08:05, Wed 23 Nov
The latest Birmingham City news and views from BirminghamLive as we catch up with The Saviour

[www.birminghammail.co.uk]
08:21, Wed 23 Nov
Great interview with Paul Caddis

Loved him as a player even before that Bolton moment

Definitely a club legend
08:52, Wed 23 Nov
Decent article that.
09:10, Wed 23 Nov
Yeah - it's one of those very rare occasions where I would recommend clicking on a Mail link. Good read.
11:23, Wed 23 Nov
Worcester Blue
Great interview with Paul Caddis

Loved him as a player even before that Bolton moment

Definitely a club legend

Scored a legendary goal but would not otherwise be considered a Blues legend.
11:52, Wed 23 Nov
Worcester Blue
Great interview with Paul Caddis

Loved him as a player even before that Bolton moment

Definitely a club legend

Scored a legendary goal but would not otherwise be considered a Blues legend.

Gets the club, gets the fans, worked his socks off and scored the goal that saved the livelihoods of those working at the club.

Yeah I don't see it either.
11:54, Wed 23 Nov
One of our most surprising midfield players too
11:55, Wed 23 Nov
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of events at Birmingham City will remember Paul Caddis as the man who saved the club from a whole heap of heartache. Perhaps not quite so commonly known is there was also a time in his Blues career when he was a self-confessed ‘pain in the backside’.

For the uninitiated, on the final day of the 2013/2014 season Caddis, all 5ft 7ins of him, scored an injury time header against Bolton Wanderers that gave Blues a 2-2 draw and kept the club in the Championship. That moment, allied with the shirt-whirling, pastey-chested, pitch-length celebration has become the emblem of The Saviour’s time at St Andrew’s.

However, that legendary match at the Reebok Stadium was only one of the 160 he played for the club, a four-season period of his career he now considers to be the pinnacle of his time in professional football.

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It started in August 2012 with a deadline day loan that saw Adam Rooney sent to Swindon as the little Scot moved up from the County Ground. It ended four years later after a shoulder injury, a disagreement over his conditioning and the cancellation of his contract in the first few weeks of Gianfranco Zola’s tenure.

In between Caddis wrote his name not only into Birmingham City Football Club’s history books but on to nearly every one of Lee Clark and Gary Rowett’s team-sheets and into the hearts of every grateful Bluenose out there. More of that later.

First, his football journey started in North Ayrshire and took him to Celtic Park where he lived out a boyhood dream. And not just any old dream, the one where you go to sleep thinking one day you’ll play in the Champions League against mighty Barcelona and wake up marking global superstar Ronaldinho in your first home match.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” the 34-year-old told BirminghamLive. “I don’t get nervous at football games, I never have, I always see the bigger picture, there’s worse things in life and hand on heart I genuinely wasn’t nervous that night.

“I knew no matter what I was a 19-year-old rookie, if I did well brilliant and if I didn’t, I was exactly that, a 19-year-old rookie. The closest I got to these guys was playing them on the PlayStation or seeing them on TV so it was surreal just standing in that tunnel.

“First of all I was a Celtic fan so it was a boyhood dream for me to play for Celtic, to do it in the Champions League, that alone regardless of who the opposition was amazing for me and my family.

“I was marking Ronaldinho, at that time he was the man, everyone knew about Messi, he was coming but at that time it was Ronaldinho. He had the strongest backside I ever played against. “There was one moment early on in the game where I have made a sliding tackle and it’s gone off him out for our throw and I remember him looking at me and giving me the nod of approval, like ‘Well done’. That for me was unbelievable, he was meant to be my enemy on the pitch.”

Messi scored a late winner to give the Catalans a 3-2 victory and that game would go on to become one of just 24 he would play for the Bhoys. After that he spent the second half of the 2008/2009 campaign on loan with Dundee United.

Playing week in week out for Craig Levein he learned that regular football would be the thing he craved above everything, more so than the kudos of belonging to one of the biggest clubs in Britain.

“I would have loved to have stayed at my boyhood club and played every week but at the same time I wanted to get to a stage where I wanted to be a first team footballer.

“There were lads who stayed at Celtic until they were 22-23 years old and they had no first team experience at all, they were just there for the facilities and for the ‘I play for Celtic’ tag. I wasn’t about that.”

