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
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, together, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index. It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England are one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom played in the worlds first international football match in 1872. Englands home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current manager is Gareth Southgate, England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world, it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association, a return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship, to begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908, Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928 and their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1 and this still stands as Englands worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, it was like playing men from outer space, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as Englands first ever manager in 1946. In UEFA Euro 1968, the reached the semi-finals for the first time. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramseys dismissal, under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’, the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, the 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robsons successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968
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
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
Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, the second largest on the island of Ireland, and the heart of the tenth largest Primary Urban Area in the United Kingdom. On the River Lagan, it had a population of 286,000 at the 2011 census and 333,871 after the 2015 council reform, Belfast was granted city status in 1888. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, and was an industrial centre until the latter half of the 20th century. It has sustained a major aerospace and missiles industry since the mid 1930s, industrialisation and the inward migration it brought made Belfast Irelands biggest city at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, additionally, Belfast city centre has undergone considerable expansion and regeneration in recent years, notably around Victoria Square. Belfast is served by two airports, George Best Belfast City Airport in the city, and Belfast International Airport 15 miles west of the city. Although the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888, the site of Belfast has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The Giants Ring, a 5, 000-year-old henge, is located near the city, Belfast remained a small settlement of little importance during the Middle Ages. The ONeill clan had a presence in the area, in the 14th century, Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, descendants of Aodh Buidhe ONeill built Grey Castle at Castlereagh, now in the east of the city. Conn ONeill of the Clannaboy ONeills owned vast lands in the area and was the last inhabitant of Grey Castle, evidence of this period of Belfasts growth can still be seen in the oldest areas of the city, known as the Entries. Belfast blossomed as a commercial and industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, industries thrived, including linen, rope-making, tobacco, heavy engineering and shipbuilding, and at the end of the 19th century, Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the largest city in Ireland. The Harland and Wolff shipyards became one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, in 1886 the city suffered intense riots over the issue of home rule, which had divided the city. In 1920–22, Belfast became the capital of the new entity of Northern Ireland as the island of Ireland was partitioned, the accompanying conflict cost up to 500 lives in Belfast, the bloodiest sectarian strife in the city until the Troubles of the late 1960s onwards. Belfast was heavily bombed during World War II, in one raid, in 1941, German bombers killed around one thousand people and left tens of thousands homeless. Apart from London, this was the greatest loss of life in a raid during the Blitz. Belfast has been the capital of Northern Ireland since its establishment in 1921 following the Government of Ireland Act 1920 and it had been the scene of various episodes of sectarian conflict between its Catholic and Protestant populations. These opposing groups in conflict are now often termed republican and loyalist respectively. The most recent example of conflict was known as the Troubles – a civil conflict that raged from around 1969 to 1998
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
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
