Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
The Victoria Ground was the home ground of Stoke City from 1878 until 1997, when the club relocated to the Britannia Stadium after 119 years. At the time of its demolition it was the oldest operational football league ground in the Football League. The Victoria Ground had been Stoke Citys home since March 1878, the ground took its name from the nearby Victoria Hotel and was originally an oval shape, built to accommodate a running track and used by the local athletic club. There was a grass bank at each end, and a small. Opposite this stand was another bank which could hold 4,000, the ground remained this way for 30 years during which time Stoke had become members of the Football League. Stoke suffered financial difficulties and dropped out of the league in 1908, Stoke got back into the league in 1919 and the ground had now been improved considerably. There were two good sized grandstands and a wooden one which was situated opposite the main stand. The players changing rooms were set in the corner of the ground which included a stove so players could keep warm. Above the changing hut was the box, a rather primitive building. During the early 1920s a new, mainly wooden main stand was erected alongside the hut, by 1930 Stoke had added City to their name and the Boothen End was terraced and later covered, and consequently the ground lost its oval shape. 1935, when the likes of Stanley Matthews was beginning to draw in the crowds, in front of the seats was a small paddock, room for another 2,000 and it took the ground capacity to around the 45,000 mark. A record crowd of 51,380 packed into the Victoria Ground on 29 March 1937 to watch a First Division match against Arsenal, during World War II the Butler Street Stand was used as an army storage camp. Floodlights were installed at the ground in 1956 and local rivals Port Vale marked the official switching on ceremony by playing Stoke in a friendly on 10 October 1956, in 1960 another new main stand was built and the dressing rooms were revamped. In the summer of 1963 concrete was laid on the paddock terracing, more improvements continued in the 1960s and the ground remained in a good condition until January 1976. The strong winds blew a section of the roof off the Butler Street Stand leaving only the west corner intact, top priority was to put the roof back in order that the replay against Tottenham could take place on 7 January. Stoke had to play one home match against Middlesbrough at Vale Park on 17 January. The final improvements to the ground were made during the 1980s with the Stanley Matthews suite being opened as well as a new club shop, with many clubs converting to all-seater stadium due to the Taylor Report the club drew up plans to meet the requirements at the Victoria Ground. However the Club instead decided to build a new ground and so in 1997 Stoke left the Victoria Ground after 119 years for the new modern 28,000 seater Britannia Stadium, archived from the original on 28 January 2010
West Midlands (Regional) League
It has three divisions, the highest of which is the Premier Division, which sits at step 6 of the National League System, or the tenth level of the overall English football league system. The league currently acts as a feeder to the Midland Football League Premier Division, approximately fifty teams compete in the league each season, with new members regularly joining from a number of lower, more local leagues. In the late 1880s, Birmingham and the region boasted many of the countrys strongest football teams. On 31 May 1889 a meeting place at Birminghams Grand Hotel with the view to forming a Birmingham & District League. A total of 17 clubs were invited but only 13 attended, of which 12 were selected to form the new league, the one club which sent a representative to the meeting but was not invited to take part in the league, for unknown reasons, was Worcester Rovers. Although Kidderminster Olympic topped the table, no championship was awarded as a number of fixtures had not been completed. A number of clubs which had enjoyed success in the Birmingham Combination also joined the league, the Combinations committee then attempted to re-open the merger talks but, having just bolstered its ranks with six new members, the League was not interested. A year later, all of the Combinations 14 remaining clubs, with the exception of West Bromwich Albions A team, left to join the League, which effectively absorbed its former rival. The 40 member clubs were split into Northern and Southern divisions, at the end of the 1957–58 season, Burton Albion and Nuneaton Borough left to join an expanding Southern League, followed a year later by Hinckley Athletic. In an attempt to consolidate the league decided to all remaining reserve teams. Four years later it changed its name to the West Midlands League to more accurately reflect its catchment area, for the 1965–66 season the league was able to revert to a two-division structure when it rebranded its existing single division the Premier Division and added a new Division One. By 1976, a flow of teams joining from smaller regional leagues led to Division One being split into Divisions One and One, revised a year later to Divisions One. The Alliance Premier League was formed in 1979, pushing the Regional League further down the English football league system, reflecting the demographics of the West Midlands area, a number of British Asian teams joined the league, including Sikh Hunters, Englands first ever all-Sikh team. The league currently has no title sponsor, previously it has been sponsored by Sport Italia, the Wolverhampton-based Express & Star newspaper, and Black Country brewery Bankss. In the 2014–15 season,55 teams are competing in the league, some of the teams in the lower two divisions are reserve teams of clubs playing at a higher level. Each division is contested on a double round-robin basis, with each playing each of the other teams in the division once at home. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, goal difference is used to separate teams on the same points, having replaced goal average at the start of the 1978–79 season. Since the 1994–95 season the Regional League, along with the Midland Football Combination, has served as one of the two official feeders to the Midland Football Alliance
Crewe Alexandra F.C.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the links with the rail industry. The team compete in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra and it was a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892, but only lasted four years in the League. Since re-entering the competition in 1921, they have remained in the lower divisions. Crewes only major honour is the Football League Trophy which they won in 2013 and they have also won several minor trophies, including the Cheshire Premier Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup. Gradi is known for focusing on development and promoting attractive. Notable players brought through the Crewe youth system include former internationals Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, other notable players to have made their name at Crewe in that time include Geoff Thomas, David Platt and Robbie Savage. Crewe Alexandra were formed in 1877 as Crewe Football Club, separate from the successful Crewe Cricket Club and they were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground and played their first match against North Staffs that same year, a match that ended 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandras first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queens Park of Glasgow, in 1888, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Football Alliance, in 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site. Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921, during which season a crowd of 15,102 packed into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City. Crewe earned their first honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, in 1936, Bert Swindells scored his 100th League goal for Crewe Alexandra. He went on to score 126 goals for the club, a record still stands today. 1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches, the dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport. One of Crewes most famous took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, on 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe,1961 saw Crewes most notable win in their history, Jimmy McGuigans side defeated Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge
Halesowen Town F.C.
