first entered the FA Youth Cup during the competition's inaugural season of
1952/53, and they made the best possible start, beating non-league side Brush
Sports 10-1. A 7-0 win over Stoke City followed before their interest in the
competition was ended in the third round by Black Country rivals Wolverhampton
The following season saw the Baggies reach the
semi-final stage before they lost in a two-legged tie to Manchester United but twelve months later the club went one stage better, reaching the final of the
competition for the first time. Once again they met United and once again the
result was the same - a 7-1 defeat over two legs. However, there would be no shame in
such heavy defeats for Albion - from its inception, United won the competition
five years in a row and a number of players would go on to become part of the
fabled 'Busby's Babes'.
It would be fourteen years later, during the
1968/69 campaign, before the Baggies experienced another good run in the
competition reaching the final for the second time. The first
leg at The Hawthorns, in front of 15,000 fans, saw the Baggies appear to have all
but won the trophy with an emphatic 3-0 win over Sunderland. The second leg at Roker Park went anything but to plan however with the Baggies crashing to a 6-0
defeat after being reduced to nine men following the sending-offs of both Jim
Holton and Asa Hartford.
The 1970s was easily Albion's best decade in the
competition. The Baggies, who by now were nurturing the likes of Bryan Robson
and Derek Statham in the club's youth set-up, once again suffered semi-final
disappointment when during the 1973/74 season they were beaten by Huddersfield
Town. Two years later, in May 1976, the club finally achieved it's first success
in the competition and it came at the expense of Wolverhampton Wanderers who
beaten 5-0 over two legs. Albion's defence of the trophy the following season
was ended in the fifth round by Crystal Palace and it would be Palace that
Albion would meet in the semi-finals of the 1977/78 competition, the Baggies ultimately losing
tie after two replays.
Never again have Albion come close to achieving
success, indeed, despite gaining Academy status in 2005 results have
remained pretty much the same with the club generally struggling to get anywhere
near the final rounds of the competition - fifth round appearances in 1979/80,
1989/90 and 2011/12 the pinnacle of the club's achievements.
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appropriate section. We would welcome any of the missing information or
corrections to the statistics we have listed.