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Birmingham City History – All about the Club

We would like to tell you about Birmingham City history since the day the club was created and all the difficulties and memorable events it has seen in its days.

Birmingham City Football Club, based in Birmingham, England, has a rich history dating back to its formation in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance.

Over the years, the club underwent several name changes, becoming Small Heath in 1888, Birmingham in 1905, and finally Birmingham City in 1943.

Since 2011, the first team has been competing in the EFL Championship, the English football’s second tier.

As Small Heath, the club participated in the Football Alliance before becoming founder and the initial Football League Second Division champions, considered one of Birmingham City honors.

Their most successful era occurred in the 1950s and early 1960s, achieving the highest First Division finish of sixth in the 1955–56 season and reaching the 1956 FA Cup Final.

Birmingham also made their mark in European football, featuring in two Inter-Cities Fairs Cup finals in 1960 and 1961, with the latter being the first time an English club reached a significant European final.

Regarding Birmingham City trophies history, they claimed victory in the League Cup in 1963 and again in 2011.

St Andrew’s has been the club’s home ground since 1906.

Birmingham City maintains a fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbors, resulting in the intense Second City derby.

The club is affectionately referred to as the Blues, a nod to the color of their kit, and its loyal fans are known as Bluenoses.

Birmingham City History Since 1875

Birmingham City History Since 1875
  • Full Name: Birmingham City Football Club
  • Nicknames: Blues
  • Year of Formation: 1875
  • Place of Origin: Birmingham, West Midlands, England
  • Home Stadium: St Andrew’s
  • Owners: Birmingham Sports Holdings, Shelby Companies Ltd
  • Chairman: Tom Wagner
  • Manager: Wayne Rooney
  • League: EFL Championship
  • Market Value: €50.35m

The Birth of Small Heath Alliance

credit: wikipedia

Birmingham City’s origins date back to 1875 when they were established as Small Heath Alliance.

Starting in 1877, they called Muntz Street their home ground.

In 1885, the club took a significant step by turning professional.

Just three years later, they made football history by becoming the first club to transform into a limited company with a board of directors, operating under the name Small Heath F.C. Ltd.

During the 1889–90 season, Birmingham City joined the Football Alliance, a competition running parallel to the Football League.

Their involvement in the Alliance set the stage for what would come next.

In 1892, Small Heath and other Alliance teams were invited to participate in the newly formed Football League Second Division.

Although they secured the championship, they couldn’t secure promotion through the test match system.

However, they didn’t let this setback deter them.

The following season, they clinched promotion to the First Division with a second-place finish and a test match victory over Darwen.

In 1905, the club underwent a name change to Birmingham Football Club, marking another chapter in Birmingham City history.

This period also saw the construction of their new home, St Andrew’s Ground, which they moved into the following year.

Despite these advancements, the team’s on-field performance didn’t quite match their off-field progress.

Birmingham suffered relegation in 1908, prompting them to apply for re-election two years later.

They remained in the Second Division until after the conclusion of the First World War, as the club persevered through various challenges and changes.

Frank Womack’s leadership and the creative brilliance of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie played pivotal roles in Birmingham’s triumph as they clinched their second Division Two title in the 1920–21 season.

At the Top Tier for 18 Seasons

At the Top Tier for 18 Seasons

Under Womack’s captaincy, the team soared to new heights, setting the stage for their success.

Womack’s contribution was not limited to his leadership; he also etched his name in Birmingham City history by making an impressive 515 appearances, a record that still stands for an outfield player, during his remarkable two-decade career.

The year 1920 marked another significant milestone for Birmingham, as it witnessed the debut of the 19-year-old prodigy Joe Bradford.

Bradford would go on to become a legendary figure, scoring an astonishing club record of 267 goals in 445 games.

His exceptional skills also earned him 12 caps for the England national team, solidifying his status as one of the club’s all-time greats.

Birmingham City managers history tells us that in 1931, under the managerial guidance of Leslie Knighton, Birmingham City reached their first FA Cup Final.

However, they narrowly lost 2–1 to Second Division club West Bromwich Albion.

Despite their cup disappointment, Birmingham maintained their position in the top flight for a remarkable 18 seasons.

During this period, the team grappled with challenges in the league, often relying heavily on the exceptional abilities of England goalkeeper Harry Hibbs to compensate for a lack of goals from other quarters, with Joe Bradford being the notable exception.

