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
Freddie Steele (footballer)
Frederick Charles Steele was an English professional footballer who played as a forward for Stoke City and England. He also had spells at Mansfield Town and Port Vale as a player-manager and he remains a legendary figure in the histories of both Stoke and Vale. His nephew is former England cricketer David Steele, signing with Stoke City in 1931 at the age of fifteen, he set a club record when he scored 33 league goals in the 1936–37 season. During the season his 214-day-long international career also made for impressive reading, however a series of misfortunes severely disrupted his playing career. Picking up a knee injury in 1937, he retired two years later after suffering from depression – aged just 23. After an improvement in his physical and mental state he resumed his career, only to have it cut short again, this time due to the outbreak of World War II. Guesting for several clubs, he also had a spell in Iceland where he coached KR Reykjavík and was appointed manager of the team for their first ever international match in 1946. He continued his Stoke career after the war, before joining Mansfield Town as player-manager in 1949, in 1951 he was appointed as Port Vale manager. After the team he cultivated proved to be past it by 1957, returning as manager in 1962, his second spell would prove less successful and he left the club for good three years later. Freddie Steele was signed for Stoke City in 1931, aged 15 and he carried out work in the clubs offices until he was old enough to turn professional. He made his first team debut on 22 December 1934, in a 4–1 win over Huddersfield Town in a First Division match at Leeds Road and he scored his first goal for the club four days later, in a 3–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Victoria Ground. He was nicknamed Nobby by the clubs supporters and his tally included five goals in a 10–3 victory over West Brom on 4 February, a club record victory. He continued to terrorise the Baggies in 1937–38, scoring a hat-trick in a 4–0 home win on 6 September and he finished the 1937–38 campaign with 15 goals in 23 games, having struggled to recover from a knee injury sustained in a game against Charlton Athletic. Steele then returned to form in 1938–39, scoring 27 goals in 33 matches, including four against Birmingham and he then decided to retire due to depression in 1939, aged only 23. However, after receiving treatment from psychiatrists he opted to return to the game. The outbreak of World War II then halted his progress, as the Football League was suspended and he guested for Sheffield United, Northampton Town, Notts County, Leicester City, Doncaster Rovers, Bradford Park Avenue, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Fulham. He returned to the Potteries in 1945–46, scoring 49 goals in 43 games during the course of the season and he hit 19 goals in 42 games in 1948–49, though Frank Bowyer had by then taken up the mantle as Stokes main goal getter. Steele left the club in 1949, due to persistent knee problems, nicknamed Nobby by fans, Steele scored 220 goals in 384 games in all competitions during his tenure at the club
John Knight Mudie was a Scottish international footballer who played as a forward. He won seventeen caps for his country, helping the Scotland national team to qualify for the 1958 FIFA World Cup, in all he scored 144 league goals for the club. He then spent 1961 to 1963 at Stoke City, helping them to the Second Division title in 1962–63, after signing with Port Vale in 1963, he spent 1965 to 1967 as the clubs joint-manager, along with his long-time friend and teammate Stanley Matthews. He became a coach after he finished his career with Oswestry Town in 1967, though he later managed Northwich Victoria in 1973, born in Dundee, Jackie Mudie started his footballing career with local junior sides Lochee Harp and Stobswell Juniors. Mudie joined Blackpool in September 1946, signing professional terms in May 1947 and he was at the club throughout the 1950s, which are the most successful decade in the clubs history. After three years developing in the reserves, he made his debut on 8 March 1950, against Liverpool, the following season he featured regularly as Blackpool challenged in the league and reached the 1951 FA Cup Final. Newcastle United proved too strong at Wembley, however, and two goals from Jackie Milburn took the trophy to the North-East, after the loss, Blackpool signed Ernie Taylor, and Mudie lost his place. Eventually, though, he worked his way back into the team and this match is universally remembered as the Matthews Final, due to the veteran wingers dazzling skills helping to turn a 3–1 deficit into a 4–3 win for Blackpool. This change of position, combined his scoring 22 and 38 goals in consecutive seasons, enabled him to international recognition. His hat-trick in a 4–2 win against Spain in 1957 helped Scotland qualify for the following years World Cup, Stoke City signed Mudie, in March 1961 for £8,500, and he scored just five minutes into his debut against Scunthorpe United. He ended the 1960–61 season with three goals from 13 matches as Stoke flirted precariously with relegation, in the summer of 1961 Mudie spent the summer months playing for Canadian side Toronto City along with Stanley Matthews, Danny Blanchflower and Johnny Haynes. After a poor start to the 1961–62 campaign, Stokes attendances at the Victoria Ground dropped alarmingly below the 10,000 mark. To address the situation manager Tony Waddington brought back Stanley Matthews to the club, Mudie moved to Stokes local rivals Port Vale in November 1963 along with Ron Wilson in a package deal of between £12,000 and £15,000. Initially a regular, the ageing Mudie could not play on hard surfaces due to the risk of muscle jarring and we can fight our way out of this crisis, Mudie said at the time. Although we are down at the bottom of the table, we are not out and his strategy was to spend money to bring in players from the North East, though this would ultimately prove to be an unsuccessful strategy. He resigned in May 1967, citing personal reasons, after his playing retirement, Mudie continued to live in Stoke-on-Trent, his adopted hometown, setting up a painting and decorating business. He had brief spells coaching at Oswestry Town, Crewe Alexandra, Northwich Victoria and Eastwood Town and also spent one summer in America and he also spent time in South Africa, as a scout for Johannesburg Rangers. He later set up a painting and decorating business, Mudie died in Stoke in 1992, aged 61, two years after being diagnosed with cancer
