Alan Shearer, CBE, DL is a retired English footballer. He played as a striker in the top level of English league football for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and he is Newcastles and the Premier Leagues record goalscorer. He was named Football Writers Association Player of the Year in 1994, in 1996, he was third in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards. In 2004 Shearer was named by Pelé in the FIFA100 list of the worlds greatest living players, until his retirement from international football in 2000, he appeared 63 times for his country and scored 30 goals. Shearer had a ratio of 0.667 throughout his career. Since retiring as a player in 2006, Shearer has worked as a pundit for the BBC. In 2009, he left his BBC role to become Newcastle Uniteds manager in the last eight games of their 2008–09 season. Shearer was born in Gosforth, Newcastle in 1970 to working-class parents Alan and his father, a sheet-metal worker, encouraged a keen Shearer to play football in his youth, and the young player continued with the sport as he progressed through school. He was educated at Gosforth Central Middle School and Gosforth High School, growing up playing on the streets of his hometown, he originally played in midfield because it meant could get more involved in the games. Shearer captained his team and helped a Newcastle City Schools team win a seven-a-side tournament at St James Park. Shearer had successful trials for First Division clubs West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City and Newcastle United, Shearer was promoted to the first team after spending two years with the youth squad. Shearer ended the 1987–88 season with three goals in five games, and was rewarded with his first professional contract, despite this auspicious start to his career, Shearer was only eased into the first team gradually and made just ten goalless appearances for the club the following season. Throughout his career Shearer was recognised for his strength, which, during his time at Southampton, enabled him to retain the ball and provide opportunities for teammates. Playing as a lone striker between wide men, Rod Wallace and Matt Le Tissier, Shearer scored three goals in 26 appearances in the 1989–90 season, and in the next, four goals in 36 games. His performances in the centre of the Saints attack were soon recognised by the fans, in the middle of 1991, Shearer was a member of the England national under-21 football squad in the Toulon Tournament in Toulon, France. Shearer was the star of the tournament where he scored seven goals in four games and it was during the 1991–92 season that Shearer rose to national prominence. 13 goals in 41 appearances for the Saints led to an England call-up, he scored on his debut, speculation of a transfer to Liverpool, who finished the season as FA Cup winners, also came to nothing. Although Branfoot accepted that a sale was inevitable, he claimed that whatever happens, in July 1992, Shearer was sold to Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £3.6 million, with David Speedie reluctantly moving to The Dell as part of the deal
Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team. He has played much of his career as a forward, and he is the record goalscorer for the England national team and for Manchester United. Aged nine, Rooney joined the team of Everton, for whom he made his professional debut in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window, in September 2013, Rooney scored his 200th goal for Manchester United. He is currently on 250 goals in all competitions which makes him the top goalscorer of all time. His 195 Premier League goals make him the second top scorer of all time. Rooney holds the record for most goals for one club in the Premier League, Rooney made his senior international debut in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to represent England and he is Englands youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship, Rooney has since featured at the 2006,2010 and 2014 World Cups and is widely regarded as his countrys best player. He has won the England Player of the Year award four times, with 53 goals in 118 international caps, Rooney is Englands all-time record goalscorer and second most-capped player, behind Peter Shilton. Along with David Beckham, Rooney is the most red carded player for England, in 2009–10, Rooney was awarded the PFA Players Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. He has won the Premier League Player of the Month award five times and he came fifth in the vote for the 2011 FIFA Ballon dOr and was named in the FIFPro World 11 for 2011. Rooney was born in Croxteth, Liverpool, to Jeanette Marie and he is of Irish descent and was brought up as a Roman Catholic with younger brothers Graham and John, all three attended Our Lady and St Swithins primary school and De La Salle School. Rooney began playing for Liverpool Schoolboys and scored 72 goals in one season, at age nine, Rooney played for Copplehouse boys club in the local Walton and Kirkdale junior league and scored 99 goals in his final season before being spotted by Everton scout Bob Pendleton. Rooney joined Everton at age nine, and was the Everton mascot for the Merseyside derby against Liverpool as an 11-year-old. In the 1995–96 season, he scored 114 goals in 29 games for Evertons under-10s and 11s and he scored eight goals in eight games during Evertons run to the FA Youth Cup final in 2002. This included one goal in the defeat against Aston Villa and, upon scoring, he revealed a T-shirt that read, Once a Blue. Rooney was included in Evertons first team squad for their camp in Austria in the summer of 2002. Rooney was a substitute in Evertons 1–0 away win over Southampton on 20 April 2002
Frank James Lampard OBE is an English former professional footballer and childrens writer. Lampard began his career at West Ham United, for whom his father Frank Lampard and he secured a place in the first team by the 1997–98 season, and the following year helped the team finish fifth in the Premier League, their highest-ever Premier League placing. In 2001, he moved to rival London club Chelsea for £11 million, in 2014, he was released by Chelsea after 13 years of service. Lampard then joined New York City FC on a deal, in preparation for the clubs Major League Soccer debut in 2015, as a free transfer. On 31 December 2014, however, BBC Sports David Ornstein revealed Lampard is under contract to Manchester City, from his debut, Lampard was ever-present in the Chelsea first team and made 164 consecutive Premier League appearances, a record for an outfield player. He signed a new contract in 2008, becoming the highest-paid Premier League footballer at that time and he won a second FA Cup winners medal in 2009, scoring the winning goal in the final. In the 2009–10 season, Lampard helped Chelsea secure their first league and FA Cup Double, in 2012, Lampard captained Chelsea to their first UEFA Champions League success and a year later to their first UEFA Europa League title. He was released by the club after the 2013–14 season, a three-time Chelsea Player of the Year, Lampard is the clubs all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals in all competitions. Lampard is one of seven players, and the only midfielder and he is second in the Premier Leagues all-time assists table, behind Ryan Giggs. In 2005, Lampard was voted FWA Footballer of the Year and was runner-up in both the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon dOr, in 2010, he received the FWA Tribute Award. He has won 13 trophies in his career, internationally, Lampard was capped 106 times by England since his debut in October 1999, and scored 29 international goals. He was voted England Player of the Year for two years in 2004 and 2005. He played in Euro 2004, where he was named in the team of the tournament after scoring three goals in four games and he was top scorer for England in their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with five goals, and played at three World Cups. He is Englands most prolific penalty taker with nine goals, surpassing the record holders, Ron Flowers. Since December 2015, he has married to television presenter Christine Bleakley. Lampard currently serves as a captain on the ITV sport panel show Play to the Whistle. Lampard began his career at West Ham United, his fathers club, joining the youth team in 1994, his schoolboy hero being West Ham striker. Lampard joined West Ham when his father was the assistant coach, entering as an apprentice in the team in 1994
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Thierry Daniel Henry is a retired French professional footballer who played as a forward, and the current second assistant manager of the Belgium national team. He played for Monaco, Juventus, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls, at international level he represented France and is his countrys record goalscorer. Henry made his debut with Monaco in 1994. Good form led to an international call-up in 1998, after which he signed for the Serie A defending champions Juventus, a year later he signed for Premier League club Arsenal for £11 million. It was at Arsenal that Henry made his name as a world-class player, under long-time mentor and coach Arsène Wenger, Henry became a prolific striker and Arsenals all-time leading scorer with 228 goals in all competitions. He won two titles and three FA Cups at the club. In 2003 and 2004 Henry was runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year and he was named the PFA Players Player of the Year twice, and the FWA Footballer of the Year three times. Henry spent his two seasons with Arsenal as club captain, leading them to the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final. In June 2007, after eight years with Arsenal, he transferred to Barcelona for a fee of €24 million, in 2009, he was an integral part of the clubs historic treble when they won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. He went on to achieve an unprecedented sextuple by also winning the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup, in total, Henry has been named in the UEFA Team of the Year five times. In 2010, he joined the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer and he returned to Arsenal on loan for two months in 2012. In 2013, Henry with the New York Red Bulls won the MLS Supporters Shield, Henry enjoyed success with the French national team, winning the 1998 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2000 and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. In October 2007, he surpassed Michel Platinis record to become Frances top goalscorer, after amassing 123 appearances and 51 goals, Henry retired from international football after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Henry was also one of the top commercially marketed footballers, he was ranked ninth in the world in 2006, in August 2016 he was appointed as the second assistant manager of Belgiums national team, alongside head coach Roberto Martínez and fellow assistant Graeme Jones. Henry is of Antillean heritage, his father, Antoine, is from Guadeloupe and he was born and raised in Les Ulis suburb of Paris which, despite sometimes being seen as a tough neighbourhood, provided good footballing facilities. As a seven-year-old, Henry showed great potential, prompting Claude Chezelle to recruit him to the local club CO Les Ulis and his father pressured him to attend training, although the youngster was not particularly drawn to football. He joined US Palaiseau in 1989, but after a year his father out with the club, so Henry moved to ES Viry-Châtillon. US Palaiseau coach Jean-Marie Panza, Henrys future mentor, followed him there, in 1990, Monaco sent scout Arnold Catalano to watch Henry, then at the age of 13 in a match
Ryan Joseph Giggs, OBE is a Welsh football coach and former player who is the co-owner of Salford City. He played his professional career for Manchester United. The son of rugby league player Danny Wilson, Giggs was born in Cardiff, predominantly a left winger, he began his career with Manchester City, but joined Manchester United on his 14th birthday in 1987. He made his debut for the club in 1991 and spent the next 23 years in the Manchester United first team. At the end of the 2013–14 season, he was named as Manchester Uniteds interim player-manager following the sacking of David Moyes and he was named as assistant manager under Moyes permanent replacement, Louis van Gaal, on 19 May 2014, he retired from playing the same day. He holds the record for competitive appearances. At international level, Giggs played for the Wales national team 64 times between 1991 and 2007, and was named as the captain of the Great Britain team that competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is one of only 18 players to have made over 1,000 career appearances, Giggs is the most decorated player in football history. Giggs captained the team on occasions, particularly in the 2007–08 season when regular captain Gary Neville was ruled out with various injuries. Giggs also has a number of personal achievements and he was the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards, though he did not win the PFA Player of the Year award until 2009. He was the player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League. He was elected into the PFA Team of the Century in 2007, Giggs holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history, with 271. He was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009, in addition to the many honours Giggs has received within football, he was appointed an OBE in the Queens 2007 Birthday Honours List for his services to football. Giggs was born at St Davids Hospital in Canton, Cardiff, to Danny Wilson, a union player for Cardiff RFC. Giggs is mixed race – his paternal grandfather is from Sierra Leone – and has spoken of the racism he faced as a child, as a child, Giggs grew up in Ely, a suburb of western Cardiff. His younger brother, Rhodri, is a manager of non-league Salford City. He spent much time with his mothers parents and playing football, in 1980, when Giggs was six years old, his father switched rugby codes and signed for Swinton RLFC, forcing the whole family to move north to Swinton, a town in Salford, Greater Manchester. The move was a one, as Giggs was very close to his grandparents in Cardiff
Didier Yves Drogba Tébily is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a striker. He is the top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team. He is best known for his career at Chelsea, for whom he has scored more goals than any foreign player and is currently the clubs fourth highest goal scorer of all time. He has been named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the accolade in 2006 and 2009, after playing in youth teams, Drogba made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans, and signed his first professional contract aged 21. In the summer of 2004, Drogba moved to Premier League club Chelsea for a club record £24 million fee, in his debut season he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. He also played in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, in which he scored an 88th-minute equaliser, with a career record of scoring 10 goals in 10 finals winning 10 trophies at club level, Drogba has been referred to as the ultimate big game player. He led the Ivory Coast to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament and he later captained the Ivory Coast at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. He was part of the Ivory Coast teams that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2012, on 8 August 2014, he announced his retirement from international football. Drogba was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and at the age of five was sent to France by his parents to live with his uncle, Michel Goba, however, Drogba soon became homesick and returned to Abidjan after three years. His mother nicknamed him Tito, after president Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia and he played football every day in a car park in the city but his return to the Ivory Coast was short lived. Both of his parents lost their jobs and he returned to live with his uncle. It was here that he began playing football more frequently. Drogba then joined the semi-professional club Levallois, gaining a reputation as a scorer in the youth team. His performances earned him a place in the squad but despite scoring in his debut, the 18-year-old Ivorian failed to make an impression on Jacques Loncar. When Drogba finished school he moved to the city Le Mans to study accountancy at university and he had to change clubs, however, his first two years there were marred by injuries and he was physically struggling to cope with the training and match schedule. Former Le Mans coach Marc Westerloppe later remarked that it took Didier four years to be capable of training every day, furthermore, Drogbas complicated family life meant that he had never attended a football academy and only began daily football training as a fully grown adult. By age 21, Drogba realised that he had to himself as a player soon or else he would have little chance of becoming a professional footballer. He made his first team debut for Le Mans soon thereafter, the same year, he and his Malian wife Alla had their first child, Isaac
