Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
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
FA Cup 1894-95
The 1894–1895 FA Cup was the 24th season of the worlds oldest association football competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup. The cup was won by Aston Villa, who defeated West Bromwich Albion 1–0 in the final of the competition and this was Villas second victory in the FA Cup. The Trophy was stolen from a display in the window of W. Shillcock in Newton Row, Birmingham, after the Final. According to the Police, it was sometime between 21,30 on Wednesday 11 September and 7,30 the following morning, along with cash from a drawer. Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the named first on the date specified for each round. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held at neutral venues until a winner was determined, if scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played. The format of the FA Cup for the season had a round, four qualifying rounds. The First Round Proper contained sixteen ties between 32 teams, the 16 First Division sides were given a bye to this round, as were Notts County, Darwen, Bury, Newcastle United, Newton Heath and Woolwich Arsenal from the Second Division. Of the qualifying League sides, only Burton Wanderers and Leicester Fosse qualified to the FA Cup Proper, the matches were played on Saturday,2 February 1895. One match was drawn, with the taking place in the following midweek fixture. The Barnsley St Peters – Liverpool game was voided following a dispute over extra time being played, the match was replayed nine days later, resulting in a 4–0 win to Liverpool. The eight Second Round matches were scheduled for Saturday,16 February 1895, there were two replays, played in the following midweek fixture. The four Third Round matches were scheduled for Saturday,2 March 1895, the semi-final matches were both played on Saturday,16 March 1895. Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion went on to meet in the final at Crystal Palace, the 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, devey found Hodgetts, whose cross was laid off by Athersmith to Chatt, whose half volley took a deflection. FA Cup Final Results 1872- General Official site, fixtures and results service at TheFA. com 1894-95 FA Cup at rsssf. com 1894-95 FA Cup at soccerbase. com Specific
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
Shepherd's Bush F.C.
Shepherds Bush Football Club were an English football club based in Shepherds Bush, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, although they originally played in central and south London. The club were founded as Old St Stephens FC in 1880 in Westminster, although they moved out to play in Denmark Hill. They continued to play in the Southern League under the Old St Stephens name for three seasons, never performing better than their inaugural season. During this time, in 1895, they moved across London to Shepherds Bush, playing on Shepherds Bush Green itself, in 1898 Old St Stephens merged with another local team to become Shepherds Bush FC. They took Old St Stephens place in the Southern League and continued to play up until the 1901–02 season, in 1907 the club re-entered competitive league football, joining the Spartan League and a year later the Isthmian League, where they played until the outbreak of World War I. During wartime, Shepherds Bush F. C. were unable to play any further fixtures, in 1917, their ground, Loftus Road was taken over by Queens Park Rangers, who continue to occupy it to this day. Loftus Road Legacy, The History of the Shepherd’s Bush Football Club
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
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 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
FA Amateur Cup
The FA Amateur Cup was an English football competition for amateur clubs. It commenced in 1893 and ended in 1974 when The Football Association abolished official amateur status, following the legalisation of professionalism within football, professional teams quickly came to dominate the sports main national knock-out tournament, the FA Cup. The Football Association declined the offer, but a year later decided to organise just such a competition. The entrants included 12 clubs representing the old boys of leading schools, and Old Carthusians. The old boy teams competed in the Amateur Cup until 1902, when disputes with the FA led to the formation of the Arthur Dunn Cup, the 1973-74 competition was the last, as the FA abolished the distinction between professional and amateur clubs. The strongest amateur teams instead entered the FA Trophy, which had set up five years earlier to cater for those teams outside The Football League which were professional rather than amateur. A new competition, the FA Vase, was set up to cater for the amateur clubs. The first tournament attracted 81 entrants, with three qualifying rounds used to reduce the number down to 32 for the first round proper. This remained the format until 1907, when the number of entrants to the first round was doubled to 64. The competition continued under this format until it was discontinued in 1974, matches in the Amateur Cup were played at the home ground of one of the two teams, as decided when the matches are drawn. Occasionally games were moved to other grounds, in the event of a draw, the replay was played at the ground of the team who originally played away from home. The second replay, and any further replays, were played at neutral grounds. The final was held at grounds in the early years of the competition. A few years after the Second World War the final moved to Wembley Stadium, in the 1950s attendances for the final reached 100,000, comparable to the FA Cup final itself. Amateur Cup winners who later turned professional and gained entry to The Football League include Middlesbrough, West Hartlepool, Wimbledon, Wycombe Wanderers, thirty-six different clubs won the cup. In A Class of Their Own, A History of English Amateur Football