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
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Colchester, Essex, England. The team competes in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1937, the club spent its early years playing in the Southern Football League until they were elected to the Football League in 1950. Colchester United were relegated to the Football Conference in 1990 following a decline in the late 1980s and they achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1998 following a 1–0 win against Torquay United in the play-off final. The club were promoted in 2006, achieving second place in League One. The club returned to League One in 2008 following relegation from the Championship, Colchester United play their home games at Colchester Community Stadium in Colchester. They relocated to the stadium in 2008 when they moved away from Layer Road, until 1937, Colchester Town were Colchesters main club and were the original tenants of Layer Road. Colchester Town joined the Eastern Counties League in 1935, but their performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional. With club officials against the idea of turning professional, a new club was formed in March 1937, Colchester United. United joined the Southern Football League as crowds for Town matches dwindled, in December 1937, Colchester United formed a reserve team, signing many of Towns players. As a result of this and Town struggling with £300 debts, the club won the Southern League Cup in their first season of existence, and were Southern League champions during in 1939 prior to the Second World War. They finally fell to Blackpool in the fifth round and this set them in good stead for potential election to the Football League. Colchester United were elected to the Football League in 1950 on the back of their second Southern League Cup win and ending the 1949–50 season second to Merthyr Tydfil on goal average alone. With the draw having been made prior to the replay against Rochdale, the Us knew they would face a home tie with First Division Leeds United, and duly trounced Dale 5–0. In the match with Leeds, the Us raced to an unprecedented 3–0 lead in front of a 16,000 Layer Road crowd, Leeds did grab two goals back but Colchester held on for a famous 3–2 victory. The club faced Everton in the quarter-finals but succumbed to a 5–0 defeat in front of 53,028 at Goodison Park. Financial difficulties and a number of changes at board level in the mid-1980s caused a slide towards the end of the Fourth Division table. Despite a brief turn around in form under former Rangers manager Jock Wallace, despite their relegation, the Us remained a full-time club while playing in the Football Conference, as they sold their Layer Road ground to the Colchester Borough Council to clear the clubs debts
AFC Bournemouth /ˈbɔːrnməθ/ is a professional association football club based in Bournemouth, Dorset, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. Johns Institute F. C. the club was reformed in 1899 as Boscombe F. C and they changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F. C. in 1923, before settling on their current name in 1972. Nicknamed The Cherries, since 1910 Bournemouth have played their games at Dean Court. Their home colours are red and black striped shirts, with black shorts, AFC Bournemouth have won the second and third tiers of English football, and were twice runners up of the fourth tier. They have also won the Football League Trophy, and the Football League Third Division South Cup, currently managed by Eddie Howe, the 2015–16 season was AFC Bournemouths first ever in Englands top division. Although the exact date of the foundation is not known. The club was known as Boscombe F. C. The first president was Mr. J. C, in their first season, 1899–1900, Boscombe F. C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup, during the first two seasons, they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season, the played on a pitch in Kings Park. In the 1905–06 season, Boscombe F. C. graduated to senior amateur football, in 1910, the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park as the clubs football ground by President J. E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, also in 1910, the club signed their first professional football player B. Around about this time, the club obtained their nickname The Cherries, for the first time, during the 1913–14 season, the club competed in the FA Cup. The clubs progress, however, was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I, in 1920, the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, finding moderate success. To make the more representative of the district, the name was changed to Bournemouth. During the same year, the club was elected to the Football League to fill the left by Stalybridge Celtics resignation. The first league match was at Swindon Town on 25 August 1923, the first league game at Dean Court was also against Swindon, where Bournemouth gained their first league point after a 0–0 draw. Initially, Bournemouth struggled in the Football League but eventually established themselves as a Third Division club, Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club remain on the records as the longest continuous members of the Third Division
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