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and third largest in the United Kingdom. Historically part of Lanarkshire, it is now one of the 32 council areas of Scotland and it is situated on the River Clyde in the countrys West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as Glaswegians, Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Britain. From the 18th century the city grew as one of Great Britains main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America. Glasgow was the Second City of the British Empire for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Glasgow grew in population, reaching a peak of 1,128,473 in 1939. The entire region surrounding the conurbation covers about 2.3 million people, at the 2011 census, Glasgow had a population density of 8, 790/sq mi, the highest of any Scottish city. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and is well known in the sporting world for the football rivalry of the Old Firm between Celtic and Rangers. Glasgow is also known for Glasgow patter, a dialect that is noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city. Glasgow is the form of the ancient Cumbric name Glas Cau. Possibly referring to the area of Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, the later Gaelic name Baile Glas Chu, town of the grey dog, is purely a folk-etymology. The present site of Glasgow has been settled since prehistoric times, it is for settlement, being the furthest downstream fording point of the River Clyde, the origins of Glasgow as an established city derive ultimately from its medieval position as Scotlands second largest bishopric. Glasgow increased in importance during the 10th and 11th centuries as the site of this bishopric, reorganised by King David I of Scotland and John, there had been an earlier religious site established by Saint Mungo in the 6th century. The bishopric became one of the largest and wealthiest in the Kingdom of Scotland, bringing wealth, sometime between 1189 and 1195 this status was supplemented by an annual fair, which survives as the Glasgow Fair. Glasgow grew over the following centuries, the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 increased the towns religious and educational status and landed wealth. Its early trade was in agriculture, brewing and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe, Glasgow was subsequently raised to the status of Royal Burgh in 1611. The citys Tobacco Lords created a water port at Port Glasgow on the Firth of Clyde. By the late 18th century more than half of the British tobacco trade was concentrated on Glasgows River Clyde, at the time, Glasgow held a commercial importance as the city participated in the trade of sugar, tobacco and later cotton
The Racecourse Ground is a stadium located in Wrexham, North Wales. It is the home of Wrexham AFC, as of August 2016, the stadium has been known as My Racecourse. The record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 34,445 spectators, the Racecourse Ground is the largest stadium in North Wales and the fifth largest in Wales. The ground is used by the FAW for Wales home international games. The ground has also used by North Wales Crusaders rugby league club, Scarlets rugby union club. In the early days, the ground was used for cricket, music concerts returned to the Racecourse in 2016 when the Stereophonics performed. Wrexham Football Club have played at the Racecourse Ground since being formed in the local Turf Hotel public house in October 1864, before the club was formed the ground was mainly used for cricket and occasionally, horse racing. 1952 saw the laying down of concrete terracing on the ever-popular Kop end, five years later was to see the largest ever attendance at the Racecourse when 34,445 people gathered to witness an FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United. On 30 September 1959 the Racecourse saw the switching on of the newly installed floodlights, after promotion to the old Second Division in 1978 the Border Stand was built, taking its name from the Border Breweries which owned the ground. This part of the ground is now known as the Eric Roberts Builders Stand, the impressive new structure was originally named the Pryce Griffiths Stand after the then chairman has a capacity of 3,500 and also contains hospitality and conferencing facilities. In 2002 then Wrexham F. C. chairman William Pryce Griffiths secured a 125-year lease on the Racecourse with Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for £750,000, the club hosted TNS vs Liverpool in a UEFA Champions League qualifier in 2005. On 26 June 2002 the freehold to the Racecourse Ground was acquired by Wrexham A. F. C. from Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for the sum of £300,000. On the same day the ownership of the freehold was transferred by the chairman, Alex Hamilton, from Wrexham A. F. C. to another of his companies, Damens Ltd, for a nominal fee. After this controversial change in ownership the 125-year lease on the Racecourse held by Wrexham F. C. was renegotiated. The new lease stated that Damens Ltd could evict Wrexham F. C. from the Racecourse Ground upon 12 months notice, the new lease also saw the clubs annual rent increase from £1 to £30,000. On 19 May 2014, work commenced at the Racecourse, this included, the medical and treatment facilities will also be upgraded, together with improved seating for disabled supporters, better floodlighting and removal of cambers at the ‘Kop’ end of the ground. The results mean the stadium has been reclassified to Category 3 level, with the clubs emergence from Administration in May 2006, ownership of the ground passed new company, Wrexham Football Club Ltd, owned by Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts. Thus the new company had two tenants for the stadium, the £40 million project would be developed in conjunction with Glyndŵr University to house over 800 students, and take place in two phases
