Fascinating football facts
Curiosities of Midlands football, with Tony Matthews
• 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