Trevor John Francis (born 19 April 1954 in Plymouth, England), is a former footballer who won the European Cup with Nottingham Forest and played for England 52 times. He was England's first £1 million player.
Francis was educated at Plymouth's Public Secondary School for Boys. He was an agile and skilful forward and joinedBirmingham City as a schoolboy. He quickly rose in status, making his debut for its first team in 1970, aged just 16. His talent was noted when, before his 17th birthday, he scored four goals in a match against Bolton Wanderers. He ended his first season with 15 goals from just 22 games.
In the 1970s, Birmingham City reached the occasional domestic semi-final but failed to make a great impact in the First Division championship, so the ability and achievements of Francis were made more noticeable as a result.
On 30 October 1976, he scored one of Birmingham's most famous goals, when he turned away from the touchline and cut inside four Queens Park Rangers defenders, constantly being forced backwards, before suddenly unleashing a 25-yard shot which caught the goalkeeper off guard.
After leaving Sheffield Wednesday, Francis spent time working as a television pundit (something which he had done throughout his career) before going back to his spiritual home of Birmingham City as manager in 1996, aiming to regain their position as a top team. They continued to reach the play-offs but failed to be promoted. They also lost the 2001 Football League Cup Final to Liverpool. Francis left later that year.n 1988 and 2003 he was a football manager, most notably with Sheffield Wednesday and then
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Gallagher (born 11 January 1955) is a former English professional association footballer who played as a centre-half for Birmingham City and various other clubs. He was a hard-working, competitive defender, good in the air (though less good on the ground), and his authority on the field was such that he was first chosen to captain the Birmingham side at the age of only 19.
Joe Gallagher was born in Liverpool, and began his football career as a schoolboy with home-town club Liverpool F.C. When he left school at 15 he signed for Birmingham City as a trainee. He turned professional on his 17th birthday and made his first team debut in October 1973 against Arsenal at Highbury. He made over 20 appearances in his debut season, and from then on hardly missed a game until a broken leg sustained in a car accident kept him out for several months. He scored on his return to first team duty in December 1977, and for the remainder of his Birmingham career he was virtually ever-present.
It was due in no small part to Gallagher's partnerships with the likes of Kenny Burns and Colin Todd in the Birmingham defence that the club kept its First Division status for all but his last season with them. In 1980–81 he helped them to promotion back to the top flight, from which they had been relegated the previous year, and was awarded a testimonial match against Aston Villa in recognition of ten years' service. Also that season he was capped for England B in a 1–0 win against Australia at his home ground of St Andrews. He left Birmingham having made a total of 335 appearances and scored 23 goals.
Christophe Jérôme Dugarry (born March 24, 1972) is a former French footballer. His clubs include Bordeaux, Milan, Barcelona, Marseille, Birmingham City and Qatar SC. He was also a member of the France side that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.
Christophe joined Birmingham City on loan. After a run of 5 goals in 5 matches cemented the club's Premiership status, Dugarry joined the club on a permanent deal but could only manage a single goal in 15 appearances before leaving the club by mutual consent, citing family reasons.
30 games 6 goals
Kenneth "Kenny" Burns (born 23 September 1953) is a former Scotland international footballer, most famous for his time with Nottingham Forest, where he played a vital role in their European Cup successes.
Burns was born in Glasgow, and started his career with Rangers as an apprentice but left for Birmingham City aged 17, in 1971. He arrived at the Blues as a defender, but was converted to striker after Bob Latchford left in 1974, and earned the first of his 20 international caps in that role soon afterwards.
The versatility of Burns was already evident as he had also performed capably in defence and even, on occassions, in midfield.
In all these roles Burns went about his business in an unflinchingly aggressive manner. There were very few frills involved in his play but he was consistently effective.
Life with Birmingham in the first division was generally one spent struggling against relegation. There was one wonderful chance to grab some glory in the FA Cup of 1975 when the Blues reached the semi finals and had to face second division Fulham for a place at Wembley. It was Fulham who prevailed, however, winning through by a single goal after a replay.
