Superstitious family thanks Shropshire park for 'helping West Brom into the Premier League'

A superstitious family has thanked a National Trust park for allowing them to visit after hours in a bid to help West Brom's promotion to the Premier League.

Bill and his daughter Penny
Bill and his daughter Penny

Bill Skidmore's late wife, Anne, was a Baggies fan but could not watch big games for fear they would lose.

For 20 years, the couple would visit Attingham Park in Shropshire on major match days, convinced it helped the club win.

And on Wednesday, as the Baggies got ready to go up against QPR, the park opened after hours for 89-year-old Mr Skidmore to continue the tradition.

His daughter Penny Watton has thanked all the staff for helping her dad.

She said: "In 2000 when her beloved WBA needed to stay up my mom couldn’t cope with the pressure so she and my dad went to Attingham Park while the match was taking place - and we stayed up, so any time we had a massive game that’s where they went.

"On Wednesday my dad phoned Attingham, told them my mom and dad's story and asked what time they closed. They said 6pm and he said it was ok as the match didn’t start until 7.30pm.

Cattle in the park with the house in the background at Attingham Park, Shropshire

"They then arranged to open the grounds for him and tonight I took him there. We walked around the grounds while the match was on and hey presto it worked.

"Boing, boing and a big thank you to the Attingham Park staff."

Mr Skidmore's wife was so superstitious about her beloved Baggies, once she did not talk to him for a week after he "caused" her club to lose by listening to the final minutes on the radio

He remembered how his wife did not have the nerves to keep up with games she could not attend in person and had come to him on the day the Albion took on Charlton Athletic in the final match of the EFL in 2000.

They decided to go out for the day and chose Attingham Park – and after getting back in the car they switched the radio on and heard they had got the result they needed.

Mrs Skidmore died five years ago, but Mr Skidmore wanted to continue the tradition and help the club like his wife would have.

West Bromwich Albion fans celebrated as they were promoted to the Premier League on Wednesday night. It came after the club drew 2-2 with QPR at the same time as rivals Brentford lost to Barnsley.

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