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
The Welsh Cup is a knock-out football competition contested annually by teams in the Welsh football league system. The Football Association of Wales is the body of this competition. The winning team qualifies to play in the following seasons UEFA Europa League, until 1995, Welsh clubs playing in the Welsh or English leagues were invited to play in the Welsh Cup. On occasion some English clubs, mostly those from border areas such as Shrewsbury, Hereford, however, in the event of an English club winning the Welsh Cup, they were not allowed to progress to the European Cup Winners Cup. Instead, the best placed Welsh club in the Welsh Cup competition would take the European place, from 1996 to 2011, only clubs playing in the Welsh football league system were allowed to enter the Welsh Cup. This rule excluded the six Welsh clubs who played in the English football league system, Cardiff City, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham. On 20 April 2011, the Football Association of Wales invited these six clubs to rejoin the Welsh Cup for the 2011–12 season, between the 1961–62 and 1984–85 seasons, the final was played as a two-leg match, originally on a points basis rather than aggregate score. In the 1985–86 season, it reverted to a game, to be decided by extra time. The last English winner of the Welsh Cup was Hereford United in 1990, for a list of Welsh Cup finals including venue and attendance information see List of Welsh Cup finals
Northwich Victoria F.C.
Northwich Victoria Football Club is an English football club based in Northwich, Cheshire, playing their home games at Wincham Park, Northwich, the home of Witton Albion. The new club was a member of several leagues including the Football League Second Division. They played at the same Drill Field ground for over 125 years, at the time Drill Field was believed to be the oldest ground in the world on which football had been continuously played. The generally accepted year for the original Northwich Victoria Football Clubs founding is 1874 by Charles James Hughes and James Heyworth, however, according to club historian Ken Edwards book A Team for All Seasons, the organisation itself could have been in existence earlier in the 1870s. Northwich played their first challenge matches in the 1874 season and originally accepted both association football and rugby rules. This was shown in 1876 when they contested a match under Rugby rules at Farnworth and Appleton F. C. and then at home under association rules. The first time the club entered a competition was the 1877 Welsh Cup. Its best achievement in the competition was in the 1881–82 and 1888–89 seasons, when they reached the final in 1882, they were the first English club to do so. In 1880, the club entered the competition for the new Cheshire Football Association Challenge Cup. They went on to win the cup for the five seasons, defeating in the finals, Birkenhead, Northwich Novelty, Crewe Alexandra. In 1890, the became a founding member of the second incarnation of The Combination. In their second season in the league they finished as runners-up, a great leap forward was taken in 1892, when Northwich became one of the founding members of the English Second Division, which saw the team turn professional. In the leagues inaugural season, Northwich finished 7th, the highest finish in the clubs history and it was during the latter stages of this season that Northwich acquired the services of Billy Meredith, the Welsh International, who is widely regarded as the first football superstar. It was said by many that Finnerhan made Meredith, another notable result was holding Woolwich Arsenal to a 2–2 draw at the Drill Field. However, as a result of their position at the bottom of the league. Up to the middle of decade, Northwich played in red. However a major change in the clubs livery occurred when they adopted the colours they wear today, green. Lured by the chance of increased revenues, the joined the Manchester League in the 1900–01 season
Crewe Alexandra F.C.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the links with the rail industry. The team compete in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra and it was a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892, but only lasted four years in the League. Since re-entering the competition in 1921, they have remained in the lower divisions. Crewes only major honour is the Football League Trophy which they won in 2013 and they have also won several minor trophies, including the Cheshire Premier Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup. Gradi is known for focusing on development and promoting attractive. Notable players brought through the Crewe youth system include former internationals Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, other notable players to have made their name at Crewe in that time include Geoff Thomas, David Platt and Robbie Savage. Crewe Alexandra were formed in 1877 as Crewe Football Club, separate from the successful Crewe Cricket Club and they were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground and played their first match against North Staffs that same year, a match that ended 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandras first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queens Park of Glasgow, in 1888, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Football Alliance, in 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site. Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921, during which season a crowd of 15,102 packed into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City. Crewe earned their first honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, in 1936, Bert Swindells scored his 100th League goal for Crewe Alexandra. He went on to score 126 goals for the club, a record still stands today. 1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches, the dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport. One of Crewes most famous took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, on 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe,1961 saw Crewes most notable win in their history, Jimmy McGuigans side defeated Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge
Rhyl Football Club is a Welsh football club from Rhyl in Denbighshire, playing in the Welsh Premier League. The club was founded in 1879 and the team plays its matches at Belle Vue. Football in Rhyl dates from the late 1870s and at one time there were several Rhyl clubs in existence, Rhyl F. C. became founder members of the Welsh League, formed in 1890, but withdrew the following year. They reformed as Rhyl Athletic in 1893 and became members of the North Wales Coast League. Rhyl Athletic joined forces with Rhyl Town in 1898 and in an ambitious move switched to the Anglo-Welsh competition known as The Combination, despite financial crises, they remained in membership until the league disbanded at the end of the 1910–11 season. Rhyl won the title in 1925–26 and became a company in 1928 as Rhyl Athletic. In 1929 Rhyl applied to join the Football League but York City became the only non-league team elected to the Third Division North, with North Wales football in turmoil in the early 1930s, Rhyl sought to realise their ambitions elsewhere. Another unsuccessful application to the Football League was made in 1932 before joining the Birmingham, in a post-war purple patch, Rhyl won the league title twice – in 1947–48 and 1950–51 – and the Welsh Cup twice in succession. In 1952, they beat Merthyr Tydfil 4–3 and became the first non-league side in the era to retain the trophy. Rhyl had been losing finalists to Cardiff City in 1930 and Crewe Alexandra in 1937, but did not feature in the final again until 1993, between 1948 and 1972 Rhyl appeared regularly in the first round proper of the FA Cup. In 1957 Rhyl reached the fourth round proper, losing 3–0 away to Bristol City, in the Cheshire County League, success eluded them for several years before they won the title in 1972. On the dissolution of the Cheshire County League in 1982, Rhyl became members of the North West Counties League, in 1993–94, they won the title by six points and gained promotion to the League of Wales. Rhyl completed a quadruple by rounding off the season with a 6–0 win against Halkyn United in the Final of the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup. However, these feats were later tainted by the revelation that leading scorer Andy Moran had been taking the banned stimulant Nandrolone throughout the season, Rhyl won many games with late goals, leading to widespread rumours that other players were also taking the drug. Moran was stripped of his Golden Boot as a result, although the results were allowed to stand. Rhyl could not reproduce their quadruple heroics in 2004–05, the club finished runners-up in the Welsh Premier League to TNS and also fell to the same team in both the Welsh Cup semi-final and Welsh Premier Cup quarter-final. In 2005–06, Rhyl recorded their first-ever win in European competition when they defeated Lithuanian side FK Atlantas 2–1 in the leg of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. Rhyl lost the away leg 3–2, but progressed on the away goals rule and they lost in the second round against Norwegian club Viking F. K
Bangor City F.C.
Bangor City Football Club are a semi-professional Welsh football club from the City of Bangor, Gwynedd. The club compete in the Welsh Premier League, being ever present since the league was founded in 1992. Bangor City F. C. is one of Wales older football clubs, and has an history of competition in European football. In the 1961–62 season, Bangor City won the Welsh Cup, in the first round, Bangor was drawn against the Italian Cup winners, Napoli, at the time one of Europes greatest football teams. In the first leg, played at Farrar Road, unexpectedly Bangor won 2–0, world superstar Bobby Charlton guested for the Blues in the 1978 Anglo-Italian Tournament. At the end of 1977–78 when Southport was relegated from the English Football League Fourth Division, Bangor City, Boston United, due to Wigan Athletic having installed crush barriers, Bangor missed out on promotion. In 1979–80 Bangor City was invited to compete in the Alliance Premier League, on 12 May 1984 Bangor became the first Welsh club to play at Wembley since Cardiff in 1927, when reaching the FA Trophy final against Northwich Victoria. The match finished 1–1, with local boy Paul Whelan scoring for Bangor, the replay was played in Stokes Victoria Ground, and despite a goal from another Bangor lad, Bangor lost 2–1 conceding in the last minute. In 1985 Bangor City was back in the ECWC, in the first round drawn against the Norwegian cup winners, Fredrikstad. Interestingly, captain of Bangor that season was midfielder Mark Palios, against Atletico, Palios shaved the post with a header in the first minute that would have given Bangor an unlikely lead in the first leg at Farrar Road following a cross by Phil Lunn. In 1994 as League of Wales Champions, Bangor City entered the UEFA Cup, akranes won the leg in Bangor by 2–1, while Bangor lost the match in Iceland by 2–0. Łódź were a powerful side, But Nick dominated throughout the game. Having played Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United in earlier campaigns, manager at the time was Nigel Adkins, now in charge of Championship side Reading. Unsurprisingly Bangor were beaten, 2–0 at home, and 1–0 in Finland, in 2006 the club made it to the Welsh Cup final where they were beaten by Rhyl 2–0 at Wrexhams Racecourse ground. The club managed to win back the Welsh Cup in 2008, defying the odds and defeating league high fliers Llanelli 4–2 after extra time at Latham Park, Newtown. An injury time equaliser saw an invasion by celebrating Bangor fans before the Blues were able proceeding to defeat their expensively-assembled opponents during the additional period. Victory in the Welsh Cup meant that Bangor had again qualified for Europe, the first leg was held at the Racecourse ground, Wrexham, saw Bangor beaten 6–1 by a talented Danish side. Despite this early setback Bangor ended the 2008–09 season with yet more silverware as they retained the Welsh Cup by defeating Aberystwyth Town 2–0 in a match held at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli