The club was created by the workers of the Salter’s Spring Works in West Bromwich in 1878. Originally, the team was called West Bromwich Strollers, and today’s name West Bromwich Albion has existed since 1880. Albion was the area of West Bromwich, where the team members lived or worked.
In 1885, the team gained professional status. Then, in the eighties of the nineteenth century, the Throstles reached the final of the FA Cup four times in, and after three first setbacks, the trophy was finally recovered in 1888. The same year, the team became one of the twelve founders of the Football League. In 1901, it moved to the stadium “Hawthorns.”
The nickname Throstles is considered to be the official because the emblem of the club has an image of a thrush. In the beginning, the bird was depicted sitting on the crossbar of the gate, but now instead of the crossbar on the West Bromwich emblem, there is a branch of the hawthorn; hence the other nickname is “Hawthorns.”
Football fans often called the West Bromwich players Baggies. According to the history, the appearance of it goes back to those early years of the late XIX and early XX centuries, when the main fans of the club were the workers of the nearby enterprise of West Brom – Salter’s Spring Works.
They went to the games of their favorite team wearing baggy trousers, and the fans of the rivals started calling the players of the team Baggies. According to another version, leather bags were used to collect money for tickets, and the nickname went from this. There is a third theory; it says that the nickname arose because the players played in baggy shorts.
Meaning and History
For all the time of the club’s existence, we can distinguish two logos: the first one included the image of a thrush bird located on the crossbeam, the second one was modern, it also included the name of the club West Bromwich Albion, and hawthorn branch replaced the crossbar. The thrush had been a constant symbol throughout the history of the club. But why did designers depict exactly this bird? If you have a songbird on a coat of arms, be kind and think up a beautiful legend about how the animal appeared on the West Bromwich emblem. In the WBA, children are told that the thrush often sat on the crossbar of the gate. So that’s why it was depicted until the hawthorn leaves replaced the carcass. It is known that these birds prefer nesting in Crataegus bushes, which were growing in the place of the future stadium. Adults know another version: in the early 20th century, the players were often going to a brothel, where girls kept a thrush in the cage. So the symbol was chosen. In the ’30s, the birds were kept in the stadium, and, according to legend, bird’s beautiful singing meant that the team was about to win.
But the West Bromwich logo was not always adorned with a thrush. From 1994 to 2000, the players had the image of the coat of arms of West Bromwich city instead of the club emblem on their T-shirts. There was no thrush. And from 1975 to 1986, a simple white inscription in the capital letters of the full name of the club – WBA, which is considered the West Bromwich Albion logo in those years, was applied to the players’ t-shirts.
Today, the West Bromwich Albion logo has the same song thrush, sitting on a branch of hawthorn, enclosed in the form of a shield. In the upper part of the shield, there is the full name of the club in blue color on a white background, and the second part of the shield is made in a blue-and-white stripe, indicating the color and design of the footballers’ uniform.
Most West Bromwich Albion logos feature a thrush. According to legend, this bird often flew to the football field during matches. According to another version, she was kept in a brothel, in which the players went.
1969 – 1972
The central image of the 1969 emblem is the song thrush. Use it as Secretary Tom Smith first proposed a club badge. At first (in the 1880s), the bird sat on the crossbar of the gate. In 1900 it was “transplanted” onto a branch of hawthorn. This plant was not chosen by chance: it represents the Hawthorns Stadium, where the team moved at the beginning of the new century.
Designers placed the thrush and branch inside the heraldic shield. Vertical stripes adorn the background – 3 blue and two white. This is a reference to the uniform of football players. The club’s name is written above “W.B. Albion.”
1972 – 1975
The 1972 emblem depicts a yellow outline of a bird. The light green background resembles a lowercase letter “a.”
Another variation of the striped shield. The background pattern consists of 6 blue and seven white lines. In the middle is a white bird sitting on a long branch with leaves and berries.
1975 – 1986
In 1975, a simplified logo was introduced, consisting of the initials of the team. Blue letters W.B.A. embroidered on a white background. Font imitates calligraphic handwriting with curls.
1986 – 1994
The club restored the emblem of 1969, changing only the color scheme. The leaves turned dark green. Blackbirds and branches are black, with white contours. Below is the inscription “W.B.A.” – short for the full name of the club.
1994 – 2000
In the late 1990s, football players’ uniform was decorated with the coat of arms of the West Bromwich County Council. It depicts deer, a knight’s helmet, feathers, and a scroll with the motto “Labor omnia vincit” (“Labor conquers everything”).
2000 – 2001
The logo with the shield and the thrush returned, as in the 1970s. The bird sits on the hawthorn branch again, but on a white-blue background. All elements on the logo are circled in black.
2001 – 2006
Another variation of the 1970s emblem. A light blue border surrounds the shield. The thrush is white, with blue contours.
2006 – 2011
In 2006, West Bromwich Albion redesigned the club badge. The full name of the team first appeared on the logo. Leaves and berries replace a branch of hawthorn. The bird looks more realistic due to modern graphics and accurate color reproduction. The shield is taken in a silver frame.
2011 – today
In the latest version of the logo, the blue and brown colors became darker by several tones. The silver outline around the shield on the logo disappeared.