1955–56 Birmingham City F.C. season
|Chairman||Harry Morris Jr|
|Football League First Division||6th|
(eliminated by Manchester City)
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Group stage|
|Top goalscorer||League: Eddy Brown (21)
All: Eddy Brown (29)
|Highest home attendance||48,000 vs Preston North End, 3 September 1956|
|Lowest home attendance||23,800 vs Sheffield United, 24 December 1956|
|Average home league attendance||32,207|
The 1955–56 Football League season was Birmingham City Football Club's 53rd in the Football League and their 29th in the First Division, having been promoted as Second Division champions in 1954–55. They finished in a club-record sixth position in the 22-team division. They entered the 1955–56 FA Cup in the third round proper and reached the Final for only the second time, despite being drawn to play away from home in each round, the first time this had occurred. They lost 3–1 to Manchester City in a match remembered for City's goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 25 minutes with a broken neck.
Birmingham City became the first English club side to take part in European competition when they played their first group game in the 1955–58 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup on 16 May 1956, a goalless draw away at Inter Milan. The competition lasted over three English seasons with the final not played until 1958. Invitations to enter the Fairs Cup, a tournament set up to promote industrial trade fairs, were extended to the city hosting the trade fair rather than to clubs. Some cities entered a select team including players from more than one club, but Aston Villa, the other major club based in the city of Birmingham, rejected the opportunity to field a combined team.
Twenty-four players made at least one appearance in nationally or internationally organised first-team competition, and there were thirteen different goalscorers. Goalkeeper Gil Merrick and forwards Eddy Brown and Peter Murphy played in 46 of the 50 first-team matches over the season, and Brown finished as leading goalscorer with 29 goals in all competitions, of which 21 were scored in the league.
Football League First Division
Note that not all teams completed their playing season on the same day. Birmingham were in fourth position after their last game of the season, on 21 April, but by the time the last game was played, on 2 May, they were sixth, having been overtaken by Manchester City and Arsenal.
|20 August 1955||8th||Manchester United||H||D||2–2||Kinsey, Astall||37,612|
|24 August 1955||7th||Newcastle United||A||D||2–2||Murphy, Astall||34,473|
|27 August 1955||4th||Sheffield United||A||W||3–0||Brown, Kinsey, Murphy||23,299|
|31 August 1955||2nd||Newcastle United||H||W||3–1||Brown, Murphy, Warhurst||38,369|
|3 September 1955||8th||Preston North End||H||L||0–3||47,014|
|5 September 1955||5th||Aston Villa||A||D||0–0||56,935|
|10 September 1955||10th||Burnley||A||L||2–3||Kinsey, Astall||22,808|
|17 September 1955||12th||Luton Town||A||D||0–0||31,013|
|21 September 1955||10th||Aston Villa||H||D||2–2||Brown, Astall||32,642|
|24 September 1955||13th||Charlton Athletic||A||L||0–2||21,912|
|1 October 1955||10th||Tottenham Hotspur||H||W||3–0||Brown, Murphy, Clarke og||31,320|
|8 October 1955||12th||Sunderland||H||L||1–2||Hudgell og||37,946|
|15 October 1955||10th||Portsmouth||A||W||5–0||Brown 3, Kinsey, Govan||28,952|
|22 October 1955||7th||Manchester City||H||W||4–3||Lane, Murphy, Govan, Boyd||28,398|
|29 October 1955||10th||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||L||0–1||47,006|
|5 November 1955||8th||Chelsea||H||W||3–0||Astall 2, Boyd||30,499|
|12 November 1955||11th||Blackpool||A||L||0–2||21,967|
|19 November 1955||8th||Huddersfield Town||H||W||5–0||Brown 2, Murphy, Astall, Warhurst||24,841|
|26 November 1955||10th||Cardiff City||A||L||1–2||Brown||23,638|
|3 December 1955||7th||Arsenal||H||W||4–0||Kinsey 2, Brown, Astall||35,765|
