Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector, light and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen. The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. They have played in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. They are one of two teams in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City – Argyles local rivals, since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles, five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the clubs 42nd in the tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once. The club takes its nickname, The Pilgrims, from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620, the club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have played in dark green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football and they are the most southerly and westerly League club in England. Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England, the original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of a process of renovation. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United, the other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United, plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council. This purchase was concluded in December 2006, in December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should Englands bid be successful. The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010, however, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million. The club was taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity
Bath City F.C.
Bath City Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Bath, Somerset, England. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. Formed in 1889 as Bath AFC, Bath Citys history is entirely in non-league football and they changed their name to Bath Railway in 1902 before settling on the name Bath City F. C. After many years playing in the echelons of non-League football they spent a decade in the Southern League after being relegated from the 1996–97 Football Conference. They were promoted to the Conference South by winning the Southern League in the 2006–07 season and they have reached the FA cup third round six times. In 2004 they lost in the FA Cup second round to Peterborough United, in 2009, City beat Football League Two side Grimsby Town in the FA Cup first round, only to lose to Forest Green Rovers in the second round. In 1889 Bath City were formed as Bath AFC and began to play at the Belvoir ground, in 1908 they commenced playing competitive league format football, joining the Western League Division Two. For the 1921–22 season they moved up to Southern League, English section, after the War they were forced to resume playing in the Southern League which they won in the 1959–60 season. A year later they were runners up in the same league, over the next thirteen years they were three times relegated into and again promoted from the Southern League Division one. In the 1977–78 season they won the Southern League title for a second time, for the next season they fell short of election to the Football League by a narrow margin so they became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, now the Conference National. They narrowly missed out on election to the Football League, in 1989 however they were relegated back to the Southern League but were promoted back next season. Here they remained until they were relegated once more to the Southern League in 1997 and they narrowly missed out on promotion to the Conference South in the season 2005–06 season finishing second in the Southern League and lost to Bedford Town. However the following season won promotion as winners of the Southern League in their second season under manager John Relish. They finished in 8th position in the Conference South in the 2007–08 season, in the same season they developed a local arrangement to establish a junior footballing set-up called Bath City Youth. This set-up is now being developed into an academy and in October 2008 manager John Relish moved aside from managerial duties to concentrate on creating this. He was replaced by his former assistant Adie Britton, however, ESPN did not play the extra time, instead cut back after the end of the match. In the 2011–12 season, Bath City had a run of bad results, therefore being relegated from the Conference National. They were the first football club in the top five divisions of England to be relegated and they are currently playing in the Conference South following this relegation
Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
Charlton Athletic F.C.
Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London. They play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded on 9 June 1905 when a number of clubs in south-east London, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission. The clubs traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks, Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four periods in the top flight of English football, 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999. Historically, Charltons most successful period was the 1930s, when the clubs highest league finishes were recorded, after World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947. Charlton Athletic F. C. were formed on 9 June 1905 by a group of 15- to 17-year-olds in East Street, Charlton which is now known as Eastmoor Street, Charlton spent most of the years before the First World War playing in youth leagues. They became a side in 1913 the same year that nearby Woolwich Arsenal relocated to North London. After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season before becoming professional and they were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season before being voted into the Football League. Charltons first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, later that year it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support. In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of The Enders, light, however, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process. Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful, Three years later the Addicks won the Division Three championship in 1929 and they remained at the Division Two level for four years. Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of gas in the First World War. He is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley, Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division and they were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War. This continued during the war years and they won the war cup, Charlton reached the 1946 FA Cup Final, but lost 4–1 to Derby County at Wembley. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, with Chris Duffy scoring the goal of the day. In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only thirteen English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season, the Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000
Guildford City F.C.
Guildford City Football Club is a football club based in Guildford, Surrey, England. The club was established in 1921, folded in 1974 and were reformed in 1996, Guildford City play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division. The first club in the town was amateur side Guildford, formed in 1877 and they played home matches at the Woodbridge Road Sports Ground. A successful start led to a number of people mooting a new professional club, in May 1921 they were accepted into the Southern League, the equivalent of the National League today. At the same land had been purchased in Joseph’s Road. Playing in green and white the hosts won 2–0 with a crowd of over 5,000 spectators, in 1927 Guildford became a diocese and the Guildford Cathedral was built. It was believed that Guildford would become a city so the club changed its name, at this time they also changed the colours to red and white stripes. Despite excellent gates the club was facing a crisis at the end of the season – this was to be a recurrent theme throughout the club’s history. At the start of the 1936–37 season the club made the decision to turn full-time professional. That season they finished 4th but next season things got even better, in 1937–38 City beat Reading in the FA Cup but in the league they won 22 of their 34 games to finish as Champions for the first time. That feat was repeated the following year, with City finishing runners-up to Colchester United by one point. In the league game at home to Colchester on Easter Monday City won 3–1 in front of the largest crowd ever for a game at Joseph’s Road 9,443. Earlier that season City had attracted a bigger crowd to Joseph’s Road for an FA Cup 1st Round Replay against local rivals Aldershot. 9,932 people saw City lose a nail-biting game 4–3 and this successful period was brought to a premature conclusion by the outbreak of the Second World War. The ground had been used by the Army during the War, in 1946–47 City re-entered the Southern League – this time as a part-time club. In 1950–51 the team reached the final of the Southern League Cup for the first time, in the 1951–52 season the City undertook their longest trip when they when they travelled to Gateshead in the 2nd Round of the FA Cup. An estimated 5,000 supporters made the trip to the North East of England in December. A15,000 crowd saw City dominate the game but lose 2–0, in debt again, City sold Jimmy Langley to Leeds for £2,000
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the clubs supporters through the Exeter City Supporters Trust, the club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003. Following five seasons in the Conference National, Exeter were promoted back to League Two for the 2008–09 season, in the 2011–12 season of League One Exeter City were relegated to League Two, finishing 23rd with 48 points, they have remained in League Two ever since. Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old used for fattening pigs. Exeter remain at St James Park to this day, the club is nicknamed The Grecians. For the 2016–17 season Citys home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks. The club is known as the first side to play a team from Brazil. As a result, City and Brazilian side Fluminense are now also partner clubs, Exeter City F. C. was formed from two predecessor clubs, Exeter United F. C. and St Sidwells United. Exeter United was a club from Exeter, Devon, that played between 1890 and 1904. In 1904, Exeter United lost 3–1 to local rivals St Sidwells United, the new team took the name Exeter City and continued to play at Exeter Uniteds ground, St James Park, where Exeter City still play today. Exeter United was formed from the team of the same name and were one of the first football teams with the moniker United. St Sidwells United was a club that had formed from the regulars who frequented the Foresters Inn in Sidwell Street, Exeter, although the house was always known as the Drum. The team played in St Sidwells old colours of green and white, on 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the goal scored by Sid Thomas. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons, in 1908, Exeter City A. F. C. became a limited company. City became a professional team, and applied successfully for membership of the Southern League. A wooden grandstand was erected, and the club entered into an arrangement over the ground
Southend United F.C.
