As West Brom look to start 2013 with a bang at home to Fulham, Rob Hogg takes a look back at one of their greatest ever kits.
The 90s were a difficult period for the Baggies, and this twilight zone style shirt couldn’t have done much to ease the headaches at boardroom level. The boys in indecisively spaced stripes were managed by Ossie Ardiles, who had only recently been sacked from Newcastle. With West Brom managing to clinch promotion at the end of the season, it would be the last time that Ossie tasted club victory.
He moved on at the end of the season to Spurs, where he managed to fit five strikers into the formation, but forgot to add anyone in defence.
West Brom went up from division three thanks to the goals of ‘Super’ Bob Taylor, who hit 30 of the things as they finished in 4th place. The playoffs beckoned, and a dramatic win over Swansea in the semis sent them on the road to Wembley.
The decisive moment in the final came when Peter Swan brought down Taylor who was through on goal. With Port Vale subsequently reduced to ten men, the Baggies ran out comfortable 3-0 victors. On the big day itself, the team were wearing their away kit, a concotion so dreadful as to make the home shirt look vaguely normal. If you are willing to risk it though, these highlights should provide you with the full spectrum of colours and bandwiths that WBA were dealing with back in the day.
West Brom, 1992
The sponsor in 92/93 was the metropolitan borough of Sandwell. Sandwell is still going strong as an amalgamation of the former county boroughs of Warley and West Bromwich, which in turn were amalgamated from the previous boroughs of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, and Smethwick (Warley), and Tipton, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich (West Bromwich). A few places there for the keen tourist to visit as they work their way through the history of the West Midlands.
Even more remarkable than the fact that they were sponsored by Sandwell, WBA had their shirt made that season by the Albion Collection. They were the band responsible then for the reintroduction of yellow and green for the away shirt, an Albion tradition that is welcome in the metropolitan borough of Sandwell, but not so much anywhere else.
And so there you have it, an irregularly striped shirt for the irregular formations of Ossie and the lads.
Is this West Brom’s greatest ever kit? Let us know @thefootballsc
Here are some other stories you might like:
The Football Shirt Collective - Best of 2012
Fulham, Adidas 2001/2 - Barry Hayles