|Seat||Birmingham , England|
|First soccer team|
|Head coach||Aitor Karanka|
|Venue||St. Andrew's Stadium|
The club was initially founded as the "Small Heath Alliance", whose first sports field was right across from what is now St. Andrews on Arthur Street, and has changed the name several times in the course of its history: from "Small Heath" in 1888 to "Birmingham Football Club ”in 1905 finally changed to the official name“ Birmingham City Football Club ”, which is still valid today, 40 years later.
In 1931 and 1956, the club reached the final of the FA Cup ; in addition, in 1963, a 3-1 final win after a return leg against local rivals Aston Villa and in 2011 after a 2-1 final win against Arsenal , the only major trophies in the club's history were the League Cup . Between 1986 and 2002, Birmingham City experienced its most difficult time from a sporting point of view, when the club was always outside the English top division and even had to go through two phases in the third division. From 2002 to 2011, the club played a total of seven seasons in the Premier League , and since the 2011/12 season the club has been part of the second-rate EFL Championship .
The team's nickname “The Blues” has its origins in the blue and white team colors. The supporters of the club are called "Bluenoses" based on this. The club plays its home games at St. Andrew's Stadium , which has a capacity of around 30,000.
The first years
In 1875 members of the cricket club "Holy Trinity Cricket Club" founded a football department under the name "Small Heath Alliance" and initially only planned a recreational sport activity in winter. The club from Bordesley Green - located in the center of Birmingham - had church roots like many other clubs and in 1877 moved into its first permanently rented venue on "Muntz Street".
The club's first official game took place against the "Holte Wanderers" from Aston - from the district that, in the further course of history, was to be the greatest local rival of Birmingham City with Aston Villa. In 1885 the club became a professional club and in 1892 joined the Football League as a founding member of the second-rate Second Division . Small Heath won the championship there in its first season, but was not promoted to the First Division because the necessary "test matches" - as it was called at the time - were lost against Newton Heath (now known as "Manchester United"). In the following year, however, the promotion could be made up after the club initially occupied second place in the Second Division and then won the elimination game against FC Darwen .
When Small Heath was meanwhile the only club in the city of Birmingham in the Football League, it was to be named "Birmingham City Football Club" in 1905. However, this did not find a majority among the club owners and the club was instead given the shorter version of the name "Birmingham Football Club". A year later, the club moved into the home ground in St. Andrews Stadium, which is still used today, and played there in the first goalless game in front of 32,000 spectators against Middlesbrough FC .
In the championship, the club shuttled between the second and first division. After relegation in 1896, the club returned to the first class after five more seasons and stayed there until 1908. Until the outbreak of World War I , the club operated with variable success in the Second Division, with mostly places in the lower half of the table . The official game operation was completely at a standstill during the fighting and St. Andrew's Stadium was even used as a shooting range for soldiers in training.
Return to Excellence: The Bradford Years
After the end of the war, Birmingham FC continued their early league successes. A third place in the 1919/20 season was followed by the second division championship in 1921 and the associated return to the first division.
On September 2, 1925, the club went to their home St. Andrew's Stadium against the Spanish club Real Madrid and won this first game against continental competition 3-0. The first notable success in a major competition came in 1931, when Birmingham FC reached the FA Cup final for the first time and were only barely defeated by their opponents West Bromwich Albion with 1: 2. In the championship, the club should mostly occupy only a double-digit place in the table in the following years, but remained first-class until relegation in the 1938/39 season. The phase between 1920 and 1935 was later referred to as the “Bradford Years” and refers to Joe Bradford , who is still the club's record goal scorer with 267 goals in 445 games and who made twelve international matches for the England team.
Shortly after the beginning of the 1939/40 season, in which FC Birmingham had to play again in the Second Division, the game was suspended due to the Second World War . The St. Andrew's Stadium was then badly damaged by the German Air Force by no fewer than 20 hits by 1945 .
The "blues" in Europe
In the 1950s, the club, which has now been renamed Birmingham City, was able to achieve its highest position in the championship to this day after two years of membership in the Second Division. The team supervised by Arthur Turner finished sixth at the end of the 1955/56 season. In addition, the club reached a FA Cup final for the second time and lost again - now with 1: 3 against Manchester City . This season also marked the beginning of a series of ten uninterrupted years of excellence. In this phase, the first title win fell in 1963, when local rivals Aston Villa were defeated 3-1 in the final of the League Cup with 3-1 on aggregate.
In 1956, Birmingham City became the first English football club to take part in a European club competition. He entered after a special invitation to the trade fair cup competition, which was held for the first time between 1955 and 1958 . Several cities - including London - sent selections that included players from several clubs. However, since the Aston Villa management refused to accept a joint team from Birmingham, this selection consisted only of players from Birmingham City.
At the European premiere, the club parted ways with Inter Milan on May 15, 1956 . Between 1956 and 1962 the “Blues” took part in the trade fair cup four times and remained unbeaten in twelve home games. Of the total of 51 goals scored, Johnny Gordon scored seven goals alone, and Trevor Smith became the club's European record player with 18 appearances.
In 1960 and 1961, the team advanced to the final. There they were initially defeated by FC Barcelona - a 0-0 defeat followed by a 4-1 defeat in the second leg at Camp Nou and the following year against AS Roma with a total of 2-4 goals in both games. In the second case, the team had previously defeated Inter Milan in the quarter-finals and became the first English club to win against these opponents in the San Siro Stadium .
Changing times (1965–1985)
With the first division as bottom of the table after the end of the 1964/65 season, this heyday ended and should provide for seven subsequent years in the second division for the "Blues". In 1970, the only 16-year-old Trevor Francis made his debut , who would later become one of the most respected players in the club's history and in 1979 became the first footballer to become the first English "million player" (in pounds sterling) due to the transfer fee when he moved to Nottingham Forest ) has been.
After being promoted in 1972, Birmingham City stayed with the exception of the one-year stay in the Second Division in the 1979/80 season constantly in the top English division and in 1978 even briefly hosted his first world champion with the Argentine Alberto Tarantini . With Sir Alf Ramsey , who led the English national team to the World Cup title in his own country in 1966 , the club briefly had a real world champion coach between September 1977 and March 1978.
From 1980 Birmingham City acted again for four years in the First Division and returned to the elite league after relegation in 1984 in the following year through the runner-up.
Crash into the lowlands of English professional football
At the end of the 1985/86 season, Birmingham City first had to go into the second division and after three years in the second division rose to the third division for the first time in the club's history in 1989. After three more seasons, they returned to the second-highest division, now called First Division after the introduction of the Premier League. However, due to the poorer goal difference against West Bromwich Albion in 1994, the relegation to the third division followed, which a coach change from Terry Cooper to Barry Fry in the middle of the season could not change anything. That Fry led the club to direct promotion by winning the third division championship and also won the Auto Windscreens Trophy with the team in 1995 - a cup competition that is played between clubs in the two lowest leagues of the Football League . After a promising start and emerging hopes for promotion in the middle of the 1995/96 season, the team's performance deteriorated more and more, and the fan-favorite Fry was sacked despite reaching the semi-finals in the league cup at the end of the season, the Birmingham City only finished in 15th place would have.
Fry's successor, Trevor Francis, remained in office until October 2001. During his aegis, the club moved into the play-offs for three consecutive seasons . Another time the club missed the qualification games in 1998 with the seventh place and was victim of the rule that in the event of a tie, instead of the goal difference , the more goals scored were initially taken into account, so that Sheffield United took sixth place. Under Steve Bruce , the club moved into the league cup final in 2002 and lost there to Liverpool on penalties . The subsequent win in the play-off final against Norwich City in the same year - Darren Carter converted the decisive penalty - the club returned to the top class after 16 years and took part in the Premier League for the first time.
Back and forth between first and second class
The first season in the Premier League was satisfactory and the relegation succeeded with a comfortable 13th place in the table. With players like the French international Christophe Dugarry , who was initially signed on loan in January 2003 and after the end of the season, the club achieved two prestigious victories against Aston Villa. In the 2003/04 season, a good early form ensured that the club was among the top four teams in the first month and, statistically speaking, had the best defense after six weeks. A negative series at the end of the season with seven games without a win ensured that the team slipped to tenth place. In the 2004/05 season, the club finished twelfth and had to struggle with problems in the attacking formation , especially after a serious knee injury by Mikael Forssell in the early phase of the season.
Expectations rose among supporters and club officials when Birmingham City went into the 2005/06 season with a significantly strengthened squad. The club had now signed Forssell permanently, and with Jermaine Pennant , Mehdi Nafti , Walter Pandiani and Nicky Butt, renowned players completed the team. In addition, the Czech international Jiří Jarošík was loaned from Chelsea . However, this newly formed team never found its form, and the club rose after a disappointing championship course - with both derbies were lost to Aston Villa - in the second division. The club's management was then forced to release numerous players in order to adapt the high salary structure to the significantly reduced income in the second division.
The club got off to a good start in the 2006/07 championship season and initially took the first two places. A series of winless games then resulted in a fall to ninth place, whereupon much of the local media was calling for Bruce's release. The performances then stabilized again, and in March 2007 the club returned to the top of the table. Together with the Sunderland was on 29 April 2007 with the 0: 2 defeat of Derby County against Crystal Palace sealed promotion to the Premier League. The second division championship did not succeed, however, as Preston North End could not be defeated on the last day of the game - at the same time Sunderland won against Luton Town . However, the team could not hold in the Premier League and rose again in the 2007/08 season. The following season 2008/09 closed Birmingham on the 2nd place and was able to celebrate the immediate promotion to the Premier League. With a 2-1 win over Arsenal on February 27, 2011, they won the League Cup for the second time since 1963 and played in the UEFA Europa League in the 2011/12 season .
At the end of the season, however, they were relegated from the Premier League.
The 2011/12 season was initially dominated by European football, which returned to Birmingham after 50 years. By winning the league cup against Arsenal, the Blues were finally able to return to the European football stage as a second division team in the 2011/12 season. After the successful qualifying round against Nacional Funchal from the island of Madeira (Portugal), the opponents in the group stage were SC Braga (also Portugal), NK Maribor from Slovenia and FC Bruges from Belgium. In the end, one point was missing to advance to the next round. But the Birmingham fans really enjoyed the eight games in Europe. And especially with the fans of Club Bruges, a friendship developed in 2011 that continues to this day.
