Gil Merrick Biography

Last updated : 09 April 2009 By Brian Cartlidge

Gil Merrick

By Keith Dixon

A fascinating biography of the Birmingham City hero.

Based on hours of in-depth interviews with Gil,
this title tells
the goalkeeper's story.

Gil Merrick
Birmingham City Football Club has been acknowledged over the years as "a sleeping giant". Unfortunately for its fans, the giant has not awoken since the club's formation in 1875.

Over 130 years of professional football in the heart of industrial Midlands has produced only one major trophy - The League Cup in 1963 - alongside a million heartaches and disappointments for its fans.

Faced with an underachieving football club, Bluenoses' have had to look to their heroes to justify their blind faith and continued enthusiasm - and to many Gil Merrick is the greatest hero of all!

Gil is held in high esteem because he loved the club as much as the supporters, even though his father was a Villa fan. He gave his life and soul to BirminghamCity, serving it as player and manager before the club broke his heart with the manner of his dismissal.

Loyalty could have been Gil's middle name. Known as "Mr. Birmingham City" his time at the club coincided with many of the best days (and nights) in its history; Promotions, F.A. Cup Final appearances, European success, domestic success, the introduction of European coaching methods and giving debuts to many great young players.

Who knows how Gil would have fared in today's game where money rules and international players become celebrities. There is little doubt that he would have remained level-headed and taken the trappings of success in his stride, but would he have remained with one club for 25 years?

Whatever happens in the future to "The Blues", whether they ultimately re-gain Premier League status and conquer Europe there will never be another club servant to match Birmingham City legend - Gil Merrick.


Priced £16.99. ISBN: 978 1 85983 693 4