Birmingham City F.C.

Birmingham City F.C.

] ["Keeping right on", p. 31.] Birmingham have only ever worn stripes on their home shirt once; in 1999 they wore a blue shirt with a front central panel in narrow blue and white stripes,a design similar to the Tesco supermarket carrier bag of the time.

When the club changed their name from Small Heath to Birmingham in 1905 they adopted the City of Birmingham's coat of arms as their crest, although this was not always worn on the shirts. The 1970s "penguin" shirt carried the letters "BCFC" intertwined at the centre of the chest. The "Sports Argus" newspaper ran a competition in 1972 to design a new badge for the club. The winning entry, submitted by Birmingham supporter Michael Wood, was the line-drawn globe and ball, with ribbon carrying the club name and date of foundation, in plain blue and white. ["Keeping right on", pp. 27–29.] This design was adopted by the club but not worn on playing shirts until 1976. An experiment was made in the early 1990s with colouring in the globe and ball, but the club soon reverted to the plain version. []


Small Heath Alliance played their first home games on waste ground off Arthur Street, Bordesley Green. As interest grew, they moved to a fenced-off field in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, where admission could be charged. A year later, they moved again, to a field adjoining Muntz Street, Small Heath, near the main Coventry Road, with a capacity of about 10,000. Muntz Street was adequate for 1880s friendly matches, and the capacity was gradually raised to around 30,000, but when several thousand spectators scaled walls and broke down turnstiles to get into a First Division match against Aston Villa, it became clear that it could no longer cope with the demand.Matthews, "Complete Record, pp. 57–59.]

Director Harry Morris identified a site for a new ground in Bordesley Green, some three-quarters of a mile (1 km) from Muntz Street towards the city centre. The site was where a brickworks once operated; the land sloped steeply down to stagnant pools, yet the stadium was constructed in under twelve months from land clearance to opening ceremony on Boxing Day 1906. Heavy snow nearly prevented the opening; volunteers had to clear pitch and terraces before the match, a goalless draw against Middlesbrough, could go ahead.The ground is reputed to have been cursed by gypsies evicted from the site; [cite news
url= |title=Birmingham hope curse has run course |author=Smith, Martin |publisher=Daily Telegraph |date=2006-12-26 |accessdate=2007-11-02
] gypsies are known to have camped nearby, [cite book
author=Marsden, Bob |title=A.B.C. of Small Heath and Bordesley Green Past and Present |publisher=Small Heath Local History Society |year=1987 |month=March |pages=p. 44 |quote=St. Andrew's [Church] was erected in 1846, the fifth and last to be built by the Church Building Society. It was an unsuitable site, and for many years after its building, the only dwellings nearby were huts where brickworkers lived, a few cottages, and an occasional gipsy camp.
] but there is no contemporary evidence for their eviction by the club.

The original capacity of St Andrew's was reported as 75,000, with 4,000 seats in the Main Stand and space for 22,000 under cover.By 1938 the official capacity was 68,000, and February 1939 saw the attendance record set at the fifth round FA Cup tie against Everton, variously recorded as 66,844 or 67,341.cite web
url=,,10412,00.html |title=Birmingham City Records |publisher=Birmingham City F.C
, though this source has the match date wrong, and cite book |author=Rollin, Jack (ed.) |title=Rothmans Football Yearbook 1990-91 |publisher=Queen Anne Press |location=London |year=1990 |isbn=0-356-17911-7] cite web |url=,,10412~56540,00.html |title=Club History |publisher=Birmingham City F.C (in contradiction to the club website Records page), Matthews, "Encyclopedia", 'Attendances', p. 21, and the contemporary cite news
title=Fifth round official figures |publisher=The Times |format=The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 |date=1939-02-13 |page=5 |accessdate=2007-11-02
] On the outbreak of the Second World War, the Chief Constable ordered the ground's closure because of the danger from air-raids; it was the only ground to be thus closed, and was only re-opened after the matter was raised in Parliament. It was badly damaged during the war, the Railway End and the Kop as a result of bombing, the Main Stand burnt down when a fireman mistook petrol for water.

