50th Anniversary of TF's first Blues goal

Trevor Francis receives the congratulations from Phil Summerill and Ray Martin after marking his home debut with a goal.
Trevor Francis receives the congratulations from Phil Summerill and Ray Martin after marking his home debut with a goal.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Trevor Francis' first Blues goal.

It was to be the first of his 133 times in 329 appearances that the Blues legend found the back of the net over the course nine seasons, before joing Nottingham Forest for £1m.

TF's first goal came exactly one week after he made his First Team debut, which you can read about here.

After his impressive cameo display as a substitute at Cardiff City, Blues’ home faithful were eager to get their first glimpse of new teenage sensation Trevor Francis after he was named in the starting XI for the visit of Oxford United on 12 September 1970.

The 16-year-old was straight into the action on his full debut at St. Andrew’s and within two minutes he’d posed problems for the visiting defence with a dangerous run and cross.

Soon afterwards the Club’s youngest ever player tested the Oxford keeper Mick Kearns with a header from a Garry Pendrey cross. The Blues fans amongst the 22,000-plus crowd were relishing the emergence of this new star.

The moment that everyone inside St. Andrew’s that day was waiting for arrived on the hour mark. Ray Martin’s cross was brought under control instantly by Francis, and despite being put under immense pressure from the Oxford defence, the youngster fired in a shot that beat Kearns from a narrow angle.

The Blues fans behind that Tilton Road end goal raised their arms aloft to salute the first of what they hoped would be many goals from the ‘Super Boy’. Francis disappeared under a heap of bodies as he was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates.

The visitors equalised soon afterwards and the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate but it was the performance of one individual rather than the team’s result that was the talk of the pubs and clubs of Birmingham that evening.

Winger Bert Murray was watching from the stands that day having lost his place in one of three changes made by Freddie Goodwin, as the Blues boss rotated his troops to accommodate the young virtuoso.

The former Chelsea man was to play just three more games before heading off for pastures new but he holds no grudges and retains fond memories of witnessing the birth of the new St. Andrew’s favourite.

“Trevor’s talent was evident immediately,” said Murray.

“I remember talking to him quite a bit about the game. He came up from Plymouth to Blues, so it was great credit to him for taking that chance. He was a lovely player and a really nice lad.”

After several seasons of mid-table mediocrity in the old Second Division, Blues fans finally had reason for optimism and Francis fever quickly took over B9. But Goodwin had a dilemma, as he tried to explain to the fans in his manager’s column for the following home game against Charlton.

“There is no doubt that young Trevor has done well on his introduction to the first team, though it would not be fair to expect too much of the boy at the moment. It is not my intention to rush him along as this could be detrimental to his overall development.”