|10 December 1955||9th||Bolton Wanderers||A||L||0–6||15,793|
|17 December 1955||10th||Manchester United||A||L||1–2||Brown||27,936|
|24 December 1955||13th||Sheffield United||H||L||0–2||23,822|
|26 December 1955||13th||Everton||H||W||6–2||Brown 2, Kinsey 3, Govan||25,541|
|27 December 1955||15th||Everton||A||L||1–5||Astall||42,236|
|31 December 1955||14th||Preston North End||A||D||1–1||Astall||25,834|
|14 January 1956||16th||Burnley||H||L||1–2||Kinsey||27,388|
|21 January 1956||16th||Luton Town||A||W||1–0||Brown||18,970|
|4 February 1956||14th||Charlton Athletic||H||W||4–0||Brown 3, Kinsey||24,447|
|11 February 1956||11th||Tottenham Hotspur||A||W||1–0||Astall||26,141|
|25 February 1956||9th||Portsmouth||H||W||3–2||Kinsey 2, Brown||31,955|
|7 March 1956||8th||Huddersfield Town||A||W||3–2||Brown||9,224|
|10 March 1956||8th||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||D||0–0||45,161|
|21 March 1956||6th||Chelsea||A||W||2–1||Kinsey, Govan||12,637|
|24 March 1956||7th||Blackpool||H||L||1–2||Murphy||47,933|
|31 March 1956||10th||Manchester City||A||D||1–1||Murphy||44,777|
|2 April 1956||8th||West Bromwich Albion||H||W||2–0||Brown, Murphy||38,891|
|3 April 1956||4th||West Bromwich Albion||A||W||2–0||Murphy 2||35,858|
|7 April 1956||3rd||Cardiff City||H||W||2–1||Brown, Baker og||37,154|
|14 April 1956||6th||Arsenal||A||L||0–1||31,775|
|18 April 1956||7th||Sunderland||A||L||0–1||14,824|
|21 April 1956||4th||Bolton Wanderers||H||W||5–2||Kinsey, Warmington, Astall, Wheeler 2 ogs||29,640|
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||7 January 1956||Torquay United||A||W||7–1||Astall, Brown 3, Kinsey, Murphy 2||18,730|
|Fourth round||28 January 1956||Leyton Orient||A||W||4–0||Brown 2, Murphy, Finney||24,727|
|Fifth round||18 February 1956||West Bromwich Albion||A||W||1–0||Murphy||57,213|
|Sixth round||3 March 1956||Arsenal||A||W||3–1||Astall, Murphy, Brown||67,872|
|Semi-final||17 March 1956||Sunderland||Hillsborough, Sheffield||W||3–0||Kinsey, Astall, Brown||65,107|
|Final||5 May 1956||Manchester City||Wembley, London||L||1–3||Kinsey||98,982|
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
|Group B||15 May 1956||Internazionale||A||D||0–0||8,000|
|Group B||24 May 1956||Zagreb XI||A||W||1–0||Brown||12,000|
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 1955–1956: Results". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- Source for lineups, appearances, goalscorers and attendances: Matthews (2010), Complete Record, pp. 346–47, 473.
- "Every Prospect of a Good Final". The Times. London. 5 May 1956. p. 4.
- Most sources give the match date as 15 May, but Birmingham City confirm it was a day later. "Blues in Europe – Part One 1956–1958". Birmingham City F.C. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011.
- The London XI, a representative side made up of players from several London clubs, were the first English team when they played their first group game in 1955.
Zea, Antonio (28 March 2007). "European Champions' Cup 1955–56 – Details". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 29 March 2012.
Zea, Antonio & Haisma, Marcel (2 October 2009). "Fairs' Cup 1955–58". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
- Radnedge, Keir (1998). "Inter-Cities Fairs/UEFA Cup". The Complete Encyclopedia of Football. Carlton Books. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-85833-979-5.
Goodyear, David & Matthews, Tony (1988). Aston Villa A Complete Record 1875–1988. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 0-907969-37-2.
At this time there seemed a general lack of ambition at Villa Park. The club were slow to install floodlights, they turned down the chance of combining with Blues to field a 'Birmingham' team for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup...
- "Birmingham City 1955–1956: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 3 May 2012.