The replacement Main Stand used a propped cantilever roof design, which meant fewer pillars to block spectators' view of the pitch. Floodlights were installed in 1956, and officially switched on for a friendly match against Borussia Dortmund in 1957.Matthews, "Encyclopedia", 'St Andrew's', pp. 193–96.] By the early 1960s a stand had been built at the Railway End to the same design as the Main Stand, roofs had been put on the Kop and Tilton Road End, and the ground capacity was down to about 55,000.

Resulting from the 1986 Popplewell report into the safety of sports grounds and the later Taylor Report, the capacity of St Andrew's was set at 28,235 for safety reasons,but it was accepted that the stadium had to be brought up to modern all-seated standards. After the last home game of the 1993–94 season, the Kop and Tilton Road terraces were demolished – with fans taking home a significant proportion as souvenirs – to be replaced at the start of the new season by a 7,000-seat Tilton Road Stand, continuing round the corner into the 9,500-seat Kop which opened two months later.The 8,000-seat Railway Stand followed in 1999, [cite news
url= |title=Wanderers middle men hailed as the best |author=Sharrock, Gordon |publisher=Bolton Evening News |date=1999-02-22 |accessdate=2007-12-06
] but the Main Stand has still to be modernised.

In 2004 a proposal was put forward to build a "sports village" comprising a new 55,000 stadium for the club, to be known as the City of Birmingham Stadium, other sports and leisure facilities, and a super casino. The project would be jointly financed by Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City F.C. (via the proceeds of the sale of St Andrew's) and the casino group Las Vegas Sands. The feasibility of the plan depended on the government issuing a licence for a super casino, and Birmingham being chosen as the venue, [cite news
url= |title=Blues unveil stadium plan |author=Connor, Neil |publisher=Birmingham Post |date=2005-10-26 |accessdate=2007-11-02
] but this did not happen. The club have planning permission to redevelop the Main Stand, [cite news
url= |title=Blues still hoping for new stadium |author=Tattum, Colin |publisher=Birmingham Mail |date=2006-12-24 |accessdate=2007-11-02
] but club and council have continued to seek alternative sources of funding for the City of Birmingham Stadium project. [cite news
url= |title=Blues revive bid for new stadium |author=Tattum, Colin |publisher=Birmingham Mail |date=2007-03-09 |accessdate=2007-11-02


Birmingham fans consider their main rivals to be Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours geographically, with whom they contest the Birmingham derby. Lesser rivalries exist with fellow West Midlands clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion. According to a 2003 Football Fans Census survey, fans of Aston Villa think of Birmingham City as their main rivals, though this has not always been the case.cite web
url= |title=Rivalry Uncovered! |publisher=The Football Fans Census |format=PDF |page=p. 3 |year=2003 |month=December |accessdate=2007-11-15

The fans are referred to as "Bluenoses", a nickname attributed by the Football Fans Census survey to an "accusation they are left out in the cold when it comes to success".Ondré Nowakowski's "Sleeping Iron Giant", a piece of public sculpture in the form of a ten-times-life-size head lying on a mound near the St Andrew's ground, has been repeatedly defaced with blue paint on its nose. [cite book
url= |author=Noszlopy, George T. |title=Public Sculpture of Birmingham |publisher=Liverpool University Press |pages=pp. 20–21 |isbn=978-0-85323-692-4 |year=1998 |accessdate=2008-01-04
] [cite book
title=Forward |pages=p. 7 |format=PDF |url= |author=Upton, Chris |date=2006-01-11 |issue=25 |publisher=Birmingham City Council |accessdate=2007-11-18
] Between 1994 and 1997 the club mascot took the form of a blue nose, ["Keeping right on", pp. 167–68.] though it is now a dog called "Beau Brummie", a play on the name Beau Brummell and Brummie, the slang word for a person from Birmingham.

