1959–60 Birmingham City F.C. season
|Chairman||Harry Morris Jr|
|Manager||Pat Beasley until May 1960
Gil Merrick thereafter
|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.
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.
Football League First Division
|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)
|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||9 January 1960||Watford||A||L||1–2||Hooper||31,548|
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
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". 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". 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. 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.
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" – 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.
|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
- 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 1959–1960: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 354–55, 474.
- Zea, Antonio & Haisma, Marcel (27 June 2007). "Fairs' Cup 1959–60". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Sports news in brief". The Guardian. 24 May 1960. p. 11.
- Matthews (1995), p. 62.
- "Birmingham City 1959–1960: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "Birmingham And Mud Check Barcelona". The Times (London). 30 March 1960. p. 16.
- 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.
- 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.