Twenty-seven players made at least one appearance in nationally organised first-team competition, and there were thirteen different goalscorers. Defender Joe Gallagher played in every game but one over the season, and Alan Buckley was the club's top scorer with 8 goals, all scored in the league. Jim Smith, in his first full season as Birmingham's manager, brought Argentina's World Cup-winning full-back Alberto Tarantini to the club.
Trevor Francis, who joined Birmingham as a 15-year-old, became the first British footballer to be transferred for a fee of at least £1 million when Brian Clough signed him for league champions Nottingham Forest in February 1979. The basic fee was below £1m – Clough claimed in his autobiography to have set the fee at £999,999 because he did not want the idea of being the first £1m player going to Francis's head – but VAT and the transfer levy raised the total payable to £1.18m. Within three months he scored the winning goal in the 1979 European Cup Final.