Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector, light and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen. The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
The Racecourse Ground is a stadium located in Wrexham, North Wales. It is the home of Wrexham AFC, as of August 2016, the stadium has been known as My Racecourse. The record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 34,445 spectators, the Racecourse Ground is the largest stadium in North Wales and the fifth largest in Wales. The ground is used by the FAW for Wales home international games. The ground has also used by North Wales Crusaders rugby league club, Scarlets rugby union club. In the early days, the ground was used for cricket, music concerts returned to the Racecourse in 2016 when the Stereophonics performed. Wrexham Football Club have played at the Racecourse Ground since being formed in the local Turf Hotel public house in October 1864, before the club was formed the ground was mainly used for cricket and occasionally, horse racing. 1952 saw the laying down of concrete terracing on the ever-popular Kop end, five years later was to see the largest ever attendance at the Racecourse when 34,445 people gathered to witness an FA Cup fourth round tie against Manchester United. On 30 September 1959 the Racecourse saw the switching on of the newly installed floodlights, after promotion to the old Second Division in 1978 the Border Stand was built, taking its name from the Border Breweries which owned the ground. This part of the ground is now known as the Eric Roberts Builders Stand, the impressive new structure was originally named the Pryce Griffiths Stand after the then chairman has a capacity of 3,500 and also contains hospitality and conferencing facilities. In 2002 then Wrexham F. C. chairman William Pryce Griffiths secured a 125-year lease on the Racecourse with Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for £750,000, the club hosted TNS vs Liverpool in a UEFA Champions League qualifier in 2005. On 26 June 2002 the freehold to the Racecourse Ground was acquired by Wrexham A. F. C. from Wolverhampton Dudley Breweries for the sum of £300,000. On the same day the ownership of the freehold was transferred by the chairman, Alex Hamilton, from Wrexham A. F. C. to another of his companies, Damens Ltd, for a nominal fee. After this controversial change in ownership the 125-year lease on the Racecourse held by Wrexham F. C. was renegotiated. The new lease stated that Damens Ltd could evict Wrexham F. C. from the Racecourse Ground upon 12 months notice, the new lease also saw the clubs annual rent increase from £1 to £30,000. On 19 May 2014, work commenced at the Racecourse, this included, the medical and treatment facilities will also be upgraded, together with improved seating for disabled supporters, better floodlighting and removal of cambers at the ‘Kop’ end of the ground. The results mean the stadium has been reclassified to Category 3 level, with the clubs emergence from Administration in May 2006, ownership of the ground passed new company, Wrexham Football Club Ltd, owned by Geoff Moss and Ian Roberts. Thus the new company had two tenants for the stadium, the £40 million project would be developed in conjunction with Glyndŵr University to house over 800 students, and take place in two phases
Wrexham is the largest town in north Wales and an administrative, commercial, retail and educational centre. Wrexham is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley alongside the border with England, historically part of Denbighshire, the town became part of Clwyd in 1974 and since 1996 has been the centre of the Wrexham County Borough. At the 2011 Census, Wrexham had a population of 61,603, human activity in the Wrexham area dates back to the Mesolithic period. By the early Middle Bronze Age the area had developed into a centre for an innovative metalworking industry, a Roman civilian settlement was located in the Plas Coch area of Wrexham and excavations have revealed evidence of agriculture and trade with the wider Roman world. By the end of the 6th century AD, the area was being contested between the Celtic-speaking inhabitants and the English-speaking invaders advancing from the east, the origins of the name Wrexham may possibly be traced back to this period. Renewed Welsh and Viking attacks led to a reduction in Anglo-Saxon power in north Wales from the early 10th century, following the Welsh reconquest of the area during the 11th century, Wrexham formed part of the native Welsh lordship of Maelor. During the 12th century the lordship was disputed between the Welsh and the English. The first recorded reference to the town in 1161 is to a Norman motte and bailey castle at Wristlesham which was founded in the Erddig area