Wrexham is the largest town in north Wales and an administrative, commercial, retail and educational centre. Wrexham is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley alongside the border with England, historically part of Denbighshire, the town became part of Clwyd in 1974 and since 1996 has been the centre of the Wrexham County Borough. At the 2011 Census, Wrexham had a population of 61,603, human activity in the Wrexham area dates back to the Mesolithic period. By the early Middle Bronze Age the area had developed into a centre for an innovative metalworking industry, a Roman civilian settlement was located in the Plas Coch area of Wrexham and excavations have revealed evidence of agriculture and trade with the wider Roman world. By the end of the 6th century AD, the area was being contested between the Celtic-speaking inhabitants and the English-speaking invaders advancing from the east, the origins of the name Wrexham may possibly be traced back to this period. Renewed Welsh and Viking attacks led to a reduction in Anglo-Saxon power in north Wales from the early 10th century, following the Welsh reconquest of the area during the 11th century, Wrexham formed part of the native Welsh lordship of Maelor. During the 12th century the lordship was disputed between the Welsh and the English. The first recorded reference to the town in 1161 is to a Norman motte and bailey castle at Wristlesham which was founded in the Erddig area around 1150 by Hugh de Avranches. However, by the early 13th century Wrexham was undisputedly in the hands of the Welsh house of Powys Fadog, stability under the princes of Powys enabled Wrexham to develop as a trading town and administrative centre of one of the two commotes making up the Lordship. Following the loss of Welsh independence on the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, Wrexham became part of the semi-independent Marcher lordship of Bromfield and Yale. From 1327 onwards, the town is referred to as a villa mercatoria and by 1391 Wrexham was wealthy enough for a bard, jester, juggler, dancer and goldsmith to earn their living there. At the beginning of the 15th century, the local gentry, local poet Glyn Gutor Glyn wrote of Sion ap Madog, the great-nephew of Owain Glyndŵr, as Alecsander i Wrecsam. In the mid 15th century, the church was gutted by fire. The main part of the current church was built in the late 15th, the Acts of Union passed during the reign of Henry VIII brought the lordship into the full system of English administration and law. It became part of the new shire of Denbighshire in 1536, the economic character remained predominantly agricultural into the 17th century but there were workshops of weavers, smiths, nailers as well as dye houses. A grammar school was established in 1603 by Alderman Valentine Broughton of Chester, during the English Civil War, Wrexham was on the side of the Royalists, as most Welsh gentry supported the King, but local landowner Sir Thomas Myddelton, owner of Chirk Castle, supported Parliament. The Industrial Revolution began in Wrexham in 1762 when the entrepreneur John Wilkinson, known as Iron Mad Wilkinson, wilkinsons steam engines enabled a peak of production at Minera Lead Mines on the outskirts of Wrexham. Wrexham was also known for its industry, by the 18th century there were a number of skinners and tanners in the town
William Bromley-Davenport (British Army officer)
Brigadier-General Sir William Bromley-Davenport, KCB, CMG, CBE, DSO, TD, JP, DL was a British soldier, footballer and Conservative politician. He fought with distinction in both the Second Boer War and the First World War, an MP from 1886 to 1906, he held political office under Arthur Balfour as Financial Secretary to the War Office from 1903 to 1905. Bromley-Davenport was the son of William Bromley Davenport and his wife Augusta Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of Walter Campbell and he was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. Bromley-Davenport played football for Oxford University and Old Etonians and he represented England on two occasions in March 1884, against Scotland and Wales respectively. A centre-forward, he scored two goals in the game against Wales, Bromley-Davenport was elected Member of Parliament for Macclesfield in the July 1886 general election. While an MP, he fought in the Second Boer War in the Imperial Yeomanry, at the end of 1901, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cheshire. He served in the Conservative administration of Arthur Balfour as Financial Secretary to the War Office from 1903 to 1905 and was a Civil Member of the Army Council from 1904 to 1905, however, he lost his seat in the House of Commons in the 1906 Liberal landslide. During the First World War Bromley-Davenport commanded the 22nd Mounted Brigade of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force with the rank of Brigadier-General from 1916 to 1917 and he was also Assistant Director of Labour from 1917 to 1918. Between 1920 and 1949 he held the honorary post of Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire. He was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1918, a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919, bromley-Davenports seat was Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire. He died unmarried in February 1949, aged 87, hansard 1803–2005, contributions in Parliament by Sir William Bromley-Davenport
Clapham Rovers F.C.