The team’s resilience in the face of these difficulties showcased their determination.

Birmingham City history says that the inevitable day of relegation arrived in 1939, as Birmingham City found themselves demoted from the top division.

This occurred in the last full season before the Football League was suspended for the duration of the Second World War, marking the end of an era for the club as they faced uncertain times ahead.

After the War

Birmingham City history - After the War
credit: X (twitter)

In 1943, the club underwent a pivotal transformation, adopting the name Birmingham City F.C.

Under the leadership of Harry Storer, who took the reins as manager in 1945, Birmingham City achieved remarkable success.

The club emerged victorious in the Football League South wartime league, displaying their prowess during the challenging post-war period.

Their journey also took them to the semifinals of the first FA Cup after the war, capturing the hearts of fans and establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

Just two years later, in a remarkable display of defensive prowess, they secured their third Second Division title by conceding a mere 24 goals in the entirety of the 42-game season.

This achievement highlighted their remarkable defensive capabilities and their determination to reach new heights.

Following Storer’s tenure, Bob Brocklebank took the helm.

Although he couldn’t prevent the team from facing relegation in 1950, his tenure was marked by astute player acquisitions that would play a significant role in the club’s achievements over the next decade.

These acquisitions laid the foundation for Birmingham City’s resurgence.

The turning point came in November 1954 when Arthur Turner assumed the role of manager.

Turner’s leadership brought out the full potential of the team.

The 1954–55 season ended in triumph with a resounding 5–1 victory on the final day, clinching the championship.

We read in Birmingham City history that their remarkable first season back in the First Division resulted in the club achieving their highest league finish at a remarkable sixth place.

Additionally, Birmingham City reached the FA Cup final, a significant achievement, despite falling short against Manchester City in a memorable match marked by goalkeeper Bert Trautmann’s heroic performance, playing the final 20 minutes with a broken bone in his neck.

The First English Squad In European Competition

The First English Squad In European Competition

The following season saw Birmingham City face disappointment in the FA Cup once again, as they were defeated in the semifinals, this time by Manchester United’s “Busby Babes,” further solidifying the club’s competitive spirit and their desire to excel at the highest level of English football.

Birmingham City Football Club achieved significant milestones on the European stage during the mid-20th century.

Birmingham City history reveals that they became the first English club to partake in European competition, marking their presence in the inaugural Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on May 15, 1956.

Their journey in the competition was nothing short of remarkable, as they progressed to the semifinals, where they shared a thrilling 4-4 aggregate draw with Barcelona.

However, they suffered a narrow loss in the replay with a 2-1 scoreline.

Further solidifying their European legacy, Birmingham City also became the first English club to reach a European final.

In the 1960 Fairs Cup final, they valiantly contested against Barcelona but faced a 4-1 aggregate defeat.

The following year, in the 1961 final, they exhibited their prowess by reaching the championship match once more, this time battling A.S. Roma, though they ultimately fell with a 4-2 aggregate score.

In the semifinals of the 1961 competition, Birmingham City’s extraordinary performance included victories against Internazionale in both home and away fixtures, marking a significant achievement.

Notably, until Arsenal’s victory in 2003, no other English club had managed to secure a competitive win at the San Siro.

Gil Merrick’s team exhibited exceptional form in cup competitions, most notably in the 1963 League Cup final.

In this highly anticipated clash against local rivals Aston Villa, who were considered pre-match favorites, Birmingham City raised their game and emerged victorious with a 3-1 aggregate score, securing their first major trophy in the process.

Out of the First Division After Ten Years

Birmingham City history - Out of the First Division After Ten Years

Despite their success in cup competitions, Birmingham City’s fortunes in the league were less consistent.

After a decade of top-flight football, they faced relegation in 1965, marking their return to the Second Division.

This transition marked a new phase in Birmingham City history, as they sought to regain their top-flight status while cherishing the memories of their European and domestic cup successes.

In 1965, a significant shift in leadership occurred as businessman Clifford Coombs assumed the role of chairman for Birmingham City.

Coombs made a strategic move by persuading Stan Cullis to come out of retirement and manage the club.

Under Cullis’s guidance, Birmingham City embraced an attractive style of football that carried them to the semifinals of both the League Cup in 1967 and the FA Cup in 1968.

