Of course if any fans didn’t know already, Manchester United are scheduled to face West Brom this Sunday in our opening Premier League fixture of the season. With that it’s worth looking at 8 individuals who have spent time at United and West Brom in their careers in the game.
This will be the first of many ‘Club Connections’ articles which we’re have up on our site throughout the season before every domestic United match.
Joined United as an apprentice in 1972 before making his debut for the club against Manchester City in a League Cup match in 1974. Arthur went onto become a club legend and made 485 appearances in 14 years before moving to West Brom at the age of 31 when he was still perhaps the best left back at Old Trafford.
He was defiantly someone who made the most out of his ability and won three FA Cup’s including the 1977 Final against Liverpool which came in the season when he first broke into the side under Tommy Doherty. Nowadays he is still involved with the club working for MUTV as a pundit/analyst.
After a decent career for Oxford United in the lower divisons, Big Ron quickly proved himself to be a good manager. A successful spell at West Brom saw Ron earn many plaudits and it was no surprise when he took charge at United after Dave Sexton left.
Despite winning the FA Cup twice in three seasons, Ron couldn’t quite manage United to a title and after a disappointing start to the 1986/87 season was replaced by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson and the rest they say is history. Ron later returned to Albion before winning League Cups at Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday at the expense of United in 1991 and 1994.
A highly talented goalkeeper, Ben is scheduled to make his Albion debut in this weekend’s match. He joined United from Stoke in 2005 and had two successful seasons out on loan at Watford before coming back to Old Trafford ahead of the 2007/08 season.
Sadly a mixture of injuries and having to put up with Edwin Van der Sar’s longevity denied Ben the chance of establishing himself at United and he was sold to Birmingham City last summer. Despite winning a League Cup winners’ medal, Ben was part of a team that got relegated last season and he will hope for better things this season under Roy Hodgson.
Already a highly rated young midfielder at West Brom, Bryan joined United early on in Ron Atkinson’s debut season in October 1981 and went onto become one of the club’s most iconic midfielders and captains in 13 wonderful seasons at Old Trafford.
He won six major honours at United and was well and truly a ‘Captain Marvel’ in his time at the club. After leaving in 1994, he went onto have an eventful time in Management at clubs including Middlesbrough and West Brom in the Premier League. Robbo was last in charge of Thailand’s national team before resigning from that role earlier this year.
After joining United as a talented youngster from York, Jonathan became a steady player in our reserves and had only limited chances to break into our first team. He did though pick up a winner’s medal in United’s Champions League triumph of 1999 but was an unused substitute.
In 2001, he left United joining Middlesbrough as one of Steve McLaren’s first signings and had three successful years up at the Riverside before joining West Brom in 2004. He later become club-captain for the Baggies and enjoyed a successful spell there before joining Fulham two summers ago before joining up with McClaren again at Nottingham Forest this summer.
Arguably one of the real un-sung heroes of United’s history, Nobby went onto become a club legend. A hard-working holding midfielder, Nobby was brave in the tackle and was part of Sir Matt Busby’s legendary side that won the 1968 European Cup at Wembley.
Wembley was a ground that Nobby loved and two years before-hand had been part of England’s World Cup winning squad of 1966 where in the post-match celebrations after the game he famously danced with the trophy. He had a short spell in charge of West Brom in the mid 80’s before returning to United as our youth team coach in 1989 until leaving the role in 1993.
Joining the club as part of the deal that took Robson to United from West Brom in 1981, but for injuries Remi would have become a United/England regular for the best part of a decade A strong and brave midfielder, Remi had it all and won over the Old Trafford faithful early on his career.
Sadly for Remi every time he looked in tip-top form he would get stricken by injury. He was forced into retirement in 1988 at the age of 27 and remains one of the best players of his generation never to have been capped by England.
The first Pole to play for United joined the club on loan from West Brom in the summer of 2006 as back-up for Van der Sar after Tim Howard left the club. He made his debut for the club against Arsenal early on in the 2006/07 season and despite United losing the game 1-0 impressed making several key saves including a first-half Gilberto penalty.
Tomasz joined the club officially in July 2007 and over the next 4 seasons has been a reliable back-up. He looks likely to leave the club in the coming weeks and at the age of 29, has the quality and experience to be a good first-choice keeper elsewhere.