Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
Old Recreation Ground
The Old Recreation Ground was a football stadium, located in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent and home to Port Vale for almost 40 years. The Rec had been Vales home between 1913 and 1950 and was the ground the club used. The stadium was in bad condition, especially following years of neglect during World War II. Port Vale were forced to sell the land to the city council, under the chairmanship of Tom W. Flint after suffering a financial crisis, they received £13,500. This came after the clubs president Major William Huntbach died in 1943, the council initially refused to allow the club to play at their ground, but eventually relented for rent of £400 a year. In 1950, the city decided to construct a shopping centre on the site forcing the club to move to their current home of Vale Park
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Derby County F.C.
Derby County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Derby, Derbyshire, England. Their home matches are played at Pride Park Stadium, where the club moved in 1997. Derby County F. C. was founded in 1884, by William Morley, as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, it has spent all, additionally, the club was a strong force in the interwar years and won the 1945–46 FA Cup. Derby County F. C. was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in an attempt to give players and supporters a winter interest as well as secure the cricket club extra revenue. The original intention was to name the club Derbyshire County F. C. The opening day of the first ever season was 8 September 1888. They absorbed another Derby club, Derby Midland F. C. who had members of the Midland League, in 1891. Steve Bloomer, generally considered to be Derby Countys best-ever player, in 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, the Baseball Ground, which became their home for the next 102 years and adopted their traditional colours of black and white. Although Derby were inconsistent in the league, they did finish runners-up to Aston Villa in 1896 as well as achieving a number of third-place finishes. They were a force in the FA Cup, appearing in three finals in six years around the turn of the 20th century, though lost all three, in 1898,1899 and 1903. In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted, after two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. Derby were one of clubs to close down after the outbreak of World War II but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas. In 1967, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor took over and led them to their greatest glory, though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they lost to Juventus. Cloughs frequent outspoken comments against footballs establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough and Taylor left in October 1973. Such was their impact on the club that,37 years later, though they challenged well in their first season, Derby were soon hit hard by rising debts, falling attendances and dismal performances. However, Derby did manage to avoid going out of business, after relegation to the Third Division in May 1984, the club appointed Arthur Cox as manager. A lack of any investment from Maxwell quickly led to a decline. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club, in 1992, Derby County paid £2
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Robert Blood was an English footballer who played as a centre-forward and was noted for his powerful strikes. He scoring 44 goals in 53 Second Division games and earned himself a £4,750 move to West Bromwich Albion in February 1921 and he scored 26 goals in 53 First Division games, before moving on to Stockport County for a £3,000 fee in December 1924. Three years later he signed for non-league Winsford United, later turning out for Mossley, Ashton National and Buxton. Robert Blood was born on 18 March 1894 in Harpur Hill, Buxton, he was the youngest of ten children to John and Maria Blood and he followed his father and brothers to work in the Hoffman Quarry, and played non-league football for Buxton and Buxton Lime Firms. He made his debut for Leek Alexandra on 13 September 1913, in March 1915, he volunteered to serve the 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters in World War I. On 5 June 1916, he was injured during a raid on the Béthune Front, upon his recovery he was drafted into the 7th Battalion Sherwood Foresters and returned to France in March 1917. He also represented British Army in football matches against Belgium and France, Blood signed with Port Vale for a £50 fee in November 1919 after impressing on trial the previous year. In the 1919–20 season he finished as top-scorer with 26 goals in 32 games – a remarkable feat for a 25-year-old newcomer to the Football League still carrying the scars of war. He scored twice in games against Clapton Orient, Bury, Bristol City, Stockport County, hit a hat-trick past Nottingham Forest and he continued his goal scoring feats in the 1920–21 season with 20 goals in 26 games. He scored against Stoke in the Potteries derby, and hit braces against Nottingham Forest, Hull City, Clapton Orient and he demonstrated the fearsome power of his shot by striking a penalty which was saved by the Bristol City goalkeeper at the cost of a broken wrist. A Stockport player who headed the ball off the line to save a Blood shot had to be taken off the field with concussion, West Bromwich Albion secretary-manager Fred Everiss signed him in February 1921 for £4,750, then a club record fee. Vale fans were outraged at the sale, though Blood was informed that the financial situation meant that either went or the club. The move took Blood from the Second Division into the First Division, Blood finished as the clubs top-scorer in 1923–24 with nine goals. Blood was signed by Fred Scotchbrooks Stockport County for a £3,000 fee in December 1924 and he scored seven goals in 25 Second Division games during the 1924–25 campaign, though his eight goals in 16 league matches could not prevent County suffering relegation in last place in 1925–26. After spending 1926–27 in the Third Division North, he moved on to Cheshire County League side Winsford United and he moved on to league rivals Mossley in 1928, scoring six goals in 17 league games. He then transferred to Ashton National Gas, before returning to Buxton in 1930 and he later scouted young talent for West Bromwich Albion. Blood had good footballing intelligence and distribution skills, but his greatest skill was his powerful shots. He married Lily Mellor in 1922 and their only child, Robert, died within three hours of his birth on 9 October 1924
