The Irish Supporters Club was formed by Donal Bourke in the early 2001 and quickly grew over the years. Every season we award a player of our choice with a player of the season award, the following players who won this award are
Tommy Mooney 2002
Gobby Cabbage 2003
Kenny Cunningham 2004
Mario Melchiot 2005
Jermaine pennant 2006
Gary Mcsheffrey 2007
Stephen Kelly 2008
Kevin Phillips 2009
Joe Hart 2010
2011 Stephen Carr
2012 Chris Burke
Curtis Davies 2013
Darren Randolph 2014
Clayton Donaldson 2015
Many of our fans go over to matches so if your a first timer on the site dont hesitate to get in touch about traveling over
Birmingham City F.C.
The club was formed in September 1875 under the name of Small Heath Alliance by Cricketers wanting to play something together during the winter. The club just played in the Football Alliance and FA Cup (where the club reached the Semi Finals in 1886, losing out to West Brom 4-0) until the Football League was formed in 1892, where Blues were 'elected' to Division Two. Blues first ever league game was at home to Burslem Port Vale on September 3rd 1892, where they won 5-1 against a Port Vale team who only had 10 men (the other player missed the train from Stoke!).
Blues ran away with the league that season, but were not promoted. At that point 'Test Matches' (a form of the play-offs) were used to decide promotion / relegation. Small Heath lost 5-2 in a replay against Newton Heath (nowadays known as Manchester United). They went up the following season though, and their first Division One match was on September 1st 1894 where they lost 2-1 away at local rivals Aston Villa. Small Heath had two topsy-turvy seasons in the top flight before relegation
Small Heath continued to yo-yo from First to Second Division until 1903, when Blues began their first quite long stretch in Division One (Five years until 1908). This period saw Small Heath's first victories against Aston Villa (they hadn't beaten them until September 16th 1905 where Blues won 2-0 at Muntz Street). Small Heath had their highest league finish sofar (7th in Division One) in 1905, and also changed their name to Birmingham in 1906. Also Birmingham moved from the playing grounds at Muntz Street to the newly
constructed St. Andrews Stadium off Garrison Lane. When Birmingham got relegated in 1908, they didn't return to the top flight until 1921. This dismal period nearly saw Birmingham drop out of the Football League in 1910, when they finished bottom of Division Two.
When Birmingham returned to Division One in 1921, a period of 18 years began when Birmingham didn't drop out of the top flight, their longest period amongst English Football's Elite so far in their history. Birmingham usually finished around mid-table (their average position during this period was 14th out of 22 teams). It was during this period when Birmingham reached their first FA Cup final in 1931. After beating Liverpool 2-0, Port Vale 2-0, Watford 3-0, Chelsea 3-0 (after a 2-2 draw) and Sunderland 2-0 they walking on the Wembley turf for the first time in their history. There they succumbed 2-1 to newly promoted West Brom. They wouldn't return to Wembley for another 25 years. In 1939 they were relegated to Division Two after a season which saw Blues win more games than the season previous to that!! Of course the Second World War then intervened and league football did not restart until 1946. The FA Cup restarted in 1945-6 though. Blues (now renamed Birmingham City) reached the Cup Semi-Final against Derby. Blues drew 1-1 at Hillsborough, which sent the match to a mid-week replay at Maine Road. Over 80,000 turned up to watch the match. The Government was so alarmed by this (during therebuilding of the country after war) that it banned weeknight matches! After 90 minutes it was 0-0, but then Ted Duckhouse broke a leg, and with no substitutions allowed, Derby went on to win 4-0 and go to Wembley. Blues also reached the cup semis again in 1951, when they lost to a Stanley Matthews inspired Blackpool. Meantime in the league, Blues were again yo-yoing from First to Second Division,winning the second division title in 1948 and returning to Division Two in 1950. In November 1954 Blues were a mid-table Division Two team. Arthur Turner then took over as manager.Two emphatic home victories: 7-1 vs. Port Vale and 9-1 vs. Liverpool saw Blues start a dramatic rise up the table. Near the end of the season Blues required 5 points from three games for promotion, and all of these games were away from home. Blues won at Hull and then drew 2-2 with Liverpool at Anfield to set up a dramatic last day. Blues required all two points from their trip to Belle Vue, Doncaster. Blues did it and in some style too. They brushed Doncaster aside 5-1, and just topped the table on Goal Average. It
was the only time in the season when Blues were on top of the table as well! The following season Blues attained their highest league finish to date, 6th in Division One and also reached the FA Cup final again.They were red-hot favourites for the cup, but were beaten 3-1 by a Don Revie inspired Manchester City. Blues then went through another period which saw mid-table first division football. In 1963, Birmingham City attained their only Domestic Trophy to date when they beat Aston Villa 3-1 on aggregate to win the League Cup. It is interesting to note that during this period Blues became the first professional English club to play in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup (now the UEFA Cup) where they reached the final twice in a row, but lost on both occasions. Despite this, Birmingham City became the first english club (and only english club to date) to win a game away at Inter Milan. Birmingham City returned to Division Two in 1965 and didn't return to Division One until 1972. They reached two cup semis during this period in 1968 and 1972, but lost both (to WBA and Leeds respectively (it also must be added that both these clubs went on to win the cup)).
In the 70's Blues returned to top flight football for another seven years. Stars like Bob Latchford
and Trevor Francis became idols at the club, both of them helping to win promotion in 1972. For those seven years Blues played some exciting football, and although not winning any trophies, gained some memorable results, such as the 3-2 home win over Villa in April 1976, the 3-2 win at Liverpool in January 1978 and a 5-1 win over Manchester United in November 1978.
By the late 70's though, players were being sold to bring money into the club (such as Trevor Francis's £1 million move to N. Forest in 1979), and Blues were relegated in 1979. They bounced back immediately though under the management of Jim Smith. A 3-3 draw at home to Notts County on the final day of the season saw them stay above Chelsea and get back into Division One. The first season back saw near rivals Aston Villa take the first division title and the following season saw themtake the European Title. Villa came to St. Andrew's in December 1982. Blues fans were
suffering taunts from Villa fans about their European success and it gave Blues fans a great boost to see Blues stuff Villa 3-0 in what became known as "The Boxing Day Massacre".
The rest of the 80's were quite dreadful though. It saw Blues nose-dive out of the First in 1986 and into the Third Division for the first time in history in 1988. Blues were going through financial trouble at thetime and also a management merry-go-round, so no consistancy was in the club whatsoever. A turn around began in 1991 when Blues won the Layland DAF Cup at Wembley. Although regarded as a 'mickey mouse cup' by others, it gave Blues a real boost and the following season Blues won
promotion back to Division Two (which now became Division One as the Premier League began).
Blues struggled though, and nearly went straight back down. In 1993, David Sullivan and the Gold
Brothers took over the club and began vital cash input. In December 1993 after a disappointing start
to the season in which Terry Cooper resigned, the irrepressable Barry Fry came to the club asmanager. Blues were unfortunately relegated on goal difference, despite being undefeated in
their last seven games of the season.
Blues made a hard job of an immediate return to Division One. With only one automatic promotion place available, Blues seemed to be heading to the play-offs after Christmas as they appeared to have lost their form and confidence after losing their 25 match unbeaten league run. This is where Barry Fry came into his own. He boosted confidence in the camp and Blues began a run of great run of results, mainly against clubs around them, to grab the second division title on the final day of the season. Blues also took 50,000 fans to Wembley to see them win the Auto Windscreens Shield (the equivalent of the Layland DAF Cup). Despite a poor match, it was a great day out for Blues fans. In 1995-6 Blues despite finishing only 15th, claimed their highest league finish since the season they were relegated from the top flight last. Trevor Francis was introduced as manager in 1996-7. In his first season, he brought in a change of staff and players and this showed on their league position, 10th. The next season Blues started well, but then went through a period of bad form and many called for Francis to leave the club. After an unfortunate 1-0 defeat at WBA, when Blues did everything bar score, Blues form began to pick up and from then to the end of the season Blues only lost three league games. They missed out on the play-offs by only drawing at home on the last day 0-0 against Charlton. The following season Blues played some exceptional football away from home (including a 7-1 win at Oxford), but there home form wasn't quite good enough to gain automatic promotion, so Blues went into the play-offs. Blues lost 1-0 at Watford and won 1-0 at St. Andrews. The heart breaking penalty shootout that decided it went Watford's way though.
The 1999/2000 season was one that most bluenoses felt was the one where the blues could finally
realise their potential and make that step into the FA Carling Premiership where they could pit their wits against some of the best teams in the world. This was helped by the record summer signing of Stan Lazaridis from West Ham. After an injury hit season, blues finished fifth in the league,amassed 77 points and qualified for the play offs. Unfortunately they lost against fourth
placed Barnsley at the semi-final stage.
At the start of the 2000/2001 season, blues broke their transfer record again with the 2.5 million acquisition of Geoff Horsfield from Fulham.
The season will long live in the memory of Bluenoses after they saw their side reach the final of a major domestic competition for the first time in 38 years. Blues met Liverpool in the Worthington Cup Final at the Millenium stadium on 25th February 2001. Trevor Francis's brave-hearts came so close to a major upset after Darren Purse's injury time penalty cancelled out Robbie Fowler's opener to take the game into extra time. Blues should have been awarded another spot kick during the extra 30 minutes but the referee waved the appeals
after Andrew Johnson was brought down by Sammi Hyypia. In the end it was the young striker who made the headlines when he missed the penalty in theshoot out to give vicyory to the Merseysiders.
Soon after their cup final heroics, blues went on a disastrous run on 10 league games without victory that ruined any chances of automatic promotion. Another penalty shoot out defeat at the hands of Preston in the play off semi final put pay to blues' premiership dream and condemned them to another season in the first division. In October the following season, Trevor Francis departed from the helm and was replaced 2 months later by another former blues plater in the for of Steve Bruce. He brought with him former Wigan boss John Benson as general manager and Mark Bowen as first team coach. Bruce transformed the blues squad and just 6 months after taking charge of the club he led them to play off success. Youngster Darren Carter converted the deciding penalty kick against Norwich City at the Millenium stadium to seal a place back in the top flight for the first time in 16 years.
Birmingham finished 13th in 2002-03 and 10th in 2003-04, with Steve Bruce firmly establishing Birmingham as a Premiership club and himself as a top Premiership manager.
Within the last couple of years much redevelopment has been undertaken at St Andrew's, with both the Main Stand and the Railway End being redeveloped. These stands now offer modern facilities and refreshments, and are complemented by the linked Kop and Tilton Road stands. The Kop and Tilton Road stands were only opened in 1994, and in their daythey won several awards for design and supporters' facilities.The Railway Stand is now a two-tier, 8,000 all seater stand, and has pushed the overall capacity up to an impressive 30,000. Away fans are also located in this new stand, with the top tier allocated to families, and the bottom tier to the visiting support. This sounds a little odd, but works really well.
In July 2007, Hong Kong-based businessman Carson Yeung, via the company Grandtop International Holdings Limited ("GIH"), which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange,bought 29.9% of the company from the major shareholders for a price of 61.331 pence per share, which valued the company's 81.5M shares at approximately £50M. Yeung became the largest single shareholder, plc chairman Sullivan controlled 23.22% via two of his companies, and football club chairman David Gold held the same amount jointly with his brother Ralph. Yeung stated his intention to take full control of the club once due diligence was complete, but this did not happen.
Gold confirmed in April 2009 that the plc was still "actively seeking" new investment, but believed Yeung's interest in the company to be "dormant". In August 2009, GIH announced a cash offer of £1 per share for the plc, confirming that they had "received irrevocable undertakings" from plc board members to accept the offer in respect of approximately half the shares at issue. In October, GIH declared receipt of acceptances taking their holding past the 90% mark and confirmed their intention to re-register Birmingham City as a private company with effect from 11 November.The board comprised Yeung as club president, Vico Hui as chairman to succeed Gold, who had rejected an ambassadorial role, and Michael Wiseman; Michael Dunford replaced Brady as chief executive.Michael quit the role in april 2010 after making a good impact in this time at the club.Blues finished in 9th place that season there best finish for 51 years.
In 2011, they combined a second victory in the League Cup, defeating favourites Arsenal 2–1 with goals from Nikola Žigić and Obafemi Martins and securing qualification for the Europa League, with relegation back to the second tier. Amid rumours of his being favourite to fill the managerial vacancy at Aston Villa, McLeish resigned in June 2011. The club's board, however, rejected his resignation. Former Newcastle United manager, Chris Hughton was appointed Birmingham manager on 22 June 2011.Blues reached the playoffs that following season but lost out to Blackpool. as a result Hughton left for the premier league and Lee Clark was appointed Blues manager.
