Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
Thomas Holford was an English footballer who played for Stoke, Manchester City, Port Vale and the England national team. His primary position was wing-half, but over the course of his career he played in different positions. He later managed Port Vale on two occasions, serving throughout World War I, before a three-year spell from 1932 to 1935. He also served the club for years as a trainer. In 1924 he turned out for the Vale at the age of 46 years and 68 days and he was a cousin of Wilf Kirkham. Holford was born in Hanley, and started his career with Cobridge before moving on to one of the two league clubs, Stoke in May 1898. He was nicknamed Dirty Tommy due to his sometimes reckless tackling, for the next ten seasons Holford was a near ever-present in the Stoke team, racking up 105 consecutive appearances from March 1903 to March 1906. His good performances won him an England cap in 1903 and he is considered the smallest centre-back ever to play for England at just 5 ft 5. During Holfords time at Stoke became known as Dirty Tommy as he played the game in a fiery style and he succeeded George Baddeley as captain in 1905. Holfords manager Horace Austerberry described him as an excellent passer of the ball, in 1908 Stoke went bust and dropped out of the Football League and played in the Birmingham League. Holford was too good to be lost to football and so he had to leave his home-town club. In April 1908 he signed for First Division Manchester City, making his debut on 21 April against Bristol City, in his first full season at the club he made 27 appearances and was the clubs second highest goalscorer with 15 goals, which included three hat-tricks. However, Manchester City finished second-bottom in the First Division, in the 1909–10 season Holford won a Second Division championship medal as his club made an immediate return to the top flight. Though he had been an ever-present in 1912–13, Holford lost his place in the first team in the 1913–14 season, making all but three of his 15 appearances in the first ten weeks of the season. He made his last appearance for Manchester City on 13 April 1914 against Newcastle United, upon leaving Manchester he was joined Port Vale back in the Potteries as player-manager. He led the side to North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup victory in 1915, after playing his part in World War I, as well as guesting for Nottingham Forest he returned to Vale in the summer of 1919. Regaining his place, he helped the club to win the Staffordshire Senior Cup, due to his age he hardly played after October 1920, but played his part in the clubs 1922 North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup achievement. He retired as a player at the end of the 1922–23 season, over his full career Holford played 474 league games, an exceptionally large number for the period, he had played everywhere except in goal
Old Recreation Ground
The Old Recreation Ground was a football stadium, located in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent and home to Port Vale for almost 40 years. The Rec had been Vales home between 1913 and 1950 and was the ground the club used. The stadium was in bad condition, especially following years of neglect during World War II. Port Vale were forced to sell the land to the city council, under the chairmanship of Tom W. Flint after suffering a financial crisis, they received £13,500. This came after the clubs president Major William Huntbach died in 1943, the council initially refused to allow the club to play at their ground, but eventually relented for rent of £400 a year. In 1950, the city decided to construct a shopping centre on the site forcing the club to move to their current home of Vale Park
Staffordshire Senior Cup
The Staffordshire Senior Challenge Cup is a football cup tournament based in the county of Staffordshire in England first competed for in 1877-78. Organised by the Staffordshire Football Association, it is competed for by a mix of clubs from Staffordshire, both professional and amateur clubs may enter. This has left the open for non-league sides to have more success in the cup as it is classed as a bigger achievement for them to win it. In recent years the entries from clubs from neighbouring counties have virtually been phased out. Most County FAs now have their own separate Senior Cup competitions and this has seen Market Drayton Town and Shifnal Town both enter since the turn of the millennium to make up the numbers, despite not being located in Staffordshire. From the 2008–09 season the Staffordshire FA introduced a cut off point whereby teams lower than level 9 in the English football league system can not compete in the Senior Cup. Teams below the level of the North West Counties League Premier Division, stoke City are the most successful sides in the competitions history with 18 wins. Historically the non-league side with the most wins is Stafford Rangers who have won the cup 11 times since the Second World War, the most successful side from outside what is traditionally classed as Staffordshire are Kidderminster Harriers from Worcestershire, who won the competition 4 times in the 1980s
Robert Blood was an English footballer who played as a centre-forward and was noted for his powerful strikes. He scoring 44 goals in 53 Second Division games and earned himself a £4,750 move to West Bromwich Albion in February 1921 and he scored 26 goals in 53 First Division games, before moving on to Stockport County for a £3,000 fee in December 1924. Three years later he signed for non-league Winsford United, later turning out for Mossley, Ashton National and Buxton. Robert Blood was born on 18 March 1894 in Harpur Hill, Buxton, he was the youngest of ten children to John and Maria Blood and he followed his father and brothers to work in the Hoffman Quarry, and played non-league football for Buxton and Buxton Lime Firms. He made his debut for Leek Alexandra on 13 September 1913, in March 1915, he volunteered to serve the 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in World War I. On 5 June 1916, he was injured during a raid on the Béthune Front, upon his recovery he was drafted into the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters and returned to France in March 1917. He also represented British Army in football matches against Belgium and France, Blood signed with Port Vale for a £50 fee in November 1919 after impressing on trial the previous year. In the 1919–20 season he finished as top-scorer with 26 goals in 32 games – a remarkable feat for a 25-year-old newcomer to the Football League still carrying the scars of war. He scored twice in games against Clapton Orient, Bury, Bristol City, Stockport County, hit a hat-trick past Nottingham Forest and he continued his goal scoring feats in the 1920–21 season with 20 goals in 26 games. He scored against Stoke in the Potteries derby, and hit braces against Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Clapton Orient and he demonstrated the fearsome power of his shot by striking a penalty which was saved by the Bristol City goalkeeper at the cost of a broken wrist. A Stockport player who headed the ball off the line to save a Blood shot had to be taken off the field with concussion, West Bromwich Albion secretary-manager Fred Everiss signed him in February 1921 for £4,750, then a club record fee. Vale fans were outraged at the sale, though Blood was informed that the financial situation meant that either went or the club. The move took Blood from the Second Division into the First Division, Blood finished as the clubs top-scorer in 1923–24 with nine goals. Blood was signed by Fred Scotchbrooks Stockport County for a £3,000 fee in December 1924 and he scored seven goals in 25 Second Division games during the 1924–25 campaign, though his eight goals in 16 league matches could not prevent County suffering relegation in last place in 1925–26. After spending 1926–27 in the Third Division North, he moved on to Cheshire County League side Winsford United and he moved on to league rivals Mossley in 1928, scoring six goals in 17 league games. He then transferred to Ashton National Gas, before returning to Buxton in 1930 and he later scouted young talent for West Bromwich Albion. Blood had good footballing intelligence and distribution skills, but his greatest skill was his powerful shots. He married Lily Mellor in 1922 and their only child, Robert, died within three hours of his birth on 9 October 1924
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
Stockport County F.C.
