While Birmingham City are not having a good year because of their financial problems, ten years ago was another situation completely.
This was when Birmingham were promoted to the Premier League in a great season where they finished in 2nd. It was a superb year for the Blues and they would go on to be mainstays of the top division for a few years.
But what has happened to the players who got them there? Well let’s find out.
Taylor was the number one goalkeeper for Birmingham during the 2008/09 season. He has been retired since a spell with Millwall in 2013. Most recently he had a short time with Bradford City as their goalkeeping coach though contract expired in summer 2019.
Despite Kelly being a regular for the squad before, he struggled for a place in the first team and was released in the summer. The last team he played for was Rotherham United back in 2017. He is now a regular contributor to Irish sports show Off the Ball and you can see some of his work here.
Carr made 13 appearances in Birmingham’s promotion season. He stayed with the club until the end of his career in 2013 when he retired, saying he was going to Spain to pursue business interests. This business interest is the Sala Group which owns many bars and clubs in Marbella so you may have got drunk on him!
A regular at left-back during this season for Birmingham. He retired due to injury while at the West Midlands club in 2014. In an interview with The Sun back in 2016, he revealed he had been involved with Middlesbrough’s recruitment department but become sick of it so quick and has been dabbling in several businesses since. One of these business interests appears to be Head of Sports Partnerships for skignz, whatever that is. He’s also been a matchday host for Hibernian.
Hunt spent the season on loan from Bolton Wanderers though he only made 11 appearances. He is still playing today for Crewe Alexandra.
Spent the season on loan from West Ham United before making it permanent the following summer. Bowyer is now a manager and had the moment of his career so far by guiding Charlton Athletic to promotion via the play-offs.
A rock-solid defender for Birmingham in their promotion season who made over 20 appearances for them this season. He retired from football in 2014 after spending time with Sheffield Wednesday. He now works in web design and development.
Ridgewell was a regular for Birmingham and would still be until he left in 2012. Most recently he was playing for Hull City but he is now a free agent after being released by the Tigers.
He spent this season on loan from Arsenal and then made that deal permanent when he quickly became a fan favourite. He is now back in his native Sweden playing for AIK.
A veteran striker who was usually a squad player throughout his time at the club. He lasted played in 2016 for Scottish side Selkirk. His LinkedIn page says that he now Co-Owner of 2nd Chance Football Academy and also a Football Fitness Coach at the Garry O’Connor Football Fitness School.
Birmingham’s top scorer this season who scored 14 goals this season. He retired from football in 2014 after playing for Leicester City. Most recently he was a coach for Gary Rowett at Stoke City but left after Rowett was sacked.
Phillips’ partner in crime, scoring nine goals this season. He’d stay at the club until 2011. Now he plays in Turkey for Goztepe.
McSheffrey didn’t really play a part in this team, only making six appearances for them in this season. He would leave the club the following year. He is now an U18s coach at Doncaster Rovers.
Said to be the nasty player to replace Robbie Savage though he only made 11 league appearances in this season and was released following promotion. He retired from football in 2014 after playing for Spanish side Cadiz. He is now a manager and is currently in charge of Segunda Division B Group side CD Badajoz.
How can you get in the first team as a goalkeeper when Maik Taylor was in front of you in the pecking order? He would leave in 2015. He now plays in Scotland for Hearts.
Agustien was on loan from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar and would return to England a year after though for Swansea City. He was back in the UK playing recently for Wrexham but was released in the summer and is now a free agent.
A regular for Birmingham during this season, making 30 league appearances. He would leave the club the following summer for Southampton. While he retired as a player in 2012, he is still at the Saints as the manager of their U23s.
One of Birmingham’s top players this season, making 30 appearances in it. He would leave in 2011 for an ill-fated spell with Everton and was most recently playing in 2018 for Scottish side Queen of the South. He would then become the assistant manager of Scotland though I’m not sure if he is still there now that Alex McLeish has been sacked. He was fighting bankruptcy this time last year but seemed much happier when opening a hair salon at the University Hospital Wishaw back in April.
Quashie spent the season on loan from West Ham United but only made ten appearances for Birmingham. He last played in 2015 for the team now known as Vestri in Iceland. He now runs the IDPA (Improving Players Development Academy) where children are given the chance to train under high-quality coaches. He was also in the news recently for saving a Power League site in Halesowen.
I’m not even sure Birmingham fans remember Costly being on loan for them from Polish side Belchatow. He does still play though for Honduran side Marathon and has also made 77 caps for the Honduras national side.
Another loanee Birmingham brought in though Owusu-Abeyie came from the slightly more unlikely Spartak Moscow. His Wikipedia entry runs out in 2017 when he had a spell with Dutch side NEC Nijmegen which ended due to a spat with their manager but it appears he had a spell in Portugal for Boavista in 2018. I can’t find anything more up to date after that.
Sinclair had a short 14 appearances spell with Birmingham after moving on loan to them from Chelsea. He currently plays for Celtic after signing for them in 2016.
Queudrue made 25 appearances this season and had a good impact this season. He would leave the club in 2010 and was most recently seen playing in 2013 for Red Star in France. In an interview in 2016, he stated he works as a go-between for his former agent to make sure players move to the right club for them.
Parnaby would make plenty of appearances for Birmingham this season, taking to the field 21 times. He would leave Birmingham in 2011 and was last seen playing in 2015 for Hartlepool United. His last job was at York City where he was the assistant manager before his departure in January.
A long-term player at Birmingham at this point having had been at the club since 2002, he would only make nine appearances in this season before moving on in 2010. He also made 56 caps for Northern Ireland and finished his career in 2013 after playing for Fleetwood Town. He is now an U23 coach at Blackburn Rovers.
It’s the super sub! Bent made 33 appearances this season though most of them came from the bench. His most recent playing spell was for Wick in the Southern Combination Division though he never made an appearance for them. So it’s probably fairer to say his last playing contract was for Indonesian side Mitra Kukar in 2012. This story is not a good one as he was declared bankrupt at the start of 2019.
He made one substitute appearance which counts I think! He would leave the club in 2010 leaving that appearance as his solitary one for the Blues. His last club was Bishop’s Cleeves where he was a player-coach for their reserves.
Other than Maik Taylor, Carsley made the most appearances for Birmingham this season with 41. He would leave the club for Coventry City in 2010 which was also his last team he played for. He would return to Birmingham as a coach in 2017 and has even been their caretaker manager at times. He left alongside Steve Cotterill and has been an U21 Specialist Coach for the FA since.
This was Fahey’s first season at Birmingham and he would soon climb to over 100 appearances before leaving in 2013. He retired in 2017 after playing for Irish club Bluebell United. He took up a coaching role with Shamrock Rovers at the start of the year.
He only made 16 appearances for Birmingham this season while on loan from Fulham. He has played for French side FC Fleury 91 since 2017.
An iconic player for the wrong reasons, Traore actually made three appearances for Birmingham in this season. He last played in 2014 for American side Seattle Sounders. He is still with the Washington club having been their assistant manager since 2016.
Ulises de la Cruz
Top signing this one, signed in 2009, made one appearance then left. But thankfully he has the best story after retiring in 2012 with Ecuadorian side LDU Quito. He would then turn to politics and was elected to Ecuador’s National Assembly in 2013 for the centre-left governing PAIS Alliance party. So fair play to him.