COOPER'S HILL / DARTMOUTH PARK
First Confirmed Game: 13th December 1879 vs Black Lake Victoria, won 1-0 (Friendly at Dartmouth Park)
Last Game: 26th March 1881 vs Oakfield, won 14-0 (Friendly)
Biggest Recorded Victory: 14-0 vs Oakfield, 26th March 1881 (Friendly)
Biggest Recorded Defeat: 1-3 vs Hearts of Oak, Hill Top, 3rd April 1880 (Friendly)
(No attendance figures available)
Modern day location of ground (Dartmouth Park)
Modern day location of ground (Cooper's Hill)
In the club's very earliest days, pitches at both Dartmouth Park and Cooper's Hill were used. The latter was a patch of open land situated between Walsall Street and Beeches Road.
The club's regular pitch in Dartmouth Park was near to the main entrance in New Street although sometimes a pitch at the Herbert Street end of the park was used.
A match report of an apparent home game against Royal West Bromwich in July 1880, found in a copy of the West Bromwich Weekly News, names the venue as the 'Beeches'. It is unknown as to exactly which site the name corresponds but it is most likely Cooper's Hill.
Dartmouth Park - 2005
Cooper's Hill and Dartmouth Park were both able to accommodate just over 1,000 spectators who would stand around the touchlines. When conditions underfoot were likely to be wet and muddy the fans were asked to bring their own 'planks' to stand on.
During the earliest kickabouts the 'goalposts' consisted purely of various items of clothing provided by the players although the fledgling club soon purchased it's own set of posts which were 'transported' to which ever site the club were playing on.
Albion's first confirmed home game took place at Dartmouth Park on December 13, 1879. A crowd of around 500 saw Albion beat another West Bromwich team, Black Lake Victoria. Harry Aston is said to have scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory for the newly formed club.
The nearby Globe Inn public house, Reform Street was used as the club's changing rooms in those very early days.
Occasional pre-season friendlies still took place at Dartmouth Park even after the club had moved to Bunn's Field and then the Four Acres.
The Globe Inn - 2005
The land that the club's pioneers used at Cooper's Hill is today occupied by St Philip's Church which was erected from 1898-1899. The Herbert Street site disappeared totally in the early 1970's with the construction of the West Bromwich Expressway. As of February 2009, the Globe Inn is one of the decreasing number of pubs in West Bromwich still standing and 'open for business'.
St Philip's Church - 2005
In 1979 as part of the club's centenary celebrations a team of current and former Albion players took on a celebrity press eleven at Dartmouth Park. Baggies' legends Ronnie Allen, Ray Barlow, Tony Brown and Derek Kevan all appeared for the Albion X1.
Albion X1, Centenary Celebrations, Dartmouth Park - 1979