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
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 Racecourse Ground is a stadium located in Wrexham, North Wales. It is the home of Wrexham AFC, as of August 2016, the stadium has been known as My Racecourse. The record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 34,445 spectators, the Racecourse Ground is the largest stadium in North Wales and the fifth largest in Wales. The ground is used by the FAW for Wales home international games. The ground has also used by North Wales Crusaders rugby league club, Scarlets rugby union club. In the early days, the ground was used for cricket, music concerts returned to the Racecourse in 2016 when the Stereophonics performed. Wrexham Football Club have played at the Racecourse Ground since being formed in the local Turf Hotel public house in October 1864, before the club was formed the ground was mainly used for cricket and occasionally, horse racing. 1952 saw the laying down of concrete terracing on the ever-popular Kop end, five years later was to see the largest ever attendance at the Racecourse when 34,445 people gathered to witness an FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United. On 30 September 1959 the Racecourse saw the switching on of the newly installed floodlights, after promotion to the old Second Division in 1978 the Border Stand was built, taking its name from the Border Breweries which owned the ground. This part of the ground is now known as the Eric Roberts Builders Stand, the impressive new structure was originally named the Pryce Griffiths Stand after the then chairman has a capacity of 3,500 and also contains hospitality and conferencing facilities. In 2002 then Wrexham F. C. chairman William Pryce Griffiths secured a 125-year lease on the Racecourse with Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for £750,000, the club hosted TNS vs Liverpool in a UEFA Champions League qualifier in 2005. On 26 June 2002 the freehold to the Racecourse Ground was acquired by Wrexham A. F. C. from Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for the sum of £300,000. On the same day the ownership of the freehold was transferred by the chairman, Alex Hamilton, from Wrexham A. F. C. to another of his companies, Damens Ltd, for a nominal fee. After this controversial change in ownership the 125-year lease on the Racecourse held by Wrexham F. C. was renegotiated. The new lease stated that Damens Ltd could evict Wrexham F. C. from the Racecourse Ground upon 12 months notice, the new lease also saw the clubs annual rent increase from £1 to £30,000. On 19 May 2014, work commenced at the Racecourse, this included, the medical and treatment facilities will also be upgraded, together with improved seating for disabled supporters, better floodlighting and removal of cambers at the ‘Kop’ end of the ground. The results mean the stadium has been reclassified to Category 3 level, with the clubs emergence from Administration in May 2006, ownership of the ground passed new company, Wrexham Football Club Ltd, owned by Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts. Thus the new company had two tenants for the stadium, the £40 million project would be developed in conjunction with Glyndŵr University to house over 800 students, and take place in two phases
Wrexham is the largest town in north Wales and an administrative, commercial, retail and educational centre. Wrexham is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley alongside the border with England, historically part of Denbighshire, the town became part of Clwyd in 1974 and since 1996 has been the centre of the Wrexham County Borough. At the 2011 Census, Wrexham had a population of 61,603, human activity in the Wrexham area dates back to the Mesolithic period. By the early Middle Bronze Age the area had developed into a centre for an innovative metalworking industry, a Roman civilian settlement was located in the Plas Coch area of Wrexham and excavations have revealed evidence of agriculture and trade with the wider Roman world. By the end of the 6th century AD, the area was being contested between the Celtic-speaking inhabitants and the English-speaking invaders advancing from the east, the origins of the name Wrexham may possibly be traced back to this period. Renewed Welsh and Viking attacks led to a reduction in Anglo-Saxon power in north Wales from the early 10th century, following the Welsh reconquest of the area during the 11th century, Wrexham formed part of the native Welsh lordship of Maelor. During the 12th century the lordship was disputed between the Welsh and the English. The first recorded reference to the town in 1161 is to a Norman motte and bailey castle at Wristlesham which was founded in the Erddig area around 1150 by Hugh de Avranches. However, by the early 13th century Wrexham was undisputedly in the hands of the Welsh house of Powys Fadog, stability under the princes of Powys enabled Wrexham to develop as a trading town and administrative centre of one of the two commotes making up the Lordship. Following the loss of Welsh independence on the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, Wrexham became part of the semi-independent Marcher lordship of Bromfield and Yale. From 1327 onwards, the town is referred to as a villa mercatoria and by 1391 Wrexham was wealthy enough for a bard, jester, juggler, dancer and goldsmith to earn their living there. At the beginning of the 15th century, the local gentry, local poet Glyn Gutor Glyn wrote of Sion ap Madog, the great-nephew of Owain Glyndŵr, as Alecsander i Wrecsam. In the mid 15th century, the church was gutted by fire. The main part of the current church was built in the late 15th, the Acts of Union passed during the reign of Henry VIII brought the lordship into the full system of English administration and law. It became part of the new shire of Denbighshire in 1536, the economic character remained predominantly agricultural into the 17th century but there were workshops of weavers, smiths, nailers as well as dye houses. A grammar school was established in 1603 by Alderman Valentine Broughton of Chester, during the English Civil War, Wrexham was on the side of the Royalists, as most Welsh gentry supported the King, but local landowner Sir Thomas Myddelton, owner of Chirk Castle, supported Parliament. The Industrial Revolution began in Wrexham in 1762 when the entrepreneur John Wilkinson, known as Iron Mad Wilkinson, wilkinsons steam engines enabled a peak of production at Minera Lead Mines on the outskirts of Wrexham. Wrexham was also known for its industry, by the 18th century there were a number of skinners and tanners in the town
