HERE'S a cup tie with a difference. West Bromwich Albion may have been knocked out of the competition in their last FA Cup tie (losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace earlier this month) but this is a souvenir of a much happier day for the Baggies.
How many of the estimated 100,000 people crammed into Wembley Stadium on 1st May, 1954, we wonder, were wearing one of these vinyl ties?
The memento of that day has been loaned to us by Peter Hill of West Bromwich, a lifelong Albion supporter with a fine collection of all kinds of Throstles paraphernalia.
The 1954 final was a classic, as Albion took on Preston North End, with plenty of goals and a little controversy.
Playing for Albion were Jim Sanders, Joe Kennedy, Len Millard, Jimmy Dudley, Jimmy Dugdale, Ray Barlow, Frank Griffin, Reg Ryan, Ronnie Allen, Johnny Nichols and George Lee, while Preston fielded George Thompson, Willie Cunningham, JoeWalton, Tommy Docherty, Joe Marston, Willie Forbes, Tom Finney, Bobby Foster, Charlie Wayman, Jimmy Baxter and Angus Morrison.
Albion took the lead on 21 minutes when Ronnie Allen scored but Preston drew level just one minute later, thanks to Angus Morrison.
In the second half, Preston took the lead with a goal by Charlie Wayman on 51 minutes, but many believe his strike was offside and should not have been allowed.
Allen restored parity from the penalty spot on 63 minutes and Frank Griffin secured victory for Albion with a late goal on 83 minutes, the final score 3-2.
It was the fourth time Albion had lifted the FA Cup in nine final appearances, crowning one of the club's best ever seasons, when they also finished runners-up in the First Division behind arch-rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.
And the result was a repeat of the 1888 FA Cup final, when Albion had beaten Preston 2-1.
Have you any unusual or interesting items of memorablia from any of the Black Country's football clubs? Contact dshaw@blackcountry bugle.co.uk or drop us a line at our usual address.