June was a terrible month for the families of 3 Legends of our Football Club. Each had a different role within the club but each could be defined as true Albion men. Dr John Evans, a former Secretary and fine Administrator, Joe Brandrick, former Albion Director and someone who understood and believed the importance of former players to our club, he understood how relevant we are in the history of our club. Both truly great Albion men. We came together to mourn them both and pay our respects.
I am sure they will not mind taking a back seat to the one person that probably the night was really about BOBBY HOPE. Bobby was one of us, he was someone who enjoyed the company of his fellow members of our Association, he had played with a number and certainly been a friend of most. Whenever he was In our company his knowledge of the game shone through but more than that was his personality, his sense of humour, his friendship we all appreciated. It was always good to be in Bobby’s company whether at a golf day, dinner or just in the Regis Suite on a match day.
Our respect and friendship was summed up by those who made the journey from afar or just down the road, his 1968 captain Graham Williams, fellow Scot Doug Fraser, Ian Collard along with compatriots Ray Wilson, John Wile, Ally Robertson, Mick Fudge, Stan Jones, lifelong friends Campbell Crawford, Kenny Foggo & Geoff Snape along with Joe Mayo all lined the pitch for the minutes applause. In addition Gary Hackett, who Bobby managed at Bromsgrove Rovers, David Butler, Stuart White, who had been a Scout when Bobby was Chief Scout and Jamie Bunch, an Albion colleague, showed their respects from the Regis Suite, to capture it all was our photographer Laurie Rampling.
Our thoughts went to the families of Dr John & Joe but for us it was about Bobby, the tribute showed how much the Club and supporters appreciated his skill as a footballer but it was us showing how much we appreciated knowing Bobby personally and having as our friend. He will be sorely missed and we hope that this evening gave some comfort to his family and friends.
He will remain in our thoughts. We miss you Bobby just being one of us.