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
Gordon Hodgson was an English sportsman, born in South Africa, who is best known as a striker for Liverpool and as a fast bowler for Lancashire. Hodgson signed for Liverpool on 14 December 1925, going on to score 241 goals in 377 appearances for the Anfield club. In total Hodgson scored 305 goals 490 appearances for his three English clubs,295 of which came in 467 games in the Football League with the other 10 coming in the FA Cup from 23 appearances and he won two international caps for South Africa and three for England. He was appointed Port Vale manager in 1946, a position he would hold until his death in 1951, only Roger Hunt has scored more league goals for Liverpool but all of Hodgsons 233 league strikes came in the top-flight from 358 appearances, a fantastic goals-per-game ratio. Hodgson first came to Liverpools attention in 1924 as one of the youngest members of the touring South African national team and he joined Liverpool a year later on 14 December 1925, making his debut in a 1–1 draw against Manchester City at Maine Road on 27 February 1926. He opened his scoring account eleven days later when he scored twice in a 3–3 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 10 March 1926. He scored the first of a club record 17 hat-tricks for Liverpool in a 5–1 win against Sheffield United at Anfield on 11 September 1926 in his seventeenth game. Hodgson scored three hat-tricks that season at Anfield but perhaps it was the four goals he scored in a match at Hillsborough that gave him the most satisfaction of all. He was top scorer in seven out of the nine seasons he played for Liverpool. On completion of his ten years service he was honoured by the club with a sum of £650. His popularity prompted an ingenious biscuit seller to name the home-made ginger nuts, that he sold in a quantity of five for a penny on matchdays at Anfield, in his honour, Hodgson’s Choice. The 1935–36 season proved to be Hodgsons last at Anfield, his 9 goals in 17 league appearances was yet again a decent return, Hodgson made his debut for Aston Villa in a 3–0 defeat against Preston North End at Deepdale on 18 January 1936. His first goal for Villa came in a 4–3 defeat against Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park on 15 February 1936 and he was relegated with Aston Villa at the end of the 1935–36 season, his 4 goals in 15 league appearances not enough to help them beat the drop. His stay with Villa in the Second Division was a short one, in total Hodgson scored 11 goals in 28 appearances for Villa, all of which were in the league. Despite that defeat Hodgsons goals still proved enough to help Leeds avoid relegation and he was top scorer for Leeds in both of his two full seasons at Elland Road. During the war Hodgson worked in a munitions factory whilst continuing to turn out for Leeds until 1941, making 34 war-time appearances for the Elland Road club and he also guested for Hartlepools United and York City. After hanging up his boots he helped to coach the players at Leeds from 1942 to October 1946. His second and final appearance for South Africa came against the Netherlands in a 2–1 defeat in a friendly at het Nederlandsche Sportpark
Vale Park is a football stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England. It is the ground of Port Vale F. C. who have played at the ground since 1950. At 520 feet above sea level it is the eleventh highest ground in the country, the pitch is clay underneath the grass, rather than sand. These two factors make the pitch vulnerable to freezing temperatures, there is also a coal seam under the pitch, and numerous mine shafts dotted around the local area, including many under the park opposite the ground. The Vale Park pitch is one of the widest in the Football League, the head groundsman since September 1992 is Steve Speed. He was one of three nominated for the League Two Groundsmen of the Year award in 2009. Denis Dawson was head groundsman from 1966 to 1975, he succeeded Len Parton and was followed by Graham Mainwaring. Following the club being informed that they would be evicted from The Old Recreation Ground by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, plans for a new stadium in a new area began to be made. In 1944 Hamil Road – the site of a clay pit – was chosen, a site opposite Burslem Park. The development became known as The Wembley of the North due to the size of the stadium. The clubs leadership had not allowed the third tier status or their lack of money to curb their ambition. Life-time seats were sold for £100 but fewer than 100 fans bought them, also costing £100, the pitch was the most expensive ever laid in the country at the time. The ground opened in 1950 having eventually cost £50,000, the original ground consisted of just two stands with banks of terracing at the Bycars and Hamil ends of the ground. The first match was a 1–0 victory over Newport County on 24 August 1950 in front of 30,196 rain-soaked spectators, walter Aveyard took the honour of being the first to score at the ground. On the same day the name was revealed for the first time – Vale Park. Vale Park initially had problems with drainage, leaving many games of the 1950–51 to be postponed, the problem was finally resolved in summer 1960, when new drains were installed to help ease the winter mud spots. In summer 1951,578 seats were installed on the Railway Terrace, in 1954 the Railway Stand was built, as capacity gradually increased to 50,000 by the end of the decade. On 24 September 1958, Vale Park saw its first match under the new £17,000 floodlights, in summer 1973, the club erected a 2.5 feet high steel fence around the Bycars End to help combat hooliganism
Newport County A.F.C.