Southend United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of English football. Southend are known as The Shrimpers, a reference to the maritime industry included as one of the quarterings on the club badge. Founded 19 May 1906 in the Blue Boar pub Southend has been a member of the Football League since 1920, the club has spent most of its League career in the English lower divisions, with seven seasons in the Leagues second tier. The club is based at Roots Hall Stadium in Prittlewell, with plans to move to a new stadium at Fossetts Farm. The club has played at five grounds, the original Roots Hall, the Kursaal, the Greyhound Park, Roots Hall was the first stadium that the club owned and was built on the site of their original home, albeit at a lower level. The site previous to Southend purchasing it in 1952 had been used as a quarry, by the council as a landfill site. It took 10 years to complete the building of Roots Hall. The first game was played on 20 August 1955, a 3–1 Division Three victory over Norwich City, the North Stand had a single-barrelled roof which ran only the breadth of the penalty area, whilst the West Bank was covered at its rear only by a similar structure. Drainage was a problem, and the wet winter turned the ground into a quagmire, the terracing was finally completed soon after, but the colossal task of completely terracing the South Bank, all of its 72 steps, was not completed until 1964. The North Bank roof was extended in the early 1960s, floodlights were also installed during this period. Until 1988 Roots Hall was still the newest ground in the Football League, United had hit bad times in the mid-1980s and new chairman Vic Jobson sold virtually all of the South Bank for development, leaving just a tiny block of 15 steps. In 1994, seats were installed onto the original terracing whilst a second tier was added, the West Bank had already become seated in 1992 upon Uniteds elevation to Division Two whilst the East Stand paddock also received a new seating deck, bolted and elevated from the terracing below. The application was submitted to Ruth Kelly, then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. However, the application was called in at the beginning of April 2007, the inquiry began in September 2007, followed in October 2007 by a final inquiry, when chairman Ron Martin called for supporters to show in numbers at Southends local government headquarters. On 6 March 2008, permission to develop Fossetts Farm was given by the government, the club has a fierce local rivalry with fellow Essex side Colchester United. The two clubs were promoted from League One at the end of the 2005–06 season after a battle for top spot was eventually won by Southend. The rivalry extends back many years, the two clubs met again in an Essex derby match in the same competition the following season, with Southend emerging as the victors once more after a penalty shootout
Swindon Town F.C.
Swindon Town Football Club is a professional football club in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they became Spartans in 1880, the team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The clubs home ground, where it has played since 1896, is the 15,728 capacity County Ground, the club went professional in 1894 and entered the Football League in 1920. Swindon Town won promotion to the Premier League in the 1992–93 season, Swindon Town Football Club was founded by Reverend William Pitt of Liddington in 1879. The team turned professional in 1894 and joined the Southern League which was founded in the same year, during this period Septimus Atterbury played for the club. Swindon reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the 1909–10 season, Barnsley and Swindon were invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup in 1910 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris. The result was a 2–1 victory for Swindon with Harold Fleming scoring both of the clubs goals, the following season, 1910–11, Swindon Town won the Southern League championship, earning them a Charity Shield match with the Football League champions Manchester United. This, the highest-scoring Charity Shield game to date, was played on 25 September 1911 at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United winning 8–4, some of the proceeds of this game were later donated to the survivors of the Titanic. In 1912 Swindon Town reached the finals of the FA Cup for a second time in 3 years. Swindons exploits at this time owed a lot to the skilful forward H. J. Fleming who was capped by England 11 times between 1909 and 1914 despite playing outside the Football League. Fleming remained with Swindon throughout a career spanning 1907 and 1924. Swindon entered the Football League in 1920 as a member of Division Three. This result stands as a record for the club in League matches, the club was relegated back into Division Three in 1965 but it was about to create a sensation. In 1969, Swindon beat Arsenal 3–1 to win the League Cup for the time in the clubs history. As winners of the League Cup, Swindon were assured of a place in their first European competition, however, the Football Association had previously agreed to inclusion criteria with the organizers which mandated that only League Cup winners from Division One would be able to take part. As the team were not eligible, the short lived Anglo-Italian competitions were created to give teams from lower divisions experience in Europe, the first of these, the 1969 Anglo-Italian League Cup, was contested over two legs against Coppa Italia winners A. S. Swindon won 5–2, with the scorer of two goals in the League Cup final – Don Rogers – scoring once and new acquisition Arthur Horsfield acquiring his first hat-trick for the club. The team then went on to win the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup competition in a tournament beset by hooliganism, napoli was abandoned after 79 minutes following pitch invasions and a missile barrage, with teargas being employed to allow the teams to return to the dressing room
Portsmouth Football Club /ˈpɔərtsməθ/ is a professional football club in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, which plays in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. Home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the formation in 1898. Portsmouth have been champions of England twice, in 1949 and 1950, in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, Portsmouth played European heavyweights A. C. Milan. In this period, the club had international footballers including England players Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David James, financial problems, however, soon set in and Portsmouth were relegated to the Football League Championship in 2010. In 2012, they were relegated, to League One. They began the 2013–14 season in the tier of the English football league system for the first time since the late 1970s. Portsmouth became the largest fan-owned football club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013, Portsmouth Football Club are nicknamed Pompey, a name which it shares with the city of Portsmouth and its historic naval base. Pompey is thought most likely to originate from the abbreviation of Portsmouth Point to the shorter Pom. The club was founded in 1898 with John Brickwood — owner of the local Brickwoods Brewery — as chairman, a blue plaque on the wall of 12 High Street Portsmouth commemorates the founding on 5 April. That first season was successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, 1910–11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager, the team was promoted the following season. League football was suspended during First World War, but following the resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the second time, continuing success saw them in the Third Division for the 1920–21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won the division in the 1923–24 season, the club continued to perform well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing second in the 1926–27 season, gaining a record 9–1 win over Notts County along the way. Portsmouths debut season in the First Division was a struggle, the next season they continued to falter, losing 10–0 to Leicester City, still a club record defeat. Despite their failings in the league, however, that also saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time. Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes began to change, the 1933–34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final, beating Manchester United, Bolton, Leicester and Birmingham City on the way. The club was defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City. Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938–39 season saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final and this time, Portsmouth managed to convincingly defeat favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1. Bert Barlow and Jock Anderson scored, whilst Cliff Parker scored twice to complete a famous victory, League football resumed for the 1946–47 campaign after five years and Portsmouth continued in the First Division
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight
AFC Bournemouth /ˈbɔːrnməθ/ is a professional association football club based in Bournemouth, Dorset, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. Johns Institute F. C. the club was reformed in 1899 as Boscombe F. C and they changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F. C. in 1923, before settling on their current name in 1972. Nicknamed The Cherries, since 1910 Bournemouth have played their games at Dean Court. Their home colours are red and black striped shirts, with black shorts, AFC Bournemouth have won the second and third tiers of English football, and were twice runners up of the fourth tier. They have also won the Football League Trophy, and the Football League Third Division South Cup, currently managed by Eddie Howe, the 2015–16 season was AFC Bournemouths first ever in Englands top division. Although the exact date of the foundation is not known. The club was known as Boscombe F. C. The first president was Mr. J. C, in their first season, 1899–1900, Boscombe F. C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup, during the first two seasons, they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season, the played on a pitch in Kings Park. In the 1905–06 season, Boscombe F. C. graduated to senior amateur football, in 1910, the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park as the clubs football ground by President J. E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, also in 1910, the club signed their first professional football player B. Around about this time, the club obtained their nickname The Cherries, for the first time, during the 1913–14 season, the club competed in the FA Cup. The clubs progress, however, was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I, in 1920, the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, finding moderate success. To make the more representative of the district, the name was changed to Bournemouth. During the same year, the club was elected to the Football League to fill the left by Stalybridge Celtics resignation. The first league match was at Swindon Town on 25 August 1923, the first league game at Dean Court was also against Swindon, where Bournemouth gained their first league point after a 0–0 draw. Initially, Bournemouth struggled in the Football League but eventually established themselves as a Third Division club, Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club remain on the records as the longest continuous members of the Third Division
Luton Town F.C.
