Often Partisan

You Ain’t Never Gonna Keep Us Down

It’s been a hard couple of days for Blues fans. Financial worries, managerial worries and (for me at least) the smug grins of our former owners as another team in claret and blue are back in the Premiership have contributed to a fairly crap weekend.

In the past few days I’ve been called a scaremongerer, a defeatist and told to take a holiday because I’ve reported on the bad news that has been around the club. The truth is I’m not really any of those things – when I write, I write about what’s going on about Blues. Sometimes, things aren’t good and it’s the way it is – you can’t pretend everything is roses when it isn’t.

I actually am an optimist – and as I’ve said before on this site, I believe that there are always silver linings to look for amongst the dark clouds. I can appreciate right now that things look a little bleak but this is Birmingham City – when has it ever looked especially rosy for us? To paraphrase that Chumbawamba song – “we get knocked down, we get up again, ain’t never gonna keep us down”.

One of my earliest memories of Blues was Tom Ross saying “Garry Pendrey has more problems than Salman Rushdie” on the radio as we looked down the barrel of relegation to the third division for the first ever time. I can remember being asked by my Dad who I was going to support once Blues had gone bust during the last days of the Kumars. I remember Villa fans lording it over us noses at school with impunity because of the gulf between the two teams. If you’d have told me when I was at senior school that by the time I was 35 I’d see Blues win a major trophy at Wembley, play and win away in Europe and finish ninth in the top flight I’d have laughed at you.

This is just it – okay, so we’re in the second tier and things are looking a little iffy, but it’s not like we’ve not been here before. I saw a comment on the OP Facebook page from someone saying that they’d walk away from Blues if Hughton left – and it made me wonder if we’ve been spoilt by our relative success in the last decade or so. Yes, we might lose our manager – but there is always the chance we could appoint someone else who could be successful. Yes, we might not have money (or the ability) to bring in players but it means the youngsters might be given the chance to step up and become homegrown heroes like Nathan Redmond has this year. Okay, we might be out of the running to go up – but it means the weight of expectation will be removed from us again and we can just enjoy the football without worrying about not doing enough to get back into the top flight.

After feeling bitterly disappointed by the way the team gave in during the final run-in of the 2010-11 season, last year brought back my enthusiasm for the club. Not just because of the way we played on the pitch – although that helped – but because I enjoyed the camaraderie and the tribalism that came about from the feeling we were fighting back against some of the crap that happened to us. I felt so proud to be a Blues fan when so many stayed behind after the Blackpool game to cheer the players, to cheer Chris Hughton and to show why Ian Holloway said such nice things about how passionate we are. I’m getting goosebumps right now thinking about some of the incredible matches I’ve been witness to this year.

To use the vernacular, “shit happens”. It’s all about how you deal with it when it does that defines you as a person – and Blues fans as a fanbase. I’m hopeful that most Blues fans are like me – philosophical about it all and trusting in the knowledge that one day, it will be right and we’ll have our moment in the sun again.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials

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39 Responses to “You Ain’t Never Gonna Keep Us Down”

  • Polanski says:

    Spot on as usual, right dose of realism.

    As someone of your age I remember those late 80s early 90s days and being lorded over as you say.

    So in the last few years maybe we have been spoiled, and in the context of the terrible times referred to there have been some great times.

    I think there might be a certain club song that encapsulates quite a lot of this stuff, something about joys and sorrows and a long road?

    Keep right on

  • Chesterblue says:

    Nice one mate. Fifty two years as a Blues fan. You’ve summed it up very well. I never thought I’d see the likes of Wembley and Brugges.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    If anyone on here is old enough to remember “Wheldon” running the BLUES,they will probable say this mess at the moment is F`all.
    But the strange thing is we were kept more informed in those days than we are today. (No mobiles or internet in those days,just 2 cans & a piece of string)
    Also is it true that Arsenal had a bid turned down,but have come back in for the youngster FODAY NABAY ??

    Never heard or read about this youngster before.


  • Dirty Bertie says:

    Many blues fans seem able to operate only on 2 levels: in 7th heaven or suicidal. Get a grip!! The song says it all. KbloodyRO.

    Always, ALWAYS hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Join the Blues Supporters Trust now. It may not be needed but certain oriental gentlemen are betting it won’t be and I’ve noticed they’re none too lucky with their bets.

  • shedrocket says:

    Spot on al. I was one of the 6,000 and you know what..I still loved it, the support and gallows humour in those days was what defined us and made us different from 99% of other clubs supporters especially the whihing cry baby vilers who’ve always been the same. We’ve got a few more fans these days that are “viler like” but as an old hand I know to take it on the chin, support my club no matter what and it will all come out in the wash. That blues rollercoaster has been running for 137 years and will never stop, if you don’t like it or at least expect it then you are definately supporting the wrong club.

