Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, CBE is a former Scottish football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is regarded by players, managers and analysts to be the greatest and most successful manager of all time. Ferguson played as a forward for several Scottish clubs, including Dunfermline Athletic, while playing for Dunfermline, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league in the 1965–66 season. Towards the end of his career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire. Ferguson then enjoyed a successful period as manager of Aberdeen. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup. Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and he was knighted in the 1999 Queens Birthday Honours list, for his services to the game. Ferguson is the longest serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busbys record on 19 December 2010 and he retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season. He attended Broomloan Road Primary School and later Govan High School, Fergusons playing career began as an amateur with Queens Park, where he made his debut as a striker aged 16. He described his first match as a nightmare, but scored Queens Parks goal in a 2–1 defeat against Stranraer. Perhaps his most notable game for Queens Park was the 7–1 defeat away to Queen of the South on Boxing Day 1959 when ex-England international Ivor Broadis scored four of the Queen of the South goals, Ferguson was the solitary Queens Park goalscorer. Despite scoring 20 goals in his 31 games for Queens Park, he could not command a regular place in the side, although he continued to score regularly at St Johnstone, he was still unable to command a regular place and regularly requested transfers. Dunfermline signed him the summer, and Ferguson became a full-time professional footballer. Dunfermline lost the final 3–2 to Celtic, then failed to win the League by one point, the 1965–66 season saw Ferguson notch up 45 goals in 51 games for Dunfermline. Along with Joe McBride of Celtic, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish League with 31 goals and he then joined Rangers for £65,000, then a record fee for a transfer between two Scottish clubs. According to his brother, Ferguson was so upset by the experience that he threw his losers medal away, the following October, Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Ferguson, but his wife was not keen on moving to England at that time so he went to Falkirk instead. Fergusons time at Falkirk was soured by this and he responded by requesting a transfer and moved to Ayr United, in June 1974, Ferguson was appointed manager of East Stirlingshire, at the comparatively young age of 32. It was a job that paid £40 per week
1990 FA Charity Shield
The 1990 FA Charity Shield was the 68th Charity Shield, a football match contested by the winners of the previous seasons Football League and FA Cup competitions. The match was played on 18 August 1990 between 1989–90 Football League champions Liverpool and 1989–90 FA Cup winners Manchester United, utility player Clayton Blackmore opened the scoring for United in the first half, but a John Barnes penalty kick drew Liverpool level shortly after the break. The match finished at 1–1 and the two shared the trophy for six months each. New signing Denis Irwin made his Manchester United debut in the game, absent from the game was Manchester United captain Bryan Robson, who would be out of action until December that year due to injury, his place in the team being taken by Blackmore. As a curtain–raiser to the match, the England womens national team played Italy. Carolina Morace scored all four goals in Englands 4–1 defeat and made it onto the front page of the following days La Gazzetta dello Sport
Brian John McClair is a Scottish former professional footballer. As a player he was a forward from 1980 to 1998, notable for his near 11-year spell at Manchester United, as well as important tenures at Scottish clubs Celtic, at Motherwell, he combined his football with studying mathematics at the University of Glasgow. He was nicknamed Choccy, as his last name rhymed with the delicacy chocolate eclair, after retiring from playing, McClair took on a coaching role at Manchester United, and spent several years as Director of their Youth Academy. McClair began his career with Aston Villa on leaving school in 1980 and he then returned to Scotland in the summer of 1981 and signed for Motherwell. Initially a midfielder, manager Jock Wallace converted him to a striker. McClair would go on to score 15 league goals in two seasons, including a hat-trick at Fir Park in a 3–0 win over Rangers on 3 January 1983, in May 1983, Billy McNeill signed McClair for Celtic, with the fee being £100,000. McClair was effectively signed as a replacement for the recently departed Charlie Nicholas, however, McClair would never actually play for McNeill, as the Celtic manager resigned in June 1983 and was replaced by Davie Hay. McClair scored in a 2–0 win on his debut against Partick Thistle at Firhill in the Glasgow Cup on 9 August 1983, by the end of an impressive first season at Celtic, McClair had scored 32 goals and established himself as a first team regular. The following season saw the arrival of Mo Johnston from Watford and, despite their personalities, McClair. Despite competition from Alan McInally and Mark McGhee, McClair and Johnston remained the regular pairing playing up front for Celtic, season 1986–87 would be McClairs last at Celtic. Another league cup defeat against Rangers and a fourth-round defeat at Hearts in the Scottish Cup saw Celtic finish the season without any silverware. Despite Celtics lack of achievement, McClair was a success that year. In four seasons with at Celtic, McClair made 204 appearances in all competitions and he won the Scottish Cup 1985 and the Scottish Premier Division in 1986. McClair is best remembered, however, for his time at Manchester United and he joined them in July 1987. In 11 years at Old Trafford, he made a total of 471 appearances, in his first season for Manchester United he scored 24 league goals, becoming the first Manchester United player to surpass 20 league goals in one season since George Best in the 1967–68 season. His first goal for Manchester United came in the game of the season. He scored in the game, a 3–1 away win over Charlton Athletic. He scored a brace in the 4–2 away over Sheffield Wednesday on 10 October 1987 and he put a further double over Sheffield Wednesday in the March return game at Old Trafford, and scored a hat-trick against Derby County in early April
Stephen Roger Steve Bruce is an English professional football manager and former player who is currently manager of Aston Villa. Born in Corbridge, Northumberland, he was a schoolboy footballer but was rejected by several professional clubs. He was on the verge of quitting the game altogether when he was offered a trial with Gillingham, Bruce was offered an apprenticeship and went on to play more than 200 games for the club before joining Norwich City in 1984, winning the Football League Cup in 1985. In 1987, he moved to Manchester United, with whom he achieved success, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup. He also became the first English player of the 20th century to captain a team to the Double, despite his success on the field, he was never selected to play for the England national team. Commentators and contemporaries have described him as one of the best English players of the 1980s and 1990s never to play for his country at international level. Bruce began his career with Sheffield United, and spent short periods of time managing Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic. He twice led Birmingham to promotion to the Premier League during his tenure of six years. At the end of the 2008–09 season he resigned to take over as manager of Sunderland, a post he held until he was dismissed in November 2011. Seven months later, he was appointed manager of Hull City and he took over at Aston Villa four months later. Bruce was born in Corbridge in Northumberland, the elder of two sons of Joe and Sheenagh Bruce and his father was local, and his mother had been born in Bangor in Northern Ireland. The family lived in Daisy Hill near Wallsend, and Bruce attended Benfield School and they were my team, I went to support them as a boy and being a Geordie its in-bred, you follow the club still the same today. Like several other future professionals from the area, he played football for Wallsend Boys Club and he travelled down to Kent with another player from the Wallsend club, Peter Beardsley, but although Gillingham signed Bruce as an apprentice, they turned Beardsley away. Bruce spent the 1978–79 season in Gillinghams reserve team and, despite playing in defence, in January 1979, he was selected to represent the England Youth team, and he went on to gain eight caps, participating in the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship. He went on to more than 200 appearances for the club. Confident that he was being targeted by clubs from higher divisions and he returned in time to play a key role in Gillingham achieving two draws against Everton in the FA Cup in 1984, attracting the attention once again of scouts from First Division clubs. Arthur Cox, manager of Bruces beloved Newcastle United, expressed an interest in signing the player, Bruce eventually opted to sign for Norwich City in August 1984 for a fee variously reported as £125,000 or £135,000. In 2009, he was voted into Gillinghams Hall of Fame, Bruce was voted Norwich City Player of the Year, but the team was relegated to the Second Division
