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      PROGRAMME OF THE MONTH - APRIL 2013

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.

Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion, F.A. Youth Cup Semi-Final Second Leg, Leeds Road, Thursday 18th April 1974

Albion first entered the FA Youth Cup during 1952/53 in the competition’s inaugural season. Their first game saw them run out 10-1 winners away at Loughborough amateur side Brush Sports. A 7-0 win at home to Stoke City followed in the second round before Albion were knocked out 2-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third.

The 1953/54 season saw the Baggies reach the semi-final stage for the first time, losing 7-1 over two legs to Manchester United - the eventual winners. The following season Albion went one stage further, reaching their first final, but once again they came up against Manchester United and once again they lost 7-1 on aggregate.

It would be the 1968/69 season before the club would have another good run in the cup but again they fell at the last hurdle. A 3-0 win over Sunderland in the first-leg at The Hawthorns appeared to have all but won the trophy for Albion but in the return game the young Baggies were crushed 6-0.

Four years later Albion reached their fourth semi-final, this time against Huddersfield Town. A 1-0 defeat at The Hawthorns in the first-leg followed by a 1-1 draw in the second meant that once again the club would miss out on the trophy, but just two years later the long wait for success would end.

Victories in the early rounds over Coventry City, Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town were followed in round five by a hard-fought replay win over Manchester United. Crystal Palace were dispatched 5-2 on aggregate in the semi-final which set up a meeting with Black Country rivals Wolves in the final.

Albion won the first-leg at Molineux 2-0 thanks to goals from Kevin Summerfield and Mark Trenter and unlike the tie against Sunderland seven years earlier the Baggies would not slip up in the second-leg. A George Berry own goal, John Loveridge and Derek Monaghan the scorers in a 3-0 victory in front of 15,000 fans at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies reached the semi-finals again two years later but succumbed to Crystal Palace after two replays. Since the late 1970s Albion have had an awful record in the FA Youth Cup, never once looking like they would repeat the success of 1976.

This month’s featured programme is from the semi-final tie at Huddersfield which took place on April 18, 1974. Albion went into the second-leg trailing 1-0 but were boosted by an early Billy Bulloch goal. The Baggies’ joy was short-lived however when within five minutes Huddersfield equalised through Bob Mountain. There would be no further goals and much to the joy of almost 5,000 home fans Town made it through to their first final where they would lose 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.

Whilst a number of the players who featured in the game went on to have league careers, without question the most notable name on show was future Albion, Manchester United and England legend Bryan Robson.

The four page programme is something of a rarity these days with not too many copies appearing on dealer’s lists or ebay. When they do you can expect to pay upwards of £5.00.

View the complete programme here


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