Fas­ci­nat­ing foot­ball facts

Cu­riosi­ties of Mid­lands foot­ball, with Tony Matthews

Black Country Bugle - - YOUR LETTERS -

• Birm­ing­ham’s heav­i­est League de­feat to date has been 9-1, suf­fered twice, against Black­burn Rovers in 1895 and Sh­effield Wed­nes­day in 1930.

As­ton Villa’s big­gest re­verse so far has been 8-0 at Chelsea in a Premier­ship game in 2012.

Wal­sall crashed to 12-0 de­feat away to Small Heath (Birm­ing­ham) in 1892 and by the same score at Dar­wen in 1896.

Al­bion’s heav­i­est de­feat has been 10-3 in a League game at Stoke in 1937, while Wolves were ham­mered 10-1 by New­ton Heath (Manch­ester United), also in 1892.

• Stan­ley Matthews scored his only first-class hat-trick play­ing for Stoke City against Birm­ing­ham in a League game at The Vic­to­ria Ground in Septem­ber 1935. The Pot­ters won 5-0. Matthews, in fact, is the old­est player to ap­pear against Blues at se­nior level … do­ing so at the age of 48 years, nine months and 29 days old for Stoke at The Vic­to­ria Ground in No­vem­ber 1963.

• On the 29th Au­gust 1964, full-back Stan Lynn com­pleted a unique act by scor­ing a penalty in five suc­ces­sive League games for Blues. Two came at the end of the 1963-64 sea­son and three more fol­lowed in suc­ces­sive games at the start of the fol­low­ing cam­paign. The clubs he scored against were Liver­pool, Sh­effield United, Not­ting­ham For­est, Ful­ham and Stoke City in that or­der.

• Lynn was the only player to ap­pear in each of the first 20 League sea­sons af­ter World War II, do­ing so for Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley, As­ton Villa and Birm­ing­ham City: 1946-47 to 1965-66 in­clu­sive. Ron­nie Allen, for Port Vale, Al­bion and Crys­tal Palace, played and scored in ev­ery sea­son from 1945-46 to 1964-65. The first of these cam­paigns was, in fact, billed as a tran­si­tional cam­paign, fol­low­ing the end of the war.

• And a record Lynn will hold for­ever is that he was the first full-back to score a hat­trick in a top-flight League game … do­ing so for Villa against Sun­der­land in 1958.

• The first time Birm­ing­ham City fea­tured on the BBC TV pro­gramme ‘Match of the Day’ was against West Ham United, away, in a Di­vi­sion One game, on the 28th De­cem­ber 1964. The Ham­mers won 2-1.

• Wolves’ goal­keeper Bob Scott was sent off twice in League games in sea­son 193637 – against two York­shire clubs, Hud­der­s­field Town and Leeds United.

• John South­worth was the first player to score six goals (a dou­ble hat-trick) in a League game – do­ing so for Ever­ton against Al­bion in De­cem­ber 1893.

• The first all-mid­land League Cup fi­nal took place in May 1963 when As­ton Villa were beaten over two legs by Birm­ing­ham. A crowd of 31,902 saw Blues win the first leg at St An­drew’s 3-1 be­fore 37,949 fans at­tended the goal­less re­turn clash at Villa Park.

• Birm­ing­ham City’s first Premier­ship dou­ble came in sea­son 2003-04 when they beat Bolton Wan­der­ers 1-0 away and 2-0 at home.

• Ted Drake is the only player (so far) to have scored seven goals in an away League game – do­ing so for Arse­nal against As­ton Villa in De­cem­ber 1935.

Stan Lynn of Birm­ing­ham City in May 1966

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