ALAN Pardew made a surprise appearance to light up The Albion Foundation's annual Disability awards evening at The Hawthorns on Monday.
In a night that saw Albion stars Jonny Evans and Hal Robson-Kanu dish out the gongs, our recently-appointed Head Coach made an unscheduled stop at the stadium to congratulate the winners and receive his own rousing reception.
Baggies devotee and broadcaster Adrian Chiles broke off from his script to welcome Alan on stage after he was alerted to his presence.
And that gave our new gaffer the chance to meet the Foundation's own star performers as well as Blind Dave Heeley, the fund-raising endurance athlete who was thrown a surprise 60th birthday party at the end of the presentations.
"Saturday went by in such a blur I never really got the chance to speak to supporters," said Alan.
"This was my first opportunity to engage with them and I wanted to come and see them.
"I have been told great things about the Foundation and the work that it does in the community. It's something the Club is proud of and rightly so. They do some unbelievable work and when I heard this event was on I wanted to come down and see for myself."
Pardew spent an hour mixing with fans desperate for photographs with the new Head Coach all of which left Foundation Director Rob Lake beaming with delight.
"Alan wasn't scheduled to appear and we never imagined he would as he is obviously really busy," said Rob.
"It was a fantastic surprise and you could tell by the reception he received just how much everyone appreciated his being there.
"It was amazing - to stay and do all the photographs. We had 200 in the room and I think every one of them must have had their picture taken with him!
"It made the night for the parents and the kids."
The presentations saw more than 60 individual awards dished out by Jonny and Hal for the Foundation's teams spread over the pan disability, blind, amputee and power chair teams.