BIRMINGHAM CITY

 

The club enjoy a fierce rivalry with near neighbours Aston Villa - having the upper hand over them recently when they taunted them after winning the Leyland DAF Trophy in 1991. Formed when a group of cricketers got bored during the winter of 1875, a religious theme runs through their history with the original team being linked to Trinity church and subsequently moving from their first ground to St. Andrews in 1902. Initially, the side was named after the area of it's first home, Small Heath, they almost changed their title again when they moved to another nearby Heath; this time Edward's, but the blue link was not strong enough to persuade them. They did move, however, from their potholed Muntz Street ground (named after the character, Nelson, from The Simpsons), which became a great attraction for cavers for many years after, to St. Andrews. The ground was initially sited alongside a railway line causing many games to be abandoned due to smoke blowing across the pitch. This proved to be a boon for the supporters during an unsuccessful time that became known as "The Black Years" (because of all the soot that was deposited), but caused an outbreak of Asthma among the Birmingham faithful. One feature of the new ground was a Kop along one side of the pitch, built on a foundation of rubbish. The club's poor form during the 70's, 80's and 90's was attributed to a gypsy curse and attempts were made to remove this, involving painting the soles of the players boots red and the manager, Barry Fry, urinating in the corners of the pitch. The answer to the team not playing well seems very obvious to me though !! Watering the pitch and the stands was important in World War II when part of the ground was set alight during a time that the stadium was used as a fire station !!

The Blues' high points came in 1931 when they lost in the FA Cup final to WBA and again in 1956, when they were runners-up to Manchester City in a match that became most famous for City keeper, Bert Trautmann, playing on with a broken neck. They also finished sixth in the First Division in season 1955-56 . Aside from the Leyland DAF Trophy, they won the League Cup in 1963 overcoming Aston Villa over two legs. Their other claim to fame is their 1970's away strip which had a large yellow stripe down the front of the shirt, with one sleeve and third of the shirt black and the other red. They looked as though they had the Belgian flag wrapped around them. The club do have a rich European heritage with them taking part in the inaugural Fairs Cup competition - reaching the semi-finals and going one step further before losing to Barcelona in 1960 and AS Roma in 1961.

Fans of the club have adopted the name of "Bluenoses". This derives from an early attempt to merchandise "Birmingham Blues Snuff" in the 1920's. This product and the ritual of snorting the powder left a deposit over the middle of the face of the supporter. Hence, the nickname. The fans have also had their blue noses put out of joint by Managing Director, Karren Brady, who introduced an away travel scheme that involved a membership fee for fans to obtain tickets for away games. Conversely, there was also the Beau Brummie scheme, which gave fans concessions for their staunch support. Brady was appointed by David Sullivan, former owner of the Sunday Sport newspaper, now Chairman of the club and racehorse owner. An unlikely, but dynamic duo that has overseen the revolving door transfer policy of Barry Fry, that saw the club involved in 113 different transfer deals on deadline day in the 1994/95 season.

Bluenoses are renowned for their singing of the song - "Keep Right On To The End Of The Road". This harks back to the "Black Years", when fans would march straight past the St. Andrews ground to watch a match from the Birmingham and District League (the second oldest still in operation) being played in the fields along Tilton Road.

The record for club appearances is held by Trevor Womack, who, between 1908 and 1928, played 491 times for Brum. In spite of his devotion to the Blues, he still found time to father the famous soul music dynasty including Bobby, Cecil, Linda and Friendly (named after a non-competitive match that Birmingham played in (just the) once).

Another of those clubs more famous for one of its supporters than it's on-pitch achievements. This time it's comedian Jasper Carrott, who is a club director and Trevor Francis Look-a-like. Trevor Francis debuted for the Midlands side at 16 and became the Superboy of the club in the early 1970's. He became the first 3 million player when Forest shelled out for the wonderkid, but it seemed strange that on his return as manager, he has signed predominantly aged players in his attempt to return Birmingham to their glory days.  He almost achieved a step in the right direction by reaching the play-offs, but his side was hit by injury and they were slaughtered by Barnsley in the semi-finals.

Finally, promotion was secured by Steve Bruce in 2002 and Brum have established themselves in the Premiership, as they have money pumped into the club by former "private shop owners" David Gold and David Sullivan.  The public face is very different and they were now shopping from the top shelf, as they proved by buying Emile Heskey for 6.25 million in 2004.

