Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club formed in Wimbledon, south-west London, in 1889 and based at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991. Founded as Wimbledon Old Centrals, the club were a team for most of their history. The team rose quickly from obscurity during the 1980s and were promoted to the then top-flight First Division in 1986, the team remained in the First Division and its successor the FA Premier League until they were relegated in 2000. In 2001, after rejecting a variety of local sites and others further afield. A group of supporters responded by forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon played their first match in Milton Keynes in 2003, and adopted the name Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Wimbledon Old Central Football Club were formed in 1889, taking its name from the Old Central School on Wimbledon Common where players had been pupils. The clubs first match was a 1–0 victory over Westminster, Wimbledon won the Clapham League again in 1900–01, as well as two minor trophies. The club was restarted a year later under the name Wimbledon Borough, though Borough was dropped from the name after barely a year. The club continued to play on Wimbledon Common and at other locations in the Wimbledon area until 1912. Wimbledon joined the Athenian League for 1919–20, and in the season in its new division finished as runners-up. The club then joined the Isthmian League, winning four Isthmian League titles during the 1930s, and reaching the FA Amateur Cup final in 1934–35, Wimbledon began to prosper. The club reached another FA Amateur Cup final in 1946–47, Wimbledon won the Isthmian League for the fifth time in 1958–59 before starting a period of domination that saw three successive championships – 1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64. Following these successes the decision was taken to turn professional for the 1964–65 season, Wimbledon had continued success in their new league, finishing as runners-up at the first attempt. They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor. In the fourth round the good form continued, as the team held the reigning First Division champions Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road. Goalkeeper Dickie Guy saved a penalty from Peter Lorimer to earn a replay, after winning the Southern League three times running from 1974–75 to 1976–77, Wimbledon were elected to The Football League in place of Workington for the 1977–78 season. The 1977–78 season was a satisfactory Football League debut for Wimbledon, Allen Batsford had resigned as manager on 2 January 1978 to be succeeded by Dario Gradi, who guided the club to promotion in 1978–79. Wimbledons first stay in the Third Division was not a successful one, the team struggled, and were relegated in bottom place, winning just 10 league games all season
Kingstonian Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames which currently plays in the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club play at Kingsmeadow in Kingston-upon-Thames, which has been their home since 1989 and they share the ground with AFC Wimbledon, who purchased the lease of Kingsmeadow in 2003. Kingstonian Football Club was founded in 1885 by the Young Mans Christian Association, named Kingston & Surbiton YMCA, there was a split before the start of the 1908-1909 season which damaged the club, the two clubs were named Old Kingstonians and Kingston-on-Thames A. F. C. After period of quiet during World War I, the two clubs re-united and joined the Athenian League in 1919, named Kingstonian, in 1929, their application to join the Isthmian League was accepted, and they have competed there to the present day. Kingstonian was formed in autumn 1885, under the name Kingston & Surbiton YMCA, in the period, rugby was the dominant sport in the town, but the Young Mens Christian Association was unable to support a rugby club. This influenced their decision to create a club to play Football under Association rules, the new club played their first fixture on 28 November 1885 losing 3–1 to Surbiton Hill with home games played at Bushey Park before moving to the Spring grove the following season. Over the two years the club played friendly matches against other football teams in the region. In 1887 the club changed its name to Saxons FC and opened up its membership to players who were not also members of the YMCA, the club however maintained its links to the YMCA and only allowed YMCA members to serve on the decision making committee. As non YMCA members were not allowed to serve on the committee this would have meant Carn also resigning his duties with the club, the members decided however to sever links with the YMCA which allowed Carn to continue. At the same time the club moved to a ground in Oil Mill Lane. At the clubs general meeting in 1890, the secretary at the time, William G. Carn. His proposal was successful, and the club became Kingston Wanderers F. C. in the 1890–91 season, the clubs first season as Kingston Wanderers also heralded a