Chatham Town F.C.
Chatham Town Football Club are an English Association Football club based in Chatham, Kent. They currently play in Division One South of the Isthmian League and are nicknamed The Chats, former Premier League club Portsmouth and West Ham United played their first ever league matches against Chatham. The club was formed in 1882 as Chatham United, when Rochester Invicta merged with the Royal Engineers Band football team, Chatham played their home games at the Army owned pitches called The Lines, where they were to remain until 1889 when they moved to the Maidstone Road Ground. The move to the new ground was prompted when the reached the quarter-finals of the FA cup in 1888–89. So the club moved to the Maidstone Road site which was owned by a George Winch, in 1894 Chatham became founder members of both the Southern League and the original Kent League, winning the Kent League in its inaugural season. For the first two seasons the club competed in leagues, but left the Kent league to concentrate on the Southern league in 1896. In the 1900–01 season, owing to difficulties, Chatham resigned from the Southern League. After The First World War, Chatham returned to play and in the 1919 season won the Kent Victory Cup and they rejoined the Southern League in 1920–21, but withdrew at seasons end because of the burden of travel costs on club finances. In 1927–28 they rejoined the Southern League for two seasons, again, the expenses to play proved a financial strain on the club, and returned to the Kent League. The club struggled financially and for the 1933–34 season the club took a voluntary relegation into Division Two of the Kent League, a season later they won the division but decided against promotion, and reverted to Amateur status. Having played in both the Kent League and Kent Amateur League in 1938–39, they decided to play to amateur competition the following season. After the War Chatham won the Kent Amateur League Premier Division in 1946–47, on 7 January 1947 they merged with Shorts F. C. with the amalgamated club taking the name Chatham Town at the request of the local council. They then joined Division One of the Kent League for the 1947–48 season and stayed there until 1959, for the 1959–60 season they joined as a founding member of the Aetolian League. The following year captured the League Championship and the Aetolian League Cup Final. In 1964–65 the Aetolian League merged with the London League and the moved to the Metropolitan League. Four Seasons later they returned to the Kent League when it was reformed in 1968 and they remained in the Kent league until 1983, when they joined the Southern League. During the 15-year period in the Kent league they won League 4 times and won League, the club changed its name in 1974 for 5 years to Medway F. C. at the request of the local council, returning to Chatham Town in 1979. The club stayed in the Southern League until 1988, when having failed to gain re-election they were relegated to the Kent League and they experienced crowds, as had other poorly supported clubs, in double figures, Kent League days had healthier attendance with more local competition
Sheppey United F.C.
Sheppey United F. C. is an English football club based on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. The club are members of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division, the club is affiliated to the Kent County Football Association. The club was formed in 1890 by a merger of Sheerness Victoria and Invicta and they were founder members of both the Southern League and the Kent League in 1894. In the Southern League they were placed in Division Two, in which finished as runners-up in the first season. The following season finished second again, and this time won the test match. At the end of the season left the Kent League. The season also saw the club make their debut in the FA Cup when they played Millwall Athletic, in their first season in Division One they finished second bottom of the table, but avoided relegation by defeating RETB Chatham 2–1 in the test matches. In 1898–99 they again finished bottom of the table but retained their Division One status after drawing the test match against Thames Ironworks 1–1. However, the season they finished bottom of the table and lost the test match against Watford 2–1. The club rejoined the Kent League prior to the start of the 1900–01 season, however, after a single season back in Division Two, the club withdrew from the Southern League. In 1905–06 they won the Kent League and repeated the feat the following season, a third title was won in 1927–28, by the reserve team as the first team had rejoined the Southern League for that season and were placed in the English Section. However, after finishing bottom of the league in both 1930–31 and 1931–32 they resigned, and returned to the Kent League in Division One. At the end of the 1938–39 season Sheppey finished bottom of the league