  • kingy says:

    I enjoy reading your posts but the line “we can just enjoy the football without worrying about not doing enough to get back into the top flight.” does seem rather defeatist. I am 50 years old and attended my first game against Man City back in 1972, I have been all over the country, followed my team in europe and to wembley in Cups and play offs, I had a season ticket for 31 years in a row until I moved to Weston-Super-Mare and even though its a 260 round trip still attend more often than not. I have seen it all all divisions, owners, managers and idolised players from Francis and Dugarry to Mark Sale & Dean Peer. I lived in a Villa area (Kingstanding) all my life in Brum (45yrs) and literally fought my corner growing up as a rose amongst the thorns. I believe that I have earned the right to expect the best from our club. I absolutley do not just want to sit back and enjoy life in championship mid table, promotion battles and even relegation battles is what keeps me invigorated as a bluenose. I would never be happy sitting back and enjoying the football unless it involves a battle at either the top of the Championship or a battle to stay in the premiership, thats what makes us tick us bluenoses….Not mid table mediocrity……..KRO.

  • Thomas Hallberg says:

    As always, you are spot on with your thoughts
    About our beloved blues. I’ve been a bluesfan
    since the early 70:s. So I know there will be
    Ups and Downs.

    This session i’ve felt ever so proud of My team.
    Thank you & K.R.O.

  • Llansteffan Blue says:

    I have supported Blues since 1961 (we beat Chelsea 3-2!) and I feel like I have the present situation’s T shirt many times.
    The last 3 years are exactly what being a Blues fan is about. Joys & Sorrows.
    We will rise again. Beleive!!

  • DoctorD says:

    Football is so full of little injustices, perceived or otherwise. How come McJudas stayed up with Villa even though they got fewer points than we did last year? How come we won a cup and then got relegated? Why did all those loanees last year get injured?

    Mind you, if I was a Tottenham fan, I would be mightily peed off today with Chelsea winning and them not qualifying for next year’s Champions League. Not that I care of course.

  • Dave says:

    Worst case scenario
    Accounts revealed in late July
    Lose Hughton
    No transfers
    Lose Davis, Burke, Foster, Butland
    Go into administration before carsons trial

    But football is a long drawn out Fickle game…
    Wolves stayed up last season with all there fans celebrating then got relegated about 3 weeks into the new season. Wigan were rubbish all season then good for 8 games now there manager is a tactical god. Man City were in division 3 a decade ago…. The road is long we have to Keep right on till the end of it

  • Macc lad says:

    I pay my taxes, so I couldn’t be more pleased that Chelsea edged out Spurs from the Champions League!
    I’m also pleased that West Ham went up, even though I’ve hated them all my life. There’s a guy at work who supports them, and he’s a nice guy so I’m pleased for him. Probably better to have them out of the division given their spending power anyway.
    On Blues, I was there on that freezing night with a couple of thousand other brave souls when the lights went out in the Anglo Italian cup. I can’t remember the opponents, but I do remember that there was only one refreshment kiosk and they had no hot water! It was an hour before the lights came back on again!

  • oldburyblue says:

    I agree with Kingsy. I started going to St Andrews 50 years ago. In MOST of that time we have been a poor !st Div(Prem) but good 2nd Div(Championship) Team. If you want excitement and not boredom we have always been the Team to support, normally battling for promotion or fighting relegation. The Spanish word “Manana” sums up our optimism…..all will come good “tomorrow”.

  • prewarblue says:

    Mate could i say K.R.O with the blog,,,,,if you aint pleasing everybody,,,you doing right,,,,,,Bluenoses are noted for moaning,,,,,,if its not the team,,,its something else connected with the club,
    A Blues fan is never happy unless he has something to moan about,,,,,if he aint got anything to moan about ,,,,he,ll moan about that !

    As for length of insanity following the Blues through [ being ] thick and thin [years ago !! ] , my faded memory goes back to Arthur Turner being manager ! ,,,,,Jim Smith walked on water,Willie bell sat at his right hand,,,,we have had brilliant [ and bloody bad ! ] managers over the years,,,,all have given their best,,,,,but all have failed in the end due to lack of support from above,,,,,the last decent owner Blues had was “Clifford Coombs”,,,,,since then we have had nothing but chancers, starting with “Cliffords ” son “Keith” [ birminghams version of the “Kray Brothers” [ out and out villians].
    we have had our share of turncoats [Mcleish and Ellis ] but still carried on,,,,,we may [ or not ] be close to the end of the road, but we will still be there following the Blues at the end of the road

  • paul davis says:

    To be fare to you mate if your the only person to come out with the truth then it can only be a good thing. Cause we certainly cant rely on Mr Pannu and co. I think you do a great job and plz keep up the good work.

