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
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
The Oval, currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London. The Oval has been the ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket in September 1880, the final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there. In addition to cricket, The Oval has hosted a number of historically significant sporting events. In 1870, it staged Englands first international match, versus Scotland. It hosted the first FA Cup final in 1872, as well as those between 1874 and 1892, in 1876, it held both the England v Wales and England v Scotland rugby international matches, and in 1877, rugbys first Varsity match. The Oval is built on part of the former Kennington Common, Cricket matches were played on the common throughout the early 18th century. The earliest recorded match was the London v Dartford match on 18 June 1724. However, as the common was used regularly for public executions of those convicted at the Surrey Assizes. Kennington Common was eventually enclosed in the mid 19th century under a scheme sponsored by the Royal Family, in 1844, the site of the Kennington Oval was a market garden owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Hence, Surrey County Cricket Club was established in 1845, the popularity of the ground was immediate and the strength of the SCCC grew. On 3 May 1875 the club acquired the remainder of the leasehold for a term of 31 years from the Otter Trustees for the sum of £2,800. In 1868,20,000 spectators gathered at The Oval for the first game of the 1868 Aboriginal cricket tour of England, the first tour of England by any foreign side. Thanks to C. W. Alcock, the Secretary of Surrey from 1872 to 1907, the Oval, thereby, became the second ground to stage a Test, after Melbourne Cricket Ground. In 1882, Australia won the Test by seven runs within two days, the Sporting Times printed a mocking obituary notice for English cricket, which led to the creation of the Ashes trophy, which is still contested whenever England plays Australia. The first Test double century was scored at The Oval in 1884 by Australias Billy Murdoch, surreys ground is noted as having the first artificial lighting at a sports arena, in the form of gas-lamps, dating to 1889. The current pavilion was completed in time for the 1898 season, in 1907, South Africa became the 2nd visiting Test team to play a Test match at the ground. In 1928, the West Indies played its first Test match at The Oval, in 1936, India became the fifth foreign visiting Test side to play at The Oval, followed by Pakistan in 1954 and Sri Lanka in 1998
London /ˈlʌndən/ is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south east of the island of Great Britain and it was founded by the Romans, who named it Londinium. Londons ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1. 12-square-mile medieval boundaries. London is a global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism. It is crowned as the worlds largest financial centre and has the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world, London is a world cultural capital. It is the worlds most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the worlds largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic, London is the worlds leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. Londons universities form the largest concentration of education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted the modern Summer Olympic Games three times, London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region. Its estimated mid-2015 municipal population was 8,673,713, the largest of any city in the European Union, Londons urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The citys metropolitan area is the most populous in the EU with 13,879,757 inhabitants, the city-region therefore has a similar land area and population to that of the New York metropolitan area. London was the worlds most populous city from around 1831 to 1925, Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world, the etymology of London is uncertain. It is an ancient name, found in sources from the 2nd century and it is recorded c.121 as Londinium, which points to Romano-British origin, and hand-written Roman tablets recovered in the city originating from AD 65/70-80 include the word Londinio. The earliest attempted explanation, now disregarded, is attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae and this had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had allegedly taken over the city and named it Kaerlud. From 1898, it was accepted that the name was of Celtic origin and meant place belonging to a man called *Londinos. The ultimate difficulty lies in reconciling the Latin form Londinium with the modern Welsh Llundain, which should demand a form *lōndinion, from earlier *loundiniom. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the Welsh name was borrowed back in from English at a later date, and thus cannot be used as a basis from which to reconstruct the original name. Until 1889, the name London officially applied only to the City of London, two recent discoveries indicate probable very early settlements near the Thames in the London area
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
1893 FA Cup Final
The 1893 FA Cup Final was an association football game contested by Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton. Wolves won by a goal, scored by Harry Allen. This was the time the final was staged at Fallowfield Stadium. Although the official attendance was 45,000, it is estimated close to 60,000 spectators were actually in the ground. The overcrowding delayed the kick off and meant the pitch was often encroached upon during the game, play was impeded so much that Everton, beaten 0–1, unsuccessfully demanded a replay afterwards, arguing the environment was not fit for a competitive match. Everton had come into the match as favourites, only a week earlier, they had sent their reserves to face Wolves in a league match to allow their first team time to rest before their semi-final replay. The reserves beat Wolves Cup final team 4–2 at Molineux, boosting Evertons confidence, Everton dominated the first half but saw their wingers hindered by the stray feet of the encroaching spectators on the touchline. To counteract this obstruction, both began to resort to a long ball game through the centre of the field. This tactic failed to any goals in the opening 45 minutes. As the second half progressed, Everton began to tire, perhaps feeling the effects of 4 games in 10 days, on the hour mark, Wolves captain Harry Allen launched a hopeful lob from distance, which was misjudged by Williams and allowed to bounce into the net. Everton complained that the crowd had impeded their attempts to clear the ball, at the final whistle, the crowd invaded the pitch to mob the victorious Wolves players who had claimed their clubs first ever FA Cup triumph
Jack Reynolds (footballer, born 1869)
John Jack Reynolds was a footballer who played for, among others, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Celtic. As an international he played five times for Ireland before it emerged that he was actually English and he is the only player, barring own goals, to score for and against England and is the only player to play for both Ireland and England. Reynolds was noted as a competitive player with some remarkable ball skills. He was regarded as one of the footballers of the 1890s and was one of the highest paid players of his generation. However he also gained a reputation for drinking and womanising and as much of the money he earned disappeared. He fathered at least one child and in 1899 he appeared in court for non-payment of child maintenance. His heavy drinking blighted his career and after brief spells at Celtic and then Southampton. Towards the end of his life he worked as a miner in Sheffield, although born in Blackburn, Lancashire, Reynolds grew up in Ahoghill in County Antrim, Ireland and attended schools in Portglenone and Ballymena. By the age of 15 he was back in Blackburn playing with, in December 1886 he joined the British Army and was posted back to Ireland with the East Lancashire Regiment. While in Ireland he also played for the regimental team, in 1888 he also began playing for Distillery where his teammates included Olphert Stanfield and Billy Crone. He also played for Distillery in an FA Cup tie against one of his former clubs Blackburn Park Road F. C, in June 1890 he joined Ulster F. C. a now defunct Belfast team. In 1891 Reynolds helped this team finish runners-up to Linfield in both the Irish Cup and the very first Irish Football League. Between 1890 and 1891, while playing for Distillery and Ulster F. C. Reynolds made five appearances for Ireland, four as a half-back and he made his debut for Ireland on 8 February 1890 in a 5–2 defeat to Wales. Then on 15 March he played against England and scored Irelands only goal in the 9–1 defeat and this was the only international in which he played as a winger. During the 1891 British Home Championship he played in all three of Irelands games, in March 1891, Reynolds joined West Bromwich Albion and it was subsequently discovered that he was actually English. During his debut 1891–92 season with WBA he played 17 games and he also won the first of his three FA Cup winners medals, scoring for WBA in the 1892 FA Cup final as they beat Aston Villa 3–0. During the 1892–93 season he played a further 20 games and scored one goal for WBA. This was WBAs first ever penalty in a First Division game, during his time with WBA he also briefly played for Droitwich Town either as a guest or on loan