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football. In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, in 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated and it was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times, once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier Leagues sixth-placed team, the 2011–12 season marked the clubs 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. The clubs motto is Arte et Labore, By Skill and Hard Work in Latin, the club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a club to play under Association rules. The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, on 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F. A, Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F. A, Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queens Park, the same teams played the F. A. Cup final again the season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious. Rovers repeated this success yet again the season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Following the clubs most recent relegation from the top-flight during the 2015–16 season, Newcastle returned to the Football Leagues 2nd tier, the Championship, for the 2016–17 campaign. Newcastle United was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, the ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,354. They have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club. The clubs most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles. The club were successful in the Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s, but have been mostly struggling since the 2006–07 season. Newcastle has a local rivalry with Sunderland, and the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The clubs traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms, which features two grey seahorses. The club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long term chairman, the club is the seventeenth highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169. 3m in 2015. Historically, Newcastles highest placing was in 1999 when they were the fifth highest revenue producing club in the world. The first record of football being played on Tyneside dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club, later that year, Newcastles first football club, Tyne Association, was formed. The origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881. This team was renamed Newcastle East End F. C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the club in Stanley. Rosewood F. C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later, in 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F. C. formed from West End Cricket Club, and in May 1886, the two clubs became rivals in the Northern League. In 1889, Newcastle East End became a team, before becoming a limited company the following March. However, on the hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble. With only one club in the city for fans to support
Everton F. C. /ˈɛvərtən/ is a football club in Liverpool, England, that currently competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club have competed in the top division for a record 114 seasons and won the League Championship nine times, formed in 1878, Everton were founding members of The Football League in 1888 and won their first League Championship two seasons later. The mid-1980s represented their most recent period of sustained success, with two League Championships, an FA Cup, and the 1985 European Cup Winners Cup, the clubs most recent major trophy was the 1995 FA Cup. The clubs supporters are known as Evertonians, Everton have a rivalry with neighbours Liverpool, and the two sides contest the Merseyside derby. The club have been based at Goodison Park in Walton, Liverpool, since 1892, the clubs home colours are royal blue shirts with white shorts and socks. Everton were founded as St Domingos in 1878 so that people from the parish of St Domingos Methodist Church Everton could play year round — cricket was played in summer. The clubs first game was a 1–0 victory over Everton Church Club, the club was renamed Everton in November 1879 after the local area, as people outside the parish wished to participate. The club was a member of the Football League in 1888–89. Everton won the FA Cup for the first time in 1906, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 interrupted the football programme while Everton were champions, which was something that would again occur in 1939. It was not until 1927 that Evertons first sustained period of success began, in 1925 the club signed Dixie Dean from Tranmere Rovers. In 1927–28, Dean set the record for league goals in a single season with 60 goals in 39 league games. He helped Everton win their third League Championship that season, however, Everton were relegated to the Second Division two years later during internal turmoil at the club. The club quickly rebounded and was promoted at the first attempt, on return to the top flight in 1931–32, Everton wasted no time in reaffirming their status and won a fourth League Championship at the first opportunity. Everton also won their second FA Cup in 1933 with a 3–0 win against Manchester City in the final, the era ended in 1938–39 with a fifth League Championship. Everton were relegated for the time in 1950–51 and did not earn promotion until 1953–54. The club have been a top-flight presence ever since, Evertons second successful era started when Harry Catterick was made manager in 1961. In 1962–63, his season in charge, Everton won the League Championship. In 1966 the club won the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, Everton again reached the final in 1968, but this time were unable to overcome West Bromwich Albion at Wembley
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Andrew Alexander Andy Cole is an English former professional footballer. As a player, he was a striker from 1988 to 2008 and he is most notably remembered for his time in the Premier League, with Manchester United, where he spent six years of his career and winning numerous trophies in the process. He is the third highest goalscorer in Premier League history, with 187 goals, Cole was also capped fifteen times for England between 1995 and 2001, scoring once against Albania in a World Cup qualifier. Cole started his career as a player for Arsenal on leaving school in 1988. He made his league appearance for Arsenal, aged 19, as a substitute against Sheffield United at Highbury during a First Division game on 29 December 1990, Arsenal won 4–1. He also made an appearance against Tottenham Hotspur in the Charity Shield in 1991 and almost made an immediate impact. The following season he was loaned to Fulham in the Third Division, Cole was sold to Second Division Bristol City in a £500,000 deal – at the time he was their most expensive player. In February 1993, Division One leaders Newcastle United broke their record club by paying £1.75 million to sign Cole. He then scored 12 goals in as many games as the Magpies cruised to the Division One title. His 12 goals included two hat-tricks, the first against Barnsley on 7 April, the second on the day of the season in a 7–1 hammering of Leicester City. He also scored the first of the two goals in their 2–0 promotion clinching win over Grimsby Town at Blundell Park on 4 May. After David Kelly was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers, manager Kevin Keegan brought in Peter Beardsley as Coles strike partner for the 1993–94 Premier League campaign and his first top division goal was in a 1–1 draw against defending league champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on 21 August. This was Newcastles first goal in the Premier League, exactly three months later, he scored all three goals as the Magpies crushed Liverpool 3–0 at home. Cole was subsequently voted PFA Young Player of the Year for that season, Cole then scored nine Premier League goals in 18 games for Newcastle after the start of the 1994–95 season, and also scored a hat-trick against Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Cup. In all, Cole hit 68 goals in 84 games for Newcastle giving him a rate of 81%. In terms of goals per game for Newcastle, only Hughie Gallacher has a better record and his last goal for the Magpies came in the 1–1 home draw with Ipswich Town on 26 November 1994. Despite joining halfway through the 1994–95 season, Cole still managed to score 12 goals in just 18 Premier League games for United and he was cup-tied for the FA Cup Final a week later. Without him, United lost to Everton 1–0, United were also without the banned Eric Cantona and the injured Andrei Kanchelskis, the clubs two other highest scoring players that season
Fulham Football Club is a professional association football club based in Fulham, Greater London, England. Founded in 1879, they play in the Championship, the tier of English football. They are the football team from London to have played in the Premier League. The club has spent 25 seasons in English footballs top division, the latter spell was associated with former chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, after the club had climbed up from the fourth tier in the 1990s. The club has produced many English greats, including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and they play at Craven Cottage, a ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham which has been their home since 1896. Fulhams training ground is located near Motspur Park, where the clubs Academy is also situated, Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrews Church Sunday School F. C. founded by worshipers at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington. Fulhams mother church still today with a plaque commemorating the teams foundation. They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, one of the clubs first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–87 season. Fulham started playing at their current ground at Craven Cottage in 1896, the club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern Leagues Second Division. They were the club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal. They adopted a red and white kit during the 1900–01 season, in 1902–03, the club won promotion from this division, entering the Southern League First Division. The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07, Fulham joined The Football League after the second of their Southern League triumphs. The clubs first league game, playing in the Second Divisions 1907–08 season, the first win came a few days later at Derby Countys Baseball Ground by a score line of 1–0. Fulham finished the three points short of promotion in fourth place. The club progressed all the way to the semi-final of that seasons FA Cup, in the semi-final, however, they were heavily beaten, 6–0, by Newcastle United. This is still a loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. Two years later, the won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909–10 season. Fulhams first season in Division Two turned out to be the highest that the club would finish for 21 years, until in 1927–28 when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is a football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Marks, they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887, the club moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won five major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, by 2014–15, Manchester City had the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €463.5 million. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated they were the sixth most valuable football club. City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899, with it promotion to the highest level in English football. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, in the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, after relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer, in the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Further trophies followed, City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy, the club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, the final trophy of the clubs most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2–1 in the League Cup final. A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s, Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone, under John Bond, City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were relegated from the top flight in the 1980s. However, this was only a respite, and following Reids departure Manchester Citys fortunes continued to fade. City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, after two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their countrys third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline, under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham
Portsmouth Football Club /ˈpɔərtsməθ/ is a professional football club in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, which plays in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. Home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the formation in 1898. Portsmouth have been champions of England twice, in 1949 and 1950, in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, Portsmouth played European heavyweights A. C. Milan. In this period, the club had international footballers including England players Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David James, financial problems, however, soon set in and Portsmouth were relegated to the Football League Championship in 2010. In 2012, they were relegated, to League One. They began the 2013–14 season in the tier of the English football league system for the first time since the late 1970s. Portsmouth became the largest fan-owned football club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013, Portsmouth Football Club are nicknamed Pompey, a name which it shares with the city of Portsmouth and its historic naval base. Pompey is thought most likely to originate from the abbreviation of Portsmouth Point to the shorter Pom. The club was founded in 1898 with John Brickwood — owner of the local Brickwoods Brewery — as chairman, a blue plaque on the wall of 12 High Street Portsmouth commemorates the founding on 5 April. That first season was successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, 1910–11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager, the team was promoted the following season. League football was suspended during First World War, but following the resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the second time, continuing success saw them in the Third Division for the 1920–21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won the division in the 1923–24 season, the club continued to perform well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing second in the 1926–27 season, gaining a record 9–1 win over Notts County along the way. Portsmouths debut season in the First Division was a struggle, the next season they continued to falter, losing 10–0 to Leicester City, still a club record defeat. Despite their failings in the league, however, that also saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time. Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes began to change, the 1933–34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final, beating Manchester United, Bolton, Leicester and Birmingham City on the way. The club was defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City. Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938–39 season saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final and this time, Portsmouth managed to convincingly defeat favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1. Bert Barlow and Jock Anderson scored, whilst Cliff Parker scored twice to complete a famous victory, League football resumed for the 1946–47 campaign after five years and Portsmouth continued in the First Division
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, in 2016 the club re-located to the London Stadium. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United and they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919 and they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964,1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The clubs highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division, three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team, captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The club, Thames Ironworks were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality and they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team and they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, because of the original works team roots and links, they are still known as the Irons or the Hammers amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton, the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a meeting and soon after committed suicide. The club spent most of the next 30 years in division, first under Paynter
Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, London, that competes in the Premier League. Founded in 1905, the home ground since then has been Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship and they then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The clubs greatest period of success has come during the last two decades, winning 21 trophies since 1997. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League, and one of four clubs, Chelseas regular kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The clubs crest has changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club. The current crest, featuring a lion rampant regardant holding a staff, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s. The club have the sixth-highest average all-time attendance in English football and their average home gate for the 2015–16 season was 41,500, the seventh highest in the Premier League. Since 2003, Chelsea have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, in 2016, they were ranked by Forbes magazine as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, at £1.15 billion. In 1904, Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the aim of turning it into a football ground, an offer to lease it to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Mears opted to found his own club to use the stadium. Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub, opposite the main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road. The club won promotion to the First Division in their second season and they reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and finished third in the First Division in 1920, the clubs best league campaign to that point. Chelsea attracted large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions Cup, but after objections from The Football League, Chelsea failed to build on this success, and spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Drake was dismissed in 1961 and replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty, Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the clubs youth set-up and Chelsea challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, enduring several near-misses. They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup. In three seasons the side were beaten in three major semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up, under Dochertys successor, Dave Sexton, Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners Cup triumph, the year, with another replayed win
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural, political, and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is also a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Highbury, London, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won 13 League titles,12 FA Cups, Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, in the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double, between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position, Herbert Chapman won Arsenals first national trophies, but died prematurely. He helped introduce the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers, Arsène Wenger has been the longest-serving manager and has won the most trophies. His teams set several English records, the longest win streak, the longest unbeaten run, in 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. They became Tottenham Hotspurs nearest club, commencing the North London derby, in 2006, they moved down the road to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal earned €435. 5m in 2014–15, with the Emirates Stadium generating the highest revenue in world football, based on social media activity from 2014–15, Arsenals fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2016, Forbes estimated the club was the second most valuable in England, on 1 December 1886, munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with David Danskin as their first captain. Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C. s first home was Plumstead Common, though spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead. Royal Arsenal won Arsenals first trophies in 1890 and 1891, Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893. They registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended later that year, Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers, businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall took the club over, and sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury and this saw their third change of name, the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to simply The Arsenal
Robert Bernard Robbie Fowler is an English former professional footballer and manager who played as a striker from 1993 to 2012. Fowler was known for being a scorer with an instinctive goal-poaching ability. Fowler is best remembered for his time at Liverpool and is the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League and he scored 183 goals in total for Liverpool,128 of which were scored in the Premier League. He earned the nickname God from the Anfield crowd, becoming a club legend due to his ruthlessness in front of goal and he subsequently played for Leeds United and Manchester City, before returning to Liverpool in January 2006. He moved clubs 18 months later to sign for Cardiff City and he refused a one-year pay as you play contract extension and signed with Blackburn Rovers on a three-month deal on the same terms instead. In December 2008, he departed Blackburn and forged a career in Australia with North Queensland Fury, in 2011, he joined Thai side Muangthong United as a player, but later was appointed player-manager which he remained until his retirement in 2012. He was capped for England 26 times, scoring 7 goals, Fowler was included in Englands squads for Euro 96, Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Fowler was born in Toxteth, Liverpool and brought up in the city area of Liverpool. At this time he was known as Robert Ryder, his mothers surname and he lived in Toxteth at the time of the 1981 Toxteth riots, when he was six years old. As a youngster he supported Everton F. C and he played regularly for schoolboy team Thorvald, and once scored 16 times in a 26–0 rout. He signed as a team player on leaving school in the middle of 1991. Fowlers first involvement with the Liverpool first team came on 13 January 1993, Fowler scored all five goals in the second leg at Anfield two weeks later, making him the fourth player in Liverpools history to score five in a senior fixture. He scored his first league hat-trick against Southampton in only his fifth league game and he scored twice in a thrilling 3–3 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on 18 December. His first 13 games for the club yielded 12 goals, and he was rewarded with an England Under-21 debut against San Marino in November 1993, in which he scored Englands opening goal in the third minute. His record stood for twenty years until broken by Sadio Mané on 16 May 2015 for Southampton against Aston Villa, Fowler also scored braces against Aston Villa, Ipswich Town, Chelsea and Norwich City in the league that season. Fowler was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year in two years in 1995 and 1996, a feat equalled only by Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney. Throughout the mid and late 1990s, Fowler was widely considered to be the most natural finisher playing in England, Fowler sealed this reputation as he scored more than 30 goals for three consecutive seasons, up to 1997. Stan Collymore, Fowlers strike partner from 1995 to 1997, said in his autobiography that Fowler was the best player he has played alongside
Liverpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, the club has won 5 European Cups,3 UEFA Cups,3 UEFA Super Cups,18 League titles,7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields. The club was founded in 1892 and joined the Football League the following year, the club has played at Anfield since its formation. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably the North West Derby against Manchester United, the clubs supporters have been involved in two major tragedies. The second was the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing, the team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. The clubs anthem is Youll Never Walk Alone, Liverpool F. C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892, the team won the Lancashire League in its début season, and joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, losing 1–0 to Burnley. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950, playing against Arsenal, the club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, the club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years. In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup, in 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, and the FA Cup again a year later, Shankly retired soon afterwards and was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisleys second season as manager, the club won another League, the following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979, Paisley retired in 1983 and was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagans first season, Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium. Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence separated the two groups of supporters, and charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a wall to collapse, killing 39 fans. The incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster, the match was played in spite of protests by both managers, and Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Football Club is a professional association football club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F. C. by the Football League and they play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Leeds United have won three First Division league titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup, the club has also won two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s, Leeds lost the 1975 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich and reached the semi-finals of the tournaments successor, the Champions League, in 2001. Leeds play in all-white kits, leading to their nickname being the whites, the clubs badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram LUFC. The clubs anthem is Marching On Together, Leeds Uniteds predecessor team, Leeds City, was formed in 1904, and were elected League members in 1905. At first they found it hard to draw big crowds to Elland Road, in 1919, Leeds United was formed and they received an invitation to enter the Midland League, being voted into it on 31 October, taking the place vacated by Leeds City Reserves. Following Leeds Citys disbanding, Yorkshire Amateurs bought their stadium Elland Road, Yorkshire Amateurs offered to make way for the new team under the management of former player Dick Ray. The chairman of Huddersfield Town, Hilton Crowther loaned Leeds United £35,000 and he brought in Barnsleys manager Arthur Fairclough and on 26 February 1920, Dick Ray stepped down to become Faircloughs assistant. On 31 May 1920, Leeds United were elected to the Football League, over the following few years, they consolidated their position in the Second Division and in 1924 won the title and with it promotion to the First Division. They failed to establish themselves and were relegated in 1926–27, after their relegation, Fairclough resigned, which paved the way for Ray to return as manager. In the years up until the start of World War II Leeds were twice relegated, on 5 March 1935, Ray resigned and was replaced by Billy Hampson, who remained in charge for 12 years. In the 1946–47 season after the war, Leeds were relegated again, after this season, Hampson resigned and was replaced in April 1947 by Willis Edwards. In 1948, Sam Bolton replaced Ernest Pullan as the chairman of Leeds United, Edwards was moved to assistant manager in April 1948 after just one year as manager. He was replaced by Major Frank Buckley, Leeds remained in the Second Division until 1955–56, when they once again won promotion to the First Division, inspired by John Charles. Charles was hungry for success at the highest level, and manager Raich Carter was unable to convince him that Leeds could satisfy his ambitions, Charles was sold to Juventus for a then world record of £65,000. The loss of Charles resulted in Leeds being relegated to the Second Division in the 1959–60 season, in March 1961, the club appointed former player Don Revie as manager, following the resignation of Jack Taylor. His stewardship began in adverse circumstances, the club was in financial difficulty, Revie implemented a youth policy and a change of kit colour to an all-white strip in the style of Real Madrid, and Leeds soon won promotion to the First Division in 1963–64
Jermain Colin Defoe is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Sunderland and the England national team. Defoe began his career with Charlton Athletic, joining their team aged 14, before moving to West Ham United aged 16. He made his debut for West Ham in 2000, and after a season-long loan spell at Bournemouth during the 2000–01 season. After West Hams relegation in 2003, a move to Tottenham in January 2004 soon followed and he spent one season at Fratton Park before returning to Tottenham in the January 2009 transfer window. He played for Toronto FC of Major League Soccer in 2014, in April 2011, Defoe became the 20th player to score a century of Premier League goals, and is currently the 7th highest goalscorer in Premier League history. He became the fifth highest goalscorer in Tottenhams history in September 2013, Defoe also holds the Premier League record for the most goals scored as a substitute, with 22, as of 11 January 2014. On 19 November 2016, Defoe scored his 150th Premier League goal, Defoe made his England debut in 2004 and has made 56 appearances, scoring 20 goals, including three appearances and a goal at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Born in Beckton, London, Defoe attended St Joachim Primary School in Custom House, London and St Bonaventures in Forest Gate, while he was there he attended Idsall School. He was born to a Dominican father and his mother is of Saint Lucian descent, Defoe was spotted playing football by Charlton Athletic who enrolled him at the FA National School of Excellence at Lilleshall Hall in 1997. The following season, he joined Second Division club Bournemouth on a near season-long loan and he scored 18 goals in 29 league appearances for Bournemouth. West Ham manager Harry Redknapp tipped him for stardom, saying, I sent him out to Bournemouth to get some experience playing league football and hes coped marvellously. To score 10 goals in 10 games is a terrific achievement, Hes a bright lad whos full of confidence. Nothing knocks him, hes a typical goal-scorer, if he misses, hell be there the next time looking for a goal. Hes a kid with a big future and he scored a further 11 goals in 42 league and cup appearances in 2002–03 but was unable to prevent West Ham from being relegated. This is very much a career decision, I am very ambitious and hungry to achieve at the highest levels of the game for both club and country. The timing of his request, however, drew criticism from fans and teammates and was turned down by the club. He later apologised to supporters, saying, I mishandled that move, Im young and Ive learned from it. I still played my hardest for West Ham and gave them 100%, Defoe joined Tottenham in February 2004 for an initial fee of £6 million, rising to £7 million depending on specific performance criteria, and with Bobby Zamora joining West Ham
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club /ˈtɒtnəm, -tənəm/, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football club located in Tottenham, Haringey, London, that competes in the Premier League. The clubs home stadium is White Hart Lane and their newly developed training ground is in Bulls Cross on the northern borders of the London Borough of Enfield. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1967, Spurs won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and were the winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield, in the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When they won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that they had won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The clubs Latin motto is Audere est Facere, and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby neighbours Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F. C. and played in the Southern League from 1896 until 1908, when they were elected into the Football League Second Division. Before this promotion Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901, since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and also the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Cup Winners Cup victory in 1963 made Tottenham the first English team to win a UEFA competition, in 1960–61 they became the first team to complete The Double in the 20th century. Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the public pitches. It was at this ground that Spurs first played archrivals Arsenal, there were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches. Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters, in 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899,14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road. The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons, the landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans, notts County were the first visitors to the Lane in a friendly watched by 5,000 people and provided in £115 in receipts, Spurs won 4–1
