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
Bangor Football Club is a Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Premier Intermediate League. The club, founded in 1918, hails from Bangor and plays its matches at the Bangor Fuels Arena. Club colours are gold and royal blue, connected with this announcement, manager Marty Quinn resigned and was appointed as manager of Glenavon. Marty Quinn was replaced by Colin McCurdy who guided Bangor through their first season back in Intermediate Football, Colin McCurdy resigned from his position on 18 September 2010 and former player Frankie Wilson was appointed. After a poor run of results which saw Bangor plunge to the bottom of Championship 1 at the end of 2012, Spike Hill was named as first team coach in October 2016 after Garth Scates and Jeff Montgomery resigned during a league game away to Limavady United. Kyle Spiers joined Spike Hill as Director of Football at the club at the time as Spikes arrival. The first Bangor FC was founded, according to local legend, back on dry land, a committee was formed and the new Bangor FC played at the Recreation Ground off the Brunswick Road, as a successful member of the Irish Football Alliance. Others were convinced that life should continue as normally as possible and within a matter of days a new Bangor FC was born, taking over the fixtures and many of the players of the old Bangor FC. Encouraged by early success, Bangor joined the then Intermediate league where they played until gaining admission into the Irish League in 1927 and their first senior match was a local derby against Ards at Castlereagh Park on 20 August 1927. The late twenties and thirties were times of depression, money was scarce, gates disappointing. Against this background, Bangor were able to field a team which was able to keep its head above water, at that time Bangor FC played at the Ballyholme Showgrounds where they had moved from their second home in Castle Street in 1923. They Showgrounds were situated just behind the Ballyholme Esplanade and, being based, had one of the best and robust surfaces in the Irish League. In 1934, the club was given notice to quit as the ground was required for building houses, Bangor enjoyed the most successful period in its history during the 1990s when the club qualified for Europe for the first time in its history after finishing second in the Irish League. This success was followed by winning the Irish Cup in 1993 after two replays against bitter rivals, Ards, paul Byrne, who scored the winning goal with the last kick of the game, moved on to Celtic. In October 2007, the announced that a deal had been struck with property developers to sell land at the rear of the ground. Unfortunately, their stay in the Premiership only lasted a season as midway through the campaign the Club decided not to re-apply for the Domestic Licence that was required to compete at this level. As a result, Bangor FC were relegated at the end of the season, the first season back in Intermediate football proved quite difficult with a hastily arranged, young squad. A draw in the match of the season against Ballymoney United ensured that they avoided the ignominy of relegation to Championship 2 by a single point
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
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
Holywell Town F.C.
Holywell Town F. C. is a Welsh football club from Holywell, Flintshire. They are nicknamed The Wellmen, and play their games at Halkyn Road. Holywell Town were founding members of both the Cymru Alliance and the League of Wales and enjoyed their best period in the top flight in the mid-1990s. For the 2015-16 season, they will be playing back in the Cymru Alliance after a gap of nine due to winning the Welsh Alliance League Division 1 the previous season. The history of football in Holywell can be traced back to a club that was known as Holywell. There is evidence of a Holywell team existing way back in 1881, back in March 1893, Holywell became one of the seven founder members of the North Wales Coast League, and had 58 players registered with the club within six months of the league commencing. Holywell would finish 4th in the season of the North Wales Coast League. This was followed by three seasons of fifth-place league finishes, ending in 1897–98, when the finished in sixth place. This would be the worst position the club would end up during their time in the Coast League, the club reached their first cup final in 1898, when they faced Bangor City for the North Wales Senior Cup, but would lose the final 3–0 to Bangor City. However, after being engulfed by the Baron Corvo episode of 1899, the left the North Wales Coast League at the end of the 1900–01 season. After three years absence, football returned to Holywell in 1905, with the formation of a new club and they would later rejoin the North Wales Coast League for the 1912–13 season. Holywell United was to enjoy a run during the next few years. In the 1913–14 season, they achieved the North Wales Coast League and Amateur Cup double, winning 15 of their 17 league games and it was during this period when Holywell United hosted their biggest game at that time, playing an Everton XI at their Ffordd Fer ground. The Merseysiders included at least five players with English First Division experience within the team and they also reached the final of the North Wales Coast Amateur Cup for the fifth time, but would lose to Holyhead 3–1. In 1929–30, the club first appeared under the new name of Holywell Arcadians, for the following three seasons, Holywell Arcadians competed in the Welsh Football League, which ran alongside the North Wales Football Combination, and was the forerunner of the Welsh League. Holywells social and football history came together and combined to establish the club as it is known today, in 1946 former soldiers that were returning home from World War II established the club at Halkyn Road, where it has played its home games ever since. It was also around this period that the moniker of The Wellmen was adopted by the club, the Wellmen beat Barmouth 2–0 in the final at Llandudno. More success came to Holywell when they joined the Welsh League in the 1949–50 season and they finished a highly creditable fifth place, but went on to become the Welsh League champions in the 1952–53 season
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
Porthmadog Football Club is a football team, playing in the Cymru Alliance. The club was founded in 1884 and plays at Y Traeth, Porthmadog, Porthmadog Football Club was founded in 1884, making them one of Wales oldest clubs. In 1900, the joined the North Wales League, which it won league in the 1902–03 season. The 1950s–70s were successful decades for Port, the club won the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1955–56 and 1956–57. After losing its status, and signing Mel Charles, the team had more success. In 1966, its played against Swansea City in the Welsh Cup, Port then won the Welsh League in five of the next nine years. It was not until 1989–90 that Port had its next championship win and this was enough to ensure Ports place as inaugural members of the Cymru Alliance League in 1990. In 1992, Port became inaugural members of the League of Wales, in his second season, Taylor went on to become both the leagues and Europes top scorer, earning him the European Golden Boot. During his spell at the club, he scored 62 goals in 66 games, despite the 70 goals netted by Taylor and Marc Lloyd-Williams, in the 1993–4 season, the team finished in eleventh. Port did, however, break another record—the biggest attendance in the League of Wales, a crowd of 3,250 came to see Bangor City push for the league title. Bangor City won the game 2–0 and therefore won the league, the third season started with a new manager, following the surprising decision to sack Owen. Ian Edwards, ex-Wales International, became manager, but after a good start, after Mickey Thomas, the former Manchester United, Wrexham and Wales player took over, the team continued to play poorly and was nearly relegated. The fourth season started with another change of manager, as assistant Colin Hawkins was promoted to the job, while it was a quiet season on the field, events off the field were anything but quiet. The club nearly folded because of financial troubles but was re-launched as a limited company, £10,000 was raised through the sale of shares and extra money was raised through friendly matches, such as against Blackburn Rovers and a team of stars from S4C. The financial situation improved in 1996–97, and the team started the well, winning all home games until the New Year. One of Ports most influential players during the start was Paul Roberts. Before leaving the club to join Wrexham for £10,000 and his chance to play for the Welsh youngsters came after he had scored for Port to beat them in a friendly match. After Roberts departure, Port performed poorly and finished in tenth place, the season ended on a high note with a win against Caernarfon Town in the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup Final, following victories over Caernarfon Town and Colwyn Bay in earlier rounds