Luton Town Football Club /ˈluːtən ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based at Kenilworth Road, Luton, Bedfordshire since 1905. Founded in 1885, it is nicknamed the Hatters and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association and its first-team is contesting the fourth tier of English football, League Two, during the 2016–17 season. The clubs history includes major trophy wins, several financial crises, numerous promotions and relegations, the club was the first in southern England to turn professional, making payments to players as early as 1890 and turning fully professional a year later. It joined the Football League before the 1897–98 season, left in 1900 because of financial problems, Luton reached the First Division in 1955–56 and contested a major final for the first time when playing Nottingham Forest in the 1959 FA Cup Final. The team was relegated from the top division in 1959–60. However, it was promoted back to the top level by 1974–75, Luton Towns most recent successful period began in 1981–82, when the club won the Second Division, and thereby gained promotion to the First. Luton defeated Arsenal 3–2 in the 1988 Football League Cup Final, between 2007 and 2009, financial difficulties caused the club to fall from the second tier of English football to the fifth in successive seasons. The last of these came during the 2008–09 season, when 30 points were docked from Lutons record for various financial irregularities. Luton thereafter spent five seasons in non-League football before winning the Conference Premier in 2013–14, Luton Town Football Club was formed on 11 April 1885, the product of a merger of the two leading local teams, Luton Town Wanderers and Excelsior. Initially based at Excelsiors Dallow Lane ground, the club began making payments to individual players in 1890. The following year, Luton became the first club in southern England to be fully professional, the club was a founder member of the Southern Football League in the 1894–95 season and finished as runners-up in its first two seasons. It then left to form the United League and came second in that leagues inaugural season before joining the Football League for 1897–98. The club continued to enter a team to the United League for two seasons, and won the title in 1897–98. A return to the Southern League was therefore arranged for the 1900–01 season, eight years after arriving at Dunstable Road, Luton moved again, settling at their current ground, Kenilworth Road, in 1905. Captain and left winger Bob Hawkes became Lutons first international player when he was picked to play for England against Ireland on 16 February 1907, a poor 1911–12 season saw Luton relegated to the Southern Leagues Second Division, the club won promotion back two years later. After the First World War broke out, Luton took part in The London Combination during 1915–16, a key player of the period was Ernie Simms, a forward. Simms was invalided back to England after being wounded on the Italian front, however, after Luton finished fourth in the division, the squad was broken up as Simms, Bookman and Mathieson joined South Shields, Port Vale and Exeter City respectively. Luton stayed in the Third Division South until 1936–37, when the team finished top and won promotion to the Second Division, during the early 1950s, one of Lutons greatest sides emerged under manager Dally Duncan
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, after finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922. Watford spent most of the half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours. England manager Graham Taylors tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights, between Taylors appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, the club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyds management. After eight years, Watford are again competing in the Premier League 2015–16 season, Watford is currently owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Watford Rovers was formed in 1881 by Henry Groverand, who went on to play for the club as a full-back, Rovers, originally composed entirely of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford. The team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, the team became the football section of West Hertfordshire Sports Club in 1890, and consequently moved to a ground on Cassio Road. Renamed as West Hertfordshire in 1893, Rovers joined the Southern Football League in 1896, West Hertfordshire merged with local rivals Watford St. Marys in 1898, the merged team was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and he led Watford to promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, there was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. The Football League was suspended in 1939 due to the Second World War, Football resumed in 1946, with Watford still in the Third Division South. Ron Burgess replaced McBain during that season, and in the following campaign Burgess presided over Watfords first Football League promotion and this team included Fourth Division top scorer Cliff Holton, who scored a club record 42 league goals in the season. Holton was sold to Northampton the following year after another 34 goals, eighteen-year-old Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings also featured under McGarry, and made his international debut despite being a Third Division player. Furphys rebuilding came to fruition in 1969 with the signing of Barry Endean, Watford secured the Third Division title in April, at home to Plymouth Argyle. A year later Watford reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, defeating First Division teams Stoke City, hampered by a lack of funds, however, Furphy eventually joined Blackburn Rovers, to be succeeded by George Kirby
Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club /ˈbraɪtən ən ˈhoʊv/ is a professional football club based in the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, England, often referred to simply as Brighton. The team is nicknamed the Seagulls or Albion, the team has historically played in blue and white stripes, though this changed to all white briefly in the 1970s and again to plain blue during the clubs most successful spell in the 1980s. Crystal Palace are considered the main rivals, although the grounds are 40 miles apart. Founded in 1901, Brighton played their early football in the Southern League before being elected to the Football League in 1920. The club enjoyed greatest prominence between 1979 and 1983 when they played in the First Division and reached the 1983 FA Cup Final and they were relegated from the top division in the same season. Mismanagement brought Brighton close to relegation from the Football League to the Conference which they narrowly avoided in 1997 and 1998. Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. were founded in 1901 and 19 years later, in 1920, Mike Bamber was the chairman of Brighton from October 1972 until 1983. He famously brought Brian Clough to the club in 1973 and later appointed former England player Alan Mullery as manager, the 1982/83 season saw a wildly inconsistent start for the club, with victories over Arsenal and Manchester United mixed in with heavy defeats. Manager Mike Bailey eventually lost his job at the start of December 1982, jimmy Melia took over as manager, but was unable to turn the situation around and Brighton were relegated in 1983, having finished in bottom place. Despite their relegation, that season Brighton reached their first FA Cup final, Brightons goals were scored by Gordon Smith and Gary Stevens. However, Smiths kick was saved by the Manchester United goalkeeper. In the replay, Manchester United won 4–0, a lifelong fan named Dick Knight took control of the club in 1997 having led the fan pressure to oust the previous board following their sale of the clubs Goldstone Ground to property developers. If Brighton won or drew, they would be safe, Brighton defender Kerry Mayo scored an own goal in the first half and it looked as though their 77-year league career was over. But a late goal from Robbie Reinelt saved the day, Brighton retained their status on goal difference. The sale of the Goldstone ground went through in 1997, leading to Brighton having to play some 70 miles away at Gillinghams Priestfield stadium for two seasons, micky Adams was appointed Brightons manager in 1999. For the start of the 1999–2000 season the Seagulls secured a lease to play games at Withdean Stadium. In February 2000 Brighton signed a little known forward on loan from Bristol Rovers called Bobby Zamora, Zamora made an instant impact, scoring in his debut, the 1–1 home draw with Plymouth. 2000–01 was Brightons first successful season for 13 years and they were crowned champions of Division Three and promoted to Division Two, where they made an excellent start and looked good bets for a second successive promotion
Millwall Football Club is a professional football club in Bermondsey, South East London, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. From then until 1993 the club played at what is now called The Old Den in New Cross, before moving to its current home stadium nearby, the traditional club crest is a lion rampant, referred to in the teams nickname The Lions. Millwalls traditional kit consists of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks, Millwall have a long-standing rivalry with West Ham United. The local derby between the two sides has been contested almost a hundred times since 1899, in the media, Millwalls supporters have often been associated with hooliganism, with numerous films having been made fictionalising their notoriety. The fans are renowned for their chant No one likes us, in 2004, the team reached the FA Cup final and qualified for the UEFA Cup, playing in Europe for the first time in their history. The club also reached FA Cup semi-finals in 1900,1903,1937 and 2013, Millwall have spent the majority of their existence in the second or third tier of the Football League. The team spent two seasons in the top flight between 1988–90, in which the club achieved its highest ever finish of tenth place in the First Division. Based on all results during the clubs 89 seasons in the Football League from 1920–21 to 2015–16, Millwall Rovers were formed by the workers of J. T. Mortons canning and preserve factory in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in Londons East End in 1885. The club secretary was 17-year-old Jasper Sexton, the son of the landlord of The Islander pub in Tooke Street where Millwall held their club meetings. Millwall Rovers first fixture was held on a piece of ground on Glengall Road, on 3 October 1885 against Fillebrook. The newly formed team were beaten 5–0, Rovers found a better playing surface for the 1886–87 season, at the rear of the Lord Nelson pub and it became known as the Lord Nelson Ground. In November 1886, the East End Football Association was formed, Millwall made it to the final against London Caledonians, which was played at Leyton Cricket Ground. The match finished 2–2 and the teams shared the cup for six months each, Millwall won the East London Senior Cup at the first attempt. The club also won it the two years, and the trophy became their property. They were founding members of the Southern Football League which they won for the first two years of its existence, and were runners-up in its third. They were forced to move to a new ground North Greenwich in 1901, Millwall Athletic reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1900 and 1903, and were also champions of the Western Football League in 1908 and 1909