These achievements showcased their potential in cup competitions, although their approach to league football demanded a different strategy.

Following Stan Cullis, Freddie Goodwin took the helm, and he molded a team that played a skillful and aggressive brand of football.

This approach yielded success, with the team achieving promotion and making their presence felt in another FA Cup semifinal.

Two years later, Birmingham City faced a pivotal moment when they decided to part ways with Bob Latchford, who was transferred to Everton for a British record fee of £350,000.

Despite the financial gain, the absence of Latchford’s goal-scoring prowess posed a significant challenge for the team.

In the interim, Sir Alf Ramsey briefly managed the club before Jim Smith assumed control in 1978.

As relegation loomed, the club made a historic transfer decision by selling Trevor Francis to Nottingham Forest for a staggering £1 million, making him the first player to be transferred for such a substantial fee.

A Challenging Period

A Challenging Period

Francis had been a prolific scorer, notching 133 goals in 329 appearances over his nine-year tenure with Birmingham.

Under Jim Smith’s leadership, Birmingham City swiftly regained their place in the First Division, but the 1981–82 season began on a low note, leading to Smith’s replacement by Ron Saunders.

Saunders had recently resigned from his post as manager of league champions Aston Villa.

However, Saunders faced challenges as his team struggled to find the back of the net, ultimately resulting in their relegation in 1984.

Despite their ups and downs on the field, a tragic incident marred Birmingham City history.

During the last home game of the 1984–85 promotion season, a match against Leeds United, riots erupted, culminating in a heartbreaking incident in which a young boy lost his life when a stadium wall collapsed.

This unfortunate event occurred on the same day as the Bradford City stadium fire, and both incidents led to Mr. Justice Popplewell’s inquiry into safety at sports grounds, addressing issues of safety and crowd management.

The club’s stability was further eroded both on and off the field.

Saunders resigned following an FA Cup defeat to non-League team Altrincham, and a series of challenges ensued, including staff layoffs and the sale of the training ground.

By 1989, Birmingham City found themselves in the Third Division for the first time in their history.

In April 1989, the Kumar brothers, who owned a clothing chain, acquired ownership of the club.

Their tenure was marked by a rapid turnover of managers, unfulfilled promises of investment, and the looming threat of numerous players refusing to renew their contracts.

However, a ray of light shone through with a triumphant trip to Wembley in the Associate Members’ Cup, providing a brief respite from the turmoil.

New Owners, New Managers

New Owners, New Managers

The turning point came when Terry Cooper took the helm and guided the team to promotion.

Unfortunately, the Kumars’ businesses were embroiled in financial trouble due to the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), leading to the appointment of a liquidator.

In November 1992, the liquidator put up for sale their 84% ownership stake in the football club.

This period saw the club enduring financial turmoil, spending four months in administration.

Birmingham City history informs us that the club’s fate changed when David Sullivan, the proprietor of Sport Newspapers, purchased it for £700,000.

He also made a bold move by appointing a young, 23-year-old Karren Brady as managing director and provided funds for signings.

In a dramatic season finale, the team managed to stave off relegation back to the third tier.

However, the 1993–94 season got off to a poor start, prompting the appointment of Barry Fry to replace Terry Cooper.

While the change couldn’t prevent relegation, Fry’s first full season in charge brought immediate success as the team secured promotion back to the second tier, clinching the championship.

The triumph was further enhanced when they secured victory over Carlisle United in the Football League Trophy, thanks to Paul Tait’s golden goal, completing a remarkable “lower-league Double.”

After one more year, Fry was relieved of his duties to make way for the return of Trevor Francis.

With reinforcements boasting top-level experience, including former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce, Francis’s team narrowly missed out on a play-off position in 1998.

This was followed by three years of play-off semifinal defeats.

Their journey led them to the 2001 League Cup final against Liverpool at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, where Birmingham City managed to equalize in the last minute of normal time.

Steve Bruce’s Come Back

Birmingham City history - Steve Bruce’s Come Back

However, the match ultimately went to a penalty shootout, which Liverpool won.

By October 2001, a lack of progress had rendered Trevor Francis’s position untenable, and after a 6–0 League Cup defeat to Manchester City, he left by mutual consent.

Steve Bruce’s return as manager injected new life into a stagnant team.