Halesowen Town Football Club is an English association football club formed in 1873, that play in Halesowen and as of 2014 are playing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. The team is nicknamed The Yeltz, Halesowen Town FC was formed in 1873, making it one of the oldest clubs in the Midlands, and initially played in the Birmingham Combination. In 1946, it joined the Birmingham and District League and was champions in its very first season, the 1960s saw it consistently finish high in the league, but by contrast the 1970s saw it struggle, finishing bottom of the table twice. The 1983 final saw the club lose 1–0 to VS Rugby, in 1983, the club also beat Heybridge Swifts in the final of the Thorn EMI six-a-side tournament at the Alexandra Stadium and won a £20,000 set of floodlights for their ground. The early 1990 were dominated by players leaving to join clubs, including Dean Spink, Stuart Cash, Andy Pearce, Tim Clarke, Sean Flynn. For its first eight seasons at this level Halesowen never finished outside the top 10, including being beaten to promotion by Rushden. Financial difficulties, however, led to a slump which culminated in relegation in 2001, although Halesowen bounced back in style, winning the Western Division championship at a canter, the club was relegated once again in 2003. The club failed to return to two of the non-league pyramid the following season, finishing fourth and missing out on the new Conference North. The club appointed the former Walsall and Birmingham City captain Martin OConnor as manager in late 2006, Halesowen came close to gaining promotion in 2006–07, losing to Hitchin Town in the last game of the season, which meant missing the playoffs. In October 2007, the club was sold to an owner who brought in former Kettering FC manager Morell Maison. On October 18, former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson was appointed as a consultant to the new manager, in autumn 2009, insolvency experts Marshman Price were appointed as the clubs administrators. The team enjoyed a successful start to the 2009–10 season after receiving a 10-point deduction for entering administration. Brendan Phillips left the club and the rose to fifth position by the turn of the new year. Shaun Cunnington appointed Paul Tomlinson as his assistant manager and made staying up his top priority, according to the clubs records, it has played at The Grove since its formation in 1873. The ground was originally a cricket pitch and was therefore a three sided stadium, in the 1930s, a small wooden stand was constructed along the perimeter of the James Grove Button Factory. During the 1950s, the Old Hawne Lane end was constructed along with changing rooms, during this time players had to change in the Waggon and Horses public house on Stourbridge Road. In the 1980s, the three sided ground was converted to four with the addition of the uncovered terracing along the Recreation Park side of the ground. In 1987, the 420 seater Harry Rudge Stand was completed on the site of the 1930s vintage wooden cover, the stand was extended in 1998 and again in 2000
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
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Ernest Mullineux was an English footballer who played in the Football League for Burslem Port Vale, Bury and Stoke. He also helped Stoke to win two league titles in 1909–10 and 1910–11. A right-back, he made 333 league and FA Cup appearances in a 14-year career and he also later played for Wellington Town. Mullineux started off with Burslem Park, before joining Burslem Port Vale in May 1900 and he featured in one Second Division game in the 1900–01 season, and then went on to play all 34 league and five FA Cup matches in the 1901–02 season. He again played all 34 games in the 1902–03 campaign, and he made 40 appearances in the 1903–04 season, missing just one league game, and scored in a 5–0 win over Blackpool at the Athletic Ground on 12 March. He played 13 league games in the 1904–05 season, before the grim financial situation meant that he was sold to Bury for a £600 fee in December 1904. The Shakers finished 17th in the First Division in the 1904–05 season and he went on to play eleven games in the 1905–06 season, as Bury finished one point above the relegation zone. He featured just once at Gigg Lane in the first half of the 1906–07 campaign, Mullineux signed for Stoke in January 1907. Mullineux became a regular in the side at a time when Stoke were having a financial meltdown which led to the entering into liquidation in 1908. As a result, Stoke left the Football League and thus many of their players left the club, during this time, Stoke won the Southern League Division Two A in 1909–10 and the Birmingham & District League in 1910–11. After leaving Stoke in 1914, he went on to join Wellington Town, sourced from Ernest Mullineux profile at the English National Football Archive with Stoke Southern League Division Two A champion, 1909–10 Birmingham & District League champion, 1910–11
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The ground is known as Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The clubs nickname, The Saddlers, reflects Walsalls status as a centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground, Walsall Town Swifts first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps, in 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892 and they moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League, at the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. a year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, with the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsalls highest home attendance was set in 1930, when played in of front of 74,600 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents Villa Park ground, in 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, in 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Players such as Bill Chopper Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Aston Villa Under-23s and Academy
