Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
The bet365 Stadium is an all-seater football stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England and the home of Premier League club Stoke City. The stadium was called the Britannia Stadium but was renamed on 1 June 2016 when the club entered into a new stadium-naming rights agreement with its parent company. It has space for 27,902 spectators with expansions plans announced by the club, the stadium was built in 1997 at a cost of £14.7 million as a replacement for the Victoria Ground. The highest attendance recorded at the stadium was 28,218 for the fixture against Everton in their FA Cup 3rd Round tie in 2002. Former player Sir Stanley Matthews ashes were buried beneath the circle of the pitch following his death in February 2000. In European competitions it is known as the Stoke Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship, the all-seater stadium cost nearly £15 million to build and brought the club up to standards with the Taylor Report of January 1990 to end 119 years at the Victoria Ground. Relocation had been considered by 1994 and by early 1996 the decision to build a new stadium had been confirmed, by early 1997, the skeletal steel superstructure was in place and the stadium began to take shape. Another £3 million was given as a grant by the Football Trust, the stadium was officially opened made by club legend Sir Stanley Matthews, then aged 82. After he died in February 2000, his ashes were buried beneath the centre circle. The first season at the new ground was a bad one as Stoke were relegated from Division One, four seasons of third tier football followed with Gunnar Gíslason taking control of the club in November 1999. The name of the ground was changed to the bet365 Stadium in June 2016, in total, the stadium cost £14. 7million and took around ten months to construct on the former site of Stafford No.2 Colliery, which had been closed in 1969. Building work began in late autumn 1996 and was completed in August 1997, the all-seater stadium can hold 28,384 supporters in four cantilever stands. The main West stand consists of two tiers of seating which house 7,357 spectators, plus all of the stadiums corporate, the L-shaped Boothen and East stands hold 6,006 and 8,789 people respectively. The South Stand, which is used by home and away supporters can hold 4,996 people but is unlikely to reach capacity due to spectator segregation. The clubs dressing rooms, offices, boardroom, ticket office, in 2006, work took place on the A50 to allow direct access to the stadium from the eastbound direction, involving building a bridge across the road. It is close to the Sideway junction with the A500, at the start of the 2010–11 season, the stadium was accessible via a new underpass under Stanley Matthews Way, to reduce traffic problems with exiting the area back onto the A50. In the middle of 2009, surveyors were asked to investigate the feasibility of filling in one, filling in a corner of the ground would cost approximately £3 million, increasing capacity by around 3,000 seats and taking the total capacity to over 30,000. In November 2009, chairman Peter Coates said that a decision on expansion would be made at the end of the season and was dependent on the clubs Premier League survival
2000 Football League Trophy Final
The 2000 Football League Trophy Final was the 17th final of the domestic football cup competition for teams from the Second and Third Division of the Football League. The match was played at Wembley on 16 April 2000, and was the last Football League Trophy final to be played there before the stadium closed for redevelopment, the match was contested by Bristol City and Stoke City. The match was won by Stoke City, with Graham Kavanagh, the 1999–2000 season saw both Bristol City and Stoke City involved in the race for promotion to the First Division. Stoke had been in the top six for most of the campaign whilst Bristol battled with city rivals Bristol Rovers to gain a play-off spot, the two sides had played each other twice before the final. Firstly on 14 November 1999 at Stokes Britannia Stadium the score ending 1–1 with goals from Nicky Mohan and Brian Tinnion, the second match at Ashton Gate also ended in a draw this time 2–2 with goals from Kyle Lightbourne, Graham Kavanagh and a brace from Tony Thorpe. Both sides had an easy route to the final, Bristol were handed a first round bye whilst Stoke over came Darlington 3–2 thanks to a Kyle Lightbourne golden goal. Bristol beat Cheltenham Town 3–1 in the round and Stoke overcame Oldham Athletic again via a golden goal. In the quarters Bristol eased past Bournemouth on penalties as Stoke beat Blackpool 2–1, the semi-finals saw Bristol cruise past Reading 4–0 whilst Stoke needed a late goal from James OConnor to progress. In the area finals Bristol beat Exeter City 5–1 over two legs and Stoke won equality as easily beating Rochdale 4–1. Over 75,000 fans packed into Wembley to see Bristol City take on Stoke City in the Football League Trophy final for which Stoke fans dedicated to Stanley Matthews who had died in February 1999. Leading 1–0 Stoke dropped deeper in the half as they looked to cancel out the threat from the dangerous Scott Murray. It looked to be working but with 15 minutes left Paul Holland headed in a corner to make the scores 1–1, however it was Stoke who had the final say, a counterattack by Stoke was halted when Bjarni Guðjónsson was fouled by Louis Carey to conceded a free-kick. Whilst Bristol complied about the awarding of the free-kick, Guðjónsson played a pass to Kavanagh who crossed in to Peter Thorne to earn Stoke their third win at Wembley
