Everyone who knows me, knows I am always ‘banging on’ about people who make an impact on your life one way or another, and last night, one of those ‘heroes’ , former Albion ‘boss Tony Mowbray, returned to The Hawthorns to royally entertain a packed Richardson Suite, with a life story of pure football heritage, from, to coin his own phrase ‘A football person’.
The fact that ‘the gaffer’ someone he will always be to me, the man who put together a scintillating football team, full of talent and character, that cruised into the Premier League at the end of the 2007/08 season, as well as an ill-fated, trip to a Wembley FAC Semi-Final, is now manager …or head coach…as he stressed was his new role, at Sunderland, Albion’s opponents at The Stadium of Light on Monday evening, was neither ‘here nor there’ his personality, warmth and humility held the 140 plus attendance in the palm of his hands, and dealt with the good natured banter accordingly.
The final ‘act’of the evening, was to present an ‘Albion cap’ on behalf of the club to former Albion forward Peter Eastoe, with the ‘one and only’ Ally Robertson, who of course played with Peter at The Hawthorns, doing the ‘honours’.
It was also a great honour to share the evening with Tony, Brunty and James Morrison, as ‘Mozza’ was inducted into the Albion Foundation’s ‘Hall of fame’, and I had the privilege to present a further donation from the sales of my books, funds raised of course from the generosity of Albion fans from all over the West Midlands, and of course the world, with books going as far as the USA, Australia and Europe. To be able to present another cheque on such a night was beyond my wildest dreams, and the warmth I felt from so many of my friends from within the Former Players Association and the Albion fan base was quite phenominal, and for that I thank you all.
The Bobby Hope book, “The Prince of the Beautiful game” is now finished, and is with my trusted proof reader Robert Bradley as we speak, and I am hoping to release it in the New Year, and in keeping with the wishes of the family, all funds will go to the ‘Stroke Association’ who deal daily with the condition that hit Bobby so badly, and I’m sure the great man is up there, looking down upon us, nodding in approval, so once again I will be appealing to your generosity, with pre-orders now being gratefully accepted.
Thank you, to you all, from the bottom of my heart.