1959–60 Birmingham City F.C. season

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Birmingham City F.C.
1959–60 season
Chairman Harry Morris Jr
Manager Pat Beasley until May 1960
Gil Merrick thereafter
Ground St Andrew's
Football League First Division 19th
FA Cup Third round
(eliminated by Watford)
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Runners-up
(eliminated by Barcelona)
Top goalscorer League: Johnny Gordon (16)
All: Johnny Gordon (19)
Highest home attendance 41,260 vs Wolverhampton Wanderers, 22 August 1959
Lowest home attendance 14,152 vs Union Saint-Gilloise, Fairs Cup semi-final, 11 November 1959
Average home league attendance 26,880

The 1959–60 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 57th in the Football League and their 33rd in the First Division. They finished in 19th position in the 22-team division. They lost their opening third-round 1959–60 FA Cup-tie to Watford. In the 1958–60 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Birmingham reached the final, in which they lost 4–1 on aggregate to Barcelona.[1]

Twenty-two players made at least one appearance in senior first-team competition, and there were fifteen different goalscorers. Half backs Trevor Smith and Johnny Watts played in 46 of the 47 first-team matches over the season, and Johnny Gordon finished as leading goalscorer with 19 goals in all competitions, of which 16 were scored in the league.

Pat Beasley resigned as manager at the end of May 1960,[2] to be replaced by club appearance record-holder Gil Merrick following his retirement as a player.[3]

Football League First Division[edit]

Date League
position
Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
22 August 1959 19th Wolverhampton Wanderers H L 0–1 41,248
26 August 1959 10th Newcastle United H W 4–3 Stubbs, Gordon, Orritt, Hooper pen 26,986
29 August 1959 12th Tottenham Hotspur A D 0–0 45,243
2 September 1959 16th Newcastle United A L 0–1 35,395
5 September 1959 16th Manchester United H D 1–1 Watts 38,242
9 September 1959 16th Chelsea H D 1–1 Larkin 28,132
12 September 1959 19th Preston North End A L 2–3 Stubbs, Neal 18,934
16 September 1959 21st Chelsea A L 2–4 Hooper pen, Scott og 31,651
19 September 1959 22nd Leicester City H L 3–4 Hooper 2 (1 pen), Smith 24,950
26 September 1959 22nd Burnley A L 1–3 Orritt 23,848
3 October 1959 21st Leeds United H W 2–0 Barrett, Taylor 25,301
10 October 1959 21st Sheffield Wednesday H D 0–0 21,769
17 October 1959 18th Nottingham Forest A W 2–0 Stubbs, Gordon 24,904
24 October 1959 19th Fulham H L 2–4 Gordon 2 26,691
31 October 1959 21st Arsenal A L 0–3 34,430
7 November 1959 21st Luton Town H D 1–1 Barrett 19,007
14 November 1959 21st Everton A L 0–4 19,172
21 November 1959 19th Blackpool H W 2–1 Larkin, Hooper 24,783
28 November 1959 19th Blackburn Rovers A L 1–2 Barrett 20,549
5 December 1959 19th Manchester City H W 4–2 Gordon 2, Barrett, Hooper 18,661
12 December 1959 20th Bolton Wanderers A L 1–4 Hooper 16,074
19 December 1959 21st Wolverhampton Wanderers A L 0–2 22,363
26 December 1959 20th West Ham United H W 2–0 Astall, Hooper 29,745
28 December 1959 21st West Ham United A L 1–3 Astall 26,154
2 January 1960 21st Tottenham Hotspur H L 0–1 27,558
16 January 1960 21st Manchester United A L 1–2 Larkin 47,606
23 January 1960 21st Preston North End H W 2–1 Larkin, Neal 24,160
6 February 1960 21st Leicester City A W 3–1 Weston, Hume, Hooper 25,896
27 February 1960 21st Manchester City A L 0–3 23,479
5 March 1960 20th Nottingham Forest H W 4–1 Gordon 2, Neal, Hooper 24,821
9 March 1960 20th Leeds United A D 3–3 Neal, Hooper, McConnell og 8,557
12 March 1960 20th Fulham A D 2–2 Gordon, Hooper 25,208
19 March 1960 21st Bolton Wanderers H L 2–5 Weston, Gordon 24,183
26 March 1960 21st Luton Town A D 1–1 Weston 13,620
2 April 1960 20th Everton H D 2–2 Gordon, Astall 24,872
9 April 1960 20th Blackpool A W 1–0 Gordon 13,595
16 April 1960 20th Arsenal H W 3–0 Murphy 2, Gordon 27,201
18 April 1960 20th West Bromwich Albion H L 1–7 Gordon 28,685
19 April 1960 20th West Bromwich Albion A D 1–1 Gordon 37,894
23 April 1960 20th Sheffield Wednesday A W 4–2 Murphy 2, Astall, Hooper 25,310
27 April 1960 20th Burnley H L 0–1 37,032
30 April 1960 19th Blackburn Rovers H W 1–0 Gordon 24,476