He transformed their fortunes, propelling them from mid-table to the play-offs, ultimately securing promotion to the Premier League with a dramatic victory over Norwich City on penalties in the final.

This marked a significant turning point in Birmingham City history.

Inspired by the charismatic Christophe Dugarry, Birmingham City embarked on their first top-flight season in 16 years, culminating in a commendable mid-table finish.

The arrival of loan signing Mikael Forssell proved pivotal in the 2003–04 season, as his 17 league goals propelled Birmingham to secure a place in the top half of the table.

However, the subsequent season (2004–05) presented a stark contrast, as the team grappled with a significant struggle for goals, particularly after Forssell’s injury.

In July 2005, chairman David Gold expressed his optimism for Birmingham’s future, emphasizing the need to “start talking about being as good as anyone outside the top three or four.”

He believed that the club possessed “the best squad of players for 25 years.”

Unfortunately, injuries, a dip in form, and a lack of investment during the transfer window contributed to their eventual relegation in a season marred by a particularly disheartening moment—a devastating 7-0 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup.

The transition period was marked by the departure of key players such as Jermaine Pennant and Emile Heskey, who left for record fees, while several others were released.

Carson Yeung Acquiring the Club

Carson Yeung Acquiring the Club

However, manager Steve Bruce adopted an adjusted recruitment strategy, blending experienced free-transfer players with young, “hungry” talents and leveraging the loan market astutely.

This approach paid off with automatic promotion at the end of the season, despite earlier calls for Bruce’s dismissal.

In July 2007, Hong Kong-based businessman Carson Yeung acquired a significant 29.9% share of the club, positioning himself as the largest single shareholder, with intentions of eventually taking full control.

The uncertainty surrounding Bruce’s future under potential new ownership led to his departure mid-season.

He was succeeded by Alex McLeish, the Scotland national team manager, who, while unable to prevent relegation, orchestrated a swift promotion back to the Premier League in the following season.

Yeung’s company successfully completed the takeover in 2009, ushering in a new era for Birmingham City.

The team displayed their resilience by finishing in ninth place, marking their highest league finish in 51 years.

In 2011, they achieved another memorable feat by clinching their second League Cup, defeating the favored Arsenal with goals from Nikola Zigic and Obafemi Martins, which also secured their qualification for the Europa League.

However, this triumph was followed by another spell of relegation to the second tier, prompting McLeish to resign and join Aston Villa.

A series of ups and downs have marked Birmingham City history in recent years.

They narrowly missed the knockout rounds of the Europa League and came close to reaching the play-off final, but the club was facing financial turmoil and a transfer embargo at the time.

Manager Chris Hughton decided to depart in the midst of these challenges.

Under Lee Clark’s leadership, Birmingham City retained their divisional status on two occasions.

Constant Shifts in Management

Birmingham City history - Constant Shifts in Management

In the 2013-14 season, a dramatic moment unfolded when Paul Caddis scored a crucial 93rd-minute goal in the final match, saving the club from relegation based on goal difference.

However, despite these survival efforts, Lee Clark’s tenure was eventually cut short in October 2014 due to the team’s persistent poor form.

Gary Rowett stepped in to stabilize the team, guiding them to two consecutive tenth-place finishes.

His departure, which was controversially orchestrated by new owners Trillion Trophy Asia, saw the arrival of Gianfranco Zola, perceived as a manager with a “pedigree” who would support the club’s “strategic, long-term view” aimed at taking the club in a new direction.

However, the decision to appoint Zola proved to be a challenging one, as the team struggled under his management, winning only two out of 24 matches.

The situation became dire, and Birmingham City found themselves in a precarious position, requiring two wins from the last three games to avoid relegation.

Harry Redknapp took over as manager and, against the odds, achieved this goal.

However, Birmingham City history states that Redknapp’s tenure was relatively short-lived, lasting just another month.

The managerial carousel continued, with Steve Cotterill taking the reins for five months.

His successor, Garry Monk, faced yet another relegation battle.

Despite budget constraints and a nine-point deduction for breaches of the League’s Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) rules, the team managed to finish 17th in the 2018-19 season.

Just Avoiding Relegation

Just Avoiding Relegation

Nevertheless, Monk’s tenure came to an end in June following conflicts with the board.

Pep Clotet, initially appointed as a caretaker, then led the team.

In the 2019-20 season, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the schedule, causing the season to be suspended from March to June 2020.

