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, making regular appearances on the European stage.
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.
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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.
Walsall Football Club, nicknamed The Saddlers, are a SkyBet League One football club based in Walsall, just off junction 9 of the M6.
The club were formed in 1888 and moved to the Banks’s Stadium in 1990 from their previous home – Fellows Park.
Walsall’s biggest rivals are Wolverhampton Wanderers.
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.
St. George’s Park, The FA’s National Football Centre
This £105m facility, set in 330-acres of Staffordshire countryside, is the home for England’s 24 national teams. With 13 outdoor pitches, including a replica of the Wembley surface, a full-size indoor 3G pitch, a suite of rehabilitation and sports science areas, and an indoor Futsal sports hall, St. George’s Park provides world-class facilities for all England teams ahead of international fixtures.
If you want fun, football and top-class coaching in one package, look no further. The Ultimate Football Experience brings together the enjoyment of playing football with the latest coaching techniques suitable for players of all age and ability. And the experience is packed with fun – in the inspiring setting of St. George’s Park – where the England players train. Find out more about The Ultimate Football Experience here
Go behind the scenes on the Tour of St. George’s Park, check the website here for available dates and times.
The Outdoor Leadership Centre, operated by Grahame Robb Associates offers a 40 foot climbing tower, linear high ropes course and an extensive range of low ropes activities as well as up to 15 different team exercises. In addition, the site has a Powerfan and an archery range. Bespoke packages are available for sports teams and social clubs as well as professional teams and corporate events.
Find out more here
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