Burnley Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Nicknamed The Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, Burnley have been Football League Champions twice, in 1920–21 and 1959–60, have won the FA Cup once, in 1914, and have won the Community Shield twice, in 1960 and 1973. The Clarets also reached the 1961 quarter-finals of the European Cup and they are one of only three teams to have won all top four professional divisions of English football, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Preston North End. The club colours of claret and blue were adopted in 1910 in tribute to the dominant club of English football at the time and their home ground since 1883 has been Turf Moor and their current manager is Sean Dyche. During May 1882, Burnley Rovers Football Club decided to shift their allegiance from rugby union to football, in 1883 the club moved to Turf Moor and remain there, only their Lancashire rivals Preston North End having occupied the same ground continuously for longer. Burnley first appeared in the FA Cup in 1885–86 but were ignominiously beaten 11–0 when eligibility restrictions meant that their side had to be fielded against Darwen. On 13 October 1886, Turf Moor became the first ground to be visited by a member of a Royal Family, when it was decided to found the Football League for the 1888–89 season, Burnley were among the 12 founders of that competition. William Tait of Burnley scored the first ever hat-trick in League football and that season did, however, present Burnley with their first honours, winning the Lancashire Cup with a 2–0 final victory over Blackburn Rovers. Before Burnley won a trophy again, they were relegated to the Second Division in 1896–97 and they responded to this by winning promotion the next season, losing only 2 of their 30 matches along the way before gaining promotion through a play-off series then known as Test Matches. Burnley and Stoke City both entered the last match, to be played between the two teams, needing a draw for promotion. A 0–0 draw ensued, reportedly The Match without a shot at goal, Burnley needed a win against Forest in the last match of the season to escape relegation. This is the earliest recorded case of match fixing in football, Burnley changed their colours from green to the claret and sky blue of Aston Villa, the most successful club in England at the time, for the 1910–11 season. The 1912–13 season saw them win promotion to the First Division once more, as well as reaching the FA Cup semi-final, only to lose to Sunderland. The next season was one of consolidation in the top flight, but more importantly their first major honour and this cup final was historic in that King George V became the first reigning monarch to present the cup to the winning captain. The winning Burnley team also got special medals with English Cup Winners written on it instead of the usual FA Cup Winners inscription. World War I impacted the 1914–15 season, in which Burnley finished 4th in the First Division, before English football reorganised itself, Burnley struggled in English footballs second tier, narrowly avoiding a further relegation in 1931–32 by only two points. The years through to the outbreak of the Second World War were characterised by uninspiring league finishes, broken only by an FA Cup semi-final appearance in 1934–35 and the arrival of Tommy Lawton. Burnley participated in the football leagues that continued throughout the war
Millwall Football Club is a professional football club in Bermondsey, South East London, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. From then until 1993 the club played at what is now called The Old Den in New Cross, before moving to its current home stadium nearby, the traditional club crest is a lion rampant, referred to in the teams nickname The Lions. Millwalls traditional kit consists of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks, Millwall have a long-standing rivalry with West Ham United. The local derby between the two sides has been contested almost a hundred times since 1899, in the media, Millwalls supporters have often been associated with hooliganism, with numerous films having been made fictionalising their notoriety. The fans are renowned for their chant No one likes us, in 2004, the team reached the FA Cup final and qualified for the UEFA Cup, playing in Europe for the first time in their history. The club also reached FA Cup semi-finals in 1900,1903,1937 and 2013, Millwall have spent the majority of their existence in the second or third tier of the Football League. The team spent two seasons in the top flight between 1988–90, in which the club achieved its highest ever finish of tenth place in the First Division. Based on all results during the clubs 89 seasons in the Football League from 1920–21 to 2015–16, Millwall Rovers were formed by the workers of J. T. Mortons canning and preserve factory in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in Londons East End in 1885. The club secretary was 17-year-old Jasper Sexton, the son of the landlord of The Islander pub in Tooke Street where Millwall held their club meetings. Millwall Rovers first fixture was held on a piece of ground on Glengall Road, on 3 October 1885 against Fillebrook. The newly formed team were beaten 5–0, Rovers found a better playing surface for the 1886–87 season, at the rear of the Lord Nelson pub and it became known as the Lord Nelson Ground. In November 1886, the East End Football Association was formed, Millwall made it to the final against London Caledonians, which was played at Leyton Cricket Ground. The match finished 2–2 and the teams shared the cup for six months each, Millwall won the East London Senior Cup at the first attempt. The club also won it the two years, and the trophy became their property. They were founding members of the Southern Football League which they won for the first two years of its existence, and were runners-up in its third. They were forced to move to a new ground North Greenwich in 1901, Millwall Athletic reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1900 and 1903, and were also champions of the Western Football League in 1908 and 1909
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
