Unreliable History

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.  Unfortunately, it did not bring the new dawn for the club, who suffered with financial troubles that hampered them rising up the league pyramid.

FAMOUS PLAYERS: – Mark Dennis, Dick Julians, Robert Hopkin, Alberto Tarantini, Denis Van Der Wyk, Mick Harford, Julian Dicks, Alberto Nylon, 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 Ladypool Road Waste Ground near Arthur Street =1875-1877
Muntz Street, Small Heath = 1877-1906

Nickname “The BLUES” or “BLUENOSES”

Club Colours HOME :



Record Football League Win 12-0  v Walsall Town Swifts    Division 2       17.12.1892
12-0  v Doncaster Rovers    Division 2     11.04.1903

Record Football League Defeat 1-9  v  Blackburn Rovers    Division 1      05.02.1895
1-9  v  Sheffield Wednesday    Division 1     13.12.1930

0-8  v  Preston North End    Division 1   (Away)    01.02.1958
0-8  v  Newcastle United    Division 1    (Away)    23.11.1907
0-8  v  Derby County    Division 1    (Away)      30.11.1895
0-8  v  AFC Bournemouth   Championship    25.10.2014

Record Cup Win 10-0  v  Druids   FA Cup 4QR1      19.11.1898

Record Cup Defeat 0-7  v  Liverpool    FA Cup R6    21.03.2006

Record Fee Paid £6,300,000 to Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) for Ivan SUNJIC (26 July 2019)

Record Fee Received £25,000,000 + from Borussia Dortmund for Jude BELLINGHAM (July 2020)

Record Appearances 551  Gil MERRICK  (1946-1959)

Record Football League Appearances 491  –  Frank WOMACK  (1908-1928)

Record goal-scorer 267  –  Joe BRADFORD  (1920-1935)

Record League goal-scorer 249  –  Joe BRADFORD  (1920-1935)

Record goal-scorer in a season 49  –   Walter ABBOTT  Division 2  (1898-1899)

Record goal-scorer in a League season 34  –  Walter ABBOTT  Division 2  (1898-1899)

Most goals in a match 5 – Walter ABBOTT  v Darwen     Division 2   26.11.1898
5 – John McMILLAN  v  Blackpool    Division 2  02.03.1901
5 – James WINDRIDGE  v  Glossop     Division 2  23.01.1915

Record Home Attendance (all-time) 66,844 (or 67,341)  v  Everton   FA Cup R5     11.02.1939

Record total of goals in a League season 103  –  Division 2  (1893-1894, 28 games)

Record League points total 3 pts for a win : – 89  Division 2 (1994-1995)

2 pts for a win : – 59  Division 2 (1947-1948)

Most league goals in a season 103 –  Second Division  (1893-1894)  (28 games)

Most Capped Player while at club Maik TAYLOR  58  (Northern Ireland)

Youngest Player Jude BELLINGHAM  16 years and 38 days  v  Portsmouth  (LC R1)   06.08.2019

Oldest Player Dennis JENNINGS  39 years and 290 days  v  Wolverhampton Wanderers   (Division 2)  06.05.1950


Stadium details

Address :  St. Andrews, Cattell Street, Birmingham B9 4NH

Telephone :  0709 111 25837
(Ticket Office)  0121 772 0101  ext. 5

Capacity : 29,409
Pitch size :  100m  x 66m (109 yards x 72 yards

Official website :  http://www.bcfc.com


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 1¼ 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 Stations:
Bordesley, Birmingham New Street (30 minutes walk), Small Heath or Birmingham Moor Street (20 minutes walk).

Nearest Bus Station:
Birmingham Coach Station (20 minutes walk).



Division Two Champions  (Tier Two) 1892-1893, 1920-1921, 1947-1948, 1954-1955

Division Two Champions  (Tier Three) 1994-1995

Division Two Runners-up  (Tier Two) 1893-1894, 1900-1901, 1902-1903, 1971-1972, 1984-1985

