The Blues have had some fantastic players in their ranks across the years that have helped them to achieve both league and cup success. Here, we've assembled the greatest-ever Birmingham City Xl. Keep reading to find out who they are.
Birmingham City FC were formed in 1875 as the Small Heath Alliance. The club is a founding member of the Football Alliance and the inaugural winner of the Football League Second Division.
City have won four league titles, two Carabao Cups and two Football League Trophies in the 148 years since their conception. However, the club has struggled to find much success since the turn of the millennium.
The Blues' most successful period came in the 1950s and 1960s when they achieved their highest finish in the first division (6th) and reached the final of the FA Cup and two European Cup finals.
Over the years Birmingham City have had some fantastic players in their ranks that have helped them achieve their league and cup successes, so picking the best Xl is no easy task.
However, at Seat Unique we've put together our pick for the greatest-ever Birmingham City Xl. Keep reading to find out who made the cut and how you can secure matchday hospitality tickets to watch the Blues fight for promotion back to England's top division.Buy Birmingham City Hospitality
Birmingham City FC’s greatest-ever Xl
GK: Gil Merrick
Between the sticks, we have Gil Merrick. Widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, the Blues legend made over 700 appearances for the club between 1939 and 1960.
Merrick was a regular feature for three of Birmingham City’s league title wins and also helped them to reach FA Cup and European Fairs Cup finals.
After retiring from playing Gil Merrick went on to manage the Blues for four years between 1960 and 1964, leading the team to Football League Trophy success.
In the 2009/10 season, Birmingham City renamed their Railway Stand the Gil Merrick Stand in honour of the legendary keeper.
LB: Malcolm Page
At left full-back, we’ve gone for Welsh international and long-time player Malcolm Page. The Welshman made almost 400 appearances for the Blues over his 17-year tenure with the club.
Page was a fantastic servant to the club and played in a number of different positions, including midfield and on the wing, however, he was best suited as a fullback.
In 2012 the Knucklas-born player was one of seven former players inducted into the Birmingham City Hall of Fame.
Malcolm Page is loved by the Bluenose faithful and is the very definition of loyalty and consistency, earning him a well-deserved place on this list.
CB: Trevor Smith
In our first centre-back position, we have Trevor Smith. The England international was the complete defender known for his precision tackling, aerial ability and excellent ability to read the game.
The defensive ace made 430 appearances for the blues, a record only bested by five players in Birmingham history.
Smith captained Birmingham City through arguably the best period of their history and led them to victory in the 1963 League Cup, their first major trophy.
Trevor Smith was a tenacious leader and fantastic all-round player that led the club to their first-ever honours making him a must-have in any Birmingham City best Xl.
CB: Roger Hynd
Partnering Trevor Smith in the back line is Roger Hynd. Widely regarded as one of the finest centre-backs that Birmingham City have ever seen, Hynd made over 200 appearances for the club between 1970 and 1975.
The Scotsman helped Birmingham gain promotion back to the English First Division in 1972, winning player of the season.
Hynd also joined the aforementioned Malcolm Page as one of the seven players inducted into the Birmingham City Hall of Fame in 2012.
Although he never won any silverware with the Blues, Roger Hynd played an integral part in restoring the club’s top-tier status, earning him a place in our back line.
RB: Jeff Hall
English talent Jeff Hall played for Birmingham City Football Club from 1950 to 1959. He made 297 appearances for the club, primarily as a right-back, and scored six goals during his career.
Hall was a key member of the Birmingham City team that reached the 1956 FA Cup Final, playing an instrumental role in the lead-up to their unlucky defeat to Manchester City.
He was known for his pace, skill, and determination, and was a popular player among fans and teammates alike.
Unfortunately, Hall's career was cut tragically short when he contracted polio in 1957. He passed away just two years later, at the young age of 29, leaving behind a wife and two children.
Despite his short career, Jeff Hall remains a beloved figure in the history of Birmingham City Football Club and is remembered as one of the club's greatest players.
CM: Garry Pendrey
Garry Pendrey is a former English footballer who played for Birmingham City Football Club from 1966 to 1979. He made over 300 appearances for the club, primarily as a midfielder, and scored five goals during his career.
Pendrey was a hard-working and tenacious player, known for his ability to break up opposition attacks and distribute the ball effectively. He was a key member of the team and helped the team maintain their top-flight status for several seasons.