Leslie Mark Hughes, OBE is a Welsh football manager and former player. He is the current manager of English Premier League club Stoke City and he also made 72 appearances for Wales scoring 16 goals. He retired from playing in 2002 and he won a host of winners medals during his playing career, including two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners Cups. He also collected an FA Cup runners-up medal and a League Cup runners-up medal, Hughes was the first player to win the PFA Players Player of the Year award twice, in 1989 and 1991. His reign as Wales manager was his first managerial post, he was appointed in 1999, Hughes then spent four years in charge of Blackburn, guiding them to sixth place in 2005–06. He took charge of Manchester City in June 2008 for a year and he joined Queens Park Rangers in January 2012, helping them retain their Premier League status in 2011–12. Despite some high-profile signings in the summer of 2012, QPR began the 2012–13 season in poor form. Hughes was then appointed manager of Stoke City on 30 May 2013, born in Ruabon, Wrexham, Hughes joined Manchester United after leaving school in the summer of 1980, having been spotted by the teams North Wales talent scout Hugh Roberts. However he did not make his first team debut for three years — in a 1–1 draw away to Oxford United in the League Cup, in the 1983–84 season. But Hughes quickly broke into the first team, partnering Frank Stapleton in attack while Norman Whiteside was switched to midfield to partner Ray Wilkins and they also finished fourth in the league. That season saw him score 17 goals in the Football League First Division – it would remain the highest goals tally in a season throughout his career, in the summer of 1986, Hughes was surprisingly sold to Barcelona for £2 million. United announced on 21 March 1986 that Hughes would be heading for Spain at the end of the season and he was subsequently loaned out to German club Bayern Munich for the 1987–88 season, where he regained his form. In May 1988, Hughes returned to Manchester United, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, as he had done in his first spell at Old Trafford, Hughes proved to be a dynamic goalscorer and was a key player for the club over the next seven years. In 1988–89, his first season back in England, United disappointed in the league, Hughes was voted PFA Player of the Year, the first Manchester United player to be credited with that award, in its 16th season. He was also Uniteds joint top scorer that season, along with Brian McClair, on 16 goals. A year later, Hughes scored twice as United drew 3–3 with Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final and he was Uniteds top goalscorer that season, scoring 15 goals in all competitions,13 of his goals had come in the league, where United finished a disappointing 13th. He scored his second United hat-trick in a September clash against Millwall in the league at Old Trafford, the following season, Hughes scored both goals against former club Barcelona as United lifted the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, winning the final 2-1 in Rotterdam. Once again, he was their top scorer, this time with 21 goals in all competitions, although his tally in the league was bettered by Brian McClair, Hughes was also voted PFA Player of the Year again this season
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales. Based on the clubs recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales, since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club. As of May 2015, the club has 4,129 adult members, Wrexham are perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over reigning English Champions Arsenal in 1992 and a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners Cup. Wrexhams home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the worlds oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games, the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. Their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, as the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. C, in the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park, Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. 1883 also saw Wrexhams first appearance in the FA Cup, when receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, Olympic was dropped from this clubs name in 1888. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before an increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham, Wrexhams first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league, during their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League and their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators
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
Football in England
Today Englands top domestic league, the Premier League, is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world, with six of the ten richest football clubs in the world. The England national football team is one of only 8 teams to win the World Cup, a total of five English club teams have won the UEFA Champions League. Football was played in England as far back as medieval times, kicking ball games are described in England from 1280. An account of an exclusively kicking game from Nottinghamshire in the fifteenth century bears similarity to association football. By the 16th centuries references to organised teams and goals had appeared, there is evidence for refereed, team football games being played in English schools since at least 1581. The eighteenth-century Gymnastic Society of London is, arguably, the worlds first football club, the Cambridge rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, during the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised a set of rules. These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, the Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games. A match between Sheffield and Hallam F. C. on 29 December 1862 was one of the first matches to be recorded in a newspaper, on 8 March 1873, the England national teams 4–2 win over Scotland at the Oval was the first ever victory in international football. The late nineteenth century was dominated by the split between the amateur and professional teams, which was roughly aligned along a North-South divide. Northern clubs were keen to adopt professionalism as workers could not afford to play on an amateur basis, preston North End were inaugural winners in 1888–89, and were also the first club to complete the double of both winning the league and the FA Cup. Aston Villa repeated the feat in 1896–97 and it remained at 40 until the league was suspended after the 1914–15 season with the outbreak of World War I. Other clubs to win titles in this period include Sheffield United, Manchester United. During the war, competitive football was suspended, however, an unofficial Wartime Football league was played from 1915–16 to 1918–19, although the FA Cup was suspended until after the war. The next season the league was expanded with the Third Division divided into North and South sections. In the 1923–24 season the Third Division North was expanded to 22 clubs, Bolton Wanderers defeated West Ham United to win this landmark game. Bolton Wanderers would win the FA Cup on three occasions during the 1920s, by the turn of the 1930s, the national side regularly played against other national teams from outside the British Isles
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The UEFA Cup Winners Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup is one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by UEFA, the first competition was held in the 1960–61 season — but not recognised by the governing body of European football until two years later. The final tournament was held in 1998–99, after which it was absorbed into the UEFA Cup, in the 1985–86 season, English clubs were banned from European competition. Consequently, Manchester United, Everton, Coventry City, Wimbledon, from 1972 onwards, the winner of the tournament progressed to play the winner of the European Cup in the UEFA Super Cup. Since the abolition of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, the UEFA Super Cup place previously reserved for the Cup Winners Cup winner has been taken by the winner of the UEFA Cup, now UEFA Europa League. The competitions official name was originally the European Cup Winners Cup, in common with other UEFA club tournaments, the away goal applied when aggregate scores was parity. Following the influx of new UEFA member nations during the 1990s, however, if this team also qualified for the European Champions Cup then they would default on their place in the Cup Winners Cup and no other team would replace them. In 1998–99, the final year, Heerenveen of the Netherlands entered the Cup Winners Cup despite only reaching the semi-final of the previous seasons Dutch Cup. This was due to both Dutch Cup finalists Ajax and PSV Eindhoven qualifying for the recently expanded Champions League. The European Cup had proven to be a success and the Fairs Cup had also proven popular – as a result. One