Where are they now: Birmingham’s XI which won the 2011 League Cup final

Nostalgia

Birmingham City were relegated from the Premier League in 2010-11, but that season will always be remembered fondly thanks to their victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final.

Arsenal were big favourites for the final but were stunned by the Blues, who snatched a 2-1 win thanks to Obafemi Martins’ late goal.

We’ve looked back at the Birmingham players who took to the field at Wembley that day on February 27, 2011.

Ben Foster

Foster signed for West Brom following Birmingham’s relegation, going on to amass over 200 appearances for the Baggies before leaving when they too were relegated in 2018, this time to Watford.

Stephen Carr

Carr captained Birmingham to glory three years after he had initially retired from football following his release by Newcastle.

The right-back retired for a second time in 2013 and moved to Spain, where he has a restaurant, bar and nightclub in Marbella.

READ: Eight players who came out of retirement: Scholes, Lehmann, Cruyff

Roger Johnson

Once tipped for a place in the England team, Johnson joined non-league Bromley 2017 in October after being released for a second time by Charlton Athletic.

Martin Jiranek

To the delight of any Half Man Half Biscuit fans, Jiranek is currently playing for Dukla Prague, but our eyes were averted to this goal he scored for Russian outfit Terek Grozny in 2013.

Liam Ridgewell

After a career in England spread between Midlands trio Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom, Ridgewell moved to the MLS in 2014 to join the Portland Timbers, who he captained to glory in the MLS Cup a year later.

The defender has become known in the States for his own trademark celebration: the Ridgy Roll.

Seb Larsson

Everyone’s favourite free-kick taker joined Sunderland after Birmingham’s relegation and then left the Black Cats when they too were relegated from the Premier League in 2017.

He spent a year at Hull City before joining AIK in June 2018 and then helping Sweden reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Russia.

Barry Ferguson

Ferguson completed the whole 90 minutes against Arsenal despite breaking his ribs after half an hour. The midfielder ended his playing career at Clyde, where he also had a spell as manager, but was declared bankrupt with debts of £1.4million in 2017.

Never forget that he was almost replaced at Rangers by Andres Iniesta.

READ: 13 of the weirdest transfers that nearly happened: Guardiola, Iniesta, Essien

Keith Fahey (Obafemi Martins, 83)

Eighteen months after lifting the trophy, Fahey was released by Birmingham after a number of injury problems.

He had had trials with clubs in England and Ireland, but the injuries continued to affect him: “I was kind of living out of the back of my car for a while,” the midfielder told the Off The Ball podcast.

He eventually re-signed for St Patrick’s Athletic before being forced to retire in 2015. A brief return for Bluebell United in 2017 ended in November when he twisted his knee in training, and he retired once more.

Martins, who came off the bench to score the winner at Wembley, now plays for Shanghai Shenhua, firing the side to victory in the Chinese Cup in 2017.

Craig Gardner (Jean Beausejour, 50)

The midfielder rejoined Birmingham in 2017 after six years away, while Beausejour, who went on to win the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic, is back in his native country with Universidad de Chile, having also won back-to-back Copa America titles in recent years.

Lee Bowyer

Bowyer’s career has come full circle after he joined Charlton, the club where he started out his playing career, as assistant manager in 2017.

He became manager the following year and also owns a carp fishing lake in France. Honest.

READ: A forensic analysis of Lee Bowyer’s on-pitch fight with Kieron Dyer

Nikola Zigic (Cameron Jerome, 90+2)

Zigic scored Birmingham’s opener in the final and was the last remaining member of the League Cup-winning side at the club before he was released at the end of the 2013-14 season.

He rejoined the club in November of the following campaign – after claiming that he was in talks with Arsenal.

The former Serbia international, who once put in what Lee Clark described as “the worst training session in terms of a professional footballer I have ever come across”, has not played since leaving the Blues at the end of 2014-15.

Jerome, meanwhile, joined Turkish Süper Lig club Göztepe in August 2018 after a half-season spell at Derby.


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