Stockport County Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, the team adopted their name in 1890 after the County Borough of Stockport and they have played at Edgeley Park since 1902, traditionally in blue and white, and are nicknamed The Hatters after the towns former hat-making industry. Stockport County joined the Football League in 1900 and competed in it continuously from 1905 to 2011, however, instability on and off the pitch eventually led to Stockport falling back to the lower divisions. The club started the 2011–12 season in the Conference National, having been relegated from Football League Two for the first time in their history at the end of 2010–11, at the end of 2012–13, Stockport were relegated to the Conference North. Stockport County was formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers by members of the Wycliffe Congregational Church, the club adopted The Hatters as their nickname, owing to Stockports history as the centre of the Victorian hat-making industry, a nickname that is shared with Luton Town. Stockport played in the Lancashire League until 1900, when they gained admission to the Football League Second Division, Stockports first Football League match was against Leicester Fosse which ended in a 2–2 draw. Stockport left their Green Lane home in 1902 and moved to Edgeley Park where they currently reside, the club finished in the bottom three for their first four seasons, and at the end of 1903–04 they failed to gain re-election. They spent one year in the Lancashire Combination and the Midland League, at the end of the season, they were re-admitted to the Football League after being re-elected through the Midland League. In their first season back in the Football League, Stockport reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, however, Stockport finished the league in 10th position that season. Stockport remained in Division 2 of the Football League for seven years until 1912–13 when they again had to seek re-election, Stockport gained 22 votes and was therefore re-elected. Albert Williams was presented with the seven days later before the home game with Lincoln City. This title win began a remarkable coincidence which has occurred in each of Stockports title winning seasons where Lincoln City have been the last opponents in each of those seasons. Joe OKane, who joined Stockport the previous season, was a factor in the clubs promotion although he left the club at the end of the season. Once Stockport returned to Division 2, they struggled and survived an automatic relegation by one point, the 1923–24 season saw Stockport County finish 13th, one place above Manchester United. This is the time in history Stockport has achieved better than Manchester United. During this campaign Stockport goalkeeper Harry Hardy was called up to play for the England national team and he is the only player to be capped at full level by England while on Stockports books. Two seasons later Stockport returned to the division after finishing bottom of the league. Stockport closed out the 1920s in Division Three North with a 3rd-placed finish in 1927–28, Joe Smith was Stockports and the divisions leading goalscorer in this particular season contributing to 38 of Stockports 89 goals
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
The Potteries derby is the football local derby in Stoke-on-Trent between Port Vale and Stoke City. The fans of each club both consider the other to be their main rivals, this has led to an atmosphere at these matches, especially with the rise of football hooliganism. The two teams have met a total of 185 times, consisting of,44 The Football League,6 FA Cup,62 friendlies, Stoke-on-Trent is the least populous city to have two Football League clubs. Leeds, Leicester, Coventry, Hull, Bradford, and Cardiff are all cities that contain just one league club. Both clubs come from Stoke-on-Trent and are the clubs from the city to have played in the football league. Port Vale are Burslem based and Stoke City traditionally are based in Stoke-upon-Trent, the city of Stoke-on-Trent was incorporated in 1910, therefore before this time the two clubs were based in separate towns and were local rivals rather than rivals within the same city. Despite this however, the Valiants did use The Old Recreation Ground as their home stadium, both clubs had strong links to the local pottery industry, Port Vales unique name being based on the Trent and Mersey Canal and with Citys nickname being The Potters. Port Vale tends to get support from the North of the city, notably Tunstall, Stoke therefore tend to enjoy greater support in the South of the city. The two clubs have long histories, Stoke City were founded in 1863 or 1868 and Port Vale were probably formed in 1879. In the early 20th century, both spent time out of the Football League structure, from 1907 and 1908 until 1919 - both had resigned due to financial troubles. Stoke were founder members of the league in 1888 and Port Vale were founder members of both the Second Division in 1892 and the Fourth Division in 1958. City have tended to be the successful club over the years. Although Vale did reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1954, Stoke have also tended to play in higher tiers of the football league throughout the clubs history, although since 1919 the two clubs have found themselves in the same league for 22 seasons. Vale have had five seasons playing at a higher level than City. Whilst competing in the division, Vale have finished above Stoke on seven occasions. Stoke therefore have finished above Vale 87 times, the first derby game was played at Westport Meadows on 2 December 1882, in the Second Round of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. Vale were complete unknowns, and so pulled off a surprise by managing a 1–1 with their more established rivals-to-be, no details of the match were recorded, though The Staffordshire Sentinel did mention the match along with the comment that it was a spirited game. Stoke won the replay 5–1 at the Victoria Ground seven days later and it took Vale seventeen attempts to register their first victory over Stoke, which they finally did in a friendly on 29 March 1890, winning 2–1
Leeds City F.C.
