A group of Albion fans are launching a new travel club for supporters aimed at bringing Baggies fans closer together whenever their favourite team leaves UK shores.
BATS, the Baggies Abroad Travel Service, will be run for the fans, by the fans, with support from the Club.
It is the brainchild of regular overseas followers led by Baggies-daft Dean Walton, a lifelong supporter and author on various Albion-related topics.
Dean is a familiar figure on overseas tours and pre-season friendlies and is keen to build up a data bank of supporters which will ensure fans can stay in touch with each other and the Club whenever the team ventures abroad.
“It’s an idea that sprang from last summer’s trip to Hong Kong when there was a tremendous bond between all the Baggies fans who were out there and with the Club itself,” says Dean.
“It’s a largely social idea but also capable of relaying really useful information. By joining the group we can help fans with travel advice, meeting points, ticket advice and such like.
"Equally, if fans get into difficulties we can also be a point of contact to help them out. We have held several meetings with the Club who have been very supportive and will be in touch with us if important information needs to be relayed. The Club will also be represented on our committee so there is always a line of communication available.”
Dean, a member of the Club’s fans consultation group the Albion Assembly, added: “It’s something we have talked about in the Assembly meetings where it has been given unanimous support.
“It’s free to join and there are no strings attached. It’s just about Albion fans getting together when we’re on foreign soil.”
The BATS committee will be made up entirely of die-hard Albion supporters and seasoned travellers led by Dean, Mark Whitehouse, Dave Holloway and Norman Bartlam.
They will be assisted by the club’s Supporters Liaison Officer James Mackay.
Dean will also be launching the group on social media via Twitter (@BaggiesAbroad) and Facebook (@BaggiesAbroad) while the Club will help collate the group data base.
Any fans interested in joining should email their contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.