Baggies get behind 2018 England bid

England’s 2018 FIFA World Cup bid will receive a boost this weekend when West Bromwich Albion run out for their first game of the 2009/2010 season with an England 2018 bid message on their shirts.

The Baggies will display 9“England 2018” on a red background for the home game against Newcastle United - a game that will be shown live on the BBC and around the world. 

Albion’s offer to the England 2018 team last month provides England’s bid with a unique opportunity to increase awareness on the opening day of the new English season.

West Brom manager, Roberto Di Matteo was joined by a group of players including club captain Jonathan Greening, Slovenia skipper Robert Koren and Slovakia international Marek Cech in supporting the Bid at the club’s training ground, with the former Italian international commenting:

“We’re supporting the bid this weekend and we’re proud to do so. The FIFA World Cup is the best competition in football and England would be the perfect country to host it. There is fantastic infrastructure here and the supporters are just brilliant.

"The stadiums in England are perfect for football as the supporters are close to the pitch which makes for a great atmosphere. As a fan you can be only a few yards from a shot or a tackle and all my Italian friends think the English stadiums are fantastic.

"Because of the passion and culture, supporters sing and support for the whole game. It’s not just pockets of support, it happens all over the whole ground which is just great.

"When I played for Italy at Wembley, I can remember supporters singing the national anthem and there was something special about it. It gave me goose bumps to be honest.”   While club captain, Jonathan Greening added: “It would be great if the tournament came to England and I think it’s great that Albion are supporting  the England 2018 bid in this way.

"I remember watching Euro 96 and I think it was one of the best tournaments I’ve seen. The standard of play was obviously very high but so was the event itself and we definitely have the facilities to put on a good show in 2018.

"Every English kid dreams of being as footballer and it would be great to the tournament here because we definitely have the stadiums and a passionate support.

"The message on the shirt is a great idea and if it helps people to register their support at www.england2018bid.com then that would be brilliant.”

West Bromwich Albion will auction off the unique shirts after the game to raise funds for Sir Bobby Robson’s cancer charity, The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Foundation.