With five top clubs in and around Birmingham: Aston Villa, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, there’s real football choice here.
If you’re a football fan, a visit to Villa Park is a must. One of the founders of the Football League in 1888, Aston Villa Football Club was founded in 1874 and they have played at Villa Park, since 1897. They were also founder members of the Premier League in 1992 and have remained in the top flight of British football ever since, making regular appearances on the European stage too.
Villa Park itself is a spectacular sight. Hosting almost 43,000 fans and rated 5 Stars by European football body UEFA there’s an amazing atmosphere at home games whether you’re in the stands of in one of the luxurious corporate suites or boxes.
Why not take a stadium tour - a breathtaking opportunity to see the pitch, changing rooms and even sit on the manager’s bench.
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Follow Aston Villa Football Club on Facebook. Did you know that they have recently passed the one million followers mark?
Birmingham City are fighting to regain their place in the top flight of British football so you can expect ambitious, energetic football from the Blues if you call into the 30,000-seater St Andrew’s Stadium to see them play.
One of Birmingham’s two major football clubs, Birmingham City were formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, finally becoming Birmingham City in 1943. Almost as old as their fierce rivals Aston Villa, Birmingham City were founder members and first ever champions of the Football League Second Division.
Stadium tours are available at St Andrews, check the website for details.
West Bromwich Albion
West Bromwich Albion Football Club, nicknamed The Baggies, are a Premier League football club based in West Bromwich less than 30 minutes west of Birmingham.
The club was formed in 1878 and have played at their home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Along with Aston Villa, Albion were one of the founding members of The Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of the years ever since in the top tier of English football.
Albion have a number of long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs; their traditional rivals have always been Aston Villa, but more recently their major rivalry has been with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Premier League Stoke City Football Club are nicknamed The Potters after the local pottery industry in and around the city of Stoke. Founded in 1863, it is the oldest club in the Premier League, and considered to be the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County.
Stoke's home ground is the Britannia Stadium, a 27,598 all-seater stadium. Before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been its home ground since 1878.
The club plays in the Premier League after winning promotion in 2008. Its first, and to date only, major trophy was won in the 1972 Football League Cup Final, when the team beat Chelsea 2–1.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (nicknamed Wolves) are currently flying high at the top of League One.
Like Aston Villa and their Black Country rivals West Brom, Wolves were also founder members of the Football League in 1888 and played an instrumental role in the establishment of the European Cup, later to become the UEFA Champions League.
Get your boots on
There are plenty of places to play if you’d rather be down on the touchline than up in the stands.
FIFA World Cup 2014
This year the eagerly awaited 20th FIFA World Cup will be taking place in Brazil! See here for a listing of all of England’s matches.
14/06/14 - England vs. Italy
19/06/14 - England vs. Uruguay
24/06/14 - England vs. Costa Rica
RT @befestival: Week 2: 23 shows over the week with 4 shows a night - it's like tapas! #BE2014 #PRLaunch
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