Griffin Park is a football ground in Brentford, situated in the London Borough of Hounslow, west London. It has been the ground of Championship side Brentford since it was built in 1904. The ground is situated in a residential area and is known for being the only English league football ground to have a pub on each corner. The ground gets its name from the griffin, featured in the logo of Fullers Brewery, between forming in 1889 and prior to 1904, Brentford played at five grounds around Ealing – Clifden Road, Benns Field, Shotters Field, Cross Road and Boston Park Cricket Ground. After a gypsy camp was removed from the site, work began on building the ground in January 1904, the orchard was cut down by local volunteers, who were allowed to keep the wood. The ground was built with a 20,000 capacity in mind, with a provision for an increase to 30. An 800-capacity stand from Boston Park was rebuilt alongside the Braemar Road side of the ground, beneath and behind the stand were three dressing rooms, a number of offices and a recreation room. The ground was named Griffin Park after a pub, The Griffin. After a number of games, Griffin Park was opened on 1 September 1904. Season tickets for the 1904–05 season sold out, the first competitive match to be played at Griffin Park was a Western League fixture versus Plymouth Argyle on 1 September 1904. The Braemar Road grandstand had been completed by the time of the fixture, but as the rooms were not ready. The borough surveyor also declared the grandstand unsafe and banned its use until improvements had been made, Argyle scored the first competitive goal at the ground through Fred Buck, but four minutes from the final whistle, Tommy Shanks converted a James Swarbrick cross to secure a 1–1 draw. The attendance was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000, the first truly first team fixture to be played at the ground was a Southern League First Division match on 3 September 1904, which yielded a 0–0 draw between Brentford and West Ham United. The Bees would have to wait until 22 October 1904 for their first victory at the ground, the first Football League match to be played at the ground was on the opening day of the 1920–21 season, a 3–0 Third Division defeat to Exeter City. Unlike the old grandstand, the new stand ran the length of the pitch, after the season, it was announced that Griffin Park would be completely redeveloped over the following decade. Concrete terracing was installed at the Ealing Road end of the ground in 1930. A new stand was constructed at the Brook Road end of the ground in the 1933 off-season, a further extension to the terracing and a roof was added prior to Brentfords debut First Division season in 1935–36, taking the New Road stands capacity to 20,000. Little development occurred at Griffin Park between the mid-1930s, and the mid-1980s, the frontage of the Braemar Road stand was rebuilt in 1963, adding club offices and a club room
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England are one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom played in the worlds first international football match in 1872. Englands home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current manager is Gareth Southgate, England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world, it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association, a return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship, to begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908, Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928 and their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1 and this still stands as Englands worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, it was like playing men from outer space, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as Englands first ever manager in 1946. In UEFA Euro 1968, the reached the semi-finals for the first time. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramseys dismissal, under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’, the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, the 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robsons successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Football in England
Today Englands top domestic league, the Premier League, is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world, with six of the ten richest football clubs in the world. The England national football team is one of only 8 teams to win the World Cup, a total of five English club teams have won the UEFA Champions League. Football was played in England as far back as medieval times, kicking ball games are described in England from 1280. An account of an exclusively kicking game from Nottinghamshire in the fifteenth century bears similarity to association football. By the 16th centuries references to organised teams and goals had appeared, there is evidence for refereed, team football games being played in English schools since at least 1581. The eighteenth-century Gymnastic Society of London is, arguably, the worlds first football club, the Cambridge rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, during the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised a set of rules. These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, the Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games. A match between Sheffield and Hallam F. C. on 29 December 1862 was one of the first matches to be recorded in a newspaper, on 8 March 1873, the England national teams 4–2 win over Scotland at the Oval was the first ever victory in international football. The late nineteenth century was dominated by the split between the amateur and professional teams, which was roughly aligned along a North-South divide. Northern clubs were keen to adopt professionalism as workers could not afford to play on an amateur basis, preston North End were inaugural winners in 1888–89, and were also the first club to complete the double of both winning the league and the FA Cup. Aston Villa repeated the feat in 1896–97 and it remained at 40 until the league was suspended after the 1914–15 season with the outbreak of World War I. Other clubs to win titles in this period include Sheffield United, Manchester United. During the war, competitive football was suspended, however, an unofficial Wartime Football league was played from 1915–16 to 1918–19, although the FA Cup was suspended until after the war. The next season the league was expanded with the Third Division divided into North and South sections. In the 1923–24 season the Third Division North was expanded to 22 clubs, Bolton Wanderers defeated West Ham United to win this landmark game. Bolton Wanderers would win the FA Cup on three occasions during the 1920s, by the turn of the 1930s, the national side regularly played against other national teams from outside the British Isles