proposal was for a tournament based upon the format of the European Cup, but with national cup winners rather than league champions taking part, the inaugural Cup Winners Cup was held in the 1960–61 season and was basically a semi-official pilot tournament. It was essentially only in England, Scotland and to a lesser extent Germany, for the tournaments second season in 1961–62, UEFA took over the running of all aspects of the competition and this time all the clubs eligible to enter accepted the opportunity. By 1968, all UEFA member nations had set up domestic cup competitions due to the success of the Cup Winners Cup, UEFA regarded it as the second most prestigious competition, behind the European Cup and ahead of the Fairs Cup. Nevertheless, many commentators and fans regarded the Cup Winners Cup as weaker than the UEFA Cup, no club managed to retain the Cup Winners Cup, although eight times a winning side followed up their victories with a losing appearance in the following seasons final. After the establishment of the UEFA Champions League in the early 1990s, with the expansion of the Champions League in 1997 to allow more than one team from the highest-ranked member associations to enter, the Cup Winners Cup began to look noticeably inferior. Since then, domestic cup winners who do not otherwise qualify for the Champions League are given a place in the Europa League, the Cup Winners Cup trophy itself is a property of UEFA and it is not assigned to any club. Sport. Soccer Statistics Foundation UEFA website
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, the UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event worldwide. The final of the 2012–13 tournament had the highest TV ratings to date, the pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the format was expanded, incorporating a round-robin group stage to include clubs that finished runner-up of some nations top-level league. Clubs that finish next-in-line in each top level league, having not qualified for the UEFA Champions League competition. In its present format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams enter the stage, joining 22 other teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams, the eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup, Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competitions history, having won the tournament 11 times, including its first five seasons. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, followed by England, the competition has been won by 22 different clubs,12 of which have won it more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins, Milan were the last holders to defend their title. The reigning champions are Real Madrid, who secured their title in the competition after defeating Atlético Madrid on penalties following a 1–1 draw in the 2016 final. The first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, and played between Central European clubs. In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent, the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949 and it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season, the first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, and ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP, the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Reims and Real Madrid
Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the second most valuable team in the world, worth $3.56 billion. The official Barcelona anthem is the Cant del Barça, written by Jaume Picas, Barcelona was ranked first in the IFFHS Club World Ranking for 1997,2009,2011,2012 and 2015 and currently occupies the third position on the UEFA club rankings. The club has a rivalry with Real Madrid, matches between the two teams are referred to as El Clásico. Barcelona is one of the most supported teams in the world, Barcelonas players have won a record number of Ballon dOr awards, as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Barcelona is one of three founding members of the Primera División that have never relegated from the top division, along with Athletic Bilbao. In 2011, the club became European champions again and won five trophies, by winning their fifth Champions League trophy on 6 June 2015, Barcelona became the first European club in history to achieve the continental treble twice. On 22 October 1899, Hans Gamper placed an advertisement in Los Deportes declaring his wish to form a football club, FC Barcelona had a successful start in regional and national cups, competing in the Campionat de Catalunya and the Copa del Rey. In 1902, the club won its first trophy, the Copa Macaya and he said in a meeting, Barcelona cannot die and must not die. If there is nobody who is going to try, then I will assume the responsibility of running the club now on. Club president on five occasions between 1908 and 1925, he spent 25 years in total at the helm. One of his achievements was ensuring Barça acquire its own stadium. On 14 March 1909, the moved into the Camp de la Indústria. To celebrate their new surroundings, the club conducted a logo contest the following year, Carles Comamala won the contest, and his suggestion became the crest that the club still wears – with some minor changes – as of the present day. The contest was the most prestigious in that era, from the inaugural year in 1910 to 1913, Barcelona won the competition four consecutive times. Carles Comamala played a part of the four-time champion, managing the side along with Amechazurra. The latter became the clubs first full-time coach in 1917, the last edition was held in 1914 in the city of Barcelona, which local rivals Espanyol won
Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, located in South Holland, within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270 when a dam was constructed in the Rotte river by people settled around it for safety, in 1340 Rotterdam was granted city rights by the Count of Holland and slowly grew into a major logistic and economic centre. Nowadays it is home to Europes largest port and has a population of 633,471, ranking second in the Netherlands, just behind Amsterdam. The Greater Rijnmond area is home to approximately 1.4 million people, Rotterdam is part of the yet larger Randstad conurbation with a total population of 7,100,000. The city of Rotterdam is known for the Erasmus University, riverside setting, lively cultural life, the near-complete destruction of Rotterdams city centre during World War II has resulted in a varied architectural landscape including sky-scrapers, which are an uncommon sight in other Dutch cities. Rotterdam is home to some world-famous architecture from renowned architects like Rem Koolhaas, Piet Blom, Ben van Berkel and others. Recently Rotterdam was listed eighth in The Rough Guide Top 10 Cities to Visit, the port of Rotterdam is the largest cargo port in Europe and the 10th largest in the world. Rotterdams logistic success is based on its location on the North Sea. The rivers Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt give waterway access into the heart of Western Europe, the extensive distribution system including rail, roads, and waterways have earned Rotterdam the nickname Gateway to Europe, and, conversely, Gateway to the World in Europe. The settlement at the end of the fen stream Rotte dates from at least 900 CE. A dam on the Rotte or Rotterdam was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat, on 7 July 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2,000 inhabitants. The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six chambers of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, the greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbor started to expand on the bank of the river. The Witte Huis or White House skyscraper, inspired by American office buildings and built in 1898 in the French Château-style, is evidence of Rotterdams rapid growth, when completed, it was the tallest office building in Europe, with a height of 45 m. During World War I the city was the worlds largest spy centre because of Dutch neutrality, many spies who were arrested and executed in Britain were led by German secret agents operating from Rotterdam. MI6 had its main European office on de Boompjes, from there the British coordinated espionage in Germany and occupied Belgium. In WWI an average of 25,000 Belgian refugees lived in the city, as well as hundreds of German deserters, during World War II, the German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Adolf Hitler had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, the Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate on 15 May 1940, following Hitlers bombing of Rotterdam on 14 May and threatening to bomb other Dutch cities
Heysel Stadium disaster
39 people—mostly Italians and Juventus fans—were killed and 600 were injured in the confrontation. Approximately an hour before the Juventus-Liverpool final was due to kick off, Liverpool supporters charged at Juventus fans and this came after a period of hostility between the two sets of fans which saw missiles thrown from both teams supporters. The instigators of violence are still unknown, with varying accounts, Juventus fans ran back on the terraces and away from the threat into a concrete retaining wall. Fans already standing near the wall were crushed, eventually the wall collapsed, many people climbed over to safety, but many others died or were badly injured. The game was played despite the disaster, with Juventus winning 1–0, the disaster was later described as the darkest hour in the history of the UEFA competitions. In May 1985, Liverpool were the defending European Champions Cup winners, again they would face Italian opposition, Juventus, who had won, unbeaten, the 1983–84 Cup Winners Cup. Both teams were placed in the two first positions in the UEFA club ranking at the end of the last season and were regarded by the press as the best two sides in the continent at the time. Both teams had contested the 1984 European Super Cup five months before, despite its status as Belgiums national stadium, Heysel was in a poor state of repair by the time of the 1985 European Final. The 55-year-old stadium had not been maintained for several years. For example, the wall had been made of cinder block. They were also surprised that Heysel was chosen despite its condition, especially since Barcelonas Camp Nou. However, UEFA refused to consider a move, the stadium was crammed with 58, 000–60,000 supporters, with more than 25,000 for each team. The two ends behind the goals comprised all-standing terraces, each end split into three zones, the Juventus end was O, N and M and the Liverpool end was X, Y and Z as deemed by the Belgian court after the disaster. However, the tickets for the Z section were reserved for neutral Belgian fans in addition to the rest of the stadium and this meant the Juventus fans had more sections than the Liverpool fans with the Z section occupied by neutrals which is thought to have heightened prematch tensions. At the time Brussels, like the rest of Belgium, already had a large Italian community, added to this, many tickets were bought up and sold by travel agents, mainly to Juventus fans. A small percentage of the tickets ended up in the hands of Liverpool fans, at approximately 7 p. m. local time, an hour before kick-off, the trouble started. The Liverpool and Juventus supporters in sections X and Z stood merely yards apart, the boundary between the two was marked by temporary chain link fencing and a central thinly policed no-mans land. Fans began to throw stones across the divide, which they were able to pick up from the crumbling terraces beneath them, as kick-off approached, the throwing became more intense
PFA Players' Player of the Year
The Professional Footballers Association Players Player of the Year is an annual award given to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the year in English football. The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the trade union. The current holder is Riyad Mahrez, who won the award on 24 April 2016 for his displays throughout the 2015–16 season, the first winner of the award was Leeds United defender Norman Hunter. As of 2013, only Mark Hughes, Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, of the five, only Shearer won his awards playing for two different teams. A shortlist of nominees is published in April and the winner of the award, the award has been presented on 41 occasions as of 2014, with 36 different winners. Premier League Player of the Season The official website of the Professional Footballers Association
PFA Young Player of the Year
The award has been presented since the 1973–74 season and the winner is chosen by a vote amongst the members of the players trade union, the Professional Footballers Association. The first winner of the award was Ipswich Town defender Kevin Beattie, the current holder is Dele Alli, who won the award for his performances throughout the 2015–16 campaign for Tottenham Hotspur. Although the award is open to players at all levels, all winners to date have played in the highest division of the English football league system, as of 2015, only Ryan Giggs, Robbie Fowler and Wayne Rooney have won the award on more than one occasion. Only five players from outside the United Kingdom have won the trophy, a shortlist of nominees is published in April and the winner of the award, along with the winners of the PFAs other annual awards, is announced at a gala event in London a few days later. The players themselves consider the award to be prestigious, because the winner is chosen by his fellow professionals. The award has been presented on 43 occasions as of 2016, the official website of the Professional Footballers Association
Ryan Joseph Giggs, OBE is a Welsh football coach and former player who is the co-owner of Salford City. He played his professional career for Manchester United. The son of rugby league player Danny Wilson, Giggs was born in Cardiff, predominantly a left winger, he began his career with Manchester City, but joined Manchester United on his 14th birthday in 1987. He made his debut for the club in 1991 and spent the next 23 years in the Manchester United first team. At the end of the 2013–14 season, he was named as Manchester Uniteds interim player-manager following the sacking of David Moyes and he was named as assistant manager under Moyes permanent replacement, Louis van Gaal, on 19 May 2014, he retired from playing the same day. He holds the record for competitive appearances. At international level, Giggs played for the Wales national team 64 times between 1991 and 2007, and was named as the captain of the Great Britain team that competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is one of only 18 players to have made over 1,000 career appearances, Giggs is the most decorated player in football history. Giggs captained the team on occasions, particularly in the 2007–08 season when regular captain Gary Neville was ruled out with various injuries. Giggs also has a number of personal achievements and he was the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards, though he did not win the PFA Player of the Year award until 2009. He was the player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League. He was elected into the PFA Team of the Century in 2007, Giggs holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history, with 271. He was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009, in addition to the many honours Giggs has received within football, he was appointed an OBE in the Queens 2007 Birthday Honours List for his services to football. Giggs was born at St Davids Hospital in Canton, Cardiff, to Danny Wilson, a union player for Cardiff RFC. Giggs is mixed race – his paternal grandfather is from Sierra Leone – and has spoken of the racism he faced as a child, as a child, Giggs grew up in Ely, a suburb of western Cardiff. His younger brother, Rhodri, is a manager of non-league Salford City. He spent much time with his mothers parents and playing football, in 1980, when Giggs was six years old, his father switched rugby codes and signed for Swinton RLFC, forcing the whole family to move north to Swinton, a town in Salford, Greater Manchester. The move was a one, as Giggs was very close to his grandparents in Cardiff
George Best was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. In 1968 he won the European Cup with Manchester United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year, the Irish Football Association described him as the greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland. After making his debut for United aged 17, he scored 179 goals from 470 appearances over 11 years, One of the greatest dribblers of all time, his playing style combined pace, skill, balance, feints, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to beat defenders. Best unexpectedly quit United in 1974 at age 27, but returned to football for a number of clubs around the world in short spells, until retiring in 1984 and these issues affected him on and off the field, at times causing controversy. He said of his career, I spent a lot of money on booze, birds, after football, he spent some time as a football analyst, but his financial and health problems continued into his retirement. He died in 2005, age 59, due to complications from the drugs he needed to take after a liver transplant in 2002. Best was married twice, to two models, Angie Best and then Alex Best. His son Calum Best was born in 1981 from his first marriage, before he died, Best was voted 8th in the World Soccer 100 greatest football players of the 20th century election in 1999 and was voted 16th in the IFFHS World Player of the Century election in 1999. He was on the six man short list for the BBCs Sports Personality of the Century in 1999, Best was one of the inaugural 22 inductees into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004 he was voted 19th in the public UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll and was named in the FIFA100 list of the worlds greatest living players, former Brazilian footballer Pelé stated, “George Best was the greatest player in the world. Best was once quoted as saying, “Pelé called me the greatest footballer in the world and that is the ultimate salute to my life. ”On what would have been his 60th birthday, Belfast City Airport was renamed the George Best Belfast City Airport. According to the BBC, Best was remembered by mourners at his funeral held in Belfast as the beautiful boy beautiful game. Mark Garnett and Richard Weight have explored the enduring appeal of George Best, George Best was the first child of Richard Dickie Best and Anne Best. He was born on 22 May 1946 and grew up in Cregagh, Best was brought up in the Free Presbyterian faith. His father was a member of the Orange Order and as a boy George carried the strings of the banner in his local Cregagh lodge, in his autobiography, Best mentioned how important the order was to his family. Best had four sisters, Carol, Barbara, Julie and Grace, Bests father died on 16 April 2008, at the age of 88, in the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Northern Ireland. Bests mother Anne died from alcoholism-related cardiovascular disease in 1978, at the age of 55, in 1957, the academically gifted Best passed the 11 plus and went to Grosvenor High School, but he soon played truant as the school specialised in rugby. Best then moved to Lisnasharragh Secondary School, reuniting him with friends from primary school and he grew up supporting Glentoran and Wolverhampton Wanderers