Sunderland Association Football Club is a professional football club based in the North East city of Sunderland in the larger metropolitan area of Tyne and Wear. The club is playing in the Premier League, the top league of English football. Since its formation in 1879, the club has won six top-flight First Division titles, a total bettered by five other clubs. The club has won the FA Cup twice and been runners-up twice, as well as winning the FA Community Shield in 1936. Sunderland have also been Football League Cup finalists in 1985 and 2014, Sunderland won their first FA Cup in 1937 with a 3–1 victory over Preston North End, and remained in the top league for 68 successive seasons until they were relegated for the first time in 1958. Sunderlands most notable trophy after the Second World War was their second FA Cup in 1973, the team has won the second tier title five times in that period and the third tier title once. Sunderland play their games at the 49, 000-capacity all-seater Stadium of Light having moved from Roker Park in 1997. The original ground capacity was 42,000 which was increased to 49,000 following expansion in 2000, Sunderland have a long-standing rivalry with their neighbouring club Newcastle United, with whom they have contested the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. Founded 17 October 1879 as Sunderland and District Teachers A. F. C. by schoolmaster James Allan and they replaced Stoke, who had failed to be re-elected, becoming the first new club to join the league since its inauguration in 1888. During the late 19th century, they were declared the Team of All Talents by William McGregor, Sunderland won the league championship in the 1891–92 season, one season after joining The Football League. The clubs 42 points were five clear of nearest rivals Preston North End, Sunderland successfully defended the title the following season, aided by centre forward Johnny Campbell, who broke the 30-goal mark for the second time in consecutive seasons. In the process, they became the first team to score 100 goals in a season, a feat not matched until 1919–20, Sunderland came close to winning a third successive league championship in the 1893–94 season, finishing second behind Aston Villa. However, they regained the title in the 1894–95 season, ending the five points ahead of Everton. After winning the English League Championship, Sunderland played against Heart of Midlothian, Sunderland won the game 5–3 and were announced Champions of the world. Sunderland came close to winning another title in the 1897–98 season. That season was their last at Newcastle Road, as moved to Roker Park the following season. After coming second in 1900–01, the club won their league title in the 1901–02 season. In 1904, Sunderlands management was embroiled in a payment scandal involving player Andrew McCombie, the club was said to have given the player £100 to help him start his own business, on the understanding that he would repay the money after his benefit game
AFC Bournemouth /ˈbɔːrnməθ/ is a professional association football club based in Bournemouth, Dorset, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. Johns Institute F. C. the club was reformed in 1899 as Boscombe F. C and they changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F. C. in 1923, before settling on their current name in 1972. Nicknamed The Cherries, since 1910 Bournemouth have played their games at Dean Court. Their home colours are red and black striped shirts, with black shorts, AFC Bournemouth have won the second and third tiers of English football, and were twice runners up of the fourth tier. They have also won the Football League Trophy, and the Football League Third Division South Cup, currently managed by Eddie Howe, the 2015–16 season was AFC Bournemouths first ever in Englands top division. Although the exact date of the foundation is not known. The club was known as Boscombe F. C. The first president was Mr. J. C, in their first season, 1899–1900, Boscombe F. C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup, during the first two seasons, they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season, the played on a pitch in Kings Park. In the 1905–06 season, Boscombe F. C. graduated to senior amateur football, in 1910, the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park as the clubs football ground by President J. E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, also in 1910, the club signed their first professional football player B. Around about this time, the club obtained their nickname The Cherries, for the first time, during the 1913–14 season, the club competed in the FA Cup. The clubs progress, however, was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I, in 1920, the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, finding moderate success. To make the more representative of the district, the name was changed to Bournemouth. During the same year, the club was elected to the Football League to fill the left by Stalybridge Celtics resignation. The first league match was at Swindon Town on 25 August 1923, the first league game at Dean Court was also against Swindon, where Bournemouth gained their first league point after a 0–0 draw. Initially, Bournemouth struggled in the Football League but eventually established themselves as a Third Division club, Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club remain on the records as the longest continuous members of the Third Division
Michael James Owen is a former English footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team. Since retiring from football, he has become a racehorse breeder and owner. The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen was born in Chester and he progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League, he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals and he repeated this the following year and was Liverpools top goal-scorer from 1997–2004, gaining his name as a proven goal-scorer despite suffering from a recurring hamstring injury. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup and he went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool, and 158 goals in 297 total appearances. Regarded as one of the greatest Liverpool players, Owen came 14th in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, in 2004, Owen was named by Pelé in the FIFA100 list of the worlds greatest living players. Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004, he was used as a substitute. He scored 13 goals in La Liga before returning to England the following season where he joined Newcastle United for £16 million, after a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return, he became captain and was the teams top scorer for the 2007–08 season. Newcastle were relegated in the 2008–09 season and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent and he spent three years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke City in September 2012. Owen is one of eight players to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League and he is also the youngest player to have reached 100 goals in the Premier League. On 19 March 2013, Owen announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season, internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming Englands youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 FIFA World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to score in UEFA Euro 2000 and he is the only player to have scored in four major tournaments for England. He played at the 2006 World Cup, but suffered an injury took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is Englands 11th-most-capped player and has scored a national record of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances. Owen was born in Chester, Cheshire, the child of Jeanette. His father is a professional footballer and played for clubs such as Chester City. Owen was introduced to football at the age of seven by his father who soon saw Michael as the most promising athlete in the family
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
Leslie Les Ferdinand MBE is an English former footballer and current football coach and Director of Football at his former club Queens Park Rangers. Ferdinand is the eighth highest scorer in the Premier League with 149 goals and he is the cousin of football-playing brothers Rio and Anton Ferdinand and Dagenham & Redbridge player Kane Ferdinand. He was made an MBE in the 2005 Queens Birthday Honours, on 5 November 2008 Ferdinand joined fellow ex-Tottenham player Tim Sherwood on the coaching staff of Tottenham Hotspur, to work with the strikers. Ferdinand left the club on 19 June 2014, Ferdinand started his career in non-league football, first at AEL then to Southall then moving to Hayes. He was spotted by Queens Park Rangers and moved there for £30,000, Ferdinand made his QPR debut on 20 April 1987, aged 20, as a substitute in the 4-0 league defeat by Coventry City at Highfield Road - the first of two league appearances that season. He played a league game in 1987–88, and was loaned for three games to Third Division Brentford. In 1988, he was loaned to Turkish side Beşiktaş for a season and he returned to the QPR side for the 1989-90 season, and appeared in nine First Division appearances as well as scoring his first two English league goals. He fared better in 1990–91, playing in 18 league games and his fine form continued into 1993–94, during which his 16 goals from 36 games helped QPR finish ninth. Despite mounting speculation of a move to either Manchester United or Arsenal, in 1994–95, he scored 24 times in the Premier League and speculation grew that he would soon be on his way to a bigger club. In nearly a decade at Loftus Road, he played four different managers - Jim Smith, Trevor Francis, Don Howe. Ferdinand was sold to Newcastle in 1995 for £6 million, with Hayes receiving £600,000 due to a sell-on clause agreed following his move to QPR. His arrival at the club came three years after the Magpies had offered QPR £3. 3million for him during their Division One promotion season —. The spell on Tyneside was arguably Ferdinands most successful club tenure and he scored 29 goals in his first season with Newcastle, and significantly contributed to the sides getting within touching distance of the Premiership title in the 1995–96 season. Newcastle led the league by 12 points at one stage, but were overhauled by Manchester United in the three months of the season. In both of his seasons on Tyneside, Ferdinand collected runners-up medals in the Premier League, in the second season, they contested a four-horse race with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool before Manchester United won the title. Ferdinand scored 50 goals in only 84 games at Newcastle, forming a partnership with Alan Shearer. He was and indeed is very highly thought of by Newcastle United. In 1997 Ferdinand was bought by Tottenham Hotspur, the club he supported as a boy, again for £6 million
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is a professional association football club based in White City, London, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, as well as finishing top of the tier in 1983 and 2011. QPR were also runners-up of the Football League First Division in 1975–76, Queens Park Rangers were founded in 1886 after the merger of Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute. Owing to their proximity to other west London clubs, QPR maintain long-standing rivalries with other clubs in the area. The most notable of these are Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford, outside London, QPR also traditionally share rivalries with Watford, Luton and Cardiff, although in recent years these fixtures have become less prominent. For the current season see 2015–16 Queens Park Rangers F. C. season The club was formed in 1886, the resulting team was called Queens Park Rangers, because most of the players came from the Queens Park area of north-west London. QPR were promoted as champions of Division 3 South in the 1947–48 season, Dave Mangnall was the manager as the club participated in four seasons of the Second Division, being relegated in 1951–52. Tony Ingham was signed from Leeds United and went on to make the most ever league appearances for QPR, arguably the clubs greatest ever manager, Alec Stock, arrived prior to the start of the 1959–60 season. The 1960–61 season saw QPR achieve their biggest win to date, in time, Stock, together with Jim Gregory who arrived as chairman in the mid-1960s, helped to achieve a total transformation of the club and its surroundings. It is still the major trophy that QPR have won. It was also the first League Cup final to be held at Wembley Stadium, after winning promotion in 1968 to the top flight for the first time in their history, Rangers were relegated after just one season and spent the next four years in Division Two. Terry Venables joined from Spurs at the beginning of the 1969–70 season, during this time, new QPR heroes emerged including Phil Parkes, Don Givens, Dave Thomas and Stan Bowles. These new signings were in addition to home-grown talent such as Dave Clement, Ian Gillard, Mick Leach, after completing their 42-game season, QPR sat at the top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool who went on to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers to clinch the title. Wolves were relegated to the Second Division that same season, following Sextons departure in 1977 the club eventually slipped into the Second Division in 1979. In 1980 Terry Venables took over as manager and the club installed a plastic pitch, in 1982 QPR, still playing in the Second Division, reached the FA Cup Final for the only time in the clubs history, facing holders Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham won 1–0 in a replay, the following season QPR went on to win the Second Division championship and returned to English footballs top division. After a respectable fifth-place finish, and UEFA Cup qualification, the following year, in 1988 the club had a new chairman, Richard Thompson. Who at 24 was the Premier Leagues youngest ever chairman, over the next seven years, various managers came and went from Loftus Road and the club spent many seasons finishing mid table but avoided relegation
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They compete in the Premier League, Englands top tier of football, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14, this signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away. The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road and they moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011, Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting upset ever, multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. Due to the magnitude of the title win, it went down in English football history as one of the games finest ever achievements. The clubs previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, throughout Leicesters history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles, the club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition, City have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016 and they have also won the League Cup three times in 1964,1997 and 2000, as well as being runners up in 1964–65 and 1999. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as Leicester Fosse, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicesters first ever Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, the same season also saw the clubs largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, however, the club were relegated after a single season which included the clubs record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, the club was reformed as Leicester City Football Club, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, the club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bolton, Greater Manchester. The club currently competes in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed as Christ Church Football Club in 1874, founder members of the Football League in 1888, Bolton have spent the highest number of seasons of any club in the top flight without winning the title. The closest they have come to the title is third in the First Division on three occasions, as of 2015, the club has spent more seasons in the top division than any other club outside the current Premier League. Bolton were a successful cup side in the 1920s, winning the FA Cup three times, the club won the cup a fourth time in 1958. A leaner spell followed, reaching a nadir in 1987 when the club spent a season in the Fourth Division, the club regained top-flight status in 1995 after a 15-year absence. In a period of success, the club qualified for the UEFA Cup twice, reaching the last 32 in 2005–06. The club played at Burnden Park for 102 years from 1895, on 9 March 1946, The Burnden Park disaster occurred, which was a human crush in which 33 Bolton fans lost their lives. In 1997 it moved out of town to the Reebok Stadium, the stadium was renamed the Macron Stadium in July 2014, to reflect the clubs new deal with Italian sportswear company Macron. The club was founded by the Reverend Joseph Farrall Wright, Perpetual curate of Christ Church Bolton and Thomas Ogden, the schoolmaster at the adjacent church school in 1874 as Christ Church F. C. It was initially run from the church of the name on Deane Road. The club left the following a dispute with the vicar. The name was chosen as the club initially had a lot of difficulty finding a permanent ground to play on, Bolton were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, which formed in 1888. At the time Lancashire was one of the strongest footballing regions in the country, having remained in the Football League since its formation, Bolton have spent more time in the top flight than out of it. In 1894 Bolton reached the final of the FA Cup for the first time, a decade later they were runners-up a second time, losing 1–0 to local rivals Manchester City at Crystal Palace on 23 April 1904. In this period Bolton equalled their record finish of third twice, in 1920–21 and 1924–25, on 28 April 1923, Bolton won their first major trophy in their third final, beating West Ham United 2–0 in the first ever Wembley FA Cup final. The match, famously known as The White Horse Final was played in front of over 127,000 supporters, boltons centre-forward, David Jack scored the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium. Driven by long-term players Joe Smith in attack, Ted Vizard and Billy Butler on the wings, in 1928 the club faced financial difficulties and so was forced to sell David Jack to Arsenal to raise funds
