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
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
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club /ˈtɒtnəm, -tənəm/, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football club located in Tottenham, Haringey, London, that competes in the Premier League. The clubs home stadium is White Hart Lane and their newly developed training ground is in Bulls Cross on the northern borders of the London Borough of Enfield. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1967, Spurs won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and were the winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield, in the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When they won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that they had won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The clubs Latin motto is Audere est Facere, and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby neighbours Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F. C. and played in the Southern League from 1896 until 1908, when they were elected into the Football League Second Division. Before this promotion Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901, since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and also the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Cup Winners Cup victory in 1963 made Tottenham the first English team to win a UEFA competition, in 1960–61 they became the first team to complete The Double in the 20th century. Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the public pitches. It was at this ground that Spurs first played archrivals Arsenal, there were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches. Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters, in 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899,14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road. The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons, the landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans, notts County were the first visitors to the Lane in a friendly watched by 5,000 people and provided in £115 in receipts, Spurs won 4–1
Non-League football describes football leagues played outside of the top leagues in that country. Generally it describes leagues which are not fully professional, the term is primarily used in football in England, where it describes football played at a level below that of the Premier League and the three divisions of The Football League. The term can be confusing as the vast majority of football clubs in England play in a league. The League of non-League football refers to the Football League, rather than leagues in general – non-League clubs play most of their football in league competitions. There are many leagues below the level of The Football League, the most senior of these leagues are loosely organised by The Football Association, the sports governing body in England, into a National League System. The NLS has seven levels or steps, and includes over 50 separate leagues, prior to 1987, there was no automatic promotion and relegation between The Football League and the leagues of non-League football. The bottom clubs of The Football League were required to apply for re-election to the League at the end of the season, the system ensured that Football League membership remained relatively static, with non-League clubs having little chance of joining. Scarborough became the first non-League club to win promotion to The Football League. Since 2003, two clubs from the Conference have been promoted at the end of each season, the entire English football league system includes the Premier League, The Football League, the NLS leagues, and any local leagues that have feeder relationships with an NLS league. Since the end of the Second World War, nine non-league clubs have reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, the Football Association Challenge Trophy was formed in 1970 by the FA to offer non-League football clubs a realistic chance of winning a cup competition. Now in its 43rd season, it is becoming more and more popular for fans around the country. There is also the FA Vase for clubs further down the league ladder, in womens football, the non-League term is used for those clubs in the divisions below the FA Womens Premier Leagues two regional second divisions. In Scotland, football outside the top four divisions consists of the Junior leagues together with a number of regional Senior Leagues, until 1974, it was the second tier of the league system before being disbanded. The Regionalliga was then re-introduced as the tier of the system in 1994. National Game XI Non League UK
Eastbourne Town F.C.
Eastbourne Town Football Club are an English football club based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The club is a FA Chartered Standard Community club affiliated to the Sussex County Football Association, the club was founded in 1881 as Devonshire Park FC and they claim to be the oldest senior football club in Sussex, though they are certainly the oldest in the town of Eastbourne. The club are members of the Southern Combination Premier Division. Founded in 1881 as Devonshire Park Football Club, named after the ground they played at. A home they have shared since with Eastbourne Cricket Club and Eastbourne Hockey Club and they changed their name to Eastbourne F. C. in 1889 as the town was being expanded after the railway arrived into the town. Although at the time they were not in a league, they competed in the Sussex Senior Cup reaching the ten times between 1889 and 1903, winning eight times in that period. They were founding members of the Southern Amateur Football League in 1907 in which remained in until 1946. They briefly left in 1920 and was one of the teams of the Sussex County Football League, in which they stayed for one season. 