Friday, 19 August 2011

Carr's Century

Captain Stephen Carr reached a mile stone in his Birmingham City career last night in Maderia, making his 100th appearance for the club. It was somewhat fitting that his 100th game came in the club’s first European adventure in fifty years, and no one can fault his commitment throughout his Blues career.

Plucked out of retirement by Alex McLeish in February 2009, Carr played a big part in the second half of the season to get Blues promoted and after consecutive impressive performances was handed the captains armband. During his time at Blues he’s seen more ups than downs, which isn’t a regular occurrence for a player of Birmingham City! After promotion in 2009 he led the side to Premier League safety by February 2010, in a season which saw his team go on a fifteen match unbeaten run and finish in 9th place.

The following season saw Carr captain the side to Carling Cup victory; after fantastic wins under the lights in first the quarter final against local rivals Aston Villa, and then a magnificent turn around against West Ham to win 4-3 on aggregate, Carr led his side out to a famous 2-1 victory against Arsenal, to win the club’s first major trophy. Not to mention gaining complete legend status amongst the Birmingham City faithful when in 2010 after the narrow and somewhat controversial defeat against Aston Villa, he ran the length of the North Stand at Villa Park ‘waving’ at the non-too pleased Villa fans in the stand.

Reportedly saying before the Carling Cup Final that “there’s more quality at Arsenal, but there’s not more heart”, Stephen Carr is the type of player who epitomizes the Birmingham City spirit, and in a rags to riches story for the former Tottenham and Newcastle defender it was appropriate that his 100th appearance came in the Europa League: from retirement to European football in under three years.

With the speed of someone in his twenties and the defensive mind of a true professional, Carr is a real Blues hero, loved by fans and everyone else at the club. So here’s to 100 brilliant appearances for Stephen Carr, and 100 more – because if he can run like that at 34, he can run like that for a few more years at least!

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