Anthony Richard Tony Pulis is a Welsh football manager and former footballer who is the head coach of West Bromwich Albion. Pulis obtained his FA coaching badge at age 19, followed by his UEFA A licence aged 21 – making him one of the youngest professional players ever to have obtained the qualification and his son, Anthony, was a professional footballer and played at Stoke. Pulis had a 17-year career as a defender where he played for Bristol Rovers, Newport County, AFC Bournemouth and he also had a short spell in Hong Kong with Happy Valley. Pulis took his first steps into management at AFC Bournemouth, where he was a player/coach and he then took control when Redknapp left the club. He then went on to Gillingham before leaving in 1999 after a dispute with chairman Paul Scally, Pulis then had unsuccessful spells at Bristol City and Portsmouth before being appointed manager of Stoke City in 2002. He guided Stoke through a tough 2002–03 season avoiding relegation to the Second Division on the day of the season. He spent two seasons with Stoke before being sacked by Stokes Icelandic board for failing to exploit the foreign market. He spent the 2005–06 season at Plymouth Argyle before returning to Stoke along with Peter Coates, after narrowly missing out on a play-off spot in the 2006–07 season he guided Stoke to the Premier League in the 2007–08 season by finishing runners-up in the Championship. With Stoke amongst the favourites for relegation upon their return to the top flight after a 23-year absence, Stoke went on to comfortably survive, Pulis made history during the 2010–11 season as he guided Stoke to their first FA Cup Final after beating Bolton Wanderers 5–0 in the semi-final. The Potters, however, lost the final 1–0 to Manchester City, in the UEFA Europa League, Stoke were drawn against Croatian side Hajduk Split and after two legs ran out 2–0 winners. After beating Swiss club Thun, Stoke were handed a tough group containing Beşiktaş, Dynamo Kyiv and Maccabi Tel Aviv which Stoke managed to progress through, finishing in second position. Citys reward was a tie against Spanish giants Valencia, but despite putting up a spirited second-leg performance, the 2012–13 season saw Stoke make little progress and Pulis left the club by mutual consent on 21 May 2013. Pulis returned to management on 23 November 2013 joining Crystal Palace on a two-and-a-half-year contract and he guided Palace away from relegation, to their highest Premier League finish of 11th in 2013–14, which earned him the Premier League Manager of the Season award. He left the club, however, shortly before the start of the subsequent season and he joined West Brom in January 2015. Pulis began his career at Bristol Rovers where he joined their school of excellence in Eastville from Newport YMCA. Pulis cites his time at Eastville as an excellent grounding with his Rovers team mate, the basic principles were drilled into us, both on and off the pitch. Nothing was given to us and we had to very, very hard for everything we got. Pulis made 85 league appearances for the Pirates before leaving to join Hong Kong club Happy Valley AA in 1981 and he returned to Rovers the following year and made a further 45 league appearances before moving to his home town club Newport County in 1984
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
John Robert Rudge is an English former football player and football manager. His playing career began at Huddersfield Town in November 1961, in January 1969 he joined Torquay United, and twice finished as the clubs top scorer, before he moved on to Bristol Rovers in February 1972. He helped the club to win promotion of the Third Division in 1973–74 and his time on the coast was disrupted by injury, and he retired in 1977. He scored a total of 79 goals in 230 league and cup appearances in a career in the Football League. He managed Port Vale for a period between 1983 and 1999, easily the longest spell in the clubs history. However he was sacked in January 1999, and subsequently was appointed director of football at their rivals – Stoke City, born and raised in Wolverhampton, Rudge became a lifelong fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers. However he turned professional at Second Division club Huddersfield Town in November 1961 and he made his debut under manager Eddie Boot in the 1962–63 campaign, and was given the residence of the recently departed Denis Law. He did not feature in 1963–64, appeared just twice in 1964–65 and he played two games at the start of the 1966–67 season, before manager Tom Johnston allowed him a move to Second Division rivals Carlisle United in December 1967. Rudge made an impact at Brunton Park, scoring seven goals in 14 appearances, as Tim Wards Cumbrians finished third in 1966–67. Over the course of the 1967–68 campaign he scored nine goals in 29 league and cup games and he made just five goalless appearances in 1968–69, and in January 1969 manager Bob Stokoe handed him a free transfer to Torquay United of the Third Division. He found the net just twice in 14 appearances before the end of the campaign for Allan Browns Gulls and he then found his form in 1969–70, finishing as the clubs top scorer with 16 goals in 35 league and cup matches. He continued to find the net in 1970–71, hitting 21 goals in 43 appearances. However he scored just twice in 12 games in 1971–72, as the club suffered relegation under Jack Edwards, Rudge escaped this fate as he left Plainmoor in February 1972, signing a contract with Bill Dodgins Bristol Rovers. After three goals in eight games towards the end of the campaign, Rudge hit 12 goals in 29 appearances in 1972–73, the Pirates achieved their goal in 1973–74, as they finished runners-up of the Third Division, however Rudge played only 15 games, scoring five goals. He featured just three times in 1974–75, and moved on to John Bensons Bournemouth in March 1975, Rudge played seven games for the Cherries, and could not prevent them from being relegated into the Fourth Division at the end of the campaign. He missed most of the 1975–76 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon and his career was ended at age 32, owing to his Achilles tendon injury. He had scored a total of 79 goals in 230 appearances in all competitions, following his retirement as a player, Rudge was made a coach at old club Torquay United. In January 1980 he was appointed as a coach at Port Vale, Rudge was promoted to the position of assistant manager in December 1980
Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
