Birmingham Bulls (American football)
|Home stadium||Erin Go Bragh|
|Head coach||Mark Pagett|
|League||BAFA National Leagues|
|Division||Division One SFC North|
|League titles||4 (1986, 1988, 1991, 1995)|
|Division titles||19 (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)|
The Birmingham Bulls are an American football team based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. They play their home games at Erin Go Bragh in Erdington. They are a member of the Division One SFC North in the BAFA National Leagues.
The Bulls are one of the longer established American football teams playing in the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1983, and are one of the most successful teams in British American Football, winning 4 British titles and 19 conference championships. They are named after the local landmark, The Bull Ring.
- 1 History
- 2 Logos and Uniforms
- 3 Erin Go Bragh
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Players
- 6 Coaches
- 7 Records & Achievements
- 8 Season by Season record
- 9 Notes
- 10 External links
Jerry Hartman, a former US military policeman with some College Football experience formed the team in a local park, and by April 1984, there was enough interest to begin a fully fledged adult team. The team was financed by local businessman Dave Gill, who later became the Bulls' first chairman.
In 1986, as members of the BAFL, under coach Warren Tate, the Bulls won their first national championship, and represented the UK in the inaugural Eurobowl, finishing third, losing to eventual runners-up, the Bologna Doves. In 1988, the Bulls won their second national championship, and first in the Budweiser League, beating the London Olympians at Loftus Road 30–6, and again qualifying for the Eurobowl. However, they once more lost to the eventual runners up, this time the Amsterdam Crusaders.
In 1989, the Bulls again made the Budweiser Bowl to challenge for the national championship, but just hours before the game, star quarterback and coach, Russ Jensen, left the team for financial reasons. The Bulls lost to the Manchester Spartans 21–14. In the same year, they turned down the offer of a tour of South Africa, estimated at the time to be worth $100,000.
Under the banner of the NDMA league, the Bulls took their third national championship in 1991, defeating the London Olympians 39–38 at the Alexander Stadium, with kicker Mark Webb scoring the winning field goal with just 17 seconds remaining. In 1992, the Bulls again faced Eurobowl disappointment, falling to the eventual winners, the Amsterdam Crusaders once more. The result of the loss was challenged by the Bulls due to player registration issues, but the appeal failed. This failed appeal was part of the reasoning given for the withdrawal of BAFA from the European governing body.
In 1995, the Bulls won their most recent national championship, defeating the London Olympians once more, in a 34–30 game. However, the Olympians got their revenge later in the year, knocking the Bulls out of the Eurobowl at the quarter-final stage, before going onto finish as runners-up. After a re-invention, the Bulls began life in Division 2 in 1996.
The Bulls reached the national championship again in 1999, but fell to the London Olympians in a close, defence-heavy 9–6 loss.
The result of the 1999 Britbowl was repeated a year later in 2000, when the London Olympians again defeated the Bulls in the national championship game, 34–26.
As the Bulls attempted to emerge from the mediocrity of the 2000s, they focused heavily on recruitment within the local area, but they still struggled in the BAFA Premier Division North. In 2013, the Bulls junior team finished an undefeated season by defeating the Woodham Warriors in the junior Britbowl at Keepmoat Stadium, and were crowned national champions.
In 2014, in the second and final year of former Redditch Arrows head coach Ian Hill's tenure, despite a large rookie contingent, the Bulls came within one game of making the play-offs. After a league restructuring in 2015, the Bulls found themselves placed in the Division One SFC North, with former player, Mark Pagett, taking over the reins.
Logos and Uniforms
The Birmingham Bulls traditionally play with white helmets, with one thicker black stripe surrounded by two thinner red stripes. Their facemask colour is black. A cut-out of the Bull from the full team logo is positioned on both sides of the helmet. In 2013, the Bulls celebrated their 30th anniversary and reverted to the use of their original "Three Legged Bull" logo for a season.
Their home jerseys are typically black, with white numbers and a red trim, while their away jerseys are reversed, being mainly white, with black numbers and maintaining the red trim. Their game pants for both home and away kits are white, with a black and red stripe running the length of the leg. The Bulls have traditionally worn mostly black socks.
Their jerseys are currently manufactured by Rawlings.
Erin Go Bragh
The Bulls play their home games at Erin Go Bragh on Holly Lane in Erdington. The facilities are also the home of the local Gaelic Football team of the same name, several Sunday league football and Hurling teams. Erin Go Bragh, nicknamed EGB has three pitches for use across multiple sports.
The Bulls' rivalry with the London Olympians is largely historic, meeting several times in the late 80's and early 90's in both the league and playoffs, with the rivalry coming to a head in the 1988, 1991, 1994 and 1995 Britbowls, with the Bulls winning three to the Olympians one.
In recent years, the two have rarely, if at all, played each other due to league realignments and a relative lack of playoff success for both organisations.
Aside from being purely a local affair, the rivalry became significant when the Jets returned in their latest guise, initiated by several former Bulls, including quarterback Jamie Kilby and Britball legend Paul Newey.
Thanks in part to geographical proximity, the Jets and Bulls faced each other often. In 2008, the Jets handed the Bulls their heaviest defeat, in a very one sided 67–0 affair.
The Bulls' rivalry with the Tamworth Phoenix is not dissimilar to that of the Jets. Whilst they are geographically close, the rivalry was compounded by the fact that the Phoenix were, like many of the younger Midlands teams, founded by former Birmingham Bulls players.
Their rivalry is given further importance by the large contingent of Birmingham Lions players that also play for the Phoenix.
Birmingham Bulls 2015
Running Backs & Full Backs
Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
Rookies in italics.
