Our present unbeaten run equalled the run set in the season 1907/8 where we also went 11 unbeaten.
Anyway, it got me thinking, which seasons did we have decent runs? What IS a decent run? I started looking through all our results since 1902, (yes I know, saddo, statto etc.), anyway here are some of my findings.
Rather than use the division’s names, because they have changed over the years, I refer to them as Top Flight, 2nd Tier, 3rd Tier for ease.
I have decided to look at each division in turn, rather than try to compare runs across each of them. So first of all let’s start at the top!
Unfortunately the 1907/8 season’s 11 unbeaten, most of those games were draws and we ended up being relegated from the top flight. (Something Blues fans in future generations got used to!) Just a few seasons earlier in 1904/5 we had an eight game unbeaten run.
There were a number of lean years after that due to relegation, however in 1921/22 and the following season, we did have 5 wins in a row. In 1927/28, 1928/29, 1932/33 1955/56 and 2003/4 in the Premier League we went 7 unbeaten. The 1955/56 season still stands as our best finish in the top flight with us finishing 6th.
As well as 1904/5, we went 8 unbeaten in 1924/25, 1936/37, 1972/73, 1982/83, and 1983/84. Despite the 8 unbeaten in 1983/84 we ended up being relegated! We had a couple of other “8’s” too. In 1978/79 and 1985/86 we LOST 8 in a row. Actually, in the 1985/86 season, we ALSO had a run of 7 defeats. That was REALLY the start of our dark days!
Back onto positives, in the 1977/78 season, we did have a 9 match unbeaten run.
Before this season, our best run of victories was in 2002/3 when we had a 4 win sequence at the end of the season.
This year we have equalled the 1907/8 season with 11 games unbeaten. IF we avoid defeat against Man Utd, we will set a new club record of an unbeaten run in the top flight. Of course our best ever finish is still on, however I doubt we will do that this year. (Or will we???)
We have often performed well in this division over the years with a number of 7 matches unbeaten, (7 wins in a row in 1914/15), and a fair number of 8 unbeaten, (including an impressive 8 wins in a row in 1946/47), but as we have done even better than that – I’ll focus on 9 and above.
In 1919/20 we went 10 matches unbeaten, however we did even better the following season with a 12 match unbeaten run which included 10 wins in a row, later in the season we then put together a 10 match unbeaten run and not surprisingly, we finished top of the league.
After a considerable gap of time, just after the war, we went on an 11 match unbeaten run during the 1946/47 season. Spin forward over 20 years and during the 1970/71 and 1971/72 seasons we went 14 and 18 matches unbeaten respectively. The latter was a particularly impressive run. We lost our last game that season on January 1st and went all the way through to the season end without losing. That season was even more notable as we made it to the semi-final of the FA cup only to be beat by Leeds.
In 1984/5 we had an amazing season. We had two unbeaten runs of 9 and 8 matches, during the season we had two lots of 5 win and one 6 win sequences. We were promoted from 2nd place.
In the 1992/93 and 1993/4 seasons, the only sequences we saw were x2 runs of 6 loses – one per season. As the 1990’s went on, we were starting to improve and during both of the 1995/96 and 1996/7 seasons, we had a 10 match unbeaten run and during the 1997/98 season, a 9 match run.
We were now in a period when we were regulars in the play-offs. During the 1999/2000 season, we had a 9 match and two 8 match runs with a 5 match run of wins during the 2nd 8. That was the season of the Barnsley play-off game… yeah let’s move on.
The following season, Trevor’s final full season and the Preston penalty debacle, we had a 7 match run – however we did have another 5 match win run.
Our 2001/02 season started really poorly which cost Trevor his job, however as we now know – we finished the season on a fantastic run to go into the play-offs. It was a 10 match run. If you count the play-off success, it was a 13 match run!
Our last season in the 2nd tier, saw us have a 9 and a 7 match run.
During our 1990/91 and 1991/92 seasons, we managed a 12 match run and 3 lots of 7 match unbeaten runs respectively. These seasons included an 8 match run of draws in the former season and a 5 match winning sequence in the latter. This was probably the lowest point of our history so it was nice to have SOMETHING to cheer about!
Our final season in the 3rd tier was a tremendous one, as we set several club records. We went on a 20 match unbeaten run in the league, a club record. During that run, we actually had a 25 match unbeaten run in all competitions – a club record for all divisions. We also had a 6 match run of clean sheets in the league, equalling a club record for all divisions set during the 1920/21 season and an 9 match run of cleans sheets in all competitions, guess what – yeah a club record.
That season we finished top of the league, and also won the Auto Windscreen Shield at Wembley.
So there you go, my run around our runs over the years, has come to an end. I have used a couple of web sites Statto.com and Soccerbase. I also used the book Birmingham City a Complete Record 1875 – 1989 by Tony Matthews.
I really hope there aren’t any mistakes, but as I’m sure you will appreciate, with everything I’ve looked through, it is a possibility. I will correct anything that needs it.
Anyway, I hope you find it interesting!