Referee (association football)
In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by an official who supervises the teams technical areas. Referees remuneration for their services varies between leagues, Referees are licensed and trained by the same national organisations that are members of FIFA. Each national organisation recommends its top officials to FIFA to have the honour of being included on the FIFA International Referees List. International games between national teams require FIFA officials, otherwise, the local national organisation determines the manner of training, ranking and advancement of officials from the youngest youth games through professional matches. The referees powers and duties are described by Law 5 of the Laws of the Game, as per Law 9 of the game, if during the game the ball hits the referee there is no stoppage in play. However the officials would be expected to position themselves such that this would be unlikely to occur. Modern day referees and their assistants wear a uniform consisting of a jersey, badge, shorts and socks, since then, most referees have worn either yellow or black, but the colours and styles adopted by individual associations vary greatly. For international contests under the supervision of FIFA, Adidas uniforms are worn because Adidas is the current sponsor, FIFA allows referees to wear five colours, black, red, yellow, green and blue. Along with the jersey, referees are required to wear shorts, black socks. The badge, which displays the referees license level and year of validity, is affixed to the left chest pocket. All referees carry a whistle, a watch, penalty cards, a wallet with pen and paper. Most are encouraged to have more than one of each on them in case they drop a whistle or a pen runs out, often, referees utilize two watches so that they can use one to calculate time lost for stoppages for the purposes of added time. In matches with goal-line technology, the referee will have on their person a device to receive the systems alerts, Referees use a whistle to help in match control. The whistle is sometimes needed to stop, start or restart play but should not be used for all stoppages, fIFAs Laws of the Game document gives guidance as to when the whistle should and should not be used. Overuse of the whistle is discouraged since, as stated in the Laws, the whistle is an important tool for the referee along with verbal, body and eye communication. Before the introduction of the whistle, referees indicated their decisions by waving a white handkerchief, the whistles that were first adopted by referees were made by Joseph Hudson at Mills Munitions in Birmingham, England. The Acme Whistle Company first began to mass-produce pea whistles in the 1870s for the Metropolitan Police Force, Referees in football are first described by Richard Mulcaster in 1581
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
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League is one of the regional football leagues in England which sits directly below the National League featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs. Geographically, the covers all of Northern England, and the northern areas of the Midlands. Originally just one division, a division was added in 1987. This new division was split twenty years later into Division One North, together with the Southern League and the Isthmian League it forms level 7–8 of the English football league system. It is, however, also possible for teams to be promoted to the National League South. Due to title sponsorship deals, the league has been billed under various names, including a spell as the Unibond League. When this deal ended in 2010, a new deal was announced which will see the competition billed as the Evo-Stik League until at least the 2015–16 season. At that time they were the highest level non-League division below The Football League, the level as the other league in Northern England. From 1992–93 to 1994–95 the Leagues Division One included two clubs, Caernarfon Town from Wales and Gretna from Scotland, who have since joined their countries league systems. Colwyn Bay, Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl have also played in the league, the first sponsors of the NPL were Multipart who sponsored the 1985–86 season. The sponsors after this were, HFS Loans, Unibond and Evo-Stik, since 2007, the NPL has had three divisions, the Premier Division, Division One North and Division One South. Prior to 2007 there was just a single Division One, the Premier Division has 24 clubs, with the champions promoted to the National League along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. From the 2009–10 season, Division One North and South have 22 clubs each, in each division, the champions are promoted to the Premier Division, along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. The bottom two clubs in each division are relegated to one of the leagues below provided there are enough suitable promotion candidates from those leagues. The champions of the three feeder leagues covering the NPL area are promoted each season and these are the Northern League, the Northern Counties East League, and the North West Counties League. Clubs in the extremities of the Midland League and the United Counties League may also be promoted to the Northern Premier League. Division One North and South teams receive a bye to the Preliminary Round of FA Cup Qualification, Premier Division teams receive a bye to the First Round of Qualification. The league has two knockout competitions, all clubs in the three leagues play in the Challenge Cup