League table (part)[edit]

Final First Division table (part)
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts
17th Blackburn Rovers 42 16 5 21 60 70 0.86 37
18th Chelsea 42 14 9 19 76 91 0.83 37
19th Birmingham City 42 13 10 19 63 80 0.79 36
20th Nottingham Forest 42 13 9 20 50 74 0.68 35
21st Leeds United 42 12 10 20 63 80 0.71 34
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 [4]

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Third round 9 January 1960 Watford A L 1–2 Hooper 31,548

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[edit]

The early rounds of the 1958–60 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup were completed during Birmingham's 1958–59 season, leaving the semi-finals and final to be played this season. In the semi-final, Birmingham beat Belgian club Union Saint-Gilloise 4–2 in each leg to reach the final, in which they played Barcelona, who had eliminated them at the semi-final stage in the previous edition of the competition.

The first leg of the final was played in "bitter, slanting rain" on a St Andrew's pitch that "almost from one goal to the other down the centre, was a series of little lakes".[5] Birmingham played a "fast, open game" more suited to the conditions, while Barcelona's technical superiority was blunted both by the mud and by the "hard-tackling, grafting, bustling Birmingham defence, in which Smith and Neal in particular stood out like rocks long before the end".[5] In the second half, Barcelona tired; El Mundo Deportivo noted that they had played a league match in Seville only 48 hours earlier and the players were not machines.[6] The home side had three good chances: Ramallets dived at Hooper's feet, Weston ran the ball out of play when under no pressure, and a "sliding tackle from nowhere by Gensana turned away what looked like a certain goal", again for Weston.[5]

The Times' correspondent's fears that Birmingham had missed their opportunity – "here was a setting that favoured Birmingham's particular style, and they did not win"[5] – were realised in the second leg. In a one-sided match in front of a crowd of 75,000, Barcelona were two goals up after six minutes, and doubled their tally before Murphy broke down the left and sent a long pass towards Hooper, whose mobility helped him beat Ramallets to the ball and score with a header.[7]

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Semi-final 1st leg 7 October 1959 Union Saint-Gilloise A W 4–2 Hooper, Gordon, Barrett, Orritt 20,000
Semi-final 2nd leg 11 November 1959 Union Saint-Gilloise H W 4–2 Gordon 2, Larkin, Hooper 14,152
Final 1st leg 29 March 1960 Barcelona H D 0–0 40,524
Final 2nd leg 4 May 1960 Barcelona A L 1–4 Hooper 75,000

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 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
GK  ENG Johnny Schofield 40 0 1 0 3 0 44 0
FB  ENG George Allen 36 0 1 0 3 0 40 0
FB  ENG Brian Farmer 40 0 1 0 4 0 45 0
FB  ENG Graham Sissons 8 0 0 0 1 0 9 0
FB  ENG Pat Wright 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
HB  ENG Dick Neal 39 3 1 0 3 0 43 3
HB  ENG Trevor Smith 41 1 1 0 4 0 46 1
HB  ENG Johnny Watts 41 1 1 0 4 0 46 1
FW  ENG Gordon Astall 19 4 1 0 2 0 22 4
FW  ENG Jim Barrett 10 4 1 0 2 1 13 5
FW  ENG Johnny Gordon 39 16 0 0 4 3 43 19
FW  ENG Mike Hellawell 11 0 0 0 1 0 12 0
FW  ENG Harry Hooper 39 13 1 1 4 3 44 17
FW  SCO Billy Hume 8 2 0 0 0 0 8 2
FW  ENG Bunny Larkin 19 4 1 0 1 0 21 4
FW  ENG Peter Murphy 7 4 0 0 1 0 8 4
FW  WAL Bryan Orritt 16 2 0 0 2 1 18 3
FW  ENG Billy Rudd F4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
FW  ENG Robin Stubbs 18 3 1 0 0 0 19 3
FW  ENG Brian Taylor 8 1 0 0 2 0 10 1
FW  ENG Don Weston 16 3 0 0 2 0 18 3

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 1959–1960: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  • Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 354–55, 474.
Specific
  1. ^ Zea, Antonio & Haisma, Marcel (27 June 2007). "Fairs' Cup 1959–60". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Sports news in brief". The Guardian. 24 May 1960. p. 11. 
  3. ^ Matthews (1995), p. 62.
  4. ^ "Birmingham City 1959–1960: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Birmingham And Mud Check Barcelona". The Times (London). 30 March 1960. p. 16. 
  6. ^ Pardo, Carlos (30 March 1960). "Tras el empate de Birmingham el Barcelona tiene buéna opción a renovar su título" [The draw with Birmingham gives Barcelona good prospects of retaining their title]. El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). p. 3. 
  7. ^ E.L., Jimeno (5 May 1960). "Barcelona, 4 – Birmingham, 1". El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). p. 3. 
    "Cronometrando el partido" [Clockwatch]. El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 5 May 1960. p. 3.