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998, in 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the clubs co-chairman Sir John Madejski. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club, Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham. The early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, and later the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a ground and, to this end. In 1913, Reading had a tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write without doubt. Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920, Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, and remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. When League football resumed after the war, Reading quickly came to prominence once again, the sides moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, the appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994, in 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Goodings contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the half of Division One. Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998, the year 1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, the club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Steve Coppell, Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English footballs top division for the first time in their history, the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in place with 55 points
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. The club currently plays in the Championship, the tier of English football. They were first promoted to the top flight in 1972, Norwich have won the League Cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. The club has never won the top flight, but finished third in 1993, the club was founded in 1902. The fans song On the Ball, City is regarded as being the oldest football song in the world which is still in use, the club plays in characteristic yellow and green kits and are nicknamed The Canaries after the history of breeding the birds in the area. They joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League for the 1902–03 season, but following a FA Commission, the club was ousted from the amateur game in 1905, deemed a professional organisation. Later that year Norwich were elected to play in the Southern League and with increasing crowds, they were forced to leave Newmarket Road in 1908, moving to The Nest, a disused chalk pit. During the First World War, with football suspended and facing spiralling debts, the club was officially reformed on 15 February 1919 – a key figure in the events was Charles Frederick Watling, future Lord Mayor of Norwich and the father of future club chairman, Geoffrey Watling. When, in May 1920, the Football League formed a third Division and their first league fixture, against Plymouth Argyle, on 28 August 1920, ended in a 1–1 draw. The club went on to endure a mediocre decade, finishing no higher than eighth, the inaugural match, held on 31 August 1935, against West Ham United, ended in a 4–3 victory to the home team and set a new record attendance of 29,779. The biggest highlight of the four seasons was the visit of King George VI to Carrow Road on 29 October 1938. However, the club was relegated to the Third Division at the end of the season, the league was suspended the following season as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War and did not resume until the 1946–47 season. City finished this and the season in 21st place, the poor results forcing the club to apply for re-election to the league. The 1958–59 season saw Norwich reach the semi-final of the FA Cup as a Third Division side, in the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. In 1962 Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a final to win the League Cup. They made their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Relegation to the Second Division in 1974 came after Saunders had departed and been succeeded by John Bond, a highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa. Bond departed to Manchester City in the autumn of 1980 and the club were relegated six months later, Norwich had also been the beneficiaries of one of English footballs first million-pound transfers when they sold striker Justin Fashanu to Nottingham Forest in August 1981
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past, the club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swanseas new status as a city. Swansea have played their matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division and it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the seasons end before finishing sixth, although a club record. The clubs subsequent climb from the division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League, following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the clubs first chairman, a site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the clubs ground. The clubs first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the half with ten men. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920, the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. Sadly for the Swans, an experienced Bolton side won the game 3–0, Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour, during the 1931–32 season they finished 1st and went out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However they won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay and it was not until the 1933–34 season that Wilfred Milne scored his first goal for Swansea at Lincoln City after 501 appearances without a goal. After just one back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division. The following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time
Barry Town United F.C.
Barry Town United Football Club is an association football team based in Barry. They are known for representing Wales in Europe as winners of the Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup during the 1990s and early 2000s, the team, which has contained more than 50 full internationals, is now run by supporters. They play at their home of Jenner Park, Barry. Barry Town Uniteds history dates back to 1892 when a football team named Barry. During the early years, this side endured many upheavals, playing on five different grounds under various identities, including Barry Unionist Athletic, Barry United Athletic and Barry District. Players who featured during these years included Ted Vizard and Billy Jennings, in November 1912, a meeting at The Windsor public house in Holton Road saw townsfolk choose to pursue membership of the thriving Southern League as Barry AFC. The club would secure land owned by the Jenner family and the people of the came together to build Jenner Park. On 6 September 1913, Barry played their first ever fixture, the game attracted 4,000 spectators, including 1,000 travelling supporters. Fittingly, the new team would register a surprise, albeit merited, victory, with Barrys Ralph Isherwood scoring the very first goal at Jenner Park just three minutes in. His second, midway through the half, sealed a 2–1 victory, a fine start for the Barry side on, coincidentally. The ensuing two seasons would see Stoke City, Brentford, Coventry City and others visit the new ground, however, the Great War would soon interrupt any competitive proceedings, with Barry captain Major James Wightman one of the many casualties of The Battle of the Somme. The 1920–21 season ranks as one of the finest in Barrys history, the achievement was all the more impressive when considering the small Barry squad played over 100 matches in all competitions during the course of the season. Competing simultaneously in both the Welsh and Western League, the Barry board gave priority to Southern League fixtures, Barry retained membership of the Southern League for more than 60 years – their highest finish being fourth in the 1930s. Among the notable players of the era were Johnny Gardner, Dai Ward, meanwhile, Barry-born sportsman Ernie Carless combined his footballing exploits with a successful cricketing career with Glamorgan. At the end of the 1920s, a crowd of 6,000 at Upton Park saw Barry beat Dagenham 1–0 to progress to the FA Cup 2nd Round and it proved to be their most successful run in the competition. Barry would reach the 1st Round again in 1934–35, losing 1–0 to Northampton Town at Jenner Park, Football again took a backseat in 1939, with the eruption of World War II. In the 1949–50 season, Jenner Park became one of the first grounds in the country to introduce floodlights, with Newport County, Swansea City, two seasons later, an all-Welsh showdown in the FA Cup 1st Round saw Barry beaten by Newport, 4–0. Nevertheless, the town’s most celebrated footballing achievement was right around the corner, in May 1955, following a 1–1 draw at the Racecourse in Wrexham, Barry beat Chester City 4–3 at Ninian Park to lift the Welsh Cup for the first time
Llanelli Town A.F.C.