Unfortunately, over the later part of the Naughties, they yo-yo'ed between the top two divisions, but the introduction of some Yeung enthusiasm (and money) into the club was hoped to allow them to establish the Bluenoses as a regular Premier League side.

The installation of Scottish manager Alex McLeish seemed to bring a new resolve to the Birmingham City side and while they were inconsistent in the league, they brought the first piece of silverware back to St. Andrews since the heady days of 1963, when the League Cup was secured with a 2-1 win over Arsenal that brought a smile to large parts of the Midlands and of some parts of North London too.

FAMOUS PLAYERS: - Mark Dennis, Dick Julians, Robert Hopkin, Alberto Tarantini, Alberto Nylon, Denis Van Der Wyk, Mick Harford, Julian Dicks, Dennis Marks, Tony Coton, Noel Blake

FAMOUS FANS : - Jasper Carrott (Comedian), Robert McCracken (Boxer), Bev Bevan and Jeff Lynne (Musicians - ELO)


 

Club Records

Formed 1875
Turned Professional 1885
Became a Limited Company 1888
Previous names 1875-1888 = Small Heath Alliance
1888-1905 = Small Heath
1905-1945 = Birmingham 
Previous grounds Waste Ground near Arthur Street =1875-1877
Muntz Street, Small Heath = 1877-1906
Nickname "The BLUES"
Club Colours HOME : Shirts - Blue
Shorts - White
Socks - Blue and white

AWAY : Shirts - Yellow
Shorts - Navy Blue
Socks - Navy Blue

Record Football League Win 12-0  .v. Walsall Town Swifts
Division 2  17.12.1892

12-0  .v. Doncaster Rovers
Division 2   11.4.1903

Record Football League Defeat 1-9   .v.  Sheffield Wednesday
Division 1   13.12.1930

1-9  .v.  Blackburn Rovers
Division 1    5.1.1895

Record Cup Win 9-2 .v. Burton Wanderers 
FA Cup R1      31.10.1885
Record Cup Defeat 0-6  .v.   Tottenham Hotspur  
FA Cup R6    12.04.1967
0-6  v Wednesbury Old Athletic   
FA Cup R2     3.12.1881
Record Fee Paid 6,250,000 to Liverpool for Emile HESKEY (May 2004)
Record Fee Received 2,500,000 from Coventry City for Gary BREEN (January 1997)
Record Football League Appearances 491  Frank WOMACK  (1908-28)
Record League goalscorer 249  -  Joe BRADFORD  (1920-1935)
Record goalscorer in a League season 29  -  Joe BRADFORD  Division 1  (1927-1938)
Most goals in a match 5 - Walter ABBOTT  v Darwen   Division 2   26.11.1898
5 - John McMILLAN  v  Blackpool  Division 2  2.3.1901
5 - James WINDRIDGE  v  Glossop  Division 2  23.1.1915
Record Home Attendance (all-time) 66,844  .v.  Everton 
FA Cup R5     11.02.1939
Record Match receipts  262,000  .v.  Watford 
Play Off SF L2  20.5.1999
Record total of goals in a League season 103  -  Division 2  (1893-94, 28 games)
Record League points total 3 pts for a win : - 89  Division 2 (1994-95)

2 pts for a win : - 59  Division 2 (1947-48)

Most Capped Player while at club Malcolm PAGE  28  (Wales)

 

Stadium details

Address :  St. Andrews, Birmingham B9 4NH

Telephone :  0709 111 25837
(Box Office)  0121 772 0101  ext. 5
(News)  09068 121188
  (Ticketline)  0891 3329 88
Club Shop : 0709 111 25837 ext. 8
Fax : 0121 766 7866

Capacity : 25,812
Pitch size : 110 yards  x 74 yards
Official website :  http://www.bcfc.com

Unofficial websites :  View From The Tilton
The Birmingham City FC Archive

Fanzines
The Penguin

 

Travel to St. Andrews

From all parts:
Exit M6 at Junction 6 and take the A38(M) (Aston Expressway). Leave at 2nd exit then take first exit at roundabout along Dartmouth Middleway. After 1 miles turn left into St. Andrew's Street.

Bus Services:
Service 97 from Birmingham; Services 98 & 99 from Digbeth.

Car Parking:
Street Parking.

Nearest Railway Station:
Birmingham
New Street or Birmingham Moor Street (20 minutes walk).

Nearest Bus Station:
Digbeth.

 

Alternative History

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Stadium Details

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Full results history of Tottenham v Birmingham City

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