbray replaced Robson early the following season, and with Quashie never really fitting into his style of play, he was on the move again, just a year after joining us.
After a decent first half season at Upton Park, injuries began to bite and he found himself being loaned out to such footballing outposts at St Andrew’s and Molineux as his career wound down until it finally ended, back at QPR, in 2010.