The team were part of the FA Premier Reserve League since its foundation in 1999 and were winners of the 2011-12 Premier Reserve League South title, the last in that format. The team plays its games at Villa Park and Bescot Stadium. Aston Villa also have a side that competes in the Under-18 division of the Professional Development League. The side also won the NextGen Series in 2013, a Europe-wide tournament for elite academies, the Villa academy also developed England and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge and Arsenal midfielder Daniel Crowley. The U23 team is made up of players under the age of 23. These may include fringe first-team players and first-team players recovering from injury, the origins of the team date back to 1892, when Aston Villa Reserves joined the Birmingham & District League. Several titles followed after this achievement, including a run of 8 consecutive titles between 1902 and 1910, when Villa finally left the Birmingham & District League in 1915, they had accumulated a total of 12 league titles and 6 runners-up finishes. After that, the team played in the Central League for many years, becoming champions in 1929–30, 1963–64. In 1999–2000, the FA Premier Reserve League was set up, Villa were one of the founding members, three disappointing seasons followed, however in the 2003–04 season, inspired by brothers Stefan Moore and Luke Moore, Villa eased to their first title. In the two seasons followed, Villa agonisingly finished both campaigns as runners-up, both times to Manchester United. Villa eventually finished 4th - winning 9 out of their 18 games, with Luke Moore the top goalscorer, inspired by Swedish striker Tobias Mikaelsson, Aston Villa Reserves clinched the 2007–08 Southern title, their second regional success since the inception of the league in 1999. However, they were beaten 3-0 in the Play-Off Final by Northern champions Liverpool, Andreas Weimann netted nine goals, to help Villa keep up their trend of securing the Southern title - their third on the trot - in the 2009–10 season. This included a remarkable 15-game unbeaten streak, running from the game of the campaign. However, the club were denied a second national title, as they were beaten on penalties by Manchester United. The 2010–11 season saw changes to the format of the league. Only 16 clubs competed, which meant a split between the top heavy Northern league, undoubtedly the highlight of the season, was a 10-1 home victory over Arsenal at the Greene King Stadium, en route to finishing third in the league. Following changes arrived in the 2011–12 season, three leagues were abolished, returning to two, whilst each team played the teams in their own league home and away. They also played each team in the league once, with home
Brierley Hill Alliance F.C.
Brierley Hill Alliance F. C. was an English association football club based in Brierley Hill in the West Midlands. Alliance also won the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1932–33, 1936–37, 1951–52, the club began at Brockmoor Harriers Labour In Vain ground in Moor Street, then moved to Cottage Street during the 1888–89 season. This was their home until 1977, it is now a car park. Alliance moved to The Dell which was their home until the club folded in June 1981, players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a club record
Shrewsbury Town F.C.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1886 and was elected to the Football League in 1950 and it has also competed in the Welsh Cup, winning it six times, a record for an English team. From 1910 onwards, the club was based at Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn, since 2007, they have played at the New Meadow, Shrewsbury Town were formed at a meeting on 20 May 1886 at the Turf Hotel in Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury. This was following the demise of first Shropshire Wanderers and later indirectly after Castle Blues, the Blues were a rough team, leading to their demise after several games were marred by violence. The new team hoped to be as successful but without the notoriety, press reports differ as to the date the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May 1886 reported the birth of the club at The Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. The Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the clubs being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill and it may be both accounts are true, with a get-together at The Lion being finalised at the Turf. In 1910, Shrewsbury looked to move to a new ground, having spent early years at locations across the town, the club moved to Gay Meadow on the edge of the town centre, within sight of Shrewsbury Abbey, and stayed 97 years. Shrewsburys Birmingham League days were mostly mid-table, with a few seasons challenging near the top, a move to the Midland Champions League in 1937–38 saw the club enjoy one of its most successful seasons, winning a league and cup treble. Shrewsbury were league champions, scoring 111 goals, in addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, and won the Shropshire Senior Cup. After a run of seasons in post-war years, Shrewsbury were admitted to the old Division 3 of the Football League in 1950. Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League Division 3 North for 1950–51 following the decision to expand from 88 to 92 clubs, Shrewsbury were then promoted to the Third Division in 1958–59. They remained in the third tier 15 years, slipping back to Division Four at the end of 1973–74, 1960–61 season saw Shrewsbury Town reach the Semi Final of the League Cup. After beating Everton in the quarter-finals, they narrowly lost over two legs 4–3 on aggregate to Rotherham United and this era was also remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived from Leicester City in 1958, the clubs first player/manager, during his playing and managerial career, he broke Dixie Deans goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 29 April 1961. Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained manager until July 1968, Shrewsbury were promoted to the Third Division in 1974–75 as runners-up, before another successful season in 1978–79, when they were league champions under Ritchie Barker and later Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on 17 May 1979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 4–1 win over Exeter City, in addition, the club had their first run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, before a replay defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Turner is the teams most successful manager, winning the Third Division Championship in 1978–79 – his first season in charge – to take the club into the Second Division for the first time and they remained for ten years, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984
Kidderminster Harriers F.C.