Thomas Holford was an English footballer who played for Stoke, Manchester City, Port Vale and the England national team. His primary position was wing-half, but over the course of his career he played in different positions. He later managed Port Vale on two occasions, serving throughout World War I, before a three-year spell from 1932 to 1935. He also served the club for years as a trainer. In 1924 he turned out for the Vale at the age of 46 years and 68 days and he was a cousin of Wilf Kirkham. Holford was born in Hanley, and started his career with Cobridge before moving on to one of the two league clubs, Stoke in May 1898. He was nicknamed Dirty Tommy due to his sometimes reckless tackling, for the next ten seasons Holford was a near ever-present in the Stoke team, racking up 105 consecutive appearances from March 1903 to March 1906. His good performances won him an England cap in 1903 and he is considered the smallest centre-back ever to play for England at just 5 ft 5. During Holfords time at Stoke became known as Dirty Tommy as he played the game in a fiery style and he succeeded George Baddeley as captain in 1905. Holfords manager Horace Austerberry described him as an excellent passer of the ball, in 1908 Stoke went bust and dropped out of the Football League and played in the Birmingham League. Holford was too good to be lost to football and so he had to leave his home-town club. In April 1908 he signed for First Division Manchester City, making his debut on 21 April against Bristol City, in his first full season at the club he made 27 appearances and was the clubs second highest goalscorer with 15 goals, which included three hat-tricks. However, Manchester City finished second-bottom in the First Division, in the 1909–10 season Holford won a Second Division championship medal as his club made an immediate return to the top flight. Though he had been an ever-present in 1912–13, Holford lost his place in the first team in the 1913–14 season, making all but three of his 15 appearances in the first ten weeks of the season. He made his last appearance for Manchester City on 13 April 1914 against Newcastle United, upon leaving Manchester he was joined Port Vale back in the Potteries as player-manager. He led the side to North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup victory in 1915, after playing his part in World War I, as well as guesting for Nottingham Forest he returned to Vale in the summer of 1919. Regaining his place, he helped the club to win the Staffordshire Senior Cup, due to his age he hardly played after October 1920, but played his part in the clubs 1922 North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup achievement. He retired as a player at the end of the 1922–23 season, over his full career Holford played 474 league games, an exceptionally large number for the period, he had played everywhere except in goal
William Briscoe was an English footballer who played as a forward. A former Watford, Stoke, Milton Brotherhood, and Leek United player, after five years he moved on to Congleton Town for a season, only to return to Vale in 1924. He then spent the seven years with the club, racking up a combined total of 307 league appearances for the club over his two spells, scoring 51 goals. He returned to Congleton in 1931 before later retiring from the game and he also played cricket for Staffordshire in the Minor Counties Championship from 1921 to 1925. Briscoe appeared for Watford, Stoke, Milton Brotherhood and Leek United before signing professional forms with Port Vale in January 1918. The club were re-elected into the Football League in October 1919, in total he scored 10 goals in 25 appearances in 1919–20. He scored past rivals Stoke on 25 September 1920, in a 2–1 win at The Old Recreation Ground and he also got on the scoresheet at Molineux and the City Ground to take his league tally to three goals in 35 games in 1920–21. He featured 34 times in 1921–22, scoring just the one goal and he was a member of the sides that shared the North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup in 1920 and 1922. He hit three goals in 40 appearances in 1922–23, Briscoe failed to agree terms with the Port Vale board in the summer of 1923, and switched to nearby non-league side Congleton Town. In January 1924, Vale offered better terms and he re-signed, despite only playing 21 games, he finished the 1923–24 season as joint-top scorer, tied with Tom Page on 10 goals. He scored 12 goals in 44 games in 1924–25, missing just the one match all season and he hit four of his 12 goals in an 8–2 mauling of non-league Alfreton in an FA Cup qualifier on 13 December. Briscoe scored four goals in 26 games in 1925–26, and even played a match whilst suffering from appendicitis, Briscoe hit seven goals in 32 appearances in 1926–27, and helped the club to finish above Stoke City in the league for the first time. He hit five goals in 22 games in 1927–28, missing much of the season with a broken cheekbone and he scored twice in 25 games in 1928–29, but could not help the club to avoid relegation. He played eight games in 1929–30, as Vale stormed to the Third Division North title. However he did not feature in the 1930–31 season, and was given a transfer back to Congleton Town in May 1931. In 13 years at the club he had played 331 games and scored 60 goals
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
Queen's Park F.C.
