Wednesday, 22 September 2010
145 Alan Ainscow
Believe it or not the first picture I used had to be removed for copyright reasons. I'm sure the owner makes a vast living from pictures of 1970s Birmingham City players.
Position : Midfield (also played at right back)
Played : 1989-90
Appearances : 20
Goals : 0
Alan was signed on a free transfer from Blackburn Rovers. He began his career with Blackpool where he played in the 1971 Anglo-Italian Cup Final picking up the first of an unusual medal double before he'd made his league debut. He made nearly 200 appearances for Blackpool making himself very popular with a hat-trick against Preston in 1972. He left Blackpool after their shock relegation to the Third Division in 1978 and moved to Birmingham for £40,000. After 108 appearances he moved to Everton for £250,000 in 1981 but never became a regular at Goodison and was loaned out to Barnsley in his second season. After leaving Everton he went to play in Hong Kong for a year but returned to England with Wolves the following year. After suffering two relegations he left to join Blackburn in 1986 where he collected his second winner's medal in the Full Member's Cup in 1987.
After the experience of Jimmy Greenhoff and Ray McHale I don't think anyone was excited by another 36-year old signing and the signs weren't good when he went off injured after about 10 minutes of the first pre-season game at Farsley Celtic. He had recovered a week later to play at Preston in the Lancashire Cup where he caught them napping with a quickly taken free kick. In the League though it was the same old story; the game passed him by and he was dropped after a few games. For most of the season he picked up his money in the reserves but towards the end he was recalled to play right back due to injuries. We feared the worst but he was terrific and didn't put a foot wrong. He was released at the end of the season but at least he'd given us something to cheer.
He went on to play for a while at Horwich RMI then dropped out of football before being coaxed back to coach at his local side Burscough United in 2005
Here is a link to a great goal from Alan's time at Birmingham