Despite a 14-match winless run at the end of the season and the looming threat of a further points deduction, Birmingham City once again managed to avoid relegation.

Birmingham City history shows that the club also witnessed the departure of their academy product, Jude Bellingham, who was sold to Borussia Dortmund in a club-record deal reported to be worth up to £30 million.

Aitor Karanka subsequently took over as head coach but lasted only eight months before being replaced by former Birmingham player Lee Bowyer.

Bowyer’s tenure lasted 16 months, during which the club once again found themselves in a relegation struggle.

Amid rumors of an impending takeover, Bowyer was ultimately replaced by John Eustace.

After facing the disappointment of two failed takeover attempts, Birmingham City finally found new ownership when Shelby Companies Ltd, a US-based Knighthead Capital Management subsidiary, took a controlling stake in the club and assumed full ownership of the stadium on July 13, 2023.

Wayne Rooney As the New Manager

Wayne Rooney As the New Manager

The arrival of this new ownership brought about several significant changes, including the appointment of former Manchester City CEO Garry Cook to a corresponding role at Birmingham City.

One of the most notable developments was the acquisition of seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, who joined as a minority owner and took on the role of chairman of the club’s advisory board.

This high-profile addition garnered considerable attention and reflected the club’s aspirations to make a mark in the world of football.

In early October, despite the team’s position in the play-off places, a significant change occurred as John Eustace was relieved of his managerial duties.

Looking at Birmingham City history, we understand that the board emphasized the need to instill a “winning mentality” and foster a culture of ambition throughout the club.

They also sought a new appointment to shape the club’s identity and implement a clear and fearless playing style.

In response to this mandate, former England international Wayne Rooney was appointed as the new manager.

This move mirrored the board’s strategic decision seven years earlier when they replaced Gary Rowett with Gianfranco Zola.

It signified the club’s determination to create a winning culture and establish a distinctive playing identity under Rooney’s leadership.

Regarding Birmingham City Champions League history, the Blues have never participated in the aforementioned European competition.

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Birmingham City Kit History

Birmingham City Kit History
credit: youtube

In their early days, the Small Heath Alliance members collectively decided to adopt blue as their club colors.

The players wore whatever blue shirts they could find in the initial years.

The first uniform kit was introduced, consisting of a dark blue shirt with a white sash and white shorts.

Over time, the club experimented with various blue-themed designs.

However, the one that endured was the royal blue shirt featuring a white “V” pattern, which was adopted during the First World War and remained in use until the late 1920s.

While the design may have evolved throughout Birmingham City badge history, the royal blue color remained a constant throughout.

In 1971, the club introduced what would later be dubbed the “penguin” strip—a royal blue kit with a broad white central front panel.

This distinctive design was maintained for a period of five years.

Since then, the club has primarily sported plain royal blue shirts, although the specific shade has seen variations.

The shorts have alternated between blue and white, and the socks have typically been in blue, white, or a combination of the two.

Additionally, the away kit has showcased a variety of colors, including white, yellow, red, and black, either on their own or in combinations.

There have been some unusual deviations from the norm, such as the 1992 kit, which was sponsored by Triton Showers and featured a blue material covered in multicolored splashes reminiscent of a shower curtain.

Kit Sponsors

Kit Sponsors

The home shirt has only featured stripes once in 1999, with the blue shirt having a front central panel adorned with narrow blue and white stripes, bearing a design similar to the Tesco supermarket carrier bag from that era.

These variations in kit design have added a touch of uniqueness to Birmingham City history of uniform attire.

The 2023-24 home kit showcases a royal blue shirt adorned with a navy wave graphic pattern and trim, complemented by royal blue shorts and white socks.

On the other hand, the away kit boasts a red shirt with a striking black graphic pattern and trim paired with black shorts and red socks.

Both kits prominently display the logo of the club’s principal partner, the streetwear company Undefeated.

It’s worth noting that the club has had a history of frequently changing kit suppliers, rarely sticking with the same one for more than three seasons.

Over the years, the club has also seen various shirt sponsors come and go.

The first instance of shirt sponsorship was introduced in 1983 when Birmingham-based brewery Ansells featured on the shirts.

However, their sponsorship was short-lived, ending in mid-1985.

Following a brief period without a shirt sponsor, Co-op Milk stepped in with a significant financial contribution in January 1987, marking a relief not just financially but also in terms of fulfilling the expectations of a “big club.”