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club /ˈtɒtnəm, -tənəm/, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football club located in Tottenham, Haringey, London, that competes in the Premier League. The clubs home stadium is White Hart Lane and their newly developed training ground is in Bulls Cross on the northern borders of the London Borough of Enfield. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1967, Spurs won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and were the winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield, in the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When they won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that they had won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The clubs Latin motto is Audere est Facere, and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby neighbours Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F. C. and played in the Southern League from 1896 until 1908, when they were elected into the Football League Second Division. Before this promotion Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901, since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and also the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Cup Winners Cup victory in 1963 made Tottenham the first English team to win a UEFA competition, in 1960–61 they became the first team to complete The Double in the 20th century. Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the public pitches. It was at this ground that Spurs first played archrivals Arsenal, there were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches. Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters, in 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899,14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road. The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons, the landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans, notts County were the first visitors to the Lane in a friendly watched by 5,000 people and provided in £115 in receipts, Spurs won 4–1
Bobby Smith (footballer, born 1933)
Robert Alfred Bobby Smith was an English footballer, who played for Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton and Hove Albion and England. Smith was born in Lingdale, North Riding of Yorkshire, and was spotted by Chelsea when playing for Redcar Boys Club and he scored 23 League goals in 74 appearances, and 7 FA Cup goals in 12 appearances. Despite the fact he never became established as a regular with Chelsea between 1950 and 1955, Tottenham Hotspur paid £18,000 for his transfer in December 1955. Smith was a part of Bill Nicholsons famous double winning Tottenham team of 1960/1961. Smith played for Brighton and Hove Albion from 1964 to 1965, Smith won 15 full international caps for England which included two goals in the 9-3 defeat of Scotland at Wembley in 1961. He played for England from 1960 to 1963, scoring 13 goals, Smith published a book in 2002 to celebrate his achievements, Memories of Spurs, with a foreword by Jimmy Greaves. He died on 18 September 2010 following an illness at a hospital in Enfield. Bobby Smiths book My Memories of Spurs FA Cup 1962 - matches, teams, report and photograph Obituary of Bobby Smith, The Daily Telegraph,22 September 2010
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
Leyton Orient F.C.
Leyton Orient Football Club /ˌleɪtən ˈɔəriənt/ is a professional football club in Leyton, London, England. They play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The clubs home colours are all red, Leyton Orient have spent one season in the top flight of English football, in 1962–63. In 1978, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the time in their history. Between October 1993 and September 1995, Orient did not win an away game in the league. Leyton Orients home ground Brisbane Road is officially known as the Matchroom Stadium after former club chairman Barry Hearns sports promotion company, in 2014, Hearn sold the club to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti. Leyton Orient finished seventh, one away from the playoff positions. In the 2013–14 season, Orient lost the League One Play-Off final at Wembley to Rotherham United, the team has had several name changes since, first as Eagle Cricket Club in 1886 then as Orient Football Club in 1888. Indeed, the nickname the Savage Cuts came from a particularly gruesome incident during training in the 19th Century when the goalkeeper suffered a laceration to the arm. A cry was heard across the pitch, the goalkeeper is cut, its a deep and savage cut. The other players believing this to be a lampoon, mockingly repeated, we have savage cuts, the Os are the second-oldest league club in London behind Fulham and are the 24th oldest club currently playing in the Football League. Following Fulhams promotion to the Premier League they became the oldest London club playing in the Football League and they played in the Second Division of the Southern Federations League in 1904, joined the Football League in 1905. By this time such as part-time outside right, Herbert Kingaby could earn £2 4s per week – payment being somewhat sporadic. The twelve History books written on the club by its historian Neilson N. C, the name Leyton Orient was adopted following the conclusion of the Second World War. The club had moved to Leyton in 1937, though there was another team called Leyton F. C. A further rename back to simply Orient took place in 1966 after the Borough of Leyton was absorbed into the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the 1914–15 season was the last football season before the League was suspended due to the outbreak of the First World War. Forty one members of the Clapton Orient team and staff joined up into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, the highest of any team in the country. At the final game of the season – Clapton Orient vs Leicester Fosse,20,000 people came out to support the team, a farewell parade was also hosted, but not before the Os had won 2–0
Borough Park (Workington)
Borough Park is a football stadium in Workington, England. The home ground of Workington A. F. C and it has a capacity of 3,101, of which 500 is seated. Borough Park was built with the assistance of the council, and opened in 1937, with Workington moving from their previous Lonsdale Park ground. Workington were elected to the Football League in 1951, and the first League match at Borough Park saw them defeat Chesterfield 3–1 in front of 11,000 spectators. The ground underwent further expansion during the 1950s as the stand was extended. The record attendance of 21,000 was set on 4 January 1958 for an FA Cup match against Manchester United, the League record attendance of 18,628 was set for a local derby against Carlisle United on 26 December 1963. Workington were voted out of the League in 1977, the main stand was closed and the roof removed in 1988
