Somerset Park is a football stadium located in Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been the home of Ayr United since they were founded in 1910, prior to that, it was the home ground of Ayr, who merged with Ayr Parkhouse to form Ayr United. Ayr commissioned Somerset Park in 1888 to replace Beresford Park, Ayr needed an alternative venue for a friendly match against Aston Villa because Beresford Park was being used for the Ayr Cattle Show at the time. The Beresford Park clubhouse and grandstand were dismantled and reassembled at Somerset Park, Ayr entered the Scottish Football League in 1897, but failed to seriously challenge for promotion to the First Division. Ayr Parkhouse, who played at Beresford Park, subsequently joined the league, the two clubs decided to merge in 1910 to form Ayr United and the new club adopted Somerset Park as its primary home, although Beresford Park was used during the First World War. Ayr United bought Somerset Park for £2,500 in 1920, four years later, the direction of the pitch was changed when the club built a new Main Stand. A roof was built in 1933 over the end terrace. The grounds record attendance of 25,225 was set on 13 September 1969 in a match against Rangers, floodlights were installed a year later. Somerset Park was relatively late in doing this because the ground is in the path of the nearby Prestwick Airport. The Somerset Road end terrace was covered in 1971, a new wing was added to the Main Stand in 1989, increasing the seating capacity to 1,450 in an overall capacity of 12,128. Despite this work on other Scottish grounds, Somerset Park was not developed, barr had plans for an out-of-town stadium rejected by the Scottish Executive. He retired in 2004 and passed control of the club to Donald Cameron, in November 2006, Ayr United publicised plans to sell Somerset Park to housing developer Barratt Homes and move to a new purpose built stadium in the Heathfield area of Ayr. The new ground was planned to consist of a stand of 3,650 seats, with the potential to add another 3, 000-seat stand. South Ayrshire Council gave outline planning permission in January 2008, Barratt Homes pulled out of the deal to purchase Somerset Park in August 2008, however, with the developer claiming that the planning rules were unworkable. The credit crunch, which depressed housing values, also affected the proposals viability, the Main Stand roof was damaged by Hurricane Bawbag in December 2011, forcing Ayr United to postpone a First Division match against Ross County. Ayr railway station is approximately 10 minutes walk from Somerset Park, newton-on-Ayr railway station is closer to the ground, but fewer trains stop there. The A77 road is the route towards Ayr. To reach Somerset Park, take the A719 road into town, there is a small car park next to Somerset Park and nearby street parking is also available
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city, Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008, Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm. The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, Rangers first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was also a founder member, in 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached a Scottish Cup final, after drawing the first game, Rangers refused to turn up for the replay, Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup. The first-ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtics establishment, Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed largely of guest players from Hibernian. The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, the clubs first-ever league match, on 16 August 1890, resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2, Rangers first-ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wiltons time as secretary and then team manager. Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers most successful manager, on 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Years Day Old Firm match. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League, Rangers also lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, by a single goal after extra time to Bayern Munich. The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on an exit at the culmination of the New Years Day Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was likely to have happened ten minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs
Ayr is a large town and former Royal Burgh situated on the west coast of Ayrshire in Scotland, United Kingdom. It is the centre of the South Ayrshire Council area. Ayr is currently the most populated settlement in Ayrshire and is the 12th most populous settlement in Scotland, the town adjoins the smaller town of Prestwick to the north, forming a single continuous urban area with the town. Ayr was established as a Royal Burgh in 1205, serving as Ayrshires central marketplace and harbour throughout the Medieval Period, on the southern bank of the River Ayr sits the ramparts of a Citadel constructed by Oliver Cromwell during the mid-17th Century. Towards the south of the town is the birthplace of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the suburb of Alloway, with the expansion of the railway during the 19th Century Ayr soon developed into a seaside resort. Politically, Ayr is considerably more Conservative-voting than the remainder of Scotland, the town is now marginally contested between the Conservatives and the Scottish National Party. In the UK Parliament Ayr is situated within the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency which is represented by SNP MP Corri Wilson. Ayr is one of the largest retail centres along the south of Scotland and was recognised as the second healthiest town centre in the United Kingdom by the Royal Society for Public Health in 2014, Ayr has hosted the Scottish Grand National horse-racing steeplechase annually since 1965. The town also accommodates the headquarters of the Ayr Advertiser and Ayrshire Post newspapers, the name Ayr can be traced back to a pre-Celtic word meaning watercourse. The name was used before the establishment of the Julian calendar as a name for the River Ayr, Ayr was founded as a market burgh town in 1205 by King William the Lion. It was formerly named Inverair or Inverayr, meaning mouth of the river Ayr, elements of the former name remain present within the Scottish Gaelic name for Ayr – Inbhir Air. Since 1261 annual fairs were held in the town, at this time the town had a recorded population of 1,500 and served as a major port on the west coast. The town was occupied by England from 1301 until 1312 as part of the Scottish Wars of Independence, on 26 April 1315, a Parliament of Scotland was held in Ayr by Robert The Bruce at St. Johns Tower by the sea. Later, in 1652, the town was used as a base, Cromwell established a large fortress along the mouth of the River Ayr and erected walls around the area just south of the Rivers mouth - most of these walls remain present to this day. A permanent military presence was established in the town with the completion of Ayr Barracks on the site in 1795. Ayr forms part of the Westminster constituency of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock and this constituency includes Carrick in South Ayrshire in addition to Doon Valley, Cumnock and New Cumnock in southern East Ayrshire. The seat is held by the Scottish National Partys Corri Wilson. The Central Ayrshire constituency runs north of the Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock constituency and it takes in the towns of Irvine, Kilwinning, Prestwick, Troon and rural Kyle, running into Annbank
Cowdenbeath is a town and burgh in west Fife, Scotland. It is 5 miles north-east of Dunfermline and 18 miles north of the capital, the town grew up around the extensive coalfields of the area and became a Police Burgh in 1890. According to a 2008 estimate, the town has a population of 14,081, the wider civil parish of Beith has a population of 17,351. The first element of the name comes from the surname Colden or Cowden, often indicated in early forms as a possessor by the addition of -s. Beath, the name of the parish, is from the Gaelic beith. An article by eminent archaeologist A. D. Lacaille F. S. A Scot details the find of a late bronze-age cemetery near Tollie Hill, one of the urns found contained fragments of processed Arran pitchstone, indicating some economic activity and commerce. The earliest written record of Beath was found in a charter of Inchcolm Abbey and this charter makes reference to the Chapel of Beth. Although it is accepted that the word beath in Gaelic means ’birch’. This significant date followed the building of a new church in 1640 at Beath, to replace the ruins of a sanctuary, the present church, visible today, was constructed in 1834–35 by James MacFarlane and was altered in 1884–86. It is alleged that the infamous graverobbers Burke and Hare sourced some of their cadavers from Beath Cemetery, to supply to the Scottish surgeon Dr. Robert Knox for dissection. Precautions were taken at Beath Cemetery to prevent body-snatching and for many years what were taken to be two iron coffins without lids dug up from the old churchyard lay near the old hearse house. These were not actually coffins, but old-time safes that were placed over the coffin to hinder the work of the body-snatchers, another preventative measure adopted was the placing of a large flat stone on top of the grave. The two safes have since disappeared, but the stone is still to be seen near the church. The Blaeu Map of Fife, published in 1654 by eminent 17th-century Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu, by 1790 the records show that the parish of Beath had about 100 families whose livelihood came mainly from the soil. The fact that Beath Church served a large area led to the creation of many kirke roads, roads that form rights-of-way even today. This church was replaced by the present church, built in 1832, Cowdenbeath first came into prominence around 1820 as a stop on the north-bound coaching route to Perth. Indeed, Queen Victorias entourage stopped at the Cowdenbeath Coaching Inn to change horses on her first trip to Scotland in 1842, the coaching inn, the Old Inn, was established at the junction of roads from North Queensferry, Perth, Dunfermline and Burntisland. When the new road from Queensferry to Perth was constructed
East Stirlingshire F.C.
