West Bromwich Albion F.C.
West Bromwich Albion Football Club is a football club in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England. The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, having been relegated from the Premier League in 2017–18. Albion were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888, have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football, they have been champions of England once, in 1919–20, have been runners-up twice. They have had more success in the FA Cup, winning it five times; the first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, the most recent in 1968, their last major trophy. They won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966; the club's longest continuous period in the top division spanned 24 years between 1949 and 1973, from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest spell out of the top division. The team has played in white stripes for most of the club's history.
Albion have a number of long-standing rivalries with other West Midlands clubs. Albion contest the Black Country Derby with the latter; the club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salter's Spring Works in West Bromwich, in Staffordshire. They were renamed West Bromwich Albion in 1880; 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. In 1883, Albion won the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the same year. In 1885 the club turned professional, in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time, losing 2–0 to Blackburn Rovers in a replay, they lost 2 -- 0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, beating strong favourites Preston North End 2–1 in the final; 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.
In March 1888, William McGregor wrote to what he considered to be the top five English teams, including Albion, informing them of his intention to form an association of clubs that would play each other home and away each season. Thus when the Football League started that year, Albion became one of the twelve founder members. Albion's second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0, they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in their first season at The Hawthorns, 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, the following season reached another FA Cup Final, where they were defeated by Second Division Barnsley in a replay, they played Renton F. C. losing 4-1 in Glasgow in 1888 World Championship. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the only time in their history following the end of World War I, their totals of 104 goals and 60 points both breaking the previous league records.
The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, but were relegated in 1926–27. In 1930 -- 31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup; the "Double" of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved since. Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later, they gained promotion in 1948–49, there followed the club's longest unbroken spell in the top flight of English football, a total of 24 years. In 1953–54, Albion came close to being the first team in the 20th century to win the League and Cup double, they succeeded in winning the FA Cup, beating Preston North End 3–2, but injuries and a loss of form towards the end of the season meant that they finished as runners-up to fierce rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league. Nonetheless, Albion became known for their brand of fluent, attacking football, with the 1953–54 side being hailed as the "Team of the Century". One national newspaper went so far as to suggest that the team be chosen en masse to represent England at the 1954 FIFA World Cup finals.
They remained one of the top English sides for the remainder of the decade, reaching the semi-final of the 1957 FA Cup and achieving three consecutive top five finishes in Division One between 1957–58 and 1959–60. Although their league form was less impressive during the 1960s, the second half of the decade saw West Brom establish a reputation as a successful cup side. Albion entered the Football League Cup for the first time in 1965–66 and, under manager Jimmy Hagan, won the final by defeating West Ham United 5–3 on aggregate; that was the last two-legged final and, the following year, Albion reached the final again, the first played at Wembley. They lost 3–2 to Third Division Queens Park Rangers after being 2–0 up at half-time. Albion's cup form continued under Hagan's successor Alan Ashman, he guided the club to their last major trophy to date, the 1968 FA Cup, when they beat Everton in extra time thanks to a single goal from Jeff Astle. Albion reached the FA Cup semi-final and European Cup Winners Cup quarter-final in 1969, were defeated 2–1 by Manchester City in the 1970 League Cup Final.
Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club has won 5 European Cups, more than any other English club, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, 15 FA Community Shields. Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to 11 League titles and seven European trophies. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005. Liverpool was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €424.2 million, the world's eighth most valuable football club in 2018, valued at $1.944 billion. The club is one of the best supported teams in the world.
Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester Everton. The club's supporters have been involved in two major tragedies: the Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 people – Italians and Juventus fans – dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition, the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing; the team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964, used since. The club's anthem is "You'll Never Walk Alone". Liverpool F. C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892 and Houlding founded Liverpool F. C. to play at Anfield. Named "Everton F. C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd", the club became Liverpool F. C. in March 1892 and gained official recognition three months after The Football Association refused to recognise the club as Everton.
The team won the Lancashire League in its début season, joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, which it won in 1901 and again in 1906. Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, it won consecutive League championships in 1922 and 1923, but did not win another trophy until the 1946–47 season, when the club won the First Division for a fifth time under the control of ex-West Ham Utd centre half George Kay. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950; the club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, Bill Shankly was appointed manager. Upon his arrival he released 24 players and converted a boot storage room at Anfield into a room where the coaches could discuss strategy; the club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years.
In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup. In 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners' Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, the FA Cup again a year later. Shankly was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisley's second season as manager, the club won another UEFA Cup double; the following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979. During Paisley's nine seasons as manager Liverpool won 21 trophies, including three European Cups, a UEFA Cup, six League titles and three consecutive League Cups. Paisley was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagan's first season, becoming the first English side to win three trophies in a season. Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium.
Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence which separated the two groups of supporters, charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 fans Italians; the incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster. The match was played in spite of protests by both managers, Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus; as a result of the tragedy, English clubs were banned from participating in European competition for five years. Fourteen Liverpool fans received convictions for involuntary manslaughter. Fagan had announced his retirement just before the disaster and Kenny Dalglish was appointed as player-manager. During his tenure, the club won another three league titles and two FA Cups, including a League and Cup "Double" in the 1985–86 season. Liverpool's success was overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster: in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989, hundreds of Liverpool fans were crushed against perimeter fencing. Ninety-four fans died that day.
After the Hillsborough disaster there was a government review of stadium saf
Middlesbrough Football Club is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They are competing in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889, they played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995. They were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and became one of the first clubs to be relegated from it following the 1992–93 season; the club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by board member and chairman Steve Gibson. The club's main rivals are Newcastle United. There is a rivalry with fellow Yorkshire club Leeds United. Middlesbrough won the League Cup in the club's first and only major trophy, they were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. The club's highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season and they have only spent two seasons outside the Football League's top two divisions.
The League Cup win and the UEFA Cup run was part of an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League, before a relegation in 2009. Although the club returned in 2016, instant relegation followed; the club's traditional kit is red with white detailing. The various crests throughout the club's history, the most recent of, adopted in 2007, incorporate a lion rampant, they won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898. The club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892, they turned professional permanently in 1899. After three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years. In 1903, the club moved to their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, a record fee. Over the next few years, their form fluctuated rising to sixth in 1907–08 before dropping to 17th two seasons later; the club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, in 1913–14. World War I soon intervened and football was suspended.
Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League, but the team were unable to maintain their previous form and finished the 1919–20 season in mid-table. They remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, 10 points adrift of their nearest rivals. Three seasons they won the Division Two title. During that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks, he would continue as top scorer for each of the next 10 seasons. Their tenure back in the top flight lasted only one season, the club were relegated, they were promoted at the first attempt in 1928–29, winning another Second Division title. The club remained in the First Division until 1954; the decade before the war saw the emergence of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick, both of whom would go on to become England internationals in the years ahead.
Middlesbrough climbed to fourth in the last full season before World War II and were expected to challenge for the title next season, but the war intervened. After the war, the club was unable to recover the form of the previous seasons and hovered around mid-table and exited in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Soon afterwards, the team began to falter suffering relegation in 1953–54; this was the start of a 20-year spell outside the top division, but saw the emergence of one of the club's top goalscorers, Brian Clough, who scored 204 goals in 222 games, before he left for Sunderland. Over that period, Middlesbrough maintained reasonable progress in the Second Division but were never serious contenders for promotion. After a fourth-place finish in 1962–63, the club endured a steady decline and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history in 1966. New manager Stan Anderson returned the club to the second flight at the first attempt. Middlesbrough would not finish below ninth during the next eight seasons.
By 1974, Jack Charlton had guided the team back to the top flight. They ensured promotion as early as 23 March, with eight games of the season left, they became runaway champions, finishing with a record 65 points. Middlesbrough won their first silverware as a professional side in the 1975–76 season, lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup in its inaugural season after a two-legged final win over Fulham; the club experienced severe financial difficulties during the mid-1980s. Middlesbrough were dropping down the table, finished 19th in the 1984–85 season. In April 1986, the club had to borrow £30,000 from the Professional Footballers' Association to pay wages; the final game of the season saw Middlesbrough relegated to the Third Division again. That summer, the club called in the Provisional Liquidator and shortly afterwards, the club was wound up and the gates to Ayresome Park were padlocked. Without the £350,000 capital required for Football League registration, a new rule, it seemed inevitable that the club would fold permanently.
Steve Gibson, however, a member of the board at the time, brought together a consortium, with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline they completed their registration with the Football League for the 1986–87 season. Following the registration came both a change of club crest and a change of the official company name to Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Club Ltd. Over the next two seasons, Middlesbrough gained successive promotions into Division Two and into Division One; the nex
Millwall Football Club is a professional football club in Bermondsey, South East London, England. The team competes in the second tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. From until 1993 the club played at what is now called The Old Den in New Cross, before moving to its current home stadium nearby, called The Den; the traditional club crest is a lion rampant, referred to in the team's nickname'The Lions'. Millwall's traditional kit consists of white shorts and blue socks. In Millwall's 91 seasons in the Football League from 1920–21 to 2017–18, the club have been promoted eleven times and relegated nine times, they have spent the majority of their existence yo-yoing between the second and third tier of the Football League. The team spent two seasons in the top flight between 1988 and 1990, in which the club achieved its highest finish of tenth place in the First Division.
