Tag Archives: birmingham

Birmingham striker Marlon King arrested on his birthday after a Porsche involved in serious smash

Birmingham striker Marlon King arrested on his 33rd birthday after a Porsche involved in serious smash

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

23:48 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:48 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Birmingham City striker Marlon King was arrested on his 33rd birthday after a Porsche was involved in a serious road smash which left one man in hospital.

Nottinghamshire police said King was questioned on suspicion of dangerous driving after a three-car crash in Winthorpe on Friday.

Road smash: Birmingham striker Marlon King was arrested on Friday

Road smash: Birmingham striker Marlon King was arrested on Friday

A Porsche, a Volkswagen Polo and a Vauxhall Astra were involved in the crash at 2:50pm.

The driver of the Polo, 35, was air-lifted to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre with serious injuries, while others suffered minor injures.

The former Middlesbrough, Coventry and Watford striker was later released on police bail.

King had recently got his career back on track after he was jailed for 18 months in October 2009 for groping a woman in a nightclub and breaking her nose after she spurned his 'disgusting' advances.

King was last month ruled out for the season after being forced to undergo knee surgery.

Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore of comic own goal fame hits wonder strike

Djimi Traore once scored a comedy Liverpool own goal, but now he's struck a superb effort (and it went in at the right end!)

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 13 March 2013

He doesn't score many great goals, or many goals for that matter, but Djimi Traore yesterday hit one of the strikes of the year to help his Seattle Sounders side reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals.

Best remembered for his comical own goal for Liverpool against Burnley in the FA Cup third round in 2005, this time Traore hit a rocket from 30 yards to put Seattle 2-1 up in the tie against Mexican side Tigres.

Scroll down for videos…

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Liverpool's Djimi Traore looks back as he knocks the ball into his own net

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

The spaghetti-legged defender, who played for Liverpool, Charlton,
Portsmouth and Birmingham City fans during his time in England, saw the
ball bounce perfectly for him on the half volley, before hitting an
unstoppable shot past Jorge Diaz de Leon, and in off the crossbar for
good measure.

Seattle went on to win the match 3-1 (3-2 on aggregate), making history in the process by becoming the first MLS team to beat a Mexican club since the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2008.

The Mali defender is also remembered for being one of the most average players to win a Champions League medal, starting for Liverpool against AC Milan in the 2005 final in Istanbul.

Just four months after his mistake at Turf Moor, he gave away a free-kick in the first minute of the famous final, from which Milan scored through Paolo Maldini.

But he later atoned for his error with a crucial goal-line clearance, and picked up a winners medal after Liverpool's heroic comeback.

In his seven years at Anfield, the 33-year-old also won the FA Cup in 2006 and the League Cup in 2003.

His wonder strike for Seattle is only his fourth ever senior goal.

Traore has also appeared in European competition 35 times throughout his career.

And to think Matt Le Tissier, who scored goals like this for fun, didn't make a single appearance on the continent…

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

Djimi Traore of Liverpool

VIDEO: Traore's wonder strike for Seattle

Traore wonder goal

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VIDEO: Traore's less than wonderful own goal for Liverpool

Ben Foster ends England exile

Foster ends England exile by giving Hodgson green light to pick him again

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 28 February 2013

Ben Foster has ended his England exile and decided to return to the national team squad at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The West Brom goalkeeper has told Hodgson that he is ready to come back for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Former Albion boss Hodgson is struggling to find top-class competition for Joe Hart and will be boosted by the news that a man he knows well from the year they spent together at The Hawthorns last season is ready to play international football again.

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

Foster

For the last England game, the 2-1 friendly win over Brazil, Hodgson only named two goalkeepers in his squad, Hart and Jack Butland.

Foster announced towards the end of the 2010-11 campaign, when he was still at Birmingham City, that he was withdrawing from the international scene because of injury concerns.

His last game was a 2-1 defeat by France in November 2010.

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Jack Butland against Italy

The former Manchester United keeper suffers from groin problems and earlier this season underwent surgery to cure the nagging issue.

However, since returning he has been in superb form, saving a penalty from Steven Gerrard during West Brom's 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

He has been a massive factor in Albion's push for a Europa League spot.

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Lee Clark, Birmingham manager, backs up David Sullivan"s agent violence claims

Birmingham boss Clark backs up Sullivan's agent violence claims and calls for change

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

19:20 GMT, 3 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 3 February 2013

SCAVENGERS!

