Just as another poster mentioned we did loose Paul Mariner at the death to Ipswich. Our first season back in 1976-77 we did get stuffed 7-1 but then at home I think we won 4-0 & Brian Robson got 3? At the time I thought missing out on Mariner was huge but we then got Cyrille so alls well.
Arthur Mann a good fullback from Middlesbro who was actually in the car coming to sign for us but somehow Chelsea got him? I think he died in a car accident about 3 yrs after?
Johann Cryuff! Vic Buckingham whilst manager at Ajax recommended him to us but Albion never took up the option.
Bruce Grobelar. He actually played whilst on trial but we dithered and Liverpool got him.
Frank Stapleton. A great centre forward who said when he wanted to leave the Arsenal that he would love to play for the Albion, as is normal we did nothing! Brian Robson gave missing out on Stapleton as one of the reason he left us as to him this demonstrated that not going for the best No.9 at the time proved the club had no ambition!
Don Rogers! Remember him first with Swindon when he played Arsenal on his own in the LC final at Wembley 1968? A really great winger, the Albion watched him so many times we had a season ticket at Swindon again we dithered and he went to Palace. One new years day a crowd of us went to selhurst park and Rogers ripped us apart, we lost 4-0!
John 'Yogi' Hughes. A great player in the 1967 Celtic Lisbon Lions team, so powerful. When that great Celtic team started to move on we went in for him but couldn't agree on the transfer fee, he went to Crystal Palace. He also starred with Don Rogers when they thumped us 4-0.
Last but not least, there was a strong rumour around early 70's that we turned John Richards at the wolves down, he was a young lad doing well but his contract was coming up with poor wages. Albion said not interested? John Richards for me would have been a wonderful signing for us and really could have been the final piece in a championship winning team? I know he pl;ayed for them but he was a great!