After retiring from playing, Pendrey went on to serve as a coach and manager at Birmingham City, intent on helping to guide the team through a difficult period in the late 1980s. He is widely respected for his contributions to the club both as a player and as a member of the coaching staff.
Pendrey remains a beloved figure among Birmingham City fans, and his name is often mentioned in discussions of the club's greatest players of all time. He was another one of the seven former players to be inducted into the Birmingham City Hall of Fame in 2012.
CM: Jude Bellingham
Partnering with the legendary Garry Pendry in the midfield we have the most recent player to feature on our team, Birmingham boy and footballing prodigy Jude Bellingham.
Although Bellingham is now well known for his feats with Borussia Dortmund and the England National Team, he began his professional career with Birmingham City. He joined the club's academy at the age of 7 and quickly rose through the ranks, impressing coaches with his skill and determination.
Bellingham made his first-team debut for Birmingham City at the age of 16 in August 2019, becoming the youngest player in the club's history to do so, and he went on to make a total of 44 appearances for the club.
During his time at Birmingham City, Bellingham earned a reputation as a dynamic midfielder with excellent technical ability, impressive physical strength, and a willingness to work hard for the team.
His performances earned him a move to German giants Borussia Dortmund in July 2020, where he has continued to impress with his performances in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. Following the move, Birmingham City retired Bellingham's number 22 shirt.
Overall, Bellingham's time at Birmingham City was short but memorable, and he will always be remembered as one of the club's most promising academy graduates.
LF: Alex Govan
On the left flank of our team, we have Alex Govan, one of the most talented wingers Birmingham City have ever seen.
He played for the club from 1953 to 1958 and made a total of 187 appearances, scoring 60 goals. He joined the club from Scottish team Queen of the South and quickly became a fan favourite due to his speed and skill on the pitch.
He was an important member of the team that won the Second Division title in the 1954-1955 season, helping to secure promotion to the top flight of English football.
Despite his success with Birmingham City, Govan's time at the club was also marked by injury problems, which ultimately led to his departure in 1956.
He went on to play for several other teams, including Luton Town and Notts County, before retiring from professional football in 1961.
Overall, Alex Govan's time at Birmingham City was a successful one, with his skill and contributions to the team in Birmingham City’s most successful period in their history, he is fondly remembered by Blues fans.
ST: Bob Latchford
In our first striker position, we really couldn’t have picked anyone other than the legendary Bob Latchford, Birmingham City’s homegrown hero.
Born and raised in Kings Heath, Birmingham, Latchford joined the Birmingham City academy at age 16 and went on to spend six years playing for the club.
Between 1968 and 1974 the striker made 194 appearances and netted an impressive 84 times.
Latchford was a key player for the blues during his tenure, as well as a fierce competitor on the pitch. He was strong, powerful, a solid header of the ball and could shoot proficiently with either foot.
Despite his relatively short time at Birmingham City, Bob Latchford remains a revered figure at St Andrew's and is remembered as one of the club's greatest-ever strikers.
ST: Joe Bradford
Partnering with big Bob Latchford in our team we have Birmingham City's all-time top goal scorer Joe Bradford.
The heroic striker spent 15 years playing for Birmingham City Football Club, from 1920 to 1935. He joined the club from Portsmouth and quickly established himself as one of the most talented players in English football.
During his 15 seasons with Birmingham City, Bradford made a total of 450 appearances and scored a whopping 267 goals, making him the greatest striker in Blues history.
Off the pitch, Bradford was known for his humble and hardworking demeanour, which made him a beloved figure among fans and teammates alike. He retired from professional football in 1935 and later served as a scout for Birmingham City.
Joe Bradford's time at Birmingham City was a hugely successful one, with his skill and dedication to the team making him one of the most beloved and important players in the club's history.
RW: Trevor Francis
Rounding off our Birmingham City best-ever Xl we have Trevor Francis, one of the most iconic players in the history of Birmingham City Football Club.
He joined the club as a teenager in 1970 and quickly established himself as one of the most promising young talents in English football.
During his nine seasons with Birmingham City, Francis made a total of 328 appearances and scored 133 goals.
Off the pitch, Francis was known for his flashy style and his impact on the team went beyond his scoring ability, as he often provided assists for his teammates.
He was the first footballer in history to be sold for over £1 million when he was transferred to Nottingham Forest in 1979.
Trevor Francis is one of the most prolific wingers that the blues have had in their ranks, and while his biggest career achievements might have come with other teams, Francis is considered a legend by all those associated with Birmingham City.
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