1957–58 Birmingham City F.C. season
|Chairman||Harry Morris Jr|
|Manager||Arthur Turner until February 1958
Turner and Pat Beasley (joint appointment) thereafter
|Football League First Division||13th|
|FA Cup||Third round
(eliminated by York City)
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Semi-final
(eliminated by Barcelona)
|Top goalscorer||League: Peter Murphy (20)
All: Peter Murphy (23)
|Highest home attendance||50,780 vs Aston Villa, 24 August 1957|
|Lowest home attendance||15,937 vs Sheffield Wednesday, 12 March 1958|
|Average home league attendance||29,553|
The 1957–58 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 55th in the Football League and their 31st in the First Division. They finished in 13th position in the 22-team division. They entered the 1957–58 FA Cup at the third round proper and lost in that round to York City. In the inaugural edition of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Birmingham lost in the semi-final in a play-off, having drawn on aggregate score with Barcelona.
In February 1958, Pat Beasley joined the club. Beasley had believed he was coming as assistant to manager Arthur Turner, but chairman Harry Morris announced to the press that he was to be appointed joint manager. Turner, who found about this arrangement not from the club but from the press, threatened to resign. He was persuaded to stay "for the time being", but finally left early in the 1958–59 season.
Twenty-four players made at least one appearance in nationally or internationally organised first-team competition, and there were twelve different goalscorers. Half back Dick Neal played in 44 of the 46 first-team matches over the season, and Peter Murphy finished as leading goalscorer with 23 goals in all competitions, of which 20 were scored in the league.
Football League First Division
|24 August 1957||6th||Aston Villa||H||W||3–1||Brown, Kinsey, Murphy||50,780|
|28 August 1957||5th||Nottingham Forest||A||D||1–1||Brown||29,705|
|31 August 1957||11th||Chelsea||A||L||1–5||Brown||43,806|
|4 September 1957||15th||Nottingham Forest||H||L||0–2||26,852|
|7 September 1957||18th||Newcastle United||H||L||1–4||Hellawell||29,784|
|11 September 1957||19th||Tottenham Hotspur||H||D||0–0||26,485|
|14 September 1957||21st||Burnley||A||L||1–3||Neal||20,522|
|18 September 1957||22nd||Tottenham Hotspur||A||L||1–7||Brown||35,292|
|21 September 1957||20th||Preston North End||H||W||3–1||Neale, Murphy, Govan pen||24,894|
|28 September 1957||21st||Sheffield Wednesday||A||L||3–5||Orritt 2, Murphy||20,129|
|1 October 1957||21st||West Bromwich Albion||A||D||0–0||39,738|
|5 October 1957||15th||Manchester City||H||W||4–0||Murphy 3, Brown||28,059|
|12 October 1957||17th||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||L||1–5||Astall||43,005|
|19 October 1957||15th||Arsenal||A||W||3–1||Orritt, Neal 2||39,031|
|26 October 1957||14th||Bolton Wanderers||H||W||5–1||Brown 2, Orritt, Murphy, Watts||26,225|
|2 November 1957||15th||Luton Town||A||L||0–3||17,316|
|9 November 1957||16th||Sunderland||H||L||2–3||Murphy, Govan||25,315|
|16 November 1957||15th||Everton||A||W||2–0||Murphy 2||34,875|
|23 November 1957||15th||Blackpool||H||D||0–0||32,178|
|30 November 1957||15th||Leeds United||A||D||1–1||Orritt||21,358|
|7 December 1957||15th||Manchester United||H||D||3–3||Kinsey, Murphy, Astall||35,191|
|14 December 1957||15th||Leicester City||A||D||2–2||Kinsey, Astall||28,680|
|21 December 1957||15th||Aston Villa||A||W||2–0||Brown, Kinsey||41,118|
|26 December 1957||15th||West Bromwich Albion||H||L||3–5||Brown, Hooper pen, Neal||48,396|
|28 December 1957||15th||Chelsea||H||D||3–3||Brown, Murphy 2||37,436|
|11 January 1958||15th||Newcastle United||A||W||2–1||Brown, Kinsey||34,825|
|18 January 1958||15th||Burnley||H||L||2–3||Murphy, Hooper||22,281|
|1 February 1958||15th||Preston North End||A||L||0–8||21,511|
|22 February 1958||17th||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||L||1–5||Murphy||36,941|
|1 March 1958||15th||Arsenal||H||W||4–1||Brown 2, Murphy, Hooper||26,834|
|5 March 1958||15th||Manchester City||A||D||1–1||Murphy||30,655|
|8 March 1958||16th||Bolton Wanderers||A||L||0–1||18,309|
|12 March 1958||15th||Sheffield Wednesday||H||W||1–0||Orritt||15,937|
|15 March 1958||15th||Luton Town||H||D||1–1||Orritt||25,225|
|22 March 1958||15th||Blackpool||A||L||2–4||Astall, Hooper pen||11,549|
|29 March 1958||15th||Everton||H||W||2–1||Hooper 2||21,628|
|4 April 1958||15th||Portsmouth||A||L||2–3||Murphy, Hooper||33,075|
|5 April 1958||14th||Sunderland||A||W||6–1||Murphy, Astall, Brown, Hooper, Orritt 2||34,194|
|7 April 1958||12th||Portsmouth||H||W||4–1||Brown, Orritt, Murphy, Hooper||23,380|
|12 April 1958||13th||Leeds United||H||D||1–1||Orritt||23,112|