Hall of Fame
Several former players have been inducted into the Birmingham Bulls Hall of Fame.
|Name||Position||Nationality||Year of Induction|
All players listed below appeared for the Birmingham Bulls during their career.
Running Backs & Full Backs
Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
Records & Achievements
- 7th highest margin of victory in a playoff game: 70 (vs Yorkshire Rams, 2004)
- 2nd highest score in a tied game: 36-36 (vs Luton Flyers, 1988)
- 8th most passing yards in a single season: 2925 (Russ Jensen, 1988)
- 13th most passing yards in a single season: 2306 (Russ Jensen, 1989)
- 5th most passing touchdowns in a single game: 7 (Andy Sweeney vs Lancashire Wolverines, 2002 & Russ Jensen vs Manchester Allstars, 1988)
- 4th most passing touchdowns in a single season: 37 (Russ Jensen, 1988)
- Most receiving yards in a single season: 2056 (Greg Harris, 1988)
- 10th most receiving yards in a single season: 1210 (Bob Shoop, 1989)
- 19th most receiving yards in a single season: 1015 (Mark Cohen, 1994)
- 2nd most catches in a single game: 16 (Mark Cohen vs Glasgow Lions, 1994)
- Most catches in a single season: 122 (Greg Harris, 1988)
- 6th most catches in a single season: 76 (Mark Cohen, 1994)
- 7th most catches in a single season: 74 (Bob Shoop, 1989)
- 3rd most receiving touchdowns in a single season: 22 (Greg Harris, 1988)
- 3rd longest field goal: 54 yards (Richard Meanwell vs Glasgow Lions, 1987)
- 2nd most interceptions in a single game: 4 (Gareth Thomas vs Hertfordshire Cheetahs, 2015)
- Most interceptions returned for touchdowns in a single season: 6 (Trevor Carthy, 1992)
- 5th most sacks in a single season: 14.5 (Ken Lewis, 1995)
- 9th most sacks in a single season: 12.5 (Ken Lewis, 1991)
- 3rd most passing yards in a Britbowl game: 251 (Dave Kramme, 1991 & John Riggs, 1995)
- 4th most passing yards in a Britbowl game: 226 (John Riggs, 1994)
- 6th most passing yards in a Britbowl game: 213 (Russ Jensen, 1988)
- Most receiving yards in a Britbowl game: 157 (Mark Cohen, 1995)
- 2nd most receiving yards in a Britbowl game: 127 (Michael Price, 1991)
- 5th most receiving yards in a Britbowl game: 119 (Mark Cohen, 1994)
- 11th most receiving yards in a Britbowl game: 94 (Greg Harris, 1988)
- 13th most receiving yards in a Britbowl game: 81 (Paul Sinclar, 1994)
Season by Season record
|2015||BAFA Division One SFC North||4-6-0|
|2014||BAFA Premier Division Northern Conference||4–5–0|
|2013||BAFA Premier Division Northern Conference||2–8–0|
|2012||BAFA Premier Division Northern Conference||1–7–2|
|2011||BAFA Community Leagues Division One||9–1–0|
|2010||BAFA Community Leagues Division One||2–8–0|
|2009||BAFA Community Leagues Division One||4–6–0|
|2008||BSL Premier Division||1–7–0|
|2007||BSL Premier Division||5–4–1|
|2006||BSL Division One Northern Conference||7–3–0*|
|2005||BSL Division One Northern Conference||10–0–0*|
|2004||BSL Division One Northern Conference||8–1–1*|
|2003||BSL Division One Northern Conference||7–3–0*|
|2002||BSL Division One Northern Conference||8–2–0*|
|2001||BSL Division One Northern Conference||5–3–0*|
|2000||BSL Division One Northern Conference||7–1–0*|
|1999||BSL Division One National Conference||5–2–0*|
|1998||BSL Division One Northern Conference||9–1–0*|
|1997||British Independent Gridirion Conference||3–3–0*|
|1996||BSL Division Two Northern Conference||10–0–0*|
|1995||BAFA Division One||9–1–0*|
|1994||BAFA Division One||6–4–0*|
|1993||NDMA Central Conference||6–4–0|
|1992||NDMA Southern Conference||9–1–0*|
|1991||1991 NDMA Northern Conference||9–1–0*|
|1990||NDMA Northern Conference||9–1–0*|
|1989||Budweiser League Midlands Conference||9–1–0*|
|1988||Budweiser League National Division Midlands Conference||12–1–1*|
|1987||Budweiser League National Division Western Conference||7–3–0*|
|1986||BAFL National League Central Conference||10–2–0*|
|1985||AFL Midlands Division||12–0–0*|
|* qualified for playoffs|
- BBC – Birmingham – Sport – Birmingham Bulls
- Talbot, Michael James. "The Birmingham Bulls American Football Club 1984–1988".
- BritBallNow 1988-1991
- "Offer declined; American football". The Times. October 9, 1989.
- BritBallNow 1988-1991
- BritBallNow 1992-1995
- BritBallNow 1992-1995
- BritBallNow 1996-2000
- Mark Pagett Appointed
- Birmingham Mail Bulls' 30 Year Anniversary
- Britball Finals
- BBC Birmingham Bulls vs Coventry Jets
- Tamworth Phoenix - About
- Birmingham Bulls Hall Of Fame
- Coach Cotterell stays on as QB coach
- Coach Hodgen keen to develop new coaches
- Former Bull returns
- Coach Hodgen begins to structure offensive staff
- Coach Pagett appoints new offensive co-ordinator
- Britball Team Records
- Defensive Records
- Offensive Records