December 4th, 1976. Match of the Day. Birmingham City take on Leicester City. The Blues came into Filbert Street to take on a struggling Leicester City team on a rock hard, frost covered, frozen pitch. However, the Blues proved that night to the whole of England that no matter the condition of the pitch, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Maybe it was the motivation by a local business man who proclaimed that he would give a Triumph TR7 auto to the person who scored the 6th goal, or maybe it was the defender turned striker (and back to defender again after he left Birmingham City) Scottish pitch whiz Kenny Burns, who netted a hat trick that night. The Blues scored early with a Garry Emmanuel “fine left foot” that opened the score line before striker Trevor Francis was able to put one in on a free kick. It was Francis the play maker again in the 33rd when he was able to beat the Foxes defense and simultaneously get it to Burns who put in for his first. In the 37th minute, Kenny Burns would grab his brace. The half was finished, but he wasn’t.
It wasn’t until the second half that an own goal by the Foxes (a missed timed header by LC’s Dennis Rofe) got the Blues back on the board again. John Connolly would then find, guess who? Kenny Burns, who knocked in his third, the Blues sixth, to grab the last goal in the 64th minute and also grab the sports car. The Foxes, would go on to net a few of their own, but came up way short on this cold December evening. So cold that I may add, that the winger Keith Weller would be the first player ever, to be seen wearing tights under his uniform on MOTD. The players were touch as nails back then, no long sleeve Under Armour underneath their kits, no gloves, but I’m sure that Weller just said ‘sod it’, I need to stay warm. Kenny Burns would go on to play for Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, and would go on to win the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for 1977-78 (and a First Division title with Forest to boot). He Bounced around clubs such as Leeds, Derby County, Notts County and Barnsley, before playing for a handful of smaller clubs. He also represented his country of Scotland on the National team.
On this cold day in the East Midlands, before all of England, the Blues tore apart Leicester City, and another Scottish Kenny was King on Match of the Day. Interesting that he was so comfortable going from defender to striker so easily, and his hat trick was a sure sign of how good of a player he would mature into. They don’t make them like Kenny Burns any more.
Birmingham City 6, Leicester City 2