Kidderminster Harriers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Formed in 1886, Kidderminster have played at Aggborough Stadium since they were formed and they are the only club from Worcestershire ever to have played in the Football League, competing from 2000 to 2005. Kidderminster Harriers were formed in 1886 from a successful athletics. In July 1880 the Athletics club amalgamated with the local Clarence rugby club to become Kidderminster Harriers, matches were played at White Wickets on the Franche Road in Kidderminster. 1885-6 was the last season played as a club and the Harriers switched to Association rules for the next season. Playing games at Chester Road Harriers first game was 18 September 1886, away to Wilden, the town saw a rival team start up as Kidderminster Olympic in 1887, rapidly becoming one of the best sides in the area. In 1887–88 the club started playing its matches at Aggborough, both Olympic and Harriers were founder members of the Birmingham and District League in 1889, Olympic won the league in 1890, with Harriers runners-up. Both sides regularly attracted crowds of 2–4,000, with the local derbies seeing over 7,000 attending, in 1890 the two clubs amalgamated as Kidderminster FC on a full professional basis, the new club being admitted to the Midland League which had been formed in 1889. The club became the first from the town to enter the FA Cup and after winning 4 qualifying round games and they lost 3–1 away to Darwen but protested the result because of the poor state of the pitch. Their protest was upheld and the tie was replayed a week later, again at Darwen, however the club found things difficult financially as a fully professional club, resigned from the league and were wound up in March 1891. The club reverted to amateur status in the Birmingham and District League the following season as Kidderminster Harriers, the club again reached the 1st Round of the F. A Cup in 1906–07, losing to Oldham Athletic away 5–0. In 1910 the then current England international full-back Jesse Pennington signed for Harriers after a dispute with his then club West Bromwich Albion and he played one game before the dispute was resolved and he returned to Albion. The twenties were hard going for the club as poor form on the pitch, Harriers did manage a League runners-up place in 1924–25. The then Wolves captain George Getgood, also in dispute at the time. The 1927–28 season saw another accusation of bribery, this time against secretary Pat Davis by Cradley Heath, during an investigation Davis admitted he had offered Burton Town players a ten shillings bonus if they managed to beat Worcester City in the last match of the season. The match was drawn so the bonus was never paid, the case made the national newspapers and Pat Davis was temporarily suspended from all duties. In 1935–36 a new scoring record for the club was set, Harriers did not win the West Midlands League until 1938, finishing the season undefeated
Worcester City F.C.
Worcester City Football Club is an English football club based in Worcester, Worcestershire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Established in 1902, they have spent the majority of their history in non-league football and they currently play at Victoria Ground, home to Bromsgrove Sporting, after leaving St Georges Lane in 2013. Initially they played on Pitchcroft on an area called Severn Terrace. They played there until the start of the 1905 season and it was in 1905 that they reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 6–0 at home to Watford. In 1924–25 they won the league for the first time, the club won back-to-back league titles in 1928–29 and 1929–30, also reaching the FA Cup first round in the former, losing 3–1 at Walsall. In 1938 they joined the Southern League, in 1940 they won the Southern League Cup beating Chelmsford 7–3 over two legs under the guidance of former Fulham F. C. legend Syd Gibbons. During World War II the club returned to the Birmingham & District League for two seasons, after the war Worcester rejoined the Southern League. In 1958–59 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, after beating Chelmsford City in a replay and then Millwall 5–2 in the second round, they were drawn against Liverpool. A 2–1 win saw Worcester qualify for the round against Sheffield United. They were defeated 2–0 in front of a home attendance of 17,042 at St Georges Lane. In 1973–74 the club were relegated to Division One North of the Southern League and they returned to the Premier Division as Division One champions in 1977, and in 1978–79 won the title. The following season they became members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they were relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season, the 1973–74 season saw City reach the quarter-final of the FA Trophy. They beat Taunton Town 1–0 away from home and then a 5–1 home win over Bletchley saw the club reach the third round. Having beaten Sandbach Ramblers 4–1, City progressed to the last eight where a 2–0 away defeat followed a draw against South Shields ended their cup run. In the 1978–79 season, Worcester reached the semi-finals after beating Cardiff City 3–2 in the quarters and they again played Shrewsbury, this time losing 2–0 away. The club remained in the Southern League Premier Division until 2004, in 2008 they were moved to the Conference South after no southern teams were relegated from the Conference National
Stafford Rangers F.C.