Workington Association Football Club is an English football club based in Workington, Cumbria. The club competes in the Northern Premier League, the tier of English football. The club plays its matches at Borough Park, which has a capacity of 3,101. The club is referred to as Workington Reds to distinguish it from Rugby League club Workington Town. Its traditional rivals are Carlisle United and Barrow, Football in Workington has a very long history. Close by and adjacent to the home of Workington A. F. C the folk game of Uppies and Downies is still an annual event. There are records about the game from 20 April 1775 in the Cumbrian Pacquet which is one of the earliest reports of a football match ever. This report says the match on which it is reporting is long contended thereby noting an even longer history of the game in this Cumbrian Town. Association football was introduced to Workington in the 1860s and further popularised when a group for steel workers migrated to the town from Dronfield and they were workers of the Charles Cammel and Co steel works that arrived in the town in 1884. It is estimated that 1,500 townspeople moved to Workington, dronnies, as the people of Workington called the newcomers, formed Workington AFC in 1888. This is also confirmed in a history of the club which was produced as part of 16 page brochure in the clubs application to the Football League in 1951. The original Workington A. F. C. were one of the members of the Cumberland Association League in 1888. In 1894 they moved to the Cumberland Senior League, and in 1901 joined the Lancashire League, however, the league closed two seasons later, and they returned to the Cumberland Senior League. In 1904 the club were admitted to the Lancashire Combination, but in 1910 seasons they decided to economise, however, after only one season, the club folded. The new Workington A. F. C. was born in 1921, during the 1933–34 season, the club managed its best-ever FA Cup performance, reaching the 4th round, before losing to Preston North End. Later in the decade, the moved to its present home. In 1951 the club was voted into the Third Division North of the Football League replacing New Brighton. The early Football League Years of Workington Reds are chronicled in a series of books entitled So Sad So Very Sad – The League History of Workington AFC part 1, part 2 and part 3
Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
Griffin Park is a football ground in Brentford, situated in the London Borough of Hounslow, west London. It has been the ground of Championship side Brentford since it was built in 1904. The ground is situated in a residential area and is known for being the only English league football ground to have a pub on each corner. The ground gets its name from the griffin, featured in the logo of Fullers Brewery, between forming in 1889 and prior to 1904, Brentford played at five grounds around Ealing – Clifden Road, Benns Field, Shotters Field, Cross Road and Boston Park Cricket Ground. After a gypsy camp was removed from the site, work began on building the ground in January 1904, the orchard was cut down by local volunteers, who were allowed to keep the wood. The ground was built with a 20,000 capacity in mind, with a provision for an increase to 30. An 800-capacity stand from Boston Park was rebuilt alongside the Braemar Road side of the ground, beneath and behind the stand were three dressing rooms, a number of offices and a recreation room. The ground was named Griffin Park after a pub, The Griffin. After a number of games, Griffin Park was opened on 1 September 1904. Season tickets for the 1904–05 season sold out, the first competitive match to be played at Griffin Park was a Western League fixture versus Plymouth Argyle on 1 September 1904. The Braemar Road grandstand had been completed by the time of the fixture, but as the rooms were not ready. The borough surveyor also declared the grandstand unsafe and banned its use until improvements had been made, Argyle scored the first competitive goal at the ground through Fred Buck, but four minutes from the final whistle, Tommy Shanks converted a James Swarbrick cross to secure a 1–1 draw. The attendance was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000, the first truly first team fixture to be played at the ground was a Southern League First Division match on 3 September 1904, which yielded a 0–0 draw between Brentford and West Ham United. The Bees would have to wait until 22 October 1904 for their first victory at the ground, the first Football League match to be played at the ground was on the opening day of the 1920–21 season, a 3–0 Third Division defeat to Exeter City. Unlike the old grandstand, the new stand ran the length of the pitch, after the season, it was announced that Griffin Park would be completely redeveloped over the following decade. Concrete terracing was installed at the Ealing Road end of the ground in 1930. A new stand was constructed at the Brook Road end of the ground in the 1933 off-season, a further extension to the terracing and a roof was added prior to Brentfords debut First Division season in 1935–36, taking the New Road stands capacity to 20,000. Little development occurred at Griffin Park between the mid-1930s, and the mid-1980s, the frontage of the Braemar Road stand was rebuilt in 1963, adding club offices and a club room
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
Oakwell is a multi-purpose sports development in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England used primarily by Barnsley Football Club for playing their home fixtures, and those of their reserves. The West Stand is the original part of Oakwell Stadium left standing, however. The stand is made up of two tiers, with only the upper tier covered, but at the expense of several supporting columns for the roof structure, the seats are the originals from the early 1900s, and from here you get a decent view with moderate legroom. In spite of the views and modest facilities, the West Stand remains a popular vantage point for many fans. The lower tier of the West Stand is uncovered and offers a view of the action. The roof of the West Stand is corrugated iron and this also houses the main television gantry, which is accessed from the upper tier seating area by a temporary ladder. The stand also incorporates a traditional player tunnel in the centre, the West Stand has a total seating capacity of 4,752. The East Stand is a development, completed in 1993. Funded in part by the football trust, the stand has a capacity of 7,492, the East Stand was designed by NYP Architects, as were the North Stand