1978–79 Birmingham City F.C. season

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Birmingham City F.C.
1978–79 season
Chairman Keith Coombs
Manager Jim Smith
Ground St Andrew's
Football League First Division 21st
FA Cup Third round
(eliminated by Burnley)
League Cup Second round
(eliminated by Southampton)
Top goalscorer League: Alan Buckley (8)
All: Alan Buckley (8)
Highest home attendance 36,145 vs Aston Villa, 21 October 1978
Lowest home attendance 12,168 vs Norwich City, 27 March 1979
Average home league attendance 20,164

The 1978–79 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 76th in the Football League and their 45th in the First Division. They were in the bottom two positions in the 22-team division from 9 September onwards, eventually finishing 21st position, so were relegated to the Second Division for 1979–80. They lost in their opening matches in both the 1978–79 FA Cup and the League Cup, eliminated by Burnley and Southampton respectively.

Twenty-seven players made at least one appearance in nationally organised first-team competition, and there were thirteen different goalscorers. Defender Joe Gallagher played in every game but one over the season, and Alan Buckley was the club's top scorer with 8 goals, all scored in the league. Jim Smith, in his first full season as Birmingham's manager, brought Argentina's World Cup-winning full-back Alberto Tarantini to the club.[1]

Trevor Francis, who joined Birmingham as a 15-year-old, became the first British footballer to be transferred for a fee of at least £1 million when Brian Clough signed him for league champions Nottingham Forest in February 1979. The basic fee was below £1m – Clough claimed in his autobiography to have set the fee at £999,999 because he did not want the idea of being the first £1m player going to Francis's head – but VAT and the transfer levy raised the total payable to £1.18m. Within three months he scored the winning goal in the 1979 European Cup Final.[2][3]

Football League First Division[edit]

Date League
position
Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
19 August 1978 19th Manchester United A L 0–1 56,139
22 August 1978 21st Middlesbrough H L 1–3 Bertschin 24,409
26 August 1978 20th Derby County H D 1–1 Givens 21,973
2 September 1978 17th Bolton Wanderers A D 2–2 Francis 2 20,284
9 September 1978 21st Liverpool H L 0–3 31,740
16 September 1978 22nd Norwich City A L 0–4 15,701
23 September 1978 21st Chelsea H D 1–1 Givens 18,458
30 September 1978 22nd Leeds United A L 0–3 23,331
7 October 1978 22nd Manchester City H L 1–2 Ainscow 18,378
14 October 1978 22nd Tottenham Hotspur A L 0–1 41,230
21 October 1978 22nd Aston Villa H L 0–1 36,145
28 October 1978 22nd Coventry City A L 1–2 Givens 25,429
4 November 1978 22nd West Bromwich Albion A L 0–1 32,130
11 November 1978 22nd Manchester United H W 5–1 Dillon, Buckley, Givens, Calderwood 23,550
18 November 1978 22nd Derby County A L 1–2 Givens 24,720
21 November 1978 22nd Bolton Wanderers H W 3–0 Dillon, Buckley, Jones og 21,643
25 November 1978 21st Liverpool A D 1–1 Tarantini 21,152
2 December 1978 21st Southampton A L 0–1 18,957
9 December 1978 21st Everton H L 1–3 Buckley 23,391
16 December 1978 21st Nottingham Forest A L 0–1 25,224
26 December 1978 22nd Wolverhampton Wanderers A L 1–2 Buckley 26,872
30 December 1978 22nd Arsenal A L 1–3 Francis pen 27,877
3 February 1979 22nd Chelsea A L 1–2 Bertschin 22,511
10 February 1979 22nd Leeds United H L 0–1 17,388
13 February 1979 22nd Liverpool A L 0–1 35,207
24 February 1979 22nd Tottenham Hotspur H W 1–0 Towers 20,980
3 March 1979 22nd Aston Villa A L 0–1 42,419
6 March 1979 22nd Queens Park Rangers H W 3–1 Buckley, Towers pen, Broadhurst 12,605
10 March 1979 22nd Coventry City H D 0–0 17,528
24 March 1979 22nd Middlesbrough A L 1–2 Givens 15,013
27 March 1979 21st Norwich City H W 1–0 Givens 12,168
31 March 1979 21st Bristol City A L 1–2 Gallagher 16,453
3 April 1979 21st Ipswich Town H D 1–1 Gallagher 12,449
7 April 1979 21st Southampton H D 2–2 Barrowclough 2 (1 pen) 12,825
14 April 1979 21st Wolverhampton Wanderers H D 1–1 Ainscow 20,556
17 April 1979 21st Ipswich Town A L 0–3 17,677
21 April 1979 21st Nottingham Forest H L 0–2 22,189
24 April 1979 21st West Bromwich Albion H D 1–1 Gallagher 19,897
28 April 1979 21st Everton A L 0–1 23,048
1 May 1979 21st Manchester City A L 1–3 Lynex 27,366
5 May 1979 21st Arsenal H D 0–0 14,015
7 May 1979 21st Queens Park Rangers A W 3–1 Buckley 2, Dark 9,600

