Albion and Soccer

 Courtesy of BBC

Courtesy of BBC

In the Premier League this weekend, West Bromwich Albion picked up a big home win, defeating West Ham United 4-2. In the second division, Burton Albion lost at home to Brighton & Hove Albion, 1-0, on an 88th minute PK.

Wait a minute.

If you only watch the Premier League, you might not think twice about West Brom's full name, other than that it's a little weird. When you dig deeper into the rest of English football, you start to see this naming trend. One of the names you occasionally see is Albion. But what does it mean?

Albion is an archaic term for Great Britain. It is occasionally still used in poetry. A Google search for how the term is used in art will quickly lead you to William Blake. His "Albion Rose" print from "A Large Book of Designs" is on display at the British Museum.

The term has been used throughout history, but it appears that the earliest known use was in the 6th century BC. The term applies to Great Britain and is usually included in mythological stories, often involving giants.

 By Unknown painter, France, Central, or N., or Netherlands, S. - This file has been provided by the British Library from its digital collections. It is also made available on a British Library website.Catalogue entry: Royal 19 C IXThis tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.বাংলা | Deutsch | English | Español | Euskara | Français | Македонски | 中文 | +/−, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50629359

By Unknown painter, France, Central, or N., or Netherlands, S. - This file has been provided by the British Library from its digital collections. It is also made available on a British Library website.Catalogue entry: Royal 19 C IXThis tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information.বাংলা | Deutsch | English | Español | Euskara | Français | Македонски | 中文 | +/−, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50629359

The three highest clubs in English football with that name are definitely not giants in their own right. And I'm not even sure of the significance that multiple clubs have that name itself.

I guess, if nothing else, knowing this tiny bit of information about the term Albion will give you something to think about the next time you are forced to sit through another boring 1-0 West Brom match.