East Stirlingshire Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1881 and competes in the Lowland Football League, the clubs origins can be traced to 1880 when a local cricket club formed a football team under the name Britannia, based in the village of Bainsford. The club was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1900–01 and has competed in the system for most of its existence. East Stirlingshire has won the tier of Scottish football once and finished runners-up once. The clubs highest league ranking came during the two seasons it competed in the top flight in 1932–33 and 1963–64. In 2016, East Stirlingshire became the first club ever to be relegated out of the league system. East Stirlingshire first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1882, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1981. The clubs best result in a cup competition was in the 2000–01 season when it reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup. In 2008, the club left Firs Park and moved to Ochilview Park to ground-share with local rivals Stenhousemuir, the clubs nickname is The Shire, which refers to the Stirlingshire part of the club name. In December 1883, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded, with open to clubs exclusively from the county of Stirlingshire. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament called the Stirlingshire Cup. East Stirlingshire dominated the tournament in its years, winning it for a record four years in a row between 1885 and 1889, including an emphatic 9–0 victory against Falkirk in the 1888 final. Two goals came from Lawrence McLachlan who was an influential goalscorer in the early successes. The latter years of the 19th century was East Stirlingshires most successful era in the Scottish Cup, in the 1888–89 and 1890–91 tournaments, the club reached the quarter-finals in what was to be the last time for 91 years, losing to Celtic and Hearts respectively. It was during this period that four East Stirlingshire players earned caps for their countries. The first was the Wales national team captain, Humphrey Jones, Three other players, David Alexander, Archibald Ritchie, and James McKie made appearances for the Scotland national team from 1891 to 1898. In March 1905, a proposal was raised for the club to merge with neighbours Falkirk with an aim to creating a bigger and more financially stable club, however, East Stirlingshires vote was not in favour and the club rejected the proposal. The club remained in Division Two until 1914–15 when it, at the end of World War I, the club was re-elected to the old Division Two which was re-established in the 1921–22 season
Dundee United F.C.
Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian, the changed to the present name in 1923. United are nicknamed The Terrors or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs, the club has played in tangerine kits since the 1960s and have played at the present ground, Tannadice Park, since their foundation in 1909. United were founder members of the Scottish Premier League in 1998 and were ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure, United were relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, which is the second tier of the SPFL. Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion, the Scottish Cup twice, United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987, the club has a 100% record in four matches against Barcelona in competitive European ties. The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park and they were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and then relegated three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929. The club achieved little success until Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerrs team won promotion in his first season in charge and became established in the top flight, Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and his youth policy led to the most successful era in the clubs history. United won the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and 1980 and then the Premier Division title in 1982–83, the club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Cup Final. The latter featuring another elimination of Barcelona, despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won a FIFA Fair Play Award. McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman, United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLeans successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, returning a year later. Shortly after Leveins departure, the won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston. After several relatively successful seasons, a slump in form led to United being relegated in 2016, for a complete pictorial history of playing kit, see the Historical Football Kits site. After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the own in 1969 to give the club a brighter. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a friendly against Everton in August. When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts
Vale of Leven F.C.
Vale of Leven Football Club are an association club based in the town of Alexandria, Scotland, in the Vale of Leven area of West Dunbartonshire. Nicknamed the Vale and formed in 1939, they play at Millburn Park and they play in the Scottish Junior Football Association, West Region, and wear blue and white strips. In the early days of Scottish football, Vale of Leven, Vale won the Scottish Cup three times in succession. In 1878 they travelled down to England and beat the FA Cup winners, The Wanderers, the Wanderers had the advantage that the game was played under the English throw-in rule, but the Vales Scottish passing game proved superior to the English game of individual dribbling. The club also won the Celtic Society Cup in shinty in 1879, Vale of Leven was a founder member of the Scottish Football League when it was formed in 1890. By this time, the club was being eclipsed by the stars from Glasgow. In their second season failed to win a single game. Rather than face re-election for the time, the club withdrew. Between 1893 and 1902 the Vale played only friendly matches and in cup competition before joining the Scottish Football Combination, in 1905 they applied successfully for readmission to the Scottish League when the Second Division was extended with two additional places. They finished as runners-up in 1907 and in 1909 but did not receive the votes they needed to be elected to the First Division, as the following decade wore on, Vale of Leven struggled and regularly finished near the foot of the table. When the Second Division was suspended in 1915, Vale joined the Western League, after World War I ended Vale of Leven returned to the Scottish League for the third time as members of the reformed Second Division. After a decent fourth-place finish in their first season, the club was relegated to the new Third Division in 1924 and this ill-fated competition was abandoned in 1926 when it became clear that the cost of meeting match guarantees and additional travel expenses were beyond the means of its members. Despite the church name, Vale Ocoba appeared to be a flag of convenience for the Vale of Leven Football & Athletic Club struck off the SFAs roll. Original club colours, Dark blue shirts, dark blue shorts, disaster struck however when the start of World War II obliged the league to be suspended due to restrictions on travel by December 1939. Technically, the current club is unattached to the senior club. Scottish Junior football has a number of clubs that were forced to fold as Senior sides due to financial reasons or as a result of the collapse of the old Scottish Division Three in the late 1920s. This is more prevalent on the West Coast where no non-amateur Senior league exists any longer, the most recent example of this trend has been the former Junior turned Senior turned Junior again side Clydebank. Vale of Leven should not be confused with the slightly differently named East of Scotland League club Vale of Leithen
St Mirren F.C.
