1958–59 Birmingham City F.C. season
|Chairman||Harry Morris Jr|
|Manager||Arthur Turner / Pat Beasley (joint appointment) until September 1958
Pat Beasley thereafter
|Football League First Division||9th|
|FA Cup||Fifth round (eliminated by Nottingham Forest)|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Semi-final|
|Top goalscorer||League: Bunny Larkin (18)
All: Bunny Larkin (23)
|Highest home attendance||55,300 vs Nottingham Forest, FA Cup 5th round, 14 February 1959|
|Lowest home attendance||17,241 vs Blackpool, 13 December 1958|
|Average home league attendance||26,893|
The 1958–59 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 56th in the Football League and their 32nd in the First Division. After spending the first half of the season towards the bottom of the division, they finished in 9th position in the 22-team division. They entered the 1958–59 FA Cup at the third round proper and lost to Nottingham Forest in the fifth round after two replays. In the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Birmingham progressed through two rounds to reach the semi-final, which was not played until the 1959–60 season.
Towards the end of the season, Birmingham and England full-back Jeff Hall contracted polio and died, only 14 days after the last match in which he played. The death of a young, fit, international footballer helped to kick-start widespread public acceptance in Britain of the need for vaccination. Though the disease was generally feared and the Salk vaccine was available, takeup had been slow. In the weeks following Hall's death, and after his widow spoke on television about her loss, demand for immunisation rocketed. Emergency vaccination clinics had to be set up and supplies of vaccine flown in from the United States to cope with the demand.
In January 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 in September 1958, and Beasley took over as manager. Twenty-four players made at least one appearance in nationally organised first-team competition, and there were thirteen different goalscorers. Half backs Dick Neal and Johnny Watts played in 49 and 48 of the 52 first-team matches over the season, and Bunny Larkin finished as leading goalscorer with 23 goals in all competitions, of which 18 were scored in the league.
Football League First Division
|23 August 1958||10th||Aston Villa||A||D||1–1||Murphy||55,198|
|27 August 1958||11th||West Bromwich Albion||A||D||2–2||Brown, Houghton||46,468|
|30 August 1958||14th||Luton Town||H||L||0–1||31,943|
|3 September 1958||21st||West Bromwich Albion||A||L||0–6||35,983|
|6 September 1958||21st||Bolton Wanderers||A||L||0–2||24,707|
|10 September 1958||21st||Leeds United||H||D||0–0||25,228|
|13 September 1958||19th||Burnley||H||W||2–1||Brown, Murphy||23,926|
|17 September 1958||16th||Leeds United||A||W||4–1||Brown 4||24,068|
|20 September 1958||18th||Preston North End||A||L||0–3||24,257|
|27 September 1958||14th||Leicester City||H||W||4–2||Gordon, Murphy, Hooper, Astall||33,323|
|4 October 1958||18th||Everton||A||L||1–3||Murphy||39,408|
|11 October 1958||17th||West Ham United||A||W||2–1||Hooper, Neal||29,139|
|18 October 1958||17th||Nottingham Forest||H||L||0–3||31,610|
|25 October 1958||19th||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||L||1–3||Astall||36,156|
|1 November 1958||20th||Portsmouth||H||W||2–2||Brown, Taylor||23,723|
|8 November 1958||19th||Blackburn Rovers||A||L||2–3||Brown, Larkin||28,806|
|15 November 1958||19th||Newcastle United||H||W||1–0||Larkin||28,752|
|22 November 1958||17th||Tottenham Hotspur||A||W||4–0||Larkin 2, Hooper, Taylor||28,708|
|29 November 1958||19th||Manchester United||H||L||0–4||28,658|
|6 December 1958||20th||Chelsea||A||L||0–1||27,773|
|13 December 1958||18th||Blackpool||H||W||4–2||Jackson, Gordon, Larkin, Astall||17,241|
|20 December 1958||15th||Aston Villa||H||W||4–1||Jackson 2, Astall, Neal||31,857|
|26 December 1958||15th||Manchester City||H||W||6–1||Jackson 2, Gordon, Larkin, Taylor||34,290|
|27 December 1958||16th||Manchester City||A||L||1–4||Jackson||29,276|
|3 January 1959||13th||Luton Town||A||W||1–0||Neal||15,538|
|31 January 1959||12th||Burnley||A||W||1–0||Gordon||22,101|
