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Connections: Birmingham City

21 February 2014

Players Who Starred In Tangerine & Blue

Blackpool face Birmingham City at Bloomfield Road tomorrow - and the sides have plenty of player connections in common.

Check out the official website's rundown of the top five stars to make impacts at Bloomfield Road and St. Andrew's.

Joe Hart

The current England number one never played for either club on a permanent basis but spent spells on loan from Manchester City.

Hart was loaned to Blackpool in April 2007 and was part of the club's ‘Perfect 10’ – a run of ten consecutive wins that helped the club win promotion from League One via the play-offs. He was unbeaten in the five games he played for Blackpool, including a 6-3 win over Swansea in his final appearance for The Seasiders.

The keeper was made Manchester City number one on his return to the club at the end of that season, but was sidelined by Shay Given’s arrival in 2009, prompting a loan to Birmingham City.

Hart was number one as Birmingham set a club-record 12-match unbeaten run in the Premier League and he was named club Player of the Year and goalkeeper in the PFA Team of the Year. His loan spell at Birmingham was enough to see Hart included in England’s 2010 World Cup squad and become City’s permanent first choice keeper on his return to the club.

Barry Ferguson

Current overseeing first-team affairs at Blackpool, Ferguson made a huge impression on the supporters of both clubs. Ferguson joined newly-promoted Birmingham from Rangers in 2009, helping them stay in the Premier League and earning himself the club’s Player of the Year award in his debut season.

The following season Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League but won the League Cup at Wembley. Blues boss Alex McLeish later said that Ferguson played the last hour of that cup final with a broken rib.

Due to Birmingham’s need to trim the wage bill, Ferguson moved to Blackpool in 2011. He immediately assumed captaincy responsibilities and the club made the play-off final at the end of that season, losing to West Ham at Wembley.

The Scot stepped up to take charge of things at Bloomfield Road following the departure of Paul Ince in January. 

Alan Ainscow

The Bolton-born midfielder started his career with Blackpool in 1971 and made over 190 appearances for the club before his departure in 1978.

Ainscow was a midfielder capable of playing down either flank and was the top scorer for Blackpool in 1972-73 – a season where he netted a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over rivals Preston North End.

He joined Birmingham in 1978 for a fee believed to be around £40,000. He spent three years with The Blues, making over 100 appearances, suffering First Division relegation in 1979 but then helping the club to promotion from the Second Division in 1980.

Kevin Phillips

The Sunderland legend has scored goals prolifically wherever he has been and his spells at Birmingham and Blackpool were no exception.

Phillips spent three seasons at St. Andrew's between 2008 and 2011 and the midlands club was where the striker won his one and only cup trophy, albeit as an unused sub in the 2011 League Cup final victory over Arsenal.

In 75 appearances for Birmingham, Phillips found the net 22 times in all competitions, as he tasted both promotion to and relegation from the Premier League in his time at the club.

On his contract expiry in 2011, Phillips moved to Blackpool and in one and a half seasons at the club scored 19 goals. He started for Blackpool in The Seasiders' play-off final defeat in 2012 and stayed at the club until the following January, when he followed manager Holloway to Crystal Palace.

DJ Campbell

The striker joined The Blues in January 2006 from Brentford for £500,000. In 50 appearances for Birmingham, Campbell found the net 12 times before leaving for Leicester City. The club were relegated at the end of his first season at St Andrew’s but his goals in the following campaign helped fire The Blues back to the top-flight at the first attempt.

His time at Leicester was not a huge success and resulted in him being loaned to Blackpool twice, in 2009 and 2010. In his first spell, Campbell scored nine goals as the club secured their Championship status. His second spell was similarly prolific with eight goals in 15 league appearances as Blackpool were promoted to the Premier League.

Ian Holloway signed Campbell on a permanent deal for the club's top-flight season and the striker netted 13 times in the league, but the club were relegated and Campbell was sold to QPR at the end of that campaign.


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