around 1150 by Hugh de Avranches. However, by the early 13th century Wrexham was undisputedly in the hands of the Welsh house of Powys Fadog, stability under the princes of Powys enabled Wrexham to develop as a trading town and administrative centre of one of the two commotes making up the Lordship. Following the loss of Welsh independence on the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, Wrexham became part of the semi-independent Marcher lordship of Bromfield and Yale. From 1327 onwards, the town is referred to as a villa mercatoria and by 1391 Wrexham was wealthy enough for a bard, jester, juggler, dancer and goldsmith to earn their living there. At the beginning of the 15th century, the local gentry, local poet Glyn Gutor Glyn wrote of Sion ap Madog, the great-nephew of Owain Glyndŵr, as Alecsander i Wrecsam. In the mid 15th century, the church was gutted by fire. The main part of the current church was built in the late 15th, the Acts of Union passed during the reign of Henry VIII brought the lordship into the full system of English administration and law. It became part of the new shire of Denbighshire in 1536, the economic character remained predominantly agricultural into the 17th century but there were workshops of weavers, smiths, nailers as well as dye houses. A grammar school was established in 1603 by Alderman Valentine Broughton of Chester, during the English Civil War, Wrexham was on the side of the Royalists, as most Welsh gentry supported the King, but local landowner Sir Thomas Myddelton, owner of Chirk Castle, supported Parliament. The Industrial Revolution began in Wrexham in 1762 when the entrepreneur John Wilkinson, known as Iron Mad Wilkinson, wilkinsons steam engines enabled a peak of production at Minera Lead Mines on the outskirts of Wrexham. Wrexham was also known for its industry, by the 18th century there were a number of skinners and tanners in the town
Wales national football team
The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales, the body for football in Wales. During their history, Wales have qualified for two international tournaments. They reached the quarter-finals of the 1958 FIFA World Cup and they reached the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016 after beating Belgium in the quarter-final match on 1 July 2016. This was, therefore, the first time that Wales had reached the semi-final of a major tournament, Wales also progressed through UEFA Euro 1976 qualifying to the quarter-final, which was played on a home and away leg basis but they did not feature in the finals tournament. At all levels including the teams the Welsh national team draws players primarily from clubs in the English football league system. The main professional Welsh clubs play in the English leagues, with some full-time and part-time professional clubs playing in the Welsh football league system. Wales played its first competitive match on 25 March 1876 against Scotland in Glasgow, Scotland took the spoils winning 2–0. Wales first match against England came in 1879 – a 2–1 defeat at the Kennington Oval, London and in 1882 Wales faced Ireland for the first time, the associations of the four Home Nations met in Manchester on 6 December 1882 to set down a set of worldwide rules. This meeting saw the establishment of the International Football Association Board to approve changes to the rules, the 1883–84 season saw the formation of the British Home Championship, a tournament which was played annually between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, until 1983–84. Wales were champions on 12 occasions, winning seven times whilst sharing the title five times. As a result, Wales did not enter the first three World Cups, in 1932 Wales played host to the Republic of Ireland, the first time they played against a side from outside the four home nations. A year later, Wales played a match outside the United Kingdom for the first time when they travelled to Paris to take on France in a match which was drawn 1–1. The top two teams were to qualify for the finals in Brazil, but Wales finished bottom of the group. The 1950s were an age for Welsh football with stars such as Ivor Allchurch, Cliff Jones, Alf Sherwood, Jack Kelsey, Trevor Ford, Ronnie Burgess, Terry Medwin. Wales made its only World Cup finals tournament appearance in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, however, their path to qualification was unusual. In the Asian/African qualifying zone Egypt and Sudan had refused to play against Israel following the Suez crisis, as a result, FIFA proclaimed Israel winners of their respective group. However, FIFA did not want a team to qualify for the World Cup finals without actually playing a match and so lots were drawn of all the second placed teams in UEFA
Chester City F.C.