change of home ground to the Fairfield Recreation Ground. In the Summer of 1893, the clubs of Kingston considered a proposal to amalgamate. On 13 September 1893, the changed its name to Kingston-on-Thames A. F. C. They entered the Surrey Junior Cup affiliated to the Surrey Football Association, the first competitive match in Kingstons history was in November 1893 and resulted in a loss, after a replayed game, to Hampton Court & East Molesey F. C. When Kingston-on-Thames ventured into the Surrey Senior Cup in 1894, the heaviest loss of the club to date was recorded, the club re-entered the Surrey Junior Cup and in 1896 joined the Kingston and District League as founder members. In their first season, they won the league but lost the Surrey Junior Cup 2–1 in the final, the club also underwent several ground changes during this period and from 1898-1899 season spent 3 years at Dinton Road before one season playing at Lower Marsh Lane in 1901-1902 season. In 1902-1903 they made a move to Thorpe Road which was virtually on the site of the Richmond Road ground that was to become their home for much of the Twentieth Century
Lewes Football Club is an English football club based in Lewes, East Sussex, who play at The Dripping Pan. For the 2016-17 season, the club will be members of the Isthmian League Division One South, Lewes Football Club was formed at a meeting at a local pub in 1885 and initially wore green shirts designed to evoke the surrounding South Downs. The present red and black kit was adopted in 1893, having won the championship of the Mid Sussex League twice before World War I. They were runners-up on four occasions but it was not until 1964–65 that they were able to win the championship. After winning the Division 2 title in 1968, promotion to the Premier Division followed just two years later when the won the Division 1 title. In 1977 Lewes joined the newly expanded Isthmian League, initially in Division 2, promotion to Division 1 came in 1980 but in 1991 the Rooks were relegated. During the 1998–99 season Jimmy Quinn joined the club as manager and they reached the play-offs in both the 2004–05 and 2005–06 seasons, finishing 4th in the league on both occasions. In the 2007–08 season they won promotion to the Conference National for the first time after a 2–0 win over Dorchester Town. Controversially on the last day of the season, then manager Steve Kings contract was not renewed by the board, on 29 April 2008 Kevin Keehan was appointed to run the first team. This was even more surprising considering Keehans previous job was as Commercial Manager at Brighton, on 25 March 2009, Lewes relegation from the Conference National was confirmed after 39 games of the season, with the club finishing bottom of the league. Safety was finally secured with a 2–1 away win against Hampton, following a poor start to the 2010–11 season, Steve Ibbitson moved upstairs to take on the role as Chairman and Tim OShea and Neil Smith were announced as the new management team. However, despite some impressive results such as the victory over league leaders Braintree and their relegation to the Isthmian League was confirmed on the 25th of April after a 1–2 defeat to relegation rivals Bishops Stortford. OShea and Smith parted ways with Lewes at the end of the season, on 4 June 2011, it was announced that Steve King had returned to the club, three years after leaving in controversial fashion. On 18 January 2012, following an investigation, Lewes announced that King had left his position by mutual consent. Former player Simon Wormull was appointed manager and after a successful run-in was appointed on a permanent basis in May 2012. After a relegation struggle Lewes ended the 2012–13 campaign in a disappointing 19th place, garry Wilson was appointed the new Lewes manager on Friday 31 May 2013 and led the team to 16th in his first season. As a result, Brown was named first team manager for the 2015-16 season, on 13 October, former player Darren Freeman was appointed manager, alongside Ross Standen as his assistant. Despite much improved performances and results under Freeman, the Rooks were relegated from the Isthmian League Premier Division to Division One South on 2 April 2016, with three games to play
Margate Football Club, originally called Margate Town, is an English football team based in the seaside resort of Margate, Kent. They currently play in the National League South, the tier of English football. The club was known for a number of years during the 1980s as Thanet United, the club was founded in 1896 and joined the Southern Football League in 1933. The team, nicknamed The Gate, have to date reached the third round proper of Englands premier cup competition, on the second of these occasions they played Tottenham Hotspur, a First Division team and the reigning UEFA Cup holders. This ground became known as the Hall-by-the-Sea Ground, taking its name from a dance hall. After the First World War, Margate joined the Kent League, but in 1923 the league suspended the team due to financial irregularities and the club promptly folded. A year later the reformed, initially under the name Margate Town, and returned to the Kent League, still playing at Dreamland. In 1929 the club reformed again and moved to its present home at Hartsdown Park, around this time Margate signed a Dutch player, a highly unusual move in an era when it was almost unknown for Continental players to move to English clubs. Goalkeeper Gerrit Gerard Keizer, who joined the Kent club from Ajax Amsterdam, from 1934 until 1938 Margate, by now playing in the Southern League, served as the official nursery side for Arsenal. Under this arrangement the London club regularly loaned promising young players to Margate in order for them to gain match experience, star players such as Eddie Hapgood also turned out for Margate whilst regaining match fitness after injuries. After the Second World War the Gate continued to play in the Kent League under new manager Charlie Walker, who led the team to two Kent League championships but was then controversially sacked. The team slumped during a succession of managerial changes which only ended in 1950 when Almer Hall was appointed manager. Under Hall the team won a host of local cup honours and reached the proper of the FA Cup on a number of occasions. In 1959–60 Margate returned to the Southern League after the Kent League folded, two years later the club turned full-time professional but this policy proved financially untenable when the team were relegated back to Division One in 1965–66. Nonetheless, they won promotion at the first attempt and returned to the Premier Division in 1967, during the 1970s Margate endured severe financial problems and a series of mediocre league seasons, but took part in two famous FA Cup ties. In 1971 the Gate lost 11–0 to Bournemouth, with Ted MacDougall scoring a cup record nine goals, then, a year later, Margate beat Swansea City and Walton & Hersham to set up a third round tie against First Division Tottenham Hotspur, then UEFA Cup holders. A record crowd of around 14,500 packed into Hartsdown Park for a match which Margate lost 6–0. The negotiations floundered, however, and Ramsgate ultimately had no involvement in the formation of Thanet United F. C. in 1981, which turned out to be purely a name change for Margate
Merstham Football Club is a football club based in Merstham, near Redhill, in Surrey, England. They play in the Premier Division of the Isthmian League after promotion in 2015, the club is affiliated to the Surrey County Football Association. Established in 1892, the became a founder member of the Redhill. The club went on to win the Redhill and District League for the first time at the end of the 1926–27 season, in their first season in the Intermediate league they went on to win the title. The club then joined the Surrey Senior League in 1964, in the 1974–75 season the club played in their first national competition by competing in the FA Vase, losing to Horley Town in the first round. In 1978 they joined the London Spartan League and finished in place in their first two seasons. Their time in the London Spartan League also saw them make their debut in the FA Cup, in 1984 they joined the Combined Counties Football League finishing runners-up in 1987–88 and again in 1989–90. This triple success was followed with promotion to the Isthmian League Division One South, in the 2015–16 season, Merstham were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division. After finishing 4th in the season, they met Faversham Town in the Play-off Semi Final. In the final, they visited second-placed Folkestone Invicta, Merstham ran out 3–0 winners, winning a place in the Isthmian League Premier Division for the first time in their history. The average attendance for the stands at 201. In 2016–17 Merstham embarked on their best-ever FA Cup run, reaching the first round proper where they met League One opponents Oxford United, the Moatsiders eventually lost the game by 5 goals, although the game was more closely fought than the scoreline suggested. The game also saw the record, which previously stood at 1,587 v AFC Wimbledon on 9 November 2002. The Moatsiders welcomed 1,920 into the stadium, including 450 Oxford fans, Merstham play their home games at Moatside on Weldon Way in Merstham. Floodlights were erected in the 1990–91 season at the Weldon Way ground and were inaugurated in an official ‘Floodlight Opener’ against Crystal Palace, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Players that have played/managed in the league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Michael Gordon Julian Owusu-Bekoe Jermaine McGlashan Gavin Gordon Managers/Coaches that have played/managed in the league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Whitehawk Football Club is a semi-professional English football club based in Whitehawk, a suburb of Brighton in the city of Brighton and Hove. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at the Enclosed Ground, situated in East Brighton Park. During this time the club won its first major honour. In 1961–62 Whitehawk won the first of four Division One titles, as well as the Sussex Senior Cup, the following season the competition was abandoned due to bad weather, but 1963–64 the Hawks retained the championship, finishing three points clear of second-placed Lewes. The next three seasons were not as successful and the club found itself relegated at the end of the 1966–67 season, only to make an immediate return as Division Two champions in 1968. The next nine years saw Whitehawk continue to compete in the top division, the Hawks were relegated for a second time in 1976–77. This time they were to spend four seasons in Division Two, 1986–87 saw the Hawks finish as runners-up to Arundel. Former Brighton & Hove Albion striker Gerry Fell scored the first equaliser in the away game, the home attendance record of 2,100 for the replay stood for 27 years and was only bettered in 2015 for the FA Cup replay with Dagenham and Redbridge. The Hawks won the Sussex RUR Charity Cup in 1990–91, beating Peacehaven & Telscombe in the final 2–1, 2002–03 saw the club under manager Ian Chapman once again finish in second place, this time to runaway winners Burgess Hill Town. The two sides met in the final of the John OHara League Cup and the Hawks emerged as 4–3 winners. However, they were found to have played an ineligible player in substitute Bertie Foster. The Hawks could only manage third place again in 2005–2006 but reached both the League Cup and RUR Charity Cup finals, losing to Shoreham and Hailsham Town respectively. In 2006–07 The Hawks reached the final of the FA Vase. The Hawks also reached the semi-final of the FA Vase, losing 1–4 on aggregate to Wroxham of the Eastern Counties League Premier Division. In their first season at the new level Whitehawk were in the race but eventually had to settle for third place. The game at the Enclosed Ground ended 1–1 but the visitors won 4–3 on penalties and they followed this up later by winning the 2012 Sussex Community Shield in August, with a 4–1 win against Three Bridges. The club achieved back to back promotions in the 2012–13 season by winning the Isthmian League Premier Division at the first attempt to earn a place in the Conference South
Cheshunt Football Club is a football club based in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England. They are currently members of the Isthmian League Division One North, the original Cheshunt F. C. was formed in or around 1880 and played in black and white stripes. The first recorded game was in 1892 against Ware and they won the first Herts Charity Cup in 1900–01, and went on to win it again in 1903–04 and 1905–06. They also reached the FA Amateur Cup semi-final in 1903–04, losing 2–0 to Ealing and they played in Section B of the Southern Amateur League until World War I, afterwards joining the Athenian league in 1919. They won the Herts Senior Cup in 1923–24 beating Hoddesdon 3–0 in the final, after their best league position of fifth in 1926–27, Cheshunts form collapsed and they finished bottom of the Athenian league for the next four seasons. Heavily in debt, they disbanded in 1931 after their landlords, Cheshunt Cricket Club, the modern club was established in July 1946 at a public meeting in the Co-op Hall in Waltham Cross. A group of businessmen decided to form a new club for the town. They immediately applied and were accepted into the London League, playing in Division One for the 1946–47 season and they finished runners-up and won the League Cup and Herts Charity Shield. Cheshunt won Division One in 1947–48 but remained in the same division and they won it again in 1948–49, earning promotion to the Premier Division, and reached the Herts Senior Cup final for the first time. The following season won the Premier Division, beating Tilbury on the last day of the season to clinch the title from them. They also reached the round of the Amateur Cup following a run that included defeating holders Bromley in front of a record crowd of 5,000. In 1957–58 they reached the FA Cup fourth qualifying round for the first time, Cheshunt joined the Spartan League for the 1962–63 season and won the title at the first attempt. The following season won the Spartan League Cup, before joining Division Two of the Athenian League in 1964. They finished runners-up in their season under the management of Terry Medwin, the former Welsh international. The Division One title was won in 1967–68, beating Wembley in a championship decider. They won the Mithras Cup in 1969–70, the London Charity Cup in 1973–74, the Athenian League Cup and East Anglian Cup in 1974–75 and the Athenian League Cup again in 1975–76. They also reached four Herts Senior Cup finals, two Mithras Cup finals as well as solitary East Anglian Cup and Herts Charity Cup finals during the 1970s, between 1975 and 1995, the club had yellow and blue as its club colours, reverting to amber and black afterwards. After several failed attempts, Cheshunt joined Division Two of the Isthmian League in 1977, in 1981–82 they finished second, and were promoted to Division One, but were relegated two seasons later
Enfield Town F.C.
