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Baggies' Boxing Day bonanza in 1969

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: December 26, 2013

By Dan Shaw

A festive Jeff Astle on the cover of the matchday programme for WBA v West Ham Utd on Boxing Day 1969

A festive Jeff Astle on the cover of the matchday programme for WBA v West Ham Utd on Boxing Day 1969

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IT'S a familiar face to all Baggies fans – Jeff Astle smiles in a Christmas mood from the front cover of the matchday programme from Boxing Day 1969 for West Bromwich Albion's clash with West Ham United.

This copy of Albion News belongs to Maureen Boswell of Bewdley, whose late husband Bob was a lifelong Albion fan and attended the Christmas match.

Were you also among the 32,246 at the Hawthorns 44 years ago to witness the game? If you were you would have seen some of the biggest names in '60s football take the field.

The starting 11 for Albion were: John Osborne, Doug Fraser, Ray Wilson, Tony Brown, Ron Potter, John Kaye, Dennis Martin, Colin Suggett, Jeff Astle, Asa Hartford and Bobby Hope, while the Hammers fielded Bobby Ferguson, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Bobby Howe, Frank Lampard, Martin Peters, Peter Bennett, Ronnie Boyce, John Sissons, Geoff Hurst and Harry Redknapp.

These pictures of a few of the Albion players come from the collection of Peter Hill of West Bromwich, another die-hard Baggies supporter.

Back on Boxing Day 1969 West Ham's World Cup-winning stars proved no match for the Throstles as they comfortably won 3-1, with two goals from Colin Suggett and one from Jeff Astle, while Martin Peters scored for West Ham.

The late 1960s were one of the high points in Albion's long history. Alan Ashman became manager in May 1967 and in his first season he took the Baggies to FA Cup victory. The following year they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup while in 1969-70 they made it to the final of the League Cup.

On the way to that final they beat Aston Villa (R2), Ipswich Town (R3), Bradford City (R4), Leicester City (R5), and Carlisle United in the two-leg semi-final.

At Wembley for the final they faced Manchester City but lost to them 2-1 after extra time.

That season's FA Cup was not so fruitful for the Baggies as they were knocked out in the third round by Sheffield Wednesday, 2-1.

Albion finished the 1969-70 season in 16th place in the First Division. Their record was Played 42 Won 14 Drawn 9 Lost 19 Goals For 58 Goals Against 66 Points 37.

Astle was top scorer with 30 goals while Suggett bagged 15 and Brown 13.

Have you any football memorabilia from Black Country clubs to share with readers? Contact dshaw@blackcountry bugle.co.uk, write in or visit us at Bugle House, 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL

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