Denis Joseph Irwin is an Irish former professional footballer who played as a full-back from 1983 to 2004. He has been regarded by Alex Ferguson as, pound for pound, earlier in his career he played for Leeds United and then Oldham Athletic, and finished his career with a two-year spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Irwin was capped by the Republic of Ireland national side 56 times, scoring four goals, Irwin is the joint most successful Irish footballer in history, a record he shares with fellow Manchester United stalwart Roy Keane, having won 19 major trophies in his career. Irwin grew up in Cork and was educated at Coláiste Chríost Rí, as a schoolboy, he excelled at both Gaelic football and hurling, and played at Croke Park more than once, on one occasion marking future team-mate, Niall Quinn. Irwin began his career with Leeds United in 1983, making 72 appearances in the Second Division, before moving on to Oldham Athletic on a free transfer in 1986. He helped Oldham reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the final of the Football League Cup in 1990 before he was transferred to Manchester United for a fee of £625,000 and he scored a total of 22 league goals for United, including several penalties. The first of these came on 7 September 1991 in a 3–0 home win over Norwich City in the First Division, Irwin was awarded a testimonial game for Manchester United – played on 16 August 2000 against Manchester City at Old Trafford. Despite testimonials being friendly matches, due to the match being between local rivals it was a physical affair, Irwin went off injured in the 37th minute after a bad challenge by City striker George Weah. Irwin made his last appearance for Manchester United at Old Trafford against Charlton Athletic on the day of the 2001–02 Premier League season. For his final game as a Manchester United player, Alex Ferguson awarded him the captains armband, Irwin scored twice in his first season at Wolves, against Burnley and Grimsby. Wolves were relegated at the end of the 2003–04 season, and he was capped 56 times for the Republic of Ireland between 1990 and 1999, and scored four goals. His first appearance came on 12 September 1990, when he helped them beat Morocco 1–0 in a friendly at Dalymount Park. He made his international debut on 17 October 1990, when the national side began their Euro 92 qualifying campaign with a 5–0 win over Turkey at Lansdowne Road. He scored his first international goal on 29 April 1992 in a friendly against the USA at Lansdowne Road. His final international appearance came on 17 November 1999, at the age of 34 and he played for his country at the 1994 World Cup. Since 2004, Irwin has worked as a presenter on MUTV, Irwin has been involved in coverage of several football tournaments on RTÉ. He is also a columnist with Irelands Sunday World newspaper and he contributed to RTÉ Sports coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. com
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Ronald Frederick Ron Atkinson, commonly known as Big Ron, is an English former football player and manager. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was one of Britains best-known football pundits and he spent his playing career at Oxford United, where he still holds the club record for appearances. As a manager, he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and 1985, Atkinson, who was born in Liverpool but moved to Warwickshire shortly after his birth, did not achieve great heights in his playing career. After beginning his career as a ground staff boy at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he was signed by Aston Villa from works team BSA Tools at the age of 17 and he has referred to then Villa coach Jimmy Hogan as his biggest influence. He was transferred to Oxford United in the summer of 1959 on a free transfer, there he played alongside his younger brother Graham Atkinson. He went on to make over 500 appearances in all competitions as a wing-half for the club, earning, in his days the nickname, The Tank. He was Uniteds captain through their rise from the Southern League to the Second Division, achieved in only six years from 1962 to 1968 and he was the first ever footballer to captain a club from the Southern League through three divisions of the Football League. After retiring from playing, Atkinson became manager player of non-league Kettering Town in 1971, aged only 32. His success there led to a move to the league with Cambridge United, going on to win the then Fourth Division in 1977, at the start of 1978, Atkinson moved to manage First Division West Bromwich Albion. He soon signed black player Brendon Batson from his club, to play alongside the black pair of Laurie Cunningham. Never before had a team in the top division of English football simultaneously fielded three players on a regular basis. Atkinson led West Bromwich Albion to third place in the league in the season 1978–79, on 30 December 1978 they achieved a famous 5–3 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The club were second in the table at the time, only beaten off top spot from Liverpool by goal difference and they finished fourth in 1981, and shortly after this Atkinson became manager of Manchester United on the dismissal of Dave Sexton. Atkinson was seen as the man who could bring the spark to Manchester United that had been so sorely lacking under his predecessor, Dave Sexton had taken them to second place in the league in 1980 but did not win a major trophy in his four years at the club. He also gave a debut to promising young forward Norman Whiteside in April 1982, 1982–83 also saw the breakthrough of young Norman Whiteside as one of the best performing players in the First Division. Whiteside was also on the scoresheet for the FA Cup final replay as United beat Brighton 4–0 after drawing the first game 2–2. They finished fourth in the league, having topped the table at several stages once again, before injuries to key players counted against them and they dropped points. The end of the saw the sale of key midfielder Ray Wilkins to A. C. Milan of Italy for £1.5 million
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is a football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Marks, they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887, the club moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won five major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, by 2014–15, Manchester City had the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €463.5 million. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated they were the sixth most valuable football club. City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899, with it promotion to the highest level in English football. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, in the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, after relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer, in the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Further trophies followed, City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy, the club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, the final trophy of the clubs most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2–1 in the League Cup final. A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s, Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone, under John Bond, City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were relegated from the top flight in the 1980s. However, this was only a respite, and following Reids departure Manchester Citys fortunes continued to fade. City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, after two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their countrys third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline, under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. The club currently plays in the Championship, the tier of English football. They were first promoted to the top flight in 1972, Norwich have won the League Cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. The club has never won the top flight, but finished third in 1993, the club was founded in 1902. The fans song On the Ball, City is regarded as being the oldest football song in the world which is still in use, the club plays in characteristic yellow and green kits and are nicknamed The Canaries after the history of breeding the birds in the area. They joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League for the 1902–03 season, but following a FA Commission, the club was ousted from the amateur game in 1905, deemed a professional organisation. Later that year Norwich were elected to play in the Southern League and with increasing crowds, they were forced to leave Newmarket Road in 1908, moving to The Nest, a disused chalk pit. During the First World War, with football suspended and facing spiralling debts, the club was officially reformed on 15 February 1919 – a key figure in the events was Charles Frederick Watling, future Lord Mayor of Norwich and the father of future club chairman, Geoffrey Watling. When, in May 1920, the Football League formed a third Division and their first league fixture, against Plymouth Argyle, on 28 August 1920, ended in a 1–1 draw. The club went on to endure a mediocre decade, finishing no higher than eighth, the inaugural match, held on 31 August 1935, against West Ham United, ended in a 4–3 victory to the home team and set a new record attendance of 29,779. The biggest highlight of the four seasons was the visit of King George VI to Carrow Road on 29 October 1938. However, the club was relegated to the Third Division at the end of the season, the league was suspended the following season as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War and did not resume until the 1946–47 season. City finished this and the season in 21st place, the poor results forcing the club to apply for re-election to the league. The 1958–59 season saw Norwich reach the semi-final of the FA Cup as a Third Division side, in the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. In 1962 Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a final to win the League Cup. They made their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Relegation to the Second Division in 1974 came after Saunders had departed and been succeeded by John Bond, a highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa. Bond departed to Manchester City in the autumn of 1980 and the club were relegated six months later, Norwich had also been the beneficiaries of one of English footballs first million-pound transfers when they sold striker Justin Fashanu to Nottingham Forest in August 1981
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city, Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008, Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm. The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, Rangers first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was also a founder member, in 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached a Scottish Cup final, after drawing the first game, Rangers refused to turn up for the replay, Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup. The first-ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtics establishment, Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed largely of guest players from Hibernian. The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, the clubs first-ever league match, on 16 August 1890, resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2, Rangers first-ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wiltons time as secretary and then team manager. Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers most successful manager, on 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Years Day Old Firm match. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League, Rangers also lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, by a single goal after extra time to Bayern Munich. The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on an exit at the culmination of the New Years Day Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was likely to have happened ten minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs
Under the previous leadership of Manuel Pellegrini, Kidd was the co-assistant manager, alongside Rubén Cousillas. Kidds first spell as assistant manager of the club came under manager Roberto Mancini, after one year, Kidd became a co-assistant, initially alongside Attilio Lombardo and latterly alongside David Platt. Following the departure of Mancini, Kidd had a spell as caretaker manager of Manchester City for two games at the close of the 2012–13 season, as well as the USA tour. Kidd was also assistant to Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson from 1991 to 1998, in this role he was pivotal in the development of a group of young footballers known as Fergies Fledglings. Kidd himself was a player with United and City, and was a member of Manchester Uniteds European Cup-winning team in 1968. He scored for Manchester United in their 4–1 victory over Benfica in the 1968 European Cup Final on his 19th birthday and he earned both of his England caps two years later. Following Uniteds relegation to the Football League Second Division in 1974 and he was Arsenals top goalscorer during the 1974–75 season, scoring 19 goals in 40 appearances. In July 1976, he was sold to Manchester City for a fee of £100,000, Kidd was still scoring on a regular basis in the final years of his career in the NASL during the early 1980s. He finally retired as a player in 1984, in 1984, Kidd began his coaching career at Barrow. He briefly managed Preston North End for several games in 1986, Kidd then became involved in coaching young players before being brought back to Manchester United as a youth team coach by Alex Ferguson in 1988. Over the next three years Kidd helped to bring through a host of talented players like Ryan Giggs and Darren Ferguson, when Fergusons assistant Archie Knox moved to a similar capacity at Glasgow Rangers in the summer of 1991, Kidd was promoted to the role of assistant manager. He helped Ferguson guide United to a Football League Cup win in 1992, the Premier League title in 1993, the double in 1994 and again in 1996, as well as another Premier League title in 1997. Kidd left United to take charge at Blackburn Rovers in December 1998, in 1999, a rift developed between Kidd and Alex Ferguson after Kidd was strongly criticised in Fergusons autobiography Managing My Life. Ferguson was angered that when Kidd was his assistant manager he had questioned Uniteds 1998 summer signing of striker Dwight Yorke, Ferguson criticised Kidds footballing judgement and wrote in his book, I saw Brian Kidd as a complex person, often quite insecure, particularly about his health. Kidd was upset at Fergusons attack on him and responded by saying, Kidd moved to Leeds United in May 2000 as youth coach but was promoted to act as Head Coach in March 2001 under David OLeary then Terry Venables. He left Leeds in May 2003 after Peter Reid was appointed manager, meanwhile, Kidd was named as assistant to England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson in January 2003. He was forced to end this role in May 2004, just weeks before Euro 2004, Kidd had recovered by February 2006. In August 2006, former United player Roy Keane was appointed manager of Sunderland, however, Kidd instead accepted an offer to work as assistant to Neil Warnock at Sheffield United a few months after their promotion to the Premier League
Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. It is about 0.5 miles from Old Trafford Cricket Ground, future expansion is likely to involve the addition of a second tier to the South Stand, which would raise the capacity to around 95,000. The stadiums record attendance was recorded in 1939, when 76,962 spectators watched the FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town and it also hosted football matches at the 2012 Summer Olympics, including womens international football for the first time in its history. Before 1902, Manchester United were known as Newton Heath, during time they first played their football matches at North Road. However, both grounds were blighted by wretched conditions, the pitches ranging from gravel to marsh, while Bank Street suffered from clouds of fumes from its neighbouring factories. Including the purchase of the land, the construction of the stadium was originally to have cost £60,000 all told. The subsidy would have come to the sum of £10,000, however, despite guarantees for the loan coming from the club itself and two local breweries, both chaired by club chairman John Henry Davies, the Cheshire Lines Committee turned the proposal down. The CLC had planned to build a new station adjacent to the new stadium, the station – Trafford Park – was eventually built, but further down the line than originally planned. The CLC later constructed a modest station with one timber-built platform immediately adjacent to the stadium and it was initially named United Football Ground, but was renamed Old Trafford Football Ground in early 1936. It was served on match days only by a service of steam trains from Manchester Central railway station. It is currently known as Manchester United Football Ground, construction was carried out by Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester and development was completed in late 1909. The stadium hosted its game on 19 February 1910, with United playing host to Liverpool. However, the side were unable to provide their fans with a win to mark the occasion. A journalist at the game reported the stadium as the most handsomest, the most spacious, as a football ground it is unrivalled in the world, it is an honour to Manchester and the home of a team who can do wonders when they are so disposed. Before the construction of Wembley Stadium in 1923, the FA Cup Final was hosted by a number of different grounds around England including Old Trafford. The first of these was the 1911 FA Cup Final replay between Bradford City and Newcastle United, after the tie at Crystal Palace finished as a no-score draw after extra time. Bradford won 1–0, the goal scored by Jimmy Speirs, in a match watched by 58,000 people, the grounds second FA Cup Final was the 1915 final between Sheffield United and Chelsea. Sheffield United won the match 3–0 in front of nearly 50,000 spectators, most of whom were in the military, leading to the final being nicknamed the Khaki Cup Final
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They compete in the Premier League, Englands top tier of football, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14, this signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away. The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road and they moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011, Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting upset ever, multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. Due to the magnitude of the title win, it went down in English football history as one of the games finest ever achievements. The clubs previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, throughout Leicesters history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles, the club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition, City have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016 and they have also won the League Cup three times in 1964,1997 and 2000, as well as being runners up in 1964–65 and 1999. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as Leicester Fosse, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicesters first ever Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, the same season also saw the clubs largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, however, the club were relegated after a single season which included the clubs record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, the club was reformed as Leicester City Football Club, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, the club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two
Leslie Jesse Les Sealey was an English footballer who played as a goalkeeper for, among others, Coventry City, Luton Town, Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Ham United. He was a nephew of Alan Sealey, another West Ham United player, Sealey joined Coventry City as an apprentice in 1976 and made his debut as a 19-year-old on 11 April 1977, in a 1–1 draw at Queens Park Rangers. He spent the five seasons at the West Midlands club before joining Luton Town in 1983. He was a regular in the team for much of his time at Kenilworth Road and he was dropped from the team for Lutons next game and replaced by Alec Chamberlain. Sealey never played for Luton again, in December 1989, Sealey was loaned to Manchester United and made two league appearances during the final weeks of the season. He was named as goalkeeper for the 1990 FA Cup Final replay against Crystal Palace, after a display from Jim Leighton in the preceding 3–3 draw. He later gave his winners medal to Jim Leighton, who had played throughout the cup run, United signed Sealey on a permanent basis, and he was their regular goalkeeper throughout the 1990–91 season, keeping goal in their Cup Winners Cup Final victory over Barcelona. He became a hero with United fans and got a standing ovation whenever he returned to Old Trafford. He was hoping to get a contract, but was offered just a one-year deal and turned it down in favour of a transfer. For much of the first half of 1991–92, Sealey was Villas first-choice goalkeeper and he had several games on loan at Birmingham City during the opening weeks of the 1992–93 season before returning to Manchester United on a free transfer, this time as Peter Schmeichels understudy. It meant his last four appearances for United were a Cup Winners Cup Final and he had, however, been an unused substitute for most of Uniteds matches since his return to the club. At the end of the season he was given a transfer and joined Blackpool. Due to a crisis, Sealey made his Hammers debut as an outfield player. During his 18-month spell at the Boleyn Ground, he was understudy to Ludek Miklosko, Sealey joined Third Division club Leyton Orient in 1996, and was their first-choice goalkeeper from the start of 1996–97. In December 1996, the 39-year-old Sealey returned to West Ham in a deal for 47-year-old Peter Shilton. He made his last first-team appearance on the day of the 1996–97 season. He had come on as a substitute for Ludek Miklosko, West Hams regular first-choice goalkeeper, at the end of the 1997–98 season he was loaned out to Bury but did not make a first-team appearance. Sealey was still employed as West Hams goalkeeper coach when he died of an attack on 19 August 2001 at the age of 43
Lee Martin (footballer, born February 1968)
Lee Andrew Martin is an English former football left back. He played with Manchester United, Celtic and Bristol Rovers, among others and he represented his country at under 21 level. Martin started his career in the Manchester United youth system, in 1990, he scored the only goal in the FA Cup final replay against Crystal Palace. This was one of just two goals Martin scored in his entire United career, the other goal, his first, came 16 months earlier in the 3–1 defeat of West Ham at Upton Park. His debut came on 9 May 1988 as a substitute in a 2–1 home league win over Wimbledon and he made his breakthrough at left back the following season following the departure of Arthur Albiston. By the time of his first United goal, in a 3–1 win at West Ham United in the league of 21 January 1989, however, he did not make the squad for the side that won the European Cup Winners Cup a year later. The arrival of Paul Parker that summer increased the competition for full-back places and he managed just one league appearance in 1991–92 and did not make the squad for the Football League Cup winning team. He failed to make a league appearance in 1992–93 season. His final league appearance came on 23 October 1993 in a 1–0 Premier League win over Everton at Goodison Park and they also went on to win the FA Cup that season. 1993–94 saw the introduction of squad numbers in the Premier League and his final competitive appearance for the club was on 27 October 1993 in a 5–1 home win over Leicester City in the third round of the League Cup. Towards the end of his time at Manchester United, Martin regularly captained the reserve side. Martin played a total of 108 games and scored two goals for United before he left Old Trafford in January 1994 to join Celtic, where he suffered a leg within months of his arrival. Celtics only major honour during Martins time there was the Scottish FA Cup in 1995 and he finally left Celtic in 1996 and signed for Bristol Rovers, from where he later had a loan spell with Huddersfield Town. He retired from football in 1998. He then moved to the semi-professional League of Wales team Bangor City, Glossop North End, Martin retired from football in 2008, and currently works with young people helping them to gain qualifications, access college and get apprenticeships or employment in the West Cheshire area. He also helps with the coaching of the Chester FC under 16s youth team and he also works for Manchester United Television at Old Trafford. Manchester United FA Cup, 1989–90 UEFA Super Cup,1991 Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year, 1989–90 Lee Martin at Soccerbase
Clayton Graham Blackmore is a former Welsh international footballer. He was a player known for his attacking free kicks and a utility player who excelled in defence. Blackmore began his career at Manchester United in 1982, having progressed through the clubs youth ranks. Having left Middlesbrough in 1999, he had spells at Barnsley, Notts County and Leigh RMI over the next couple of seasons. Internationally, Blackmore won 39 caps for Wales between 1985 and 1997 and he joined Manchester United as an associated schoolboy at the age of 14, and was an FA Youth Cup finalist in 1982. He was given his debut for United on 16 May 1984 by manager Ron Atkinson, 1988–89 saw Blackmore enjoy even more first team opportunities as he played 28 times in the league. He made 35 League appearances for United in 1990–91, and 33 in 1991-92, in 1991 he won a European Cup Winners Cup medal with United, and in 1990 he won the FA Cup with them. A succession of injuries meant that he was unable to play in the 1993-94 season, in the days of 1-11 numbering of shirts, Blackmores versatility meant that he wore every shirt number from 2-11, as well as some of the shirt numbers from 12-16 as a substitute. He was assigned with the number 15 when squad numbers were introduced by the FA Premier League for the 1993-94 season and he joined Middlesbrough on a free transfer for the 1994–95 season after spending more than a decade at Old Trafford. He was signed by newly appointed player-manager Bryan Robson, who had just headed to Teesside from United and he helped them win promotion to the Premier League as Division One champions in his first season on Teesside, playing in 30 League games and scoring two goals. He also appeared in Middlesbroughs 1997 FA Cup Final defeat by Chelsea, whilst at Boro he had a loan spell with Bristol City. He later had spells with Barnsley and at Notts County. Later he moved into football with Leigh RMI and Bangor City. He won 39 caps for Wales and he made his senior debut for the national side on 26 February 1985, in a 1–1 friendly draw with Norway, and his final appearance for the Welsh side came on 29 March 1997
Bury Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Bury have been members of the Football League since 1894 and have won the FA Cup twice, Gigg Lane has been their home ground since 1885. The club was formed in 1885 by Aiden Arrowsmith following a meeting at the White Horse Hotel, Gigg Lanes first ever game took place on 12 September 1885 when Bury played a friendly match against Wigan and won 4–3. In 1887 the first shed was built at Gigg Lane at a cost of £50, also in the same year Bury recorded their record defeat, Burys first ever floodlit game took place on 5 November 1889, when Bury were defeated 4–5 by Heywood Central. In 1892 Bury were Lancashire Challenge Cup Winners, before joining the Football League Second Division in 1894, Burys membership of the Football League from 1894 is now the 3rd longest ongoing run. Bury won the FA Cup on 21 April 1900 they beat Southampton 4–0 in the FA Cup final at Crystal Palace, in 1906 the South Stand was built at Gigg Lane. By 1922, the ground was finally handed over to the club from the Earl of Derby as a gift, in 1924 the Main Stand was built, during this period Burys ground was one of the best in the Football League. In 1923 Bury were promoted again, and in 1926 they achieved their highest League position ever, Two years later they were relegated and have never played top-flight football again. Steady decline following this relegation and by 1971, they had reached the Fourth Division, the clubs greatest benefactor was Hugh Eaves, a local benefactor under the stewardship of whom Bury were promoted to the second tier of English football following back to back promotions. In 1998–99, Bury were relegated from the second tier on goals scored, in 2001–02, the club was relegated to League Two following a spell in administration for financial irregularities. In May 2005, Bury became the first football club to score a thousand goals in each of the top four tiers of the English football league, in 2006, Bury became the first team to ever be thrown out of the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player. After the FA Cup debacle, Bury failed to win in 16 games and they survived the relegation battle of the 2006–07 season, where a 0–0 draw with Stockport County ensured they would stay up to play another season in League Two. It was announced on 14 January 2008 that co-managers Chris Casper and Keith Alexander had been sacked, a club statement said the pair had lost the confidence of a large majority of the fans. Chris Brass, formerly the manager of the clubs Centre of Excellence, was given the vacant managers post on a caretaker basis and his first match in charge resulted in a cup upset, the Shakers knocking Norwich City out of the FA Cup in the third round. Despite this early success, results remained inconsistent, and a more full-time solution was sought by the board after Brass led Bury to a humiliating 5–1 home defeat to MK Dons, on 4 February 2008, Bury appointed Alan Knill as manager. In the play-off semi-final they were beaten on penalties by Shrewsbury Town, Bury finished the following season 9th, and partway through 2011–12 Knill and Assistant Manager Chris Brass left the club to take over at Scunthorpe United. Youth Team Manager Richie Barker took over as manager and lead the Shakers to promotion
Cork City F.C.
Cork City Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Cork. The club currently plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the club was founded and elected to the League of Ireland in 1984. It was one of the first clubs in Ireland to field a team of professional footballers, between 2008 and 2010 however, the club suffered financial and management issues and entered a period of examinership. While the clubs holding company was wound up by the courts, fans were awarded a licence under the name Cork City FORAS Co-op, the club subsequently re-acquired rights to the name Cork City Football Club, and were promoted back to the premier division for the 2012 season. Citys traditional colours are green and white with red trim, the club play home games at Turners Cross. The current club are not the first to use the name Cork City, during the 1920s teams referred to as Cork City competed in both the Munster Senior League and the Munster Senior Cup. A team named Cork City finished as Munster Senior Cup runners up in 1924–25, another Cork City F. C. also played in the League of Ireland between 1938 and 1940. Following the bankruptcy of Cork United in 1982, senior football returned to the city with the formation of a new Cork City FC in 1984, founded by officials from several Cork clubs, the new club was elected to the League of Ireland. Bobby Tambling was the first manager appointed to the club, the FAI Cup offered some respite, however Shamrock Rovers knocked City out in the semi-finals – in the last match played at the Lodge. In 1986 the club moved to a new home at Turners Cross, the following year, former Ireland striker Eamon OKeefe arrived as manager, delivering the Munster Senior Cup, and the League of Ireland Cup. By 1988, OMahony was re-installed as manager, and the side finished eighth in the league, while Torpedo Moscow knocked the club out of the 1989–90 European Cup Winners Cup, City earned a fifth-place finish in the Premier Division, and the Munster Senior Cup was reclaimed. The early 1990s saw lengthy unbeaten league runs, high league positions, retention of the Munster Senior Cup through four years, and a number of games in European competition. The most notable European game was a UEFA Cup tie with Bayern Munich,1993 saw Cork City land the League of Ireland Premier Division title for the first time, after a complicated three team play-off. OMahoney resigned and the moved to a new stadium in Bishopstown at the end of the season. Damien Richardson took the helm and the 1993/94 season began with City coming from three goals down to beat Welsh side Cwmbran Town in the UEFA Champions League, in the following round they suffered odd-goal defeats both home and away to Turkish side Galatasaray. City finished in position in the league that year. 1994/95 was a season for Cork City. Noel OMahony was re-appointed as manager but the title challenge collapsed, the club did have successes in the Munster Senior Cup and League of Ireland Cup that season however
Waterford Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Waterford. They currently play in the League of Ireland First Division, the club was founded and elected to the league in 1930 Originally the club was based at the greyhound stadium known as Kilcohan Park, but have now moved to the Waterford Regional Sports Centre. Waterford first participated in the league in the 1930–31 season finishing ninth, Waterford re-entered the league in the 1935–36 season along with Sligo Rovers. Waterford won the Shield in their first season, Waterford won the FAI cup for the first time in their history in 1937 beating St. James Gate and also won the Shield. The club were runners up in 1937–38 season and again in the 1940–41 season. At the end of the campaign, the original Waterford resigned from the League of Ireland, only for a new entity, with the name, to be elected in. Waterford won the Shield again in the 1952–53 season and were again runners-up in the League this time to St. Patricks Athletic in the 1954–55 season and again in the 1962–63 season. The club eventually won the title for the first time in the 1965–66 season. The 1965/66 title was the beginning of a successful spell for the club domestically. The following season played in the preliminary round of the Champions cup against Vorwärts Berlin. They won the Shield once again in 1968–69 season, Waterford won the league title three times in a row, in 1968,1969 and in 1970. The title was won by Cork Hibernians in 1971 but returned to Waterford in the 1971–1972 season, the following season Waterford won the League of Ireland Cup, however failed to regain the league title. The Club won the FAI Cup in 1980 beating St. Patricks Athletic with the winner from Brian Gardner, waterfords success in the league brought European football playing against famous clubs such as Manchester United and Celtic. Bobby Charlton had a spell at the club in 1976. In May 1982, the Club changed its name to Waterford United, in 1985 the leagues membership rose to 22 clubs with the election of six new clubs in 1985. This resulted in the introduction of the present two Division structure in 1985/86 of which Waterford was a member of the Premier Division, Waterford were relegated to the First Division in the 1988–89 season. Their stay there was short, gaining promotion and winning the First Division title the following season 1989–90 and they were unable to retain their Premier Division status the following season finishing in eleventh. The club was promoted to the top flight in the 1991–92 season finishing as runners up to Limerick, but again the club were unable to remain in the Premier Division for more than a single season suffering relegation on goal difference to Drogheda United