The London Baggies – what’s it all about?
Welcome to the London Baggies website; the home of West Bromwich Albion London Supporters’ Club.
We are a varied group from across the globe, with a significant number of midlands ex-pats, and a similar number originally from London and the South East who grew up with 1968 and 1978-82 in their blood (or whose parents indoctrinated them). We also have fellow Albion fans as members from as far afield as Scandinavia, Canada, and New Zealand. We are mainly people who have, for whatever reason, washed up on the shores of London and have made London either permanently or temporarily our home – but who also love the Albion.
We number about 100 each year – give or take – although our aim is to try to increase membership by actively recruiting fellow Baggies working, studying or temporarily visiting and living in London and the South East and beyond. There is no geographical limit to membership of our supporters’ club but ideally you will have a link to London or another London Supporters’ Club member.
The main reason for joining the London Baggies is probably the friendships and the shared experiences; friendships have been formed that will last a lifetime.
That’s all well and good but is there anything more tangible for my membership fee?
We think that there are a range of advantages to joining up:
- Relationships and link with main branch and the club – membership of London Baggies brings with it an associated membership of the main branch of the WBA Supporters’ Club and we have good links and positive relationships with the main branch.
Albion Assembly – we also have membership of the Albion Assembly so we can get London Baggies’ collective voice heard
Tickets – we have very good connections with the Albion ticket office for match tickets – which can sometimes be helpful for those particularly “difficult” or over-subscribed games
- Travel – we organise a range of club trips to home and away games with fellow supporters – you will usually find a London Baggies presence at all first team games. Occasionally we share cars but mostly we travel by train to games. That (and the inevitable pub visits that go alongside the trip) is often where lifetime friendships are forged.
- Regular e-mail contact – we take advantage of modern communications methods so if you join you will receive very regular e-mails from committee members about forthcoming events, tickets, travel etc.
- Subsidised trips – every year we try to have at least one game with subsidised travel (often to a game that would otherwise be very expensive). For this season the democratic choice of the branch is for Sheffield United away (further details in due course).
London branch season ticket at the Hawthorns – we have a ticket courtesy of a legacy from one of our founding members and organisers, Rab Rogers (RIP) that is available to members for a very small fee which goes back into club funds.
- Our fantastic award winning magazine Baggie Shorts – free to members. Baggies Shorts recently won APFSCIL supporters’ newsletter of the year 2018 (for APFSCIL – see below).
- Meet legendary players – Bob Taylor, Tony Brown, Cyrille (RIP), Brendon Batson, and Darren Moore have all visited. In the last year we’ve had Alastair Robertson, Ken Foggo and Gary Megson. We also had a very special night earlier in 2018 to celebrate the memory of Cyrille where we also raised a significant sum for the Jason Roberts Foundation. We’re exploring the potential for at least a couple more legends/ex-players to attend this season (2018-19).
- APSCFIL – We also belong to something called the Association of Provincial Football Supporters’ Clubs in London – APFSCIL (yes, it’s a mouthful!). We take part in their pool league but they have other events too.
- Meet fellow Baggies – We have regular meetings, every two months – sometimes arranged to coincide with London games. We usually use O’Mearas at London Bridge or the Horseshoe in Farringdon depending on availability. We also have an AGM – usually in July – which we treat as our summer get together. We also have a proper constitution – so I can’t just do what I want! We have other formal branch positions that do most of the work and make my life easier.
- Christmas lunches – We always have at least one Christmas meal, often two – usually one in London, one in the midlands before a Christmas home game
- Belong to our social media sites – we have a very strong presence on Twitter (@LondonBaggies). We’re also on FaceBook (West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club London Branch)
- Associated non-club activities – Separate to the London Supporters’ club we have developed our own personal friendships and these have evolved into informal events (not badged as part of the London Baggies but which have their origins in the supporters’ club). These include comedy nights, attending gigs & festivals, watching cricket and other sports in the summer, as well as attendance at pre-season games (both home and away) and weekend away trips to Europe to see football as it’s played in other lands and climes.
For a £15 single-person membership (memberships, such as family, student and senior are available at different rates), you get a regular magazine, a good chance of getting tickets to games, the opportunity to travel with fellow Baggies and receive associated membership of the main branch of the WBA Supporters’ Club. And that’s before mentioning the Albion ticket and our various social events. But as I said at the start, most of it is about the friendships you make. All in all surely it’s a no-brainer, so please dig out you credit/debit card and click on our membership link to complete the form.
Steve Watts, Chairman of the London Branch