Enfield Town Football Club is a football club based in Enfield Town, Greater London, England. Established in 2001 as a breakaway from Enfield, the club are currently members of the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club badge features the Enfield beast, the balance of over £600,000 would have been paid to the chairman. The newly formed club were admitted to the Essex Senior League for the 2001–02 season, the clubs first season saw them finish second in the league and win the League Cup, the Capital Counties Feeder Leagues Trophy, and the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup. The following season won the Essex Senior League, but were not promoted due to ground grading issues. Despite only finishing fourth in the 2003–04 season, in May 2004 the Isthmian League invited the club to join Division Two, but later rescinded the offer. They won the Essex Senior League for a time in 2004–05, and were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. They finished third in their first season in the Southern League, qualifying for the play-offs, in the summer of 2006 the club were transferred to Division One North of the Isthmian League. The 2006–07 season saw them finish third again, but they lost 4–2 to AFC Sudbury in the play-off semi-finals, however, the Enfield players, officials and supporters rejected the offer and formed a brand new club named Enfield 1893. Enfield Town qualified for the play-offs again in 2009–10 after finishing fourth, however, after beating Wingate & Finchley 3–2 in the semi-finals, they lost 3–1 in the final to Concord Rangers. In 2011–12 they were runners-up in the division and went on to win the play-offs with a 1–0 win over Needham Market in the final, at the start of the 2012–13 season the club won the Supporters Direct Cup, defeating Wrexham 3–1. They retained it the season, beating YB SK Beveren of Belgium 8-2. The club originally played at Brimsdown Rovers Goldsdown Road ground, and were joined by Enfield 1893. In October 2008, Enfield Council announced a deal with the club allowing the club to relocate to the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, close to Enfields old Southbury Road ground. At the end of the 2009–10 season the club was awarded a grant of £81,504 by the Football Stadium Improvement Fund towards the first phase of works on the new ground. The ground was opened with a friendly match against Tottenham Hotspur on 16 November. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. The club set up a side in time for the 2006–07 season
Harlow Town F.C.
Harlow Town Football Club are an English football club based in Harlow, Essex. The club are members of the Premier Division of the Isthmian League, the clubs date of formation is unknown, but the first match was played on 18 October 1879 against Saffron Walden. In 1896 the club joined Division One of the East Herts League, in 1898 the club merged with Netteswell and Burnt Mill and were renamed Harlow and Burnt Mill F. C. and rejoined the East Herts League. The merger was reversed in 1902, in 1907 the club joined the new Stansted & District League. In 1910 they also began entering a team into the East Herts League, in 1911–12 they won Division One of the East Herts League, but were relegated to Division Two the following season. They also finished bottom of the Stansted & District League, withdrawing their team at the end of the season, after World War I the club rejoined both leagues in 1919, being placed in Division One in the East Herts League. They won Division One of the East Herts League in 1922–23, in 1925 the club withdrew their team from the East Herts League and entered the Herts & Essex Border League, before returning to the East Herts League in 1927. In 1927–28 the club won its third Stansted & District League title, after withdrawing from the Stansted & District League, they won Division One of the East Herts League and the League Challenge Cup in 1929–30, retaining the League Cup for the following two seasons. In 1932 the club joined Division Two East of the Spartan League, in 1954 the club joined the Premier Division of the London League. In 1960 they won the League Cup, and moved to the Sportscentre from the Green Man playing fields, in 1961 they switched to the Delphian League. In 1963 it merged into the Athenian League and the club were placed in Division Two, after finishing third in 1963–64 they were promoted to Division One. Due to Harlows facilities at the Sportcentre, the club attracted well-known teams to the area during the mid-, in July 1966 Harlow Town arranged a friendly match against Uruguay, who were staying nearby in preparation for the World Cup. In 1968, Benfica reached the European Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley, Benfica prepared for the final at Harlows Sportcentre, their team included the top scorer from the 1966 World Cup, Eusébio. In 1971–72 the club won Division One, and were promoted to the Premier Division of the Athenian League, in 1973 the club switched to Division Two of the Isthmian League, renamed Division One in 1977. In 1978–79 they won Division One and were promoted to the Premier Division, the 1979–80 season saw the club make its best-ever run in the FA Cup. They entered at the round and beat Lowestoft Town, A. F. C. Hornchurch, Bury Town, Harwich & Parkeston and Margate to reach the first round proper for the first time, in the next round they drew 1–1 at Southend United before winning the replay at the Sportscentre 1–0 in front of 5,000 spectators. The club were drawn away at Second Division leaders Leicester City