Publication of financial results was repeatedly delayed, which led the Football League to impose a transfer embargo. Hughton left for Premier League club Norwich City at the end of the season, and offers were invited for the club.The embargo was lifted in time for new manager Lee Clark to strengthen the team, abeit with free transfers and loan signings. A possible sale of the club to a Chinese consortium fell through in December, and ahead of the January 2013 transfer window, acting chairman Peter Pannu confirmed that the club was open to offers for any player, as sales were necessary to stave off the risk of administration. The only departure was England goalkeeper Jack Butland, who joined Stoke City for a fee considerably less than had been rejected the previous summer, but Birmingham were able to loan him back for the remainder of the season. A mid-table finish preceded a narrow escape from relegation to the third tier in 2014. Birmingham extended their winless run at home to a second-tier record of 18 games, and needed at least a point from the last match, away to Bolton Wanderers, and for other results to go in their favour. Two goals down after 76 minutes, a goal from Žigić and Paul Caddis's 93rd-minute headed equaliser combined with Doncaster losing was enough to avoid relegation on goal difference. Continued poor form, with only one home league win in more than a year, brought Clark's dismissal in October 2014. After a brief period of caretaker management, in which Birmingham equalled their club record home defeat by losing 8–0 to AFC Bournemouth,Burton Albion manager and former Birmingham player Gary Rowett took over with the team 23rd in the table, and led them to a tenth-place finish. On 17 February, the BIH board voluntarily appointed receivers from accountants Ernst & Young to take over management of the company. Their statement stressed that no winding-up petition had been issued and the company was not in liquidation, and the receivers assured the League that the club was not in an "insolvency event" of the type that could trigger a ten-point deduction.
The 2015/16 was an up and down year for Blues.Free and loan transfers were again the norm but By Christmas Blues looked as though they would cement a place in the play-offs. Blues spent big (in out terms), when they forked out 1.5 Million on ex loan player Diego Fabbini from Watford, but poor home form after Christmas meant the fell away and only managed to stay in the top half. But with Aston Villa being relegated from the premiership Blues have some derbies to look forward to in 2016/17.
Club colours and Badge
|Small Heath Alliance original kit|
The Small Heath Alliance members decided among themselves that their colours would be blue; in the early days, they wore whatever blue shirt they had. Their first uniform kit was a dark blue shirt with a white sash and white shorts. Several variations on a blue theme were tried; the one that stuck was the royal blue shirt with a white "V", adopted during the First World War and retained until the late 1920s. Though the design changed, the royal blue remained. In 1971 they adopted the "penguin" strip – royal blue with a broad white central front panel – which lasted five years. Since then they have generally worn plain, nominally royal blue shirts, though the actual shade used has varied. Shorts have been either blue or white, and socks either blue, white or a combination. The colours of Birmingham's change strip have varied greatly over the years; white or yellow (on their own or with blue or black) and red with white or black have been the most frequently used combinations.]
There have been aberrations. The 1992 kit, sponsored by Triton Showers, was made of a blue material covered with multicoloured splashes which resembled a shower curtain. Birmingham have only worn stripes on their home shirt once; in 1999 they wore a blue shirt with a front central panel in narrow blue and white stripes, a design similar to the Tesco supermarket carrier bag of the time.
When the club changed their name from Small Heath to Birmingham in 1905 they adopted the city's coat of arms as their crest, although this was not always worn on the shirts. The 1970s "penguin" shirt carried the letters "BCFC" intertwined at the centre of the chest. The Sports Argus newspaper ran a competition in 1972 to design a new badge for the club. The winning entry, a line-drawn globe and ball, with ribbon carrying the club name and date of foundation, in plain blue and white, was adopted by the club but not worn on playing shirts until 1976. An experiment was made in the early 1990s with colouring in the globe and ball, but the club soon reverted to the plain version.
For the 2010–11 season, the club's supporters were invited to vote for their preferred home shirt from a choice of four. The winner was royal blue with a shallow white chevron across the chest and sleeves, to be worn with white shorts and blue socks The away kit consists of a white shirt with blue trim, blue shorts and white socks, and a third kit has the same styling as the away kit, red and white replacing white and blue. The kit is manufactured by Chinese sportswear company Xtep, who signed a contract reportedly worth £7.8 million over five years to supply the club's playing and training kit and associated leisurewear, and carries the name of the sponsors, F&C Investments Sponsors' names or logos have appeared on the shirts since 1982. Tables of shirt sponsors and kit suppliers appear below.