1946 saw them join the Corinthian League, in 1953, Eastbourne played their local rivals Hastings United in the FA Cup, although they lost 7–2 they recorded their record attendance of 7,378. In 1971, they changed their name from Eastbourne F. C. to the present name, the 1975–76 season saw Eastbourne reach the 5th round of the FA Vase. During the same season they amalgamated with league rivals Eastbourne United but opted to re-join the Sussex County League. Unable to continue in the Athenian League, due to falling attendances and their first season in the new league was successful, winning the Division 1 title. They came close to the again in the 1984/85 and 1985/86 seasons. In 2001 they were relegated into Division 2 after 25 years and they did not manage to gain an immediate promotion back in the following season, but achieved a return to Division 1 at the end of the 2002–03 season after finishing in second place. In the 2006–07 season, they became Sussex County League champions again and they secured the title on the last day of the season by defeating Oakwood 6–1 away from home to pip Whitehawk at the post, earning promotion to the Isthmian League Division One South. In 2014 they were relegated back to the Sussex County League, during the 2015-16 season they reached the 3rd qualifying round in the FA Cup, the furthest they had reached in 47 years. For the 2015-16 season the club runs two teams and a ladies team. Eastbourne Town play their games at The Saffrons, Compton Place Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Worthing Football Club are an English association football club based in Worthing, West Sussex, currently playing in the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club plays at Woodside Road, the club was formed as Worthing Association Football Club in February 1886 and played friendlies and Sussex Senior Cup ties for the first few years of their existence. In 1896 the club became founding members of the West Sussex Football League, during their time in the West Sussex league they were league champions on seven occasions. In May 1900 the club absorbed local rivals Worthing Athletic and a year moved to its current home, then known as the Sports Ground. In 1905 another rival team, Worthing Rovers, was also absorbed, the clubs intriguing nickname of The Rebels dates from when it resigned from the West Sussex League over a rule change, prior to becoming a founder member of the Sussex County League in 1920. Previously Worthing had been known as The Mackerel Men, a reference to the fish on the club crest, in 1948–49 Worthing joined the Corinthian League but met with little success. They were relegated at the end of the 2006–07 season, the club then reached the play-offs under manager Alan Pook two seasons in a row, losing both matches without scoring a goal. Unknown young manager, Simon Colbran then took the helm and soon became a favourite as the Rebels topped the league for much of Autumn. Despite several budget cuts, the Rebels finished third and narrowly missed out in the play offs at home to Godalming, former Brighton & Hove Albion player Adam Hinshelwood was appointed Worthing manager in December 2013 and lost his first game away at Burgess Hill 4–1. In January 2015 the playing budget at the club was completely cut, the future of the club looked in serious doubt until March 2015 when local football enthusiast George Dowell became the majority shareholder in the club with plans to invest in various areas. On 10 June 2015, Hinshelwood resigned from the club to take up a coaching post at Brighton & Hove Albion. He was replaced by assistant manager Jon Meeney and 29-year-old defender Gary Elphick, in 2016, Worthing were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division via the play-off, having finished the 2015-16 season in third place in the southern division. Player-manager Gary Elphick was on the scoresheet in the play-off final, known as the Pavilion Road Sports Ground, it occupied a 13-acre site, with a Queen Anne style pavilion giving its name to Pavilion Road along the south of the site. Worthing FC moved to the ground in 1903, in 1937 the Sports Ground closed and it is the sites northern portion which developed into the existing stadium. The southern portion of the Sports Ground became tennis courts and then in 1948 became home to Worthing Pavilion Bowls Club, at the end of 1984–85 Woodside Roads main stand burnt down. The ground has also been home to Horsham and Brighton & Hove Albions reserve team after the closure of the Goldstone Ground in 1997, June 2015 saw a 3G pitch installed to replace the turf, among a number of improvements around the ground. This included a complete re-refurbishment of the club, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Darlington 1883 is an English football club that plays at Blackwell Meadows, Darlington. This policy had previously applied to other collapsing clubs, such as Chester City FC. Darlington applied to join the Northern League as a new club, a deadline imposed by the FA meant the board was unable to wait for the results of a poll of supporters, so the name Darlington 1883 was chosen. The company Darlington 1883 Limited was incorporated on 18 Jan 2012 by owners of Darlington Football Club and this company then went on to purchase the assets of Darlington F. C. on 3 May 2012 when a CVA could not be agreed with creditors. Darlington Football Club itself was founded in 1883, and became a football club in 1908. The club became a member of the Football League in 1920, in which it competed until 1989, in the 1989–90 season and from 2010 to 2012, Darlington played in the Football Conference. The club was taken over by Darlington1883, a group of local fans. Darlington1883 failed to arrange a CVA, and as such on 21 June 2012 Darlington F. C. ceased to exist, an appeal against the FA decision was inevitably rejected, confirming that the new club would not be able to play as Darlington F. C. On 25 June 2012 the new registration of a new club. In March 2013 it was confirmed that the Darlington Football Club Community Interest Company and this made the club 100% fan and community owned, with 26% owned by the Darlington 1883 Supporters Club and 22% by 22 individual fans. Following a successful first season in the Northern League Division One, Darlington 1883 were crowned champions with a haul of 122 points. As a result, Darlington 1883 were promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One North, even though Darlington 1883 are a new club, they are committed to paying the former clubs debt including a recent payment of £53,000 to HMRC. Darlington played in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2013–14 season, in the 2013–14 season, Darlington finished 2nd and qualified for the playoffs, where they were beaten in the semifinal by Ramsbottom United. Ramsbottom went on to win the final and achieve promotion, in the 2014–15 season, Darlington again finished 2nd and on 2 May 2015 they won the playoff final 2–0 against Bamber Bridge to win promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. In the 2015–16 season, Darlington clinched the Northern Premier League Premier Division title on 21 April 2016 after beating Whitby Town 7–1 to seal promotion to the National League North. Norman Stephens and some of the staff were retained by Darlington who took Hordens place in the Wearside League. They played their first game under the new name on 6 October in a 1–0 away defeat to Boldon C. A, plans had originally been laid down to move to Shildon Football Club, but Heritage Park was eventually chosen as Darlingtons first official home. Heritage Park is south-west of Bishop Auckland, the attendance was exactly 3,000 at Blackwell Meadows
Tow Law Town F.C.