Division Three Runners-up  (Tier Three) 1991-1992

FA Cup Finalists 1931, 1956

League Cup Winners 1963, 2011

League Cup Finalists 2001

Leyland DAF Trophy 1991

AutoWindscreen Shield Winners 1995

European Fairs Cup Finalists 1960, 1961

FA Youth Cup Finalists 1967



Alfred JONES July 1892 – June 1908

Alec WATSON July 1908 – June 1910

Bob ROBERTS July 1910 – May 1915

Frank RICHARDS May 1915 – May 1923

Billy BEER May 1923 – March 1927

Bill HARVEY March 1927 – May 1928

Leslie KNIGHTON August 1928 – May 1933

George LIDDELL July 1933 – September 1939

Bill CAMKIN September 1939 – November 1944

Ted GOODIER (Caretaker) November 1944 – May 1945

Harry STORER June 1945 – November 1948

Walter TAYLOR  (Caretaker) November 1948 – January 1949

Bob BROCKLEBANK January 1949 – October 1954

Arthur TURNER November 1954 – February 1958

Arthur TURNER & Pat BEASLEY February 1958 – September 1958

Pat BEASLEY September 1958 – May 1960

Gil MERRICK May 1960- 28 April 1964

Joe MALLETT July 1964 – 27 December 1965

Stan CULLIS 27 December 1965 – 18 March 1970

Don DORMAN / Bill SHORTHOUSE (Caretaker) 18 March 1970 – 29 May 1970

Fred GOODWIN 29 May 1970 – 18 September 1975

Willie BELL 18 September 1975 – 5 September 1977

Sir Alf RAMSEY 8 September 1977 – 6 March 1978

Jim SMITH 12 March 1978 – 15 February 1982

Norman BODELL (Caretaker) 15 February 1982 – 22 February 1982

Ron SAUNDERS 22 February 1982 – 16 January 1986

Keith LEONARD  (Caretaker) 16 January 1986 – 22 January 1986

John BOND 23 January 1986 – 28 May 1987

Garry PENDREY 28 May 1987 – 26 April 1989

Dave MACKAY 26 April 1989 – 23 January 1991

Bill COLDWELL (Caretaker) 23 January 1991 – 7 February 1991

Lou MACARI 7 February 1991 – 18 June 1991

Terry COOPER 9 August 1991 – 29 November 1993

Kevan BROADHURST/Trevor MORGAN (Caretaker) 29 November 1993 – 10 December 1993

Barry FRY 10 December 1993- 7 May 1996

Trevor FRANCIS 10 May 1996 – 15 October 2001

Steve BRUCE 12 December 2001 – 19 November 2007

Eric BLACK 23 November 2007 – 27 November 2007

Alex McLEISH 28 November 2007 – 12 June 2011

Chris HUGHTON 22 June 2011 – 7 June 2012

Lee CLARK 26 June 2012 – 20 October 2014

Richard BEALE/Malcolm CROSBY  (Caretaker) 20 October 2014 – 27 October 2014

Gianfranco ZOLA 27 October 2014 – 17 April 2017

Harry REDKNAPP 18 April 2017 – 16 September 2017

Lee CARSLEY  (Caretaker) 16 September 2017 – 1 October 2017

Steve COTTERILL  2 October 2017 – 3 March 2018

Garry MONK 4 March 2018 – 18 June 2019

Pep CLOTET 18 June 2019 – 8 July 2020

Steve SPOONER/Craig GARDNER  (Caretaker) 9 July 2020 – 31 July 2020

Aitor KARANKA 31 July 2020 – 16 March 2021

Lee BOWYER 16 March 2021 – 


League Record

The Football League structure has historically been as follows …

1888-1892 1892-1920 1920-1921 1921-1958 1958-1992 1992-2004 2004 to date
First tier Football League Division One Division One Division One Division One Premiership Premier League
Second tier Division Two Division Two Division Two Division Two Division One Championship
Third tier Division Three Division Three
(North) and (South)
Division Three Division Two  League One
Fourth tier Division Four Division Three League Two


Joined Division Two  (Tier Two) 1892

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1892-1894

Division One  (Top Tier)   1894-1896

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1896-1901

Division One  (Top Tier)   1901-1902

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1902-1903

Division One  (Top Tier)   1903-1908

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1908-1921

Division One  (Top Tier)   1921-1939

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1946-1948

Division One  (Top Tier)   1948-1950

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1950-1955

Division One  (Top Tier)   1955-1965

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1965-1972

Division One  (Top Tier)   1972-1979

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1979-1980

Division One  (Top Tier)   1980-1984

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1984-1985

Division One  (Top Tier)   1985 – 1986

Division Two  (Tier Two) 1986 – 1989

Division Three  (Tier Three) 1989 – 1992

Division One  (Tier Two) 1992 – 1994

Division Two  (Tier Three) 1994 – 1995

Division One  (Tier Two) 1995 – 2002

Premier League  (Top Tier)   2002 – 2006

The Championship  (Tier Two) 2006 – 2007

Premier League  (Top Tier)   2007 – 2008

The Championship  (Tier Two) 2008 – 2009

Premier League  (Top Tier)   2009 – 2011

The Championship  (Tier Two) 2011 –