There are a number of supporters' clubs affiliated to the football club, both in England and abroad. [cite web
url=,,10412,00.html |title=Official Blues supporters' clubs |publisher=Birmingham City F.C. |accessdate=2007-12-05
] While an action group was formed in 1991 to protest against chairman Samesh Kumar,the club blamed an internet petition for the collapse of the purchase of Lee Bowyer in 2005, [cite news
url= |title=Bowyer and Birmingham given notice that fans' loyalty to the shirt is not blind |author=Lawton, James |publisher=The Independent |date=2005-06-18 |accessdate=2007-12-05
] and antipathy towards the board provoked hostile chanting and a pitch invasion after the last match of the 2007–08 season, [cite news
url= |title=Thanks for the noise, Alex McLeish tells Birmingham City fans |author=Tattum, Colin |date=2008-05-12 |work=Birmingham Mail |publisher=Trinity Mirror |accessdate=2008-05-30
] [cite news
url= |title=David Gold 'hurt' by Birmingham City fans attacks |work=Birmingham Mail |publisher=Trinity Mirror |accessdate=2008-05-30
] relations between club and fanbase have never been so poor as to provoke the formation of an independent supporters' group. When the club was in financial difficulties, supporters contributed to schemes which funded the purchase of players Brian Roberts in 1984 [Matthews, "Complete Record", p. 120.] and Paul Peschisolido in 1992.

There have been several fanzines published by supporters; in 2008, two were regularly on sale, "Made in Brum", first issued in 2000, and the longer-established "Zulu". The hooligan firm associated with the club, the Zulus, were unusual in that they had multi-racial membership at a time when many such firms had associations with racist or right-wing groups. [cite book
author=Gall, Caroline |title=Zulus: Black, White and Blue: the Story of the Zulu Warriors Football Firm |publisher=Milo Books |date=2006 |isbn=978-1903854532
] [cite web
url= |title=Football and the Criminal Justice Act: Conservative Governments and Football Regulation | |accessdate=2007-12-05
] The 2005 film Green Street features hooliganism surrounding a fictional match between West Ham United and Birmingham.

The fans' anthem, [cite web
url= |title=Keep Right On |publisher=Birmingham City Swedish Supporters Club |accessdate=2007-09-13
] an adaptation of Harry Lauder's "Keep right on to the end of the road", [cite web
url= |title=The End of the Road |work=A Celebration of Sir Harry Lauder "Laird of the Music Hall" |accessdate=2007-09-13 |author=William Dillon and Harry Lauder
] was adopted during the 1956 FA Cup campaign. "The Times"' football correspondent described in his Cup Final preview how

the Birmingham clans swept their side along to Wembley – the first side ever to reach a final without once playing at home – on the wings of the song" 'Keep right on to the end of the road'." [cite news
title=Every Prospect Of A Good Final |format=The Times Digital Archive 1785–1985 |publisher=The Times |page=4 |date=1956-05-05 |accessdate=2007-09-07
Player Alex Govan is credited with popularising the song, either by singing it on the coach on the way to the quarter final, [cite news
url= |title=Ross finds ways to turn airwaves blue |author=Boyden, Malcolm |publisher=The Times |date=2003-04-19 |accessdate=2007-09-13 |quote=Govan was the man who first sang the Blues anthem Keep Right on to the End of the Road on the way to Birmingham’s 1956 FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal. The song spread quickly among the players — and then to the fans.
] or when he revealed in an interview that it was his favourite.
In the build-up to the 1956 FA Cup semi-final with Sunderland I was interviewed by the press and happened to let slip that my favourite song was Harry Lauder's old music hall number "Keep Right on to the End of the Road". I thought no more about it, but when the third goal went in at Hillsborough the Blues fans all started singing it. It was the proudest moment of my life. ["Keeping right on", p. 63.]


Small Heath F.C. became a limited company in 1888; its first share issue was to the value of £650. ["Keeping right on", p. 11.] The board was made up of local businessmen and dignitaries until 1965, when the club was sold to Clifford Coombs. [Matthews, "Complete Record", p. 35.] By the mid-1980s the club was in financial trouble. Control passed from the Coombs family to former Walsall chairman Ken Wheldon, who cut costs, made redundancies, and sold off assets, including the club's training ground. Still unable to make the club pay, Wheldon sold it to the Kumar brothers, owners of a clothing chain.Debt was still increasing when matters came to a head; the collapse of the BCCI bank put the Kumars' businesses into receivership. The club continued in administration for four months until Sport Newspapers proprietor David Sullivan bought the Kumars' 84% holding for £700,000 from BCCI's liquidator in March 1993.