The team wear black and white stripes with black shorts. Stafford Rangers rivals include Tamworth, Hednesford Town, Burton Albion, despite extensive research, no one has been able to prove conclusively when Stafford Rangers was actually formed, as early minute books were destroyed during the First World War. Rangers early matches were cup games and friendlies, with the reaching the FA Cup First Round in both 1884–85 and 1885–86. The club then had spells in the Shropshire League, Birmingham League and North Staffordshire League up to the turn of the century, and moved to their present Marston Road home in 1896. In 1900–01 Stafford rejoined the Birmingham League and in 1904–05 had an FA Cup run to the last Qualifying Round bowing out in a replay at Second Division Blackpool. They were demoted to the Birmingham Combination in 1912 but won the championship at the first attempt, Rangers won the Birmingham League title in 1926–27, twice finished runners-up and were twice third in five memorable seasons. During this period a total of 542 league goals were scored with striker Eddie Cameron regularly scoring goals, during April 1935 a successful appeal for £100 to pay creditors enabled the club to survive. When war broke out in 1939, Rangers participated in an emergency Birmingham League during the 1939–40 season, finishing as runners-up, after the Second World War the club reformed and played in the Birmingham Combination for six seasons, achieving a highest position of 6th in 1950–51. With a view to progress, Rangers joined the Cheshire County Football League in 1952, however, Rangers spell in the Cheshire Football League was generally one of struggle and during the early sixties financial difficulties again threatened the clubs existence. There were, however, some results, including the seven goals scored by Les Box in an 11–0 FA Cup victory over Dudley Town during September 1957. In 1965, the appointment of Colin Hutchinson as manager started an improvement, Rangers won the 1967–68 Cheshire League Cup and following season finished as Cheshire League runners-up to earn a place in the Northern Premier League. The seventies were the most successful era in the clubs history, however, they failed to gain election to the Football League, and have never since finished high enough to enter the Football League. The home Third Round tie with Rotherham attracted a record of 8,536 people to Marston Road. After Chapman had departed to manage League club Stockport County, Rangers were again at Wembley Stadium in 1975–76 for their second FA Trophy Final, roy Chapman returned as manager and success continued with a second FA Trophy Final win in 1979, this time against Kettering Town. After four seasons Rangers were relegated to the Northern Premier League and this form continued, but with the appointment of Ron Reid as manager during the 1983–84 season as manager the club soon began to rebuild its reputation and won the 1984–85 League title. Back in the Alliance, the Bob Lord Trophy, Jim Thompson Shield, during the late eighties and early nineties, Rangers struggled in the Conference, with six managers in seven seasons following Reids departure in May 1988. The sale of striker Stan Collymore to Crystal Palace in December 1990 for a substantial six-figure fee stands out in this period, under the management of Dennis Booth, Rangers enjoyed a tremendous 1992–93 campaign. In the league they finished 6th and reached the FA Cup Second Round, after Booth departed for Bristol Rovers, Rangers found success difficult to achieve and were relegated from the Conference to the Southern League Premier Division at the end of the 1994–95 season
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales. Based on the clubs recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales, since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club. As of May 2015, the club has 4,129 adult members, Wrexham are perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over reigning English Champions Arsenal in 1992 and a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners Cup. Wrexhams home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the worlds oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games, the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. Their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, as the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. C, in the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park, Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. 1883 also saw Wrexhams first appearance in the FA Cup, when receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, Olympic was dropped from this clubs name in 1888. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before an increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham, Wrexhams first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league, during their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League and their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators
Burton United F.C.
Burton United Football Club was a football club based in Burton upon Trent in England. The club was established in 1901 by a merger of Burton Swifts and Burton Wanderers, between 1901 and 1907 the club were members of the Football League. The club was formed in 1901 when Burton Swifts merged with Burton Wanderers, Swifts had played in the Football League since 1892, whilst Wanderers had been Football League members between 1894 and 1897 but were now members of the Midland League. It was unusual for a town such as Burton to host two Football League clubs so it was hoped the merger would see an upturn in fortunes for the United club. The new club took Swifts place in the Second Division of the Football League, however, the new club failed to achieve success, and never finished above 10th place or made it past the first round of the FA Cup. In the 1904–05 and 1905–06 seasons the club finished in second last place, at the end of the season the club failed to win re-election, losing their Football League place to Fulham. Following the re-election meeting Burslem Port Vale resigned from the League, the club dropped into the Birmingham & District League, and in 1909 also became members of the Southern League. They became Burton Town in 1924 and they ceased playing in 1940, and were merged into Burton Albion shortly after they were founded in 1950. Albion did not reach the tier of English football, however, until 2015–16
Stourbridge Football Club is an English association football club based in the town of Stourbridge, West Midlands. The club currently plays in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was founded in 1876 and was originally known as Stourbridge Standard. The 1923–24 season was one of the best in the history, as they clinched the Birmingham League championship. The club returned to the Birmingham League in 1954 on the disbanding of the Birmingham Combination and were runners-up in 1955–56. The Birmingham Senior Cup was won for a time in 1958–59. Twin strikers Ray Haywood and Chic Bates each notched 50 goals that season and were transferred to Shrewsbury Town, where Bates served 13 years as both player and manager. Another highlight in 1973–74 was a run in the Welsh Cup. A record crowd of 5,726 saw the Glassboys lose the home leg 1–0, Stourbridge were one of the first English semi-professional clubs to tour the South East of the USA in the early Eighties. In 2000 a new owner came to the club, and swiftly appointed Mark Serrell as chairman, along with FA Qualified coach and ex-Birmingham City player Mark Harrison as manager. Despite an influx of new players, continued poor results meant Stourbridges 29-year spell at Southern League level ended with defeat in the last game of the season at Hinckley United in May 2000. With many players moving on, the new management team had to rebuild the side from scratch, the following season saw a memorable run in the FA Vase, culminating in a quarter-final defeat at A. F. C. Sudbury in the quarter-final before finally succumbing to a 4–1 defeat after extra time, in May 2005 Hackett took sole charge of the team after Ford decided to step down due to work and family commitments. After a poor start, a run of 14 league games unbeaten was enough to clinch a runners-up spot and with it promotion back to the Southern League. Victories over Burton Albion and Moor Green also saw the team reach the Birmingham Senior Cup Final for the first time in 30 years, Stourbridges first season back in the Southern League Midlands Division in 2006–07 saw them finish in seventh place. The 2007–08 season saw Stourbridge seal a third-place finish in the Midlands Division to reach the play-offs, however Stourbridge once again suffered heartbreak in the final as Hednesford Town defeated the Glassboys 2–0 at Burton Albions Pirelli Stadium. In the 2009–10 season, Stourbridge reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in their 133-year history and were drawn at home to Walsall, the game ended in a 1–0 defeat for Stourbridge in front of 2,014 fans. In the 2011–12 season, the club won their way through four qualifying rounds to reach the first round of the FA Cup. They were drawn away to League Two side Plymouth Argyle where they drew 3–3 at Home Park to earn themselves a replay, the replay at the War Memorial Ground was chosen for live coverage by ESPN, netting the club over £33,000
Dudley Town F.C.
