West Bromwich Albion
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The West Bromwich Albion Football Club was founded 1879 and has played in the top tier of English Football for the majority of their existence. Known to most fans as The Baggies, the team also can be referred to as West Brom, Albion, The Albion, The Throstles or WBA. The team was formed by a group ow workers from the George Slater Spring works on the 20th of September in 1879 as the West Bromwich Strollers. They changed their name name to Albion the following year. The team has won many of the most prestigious awards in English football the first of which was capturing the Staffordshire Cup in 1883. After this they won the FA Cup in 1888 in their third trip to the final. From this match they went on to play Scottish FA Cup winners Renton for the title of World Champions. They unfortunately lost this match 4-1.
That same year however something even larger was in store for The Baggies when they were invited to become one of the twelve founding teams for the new Football League. They did average this inaugural season and managed to finish in a respectable 6th place. In 1892 they managed to defeat rival Villa for to capture their first FA Cup. Matches against Villa would over the years become some of the most heated in the history of the club.
For the start of the 20th century The Baggies opted to move to the Hawthorns, but this did not go well as they were relegated to the Second Division after the completion of this season. They recovered quickly and were promoted the next season. 1912 saw West Brom get to the FA Cup Final but they lost to Barnsley on the replay. 1920 would prove to be a historic year for the club as they captured the League Championship for the first, and only time with 60 points.
In 1931 the team ventured to Wembley Stadium for the first time and defeated Birmingham City 2-1 to capture the FA Cup. This year they also gained promotion into the Second Division, a feat that had not happened and has not been duplicated since. Four years they were right back in Wembley Stadium playing for the FA Cup again however this time things did not go as well as they were defeated by Sheffield 4-2.
The team had some up and down years for the next twenty or so, but in 1953-54 they came within a cat’s whisker of winning a rare double of winning both the FA League and Cup trophies. The team started off hot that season with 9 wins in a row, but faltered down the stretch loosing the final match 1-0 to the Wolves. They did manage to however console their fans by capturing the FA Cup that year.
Since that time success for the team has been fleeting. In 1980 they topped Division One, but since then a string of incompetent managers and upper management unwilling to take the needed measures to improve the team have hamstrung them. This saw the team fall down into Division Two in 1985 then fall even farther by dropping to Division Three in 1991. This was the lowest the team had been in their entire history. Through the early nineties the team again saw little success and barely managed to hold onto their spot as it was. When the new English Premier League was founded in 1992 The Baggies found themselves a long way out. Their current Third Tier Division was renamed to Division Two at this time, but they still had two get promoted twice if the wanted to play at the top level.
This proved motivating to The Baggies as they managed to get promoted into the First Division, now second tier, that following year. In 2000 the team appointed Gary Megson as new manager as the financial problems and mismanagement of the mid 90s seemed to be never ending. Right towards the end of this season Albion brought in five new players and barely escaped relegation. This kicked off a rebuilding campaign, and with a new club headquarters and vastly improved commercial facilities the team started to steadily improve. The team was promoted back into the Premier League, but then quickly relegated the next season. This was again short lived as the team was prompted back in the next year and it is here they sit.
Whether the team can overcome the unofficial team motto – “Semper te fallant” (they will always let you down) – and become a force in the Premier League remains to be seemed. But with the improving of the core and smart decisions anything is possible.