Birmingham City is one of the biggest clubs in England, in terms of fanbase and support. They were formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance and acquired their current name in 1943. Birmingham have played in the top tier of English football for around half of their history. Many great players have played for the club in their history, let us have a look at some of the greatest Birmingham City players ever.
Here are the ten greatest Birmingham City players ever.
10. Jeff Hall
Jeff Hall had few peers defensively. A thinking man’s full-back, he oozed quality and drew on his powers of tremendous anticipation, rather than crunching tackles, to thwart opposition full-backs. Fast and tidy, Hall knew his job and carried it out with authority and composure.
Tragically, on April 4, 1959, at the age of just 29, Hall was struck down by polio, the last of his 265 appearances for Blues coming just two weeks before he died.
It was his death that led to kick-start widespread public acceptance in Britain of the need for Polio-vaccination. He was inducted in Birmingham City F.C. – Hall of Fame in 2010.
9. Malcolm Page
Malcolm Page was a model of consistency, effort, endeavour and commitment. He served seven managers and appeared in every jersey apart from the goalkeeper’s during his time at the club.
Recognised as a defender or wing-half when he first started out, his personal preference was midfield but he was particularly adept at full-back. He made 391 appearances for Blues in all competitions over a 17-year career between 1964 and 1981.
In 2012, he was inducted into Birmingham City’s Hall of Fame. He is one of the greatest Birmingham City players ever.
8. Alex Govan
Alex joined Blues in June 1953 from Plymouth Argyle for a fee of £6,500. During his five-year spell at St. Andrew’s, the goalscoring winger made 187 appearances and scored an impressive 60 goals. He is credited with introducing ‘Keep Right On’ as the club anthem.
Speed merchant Alex Govan was the sort of outside-left who defenders found difficult to keep quiet. He was a key member of the Blues side that won the 1955 second division title.
The following season he was in the team that helped the Club to their highest ever league finish when they came sixth in the First Division and also reached the 1956 FA Cup Final where Blues were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City.
7. Kenny Burns
When Kenny arrived at the club, he was a defender but was converted to a striker after Bob Latchford. He went on to win the club’s Player of the Year award that same year.
Many of his early appearances came at centre-half but he moved up front on a more permanent basis in 1974. His aerial prowess and physical approach was the perfect complement for the contrasting skills of Bob Hatton and Trevor Francis and Blues were never out of the top tier – until that side broke up.
His favourite goal came at Villa Park in September 1976 when he rammed home Francis’ cross and gave it the old double fist pump in front of the Holte End. He is, without a doubt, one of the greatest Birmingham City players ever.