Clapham Rovers was from its foundation in 1869 a leading English sports organisation in the two dominant codes of football, association football and rugby union. It was a prominent club in the late 19th century but is now defunct, the club played variously on Clapham Common, Tooting Bec Common and Wandsworth Common and wore a cerise and French-grey kit. The club was formed on 10 August 1869 by a meeting arranged by W. E. Rawlinson, at this very first meeting it was agreed to play under both codes, with Association rules to be played one week, and Rugby the other. This peculiar feature in the constitution of the club obtained for the club the sobriquet of the Hybrid Club, the first match was played on 25 September 1869, against the Wanderers, at that time arguably the strongest Association club. Despite the prowess of their opponents The Rovers won by one goal to nil, at the close of the 1870 season only two matches had been lost, one under each rules, and in both instances the return match was won. Clapham Rovers were one of the fifteen teams to play in the very first edition of the FA Cup, the first ever FA Cup goal was scored by Clapham Rovers Jarvis Kenrick, in a 3–0 victory over Upton Park on 11 November 1871. Rovers greatest achievement was winning the FA Cup in 1879–80 with a 1–0 win over Oxford University at The Kennington Oval, the previous year, Clapham Rovers had also reached the final, but lost 1–0 to Old Etonians. Clapham Rovers were also one of ten members of the Surrey County Football Association. The clubs strength in rugby was borne out by their record, from 1870 to 1881 the club played 151 Rugby games, winning 80, losing 30, and drawing 41. During the 1870s they fielded a team that had four internationals, R. H. Birkett was captain, his brother, L. Birkett, and the Bryden brothers. Additionally Crampton, and Walker were well regarded forwards and Clapham was known to have the strongest combination of the time behind the scrummage. On 26 January 1871,32 members representing twenty-one London and suburban football clubs that followed Rugby School rules assembled at the Pall Mall Restaurant in Regent Street, E. C. Holmes, captain of the Richmond Club assumed the presidency. It was resolved unanimously that the formation of a Rugby Football Society was desirable and thus the Rugby Football Union was formed. A president, a secretary and treasurer, and a committee of thirteen were elected, R. H. Birkett represented The Rovers and was one of the thirteen original committee members. The first international match was played between Scotland and England in 1871 and The Rovers provided R. H. Birkett. In this match he scored Englands first ever try, when the club played one of the strongest and most well established clubs, Richmond, for the first time on 21 October 1871, they won the match by 1 goal and 2 tries. The date of the dissolution is unclear, although the last time they competed in the FA Cup was in the 1885–86 season. Their most successful player, Norman Bailey, was described as a Clapham Rovers player when he made the last of his 19 England appearances on 19 March 1887
William Gunn (cricketer)
William Billy Gunn was an English sportsman who played internationally in both cricket and football. In first-class cricket, Gunn played professionally for Nottinghamshire from 1880 to 1904, in football, he played for both Notts County and Nottingham Forest as an amateur and played twice for England, scoring one goal in the inaugural 1884 British Home Championship. Born at St Annes, Nottingham, Gunn was a specialist right-handed batsman who bowled slow underarm lobs. He was an outfielder who was noted for his accurate throwing and his most successful season was 1889, following which he was voted Wisden Batsman of the Year. He joined his Nottinghamshire colleagues Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsbury in the English cricket team in Australia in 1886–87. In his Wisden citation, Gunn was described in the following terms. we think we are correct in saying that no batsman of the height has ever played in more elegant. Gunn was a member of Alfred Shaw and Arthur Shrewsburys team in Australia during the season of 1886/7, and averaged 21.8 in eleven-a-side matches, and 20.7 in all matches. Gunn was approximately 6 ft 2 in tall and had the ability to throw a long distances. Gunn founded the sports equipment firm Gunn and Moore in 1885 and his nephews, George and John Gunn, were both England Test cricketers. He died 29 January 1921 at Standard Hill, Nottingham, cricketArchive page on Billy Gunn Cricinfo page on Billy Gunn Brief profile of William Gunn by Don Ambrose Wisden Online –1890
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
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
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final