Read David Sullivan's shockingly revealing interview HERE

Lee Clark has added his voice to that of West Ham owner David Sullivan in asking for the issue of players' agents to be looked at.

Birmingham City's boss gave his backing to the claims made by the Hammers' owner that he had felt threatened after a number of deals last week fell through.

Sullivan said he was unsure which representatives were acting for which players as he attempted to push through signings.

Change: Lee Clark believes the current agent system needs to be looked at

Change: Lee Clark believes the current agent system needs to be looked at

GANG WARFARE!

Read Harry Redknapp's verdict on the behaviour of agents HERE

And Clark, who was also on the defensive as he fielded questions about Birmingham's playing staff that the club needed to be off-loaded to meet cash issues, said something needed to be done.

He said: 'I read what David Sullivan had to say about agents and I agreed with him.

'We have had deals in place this week and there have been seven or eight people trying to jump in on them.'

Shocking: West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said he was threatened by an agent during the January transfer window

Shocking: West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said he was threatened by an agent during the January transfer window

He added: 'I don't know how it happens – perhaps a player says to a friend that he's getting a move and whether they'd like to earn a few quid – but it's getting so difficult to do them.

'Half the time you don't have a clue who actually represents these players.

'What I'd like to see is the player's representative actually listed with the Football Association. That way, it's transparent, it can be checked and everyone knows where they stand.

'Getting agents registered was supposed to solve the problem. It's not solved anything as far as I can see. It needs looking at.'

Alex McLeish set to beat Roy Keane to Nottingham Forest job

McLeish emerges as the favourite to take Forest job ahead of old boy Keane

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UPDATED:

12:32 GMT, 27 December 2012

Alex McLeish has emerged as a serious contender for the vacant Nottingham Forest post after bookmakers slashed his odds this morning.

The former Aston Villa boss was a rank outsider with Roy Keane leading the running for the post which was surprisingly left open following Sean O'Driscoll's shock departure.

McLeish has been out of work for eight months after losing his job at Villa Park. However, with Blackburn Rovers also looking for a manger, the Scot is also likely to be interested in a position at Ewood Park.

Wanted: McLeish has been out of a job since he was sacked as manager of Aston Villa on the final day of last season

Wanted: McLeish has been out of a job since he was sacked as manager of Aston Villa on the final day of last season

The ex-Villa and Birmingham City chief retains a base in the Midlands and would have little trouble stepping into the role after Forest's owners, the Al-Hasawis, took the decision to axe O'Driscoll and his odds have tumbled this morning.

Out of the running: Roy Keane attended Forest's 4-2 victory over Leeds yesterday

Out of the running: Roy Keane attended Forest's 4-2 victory over Leeds yesterday

The Kuwaitis have confirmed that they have a meeting with a manager of Premier League experience today and that points towards McLeish being the man most likely at present to succeed O'Driscoll.

However Keane, who was in the crowd to watch Forest defeat Leeds 4-2 yesterday, is aso out-of-work following his sacking by Ipswich Town and remains among the favourites with the bookmakers for the role.

Peter Ndlovu fighting for his life after horror car crash kills his brother Adam Ndlovu

Coventry legend Ndlovu fighting for his life after horror car crash kills his brother

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 16 December 2012

Former Coventry star Peter Ndlovu is in a critical condition in hospital after a horror car crash which claimed the life of his brother.

Ndlovu, who also played for Birmingham, Sheffield United and Huddersfield during a 13-year career in England, is in a coma after his sports car crashed in Zimbabwe.

Adam Ndlovu, also a former footballer who played for Zimbabwe, died in the incident near Victoria Falls.

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Horror: The smashed-up BMW X5 on the side of the road that was reportedly driven by Adam Ndlovu

Pictures from the scene of the crash show the smashed-up front of the BMW X5 by the side of the road. According to reports in Zimbabwe, Adam was driving the car as they returned from watching a local match.

Peter Ndlovu was a favourite among
Coventry fans during the 90s. He scored 39 goals in 176 matches before
leaving for Birmingham. He had a short loan spell at Huddersfield before
joining Sheffield United.

Coventry wrote on Twitter: 'All our thoughts and wishes go out to former Sky Blue Peter Ndlovu and his family. Keep strong Nuddy.'