and the Corner Stand. With the completion of the East Stand, Barnsley FC became the first football club in Yorkshire to incorporate executive boxes into their stadium, the East stand is very modern, and has plenty of legroom. Built in 1995, CK Beckett is the current name for what is known as the Pontefract Road End or Ponty End. Some fans continue to call it the ORA Stand, in reference to its original sponsors and it is also known as the Van Damme Stand. With a capacity of 4,508, the CK Beckett Stand is a large covered seating area behind the goal on the south side of the stadium. This part of the stadium houses the players gym, the club superstore, the box office. The North Stand is the most recent addition to Oakwell Stadium and is a large covered singled-tiered seating area with a capacity of 6,257 spectators. In the 2009–10 season, Sheffield Wednesday, and Newcastle United fans filled the stand with Newcastle fans also taking half of the West Stand, at a cost of £4.5 million, it has been a cause for debate ever since its construction. However, at the time it was built, Barnsley had only just been relegated from the FA Premier League and were planning for a possible return. Built in the summer of 1998 and originally known as The Welcome Windows Stand, access to this area was also incorporated into the neighbouring East Stand on several levels, the spectator capacity of the structure is 202
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
However, a caretaker may also be appointed if the regular manager is suspended, ill or unable to attend to their usual duties. Caretaker managers are appointed at short notice from within the club, usually the assistant manager. In other sports, the interim manager is more commonly used. Tony Barton was appointed manager of Aston Villa after the departure of Ron Saunders, if a caretaker proves to be particularly successful during their spell in charge, they are sometimes given the managers job full-time. Glenn Roeder was appointed manager of Newcastle United after having taken over as caretaker following Graeme Souness dismissal in 2006. This also occurred when Ricky Sbragia got the Sunderland job permanently after Roy Keanes resignation in November 2008 but he resigned himself at the end of the season 2008–09. This also happened in the 2010–11 Premier League, on 8 January 2011, Roy Hodgson was sacked by Liverpool after a run of poor results, kenny Dalglish was appointed the caretaker manager of Liverpool for the remainder of the season. After an impressive run of results, which saw Liverpool rise to 6th on the table, Dalglish was appointed the manager of Liverpool. In Norway, a notable example occurred in 2006 when Rosenborg BK manager Per-Mathias Høgmo announced he was taking a leave of absence in mid-season, at the time, Rosenborg were ten points behind leaders SK Brann. His assistant Knut Tørum was appointed on a basis, and proceeded to lead Rosenborg to a furious comeback. Høgmo announced his resignation two days after Rosenborg clinched, and Tørum was named permanent manager after the season. On the other hand, Tony Parkes was named manager of Blackburn Rovers on six separate occasions between 1986 and 2004, without ever being given the role in a full-time capacity. He is still yet to be given a full-time managerial role, in November 2007, Sandy Stewart led St Johnstone to victory in the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup in his only game in charge as caretaker manager. In the 2007–08 season, Cevat Güler won Süper Lig as Galatasarays caretaker manager and he was in charge for the last five matches of the season due to Karl Heinz Feldkamps resignation. In the 2007 Hazfi Cup final, Sepahans head coach, Luka Bonačić had travelled to his country, mansour Ebrahimzadeh who was assistant to Bonačić served as caretaker manager for that match. Sepahan won the match and the title, roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League and FA Cup as caretaker manager of Chelsea in 2012, leading to him being appointed permanent manager on a two-year contract. Benítez was not offered a contract as permanent manager, instead being replaced by José Mourinho who went back to Chelsea for a second term
Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
Jimmy O'Neill (footballer, born 1931)
James Anthony ONeill was an Irish international football goalkeeper. He played 405 league games in a 17-year career in the Football League, though only 5 ft 10 in, he was able to use his acrobatic ability to save the ball. He spent the whole of the 1950s with Everton, helping the Toffees to win out of the Second Division in 1953–54. He was sold on to Stoke City for £5,000 in July 1960 and he moved on to Darlington in March 1964, before signing with Port Vale in February 1965. He was loaned out to Cork Celtic in December 1966, before being allowed to join the club permanently on a transfer in May 1967. He retired the year, and later ran a taxi firm in Ormskirk. Dublin-born ONeill played junior football in Republic of Ireland for Bulfin United and he made his début as an 18-year-old against Middlesbrough in August 1950. Everton were relegated out of the First Division in 1950–51 and they finished seven points short of promotion in 1951–52, before dropping to 16th in 1952–53, just five points above relegation. Everton then finished 11th in the top-flight in 1954–55, and 15th in 1955–56, new boss Ian Buchan led the club to 15th in 1956–57 and 16th in 1957–58. ONeill did not get along with new manager Johnny Carey and so became unsettled and he remained though for further mid-table campaigns in 1958–59 and 1959–60, and played a total of 213 league and cup games during his time at Goodison Park. He joined Tony Waddingtons Stoke City for £5,000 in July 1960 and he played 47 games in 1960–61, as the club struggled in Second Division, He played 46 games in 1961–62, as Stoke were boosted by the return of the legendary Stanley Matthews. ONeill was an ever-present in the 45 match 1962–63 season, as the Potters won the Second Division championship. However, in 1963–64 Waddington placed his faith in the new signings of Bobby Irvine and Lawrie Leslie and ONeill, unable to accept this arrangement he moved on to Fourth Division club Darlington in March 1964. He had made 149 league and cup appearances in four years at the Victoria Ground, Darlington finished one point above the re-election zone in 1963–64, and again struggled in 1964–65. He made 32 league appearances during his months at Feethams. In February 1965 he moved on to Port Vale, who were managed by Jackie Mudie. He was preferred ahead of Ken Hancock and Reg Davies, and played 13 games of the 1964–65 season and he played 35 games in 1965–66, but lost his place to new signing Stuart Sharratt in March. In December 1966 he was loaned out to Cork Celtic back in his home country and he joined permanently on a free transfer in May 1967
