Football in England
Today Englands top domestic league, the Premier League, is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world, with six of the ten richest football clubs in the world. The England national football team is one of only 8 teams to win the World Cup, a total of five English club teams have won the UEFA Champions League. Football was played in England as far back as medieval times, kicking ball games are described in England from 1280. An account of an exclusively kicking game from Nottinghamshire in the fifteenth century bears similarity to association football. By the 16th centuries references to organised teams and goals had appeared, there is evidence for refereed, team football games being played in English schools since at least 1581. The eighteenth-century Gymnastic Society of London is, arguably, the worlds first football club, the Cambridge rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, during the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised a set of rules. These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, the Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games. A match between Sheffield and Hallam F. C. on 29 December 1862 was one of the first matches to be recorded in a newspaper, on 8 March 1873, the England national teams 4–2 win over Scotland at the Oval was the first ever victory in international football. The late nineteenth century was dominated by the split between the amateur and professional teams, which was roughly aligned along a North-South divide. Northern clubs were keen to adopt professionalism as workers could not afford to play on an amateur basis, preston North End were inaugural winners in 1888–89, and were also the first club to complete the double of both winning the league and the FA Cup. Aston Villa repeated the feat in 1896–97 and it remained at 40 until the league was suspended after the 1914–15 season with the outbreak of World War I. Other clubs to win titles in this period include Sheffield United, Manchester United. During the war, competitive football was suspended, however, an unofficial Wartime Football league was played from 1915–16 to 1918–19, although the FA Cup was suspended until after the war. The next season the league was expanded with the Third Division divided into North and South sections. In the 1923–24 season the Third Division North was expanded to 22 clubs, Bolton Wanderers defeated West Ham United to win this landmark game. Bolton Wanderers would win the FA Cup on three occasions during the 1920s, by the turn of the 1930s, the national side regularly played against other national teams from outside the British Isles
Blackburn Olympic F.C.
Blackburn Olympic Football Club was an English football club based in Blackburn, Lancashire in the late 19th century. The club was formed in 1878 and initially took part only in local competitions. In 1880, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, Olympic, however, proved unable to compete with wealthier and better-supported clubs in the new professional era, and folded in 1889. Most of Olympics home matches took place at the Hole-i-th-Wall stadium, from 1880 onwards, the clubs first-choice colours consisted of light blue shirts and white shorts. Association football was first codified in the 1860s in the south of England and played by teams of former public school pupils. However, the spread to the industrial towns of the north by the following decade. The town of Blackburn in Lancashire had more than an active football clubs by 1877, with Blackburn Rovers, founded in 1875. Blackburn Olympic F. C. was founded in February 1878 when two of clubs, Black Star and James Street, opted to merge. The name was chosen by James Edmondson, the clubs first treasurer, the new clubs first match was a friendly played on 9 February 1878 which resulted in a 2–0 win over local team St. Johns. In April, the club entered its first competition, the Livesey United Cup, marks in the final to win the tournament, and, as the competition was not held again, the club retained the trophy in perpetuity. Olympic won the cup in both 1879 and 1880, after which the competition was discontinued when the Blackburn Association was absorbed into the larger Lancashire County Football Association, as with the Livesey United Cup, the trophy remained in Olympics possession for the remainder of the clubs existence. In the clubs first FA Cup match, the Light Blues were defeated 5–4 by Sheffield, and the following season the team again lost in the first round, away to Darwen. The clubs increasing expenses were met with the help of Sydney Yates, an iron foundry owner. At the end of the 1881–82 season, Olympic defeated Blackburn Rovers to win the East Lancashire Charity Cup, in the 1882–83 FA Cup, Olympic defeated four other Lancashire clubs, Accrington, Lower Darwen, Darwen Ramblers, and Church, to reach the fifth round. At this stage the Light Blues were drawn to play Welsh team Druids, Olympic defeated the Ruabon-based team 4–1 to progress to the semi-final stage, where for the first time they faced opponents from the south of England — Old Carthusians. Olympic, however, won 4–0 in a match played at a venue in Whalley Range, Manchester, to set up a match with another of the great amateur teams, Old Etonians. The Etonians had defeated Olympics close rivals Blackburn Rovers in the final a year earlier, the first time a northern team had reached the final. Before the final, former England player Jack Hunter, who had joined the club in 1882 in the roles of player and coach
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
The Oval, currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London. The Oval has been the ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket in September 1880, the final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there. In addition to cricket, The Oval has hosted a number of historically significant sporting events. In 1870, it staged Englands first international match, versus Scotland. It hosted the first FA Cup final in 1872, as well as those between 1874 and 1892, in 1876, it held both the England v Wales and England v Scotland rugby international matches, and in 1877, rugbys first Varsity match. The Oval is built on part of the former Kennington Common, Cricket matches were played on the common throughout the early 18th century. The earliest recorded match was the London v Dartford match on 18 June 1724. However, as the common was used regularly for public executions of those convicted at the Surrey Assizes. Kennington Common was eventually enclosed in the mid 19th century under a scheme sponsored by the Royal Family, in 1844, the site of the Kennington Oval was a market garden owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Hence, Surrey County Cricket Club was established in 1845, the popularity of the ground was immediate and the strength of the SCCC grew. On 3 May 