This film is part of Free
Liverpool v Small Heath (1901)
Early league football, with the team who will become Birmingham City losing at Anfield in a relegation year.
Footage of this First Division football game serves as a brief appetiser for shots of enthusiastically waving crowds and an unusually prolonged group portrait shot of a handsome-looking fire brigade. The reason for their feature role is lost, but they beautifully illustrate the power of moving image to bring history to life when they drop their static poses and relax in front of the camera.
The game ended with a 3-1home win to Liverpool, the previous season's champions, over newly-promoted Small Heath. This game came less than a month after the two teams saw out a 0-0 draw in Birmingham on the opening day of the season. Liverpool fielded seven Scottish players, at a time when Scotland dominated the British Home Championship, revealing that the club's strong links north of the border long precede Shankly, Dalglish, Souness and Hansen. Small Heath, who changed their name to Birmingham in 1905 before settling on Birmingham City in 1943, finished the season 17th out of 18th in the table, and returned to the Second Division. Liverpool finished 11th.