Llanelli Town Association Football Club is a Welsh football club that plays in the Welsh Football League Division 2. The original club was wound up on 22 April 2013 at the High Court in London following a petition presented by HM Revenue and they were reformed later that year as Llanelli Town AFC and now play in the Welsh Football League Division Two. The team is based at Stebonheath Park from 1920, having previously playing at the Halfway athletics ground, formed in 1896, the clubs first honour was the Welsh League division one title claimed in 1913–14 with further wins coming in 1929–30 and 1932–33. Llanelli made several attempts to join The Football League, in 1922,1923,1929,1930,1931,1932,1933,1947,1950 and 1951, despite making an effort to turn professional, the club was not elected. The closest they came was in 1933, where the club received 20 votes compared to 26 for Newport County and 45 for Swindon Town who were re-elected to the Football League Third Division South. Llanelli was a member of the Welsh Premier League in 1992. Promotion back to the top division was achieved in 1998–99, in 2005 a wealthy business man and his consortium, The Jesco group bought the club. Since then, the clubs fortunes have transformed remarkably on the pitch and they have played in Europe for 7 consecutive seasons, they won the Welsh premier league and Loosemores challenge cup in 2008 and won the Welsh Cup in 2011. 2012–13 was difficult financially with three petitions to wind the club up presented by HM Revenue and Customs, the club was wound up on 22 April 2013 at the High Court in London following a petition presented by HM Revenue and Customs. However, the town of Llanelli will still be represented in Welsh football through the club of Llanelli Town in the Welsh Third Division in season 2013-14. Llanelli Town were crowned Division 3 champions for the 2014-2015 and will now compete in the Welsh Second Division, the club entered into the Swansea and District League and played their home matches firstly at Tunnel Road and thence to Penyfan Fields. In season 1911–12 after seven years of consolidation Llanelli AFC became League champions and were losing finalists in the League Cup. A further move was necessary to entertain the professional game and Halfway Park some two miles from the centre was chosen as the new venue. Their first season 1912–13 was a success finishing in 6th position of the Southern League. They were also invited to participate in the FA Cup for the first time and it was also during this season that the club achieved its best win to date beating Treharris 17–0 at home in a League game. In the 1919–20 season the reformed clubs formats of pre-war years when the 1st team squad contested in both leagues and the reserve side participated in the Swansea Senior League. By 1922 it was obvious that to further their ambitions of achieving Football League status a new stadium near the centre would have to be sought. A piece of ground in the Stebonheath area of the town was purchased and plans were afoot to move the club lock stock and this was achieved just in time for the 1922–23 season, when Bridgend Town were the first visitors
AFC Rushden & Diamonds
Rushden & Diamonds is an English football club based in Northamptonshire. They played their season at Kiln Park, the home of Raunds Town. The club was formed in July 2011 by supporters after Rushden & Diamonds, at an open meeting chaired by a supporters group called SaveRDFC, a mandate was agreed upon to create a phoenix club, fully owned and controlled by its supporters. A team was created and accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011–12 season, for the 2013–14 season, an Under-21 team was added, which plays in the Midland Football Combination Under-21 division. The original Rushden & Diamonds was formed on 21 April 1992, following the merger of Irthlingborough Diamonds, the clubs early years were marked by success. Within four seasons the club had reached the Conference National, however, following their promotion to Division Two the Diamonds fortunes took a turn for the worse. The club were relegated twice in three years, and suffered instability off the field, seven different managers took charge of the team between March 2004 and May 2011, while the club itself was controlled by four different parties during the same period. Following a period of sustained financial difficulties during the 2010–11 season, the club were expelled from the Conference at the end of the campaign, and entered administration that July. Following an open meeting, supporters voted to play their games for the 2011–12 season at Kiln Park, Raunds. On 18 July 2011 the club announced the appointment of former Rushden & Diamonds head of youth development Mark Starmer as their first manager, on 22 July 2011, AFC Rushden & Diamonds U18s were accepted into the Northants Senior Youth League for the 2011–12 season. With no senior side registered in time for the 2011–12 season, AFC R&D played their first official match in a 3–0 loss to Raunds Town in a friendly youth match played on 6 August 2011, attended by 350 supporters. The Diamonds played their first competitive game on 25 August 2011, running out comfortable 3–0 winners against Daventry Town in the Northants Senior Youth League, watched by 467 supporters. On 9 October 2011, the club won its first ever competitive cup match, throughout the season much was done to integrate AFC R&D into the local footballing community. Deals were struck with St Neots Town, South Rushden Junior Football Club, Raunds Town, on 24 March 2012, Mark Starmer was announced as First Team Manager for the 2012–13 season. The club ended the campaign in a respectable mid-table position. The first season of existence for AFC Rushden & Diamonds also ended in cup success, winning the NSYL Knock-Out Cup at Steel Park, in the final Diamonds beat AFC Kempston Rovers 4–1, securing their first piece of silverware ahead of a 479-strong crowd. Ex-Rushden & Diamonds player Andy Peaks was appointed as First Team Assistant Manager on 5 May 2012. A senior side was registered to play in the United Counties Football League Division One for the 2012–13 season, playing its games at the Dog and Duck
Alvechurch Football Club is English association football club based in Alvechurch, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, currently playing in the Midland League Premier Division. They are affiliated with the Worcestershire County Football Association, Alvechurch F. C. was founded in 1929 and played in the local park prior to a move to Lye Meadow. In November 1993 they folded, but a group of supporters resurrected the club under the name Alvechurch Villa in 1994, the name changed back to Alvechurch in 1996. Alvechurch reached the 1st round of the FA Cup in 1971–72 after five replays in their 4th round qualifying tie with Oxford City, the tie lasted eleven hours making it longest in the history of the FA Cup. The scores were 2–2, 1–1, 1–1, 0–0, 0–0 and 1–0 to Alvechurch and this tie was included in the Guinness Book of Records – now never to be beaten after the advent of penalty shoot-outs at the end of the first replay. Two years later the club achieved their best ever result in the FA Cup and this tie was the first FA Cup tie to be played on a Sunday. Specific Club website Info from RSSSF Info from The Pyramid
Banbury United F.C.