The football club is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Birmingham City plc, listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).cite web |url= |title=BMC BIRMINGHAM CITY PLC ORD 10P |accessdate=2007-07-30 |publisher=London Stock Exchange] The plc was floated in 1997 with an issue of 15 million new shares,"Birmingham City plc (company flotation prospectus)", Shore Capital for Birmingham City plc, February 1993, p. 1.] raising £7.5 million of new investment. [cite web |url= |title=Karren Brady (Birmingham City Football Club) |accessdate=2007-07-30 |year=2003 |month=March |work=Growing Business, issue 17] The club made a pre-tax profit of £2.7M in the year ending 31 August 2006 [cite web |url=,,10412~56966,00.doc |title=Preliminary Statement of Final Results for the Year Ended 31 August 2006 |accessdate=2007-07-30 |date=2007-01-26 |format=DOC |publisher=Birmingham City plc] which, according to Deloitte's "Annual Review of Football Finance", made them one of only four Premier League clubs to finish the 2005–06 season without debt. [cite web
url= |title=Highlights |work=Annual Review of Football Finance 2007 |publisher=Deloitte |format=PDF |year=2007 |accessdate=2007-10-30 |quote=Three Premier League clubs other than Manchester United finished the 2005/06 season with net funds rather than net debt – Birmingham City, Charlton Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur.

The plc has approximately 81.5M shares in issue. On 27 June 2007, the major shareholders entered into an agreement to sell 29.9% of the company to Hong Kong-based businessman Carson Yeung Ka-shing via the company Grandtop International Holdings Limited ("GIH"), which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. [cite web |url= |title= GRANDTOP INT'L (2309 ) |accessdate=2007-07-30 |publisher=Hong Kong Stock Exchange] The offer price of 61.331 pence per share [cite web |url= |title=Regulatory Announcement No.1369Z: Birmingham City PLC Directors’ share sales |accessdate=2007-07-30 |date=2007-06-27 |publisher=London Stock Exchange] valued the club at approximately £50M, well above any previous market capitalisation.On 16 July GIH exercised their option to purchase, [cite web |url= |title=Regulatory Announcement No.3291A: Grandtop International Holdings Ltd Form 8.1 |accessdate=2007-07-30 |date=2007-07-16 |publisher=London Stock Exchange] which made Yeung the largest single shareholder, with plc chairman David Sullivan controlling 23.22% via two of his companies, and football club chairman David Gold holding the same amount jointly with his brother Ralph. [cite web
url= |title=Regulatory Announcement No.3087A: Birmingham City plc Directors' shareholdings |accessdate=2007-07-30 |date=2007-07-16 |publisher=London Stock Exchange
] In August Yeung stated his intention to take full control of the club once due diligence was complete, [cite news
url= |title=Carson targets Autumn takeover of Blues |author=Tattum, Colin |publisher=Birmingham Mail |date=2007-08-17 |accessdate=2007-11-03
] but the process became protracted, until on 20 December 2007, the day before a deadline set for completion of the deal, the plc announced that discussions had terminated with the directors "no longer confident that GIH will be able to make a general offer for the Company", [cite web
url= |title=Regulatory Announcement No.3568K: Birmingham City PLC Offer discussions terminated |accessdate=2007-12-20 |date=2007-12-20 |publisher=London Stock Exchange
] though GIH claimed it was they who had "temporarily shelve [d] " the bid due to Birmingham's failure to co-operate. [cite news
url= |title=Yeung shelves Birmingham City takeover plan |publisher=AFP |date=2007-12-21 |accessdate=2008=01-10

In April 2008, Sullivan and managing director Karren Brady were arrested and questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and false accounting in connection with an ongoing investigation of alleged corruption in English football. [cite news |url= |title= Blues bosses arrested by police |publisher=BBC News |date=2008-04-09 |accessdate=2008-04-09]


