Each month we take a look at an Albion ‘programme from the past’. A number of the programmes will be rarities, allowing a much wider audience to view them, perhaps for the very first time.

Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion, Football League Division One, Vetch Field, Tuesday 6th April 1982

Albion this month travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on Wales' only Premier League representatives Swansea City. Just over thirty years ago the Swans were experiencing their first ever taste of top flight football under the leadership of John Toshack.

City had enjoyed a meteoric rise up into the First Division. Starting the 1977/78 season in the Fourth Division, three promotions in four years under Toshack would see them take a place amongst the big boys of English football.

A 5-1 victory at home to Leeds United on the opening day of the 1981/82 season saw the Swans sitting proudly at the top of the league. They followed that up with a 2-1 win against Brighton at the Goldstone Ground but were brought back down to Earth with a bump during their next game, which ironically came at The Hawthorns.

Ronnie Allen's team had started the season with two defeats, 2-1 away at Manchester City and 2-0 at home to Arsenal, so the Swans travelled to the West Midlands with hopes high of making it three wins in a row. The Baggies however had other ideas. A hat-trick from Cyrille Regis and Steve Mackenzie's first goal for the club helped send City back to Wales on the end of a 4-1 drubbing.

Swansea would however stick around the top end of the table throughout the season, helped in no part by victories over Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United. The Swans would finish their first ever season in the top flight in a creditable 6th position.

This month's highlighted programme covers Albion's return game at Vetch Field on April 6, 1982. The programme itself is actually from the game's original date of January 9 which was postponed. To explain the issuing of a three month old programme and to provide some up to date news a four page insert was given away with the programme.

Albion travelled to Wales struggling in the league and just three days after losing 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers in a FA Cup semi-final at Highbury. The Swans on the other hand were still riding high towards the top of the division and still in with a chance of carrying off the title.

The Baggies, perhaps surprisingly, took the lead against the hosts with Steve Mackenzie once again on the scoresheet. The lead wouldn't last long however and goals from Chris Marustik, Alan Curtis and Bob Latchford condemned Albion to a 3-1 defeat in front of a crowd of 15,744.

Albion lined up for the game with: Grew, Arthur, Statham, Bennett (A Brown), Wile, Robertson, Cross, Zondervan, Regis, Owen, Mackenzie.

The Baggies' season didn't improve, only avoiding relegation courtesy of a 2-0 win over Leeds United in the penultimate game of the season.

The programme for the game at the Vetch was a 32 page issue. The visitors were allocated two pages as well as a page looking at previous games and connections between the two clubs. Page 26 of the programme shows our very own Cyrille Regis sitting second in the list of leading league goalscorers with 12 goals, just two behind Kevin Keegan. Regis would go onto finish the season with 17 league goals and 25 in all competitions - his best season for the club.

The rest of the publication features amongst other things, a profile page on Swans' Wyndham Evans, five and ten year flashbacks, a serialised statistical history of the club and part 14 of the 'A-Z of Swansea City'. The programme, which is a bit 'advert heavy', usually sells for a couple of pounds but not always with the insert present.

View the complete programme here

 © www.albiontillwedie.co.uk unless otherwise stated