Peter Odemwingie relives West Brom hat-trick at Wolves 10 years on

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Wolves 1-5 West Brom: Peter Odemwingie recalls his Baggies hat-trick at Molineux 10 years on

What would West Bromwich Albion fans give for a goal right now?

The Baggies have scored just 34 goals in 30 Championship games this season, won just once in nine, not scored in their last three and last week the Albion board listened to their bored, unentertained fans and sacked the boss.

Contrast that to 10 years ago. 12 February 2012.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 West Bromwich Albion 5 (Peter Odemwingie hat-trick).

Sure, Jonas Olsson and Wolves old boy Keith Andrews were on target that day too, two of the goals were cruel deflections - and all five were a defensive shambles as the Baggies bagged the biggest winning scoreline in this fixture in almost half a century, Wolves were booed off by their fans and boss Mick McCarthy got the sack.

But BBC Radio WM caught up with the Nigeria international to mark a decade since that Black Country Derby when Odemwingie hit his only hat-trick in English football.

How much does a derby game really mean?

"The basics you understand," Odemwingie, now 40 and retired, told BBC Radio WM. "It's a derby and I've played in derbies all my career.

"In Moscow derbies I scored a couple and at my previous club in France, the Lille-Lens game is a huge derby. There was a lot of conflict between the two areas. I got a hat-trick against Lens and it was the only other hat-trick I ever scored. I had also scored in the previous two derby games against Wolves.

"But the main thing is that we were desperate for the points that day. We'd only won once in seven games and we weren't safe. So you do realise this did mean more than just a game."

Peter Odemwingie's Molineux treble for West Brom against Wolves in February 2012 was his only hat-trick in his seven seasons in English footballPeter Odemwingie's Molineux treble for West Brom against Wolves in February 2012 was his only hat-trick in his seven seasons in English football

My 'dramas' with Roy Hodgson

Although Odemwingie's time with Albion is best remembered for how he tried to leave, things had not always gone as smoothly as he would have liked, especially after the departure of the man who had signed him, Roberto di Matteo, in February 2011.

One of his main sources of motivation that day at Molineux was his increasingly strained relationship with Albion boss Roy Hodgson, who was to move on to manage England at the end of that season.

Roy Hodgson's time with West Bromwich Albion was mostly happyRoy Hodgson's time with West Bromwich Albion was mostly happy

"That hat-trick was such a big vindication for me," he said. "More than people might understand.

"That season me and Roy Hodgson had so many dramas. A few times he was desperate for me to be available but it was literally impossible. I was injured, even after having injections - and he questioned my commitment publicly.

"But I had even come back from Nigeria duty to play against Wolves - and scored - when the Nigeria coach wanted me to stay and play in a friendly. I left the camp to come back and play. That cost me eight months of international football as the coach then didn't pick me.

"So I did meet the other side of Roy. I saw him get angry but I can be a bit temperamental myself. There was a bit of a nasty side to it as well but that is just part of life and all its ups and downs."

'I wasn't thinking about a hat-trick'

As to the game itself, Odemwingie had luck on his side when he opened the scoring with a shot that deflected off Dave Edwards' backside. And, although Steven Fletcher levelled on the stroke of half-time, Jonas Olsson scored a second on 64 minutes before Albion cashed in on more clown-like defending with three goals in the last 13 minutes.

Odemwingie acrobatically hooked in to make it 3-1, then came the fourth, another deflected shot from Keith Andrews, who mimicked Wolves legend Steve Bull's arms-wide plane celebration.

Peter Odemwingie fired in with his right foot to complete his Molineux treblePeter Odemwingie fired in with his right foot to complete his Molineux treble

"I remember his aeroplane celebration," grins Odemwingie. "It certainly wasn't one of those goals where players score against their old club then apologise."

But it was a word in his ear from co-striker Simon Cox that made him believe he could complete a first treble in English football.

"It was quite early on when I thought we would win. We were going to get the three points and I'd scored already. I was happy.

"I wasn't thinking about a hat-trick but Simon said, 'Get a hat-trick. Go for it.' And I thought, 'Yes I will try to be there when the crosses come in and get the job done.'

"When I'd done it I just enjoyed the moment and seeing the fans so happy."