St Mirren Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Paisley, Renfrewshire, founded in 1877. The team plays in the Scottish Championship, having been relegated from the Scottish Premiership in 2014–15, the team has two nicknames, the Buddies and the Saints. St Mirren have won the Scottish Cup three times,1926,1959 and 1987, and the Scottish League Cup in 2013, the club has played in European competition four times, UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1987–88 and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81, 1983–84 and 1985–86. The clubs home ground since 2009 is St Mirren Park, an 8,023 capacity all seater ground on Greenhill Road, the clubs former ground from 1894 until 2009 was also called St Mirren Park, but was more commonly known as Love Street. St Mirren was formed as a club which included, among other sports, cricket. The increasing popularity of football ensured that by 1877 the members had decided to play football and 1877 is the football clubs official foundation date. They are named after Saint Mirin, the founder of a church at the site of Paisley Abbey, there is also a street in Paisley named St Mirren Street. St Mirren played their first match on 6 October 1877, defeating Johnstone Britannia 1–0 at Shortroods, two years later, the club moved to another ground, Thistle Park, Greenhills. St Mirrens first Scottish Cup match came on 4 September 1880, the following year, the Buddies reached their first cup final but were beaten 3–1 by Thornliebank in the Renfrewshire Cup. In 1883 however the scores were reversed with the Saints winning the Renfrewshire Cup and it is in 1883 that move to their third home, that of West March, defeating Queens Park in the first game. In 1885, St Mirren played their first match against Morton, the 1890 season was an historic season for St Mirren, as they became founder members of the Scottish Football League along with fellow Paisley club Abercorn. Of the 11 founder clubs, only 4 survive in the current league system and it was during the match against Morton at Cappielow in this year, that St Mirren played one of the first night games under light from oil lamps. St Mirren moved to Love Street in 1894 and reached their first Scottish Cup final in the 1907–08 season but were defeated 5–1 by Celtic, the Buddies went on to lift the trophy in 1926,1959 and 1987. In 1922, St Mirren were invited to play in the Barcelona Cup invitational tournament to celebrate the inauguration of Les Corts and they won the tournament by beating Notts County in the final. In the 1979–80 season, St Mirren achieved their equal highest-ever finish in the top-flight finishing third behind Aberdeen and that season Saints also became the first and last Scottish club to win the Anglo-Scottish Cup, defeating Bristol City in a two-legged final. The following season, St Mirren competed in European competition for the first time, IF Elfsborg in Sweden, followed by a 0–0 draw in the second leg. The next round saw them play French team Saint-Étienne, although St Mirrens home leg ended up a 0–0 draw, Saint-Étienne pulled off a 2–0 victory in the second leg to put St Mirren out of the cup. In 2001, St Mirren finished bottom of the Premier League despite losing one of their final seven matches
An exhibition game is a sporting event whose prize money and impact on the players or the teams rankings is either zero or otherwise greatly reduced. In team sports, matches of this type are used to help coaches and managers select. If the players play in different teams in other leagues. The games can be held between separate teams or between parts of the same team, international competitions like the Olympic Games may also hold exhibition games as part of a demonstration sport. In the early days of football, known simply as football or soccer. However, since the development of The Football League in England in 1888, league tournaments became established, in addition to lengthy derby, since the introduction of league football, most club sides play a number of friendlies before the start of each season. Friendly football matches are considered to be non-competitive and are used to warm up players for a new season/competitive match. There is generally nothing competitive at stake and some rules may be changed or experimented with, although these events may involve sponsorship deals and the awarding of a trophy and may even be broadcast on television, there is little prestige attached to them. Frequently such games take place between a club and small clubs that play nearby, such as those between Newcastle United and Gateshead. International teams also play friendlies, generally in preparation for the qualifying or final stages of major tournaments and this is essential, since national squads generally have much less time together in which to prepare. The biggest difference between friendlies at the club and international levels is that international friendlies mostly take place during club league seasons and this has on occasion led to disagreement between national associations and clubs as to the availability of players, who could become injured or fatigued in a friendly. Players can be booked in international friendlies, and can be suspended from international matches based on red cards or accumulated yellows in a specified period. Caps and goals scored also count towards a players career records, in the UK and Ireland, exhibition match and friendly match refer to two different types of matches. A bounce game is generally a non-competitive football match played between two sides usually as part of an exercise or to give players match practice. Managers may also use bounce games as an opportunity to observe a player in action before offering a contract, usually these games are played on a training ground rather than in a stadium with no spectators in attendance. Exhibition fights were common in boxing. Jack Dempsey fought many exhibition bouts after retiring, joe Louis fought a charity fight on his rematch with Buddy Baer, but this was not considered an exhibition as it was for Louis world Heavyweight title. Muhammad Ali fought many exhibitions, including one with Lyle Alzado, in more modern times, Mike Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Jorge Castro have been involved in exhibition fights
Albion Rovers F.C.
Albion Rovers Football Club is a semi-professional football team from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and, as of the 2016–17 season, play in League One and their sole major honours during that time have been wins in the lower two divisions of the senior league system. The clubs stadium, Cliftonhill, known as the Exsel Group Stadium for sponsorship purposes, Albion Rovers were formed in 1882 from a merger of the two Coatbridge sides Albion FC and Rovers FC, and played at Meadow Park from that year. The club joined the Scottish Football League Second Division in 1903 along with Ayr Parkhouse following an expansion in numbers. Rovers settled into the League reasonably well, albeit without ever clinching promotion, by 1915 the Scottish Football League had been merged into a single division structure, with the second division scrapped. The Rovers moved to join the Western Football League and whilst members of this moved to their current Cliftonhill home in 1919. They were close to returning to the Scottish League in 1917 but lost out in a vote amongst Clydebank, Vale of Leven, with their new stadium completed, Rovers returned to the single division Scottish League for the 1919–20 season. Rovers remained a top-flight side even after the return of the Second Division until their relegation in 1923 and it was during this period that John Jock White, became Rovers only international appearing for Scotland, in a match against Wales. The club remained in the Second Division until the 1933–34 season when they took the title by a point from Dunfermline Athletic, of the five seasons immediately before the Second World War Rovers spent all but one of them as a top-flight side. They took part in the emergency Western League during the 1939–40 season before transferring over to the Southern Football League, despite struggling from time to time to get a full side out the Rovers managed to survive the war in good shape. To add to their problems the celebrated wing partnership of Willie Findlay and Johnny McIlhatton was broken up when the former departed for Rangers, One feature of the McIlhatton transfer was a friendly match between the two clubs at Goodison Park in September 1946, which the Toffees won 6–3. Rovers took a 2–0 lead in the first leg against Kilmarnock, and no team has ever been able to put together a more spicy trio than Currie, Sage and Rice, who appeared in Rovers sides of the early 1970s. Changes brought in for the 1975–76 season saw Rovers placed in the new Second Division, in 1986 a book covering the clubs history was published, The Boys From the Brig by Robin Marwick. Players such as Vic Kasule and Bernie Slaven brought some flamboyancy to Rovers in the mid-1980s, the First Division stay was again to last just one season and Rovers subsequently finished bottom of the bottom division several times during the 1990s. Rovers found themselves in the newly created Scottish Football League Third Division, in an attempt to cut costs, the number of full-timers was substantially reduced and the clubs board took a decision to sell Cliftonhill and groundshare with Airdrieonians. Following another last place finish in 1999–00 there was an attempt to change the clubs fortunes, the team went full-time, although many of the full-time players were youths to whom the club gave employment under a government scheme. Rovers went into the last day of the season in 2001–02 and 2002–03 with a chance of promotion, the full-time experiment proved too expensive and had to be dismantled to keep the clubs costs under control. Rovers stayed put and it was against this background that a group of fans set up Albion Rovers Supporters Trust with a view to benefit the club and local community