|7 February 1959||11th||Preston North End||H||W||5–1||Orritt, Gordon, Larkin, Taylor||21,233|
|21 February 1959||10th||Everton||H||W||2–1||Larkin, Hooper||22,660|
|28 February 1959||8th||West Ham United||H||W||3–0||Larkin, Neal||19,910|
|7 March 1959||8th||Nottingham Forest||A||W||7–1||Stubbs 2, Gordon, Astall 2, Hooper, Watts||18,977|
|14 March 1959||8th||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||L||0–3||37,725|
|18 March 1959||6th||Leicester City||A||W||4–2||Stubbs 3, Gordon||15,413|
|21 March 1959||6th||Portsmouth||A||D||1–1||Larkin||18,170|
|8 April 1959||10th||Bolton Wanderers||H||L||1–3||Stubbs||24,608|
|11 April 1959||10th||Tottenham Hotspur||H||W||5–1||Stubbs, Gordon, Larkin, Hooper pen, Baker og||20,557|
|14 April 1959||9th||Arsenal||H||W||4–1||Stubbs, Larkin 2, Astall||25,792|
|18 April 1959||10th||Manchester United||A||L||0–1||43,006|
|20 April 1959||10th||Blackpool||A||L||0–2||12,260|
|22 April 1959||10th||Blackburn Rovers||H||W||3–0||Larkin 2, Taylor||22,958|
|25 April 1959||9th||Chelsea||H||W||4–1||Gordon 2, Hooper, Taylor||19,580|
|29 April 1959||9th||Newcastle United||A||D||1–1||Hooper||19,776|
|4 May 1959||9th||Arsenal||A||L||1–2||Stubbs||25,953|
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||25 January 1959||Middlesbrough||A||W||1–0||Harris og||36,587|
|Fourth round||28 January 1959||Fulham||H||D||1–1||Jackson||42,677|
|Fourth round replay||4 February 1959||Fulham||A||W||3–2||Hooper 2, Larkin||27,521|
|Fifth round||14 February 1959||Nottingham Forest||H||D||1–1||Astall||55,300|
|Fifth round replay||18 February 1959||Nottingham Forest||A||D||1–1||Gordon||39,431|
|Fifth round 2nd replay||23 February 1959||Nottingham Forest||Filbert Street, Leicester||L||0–5||34,458|
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
|First round 1st leg||14 October 1958||Cologne XI||A||D||2–2||Neal, Hooper||12,000|
|First round 2nd leg||11 November 1958||Cologne||H||W||2–0||Larkin, Taylor||20,266|
|Second round 1st leg||6 May 1959||Zagreb XI||H||W||1–0||Larkin||21,411|
|Second round 2nd leg||24 May 1959||Zagreb XI||A||D||3–3||Larkin 2, Hooper||50,000|
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 1958–1959: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 352–53, 473–74.
- Gould, Tony (30 April 1995). "I thought my polio was over, but not any longer". The Independent. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
In the same month and year that I contracted the disease in Hong Kong, the international footballer Jeff Hall died of it in England. Before the end of the Second World War polio had been a comparatively rare disease in Britain. But the late Forties and early Fifties were the polio years here as elsewhere, the time when parents grew anxious as the summer approached and kept their children away from swimming pools where the disease was thought to spread. Though polio was never a killer on the scale of cancer and heart disease, it was feared because of its capacity to maim young and healthy bodies. Despite this universal fear, take-up of the Salk vaccine when it became available in this country in the mid-Fifties was sluggish. Jeff Hall's death changed that. The message finally got through to teenagers on the terraces at football matches and in the Mecca dance-halls. Emergency clinics were set up, and there was such a run on the vaccine that further supplies had to be flown in from the United States.
"Dr Salk promotes polio vaccine in UK". On This Day (BBC). Retrieved 9 July 2007.
There has been a sharp rise in the demand for the vaccine following the death from the disease of Birmingham City full back Jeff Hall last month. Local health departments have been overwhelmed with applicants and have ordered an extra million doses. On 22 April daily inoculations at Manchester Town Hall were suspended because of a shortage of the vaccine.
Varma, Anuji (19 June 2009). "The Blues ace whose death moved a nation to beat polio" (reprint hosted at The Free Library (Farlex)). Sunday Mercury (Birmingham). Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Matthews, Complete Record, p. 62.
- "Birmingham City 1958–1959: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 27 April 2012.