Leeds City Football Club is a non-league football club that was the leading professional club in Leeds, England, before World War I. The original club was dissolved in 1919 due to financial irregularities, the club was formed in 1904, taking the crest of Leeds as the club badge and adopting blue, yellow and white as the clubs colours. With the demise of the Holbeck Rugby Club, Leeds City moved into Elland Road stadium and they were elected to the Football League in 1905. Leeds Citys whole league career was in the Second Division, however, during the First World War there ensued a sequence of financial irregularities, including breaking the ban on paying players during the war, that led to the clubs dissolution in 1919. They were expelled from The Football League eight games into the 1919–20 season, the harsh punishment was handed down mostly because of the behaviour of the clubs directors, who refused to co-operate in an FA inquiry, and refused to hand over the clubs financial records. Port Vale took over their remaining fixtures, Leeds City remain the only club to be expelled from the League mid-season, and the only ones to be expelled from the League due to financial irregularities. On 17 October 1919, an auction was held at the Metropole Hotel in Leeds, the 16 members of the playing squad were bought by nine different clubs for a total of £9,250. In the wake of their demise, Leeds United were formed, the club did re-form in 1924 as an amateur club, taking part in the Yorkshire Football League. They finished 6th, 4th and 11th in the three seasons they took part, the club however dissolved in 1927 and no other club was formed or played under the title of Leeds City. Currently there is a senior team under the name of Leeds City which formed in 2006. Leeds City were promoted from the West Yorkshire League Second Division as champions of the 2006–07 season and they finished West Yorkshire Premier Division as runners-up in 2008–09, 2012–13 and 2014–15, 3rd in 2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14 and 2015–16 and 7th in 2011–12. Cup Success - Leeds City have won the West Riding County Challenge Cup in 2011-12, City also won the Leeds & District Cup in 2012-13 and finished runners-up in 2014-15. They won the West Yorkshire League Cup in 2014-15 and have finished runners up in the Northern FA National Cup in 2012-13, there is also a female team using the Leeds City name, Leeds City Vixens L. F. C. They play in the Northern Combination Womens Football League, 1/4 of the third division. Neither the current Leeds City or Leeds City Vixens L. F. C. are recognised as a continuation of the old club and are in fact only a continuation of the name. Neither club plays in Leeds Citys traditional colours either, both playing in white shirts with a shade of blue trim along with shorts and socks in the shade of blue. Citys attendances were among the worst in the league, and the club was never particularly well financed and this is mainly attributed to the area being traditionally a rugby league area. Leeds Fans Forum The complete Leeds City match statistics from wafll
A player-coach is a member of a sports team who simultaneously holds both playing and coaching duties. A player-coach may be a coach or an assistant coach. They may make changes to the squad and also play on the team, very few current major professional sports teams have head coaches who are also players, though it is extremely common for senior players to take a role in managing more junior athletes. Historically, when professional sports had much money to pay players and coaches or managers. Likewise, where player-coaches exist today, they are common at the lower levels where money is less available. The player-coach was, for decades, a long-time fixture in professional basketball. Many notable coaches in the NBA served as player-coaches, including Bill Russell and this was especially true up through the 1970s, when the league was not as financially successful as it is today, and player-coaches were often used to save money. The practice fell out of favor in the 1980s, therefore, if a player is to serve as a coach, he would have to receive commission from his contract as a player. The player, then, is not technically an official coach of his team, one example of a player in recent years who was groomed for eventual official coaching duties using this practice was Avery Johnson. In the early days of professional American football, player-coaches were common, jimmy Conzelman was player-coach for four different teams during the 1920s. As professional football became more respectable, and began to more money. In the mid-1950s Tom Landry played defensive back while serving as coordinator for the New York Giants. In the early 1970s, when Landry was coach of the Dallas Cowboys, in association football, this situation usually arises when a manager leaves a team suddenly, and the chairman has to make a quick decision to appoint someone new as a caretaker manager. The chairman will usually either ask a coach to take charge or turn to the one of clubs most senior players. If this particular player gains good results for the team during his time in charge, he may be appointed full-time manager, however, there are instances when a free agent is appointed by a new team as a manager and offers his playing abilities. He then succeeded Dalglish as Liverpool manager just before Rangers won another Scottish league title, but at the age of 38 he did not register himself as a player for Liverpool. In 1997, Ruud Gullit won the FA Cup with Chelsea in his first season as player-manager, also making history by being the first foreign and he was sacked nine months later, and Chelsea appointed another player-manager in his place. Within weeks of taking over, Vialli guided Chelsea to victory in the League Cup, a number of bigger clubs have appointed player-managers on a temporary basis but not given them permanent contracts
Joseph Brough was an English footballer. He was also an accomplished cycler and sprinter, and continued cycling right up until his death at age 81, able to play at half-back or as a forward, he began his professional career with Burslem Port Vale in February 1907. He transferred to Stoke later in the year, before finding himself at Tottenham Hotspur, failing to make an impression in London, he returned to Port Vale in 1909, and scored a club record 43 goals in the 1909–10 season. This won him a move to Liverpool in August 1910, though after falling from the first team picture he moved on to Bristol City in January 1912 and he again returned to Port Vale in May 1913, before he saw action in World War I in 1917. He retired from football in 1922, having featured in 209 competitive games for Port Vale. Brough played for Smallthorne, before he joined Burslem Port Vale as an amateur in the autumn of 1906 and he scored his first Second Division goal on 13 April 1907, in a 2–1 win over Hull City at the Athletic Ground. This was his goal in 12 appearances in the 1906–07 season. The club then went into liquidation, and Brough transferred to Stoke and he appeared in just the one game for the Potters in 1907–08, and then went on to appear in one league and one cup game for Tottenham Hotspur in 1908. He signed for Liverpool in August 1910, and played 11 First Division games in the 1910–11 season and he moved on from playing reserve team football at Anfield, and signed with Second Division side Bristol City in January 1912. He scored 11 goals in 22 league games for the Robins in 1911–12, a third move to Vale followed in May 1913. He bagged 35 goals in the 1913–14 season, but was conscripted to fight in World War I in 1917 and he was demobilised in October 1919 and continued playing for the Vale, winning the Staffordshire Senior Cup and North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup titles in 1920. He scored six goals in 25 appearances in the 1919–20 season, hit one goal in 33 appearances in 1920–21, Brough then left The Old Recreation Ground after feeling that he was too worn out to continue to play professional football. In all, he played a total of 209 matches for Port Vale, and scored 111 goals
