Obafemi Martins (second right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring arguably the most famous goal in Blues’ history. Picture by Glyn Kirk/AFP via Getty Images
It is a topsy-turvy ride as a Birmingham City fan but, among the many difficult periods this millennium, there have still been plenty of times to savour. Here, BirminghamWorld’s Liam Moakes recalls ten goals which have brought delight to the St Andrew’s faithful. What do you make of the selection and which goals would you have included? Let us know by commenting.
1. Obafemi Martins – vs Arsenal – February 27, 2011
The Nigerian striker wrote his name into Blues folklore with a dramatic winning goal in the 2011 League Cup final against Arsenal.
Martins took advantage of a mix-up between Gunners keeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny to roll the ball into an empty net and spark wild celebrates among the Blues supporters at Wembley as the club secured the greatest moment in its 146-year history.
Despite some troubled times over the past decade, Blues remain the only West Midlands club to win major silverware this century thanks to their magnificent 2-1 victory over a star-studded Arsenal side.
2 & . Geoff Horsfield and Darren Carter (penalty) – vs Norwich City – May 12, 2002
The burly striker affectionately known as ‘The Horse’ grabbed a vital equaliser in the first period of extra-time to keep Blues’ hopes alive in the Championship play-off final against the Canaries.
After a goalless 90 minutes, Birmingham fell behind to a Iwan Roberts header, but fans’ favourite Horsfield restored parity nine minutes later by heading home from Stern John’s knockdown.
Despite looking the side most likely to find a winner at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, the match headed into the dreaded penalty shoot-out but, after play-off heartache in the previous three seasons, this time Blues held their nerve from 12 yards.
John, lifelong Blues fan Paul Devlin and Stan Lazaridis all scored from the spot to allow 18-year-old midfielder and Bluenose Darren Carter the chance to coolly stroke home the winning penalty and end Birmingham’s 16-year exile from the top flight.
4. Paul Caddis – vs Bolton Wanderers – May 3, 2014
Paul Caddis’ 93rd-minute equaliser helped Birmingham escape relegation to League One in dramatic style.
Blues needed a draw at Bolton to stay up but looked doomed when they trailed 2-0 to goals by Lee Chung-yong and current St Andrew’s favourite Lukas Jutkiewicz.
However, Nikola Zigic gave Lee Clark’s side hope when he pulled a goal back with a header with 12 minutes to go before Caddis headed home following a desperate goalmouth scramble to send Doncaster Rovers down instead.
The goal sparked wild celebrations in the packed away end as Blues somehow avoided dropping into the third tier for the first time in 20 years thanks to this 2-2 draw.
5. Stern John – vs Aston Villa – February 22, 2004
Trinidadian striker Stern John netted an incredible 94th-minute equaliser to maintain Birmingham’s remarkable run of results against their bitter rivals following Blues’ return to the top flight.
At the fourth time of asking, Villa had seemed destined to bag the Second City bragging rights having surged into a 2-0 lead at Villa Park, but a Mikael Forssell goal gave the visitors hope.
With the hosts rattled and Steve Bruce’s side pouring forward, a deserved equaliser arrived in the dying seconds when Thomas Sorensen could only parry Clinton Morrison’s shot into the path of John who gleefully blasted home close range to secure a 2-2 draw.
6. Craig Gardner – vs West Ham United – January 26, 2011
Lifelong Birmingham fan Craig Gardner – Blues’ current technical director who was brought up just four miles from St Andrew’s – scored a brilliant extra-time goal to secure victory in the League Cup semi-final and send the club to their first major Wembley final for 55 years.
West Ham arrived at St Andrew’s protecting a 2-1 lead from the semi-final first leg and looked on course for victory when Carlton Cole’s spectacular strike gave them an interval lead and extended their advantage in the tie.
However, the introduction of giant striker Nikola Zigic unsettled the London side’s defence and current Blues boss Lee Bowyer levelled the game on the night with an emphatic finish on the hour before Roger Johnson’s powerful header 11 minutes from the end of normal time restored parity overall.
Gardner, having already struck the woodwork, looked as though he had won the tie in normal time, only for Irons keeper Rob Green to tip his strike on to the post in the final moments of the 90 minutes.
However, Gardner was the hero four minutes into the extra period with another low drive which Green could not keep out in front of a delirious Tilton Road stand.
7. Seb Larsson – vs Tottenham Hotspur – December 2, 2007
Swedish international Seb Larsson netted a stunning 25-yard strike injury-time strike to seal a 3-2 victory in Alex McLeish’s first game as Blues manager.
In an enthralling encounter at White Hart Lane, Blues took the lead through Gary McSheffrey’s penalty, before falling behind to two goals from Robbie Keane, who was later sent off.
Cameron Jerome bustled his way through the Spurs defence to equalise before Keane was dismissed and the visitors then snatched the most dramatic of wins when Larsson cut inside from the left and unleashed a blistering strike into the top right corner.
8. Nikola Zigic – vs Aston Villa – December 1, 2010
Nikola Zigic’s late winner sent Birmingham City into the League Cup semi-finals at the expense of arch-rivals Aston Villa at a raucous St Andrew’s.
The giant Serbian Zigic had endured a frustrating evening but he became the hero six minutes from time when he bundled home Cameron Jerome’s cross from close range via a deflection to settle a fiercely contested derby.
Seb Larsson had given the hosts an early lead from the penalty spot following Richard Dunne’s foul on Lee Bowyer before Gabby Agbonlahor levelled for the visitors.
However, Zigic’s late intervention proved the difference and he left the field to a hero’s ovation – as he would do in the semi-final and final which followed.
9. Cameron Jerome – vs Liverpool – November 9, 2009
Cameron Jerome has always been renowned for his pace and his ability to unsettle defences, but less so for long-range shooting ability.
However, on a memorable night at Anfield, Jerome scored the best goal of his career and indeed one which is fondly looked back upon by the Blues faithful.
Jerome controlled Scott Dann’s headed ball forward and fended off the attentions of Javier Mascherano before unleashing a thunderous 30-yard shot which dipped over home keeper Pepe Reina.
The only disappointment for Blues was seeing David Ngog dive to win a penalty which was converted by Steven Gerrard to rescue a 2-2 draw for Liverpool.
10. Seb Larsson – vs Sheffield Wednesday – April 28, 2007
Talented winger Seb Larsson scored a sublime goal in this 2-0 victory over the Owls on a weekend which ended with Blues winning promotion to the Premier League.
Having been reduced to ten men shortly before the hour mark when Fabrice Muamba was sent off for two bookings, the hosts showed all their trademark fighting qualities of this campaign and took the lead through Cameron Jerome.
A 2-0 victory in glorious sunshine was then sealed when Larsson picked up the ball on the halfway line and waltzed past two challenges before crowning a dazzling solo run with a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Blues’ promotion was clinched the following day when Derby County were beaten 2-0 at Crystal Palace.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.