Date of birth
TONY Pulis was appointed Albion’s Head Coach on New Year’s Day of 2015 in succession to Alan Irvine and as the reigning Premier League Manager of the Year.
Pulis received that accolade from his peers and contemporaries for shaping a remarkable turnaround in Crystal Palace’s fortunes in his previous managerial stint.
Palace were deep in relegation trouble when he took over in November 2013 with four points from 11 games and odds-on favourites for the drop.
But so successful was the Pulis impact that the Eagles finished the season in 11th.
Albion were themselves hovering one point above the relegation zone when they, too, turned to Pulis following his summer departure from Selhurst Park and the experienced Welsh-born boss triggered a similar effect as the Club eventually reached safety with games to spare.
From his earliest playing days, Pulis had an eye on coaching and management, gaining an FA coaching badge at just 19 and the UEFA 'A' licence only two years later, making him one of the youngest players ever to qualify.
He served his coaching apprenticeship under Harry Redknapp while still at player at Bournemouth, one of five clubs he served during a playing career spent in the lower divisions, and stepped up from assistant manager when Redknapp left for West Ham in 1992.
Pulis moved to Gillingham to win promotion from the Fourth Division in 1996, and then had brief spells with Bristol City and Portsmouth before taking charge at Stoke for the first time where he pulled off a last-day escape from relegation in 2003.
At Plymouth, the Welshman rescued a struggling team to head off fears of the drop with a respectable finishing position of 14th.
But his career-defining spell came when Pulis returned to the Potteries in June, 2006. Recruiting several players of Premier League pedigree on loan, he took Stoke City to the top flight for the first time in 23 years in 2008.
A seven year spell would see Pulis establish Stoke in the Premier League, reach a Cup Final and qualify for European competition.
Albion’s stability and progress under Pulis has been undeniable with the Club closing the 2016-17 campaign – in which the Welshman joined the hallowed 1,000 club of games managed – in 10th position after some mercurial mid-season form.