And so, in August 2010 as an ambitious 22-year-old he set off ‘down the road’ to sign for Danny Wilson’s Swindon. Eight months later the Robins had been relegated and Caddis was a League Two player, having literally swapped Deco and Ronaldinho for Dagenham & Redbridge.

Wilson had resigned and West Ham and Lazio great Paolo Di Canio arrived, quickly naming Caddis captain. It would be a shrewd move. Together the pair guided Swindon to the League Two title at the first attempt and Caddis was named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year. He was also awarded a new contract.

Bizarrely, just three months later he was sent to Blues, first on loan and then permanently as his relationship with the volatile Italian ran aground.

“He was a livewire,” Caddis recalled. “Everything you could possibly think of, he was energetic, he was one hundred miles-per-hour, he was intense. I didn’t have a great relationship with him at the end, that’s how I ended up at Birmingham but he was a very good manager, he knew football inside out, from goalkeeper to striker, he knew everything.

“It took him a little bit of time to adapt to League Two but to work under on the football pitch he was brilliant, off the football pitch he was a nightmare, an absolute nightmare, he wanted to live your life for you. It was difficult, he would be up at boys who were 34-35-years-old telling them not to take milk in their coffee – just things like that.

“You think ‘The guy is 34-years-old with three kids and a house, you can’t tell him not to take milk in his coffee’. We knew when he left Swindon that he would struggled at Sunderland. We had to do it, we had no option at League Two but to follow his rules.

“Whereas we knew when he went to the Premier League with guys in £60, 70, 80-90,000 a week, they are not going to miss a week’s wages or an appearance fee on a Saturday because they fell out with the manager.”

It was Clark who offered Caddis a way out, one he appreciates to this day. “I absolutely loved it, honestly it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I remember the first day going up and being up in the box waiting for everything to be confirmed, looking out on to the stadium and the pitch.

“I had a great times at Swindon but in my opinion Birmingham was my highest level I played at. I absolutely loved playing in front of those supporters. I had a connection straight away, I knew when I came straight in from League Two I needed to hit the ground running and win the supporters over. “And I think you saw from the off I was one hundred per cent all in, they got that from me and I got that from them as well.”

Caddis played 27 league games in his first season, 38 in his second, which culminated in the day for which he is best known. “One thing that sticks with me is we had the player awards night the following night and I knew Garry Pendrey, he was the assistant manager at Celtic, and he came up to me and said ‘Cadds, one bit of advice, your life as a Birmingham player will now change’. That stuck with me.

“I was aware it was a huge, important goal but not until people were coming up, people who worked at the stadium saying ‘You have saved my mortgage, my house, my marriage’. This was literally do or die. We didn’t know that at first, seeing the joy in people’s faces and the relief.

“Someone asked me recently what it was like in the dressing room and it was probably only for 30 seconds but it felt like five minutes, you could not hear a pin drop. It was silent after the game. The relief, the sigh of ‘Thank God we have stayed up, we have rewarded the fans’.

Clark’s tenure ended 14 games into the 2014/2015 campaign, Rowett succeeding the Geordie and overseeing a remarkable turnaround in fortunes. He took a team that had lost 8-0 the previous week and then went to Wolves and battled out a 0-0 draw.

Caddis would go on to play all but one match in that campaign as Blues moved up from 21st to tenth. As the team’s penalty taker he ended the season with seven goals and a highly productive partnership with right winger David Cotterill.

It would be a similar story in 2015/16 as Caddis monopolised the right back berth. However, things changed for both club and player soon after. In August 2016 Rowett cited Caddis’ conditioning as the reason for leaving him out. A month later Caddis told BirminghamLive he wouldn’t feel comfortable ‘losing a stone’. A month after that he dislocated his shoulder trying to prove himself to Rowett in a game for the Under 23s.

By Decemeber Rowett had been sacked, Zola was installed and the Blues love affair came to a juddering halt.

“Gary Rowett and I still speak but there were a couple of moments,” Caddis admitted. “Greg Stewart when he first signed for Birmingham, he sat down in Gary Rowett’s office and Gary Rowett said ‘I wouldn’t sit in that seat’ and Greg was looking at him like ‘What do you mean?’. And Gary said ‘That’s Cadds’ seat, he is never out of here’.

