Was Wayne Rooney hit by Birmingham City's 'gyspy curse' at St Andrews as manager sacked after 15 games?

We take a look at the gypsy curse at St Andrews Stadium following Wayne Rooney’s dismissal
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The curse of Birmingham City’s St Andrews ground may have struck again following the sacking of Wayne Rooney after only 15 games as manager. 

It has struck many times before, frustrated Blues fans will tell you. It is, football folklore states, a hex that has stained the turf since 1906 - bestowed by gypsies booted off the land to make way for the stadium. 

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According to the legend, an old gypsy woman warned: “As long as the club uses this ground, success will be a stranger.” There are those who will say it was an accurate prediction. 

It is a curse that has been taken very seriously by many involved in the club. Mind you, the old lady said it would last only 100 years. In the 1980s, then manager Ron Saunders ordered crucifixes be placed on the floodlights. Larger-than-life boss Barry Fry took things further. He relieved himself at all four corners of the pitch to relieve his club of the curse. 

Was Wayne Rooney struck by a gypsy curse at St Andrews?Was Wayne Rooney struck by a gypsy curse at St Andrews?
Was Wayne Rooney struck by a gypsy curse at St Andrews?

At the time, Barry said: “We called in a bloke to lift the curse and he told me the only way to fix it was to go and have a pee in all four corners of the ground. I am not normally superstitious, but after three months I was willing to try anything.” 

The club were relegated that season. You can’t help wondering if the individual who gave him that advice was a Villa fan. And in 2016, businessman and die-hard Bluenose John Baines had stadium seats recovered and sprinkled with holy water. 

How has the St Andrews curse manifested itself? 

  • After their very first season at St Andrews, Blues were relegated to the old second division. 
  • German bombers badly damaged the ground during World War Two’s Birmingham blitz, forcing it to be closed. 
  • In January, 1942, the Main Stand was completely destroyed by fire and it was almost 10 years before a new one was built. 
  • The list goes on and on… 

Birmingham St Andrews Stadium General ViewBirmingham St Andrews Stadium General View
Birmingham St Andrews Stadium General View
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Writing for “Blues Focus”, Roy Gregory took a rational and light-hearted look at the football fable. He said: “Does the curse exist or is it the figment of an imaginative perennial excuse for bad management and under-performing players?  

“On the surface it does appear it is an excuse as there is no evidence that gypsies ever occupied the St Andrews site prior to its construction and the opening of the stadium in 1906. The site was apparently an open area of undeveloped bog land, hardly suitable for a caravan park. 

“I believe the ground was cursed, but not necessarily by a gypsy. In fact, a far more serious event took place in 1911 when, after a 100 year battle to remain independent, Aston was finally swallowed up within the boundaries of Birmingham, much to the anger of most Astonites who hated the idea of a union.  

“In fact, it is quite possible that a rich Aston Villa fan of some political prominence sought to curse the city and the club as an act of revenge. Since then, good fortune has, for the most part, always eluded the Blues.”  Is St Andrews cursed? It appears far-fetched, but Wayne Rooney could be forgiven for believing in it. 

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