1875 the club acquired the remainder of the leasehold for a term of 31 years from the Otter Trustees for the sum of £2,800. In 1868,20,000 spectators gathered at The Oval for the first game of the 1868 Aboriginal cricket tour of England, the first tour of England by any foreign side. Thanks to C. W. Alcock, the Secretary of Surrey from 1872 to 1907, the Oval, thereby, became the second ground to stage a Test, after Melbourne Cricket Ground. In 1882, Australia won the Test by seven runs within two days, the Sporting Times printed a mocking obituary notice for English cricket, which led to the creation of the Ashes trophy, which is still contested whenever England plays Australia. The first Test double century was scored at The Oval in 1884 by Australias Billy Murdoch, surreys ground is noted as having the first artificial lighting at a sports arena, in the form of gas-lamps, dating to 1889. The current pavilion was completed in time for the 1898 season, in 1907, South Africa became the 2nd visiting Test team to play a Test match at the ground. In 1928, the West Indies played its first Test match at The Oval, in 1936, India became the fifth foreign visiting Test side to play at The Oval, followed by Pakistan in 1954 and Sri Lanka in 1998
Wales national football team
The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales, the body for football in Wales. During their history, Wales have qualified for two international tournaments. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and they reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 after beating Belgium in the quarter-final match on 1 July 2016. This was, therefore, the first time that Wales had reached the semi-final of a major tournament, Wales also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-final, which was played on a home and away leg basis but they did not feature in the finals tournament. At all levels including the teams the Welsh national team draws players primarily from clubs in the English football league system. The main professional Welsh clubs play in the English leagues, with some full-time and part-time professional clubs playing in the Welsh football league system. Wales played its first competitive match on 25 March 1876 against Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland took the spoils winning 2–0. Wales first match against England came in 1879 – a 2–1 defeat at the Kennington Oval, London and in 1882 Wales faced Ireland for the first time, the associations of the four Home Nations met in Manchester on 6 December 1882 to set down a set of worldwide rules. This meeting saw the establishment of the International Football Association Board to approve changes to the rules, the 1883–84 season saw the formation of the British Home Championship, a tournament which was played annually between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, until 1983–84. Wales were champions on 12 occasions, winning seven times whilst sharing the title five times. As a result, Wales did not enter the first three World Cups, in 1932 Wales played host to the Republic of Ireland, the first time they played against a side from outside the four home nations. A year later, Wales played a match outside the United Kingdom for the first time when they travelled to Paris to take on France in a match which was drawn 1–1. The top two teams were to qualify for the finals in Brazil, but Wales finished bottom of the group. The 1950s were an age for Welsh football with stars such as Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, Alf Sherwood, Jack Kelsey, Trevor Ford, Ronnie Burgess, Terry Medwin. Wales made its only World Cup finals tournament appearance in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, however, their path to qualification was unusual. In the Asian/African qualifying zone Egypt and Sudan had refused to play against Israel following the Suez crisis, as a result, FIFA proclaimed Israel winners of their respective group. However, FIFA did not want a team to qualify for the World Cup finals without actually playing a match and so lots were drawn of all the second placed teams in UEFA
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
Bramall Lane is a football stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Sheffield United and it was also used by Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield F. C. for major matches. This is because Sheffield Wednesday are a club and used to own this ground. It has been the home of Sheffield United since the establishment in 1889. It is the oldest major stadium in the still to be hosting professional association football matches. The stadium was built on a Sheffield road named after the Bramall family, the Bramalls owned The Old White House on the corner of Bramall Lane and Cherry Street, and subsequently built the Sheaf House, now a public house that still stands at the top of Bramall Lane. The stadium was opened as a cricket ground. It was also used for games in the 19th century by Sheffield F. C. and Sheffield Wednesday. Bramall Lane is one of two grounds which has hosted England football internationals, an England cricket test match and an FA Cup Final. It also regularly hosted FA Cup Semi Finals and replays between 1889 and 1938, the ground has also hosted rugby league games for the Sheffield Eagles, a Billy Graham Evangelist meeting in 1985 and a pair of rock concerts by Bruce Springsteen in 1988. The record attendance for the ground is 68,287, set at an FA Cup 5th Round tie between Sheffield United and Leeds United on 15 February 1936. Bramall Lane opened as a ground in 1855, having been leased by Michael Ellison from the Duke of Norfolk at an annual rent of £70. The site was then away from the industrial area. It was built to host the matches of cricket clubs and originally had six clubs playing there, one of whom was the Wednesday Cricket Club. Bramall Lane opened on 30 April 1855 as a ground with a match between The Eleven and The Twenty Two, The Eleven, despite being the senior team. A team representing Yorkshire played the first county match at the ground on 27 August 1855, against Sussex, although the first county game had been played eight years earlier, the official Yorkshire County Cricket Club was not formed until 1863. The idea came from Ellison, who was using his own finances to support the club and it was the clubs headquarters until 1893, when they moved to Headingley in Leeds. In 1897, Jack Brown and John Tunnicliffe recorded a first wicket score of 378 against Sussex—a ground record that has never been beaten, browns score of 311 and Yorkshires innings of 681 for 5 declared were also records when the cricket ground closed