Banbury United Football Club is a football club based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England. They are currently members of the Premier Division of the Southern League, the club was established in 1931 as Spencer Sports Club, a works team of the Spencer Corsets factory. They initially played matches, with their first match against St Johns of the Oxfordshire Junior League played on 29 August 1931. In 1933 they joined the Banbury division of the Oxfordshire Junior League, later in the season they were renamed Banbury Spencer, and went on to win the league title in their first season. They then joined the Oxfordshire Senior League for the 1934–35 season, after winning the league at the first attempt, they were elected to the Birmingham Combination. After World War II the club turned professional, the 1947–48 season saw them finish as runners-up in the Combination and reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, where they lost 2–1 at Colchester United. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The 1961–62 season had seen the club reach the FA Cup first round again, in 1965 the club was renamed Banbury United after a change in ownership, and at the end of the 1965–66 season they transferred to Division One of the Southern League. When Division One was split into two divisions in 1971, the club was placed in Division One North, in 1972–73 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a third time, this time losing 2–0 at home to Barnet. The following season saw them repeat the feat, this time losing 3–2 at Northampton Town in a replay after a 0–0 draw at home, after winning the Premier Division in 1999–2000, Banbury were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. An eighth-place finish in 2003–04 was enough to be promoted to the Premier Division after the creation of the Conference North and South led to clubs being moved up a division. The season also saw the win the Oxfordshire Senior Cup. They remained in the Premier Division until the end of the 2014–15 season, in August 2015, a supporter-led Community Benefit Society took formal control of the club. Their first season in Division One South and West saw them finish as runners-up, after beating Winchester City 1–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Taunton Town 2–0 in the final to earn promotion back to the Premier Division. The club has played at the Spencer Stadium on Station Approach since the start of the 1934–35 season, when the club joined the Southern League in 1966, floodlights were installed and a new clubhouse was built to replace the railway carriages that the club had used for changing rooms. Financial problems led to the deteriorating, and the main stand was closed in 1985 before being demolished in 1990. A new stand was built on the touchline in the summer of 2000. Both ends of the ground had uncovered terracing installed, with the other touchline having terracing along half its length, the ground currently has a capacity of 6,500, of which 250 is seated and covered. C
Barwell Football Club is a football club based in Barwell, near Hinckley in Leicestershire. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, in 1994 Barwell were founder members of the Midland Alliance, and went on to win the League Cup in 2005–06, beating Leamington 3–1 in the final. After finishing as runners-up in 2008–09, they won the league the following season and their first season in the division saw them win the title, earning promotion to step three of the National League System. Instead of playing in the Northern Premier Leagues Premier Division, the club were moved to the Premier Division of the Southern League, however, two seasons later, they were transferred back to the Northern Premier League. In 2015–16 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, the club play at Kirkby Road in Barwell. The sports complex also incorporates bowling facilities and a cricket pitch, floodlights were installed prior to the 1992–93 season, and a number of seats were obtained from the old main stand at Leicester Citys Filbert Street ground. A new covered stand to accommodate five hundred spectators was built prior to the 1996–97 season, towards the end of the 2000–01 season, a new 256 seater cantilever stand was erected, and the club have made further improvements to allow them to progress up the pyramid. The ground currently has a capacity of 2,500, of which 256 is seated and 750 covered. C, players Barwell F. C. managers Official website
Bedworth United F.C.
Bedworth United Football Club is a football club based in Bedworth, Warwickshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Division One South, the first club from which the modern Bedworth United traces its lineage was Bedworth Town, established in 1895. In 1898 they were members of the Nuneaton & District League. The name Bedworth Town was resurrected in 1905 when Bedworth Evening Combination School of the Coventry & North Warwickshire League changed their name, however, they folded in the early 1920s. The name was restored to use again in 1925 when Collycroft United (founded 1916, in 1936 they joined the Central Amateur League, but played in the league for only one season. Following World War II, a new Bedworth Town club was established in 1947 and they joined the Birmingham Combination, finishing third in their first season, before winning back-to-back titles in 1948–49 and 1949–50. In 1954 the club moved up to the Northern Division of the Birmingham & District League, in 1962 the league was renamed the West Midlands League. After several seasons struggling in the league, finishing bottom in 1959–60, however, a replacement club was formed under the name Bedworth United, which took over from Town in the West Midlands League. In 1972 the club moved up to Division One North of the Southern League, a sixth-place finish in 1981–82 was enough to earn a place in the new Premier Division in 1982. In 1988–89 they finished bottom of the division and were relegated to Division One Midlands, in 2006 they were transferred to Division One Midlands, which became Division One Central in 2010. A third-place finish in 2011–12 saw the club qualify for the promotion play-offs, after beating Uxbridge 2–1 in the semi-final, they defeated Beaconsfield SYCOB 3–1 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division. However, the season saw them finish second-bottom of the table, resulting in relegation. They were transferred back to Division One Central of the Southern League in 2014, a 2–1 win over Aylesbury in the semi-finals and then a 2–0 victory against Barton Rovers in the final saw them promoted back to the Southern Leagues Premier Division. However, the season saw them relegated again, again to Division One South of the Northern Premier League. Between 1911 and 1939 the club played at the British Queen Ground and it has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 is seated and covered. C. Players Bedworth United F. C. managers Official website
Biggleswade Town F.C.
Biggleswade Town Football Club is a football club based in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, England. The club are members of the Southern League Premier Division. The club were established in 1874 as Biggleswade, later becoming known as Biggleswade & District, in 1902 they were founder members of the Biggleswade and District League, and were its first champions, also winning the Bedfordshire Senior Cup that year. The club went on to win the league twice more before World War I, in 1920 the club joined the Northamptonshire League, which became the United Counties League in 1934, and won the Bedfordshire Premier Cup in 1922–23 and 1927–28. After World War II the club adopted its current name and joined the Spartan League in 1945 and they returned to the UCL in 1951, before switching to the Eastern Counties League in 1955. During their time in the ECL they set the record for biggest away win with a 12–0 victory over Newmarket Town, in 1963 they returned to the UCL due to the increasing transport costs. In 1975–76 they finished bottom of the Premier Division, and were relegated to Division One, in 1980 they joined the Premier Division of the South Midlands League. They were relegated to Division One in 1983, but were promoted back to the Premier Division in 1987, when the Spartan and South Midlands leagues merged to form the Spartan South Midlands League in 1997 the club were placed in the Premier Division North. The following season they were placed in the Senior Division, in 2007–08 they won the Bedfordshire Premier Cup for a third time, beating Luton Town 3–2 in the final. The following season won the league title, earning promotion to Division One Midlands of the Southern League. In 2010 the division was renamed Division One Central, and the 2010–11 season saw Biggleswade finish fourth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs and losing 2–0 to Daventry Town in the semi-finals. In 2012–13 they finished fourth again, and in the subsequently play-offs they beat Godalming Town 2–1 in the semi-finals, in 2014–15 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 4–1 at Stourbridge. The club originally played at the Fairfield Road ground, which was shared with a cricket club. A wooden stand was erected in the 1920s, and for years had an Anderson shelter on either side. Floodlights were installed in 1989, and the stand was demolished after being condemned in the 1990s. In 2006 the club left Fairfield Road and groundshared with Bedford United & Valerio whilst a new ground was built on Langford Road. The Carlsberg Stadium was opened for the start of the 2008–09 season, the ground has a capacity of 3,000, of which 300 is seated. C
Coalville Town F.C.
Coalville Town Football Club is a football club based in Coalville, Leicestershire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was established as Ravenstone Miners Athletic in 1926, and were based in the village of Ravenstone. They played in the Coalville & District Amateur League, winning the title five times. In 1958 the club were renamed Ravenstone, and in 1975 they joined the North Leicestershire League and they won the league in 1988–89 and 1989–90, and were promoted to Division One of the Leicestershire Senior League in 1991. In 1995 the club moved to nearby Coalville after being unable to upgrade their Ravenslea ground, in 1996–97 they finished second in Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division. The club adopted their current name in 1998 and they won back-to-back Premier Division titles in 2001–02 and 2002–03, after which they were promoted to the Midland Alliance. In 2004–05 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time and they were league runners-up in 2009–10, and the following season saw them reach the final of the FA Vase, losing 3–2 to Whitley Bay at Wembley Stadium. They also won the Midland Alliance, scoring 153 goals in the process, in 2012–13 Coalville won the Westerby Cup, beating Loughborough Dynamo 2–1 in the final at the King Power Stadium. They were also Division One South runners-up and qualified for the promotion play-offs, however, they lost 2–1 to Chasetown in the semi-finals. The following season saw them finish as runners-up again, however, they lost the play-off semi-final against Mickleover Sports. In 2015–16 they qualified for the play-offs again, after beating Basford United 5–0 in the semi-finals, they defeated Shaw Lane 3–1 to earn promotion to the Premier Division. When based in Ravenstone, the played at Ravenslea. However, after the council refused the club permission to erect floodlights. Floodlights were installed at the new ground in 1996, the ground is currently also known as the Mander Cruickshank Solicitors Stadium for sponsorship purposes, and has a capacity of 2,000, of which 240 is seated and covered. C
Halesowen Town F.C.