William Briscoe was an English footballer who played as a forward. A former Watford, Stoke, Milton Brotherhood, and Leek United player, after five years he moved on to Congleton Town for a season, only to return to Vale in 1924. He then spent the seven years with the club, racking up a combined total of 307 league appearances for the club over his two spells, scoring 51 goals. He returned to Congleton in 1931 before later retiring from the game and he also played cricket for Staffordshire in the Minor Counties Championship from 1921 to 1925. Briscoe appeared for Watford, Stoke, Milton Brotherhood and Leek United before signing professional forms with Port Vale in January 1918. The club were re-elected into the Football League in October 1919, in total he scored 10 goals in 25 appearances in 1919–20. He scored past rivals Stoke on 25 September 1920, in a 2–1 win at The Old Recreation Ground and he also got on the scoresheet at Molineux and the City Ground to take his league tally to three goals in 35 games in 1920–21. He featured 34 times in 1921–22, scoring just the one goal and he was a member of the sides that shared the North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup in 1920 and 1922. He hit three goals in 40 appearances in 1922–23, Briscoe failed to agree terms with the Port Vale board in the summer of 1923, and switched to nearby non-league side Congleton Town. In January 1924, Vale offered better terms and he re-signed, despite only playing 21 games, he finished the 1923–24 season as joint-top scorer, tied with Tom Page on 10 goals. He scored 12 goals in 44 games in 1924–25, missing just the one match all season and he hit four of his 12 goals in an 8–2 mauling of non-league Alfreton in an FA Cup qualifier on 13 December. Briscoe scored four goals in 26 games in 1925–26, and even played a match whilst suffering from appendicitis, Briscoe hit seven goals in 32 appearances in 1926–27, and helped the club to finish above Stoke City in the league for the first time. He hit five goals in 22 games in 1927–28, missing much of the season with a broken cheekbone and he scored twice in 25 games in 1928–29, but could not help the club to avoid relegation. He played eight games in 1929–30, as Vale stormed to the Third Division North title. However he did not feature in the 1930–31 season, and was given a transfer back to Congleton Town in May 1931. In 13 years at the club he had played 331 games and scored 60 goals
Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It adjoins Cheshire to the north west, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the south east, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west. The largest city in Staffordshire is Stoke-on-Trent, which is administered separately from the rest of the county as an independent unitary authority, Lichfield also has city status, although this is a considerably smaller cathedral city. Major towns include Stafford, Burton upon Trent, Cannock, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Leek, smaller towns include Stone, Uttoxeter, and Rugeley, and large villages Eccleshall, Wombourne, Kinver, Penkridge, Tutbury and Stretton. Cannock Chase AONB is within the county as well as parts of the National Forest, Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Bromwich, and Smethwick were historic Staffordshire towns until local government reorganisation created the West Midlands county in 1974. Historically, Staffordshire was divided into the five hundreds of Cuttlestone, Offlow, Pirehill, Seisdon, the historic boundaries of Staffordshire cover much of what is now the metropolitan county of West Midlands. The Act also saw the towns of Tamworth and Burton upon Trent united entirely in Staffordshire, in 1553 Queen Mary made Lichfield a county separate from the rest of Staffordshire. Handsworth and Perry Barr became part of the county borough of Birmingham in the early 20th century, Burton, in the east of the county, became a county borough in 1901, and was followed by Smethwick, another town in the Black Country in 1907. In 1910 the six towns of the Staffordshire Potteries, including Hanley, a major reorganisation in the Black Country in 1966, under the recommendation of the Local Government Commission for England led to the creation of an area of contiguous county boroughs. Meanwhile, the county borough of Dudley, historically a part of Worcestershire, expanded. County boroughs were abolished, with Stoke becoming a district in Staffordshire. On 1 April 1997, under a recommendation of the Banham Commission, in July 2009 the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found in Britain was discovered in a field near Lichfield. The artefacts, known as The Staffordshire Hoard have tentatively dated to the 7th or 8th centuries. Some nationally and internationally known companies have their base in Staffordshire. They include the Britannia Building Society which is based in Leek, JCB is based in Rocester near Uttoxeter and bet365 based in Stoke-on-Trent. The theme park Alton Towers is in the Staffordshire Moorlands and several of the worlds largest pottery manufacturers are based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire has a completely comprehensive system with eight independent schools. Most secondary schools are from 11–16 or 18, but two in Staffordshire Moorlands and South Staffordshire are from 13–18, there are two universities in the county, Keele University in Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire University, which has campuses in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Lichfield and Shrewsbury. The modern county of Staffordshire currently has three football clubs – Stoke City and Port Vale, both from Stoke-on-Trent, and Burton Albion, who play in Burton upon Trent. They were among the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, in 1972, the club finally won a major trophy when they lifted the Football League Cup, but after relegation from the First Division in 1985 they would not experience top flight football for 23 years
World War I
World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Italy, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world. On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany then invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors. During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was also sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia, Russia, and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary, Russia and Germany
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, in 2016 the club re-located to the London Stadium. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United and they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919 and they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964,1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The clubs highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division, three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team, captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The club, Thames Ironworks were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality and they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team and they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, because of the original works team roots and links, they are still known as the Irons or the Hammers amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton, the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a meeting and soon after committed suicide. The club spent most of the next 30 years in division, first under Paynter
Rotherham County F.C.