Queens Park Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Glasgow. Queens Park is the oldest association football club in Scotland, having founded in 1867. Queens Park is also the only Scottish football club to have played in the FA Cup Final, the clubs home is a Category 4 stadium, the all-seated Hampden Park in South East Glasgow, which is also the home of the Scottish national team. With 10 titles, Queens Park has won the Scottish Cup the third most times of any club, behind Rangers and Celtic, gentlemen from the local YMCA took part in football matches in the local Glasgow area which gave the club its name. During the inaugural meeting, debate raged over the clubs name, proposals included, The Celts, The Northern and Morayshire. Perhaps such choice of names suggest a Highland influence within the new club, after much deliberation, Queens Park was adopted and carried, but only by a majority of one vote. Although Queens was not the first club in Britain, that going to Edinburgh and John Hopes Football Club, formed in 1824. Opposition first came in the form of a now defunct Glaswegian side called Thistle F. C. on 30 November 1872, Scotland faced England at the West of Scotland Cricket Club ground at Hamilton Crescent. For the one and only time all eleven Scots players were from Queens Park and they wore blue jerseys,4,000 spectators watched Scotland play with a 2–2–6 formation and England with a 1–1–8 line-up. Queens Park formed the Scottish Football Association on 13 March 1873, the match against Dumbreck on 25 October was the first match to be played at Hampden Park. It was also the first match which saw Queens Park players wear their black and white hooped jerseys. David Wotherspoon, a Queens Park player and committee member, has credited with the introduction of the black. Most importantly, it was the first Scottish Cup tie and Scottish competitive match for the club, in the final, Queens defeated Clydesdale 2–0 at Hampden. Success in the Scottish Cup followed in the two years with final victories over Renton and Third Lanark. In drawing 2–2 with Clydesdale in the 1875 semi-final, Queens conceded their first ever goals, defeat for the club was first experienced with a 2–1 defeat to Vale of Leven in the 5th round in December 1876. Third Lanark and Rangers eliminated the Spiders before Queens reclaimed the cup in 1880 with a win over Thornliebank, Dumbarton were beaten in the final in successive years. In 1881, Queens had to them twice after Dumbarton successfully appealed that the crowd at Kinning Park had encroached following a 2–1 defeat. Dumbarton got revenge in 1883 but Queens won again in 1884 without even having to play the final after Vale of Leven refused to play on the date stipulated by the SFA, in the early days of Englands FA Cup, Scottish clubs were often invited to compete
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
Ayr United F.C.
Ayr United Football Club are a Scottish association football club, based in Ayr that plays in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Formed in 1910 after the merger of former clubs Ayr Parkhouse and Ayr, their nickname is The Honest Men, taken from a line in the poem Tam o Shanter by Scotlands national poet, Robert Burns. The club have spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division altogether, the club have been the champions of the second tier of Scottish football on six occasions and of the third tier twice, but have not won any national cup competitions. The clubs most famous and most successful manager is Ally MacLeod, in May 2016 United secured promotion to the Scottish Championship via the Playoffs. Ayr United were founded in 1910 after the merger of Ayr Parkhouse, the clubs honours include winning six Second Division titles and a further two such titles, most recently in 1996–97. They have won the competition the Ayrshire Cup on 26 occasions. The Ayrshire Cup was last played for in season 1996–97, since when the competition has been suspended, the clubs overall record scorer is Peter Price, who scored 213 times in competitive matches for the club between 1955 and 1962. Former Scottish national team manager Ally MacLeod is regarded as the clubs most famous and he led the club on three separate occasions spanning 15 years, during which his teams recorded a record 214 wins, and won two league titles. In 1973 MacLeod was voted Ayrs Citizen of the Year, more recent managers have also included the recent Scottish national team manager, George Burley, and former Scottish League Cup winner with Raith Rovers, Gordon Dalziel. Gordon Dalziel is the manager to take Ayr to a National Cup Final on 17 March 2002 when they lost to Rangers 4–0. Their current manager is Ian McCall, although the club has spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division, they have played in the second and third tiers of Scottish senior football since the 1977–78 season. In 1988, Ayr United fan and businessman Sir David Murray offered to buy the club, during much of the 1990s and 2000s, a period of relative success both in league and cup competitions, the Ayr United chairman was local construction magnate Bill Barr. After Barr stood down, there were occasional boardroom struggles, the club suffered significant cashflow problems in 2004 although it survived with a combination of efforts, prestwick-based Roy Kennedy failed to takeover the club in 2005, and his company Kennedy Construction went bankrupt in 2006. On 24 May 2009, Ayr won the Scottish First Division Play-off against Airdrie United 3–2 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division. The following season, to celebrate the centenary, Ayr United played in black and white hoops. The away kit was crimson and gold with blue shorts to reflect the club colours. But it was not a successful season, Ayr were relegated on the last day of the season after losing 2–1 to Morton. The club bounced back the season, winning promotion after defeating Forfar Athletic
Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. It is about 0.5 miles from Old Trafford Cricket Ground, future expansion is likely to involve the addition of a second tier to the South Stand, which would raise the capacity to around 95,000. The stadiums record attendance was recorded in 1939, when 76,962 spectators watched the FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town and it also hosted football matches at the 2012 Summer Olympics, including womens international football for the first time in its history. Before 1902, Manchester United were known as Newton Heath, during time they first played their football matches at North Road. However, both grounds were blighted by wretched conditions, the pitches ranging from gravel to marsh, while Bank Street suffered from clouds of fumes from its neighbouring factories. Including the purchase of the land, the construction of the stadium was originally to have cost £60,000 all told. The subsidy would have come to the sum of £10,000, however, despite guarantees for the loan coming from the club itself and two local breweries, both chaired by club chairman John Henry Davies, the Cheshire Lines Committee turned the proposal down. The CLC had planned to build a new station adjacent to the new stadium, the station – Trafford Park – was eventually built, but further down the line than originally planned. The CLC later constructed a modest station with one timber-built platform immediately adjacent to the stadium and it was initially named United Football Ground, but was renamed Old Trafford Football Ground in early 1936. It was served on match days only by a service of steam trains from Manchester Central railway station. It is currently known as Manchester United Football Ground, construction was carried out by Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester and development was completed in late 1909. The stadium hosted its game on 19 February 1910, with United playing host to Liverpool. However, the side were unable to provide their fans with a win to mark the occasion. A journalist at the game reported the stadium as the most handsomest, the most spacious, as a football ground it is unrivalled in the world, it is an honour to Manchester and the home of a team who can do wonders when they are so disposed. Before the construction of Wembley Stadium in 1923, the FA Cup Final was hosted by a number of different grounds around England including Old Trafford. The first of these was the 1911 FA Cup Final replay between Bradford City and Newcastle United, after the tie at Crystal Palace finished as a no-score draw after extra time. Bradford won 1–0, the goal scored by Jimmy Speirs, in a match watched by 58,000 people, the grounds second FA Cup Final was the 1915 final between Sheffield United and Chelsea. Sheffield United won the match 3–0 in front of nearly 50,000 spectators, most of whom were in the military, leading to the final being nicknamed the Khaki Cup Final