Small Heath Alliance played their first home games on waste ground off Arthur Street, Bordesley Green. As interest grew, they moved to a fenced-off field in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, where admission could be charged. A year later, they moved again, to a field adjoining Muntz Street, Small Heath, near the main Coventry Road, with a capacity of about 10,000. The Muntz Street ground was adequate for 1880s friendly matches, and the capacity was gradually raised to around 30,000, but when several thousand spectators scaled walls and broke down turnstiles to get into a First Division match against Aston Villa, it became clear that it could no longer cope with the demand.
Director Harry Morris identified a site for a new ground in Bordesley Green, some three-quarters of a mile (1 km) from Muntz Street towards the city centre. The site was where a brickworks once operated; the land sloped steeply down to stagnant pools, yet the stadium was constructed in under twelve months from land clearance to opening ceremony on Boxing Day 1906. Heavy snow nearly prevented the opening; volunteers had to clear pitch and terraces before the match, a goalless draw against Middlesbrough, could go ahead. The ground is reputed to have been cursed by gypsies evicted from the site; although gypsies are known to have camped nearby, there is no contemporary evidence for their eviction by the club.
The original capacity of St Andrew's was reported as 75,000, with 4,000 seats in the Main Stand and space for 22,000 under cover. By 1938 the official capacity was 68,000, and February 1939 saw the attendance record set at the fifth round FA Cup tie against Everton, variously recorded as 66,844 or 67,341.[A] On the outbreak of the Second World War, the Chief Constable ordered the ground's closure because of the danger from air raids; it was the only ground to be thus closed, and was only re-opened after the matter was raised in Parliament. It was badly damaged during the Birmingham Blitz: the Railway End and the Kop as a result of bombing, while the Main Stand burnt down when a fireman mistook petrol for water.
The replacement Main Stand used a propped cantilever roof design, which meant fewer pillars to block spectators' view of the pitch. Floodlights were installed in 1956, and officially switched on for a friendly match against Borussia Dortmund in 1957. By the early 1960s a stand had been built at the Railway End to the same design as the Main Stand, roofs had been put on the Kop and Tilton Road End, and the ground capacity was down to about 55,000.
Resulting from the 1986 Popplewell Report into the safety of sports grounds and the later Taylor Report, the capacity of St Andrew's was set at 28,235 for safety reasons, but it was accepted that the stadium had 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 – fans took home a significant proportion as souvenirs – to be replaced at the start of the new season by a 7,000-seat Tilton Road Stand, continuing round the corner into the 9,500-seat Kop which opened two months later. The 8,000-seat Railway Stand followed in 1999 – ten years later, this was renamed the Gil Merrick Stand, in honour of the club's appearance record-holder and former manager – but the Main Stand has still to be modernised. As of 2010, the stadium capacity is 30,009.
In 2004 a proposal was put forward to build a "sports village" comprising a new 55,000 capacity stadium for the club, to be known as the City of Birmingham Stadium, other sports and leisure facilities, and a super casino. The project would be jointly financed by Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City F.C. (via the proceeds of the sale of St Andrew's) and the casino group Las Vegas Sands. The feasibility of the plan depended on the government issuing a licence for a super casino, and Birmingham being chosen as the venue, but this did not happen. The club have planning permission to redevelop the Main Stand, but club and council have continued to seek alternative sources of funding for the City of Birmingham Stadium project.
Capacity: 30,200 (all seated)
Address: St Andrews Ground, Birmingham B9 4NH
Main Telephone No: 0121-772-0101
Fax No: 0121-766-7866
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Blues
Shirt Sponsors: Eze Group
Home Kit Colours: Royal Blue & White
Away Kit Colours: Belgium Flag design
From The North:
Take M6 to Junction 6.
From The South:
Exit M6 at Junction 6 and take the A38(M) Aston Expressway. Leave at the second exit at roundabout
along Dartmouth Middleway. After 1 1/4 miles turn left into St. Andrew's Street. Car Parking is available
in the surrounding streets.
From The East:
Approach via M6.