Rotherham County F. C. was an English football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. They spent a number of years in the Football League before merging with rivals Rotherham Town in 1925 to form Rotherham United. The club was founded in 1870 as Thornhill before adding United to their name at an unspecified time and it joined the Midland League in 1903, and stayed in that competition until it was abandoned for World War I. They won the Midland League title for four seasons, from 1911–12 to 1914–15 inclusive. After the War, they were elected to the Football League when the league expanded from 40 clubs to 44 in 1919, in 1925 they merged with local rivals Rotherham Town to form Rotherham United who are still members of the Football League. Players that played in the Football League with Rotherham County – Best league performance, 16th, Football League Division 2, 1921–22 Best FA Cup performance, 1st Round, 1922–23
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club in Coventry, West Midlands, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 and they won their only major trophy in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 to win the FA Cup. They are one of five clubs to have ever won the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup in the same season. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, beating Oxford United 2-1 to win the English Football League Trophy. Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to Football League One in 2012, Coventry have qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, they competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in their home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Munich to go out of the competition. They were unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners Cup due to the ban on English clubs at that time, from 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road. A return to the Ricoh Arena was announced on 21 August 2014 by the club after a one-year absence,1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The clubs name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City,1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst ever defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained ever since,1928 – In February, and with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the clubs worst ever attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace,1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals,1934 – City record their biggest ever victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club and he played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 43 years and 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league Kings Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United,1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made manager and BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club, Coventrys record attendance was also set in this year – officially recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table
Football League First Division
The Football League First Division is a former division of the Football League. Between 1888 and 1992 it was the division in the English football league system. Following the creation of the FA Premier League it was a second-level division, in 2004 it was rebranded as the Football League Championship. The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor and it originally consisted of a single division of 12 clubs, known as The Football League. When the League admitted additional members from the rival Football Alliance in 1892, for the next 100 years, the First Division was the top professional league in English football. Then, in 1992 the 22 clubs making up the First Division elected to resign from the Football League, the Football League was consequently re-organised, with the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions now renamed the First, Second and Third respectively. Thus, the First Division, while still the top level of the Football League, the First Division was renamed as the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, as part of a league-wide rebrand. Liverpool were the most frequent winners of the First Division when it was the top flight of English football, winning it a total of 18 times. After the creation of the Premier League, the new Division One title was won more than once by one club, Sunderland. The First Division initially consisted of 12 founder clubs, since then it has undergone a series of expansions as football became more popular, as of the 1975–76 season players had to make 14 appearances for their club during the season in order to qualify for a winners medal. See List of English football champions, see List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors
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
Manchester United F.C. Reserves and Academy
Manchester United Football Club Under-23s is the most senior of Manchester Uniteds youth teams and the clubs former reserve team. They play in the Premier League 2, the highest tier of the Professional Development League and they were champions of the former Premier Reserve League five times between its introduction in 1999 and its dissolution in 2012. The team also won the 2012–13 Professional U21 Development League 1 in its inaugural season, the team also participates in the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup. The teams manager is currently Nicky Butt, a graduate in the 1990s who played for United until 2004. Butt stood in for Warren Joyce on a basis when Joyce was appointed Wigan Athletic manager on 2 November 2016. Joyce, who took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjær as manager of the reserves in December 2010, was previously the manager of Royal Antwerp, Manchester Uniteds feeder club in Belgium. From November 2008 to August 2013, the team played its matches at Moss Lane in Altrincham. For the 2013–14 Under-21 Premier League season, the team has played the majority of its matches at Salford City Stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell. Since 2014–15, the play its home matches at Leigh Sports Village. Rules set out by the Premier League state that at least three home games must be played at the clubs main stadium, Old Trafford. In previous seasons, the team has played at the Victoria Stadium, the home of Northwich Victoria, and Ewen Fields, Manchester United also has an Under-18s team that plays in the Premier League Under-18s Group 2 and the FA Youth Cup. The under-18s play their games at the clubs Trafford Training Centre in Carrington. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. The current academy is based at the clubs Aon Training Complex, the Manchester United youth team is statistically the most successful in English football, with nine players in the English football Hall of Fame. Manchester United also have the best FA Youth Cup record, winning on 10 occasions out of 14 final appearances. The academy comprises age-group teams ranging from Under-9s up to the flagship Under-18s, in 2007, Manchester United Under-18s were the inaugural winners of the Champions Youth Cup, intended to be a Club World Championship for youth sides, beating Juventus 1–0 in the final in Malaysia. Players who are playing at Manchester United, or for another club on loan from Manchester United, are highlighted in bold
Manchester City F.C. EDS and Academy
The club is represented at the Under-18 level by the Manchester City Academy team. The Elite Development Squad from season 2012–13 plays in the Under 21 Premier League, starting with the 2011–12 season, the EDS competed in the NextGen Series competition, a Champions League format tournament only open to a select group of Under-19 teams located in western Europe. The NextGen Series organisers invited the 16 teams competing in the season of this new competition based on which clubs were considered to have the best academies in Europe. The EDS will continue to play fixtures in both the Manchester Senior Cup and Lancashire Senior Cup plus several other matches and tournaments such as the Central League Cup, Manchester City have fielded a reserve team since 1892, when the reserves played in the Lancashire Combination. The reserves were champions of the Lancashire Combination in 1901–02, the club left the Lancashire Combination in 1911 to join the Central League upon its formation. The City reserve team played in the Central League until 2000. In 2006 the club re-entered the Central League – now the Pontins League –, the EDS currently play all of their home fixtures at the CFA Academy stadium in Manchester. The MCFC official first team consists of about 40 players. The MCFC first team numbers are normally assigned and published in late July during the close season. As of 31 January 2016 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Manchester Citys Academy is responsible for development at the club. The academy is one of the most revered in the country, carrington is responsible for such graduates as Micah Richards, Michael Johnson, QPRs Nedum Onuoha and Shaun Wright-Phillips, Fulhams Dickson Etuhu and Stoke Citys Glenn Whelan and Stephen Ireland. The clubs first youth team was set up by Albert Alexander in the 1920s, from 1951 the A team competed in the Lancashire League against reserve and youth teams of other clubs from North West England. From 1955 a second team, the B team, typically comprising younger players than the A team. Youth football in England was restructured by the Football Association in 1997, in its new incarnation, the A and B teams were replaced with Under-19 and Under-17 teams, which competed in the FA Premier Youth League. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Academy graduates who play for Manchester City, including those that are currently out on loan to other clubs, are highlighted in blue
