The Old Den
The ground opened in 1910 and was the home of Millwall for 83 years. It boasted an attendance of 48,672. Millwall moved to the Den from North Greenwich in 1910, the location of their fourth, tom Thorne, the director in charge, had sought the help of architect Archibald Leitch and builders Humphries of Knightsbridge. The estimated cost of the Den was £10,000, the first match was on Saturday 22 October 1910 against Brighton & Hove Albion, the Southern League Champions who spoiled the celebrations by winning 1-0. The price of the official Match Programme was one penny, unfortunately, the opening ceremony also suffered a slight hitch when it was discovered that Lord Kinnaird had inadvertently gone to the Canterbury Road end. He had to be hauled, pushed, and pulled over the wall into the ground. After rushing to the end the President of the FA performed a brief opening ritual. Before kick off, a brass lion inscribed We Will Never Turn Our Backs to the Enemy, was presented to the club, Millwalls first Football League match at the Den was on 28 August 1920. This victory over Rovers was the Lions seventh successive win against them since moving to the Den, the game was played in the Football League Division 3 South of which Millwall were founder members. In this year, Millwall scored 83 goals at the Den and this is still a Football League record. Being in close proximity to the Surrey Commercial Docks, the Den sustained severe damage during the Blitz. On 26 April, a fire destroyed the Main Stand, the club accepted offers from neighbours Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and West Ham United to stage games. On 24 February 1944 Millwall returned to the Den, to play in an all-standing stadium and this was achieved, in part, with considerable volunteer labour by the Lions fans. After the war, rationing in Great Britain continued and Millwall were refused permission by the Ministry of Works to construct a new two tier stand, despite having procured all the materials. They had to wait until 1948, when permission was granted to build a single tier stand two thirds the length of the pitch, with a forecourt terrace at the front. Archibald Leitchs trademark gables were never replaced, on 5 October 1953, Millwall played Manchester United to mark the opening of their floodlights. A crowd of 25,000 saw the Lions beat the Red Devils 2-1, Millwall established a record of 59 home games without defeat at the Den from,22 August 1964 to 14 January 1967. All the players were presented with a gold cigarette lighter by the Football Association
FA Community Shield
The Football Association Community Shield is English footballs annual match contested between the champions of the previous Premier League season and the holders of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. If the Premier League champions also won the FA Cup then the league runners-up provide the opposition, generally ranked below the FA Cup and League Cup in terms of importance, the fixture is a recognised football super cup. Organised by the Football Association, proceeds from the game are distributed to community-based initiatives and charities around the country, the fixture was first played in the 1908–09 season, replacing the Sheriff of London Charity Shield. The current holders are Manchester United who defeated Leicester City in the 2016 match, the Community Shield evolved from the Sheriff of London Charity Shield that had been introduced in 1898 as a professionals versus amateurs cup. The Football Association Charity Shield, as it was known at the time, was designed to replace the Sheriff of London Charity Shield after the amateur clubs fell out with the FA. The new format was to have the Football League First Division champions play the Southern League champions, the match was drawn 1–1, so the game was replayed when Manchester United won 4–0. This is the only Charity Shield game to go to a replay, both games were played at Stamford Bridge. In 1930 the Football League winner v. FA Cup winner returned, and with a few exceptions, the game had been moved to the start of the season from 1959 onwards. The question of two teams should contest the Shield should one team win both the FA Cup and League continued to linger. In 1971, Arsenal became the team to win the Double since the Shields foundation. Leicester City were invited as Division Two champions to play FA Cup runners-up Liverpool instead and went on to win the trophy, despite finishing the season eleventh, City also contested the 1973 Charity Shield but lost 1-0 to Second Division champions Burnley. In 1974 the then FA secretary, Ted Croker, created the current format with the match being played at Wembley Stadium, and being contested by the reigning League and FA Cup holders. Four drawn games in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in each holding the trophy for 6 months. With the formation of a new top league, the FA Premier League, as a result, the competition was renamed the Community Shield. Arsenal were the first winners of the renamed Community Shield with a 1–0 victory over Liverpool, the auction was held at The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, where the England team celebrated the 1966 victory. The Bobby Moore Fund became the FAs new charity partner in July 2016, an official honour in the English game, the Community Shield is regarded to be the first competitive game of the new English football season. However, it has been considered by some to be a minor trophy, the game has been described by some media sources, including Mark Lawrenson, as a glorified friendly. On the other hand, many media, clubs and players continue to recognise the importance of the match as the first official game and trophy of the domestic season
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
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
Nottingham Forest F.C.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is a professional association football club based in Nottinghamshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club, often referred to as Forest, have played matches at the City Ground since 1898. Founded in 1865, Forest were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889, since then, they have mostly competed in the top two League tiers, bar five seasons in the third tier. Forest won the FA Cup in 1898 and 1959, Forest were founded in 1865 as Nottingham Forest Football and Bandy Club by a group of shinty players shortly after their neighbours Notts County, in 1862. They joined the Football Alliance in 1889, and won the competition in 1892, in their early years Forest were a multi-sports club, as well as their roots in bandy and shinty, the baseball club Forest deployed were British champions in 1899. Forests charitable approach to the sport helped teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, in 1886, Forest donated a set of football kits to help Arsenal establish themselves – the North London team still wear red. Forest also donated shirts to Everton and helped secure a site to play on for Brighton, Forest claimed their first major honour when they won the 1898 FA Cup, beating Derby County 3–1 at Crystal Palace. However, for much of the first half of the 20th century the club spent life in the Second Division and had to seek re-election in 1914 after finishing bottom. In 1949 the club were relegated to the Third Division, but were promoted back two years later as champions having scored a record 110 goals in the 1950–51 season. They therefore became the first team to defeat the Wembley hoodoo, by this time Forest had replaced Notts County as the biggest club in Nottingham and went on to become runners-up in the First Division and FA Cup semi-finalists in 1967. However, after a successful period for the club, Forest were relegated from the First Division in 1972. Clough became the most successful manager in the history of Nottingham Forest, cloughs first game in charge was the third round FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin. Nottingham Forest became one of the few teams to win the First Division Championship a year after winning promotion from the Second Division and they also won the European Super Cup and two League Cups. The club reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1983–84 but were knocked out by Anderlecht in controversial but uncertain circumstances. The case was dismissed and Anderlecht was acquitted from all charges Nottingham Forests next major trophies came in 1989 when they won the Football League Cup. Cloughs side retained the League Cup in 1990 when they beat Oldham Athletic 1–0, in Forests team that day was young Irish midfielder Roy Keane, who had joined the club the previous summer. In the summer of 1991, Brian Clough broke Forests transfer record fee by signing the top scorer, Millwall striker Teddy Sheringham
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight