Muntz Street is the popular name of a former association football stadium situated in the Small Heath district of Birmingham, England, taken from the street on which it stood. During its lifetime the ground was known as Coventry Road, the name Muntz Street is a recent adoption. It was the ground at which the teams of Birmingham City F. C. – under the former names of Small Heath Alliance, Small Heath. It also served as the headquarters of the Small Heath Athletic Club, the Muntz Street ground, then situated on Birminghams eastern edge and bordered on two sides by farmland, opened in 1877. It was a field with terracing round it which provided standing accommodation for roughly 10,000 spectators, a wooden stand was built and the terracing raised to expand the capacity to around 30,000, but eventually it proved too small for the football clubs needs. They built a new stadium nearer the city centre, St Andrews, Muntz Street, by then in a heavily built-up area, was demolished in 1907 and the land used for housing. The street of the name remains. In 1876, they made a move to a fenced-off field in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, with a capacity estimated at 3,000, because the field was enclosed. A year later moved again, to a field in Small Heath, rented for an initial £5 a year from the family of Sam Gessey. The field had a capacity of 10,000 spectators, and was situated on the edge of Birminghams built-up area. It was bordered on two sides by developed streets, Muntz Street on the side, Wright Street to the south. When it first opened, the ground had few facilities for either player or spectator, uncovered terracing surrounded the pitch, and a hut acted as the players changing room. A small but well-appointed covered wooden stand was built on the Coventry Road side, in 1895, the football club bought the lease to the ground, which had 11 years remaining, for a sum of £275. Two years later, they paid £90 to their neighbours, Aston Villa Football Club. The club transported it piece by piece, and re-erected it as a terrace cover behind the goal at the Muntz Street end. No other major improvements were made, nor did the club ever move their offices to the site, instead maintaining premises in Corporation Street. Muntz Street was readily accessible by public transport, in the early years, horse-drawn buses ran along the Coventry Road, linking Small Heath with the city centre and with other nearby districts. In the early years of the 20th century, this line was converted for use by electric trams, contemporary reports referred to the ground throughout its lifetime as Coventry Road
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
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was known as St. Lukes FC and was founded in 1877. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, the following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The clubs current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged. They ended the season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first Double winners. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a time when they moved to Molineux. Wolves lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1–0, and added a second triumph in 1908, two years after having dropped into the Second Division. After struggling for years to regain their place in the top division, the club suffered a further relegation in 1923, entering the Third Division. Eight years later Wolves regained their status after winning the Second Division title under Major Frank Buckley. This game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, the 1950s were by far the most successful period in the clubs history. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the championship for the first time in 1953–54. This became the final spur for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of LÉquipe, to propose the creation of the European Cup, although the decade opened with a fourth FA Cup victory and almost the first double of the 20th century, the 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline. Cullis was sacked in September 1964 in a season that ended with relegation and this exile would last only two seasons though, as they were promoted in 1967 as runners-up. During the close season in 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of the fledgling United Soccer Association league which imported clubs from Europe. Playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the Western Division, the clubs return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success under Bill McGarry, with a fourth place in 1971 qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. They lifted silverware though two later, when they won the League Cup for the first time by beating Manchester City 2–1 in the final. The club was saved from liquidation at the last minute when it was purchased by a consortium fronted by former player Derek Dougan
Birmingham Senior Cup
The Birmingham Senior Cup is a football competition for Birmingham County FA club teams, organised by the Birmingham County Football Association. It began in 1876 and is the oldest county cup competition still active, ^ The 1893–94 cup was shared following a 3–3 draw b. ^ In 1954–55 the trophy was shared after a replay c
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
Small Heath is an area in South-East Birmingham, West Midlands, England. It is situated on and around the A45 Small Heath is host to many thriving local businesses, Small Heath, which has been settled and used since Roman times, sits on top of a small hill. The slightly elevated site offers poor agricultural land, lying on a drift of sand, gravel. The land therefore seems to have developed as a pasture or common land, the Coventry Road itself was first recorded in 1226, leading from the Digbeth crossing of the River Rea. At this time Birmingham was a market town whilst Coventry was a major city of national importance. In 1745, the Coventry Turnpike was created with tollgates at Watery Lane Middleway, Green Lane, at Holder Road a milestone showed 105 miles to London. The first recording of Small Heath was noted in 1461, which applied to a narrow heath between Green Lane and the Coventry Road, where the baths and library were built later. The 1799 opening of the Warwick and Birmingham Canal, from Digbeth to Warwick, in 1852, this definition was enforced with the opening of the Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed Birmingham and Oxford Junction Railway, which follows the same route. As Birmingham developed, the wealthy began to look for space outside the inner city. Small Heath, a site close to and within a fast developing city. The next developments were mainly terraced housing estates laid out for the classes as far as Charles Road. The development of properties in the area was much easier and cheaper through the extraction of the local clay. The largest local clay pit was located on Cattell Road, members of Holy Trinity Cricket Club, Bordesley had formed the Small Heath Alliance Football Club in 1875 as a way of keeping fit over the winter. Also serving as the headquarters of the Small Heath Athletic Club, the capacity was raised by the addition of a wooden stand. In 1895, the club bought the lease to the ground. Small Heath Athletic Club established its headquarters at the Muntz Street ground from the foundation in 1891. Though primarily a cross-country and road-racing club, they participated in track and field athletics. After Birmingham received its city charter in 1889, the club was renamed Birmingham City Football Club, eventually the ground proved too small for the football clubs needs, and rising rents forced the development of a new stadium
Birmingham is a major city and metropolitan borough of West Midlands, England lying on the River Rea, a small river that runs through Birmingham. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London, the city is in the West Midlands Built-up Area, the third most populous urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,440,986 at the 2011 census. Birminghams metropolitan area is the second most populous in the UK with a population of 3.8 million and this also makes Birmingham the 8th most populous metropolitan area in Europe. By 1791 it was being hailed as the first manufacturing town in the world, perhaps the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive demolition. Today Birminghams economy is dominated by the service sector and its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121. 1bn, and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, Birminghams sporting heritage can be felt worldwide, with the concept of the Football League and lawn tennis both originating from the city. Its most successful football club Aston Villa has won seven league titles, people from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the citys nickname of Brum. This originates from the citys name, Brummagem, which may in turn have been derived from one of the citys earlier names. There is a distinctive Brummie accent and dialect, Birminghams early history is that of a remote and marginal area. The main centres of population, power and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon. The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era, within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years, by 1700 Birminghams population had increased fifteenfold and the town was the fifth-largest in England and Wales. The importance of the manufacture of goods to Birminghams economy was recognised as early as 1538. Equally significant was the emerging role as a centre for the iron merchants who organised finance, supplied raw materials. The 18th century saw this tradition of free-thinking and collaboration blossom into the phenomenon now known as the Midlands Enlightenment
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
