Blues Muse:  Birmingham City Football Club











    PREVIEW: Sheffield Wednesday v Blues, Saturday, 3 pm
The Owls hover just above us in the league table, and given that our away form is better than at St. Andrews I figure that we'll share the spoils with this Wednesday team. No further logic is involved or implied!
Prediction: Wednesday 2 Blues 2

    REVIEW: Blues 3  Burnley 3
 Another encouraging comeback, not once, but three times against a top two team . . . so it's not all bad considering our home form of late.  We saw something similar against Derby County a few weeks ago, so are my blue specs gonna look silly on me in the coming weeks . . . again?
PS: I'm not a fan of Lee Clark's buzz-cut, not that he would care what I think!

    OPINION: Former villain now a hero?
It was not that long ago when our own Paul Robinson broke Blues' midfielder Damien Johnson's jaw in a fixture versus the Albion, and instantly became a target of hate among us Blues fans.  Fast forward a few years and Robinson is now a rock at the heart of the Blues defence and all has been forgotten, apparently, as he turns in solid performances week after week . . .including a rare goal which flew in against Bristol Rovers the other night.  Have we forgiven and forgot?  Most of us wouldn't want a thug on our team - unless it was Messi or Ronaldo, right? - and as Paul is no Joey Barton, I say we let the past go, and get behind him. Mmmm, l'll level with you though, I wouldn't want to be in front of Paul with the ball at my feet!

    OPINION: Injury fair play in game against Yeovil
It's an un-written law/gentleman's agreement, or whatever you want to call it, that if you kick the ball out of play so that a player can get treatment, that you get the ball back. It's always been that way, and speaks well of players, teams and cultures that practice the gesture. That said, Yeovil didn't break any laws when they scored their equaliser, but you just don't do that do you?!  Perhaps it's time for FIFA to establish solid guidelines on this?

    TWISTED OPINION: Football League rummage sale
It seems that nobody wants to buy the club, and at this rate Irma Postlethwaite of Hinckley is going to be the new owner.  I just hope she has plenty of money stored away in that box under her bed for new players.
       
      John, as one can easily deduce, is Beyond The Far Post
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Wednesday the 12th of March, 2014

  Birmingham City 3  Burnley 3

 
Scorer/s: Macheda 2, Huws
 
Birmingham Mail: Match reports  |  YouTube: Match highlights/Channel
 



 

Saturday the 15th of March, 2014

 

  Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham City

 
Kick-off: 3 p.m.
Confirm the kick-off time  |  Tickets


 

  AUGUST 2013

Sat, 3rd H   Watford L 0-1  
Tues, 6th H Plymouth Argyle
League Cup, 1st round
W 3-2
AET
Allan 2, Bartley
Sat, 10th A Yeovil Town W 1-0 Seaborne og
Sat, 17th H   Brighton and Hove Albion L 0-1
Sat, 24th A   Leicester City L 2-3 Green, Burke
Tues, 27th A   Yeovil Town
League Cup, 2nd round
W 6-5
pens
Bartley, Shinnie, Novak
Sat, 31st H   Ipswich Town D 1-1 Burke

  SEPTEMBER 2013

Sat, 14th A Queens Park Rangers L 0-1  
Tues, 17th A Burnley L 0-3
Sat, 21st H Sheffield Wednesday W 4-1 Lingard 4
Wed, 25th H Swansea City
League Cup, 3rd round
W 3-1 Burn, Green, Adeyemi
Sat, 28th A Reading L 0-2  

  OCTOBER 2013

Tues, 1st H Milwall W 4-0 Murphy 2, Adeyemi, Lingard
Sat, 5th H Bolton Wanderers L 1-2 Zigic
Sun, 20th A Leeds United L 0-4  
Sat, 26th H Derby County D 1-1 Novak
Tues, 29th H   Stoke City
League Cup, 4th round
L 2-4 pens Adeyemi, Lovenkrands 2, Lee

  NOVEMBER 2013

Sat, 2nd H Charlton Athletic L 0-1  
Sat, 9th A Huddersfield Town W 3-1 Zigic, Bartley 2
Sat, 23rd H Blackpool D 1-1 Lingard
Sat, 30th A Barnsley W 3-0 Caddis 2, 1 pen, Zigic

  DECEMBER 2013

Tues, 3rd H Doncaster Rovers D 1-1 Novak
Sat, 7th H Middlesbrough D 2-2 Caddis pen, Bartley
Sat, 14th A Bournemouth W 2-0 Shinnie, Zigic
Sat, 21st H Nottingham Forest D 0-0
Thurs, 26th A Wigan Athletic D 0-0  
Sun, 29th A Blackburn Rovers W 3-2 Novak 2, Burke