Dudley Town Football Club is a football club based in Dudley, West Midlands, England. The club is one of the oldest non-league teams in the Midlands region, Dudley Town was founded in 1888, and in 1898 incorporated another club from the town, Dudley St Johns, moving onto the latters ground at Shavers End and entering the Birmingham & District League. After World War I the club was dormant for a number of years, in 1932 the club moved into the Sports Ground, which had been built as part of a project to provide work for the large number of unemployed men in the borough in the inter-war years. Over 16,000 people attended the match at what was to remain the Robins home for fifty years. After the war the club was resurrected and progressed via the Birmingham Combination to rejoin the Birmingham League, in the 1981–82 season the Robins were promoted to the Southern Football League Midland Division for the first time in the clubs history. During that same season the club installed floodlights for the first time, the floodlights were switched on by local hero Billy Wright. Reportedly Wolverhampton Wanderers even turned down a prestigious close season tour to allow Wright to perform the ceremony, the club also refurbished the 1,800 seated stadium and installed a VIP section, press box and state of the art public address system. On 24 April 1986 Dudley won the Birmingham Senior Cup against local rivals Willenhall Town 4–2 and this was played at West Bromwich Albions ground, The Hawthorns in front of over 4,000 fans. In 1988 the club moved to a new permanent home at the Round Oak Stadium in Brierley Hill, the club officially moved out in 1996, to a groundshare arrangement at the home of Halesowen Town, with plans to sell Round Oak. However, the sale dragged on, and in 1997, facing increasing financial difficulties. In late 1997, club president Nevil Jeynes reformed the club and they were accepted into the West Midlands League, exactly 100 years after they had first joined its predecessor, in the same year, they received entry into the FA Cup after an absence of over 15 years. Nonetheless, the club plans to eventually return to a ground in the heart of Dudley itself. The 2008–09 season saw Dudley Town achieve their highest ever points total of 79, the season also saw their longest ever run in the FA Vase, reaching the second round before losing away against Daventry Town. The goalscoring exceeded that achieved in the last 14 years, with three players scoring over 15 goals, the season also ended with them being awarded FA Charter Standard. 1945–46 Joint Holders Worc Senior Cup, 1964–65 Runners Up Birmingham Senior Cup. Cup 1st Rd Proper v York City, 1980–81 Runners up West Mids Lge Div 2 Cup. 1983–84 Runners up Birmingham Senior Cup, 1984–85 Champions Southern Lge Mid Div. 2006–07 5th in West Midlands Prem League – highest league position since reforming, 2006–07 Runners up in West Midlands Premier League Cup
Fellows Park was a football stadium in Walsall, England. It was the ground of Walsall F. C. from 1896 until 1990. Fellows Park was situated about a quarter of an away from the clubs present ground, The Bescot Stadium, at the junction of Hilary Street. The club moved to the ground from West Bromwich Road in 1895, until 1930 it was named Hilary Street, at which point it was renamed after H. L. Fellows, a club director. Walsalls record home attendance was at Fellows Park, when 25,453 spectators were present for the teams Second Division match against Newcastle United on 29 August 1961, by March 1988, the club was planning to build a new stadium at nearby Bescot Crescent. The final game played at the ground was on 11 May, when retiring defender Peter Harts testimonial was held there with local rivals West Bromwich Albion providing the opposition. This game also ended in a 1-1 draw, with Gary Shaw scoring an equaliser for Walsall in the 37th minute, thus going down in history as the last player to score at the stadium, the new Bescot Stadium was ready for the 1990-91 season. A reminder of Fellows Park remains in the new stadium, in the name of the H. L, the old stadium was demolished soon after its closure and a Morrisons supermarket built on the site
War Memorial Athletic Ground
The War Memorial Athletic Ground, often referred to as simply the War Memorial Ground, is a sports ground in the Amblecote region of Stourbridge, West Midlands, England. It plays host to cricket and football, being the home of Stourbridge Cricket Club and Stourbridge Football Club. Two ICC Trophy matches have been played at the War Memorial Ground, Bermuda v Papua New Guinea in 1979, the ground also hosted a match in the 1997 Triple Crown Tournament, between an England Cricket Board XI and Ireland. Worcestershire County Cricket Club played 61 first-class matches at the ground,60 between 1905 and 1962, and a one in 1981. All these games were in the County Championship, only three List A games have been played here, in 1969,1970 and 1982, again all involving Worcestershire. The county played Second XI cricket at the ground into the early 1990s, on this ground in 1911, Worcestershire lost to Lancashire by 372 runs, which as of the beginning of the 2009 season remains the countys largest ever defeat in terms of runs. C. The ground hosted League One team Walsall in the FA Cup 1st round on 7 November 2009, the match finished in a 0-1 loss for Stourbridge. It also hosted a replay between Stourbridge and Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup on 22 November 2011
The Alexandra Stadium, more commonly known as Gresty Road is a football stadium in Crewe, England. The home ground of Crewe Alexandra, it has a capacity of 10,153. Crewe had initially played at the Alexandra Recreation Ground, also on Gresty Road, after leaving the ground towards the end of the 1895–96 season the club played at a variety of venues, including in nearby Sandbach, before moving to the original Gresty Road ground in 1897. In 1906 the ground was demolished to make way for the construction of new lines. The new ground initially had a stand on each touchline, one of which had moved from the first Gresty Road ground. After a fire, a new Main Stand was built on the side of the ground in 1932. The record attendance of 20,000 was set on 30 January 1960 for an FA Cup match against Tottenham, in the 1990s Gresty Road was rebuilt, with all-seater stands constructed on all four sides of the ground. On 31 May 2015, the ground held a friendly match between Northern Ireland and Qatar. The Air Products Stand – built prior to the 1999–2000 season at a cost of £5.2 million and it accommodates 6,809 spectators, together with the clubs office accommodation. The Mark Price Stand – also known as the Gresty Road End, accommodates 982 spectators, the Wulvern Housing Stand – also known as the Railway End, accommodates 682 spectators. The Whitby Morrison Ice Cream Vans Stand – formerly the Pop, originally the Popular Side, the Alexandra Stadium Crewe Alexandra FC