The following season was a personal triumph for Burns as his nineteen goals helped City to the unaccustomed heights of thirteenth in the table. Despite this, however, all was not well in the camp at St Andrews and Burns, inparticular, did not seem the most popular man at the club.
His reputation as a wildman stretched beyond Birmingham as well and despite his fine record with the club and the fact that he was a full Scottish international there was little interest in him when the club decided to sell in the summer of 1977.
170 games 45 goals
Geoffrey Malcolm "Geoff" Horsfield (born 1 November 1973) is an English professional footballer who has made more than 300 appearances in the Football League playing as a striker. He is a "strong and forceful" player, able to hold the ball up in order to bring other players into the game
Horsfield made his Football League debut with Scarborough as a teenager. Released by the club, he returned to part-time football with Halifax Town, Guiseley and Witton Albion, before a second spell at Halifax saw him help the club regain their Football League status. He moved on to Fulham, with whom he achieved promotion to the First Division, before joining Birmingham City for a club record fee. He played in the final of the 2001 League Cup with Birmingham, and the following season helped them reach the Premier League.
In July 2000, Horsfield signed a five-year contract with Birmingham, who paid a club record fee of £2.25 million, £350,000 of which went to Halifax Town under the sell-on clause. He was their top scorer in his first season, finding the net on twelve occasions, and his two goals in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final helped the club reach their first major final for nearly 40 years. In the starting eleven for the final against his boyhood heroes Liverpool, Horsfield had been substituted by the time Birmingham lost in a penalty shootout.
In the 2001–02 season, Horsfield was chosen Player of the Year both by Birmingham's fans and by his team-mates. His strike partnership with Stern John proved crucial in the unbeaten run which helped Birmingham reach the First Division play-offs, and he scored the equaliser against Norwich City in the play-off final, which the club went on to win on penalties to earn promotion to the Premier League. Horsfield had promised a donation to his first club, Athersley Rec, if he ever reached the Premiership; a few days after the play-off victory he gave them £25,000 towards improving their facilities.
Horsfield's first Premier League goal came in the September 2002 local derby defeat of Aston Villa. He also scored in the return fixture at Villa Park, an eventful game in which he ended up keeping goal when Nico Vaesen was injured after Birmingham had used all their substitutes. Horsfield missed games through suspension and surgery, and was frustrated by manager Steve Bruce preferring to use him as a specialist substitute; after he came on to score a late winner against local rivals West Bromwich Albion, Bruce described him as "a manager's dream", saying that "when you're tiring, the last thing you need is Big Horse rampaging at you". Starting alongside World Cup-winner Christophe Dugarry late in the season, the pair formed "an unlikely combination, brilliance from Bordeaux alongside a brickie from Barnsley, but Horsfield's robust approach has complemented Dugarry's more delicate touches"; their partnership produced four wins and a draw from the last six games.
In October 2008, Horsfield was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and advised that his playing career was over. As the disease was discovered in its early stages, no chemotherapy or radiotherapy was needed, surgery proved successful and less than two months later he was given the all-clear. Horsfield decided to make his illness public in order to help spread awareness of the disease, and lent his support to a Premier League-backed project launched in 2009 to promote men's health issues. He said: "Getting cancer was something I had to get over. I got it, wanted to beat it and I did. Now I am just glad that I've got another chance in football."[
Games 127 Goals 29
He moved to Birmingham City in 2002. In his first season as a City player he was named Blues' Player of the Year.
Kenny was a great reader of the game and formed one of the best defensive partnerships seen at Birmingham with Matty Upson, However after the club’s relegation at the end of the 2005-06 season, Cunningham was released along with seven other first team players. On May 11, 2006, Cunningham launched a scathing attack in the press on manager Steve Bruce and the board, blaming the club's relegation on a lack of preparation throughout the season and likening the club to a "stiff corpse" that has "no heartbeat and, more worryingly, no soul".
Games 134 Goals 0
His favoured position is as a centre forward alongside a target man, which was the basis for his success at Sunderland, although he has found success alongside a variety of strike partners during his career.
