1955–56 Birmingham City F.C. season

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Birmingham City F.C.
1955–56 season
Chairman Harry Morris Jr
Manager Arthur Turner
Ground St Andrew's
Football League First Division 6th
FA Cup Runners-up
(eliminated by Manchester City)
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Group stage
Top goalscorer League: Eddy Brown (21)
All: Eddy Brown (29)
Highest home attendance 48,000 vs Preston North End, 3 September 1956
Lowest home attendance 23,800 vs Sheffield United, 24 December 1956
Average home league attendance 32,207

The 1955–56 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 53rd in the Football League and their 29th in the First Division, having been promoted as Second Division champions in 1954–55. They finished in a club-record sixth position in the 22-team division. They entered the 1955–56 FA Cup in the third round proper and reached the Final for only the second time, despite being drawn to play away from home in each round, the first time this had occurred.[1] They lost 3–1 to Manchester City in a match remembered for City's goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 25 minutes with a broken neck.

Birmingham City became the first English club side to take part in European competition when they played their first group game in the 1955–58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on 16 May 1956,[2] a goalless draw away at Inter Milan. The competition lasted over three English seasons with the final not played until 1958.[3] Invitations to enter the Fairs Cup, a tournament set up to promote industrial trade fairs, were extended to the city hosting the trade fair rather than to clubs. Some cities entered a select team including players from more than one club, but Aston Villa, the other major club based in the city of Birmingham, rejected the opportunity to field a combined team.[4]

Twenty-four players made at least one appearance in nationally or internationally organised first-team competition, and there were thirteen different goalscorers. Goalkeeper Gil Merrick and forwards Eddy Brown and Peter Murphy played in 46 of the 50 first-team matches over the season, and Brown finished as leading goalscorer with 29 goals in all competitions, of which 21 were scored in the league.

Football League First Division[edit]

Note that not all teams completed their playing season on the same day. Birmingham were in fourth position after their last game of the season, on 21 April, but by the time the last game was played, on 2 May, they were sixth, having been overtaken by Manchester City and Arsenal.

Date League
position
Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
20 August 1955 8th Manchester United H D 2–2 Kinsey, Astall 37,612
24 August 1955 7th Newcastle United A D 2–2 Murphy, Astall 34,473
27 August 1955 4th Sheffield United A W 3–0 Brown, Kinsey, Murphy 23,299
31 August 1955 2nd Newcastle United H W 3–1 Brown, Murphy, Warhurst 38,369
3 September 1955 8th Preston North End H L 0–3 47,014
5 September 1955 5th Aston Villa A D 0–0 56,935
10 September 1955 10th Burnley A L 2–3 Kinsey, Astall 22,808
17 September 1955 12th Luton Town A D 0–0 31,013
21 September 1955 10th Aston Villa H D 2–2 Brown, Astall 32,642
24 September 1955 13th Charlton Athletic A L 0–2 21,912
1 October 1955 10th Tottenham Hotspur H W 3–0 Brown, Murphy, Clarke og 31,320
8 October 1955 12th Sunderland H L 1–2 Hudgell og 37,946
15 October 1955 10th Portsmouth A W 5–0 Brown 3, Kinsey, Govan 28,952
22 October 1955 7th Manchester City H W 4–3 Lane, Murphy, Govan, Boyd 28,398
29 October 1955 10th Wolverhampton Wanderers A L 0–1 47,006
5 November 1955 8th Chelsea H W 3–0 Astall 2, Boyd 30,499
12 November 1955 11th Blackpool A L 0–2 21,967
19 November 1955 8th Huddersfield Town H W 5–0 Brown 2, Murphy, Astall, Warhurst 24,841
26 November 1955 10th Cardiff City A L 1–2 Brown 23,638
3 December 1955 7th Arsenal H W 4–0 Kinsey 2, Brown, Astall 35,765
10 December 1955 9th Bolton Wanderers A L 0–6 15,793
17 December 1955 10th Manchester United A L 1–2 Brown 27,936
24 December 1955 13th Sheffield United H L 0–2 23,822
26 December 1955 13th Everton H W 6–2 Brown 2, Kinsey 3, Govan 25,541
27 December 1955 15th Everton A L 1–5 Astall 42,236
31 December 1955 14th Preston North End A D 1–1 Astall 25,834
14 January 1956 16th Burnley H L 1–2 Kinsey 27,388
21 January 1956 16th Luton Town A W 1–0 Brown 18,970
4 February 1956 14th Charlton Athletic H W 4–0 Brown 3, Kinsey 24,447
11 February 1956 11th Tottenham Hotspur A W 1–0 Astall 26,141
25 February 1956 9th Portsmouth H W 3–2 Kinsey 2, Brown 31,955
7 March 1956 8th Huddersfield Town A W 3–2 Brown 9,224
10 March 1956 8th Wolverhampton Wanderers H D 0–0 45,161
21 March 1956 6th Chelsea A W 2–1 Kinsey, Govan 12,637
24 March 1956 7th Blackpool H L 1–2 Murphy 47,933
31 March 1956 10th Manchester City A D 1–1 Murphy 44,777
2 April 1956 8th West Bromwich Albion H W 2–0 Brown, Murphy 38,891
3 April 1956 4th West Bromwich Albion A W 2–0 Murphy 2 35,858
7 April 1956 3rd Cardiff City H W 2–1 Brown, Baker og 37,154
14 April 1956 6th Arsenal A L 0–1 31,775
18 April 1956 7th Sunderland A L 0–1 14,824
21 April 1956 4th Bolton Wanderers H W 5–2 Kinsey, Warmington, Astall, Wheeler 2 ogs 29,640