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, its derives from the River Sheaf. With some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is 569,700, Sheffield is the third largest English district by population. The metropolitan population of Sheffield is 1,569,000, in the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production. Known as the Steel City, many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel, Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the City of Sheffield in 1893. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in these industries in the 1970s and 1980s, the 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield along with other British cities. Sheffields gross value added has increased by 60% since 1997, standing at £9.2 billion in 2007, the economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber. The city is in the foothills of the Pennines, and the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin. 61% of Sheffields entire area is space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District national park. The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield is believed to have inhabited since at least the late Upper Palaeolithic period. The earliest evidence of occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. In the Iron Age the area became the southernmost territory of the Pennine tribe called the Brigantes and it is this tribe who are thought to have constructed several hill forts in and around Sheffield. Gradually, Anglian settlers pushed west from the kingdom of Deira, a Celtic presence within the Sheffield area is evidenced by two settlements called Wales and Waleswood close to Sheffield. The settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, however, date from the half of the first millennium. In Anglo-Saxon times, the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria, after the Norman conquest, Sheffield Castle was built to protect the local settlements, and a small town developed that is the nucleus of the modern city. By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, from 1570 to 1584, Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manor. During the 1740s, a form of the steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than had previously been possible
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the two professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a constituent country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee, the majority of Scotlands home matches are played at the national stadium, Hampden Park. Scotland is the joint oldest national team in the world, alongside England. Scotland has a rivalry with England, whom they played annually from 1872 until 1989. The teams have met six times since then, most recently in November 2016. Scotland have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on eight occasions and the UEFA European Championship twice, the team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967. Archie Gemmill scored what has been described as one of the greatest World Cup goals ever in a 3–2 win during the 1978 World Cup against the Netherlands, in their qualifying group for UEFA Euro 2008, Scotland defeated 2006 World Cup runners-up France 1–0 in both fixtures. Scotland supporters are known as the Tartan Army. The Scottish Football Association operates a roll of honour for every player who has more than 50 appearances for Scotland. Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986, Dalglish scored 30 goals for Scotland and shares the record for most goals scored with Denis Law. Scotland and England are the oldest national teams in the world. Teams representing the two sides first competed at the Oval in five matches between 1870 and 1872, the two countries contested the first official international football match, at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland, on 30 November 1872. The match ended in a goalless draw, all eleven players who represented Scotland that day played for Glasgow amateur club Queens Park. Over the next forty years, Scotland played matches exclusively against the other three Home Nations—England, Wales and Ireland, the British Home Championship began in 1883, making these games competitive. The encounters against England were particularly fierce and a rivalry quickly developed, Scotland lost just two of their first 43 international matches. It was not until a 2–0 home defeat by Ireland in 1903 that Scotland lost a match to an other than England. This run of success meant that Scotland would have topped the Elo ratings
Notts County F.C.
Notts County Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. With records of games as early as 28 November 1862, Notts County is recognised as the oldest association football team in the world now playing at a professional level. Between 1888–89 and 2013–14 they played a total of 4,756 Football League matches – more than any other English team, the team plays in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. County play their games at Meadow Lane in black and white striped shirts. The club has had spells in the top division of English football, most recently in 1991–92. Notable former managers of Notts County include Jimmy Sirrel, Howard Wilkinson, Neil Warnock, Howard Kendall, the club has had several owners. In the 21st century, a series of problems has seen the club owned by a supporters trust. Notts County are the oldest professional club in the world having been formed in 1862. Notts pre-dated The Football Association and initially played a game of its own devising, at the time of its formation, Notts County, like most sports teams, were considered to be a gentlemen-only club. Notts County are considered to be one of the pioneers of the game and are the oldest of the worlds professional association football clubs. In November 1872, the Notts County full-back Ernest Greenhalgh played for England against Scotland in the international match. In 1888, Notts County, along with 11 other football clubs and they finished their first league season in 11th place, but avoided the dubious honour of the wooden spoon, which went to Midlands rivals Stoke. However, Notts County did achieve their highest ever finish of third in 1890–91. On 25 March 1891, Notts County reached the FA Cup final for the first time, the Magpies were defeated 3–1 by Blackburn Rovers at The Oval, despite having beaten the same side 7–1 in the league only a week earlier. This achievement is also memorable for Notts County becoming the first club outside the top division to win the FA Cup, in 1910 they moved to Meadow Lane. Notts County were relegated in 1926 in what was to be their last season in the English top flight for half a century. The 1925–26 season was the last season that famed giant goalkeeper Albert Iremonger played for the club, in the 1946–47 season, the ground was used temporarily by Nottingham Forest after the River Trent flooded both Meadow Lane and the City Ground. Forest again used Meadow Lane in 1968, after fire destroyed the main stand at the City Ground, the golden age of the club came just after the end of World War II