League table (part)[edit]

Final First Division table (part)
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GD Pts
18th Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 13 8 21 44 68 −24 34
19th Derby County 42 10 11 21 44 71 −27 31
20th Queens Park Rangers 42 6 13 23 45 73 −28 25
21st Birmingham City 42 6 10 26 37 64 −27 22
22nd Chelsea 42 5 10 27 45 92 −47 20
Key Pos = League position; Pld = Matches played;
W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost;
F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
Source [4]

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1980–81 FA Cup
Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Third round 6 January 1979 Burnley H L 0–2 19,034

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponents Venue Result Score
F–A
Scorers Attendance
Second round 29 August 1978 Southampton H L 2–5 Gallagher, Francis 18,464

Appearances and goals[edit]

Numbers in parentheses denote appearances as substitute.
Players with name struck through and marked Left club during playing season left the club during the playing season.
Players with names in italics and marked * were on loan from another club for the whole of their season with Birmingham.
Players having played at least one first-team match
Pos. Nat. Name League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK  ENG Neil Freeman 29 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
GK  ENG Jimmy Montgomery 13 0 1 0 1 0 15 0
DF  ENG Kevan Broadhurst 13 (3) 1 1 0 1 0 15 (3) 1
DF  SCO Jimmy Calderwood 24 (1) 1 0 0 0 0 24 (1) 0
DF  ENG Mark Dennis 31 0 1 0 0 0 32 0
DF  ENG Joe Gallagher 41 3 1 0 1 1 43 4
DF  ENG Pat Howard 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
DF  WAL Malcolm Page 32 0 1 0 1 0 35 0
DF  ENG Garry Pendrey 9 (1) 0 0 0 1 0 10 (1) 0
DF  ENG Mick RathboneLeft club during playing season 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
DF  ARG Alberto Tarantini 23 1 1 0 0 0 24 1
DF  WAL Pat Van Den Hauwe 7 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 7 (1) 0
MF  ENG Alan Ainscow 27 (4) 2 0 0 1 0 28 (4) 2
MF  ENG Stewart Barrowclough 26 (3) 2 0 0 1 0 27 (3) 2
MF  ENG Trevor Dark 2 (3) 1 0 0 0 0 2 (3) 1
MF  ENG Kevin Dillon 36 (1) 2 1 0 0 0 37 (1) 2
MF  WAL Gary EmmanuelLeft club during playing season 12 (1) 0 0 0 1 0 13 (1) 0
MF  ENG Steve FoxLeft club during playing season 13 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 13 (1) 0
MF  ENG Steve Lynex 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 1
MF  SCO Bruce Rioch* 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
MF  ENG Tony Towers 31 (1) 2 1 0 0 (1) 0 32 (2) 2
FW  ENG Keith Bertschin 9 2 0 (1) 0 1 0 10 (1) 2
FW  ENG Malcolm Briggs 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0
FW  ENG Alan Buckley 24 (4) 8 1 0 0 0 25 (4) 8
FW  ENG Trevor FrancisLeft club during playing season 8 (1) 3 1 0 1 1 10 (1) 4
FW  IRL Don Givens 38 (1) 7 1 0 1 0 40 (1) 7
FW  ENG Paul Ivey 3 (2) 0 0 0 0 0 3 (2) 0

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 1978–1979 : Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  • Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 392–93.
Specific
  1. ^ Lyons, Andy (January 2002). "The importer". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Clough, Brian (1995). Clough: The Autobiography. Corgi. ISBN 978-0-552-14003-4. 
  3. ^ Harris, Nick (4 February 2004). "Landmark £1m fee for Francis was no big deal for Clough" (reprint hosted at NewsBank). The Independent. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Birmingham City 1978–1979 : English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 16 February 2012.