Birmingham Cup was inaugurated shortly after the founding of the Birmingham &
District Football Association in December 1875. A one-off charity game to decide
the very first winners took place between Aston Villa and Tipton with the latter
club running out winners. It would be the following season that saw a proper knock-out competition take place for the
first time with sixteen clubs taking part, Wednesbury Old Athletic lifting the
trophy with a 3-2 win over Wolverhampton side Stafford Road.
Albion's first venture into the competition came
during the 1881/82 season - their first game being played on November 12, away at Calthorpe, the Baggies running out 3-2 winners. Albion would go on to reach the
semi-finals before losing to Wednesbury Old Athletic 3-2 at Aston Lower Grounds.
The first game of the following season's competition
saw Albion record their largest-ever first team victory - a remarkable 26-0 win
over Coseley, a game which saw the Baggies lead 17-0 at half-time.
It was during the 1885/86 campaign that Albion
reached, and won, their first Birmingham Cup, beating Walsall Swifts 1-0 in a replay at Aston
Lower Grounds, George 'Spry' Woodhall the Baggies' goalscorer. Albion would go
on to reach the final in both of the following two seasons but both games ended
in disappointment, losing 1-0 to Long Eaton Rangers in 1887 and 3-2 to big
rivals Aston Villa in 1888.
Albion did not enter the 1888/89 competition after
disagreements with the Birmingham FA but returned the following season only to
once again suffer defeat at the final stage thanks to Villa. The Baggies reached
the final for the fifth occasion in 1892 but this time it would be Black Country
rivals Wolves that handed them defeat in a final that was played at Perry Barr.
Two years later Albion and Wolves would meet again at the final stage, and again at Perry
Barr. This time the two clubs would have to make do with a share of the trophy
following a 3-3 draw. The game reportedly saw Albion refuse to play
extra-time due to being a man short following the loss of Sammy Nicholls through
The following season saw Albion lift the trophy
outright for the second time following a 1-0 win over Villa, Tom Hutchinson
scoring the only goal of the game. It would be the club's last success in the
competition for 93 years. Albion's first team did reach the final once more, in
1903, but once again old foes Aston Villa lifted the trophy at the expense of the Baggies.
With interest in the competition declining, in 1906
the Birmingham FA decreed that clubs could field their reserve sides, a practice
that had unofficially already happened for a number of years. Albion continued
entering the Birmingham Cup until 1924 when they then decided to drop out of the
altogether - the Baggies, along with a number of other league clubs, choosing to
'fine' in lieu of entry. A fleeting return to the competition was made at the
start of the Second World War but it would be 1982 before Albion fully returned to the
Birmingham Cup after the County FA insisted that all of the once 'exempt' clubs
should again field teams.
Despite the club's first team struggles in the late
1980s / early 1990s, Albion's reserve side achieved great success in the
competition during that period, lifting the trophy three times in four seasons - 1987/88, 1989/90
and 1990/91, beating Bedworth United, Atherstone United and Nuneaton Borough
respectively. Nuneaton would gain their revenge however in 2002 when they handed Albion
a 2-0 defeat in that season's final.
Albion suffered an extremely poor run in the
competition over the following nine years, winning just three out of twelve
matches but returned to form in 2012 when they won
the cup for the sixth time, the club's under-21 side beating Solihull Moors 2-0
in the final at The Hawthorns. Two years later Albion once again triumphed, this
time Tamworth suffering at the hands of Albion's talented youngsters.
As of 2015, Albion have reached 15 finals, winning
the competition seven times and sharing the trophy once. Only Aston Villa (19)
and Birmingham City (13) have lifted the trophy more times
than the Baggies.
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the appropriate section. We would welcome any of the missing information or
corrections to the statistics we have listed.