Goalkeeper (association football)
Goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport, the goalkeepers primary role is to prevent the opposing team from successfully moving the ball over the defended goal-line. This is accomplished by the moving into the path of the ball. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have a view of the entire pitch. If an attacker on the opposing team obstructs the keeper from catching or saving the ball, for example, in a corner, it will normally be a free kick. If a goalkeeper is injured or sent off, a goalkeeper has to take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper and they then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. Goalkeepers often have longer playing careers than players, many not retiring until their late thirties or early forties. This can be explained by noting that goalkeepers play a physically demanding position that requires significantly less running. For example, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47. Because only one player can play in goal and the position is so specialised many professional teams on average especially at the highest level have one player as first-choice for many years, for example Gianlugi Buffon has played as first choice keeper for Juventus for more than 15 years. Petr Cech prior to his move to Aresnal was first choice keeper for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, the squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1. Although this is common, some goalkeepers now wear other numbers when in goal, association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581, the earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, there is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers. Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 16th century, for example, in John Days play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Ill play a gole at camp-ball
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
In several countries, celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 has the main focus rather than December 25, with gift-giving and sharing a traditional meal with the family. Although the month and date of Jesus birth are unknown, by the fourth century the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25. Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar and this is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25. Although it is not known why December 25 became a date of celebration, December 25 was the date the Romans marked as the winter solstice, the shortest, and therefore darkest day of the year. Jesus was identified with the Sun based on an Old Testament verse, the date is exactly nine months following Annunciation, when the conception of Jesus is celebrated. Finally, the Romans had a series of pagan festivals near the end of the year, so Christmas may have been scheduled at this time to appropriate, or compete with, one or more of these festivals. The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, the economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world. Christmas is a form of Christs mass. It is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, crīst is from Greek Khrīstos, a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ, Messiah, meaning anointed, and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist. The form Christenmas was also used, but is now considered archaic and dialectal, it derives from Middle English Cristenmasse. In addition to Christmas, the holiday has been known by other names throughout its history. The Anglo-Saxons referred to the feast as midwinter, or, more rarely, Nativity, meaning birth, is from Latin nātīvitās. In Old English, Gēola referred to the corresponding to December and January. Noel entered English in the late 14th century and is from the Old French noël or naël, itself ultimately from the Latin nātālis, the canonical gospels of Luke and Matthew both describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem in Judea, to a virgin mother. In the Gospel of Luke account, Joseph and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census and it says that angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him. In the Matthew account, magi follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth. The Nativity stories of Matthew and Luke are prominent in the gospels, the first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome in 336. Christmas played a role in the Arian controversy of the fourth century, the feast regained prominence after 800, when Charlemagne was crowned emperor on Christmas Day
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
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past, the club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swanseas new status as a city. Swansea have played their matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division and it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the seasons end before finishing sixth, although a club record. The clubs subsequent climb from the division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League, following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the clubs first chairman, a site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the clubs ground. The clubs first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the half with ten men. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920, the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. Sadly for the Swans, an experienced Bolton side won the game 3–0, Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour, during the 1931–32 season they finished 1st and went out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However they won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay and it was not until the 1933–34 season that Wilfred Milne scored his first goal for Swansea at Lincoln City after 501 appearances without a goal. After just one back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division. The following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time
Barry Town United F.C.