Everton F. C. /ˈɛvərtən/ is a football club in Liverpool, England, that currently competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club have competed in the top division for a record 114 seasons and won the League Championship nine times, formed in 1878, Everton were founding members of The Football League in 1888 and won their first League Championship two seasons later. The mid-1980s represented their most recent period of sustained success, with two League Championships, an FA Cup, and the 1985 European Cup Winners Cup, the clubs most recent major trophy was the 1995 FA Cup. The clubs supporters are known as Evertonians, Everton have a rivalry with neighbours Liverpool, and the two sides contest the Merseyside derby. The club have been based at Goodison Park in Walton, Liverpool, since 1892, the clubs home colours are royal blue shirts with white shorts and socks. Everton were founded as St Domingos in 1878 so that people from the parish of St Domingos Methodist Church Everton could play year round — cricket was played in summer. The clubs first game was a 1–0 victory over Everton Church Club, the club was renamed Everton in November 1879 after the local area, as people outside the parish wished to participate. The club was a member of the Football League in 1888–89. Everton won the FA Cup for the first time in 1906, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 interrupted the football programme while Everton were champions, which was something that would again occur in 1939. It was not until 1927 that Evertons first sustained period of success began, in 1925 the club signed Dixie Dean from Tranmere Rovers. In 1927–28, Dean set the record for league goals in a single season with 60 goals in 39 league games. He helped Everton win their third League Championship that season, however, Everton were relegated to the Second Division two years later during internal turmoil at the club. The club quickly rebounded and was promoted at the first attempt, on return to the top flight in 1931–32, Everton wasted no time in reaffirming their status and won a fourth League Championship at the first opportunity. Everton also won their second FA Cup in 1933 with a 3–0 win against Manchester City in the final, the era ended in 1938–39 with a fifth League Championship. Everton were relegated for the time in 1950–51 and did not earn promotion until 1953–54. The club have been a top-flight presence ever since, Evertons second successful era started when Harry Catterick was made manager in 1961. In 1962–63, his season in charge, Everton won the League Championship. In 1966 the club won the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, Everton again reached the final in 1968, but this time were unable to overcome West Bromwich Albion at Wembley
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football. In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, in 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated and it was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times, once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier Leagues sixth-placed team, the 2011–12 season marked the clubs 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. The clubs motto is Arte et Labore, By Skill and Hard Work in Latin, the club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a club to play under Association rules. The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, on 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F. A, Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F. A, Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queens Park, the same teams played the F. A. Cup final again the season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious. Rovers repeated this success yet again the season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion
Huddersfield Town A.F.C.
F. C. Halifax Town is a semi-professional association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. They replaced Halifax Town A. F. C. which went into administration in the 2007–08 season, huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A. F. C. after almost 100 years as a football club. New figures put to a creditors meeting in May 2008 showed the cash-strapped Shaymen owed over £800,000 to Her Majestys Revenue. The Revenue refused any deal and that finished the club – already over £2 million in the red. It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, but the news that it owed £814,000 meant that even if all the other creditors had accepted the 2. 5p-in-the-pound offer originally on the table it would not have been enough. Halifax appealed against the decision to them from the Football Conference. Though the appeal was rejected on 11 June, the hope was that Halifax could play in the NPL Premier Division. This did not materialise, and eventually Halifax Town were accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the new season under the new name FC Halifax Town. The clubs first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly away against Tamworth on 19 July 2008, there was to be no fairytale ending however, and the game ended in a 2–0 defeat. The clubs first ever victory was against Alsager Town on 26 July 2008 by a 2–0 scoreline, colin Hunter scored the new clubs first ever goal after six minutes. Their first competitive Northern League Division One North match was at The Shay against Bamber Bridge on 16 August 2008, the club got off to a poor start, despite recording their first competitive victory in the next match. However, a 7–1 home win against Salford City in late September seemed to turn the tide for Town and they went on an 8-game unbeaten run,7 of those being victories, and shot to the top of the league table. The run eventually came to an end against Rossendale United, who ended up doing the double over Halifax. Despite the loss, Halifax remained top and more results, including 5–1 and 4–1 victories against Garforth Town and Wakefield respectively. After the Wakefield match however, Halifax won just 2 of their final 14 league games and this poor run led to the sacking of manager Jim Vince, and senior player Nigel Jemson stepped up to the managers position for the remainder of the season. They could only manage 2 draws and so a poor ending to the season cost them dearly, with new manager Neil Aspin taking the helm near the start of close season, Halifax Town got off to a much better start. Promising results in friendlies were consolidated after beating Colwyn Bay 3–0 on their own turf in the first league match of the season
Tranmere Rovers F.C.
Tranmere Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club founded in 1884, and based in Birkenhead, Wirral, England. Originally known as Belmont Football Club, they adopted their current name in 1885. They were a member of Division Three North in 1921, and were a member of The Football League until 2015, when they were relegated to the National League. During the 1980s, they were beset by problems and, in 1987. Under Kings successor, John Aldridge, Tranmere experienced a number of cup runs, other cup runs include reaching FA Cup quarter-finals in 2000,2001 and 2004. Tranmeres regular kit is a strip with blue trim, their main colours since 1962. The club moved to its current home, Prenton Park, in 1912, in 1995, the ground had a major redevelopment in response to the Taylor Report. It now seats 16,567 in four stands, the Main Stand, the Kop, the Johnny King Stand, Tranmere Rovers were, initially, formed as Belmont Football Club when the football arms of two cricket clubs – Lyndhurst Wanderers and Belmont – came together in 1884. On 15 November 1884, they won their first game 4–0 against Brunswick Rovers and this was a friendly match, as there were no leagues until 1888. Under the presidency of James McGaul, the team had an inaugural season. An unrelated, disbanded side had played under the name Tranmere Rovers Cricket Club in 1881–82, on 16 September 1885, before their second season began, Belmont F. C. adopted this name Tranmere Rovers. Tranmere played their first matches at Steeles Field in Birkenhead, in 1887, they bought Ravenshaws Field from Tranmere Rugby Club. In 1895, their ground was renamed Prenton Park, although it was 25 years later that the team moved into the current stadium of the same name, Tranmere first wore a kit of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks. In 1889 they adopted orange and maroon shirts, but in 1904 returned to wearing their original kit, in 1886, Tranmere entered their first competition, the Liverpool and District Challenge Cup, in 1889, they entered the West Lancashire League. They joined the Combination, a stronger league, in 1897. Tranmere won the Lancashire Combination Championship in 1914 and Stan Rowlands became the first Tranmere player to receive a cap when he was selected to play for Wales. Rovers continued to play throughout the First World War, although their players were criticised for avoiding military service, following the expulsion of Leeds City Reserves in 1919, Tranmere were able to enter the Central League. Their timing was excellent as the season, four Central League clubs – including Tranmere – were invited to join the new Division Three North
Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. For the 2016–17 season, they are competing in League Two, founded in 1887, Blackpools home ground has been Bloomfield Road since 1901. Their main nickname is the Seasiders, but they are called the Pool and the Tangerines, the latter in reference to the colour of their home kit. Blackpools least successful period was in the 1980s, particularly when, in the 1982–83 season, they finished 21st in English League footballs lowest tier, the clubs motto is Progress, as featured on the club crest. Blackpool have a rivalry with Preston North End, and matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby. They have not met in a match since February 2010. Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years later but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St Johns School to form a new club called Blackpool St Johns. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88, the Fylde Cup, at the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished out of the 13 member clubs. They finished as runners-up over the three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpools home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, which was part of an entertainment complex that included a theatre. This meant that the average attendances were around the 2000 mark. Their application was successful, and for the debut season, 1896–97. Blackpools first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, for the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds. They remained there for the first seven games of 1898–99. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season and they finished third, and after the Football Leagues annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two. It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore, during the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place
Hull City A.F.C.