Birmingham City's honours include the following: [cite book
author=Oliver, Peter |title=Birmingham City The official Annual 2008 |publisher=Grange Communications |year=2007 |isbn=978-1-905426-79-9
] cite web
archiveurl= |archivedate=2005-03-08 |url= |title=Honours |work=The Birmingham City FC Archive |publisher=Tony Jordan
* Second Division / The Championship (level 2)
** Champions: 1892–93, 1920–21, 1947–48, 1954–55
** Runners up: 1893–94, 1900–01, 1902–03, 1971–72, 1984–85, 2006–07
** Play-off winners: 2001–02
* Third Division / Division Two (level 3)
** Champions: 1994–95
** Runners up: 1991–92
* FA Cup
** Runners up: 1931, 1956
* League Cup
** Winners: 1963
** Runners up: 2001
* Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
** Runners up: 1960, 1961
* Associate Members Cup / Football League Trophy
** Winners: 1991, 1995
* Birmingham Senior Cup
** Winners: 1905, 1907, 1915, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1983, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2008

tatistics and records

Frank Womack holds the record for Birmingham league appearances, having played 491 matches between 1908 and 1928, closely followed by Gil Merrick with 485 between 1946 and 1959. If all senior competitions are included, Merrick has 551, less closely followed by Womack's 515 which is the record for an outfield player. [Matthews, "Encyclopedia", 'Appearances', pp. 12–15.] As of June 2008, the player who has won most international caps while at the club is Maik Taylor with 39 for Northern Ireland. [Includes caps won when on loan from Fulham. cite web
url= |title=Squad profiles Maik Taylor |publisher=IFA |accessdate=2008-08-03

The goalscoring record is held by Joe Bradford, with 249 league goals, 267 altogether, scored between 1920 and 1935; no other player comes close. Walter Abbott holds the records for the most goals scored in a season, in 1898–99, with 34 league goals in the Second Division and with 42 goals in total. [Matthews, "Encyclopedia", 'Goalscoring', pp. 96–97.] Bradford holds the record for league goals scored in a top flight season with 29 in 1927–28.

The club's widest victory margin in the league was 12–0, a scoreline which they achieved once in the Football Alliance, against Nottingham Forest in 1899, and twice in the Second Division, against Walsall Town Swifts in 1892 and Doncaster Rovers in 1903. Their heaviest league defeats were 9–1, both in the First Division, against Blackburn Rovers in 1895 and Sheffield Wednesday in 1930. Their record FA Cup win was 10–0 against Druids in the fourth qualifying round of the 1899 competition; their record FA Cup defeat was 0–7 against Liverpool in the 2006 quarter final. [Matthews, "Encyclopedia", 'Wins', p. 240, and 'Defeats', p. 68.]

Birmingham's home attendance record was set at the fifth round FA Cup tie against Everton on 11 February 1939. It is variously recorded as 66,844 or 67,341.As the current ground capacity is around 30,000, it is unlikely that this record will be broken in the foreseeable future.

The highest transfer fee received for a Birmingham player is £6.7 million, possibly rising to £8M, from Liverpool for Jermaine Pennant in July 2006, [cite news
url= |title=Pennant completes Liverpool move |publisher=BBC |date=2006-07-26 |accessdate=2007-10-15
] while the most spent by the club on a player was £3.5M, possibly rising to £6.25M, for Emile Heskey from Liverpool in May 2004. [cite news
url= |title=Birmingham sign Heskey |publisher=BBC |date=2004-05-18
cite news
url= |title=Blues prepared for the worst |author=Tattum, Colin |publisher=Birmingham Mail |date=2006-04-06 |accessdate=2007-10-15
James McFadden was bought from Everton in January 2008 for a fee of £5M, possibly rising to £6M depending on appearances; if the full fee becomes payable, this will be the club's record purchase. [cite web
url=,,10412~1218983,00.html |title=Exclusive first interview with McFadden |publisher=Birmingham City F.C. |date=2008-01-18 |accessdate=2001-01-22