One of the largest factories in the area was the Round Oak Steelworks, which was closed down and redeveloped in the 1980s to become the Merry Hill Shopping Centre. Brierley Hill was originally in Staffordshire, but is now part of the West Midlands metropolitan county since its creation in 1974. The name Brierley Hill derives from the Old English words brer, meaning the place where the Briar Rose grew, leah, meaning a woodland clearing, and hill. Largely a product of the Industrial Revolution, Brierley Hill has a recent history. Brierley Hill had become heavily industrialized by the beginning of the 19th century, with a number of quarries, collieries, glass works, a National School was opened in the town in 1835, and a market area had developed along the High Street. By the start of the 20th century, the raw material deposits had become depleted, originally part of Staffordshire, Brierley Hill became an urban district in 1894 under the Local Government Act. Previously, it had been an urban sanitary authority, the urban district expanded greatly in 1934 after taking in most of the Kingswinford and Quarry Bank districts, and made a failed bid to obtain borough status in 1952. It became part of the Dudley County Borough in 1966, now the Dudley Metropolitan Borough, Brierley Hill is part of the Dudley Metropolitan Borough, in the West Midlands county in England. The Brierley Hill electoral ward is represented by three Labour councillors on the borough council, Rachel Harris, Zafar Islam, and Margaret Wilson. On a national level, the forms part of the Dudley South constituency. The Merry Hill Shopping Centre is located immediately east of Brierley Hill, one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, it was built between 1985 and 1989 on the grounds of Merry Hill Farm, the last working urban farm in the West Midlands. Baker store is on the High Street, central to the town since 1888, the West Bromwich Building Society had intended to relocate to the Waterfront from its previous base in West Bromwich in 2012, although the plan was later shelved. Brierley Hill Civic Hall, situated on Bank Street in the centre, hosted several of Slades first gigs during the early 1970s. Situated to the north of the town centre. On the border with Wordsley was the Bottle and Glass Inn and it remained at this location until 1980, when it was transferred to the Black Country Living Museum as a centrepiece of the then new village. It is also home to Brockmoor Primary School, which has existed at its current site in Belle Isle since 1994, however, the two schools merged in September 1989 to form Brockmoor Primary School and a year later the age range was altered to 5–11. Pensnett is situated more than a north of the town centre and borders the townships of Sedgley, Kingswinford. Pensnett and Kingswinford feature McDonalds, Premier Inn, Beefeater, Co-Op Food Which Used To Be Somerfield, withymoor Village lies to the south of the town centre towards the border with Stourbridge, and was mostly developed in the 1970s and 1980s, following open cast coalmining
Worcester is a city in Worcestershire, England,31 miles southwest of Birmingham and 27 miles north of Gloucester. The River Severn flanks the western side of the city centre, the Battle of Worcester was the final battle of the English Civil War, where Oliver Cromwells New Model Army defeated King Charles Is Cavaliers. Worcester is known as the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, composer Edward Elgar, Lea & Perrins, makers of traditional Worcestershire sauce, the trade route past Worcester which later formed part of the Roman Ryknild Street dates to Neolithic times. The position commanded a ford over the River Severn and was fortified by the Britons around 400 BC and it would have been on the northern border of the Dobunni and probably subject to the larger communities of the Malvern hillforts. It may have been the Vertis mentioned in the 7th-century Ravenna Cosmography, using charcoal from the Forest of Dean, the Romans operated pottery kilns and ironworks at the site and may have built a small fort. In the 3rd century, Roman Worcester occupied an area than the subsequent medieval city. Industrial production ceased and the settlement contracted to a position along the lines of the old British fort at the river terraces southern end. This settlement is identified with the Cair Guiragon listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons attributed to Nennius. This is not a British name but an adaption of its Old English name Weorgoran ceaster, the Weorgoran were precursors of Hwicce and probably West Saxons who entered the area some time after the 577 Battle of Dyrham. The oldest known church was St Helens, which was certainly British, the town was almost destroyed in 1041 after a rebellion against the punitive taxation of Harthacanute. During this time, the relocated to the nearby Bevere Island,2 miles upriver. The following century, the town was attacked several times during The Anarchy, by late medieval times the population had grown to around 10,000 as the manufacture of cloth started to become a large local industry. The town was designated a county corporate, giving it autonomy from local government. Worcester was the site of the Battle of Worcester, when Charles II attempted to regain the crown, in the fields a little to the west and south of the city. Worcester had supported the Parliamentary cause before the outbreak of war in 1642 but spent most of the war under Royalist occupation. After the war it used its location as the site of the final battles of the First Civil War. As part of this and not based upon any historical fact, it invented the epithet Fidelis Civitas, in 1670, the River Severn broke its banks and the subsequent flood was the worst ever seen by Worcester. The closest flood height to what is known as The Flood of 1670 was when the Severn flooded in the rains of July 2007
