1950–51 Birmingham City F.C. season

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Birmingham City F.C.
1950–51 season
Chairman Harry Morris Jr
Manager Bob Brocklebank
Ground St Andrew's
Football League Second Division 4th
FA Cup Semi-final
(eliminated by Blackpool)
Top goalscorer League: Cyril Trigg (17)
All: Cyril Trigg (19)
Highest home attendance 50,764 vs Manchester United, FA Cup sixth round, 24 February 1951
Lowest home attendance 12,593 vs Southampton, 28 February 1951
Average home league attendance 25,333

The 1950–51 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 48th in the Football League and their 20th in the Second Division, having been relegated from the First Division in 1949–50. They finished in 4th position in the 22-team division. They entered the 1950–51 FA Cup at the third round proper and reached the semi-final, in which they lost to Blackpool after a replay.

Twenty-two players made at least one appearance in nationally organised competitive football during the season, and there were thirteen different goalscorers. Goalkeeper Gil Merrick, full-back Arthur Atkins and winger Johnny Berry were ever-present in the 48-game season, and Cyril Trigg was the leading goalscorer with 19 goals, of which 17 came in league matches.

As part of the Festival of Britain, friendly matches were arranged at the end of this season between British clubs and teams from other parts of the British Isles and from continental Europe. Birmingham played in four such matches, against teams from Scotland, Ireland and Yugoslavia.

Football League Second Division[edit]

Note that not all teams completed their playing season on the same day. Birmingham were in third position after their last game of the season, on 28 April, but by the time the last game was played, on 5 May, they had been overtaken by Cardiff City and finished fourth, three points behind the promotion places.

Date League
position
Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
19 August 1950 1st Swansea Town A W 1–0 Boyd 25,012
23 August 1950 1st Leicester City H W 2–0 Trigg, Smith 28,343
26 August 1950 4th Grimsby Town H D 1–1 Powell 33,017
28 August 1950 1st Leicester City A W 3–1 Trigg, Smith, Stewart 31,291
2 September 1950 1st Notts County A W 1–0 Smith 34,648
6 September 1950 1st Coventry City H D 1–1 Higgins 24,719
9 September 1950 1st Preston North End H W 1–0 Smith 32,633
11 September 1950 2nd Coventry City H L 1–3 Berry 30,448
16 September 1950 5th Bury A L 1–4 Dorman 16,809
23 September 1950 5th Queens Park Rangers H D 1–1 Heath og 26,583
30 September 1950 4th Chesterfield A D 1–1 Trigg 12,330
7 October 1950 4th Southampton A W 2–0 Smith, Green 25,499
14 October 1950 3rd Barnsley H W 2–0 Smith, Boyd 26,617
21 October 1950 4th Brentford A L 1–2 Trigg 19,273
28 October 1950 3rd Blackburn Rovers H W 3–2 Trigg, Smith, Stewart 24,552
4 November 1950 4th Hull City A L 2–3 Trigg 2 32,038
11 November 1950 5th Doncaster Rovers H L 0–2 26,779
18 November 1950 5th Sheffield United A L 2–3 Smith, Stewart 23,879
25 November 1950 5th Luton Town H W 3–0 Higgins 2, Smith 18,606
2 December 1950 7th Leeds United A L 0–3 23,355
9 December 1950 6th West Ham United H W 3–1 Higgins, Stewart, Smith 18,180
16 December 1950 4th Swansea Town H W 5–0 Trigg 3, Stewart, Berry 15,649
23 December 1950 4th Grimsby Town A D 1–1 Smith 13,141
25 December 1950 6th Manchester City A L 1–3 Trigg 40,173
26 December 1950 4th Manchester City H W 1–0 Trigg 32,092
30 December 1950 5th Notts County H L 1–4 Stewart 33,770
13 January 1951 7th Preston North End A L 0–1 30,662
20 January 1951 7th Bury H D 3–3 Trigg 2, Stewart 25,653
3 February 1951 9th Queens Park Rangers A L 0–2 12,295
17 February 1951 7th Chesterfield H W 2–1 Trigg, Higgins 33,768
28 February 1951 7th Southampton H W 2–1 Trigg, Stewart 12,593
3 March 1951 5th Barnsley A W 2–0 Dailey, Stewart 15,450
17 March 1951 5th Blackburn Rovers A W 3–2 Dailey 2, Higgins 28,116
23 March 1951 5th Cardiff City H D 0–0 15,054
24 March 1951 4th Hull City H W 2–1 Dailey, Boyd 27,512
26 March 1951 5th Cardiff City A L 1–2 Rowley 36,992
31 March 1951 5th Doncaster Rovers A W 1–0 Trigg 16,091
7 April 1951 3rd Sheffield United H W 3–0 Higgins, Rowley, Warhurst 21,974
14 April 1951 4th Luton Town A D 1–1 Warhurst 16,324
21 April 1951 4th Leeds United H L 0–1 23,809
25 April 1951 4th Brentford H D 1–1 Smith 13,643
28 April 1951 3rd West Ham United A W 2–1 Rowley, Ferris 12,396

League table (part)[edit]

Final Second Division table (part)
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts
2nd Manchester City 42 19 14 9 89 61 1.46 52
3rd Cardiff City 42 17 16 9 53 45 1.18 50
4th Birmingham City 42 20 9 13 64 53 1.21 49
5th Leeds United 42 20 8 14 63 55 1.15 48
6th Blackburn Rovers 42 19 8 15 65 66 0.98 46
Key Pos = League position; Pld = Matches played;
W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost;
F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points
Source [1]