|19 April 1958||12th||Manchester United||A||W||2–0||Hooper, Green||39,215|
|26 April 1958||13th||Leicester City||H||L||0–1||27,607|
League table (part)
|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
|Third round||8 January 1958||York City||A||L||0–3||19,750|
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
The group stage of the inaugural edition of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup was completed during the 1956–57 playing season. The score at half time in the first leg of the semi-final, at St Andrew's, was 3–3, and Peter Murphy scored the winner after an hour. In the away leg, in the recently opened Camp Nou, El Mundo Deportivo expected a comfortable victory for the hosts, but the result was rather less clear-cut. The only goal of the game was scored after 82 minutes by Kubala, who saw Gil Merrick off his line and neatly lobbed him. With no away goals rule, the game went into 30 minutes of extra time, which remained goalless, so a replay was to be played on a neutral ground. Controversy arose when Birmingham were prevented from substituting the injured Bunny Larkin, contrary to what they believed had been agreed before the match; Barcelona manager Domènec Balmanya claimed the agreement allowed for two substitutes, but outfield players could only be replaced in the first half. Asked what he thought of Barcelona, Birmingham trainer Dave Fairhurst said he thought they played better in the first leg, where they concentrated on playing; here, they spent too much time complaining. Balmanya's opinion of Birmingham had not changed since the first leg: he saw them as a physical team with crude technique, too concerned with the opponent to think much about the ball.
El Mundo Deportivo was more complimentary about Birmingham's style of play in the replay. While they had come to Barcelona to avoid losing, and nearly succeeded, they went to St. Jakob-Park, in Basel, Switzerland, to win, and to be worthy of the victory. It also suggested that the playing surface – rough, and covered with long wet grass – was better suited to an open, long-ball game than to precise passing and close marking. Barcelona scored first through Evaristo, Murphy equalised early in the second half, then with seven minutes left, Suárez picked up the ball in midfield and passed to Kubala who drew Merrick out of his goal and gave him no chance with his shot.
|Semi-final 1st leg||23 October 1957||Barcelona||H||W||4–3||Murphy 2, Brown, Orritt||30,791|
|Semi-final 2nd leg||13 November 1957||Barcelona||A||L||0–1
|Semi-final playoff||26 November 1957||Barcelona||St. Jakob-Park, Basel||L||1–2||Murphy||20,000|
Appearances and goals
- Players with name struck through and marked left the club during the playing season.
|Pos.||Nat.||Name||League||FA Cup||Fairs Cup||Total|
- 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 1957–1958: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 350–51, 473.
- Matthews, Complete Record, p. 62.
- "Birmingham City 1957–1958: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Anoche en Birmingham" [Last night in Birmingham]. El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish) (Barcelona). 24 October 1957. Retrieved 2 May 2012. "el resultado último de la semifinal ... que verá – o mucho nos equivocamos – un triunfo claro del equipo azulgrana."
- Pardo, Carlos (14 November 1957). "Barcelona 1, – Birmingham 0". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish) (Barcelona). p. 3. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Blues in Europe – Part One 1956–1958". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011.
- "Hablan los entrenadores" [What the coaches say]. El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish) (Barcelona). 14 November 1957. p. 3. Retrieved 2 May 2012. "Buena, aunque creo que jugaron mejor en Birmingham; allí se dedicaron más a jugar... aquí protestaron demasiado. ... Lo mismo que opiné después del partido jugado en Inglaterra, que se trata de un conjunto durísimo, de técnica un tanto rudimentaria, que se preocupan demasiado del contrario, olvidándose con frecuencia del balón."
- "Barcelona 2, – Birmingham 1". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish) (Barcelona). 27 November 1957. p. 3. Retrieved 2 May 2012. "Vino al estadio barcelonista, no a ganar un partido. Vino a no perderlo. Y a punto de ello estuvo. Hoy en cambio, venía a hacerse merecedor del triunfo y, además, alcanzarlo. ... El terreno, accidentado, de hierba larga, tierra húmeda y muy resbaladiza, se prestaba muchísimo más al juego abierto y de largos desplazamientos del balón y de aperturas fáciles, que no al estilo de juego de pase concreto, tiro colocado y marcaje próximo."