Strong and brave - a tribute to Clem
Baggie defender Neil Clement has admitted defeat in the long-running battle to recover from a knee problem suffered some 17 months ago.
In some ways, it seems a much longer absence than that - but certainly, whenever I think of the Megson promotion years or the Robson 'Great Escape' party, I always picture the grinning, fist-thumping Neil Clement.
Clement, now 31, has been with Albion for 10 years. He always possessed a fine blend of technique and pure, full blooded grit - he was always there when he needed to be, prepared to put his foot in and prepared to do the running.
I've never been one for the Paul Robinson school of committed tackling (bordering on thuggery) but Clement had enough class and vision to be much more than just a physical defender. He was a leader on the field and a great stalwart of the English game, strong and brave.
Since being injured in pre-season Clement has had two operations on the knee but consultants have finally advised him to quit the game.
Thanks for all you've given us Neil and good luck for the future from all of us here at Vital WBA.