Newport County Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Newport, South Wales. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Most recently reformed in 1989, the club is a continuation of the Newport County club which was founded in 1912 and was a member of the Football Leagues new Third Division in 1920. Newport County were Welsh Cup winners in 1980 and subsequently reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1981, the club was relegated from the Football League in 1988 and went out of business in February 1989. The club reformed shortly afterwards and entered the English football league system at a lower level. In 2013 the club won back to the Football League for the first time since 1988. Newport County, originally nicknamed The Ironsides due to Newport being home to Lysaghts Orb Works steel works, the official name of the club was The Newport & Monmouth County Association Football Club, although the shorter Newport County was soon adopted. The club were reformed in 1919 and were first elected to the Football League in 1920 and they were not re-elected after the 1930–31 season but rejoined for 1932–33. After almost 20 years in the Third Division South, the club clinched promotion to the Second Division as champions in 1939 under manager Billy McCandless. Hopes were high that the side could prosper in the Second Division. Newport County managed a 1–1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and a 3–1 win over Southampton, the War League operated for the remainder of the 1939–40 season and County finished 10th in the South-West Division. After the war, the reformed and competed in the temporary Football League South for the 1945–46 season. Newcastle player Len Shackleton remarked they were lucky to get nil, despite victories over Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham, the club needed four wins out of the last four games to have any hope of safety. Despite a revenge victory over Newcastle United, defeats to Birmingham City, Luton Town, County finished bottom of the Second Division and were relegated. Newport reached the round of the 1948–49 FA Cup under manager Tom Bromilow. They only narrowly lost the game 3–2 away to Portsmouth, the eventual FA Cup semi-finalists, after 11 further seasons in the Third Division South, the club narrowly avoided another effective relegation with the creation of the Fourth Division for the 1958–59 season. The bottom 12 teams from the Third Division North and South were placed in the new division, County avoided this fate by a mere four points. However, in 1962, with seven wins all season
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the clubs supporters through the Exeter City Supporters Trust, the club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003. Following five seasons in the Conference National, Exeter were promoted back to League Two for the 2008–09 season, in the 2011–12 season of League One Exeter City were relegated to League Two, finishing 23rd with 48 points, they have remained in League Two ever since. Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old used for fattening pigs. Exeter remain at St James Park to this day, the club is nicknamed The Grecians. For the 2016–17 season Citys home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks. The club is known as the first side to play a team from Brazil. As a result, City and Brazilian side Fluminense are now also partner clubs, Exeter City F. C. was formed from two predecessor clubs, Exeter United F. C. and St Sidwells United. Exeter United was a club from Exeter, Devon, that played between 1890 and 1904. In 1904, Exeter United lost 3–1 to local rivals St Sidwells United, the new team took the name Exeter City and continued to play at Exeter Uniteds ground, St James Park, where Exeter City still play today. Exeter United was formed from the team of the same name and were one of the first football teams with the moniker United. St Sidwells United was a club that had formed from the regulars who frequented the Foresters Inn in Sidwell Street, Exeter, although the house was always known as the Drum. The team played in St Sidwells old colours of green and white, on 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the goal scored by Sid Thomas. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons, in 1908, Exeter City A. F. C. became a limited company. City became a professional team, and applied successfully for membership of the Southern League. A wooden grandstand was erected, and the club entered into an arrangement over the ground
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
Roy Sproson was an English footballer and football manager for Port Vale. A one-club man, he holds the appearance record for Vale. This includes a run of 128 consecutive appearances between April 1954 and March 1957 and he is also fourteenth on the all time Football League appearance list. Sproson is a Port Vale legend, sticking with the club from its highest peaks in the early 1950s until the troughs of the last 1960s near the bottom of the Football League and he served under eight managers before taking the reins himself between 1974 and 1977. A relic of an era when it was common for players to only play for a few clubs throughout their entire careers. He finished with around 350 more appearances for the club than his closest rival, Roy Sproson was born above a greengrocers shop at 3 Slater Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent on 23 September 1930. Legend has it he was named after the local featherweight boxer Roy Berrisford, the family later moved to Trent Vale, where a young Sproson played football for the Trent Vale Lifeboys, winning the Sentinel Shield with a 5–0 win over Port Vale. Sproson played for Stoke City at a level for twelve months in the late 1940s. He was courted by such as Aston Villa, West Ham United. His father wished him to follow in his footsteps and sign for Stoke City, in July 1949 Sprosons time with the Royal Air Force had finished and he signed with Port Vale as a professional. However