  • paul davis says:

    I remember a freezing cold evening against Altrincham in the cup and with a crowd of about 4,000 and we lost. Things just couldnt get any worse than that but we still love our beloved club. As the song goes “there will be joys and sorrows too”

    • The Garbage says:

      I was there that night, didn’t the ball hit the post and roll along the line and then went in? Was that the game when Saunders was sacked the day after? My memory is a little fuzzy so I may have got this wrong. If we can keep this squad together and without the distraction of a European run, then I reckon we can aim for automatic next season, why not?

  • Clive says:

    Good to see you have got the message and now showing a bit of pride in you club with positive comments.
    Bad news is fine when it’s true but specualative rubbish about out manager is not and just doesn’t help.
    I have followed Blues for over 50 yrs and the one thing I know is there are a lot of people out there iinluding the local excuse for a newspaper all to ready to put us down at every opportunity so if it’s true fine but negative speculation doesn’t help anyone as Blues.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Wow, How condescending are you. I have always thought this site shows pride in the club, and is a lot more informative than any of the local or national rags!

    • Cleggy says:

      Clive, what are you on about? “Good to see you have got the message” ? Who do you think you are mate? Almajir writes fair minded and positive stories on this site all the time. If for whatever reason you don’t like the content then I suggest you just stop visiting Often Partisan, rather than writing pompous rubbish on the comments section.

  • andy says:

    Remember the time Lou Macari took over at Blues? He revived the team and put some pride back, just as Hughton has done, we went to Wembley and won the Leyland Daf Cup. Then Macari resigned and took over at Stoke. But we will never kno what Macari could have achieved at Blues, the fans loved him but the club were in a mess and he walked. Im striking a comparison here, if Hughton walks then it will be for the same reason Macari did and we will never kno what levels Hughton could achieve at the club and we may well have to prepare for some dark days ahead. Maybe not tho, things are very quiet at the minute and a surprise could be in store. This next week or two should tell us where we are actually heading.

    • viperblue says:

      I was around during that era and I know Marcari had no love for the club,
      he vertually never came near the team except on match days,his success was more by luck than jufgement.
      I dont know who his back staff were but they deserved the credit for the “revival”

  • PFD says:

    Been a supporter for many years seen some good times and lots of sad ones. I thought Carson could be the foreign saviour we wanted but maybe the club was part of a criminal act, I don’t know fed up with the bullsh*t coming out of Pannu. Seems now we may lose the only manager I have felt confident with in 40 years plus along with the good talent we possess to cover the books.

  • Mark says:

    To be honest any fan who classes this as depressing and wants to be negative about simply has forgotten the past or simply didn’t experience the hell that was 1985 to the late 90s. Ken Wheldon used to make my blood boil he sold everything with a pulse, the kumars were a total embarrassment and the amount of shame of having to put up with being the laughing stock of the midlands.. I was there Sealand Road on a friday night getting battered 4-0 by CHESTER!! Tranmere losing 5-1 and our keeper was man of the match! Rotherham another 5-1 humbling. Seriously get a grip guys this current plight is a cake walk. PS.. For all my years of suffering a day after my 40th Birthday I got made redundant but went to St Andrews and they cheered me up by bursting the wet spam bubbles and a month later I got my rewarded for 30 years of supporting..

  • viperblue says:

    Things look bleak but I have never seen Blues get promotion as champions
    so if we end up in the 2nd (old third)division then on the way back up
    perhaps they will be champions of one or more divisions.
    Best case is they win championship next year while we still have some parachute money

  • skareggae72 says:

    “Wheldon/Kumars sold everything with a pulse”
    I seem to remember them trying to sell everything WITHOUT a pulse also,like flogging the training ground(we then trained on council parks pitches)and then trying to flog off the ground to asda,and even considering a ground share at Walsall.
    I remember a story in the 80,s that bankrupt WOLVES & BLUES would all share with WALSALL!
    Things are considerably brighter at the moment.

  • DJ Nick says:

    I was also there when the lights went out for an hour on that freezing February night stood at the back of the Kop every week with my air horn! We were setting light to toilet rolls to keep warm ha haand the police were stamping them out! I remember singing ” we’re not going anywhere” and “put ya 50 in put ya 50 in as though we hadn’t got a 50p for the light meter! The lights come back on and Blues scored a goal in a European competition…..those of us that were left huddled together in the Kop pointed to a very empty Tilton Road stand where the away supporters usually stood – it was TOTALLY empty and we sang happily “your not singing anymore” the was of cours no one there! I remember the triton showers shirt singing “oh I’d rather have a shower than a bath” I was there when we played at Chesterfield and the blues fans locked outside we’re climbing over the roof in their droves to get in. I was of course also at the Leyland Daf Cup Final with Gayles overhead kick forced tears to stream down my face. Then there was of course the 2 trips to Cardiff agony and extacy the noise when we played Ipswich in the semi final and my deaf friend heard something for the very first time in his life! We are BIRMINGHAM CITY. We are unpredictable passionate loyal. It causes me to smile, to cry, to laugh but most of all to believe! You are my life, my thoughts, my dreams, my aspirations. You have taken me from heaven to hell and back to heaven again sometimes all in one game. But I will NEVER NEVER give up on you, you are inked on my arm and etched into my heart, you have been passed to me by my forefathers as I have passed you to my Children also. You even make me cry when I am writing this.BIRMINGHAM CITY…….MY BIRMINGHAM CITY…..OUR BIRMINGHAM CITY we love you with all our hearts and souls. The road is long but our boots are strong – we will walk besides you forever until the end of the road is reached.