Did he get to keep the match ball?

Odemwingie had no problem getting hold of the match ball from referee Lee Mason at the final whistle. But he gave it away to be used as a charity prize by an Albion fan organising a trip to Kenya along with Baggies legend Darren Moore.

Jonas Olsson also got on the scoresheet with the second goal for Albion that day at the Molineux prior to Peter Odemwingie scoring the third and the fifth to claim the match ballJonas Olsson also got on the scoresheet with Albion's second goal prior to Peter Odemwingie scoring the third and the fifth to claim the match ball

"It helped the lady, a very brave mum who has done a lot of trips, to raise money.

"She raised quite a bit so that made it a win-win. And you never know something like that might inspire a kid out in Kenya to want to come and play for Albion one day.

"I just thought an Albion fan will look after it well, put it in a glass case and maybe appreciate it more than I will on a daily basis.

"All I said was, 'Just make sure you know where the ball is, if I ever want to visit it one day and say hello.'"

Mick McCarthy on the receiving end again

Wolves boss McCarthy was sacked the next day.

"Mick's a great guy," said Odemwingie, "But it happens after results like that. Sometimes it's the only way to calm the storm with the fans."

In a bizarre twist McCarthy's job almost went to Steve Bruce, now the West Brom boss. He was interviewed for the job and, having thought he'd been offered it, famously took his wife out to the pictures on the Friday night only to come home to find out that there had been adverse social media reaction. The Wolves board panicked themselves into not offering him the job after all, giving it instead to McCarthy's number two Terry Connor.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy had plenty to cheer when Steve Fletcher scored Wolves' equaliser but it was the only thing he had to smile aboutWolves boss Mick McCarthy had plenty to cheer when Steve Fletcher scored Wolves' equaliser but it was the only thing he had to smile about

Wolves never won another game that season and were relegated by April. But McCarthy still had a final walk-on part to play in Odemwingie's story.

"Eight or nine months after we had a winter break, there were no internationals and we took our new-born baby, who was only eight or nine weeks old, out to Dubai. He was a bit jaundiced and we wanted to get a bit of sun on him for the vitamin D that kids need in the UK in the winter.

"It was so hot. We had him under cover and were in the process of changing his nappy. He was very chubby my son, like a Michelin man, and this lady suddenly passes by. I don't know who she is but I knew she spoke English. She said, 'What a cute baby.' Then after the lady comes a man, her husband. I look and it's Mick.

"But as we started talking my son started weeing and, you know Mick, he can say some funny things. He just said, 'I thought I'd seen quite enough of you guys already thanks. Not this as well.'"

And that other day when Odemwingie made headlines?

After his Molineux hat-trick Odemwingie bagged a brace against Sunderland a week later. But he scored just six more times in 35 games over 18 months before moving on.

That was in no small part down to the transfer deadline day farce that unfolded on 31 January 2013 when Odemwingie mistakenly thought he was about to sign for Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers. He made his way to west London and was even filmed by Sky Sports arriving at the ground - only for the deal to remain uncompleted when the window 'slammed shut' at midnight with him still a Baggies player.

It is a painful memory Odemwingie still prefers not to talk about. Even after he had left in the transfer window that followed to sign for Cardiff City for £2.25m.

After his three seasons with West Bromwich Albion, Peter Odemwingie went on to complete his time in the English Football League with Cardiff City, Stoke City, Bristol City and Rotherham UnitedAfter three seasons with West Brom, Peter Odemwingie went on to complete his time in the English Football League with Cardiff City, Stoke City, Bristol City and Rotherham United

He never started another game for Albion - and, every deadline day since, his name has remained a haunting, lasting legacy.

He would rather not recall the unwanted headlines he made at Loftus Road, but instead the golden ones at Molineux.

"With all the sagas I had," said Odemwingie, "that day against Wolves took out a lot of the negativity.

"West Brom fans still write to me about it and say, 'Unforgettable day, forget about the rest.'

"People would come to the training ground with tattoos of that match on themselves.

"I even see Wolves fans who still tell me memories of it.

"I now see it simply as a special moment I can think of with my old team-mates when we are old and grey, when we can sit over drinks and remember the day."

Peter Odemwingie was talking to BBC Radio WM's Steve Hermon

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