Edward Paul Teddy Sheringham MBE is an English football manager and player who was the player-manager of Stevenage until he was sacked on 1 February 2016. Sheringham played as a forward, mostly as a second striker, Sheringham began his career at Millwall, where he scored 111 goals between 1983 and 1991, and is the clubs second all-time leading scorer. He left to join First Division Nottingham Forest, a year later, Sheringham scored Forests first ever Premiership goal, and was signed by Tottenham Hotspur. After five seasons at Spurs, Sheringham joined Manchester United where he won three Premiership titles, one FA Cup, one UEFA Champions League, an Intercontinental Cup, in 2001, he was named both the PFA Players Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. The pinnacle of his career came when he scored the equaliser, after leaving Manchester United at the end of the 2000–01 season, Sheringham re-joined Tottenham Hotspur, where he was a losing finalist in the 2001–02 Football League Cup. The following season, Sheringham appeared for West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup Final, Sheringham is currently the tenth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premiership with 147 goals, and is the competitions 19th-highest appearance maker. He holds the record as the oldest outfield player to appear in a Premier League match, Sheringham was capped 51 times for the England national football team, scoring 11 times. He appeared in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 1996 UEFA European Championship, Sheringham retired from competitive football at the end of the 2007–08 season with Colchester United, at the age of 42. Having been appointed as the manager of Stevenage in May 2015, he registered himself as a player at the club in November of that year, aged 49. He was signed up, initially as an apprentice and scored on only his second appearance for the club in a match away at Bournemouth in January 1984. He was the top goalscorer in four seasons and played in every game of the season twice, in 1986–87. The 1987–88 season saw the club promoted to the First Division, then the highest tier of English league football, Sheringham scored the first goal in Millwalls first home game in Division One. Sheringham said in his autobiography, It was an exhilarating time. There we were, little Millwall, in our first season in the First Division, everybody said it couldnt last and of course it couldnt and it didnt, but we gave them all a good run for their money. We were beating the best teams when we shouldnt and getting away draws to which we had no right. Millwalls spell in the top flight was not to last as they were relegated in the following season, Sheringham was again top scorer for Millwall with twelve goals, having missed ten league games through injury. Sheringhams outstanding form during the 1990–91 season saw him finish as the leagues highest scorer with 37 goals, with Millwall failing to return to the top flight, a departure for Sheringham looked inevitable. In his final season at Millwall, Sheringham broke all of the goalscoring records
Nottingham Forest F.C.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is a professional association football club based in Nottinghamshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club, often referred to as Forest, have played matches at the City Ground since 1898. Founded in 1865, Forest were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889, since then, they have mostly competed in the top two League tiers, bar five seasons in the third tier. Forest won the FA Cup in 1898 and 1959, Forest were founded in 1865 as Nottingham Forest Football and Bandy Club by a group of shinty players shortly after their neighbours Notts County, in 1862. They joined the Football Alliance in 1889, and won the competition in 1892, in their early years Forest were a multi-sports club, as well as their roots in bandy and shinty, the baseball club Forest deployed were British champions in 1899. Forests charitable approach to the sport helped teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, in 1886, Forest donated a set of football kits to help Arsenal establish themselves – the North London team still wear red. Forest also donated shirts to Everton and helped secure a site to play on for Brighton, Forest claimed their first major honour when they won the 1898 FA Cup, beating Derby County 3–1 at Crystal Palace. However, for much of the first half of the 20th century the club spent life in the Second Division and had to seek re-election in 1914 after finishing bottom. In 1949 the club were relegated to the Third Division, but were promoted back two years later as champions having scored a record 110 goals in the 1950–51 season. They therefore became the first team to defeat the Wembley hoodoo, by this time Forest had replaced Notts County as the biggest club in Nottingham and went on to become runners-up in the First Division and FA Cup semi-finalists in 1967. However, after a successful period for the club, Forest were relegated from the First Division in 1972. Clough became the most successful manager in the history of Nottingham Forest, cloughs first game in charge was the third round FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin. Nottingham Forest became one of the few teams to win the First Division Championship a year after winning promotion from the Second Division and they also won the European Super Cup and two League Cups. The club reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1983–84 but were knocked out by Anderlecht in controversial but uncertain circumstances. The case was dismissed and Anderlecht was acquitted from all charges Nottingham Forests next major trophies came in 1989 when they won the Football League Cup. Cloughs side retained the League Cup in 1990 when they beat Oldham Athletic 1–0, in Forests team that day was young Irish midfielder Roy Keane, who had joined the club the previous summer. In the summer of 1991, Brian Clough broke Forests transfer record fee by signing the top scorer, Millwall striker Teddy Sheringham
The Netherlands is the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a densely populated country located in Western Europe with three territories in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing borders with Belgium, the United Kingdom. The three largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, Amsterdam is the countrys capital, while The Hague holds the Dutch seat of parliament and government. The port of Rotterdam is the worlds largest port outside East-Asia, the name Holland is used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. Netherlands literally means lower countries, influenced by its low land and flat geography, most of the areas below sea level are artificial. Since the late 16th century, large areas have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, with a population density of 412 people per km2 –507 if water is excluded – the Netherlands is classified as a very densely populated country. Only Bangladesh, South Korea, and Taiwan have both a population and higher population density. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the worlds second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products and this is partly due to the fertility of the soil and the mild climate. In 2001, it became the worlds first country to legalise same-sex marriage, the Netherlands is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G-10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as being a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. The first four are situated in The Hague, as is the EUs criminal intelligence agency Europol and this has led to the city being dubbed the worlds legal capital. The country also ranks second highest in the worlds 2016 Press Freedom Index, the Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy, ranking 17th of 177 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom. It had the thirteenth-highest per capita income in the world in 2013 according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2013, the United Nations World Happiness Report ranked the Netherlands as the seventh-happiest country in the world, reflecting its high quality of life. The Netherlands also ranks joint second highest in the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, the region called Low Countries and the country of the Netherlands have the same toponymy. Place names with Neder, Nieder, Nether and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in all over Europe. They are sometimes used in a relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Boven, Oben. In the case of the Low Countries / the Netherlands the geographical location of the region has been more or less downstream. The geographical location of the region, however, changed over time tremendously
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a forward for Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe and the Netherlands national team. He made his debut during the 2001–02 season, which culminated with victory in the 2002 UEFA Cup Final. After five years with Feyenoord, he fell out with manager Bert van Marwijk, and he joined English club Arsenal in 2004 for £2.75 million as a long-term replacement for compatriot Dennis Bergkamp. With victories in only the 2004 FA Community Shield and the 2004–05 FA Cup to his name, in his first season, he won the 2012–13 Premier League and finished as the leagues top scorer with 26 goals, winning his second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot award. After two injury-hit seasons followed, van Persie fell out of favour at Manchester United and he was allowed to leave for Fenerbahçe in July 2015. After representing the Netherlands at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level, a month later, he scored his first senior international goal in a 4–0 win over Finland. Van Persie has over 100 caps and has scored 50 goals for the Netherlands and he has represented his country at the 2006,2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships. An injury crisis at Feyenoord meant he was promoted into the first team, and made his debut for the club at 17. After starting for Feyenoord in the final of the UEFA Cup, the following season, van Persie signed a three-and-a-half-year professional contract with Feyenoord, and scored five goals in a 6–1 KNVB Cup thrashing of AGOVV Apeldoorn on 6 February 2003. During a match featuring the Feyenoord and Ajax reserves, he was one of several Feyenoord players assaulted by hooligans who had invaded the pitch. Van Persie finished his tumultuous first full season with the first team having scored eight goals in a total of 28 appearances and he again played 28 matches, but finished with two fewer goals than the previous season. Feyenoord shopped him at the end of the campaign but found few takers due to Van Persies past disciplinary issues, on 17 May 2004, van Persie signed a four-year deal with Arsenal for £2.75 million, just over half of Feyenoords original asking price of £5 million. Arsenal had further padded their stable of strikers in January by signing Spanish forward José Antonio Reyes, leaving the two to battle for playing time. Van Persie made his debut and won a trophy in the process and he then later lambasted his charge in the press. I do not support van Persie today, but he did not look out of control at half-time, when the referee has sent off a home player, he is under pressure, so, if any player had to behave, it was him. Meanwhile, Telegraph sportswriter Clive White described van Persie in his report as 21 going on nine. The rest of Van Persies season was cut short by injury, two days after signing the contract, however, van Persie was again hit by injury when an opponent stepped on his foot and broke his toe during an FA Cup match against Cardiff. Van Persie played the three matches with a hole cut into his shoe to alleviate the pain until he was finally rested for Arsenals Premier League match against West Ham United on 1 February
Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic in the southern half of South America. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the second largest in Latin America, and the largest Spanish-speaking one. The country is subdivided into provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system, Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. The earliest recorded presence in the area of modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century, Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest developed nation in the world by the early 20th century, Argentina retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs, and is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America and is a member of the G-15 and it is the country with the second highest Human Development Index in Latin America with a rating of very high. Because of its stability, market size and growing high-tech sector, the description of the country by the word Argentina has to be found on a Venice map in 1536. In English the name Argentina probably comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, Argentina means in Italian of silver, silver coloured, probably borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine of silver > silver coloured already mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the form of argentin and derives of argent silver with the suffix -in. The Italian naming Argentina for the country implies Argentina Terra land of silver or Argentina costa coast of silver, in Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is often used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said lArgentina. The name Argentina was probably first given by the Venitian and Genoese navigators, in Spanish and Portuguese, the words for silver are respectively plata and prata and of silver is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin. The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region, the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name Argentine Republic in legal documents. The name Argentine Confederation was also used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the name as Argentine Republic
Middlesbrough Football Club is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995 and they played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995. They were one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. The clubs main rivals are Sunderland and Newcastle United, there is also a rivalry with fellow Yorkshire club Leeds United. The clubs highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season, the club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by then board member and later chairman Steve Gibson. Middlesbrough were deducted three points for failing to fulfil a fixture against Blackburn Rovers in the 1996–97 Premier League season and they were promoted the following season and spent 11 seasons in the top division before being relegated again in 2009. Middlesbrough won the League Cup in 2004, the clubs first and they reached the 2006 UEFA Cup Final, but were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. After seven years in the Championship, Middlesbrough secured promotion to the Premier League in 2016 after finishing in second place, the clubs traditional kit is red with white detailing. The various crests throughout the history, the most recent of which was adopted in 2007. They won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898, the club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892. They turned professional permanently in 1899, after three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years. In 1903, the moved to Ayresome Park, their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, over the next few years, their form fluctuated greatly, rising to sixth in 1907–08 before dropping to 17th two seasons later. The club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, World War I soon intervened and football was suspended. Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League and they remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, ten points adrift of their nearest rivals. Three seasons later, they won the Division Two title, during that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks. He would continue as top scorer for each of the ten seasons. Their tenure back in the top flight lasted one season
Charlton Athletic F.C.
Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London. They play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded on 9 June 1905 when a number of clubs in south-east London, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission. The clubs traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks, Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four periods in the top flight of English football, 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999. Historically, Charltons most successful period was the 1930s, when the clubs highest league finishes were recorded, after World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947. Charlton Athletic F. C. were formed on 9 June 1905 by a group of 15- to 17-year-olds in East Street, Charlton which is now known as Eastmoor Street, Charlton spent most of the years before the First World War playing in youth leagues. They became a side in 1913 the same year that nearby Woolwich Arsenal relocated to North London. After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season before becoming professional and they were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season before being voted into the Football League. Charltons first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, later that year it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support. In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of The Enders, light, however, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process. Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful, Three years later the Addicks won the Division Three championship in 1929 and they remained at the Division Two level for four years. Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of gas in the First World War. He is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley, Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division and they were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War. This continued during the war years and they won the war cup, Charlton reached the 1946 FA Cup Final, but lost 4–1 to Derby County at Wembley. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, with Chris Duffy scoring the goal of the day. In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only thirteen English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season, the Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000
Republic of Ireland
Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the part of the island. The state shares its land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint Georges Channel to the south-east, and it is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President, the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was officially declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955. It joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, after joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth. The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by a financial crisis that began in 2008. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again quickly ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index and it also performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a member of the Council of Europe. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was styled, the Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland. Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland. The 1948 Act does not name the state as Republic of Ireland, because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name Eire, and, from 1949, Republic of Ireland, for the state, as well as Ireland, Éire or the Republic of Ireland, the state is also referred to as the Republic, Southern Ireland or the South. In an Irish republican context it is referred to as the Free State or the 26 Counties. From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, during the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the islands population of over 8 million fell by 30%
Robert David Robbie Keane is an Irish professional footballer who last played for Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy as a forward. He served as captain of the Republic of Ireland national team from March 2006 until his retirement in August 2016. Keane began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring twice on his first-team debut aged 17. The following season he was the leading goalscorer and scored his first international goal for the Republic of Ireland. He changed club frequently between 1999 and 2002, breaking transfer fee records, but his spells at Inter Milan. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2002 and played there for years over two spells and amassed 306 appearances across all competitions, scoring 122 goals. The 2007–08 season was the most fruitful of his career as he set a record of 23 goals in a season, including a landmark 100th competitive goal and won his first senior honour. Keane moved to Liverpool in July 2008 but he spent only six months at the club returning to Tottenham. In January 2010, he moved on loan to Scottish Premier League side Celtic for the rest of the season and he left Tottenham for LA Galaxy in 2011, and in January 2012 went to Aston Villa on a two-month loan during the Major League Soccer off-season. Keane scored a total of 68 goals for the Republic of Ireland national team over an 18-year international career and his 146 caps makes him their highest appearance-maker. Keane is the joint fourth-highest scoring European of all-time, and the player in the history of world football to have scored at least one international goal in 19 consecutive years. He is also the top scorer in European Championship qualification matches. Keane was Irelands top scorer at the 2002 FIFA World Cup with three goals as they reached the last 16, and also played at UEFA Euro 2012, Keane was born on 8 July 1980 in Tallaght, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. His parents are Robert and Anne Keane and he started his football career with local club Fettercairn before joining Dublin schoolboy team Crumlin United at the age of 10 where his talent was seen and recognised at an early age. Keane received offers from both Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers but decided to go to the First Division side, judging that it would be harder to break into the first team at Liverpool. He moved to Wolverhampton four days before his 16th birthday in July 1996, Keane progressed through Wolves youth ranks and made his professional debut aged 17 on 9 August 1997, scoring twice against Norwich City. The following season he excelled at the club, earning praise from both the press and Wolves manager Colin Lee and he went on to be the clubs leading scorer, with 16 goals in the 1998–99 season. Keanes performances and goalscoring record with both Wolves and his national team attracted much interest from clubs and a move for the young striker seemed imminent given Wolves finances
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club in Coventry, West Midlands, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 and they won their only major trophy in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 to win the FA Cup. They are one of five clubs to have ever won the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup in the same season. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, beating Oxford United 2-1 to win the English Football League Trophy. Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to Football League One in 2012, Coventry have qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, they competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in their home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Munich to go out of the competition. They were unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners Cup due to the ban on English clubs at that time, from 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road. A return to the Ricoh Arena was announced on 21 August 2014 by the club after a one-year absence,1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The clubs name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City,1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst ever defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained ever since,1928 – In February, and with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the clubs worst ever attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace,1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals,1934 – City record their biggest ever victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club and he played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 43 years and 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league Kings Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United,1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made manager and BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club, Coventrys record attendance was also set in this year – officially recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Nicolas Sébastien Anelka is a French football manager and former player who played as a forward. Prior to his retirement from football, Anelka was also a regular member of France national team. Anelka began his career at Paris Saint-Germain, but soon moved to Arsenal and he became a first team regular and won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award the following season. Real Madrid signed him for £22.3 million in 1999, after three seasons in Manchester, he moved to Fenerbahçe for two seasons before returning to England to join Bolton Wanderers – in deals worth £7 million and £8 million, respectively. He transferred to Chelsea from Bolton for a reported £15 million in January 2008, during his transfers over the years, he has built an aggregate transfer cost of just under £90 million. On 12 December 2011, Shanghai Shenhua announced that they had reached an agreement with Anelka to join the team in the transfer window. After one season there, Anelka joined Italian side Juventus on a loan deal in 2013, after which he was released from Shanghai. Following his dismissal by West Brom, he signed for Mumbai City FC as a Marquee Player and was named player-manager in 2015. Anelka played 69 times at level and won his first international honours with France at UEFA Euro 2000. His failure to settle at club level limited his international appearances, two months later, having failed to turn up to his disciplinary hearing, he was banned for Frances next 18 games by the FFF, effectively ending his international career. Anelka later claimed to be dying with laughter at the 18-match ban, Anelka was born in March 14,1979 in Le Chesnay, Yvelines, to parents who had migrated from Martinique in 1974. Thereafter they settled in Trappes, near Paris and his mother is a secretary in the local high school. Anelka is married to Barbara Tausia, a Belgian choreographer, together, they have two sons, Kais born in 2008 and Kahil born in 2010. He acted in the 2002 film Le Boulet as a footballer named Nicolas and he has stated that, when he retires from football, he would like to work in the film industry because he has a friend in the business. He said, I have a friend whos a producer, who makes lots of films, so its already agreed that Im going to do other films. It helps to know actors and producers and its different to football and its something I enjoy very much because theres no ball. I like pretending to be somebody else, its fun, Anelka has two brothers, Claude and Didier. After discussing religion with some friends, Anelka converted to Islam in 2004 in the United Arab Emirates
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Trinidad and Tobago
During the same period, the island of Tobago changed hands among Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Courlander colonizers, more times than any other island in the Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago were ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens, the country Trinidad and Tobago obtained independence in 1962, becoming a republic in 1976. Trinidad and Tobago is the third richest country by GDP per capita in the Americas after the United States, furthermore, it is recognised as a high-income economy by the World Bank. Unlike most of the English-speaking Caribbean, the economy is primarily industrial, with an emphasis on petroleum. The countrys wealth is attributed to its reserves and exploitation of oil. Historian E. L. Joseph claimed that Trinidads Amerindian name was Iere or Land of the Humming Bird, derived from the Arawak name for hummingbird, however, Boomert claims that neither cairi nor caeri means hummingbird and tukusi or tucuchi does. Others have reported that kairi and iere simply mean island, christopher Columbus renamed it La Isla de la Trinidad, fulfilling a vow made before setting out on his third voyage of exploration. Trinidad and Tobago are islands situated between 10°2 and 11°12 N latitude and 60°30 and 61°56 W longitude, at the closest point, Trinidad is just 11 kilometres from Venezuelan territory. Trinidad is 4,768 km2 in area with a length of 80 km. Tobago has an area of about 300 km2, or 5. 8% of the area, is 41 km long and 12 km at its greatest width. Trinidad and Tobago lie on the shelf of South America. The terrain of the islands is a mixture of mountains and plains, the highest point in the country is found on the Northern Range at El Cerro del Aripo, which is 940 metres above sea level. As the majority of the live in the island of Trinidad. There are four municipalities in Trinidad, Port of Spain. The main town in Tobago is Scarborough, Trinidad is made up of a variety of soil types, the majority being fine sands and heavy clays. The alluvial valleys of the Northern Range and the soils of the East-West Corridor are the most fertile, the Northern Range consists mainly of Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous metamorphic rocks. The Northern Lowlands consist of shallow marine clastic sediments. South of this, the Central Range fold and thrust belt consists of Cretaceous and Eocene sedimentary rocks, the Naparima Plains and the Nariva Swamp form the southern shoulder of this uplift
Dwight Eversley Yorke CM is a Tobagonian former football player. Throughout his club career, he played for Aston Villa, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney and he was the assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team until the completion of the qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. At international level, Yorke represented Trinidad and Tobago on 74 occasions between 1989 and 2009, scoring 19 goals, along with Russell Latapy and Pat Jennings, Yorke holds the record number of participations in different World Cup competitions, including qualifying stages – six in total. Yorke was first discovered by Graham Taylor, at the time the Aston Villa manager, Yorke appeared in a team that played a friendly match against Aston Villa, Taylor was impressed and offered Yorke a trial at Villa. Yorke was subsequently given a permanent contract and he made his First Division debut for Aston Villa against Crystal Palace on 24 March 1990, Yorke was an integral member of the Villa team that reached the League Cup Final in 1996. Villa won 3–0 against Leeds United with Yorke getting on the scoresheet, on 30 September 1996 he scored a hat-trick against Newcastle United in a 4–3 defeat. Newcastle were leading 3–1 at half-time and Aston Villa were down to ten men, Yorke thought he had scored a fourth goal to equalise the game at 4–4, only for it to be ruled offside. It was performances like this led to interest from Manchester United in August 1998. Yorke appeared for Aston Villa on 231 occasions, scoring 97 times, the circumstances of his departure from Aston Villa were controversial. Yorke then approached Gregory to state that he wanted to leave the club, to which Gregory was famously attributed to saying that he would shoot Yorke if he had had a gun in his office. Yorke played for Villa on the day of the season at Everton on 15 August 1998. Villa were left no option but to sell the player. Despite spending 9 years at Villa he is disliked by some of its fans for his behaviour at the time he left the club and also because he later joined Birmingham City. In his first season Yorke was a key player in guiding his club to a treble of the Premiership title, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Yorke was also a member of Uniteds 1999–2000 title winning team. Despite a less successful third season personally, Yorke scored a hat-trick in the top of the clash with Arsenal as United went on to win a third successive title. Yorkes limited appearances in the 2001–02 season led to rumours that hed fallen out with United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, after a January move to Middlesbrough fell through Yorke signed for Blackburn Rovers for £2 million during the close-season. Altogether he scored 64 goals for Manchester United in 188 appearances and it was rumoured that Souness accused him of not trying hard enough, and during a six-a-side match the pair once exchanged a few tough tackles
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
Steven George Gerrard, MBE is an English football coach and former player who currently serves as Academy coach at Liverpool. He played as a midfielder and spent the majority of his career playing for Premier League club Liverpool. Gerrard spent 17 seasons at Anfield, making his Liverpool debut in 1998, cementing his place in the first team in 2000 and his honours include two FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup, and one UEFA Super Cup. Gerrard scored Liverpools first goal and won the penalty kick for the third as Liverpool came from 3–0 down to defeat Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final and he joined Major League Soccer club LA Galaxy in July 2015, spending one-and-a-half seasons there before retiring on 24 November 2016. He was named as the permanent England captain shortly before UEFA Euro 2012, Gerrard became the sixth player to win 100 caps for England in 2012, and is currently fourth in the countrys all-time appearance list. He ended his career in July 2014, having won 114 caps. Regarded to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Gerrard came second to Kenny Dalglish in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, a 2008 Liverpool fan poll, and first in 2013. Zinedine Zidane and Pelé said in 2009 that they considered Gerrard to be the best footballer in the world, in 2005, Gerrard was honoured as the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and won the Ballon dOr Bronze Award. Born in Whiston, Merseyside, Gerrard started out playing for hometown team Whiston Juniors and he joined the Liverpool Academy at age nine. He attended Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, Gerrard had trials with various clubs at fourteen, but his success wasnt immediate — Gerrard never made it into the England schoolboys team. Gerrards trials included Manchester United, which he claimed in his 2006 autobiography was to pressure Liverpool into giving me a YTS contract and he signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on 5 November 1997. Gerrard made his Liverpool first-team debut on 29 November 1998 in a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers as a substitute for Vegard Heggem. He made thirteen appearances in his season, filling in for injured captain Jamie Redknapp in centre-midfield. He also occasionally played on the wing, but he scarcely contributed in the short on-pitch time he received. Gerrard recalled in a November 2008 interview with The Guardian, I was out of position, the Liverpool hierarchy nonetheless remained convinced that he would improve. Gerrard saw himself as a player primarily, looking to make key tackles rather than push the team forward. Gerrard began to regularly partner Redknapp in central midfield for the 1999–2000 season, later that season, Gerrard scored his first senior goal in a 4–1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. He was then beset by injuries that required four separate operations