Darlaston Town F.C.
Darlaston Town F. C. was a football club based in Darlaston, West Midlands, England. Formed in 1874, Darlaston was one of the oldest non league clubs in the country, the team played their early football locally in the Wednesbury Junior League and Walsall & District League. In 1897–98 the Birmingham County Junior Cup was won 1–0 beating Hoobrook Olympic in the final, in the 1907–08 season Darlaston were members of the Birmingham Junior League which they won. The 1908–09 season saw Darlaston one of the members of the Birmingham Combination. In the 1911–12 season Darlaston were promoted to the senior Birmingham & District League, Darlaston remained members of the District League until the end of the 1927–28 season when they returned to the Birmingham Combination. During the Second World War the Combination ceased to run but on the return to normal Combination Football in season 1945–46, Darlaston remained in the Birmingham Combination until the end of the 1953–54 season when the league folded. With other clubs then moved to the reorganised Birmingham & District League playing in Division One North. The Birmingham & District League became the West Midlands League in the 1962–63 season and Darlaston played in the Premier Division until 1981–82 when they were demoted, from the 1982–83 season they were members of Division One winning the division and promotion in 1989–90. The following season 1990–91 they finished 4th in the Premier Division and they also became the first side to win the Birmingham County FA Vase back to back in seasons 1990–91 and 1991–92. Darlaston FC added Town to its name at the beginning of the 1996–97 season, at the end of the 2001–02 season Darlaston were relegated to Division One after finishing 19th out of 24 clubs. In 2007 Darlaston gained promotion back to the Premier Division, a phoenix club, named Darlaston Town now play in the West Midlands League Division Two. A grandstand was built at the club’s City Ground in 1903, in March 2009 Darlastons home stadium, the City Ground, was attacked by vandals, who damaged the pitch and floodlights. Birmingham County F. A Senior CupWinners – 1972–73 Runners-up – 1938–39, 1973–74 Birmingham County F. A Vase Winners – 1990–91, 1991–92 Birmingham County F
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was known as St. Lukes FC and was founded in 1877. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, the following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The clubs current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged. They ended the season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first Double winners. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a time when they moved to Molineux. Wolves lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1–0, and added a second triumph in 1908, two years after having dropped into the Second Division. After struggling for years to regain their place in the top division, the club suffered a further relegation in 1923, entering the Third Division. Eight years later Wolves regained their status after winning the Second Division title under Major Frank Buckley. This game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, the 1950s were by far the most successful period in the clubs history. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the championship for the first time in 1953–54. This became the final spur for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of LÉquipe, to propose the creation of the European Cup, although the decade opened with a fourth FA Cup victory and almost the first double of the 20th century, the 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline. Cullis was sacked in September 1964 in a season that ended with relegation and this exile would last only two seasons though, as they were promoted in 1967 as runners-up. During the close season in 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of the fledgling United Soccer Association league which imported clubs from Europe. Playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the Western Division, the clubs return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success under Bill McGarry, with a fourth place in 1971 qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. They lifted silverware though two later, when they won the League Cup for the first time by beating Manchester City 2–1 in the final. The club was saved from liquidation at the last minute when it was purchased by a consortium fronted by former player Derek Dougan
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, in 2016 the club re-located to the London Stadium. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United and they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919 and they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964,1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The clubs highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division, three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team, captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The club, Thames Ironworks were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality and they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team and they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, because of the original works team roots and links, they are still known as the Irons or the Hammers amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton, the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a meeting and soon after committed suicide. The club spent most of the next 30 years in division, first under Paynter
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales. Based on the clubs recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales, since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club. As of May 2015, the club has 4,129 adult members, Wrexham are perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over reigning English Champions Arsenal in 1992 and a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners Cup. Wrexhams home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the worlds oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games, the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. Their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, as the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. C, in the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park, Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. 1883 also saw Wrexhams first appearance in the FA Cup, when receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, Olympic was dropped from this clubs name in 1888. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before an increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham, Wrexhams first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league, during their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League and their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which will play in the Scottish Championship in 2016–17. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs, Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock. Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight, but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day. Morton Football Club was established in 1874, in the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the clubs inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were that this club be called Morton Football Club. The name would be altered in 1994 to read Greenock Morton Football Club, to celebrate the links with its hometown. Morton was one of the members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, Mortons greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate, Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final, Mortons goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April and this time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629, the replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match. Mortons third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, as in its previous two final appearances, Mortons opponent was once again Glasgow Rangers
Congleton Town F.C.