Nigel Graham Pearson is an English football manager and former professional player who was most recently manager of Derby County. He previously managed Hull City, Southampton, Carlisle United and Leicester City and was assistant manager for England Under-21s, during his playing career, he was a defender and played for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. He made his debut in a 1–0 defeat at Oldham Athletic on the opening day of the 1982–83 season. Pearsons first Football League goal came on 12 March 1983 in a 3–1 win against Barnsley at Gay Meadow, Pearson ended the season with 39 out of a possible 42 starts as Shrewsbury finished in ninth place in the table. The following season, Shrewsbury finished one place higher but injuries restricted Pearson to 26 games, injury prevented him from playing at all in 1984–85, when Shrewsbury again finished eighth in the table, but he returned in 1985–86 making 35 appearances as Shrewsbury dropped to 17th. In 1986–87 he was an ever-present, making 42 appearances and contributing three goals, as the Shrews finished in 18th place and he started the next season, before being signed by Sheffield Wednesdays manager Howard Wilkinson on 12 October 1987 for a fee of £250,000. In his six years with Shrewsbury Town, he made a total of 181 appearances in all competitions, Pearson moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 1987. He won the League Cup as Sheffield Wednesday captain, during the 1990–91 season, in the same season, he also helped Sheffield Wednesday win promotion to Division One. During the 1992–93 season, he helped Sheffield Wednesday reach both domestic cup finals, but broke his leg in the League Cup semi-final, and therefore could not play in either final, Middlesbrough manager Bryan Robson signed Pearson for £750,000 in 1994. Pearson captained them to promotion twice and to three cup finals. Pearson retired from playing in 1998, as manager of Carlisle United, Pearson helped to keep the club in the Football League at the end of the 1998–99 season. He signed goalkeeper Jimmy Glass on loan, who scored a goal against Plymouth Argyle. The match was Pearsons last in charge of the Brunton Park outfit, in 1999, he was recruited as Stoke Citys first team coach by Gary Megson. Although Megson was sacked later that year by the clubs Icelandic consortium, Pearson moved to West Bromwich Albion in November 2004 as assistant manager to Bryan Robson, and took over as caretaker manager when Robson left the club in September 2006. Albion won three and drew one of his matches in charge, before stepping down from the role in preparation for the arrival of new manager Tony Mowbray. On 1 February 2007, Pearson was confirmed as assistant coach to Stuart Pearce, when Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder resigned on 6 May 2007, Pearson took charge of the remaining game of the season, away to Watford. Pearson stayed on at Newcastle as a following the arrival of Sam Allardyce as manager at the club. On 9 January, following the departure of Allardyce, he was re-appointed as caretaker manager for Newcastles trip to Manchester United, Newcastle lost 6–0, after a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, a brace from Carlos Tevez and a Rio Ferdinand goal
Director of football
Director of football is a term describing a senior management figure at a football club, most commonly used in Europe. The exact nature of the role is unclear and extremely variable. The director may help to stabilise the club – many examples exist of director stepping in as a caretaker manager on the departure of the manager. The director – often an experienced football figure – may also positively advise a less experienced manager or the board of a well developed club. This had led to many well publicised and often, highly damaging disputes within clubs, in general, directors of football are not shareholders in the club, or hold a nominal stake. This is opposed to members of the board with whom the director of football will sit. The level of power and influence in the day-to-day and transfer operations of the held by a director of football may vary considerably. Often, the position in case is filled by a former famous player. Bobby Charlton at Manchester United is such an example, in such a case, the role of the director of football is more one of club promotion and marketing than that of actual control over footballing operations. Employing a well-known football personality in such a position may also be used to enhance the prestige of the club. Other well known managers have been promoted to director of football or similar roles, including Ron Greenwood at West Ham United in 1974, however, Greenwood returned to frontline management three years later with the England national football team. In March 2002, Harry Redknapp stepped down as director of football at Portsmouth after a year in the role to succeed Graham Rix as manager, appointments in this case are often long-term, likely due to the negative reaction of fans to the removal of a former club legend. Others remain in the role until their health restricts their activities and this may be the case where the manager is inexperienced or perceived as naive in a particular aspect, allowing the director to advise against potentially costly errors. Such an example is that of Giovanni Trapattoni at Red Bull Salzburg or Sven-Göran Eriksson at Notts County, appointments in this case are often short term – for between 1/2 seasons – with the director imparting their advice and departing to another club. In other cases, the role of the director of football may include control over transfer dealings and targets and aspects outside coaching and squad selection, the director may oversee all levels of the club – youth to first team – with the manager dedicated to first team affairs. Often, a director in this case is a manager or experienced former coach. A notable recent example of such tension is that of manager Kevin Keegan, an example of the description of the role in this case as from the perspective of the manager is given by Dave Bassett as. The director of football is answerable to the board but there to assist the manager, hes experienced in football and there to help the board members who dont have that experience
Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Wycombe Wanderers F.C.