In 2004, the team reached the FA Cup final and qualified for the UEFA Cup, playing in Europe for the first time in their history. The club has reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1900, 1903, 1937, 2013 and the League Cup quarter-finals in 1974, 1977 and 1995. Millwall have won two League One playoff finals in 2010 and 2017, the Football League Group Cup in 1983, finished runners-up in the Football League Trophy in 1999. In the media, Millwall's supporters have been associated with hooliganism, with numerous films having been made fictionalising their notoriety; the fans are renowned for their chant "No one likes us, we don't care". Millwall have a long-standing rivalry with West Ham United; the local derby between the two sides has been contested a hundred times since 1899. The club share a rivalry with Leeds United, contest the South London derby with local rivals Crystal Palace and Charlton Athletic. Millwall Rovers were formed by the workers of J. T. Morton's canning and preserve factory in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in London's East End in 1885.
Founded in Aberdeen in 1849 to supply sailing ships with food, the company opened their first English cannery and food processing plant at Millwall dock in 1872 and attracted a workforce from across the country, including the east coast of Scotland Dundee. The club secretary was 17-year-old Jasper Sexton, the son of the landlord of The Islander pub in Tooke Street where Millwall held their club meetings. Millwall Rovers' first fixture was held on a piece of waste ground on Glengall Road, on 3 October 1885 against Fillebrook, a team that played in Leytonstone; the newly formed team were beaten 5–0. Rovers found a better playing surface for the 1886–87 season, at the rear of the Lord Nelson pub and it became known as the Lord Nelson Ground. In November 1886, the East End Football Association was formed, along with the Senior Cup Competition. Millwall made it to the final against London Caledonians, played at Leyton Cricket Ground; the match finished the teams shared the cup for six months each.
Millwall won the East London Senior Cup at the first attempt. The club won the cup in the following two years, the trophy became their property. In April 1889, a resolution was passed for Millwall to drop "Rovers" from their name, they began playing under the name Millwall Athletic, inspired by their move to their new home The Athletic Grounds, they were founding members of the Southern Football League which they won for the first two years of its existence, were runners-up in its third. They were forced to move to a new ground North Greenwich in 1901, as the Millwall Dock Company wanted to use their land as a timberyard. Millwall Athletic reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1900 and 1903, were champions of the Western Football League in 1908 and 1909. Millwall moved to a new stadium, named The Den, in New Cross, South London in 1910; the club had occupied four different grounds in the 25 years since their formation in East London. The estimated cost of The Den was £10,000; the first match played at the new ground was on 22 October 1910 against reigning Southern League champions Brighton & Hove Albion, who won 1–0.
Millwall, who had now dropped "Athletic" from their name, were invited to join the Football League in 1920 for the 1920–21 season, along with 22 other clubs, through the creation of the new Football League Third Division. The Southern League was shorn of its status, with all its clubs deciding to leave—Millwall followed suit. Millwall's first Football League match was on 28 August 1920 at The Den, they were 2–0 winners against Bristol Rovers. In the 1925–26 season Millwall had 11 consecutive clean sheets, a Football League record, which they hold jointly with York City and Reading. Millwall became known as a hard-fighting Cup team and competed in various memorable matches, notably defeating three-time league winners and reigning champions Huddersfield Town 3–1 in the third round of the 1926–27 FA Cup. In the 1927–28 season Millwall won the Third Division South title and scored 87 goals at home in the league, an English record which still stands. Matches against Sunderland and Derby County saw packed crowds of 48,000-plus in the 1940s.
Their 1937 FA Cup run saw Millwall reach the semi-finals for the third time, a fifth-round game against Derby still stands as Millwall's record attendance of 48,762. Millwall were the 11th best supported team in England despite being in the Second Division. Millwall were one of the most financially wealthy clubs in England; the club proposed signed international players. Wi
Swindon Town F.C.
Swindon Town Football Club is a professional football club in Swindon, England. Founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they became Spartans in 1880 and Swindon Town in 1883; the team compete in the fourth tier of the English football league system. The club's home since 1896 is the County Ground, having a capacity of 15,728; the club went professional in 1894 and entered the Football League in 1920. It enjoyed a period of success between 1968–70, winning the 1969 League Cup Final and securing promotion to the Second Division, led by the club's talisman winger Don Rogers, whom the South Stand has been named after since the 2007–08 season; the club's three biggest victories were 10–2 over Norwich City on 5 September 1908, 10–1 over Farnham United Breweries F. C. in 1925–26 and 9–1 over Luton Town in 1920, while the heaviest defeat was 1–10 against Manchester City in 1930. Swindon Town won promotion to the Premier League in the 1992–93 season, the only time the club has played in the top level of English football.