Hull City Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the Premier League, the top tier of English football – and their greatest achievement in cup competitions came in 2014, when the team reached the final of the FA Cup. In 2007–08 they achieved promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history by winning the Championship play-off Final at Wembley Stadium and their highest league finish was for the 2013–14 season, in which they finished 16th in the Premier League table. Hull City play their games at the KCOM Stadium. They moved there in 2002 after playing their previous 56 seasons at Boothferry Park, Boothferry Park has since been demolished and been replaced by a housing development. Hull traditionally play in black and amber, often with a shirt design. The clubs mascots are Roary the Tiger and his sister Amber. C. and these early matches were played at the Boulevard, the home of Hull F. C. The clubs first competitive match was in the FA Cup preliminary round, drawing 3–3 with Stockton on 17 September. After disputes with landlords at the Boulevard, Hull City moved to Anlaby Road Cricket Ground, after having played 44 friendly fixtures the previous season, Hull City were finally admitted into the Football League Second Division for the 1905–06 season. Other teams competing in the league season included the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, Bradford City. Hull defeated Barnsley 4–1 at home in their first game and finished the season in fifth place, the following season a new ground was built for Hull City across the road from the cricket ground. Still under the managership of Ambrose Langley, Hull continued to finish consistently in the top half of the table and they came close to promotion in the 1909–10 season, recording what would be their highest finish until they matched it in 2008. Hull finished third, level on points with second placed Oldham Athletic, Hulls greatest achievement in cup competitions until 2014 was in 1930, when they reached the FA Cup semi-finals. The cup run saw Hull knock out the champions of the Second and Third Divisions, Blackpool. They then knocked out Manchester City, to meet Newcastle United in the quarter-finals, the first game at St James Park finished as a 1–1 draw, but in the replay Hull beat Newcastle 1–0. The semi-final match against Arsenal took place at Elland Road in Leeds, the game ended 2–2, Arsenal knocked Hull out at Villa Park, the game ending 1–0. After the Second World War, the moved to another new ground. In the 1948–49 season, managed by former England international Raich Carter, Hull also became the first team in the world to go out of a cup competition on penalties, beaten by Manchester United in the semi-final of the Watney Cup on 1 August 1970
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was known as St. Lukes FC and was founded in 1877. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, the following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The clubs current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged. They ended the season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first Double winners. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a time when they moved to Molineux. Wolves lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1–0, and added a second triumph in 1908, two years after having dropped into the Second Division. After struggling for years to regain their place in the top division, the club suffered a further relegation in 1923, entering the Third Division. Eight years later Wolves regained their status after winning the Second Division title under Major Frank Buckley. This game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, the 1950s were by far the most successful period in the clubs history. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the championship for the first time in 1953–54. This became the final spur for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of LÉquipe, to propose the creation of the European Cup, although the decade opened with a fourth FA Cup victory and almost the first double of the 20th century, the 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline. Cullis was sacked in September 1964 in a season that ended with relegation and this exile would last only two seasons though, as they were promoted in 1967 as runners-up. During the close season in 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of the fledgling United Soccer Association league which imported clubs from Europe. Playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the Western Division, the clubs return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success under Bill McGarry, with a fourth place in 1971 qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. They lifted silverware though two later, when they won the League Cup for the first time by beating Manchester City 2–1 in the final. The club was saved from liquidation at the last minute when it was purchased by a consortium fronted by former player Derek Dougan
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the two professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a constituent country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee, the majority of Scotlands home matches are played at the national stadium, Hampden Park. Scotland is the joint oldest national team in the world, alongside England. Scotland has a rivalry with England, whom they played annually from 1872 until 1989. The teams have met six times since then, most recently in November 2016. Scotland have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on eight occasions and the UEFA European Championship twice, the team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967. Archie Gemmill scored what has been described as one of the greatest World Cup goals ever in a 3–2 win during the 1978 World Cup against the Netherlands, in their qualifying group for UEFA Euro 2008, Scotland defeated 2006 World Cup runners-up France 1–0 in both fixtures. Scotland supporters are known as the Tartan Army. The Scottish Football Association operates a roll of honour for every player who has more than 50 appearances for Scotland. Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986, Dalglish scored 30 goals for Scotland and shares the record for most goals scored with Denis Law. Scotland and England are the oldest national teams in the world. Teams representing the two sides first competed at the Oval in five matches between 1870 and 1872, the two countries contested the first official international football match, at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland, on 30 November 1872. The match ended in a goalless draw, all eleven players who represented Scotland that day played for Glasgow amateur club Queens Park. Over the next forty years, Scotland played matches exclusively against the other three Home Nations—England, Wales and Ireland, the British Home Championship began in 1883, making these games competitive. The encounters against England were particularly fierce and a rivalry quickly developed, Scotland lost just two of their first 43 international matches. It was not until a 2–0 home defeat by Ireland in 1903 that Scotland lost a match to an other than England. This run of success meant that Scotland would have topped the Elo ratings
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