League table (part)[edit]

Final First Division table (part)
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts
4th Manchester City 42 18 10 14 82 69 1.19 46
5th Arsenal 42 18 10 14 60 61 0.98 46
6th Birmingham City 42 18 9 15 75 57 1.32 45
7th Burnley 42 18 8 16 64 54 1.19 44
8th Bolton Wanderers 42 18 7 17 71 58 1.22 43
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 [5]

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Third round 7 January 1956 Torquay United A W 7–1 Astall, Brown 3, Kinsey, Murphy 2 18,730
Fourth round 28 January 1956 Leyton Orient A W 4–0 Brown 2, Murphy, Finney 24,727
Fifth round 18 February 1956 West Bromwich Albion A W 1–0 Murphy 57,213
Sixth round 3 March 1956 Arsenal A W 3–1 Astall, Murphy, Brown 67,872
Semi-final 17 March 1956 Sunderland Hillsborough, Sheffield W 3–0 Kinsey, Astall, Brown 65,107
Final 5 May 1956 Manchester City Wembley, London L 1–3 Kinsey 98,982

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Group B 15 May 1956 Internazionale A D 0–0 8,000
Group B 24 May 1956 Zagreb XI A W 1–0 Brown 12,000

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 Fairs Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK  ENG Gil Merrick 38 0 6 0 2 0 46 0
GK  ENG Johnny Schofield 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
FB  ENG George Allen 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
FB  ENG Jack Badham 16 0 1 0 2 0 19 0
FB  ENG Ken Green 28 0 6 0 2 0 36 0
FB  ENG Jeff Hall 38 0 6 0 0 0 44 0
FB  SCO Roy MartinLeft club during playing season 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
HB  ENG Len Boyd 32 3 6 0 1 0 39 3
HB  ENG Bert Linnecor 6 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
HB  ENG Johnny Newman 14 0 1 0 2 0 17 0
HB  ENG Trevor Smith 30 0 6 0 0 0 36 0
HB  ENG Roy Warhurst 30 2 4 0 1 0 35 2
HB  ENG Peter Warmington 2 1 0 0 1 0 3 1
HB  ENG Johnny Watts 10 0 0 0 1 0 11 0
FW  ENG Gordon Astall 39 12 6 3 0 0 45 15
FW  ENG Bill BradburyLeft club during playing season 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
FW  ENG Eddy Brown 38 21 6 7 2 1 46 29
FW  ENG Geoff Cox 3 0 0 0 2 0 5 0
FW  ENG Bill Finney 10 0 2 1 1 0 13 1
FW  SCO Alex Govan 36 4 3 0 1 0 40 4
FW  ENG Dennis HillLeft club during playing season 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
FW  WAL Noel Kinsey 34 14 6 3 2 0 42 17
FW  ENG Jackie Lane 10 1 1 0 1 0 12 1
FW  ENG Peter Murphy 38 12 6 5 2 0 46 17

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 1955–1956: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  • Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 346–47, 473.
Specific
  1. ^ "Every Prospect of a Good Final". The Times (London). 5 May 1956. p. 4. 
  2. ^ Most sources give the match date as 15 May, but Birmingham City confirm it was a day later. "Blues in Europe – Part One 1956–1958". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011. 
  3. ^ The London XI, a representative side made up of players from several London clubs, were the first English team when they played their first group game in 1955.
    Zea, Antonio (28 March 2007). "European Champions' Cup 1955–56 – Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
    Zea, Antonio & Haisma, Marcel (2 October 2009). "Fairs' Cup 1955–58". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Radnedge, Keir (1998). "Inter-Cities Fairs/UEFA Cup". The Complete Encyclopedia of Football. Carlton Books. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-85833-979-5. 
    Goodyear, David & Matthews, Tony (1988). Aston Villa A Complete Record 1875–1988. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 0-907969-37-2. "At this time there seemed a general lack of ambition at Villa Park. The club were slow to install floodlights, they turned down the chance of combining with Blues to field a 'Birmingham' team for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup..." 
  5. ^ "Birmingham City 1955–1956: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 3 May 2012.