1955–56 Birmingham City F.C. season

Birmingham City F.C.
1955–56 season
Chairman Harry Morris Jr
Manager Arthur Turner
Ground St Andrew's
Football League First Division 6th
FA Cup Runners-up
(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.[1] 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,[2] a goalless draw away at Inter Milan. The competition lasted over three English seasons with the final not played until 1958.[3] 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.[4]

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.

Opponents VenueResultScore
Scorers Attendance
20 August 1955 8thManchester UnitedH D2–2Kinsey, Astall 37,612
24 August 1955 7thNewcastle UnitedA D2–2Murphy, Astall 34,473
27 August 1955 4thSheffield UnitedA W3–0Brown, Kinsey, Murphy 23,299
31 August 1955 2ndNewcastle UnitedH W3–1Brown, Murphy, Warhurst 38,369
3 September 1955 8thPreston North EndH L0–3 47,014
5 September 1955 5thAston VillaA D0–0 56,935
10 September 1955 10thBurnleyA L2–3Kinsey, Astall 22,808
17 September 1955 12thLuton TownA D0–0 31,013
21 September 1955 10thAston VillaH D2–2Brown, Astall 32,642
24 September 1955 13thCharlton AthleticA L0–2 21,912
1 October 1955 10thTottenham HotspurH W3–0Brown, Murphy, Clarke og 31,320
8 October 1955 12thSunderlandH L1–2Hudgell og 37,946
15 October 1955 10thPortsmouthA W5–0Brown 3, Kinsey, Govan 28,952
22 October 1955 7thManchester CityH W4–3Lane, Murphy, Govan, Boyd 28,398
29 October 1955 10thWolverhampton WanderersA L0–1 47,006
5 November 1955 8thChelseaH W3–0Astall 2, Boyd 30,499
12 November 1955 11thBlackpoolA L0–2 21,967
19 November 1955 8thHuddersfield TownH W5–0Brown 2, Murphy, Astall, Warhurst 24,841
26 November 1955 10thCardiff CityA L1–2Brown 23,638
3 December 1955 7thArsenalH W4–0Kinsey 2, Brown, Astall 35,765
10 December 1955 9thBolton WanderersA L0–6 15,793
17 December 1955 10thManchester UnitedA L1–2Brown 27,936
24 December 1955 13thSheffield UnitedH L0–2 23,822
26 December 1955 13thEvertonH W6–2Brown 2, Kinsey 3, Govan 25,541
27 December 1955 15thEvertonA L1–5Astall 42,236
31 December 1955 14thPreston North EndA D1–1Astall 25,834
14 January 1956 16thBurnleyH L1–2Kinsey 27,388
21 January 1956 16thLuton TownA W1–0Brown 18,970
4 February 1956 14thCharlton AthleticH W4–0Brown 3, Kinsey 24,447
11 February 1956 11thTottenham HotspurA W1–0Astall 26,141
25 February 1956 9thPortsmouthH W3–2Kinsey 2, Brown 31,955
7 March 1956 8thHuddersfield TownA W3–2Brown 9,224
10 March 1956 8thWolverhampton WanderersH D0–0 45,161
21 March 1956 6thChelseaA W2–1Kinsey, Govan 12,637
24 March 1956 7thBlackpoolH L1–2Murphy 47,933
31 March 1956 10thManchester CityA D1–1Murphy 44,777
2 April 1956 8thWest Bromwich AlbionH W2–0Brown, Murphy 38,891
3 April 1956 4thWest Bromwich AlbionA W2–0Murphy 2 35,858
7 April 1956 3rdCardiff CityH W2–1Brown, Baker og 37,154
14 April 1956 6thArsenalA L0–1 31,775
18 April 1956 7thSunderlandA L0–1 14,824
21 April 1956 4thBolton WanderersH W5–2Kinsey, Warmington, Astall, Wheeler 2 ogs 29,640

League table (part)

Final First Division table (part)
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GA Pts
4th Manchester City4218101482691.1946
5th Arsenal4218101460610.9846
6th Birmingham City421891575571.3245
7th Burnley421881664541.1944
8th Bolton Wanderers421871771581.2243
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 [5]

FA Cup

Round DateOpponentsVenue ResultScore
Scorers Attendance
Third round 7 January 1956Torquay UnitedA W7–1Astall, Brown 3, Kinsey, Murphy 2 18,730
Fourth round 28 January 1956Leyton OrientA W4–0Brown 2, Murphy, Finney 24,727
Fifth round 18 February 1956West Bromwich AlbionA W1–0Murphy 57,213
Sixth round 3 March 1956ArsenalA W3–1Astall, Murphy, Brown 67,872
Semi-final 17 March 1956SunderlandHillsborough, Sheffield W3–0Kinsey, Astall, Brown 65,107
Final 5 May 1956Manchester CityWembley, London L1–3Kinsey 98,982

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup

Round DateOpponentsVenue ResultScore
Scorers Attendance
Group B 15 May 1956InternazionaleA D0–0 8,000
Group B 24 May 1956Zagreb XIA W1–0Brown 12,000

Appearances and goals

Players having played at least one first-team match
Pos. Nat. Name League FA Cup Fairs Cup Total
GK ENG Gil Merrick 3806020460
GK ENG Johnny Schofield 40000040
FB ENG George Allen 20001030
FB ENG Jack Badham 1601020190
FB ENG Ken Green 2806020360
FB ENG Jeff Hall 3806000440
FB SCO Roy MartinLeft club during playing season 20000020
HB ENG Len Boyd 3236010393
HB ENG Bert Linnecor 60000060
HB ENG Johnny Newman 1401020170
HB ENG Trevor Smith 3006000360
HB ENG Roy Warhurst 3024010352
HB ENG Peter Warmington 21001031
HB ENG Johnny Watts 1000010110
FW ENG Gordon Astall 391263004515
FW ENG Bill BradburyLeft club during playing season 10000010
FW ENG Eddy Brown 382167214629
FW ENG Geoff Cox 30002050
FW ENG Bill Finney 1002110131
FW SCO Alex Govan 3643010404
FW ENG Dennis HillLeft club during playing season 10000010
FW WAL Noel Kinsey 341463204217
FW ENG Jackie Lane 1011010121
FW ENG Peter Murphy 381265204617

See also


  1. "Every Prospect of a Good Final". The Times. London. 5 May 1956. p. 4.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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...
  5. "Birmingham City 1955–1956: English Division One (old) Table". Statto Organisation. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
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