Ian Edward Wright, MBE is an English former professional footballer turned television and radio personality. He is also currently a pundit for BT Sport. Wright enjoyed success with London clubs Crystal Palace and Arsenal as a forward, spending six years with the former, with Arsenal he lifted the Premier League title, both major domestic trophies, and the European Cup Winners Cup. He played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven clubs in Scotland and England, Wright also played in the Premier League for West Ham United, the Scottish Premier League for Celtic and the Football League for Burnley and Nottingham Forest. After retiring from the game he has active in the media, usually in football-related TV. His sons, Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips, are professional footballers. Ian is the son of Jamaican immigrants. His father, Herbert was absent from an age, and he was brought up by his mother. Wright came to professional football relatively late, despite having had trials at Southend United and Brighton during his teens, he was unable to attract sufficient interest to win a professional contract offer. Reverting to playing for amateur and non-league teams, he was left disillusioned about his chances of a career as a professional footballer. After a spell of poverty during which his wife was expecting their first child and he recalls that after being locked in the cell, he burst into tears and vowed to God to do everything in his power to make it as a footballer. A Crystal Palace talent scout, Peter Prentice, happened to see Wright playing for Dulwich Hamlet, having impressed then-manager Steve Coppell, he signed professional terms for Crystal Palace in August 1985, just three months short of his 22nd birthday. He quickly made his mark in his first season, scoring nine goals to finish as Palaces second-highest scorer, Wright was particularly instrumental that season, scoring 24 goals in the Second Division and a grand total of 33 in all competitions. Wright was called up for England B duty in December 1989, however, after recovering from the injury he made a dramatic appearance as a super-sub, in the 1990 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. He equalised for Palace a few minutes after coming onto the field forcing extra time, the eventual score was 3–3, but Palace lost the replay 1–0. The next season he gained international honours, and reached a hundred goals for Crystal Palace. He scored twice as Palace beat Everton to win the Zenith Data Systems Cup at Wembley, Wright became renowned for his deadly striking ability, as shown when he scored a hat-trick in just eighteen minutes in Palaces penultimate game of the 1990–91 season away to Wimbledon. In 2005, he was voted into their Centenary XI and was named as their Player of The Century, Wright signed for Arsenal in September 1991 for £2. 5m, which was at the time a club record fee
Dion Dublin is an English former footballer. Born in Leicester, he was capped four times for England, Dublin started his career as a centre-back with Norwich City, but made his name at Cambridge United as a centre-forward. He had spells with Norwich City, Cambridge United, Manchester United, Coventry City, Millwall, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Dublin is also an accomplished amateur percussionist, and invented a percussion instrument called The Dube. In 2011, he accompanied Ocean Colour Scene in a gig at the University of East Anglia, in 2015, he joined the presenting team on the BBC One daytime show Homes Under the Hammer. Whilst at school in Leicestershire, Dublin played for several Leicestershire youth teams including Wigston Fields and Thurmaston Magpies. Dublin then went on to begin his footballing career with Norwich City after leaving school in 1985. In August 1988, he joined Cambridge United on a transfer, as a centre-half. However, his new club recognised that Dublin had greater potential as a striker and his prolific goalscoring helped United to successive promotions. During the 1988–89 season, Dublin was then loaned out for a spell to Barnet. The 1989–90 season saw Cambridge promoted from the Fourth via the play-offs, in the 1990–91 season, the club were champions of the Third Division, and the club also reached the sixth round of the FA Cup in both seasons, with Dublin scoring at Arsenal in 1991. He has since spoken many times of his affection for Cambridge United, having seen Dublin in a cup tie, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson signed him for £1 million on 7 August 1992, fighting off competition from Chelsea and Everton. Dublin was something of a purchase for United, after Ferguson had tried to sign Alan Shearer from Southampton. He scored in Uniteds fourth Premier League game of the 1992–93 season, however, on 2 September, he suffered a broken leg against Crystal Palace in a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, after a tackle by Eric Young, and was out of action for six months. By the time he had recovered, however, United had signed Eric Cantona, United won the league that season for the first time since 1967, but Dublin failed to make the 10 Premier League appearances required to automatically gain a title winners medal. However, he was given a medal as a result of special dispensation from the Premier League, in the 1993–94 season, Dublin regained his fitness, but his first team chances were restricted by the excellent form of Eric Cantona. He managed five league appearances that season, scoring once in a 3–2 home win over Oldham Athletic in early April and he also managed a further goal in the Football League Cup second round first leg, as United were beaten 2–1 by Stoke City at the Victoria Ground. The goal against Oldham was the only goal that Dublin scored for United at Old Trafford. In four-and-a-half years with Coventry, Dublin established himself as one of the Premier Leagues top strikers and that season, he equalled the Coventry City record for most goals in a top division season with 23 goals in all competitions
Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey is an English professional footballer who last played as a striker for Championship club Bolton Wanderers. Before joining the club, he more than 500 appearances in the Football League and Premier League over an 18-year career. He also had a spell in Australia, playing for the A-League club Newcastle Jets, born in Leicester, Heskey started his career with Leicester City after progressing through their youth system, making his first-team debut in 1995. After winning the League Cup in 1997 and 2000 he made an £11 million move to Liverpool in 2000, at Liverpool, he won multiple honours, including the FA Cup in 2001. He moved to Birmingham City in 2004 and after their relegation from the Premier League signed for Wigan Athletic for a club record £5.5 million fee in 2006 and he signed for Aston Villa in 2009 and was released in 2012 before signing for Australian side Newcastle Jets. After two years, he returned to England, signing for Championship club Bolton Wanderers, Heskey was an England international at under-16, under-18, under-21, B and senior levels. He made his England debut against Hungary in a 1–1 draw in 1999 and he lost his place in the squad after UEFA Euro 2004, during which he failed to shine and was the subject of much criticism. After a long lay-off from international duty, Heskey was recalled to the England squad for UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers in September 2007 and he retired from international football following the 2010 FIFA World Cup, having attained 62 caps and scored 7 goals for his country. Heskey was born in Leicester, Leicestershire to a family of Antiguan descent and he attended City of Leicester School, Evington. Heskey was a footballer in his childhood and played for Ratby Groby Juniors. He stood out amongst his peers and at the age of nine he accepted a place at Leicester Citys football academy. Progressing through their system, he made his first-team debut at the age of 17 while still a first-year trainee in an Premier League match against Queens Park Rangers on 8 March 1995. Leicester were relegated to the First Division following the end of the 1994–95 season and he became a first-team regular in 1995–96, making 30 appearances for the club, helping them earn promotion back to the Premier League. During this season, Heskey scored his first goal as a professional footballer, the following season, 1997–98, saw interest from Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur for Heskey, as he again scored 10 Premier League goals, making him Leicesters top scorer that season. However, 1998–99 saw Heskey score only six goals, and he was criticised for not scoring enough goals. He went on to win the League Cup again in 2000 with a 2–1 win against Tranmere Rovers in the Final. Heskey joined Liverpool on 10 March 2000 in a long-anticipated £11 million move, Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier looked forward to working with him, but stated that at his age he is not the finished product. The press saw the move as expensive and risky as Heskey was relatively inexperienced and was not a prolific goalscorer, however, he was held in high regard by both the England under-21 manager, Peter Taylor, and England and Liverpool teammate Michael Owen
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in the Championship, the tier of English football. Founded in 1932, the club have played at the DW Stadium since 1999 and their colours are blue and white, recently most often striped, although all-blue shirts have been common throughout history. The team were elected to The Football League in 1978, the club also made their European debut during the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Wigan Athletic was formed in 1932, following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year, Wigan Athletic was the fifth attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Wigan Borough. Springfield Park, the home of Wigan Borough, was purchased by the club for £2,850. Despite their initial application being turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected into the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central, the club had also made the first of many attempts to be admitted into the Football League, but failed to receive a single vote. On 27 August 1932, Wigan Athletic played their first ever game against Port Vale Reserves. The team played in red and white shirts with black shorts, Wigan Athletic won their first honours in the 1933–34 season, finishing as champions of the Cheshire League. In the 1935–36 season, the club won their third consecutive Cheshire League title, after the Second World War, Wigan Athletic adopted their more familiar blue and white strip. The club struggled to assemble a side, and finished bottom of the league in 1946–47 season. Despite their pre-war success, the failed to gain re-election and were replaced by Winsford United. The club joined the Lancashire Combination, winning the league in their first season, in 1950, Wigan Athletic came close to election to The Football League, narrowly losing out to Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town. In the next round of the cup, Wigan Athletic were drawn against First Division side Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic held their top flight opponents to a 2–2 draw at St James Park, but went on to lose the replay 3–2. In 1961, the club moved back to the Cheshire League, in the 1964–65 season, Wigan Athletic won their first Cheshire League title since returning to the league, with top goalscorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the clubs greatest goalscorer of all time, Wigan Athletic won four cup titles in the 1966–67 season and were also Cheshire County League runners-up. In 1968, Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Northern Premier League, winning the league title in 1970–71, leading goalscorer with 42 goals, including 7 hat-tricks, was Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in the following 1971–72 season. As a non-league club, the played at Wembley Stadium for the first time in the 1973 FA Trophy Final
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector, light and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen. The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
Paul Scholes is a retired English footballer and current television pundit for BT Sport, who played his entire professional career for Manchester United and is currently co-owner of Salford City. Born in Salford and raised in Langley from infancy, Scholes excelled in cricket and football while at school. He made his debut for United in the 1994–95 season. Scholes represented the England national team from 1997 to 2004, gaining 66 caps and participating in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, as well as the UEFA Euro 2000, Thierry Henry has cited Scholes as the greatest player in Premier League history. Scholes made 718 appearances for United, the third-highest number of appearances by any player for the club, Scholes announced his retirement from playing on 31 May 2011, receiving a testimonial match, and began his coaching career at the club from the 2011–12 season onward. However, he reversed this decision on 8 January 2012, Scholes was born at Hope Hospital in Salford, Greater Manchester, the son of Stewart and Marina Scholes. On his mothers side, his grandmother came from the Republic of Ireland while his grandfather was from Northern Ireland, Scholes has said that he looks out for the results of the Republic of Ireland team and hopes that they do well. The family moved to Langley, Greater Manchester, when he was 18 months old and he attended the St Marys RC Primary School in Langley. The first team he played for was Langley Furrows, at age 14, he began training with Manchester United. He later joined as a trainee upon leaving the Cardinal Langley Roman Catholic High School in Middleton during the summer of 1991, in his final term at school, he was selected to represent Great Britain National Schools in football. His debut came on 21 September 1994, where he scored goals in a 2–1 victory over Port Vale in the Football League Cup. His league debut three days later against Ipswich Town at Portman Road, a game which United lost 3–2. He scored two goals when he came on 10 December when United beat Queens Park Rangers 3–2 at Loftus Road. On 3 January 1995, he got onto the scoresheet at Old Trafford for the first time with the opener in a 2–0 league win over Coventry City and he scored once more that season, in a 3–2 away win over Coventry City on 1 May. Scholes came on as a substitute in the 1995 FA Cup final against Everton and he came close to scoring twice late in the game, only to be foiled by Neville Southall both times. Scholes scored 14 goals in all competitions as United became the first English team to win the double twice and he picked up another Premier League winners medal in 1996–97 – in this season he changed his shirt number to 18, which he held for the next 15 years. By this stage, Scholes was rated at £5 million, shearer, however, never came to Old Trafford, instead joining Newcastle United for £15 million. After Roy Keane suffered an injury in late September 1997 and was ruled out for the season
Darren Ashley Bent is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Championship club Derby County. Bent started his career with Ipswich Town, after progressing through their youth system he made his first-team debut in 2001. He made 122 appearances and scored 48 goals in the league for Ipswich and he was Charlton Athletics top goalscorer for two consecutive seasons and joined Tottenham Hotspur for a club record fee of £16.5 million in 2007. After two seasons at Tottenham he joined Sunderland, after a successful 18 months at Sunderland, he joined Aston Villa in 2011. Bent had loans with Fulham, Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County and he has represented England at under-15, under-16, under-17, under-19, under-21 and senior levels. He made 14 appearances and scored nine goals for the under-21 side and he made his debut for the senior England side in 2006 against Uruguay, and has since made 13 appearances for England, scoring four goals. He scored his first goal on 7 September 2010 in a 3–1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match victory against Switzerland, Bent was born in Tooting, London to a family of Jamaican descent. His father, Mervyn Bent, was a player in the systems of Wimbledon. He moved to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire at the age of 10 and attended Hinchingbrooke school, as a youngster, Bent was a supporter of Arsenal, and used to have a season ticket at Highbury. He was handed a formal caution by police in June 2004 after he was alleged to have shot a 12-year-old with a pellet gun, Bent refrains from drinking alcohol and is a Christian. Bent progressed through Ipswich Towns youth system, having joined the club at the age of 14 in 1998 and he signed a professional contract with Ipswich on 2 July 2001. He scored his first Premier League goal on 24 April 2002 in a 1–0 win over Middlesbrough and he finished the 2001–02 season with seven appearances and two goals in all competitions, and also saw his team Ipswich face relegation into the First Division. He scored the goal against Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup on 31 October 2002. The 2003–04 season finished with Bent scoring 16 goals, which was followed by 20 goals in 2004–05, being the teams joint highest goalscorer with Shefki Kuqi. On the opening day of the 2005–06 Premier League season, Bent scored two goals on his Charlton debut against Sunderland, and was named the Premier League player of the month for August. He scored in his first four appearances for the club, one of six players to perform this feat in the Premier League. Bent was the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League in 2005–06, with 18 goals and he signed an extension to his contract at Charlton in July, which contracted him until June 2010. Charlton accepted a bid from West Ham United for him in June 2007 and he completed a move to Tottenham Hotspur for a club record fee of £16.5 million on 29 June 2007, which was to be payable over three years and is inclusive of add-on payments
Ipswich Town F.C.