An exhibition game is a sporting event whose prize money and impact on the players or the teams rankings is either zero or otherwise greatly reduced. In team sports, matches of this type are used to help coaches and managers select. If the players play in different teams in other leagues. The games can be held between separate teams or between parts of the same team, international competitions like the Olympic Games may also hold exhibition games as part of a demonstration sport. In the early days of football, known simply as football or soccer. However, since the development of The Football League in England in 1888, league tournaments became established, in addition to lengthy derby, since the introduction of league football, most club sides play a number of friendlies before the start of each season. Friendly football matches are considered to be non-competitive and are used to warm up players for a new season/competitive match. There is generally nothing competitive at stake and some rules may be changed or experimented with, although these events may involve sponsorship deals and the awarding of a trophy and may even be broadcast on television, there is little prestige attached to them. Frequently such games take place between a club and small clubs that play nearby, such as those between Newcastle United and Gateshead. International teams also play friendlies, generally in preparation for the qualifying or final stages of major tournaments and this is essential, since national squads generally have much less time together in which to prepare. The biggest difference between friendlies at the club and international levels is that international friendlies mostly take place during club league seasons and this has on occasion led to disagreement between national associations and clubs as to the availability of players, who could become injured or fatigued in a friendly. Players can be booked in international friendlies, and can be suspended from international matches based on red cards or accumulated yellows in a specified period. Caps and goals scored also count towards a players career records, in the UK and Ireland, exhibition match and friendly match refer to two different types of matches. A bounce game is generally a non-competitive football match played between two sides usually as part of an exercise or to give players match practice. Managers may also use bounce games as an opportunity to observe a player in action before offering a contract, usually these games are played on a training ground rather than in a stadium with no spectators in attendance. Exhibition fights were common in boxing. Jack Dempsey fought many exhibition bouts after retiring, joe Louis fought a charity fight on his rematch with Buddy Baer, but this was not considered an exhibition as it was for Louis world Heavyweight title. Muhammad Ali fought many exhibitions, including one with Lyle Alzado, in more modern times, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Jorge Castro have been involved in exhibition fights
The Combination was a league during the early days of English football. It had two incarnations, the first ran only for the 1888–89 season for teams across the Northern England and the Midlands, the second was created for the 1890–91 season, but disbanded in 1911. The league comprised teams primarily from North West England and later Wales, the first Combination was set up in 1888, the same year the Football League was founded. It consisted of 20 teams, although this proved too many teams for one to play the other once. Instead each club was to play eight home and away. Many fixtures were left unfulfilled, and the Combination was wound up in April 1889, participating teams included Newton Heath, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Burslem Port Vale, Crewe Alexandra, Bootle, Small Heath and Blackburn Olympic. Newton Heath, Grimsby, Crewe, Bootle and Small Heath went on to co-found the Football Alliance the following year, the second incarnation was founded in 1890. Glossop North End, who joined in 1894, were elected to the League. As the competition evolved, the nature of the teams changed, with many more Welsh teams being involved, as well as the teams of the Football League clubs such as Everton. By the time the competition folded in 1911 none of the members still participated, with the exception of Wrexham. It was succeeded by the Cheshire County League and later by the North West Counties Football League, the champions of the league were as follows
Captain (association football)
The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband. The only official responsibility of a captain specified by the Laws of the Game is to participate in the toss prior to kick-off. Contrary to what is said, captains have no special authority under the Laws to challenge a decision by the referee. However, referees may talk to the captain of a side about the general behaviour when necessary. At an award-giving ceremony after a fixture like a cup competition final, any trophy won by a team will be received by the captain who will also be the first one to hoist it. The captain also generally leads the teams out of the room at the start of the match. The captain generally provides a point for the team, if morale is low. Captains may join the manager in deciding the first team for a certain game, in youth or recreational football, the captain often takes on duties, that would, at a higher level, be delegated to the manager. A club captain is usually appointed for a season, if he is unavailable or not selected for a particular game, then the club vice-captain will be appointed to perform a similar role. The match captain is the first player to lift a trophy should the team win one, a good example of this was in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final when match captain Peter Schmeichel lifted the trophy for Manchester United as club captain Roy Keane was suspended. In the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, match captain Frank Lampard jointly lifted the trophy for Chelsea