and should have been relegated, after the war Sheppey were placed back in the top division of the Kent league for the 1945–46 season. The club then remained in Division one until the 1958–59 season when the Kent league stopped, in 1959 they were founder members of the Aetolian League, which they played in until it merged with the London League to form the Greater London League in 1964. After winning Section B of the Greater London League in 1964–65 and they had a single season in the Metropolitan–London League in 1971–72 after it was formed by a merger of the Metropolitan League and the Greater London, before rejoining the new Kent League in 1972. They won the title in their first season back in the league and were champions again in 1974–75 and 1978–79, as well as winning the League Cup in 1975–76. After finishing second in 1983–84, the club rejoined the Southern League for a third spell, however, after finishing bottom of Division One South in 1989–90 they returned to the Kent League. They finished bottom of the table in their first season back, in March 2001 the club resigned from the Kent League and their record was expunged
Sittingbourne Football Club are a football club based in Sittingbourne, Kent, England. They were established in 1886 and were members of the Kent League. They have reached the 2nd round of the FA Cup at least twice in their history and they are currently playing in the Isthmian League Division One South. Although an earlier Sittingbourne United club had been playing since as early as 1881, the club moved to a field behind the Bull pub in 1892, where they were to remain for nearly 100 years. Senior status was acquired in 1893, and the year the club joined the first incarnation of the Kent League. After World War I the club rejoined the Kent League, where they played until 1927 when they joined the Southern League, in 1930 they left this league and it is unclear where they played next. After World War II the Brickies rejoined the Kent League once again and this lasted for one season and the league folded. In 1968 a new Kent league was formed which the club joined, during season 1961–62 Accrington Stanley left the football league. This created a vacancy and 25 clubs applied to join, of which Sittingbourne were one and they did not obtain any votes and Oxford United were elected with 39 votes. Sittingbourne were Kent League champions in 1975–76, 1983–84 and 1990–91, in 1992–93, by now playing at the new Central Park ground, they won promotion to the Southern League Premier Division, however a financial crisis led to relegation two years later. Although the team bounced back, winning the Southern Division title at the first attempt, in 2006 a re-organisation of the English football league system saw Sittingbourne moved into the Isthmian League, starting in Division One South. The 2009–10 season ended with Sittingbourne winning the Kent Senior Cup for the first time in 52 years, gary Abbott left his position as manager in May 2011 and was replaced by his assistant Richard Brady. He brought in ex-brickie Jamie Coyle as his assistant, in September 2011 after a brief spell in charge they were offered management positions at Leatherhead and indicated that the positions were too good to turn down. Long serving player, Joe Dowley took over the position of manager with the assistance of players Bradley Spice. In November 2011 the committee were impressed with what had been achieved that they made their positions permanent, Joe Dowley resigned as manager after the last game of the 2011–12 season stating that he wished to return to his playing career. In May 2012 the club employed the Scottish brothers Jim & Danny Ward as joint managers and they were previously with Ramsgate who they left in April 2012. The Ward brothers left their position in September 2013 by mutual consent, in September 2013 after a brief successful spell as caretaker managers, Matt Wyatt and current player and captain Nick Davis were appointed joint managers. In July 2014 Nick Davis resigned as joint manager and Matt Wyatt continued as manager on his own for a short period and his replacement was his previous joint manager Nick Davis
Dartford Football Club is an English association football club based in Dartford, Kent. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. After finishing as champions of the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2007–08 season and they finished in 8th position in their first season. They were crowned champions of the Isthmian League Premier Division in their second season and that season they finished in 10th place, but once again gained promotion at the second attempt in 2011–12, by winning the play off final, after finishing second in the table. Since the 2012–13 season they have playing in the Conference Premier. Home matches are played at the environmentally friendly stadium, Princes Park. The club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working mens club and they have also reached the final of the FA Trophy once. Dartford Football Club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working Mens Club, the club soon was entering cup competitions, reaching the final of the Kent Senior Cup in 1894. Following this, Dartford were founder members of the Kent League for the 1894–95 season, Two seasons later, Dartford became founder members of the Southern League Division Two, winning the Championship at the first attempt. The club moved between the Southern and Kent Leagues several times over the seasons, dropping to the West Kent League in the 1900s. Around the same time the club found its first permanent home ground, Summers Meadow in Lowfield Street, in 1908–09 Dartford won the West Kent League and Cup double and rejoined the Kent League where they remained until the outbreak of the First World War. In 1913 Dartford undertook a tour of Norway culminating in a 6–1 win over a Norway XI. Darts continued their association with the Kent League, winning the cup in 1923–24. At the start of the 1930s the Dartford Board appointed the successful Kettering Town manager, Bill Collier, the Scot continued his pattern of success with Dartford and won trophies by the shoal during the decade leading up to the 1939–45 war. In county football Dartford won the Kent Senior Cup four times in five seasons, in addition Dartford gained a reputation nationally by becoming the first club outside the Football League to reach the FA Cup Third Round Proper in successive seasons. In 1935–36 Dartford lost to a star-studded Derby County by 3–2 at the Baseball Ground having at one time led by 2–0, leading player Fred Dell was transferred to West Ham United for a reported £2,000 immediately after the game. The following season saw Dartford lose 0–1 at home to Darlington at the same stage, for a decade and a half following the 1939–1945 war, Dartford had little to show for its efforts except for a sparkling win over Bromley in Kent Senior Cup in 1947. Included in the Dartford line-up that day was Ted Croker, later to become the Secretary of the Football Association, soon after this win Dartford transferred Riley Cullum and Fred Alexander to Charlton Athletic for £6,000, which wiped out the clubs debts entirely
Maidstone United F.C. (1897)
The original Maidstone United was an English football club from Maidstone, Kent, which existed from 1897 to 1992. The club played in the Football League Fourth Division from 1989 until their demise in 1992, during their time in the Football League Maidstone played their games at Dartfords Watling Street ground. The club also played in amateur leagues and the Southern League. Maidstone United was formed in 1897 and played in leagues such as the Corinthian, Athenian. They joined the Southern League, the major league in southern England. Attendances were much improved from the days with local derbies against Tonbridge. The following season Maidstone finished top and were promoted to the Southern League Premier Division and they continued to progress and during their six-year spell in the league they finished in the top five on four occasions. In 1979 they became members of the Alliance Premier League. At the time of their first championship, Maidstone failed to gain promotion to the Football League because they lost out in the system that the League employed at the time. By the time Maidstone United won the Conference again in 1989, Maidstone thus became members of the Football League Fourth Division. In 1988 the Stones left their ground in Maidstone, having sold the land on which it stood to MFI, the ground was not considered large enough for league football, so they switched to ground-sharing with Dartford for their home matches. This caused average attendances to fall from around 2,400 to 1,400 and their form in the following season went from very good to very poor in a short period of time, which prompted the controversial sacking of manager Keith Peacock. The next manager was former Blackpool and Northampton Town boss Graham Carr, by this time, the club were lurching into serious financial problems. They had spent vast amounts getting into the Football League and the spending continued now they were there, running costs were huge, and attendances were falling as a result of Maidstones disappointing form in the 1990-91 season, and the onset of a recession. The clubs finances spiralled out of control, with large debts being run up. The club then took a gamble, and without any kind of planning permission. By being able to return to Maidstone, the club believed they would be able to afford to continue in the Football League, However, the gamble did not pay off and the planning application to build on the land was turned down by the council. The entire squad of players was put up for sale to raise cash in an attempt to save the club, during the 1991–92 season, the club was put up for sale
Sevenoaks Town F.C.