Halesowen Town Football Club is an English association football club formed in 1873, that play in Halesowen and as of 2014 are playing in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. The team is nicknamed The Yeltz, Halesowen Town FC was formed in 1873, making it one of the oldest clubs in the Midlands, and initially played in the Birmingham Combination. In 1946, it joined the Birmingham and District League and was champions in its very first season, the 1960s saw it consistently finish high in the league, but by contrast the 1970s saw it struggle, finishing bottom of the table twice. The 1983 final saw the club lose 1–0 to VS Rugby, in 1983, the club also beat Heybridge Swifts in the final of the Thorn EMI six-a-side tournament at the Alexandra Stadium and won a £20,000 set of floodlights for their ground. The early 1990 were dominated by players leaving to join clubs, including Dean Spink, Stuart Cash, Andy Pearce, Tim Clarke, Sean Flynn. For its first eight seasons at this level Halesowen never finished outside the top 10, including being beaten to promotion by Rushden. Financial difficulties, however, led to a slump which culminated in relegation in 2001, although Halesowen bounced back in style, winning the Western Division championship at a canter, the club was relegated once again in 2003. The club failed to return to two of the non-league pyramid the following season, finishing fourth and missing out on the new Conference North. The club appointed the former Walsall and Birmingham City captain Martin OConnor as manager in late 2006, Halesowen came close to gaining promotion in 2006–07, losing to Hitchin Town in the last game of the season, which meant missing the playoffs. In October 2007, the club was sold to an owner who brought in former Kettering FC manager Morell Maison. On October 18, former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson was appointed as a consultant to the new manager, in autumn 2009, insolvency experts Marshman Price were appointed as the clubs administrators. The team enjoyed a successful start to the 2009–10 season after receiving a 10-point deduction for entering administration. Brendan Phillips left the club and the rose to fifth position by the turn of the new year. Shaun Cunnington appointed Paul Tomlinson as his assistant manager and made staying up his top priority, according to the clubs records, it has played at The Grove since its formation in 1873. The ground was originally a cricket pitch and was therefore a three sided stadium, in the 1930s, a small wooden stand was constructed along the perimeter of the James Grove Button Factory. During the 1950s, the Old Hawne Lane end was constructed along with changing rooms, during this time players had to change in the Waggon and Horses public house on Stourbridge Road. In the 1980s, the three sided ground was converted to four with the addition of the uncovered terracing along the Recreation Park side of the ground. In 1987, the 420 seater Harry Rudge Stand was completed on the site of the 1930s vintage wooden cover, the stand was extended in 1998 and again in 2000
Hitchin Town F.C.
Hitchin Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. They will compete in the Southern Football Leagues Premier Division for the 2016–17 season and their most recent league honour has been the Southern League Division One Central, finishing play-off winners in 2010–11, their second season in the competition. The original Hitchin club, Hitchin F. C. were formed in 1865, the club took part in the inaugural FA Cup competition in 1871–72, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to runners-up Royal Engineers. In 1905, Hitchin defeated Chelsea 3–2 to become the first away team to win at Stamford Bridge, Hitchin turned professional during the early years of the 20th century, but following financial difficulties and a fire at their ground, the club folded in 1911. Hitchin Town F. C. were formed in 1928, the club colours were settled as yellow and blue, replacing the old clubs white and magenta — green replaced blue after only a few seasons. The new club were admitted to the Spartan League, and their first season, 1928–29, was a success — Hitchin won the Herts Charity Shield, promotion to the top flight of the Spartan League was won in 1930–31 and Hitchin won the AFA Senior Cup a year later. Reg Smith, a future England player, led Hitchin to the Spartan League championship in 1934–35 before moving on to Millwall a year later. The club moved from the Spartan League to the Athenian League for the 1939–40 season, the Athenian League returned for 1945–46, and Hitchin finished 10th out of 14 clubs. The next season saw an improvement to sixth, but Hitchin did not achieve a higher than mid-table until the 1953–54 campaign — Hitchin finished as runners-up. The club reached the quarter-finals of the FA Amateur Cup, two years later, Hitchin beat Wycombe Wanderers 1–0 in the same competition in front of 7,878 spectators, but the club once again failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals. Peter Hammond became the first Hitchin player to represent his country in 1958, former Arsenal player and England international Laurie Scott was appointed manager the same year. Scott worked to bring the club more into line with their professional counterparts. The club met Football League opposition in the FA Cup for the first time during 1958–59, Hitchin travelled to Crystal Palace two years later in the same competition and lost 6–2. Meanwhile, Scott prepared his team for an assault on the Athenian League title, scotts team finished fifth during 1960–61, and lost in the semi-finals of the Cup. Hitchin came sixth the year, and 1962–63 saw another fifth-place finish. The move to the Isthmian League coincided with a time of financial strife at the club, the club finished in the bottom half of the division during their first five seasons in the league, as the club struggled to attract players of a sufficient quality. The club were not helped by corruption behind the scenes — some supposedly amateur players were receiving salaries, and when this emerged and it took some time for the clouds to disperse, and the result was the departure of Scott. The late 1960s saw the arrival of Vince Burgess as manager, led by Burgess, Hitchin finished as Isthmian League runners-up in 1968–69 and won the London Senior Cup a year later
Kettering Town F.C.
Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891, the club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of football until the 2000–01 season. Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900, the Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions, during the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan, four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to Kettering T, and claimed that the T stood for Town. Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, shirt sponsorship was eventually permitted within the English game in 1977, although the ban on shirt sponsors in televised games wasnt lifted until 1983. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their grounds floodlights, the club finished runners-up in the Football Conference in 1981,1989,1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times. The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. During the 1994–95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TV in a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, as of 2016 the Poppies had scored more goals than any other team in the FA Cups history, with 870 goals scored in 381 appearances. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before, the Poppies lost 2–0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently, the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3–2, most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000–01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The following season was a disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted – this time to the Isthmian League. Carl Shutt left the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a period as acting manager. After a poor run of results and a disappointing defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Town manager. Changes to the team were made and the finished the season on a 12-game unbeaten run
King's Lynn Town F.C.
