Losing is not a tragedy

My football disaster vocabulary has been recalibrated this week.  Losing 0-8 at home is horrible but not a tragedy; losing most of your team in a plane crash is. I read that some Birmingham City fans are planning a tribute to Chapecoense at St Andrew’s on Saturday, which seems fitting because our fandom helps us to empathise with the fans whose team has been destroyed. Continue reading

Black and white

Last night I watched Whites vs Blacks: How Football Changed a Nation on BBC 2. It was a reminder of the racial abuse directed at the first black football players in England. I’m glad that such overt abuse is no longer allowed at football grounds but that doesn’t mean those attitudes have been eliminated in our society. Continue reading

Good game

I value football because it can aid social cohesion and help avoid a them‑and‑us mentality.  As Adrian Chiles said on Saturday Live, football is one of the few places where a bin man and a QC might sit and talk together on an equal footing.  It is also a wonderful distraction from everyday concerns.  Continue reading

A few thoughts on the game

One report described yesterday’s game as not pretty but absorbing and I think that sums it up. The players were committed; the crowd was loud and large enough to pass the big flag around. Steve Bruce was not the only former Blues manager at the game.  Barry Fry was in the V.I.P. seating area and received a warm welcome from nearby fans. Continue reading

Not watching on TV

Pompey ad by Donald Vass

Pompey ad by Donald Vass

Stories of the game between Birmingham City and Aston Villa are flooding the local media but I’m not sure how much the rest of the country knows or cares about the derby game on Sunday. An article in WSC, written before our game in September 2002, said that “Blues v Villa is best known as a public order problem.”  I hope that won’t be true this weekend and that the news on Monday will be about what happened in the game not trouble with fans. Continue reading

New start

Birmingham City fans greeted the arrival of new owners in 1993 and 2009 with hope and great expectations. David Sullivan and the Gold brothers were heroes when they rescued us from the receivers. Carson Yeung was welcomed when he talked of investing money in the club. Continue reading

Sticks, stones, words and boos

I recently read an article that described Chris Sutton as a miserablist. That’s a great word and if I had known it as a child I would have used it to describe my dad at football matches.  He wasn’t the sort of fan who shouted and screamed.  He just stood there with a look of contempt on his face and only occasionally muttered, “Rubbish!” to express his opinion of the standard of play. Continue reading

Intelligence and courage

sh-wed-crest

The Latin motto on Sheffield Wednesday’s crest can be translated “intelligence and courage” and Birmingham City displayed both in the game on Saturday. Blues fans have traditionally regarded courage and commitment as essentials in a player, with intelligence and skill as a bonus. We have supported players who were not the brightest or best as long as they gave their all.  Continue reading

A bad start

This season has started badly for me. I have watched Birmingham City play for 300 minutes and haven’t seen them score a goal. Goalless draws in the pre-season against Roda JC and the first League game against Cardiff were followed by a loss to Oxford in the League Cup. And that wasn’t the worst that happened Continue reading