Starting his career at non-league Baldock Town as a right-back after being rejected as a defender as they saw him as too short for Southampton, Phillips was the Premier League top scorer in the 1999–2000 season with 30 goals for Sunderland, and he then went on to win the Golden Boot for the whole of Europe in that season. He has also had spells at Watford, Southampton, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion
When his contract with West Bromwich Albion expired at the end of the 2007–08 season, the club offered him a one-year deal, with an additional second year if he made 19 or more league appearances. Phillips rejected the offer and joined Championship club Birmingham City, signing a two-year contract on 9 July 2008. He made his debut on the opening day of the 2008–09 season against Sheffield United, coming on as a substitute to score a stoppage time winner in a 1–0 victory. Phillips continued his scoring run with goals in his next two games, against Southampton and Barnsley. On 21 November, against Swansea, Phillips came on as a substitute in the 2nd half, scoring both goals as Birmingham came from 2-1 down to win 3-2.
At the end of season awards, he won the top goalscorer award with 13 goals, and he also won the Goal of the Season, for his goal against Reading. Finally he also scored the winning goal to take Birmingham City straight back up into the Premier League 12 months after they were relegated. The match ended 2-1 against Reading. Phillips has kept his place in Birmingham's starting line-up so far in the 2009-10 season, scoring what the Blues thought was a well earned equaliser against Bolton on 26 September, only for Chung Yung Lee to cancel out Phillips' strike 2 minutes later. Phillips also made his return to the Stadium of Light with Birmingham on 22 September in the Carling Cup 4th round, a game in which he captained the away side. Phillips received a tremendous reception on his return to the club for which he holds the record for the most post war goals. On 7 February 2010, Phillips came on as a substitute when Birmingham were 1-0 down in the Midlands Derby between Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. and Birmingham and won the game by scoring two goals in the 80th and inside the last 5 minutes of normal time. Phillips reached the 250th goal of his career against Arsenal on 27 March 2010 with a 92nd minute equaliser for Birmingham City at St Andrews.
Having played no games for City since Given's arrival, rumours began to emerge of a loan move away from Manchester. City secured the transfer of Stuart Taylor from Aston Villa on 23 June 2009, paving the way for Hart to leave. Manager Mark Hughes had been undecided about allowing the player to go out on loan as he was unwilling to sanction a permanent transfer. The following day it was announced that Hart would spend the 2009–10 Premier League season on loan to newly-promoted Birmingham City. He made his debut in Birmingham's opening match of the season, a 1–0 defeat away to Manchester United. In the early part of the season, Hart made errors which cost his side goals, and Maik Taylor's clean sheet against Manchester City, a match for which Hart was ineligible, left manager Alex McLeish with a selection dilemma. McLeish chose Hart, who kept his place in the starting eleven as Birmingham went on a club-record 12-match unbeaten run in the top division and set a Premier League record by fielding the same starting eleven for nine consecutive games. His performances improved: against Chelsea in December, he "showed not only sharp judgment and reflexes, making three outstanding saves ... but a lack of fear also", despite needing staples in a gashed head sustained when diving at the feet of Salomon Kalou. Hart was voted Birmingham City's Player of the Year for 2009–10, and nominated for the 2010 PFA Young Player of the Year award alongside Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fàbregas and James Milner. Though Milner won that award, Hart earned a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
Return to Manchester City
After a successful spell at Birmingham City which earned him a place in the England squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Hart was chosen ahead of Shay Given to start the opening game of the 2010–11 season against Tottenham Hotspur. He produced a man-of-the-match performance
Barry Ferguson MBE (born 2 February 1978) is a Scottish footballer who plays as a midfielder. He plays for Premier League club Birmingham City.On 17 July 2009, Ferguson completed a move to English Premier League newcomers Birmingham City on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, reported as "in the region of £1.2m". Joining up with boss Alex McLeish once again, the former Rangers supremo stated that Ferguson has "unfinished business in England" and that he believed the former Scottish international is "very capable of competing with the best players in the Premier League." He made his debut in the opening game of the season, against Manchester United on 15 August 2009, and his first goal for the club came as the only goal of the FA Cup third round replay against Nottingham Forest in January 2010. On his first return to former club Blackburn Rovers, in March 2010, Ferguson was reported by the Daily Mirror to have sworn at Rovers' manager Sam Allardyce. Ferguson won the Birmingham City players' Player of the Year award for 2009–10. Ferguson helped Birmingham beat Arsenal in the 2010-11 League Cup Final at Wembley, despite playing the last hour of the game with a broken rib. He was also highly criticized for slapping Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny on the back of the head during the celebration of Obafemi Martins winning goal (but we can forgive him for that)
Robert Arthur Hopkins (born 25 October 1961 in Hall Green, Birmingham) is a former English professional footballer who played as a winger. He started his playing career at Aston Villa with whom he won the FA Youth Cup in 1980. He played more than 300 games in the Football League for Aston Villa, Birmingham City (in two spells), Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Shrewsbury Town and Colchester United. He also played in Hong Kong for Instant-Dict and for non-League clubs Solihull Borough and Bromsgrove Rovers. While at Birmingham, the club he has supported since childhood, he helped the club to win promotion to the First Division in 1985 and the Leyland DAF Cup in 1991.