Current squad

:"As of 23 September 2008." [cite web |url=,,10412,00.html |title=Player profiles |publisher=Birmingham City F.C. |accessdate=2008-09-01]

Fs player| no=22| nat=Northern Ireland| pos=MF| name=Damien Johnson|other=captain *

:: * Carsley will act as captain while Johnson is out injured. [cite web |url=,,10412~1347946,00.html |title=Jonty to have op |publisher=Birmingham City F.C. |date=2008-07-21 |accessdate=2008-07-21]

Out on loan

Reserves and Academy

Notable players


Notable managers

Gil Merrick is the only Birmingham manager to have won a major trophy, the League Cup in 1963. Merrick also led the club to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final in 1961, following Pat Beasley who did the same in 1960. [Matthews, "Complete Record", p. 62.]
Leslie Knighton took the club to the final of the FA Cup in 1931;
Arthur Turner did likewise in 1956, as well as taking charge of the club's highest league finish, sixth place in the 1955–56 First Division.Birmingham reached the 2001 Football League Cup Final under Trevor Francis,whose successor as permanent manager, Steve Bruce, twice achieved promotion to the Premier League.

Current staff

:"As of 13 May 2008." [cite web
url=,,10412,00.html |title=The backroom team |publisher=Birmingham City F.C. |accessdate=2008-02-13
] [cite web
url=,,10412,00.html |title=Academy staff |publisher=Birmingham City F.C. |accessdate=2008-02-13
* Team manager: Alex McLeish
* First team coach: Roy Aitken
* First team coach: Andy Watson
* Goalkeeping coach: Dave Watson
* Academy manager: Terry Westley
* Chief scout: Paul Montgomery


*cite book
author=Matthews, Tony |title=Birmingham City: A Complete Record |year=1995 |publisher=Breedon Books |location=Derby |isbn=978-1-85983-010-9

*cite book
author=Matthews, Tony |title=The Encyclopedia of Birmingham City Football Club 1875-2000 |publisher=Britespot |location=Cradley Heath |year=2000 |month=October |isbn=978-0-9539288-0-4

*cite book
author=Lewis, Peter (ed.) |title=Keeping right on since 1875. The Official History of Birmingham City Football Club |year=2000 |publisher=Arrow |location=Lytham |isbn=1-900722-12-7


External links

* [ Club's official website]
*BBC Football Info|BBClinkname=b/birmingham_city
* [,,12306~1072285,00.html - Birmingham City]
* [ Graphical History of Birmingham City Kits]

succession box
before=Tranmere Rovers
title=Football League Trophy Winners
after=Stoke City
succession box
before=Swansea City
title=Football League Trophy Winners
after=Rotherham United

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Birmingham City — Voller Name Birmingham City Football Club Gegründet 1875 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City F.C. — Birmingham City Voller Name Birmingham City Football Club Gegründet 1875 Stadion …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City — Football Club Birmingham City FC …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Birmingham City FC — Birmingham City Football Club Birmingham City FC …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Birmingham City L.F.C. — Football club infobox clubname = Birmingham City fullname = Birmingham City Ladies Football Club nickname = The Blues founded = 1968 ground = The Valley Stadium, Redditch capacity = 5,000 (400 seated) chairman = flagicon|England Steve Shipway… …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City F.C. — El Birmingham City F.C. es un club de fútbol de Inglaterra, de la ciudad de Birmingham en West Midlands. Fue fundado en 1875 y juega en la Premier League inglesa …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Birmingham City University — Motto Latin: Age Quod Agis Motto in English Do what you are doing; attend to your business Established 1992 gained university status 1971 City of Birmingh …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City Centre — is the business hub of the city of Birmingham, United Kingdom. According to the Parkinson Masterplan of Birmingham, published in 2007, the city centre is defined as being the area within the A4540 road.cite web|… …   Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City Ladies — Birmingham City Voller Name Birmingham City Football Club Gegründet 1875 Stadion …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Birmingham City F.C. Reserves and Academy — are the reserve team and the youth development system respectively of Birmingham City Football Club. The reserve team, established in 1879, played in the Southern Division of the FA Premier Reserve League in the 2007 ndash;08 season, but… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”