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club /ˈtɒtnəm, -tənəm/, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football club located in Tottenham, Haringey, London, that competes in the Premier League. The clubs home stadium is White Hart Lane and their newly developed training ground is in Bulls Cross on the northern borders of the London Borough of Enfield. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1967, Spurs won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and were the winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield, in the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When they won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that they had won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The clubs Latin motto is Audere est Facere, and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby neighbours Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F. C. and played in the Southern League from 1896 until 1908, when they were elected into the Football League Second Division. Before this promotion Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901, since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and also the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Cup Winners Cup victory in 1963 made Tottenham the first English team to win a UEFA competition, in 1960–61 they became the first team to complete The Double in the 20th century. Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the public pitches. It was at this ground that Spurs first played archrivals Arsenal, there were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches. Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters, in 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899,14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road. The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons, the landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans, notts County were the first visitors to the Lane in a friendly watched by 5,000 people and provided in £115 in receipts, Spurs won 4–1
A hat-trick or hat trick in sports is the achievement of a positive feat three times in a game, or another achievement based on the number three in some sports. In association and rugby football, the scoring of two goals or tries by one individual in a match is referred to as a brace. The term first appeared in 1858 in cricket, to describe H. H. Stephensons taking three wickets with three consecutive deliveries, fans held a collection for Stephenson, and presented him with a hat bought with the proceeds. The term was used in print for the first time in 1865, the term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, association football, water polo and team handball. A hat-trick occurs in association football when a player scores three goals in a game, whereas scoring two goals constitutes a brace. In common with other official record-keeping rules, goals in a penalty shootout are excluded from the tally, the extra time in a knockout cup match may also be calculated towards a players potential hat-trick. The fastest recorded time to score a hat-trick is 70 seconds, the previous Guinness world record of 90 seconds was held by Tommy Ross playing for Ross County against Nairn County on 28 November 1964. The first hat-trick in a game was by Scottish player John McDougall. American player Bert Patenaude scored the first hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup, two hat-tricks have been scored in a final, by Geoff Hurst for England in the 1966 final during extra time against West Germany, and Carli Lloyd against Japan in the 2015 Womens World Cup final. Football has also extended the term to include the phrase perfect hat-trick, achieved when a player scores one right-footed goal, one left-footed goal and one headed goal within one match. In Germany, the term Hattrick refers to when a player scores three goals in a row in one half without the break or a goal scored by another player interfering the performance. In recent years, hat trick has been often used to describe when a player hits three home runs in a game. This new usage appears be the transposition of the term, by Canadian baseball fans, from ice hockey. For example, on 29 August 2015, Toronto Blue Jays fans celebrated Edwin Encarnacións third home run of the game by throwing hats onto the field, a hat-trick occurs in cricket when a bowler dismisses three batsmen with consecutive deliveries. Only wickets attributed to the count towards a hat-trick, run outs do not count. Hat-tricks are rare, and as such are treasured by bowlers, in Test cricket history there have been just 42 hat-tricks, the first achieved by Fred Spofforth for Australia against England in 1879. In 1912, Australian Jimmy Matthews achieved the feat twice in one game against South Africa, lasith Malinga achieved a hat-trick while playing for Sri Lanka against Australia on 22 August 2011 in the last match of the five-ODI series in Colombo. He is the bowler to take three hat-tricks in any form of international cricket
The shilling is a unit of currency formerly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, and other British Commonwealth countries. The word shilling comes from scilling, a term that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times, and from there back to Old Norse. Slang terms for the old shilling coins include bob and hog, while the derivation of bob is uncertain, John Camden Hotten in his 1864 Slang Dictionary says the original version was bobstick and wonders if it is connected with Sir Robert Walpole. One abbreviation for shilling is s, often it was represented by a solidus symbol, which may have originally stood for a long s or ſ, thus 1/9 would be one shilling and ninepence. A price with no pence was sometimes written with a slash, the solidus symbol is still used for the shilling currency unit in former British East Africa, rather than sh. During the Great Recoinage of 1816, the mint was instructed to coin one troy pound of silver into 66 shillings. This set the weight of the shilling, and its subsequent decimal replacement 5 new pence coin, at 87.2727 grains or 5.655 grams from 1816 until 1990, in the past, the English world has had various myths about the shilling. One myth was that it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere, a shilling was a coin used in England from the reign of Henry VII. The term shilling was in use in Scotland from early medieval times, the common currency created in 1707 by Article 16 of the Articles of Union continued in use until decimalisation in 1971. In the traditional pounds, shillings and pence system, there were 20 shillings per pound and 12 pence per shilling, three coins denominated in multiple shillings were also in circulation at this time. In the Irish Free State and Republic of Ireland the shilling was issued as scilling in Irish and it was worth 1/20th of an Irish pound, and was interchangeable at the same value to the British coin, which continued to be used in Northern Ireland. The coin featured a bull on the reverse side, the first minting, from 1928 until 1941, contained 75% silver, more than the equivalent British coin. The original Irish shilling coin ) was withdrawn from circulation on 1 January 1993, Australian shillings, twenty of which made up one Australian pound, were first issued in 1910, with the Australian coat of arms on the reverse and King Edward VII on the face. The coat of arms design was retained through the reign of King George V until a new head design was introduced for the coins of King George VI. This design continued until the last year of issue in 1963, in 1966, Australias currency was decimalised and the shilling was replaced by a ten cent coin, where 10 shillings made up one Australian dollar. The slang term for a coin in Australia was deener. The slang term for a shilling as currency unit was bob, after 1966, shillings continued to circulate, as they were replaced by 10-cent coins of the same size and weight. New Zealand shillings, twenty of which made up one New Zealand pound, were first issued in 1933, in 1967, New Zealands currency was decimalised and the shilling was replaced by a ten cent coin of the same size and weight
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
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season