Congleton Town F. C. is a football club based in Congleton, Cheshire, England. They currently play in the North West Counties League Premier Division and are members of the Cheshire County Football Association. The club have played in a number of leagues in the Cheshire area. The club was formed in 1901 and joined the Crewe and District League, in 1904–05 they finished in fifth place. They then joined the North Staffordshire and District League in the 1905–06 season finishing in third place, up until the outbreak of World War I their highest league placing came in 1914–15 when they were runners-up. When the league resumed after the war Congleton spent one last season in the league, in 1920 they joined the Cheshire County League, finishing as runners-up to Winsford in their first season, 1920–21. In 1939–40 they spent one season in the Macclesfield and District League, finishing in equal first place, when football resumed after World War II Congleton Town were once again back in the Cheshire County League. However, the struggled at first including finishing in last place in 1947–48, the club continued to struggle and spent the 1950s finishing toward the bottom of the table each season. They began the 1960s still struggling culminating in a last place finish in 1964–65, before joining the Manchester League in the 1965–66 season and their stay in the league though lasted just three seasons and in the 1968–69 season they joined the Mid-Cheshire League, finishing in eighth place. They were runners-up again in 1971–72 then in 1973–74 they were crowned Mid-Cheshire league champions, the following seaso they finished third before winning the league for a second time in 1975–76. After another runners-up finish in 1976–77 they won the title for a time in 1977–78. In 1978 the club re-joined the Cheshire County League, finishing in place in their first season back in the league. In 1985–86 they were runners-up in the league, only missing out on the title on goal difference, in 1987–88 they joined the Northern Premier League in the newly created Division One, finishing in ninth place. In the 1989–90 season, they reached the First Round of the FA Cup after beating Witton Albion in the qualifying round. In the first round they were away to Football League club Crewe Alexandra where they lost 2–0. They did though reach the round of the FA Trophy where they lost 6–2 to Worksop Town. The club remained in Division One which was renamed the Premier Division for the 2008–09 season, regardless of where they had finished, Congleton would not have gained promotion because they did not submit a promotion application. At the end of the 2010–11 season joint managers Anthony Buckle and he was replaced on 6 November 2011 by Dean Sibson, who took on the role of caretaker manager until a successor was appointed on 31 January 2012
The Sentinel (Staffordshire)
The Sentinel is a daily regional newspaper circulating in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire area. It is currently owned by Trinity Mirror and based at, Hanley and it is the sixth biggest-selling regional newspaper in the UK and is the only newspaper delivering daily news and features on professional football clubs Stoke City, Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra. The Sentinel also operates a website with sections on news, sport. The company also uses Twitter and Facebook to break news and communicate with readers, the publication, which became a morning paper in March 2009, is printed from Monday to Saturday. The newspaper celebrated its 160th anniversary in 2014 and was awarded Freedom of the City. The Sentinel’s patch includes the six towns of The Potteries, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Leek, Cheadle, Cheddleton, Crewe, Nantwich, Alsager, Sandbach, Stafford, Stone, Biddulph, Congleton and Eccleshall. From 29 June 2015 to 3 January 2016 it had a daily circulation of 30,957, down from 33,426 from 29 December 2014 to 28 June 2015. The major local news story of the day is carried on the front page, the remainder of the content given over to local news, sport and features. This will include news affecting readers including council news from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, reports of crimes, fires, accidents, the newspaper also carries small summaries of local court cases for minor offences, while more major or unusual crimes often have a story to themselves. There are generally at least two pages as well as a section for announcements and advertisements by local people and businesses. Long-standing supplements mark the different days of the week, for example, the Business, Education and Jobs supplement on Wednesdays or the Motors and Homes supplement compiled by award-winning journalist John Swift. The Weekend Sentinel, published on Saturdays, contains lifestyle pages, the Green Un sports paper, there is a TV listing for the days viewing and on Saturdays there is a listing for the week ahead. There are regular reviews of various programmes, theatre productions and restaurants, amongst other things such as video games. The Sentinels website www. thesentinel. co. uk includes many of the stories available in the paper, the Sentinel prides itself on investigative journalism and campaigning. The Sentinel also runs one of the most successful regional business awards - The Sentinel Business Awards, the Sentinel has a stable of popular columnists. This included the late John Abberley, a Potter born and bred, other popular columnists include the ascerbic TV critic John Woodhouse and local historian Fred Hughes. The Sentinel has also introduced columns from its specialist writers including business editor Laura James, education writer Kathie McInnes, in 2016 The Sentinels longest-serving journalist, Dianne Gibbons, retired after working for the newspaper for 53 years. Dianne was awarded an MBE for services to journalism and her native North Staffordshire in 2015, the full twenty-year run of cartoonist Dave Follows daily cartoon strip was republished in The Sentinel, as May un Mar Lady Revisited