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club /ˈwɪkəm/ is a professional association football club based in the town of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of English football. The club plays at Adams Park, which is situated on the outskirts of High Wycombe. The clubs nicknames are the Chairboys and the Blues, Ainsworth retired from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season. He is assisted by Richard Dobson and Barry Richardson, the club was awarded the Family Club of the Year award twice in a row in 2006–07 and 2007–08. This is the time that the award has been given to the same club in consecutive seasons. The club received a Football League Family Excellence Award after the 2009–10, 2011–12, the exact details of the formation of Wycombe Wanderers F. C. have largely been lost to history. A group of young furniture trade workers started a team to play matches in 1884 and this team was called North Town Wanderers. In 1887, a meeting held at the Steam Engine public house in Station Road and it is highly likely the club was named Wanderers after the famous Wanderers, winners of the first F. A. The club played friendly matches between 1887 and 1896, Amateur Cup in 1894 and the F. A. In 1895 the club moved to Loakes Park, which would become its home for the next 95 years, in 1896 the club joined the Southern League and competed in the Second Division until 1908. In the summer of 1908 the club declined the invitation to retain their membership of the Southern League, the club decided to pursue amateur instead of professional football and joined the Great Western Suburban League and remained there until the outbreak of the First World War. After the hostilities had ended the club joined the Spartan League in 1919 and were Champions in successive years, in March 1921 the clubs application to join the Isthmian League was accepted. The club remained a member of the Isthmian League until 1985, for over sixty years the Wanderers sought to be the greatest amateur club in the country. One of the clubs greatest achievements came in April 1931 when the F. A, Amateur Cup was won for the only time. The Wanderers beat Hayes 1–0 in the final at Highbury, home of Arsenal, the club also reached the first round proper of the F. A. Cup for the first time in November 1932, losing to Gillingham in a replay at Loakes Park, the club remained active during the Second World War, competing in the Great Western Combination, which was won in 1945. It provided the basis for a period of unprecedented success in 1950s, the club appointed Sid Cann as coach in 1952 and he led the Wanderers to their first Isthmian League title in 1956
Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Matthews nicknames included The Wizard of the Dribble and The Magician, Matthews kept fit enough to play at the top level until he was 50 years old. Matthews was also the oldest player ever to play in Englands top football division and he was also an inaugural inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 to honour his contribution to the English game. He spent 19 years with Stoke City, playing for the Potters from 1932 to 1947 and he helped Stoke to the Second Division title in 1932–33 and 1962–63. Between 1934 and 1957 he won 54 caps for England, playing in the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and 1954, following an unsuccessful stint as Port Vales general manager between 1965 and 1968, he travelled around the world, coaching enthusiastic amateurs. The most notable of his coaching experiences came in 1975 in South Africa, Stanley Matthews was born on 1 February 1915 in a terraced house in Seymour Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He was the third of four born to Jack Matthews. His father placed a bet on his son winning, and he did, Matthews attended Hanleys Wellington Road School, and later described himself as in many respects a model pupil. At home he spent countless hours practising dribbling around kitchen chairs he placed in his backyard. Though he would become indelibly associated with Stoke City, Matthews grew up supporting that clubs local rivals Port Vale. His father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a boxer, Matthews played for England Schoolboys against Wales in 1929, in front of around 20,000 spectators at Dean Court, Bournemouth. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion were all rumoured to be interested in Matthews in the wake of his appearance for England Schoolboys. The Stoke City manager Tom Mather persuaded Matthews father to allow Stanley to join his clubs staff as a boy on his 15th birthday for pay of £1 a week. Matthews played for Stokes reserve team during the 1930–31 season, coming up first against Burnley, after the game his father gave his usual realist assessment, Ive seen you play better and Ive seen you play worse. Matthews played 22 reserve games in 1931–32, shunning the social scene to focus on improving his game. The national press were predicting a bright future for the teenager. Paid the maximum wage of £5 a week, he was on the same wage as seasoned professionals before he kicked a ball. Despite this his father insisted that Matthews save this money, and he made his first team debut against Bury at Gigg Lane on 19 March 1932, the Potters won the game 1–0 and Matthews learned how physical and dirty opponents could be – and get away with it
