This Sunday’s Black Country derby between Wolves and West Brom is as tribal as it gets. Geography and history converge to make it a thoroughly enjoyable and spicy occasion. Yet according to the lads at http://www.wolvesforum.co.uk/forum.php there is a (fair) amount of mutual respect in the mix too. Just don’t mention the blue lot down the road.
PabloWolfo – I just don’t get that worked up over the rivalry anymore. When I watch Wolves away on the TV in my local, there are usually Baggies in there watching their own match and there’s never trouble. I think it’s down to the fact that the WBA fans I know are a level-headed bunch. Blues fans on the other hand, are a bunch of ****s!
Machin05 – I enjoy it. I’ve got a long running bet with my Baggies mate. A pint for every goal scored. Last season was ace! Especially as he was sat next to me in the Billy Wright for the home fixture!
Jd1981 – I still enjoy the BCD but I don’t hate the Albion, I have a lot of mates who are Albion fans. To be fair I dislike blues now more than the Albion and I don’t think I’m in the minority.
Deutsch Wolf – West Brom are similar to us. Working class, hard working blokes, like a pint, watch the football, have a bit of banter, shake hands afterwards.
Blues fans are arseholes in the main. Don’t get me wrong, Albion is THE derby – I wouldn’t give Blues the respect of putting them on that pedestal – but I get more pleasure out of doing them over than West Brom.
Paddingtonwolf – My soon to be brother-in-law is a baggie. Two of my soon to be stepson’s team mates in his under sevens are baggies. Where the brother-in-law lives it couldn’t be more baggies territory, but be can take me in the pub. People know who I support and we have banter, but it is friendly and made up from mutual respect. You will never get that with blues as long as there is a hole in my arse.
Albion fans contributed to our bucket collections in the mid 80s when it looked like we were going under.
Langdale Wolf – I married into a family of Baggies as well. My better half really doesn’t care about football, but my father-in-law and all his family support the Stripy Lot. But there’s never any bad feeling about it. In fact, we don’t even wind each other up about it.
Blues fans – I know loads of them, especially at work. None of them are able to discuss the game logically or maturely.
Deutsch Wolf – There are a section of younger Albion fans that do my head in – the type that don’t remember the Gould/Burkinshaw/Buckley days and think they can lord it over us. But they’re just ignorant. Speak to fellas around most of our ages – between 30 and 40 – and you’ll find that Wolves and Albion get on fine in the main. Indeed Albion fans contributed to our bucket collections in the mid 80s when it looked like we were going under.
Interesting Dave – I live in Barnsley and I now work in a place called Wath, one of my workmates is a former West Brom season ticket holder. It’s strange that we’ve ended up working together where we have. He said today that a 0-0 draw will probably be the best result; Wath isn’t ready for an angry brawl between two middle aged Midlanders.
Deutsch Wolf – Another thing to consider is geography. Ok, West Brom have a Birmingham postcode, a Birmingham dialing code, have no major train station near them other than Birmingham, and are in Birmingham (you see where I’m going here), but the supporter areas do overlap quite a bit between us. Gornal, Dudley, Sedgley, Bilston, all have big sections of both sets of fans. So you get neighbours supporting Wolves/Albion, families split between the two, etc. Birmingham itself is worlds apart for us. It’s 15 miles on a map but it may as well be 150. We’re Black Country and proud of it.
Also, in the 50s and 60s it was common for many fans to watch Wolves and Albion on alternate weeks, whoever was at home. That would never happen now, of course, but you’d never get a Wolves fan watching Blues every other week.
Birmingham itself is worlds apart for us. It’s 15 miles on a map but it may as well be 150. We’re Black Country and proud of it.
Paddington Wolf – We might refer to Albion as a Birmingham club and they may call us Staffordshire, but, no matter what any boundary expert may say, in my book, we are both black country clubs. Our fans in the main come from the same stock, live together, work together. It is a fearsome derby, but I certainly couldn’t hate someone just because they were a baggie.
Langdale Wolf – I don’t think football should be about pure hatred, and that’s exactly what the BCD – and other ferocious derbies – are about. I go to cheer my own team, not to shout mindless abuse at another. Why should hatred for one team outweigh the love your have for your own?
So – West Brom. I think they’re going about things the right way, and it’s a good thing that such a club are in the Premier League. They don’t spend stupid money for players they can’t afford (rather like us) and live within their means. Their support isn’t too bad (not as decent as ours but they are comparable) and they’ve got a decent history.
I find it much easier to have a conversation with a typical Albion fan than I do with a typical Birmingham fan (a club I have nothing but distain for – tin pot outfit).
I can’t say I wish Albion all the best because they’re our rivals at the moment (I don’t mean geographically) but I think the Premier League would be a weaker place without them in. Could the same be said if Wigan or Bolton were to be relegated? I doubt that.
Hamlet – A draw’s probably a fair guess but I don’t know how I’d handle another loss – but didn’t we lose 4 in a row this time last season as well?
Langdale Wolf – This weekend both teams desperately need the win, but I fear that both managers will desperately want to avoid defeat. I predict a pretty unattractive, battling 1-1 draw, Doyle scoring for Wolves, Long for Albion.
I also predict that the Black Country Derby will still be a Premier League fixture next season.
Pavlosmacwolf – For me , Wolves have the better squad, yet the defence that started so well, has come apart at the seams a bit recently.
Wombourne Wolf – At one time in the mid-nineties the atmosphere at the BCD was poisonous. Thankfully it seems to have lost the nasty edge to it and you no longer fear for your life if you get caught on the wrong side of the road.
Quirkafleeg – I think the police in doing great work policing it at the sh1t and must take credit for the lack of trouble, but to say there’s no nasty edge is wrong. Last season after the game sh1t fans were ripping up their own stadium to chuck seats at us with lighters and coins etc being chucked. The hatred is still there mark my words.