Kings Lynn Town Football Club is an English football club based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. They were founded 2010 after the winding-up of their predecessor, Kings Lynn F. C. and are members of the Southern League Premier Division. Their first season was successful, having managed to reach the FA Vase semi-final, the Norfolk Senior Cup final and they repeated this feat in 2012 and were promoted to the Northern League Division 1 South. On 30 April 2013, they overhauled Coalville Town, who had a 17-point lead at one point, to win the league, Kings Lynn Town returned to the Northern Premier League for the 2013–14 season, the league in which the previous club had folded in 2009. They finished 11th in their first season but struggled in the 2014–15 season, FA restructuring moved the Linnets into the Southern Premier League for the 2015–16 season. The club is affiliated to the Norfolk County FA, the club plays at The Walks, the ground of their predecessor club, located on Tennyson Road. It has a capacity of 5,733, with 1,200 seats in a single stand, prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, new Chairman Keith Buster Chapman and the local Council oversaw a ground improvement programme that brought The Walks up to Conference standard. These included new turnstiles and ticket office, new toilets and perimeter fencing, improvements were also made to the Main Stand including refurbishments to the bar and hospitality lounges, dressing rooms and a new cafe and club shop. The new club retained the blue and gold home colours of the original Kings Lynn F. C. when reforming in 2010. The change strip colours have varied from season to season, the current kit supplier is Joma. The main shirt sponsor is currently Optima Stainless, trophy tie with Carshalton Athletic on 27 October 2012, the first team wore pink shirts in place of the usual blue and gold. After the match, which Kings Lynn won 6-1, the shirts were auctioned off to help raise money for Cancer Research. Lynn recently announced a new deal with Joma. Kings Lynn Town Reserves have enjoyed continued success since the reformation of the club in 2010, having joined the UCL Reserve League Division 2 for the 2010/11 season, they won that league and promotion at the first attempt. This was the first of four titles and promotions in their first four seasons through both United Counties League Reserve divisions and then divisions of the Peterborough & District League. After winning the Peterborough & District League Premier Division title at the end of the 2013/14 season, in June 2015 the club announced the formation of an Under-18s team which was elected to the Thurlow Nunn Youth League for the 2015/16 season. Some of the players from the Under 18s team also featured in games for the Reserves, in March 2016 the club announced that an Under-16s team would be formed in partnership with the Kings Lynn Community Football Elite scheme to attract and develop further young players. Best league position, 1st, Northern Premier League Division One South2012-13 Biggest win, heaviest defeat, 1-6 vs Skelmersdale United
Leiston Football Club is an English football club based in Leiston, Suffolk. The club are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season. They reached the final of the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1892,1897 and 1904, losing on each occasion, in 1894 they joined the North Suffolk League, which they played in until 1909. In 1900 they also joined the Ipswich & District League and were champions in their first three seasons, in 1904 they transferred to the South East Anglian League, but left in 1907 before rejoining in 1911. Between 1912 and 1914 they also played in the Ipswich & District League, after World War I the club was reformed as Leiston Works Athletic and rejoined the Ipswich & District League and the East Anglian League. In 1920 they left the EAL and joined the Essex & Suffolk Border League, at the end of the 1920–21 season they left both the IDL and ESBL to join the Norfolk & Suffolk League before rejoining the IDL in 1926. After finishing bottom of the table in 1934–35 they were reformed as Leiston and they won all seventeen league matches in 1937–38 and were promoted to Division One after defeating Division 2A winners Manningtree Rovers in a play-off. In 1948 they rejoined the Norfolk & Suffolk League, but transferred back to the Ipswich & District League in 1953, after finishing bottom of the Senior Division in 1981–82 they were relegated, and the following season finished below local side Leiston St Margarets. However, they did win the Junior Cup, retaining it in 1983–84 when they won the Division One title and were promoted back to the Senior Division. They then spent several years as a yo yo club as they were relegated in 1988–89, promoted back in 1989–90, relegated again in 1991–92, after finishing third in 2000–01 they stepped up to Division One of the Eastern Counties League. In 2003–04, they finished third, and were promoted to the Premier Division, in the same season they beat Brentwood Town on penalties to win the East Anglian Cup. In the 2008–09 season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time after beating Conference club Lewes 3–1 in a replay, in the first round, the club was drawn at home to Conference North club Fleetwood Town. After drawing 0–0 in front of a crowd of 1,250. In 2010–11 Leiston won the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, earning promotion to Division One North of the Isthmian League, in 2011–12 Leiston won the Isthmian League Division One North, achieving back-to-back promotions, moving up to the Isthmian League Premier Division. Leiston initially played at the old Recreation Ground, today known as Park Hill, in 1921 they moved to their current ground on Victory Road, then known as the Leiston Works Athletic Association, after Garretts bought the ground. It was later renamed the Leiston Town Athletic Association
Lowestoft Town F.C.
Lowestoft Town Football Club is an English semi-professional football club from Lowestoft, Suffolk. The club was formed in 1887 by the merger of East Suffolk and their home ground is the Crown Meadow, and their home colours is all blue with white trims. The club currently compete in the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season, the club was established in 1887 as Lowestoft F. C. by a merger of East Suffolk and the original Kirkley, and were renamed Lowestoft Town in 1890. They reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup in 1900, losing the final 5–1 to Bishop Auckland, in the 1926-27 season they reached the first round of the FA Cup the first time, losing 10–1 at Watford. They won the Norfolk & Suffolk League again in 1928–29 and 1930–31, in 1935 the club merged with another incarnation of Kirkley, and joined the new Eastern Counties League. They shared the first championship with Harwich & Parkeston, before winning it outright in 1937–38, the following season they won the League Cup with a 4–1 win over Colchester Town reserves, and also reached the first round of the FA Cup losing 6–0 at Swindon Town. They won the League Cup again in 1955, and after turning semi-professional in 1962, dominated the league during the 1960s, winning the championship in 1962–63 and finishing runners-up in 1963–64. They then won four championships, before finishing second in 1968–69. They also reached the first round of the FA Cup in 1966–67, losing 2–1 at home to Orient, and again the following season, when they lost 1–0 at home to Watford. They won the league again in 2005–06, and in 2008 reached the final of the FA Vase, where they lost 2–1 to Kirkham & Wesham. The following season won the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League again, together with the Suffolk Premier Cup. They won the league at the first attempt to earn promotion to the Premier Division, also reaching the first round of the FA Cup, in their first season in the Premier Division they finished fourth and reached the play-off final, where they lost 4–3 at Tonbridge Angels. In 2011–12 the club reached the final again after finishing third. The club also reached the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup, in 2012–13 Lowestoft reached the play-off final for the third consecutive season after finishing as runners-up, this time losing 2–1 at home to Concord Rangers. After finishing fourth the season, the club finally earned promotion to the Football Conference North. The Lowestoft Town Reserves team play in the Reserves Premier Division section of the Eastern Counties League after joining the league in the 2012-13 season, the team finished their first season in 7th position. Lowestoft Towns club colours are all blue with white strips and the second choice kit, usually when away from home, is all white with blue. The club badge is the town crest of Lowestoft, Lowestoft originally played at the Crown Meadow Athletics Ground, which shared part of the same site as the modern Crown Meadow
Needham Market F.C.
Needham Market Football Club is an English football club based in Needham Market, Suffolk. The club are members of the Isthmian League Premier Division as of the 2016-17 season. Although records show the existence of a Needham Market Football Club during the late 1890s and they later moved to Crowley Park, and joined the Suffolk & Ipswich League, winning Division Two in 1946–47 and Division One in 1952–53. They won the League Cup in 1978 and again in 1980, the Suffolk Junior Cup was won in 1985, and the Suffolk Senior Cup in 1990. In 1995–96 the club won the Senior Division, and were promoted to Division One of the Eastern Counties League, the club finished runners-up in 2004–05 and were promoted to the Premier Division, winning the Senior Cup in the same season. A new record crowd of 750 was set for a Suffolk Premier Cup match against Ipswich Town reserves during the 2006–07 season, in which they also won the East Anglian Cup. The following season the club won the Suffolk Premier Cup and the League Cup, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the FA Vase, a new record attendance of 1,375 was set during the home leg. In 2009–10 the club won the Premier Division of the Eastern Counties League, in their first season in Division One, Needham finished as runners-up, but lost 3–1 at home to Brentwood Town in the play-off semi-finals. The following season the finished third and reached the play-off final. In 2014-15, they won Division One North and were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division for the first time, in 2013 the clubs reserve team joined Division One of the Eastern Counties League