OUR Publications Editor Dave Bowler sits down with the characters woven into the fabric of West Bromwich Albion. Up next - Tony 'Bomber' Brown.
Tony on the pain of being relegated in the 1972/73 season…
“It was a horrible feeling, to be honest.
“I think it was something that had come out of the blue because we’d never really been in trouble before. All the time I had been at the Club we were always comfortable in the league with good players.
“It became a big disappointment when it happened. It’s hard to explain - I know it’s happened recently - but you get into a rut where things don’t go right and you can’t put them right. It was just one of those seasons.
“All in all it was a disastrous season and it was the worst time that I had at the Club. I was here 20 years and never experienced anything like that before or since.”
On coming back up under Johnny Giles in 1976…
“Early on it wasn’t the best of starts to the season to be fair. But as you know, and everyone knows, Johnny Giles was one for playing football, keeping possession and making teams run about.
“It took a while for us to take on board what he wanted us to do, and we were struggling coming up to Christmas. If I remember rightly it was a game against Bristol City, who were top of the league at that time, and I think we had won the previous game.
“We played Bristol City and we beat them, I think it was 3-1, and the confidence we got from that and the belief was fantastic. That’s when John said ‘look, you’ve beaten the top team today, you’ve done everything right and that’s the way I want you to play’.
“We redeemed ourselves. We got us back in our rightful place where the Club should be. It was a great relief to get us back into the old First Division.”
On this season’s team imitating their achievements…
“Looking at the lads now - they’ve gone down last season and were in the same position as we were.
“They’ve just got to bond together, get a camaraderie, a dressing room that’s together and all pulling the same way because that’s what we had. That’s the only way to have success.
“You have to bond like nothing else. You have to rely on each other and have faith and belief in each other.
“I’m hoping now, from what I’ve seen in the early part of this season, that Darren is bringing that back to the dressing room and the Club.
“Hopefully we can go and have a fantastic season and get back up.”