Chester City Football Club was an English football team from Chester which played in a variety of leagues between 1885 and 2010. The club, which was founded as Chester F. C. joined the Football League in 1931, over the next eight decades, the club spent most of its time competing in the lower divisions playing its home games at Sealand Road. In 1983 it was renamed Chester City, the club moved to the Deva Stadium in 1992 after playing two seasons of home games at Macclesfield Towns Moss Rose. In 2004 Chester won the Conference National, their league title. However, halfway through the 2009–10 Conference season, HM Revenue & Customs served a winding-up order on the club in January 2010, the Conference National subsequently suspended Chester – which had been put up for sale – for breaching its financial rules and for cancelling matches. A month after the winding up order was served it was dismissed from the league with all results annulled, in March 2010 Chester was formally wound up after unsuccessfully trying to join the Welsh Premier League. With the official winding up of Chester City, supporters immediately began forming a new club, Chester F. C. was officially established in May 2010. Chester F. C. was founded in 1885 as an amalgamation of Chester Rovers and Old Kings Scholars F. C. after a few years of playing only friendly and occasional cup matches, Chester joined The Combination League in 1890. In 1898 the club moved to The Old Showground, but were forced to leave a year later when the ground was destroyed to make way for housing, leaving the club temporarily disbanded. In 1901, however, they moved to Whipcord Lane, again their stay was only brief and their new stadium on Sealand Road, called simply The Stadium became their first long-term home and provided them with their first league success, as they won the Combination League in 1909. In 1910, Chester moved to the Lancashire Combination League and stayed there until after World War I, charlie Hewitt was appointed manager in 1930, and in 1931 he guided Chester City to the Football League, in place of Nelson F. C. Throughout the 1930s Chester never finished outside of the top ten in Division Three North, during this period Chester recorded their biggest win in the FA Cup, beating Fulham 5–0 in 1933, and in 1936, they recorded their highest league victory, beating York City 12–0. The period also saw Chester win the Welsh Cup for the time after beating growing rivals Wrexham at Sealand Road in May 1933. Unfortunately, the side was to be split up by the outbreak of the Second World War, although the 1946–47 brought a third-place finish and another Welsh Cup triumph, grim times lay ahead. No top half placings would be achieved until the divisions were merged in 1958. They would still have to wait six years until they finished above halfway in a league table. Chesters fortunes began to take a turn for the better after the appointment of South African Peter Hauser as manager in 1963 who put Chester in contention for promotion from Division Four. In 1964–65 all five forwards managed 20 goals – a unique achievement – as Chester scored 119 in Football League games alone, apart from missing out on promotion by just a point in 1970–71 the next few years were largely uneventful
Football Association of Wales
The Football Association of Wales is the governing body of association football in Wales. It is a member of FIFA, UEFA and the IFAB, the FAW was founded at a meeting held on 2 February 1876 at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Wrexham, initially to formalise the arrangements for the forthcoming match against Scotland. In May 1876, a meeting was called, this time in the ballroom of the Wynnstay Arms Hotel in Ruabon where the name Football Association of Wales was agreed. The arguments and discussions continued so long that the local policeman came in to call time, the meeting ended with Llewelyn Kenrick appointed as the first chairman and honorary secretary with John Hawley Edwards as first treasurer. Kenrick continued to serve the FAW until 1884, when he left, in 1897, when the FAW secretary was charged with fraud, Kenrick returned to guide the association through the crisis. He made the break a few months later over the minor issue of the allocation of gate money to Welsh Cup semi-finalists and finalists. The FAW is also responsible for all actions against players in teams associated with the FAW. This includes Welsh teams playing in the English football pyramid, superseding the English FA disciplinary system with the exception of Cardiff City, the FAW is based at Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff. It is governed by a council including nineteen councillors who are either elected, in 2012, chief executive Jonathan Ford claimed the FAW had an income of £14 million, funded from FIFA, UEFA, grants, sponsorship and TV revenue. All finances were spent on the development of the game. In 2013, Dragon Park, the Wales National Football Development Centre, Wales national football team List of football clubs in Wales Official website Wales at FIFA site Wales at UEFA site A Bibliography of Association Football in Wales
Bangor City F.C.
Bangor City Football Club are a semi-professional Welsh football club from the City of Bangor, Gwynedd. The club compete in the Welsh Premier League, being ever present since the league was founded in 1992. Bangor City F. C. is one of Wales older football clubs, and has an history of competition in European football. In the 1961–62 season, Bangor City won the Welsh Cup, in the first round, Bangor was drawn against the Italian Cup winners, Napoli, at the time one of Europes greatest football teams. In the first leg, played at Farrar Road, unexpectedly Bangor won 2–0, world superstar Bobby Charlton guested for the Blues in the 1978 Anglo-Italian Tournament. At the end of 1977–78 when Southport was relegated from the English Football League Fourth Division, Bangor City, Boston United, due to Wigan Athletic having installed crush barriers, Bangor missed out on promotion. In 1979–80 Bangor City was invited to compete in the Alliance Premier League, on 12 May 1984 Bangor became the first Welsh club to play at Wembley since Cardiff in 1927, when reaching the FA Trophy final against Northwich Victoria. The match finished 1–1, with local boy Paul Whelan scoring for Bangor, the replay was played in Stokes Victoria Ground, and despite a goal from another Bangor lad, Bangor lost 2–1 conceding in the last minute. In 1985 Bangor City was back in the ECWC, in the first round drawn against the Norwegian cup winners, Fredrikstad. Interestingly, captain of Bangor that season was midfielder Mark Palios, against Atletico, Palios shaved the post with a header in the first minute that would have given Bangor an unlikely lead in the first leg at Farrar Road following a cross by Phil Lunn. In 1994 as League of Wales Champions, Bangor City entered the UEFA Cup, akranes won the leg in Bangor by 2–1, while Bangor lost the match in Iceland by 2–0. Łódź were a powerful side, But Nick dominated throughout the game. Having played Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United in earlier campaigns, manager at the time was Nigel Adkins, now in charge of Championship side Reading. Unsurprisingly Bangor were beaten, 2–0 at home, and 1–0 in Finland, in 2006 the club made it to the Welsh Cup final where they were beaten by Rhyl 2–0 at Wrexhams Racecourse ground. The club managed to win back the Welsh Cup in 2008, defying the odds and defeating league high fliers Llanelli 4–2 after extra time at Latham Park, Newtown. An injury time equaliser saw an invasion by celebrating Bangor fans before the Blues were able proceeding to defeat their expensively-assembled opponents during the additional period. Victory in the Welsh Cup meant that Bangor had again qualified for Europe, the first leg was held at the Racecourse ground, Wrexham, saw Bangor beaten 6–1 by a talented Danish side. Despite this early setback Bangor ended the 2008–09 season with yet more silverware as they retained the Welsh Cup by defeating Aberystwyth Town 2–0 in a match held at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Professional Footballers' Association
The Professional Footballers Association is the trade union for professional association footballers in England and Wales. The worlds oldest professional sport trade union, it has 4,000 members, the aims of the PFA are to protect, improve and negotiate the conditions, rights and status of all professional players by collective bargaining agreements. The PFA is affiliated with the Professional Footballers Association Scotland, the Northern Ireland PFA disbanded in 1995. The PFA was formed on 2 December 1907 as the Association of Football Players and Trainers Union, on that date, Charlie Roberts and Billy Meredith, both of Manchester United, convened the Players Union at Manchester’s Imperial Hotel. This was the attempt to organise a union of professional footballers in England, after the Association Footballers Union. Like the AFU before it, the Players Union intended to challenge the maximum wage, in response, the Union threatened strike action. The Football Association in turn banned players affiliated with the AFPTU before the start of the 1909–10 season, the ban saw membership of the Union fall. However, players from Manchester United refused to relinquish their membership, the Manchester United players were called Outcasts FC. The deadlock swung in favour of the Union when Tim Coleman of Everton came out in support of the Union, colemans intervention resuscitated support for the Union, which regained its strength of numbers. Agreement was reached on official recognition for the Union in exchange for allowing bonus payments to be made to players to supplement the maximum wage, the maximum wage remained for more than another half century. The 1910s saw the Union backing a challenge by Herbert Kingaby against the retain, Kingaby brought legal proceedings against his former employers, Aston Villa, for preventing him from playing. The Players Union funded the proceedings, erroneous strategy by Kingabys counsel resulted in the suit ending disastrously for the Union. The Union were almost ruined financially and membership fell drastically, although membership increased from 300 in 1915 to well over 1000 by 1920 this did not herald a new era of radicalism among the rank-and-file. Inevitably, this financial difficulties at many clubs. Clubs believed their problems were due to players excessive wages rather than over-expansion, in the spring of 1922, they persuaded the League authorities to arbitrarily impose a £1 cut to the maximum wage and force clubs to reduce the wages of players who were on less than the maximum. Legal proceedings backed by the Players Union this time established that clubs could not unilaterally impose a cut in players contracted wages, between 1946 and 1957 the Chairman of the Union was former Portsmouth captain Jimmy Guthrie. In 1956, Jimmy Hill became secretary of the Players Union and he soon changed the unions name to the Professional Footballers Association, changing a blue collar image to one in keeping with the new wave of working-class actors and entertainers. In 1957, Jimmy Hill became chairman of the PFA and campaigned to have the Football Leagues £20 maximum wage scrapped and his Fulham teammate Johnny Haynes became the first £100 player