A
tweet from the Blades read: 'Our thoughts are with former player Peter
Ndlovu, who has been critically injured in a car accident in his native
Zimbabwe.'

Legend: Peter Ndlovu

Legend: Peter Ndlovu

Hero: Peter Ndlovu starred for Coventry (left) in the Premier League before joining Birmingham

Tragedy: Adam Ndlovu - who played for Zimbabwe - died in the car crash

Tragedy: Adam Ndlovu – who played for Zimbabwe – died in the car crash

Birmingham's own statement read: 'The thoughts of everyone associated with Birmingham City Football Club are with Peter Ndlovu and his family following news of a serious car crash in Zimbabwe. Peter was a very popular player during his time at St Andrew's and we hope he pulls through this difficult time.'

Former Birmingham co-owner David Gold tweeted: 'Peter Ndlovu is one of the nicest footballers I ever met. We are all thinking of you Peter, get well soon.'

Former Coventry team-mate Darren Huckerby wrote: 'Terrible news about Peter Ndlovu and his brother, hope he pulls through.'

Mick Quinn added: 'Sad news about my former team-mate Peter Ndlovu involved in a car crash. He is in a coma, sadly brother Adam dead, thoughts and prayers to them.'

Peter has been working as a coach for the Zimbabwe Young Warriors Under 23 team.

VIDEO: A classic Peter Ndlovu goal from 1995 – a contender for MOTD goal of the season…

The Midlander puts on his red suit and hands out Christmas presents to clubs

All I want for Christmas is… The Midlander goes down the chimneys of eight clubs to spread some Christmas cheer

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UPDATED:

21:32 GMT, 13 December 2012

Just because it's the time of year and – quite frankly because I also really enjoy writing this type of piece – I'm handing out a few Christmas presents to our Midlands' teams.

It's meant to be light-hearted. It maybe a bit pointed, but if any offence is caused, I'm going to take the mickey out of myself too somewhere along the line….so what would we give to….

Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert

Gifts: Neil Moxley does his best Father Christmas impression and hands Villa manager Paul Lambert (left) a new creative midfielder and West Brom's Steve Clarke a dose of reality after a great start has become a blip

Carson Yeung (Birmingham City owner) I'm sure what Mr Yeung would value most this Yuletide is his liberty. Difficult to put a price on that, isn't it

What Birmingham City's supporters would value is clarity. It appears that the great sell-off continues to gather pace.

No-one is any the wiser as to how, why and when it will come to an end.

Until that situation is resolved, then Lee Clark is going to continue to have to make-do in the transfer market, I'm afraid, and frustrations will inevitably grow.

Funds: Nigel Clough (pictured) will be hoping that young starlet Will Hughes, who has attracted interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, brings much-needed funds

Funds: Nigel Clough (pictured) will be hoping that young starlet Will Hughes, who has attracted interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, brings much-needed funds

Nigel Clough (Derby County manager) After spending four seasons in charge of the Rams, the current manager's late father was mounting a First Division title tilt.

But then, Clough Snr operated in different times. I remain a fan of Clough Jnr – I think his squad is evolving – and the players he has signed have a desire to be successful.

It is a pity that won't be cut too much slack in the New Year. The word is that some funds will need to be generated.

I've not seen him yet – except on television – but if the rumours are right Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool are tracking Will Hughes, then he must be half-decent.

Therefore, I wish for Mr Clough a clean and healthy balance sheet that gives him an evens-chance of pushing Derby upwards.

Paul Lambert (Aston Villa manager) Having witnessed a car-crash of a performance in the first home fixture against Everton, I feared for Villa.

I fear no longer but I'd be happier still if they had a playmaker who could really make a difference in the final third of the field.

The Scot deserves credit for his policy. A few players have certainly done themselves no harm. I've always liked Ciaran Clark. Chris Herd is a battler and should have been given a chance to establish himself as a right-back under Alex McLeish.