“I had an unbelievable relationship with Gary Rowett, he was very honest with me, I was very honest with him. I’ll be honest, I hated the gym, I hated doing running sessions but my point to him was ‘I guarantee you I will never miss training or ever miss a session’. And I never did.

“After four-five months he pulled me into the office and he said ‘You know what, you are making me learn as a manager. I am going to stand up and I am going to say until you miss a training session or until I see your conditioning slip then I will turn a blind eye to you because what you are doing is working’.

“I played under him all the time, he gave me a new deal. So it wasn’t all sour, there were probably times when I was a pain in the backside. I will admit that. But I was one of those ones, I hated not playing – hated it.

“There was a point where I said to him – and it was wrong, I regret it, ‘I would rather be in the stand than on the bench. I hate being on the bench, I would rather play or not be involved’. He was the manger and rightly enough he went ‘Do you know what? Don’t be involved’. He was right, he was spot on.

“But when I started at Fleetwood he was the first one to text, he invited me into Millwall to go and watch some of the sessions to get what it’s like behind the scenes as a manager. So as much as I was a pain in the backside I probably helped him!”

Which is where he now finds himself, boots firmly hung up but with cones and clipboard in hand. The ‘pain in the backside’ now has managerial aspirations of his own.

“No question I want to be a manager but it’s a new career, you are learning a new trade as a coach, completely different. I am happy with doing what I am doing at the moment.

“I am working with the Under 16s, which I quite enjoy, that’s quite a sensitive age in terms of the next level is professional football so you are preparing people for professional football.

“I was honest when I went into Fleetwood that I could do 11-12-13-year-olds. I want to work at a stage where it actually means something, you can get after them if you need to, you can prepare them for what first team football is like.

“We have got a boy who just came on at the weekend and he was in my Under 16s last year, it just shows you how close it is. I have got a good relationship and played with the manager [Scott Brown] at Celtic so that’s helped a lot in terms of I can go and watch the first team and go and learn of him. I am all or nothing with everything I have ever done.”

Hopefully Birmingham City’s days of needing a saviour are over, but in case they’re not, if Caddis were to one day return in the dugout, it would be another enchanting chapter in the tale of a man who has flirted with both heartache and pain.
12:00, Wed 23 Nov
StechyBlue
Worcester Blue
Great interview with Paul Caddis

Loved him as a player even before that Bolton moment

Definitely a club legend

Scored a legendary goal but would not otherwise be considered a Blues legend.

Gets the club, gets the fans, worked his socks off and scored the goal that saved the livelihoods of those working at the club.

Yeah I don't see it either.

And IMO one of the worst right backs I have seen at the Blues.

Doesn't make that goal at Bolton any less legendary but equally that doesn't elevate the scorer to the same standing.
14:31, Wed 23 Nov
Dirty Bertie
Worcester Blue
Great interview with Paul Caddis

Loved him as a player even before that Bolton moment

Definitely a club legend

Scored a legendary goal but would not otherwise be considered a Blues legend.

And yet we have St Obafemi’s Day?
14:46, Wed 23 Nov
baldrick
Dirty Bertie
Worcester Blue
Great interview with Paul Caddis

Loved him as a player even before that Bolton moment

Definitely a club legend

Scored a legendary goal but would not otherwise be considered a Blues legend.

And yet we have St Obafemi’s Day?

Not me.

Once again a legendary goal but that doesn't make the scorer a legend in my book.

Perhaps I have different standards over the definition of a club legend.
15:10, Wed 23 Nov
The person who delivered the single greatest moment in the entire 147 year history of the club?
15:28, Wed 23 Nov
bluearmyfaction
The person who delivered the single greatest moment in the entire 147 year history of the club?

6 games, 2 goals.

A legend?

Not in my book.
15:34, Wed 23 Nov
Dirty Bertie
And IMO one of the worst right backs I have seen at the Blues.

😐 Blimey. Caddis was nowhere near one of the best we’ve had but he was even further away from being one of the worst.
15:40, Wed 23 Nov
Would he get anywhere near a best 11 we've had? No chance. You can say "legend" in a jokey sense, but he's not a club legend.