Ipswich Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936 and they play their home games at Portman Road in Ipswich. The clubs traditional colours are blue shirts and white shorts. Ipswich have won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62 and they won the FA Cup in 1977–78, and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81. They have competed in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957–58. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio and Barcelona F. C. among others. The club was founded as a side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A. F. C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club. The team won a number of cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup. The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, Ipswich were elected to The Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in Division Three until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to Division Two. The club won the Division Three title again in 1956–57, and this time, Ipswich established themselves in Division Two, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, Division One, in 1960–61. In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became Champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62, as English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to Milan. Ramsey quit the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team, after the team won the 1966 World Cup, Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn, under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Milburn quit after just one season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969, Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup, at their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties
Peter James Crouch is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Stoke City. He was capped 42 times by the England national team between 2005 and 2010, scoring 22 goals for his country in time, and appearing at two World Cups. Crouch began his career as a trainee with Tottenham Hotspur and he failed to make an appearance for Spurs and after loan spells at Dulwich Hamlet and Swedish club IFK Hässleholm he joined Queens Park Rangers. After QPR were relegated at the end of the 2000–01 season and he had a strong first season at Fratton Park, and after scoring 19 goals for the club, he joined Aston Villa in March 2002 for £5 million. At Liverpool, Crouch enjoyed considerable success, winning the FA Community Shield and FA Cup in 2006, after scoring 42 goals in three seasons at Anfield, Portsmouth re-acquired him for £11 million, where he forged an effective partnership with fellow England international Jermain Defoe. He spent just one season in his spell at Portsmouth and left for Tottenham Hotspur. He scored a goal for Tottenham against Manchester City which earned the club a place in the UEFA Champions League. He scored seven goals in ten European matches for Spurs in 2010–11 and he joined Stoke City on 31 August 2011 for a club record fee of £10 million. In his first season with Stoke, he scored 14 goals and he scored eight in 2012–13 and then hit ten in both the 2013–14 and 2014–15 campaigns. Crouch was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, but his family moved to Singapore when he was one year old and his familys move to Singapore came about when his father, Bruce, originally from Fulham, took up a job offer to work at a Singaporean advertising agency. The Crouch family spent three-years living in the Far East and moved back to England after Bruce rejected the chance to work in Australia and they then spent time living at a YMCA in Tottenham before settling in Harrow on the Hill. Crouch attended Roxeth Primary and North Ealing Primary and began to play football with Northolt Hotspurs and he was then invited to join the Brentford Centre of Excellence in 1991 and he also played for the boys club West Middlesex Colts whilst attending Drayton Manor High School. Crouch turned down offers from Chelsea and Millwall and instead joined Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 1994. Crouchs family were Chelsea supporters and he became a boy at Stamford Bridge at the age of ten. As a child, he attended some Chelsea games, later, he told the Liverpool official website that despite this, he and his friends at the time were fans of QPR. Crouch signed a contract with Tottenham Hotspur on 2 July 1998. His move to Sweden came about when IFK Hässleholm sold Jon Jönsson to Tottenham for £70,000, on 28 July 2000, Tottenham sold Crouch to First Division Queens Park Rangers for £60,000. He made an impression with QPR, scoring ten league goals in the 2000–01 season
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight
Ivory Coast or Côte dIvoire, officially the Republic of Côte dIvoire, is a country located in West Africa. Ivory Coasts political capital is Yamoussoukro, and its economic capital and its bordering countries are Guinea and Liberia in the west, Burkina Faso and Mali in the north, and Ghana in the east. The Gulf of Guinea is located south of Ivory Coast, prior to its colonization by Europeans, Ivory Coast was home to several states, including Gyaaman, the Kong Empire, and Baoulé. Two Anyi kingdoms, Indénié and Sanwi, attempted to retain their identity through the French colonial period. Ivory Coast became a protectorate of France in 1843–1844 and was formed into a French colony in 1893 amid the European scramble for Africa. Ivory Coast achieved independence in 1960, led by Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the country maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbors while at the same time maintaining close ties to the West, especially France. Since the end of Houphouët-Boignys rule in 1993, Ivory Coast has experienced one coup détat, in 1999, the first took place between 2002 and 2007 and the second during 2010-2011. As a result, in 2000, the adopted a new Constitution. Ivory Coast is a republic with an executive power invested in its President. Through the production of coffee and cocoa, the country was a powerhouse in West Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. Ivory Coast went through a crisis in the 1980s, contributing to a period of political and social turmoil. Changing into the 21st-century Ivorian economy is largely market-based and still heavily on agriculture. The official language is French, with indigenous languages also widely used, including Baoulé, Dioula, Dan, Anyin. In total there are around 78 languages spoken in Ivory Coast, popular religions include Islam, Christianity, and various indigenous religions. Originally, Portuguese and French merchant-explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries divided the west coast of Africa, very roughly, there was also a Pepper Coast also known as the Grain Coast, a Gold Coast, and a Slave Coast. Like those, the name Ivory Coast reflected the major trade occurred on that particular stretch of the coast. One can find the name Cote de Dents regularly used in older works and it was used in Ducketts Dictionnaire and by Nicolas Villault de Bellefond, for examples, although Antoine François Prévost used Côte dIvoire. In the 19th century, usage switched to Côte dIvoire and it retained the name through French rule and independence in 1960
Matt Le Tissier
Matthew Matt Le Tissier is a Guernésiais and English former professional footballer and football television presenter. He works as a pundit for Sky Sports and is the honorary president of Guernsey F. C. He was the first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premier League and he is notable for his record at scoring penalty kicks – converting from the spot 47 times from 48 attempts – and is considered one of the greatest ever from the 12-yard spot. Following his retirement as a player, Le Tissier became a football pundit, in 2011 he became honorary president of Guernsey F. C. for whom he briefly registered as a player in May 2013 to help with the clubs fixture congestion. Le Tissier was born in Guernsey, and played football on the island with Vale Recreation between the ages of seven and sixteen. At fifteen, he had a trial at Oxford United, and he made 19 first team league appearances in 1987–88, failing to score, but in 1988–89, scored nine times in 28 league games. Le Tissiers highest scoring season was 1993–94, when he scored 25 league goals. In August 1995, he was subject of a £10million bid from Chelsea which would have made him the most expensive player in English football at the time. Shortly afterwards, defending league champions Blackburn Rovers were reportedly planning to sign him for a similar-sized fee, on 2 April 2000, Le Tissier scored a last minute penalty for Southampton in a 2–1 defeat to Sunderland. This brought his tally of Premiership goals to 100, making him only the sixth player and he scored the last goal in the final competitive match played at The Dell on 19 May 2001, against Arsenal. This turned out to be his last goal for Southampton and he played several games for the club during 2001–02, the first season at the new St Marys Stadium, in an eventual 11th-place finish. His final competitive appearance for the Saints came against West Ham on 30 January 2002 and he announced on 29 March 2002 that he would retire from playing at the seasons end after limping off with a recurrence of a calf strain during a reserve team game against Charlton. Throughout his career, Le Tissier had a reputation for scoring from the spot. After leaving Southampton, he had a 2-season-long spell with non-league side Eastleigh and he made his debut in a 3-0 victory over Newport in the Hampshire Senior Cup in October 2002. He played his last match for the early in August 2003. On 7 April 2013, ten years after retiring from football, Le Tissier announced he had out of retirement. He made his debut for the club on 24 April, as a substitute for Ollie McKenzie, the fixture would be his only appearance for the club. As a Channel Islander, he was eligible for any of the Home Nations teams, electing to play for England, he earned eight caps over three years, scoring a hat trick for England B against Russia
List of Premier League seasons
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition and is contested by 20 clubs. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 matches each, most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during weekday evenings. Teams competing in the Premier League may qualify for the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League on virtue of league positions, the competition adopts a promotion and relegation system with the Football League which comes into place at the end of each season. Since the inaugural season in 1992–93,45 teams have competed in the Premier League, at the end of the 1994–95 season, the league was reduced from 22 teams to 20. The record number of points accumulated by a team is 95 by Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Norwich have been relegated the most times while Derby County accumulated the lowest ever points total with 11 in the 2007–08 season. 16 top goalscorers from 11 different clubs have been awarded the Premier League Golden Boot, dutchman Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the first foreigner to win the award outright in 2000–01 having shared the accolade with Dwight Yorke of Trinidad and Tobago in 1998–99. In the inaugural season of the Premier League Manchester United finished 10 points clear of Aston Villa to win their first league championship in over 26 years, the club successfully retained the title in 1993–94, leading the table after beating Aston Villa 2–1 in the third gameweek. Manchester United also completed a league and cup double, beating Chelsea 4–0 in the FA Cup final, Blackburn Rovers under the investment of owner Jack Walker and manager Kenny Dalglish won their first championship since 1913–14 on the final day of the 1994–95 season. Despite Blackburn losing to Liverpool, Manchester United – in second place, Manchester United however regained the Premier League in 1995–96 after much scrutiny over the inexperience of the first team at the beginning of the season. Newcastle United who held a 12-point lead at the top in January 1996 were pegged back in the weeks before Manchester United moved in front at the end of March. Manchester United retained the league in 1996–97 but were overhauled by Arsenal in the ten weeks of the 1997–98 season. Arsenal, managed by Arsène Wenger in his first full season at the club also beat Newcastle 2–0 in the FA Cup final to win the trophy, United won the league for two successive seasons, in 1999–2000 ending the season 18 points in front and 2000–01 by 10. After four seasons without a trophy, Arsenal again completed a league, the title the following season was won by Manchester United, with striker Ruud van Nistelrooy scoring 25 goals in 38 league matches. Chelseas failure to finish first culminated in managerial changes, coach Claudio Ranieri was sacked, the club won the league in 2004–05,12 points ahead of runners-up Arsenal, scoring 72 goals and conceding 15 in the process. Chelsea won a second successive Premier League title in 2005–06 before Manchester United became the different club to win the league in four seasons in 2006–07. Chelsea reclaimed the league in 2009–10, scoring a record 103 goals, in May 2011, Manchester United won their 12th Premier League title and a record 19th after drawing away to Blackburn Rovers. Nottingham Forest were the first team relegated from the Premier League in the 1992–93 season and they were joined by Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace, with the latter club relegated on goal difference