Sixty years ago, in March 1959 the Scots flew to the West Midlands and ran their mighty opponents close, losing just 4-3 to a last minute penalty.
The match had been arranged three months earlier when Birmingham City invited the juniors to head south, even offering to arrange flights. At the time, there was no question Irvine Meadow XI (to give them their full title) was the top junior side in Scotland, as they were virtually unbeatable and went on to lift the Scottish Junior Cup that season. Even so, pitting them against full-time professionals seemed a big ask, although Birmingham promised to put out a young side with limited first team experience.
It was originally scheduled for Wednesday 21 January but had to be postponed (with several days' notice) due to the severe winter weather, and rearranged for Monday 16 March.
After the match, Irvine Meadow presented Birmingham City with an inscribed musical cigarette box, and the team had a lively night in their hotel before flying home the following day. The match programme, pictured above, is a pertinent souvenir of this rare occasion.
Monday, 16 March 1959
Birmingham City 4 (Abbott, Jones, Harper, McLaughlin pen), Irvine Meadow XI 3 (Walker, Wark, Partridge og).
Birmingham City: Draper; Kennea, Partridge; Abbott, Small, Hume; Harper, Hinton, Jackson, Jones, McLaughlin.
Irvine Meadow: Prentice; Crawford, Isaacs; Carr, Sinclair (sub Currie HT), Dickie; Carroll, Strain, Wark, Morrison, Walker.