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1950–51 FA Cup

Birmingham beat Manchester City, Bristol City, and First Division teams Derby County and Manchester United, without needing a replay and while conceding only one goal, to reach the semi-final, in which they faced another First Division team, Blackpool. The Times suggested that the fixture, "as always when Matthews plays, will present the problem of how to smother the greatest player in the history of English football", warning that "to smother Matthews—should they even succeed—is not to smother Blackpool."[2] Supporters queued all night for tickets; the 20,000 allocation sold out within two hours.[3] In addition to several special trains, the supporters' club chartered 60 coaches to travel to Maine Road, Manchester, where touts were offering tickets for sale at four times face value.[4]

Blackpool were the class team, but "Birmingham, with their fiery, quick tackling, their spirit and the snapping up of stray chances, have swept class aside before now."[5] Though failing to sweep Blackpool aside, they did stop them scoring, combatting the attacking threat by switching the pacy Jack Badham to the left to man-mark Matthews and using the other defenders, among whom Arthur Atkins stood out, to cut out his crosses.[6] With two minutes left, Jackie Stewart's "terrific left-foot shot struck a post, then passed out, with thousands of horrified Blackpool supporters on the verge of doing likewise."[7]

In the replay, at Goodison Park in front of a 70,000 crowd, "the greatest mystery of all was why the Blackpool inside forwards did not run up a total of five or six goals in the opening hour—to put it conservatively",[8] with Matthews in "his finest form".[9] They scored twice, but within a minute of the second, Bill Smith pulled one back after Johnny Berry's corner rebounded from a post.[9] In the remainder of the match, Birmingham rallied, with shots from all parts; "Blackpool weathered the storm they had brought upon themselves, but how gallantly had Birmingham died."[8]

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Third round 6 January 1951 Manchester City H W 2–0 Stewart, Higgins 30,057
Fourth round 27 January 1951 Derby County A W 3–1 Stewart, Trigg, Smith 37,384
Fifth round 10 February 1951 Bristol City H W 2–0 Stewart, Trigg 47,831
Sixth round 24 February 1951 Manchester United H W 1–0 Higgins 50,764
Semi-final 10 March 1951 Blackpool Maine Road, Manchester D 0–0 71,890
Semi-final replay 14 March 1951 Blackpool Goodison Park, Liverpool L 1–2 Smith 70,114

Festival of Britain[edit]

As part of the Festival of Britain, friendly matches were arranged at the end of this season between British clubs and against teams from continental Europe. Birmingham played in four such matches, against teams from Scotland, Ireland and Yugoslavia.[10]

Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
7 May 1951 Airdrieonians H L 3–5 Berry 2, Kelly og 7,985
12 May 1951 Dinamo (Yugoslavia) H L 0–2 12,058
18 May 1951 Home Farm (Dublin) A W 2–1 Stewart, Berry 3,000
20 May 1951 Cork Athletic A W 5–2 Trigg 2, Higgins, Stewart, Dailey 2,750

Appearances and goals[edit]

  • Players with name struck through and marked Left club during playing season left the club during the playing season.
Players having played at least one first-team match
Pos. Nat. Name League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK  ENG Gil Merrick 42 0 6 0 48 0
FB  ENG Jack Badham 35 0 5 0 40 0
FB  ENG Ken Green 39 1 4 0 43 1
FB  ENG Jeff Hall 1 0 0 0 1 0
FB  SCO Roy Martin 10 0 3 0 13 0
HB  ENG Arthur Atkins 42 0 6 0 48 0
HB  ENG Len Boyd 36 3 6 0 42 3
HB  ENG Don Dorman 21 1 1 0 22 1
HB  NIR Ray Ferris 20 1 6 0 26 1
FW  ZAF Hymie KlonerLeft club during playing season 1 0 0 0 1 0
FW  SCO Frank McKee 3 0 0 0 3 0
FW  ENG Johnny Berry 42 2 6 0 48 2
FW  SCO Jimmy Dailey 6 4 0 0 6 4
FW  IRL Jim Higgins 28 7 6 2 23 9
FW  IRL Eddie O'Hara 3 0 0 0 3 0
FW  WAL Aubrey Powell 15 1 0 0 15 1
FW  ENG Harold Roberts 10 0 0 0 10 0
FW  ENG Ken Rowley 8 3 0 0 8 3
FW  ENG Bill Smith 35 12 5 2 40 14
FW  SCO Jackie Stewart 25 9 6 3 31 12
FW  ENG Cyril Trigg 30 17 6 2 36 19
FW  ENG Roy Warhurst 9 2 0 0 9 2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
  • Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  • Matthews, Tony (2010). Birmingham City: The Complete Record. Derby: DB Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85983-853-2. 
  • Source for match dates and results: "Birmingham City 1950–1951: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  • Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 336–37.
Specific
  1. ^ "Birmingham City 1950–1951: English Division Two (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "The F.A. Cup. Semi-Final Draw". The Times (London). 27 February 1951. p. 2. 
  3. ^ "All-Night Wait for Cup Tickets". The Manchester Guardian. 5 March 1951. p. 6. 
  4. ^ "Cup-Tie Invasion of Manchester". The Manchester Guardian. 12 March 1951. p. 2. 
  5. ^ "The F.A. Cup. Semi-Final Round". The Times (London). 10 March 1951. p. 4. 
  6. ^ "No Goals at Maine Road. Birmingham Hold Blackpool". The Times (London). 12 March 1951. p. 2. 
  7. ^ An Old International (12 March 1951). "Two Goalless Semi-Finals". The Manchester Guardian. p. 2. 
  8. ^ a b "The F.A. Cup. Blackpool's Second Final". The Times (London). 15 March 1951. p. 2. 
  9. ^ a b "Blackpool Reach Final". The Manchester Guardian. 15 March 1951. p. 6. 
  10. ^ Matthews (1995), p. 243.