with club captain John Terry, a club may appoint two distinct roles, a club captain to represent the players in a public relations role, and correspondent on the pitch. After Neville retired in 2011, regular starter Nemanja Vidić was named as club captain, são Paulos Rogério Ceni is the player who has worn the captains armband the most times. A vice-captain is a player that is expected to captain the side when the captain is not included in the starting eleven, or if, during a game. Examples include Manuel Neuer succeeding Philipp Lahm at Bayern Munich, Marcelo attaining from Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid C. F, gary Cahill being the understudy of John Terry at Chelsea FC and Lionel Messi taking over from Andrés Iniesta at FC Barcelona. Similarly, some clubs also name a 3rd captain to take the role of captain when both the captain and vice-captain are unavailable, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Germany had three captains. Michael Ballack had skippered the team since 2004, including the successful qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Lahm ended up becoming the permanent captain of Germany, as Ballack was never called up for the national team
Knickerbockers or knickers are a form of mens or boys baggy-kneed trousers particularly popular in the early 20th century United States. Golfers plus twos and plus fours are breeches of this type, before World War II, skiers often wore knickerbockers too, usually ankle-length. Until after World War I, in many English-speaking countries, boys wore short pants in summer. At the onset of puberty, they graduated to long trousers, in that era, the transition to long pants was a major rite of passage. See, for example, the classic song Blues in the Night by Johnny Mercer, My mammy done told me, when I was in knee-pants, my mammy done told me, son. Baseball players wear a form of knickerbockers, although the pants have become less baggy in recent decades. The white trousers worn by American football officials are knickerbockers, and while they have become less baggy, in recent years, the NFL has equipped its officials with long trousers rather than knickers in cold weather. In fact, Washington Irving had a friend named Herman Knickerbocker. Herman Knickerbocker, in turn, was of the upstate Knickerbocker clan, Jansen van Wijhe invented the name upon arriving in New Amsterdam and signed a document with a variant of it in 1682. Knickerbocker became a byword for a New York patrician, comparable to a Boston Brahmin, the Knickerbocker name stayed with the team even after it moved its base of operations to Elysian Fields at Hoboken, N. J. in 1846. The baseball link may have prompted Casey Stengel to joyously exclaim, when he was named pilot of the newborn New York Mets in 1961. Hence also the locally-brewed Knickerbocker Beer brewed by Jacob Ruppert, the first sponsors of the TV show Tonight, the Knickerbocker name was an integral part of the New York scene when the Basketball Association of America granted a charter franchise to the city in the summer of 1946. As can best be determined, the decision to call the team the Knickerbockers was made by the clubs founder. The team is now referred to as the Knicks. Knickerbockers have been popular in other sporting endeavors, particularly golf, rock climbing, invariably referred to as knickers in the US, where the British definition of that term is unknown, they lived on as a just-past-the-knee variant of racing tights reserved for colder-weather riding. Knickers are still worn as part of the uniform in fencing. Knickerbockers are often worn in baseball as pants, a custom that has been practiced even since long pants became widely used in the U. S, the traditional knickerbockers of old were more like pants that had been folded back with long socks. However, by 1984 the style had waned as more top-heavy styles with snug pants rendered the style obsolete, in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth nations, the term knickers is used for womens undergarments
Birmingham General Hospital
Birmingham General Hospital was a teaching hospital in Birmingham, England, founded in 1779. However, work to erect the new hospital on that land stopped through lack of funds in 1766, the hospital finally opened on 20 September 1779, giving its name to Hospital Street. About 200 patients were treated in its first three months of operation, even though the 40 beds were fewer than half those aimed for, two, two-storey side wings were added in 1790. Further extensions were made in 1857 and 1880, eventually 235 beds were provided on the site. The site was used for a tram, then bus, depot and is now occupied by Centro House, headquarters of the Transport for West Midlands. The hospital relocated to Steelhouse Lane in 1897, on a formerly occupied by almshouses provided by Lenchs Trust. Neville Chamberlain became an Official Visitor and then a director of the Hospital and he advocated a larger facility, a cause in which he was eventually successful, though building did not commence until 1934. He was still fundraising while he was Prime Minister, on 5 July 1948 the hospital became part of the new National Health Service. Until 1964 the hospital was a centre for nurses, who, on qualification. After 1964, training switched to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the suburb of Edgbaston. The league was wound up in 2000, due to its remaining members increasing age, the Birmingham pub bombings, the worst terrorist attack on the mainland until 2005, occurred within a mile of the hospital, on 21 November 1974. Taxi cabs and all available ambulances ferried victims to either the General or to the nearby Accident Hospital, in later years, a helicopter landing pad was marked near the road in front of the hospital, for use by air ambulances. The General closed in the mid-1990s and its Grade A locally listed, red brick building has been used as Birmingham Childrens Hospital since 1998. Health Care in Birmingham, The Birmingham Teaching Hospitals 1779-1939
Bootle F.C. (1879)
Bootle F. C. was an English football club based in Bootle, Lancashire. Founder members of the Football Alliance, the club was one of the first two clubs to resign from the Football League, and also one of only two clubs to spend a single season in the League. Bootle F. C. were formed in 1879 as Bootle St Johns AFC, later that year the club changed its name to Bootle A. F. C. and then entered the FA Cup for the first time the following season. Playing at Hawthorne Road, Bootle applied to become members of the Football League. Unlike neighbours Everton, their application was unsuccessful, instead, in 1889–90 Bootle became founder members of the Football Alliance. That season was their most successful as they finished league runners-up, reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, in 1887 Bootle signed former Scotland international Andrew Watson, the first black international player. If, as is likely, he was then he was the first black professional footballer in history. When the Alliance merged with the Football League in 1892, Bootle became founder members of the new Second Division, despite finishing in eighth position, the club resigned after one season, becoming one of the first two clubs to do so. It was replaced by neighbours Liverpool, and seemingly disappeared due to financial problems, Bootle and Middlesbrough Ironopolis are the only two clubs to have spent just one season in the Football League. Four Bootle players appeared for Wales, Smart Arridge Walter Evans Billy Hughes Job Wilding Players with articles Bootle F. C. Bootle Athletic F. C
The Invincibles (football)
In English football, The Invincibles has been used to refer to the Preston North End team of the 1880s managed by William Sudell, and the Arsenal team of the 2003–04 season managed by Arsène Wenger. Preston earned the nickname after completing a season undefeated in league and cup competition. Prestons league record was 18 wins,4 draws and 0 losses, out of 22 games played, Preston also won the Cup without conceding a goal. Prestons unbeaten run stretched to one game the season, their first league defeat came away to Aston Villa in the second game. Of the seven teams to have completed the Double in England, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger wanted his team to push on for more honours and described the defeat of Manchester United as a shift of power in English football. Do you think Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea dont dream that as well and they just dont say it because theyre scared to look ridiculous, but nobody is ridiculous in this job as we know anything can happen. Arsenal lost to Everton in October 2002 and failed to win their three matches in all competitions, representing their worst run of form in 19 years. By March 2003, Arsenal had established themselves as league leaders, Arsenal finished the season with league wins against Southampton and Sunderland and was later consoled with success in the FA Cup – they beat the former team 1–0 in the 2003 final. Wenger sought to strengthen his team with minor additions, goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, as well as a number of players from academies abroad, namely Gaël Clichy. In comparison to their rivals Chelsea, bankrolled by new owner Roman Abramovich, the financial constraints that came with the Ashburton Grove stadium project meant Wenger had little income to spend on new players. Once funding was found amidst the season, the added to its roster, José Antonio Reyes arrived in the winter transfer window. In the 2003–04 season, Arsenal regained the Premier League without a single defeat, over the 38 games played, their league record stood at 26 wins,12 draws and 0 losses. The unbeaten run came close to ending six matches into the campaign against Manchester United, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a penalty in injury time, the match then ended 0–0. In Europe, Arsenal reached the stage of the UEFA Champions League where they were eliminated by London rivals Chelsea. Continuing into the season, a special gold version of the Premier League trophy was commissioned to commemorate Arsenal winning the title without a single defeat. The run extended to six matches for a total of 49 league games undefeated. Compared with the clubs double-winning side of 1998, only Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp remained as first team throughout the unbeaten run, Martin Keown. Defenders Lee Dixon and Tony Adams had retired from football in 2002
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is a professional association football club located in the Deepdale area of Preston, Lancashire. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Prestons unbeaten League and Cup season earned them the nickname The Invincibles, Prestons most recent major trophy success was their FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town in 1938. Many notable players have played for the club, including Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly, Sr. and Graham Alexander. On 21 January 1875, the club leased a field opposite Moor Park on the site of the current Deepdale stadium, Preston North End were famously successful during the early years of professional football in England. In 1887, Preston beat Hyde 26–0 in the First Round of the FA Cup, Preston forward Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in the match, going on to score 19 goals in the competition that season, also still a record. The clubs last major win was their FA Cup triumph in 1938. Prestons most famous player, Sir Tom Finney, played for the club between 1946 and 1960, Finney is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, and was also a local lad, dubbed the Preston Plumber due to his professional training as a plumber. Finney remains the top goalscorer, with 187 goals from 433 appearances. Following Finneys retirement, Preston were relegated to the Second Division in 1961 and have not played in the top division since, the club did reach the FA Cup final in 1964, but lost to West Ham United. Preston were relegated to the Third Division in the 1969–70 season, Alan Ball, Sr. John McGrath oversaw Prestons promotion back to the Third Division a year later, where they remained when John Beck took over in October 1992. The 38-year-old Beck had only recently been sacked by Cambridge United, the club almost made it two promotions in a row to reach the Premier League, but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the 2001 play-off final. Simon Grayson was appointed by the club on 18 February 2013, of Simon Graysons next 10 games, Preston won 3, drew 4 and lost 3. In Simon Graysons first summer in charge, he permanently signed 4 players, Tom Clarke, a centreback, Chris Humphrey, a winger, Kevin Davies, a Centre forward and Alex Nicholson. He also signed Declan Rudd on a long loan from Norwich City. He allowed 3 players to leave during the summer, those being Luke Foster, Chris Robertson, the 2013–14 season started off well, unbeaten in their first 9 league games. They also beat local rivals Blackpool in the League Cup, before being beaten by Lancashire rivals Burnley in the second round. The 9 league game unbeaten run came to an end on 5 October, against Peterborough United, Preston then went on another 9 game unbeaten league run, winning 5 and drawing 4, including a win against Leyton Orient, only their second league defeat of the season
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The ground is known as Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The clubs nickname, The Saddlers, reflects Walsalls status as a centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground, Walsall Town Swifts first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps, in 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892 and they moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League, at the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. a year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, with the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsalls highest home attendance was set in 1930, when played in of front of 74,600 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents Villa Park ground, in 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, in 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Players such as Bill Chopper Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side
Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Nottingham Forest Football Club is a professional association football club based in Nottinghamshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club, often referred to as Forest, have played matches at the City Ground since 1898. Founded in 1865, Forest were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889, since then, they have mostly competed in the top two League tiers, bar five seasons in the third tier. Forest won the FA Cup in 1898 and 1959, Forest were founded in 1865 as Nottingham Forest Football and Bandy Club by a group of shinty players shortly after their neighbours Notts County, in 1862. They joined the Football Alliance in 1889, and won the competition in 1892, in their early years Forest were a multi-sports club, as well as their roots in bandy and shinty, the baseball club Forest deployed were British champions in 1899. Forests charitable approach to the sport helped teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, in 1886, Forest donated a set of football kits to help Arsenal establish themselves – the North London team still wear red. Forest also donated shirts to Everton and helped secure a site to play on for Brighton, Forest claimed their first major honour when they won the 1898 FA Cup, beating Derby County 3–1 at Crystal Palace. However, for much of the first half of the 20th century the club spent life in the Second Division and had to seek re-election in 1914 after finishing bottom. In 1949 the club were relegated to the Third Division, but were promoted back two years later as champions having scored a record 110 goals in the 1950–51 season. They therefore became the first team to defeat the Wembley hoodoo, by this time Forest had replaced Notts County as the biggest club in Nottingham and went on to become runners-up in the First Division and FA Cup semi-finalists in 1967. However, after a successful period for the club, Forest were relegated from the First Division in 1972. Clough became the most successful manager in the history of Nottingham Forest, cloughs first game in charge was the third round FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin. Nottingham Forest became one of the few teams to win the First Division Championship a year after winning promotion from the Second Division and they also won the European Super Cup and two League Cups. The club reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1983–84 but were knocked out by Anderlecht in controversial but uncertain circumstances. The case was dismissed and Anderlecht was acquitted from all charges Nottingham Forests next major trophies came in 1989 when they won the Football League Cup. Cloughs side retained the League Cup in 1990 when they beat Oldham Athletic 1–0, in Forests team that day was young Irish midfielder Roy Keane, who had joined the club the previous summer. In the summer of 1991, Brian Clough broke Forests transfer record fee by signing the top scorer, Millwall striker Teddy Sheringham
St Andrew's (stadium)
St Andrews is an association football stadium in the Bordesley district of Birmingham, England. It has been the ground of Birmingham City Football Club for more than a century. The attendance record, variously recorded as 66,844 or 67,341, was set at a 1939 FA Cup tie against Everton. During the Second World War, St Andrews suffered bomb damage, in the 1950s, the club replaced the stand and installed floodlights, and later erected a second small stand and roofed over the open terraces, but there were few further changes. The ground became dilapidated, a boy was killed when a wall collapsed during rioting in the 1980s, the seating capacity of the modern stadium is just over 30,000. It has function rooms suitable for business or social events and a store selling Birmingham City merchandise. A2004 proposal that the club should sell the ground and move into a multi-purpose City of Birmingham Stadium remains speculative, in 2013, the ground was listed as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011. St Andrews has been the venue for England international football matches at all levels below the national team. It has played host to events in sports, including rugby union and professional boxing. In 1876, they made a move to a fenced-off field in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, with an estimated capacity of 3,000 spectators, because the field was enclosed. This ground, which known as Muntz Street, had four sides of open terracing, a small covered wooden stand. When first opened it could hold approximately 10,000 spectators, over the years the height of the terracing was raised, which increased the capacity to around 30,000, but this became insufficient to cope with the demand. The attendance at a match in 1905 against local rivals Aston Villa was officially recorded as 28,000 spectators, the landlords refused to sell the freehold of the ground, nor would they permit major extensions to be made. As the board of directors estimated that staying at Muntz Street was costing the club £2,000 a year, director Harry Morris identified a site for a new ground in Bordesley, some three-quarters of a mile from Muntz Street towards the city centre. Covering an area of 7.5 acres, bounded by Cattell Road, Coventry Road, Tilton Road, Garrison Lane and the railway, and near St Andrews church, the site was where a brickworks had once operated. Club director Thomas Turley, a builder, acted as clerk of works, artesian springs, which kept the land flooded, had to be drained and blocked off with tons of rubble before soil could be laid on top. To create height for the terracing on the Coventry Road side of the ground and this embankment was known from the beginning as the Spion Kop, stood 110 terraces high at its highest point, and had a reported capacity of 48,000 spectators, each paying 6d. The Grandstand, on the Garrison Lane side of the ground, was 123 yards in length and it held 6,000 seats divided among six sections, priced from 1s to 2s, and all accesses were lit by electricity
1931 FA Cup Final
The 1931 FA Cup Final was a football match between West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham, played on 25 April 1931 at the original Wembley Stadium in London. The showpiece event was the match of the 1930–31 staging of English footballs primary cup competition. The match was the 56th FA Cup Final, the ninth to be played at Wembley, West Bromwich Albion were appearing in their seventh final, having won the cup on two previous occasions, whereas Birmingham were playing in the final for the first time. Albion won the match 2–1, with both of their goals scored by W. G. Richardson, Joe Bradford had equalised Richardsons opening goal, before Richardson put the Baggies ahead again sixty seconds later. Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion were playing in the First Division and Second Division respectively, Albion began their cup campaign by drawing 2–2 at home against Charlton Athletic, with goals from Stan Wood and Teddy Sandford. G. Richardsons goal was enough to give Albion a 1–0 victory, the quarter-final stage saw Albion paired with local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, whom they had already beaten both home and away during the league season. After a 1–1 draw at The Hawthorns, Albion won the replay at Molineux 2–1, thanks to goals from W. G. Richardson and Stan Wood. In the semi-final at Old Trafford, Albion faced Everton, who at time were 13 points clear at the top of the Second Division. Everton dominated the first half but were unable to score any of the chances they created. Albion captain Tommy Glidden played the ball into the Everton penalty area from near the halfway line, the match was played in front of 69,241 spectators, setting a new attendance record for Old Trafford. In the third round, Birmingham won finely at Anfield to defeat First Division opponents Liverpool 2–0, with goals from Ernie Curtis and Joe Bradford. Chelsea provided stiffer opposition for the Birmingham team, a number of players were still recovering from influenza. The visitors had much the better of the first half, six minutes into the second half, the lead had changed hands. First George Briggs crossed for a Bradford header, then the pair combined for Curtis to put Birmingham ahead. Birminghams defence held out until a misplaced clearance by Bob Gregg allowed Jackie Crawford to equalise. The replay at Chelseas Stamford Bridge attracted a crowd of 74,365, then a record, with 6,000 locked out, spectators broke through the barriers. Though they held out well, a goal from Jack Firth, Birmingham faced First Division Sunderland in the semi-final at Elland Road, Leeds. The Times predicted a hard game in which the first goal, after half an hour Birmingham took the lead via a powerful shot by Curtis
1956 FA Cup Final
The 1956 FA Cup Final was the final match of the 1955–56 staging of English footballs primary cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, better known as the FA Cup. The showpiece event was contested between Manchester City and Birmingham City at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday 5 May 1956. Two-time winners Manchester City were appearing in their final, whereas Birmingham City were seeking to win the competition for the first time. Each club needed to win five matches to reach the final, Manchester Citys victories were close affairs, each settled by the odd goal, and they needed a replay to defeat fifth-round opponents Liverpool. They became the first team to reach an FA Cup final without playing at home, Birmingham City entered the match as favourites, in a contest billed as a contrast of styles. Watched by a crowd of 100,000 and a audience of five million, Manchester City took an early lead through Joe Hayes. Second half goals from Jack Dyson and Bobby Johnstone gave Manchester City a 3–1 victory, as both Birmingham City and Manchester City were First Division clubs, they entered the competition in the third round. Manchester Citys cup run started with a tie against Blackpool. The visitors took the lead after only 10 seconds, but midway through the match, the match was abandoned during the second half, immediately after City had scored an equalising goal, and replayed the following Wednesday, City won 2–1. In the fourth round Manchester City faced Southend United at Roots Hall, the Essex clubs ground had only opened five months previously, and was suffering from drainage problems. Torrential rainfall meant that in the week before the match a trench was dug across the pitch, though Southend were a Third Division team, their familiarity with the uneven pitch meant the match was closely contested. In the fifth-round match, the teams saw out a 0–0 draw at Maine Road, liddell put the ball in the net, but unbeknown to him the goal did not count as the match was already over. In the quarter final Manchester City again played opposition from Liverpool, trailing 1–0 at half-time after a Jimmy Harris goal, City overcame the deficit in the second half with goals from Hayes and Johnstone. No further goalscoring opportunities occurred, and City hung on for the victory, manager Arthur Turner called on his team to match their Third Division opponents Torquay United for fighting spirit and to produce a 90-minute performance. The players complied, leading 4–0 at half-time, they finished as comfortable 7–1 winners, in the fourth round, Leyton Orient, who had beaten Birmingham at the same stage four years earlier, posed more of a potential problem. In reality the win was equally comfortable, Eddy Brown added two goals to his hat-trick at Torquay, a tight local derby game followed on a snow-covered frozen pitch at The Hawthorns. In the first half, goalkeeper Gil Merrick and his defence did well to keep West Bromwich Albion out, in the second half, Birmingham wasted several chances before a one-two with Brown allowed Peter Murphy to score from the edge of the penalty area. In the sixth round, Birmingham faced Arsenal on a muddy pitch, in order to relieve the tension on the way to important matches, manager Turner used to encourage the players to sing