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The Potteries derby is the football local derby in Stoke-on-Trent between Port Vale and Stoke City. The fans of each club both consider the other to be their main rivals, this has led to an atmosphere at these matches, especially with the rise of football hooliganism. The two teams have met a total of 185 times, consisting of,44 The Football League,6 FA Cup,62 friendlies, Stoke-on-Trent is the least populous city to have two Football League clubs. Leeds, Leicester, Coventry, Hull, Bradford, and Cardiff are all cities that contain just one league club. Both clubs come from Stoke-on-Trent and are the clubs from the city to have played in the football league. Port Vale are Burslem based and Stoke City traditionally are based in Stoke-upon-Trent, the city of Stoke-on-Trent was incorporated in 1910, therefore before this time the two clubs were based in separate towns and were local rivals rather than rivals within the same city. Despite this however, the Valiants did use The Old Recreation Ground as their home stadium, both clubs had strong links to the local pottery industry, Port Vales unique name being based on the Trent and Mersey Canal and with Citys nickname being The Potters. Port Vale tends to get support from the North of the city, notably Tunstall, Stoke therefore tend to enjoy greater support in the South of the city. The two clubs have long histories, Stoke City were founded in 1863 or 1868 and Port Vale were probably formed in 1879. In the early 20th century, both spent time out of the Football League structure, from 1907 and 1908 until 1919 - both had resigned due to financial troubles. Stoke were founder members of the league in 1888 and Port Vale were founder members of both the Second Division in 1892 and the Fourth Division in 1958. City have tended to be the successful club over the years. Although Vale did reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1954, Stoke have also tended to play in higher tiers of the football league throughout the clubs history, although since 1919 the two clubs have found themselves in the same league for 22 seasons. Vale have had five seasons playing at a higher level than City. Whilst competing in the division, Vale have finished above Stoke on seven occasions. Stoke therefore have finished above Vale 87 times, the first derby game was played at Westport Meadows on 2 December 1882, in the Second Round of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. Vale were complete unknowns, and so pulled off a surprise by managing a 1–1 with their more established rivals-to-be, no details of the match were recorded, though The Staffordshire Sentinel did mention the match along with the comment that it was a spirited game. Stoke won the replay 5–1 at the Victoria Ground seven days later and it took Vale seventeen attempts to register their first victory over Stoke, which they finally did in a friendly on 29 March 1890, winning 2–1
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
Football League First Division
The Football League First Division is a former division of the Football League. Between 1888 and 1992 it was the division in the English football league system. Following the creation of the FA Premier League it was a second-level division, in 2004 it was rebranded as the Football League Championship. The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor and it originally consisted of a single division of 12 clubs, known as The Football League. When the League admitted additional members from the rival Football Alliance in 1892, for the next 100 years, the First Division was the top professional league in English football. Then, in 1992 the 22 clubs making up the First Division elected to resign from the Football League, the Football League was consequently re-organised, with the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions now renamed the First, Second and Third respectively. Thus, the First Division, while still the top level of the Football League, the First Division was renamed as the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, as part of a league-wide rebrand. Liverpool were the most frequent winners of the First Division when it was the top flight of English football, winning it a total of 18 times. After the creation of the Premier League, the new Division One title was won more than once by one club, Sunderland. The First Division initially consisted of 12 founder clubs, since then it has undergone a series of expansions as football became more popular, as of the 1975–76 season players had to make 14 appearances for their club during the season in order to qualify for a winners medal. See List of English football champions, see List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors
Notts County F.C.