Born in Steinfurt, Germany, and considered one of the most talented Finnish footballers of all time, Forssell made his Veikkausliiga debut for HJK at the age of just 16. His goal-scoring form for Finland's youth teams made him a target for a host of Europe's top clubs, and in 1998 the 17-year-old striker was snapped up by Chelsea
But despite scoring twice in one of his earliest appearances for the club, Forssell found it hard to find a place in the Chelsea first team, and he was sent out to various loan spells, twice to Crystal Palace of the then First Division, once to Borussia Mönchengladbach of the German Bundesliga and twice to Birmingham City of the Premier League. Forssell scored seven Bundesliga goals for Mönchengladbach in the spring of 2003 and then 17 Premier League goals for Birmingham in the 2003–04 season (more league goals than any other Chelsea player), during which he was the division's joint fourth highest goalscorer. He was named Premier League Player of the Month for March 2004. He returned to Birmingham on loan for the 2004–05 season, but suffered the second serious knee injury of his career, which ruined his season.
In the summer of 2005, Forssell joined Birmingham on a three-year deal for a fee of £3 million, after Chelsea decided that he did not figure in their long term plans. He struggled in the 2005–06 season, not having found his best form after his injury, and could not save Birmingham from relegation. Forssell suffered another cruel injury blow to his other knee during training in October 2006. This left him on the sidelines until he returned to training in February 2007 after undergoing operations on both knees. He was set to take a medical at Hamburger SV, but it was reported that he failed. He remained at Birmingham to have another go at resurrecting his career.
His 2007–08 pre-season performances were good, he scored five goals in five games. His manager, Steve Bruce, was enthusiastic about his return to form. He continued his good form into the start of the season, scoring the opening goal of the match against Chelsea and consolidating his good form with two assists in the next three matches. He scored his first hat-trick at club level on 1 March 2008, in the 4–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, when he scored with his left foot, right foot and head, which was described after as 'the perfect hat-trick'.
In May 2008, following the club's relegation from the Premier League, Forssell signed a pre-contract agreement to join Hannover 96 on a free transfer when his Birmingham contract expires at the end of June. His contract with Hannover will run until the end of the 2010–11 season.
On his pre-season debut for Hannover, he scored 10 goals, including an eight-minute hat-trick, in one game against amateurs FC Boffzen. The game ended up as a 23–0 win.
Paul John Devlin (born 14 April 1972) is a former footballer who played as a midfielder. He made more than 500 appearances in the Football League and Premier League, and was capped ten times for the Scotland national team, before spending seveal years in non-league football.
Devlin's Birmingham career got off to a great start and the player showed he was still more than capable of playing in the First Division by scoring a further seven times for the club before the end of the 1995–96 season.
The following season Devlin scored 16 times, and he contributed a further five goals. In total Devlin played 76 games scoring 28 goals.
In February 2002, Devlin returned to Birmingham, manager Steve Bruce signing him to provide cover for his main strikers. This second spell, including promotion to the Premier League, saw Devlin play 77 times, scoring seven goals, however at the end of the 2003/04 season he was released.