Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (Old Uefa Cup) 1959 1960 Birmingham Barcelona

First Leg Resume
March 1960

Birmingham and Barcelona were enjoying vastly differing fortunes ahead of their eagerly-awaited showdown at St. Andrew's. The English club were languishing second from bottom of the First Division and without a win in their previous four fixtures. Pat Beasley's team would have climbed out of the drop zone had they held onto a first half lead given to them by Don Weston in their last game before the European clash away to fellow strugglers Luton Town. But the bottom side rescued a draw courtesy of a penalty leaving Beasley's side in a spot of a bother in the league and hardly the best preparation for taking on what was considered to be the best club team in the world. In contrast Barcelona were fresh from a 3-0 victory over Betis that retained their position at the top of the La Liga table. Helenio Herrera's side were high in confidence, so much so that they turned down Blues' offer of training facilities and instead prepared for the big match with a shopping trip around Birmingham. The size of the challenge that lay ahead for Blues had been brought into sharp focus earlier that month when Barcelona completed a 9-2 aggregate win over reigning English champions Wolves in the European Cup quarter-finals. Winger Harry Hooper admitted to Blues News recently: "After the hammering they gave Wolves at Molineux all the press were saying that we would need the scoreboard from Edgbaston because there would be a lot of goals!" But when asked ahead of the game whether his team were daunted by the prospect of facing the mighty Barca, boss Beasley insisted: "Overawed? Why should we be? We start level with Barcelona…and every team has its day - or night." Blues made one change from the side that had drawn at Kenilworth Road three days earlier with Bryan Orritt earning a recall at outside left in place of Billy Hume. The out-of-favour Welshman had not featured in the team for over three months and looked set to be on his way out of St. Andrew's before this opportunity rose. The 22-year-old was clearly determined to make the most of his chance as he spent the morning of the game doing extra training to ensure peak fitness. Manager Pat Beasley commented: "He is the man I want to fetch and carry in the forward line. Bryan can be useful both in an attacking and defending sense from the inside-left position." Barcelona travelled to the UK without tricky inside-forward Luis Suarez due to injury but otherwise Helenio Herrera's side was at full strength. (Texts by Birmingham site

First Half
29 March 1960
St Andrew's,
Referee Lucien van Nuffel
Attendance 40,524


Birmingham delighted the 40,000 crowd inside St. Andrew's with a terrific defensive display to earn a highly creditable draw against Barcelona. Pat Beasley's charges produced a much improved performance on a quagmire of a pitch that had pools of lying water due to heavy overnight rain. The illustrious visitors were not given any time on the ball and were not allowed to create the type of openings that had seen them fire five goals past First Divisions champions Wolves at Molineux four weeks earlier. Johnny Schofield was forced into routine saves from a header and shot by Sandor Kocsis and then pulled off an impressive stop from Ramon Villaverde's effort but otherwise the Blues keeper was largely untroubled during the opening period. Trevor Smith and Dick Neal were in particularly good form in the Blues defence and they stood firm again after the interval to repel any Barcelona advances towards the home goal. Towards the end Blues' best chance of pulling off a shock win when Don Weston was put through on goal but unfortunately the surface came to the visitors' aid and Enrique was able to clear the danger. The Blues striker recalled afterwards: "It was a beautiful ball through to me but the ground was wet through, the ball stopped dead in the water and I just went over it!" Both team bosses were satisfied at the end of the goalless stalemate at St. Andrew's. Blues chief Pat Beasley urged his players to carry this form into their league matches, admitting: "I'm only hoping that it will give them a spur." Beasley defended allegations that the visitors simply went through the motions due to their impending European Cup semi-final against Real Madrid. He insisted: "If a team are held -as Barcelona were last night - then their reputation slips a little and no side can afford to take any match lightly. Any team, including Barcelona, can only play as well as their opponents allow them to play." Beasley's opposite number was glowing in his praise of Blues. Helenio Herrera said: "Above all else, the Birmingham fighting spirit was excellent. Trevor Smith and Harry Hooper were excellent players. We are quite satisfied with a draw in such a match - we regard it as a victory. We played as well as we did at Wolverhampton."