Notts County Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. With records of games as early as 28 November 1862, Notts County is recognised as the oldest association football team in the world now playing at a professional level. Between 1888–89 and 2013–14 they played a total of 4,756 Football League matches – more than any other English team, the team plays in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. County play their games at Meadow Lane in black and white striped shirts. The club has had spells in the top division of English football, most recently in 1991–92. Notable former managers of Notts County include Jimmy Sirrel, Howard Wilkinson, Neil Warnock, Howard Kendall, the club has had several owners. In the 21st century, a series of problems has seen the club owned by a supporters trust. Notts County are the oldest professional club in the world having been formed in 1862. Notts pre-dated The Football Association and initially played a game of its own devising, at the time of its formation, Notts County, like most sports teams, were considered to be a gentlemen-only club. Notts County are considered to be one of the pioneers of the game and are the oldest of the worlds professional association football clubs. In November 1872, the Notts County full-back Ernest Greenhalgh played for England against Scotland in the international match. In 1888, Notts County, along with 11 other football clubs and they finished their first league season in 11th place, but avoided the dubious honour of the wooden spoon, which went to Midlands rivals Stoke. However, Notts County did achieve their highest ever finish of third in 1890–91. On 25 March 1891, Notts County reached the FA Cup final for the first time, the Magpies were defeated 3–1 by Blackburn Rovers at The Oval, despite having beaten the same side 7–1 in the league only a week earlier. This achievement is also memorable for Notts County becoming the first club outside the top division to win the FA Cup, in 1910 they moved to Meadow Lane. Notts County were relegated in 1926 in what was to be their last season in the English top flight for half a century. The 1925–26 season was the last season that famed giant goalkeeper Albert Iremonger played for the club, in the 1946–47 season, the ground was used temporarily by Nottingham Forest after the River Trent flooded both Meadow Lane and the City Ground. Forest again used Meadow Lane in 1968, after fire destroyed the main stand at the City Ground, the golden age of the club came just after the end of World War II
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They compete in the Premier League, Englands top tier of football, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14, this signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away. The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road and they moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011, Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting upset ever, multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. Due to the magnitude of the title win, it went down in English football history as one of the games finest ever achievements. The clubs previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, throughout Leicesters history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles, the club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition, City have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016 and they have also won the League Cup three times in 1964,1997 and 2000, as well as being runners up in 1964–65 and 1999. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as Leicester Fosse, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicesters first ever Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, the same season also saw the clubs largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, however, the club were relegated after a single season which included the clubs record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, the club was reformed as Leicester City Football Club, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, the club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two
Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. For the 2016–17 season, they are competing in League Two, founded in 1887, Blackpools home ground has been Bloomfield Road since 1901. Their main nickname is the Seasiders, but they are called the Pool and the Tangerines, the latter in reference to the colour of their home kit. Blackpools least successful period was in the 1980s, particularly when, in the 1982–83 season, they finished 21st in English League footballs lowest tier, the clubs motto is Progress, as featured on the club crest. Blackpool have a rivalry with Preston North End, and matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby. They have not met in a match since February 2010. Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years later but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St Johns School to form a new club called Blackpool St Johns. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88, the Fylde Cup, at the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished out of the 13 member clubs. They finished as runners-up over the three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpools home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, which was part of an entertainment complex that included a theatre. This meant that the average attendances were around the 2000 mark. Their application was successful, and for the debut season, 1896–97. Blackpools first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, for the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds. They remained there for the first seven games of 1898–99. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season and they finished third, and after the Football Leagues annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two. It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore, during the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place
Bury Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Bury have been members of the Football League since 1894 and have won the FA Cup twice, Gigg Lane has been their home ground since 1885. The club was formed in 1885 by Aiden Arrowsmith following a meeting at the White Horse Hotel, Gigg Lanes first ever game took place on 12 September 1885 when Bury played a friendly match against Wigan and won 4–3. In 1887 the first shed was built at Gigg Lane at a cost of £50, also in the same year Bury recorded their record defeat, Burys first ever floodlit game took place on 5 November 1889, when Bury were defeated 4–5 by Heywood Central. In 1892 Bury were Lancashire Challenge Cup Winners, before joining the Football League Second Division in 1894, Burys membership of the Football League from 1894 is now the 3rd longest ongoing run. Bury won the FA Cup on 21 April 1900 they beat Southampton 4–0 in the FA Cup final at Crystal Palace, in 1906 the South Stand was built at Gigg Lane. By 1922, the ground was finally handed over to the club from the Earl of Derby as a gift, in 1924 the Main Stand was built, during this period Burys ground was one of the best in the Football League. In 1923 Bury were promoted again, and in 1926 they achieved their highest League position ever, Two years later they were relegated and have never played top-flight football again. Steady decline following this relegation and by 1971, they had reached the Fourth Division, the clubs greatest benefactor was Hugh Eaves, a local benefactor under the stewardship of whom Bury were promoted to the second tier of English football following back to back promotions. In 1998–99, Bury were relegated from the second tier on goals scored, in 2001–02, the club was relegated to League Two following a spell in administration for financial irregularities. In May 2005, Bury became the first football club to score a thousand goals in each of the top four tiers of the English football league, in 2006, Bury became the first team to ever be thrown out of the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player. After the FA Cup debacle, Bury failed to win in 16 games and they survived the relegation battle of the 2006–07 season, where a 0–0 draw with Stockport County ensured they would stay up to play another season in League Two. It was announced on 14 January 2008 that co-managers Chris Casper and Keith Alexander had been sacked, a club statement said the pair had lost the confidence of a large majority of the fans. Chris Brass, formerly the manager of the clubs Centre of Excellence, was given the vacant managers post on a caretaker basis and his first match in charge resulted in a cup upset, the Shakers knocking Norwich City out of the FA Cup in the third round. Despite this early success, results remained inconsistent, and a more full-time solution was sought by the board after Brass led Bury to a humiliating 5–1 home defeat to MK Dons, on 4 February 2008, Bury appointed Alan Knill as manager. In the play-off semi-final they were beaten on penalties by Shrewsbury Town, Bury finished the following season 9th, and partway through 2011–12 Knill and Assistant Manager Chris Brass left the club to take over at Scunthorpe United. Youth Team Manager Richie Barker took over as manager and lead the Shakers to promotion
Leeds United F.C.
