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EZE Group XI: Cunningham & Johnson

Posted: Fri 04 Apr 2014
Author: bcfc.com

Blues have teamed up with the club’s diamond partners EZE Group to give fans the chance to pick their all-time Blues XI and win some fabulous weekly prizes.

This week we asked the club's Twitter followers to let us know which two players deserved the accolade of being the first-choice centre-halves in the #EZEGroupXI. The pair will join goalkeeper Joe Hart, Stephen Carr and Martin Grainger who have already been nominated for the #EZEGroupXI.

The overwhelming winner was Kenny Cunningham, with Michael Johnson in second place. Other former players that polled well were Matt Upson, Joe Gallagher, Kenny Burns, Steve Bruce, Curtis Davies and Darren Purse.

The lucky winner of this week's #EZEGroupXI competition is Matthew Perry - @matthewperry9 - who won a signed photo from a current Blues player of his choice, which will be presented at either the training ground or the stadium by that player.

Now Blues and EZE Group are on the search for your two all-time favourite wingers with the prize being a pair of signed football boots from a Blues player, which will be presented in person at either Wast Hills or St. Andrew's. To enter, simply Tweet your top two wingers + #EZEGroupXI by 5pm on Wednesday 9 April. The chosen wingers will be included in next week's Flashback Friday piece.

*Please note tweets not including #EZEGroupXI will not count towards the chosen player nor be entered into the prize draw.

Flashback Friday centre-halves

Name: Kenny Cunningham
Date of birth: 28 June 1971
Place of birth: Dublin, Ireland
Clubs: Tolka Rovers, Millwall, Wimbledon, Birmingham City, Sunderland.
With Blues from 2002 - 2006 (144 appearances, 0 goals).


Republic of Ireland international Kenny Cunningham joined Blues on a free transfer in the summer of 2002, ahead of the club's first season in the Premiership. An organised and cultured centre-half and excellent reader of the game, he captained the club for the majority of his time in B9. Despite being only six feet tall, his positional sense was such that even much bigger opponents struggled against him in the air. Nicknamed 'King Kenny' by the fans, he formed a brilliant defensive partnership alongside Matt Upson, following Upson's arrival at St. Andrew's in January 2003. The club avoided relegation in the 2002-03 season, thanks mainly to their strong defence. They were second only behind Chelsea with 15 clean sheets. Cunningham's performances saw him win the Players' Player of the Year award that season. In total he made 144 appearances for Blues before leaving in 2006 to join Sunderland.

Name: Michael Johnson
Date of birth: 4 July 1973 
Place of birth: Nottingham
Clubs: Notts County, Birmingham City, Derby County 138, Sheffield Wednesday (loan), Notts County.
With Blues from: 1995-2003 (316 appearances, 12 goals)
.

Michael ' Magic' Johnson joined Blues from Notts County ahead of the 1995/96 First Division campaign for a fee of £230,000. Despite having to compete for a starting place against the likes of Gary Ablett, Gary Breen and Steve Bruce, Jonno played 33 league games in his first season with Blues. Vociferous, wholehearted and commanding on the pitch, he had a great leap and good aerial presence. He was a member of the Blues sides that lost out in the play-offs to Barnsley, Watford and Preston before eventually winning promotion at the end of the 2001/02 campaign via a play-off victory against Norwich City. The 2002/03 season saw Blues finish in mid-table in their first season back in the top division, although Johnson only managed to play six league games. After eight seasons and more than 300 appearances for Blues, he joined Derby on a free transfer in August 2003.

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