Birmingham City 0  FC Barcelona 0
Birmingham City Schofield, Farmer, Allen, Watts, Smith, Neal, Astall, Gordon, Weston, Orrit, Hooper
FC Barcelona Ramallets, Olivella, Gracia, Segarra, Rodri, Gensana, Coll, Kocsis, Martinez, Ribelles, Villaverde

Second Half
4 May 1960
Camp Nou,
Attendance 70.000
Referee Lucien Van Nuffel

Blues went into the second leg boosted by a successful end to the 1959/60 league season which saw Pat Beasley's side win four or their last seven First Division games to drag themselves out of the relegation zone and secure another term in the top flight. A dreadful run of just one win in the opening ten games had left the team marooned at the foot of the table and they struggled to claw themselves away from danger until the late upturn in fortunes. Beasley's charges knew they would need to display their very best form against the mighty Barca to give themselves any chance of lifting European silverware. Blues were facing a Barcelona side still reeling from a defeat to Real Madrid in the European Cup semi-finals just one week earlier. The natives were restless after the 3-1 home reversal to their bitter rivals and manager Helenio Herrera paid the ultimate price as he was relieved of his duties at the Nou Camp. Herrera was even forced to flee the country due to attacks and insults from fans. A crowd of 75,000 packed into the ground looking for their side to partially make amends with an emphatic victory against Blues. Only a big win would calm them so Pat Beasley's side were not only facing one of the best sides in Europe but also tens of thousands of home supporters baying for blood. The visitors were followed to foreign shores by a small band of 60 Bluenoses who would try and make themselves heard over the Spanish din.Blues left back George Allen shrugged off an injury that forced him to miss the last two league games of the season to take his place in the visitors' back four. Graham Sissons made way in the only change to the team that beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 on the final day. Peter 'Spud' Murphy had returned to the Blues side towards the end of the campaign after an absence of 17 months to lend his guile and know-how to the survival bid. At the age of 38, the striker scored crucial goals to help the club retain their top flight status and his swansong came at the Nou Camp as he made his final ever appearance. Murphy's inclusion was the only change to the Blues team that had done so well to hold Barcelona to a draw at St. Andrew's five weeks earlier. The departure of Helenio Herrera from the Nou Camp helm heralded the return to the side of Ladislav Kubala. The Hungarian international had been frozen out after a fall-out with Herrera but he was immediately recalled for the visit of Blues. Also back in favour was outside left Zoltan Czibor with another Hungarian, Sándor Kocsis - scorer of four of Barcelona's goals in their 5-2 thrashing of English champions Wolves at Molineux in the European Cup - and injured Luis Suarez making way. Blues were unable to reproduce their defensive heroics of the first leg as Pat Beasley's out-of-sorts side conceded two early goals to leave them with an insurmountable task in front of a vociferous home crowd. Eulogio Martinez headed the hosts in front in just the third minute from Luis Coll's corner. And when Zoltan Czibor doubled the advantage just three minutes later with a fantastic shot from the edge of the area, there was little doubt to which team the cup would be heading. Former Hungarian international Czibor scored again four minutes after the interval and although Blues' best player on the night, Harry Hooper, was unfortunate to see his shot crash back off a post, in truth Beasley's team were never in the contest and Barcelona should have scored a few more early goals with Martinez and Ladislav Kubala both missing gilt-edged chances. Coll hammered the final nail into Blues' coffin with the fourth goal courtesy of a fierce right-footed drive through a crowd of players just 12 minutes from time. By that stage the visitors had begun to let their frustrations get the better of them with some over-the-top tackles bringing whistles of disparagement from the crowd and yellow cards for Brian Farmer and Johnny Watts. Blues did regain a measure of respectability as Hooper deservedly got his name on the scoresheet with ten minutes left. It was too little, too late for the Blues team to have any chance of earning their £4-a-man win bonus. Instead it was the Barcelona players that walked away considerably richer with their club rewarding them with a staggering £218 each - a small fortune in those days - for ensuring the Fairs Cup remained at the Nou Camp after their success in the final of the previous tournament two years earlier.

FC Barcelona 4  Birmingham City 1
3' 1-0  FCB: Martinez 6' 2-0  FCB: Czibor 48' 3-0  FCB: Czibor 78' 4-0  FCB: Coll 82' 4-1  BC: Hooper
Barcelona won 4-1 on aggregate
FC Barcelona Ramallets, Olivella, Gracia, Verges, Rodri, Segarra, Coll, Ribelles, Martinez, Kubala, Czibor
Birmingham City Schofield, Farmer, Allen, Watts, Smith, Neal, Astall, Gordon, Weston, Murphy, Hooper

Codec H264, Mkv
Bitrate 1000
Sound 128 kbps
No Comments (Horrible sound)
Pass  and special member pass

Here's a "special for members only"  for the month of August as a kind of reward for members. All you have to do is sign as a member that's it. It's totally private. A password will be send via Friendconnect. Registration is on right side of the blog, section members.




  1. Hi again,

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    me la puedes volver a enviar


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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hello, I don't see "bottom followers" in this page. Can you give us an e-mail to write to you, please? Thanks ;)

  9. Une fois de plus un grand merci pour cette perle.

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  11. Hello, I can not access to this site with my user (my user name is Ochotorena) and I can not get download this match with none of the special passwords.
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