West Ham face West Brom in the first game of the New Year on the 2nd Jan here are some fact on first opponents of 2018
1. The club was founded in 1878 as West Bromwich Strollers, the team played its first game against a team put together from workers from Hudsons, a local soap factory
2. West Brom are one of 12 founder members of the Football League.
3. West Brom’s home ground the Hawthorns is at an altitude of 551 feet making it the highest ground amongst all 92 League Grounds.
4. West Brom have won the League once, in1919-20 and have won the FA Cup Five times and the League Cup once beating West Ham in a two legged final in 1966.
5. West Brom contesat the Black country derby with local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, the derby is widely recognised as being one of the fiercest In English football and because of fear of Hooliganism has not been played at 3pm on a Saturday since 1996
6. Tony Brown is both West Broms record goalscorer with 218 League golas and record appearance holder with 574 League appearances. Brown played for the Baggies between 1963 and 1981.
7. Former Manager Fred Everiss holds the reord for the longest serving Manager in English football history Everiss performed the role for 46 years between 1902 and 1948.
8. Former Striker Jeff Astle was well reknowned for his heading ability and outgoing personality during his time with the Baggies in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Astle died aged just 59 in 2002 from a degenerative brain disease which has led to widespread calls for research to be done into the impact heading a football does to the brain in the long term, Astles family have created the Jeff Astle Foundation for research into the topic. West Brom held an Astle Day in his memory in 2015 in which the side sported the 1968 FA Cup final kit. Astle had scored in every round in the 1968 Cup winning campaign.
9. Jeff Astle became the first player to score in the finals of both England’s major Cup Finals at Wembley. Astle netted the winner in the 1968 Fa Cup final victory over Everton and teo years later he scored Albion’s only goal in a 2-1 defeat against Manchester City.
10. The clubs have played each other 106 times West Ham winning 40 West Ham winning 40 with 26 draws. West Ham have won 1 of the last 6 against the Baggies most recently drawing 0-0 at the Hawthorns earlier this season.