Darlington 1883 is an English football club that plays at Blackwell Meadows, Darlington. This policy had previously applied to other collapsing clubs, such as Chester City FC. Darlington applied to join the Northern League as a new club, a deadline imposed by the FA meant the board was unable to wait for the results of a poll of supporters, so the name Darlington 1883 was chosen. The company Darlington 1883 Limited was incorporated on 18 Jan 2012 by owners of Darlington Football Club and this company then went on to purchase the assets of Darlington F. C. on 3 May 2012 when a CVA could not be agreed with creditors. Darlington Football Club itself was founded in 1883, and became a football club in 1908. The club became a member of the Football League in 1920, in which it competed until 1989, in the 1989–90 season and from 2010 to 2012, Darlington played in the Football Conference. The club was taken over by Darlington1883, a group of local fans. Darlington1883 failed to arrange a CVA, and as such on 21 June 2012 Darlington F. C. ceased to exist, an appeal against the FA decision was inevitably rejected, confirming that the new club would not be able to play as Darlington F. C. On 25 June 2012 the new registration of a new club. In March 2013 it was confirmed that the Darlington Football Club Community Interest Company and this made the club 100% fan and community owned, with 26% owned by the Darlington 1883 Supporters Club and 22% by 22 individual fans. Following a successful first season in the Northern League Division One, Darlington 1883 were crowned champions with a haul of 122 points. As a result, Darlington 1883 were promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One North, even though Darlington 1883 are a new club, they are committed to paying the former clubs debt including a recent payment of £53,000 to HMRC. Darlington played in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2013–14 season, in the 2013–14 season, Darlington finished 2nd and qualified for the playoffs, where they were beaten in the semifinal by Ramsbottom United. Ramsbottom went on to win the final and achieve promotion, in the 2014–15 season, Darlington again finished 2nd and on 2 May 2015 they won the playoff final 2–0 against Bamber Bridge to win promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. In the 2015–16 season, Darlington clinched the Northern Premier League Premier Division title on 21 April 2016 after beating Whitby Town 7–1 to seal promotion to the National League North. Norman Stephens and some of the staff were retained by Darlington who took Hordens place in the Wearside League. They played their first game under the new name on 6 October in a 1–0 away defeat to Boldon C. A, plans had originally been laid down to move to Shildon Football Club, but Heritage Park was eventually chosen as Darlingtons first official home. Heritage Park is south-west of Bishop Auckland, the attendance was exactly 3,000 at Blackwell Meadows
Republic of Ireland national football team
The Republic of Ireland national football team represents Ireland in association football. It is governed by the Football Association of Ireland and plays its home fixtures at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the team made their debut at the 1924 Summer Olympics, reaching the quarter-finals. Between 1924 and 1936, the team competed as the Irish Free State and from then until 1950, Northern Ireland was allowed to use the title Ireland by FIFA in the Home International Competition until it was discontinued in 1984. The Republic of Ireland was the first nation from outside the United Kingdom to defeat England at home at a fixture played at Goodison Park, Liverpool, the team also reached the quarter-final stage of the 1964 European Nations Cup, where they lost to the eventual winners Spain. Charltons successor Mick McCarthy lost out on the two major tournaments but ultimately qualified for the 2002 World Cup, making it to the last 16. Under Giovanni Trapattoni, the narrowly lost out on qualification for the 2010 World Cup during a controversial play-off. The team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Republic of Ireland also fell to a record low FIFA ranking of 59th, then a record low of 70th in June 2014. The Boys in Green reached the Round of 16 stage at that tournament and were knocked out by the hosts, between 1882 and 1924, Ireland was represented by a single national football team organised by the Belfast-based Irish Football Association. In 1923, the FAIFS was recognised by FIFA as the body of the Irish Free State and at the 1924 Summer Olympics. On 28 May, at the Stade Olympique, they beat Bulgaria 1–0, as a result, they qualified for the quarter-finals. On 14 June 1924, the Irish Free State made their debut against the United States. Ed Brookes scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 home win at Dalymount Park, the Irish Free State did not play their next game until 21 March 1926, an away game against Italy lost 3–0. In subsequent years, the status of the Olympic Games football competition was downgraded and as a result, on 25 February 1934, the Irish Free State made their FIFA World Cup debut, drawing 4–4 with Belgium at Dalymount Park in a 1934 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Paddy Moore scored all four of the Free States goals and became the first player ever to four goals in a World Cup game. After 1936, they reverted to the designation Football Association of Ireland, during this entire period, there were two Irish international football teams, chosen by two rival Associations. FIFA eventually intervened when both teams entered 1950 World Cup qualification, the first time they had entered the same competition, four players – Tom Aherne, Reg Ryan, Davy Walsh, Con Martin – actually played for the two different teams in the same FIFA World Cup tournament. All four players concerned had been born in the Irish Free State and this may have alarmed the FAI, since they subsequently lobbied FIFA to prevent the IFA from picking Southern-born players. e. Initially the FIFA World Cup and subsequently the European Nations Cup, FIFA decreed that the FAI team officially be called the Republic of Ireland while the IFA team was to be named Northern Ireland