Swindon Town Football Club was founded by Reverend William Pitt of Liddington in 1879. The team turned professional in 1894 and joined the Southern League, founded in the same year. During this period Septimus Atterbury played for the club. Swindon reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the 1909–10 season, losing to eventual winners Newcastle United. Barnsley and Swindon were invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup in 1910 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris; the result was a 2–1 victory for Swindon with Harold Fleming scoring both of the club's goals. The following season, 1910–11, Swindon Town won the Southern League championship, earning them a Charity Shield match with the Football League champions Manchester United. This, the highest-scoring Charity Shield game to date, was played on 25 September 1911 at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United winning 8–4; some of the proceeds of this game were donated to the survivors of the Titanic. In 1912 Swindon Town reached the semi finals of the FA Cup for a second time in 3 years, losing to Barnsley after a replay 1–0.
Swindon's exploits at this time owed a lot to the skilful forward H. J. Fleming, capped by England 11 times between 1909 and 1914 despite playing outside the Football League. Fleming remained with Swindon throughout a playing career spanning 1907 and 1924 and went on to live in the town for his entire life. Swindon entered the Football League in 1920 as a founding member of Division Three and defeated Luton Town 9–1 in their first game of the season; this result stands. After the outbreak of World War II, the War Department took over the County Ground in 1940, where for a while POWs were housed in huts placed on the pitch, for this the club received compensation of £4,570 in 1945. World War II affected Swindon Town more than most other football clubs and the club was disbanded, the club needed a large amount of time to recover and for this reason it failed to make any real impression in the league and would not climb into the second division until 1963 when they finished runners up to Northampton Town.
The club was relegated back into Division Three in 1965 but it was about to create a sensation. In 1969, Swindon beat Arsenal 3–1 to win the League Cup for the only time in the club's history; as winners of the League Cup, Swindon were assured of a place in their first European competition: the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. However, the Football Association had agreed to inclusion criteria with the organizers which mandated that only League Cup winners from Division One would be able to take part; as the team were not eligible, the short lived Anglo-Italian competitions were created to give teams from lower divisions experience in Europe. The first of these, the 1969 Anglo-Italian League Cup, was contested over two legs against Coppa Italia winners A. S. Roma. Swindon won 5–2, with the scorer of two goals in the League Cup final – Don Rogers – scoring once and new acquisition Arthur Horsfield acquiring his first hat-trick for the club; the team went on to win the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup competition in a tournament beset by hooliganism.
The final against S. S. C. Napoli was abandoned after 79 minutes following pitch invasions and a missile barrage, with teargas being employed to allow the teams to return to the dressing room. Following management changes, Swindon had a long unsuccessful period culminating in them being relegated in 1982 to the Fourth Division, the lowest professional Football League at the time, they were promoted as champions in 1986 with the club achieving a Football League record of 102 points, the second club to score over 100 points in a season, York City having totalled 101 two years earlier. A year they won the Third Division play-offs to achieve a second successive promotion. Promotion campaign Manager Lou Macari left in 1989 to take charge of West Ham United with veteran midfielder, former Argentine international, Ossie Ardiles replacing him. In his first season, Swindon were Second Division play-off winners, but the club admitted 36 charges of breaching league rules, 35 due to illegal payments made to players, were relegated to the Third Division — giving Sunderland promotion to the First Division and Tranmere Rovers to the Second Division.
The scandal saw chairman Brian Hillier being given a six-month prison sentence and chief accountant Vince Farrar being put on probation. A appeal saw Swindon Town being allowed to stay in the Second Division. Ardiles remained in charge until March 1991, when he departed for Newcastle United and was succeeded by new player-manager Glenn Hoddle. Swindon progressed well during the 1991–92 season, Hoddle's first full season as manager, just missed out on the Second Division play-offs, having
Middlesbrough Ironopolis F.C.
Middlesbrough Ironopolis Football Club was a football club based in Middlesbrough, England. Although it was only in existence for five years, the club won three Northern League titles, two cup competitions and once reached the FA Cup quarter-finals, they were based at the Paradise Ground. The club was formed in 1889 by some members of Middlesbrough F. C. – an amateur club at the time – who wanted Middlesbrough to have a professional club. The team played its first non-competitive game against Gainsborough Trinity on 14 December 1889 at home; the match ended in a 1–1 draw. Middlesbrough Ironopolis played in the Northern League from 1890 to 1893, winning three consecutive titles. In their first season, they reached the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. During the 1892–93 season, the team reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup before losing to Preston North End in a replay, after drawing the first game. Following an abortive attempt to enter the Football League in combination with Middlesbrough F.
