An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: W

Staff writer John Neufeld ‘17 continues his examination of this year’s Premier League teams. This week features teams starting with the letter W: West Bromwich and West Ham.

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West Bromwich Albion F.C. (The Baggies)

Overview: West Brom was founded in 1878 as the West Bromwich Strollers in West Bromwich in the West Midlands. They were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent most of their time in the top tier division. They won the league in 1920 and were runners up twice. They have won the FA Cup five times (the most recent in 1968). West Brom enjoyed initial success until the 1960’s to 1990’s when they struggled with relegations and poor management. In 2002 they were promoted to the Premier League, were relegated the next year, and then promoted again. This pattern has been repeated over the early 2000’s. Their major rivals are Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Stadium: The Hawthorns (26,852)

Notable players:

Jesse Pennington, D (1903-1922)

Will Richardson, F (1929-1945)

Tony Brown, F (1963-1980)

Bryan Robson, M (1972-1981)

Fun Facts:

– They are the only team to win the FA cup and win promotion into the top league in the same year

– One of the earliest teams to have black players (in the 70’s!)

– First Premier League team to avoid relegation after being dead last at Christmas

Their fans are notable for their intelligence, scoring highly on a national intelligence test

West Ham United (The Hammers)

Overview: West Ham was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks before reforming in 1900 as West Ham United. The team is based in Stratford, East London, England. They competed in the Southern and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919. They have spent 59 of their 91 league seasons in the top flight of football. West Ham has won the FA Cup three times (1964, 1975, and 1980) and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. The 1960’s are considered to be the team’s glory years. They placed 7th in the Premier League in 2016 and signed their most expensive player, Andre Ayew ($20.5 million) for the current season.

Stadium: London Stadium (60,000)

Notable players:

Billy Bonds, M (1967-1988)

Geoff Hurst, F (1959-1972)

Trevor Booking, M (1966-1984)

Bobby Moore, D (1958-1974)

Fun Facts:

– Finalists in the first ever FA Cup held at Wembley Stadium

– One of eight teams to never fall below the 2nd tier of English Football

– Sold Frank Lampard to Chelsea for $1 million in 2001

– Signed Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano illegally in 2006

– Their fans sing about blowing bubbles

 

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