I make no bones about the fact that I loathe the club although I can't quite put my finger on exactly why. In part it was down to Trevor Francis. I never liked the guy as a player and once he became a manager and then a commentator, I detested him - because of his voice and the delight he always seemed to take in knocking West Ham. That said, I wish him a full recovery from his recent heart attack.
Then it was Trevor Hockey. He was an ugly player. Ugly style. Ugly beard. Ugly name. And he went on to play for Shafting United!
And Kenny Burns. He had one of those faces that you wanted somebody else to punch. And it irritated me no end that nobody could work out if he was a forward or centre back! Scottish, ugly, nasty in a challenge.
And Curbishley, who walked out on West Ham claiming Birmingham were a bigger club. Bigger club my arse.
And their kit. That ridiculous white band down the front of their shirts. For some reason it looked even worse in black and white on The Big Match.
And then there was The Big Match. I lived in Somerset and for some bloody reason, we got the Midlands version instead of the London version some weeks on HTV - and you could bet your life it happened on the weeks when West Ham were the main game. I would settle down looking forward to watching Brooking, Bonds and Paddon and instead Gerald Sinstad's voice would announce, "Welcome to St Andrews for the crucial game between Birmingham City and..." Cue a hasty change of channels and watching shadows through an interference / poor reception snow storm on Westward TV...providing they weren't showing Plymouth v Bristol Rovers!
But despite it all, I can't help feeling sorry for Birmingham. Not only have they missed out on a big day at Wembley, Villa have escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth! If we go up, I hope Hughton stays and completes the job next season by lifting the cub back into the Prem. Hughton seems a rare breed in football - a thoroughly decent guy - and because of him I have learnt to stomach Birmingham City to the point where, providing they are not rivals, I can wish them well!