  JANUARY 2014

Wed, 1st H Barnsley D 1-1 Zigic
Sat, 11th A Brighton L 0-1
Tues, 14th H   Bristol Rovers
FA Cup third round
W 3-0 Robinson, Burke 2
Sat, 18th H Yeovil L 0-2
Sat, 25th H Swansea City
FA Cup fourth round
L 1-2 Novak
Tues, 28th H Leicester L 1-2 Lovenkrands

  FEBRUARY 2014

Sat, 1st H Derby County D 3-3 Howard, Burke, Macheda
Sat, 8th A Charlton Athletic W 2-0 Macheda 2
Tues, 11th A   Watford L 0-1  
Sat, 15th H Huddersfield Town

L

1-2 Lee
Sat, 22nd A Blackpool W 2-1 Novak 2

  MARCH 2014

Sat, 1st A   Ipswich Town L 0-1  
Sat, 8th H Queens Park Rangers L 0-2
Wed, 12th H   Burnley D 3-3 Macheda 2, Huws
Sat, 15th A Sheffield Wednesday @ 3 pm
Sat, 22nd H   Reading     @ 3 pm
Tues, 25th A Milwall @ 7:45 pm
Sat, 29th H   Bournemouth     @ 3 pm
  APRIL 2014
Sat, 5th A   Doncaster Rovers     @ 3 pm
Tues, 8th A Middlesbrough @ 7:45 pm
Sat, 19th A   Nottingham Forest     @ 3 pm
Mon, 21st H Blackburn Rovers @ 3 pm
Sat, 26th H   Leeds United     @ 3 pm
  MAY 2014
Sat, 3rd A   Bolton Wanderers     @ 12:15 pm

Confirm the kick-off times  |  Tickets



Updated Thursday the 13th of March, 2014

       

CLUB

P   W D L   F A   GD   Pts
1       Leicester 34   24 5 5   65 32   33   77
2       Burnley 35   19 13 3   57 30   27   70
3       Derby 35   18 8 9   60 43   17   62
4       QPR 34   17 9 8   40 28   12   60
5       Nottm Forest 35   14 14 7   55 41   14   56
6       Reading 35   15 10 10   56 41   15   55
7       Wigan 33   16 7 10   42 30   12   55
8       Brighton 34   14 11 9   37 28   9   53
9       Ipswich 35   13 12 10   45 39   6   51
10       Blackburn 34   12 10 12   39 42   -3   46
11       Watford 34   11 12 11   49 41   8   45
12       Bournemouth 34   12 9 13   44 51   -7   45
13       Middlesbrough 35   10 14 11   44 38   6   44
14       Huddersfield 35   12 8 15   45 46   -1   44
15       Leeds 34   12 8 14   47 49   -2   44
16       Bolton 35   9 13 13   46 50   -4   40
17       Sheff Wed 34   9 12 13   39 41   -2   39
18       Blackpool 35   9 11 15   30 49   -19   38
19       Birmingham City 35   9 10 16   42 47   -5   37
20       Doncaster 35   9 9 17   32 54   -22   36
21       Millwall 35   7 10 18   32 62   -30   31
22       Yeovil 34   7 8 19   30 49   -19   29
23       Barnsley 34   6 11 17   31 59   -28   29
24       Charlton 31   6 10 15   24 41   -17   28
 

  Table by BBC Sport



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  As a Birmingham City fan getting web savvy by designing and managing my business sites it was a logical step to produce a Blues site of some description. The only rule was that it had to be a little different.

You'll find my personal perspectives in the form of 'Beyond the Far Post' plus some additional interesting features, but don't expect daily bulletins from Wast Hills or St. Andrews. It is however ALL BIRMINGHAM CITY FC, and as I'm a photographer, with my own images of course.

Lastly, please get in touch via e-mail if you have some comments.

Keep right on.

John Baker.



JOURNEY OF A BLUES 'SUFFERER'
John Baker, a personal story

  Born in '51 [1900's] and raised in Warwickshire orphanages, I didn't pay too much attention to football which was mainly because I couldn't play as well as I'd have liked. At an orphanage in Solihull we played a lot of football, and England was my team . . . even got the kit via endless box tops from Kellogg's 'Special K'.  Boy, I must have looked good!

MY FIRST LEAGUE GAME
Around the age of 12 I started to get more interested and a friend of my Dad's - a ViIla fan I 'spose - took me to my first professional game. It was a Division One encounter between the Aston Villa and Fulham. Villa won I think, and I seem to recall that Fulham had Johnny Haynes in their side.  The date must have been around April, 1964.

