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.
West Bromwich Albion v Derby County, Pre-Season
Friendly, The Hawthorns, Wednesday 17th August 1988
On July 27,
Albion travel to
Pride Park to take on Derby
County as part of their pre-season friendly schedule. The game takes place 25
years on from another meeting of the two sides in friendly action which came at
The Hawthorns in August 1988.
The Baggies’, with Ron Atkinson in charge, put up a valiant
effort but lost 4-3 against
a First Division
who included England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. New signing, South African
striker John Paskin, hit the first two Albion goals, one of which was a
spectacular long range effort, whilst captain Brian Talbot hit Albion’s third.
Albion lined up for the game
with the following side: Naylor, Hodson, Albiston, Talbot, Dyson, Burrows,
Hopkins, Paskin, Gray, Palmer, Anderson. Sub. North.
Even though the 1987/88 season had seen the club narrowly
avoid relegation to the Third Division, optimism was high amongst Baggies’
supporters who believed the return of ‘Big Ron' would see the club’s fortunes
Atkinson’s men however did not get their season off to the
best of starts. A respectable 1-1 draw away at
Leicester City on the opening
day of the season was followed by a 1-0 defeat at The Hawthorns by Watford and
then a disastrous 3-0 defeat at home to Fourth Division Peterborough United in
the Littlewoods Cup.
Results soon picked up though, a 3-1 win over
Swindon and a 2-0 victory in the
Littlewoods Cup return leg at
was the start of a six game unbeaten run. The club would be rocked however in
October with Atkinson walking out on the club for a second time.
Ever since Atkinson had returned to the club in September
1987, it had been suggested that as soon as a ‘big’ club came in for the former
Manchester United boss he would be off, a view that was confirmed when Spanish
side Atletico Madrid
made their approach.
Experienced midfielder Talbot was the man then Chairman John
Silk turned to, initially in a caretaker manager role. The former Arsenal man
got off to a fantastic start with a 4-1 win over
Birmingham City at St Andrews.
That victory was followed by consecutive wins over
Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Oxford United. The club’s board had
no choice but to give Talbot and his assistant Stuart Pearson the roles
The club’s good run under Talbot continued and included a
thrilling 5-3 win over
Palace and a 6-0 crushing of Stoke City. The star man of the first half of the
season was without doubt striker Don Goodman. The former Bradford man had
struggled to make a real impression at The Hawthorns prior to the 1988/89 season
but a run of 11 goals in 11 games from November onwards had turned
Albion into genuine promotion contenders and Goodman into one of
the division’s most feared strikers.
At the turn of the New Year Albion were sitting pretty in
second place looking good for promotion but defeat in a FA Cup replay against
Everton would be the start of a downturn in form and results. Injuries to key
men Goodman and Colin Anderson also contributed to a run of just six wins in the
last 22 games. Talbot’s men would finish the season in a hugely disappointing
Derby meanwhile enjoyed a great
season, finishing fifth in the First Division under the leadership of Arthur
16 page programme for the game between Albion and County cost 50p on the night
and nowadays normally sells for a couple of pounds.
View the complete programme here