The first league year after relegation from the Premier League closed the team of new coach Chris Hughton at the end of the 2011/12 season in 4th place, which entitled to the play-off games. After a 0-1 defeat in Blackpool, the 2-2 draw at St. Andrew's was not enough for the final at Wembley.
Lee Clark replaced Chris Hughton in the 2012/13 season in the Blues dugout. With the 12th place at the end of the season and the moderate development of the team at Birmingham City were not satisfied. The 2013/14 season took a dramatic turn . Only with his header to equalize 2-2 at Bolton Wanderers in stoppage time in the last game of the season did defender Paul Caddis secure the Blues from falling into the third division. This game went down in the history of Birmingham City as "The Great Escape".
After a very poor start to the 2014/15 season with the negative climax of an 8-0 home defeat to Bournemouth, coach Lee Clark was sacked in October 2014 and replaced by ex-Blues defender Gary Rowett . Rowett managed to bring calm to the club and managed with his team at the end of the season a 10th place in the table, which was hardly thought possible. With Robert Tesche , who was loaned for the return series from Nottingham Forest, only the second German player after Antoine Hey (1997-1999) made his debut in the jersey of Birmingham City. In the 2-1 home win over Rotherham United on Good Friday 2015, his goal to lead 1-0 meant the first league goal by a German in the 140-year history of Birmingham City.
Despite major financial worries, Birmingham City got off to a very good start to the 2015/16 season under Rowett . After 15 game days, the Blues found themselves in 6th place in the table. The season ended in tenth place.
English League Cup: 2
- 1963, 2011
Football League Second Division (2nd division): 4th
- 1893, 1921, 1948, 1955
Football League Second Division (3rd division): 1
- 1991, 1995
Trade fair cup finalist: 2
- 1960, 1961
Current squad 2018/19
As of August 14, 2018
Statistics and records
Player with the most stakes
Note: only official competitions (incl. Substitutions) - The information in brackets stands for the goals scored.
|#||Surname||league||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||C. Shield||total|
|1||Gil Merrick||1946-1959||485 (0)||56 (0)||0 (0)||10 (0)||551 (0)|
|2||Frank Womack||1908-1928||491 (0)||24 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||515 (0)|
|3||Joe Bradford||1920-1935||414 (0)||31 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||445 (0)|
|4th||Ken Green||1947-1958||401 (0)||36 (0)||0 (0)||4 (0)||440 (0)|
|5||Johnny Crosbie||1920-1932||409 (0)||23 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||432 (0)|
|6th||Trevor Smith||1953-1964||365 (0)||35 (0)||12 (0)||18 (0)||430 (0)|
|7th||Malcolm Beard||1960-1970||349 (1)||24 (1)||25 (0)||4 (0)||402 (2)|
|8th||Dan Tremelling||1919-1931||382 (0)||13 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||395 (0)|
|9||Malcolm Page||1965-1980||328 (8)||29 (0)||14 (0)||12 (0)||383 (8)|
|10||Harry Hibbs||1926-1938||358 (0)||30 (0)||0 (0)||0 (0)||388 (0)|
Player with the most goals
Note: only official competitions (incl. Substitutions) - The information in brackets represents the total number of games played.
|#||Surname||league||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||C. Shield||total|
|1||Joe Bradford||1920-1935||249 (414)||18 (31)||0 (0)||0 (0)||267 (445)|
|2||Trevor Francis||1970-1979||119 (280)||6 (20)||4 (19)||4 (10)||133 (329)|
|3||Peter Murphy||1952-1960||107 (245)||16 (24)||0 (0)||4 (9)||127 (278)|
|4th||Fred Wheldon||1890-1896||99 (155)||12 (13)||0 (0)||5 (7)||116 (175)|
|5||George Briggs||1924-1933||98 (298)||9 (26)||0 (0)||0 (0)||107 (324)|
|99 (236)||3 (17)||0 (0)||0 (0)||102 (253)|
|7th||Geoff Vowden||1964-1970||79 (221)||8 (16)||7 (16)||0 (0)||94 (253)|
|8th||Eddy Brown||1954-1958||74 (158)||13 (18)||0 (0)||3 (9)||90 (185)|
|9||Bob Latchford||1969-1974||68 (160)||6 (12)||6 (16)||4 (6)||84 (193)|
|10||Bob McRoberts||1898-1905||70 (173)||12 (14)||0 (0)||0 (0)||82 (187)|
- "Club History" ( Memento from 23 August 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (Birmingham City, official website)
- Birmingham St. George's had already dissolved in 1892 and Aston Villa was located in what was then Aston Manor , which only became part of Birmingham in 1911.
- Tony Matthews: Birmingham City: A Complete Record . 1995, p. 12 .
- "Birmingham City Football Club history" ( Memento from June 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (BBC)
- report at ran.de
- First team. In: bcfc.com. Birmingham City, accessed August 14, 2018 .