CHOOSING A TEAM . . . WHAT IS A BOY TO DO?
I was living in a Nuneaton orphanage at the time, and was fond of the city of Birmingham, which combined with my love of the colour blue led to you know what. Later that year in November, I was able to persuade said gentleman to take me to St. Andrews.  We stood on the Tilton Road end with most folk around smoking, coughing and spluttering, then the Blues team trotted out and right away I was a supporter for life. The tobacco smoke, the grey macs, the flat caps, and six goals that went in against us weren't exactly what dreams were made of but I was still hooked.

IT WAS ONLY NATURAL
As did most kids during that period in history, I had the rattle, the scarf, the rosette, the autograph book - some player signatures from the late sixties are reproduced here - and a wide-eyed fascination with Birmingham City. I got out of school in 1966, lived in Sutton Coldfield and spots around Brum for the next 9 years and rarely missed a game. Memorable times during that period were Trevor Francis' 4 goals v Bolton, FA Cup 6th round wins v Chelsea and Arsenal, and the FA Cup semi finals v Albion and Leeds United. The 1-0 win at Orient that won promotion was also a major highlight, and I can still clearly see Bob Latchford nodding in that corner at the near post.

There were also many, many memorable league games - especially a few Tuesday night 6-goal extravaganzas - and a ton of fun on the Tilton week after week, year after year. It was also the spot where Trevor Philips and I added the "ever more" harmony to the end of "We'll support you ever more" . . . well, it seemed like we invented it at the time.

FIRST TASTE OF TRAGEDY
During the season of 1966/67 we managed to claw our way to the League Cup semi-final, and were hot favorites to go through to Wembley - the first League Cup final held at that hallowed venue - as we were facing a third division team, Queens Park Rangers. We were doing well in the second division at the time.
The first leg was at St. Andrews, and we led at half time. However, the emerging talent at QPR - including Rodney Marsh and Les Allen - blossomed to win the the tie 4-1 and I was cut in half as the miserable spectacle unfolded.

FURTHER LOSS
OK, OK, by loss I mean I left Brummagem to live in Wales and I barely saw the Blues 'live' again. One day though, through my work as a school photographer in North Wales, I met a primary school Headmaster who was also a football league referee. Soooooo, I struck up a deal that he would call me when he was chosen for a game at St. Andrews, and I would write a feature for the Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald. It was December of 1981 when I got the call for the game v Ipswich, and the words and pictures of 'Day in the Life of a Referee' are reproduced here. I took along my neighbours Iwan and Elfyn Hughes whom I photographed with various players. My own 'highlight' was in the Ref's dressing room prior to the game when Bobby Robson and Jim Smith came in with their team sheets. I took pictures and just had to tell Jim that I was actually a Blues fan.  At this point Robson went beserk because fans aren't allowed anywhere near the Ref before a game.  Oops!  Well, I failed because we lost anyway.

THE ULTIMATE TRAGEDY
During this period, 1975 to be exact, we reached my third FA Cup semi-final as a fan and were drawn against Second Division Fulham.  We were in the First Division at the time. We were expected to win with a team containing the likes of Trevor Francis, Joe Gallagher, Alan Campbell, Howard Kendall, John Roberts, Dave Latchford, Bob Hatton, Gordon Taylor, Malcolm Page, Kenny Burns and co, but Fulham survived and the tie went to a replay. So there I was with my ear glued to the transistor radio in far-flung Talsarnau, North Wales, when Fulham scored in the last minute of extra time of the replay to go through to the FA Cup final. What an appalling night, and stab through the heart, that was for Birmingham City fans everywhere.

EVEN FURTHER LOSS
I was then off to America and condemned to twiddling the knobs on my short-wave radio for a few years. Back in the UK I'd often heard, at about 4:20 p.m. every Saturday, the words, "We now welcome World Service listeners", and I was now one of those distant faithful.  Trouble was, the Blues rarely got a mention, and one would often lose the transmission because of static.

THE ROLLER COASTER and the DIGITAL AGE
In the early 90's Blues had a pair of 'minor cup' successes plus relegation to the dreaded Third Division, and I all but missed those days. Then in 1997 something called the 'internet' came into my life, so I thought I'd type in 'Birmingham City FC'. Terrific loike, now I had my team back.
I'd rather be at the games, but it's better than nothing plus I've made many Blues friends on the various Blues fan forums over the years.

AND FINALLY
Well, that's me story so far loike, our kid, innit?  Except for the League Cup win v Arsenal its been a pretty barren 50 years of support for the Blues, but one always has hope that better things are just around the corner.  I'm pretty sure that supporters from Tottenham to Tranmere, and from Carlisle to Chelsea feel this way each time they step into a football stadium. It's the magic of football.

Keeping right on.

John Baker




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