Barry Town United Football Club is an association football team based in Barry. They are known for representing Wales in Europe as winners of the Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup during the 1990s and early 2000s, the team, which has contained more than 50 full internationals, is now run by supporters. They play at their home of Jenner Park, Barry. Barry Town Uniteds history dates back to 1892 when a football team named Barry. During the early years, this side endured many upheavals, playing on five different grounds under various identities, including Barry Unionist Athletic, Barry United Athletic and Barry District. Players who featured during these years included Ted Vizard and Billy Jennings, in November 1912, a meeting at The Windsor public house in Holton Road saw townsfolk choose to pursue membership of the thriving Southern League as Barry AFC. The club would secure land owned by the Jenner family and the people of the came together to build Jenner Park. On 6 September 1913, Barry played their first ever fixture, the game attracted 4,000 spectators, including 1,000 travelling supporters. Fittingly, the new team would register a surprise, albeit merited, victory, with Barrys Ralph Isherwood scoring the very first goal at Jenner Park just three minutes in. His second, midway through the half, sealed a 2–1 victory, a fine start for the Barry side on, coincidentally. The ensuing two seasons would see Stoke City, Brentford, Coventry City and others visit the new ground, however, the Great War would soon interrupt any competitive proceedings, with Barry captain Major James Wightman one of the many casualties of The Battle of the Somme. The 1920–21 season ranks as one of the finest in Barrys history, the achievement was all the more impressive when considering the small Barry squad played over 100 matches in all competitions during the course of the season. Competing simultaneously in both the Welsh and Western League, the Barry board gave priority to Southern League fixtures, Barry retained membership of the Southern League for more than 60 years – their highest finish being fourth in the 1930s. Among the notable players of the era were Johnny Gardner, Dai Ward, meanwhile, Barry-born sportsman Ernie Carless combined his footballing exploits with a successful cricketing career with Glamorgan. At the end of the 1920s, a crowd of 6,000 at Upton Park saw Barry beat Dagenham 1–0 to progress to the FA Cup 2nd Round and it proved to be their most successful run in the competition. Barry would reach the 1st Round again in 1934–35, losing 1–0 to Northampton Town at Jenner Park, Football again took a backseat in 1939, with the eruption of World War II. In the 1949–50 season, Jenner Park became one of the first grounds in the country to introduce floodlights, with Newport County, Swansea City, two seasons later, an all-Welsh showdown in the FA Cup 1st Round saw Barry beaten by Newport, 4–0. Nevertheless, the town’s most celebrated footballing achievement was right around the corner, in May 1955, following a 1–1 draw at the Racecourse in Wrexham, Barry beat Chester City 4–3 at Ninian Park to lift the Welsh Cup for the first time
Luton Town F.C.
Luton Town Football Club /ˈluːtən ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based at Kenilworth Road, Luton, Bedfordshire since 1905. Founded in 1885, it is nicknamed the Hatters and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association and its first-team is contesting the fourth tier of English football, League Two, during the 2016–17 season. The clubs history includes major trophy wins, several financial crises, numerous promotions and relegations, the club was the first in southern England to turn professional, making payments to players as early as 1890 and turning fully professional a year later. It joined the Football League before the 1897–98 season, left in 1900 because of financial problems, Luton reached the First Division in 1955–56 and contested a major final for the first time when playing Nottingham Forest in the 1959 FA Cup Final. The team was relegated from the top division in 1959–60. However, it was promoted back to the top level by 1974–75, Luton Towns most recent successful period began in 1981–82, when the club won the Second Division, and thereby gained promotion to the First. Luton defeated Arsenal 3–2 in the 1988 Football League Cup Final, between 2007 and 2009, financial difficulties caused the club to fall from the second tier of English football to the fifth in successive seasons. The last of these came during the 2008–09 season, when 30 points were docked from Lutons record for various financial irregularities. Luton thereafter spent five seasons in non-League football before winning the Conference Premier in 2013–14, Luton Town Football Club was formed on 11 April 1885, the product of a merger of the two leading local teams, Luton Town Wanderers and Excelsior. Initially based at Excelsiors Dallow Lane ground, the club began making payments to individual players in 1890. The following year, Luton became the first club in southern England to be fully professional, the club was a founder member of the Southern Football League in the 1894–95 season and finished as runners-up in its first two seasons. It then left to form the United League and came second in that leagues inaugural season before joining the Football League for 1897–98. The club continued to enter a team to the United League for two seasons, and won the title in 1897–98. A return to the Southern League was therefore arranged for the 1900–01 season, eight years after arriving at Dunstable Road, Luton moved again, settling at their current ground, Kenilworth Road, in 1905. Captain and left winger Bob Hawkes became Lutons first international player when he was picked to play for England against Ireland on 16 February 1907, a poor 1911–12 season saw Luton relegated to the Southern Leagues Second Division, the club won promotion back two years later. After the First World War broke out, Luton took part in The London Combination during 1915–16, a key player of the period was Ernie Simms, a forward. Simms was invalided back to England after being wounded on the Italian front, however, after Luton finished fourth in the division, the squad was broken up as Simms, Bookman and Mathieson joined South Shields, Port Vale and Exeter City respectively. Luton stayed in the Third Division South until 1936–37, when the team finished top and won promotion to the Second Division, during the early 1950s, one of Lutons greatest sides emerged under manager Dally Duncan