he had to wait until 11 November 1950 for his debut and he started the last five games of the season after sharing the No.6 jersey with Jimmy Todd and Bill McGarry. Hodgsons death in June 1951 did not keep Sproson out of the first eleven and his first goal came on 22 September in a 2–2 draw at home with Torquay United. However following the appointement of Freddie Steele in December 1951, Sproson was dropped in favour of the experienced Stan Palk, Sproson won his place back in March 1952 and held on to his shirt for many years. Steele worked to develop the famous Iron Curtain defence, as the Vale defence conceded just 35 times in 46 games in 1952–53, only Second Division Huddersfield Town conceded fewer, though Vale still finished one point behind Oldham Athletic. The 1953–54 season would live on Vale folk-lore, Sproson was one of the men that made it happen, playing in 53 games. The club stormed to the Third Division North championship with just 21 goals conceded in 46 games, Sproson helped keeper Ray King keep thirty clean sheets in the league. He also played Vales FA Cup semi-final defeat to West Bromwich Albion, at the time, we did not know what it was like to lose and the thought never occurred to us. We were convinced, in fact, that we could not be beaten and he had little trouble adapting to life in the Second Division the following season
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
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
Carrow Road is an association football stadium located in Norwich, Norfolk, England, and is the home of Norwich City Football Club. The stadium is located toward the east of the city, not far from Norwich railway station, the club originally played at Newmarket Road before moving to The Nest. The stadium has been altered and upgraded several times during its history, having once accommodated standing supporters, the ground has been all-seater since 1992. The grounds current capacity is 27,244, the most recent works being the addition of approximately 1,000 seats in the summer of 2010. The stadiums record attendance since becoming a ground is 27,137. In the days when fans could stand on terraces, Carrow Road saw a crowd of 43,984 when hosting Leicester City for an FA Cup match in 1963. Carrow Road has also hosted international football and a number of concerts, including performances by Elton John. The Carrow Road site includes catering facilities and a Holiday Inn hotel offering rooms with views of the pitch, Norwich City F. C. played at Newmarket Road from 1902 to 1908, with a record attendance of 10,366 in 1908. Following a dispute over the conditions of renting Newmarket Road, the moved to a new home in 1908. The new ground became known as The Nest, named for Norwich Citys nickname, by the 1930s, the ground capacity was proving insufficient for the growing crowds, The Nests largest crowd was 25,037 in the 1934–35 FA Cup. The physical limitations of the site of The Nest meant that expansion was not possible, the club began looking for alternative accommodation in 1926, their hand forced finally when one corner of the pitch subsided up to 30 feet after old chalk workings collapsed. The clubs dilemma was acute, the FA no longer approved of large crowds at The Nest, about half a mile south of The Nest, they found a new site, the Boulton Paul Sports Ground in Carrow Road, which belonged to J. & J. Colman. The new stadium took its name from the street which encloses the ground on three sides, the boundary being the River Wensum. The name Carrow originally refers to the former Carrow Abbey that once stood on the riverside, its name in turn having possible Norse origins. In 1800, John Ridges, owner of the Carrow Abbey Estate, by 1811, Philip M. Martineau, a surgeon, owned the building, lands and manor of Carrow, including the adjacent Thorpe land. Carrow Hill Road was created on his Carrow Abbey Estate, to work for the poor in the community. The road linked Martineaus Bracondale Estate to Carrow Toll Bridge, installed in 1810. Norwich Railway Co. had acquired the land in Thorpe around Carrow Road by the 1840s, the stadiums Thorpe Corner acknowledges this historical link
Ipswich Town F.C.
Ipswich Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936 and they play their home games at Portman Road in Ipswich. The clubs traditional colours are blue shirts and white shorts. Ipswich have won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62 and they won the FA Cup in 1977–78, and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81. They have competed in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957–58. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio and Barcelona F. C. among others. The club was founded as a side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A. F. C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club. The team won a number of cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup. The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, Ipswich were elected to The Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in Division Three until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to Division Two. The club won the Division Three title again in 1956–57, and this time, Ipswich established themselves in Division Two, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, Division One, in 1960–61. In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became Champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62, as English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to Milan. Ramsey quit the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team, after the team won the 1966 World Cup, Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn, under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Milburn quit after just one season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969, Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup, at their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties
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