More from Neil Moxley…

The Midlander: Darren's situation has Villa Bent out of shape
07/12/12

The Midlander: Cunning Clarke has West Brom punching above their weight
22/11/12

The Midlander: Football is a results business… but it's never that clear cut for Clark and Clough
15/11/12

The Midlander: Was O'Neill a good Villa boss Let's end this debate once and for all…
08/11/12

The Midlander: Coventry can begin to paint rosy future with morale-boosting Wembley run
19/10/12

The Midlander: Pearson deserves so much more as Leicester target the Premier League
12/10/12

The Midlander: Bent mystery at Villa making life under Lambert very interesting
04/10/12

The Midlander: Baggies crashed out, but at least they took the Capital One Cup seriously
27/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

But the former Blues boss went out and bought Alan Hutton instead. Expensive mistake, that. Nathan Baker has been a revelation and, obviously, Christian Benteke has caught the eye.

I have to say I'm a huge Matthew Lowton fan. This boy goes about his business in a quiet, effective and understated fashion. Where Lambert is lacking is someone with a bit of guile to take games such as the one against Stoke City at the weekend and open up defences or fire one in from the edge of the box.

So, it's a number ten for Paul Lambert. And a Wembley appearance Another League Cup triumph Fingers crossed.

Nigel Pearson (Leicester City boss) The easiest present of the lot to source. No boardroom interference…please.

Leicester's boss can be a crotchety so-and-so on occasion but if the Foxes' hierarchy can leave him alone, I have a feeling he will end up delivering this season.

From what I've seen, Danny Drinkwater has come on leaps and bounds and by securing a defender of Wes Morgan's quality, Pearson was always going to reap rewards in the medium-term.

I've a sneaky feeling the Foxes will be adding – hurray – to our Midlands' contingent in the top-flight next season.

Steve Clarke (West Brom head coach) I'd just like a dash of reality to be sprinkled all over Clarke's Christmas pud.

While everyone outside of the club appears to be getting carried away by a storming start to the season, it was always likely that the Baggies would suffer a slight blip somewhere along the way.

It seems that blip is now. The overall quality of Clarke's squad will see them finish well clear of trouble, but all this nonsense about Europe needs to be nipped in the bud early on.

The time to talk about that is April. The only other point is that Youssouf Mulumbu's form so far this season has been sensational. I do hope his presence is not missed during the African Cup of Nations.

Clarke won't get carried away, he's too experienced for that. But it will be interesting to see how he handles this, given that he's now number one in his own right.

Dispute: Coventry City need an end to the dispute over their stadium, the Ricoh Arena

Dispute: Coventry City need an end to the dispute over their stadium, the Ricoh Arena

Coventry City – the whole club – the board of directors, manager Mark Robins and his players and the long-suffering support – need an end to the situation with the stadium which, quite frankly, must be resolved to the benefit of the club.

I understand why the holding company was formed and the reasons for it. But it is a nonsense that the decision-makers at the Sky Blues do not have access to matchday revenues.

I have no axe to grind with ACL whatsoever. But I fear that before the end of the year this could all end horribly. I don't think ACL will offer the kind of rent reduction the club is seeking.

I'm not sure they can. They have a mortgage to pay themselves. So, it could get worse before it gets better. It's just such a sad situation.

But it's one the football club has to address, or else it will continue to chase its' tail, I'm afraid.

I just wish the fans some good cheer on the pitch. I have a feeling Mark Robins is going to get the Sky Blues going again.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – I could be glib, here. I could say, a tin of paint-remover for boss Stale Solbakken following that incident with his beamer the other week.

But I'm not going to. I wish him all the best as, from my admittedly limited dealings with him, he has been absolutely honest and truthful when fronting up Wolves' recent failings.

I loved his comment about fearing the sack. ('I was dead, why should that bother me') I also believe owner Steve Morgan is one of the game's good guys.

Despite the flak he continues to receive chief executive Jez Moxey most certainly is one of the good guys. Under his stewardship Wolves have always tried to act in a proper manner.

They may come up short on occasion – as they did with Mick McCarthy's sacking. But there were phone calls made to the press afterwards to dissect why the club had such a hard time of it.

They wanted to learn from their mistakes. Believe me, if only a few more were like that. I wish top six for Solbakken – and Morgan and Moxey too for that matter.

A signing or two in the New Year to add fresh impetus would be nice, too.

Fresh faces: Wolves manager Stale Solbakken (pictured) could do with some new signings to help their bid for an instant return to the Premier League

Fresh faces: Wolves manager Stale Solbakken (pictured) could do with some new signings to help their bid for an instant return to the Premier League

Nottingham Forest – see Leicester City. Leave Sean O'Driscoll alone. Let him manage the club. It will come right.

The financial bonanza that accompanies promotion to the Premier League distorts the thinking at some clubs.

And the word is that the Kuwaitis are getting frustrated – as the Thai owners at Leicester did last season.

Forest have improved markedly from last season when I thought they were going down.

But O'Driscoll – and Steve Cotterill – moved them away to safety. Let's just see where we are in February and if the manager wants to strengthen then, it might be an idea to let him.

As for yours truly, I need three things.

The first is a treadmill. After asking Mr Solbakken whether he was fit to do the job at Molineux following his heart scare, (and with the hindsight of what happened to Gerard Houllier, I thought it was a relevant topic) he challenged me to a race around the Molineux pitch. Ten times. Clearly I need to get fit.

Secondly, I'd like a pair of sunglasses. That way I could have hidden when, during an exchange involving Steve Clarke and a colleague who asked what Roy Hodgson had said after the Scot confirmed that the England coach had been in touch, I dropped myself in it.

I piped up: 'He just asked how his team was getting on.' I got a few laughs from the floor and none from Mr Clarke. I apologised and he was gracious. But that stare…

Lastly, I need a good book. My Albion-loving pal Chris Lepkowski has chartered West Brom's rise during the past decade in his tome: 'In pastures green.'

No-one has been closer to the events at the Hawthorns during the past ten years than Chris. And he's a good writer. So I'll settle for an afternoon reading that.

Until next week…

Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll looks on

 Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson

Interference: Both Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll (left) and Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson would benefit from a lack of interference by members of their respective boards

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2 – match report

Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 2: King doubles up to seal comeback and end winless run

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UPDATED:

22:11 GMT, 30 November 2012

Birmingham twice fought back against high-flying Middlesbrough before Marlon King's well-taken finish claimed only a second home win in seven attempts at St Andrew's.

Boro captain Grant Leadbitter headed his first npower Championship goal of the season to put the visitors ahead before King, who had earlier hit the outside of a post, picked himself up to draw level from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, an equaliser City scarcely deserved.

Scott McDonald capitalised on some shambolic defending from Pablo Ibanez to nudge Boro back in front just after the hour mark but, again, the home side drew level courtesy of substitute Wade Elliott's lob, which really should have been kept out by Jason Steele.

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

At the double: Marlon King scored a penalty and a super second

Match facts

Birmingham: Butland, Caddis, Ibanez, Davies, Robinson, Morrison (Elliott 46), Mullins, Spector, Hall (Burke 69), King, Zigic (Lovenkrands 75).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Caldwell, Redmond, Diop.

Booked: Robinson.

Goals: King 45 pen, Elliott 66, King 81.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Hoyte, Hines, Bikey, Halliday, Ledesma (Smallwood 67), McEachran (Zemmama 83), Bailey, Leadbitter, Jutkiewicz (Miller 67), McDonald.

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Thomson, Emnes, Parnaby.

Booked: Halliday.

Goals: Leadbitter 14, McDonald 62.

Att: 15,322

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

But there was nothing fortunate about King's matchwinning second, a sublime low finish across Steele in the 81st minute to claim three much-needed points for Lee Clark's side, ending a four-match winless run.

Lowly Birmingham's joy came on a night in which frustrated home fans had earlier unfurled a banner which read 'Clark out, Carson out', referring to Hong Kong-based owner Carson Yeung and the club's ongoing takeover talk.

Middlesbrough went into the clash knowing victory would take them joint top of the Championship and they will have felt hard done by as they slipped to a third defeat in four games.

Boro certainly went into the clash as the more impressive side this season but history was not on their side having won just one of their previous 15 visits to St Andrew's.

Blues were first to threaten courtesy of towering Serbian striker Nikola Zigic but his header from the free-kick of loanee Rob Hall, making his full debut, went narrowly wide.

The visitors' attractive passing style was certainly easy on the eye and it was they who broke the deadlock after 14 minutes.

The ball was recycled to Andy Halliday out on the left and, with unorthodox Blues right midfielder Jonathan Spector out of position, Leadbitter, back from suspension, nodded home from six yards.

Lukas Jutkiewicz should have made it 2-0 after 21 minutes but his header from Justin Hoyte's cross flew off target.

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Tucked away: King puts away the spot kick

Birmingham came within inches of a leveller soon after when Steele's fingertips nudged King's low effort on to the outside of a post following a flowing counter.

