Club News

Batson previews Asia return

ALBION have made a new old signing for their forthcoming return to Hong Kong and China.

Brendon Batson, who needs no introduction to Baggies fans, will join the travelling party as the official Club Legend at the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Brendon's ambassadorial duties come 39 years after he was in Albion's ground-breaking trip to play a series of games in China, the first European professional football team to do so.

This month he will help promote the Baggies and the Premier League in a series of PR engagements while the modern day Albion team prepare to meet Leicester in the competition's first semi-final on July 19.

"I'm really looking forward to it and quite flattered to be asked," he says.

"It's the first time I've been back to Hong Kong and China since that tour and it will be fascinating to see the changes.

"A lot has been written and said about that trip but six months before, I was playing for Cambridge United in the old Third Division so to suddenly be somewhere like that was an experience.

"I was always taught at Arsenal to be a good tourist and to enjoy the experience of new places."

There will are sure to be changes for Batson to observe this time – especially in the stadium itself.

The tournament is being played out in the Hong Kong stadium with Liverpool and Crystal Palace competing in the second semi-final before finals night three days later.

"There were 90,000 people in the stadium for our first game back then – but you could have heard a pin drop," Brendon recalls.

"It was a bit eerie to be honest but it was considered a show of disrespect if you made any noise during play."

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