Stoke-on-Trent is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of 36 square miles. Together with the boroughs of Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands, it is part of North Staffordshire. Stoke is polycentric, having formed by a federation of six towns in the early 20th century. It took its name from Stoke-upon-Trent, where the town hall, Hanley is the primary commercial centre. The four other towns are Burslem, Tunstall, Longton and Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent is the home of the pottery industry in England and is commonly known as the Potteries. Formerly a primarily industrial conurbation, it is now a centre for service industries, the name Stoke is taken from the town of Stoke-upon-Trent, the original ancient parish, with other settlements being chapelries. Stoke derives from the Old English stoc, a word that at first meant little more than place and these variant meanings included dairy farm, secondary or dependent place or farm, summer pasture, crossing place, meeting place and place of worship. It is not known which of these was intended here, because Stoke was such a common name for a settlement, some kind of distinguishing affix was usually added later, in this case the name of the river. The motto of Stoke-on-Trent is Vis Unita Fortior which can be translated as, United Strength is Stronger, or Strength United is the More Powerful and it was not until 1 April 1910 that the Six Towns were brought together. The county borough of Hanley, the boroughs of Burslem, Longton. The combined borough took the town of Stoke. In 1919, the borough proposed to further and annex the neighbouring borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. This never took place, due to objections from Newcastle Corporation. A further attempt was made in 1930, with the promotion of the Stoke-on-Trent Extension Bill, ultimately, Wolstanton was instead added to Newcastle-under-Lyme in 1932. The borough was granted city status in 1925, with a Lord Mayor from 1928. The decision was overturned, however, when an approach was made to King George V. The public announcement of the elevation to city status was made by the King during a visit to Stoke on 4 June 1925, the county borough was abolished in 1974, and Stoke became a non-metropolitan district of Staffordshire. Its status as a unitary authority was restored on 1 April 1997, for Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS3 region
Chesterfield Football Club /ˈtʃɛstərfiːld/ is a professional association football club based in the town of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was a member of the Football League Third Division North in 1921–22 and has remained in the Football League since that time. While they have never played in the top flight, they rose to the second twice in the 1930s. Chesterfield play their games at the 10,504 capacity Proact Stadium. Chesterfields most notable recent successes came in the 1990s, when they won the Division Three playoff final at Wembley in 1995, in May 2011, Chesterfield secured the League Two title but were relegated from League One the following season. In 2011, Dave Allen was given ownership of the club. The 2011/12 season saw Chesterfield secure the Football League Trophy with a 2–0 victory over Swindon Town, a return to Wembley for the final of the Football League trophy was secured in 2014, with Chesterfield finishing runners-up after losing 3–1 to Peterborough United. In 2014, Chesterfield were crowned champions of League Two for a fourth time. Potentially five or more teams have been called Chesterfield Football club at different times, a second Chesterfield F. C. was formally created as an offshoot of Chesterfield Cricket Club in October 1867. The cricket and football clubs moved to the Recreation Ground at Saltergate in 1871, however, a souring of the relationship between the two led to the closure of the football club in 1881, when it found itself homeless. Three years later, in 1884, an entity called Chesterfield Football Club was formed. It drew in players from the club and both Chesterfield Livingstone and Chesterfield Spital, though records show Spital continued as a separate club. After changing its name to Chesterfield Town, the club turned professional in 1891, for the 1892–93 season, the club wore an extraordinary playing strip of all dark blue with the Union Jack emblazoned across the front of the shirt. Chesterfield joined the Midland League in 1896, and successfully applied for a place in the Second Division of the Football League at the start of the 1899–1900 season, finishing seventh. After finishing bottom of the League three years in a row, the failed to gain re-election to the League in 1909. It lasted only two years before its management and players were suspended by the FA for illegal payments and the shut down. The current Chesterfield F. C was formed on 24 April 1919 by Chesterfield Borough Council, in 1921–22, Chesterfield F. C. became a founder member of the new Football League Third Division North
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998, in 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the clubs co-chairman Sir John Madejski. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club, Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham. The early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, and later the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a ground and, to this end. In 1913, Reading had a tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write without doubt. Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920, Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, and remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. When League football resumed after the war, Reading quickly came to prominence once again, the sides moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, the appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994, in 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Goodings contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the half of Division One. Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998, the year 1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, the club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Steve Coppell, Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English footballs top division for the first time in their history, the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in place with 55 points
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final
Arnar Bergmann Gunnlaugsson is an Icelandic former professional footballer. His twin brother is Bjarki Gunnlaugsson, during his career he has enjoyed spells at Leicester City, Stoke City, Bolton Wanderers, IA Akranes, Nürnberg, Feyenoord and Dundee United. As a young player, Arnar made several appearances for the Icelandic international youth teams, Arnar made his debut for Iceland in an April 1993 friendly match against the United States. He went on to earn 32 caps, scoring three goals between 1993 and 2003 and his last international match was an April 2003 friendly match against Finland in which he was substituted with Veigar Páll Gunnarsson