Boro were playing the ball around well, with Leadbitter and Nicky Bailey pulling the strings, but Birmingham were certainly struggling to find any kind of rhythm.

Jack Butland twice saved from Emmanuel Ledesma before, out of nowhere and with half-time approaching, the hosts drew level.

King turned Andre Bikey, who tripped the striker in the penalty area, and King himself stepped up to convert.

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

On his way: Middlesbrough's Scott McDonald breaks through the Birmingham defence and goes on to score, celebrating below

Scott McDonald celebrates

England prodigy Butland twice came to Birmingham's rescue at the start of the second half, saving close range from Josh McEachran's cross and then clawing away McDonald's attempted lob.

But McDonald was to beat Butland just after the hour mark, capitalising on defensive hesitancy from Ibanez before firing home in a goalmouth scramble.

Boro keeper Steele saved well from Spector but was soon at fault for Birmingham's equaliser as he failed to keep out Elliott's 25-yard lob.

And it was left for King to have the final say, finishing superbly after Boro had given the ball away to sub Peter Lovenkrands in the middle of the park.

ECB release 2013 domestic cricket fixtures

Warwickshire to start defence of County Championship against Derbyshire as 2013 domestic fixtures are announced

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 26 November 2012

Warwickshire are set to begin their LV= County Championship defence at Edgbaston against newly promoted Derbyshire after the domestic season’s fixtures were announced this afternoon.

The first round of the County Championship matches starts on Wednesday April 10 after champions Warwickshire return from Abu Dhabi having taken part in the traditional season opener against MCC.

The Clydesdale Bank 40, meanwhile, begins on Friday May 3 with holders Hampshire taking on Essex at Chelmsford in the floodlit game.

Ready Warwickshire start their title defence against Derbyshire on April 10

Ready Warwickshire start their title defence against Derbyshire on April 10

The final of the competition, which sees the 18 first-class counties joined by Scotland, the Netherlands and the Unicorns, will be held on Saturday September 21 at Lord’s.

The Friends Life t20 begins on Wednesday June 26 and, as usual, will include the first-class counties divided into three geographical groups before being pitted against one another.

The Friends Life t20 Finals Day will be held at Edgbaston on Saturday August 17.

Seven international teams are scheduled to play series in the UK next summer with New Zealand, Australia, Australia A, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh U19s, Pakistan U19s, and Australia Women all touring.

A full list of fixtures are published on the ECB's website here.

LV=CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES ON THE OPENING DAY

All the below matches begin on Wednesday April 10

Warwickshire v Derbyshire Edgbaston, Birmingham

Durham v Somerset Emirates Durham ICG, Chester-le-Street

Yorkshire v Sussex Headingley Carnegie, Leeds

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Jack Butland could be sold by Birmingham

Birmingham prepared to sell Butland if Paladini's takeover falls through

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UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 14 November 2012

Jack Butland will be sold by Birmingham City in the New Year, unless Gianni Paladini's takeover of the club is successful.

The England international has yet to play half a-season for Lee Clark but with the cash reserves dwindling, the keeper will be sacrificed to ensure the St Andrew's club can continue to operate.

Butland has agreed a five-year deal last year and Birmingham rejected a 6m offer by Southampton for the teenager during the summer.

Heading out Jack Butland could be sold by Birmingham

Heading out Jack Butland could be sold by Birmingham

Liverpool are also interested but Birmingham will be in a position to rebuff any interest should the second bid by Paladini's consortium be accepted by acting chairman Peter Pannu.

The offer, which is for an initial 20m backed by a further 10m, is being consideration in Hong Kong by owner Carson Yeung and Paladini's accountants are currently undertaking due dilligence.

Bid: Gianni Paladini

Bid: Gianni Paladini

The former QPR chief executive said: 'We want to get a deal done very soon because we don't want to lose any players in January.

'I am hopeful that we can get something agreed within the next ten days.

'I still believe BIrmingham can reach the play-offs and our intention is to sign four or five players in the transfer window to strengthen.

'We have spent a lot of money trying to get this completed and currently we are looking through the books.

'Our intentions have never wavered. We want it done. And we are keen to get it sorted by the end of next week.'

He said: ‘That means delivering a stadium that preferably is multi- purpose, at the heart of the community, and able to host concerts and big set-piece events alongside world-class sport.’