Leeds United Football Club is a professional association football club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F. C. by the Football League and they play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Leeds United have won three First Division league titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup, the club has also won two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s, Leeds lost the 1975 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich and reached the semi-finals of the tournaments successor, the Champions League, in 2001. Leeds play in all-white kits, leading to their nickname being the whites, the clubs badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram LUFC. The clubs anthem is Marching On Together, Leeds Uniteds predecessor team, Leeds City, was formed in 1904, and were elected League members in 1905. At first they found it hard to draw big crowds to Elland Road, in 1919, Leeds United was formed and they received an invitation to enter the Midland League, being voted into it on 31 October, taking the place vacated by Leeds City Reserves. Following Leeds Citys disbanding, Yorkshire Amateurs bought their stadium Elland Road, Yorkshire Amateurs offered to make way for the new team under the management of former player Dick Ray. The chairman of Huddersfield Town, Hilton Crowther loaned Leeds United £35,000 and he brought in Barnsleys manager Arthur Fairclough and on 26 February 1920, Dick Ray stepped down to become Faircloughs assistant. On 31 May 1920, Leeds United were elected to the Football League, over the following few years, they consolidated their position in the Second Division and in 1924 won the title and with it promotion to the First Division. They failed to establish themselves and were relegated in 1926–27, after their relegation, Fairclough resigned, which paved the way for Ray to return as manager. In the years up until the start of World War II Leeds were twice relegated, on 5 March 1935, Ray resigned and was replaced by Billy Hampson, who remained in charge for 12 years. In the 1946–47 season after the war, Leeds were relegated again, after this season, Hampson resigned and was replaced in April 1947 by Willis Edwards. In 1948, Sam Bolton replaced Ernest Pullan as the chairman of Leeds United, Edwards was moved to assistant manager in April 1948 after just one year as manager. He was replaced by Major Frank Buckley, Leeds remained in the Second Division until 1955–56, when they once again won promotion to the First Division, inspired by John Charles. Charles was hungry for success at the highest level, and manager Raich Carter was unable to convince him that Leeds could satisfy his ambitions, Charles was sold to Juventus for a then world record of £65,000. The loss of Charles resulted in Leeds being relegated to the Second Division in the 1959–60 season, in March 1961, the club appointed former player Don Revie as manager, following the resignation of Jack Taylor. His stewardship began in adverse circumstances, the club was in financial difficulty, Revie implemented a youth policy and a change of kit colour to an all-white strip in the style of Real Madrid, and Leeds soon won promotion to the First Division in 1963–64
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Barnsley Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the Tykes, they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy under the name Barnsley St. Peters, the club colours are red and white, and their home ground since 1888 has been Oakwell. Taylor broke into the Barnsley team just after the sale of wing-half Danny Blanchflower to Aston Villa. Blanchflower would go on to sign for Tottenham Hotspur and be voted FWA Player of the Year twice as well as captaining the North London club to the first league and cup double of the 20th century. Barnsley FC was established in 1887 by a clergyman, Tiverton Preedy and they joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in the Second Division for the first decade, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910 the club reached the FA Cup final, where they lost out to Newcastle United in a replay match. However, they would reach the 1912 FA Cup Final where they would defeat West Bromwich Albion 1–0 in a replay to win the trophy for the first. When the league restarted after World War I, the 1919–20 season brought significant changes to the league. The principal difference was that the First Division would be increased from 20 teams to 22, the bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were duly relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, derby County and Preston North End were rightly promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled. Henry Norris, the then Arsenal chairman, had recently moved Woolwich Arsenal north of the River Thames to Highbury and he was later to admit some underhand dealings, allegedly including the bribing of some member clubs to vote for Arsenals inclusion. They duly won the vote and Barnsley were consigned to the tier of English football for another 8 decades. The club did come close to reaching the top division in the early years. In 1922, they missed out on promotion by a single goal, during the years preceding and following World War II, the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division. Around the time of Blanchflowers departure, a young centre-forward called Tommy Taylor broke into the Barnsley team, scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Barnsley. In April 1953, he one of the most expensive players in English football at the time when Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United for a fee of £29,999. In 1965, Barnsley were relegated to the Football League Fourth Division for the first time and they went down to the Fourth Division again in 1972, and this time stayed down for seven seasons, finally returning to the Third Division in 1979