In June 2020, the club unveiled an exciting four-year partnership with Nike, who would be their official kit supplier.

As part of this collaboration, Nike would design and produce the club’s kits, featuring the logo of the club’s primary sponsor, Irish bookmaker BoyleSports.

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Birmingham City Badge History

Birmingham City Badge History

In 1905, when the club underwent a significant name change from Small Heath to Birmingham, they also adopted the city’s coat of arms as their official badge.

However, it’s worth noting that this badge wasn’t consistently featured on the club’s shirts over the years.

Birmingham City logo history depicts that in the 1970s, the iconic “penguin” shirt was introduced, bearing the intertwined letters “BCFC” at the center of the chest, deviating from the traditional badge design.

In 1972, an interesting development took place when the Sports Argus newspaper organized a competition to design a new badge for the club.

The winning entry depicted a line-drawn globe and ball, along with a ribbon displaying the club’s name and date of foundation, all in the classic blue and white color scheme.

While the club officially adopted this design, it wasn’t immediately incorporated into the playing shirts.

It wasn’t until 1976 after the design had received approval from the College of Arms in 1975, that it made its debut on the playing kits.

Interestingly, the design recorded at the College of Arms did not include the ribbon, and it was heralded as “A football ensigned by a terrestrial globe proper.”

This heraldic badge was also granted to the English Football League and subsequently licensed for use by Birmingham City.

During the early 1990s, there was an experiment involving the coloring of the globe and ball in the badge, but this variation was eventually abandoned.

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Birmingham City Stadiums

Birmingham City Stadiums

Small Heath Alliance initially held their inaugural home matches on an undeveloped area situated near Arthur Street in Bordesley Green.

As the club’s popularity grew, they relocated to a designated field in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, where they could charge admission fees for matches.

A year later, they moved once more, this time to a field adjacent to Muntz Street in Small Heath, near the primary Coventry Road, with a capacity of roughly 10,000.

During the 1880s, the Muntz Street ground was adequate for hosting friendly matches, and over time, its capacity was gradually expanded to accommodate around 30,000 spectators.

However, a significant incident occurred during a First Division match against Aston Villa when several thousand fans resorted to scaling walls and breaking down turnstiles to gain entry.

Birmingham City history says that this incident made it abundantly clear that the ground could no longer adequately meet the growing demand for matches.

Recognizing the need for a more substantial venue, Director Harry Morris identified a site for a new stadium in Bordesley Green, located about three-quarters of a mile (1 km) from Muntz Street and closer to the city center.

The new stadium was constructed in under twelve months, from land clearance to its grand opening ceremony on Boxing Day in 1906.

The stadium’s opening faced a potential setback due to heavy snowfall, requiring volunteers to clear the pitch and terraces to ensure the first match, a goalless draw against Middlesbrough, could proceed.

The original reported capacity of the newly constructed St Andrew’s stadium was an impressive 75,000, featuring 4,000 seats in the Main Stand and space for 22,000 under cover.

By 1938, the official capacity had been revised to 68,000.

Bombings On St Andrew’s

Bombings On St Andrew’s

The stadium’s highest recorded attendance took place in February 1939 during a fifth-round FA Cup tie against Everton, with varying reports of either 66,844 or 67,341 spectators.

With the onset of the Second World War, the Chief Constable ordered the temporary closure of the stadium due to the perceived danger of air raids.

St Andrew’s was the only stadium subjected to such closure, and it was only reopened after the matter was raised in Parliament.

Unfortunately, the stadium suffered significant damage during the Birmingham Blitz, with the Railway End and the Kop sections affected by bombings.

Additionally, the Main Stand was destroyed in a fire incident when a fireman inadvertently used petrol instead of water.

In response to the damage, a replacement Main Stand was constructed with a propped cantilever roof design, reducing the number of pillars obstructing spectators’ views of the pitch.

In Birmingham City history, floodlights were installed in 1956 and were officially illuminated during a friendly match against Borussia Dortmund in 1957.

By the early 1960s, a stand had been added at the Railway End, constructed in a design similar to the Main Stand.

Roofs had been installed over the Kop and Tilton Road End sections, which resulted in a reduced ground capacity of around 55,000 spectators.