Crewe Alexandra F.C.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the links with the rail industry. The team compete in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra and it was a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892, but only lasted four years in the League. Since re-entering the competition in 1921, they have remained in the lower divisions. Crewes only major honour is the Football League Trophy which they won in 2013 and they have also won several minor trophies, including the Cheshire Premier Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup. Gradi is known for focusing on development and promoting attractive. Notable players brought through the Crewe youth system include former internationals Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, other notable players to have made their name at Crewe in that time include Geoff Thomas, David Platt and Robbie Savage. Crewe Alexandra were formed in 1877 as Crewe Football Club, separate from the successful Crewe Cricket Club and they were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground and played their first match against North Staffs that same year, a match that ended 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandras first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queens Park of Glasgow, in 1888, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Football Alliance, in 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site. Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921, during which season a crowd of 15,102 packed into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City. Crewe earned their first honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, in 1936, Bert Swindells scored his 100th League goal for Crewe Alexandra. He went on to score 126 goals for the club, a record still stands today. 1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches, the dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport. One of Crewes most famous took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, on 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe,1961 saw Crewes most notable win in their history, Jimmy McGuigans side defeated Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The ground is known as Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The clubs nickname, The Saddlers, reflects Walsalls status as a centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground, Walsall Town Swifts first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps, in 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892 and they moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League, at the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. a year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, with the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsalls highest home attendance was set in 1930, when played in of front of 74,600 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents Villa Park ground, in 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, in 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Players such as Bill Chopper Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side
Southport Football Club are a professional association football club based in Blowick, Southport, Merseyside. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. From 1921 to 1978 they were a Football League club and they play their home matches at Haig Avenue, which has a capacity of 6,008. They are known by their nickname the Sandgrounders and it was on Thursday 12 November 1881 that Southport played its first association football match. Although association football was played in the private schools in the late 1870s the original Southport Football Club began as a rugby team. Southport Football Club arranged rugby fixtures for 1881–82, after some heavy defeats, the last recorded being on 15 October 1881, the club switched to association football. On 12 November, six of that lined up when Southport played Bootle second in their first match under Association Rules. Ralph Rylance did more than anyone to establish association football in the town and he came to Southport from Blackburn having played for the Blackburn Law team, a noted eleven in those days. Performances soon improved with him playing, and Tranmere Rovers were beaten twice whilst the Tradesman of Southport, on 7 October 1882, Southport entertained Liverpool Ramblers in their first ever F. A. or English Challenge Cup tie as the competition was called for years. The game was watched by 300 spectators and resulted in a 1–1 draw, in the 1884–85 season the club merged with the Southport Athletic Society and the team moved to the Sports Ground, Sussex Road. As football grew in popularity other clubs sprang up in the town, Southport Wanderers, High Park, Churchtown and Southport Old Boys were amongst the most prominent however Southport Football Club was considered to be the towns premier side. After 5 years existence Southports first football club folded, at least six former Southport players and many of their supporters transferred their affiliations to Southport Wanderers. Southport Wanderers moved to a new ground in Scarisbrick New Road for the 1886–87 season, on 28 September 1886, at a General Meeting held in the Mathers Saleroom, it was unanimously resolved that in future the club be called Southport Football Club. In the summer of 1888, the year the Football League was founded, with the increasing in popularity. The idea met with favour and the meeting called to form such a club took place on 12 June at Scarletts Rooms. At a second meeting, held at the Railway Hotel a week later, at the start of the 1905–06 season Central moved to its present home, Haig Avenue, which was then known as Ash Lane. In 1911, the club became members of the Central League. In 1918, the club was renamed as Southport Vulcan – having been bought by the Vulcan Motor Company – becoming the first club to take a sponsors name
Nuneaton Town F.C.
Nuneaton Town Football Club is an English football club based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. In 1889 Nuneaton St. Nicholas were the first team to senior football within Nuneaton. Five years later, they changed their name to Nuneaton Town, however, two days later Nuneaton Borough F. C. were founded. In 2008 the club was liquidated, and due to a FA ruling were reformed as Nuneaton Town – suffering a two division demotion, the club is still known as The Boro by its supporters. The club currently play their fixtures at Liberty Way, Nuneaton. The clubs home colours are blue & white, local rivals include Tamworth, Leamington, Bedworth United and Coventry City. The club origins date from 1889 when young men from Nuneaton St. Nicolas Parish Church formed a team to represent the town. Originally playing only friendly games, from 1892 Nuneaton St. Nicolas entered Charity Cup competitions, in September 1894 the Nicks’ changed their name to Nuneaton Town Association F. C. This was despite Nuneaton Town being financially sound, following the disbandment of the Boro by its shareholders, a new group of local gentlemen decided to reform the football club. The new name Nuneaton Borough reflected the royal charter status that the town had been granted, Southern League Cup, Winners 1995–96, Runners Up 1962–63, Southern League Championship Match, Winners 199. Runners Up 1996, Home, At Manor Park 22,114, in May 2007, the curtain came down on Manor Park as they drew the last game 1–1 against Vauxhall Motors. Striker Gez Murphy took the honour of being the last Nuneaton Borough scorer at the ground, in the 2007–08 season, ill-health meant that the clubs owner, Ted Stocker, decided to sell his shares. March 2008 saw local businessman Ian Neale planned to take ownership of the club for a trial period, however, he took 100% ownership of the club in April. In May 2008, Mr Neale found some irregularities in the finances of the club, on 2 June 2008 Nuneaton Borough went into liquidation. Following the clubs liquidation, the reformed, this time as Nuneaton Town. The new club was forced to revert to its name of Nuneaton Town. Falling foul of regulations regarding football finance, the new club was demoted two divisions from Conference North to Southern League Division One, nevertheless, successive promotions saw the club quickly regain its former league status
Mansfield Town F.C.
Mansfield Town Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. The club was formed in 1897 as Mansfield Wesleyans, changing its name to Mansfield Wesley in 1906 before settling on Mansfield Town in 1910 and they are nicknamed The Stags and traditionally play in amber and royal blue. The club currently competes in League Two, the tier of English football. The Stags also finished as runners-up in the 2010–11 FA Trophy, since 1919 Mansfield have played at Field Mill which is now an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 10,000. Their main rivals are Chesterfield and Notts County, Mansfield Town was formed under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans in 1897, the name of the club coming from the local Wesleyan church. The club played friendlies up until the 1902–03 season, when it joined the Mansfield, when the league dropped its amateur tag in 1906, the church abandoned the club, which changed its name to Mansfield Wesley and moved into the Notts and District League. In the summer of 1910, despite having lost the season to Mansfield Mechanics in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. In the following years, Mansfield Town swapped between the Notts and District League, Central Alliance League and Notts and Derbyshire League, before World War I brought a halt to proceedings. After the war, Mansfield became occupants of the Field Mill ground, in 1921, the club was admitted into the Midland Counties League, and celebrated by reaching the 6th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup twice in a row. The club won the league in 1923–24 and was the runner-up the following season, however, York City beat the Stags in elections for a League place. In 1931, Mansfield were finally elected to the Southern Section of the Third Division, however, the club struggled to adapt to League surroundings and were frequently in the lower reaches of the table. One of very few highlights in the years before the Second World War was Ted Harston, after the war, Mansfield started to see some progress. Lucky to escape the need for re-election when it was decided that no club would be relegated after the 1946–47 season, in 1959–60 the club was relegated to the recently created Fourth Division, before gaining promotion back to the Third Division in 1962–63. Two seasons later, the club narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. The season after avoiding relegation due to a deduction for Peterborough United. Mansfield beat First Division West Ham United 3–0 in the Fifth Round of the 1968–69 FA Cup, in 1971–72 Mansfield were relegated, again, to the Fourth Division. By 1976–77, the club was back in the Third Division, the club went straight back down, and only a good run of form at the end of the 1978–79 season saved Mansfield from a double relegation. Mansfield won the Football League Trophy in front of 58,000 fans in May 1987, however, the years that followed were inconsistent, with Mansfield becoming a yo-yo team between the Third and Fourth Divisions
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