The Hawthorns is an all-seater football stadium in West Bromwich, West Midlands, England, with a capacity of 26,850. It has been the home of Premier League club West Bromwich Albion F. C. since 1900, the Hawthorns was the first Football League ground to be built in the 20th century opening in September 1900, after construction work took only 4 months. At an altitude of 551 feet, it is the highest ground among those of all 92 Premier League, during the early years of the club, West Bromwich Albion led something of a nomadic existence, playing at five different grounds in a 22-year period. Their first ground was Coopers Hill, which the club occupied from 1878 to 1879, from 1879 to 1881 they played at Dartmouth Park, although they may also have alternated between there and Coopers Hill during this period. Albions third ground was Bunns Field, also known as The Birches, with a capacity of 1500–2000, it was their first enclosed ground, allowing the club to charge an entrance fee for the first time. Albions tenure of Stoney Lane, from 1885 to 1900, was arguably the most successful period in the clubs history, as the club won the FA Cup twice and were runners-up three times. The expiry of the lease on Stoney Lane, as well as the desire for a more spacious location, saw them move once again in 1900. All of Albions previous grounds had been close to the centre of West Bromwich, the area was covered in hawthorn bushes, which were cleared to make way for the new ground, hence its name, the Hawthorns. When opened, the Hawthorns could hold around 35,500 spectators, the first match took place on Monday 3 September 1900, when Albion drew 1–1 with Derby County in front of a crowd of 20,104. Derbys England international Steve Bloomer scored the first Hawthorns goal, with Chippy Simmons equalizing for Albion, the 1900–01 campaign was not a successful one however, as Albion finished bottom of the table and were relegated to Division Two. Their defeat to Sheffield United on the day of the season was witnessed by just 1,050 spectators. The ground was expanded and 1923 saw the first ever 50. The first 60, 000+ gate followed in 1925, with 64,612 fans watching a cup tie with arch-rivals Aston Villa. The all-time attendance record at the Hawthorns was set on 6 March 1937 and it is worth noting that this attendance was probably bettered, when Albion played Newcastle in a fifth round tie in 1954, when over 80,000 people turned up. The official crowd was put at 61,088, the highest ever league crowd was for a 1–1 draw 60,945 against Wolves on 4 March 1950. Concrete terracing was added to the ground in 1920, in 1949 the ground became the first in Britain to have an electronic turnstile aggregator fitted, in order to automatically calculate attendances. In 1957 electric floodlights were erected, at a cost of £18,000, the grounds first floodlit match saw Albion draw 1–1 with Chelsea, on 18 September 1957. Soon afterwards a friendly game against the Russian Red Army was organised to officially open them, Albion won 6–5 in front of 53,805 fans
Halesowen /heɪlzˈoʊ. ᵻn/ is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, in the West Midlands, England. Historically in Worcestershire, the town is around 7 miles from Birmingham city centre, the population of the town, as measured by the United Kingdom Census 2001, was 55,273. Halesowen is included in the Halesowen and Rowley Regis constituency which is held by the Conservative James Morris, Halesowen was a detached part of the county of Shropshire but was incorporated into Worcestershire in 1844 by the Counties Act. Halesowen is located approximately 8 miles south-west of central Birmingham at the edge of the West Midlands conurbation, although predominantly urban or suburban in character, Halesowen borders on green belt land with excellent access to the countryside, for example the Clent Hills. It has extensive road links including Junction 3 of the M5 motorway, the centre of Birmingham is approximately 30 minutes away by car and reachable by the number 9 bus. The centre of Halesowen is home to a Norman church, a football ground, the town centre was almost completely rebuilt during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1974, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council identified six historical suburbs, within Halesowen, in addition to the Town Centre, these are listed below. A separate sign for Illey was added years later. Cradley Hasbury Hawne Hayley Green Hill & Cakemore Lapal Each of the suburbs above contain various neighbourhoods within them, a weather station provides local climate data for the period 1981–2010. Temperature extremes at Halesowen have ranged from −14.5 °C during December 1981 up to 34.9 °C during July 2006, Halesowen is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as being larger than Birmingham. The manor and town was known as Hala, until it was gifted by King Henry II to Welsh Prince David Owen, included in the boundaries was the ancient village of Brettle. In the 1220s, Halesowen had a market and fair and, by 1270, it had granted a charter of liberties by its lord. By 1300, it is estimated that the population was around 600, the court rolls for Halesowen survive to 1272 and show that the majority of migrants to Halesowen in the 14th century were women at 75%. Little was done to them and many went on to become small retailers in the area. The village is known by medieval historians for the conflict that took place around this time. In 1279, as the Abbot attempted to increase services for his tenants, the peasants attempted to plead their case in the Kings Court. The Abbot thus fined them £10 which was a sum at the time. The conflict was snuffed out in 1282 as Ketel and Alice Edrich were murdered by thugs hired by the abbey, during the 18th century Halesowen developed rapidly as a result of the Industrial Revolution