Birmingham City Football Club were Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, it was renamed Small Heath in 1888, Birmingham in 1905, and Birmingham City in 1943. Since 2011, the first team have competed in the Championship.
As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members and first champions of the Second Division. The most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They achieved their highest finishing position of sixth in the First Division in the 1955-56 and reached the 1956 Cup Final. Birmingham played in two Inter Cities Fairs Cup finals, in 1960, as the first English club side to reach a major European final, and again the following year. They won the League Cup in1963 and again in 2011. Birmingham have played in the top tier of English football for around half of their history: the longest period spent outside the top division, between 1986 and 2002, included two brief spells in the third tier of English football, during which time they won the Football League Trophy twice.
In July 2007, Hong Kong-based businessman Carson Yeung bought 29.9% of shares in the club, making him the biggest single shareholder, with a view to taking full control in the future. Uncertain as to his future under possible new owners, Bruce left in mid-season. His successor, Scotland national team manager Alex McLeish, was unable to stave off relegation, but achieved promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt. Yeung’s company completed the takeover in 2009, and the team finished in ninth place, their highest for 51 years. In 2011, they combined a second League Cup, defeating favourites Arsenal 2–1 and securing qualification for the Europa League, with relegation back to the second tier, after which McLeish resigned to join Aston Villa.
With the club in financial turmoil and under a transfer embargo, manager Chris Hughton left. Under Lee Clark, Birmingham twice retained their divisional status, albeit through a 93rd-minute goal in the last match of 2013–14 to avoid relegation on goal difference, but continued poor form saw him dismissed in October 2014.Gary Rowett stabilised the team and led them to two tenth-place finishes before being controversially dismissed by the new owners in favour of the of Gianfranco Zola.
Two wins from 24 matches under Zola left Birmingham needing two wins from the last three games to stay up, which they achieved under the managership of Harry Redknap. Redknapp lasted another month, his former assistant Steve Cotterill five months, leaving successor Garry Monk another – ultimately successful – relegation battle. Despite budgetary restrictions and a nine-point deduction for breaches of the League’s Profitability and Sustainability rules, the team finished 17th in 2018–19; however, Monk was sacked in June after conflict with the board. He was succeeded by his assistant, Pep Clotet, initially as caretaker. In the 2019-20 Season, a season that was suspended from March to June 2020 due to the Covid Pandemic, the club once again avoided relegation despite a 14-match winless run at the end of the season and the threat of a further points deduction. Academy product Jude Bellingham was sold to Borussia Dortmund in the summer for a club-record deal reported to be worth up to £30 million, after which Aitor Karanka lasted eight months as head coach before being replaced by former Birmingham player Lee Bowyer. After 16 months and yet another relegation struggle, amid rumours of an imminent takeover, Bowyer was replaced by John Eustace.
St Andrews has been their home ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, with whom they play the Second City Derby. The club’s nickname is Blues, after the colour of their kit, and the fans are known as Bluenoses.
The Harry Lauder song ‘Keep Right on to The End of the Road’ is traditionally sung by Birmingham supporters.
David Harewood OBE despite being a brilliant actor, as this photo shows, still works as an airport taxi driver.
Birmingham mascot – ‘A Dog Named Blue’ perhaps?
First English Team in a European Final
Birmingham City were the first English team to reach a major European final. They did so in 1960 when they were invited to enter the second edition of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, a precursor to the modern Europa League. Blues were invited due to Birmingham being among a number of cities that had recently hosted trade fairs
In the final Birmingham played Barcelona. The first leg ended in a 0-0 draw at St. Andrews, but at the Nou Camp Birmingham lost 4-1. So Birmingham are no strangers to the atmosphere of a big stadium such as the New Lawn.
First Golden Goal
Between 1993 and 2004 if a match in a knockout tournament was deadlocked after 90 minutes, then another 30 minutes of extra time was played. However, if a goal was scored during the 30-minute extra period then the game ended there and then, hence the Golden Goal
The first major tournament to be decided by a Golden Goal was in 1995 Birmingham and Carlisle United contested the final the Football League Trophy. Nearly 77,000 fans at the old Wembley Stadium witnessed a closely fought match, which ended goalless after 90 minutes. Then in the 103rd minute, Birmingham’s Paul Tait scored the historic golden goal to win the trophy for Blues.
See the goal here – https://youtu.be/0lZi8gs6iCU
First Million Pound Transfer
In 1979 the seven-figure barrier was smashed by Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, who spent £1,150,000 on Birmingham’s star striker Trevor Francis. Francis had been at the club since his schoolboy days and in a nine-year spell had scored 133 goals in all competitions. Francis scored the winning goal for Forest in the European Cup Final. He was possibly the greatest player in Birmingham’s history and even now remains the second highest goal scorer in the club’s history behind Joe Bradford, who scored 267 goals between 1920-1935. Francis returned to manage Birmingham, 1996 – 2001.
Francis had a spell in charge of Crystal Palace, from November 2001 to April 2003. Under his managership, Palace defeated Liverpool in an FA Cup fourth round replay at Anfield in February 2003 and beat Palace’s main rivals Brighton 5–0 in October 2002. After leaving Palace Francis retired completely from football presumably knowing that he had reached the football pinnacle and after Palace the only way was down.