C. under the name Middlesbrough and Ironopolis, Ironopolis was accepted into the Second Division for the 1893–94 season, replacing Accrington which had resigned. Competing in the league alongside them were Liverpool, Newcastle United, Woolwich Arsenal. Ironopolis finished 11th out of 15 clubs, recording impressive wins against Small Heath, 3–0, over Ardwick 2–0, they played in total 28 games, won 8, draw 4, lost 16, scored 37 goals, conceded 72, finished with 20 points. The squad that season was: G. Watts; the club lost its stadium, the Paradise Ground, adjacent to Middlesbrough F. C.'s Ayresome Park, at the end of the season. Its financial position was poor, as gate receipts did not cover the cost of players' wages and the costs of travelling to fixtures in distant parts of England. In February 1894 all the professional players were served notice of the plans to liquidate the team; the club's final game was a 1–1 draw against South Bank on 30 April 1894. Ironopolis was disbanded. Ironopolis and Bootle are the only two clubs.
The club was formed during the late Victorian industrial boom and adopted the name "Ironopolis" to emphasise this and to distinguish itself from the other local club, Middlesbrough F. C; the club had three sets of colours in its brief history: a maroon and dark green kit changed to a dark blue kit with a white sash, on entry to the Football League, its best-known kit: cherry red and white stripes. Northern League Division One Champions: 1890–91, 1891–92, 1892–93 FA Cup Quarter-finalists: 1892–93 Cleveland Charity Cup Winners: 1889–90, 1892–93 Middlesbrough and Ironopolis F. C. "History of Middlesbrough Ironopolis". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, England. The team play in the second tier of English football. Reading are nicknamed The Royals, due to Reading's location in the Royal County of Berkshire, though they were known as The Biscuitmen, due to the town's association with Huntley and Palmers. Established in 1871, the club is one of the oldest teams in England, but did not join The Football League until 1920, had never played in the top tier of English football league system before the 2006–07 season; the club competed in the 2012–13 Premier League season, having gained promotion at the end of the 2011–12 season after winning the Championship, but were relegated after just one season back in the top flight. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998. In 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, named after the club's co-chairman Sir John Madejski; the club holds the record for the number of successive league wins at the start of a season, with a total of 13 wins at the start of the 1985–86 Third Division campaign and the record for the number of points gained in the professional league season with 106 points in the 2005–06 Football League Championship campaign.
Reading finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first season as a top flight club. Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham; the early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a bigger ground and, to this end, the club moved again, to the purpose-built Elm Park on 5 September 1896. In 1913, Reading had a successful tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write "without doubt, Reading FC are the finest foreign team seen in Italy". Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920. Reading's best performance in the FA Cup came in 1926–27 when they lost to eventual winners Cardiff City at Wolverhampton in the semi-final, a placement the club would not match again until 2015, when they lost to holders Arsenal in the semi-final.
Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. The club won the Southern Section Cup, beating Bristol City in the two-legged final in 1938, when taking part in the regional London War League and Cup competitions, gained another honour by beating Brentford in the London War Cup Final of 1941 by 3–2 at Stamford Bridge; when League football resumed after the war, Reading came to prominence once again. The club's record victory, 10–2 versus Crystal Palace, was recorded in September 1946, Reading twice finished runners-up in the Third, in 1948–49 and 1951–52, but they were denied a return to Division Two as only the champions were promoted; the side's moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, but were relegated back to the Third Division in 1988.
The appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994. Thirty-five-year-old striker Jimmy Quinn was put in charge of the first team alongside midfielder Mick Gooding and guided Reading to runners-up in the final Division One table – only to be denied automatic promotion because of the streamlining of the Premier League, from 22 teams to 20. In 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Gooding's contracts were not renewed two years after Reading had slid into the bottom half of Division One, their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998. The year 1998 saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, reserve team manager before being released.
The club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two; the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew was replaced by Steve Coppell. Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English football's top division for the first time in their history; the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in eighth place with 55 points. Reading turned down the chance to play in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In the run up to their second season in the Premier League, Reading took part in the 2007 Peace Cup in South Korea.
This second season was less successful and Reading were relegated back to the Championship. Reading started the 2008–09 season with a 15 match unbeaten home run, they finished fourth and qualify for the play-off