Birmingham City by Shane Ireland

  • JS36004652-MediumBirmingham were the first ever English club side to compete in a European competition when they played in the inaugural Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1956. The Blues reached the semi-final and were knocked out by Barcelona who won a 2-1 replay after the teams had drawn 4-4 on aggregate. They also became the first side to reach a European final courtesy of the same tournament, losing out to Barcelona in the 1960 Fairs Cup Final before finishing runners-up the year after too when Roma beat the 4-2.
  • The Blues sold English football’s first ever £1 million player when club legend Trevor Francis moved to Nottingham Forest in 1979. Francis made his St Andrew’s debut aged just 16 years and 139 days in a Second Division match nine years earlier and remains the club’s youngest ever first-team player. Interestingly, Brian Clough actually shelled out £1,150,000 when taking the player to the City Ground, as the Football League received 15% commission.
  • Lee Clark set an unwanted club-record of 18 consecutive league home matches without a win last season. Birmingham triumphed in just two Championship games at St Andrew’s during the 2013/14 campaign, ironically both matches ended in convincing wins (4-1 against Sheffield Wednesday on 21st August and 4-0 against Millwall on 1st October). The Blues will look to end this run when they play Brighton in a couple of weeks.
  • Last season’s 21st place finish was Birmingham’s lowest in exactly 20 years, when the Midlands club ended up in 22nd place in the First Division (Championship) in 1994. Had Paul Caddis not scored in injury time on the final day at Bolton in May, Lee Clark would be preparing for a season in League One. The club also saw their lowest average attendance since 1994 which stood at 15,457 last year.
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About Author

Jason is currently studying Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University and is an editor for the72. He hopes to graduate from University with an increased knowledge of journalism, eventually leading to a career in sports journalism. He is an AFC Bournemouth season ticket holder, with interest in football up and down the English leagues and abroad. Twitter @_JasonLewis