Sevenoaks Town F. C. is a football club based in Sevenoaks, Kent, England. They were established in 1883 and joined the Kent League in 2003 and they are currently members of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division. Sevenoaks F. C. was originally formed in 1883 and was amongst the members of the original Kent League. It is known that on 26 April 1893 they played Royal Arsenal, in 1906 the club, now known as Sevenoaks Town, became one of the founder members of the Sevenoaks League. In 1951 Town amalgamated with local club, St. John’s United, and became members of the Kent Amateur League. In 1984 the Kent Amateur League was re-organised as the Kent County League, and Sevenoaks were the first Premier Division champions, a feat they repeated in seasons 1995–96 and 2002–03. In 2003 the club stepped up to the Kent League, where, despite the step up to a higher standard of football. Sevenoaks Town play their games at Greatness Park, Mill Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent. Sevenoaks merged with Seal Juniors at the end of the 2006–07 season and they have teams ranging from Under 7s to U18s. Teams play in the Crowborough and District Junior Football League, Tandridge League, Kent Youth League, the youth teams play at a variety of grounds around the Sevenoaks area. The junior club have had many stories, such as the U18s winning the A league in 2011/12
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known simply as the FA, is the governing body of association football in England, and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur, the FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the County Football Associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup, the FA is a member of both UEFA and FIFA and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game. As the first football association, it not use the national name English in its title. The FA is based at Wembley Stadium, London, the FA is a member of the British Olympic Association, meaning that the FA has control over the mens and womens Great Britain Olympic football team. All of Englands professional football teams are members of the Football Association, although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the League Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules. The English Football League, made up of the three professional divisions below the Premier League, is self-governing, subject to the FAs sanctions. Another set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, was used by a number of clubs in the North of England from the 1850s, eleven London football clubs and schools representatives met on 26 October 1863 to agree on common rules. The founding clubs present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone, many of these clubs are now defunct or play rugby union. Civil Service FC, who now plays in the Southern Amateur League, is the one of the original eleven football clubs still in existence. There are only three institutions which have been members of the F. A. since 1863, those being Civil Service, Forest School and Kings College. Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley and he was a founding member of the Football Association in 1863. In 1862, as captain of Barnes, he wrote to Bells Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport led to the first meeting at The Freemasons Tavern that created the FA. He was the FAs first secretary and its president and drafted the Laws of the Game generally called the London Rules at his home in Barnes. As a player, he played in the first ever match in 1863, the first version of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in The Freemasons Tavern from October till December. Of the clubs at the first meeting, Crusaders, Surbiton and Charterhouse did not attend the subsequent meetings, replaced instead by the Royal Navy School, Wimbledon School, at the final meeting, F. M. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA, the term soccer dates back to this split to refer to football played under the association rules. The Richmond side were obviously unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871
1895 FA Cup Final
The 1895 FA Cup Final was contested by Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion at Crystal Palace. Aston Villa won 1–0, with Bob Chatt being credited with scoring the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history and this record would stand for 114 years before being broken by Louis Saha of Everton in the 2009 FA Cup Final with a goal after 25 seconds. The final was played for the first time at Crystal Palace, the weather for the final was described as a beautiful spring day, and consequently the crowd and press were still coming into the ground when the game kicked off. From the kick-off, John Devey, the Villa centre-forward, swung the ball out to his inside-left, Hodgetts long cross-pass found Charlie Athersmith on the right, and his centre fell to Bob Chatt who sent the ball goalwards on a half volley. There are no accurate timings for the goal and different reports time it at between 30 and 39 seconds, at the time, many of the crowd and press missed the goal as they were still taking their seats, and the press reports indicated that Chatt had scored. Despite this claim, The Football Association still credit the goal to Chatt as having scored on thirty seconds. The fastest accurately timed goal was Louis Sahas effort for Everton after 25 seconds in the 2009 final, despite pressure from the Albion forwards, especially from Billy Bassett, Villa were able to hold on to their lead until half-time. In the second half, Villa began to forward again with Chatt. Neither side was able to add to the score and Villa won the cup for the second time, line-ups Match report at www. fa-cupfinals. co. uk Stealing the Cup
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
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
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
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England are one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom played in the worlds first international football match in 1872. Englands home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current manager is Gareth Southgate, England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world, it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association, a return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship, to begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908, Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928 and their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1 and this still stands as Englands worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, it was like playing men from outer space, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as Englands first ever manager in 1946. In UEFA Euro 1968, the reached the semi-finals for the first time. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramseys dismissal, under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’, the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, the 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robsons successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968