  • Mickey07 says:

    Like loads have said on here this is a cake walk compared to the 80s early 90s,Walsall away lost 5-1,shrewsbury lost 5-1,tranmere 5-1,Chester 4-0, etc etc too many to mention,but feckin great days while them lot in b6 were going for the league etc etc playing your inter milans,juventus,Ajax,regular in Europe……plus throw into the mix we were going bump as well,this is a peace of piss……as jimmy greaves says “its a funny old game” a week is a long time in football,it could be Rosie again in a month time,you never know……..ask man city fans where they were 10 odd years ago?

  • AfricaBlue says:

    I’ve been with the Blue’s since 1960, seen a lot of comings and goings, Cried tears of Joy and of Sorrow and no matter who the Manager is or who the Team is I would love to be around for the next 50. KRO.

  • andy says:

    Chic Bates was the guy working with Macari. At the end of the day, what im trying to say is, if Chris Hughton quits to take the Albion job, then it will be down to the mess Blues are in. If he stays, then things are obviously not that bad. Lets see what happens over the next week or so.

    • Smokin says:

      Sorry, but if Hughton tales the Baggies job it wll be predominately because he wants to manage a team in the Preiership. Plenty of Championship managers with well run clubs would jump at the chance anyway. THis romantic idea of club loyalty must stop.

      i.e. If CH leaves it will have almost nothing to do with the finances, but everything to do with PREMIERSHIP status.

  • Smokin says:

    Almijar, sorry oif me suggesting you take a holiday is a bad thing.

    All I am trying to say is that the next few weeks will be quiet, so take a break and refocus. If you spend too long looking at one thing, you will fail to see the wood for the trees.

    Even Tatts knows the benefits of charging his batteries and relaxing :)


  • andy says:

    Hughton will not quit Blues just because a premiership club comes in. He obviously wants to be a success at Blues and bring them back up. If he aint got the tools to do that he will more than likely go, but just because Albion are sniffing, will not be the reason he leaves.

  • Clive says:

    Cleggy , I appreciate there have been many positive articles on here it’s just yesterday’s article must have been the 1000th about CH leaving from all a sundry and to date there is not one shred of evidence He is going.
    So my thoughts were its bad enough every one else trying to talk this up without one of our own doing it.
    Surely the comments section is not just or people who agree with the article so it’s just my opinion.

  • Paulo says:

    This season was thefirst season that my little 10yr old daughter came to St Andrews, and although I am still trying to explain what it has been like for blues in the past, but she does know that she has seen some memorable moments in her first season.
    But what she finds incredible is how the older generation have really welcomed her into the fanbase. It just goes to show that no matter what happens, however incompetent some owners are, however selfish some players are, or how many managers we get through ..the BCFC fans will always be the most passionate, and seem to create more memories from the stands!
    CH has given us a spark ..lets not waste it.
    CY has given us cause to unite
    PP has given us cause for histeria
    The team have given us a reason to shout
    The fans have shown what a 12th man can do at St Andrews.

    All this in ONE season?

  • Alan Watton says:

    Good post mate. Hughton will only leave if he has to. I trust that the greed that pervades this world will keep the club afloat. If you do what he is accused of to get hold of us you are going to try bloody hard to make it work. As you say we’ve been in worse positions. Follw the Bluenose Nation

  • bluenose08 says:

    I lost my job 12mths ago and had to go to a tribunal to get it back so was in dire straits but one of the things that kept me going was reading about how well blues were doing in the papers and seeing them on tv now and again. I got my job back in time to see the last 6games at st andrews and it was brilliant the highlights 2 cracking goals against crystal palace, brilliant performance against reading and then the atmosphere against blacpool. My life is very much like b.c.f.c. full of joys and sorrows too !
    I had the same seat in the tilton for the games i saw and as usual everyone around me was friendly and chatty and its just like being at home. k.r.o.

  • Paul Carter says:

    Good sentiments Al

    These hard times are just aother stop on the ride.

    Sell everyone, get rid of CH and the board, drop a bomb on the ground and I’ll still be there for the next game

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