Jed Wallace was a man on a mission.
Visiting Sandwell General Hospital to hand out presents at the Children’s Ward before Christmas, the West Brom captain was also trying to convert a few of the youngsters into Baggies supporters at the same time.
“One of them was a PSG fan!” Wallace tells Sky Sports, as he stops to chat in a less-than usual setting for an interview.
“I don’t think he was too happy when he saw me coming down rather than Mbappe but I cant blame him for that! But he’s promised me that West Brom are his second team now. So I’ll take that.
“I’ve also tried to convince a few Villa fans to change, but they’re doing quite well at the moment.”
Wallace very much understands the importance of his role, as a football, as a community member and as a leader.
He considers it a privilege and a responsibility that he is able to help out, rather than something he has to do.
He gets it, as they say.
“I was very proud to sign for West Brom, and then to be made captain,” Wallace says. “It’s a massive honour for me and we’re lucky to be in a position to be able to give something back to the community.
“Myself and all the players are always happy to give up an afternoon. It’s nothing to us to come down and hopefully make a kid’s Christmas while they’re in hospital.
“They were all in great spirits. It was nice to see everyone happy, even though they’d rather not be in hospital.”
Wallace, 29, only signed for West Brom in 2022, which shows the type of character he is that, just a year later, he was installed as captain.
He fits the role perfectly, and the Baggies fans and players are lucky to have him – even if he tries to stitch up a few with an interesting-sounding fines system.
“Being a leader is something I’ve always tried to do anyway, so now I’ve got the armband it doesn’t feel too different,” he says.
“But I’m running the fines now and I get to take money off the lads, so that’s quite enjoyable actually!
“Sometimes I just make them up. If someone has a go at me on the pitch, I’ll make up a fine to try and get £100 from them.
“I’ve got a few moles inside the camp too, and no one knows who they are yet. I’ve got four or five of the lads who are taking a lot of pleasure in stitching up the other boys. People who you wouldn’t expect as well!”
Wallace, unfortunately, wouldn’t reveal his sources. That secret stays with him.
But he is the perfect representative for his manager, Carlos Corberan, on the pitch. The type of captain and leader any boss would want.
The intensity of the Spaniard is common knowledge, but Wallace is thriving under his tutelage.
“It’s different!” admits the midfielder. “But it’s been great, and I’ve really, really enjoyed it. I love working with him and his staff, and the proof is in the pudding with how well we’ve done.
“If West Brom are to be successful this year it’s because of the effort Carlos has us put in. We work so hard every day.”
West Brom are currently in the mix for the play-offs in one of the highest-quality Championship seasons in years. With Wallace and his inspirational manager at the helm, you wouldn’t bet against them going all the way to Wembley and beyond.
Source : Sky Sports