The team, nicknamed The Lawyers, play their home games at Ironworks Road. The clubs fans are known as The Misfits, the club was founded in 1890 as Tow Law F. C. Tow Law reached the final of the FA Vase in 1998, having progressed all the way from the first round, there was a football team operating in Tow Law as early as 1881, when a vicar captained the team. However, the still playing today was founded as Tow Law in 1890. The club became one of the teams of the Auckland and District League in 1892. They then joined the Northern League in 1894, in 1896 they won the Durham Challenge Cup. They left the Northern League, and played in the South Durham Alliance from 1900 to 1905, in 1905 the club changed its name to Tow Law Town which they have stuck with ever since. The club played in the Crook and District League from 1912 until 1914, after the end of World War I in 1918, the club again played in the Auckland and District League until 1920, when they returned to the Northern League where they have played ever since. The club were league winners two seasons in a row, in 1923–24 and 1924–25 and they were runners up in 1928–29. In the Second World War they resigned from the Northern League on 20 March 1940 and they rejoined the league in 1945 on its resumption after the War. In the 1967–68 season, the club had their best ever run in the FA Cup, after reaching the first round proper, they beat Mansfield Town 5–1 at Ironworks Road, and took Shrewsbury Town to a second round replay after a 1–1 draw at home. The team went into the third round draw and were drawn against Arsenal at home, however this never happened because they were beaten 6–2 by Shrewsbury in the replay. Arsenal were said to be saved from a worse than death – a trip to Tow Law in January. In 1974, they won the Northern League Cup, beating Ashington 2–1 in the final at Crook, in the summer of 1978, Chris Waddle started playing for the club. In the summer of 1980, while Waddle was working in a sausage factory, Tow Law Town were runners-up in the 1988–89 season, before finally winning the league again in 1994–95, sitting 14 points clear at the end of the season. They missed out on the runners up spot the following year on goal difference, Harry Hodgson had long served as Chairman of the club, but stood down at the end of 1995–96, but as of 2011 he still remains a member of the committee. John Flynn took over as Chairman, at the end of 1996–97, Harry Dixon, another long standing official at the club, stood down as treasurer, but stayed on as the clubs president. Kevin McCormick took over as treasurer, the club made their first and so far only visit to Wembley Stadium on 9 May 1998, by winning through to the final of the FA Vase, under the management of Peter Quigley and his assistant Tony Heslop
Sheffield Football Club is an English football club from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. They play in the Northern Premier League Division One South, at level 8 of the English football league system, founded in 1857, the club is the oldest club now playing association football. Sheffield F. C. initially played games under the Sheffield rules, the club competes in the Rules derby with near neighbours Hallam. On the pitch, the clubs finest hour came in 1904 when they won the FA Amateur Cup and they also finished as runners up of the FA Vase in 1977. In 1855, members of a Sheffield cricket club organised informal kick-abouts without any official rules, – subsequently two members, Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, formed the Sheffield Football Club. The inaugural meeting of the club took place on 24 October 1857 at Parkfield House in the suburb of Highfield, initially, Sheffield FC games were played among club members themselves and took the format of Married v Singles or Professionals v the Rest. Creswick and Prest were responsible for drawing up the rules of play. They were referred to as the Sheffield Rules, and were the first official set of rules, at the time, before the formation of the Football Association, many different kinds of football were popular in England. For example, each of the public schools played football according to their own individual rules. The Sheffield Rules were later adopted by the Sheffield Football Association when it was formed in 1867, sheffields near neighbour, Hallam, was formed in 1860 and in the same year the two clubs first met each other in a local derby which is still contested today. By 1862 there were 15 clubs in the Sheffield area and they became members of The Football Association on 30 November 1863 but continued to use their own set of rules. On 2 January 1865, the club played its first fixture outside Sheffield against Nottingham, by this time the club had decided only to play teams outside Sheffield in order to seek a bigger challenge. On 31 March 1866, there was a match between a team representing the city of Sheffield and one representing London, at Battersea Park, Rules that differed only slightly from the FA rules were used. The game, played as an aside, was won by London by 2 goals. However the matter of rules remained a problem with Sheffield clubs continuing to play by their own rules, Sheffield clubs finally adopted the FA rules in 1878. They would reach the 4th Round of the competition in 1877–78 and their reluctance to play against local clubs led to the formation of Thursday Wanderers in 1876, a team of players registered to Sheffield who wished to play in the Sheffield Challenge Cup. The Wanderers operated from 1876 to 1879, winning the cup in their final year, after the legalisation of professionalism, the staunchly amateur Sheffield suggested to the FA the creation of a cup exclusively for amateur clubs. The FA Amateur Cup was inaugurated in 1893 and Sheffield themselves won the competition in 1904 and they joined their first league competition in 1889 when entering the Midland League, but left after just one season when they finished bottom of the table