Video of the Day: Aston Villa vs West Bromwich Albion, August 1983

by | Jan 22, 2016

The decline of Midlands football throughout the 1980s really was something to behold. In 1981, Aston Villa ended the season as the champions of England, whilst West Bromwich Albion finished in fourth place in the First Division and Wolverhampton Wanderers came within a whisker of the FA Cup final, only losing their semi-final after a replay against Tottenham Hotspur. By 1987, however, there would be no West Midlands clubs left in the top flight of English football at all (though Nottingham Forest and Derby County were both there, representing the East Midlands), with Wolves having what would turn out to be their last season in the top flight for twenty years during the 1983/84 season, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion being relegated in 1986, and Aston Villa following them a year later.

Still, though, the start of a new season is always a time for some degree of excitement for supporters, and the 1983/84 season kicked off with the BBC’s Match of the Day cameras making a trip to Villa Park for the opening day match between Aston Villa, resplendent in a – by the standards of the time – shadow striped kit, and West Bromwich Albion. What came to pass that afternoon was a thriller to kick the new season off, featuring seven goals, of which six came in a remarkable first half. In keeping with the air of festivity surrounding the start of the new season, MOTD host Jimmy Hill even has the time to stop by at Old Trafford for a pre-recorded message fromĀ  Alan Parry, who’s commentating on the other featured match, between Manchester United and newly-promoted Queens Park Rangers (which, for the completists amongst us, can be seen here). Commentary for this match comes from John Motson.

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