As a result of the 1986 Popplewell Report on sports ground safety and the subsequent Taylor Report, the stadium’s capacity was set at 28,235 for safety reasons.

However, it was acknowledged that the stadium needed 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 to be replaced at the start of the new season by a 7,000-seat Tilton Road Stand.

Further Developments

Further Developments

This stand extended around the corner into the 9,500-seat Kop, which opened two months later.

The 8,000-seat Railway Stand followed in 1999, and a decade later, it was renamed the Gil Merrick Stand in honor of the club’s appearance record-holder and former manager.

However, Birmingham City history says that the Main Stand is yet to be modernized.

In 2004, there was a proposal to build a “sports village” that included a 55,000-capacity City of Birmingham Stadium, as well as other sports and leisure facilities and a super casino.

The financing for this project was to come jointly from Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City F.C. (through the proceeds of selling St Andrew’s), and the casino group Las Vegas Sands.

However, the feasibility of this plan hinged on the government issuing a license for a super casino, which did not materialize.

In 2013, the Birmingham City Supporters’ Trust’s application for listing St Andrew’s as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) was approved by the Birmingham City Council.

An ACV is a building or land whose main use promotes the social well-being or social interests of the local community and where it is realistic to believe it could do so in the future.

This listing required that any proposed sale be notified to the council, allowing the Trust and other community groups a six-month period for submitting their own bid.

In 2018, the club’s owners entered into a three-year sponsorship deal, resulting in the stadium being renamed St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.

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Birmingham City Rivalries History

Birmingham City Rivalries History

As perceived by their fans, the main rivals of Birmingham City are Aston Villa, their closest geographical neighbors.

This rivalry is fervently contested in the Second City derby.

This derby dates back to 1879.

Villa plays their home matches at Villa Park, while Birmingham plays at St Andrew’s, with the two stadiums situated about 2.4 miles (3.9 km) apart.

The name “Second City Derby” is derived from Birmingham, which is commonly referred to as the second city of the United Kingdom.

These two clubs are widely recognized as each other’s most intense and passionate rivals.

Moreover, Birmingham fans have lesser rivalries with fellow West Midlands clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion.

A 2003 Football Fans Census survey revealed that Aston Villa fans considered Birmingham City to be their primary rivals, although this wasn’t always the case.

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Fan Base

Fan Base

The supporters of Birmingham City are commonly referred to as “Bluenoses” by both the media and the fans themselves.

However, fans of other clubs sometimes use this term in a derogatory manner.

Notably, a public sculpture near St Andrew’s ground, known as Ondre Nowakowski’s Sleeping Iron Giant, has been repeatedly vandalized with blue paint on its nose.

About Birmingham City mascot history, between 1994 and 1997, the club mascot took the form of a blue nose.

Nowadays, the mascot is a dog named Beau Brummie, a play on the name Beau Brummell and “Brummie,” which is slang for a person from Birmingham.

Birmingham City has various supporters’ clubs affiliated with the football club, both in England and abroad.

Over the years, fan actions and protests have had a notable impact.

An action group was formed in 1991 to protest against chairman Samesh Kumar, and an internet petition was blamed for the collapse of the purchase of player Lee Bowyer in 2005.

Antipathy towards the board led to hostile chanting and a pitch invasion after the last match of the 2007–08 season.

Fanzines and Songs

Fanzines and Songs

During financial difficulties, supporters contributed to schemes that funded the purchase of players such as Brian Roberts in 1984 and Paul Peschisolido in 1992.

A supporters’ trust was established in 2012 under the auspices of Supporters Direct.

Several fanzines have been published by supporters, with “Made in Brum” first issued in 2000, and it was the only one regularly available in 2013.

“The Zulu” was another fanzine that had been in circulation for at least 16 seasons.

The hooligan firm associated with the club, the Zulu Warriors, was notable for its multi-racial membership during a time when many such firms were linked with racist or right-wing groups.

Birmingham City history tells us that the fans’ anthem is an adaptation of Harry Lauder’s “Keep Right On to the End of the Road,” and it was adopted during the 1956 FA Cup campaign.

This song played a significant role in motivating the Birmingham clans and was described by The Times’s football correspondent in his Cup Final preview.

He narrated how the fans propelled their team to Wembley with the song “Keep right on to the end of the road.”

Player Alex Govan is credited with popularizing the song.

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Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.


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