Andrew Andy Hessenthaler is an English football manager and former player. He began his career in football and did not turn professional until he joined Watford at the age of 26. After leaving Gillingham, he had a spell at Barnet before joining Dover Athletic in 2007. In his two seasons in charge he led the club to successive championships, of Isthmian League Division One South, after three years at Dover, he became manager at Gillingham for the second time, but his contract was terminated at the end of the 2011–12 season. He returned to the club as assistant manager in 2014, before taking on a role at Leyton Orient the following year. In 2016, he was appointed manager of the club, but was sacked later the same year, as a teenager, Hessenthaler played for the youth team of his local club Dartford. He later joined Fawkham-based amateur team Corinthian, but Charlton Athletic took him on in 1983 on a trial basis. He failed to secure a contract with the club, however, in 1986, he was spotted by Dartford manager Peter Taylor while playing in a Kent Senior Cup match. Hessenthaler signed for his club on a wage of £40 per week. Hessenthaler spent four years at the club, during which time Dartford reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy on two occasions and finished twice as runners-up in the Southern League. In 1990, he was called up to the England National Game XI, later that year, he moved on to Redbridge Forest, where he spent one season and helped the team win the Isthmian League championship. In five seasons with the Hornets, he made 217 appearances in total, scoring 14 goals and he was one of the club veterans selected to represent Watford in the 2006 London Masters football event, where he was named Player of the Tournament. At the end of the 1995–96 season, shortly after Watfords relegation from the First Division, Hessenthaler signed for Gillingham for £235,000 and he quickly became a key player at Priestfield Stadium. In the 1998–99 season, he returned to his best form and this match was the final of the play-offs against Manchester City, which Gillingham lost after a penalty shoot-out. Shortly afterwards, Gillingham manager Tony Pulis, who had signed Hessenthaler, was dismissed from his post and he was replaced by Peter Taylor, who appointed Hessenthaler as player-coach. Immediately after guiding Gillingham to promotion, Peter Taylor left to manage Leicester City, in his first season in charge, he guided the club to a thirteenth-place finish while continuing to play regularly. A serious leg injury sustained in an FA Cup match against A. F. C, bournemouth in January 2001 kept him out for the remainder of the season but did not prevent him being selected for the Football Leagues Team of the Season. During the 2003–04 season, however, the Gills fortunes declined, the following month, with no significant improvement in the teams fortunes, Hessenthaler tendered his resignation
Priestfield Stadium is a football stadium in Gillingham, Kent. It has been the home of Gillingham Football Club since the formation in 1893. The stadium has also hosted womens and youth football matches. The stadium underwent extensive redevelopment during the late 1990s, which has brought its capacity down from nearly 20,000 to a current figure of 11,582 and it has four all-seater stands, all constructed since 1997, although one is only of a temporary nature. There are also conference and banqueting facilities and a nightspot named The Factory, despite having invested heavily in its current stadium, Gillingham F. C. has plans to relocate to a new stadium. New Brompton Football Club, the forerunner of Gillingham Football Club, at the same time an area of land in Gillingham was acquired by the clubs founders, the purchase being funded through an issue of 1,500 £1 shares. A pitch was laid and a pavilion erected, and the first matches at Priestfield were staged on 2 September 1893, new Bromptons reserve team played Grays, followed immediately by the first match for the clubs first team, against Woolwich Arsenals reserves. The admission charge for the two matches was 3d, most spectators stood on terracing, banked earth, or simply along the perimeter of the pitch, as was the case at most football grounds at the time. Sheep were allowed to graze on the pitch during the week, in 1899, a second stand was added along part of the Gordon Road side of the ground, reportedly built by off-duty dock workers in exchange for beer and cigarettes. By 1908, the number of seats had been increased to 800. In 1912, the clubs first Supporters Association was formed, its initial project being to raise the funds to construct terracing at the opposite end of the ground. Two years later the club, which had changed its name to Gillingham F. C, the club sued the contractors, but it took a further three months for the damage to be repaired. A new attendance record was set in 1924 when an FA Cup match against First Division leaders Cardiff City drew a crowd of 19,472. This record stood until 1948, when 23,002 fans watched Gillingham take on Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup, the ground underwent its most extensive redevelopment to date in 1955, at a total cost of £28,500. The first floodlights were erected in 1963, at a cost of over £14,000, by the early 1980s the capacity of the ground was listed as 22,000, although this was reduced to 19,000 when the Gordon Road Stand was closed for safety reasons. The clock was removed during later stadium redevelopment work and its current whereabouts are unknown, new owner Paul Scally took over at the club in 1995 and soon instigated a programme of redevelopment which completely transformed the formerly run-down ground. The closed stand was replaced with a new Gordon Road Stand in 1997 at a cost of more than £2 million, two years later the Rainham End terracing was replaced with a new all-seater stand, with the sports centre behind it demolished and replaced with a car park. Supporters were not able to sit in the new stand until the latter stages of the 1999–2000 season, the stand also caused severe financial problems for the club, as its facilities eventually cost significantly more than the original estimate
Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. For the 2016–17 season, they are competing in League Two, founded in 1887, Blackpools home ground has been Bloomfield Road since 1901. Their main nickname is the Seasiders, but they are called the Pool and the Tangerines, the latter in reference to the colour of their home kit. Blackpools least successful period was in the 1980s, particularly when, in the 1982–83 season, they finished 21st in English League footballs lowest tier, the clubs motto is Progress, as featured on the club crest. Blackpool have a rivalry with Preston North End, and matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby. They have not met in a match since February 2010. Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years later but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St Johns School to form a new club called Blackpool St Johns. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88, the Fylde Cup, at the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished out of the 13 member clubs. They finished as runners-up over the three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpools home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, which was part of an entertainment complex that included a theatre. This meant that the average attendances were around the 2000 mark. Their application was successful, and for the debut season, 1896–97. Blackpools first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, for the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds. They remained there for the first seven games of 1898–99. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season and they finished third, and after the Football Leagues annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two. It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore, during the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place
Macclesfield Town F.C.
Macclesfield Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. The club currently plays in the National League, the tier of English football. The club was formed in 1874 and play games at the 6,355 capacity Moss Rose stadium. They were members of the Football League from 1997 until 2012, a football club was first formed in Macclesfield in the mid-19th century, but played rugby union rules. In 1874, the club adopted the rules of the Football Association, between 1874 and 1940 the club was known by a succession of names, including Macclesfield Football and Athletic Club, Hallifield F. C. and Macclesfield F. C. When competitive football resumed after World War II, Macclesfield Town Football Club Ltd. was formed, the club joined the Cheshire County League in 1946–47, playing their first game after reformation on 31 August,1946, a 2–0 defeat to Buxton. The clubs form in the remainder of the 1940s was largely indifferent, Macclesfield Town progressed through four qualifying rounds to make their first appearance in the FA Cup first round in 1960 under manager Frank Bowyer, but lost 7–2 to Southport. The club reached the FA Cup third round for the first time in 1968, the club were founder members of the Northern Premier League, one of three leagues at the fifth tier of English football, upon its creation in 1968. Macclesfield Town were champions in each of the first two seasons of the competition, finishing twelve points clear in 1968–69, and by goal average in 1969–70. The 1969–70 season also resulted in a trip to Wembley for the final of the FA Trophy. Macclesfield Town defeated Telford United 2–0 in front of more than 28,000 spectators to win the competition, the club finished as Northern Premier League runners-up in the 1984–85 season, and two years later Macclesfield Towns third Northern Premier League title resulted in promotion to the Conference. Macclesfield Town finished in mid-table in their first Conference season, the club reached the FA Trophy final for the second time in 1989, facing Telford United, the same opponents as Macclesfield Towns first final nineteen years earlier. However, the team did not match the achievement of their predecessors, mcIlroy took charge at the start of the 1993–94 season, and guided the club to the Football Conference championship in his second season as manager. Upon gaining League status, the club turned fully professional, Macclesfield Towns first League match was a 2–1 win at home to Torquay United. It was a year for the club, who were unbeaten at home for the entire season. However, the higher level proved a step too far for the club, mcIlroy soon left to become the Northern Ireland national coach and was replaced by former Manchester United colleague Peter Davenport. A dismal start to the season cost Davenport his job though. David Moss in turn succeeded Prescott as manager and delivered two decent mid-table finishes, but a bad start to the 2003–04 season resulted in his sacking, Club stalwart John Askey succeeded Moss initially on a temporary basis, and earned the job permanently with some promising early results
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
It began in the 1983–84 season as the Associate Members Cup, but in 1992, after the lower-division clubs became full members of the Football League, it was renamed the Football League Trophy. The competition replaced the short-lived Football League Group Cup and it was renamed again in 2016, as the EFL Trophy. The competition has been associated with a sponsor since its second edition, currently. The first draws are made in August, then the runs as 16 regional groups. The top two from each group qualify for the stages before the two winners meet in late March or early April in the final at Englands national stadium. The current champions are Coventry City, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the first time, the competition was inaugurated as the Associate Members Cup in the 1983–84 season and followed on from the short-lived Football League Group Cup. The competition was renamed the Football League Trophy in 1992, the competition was renamed again in 2016, becoming the EFL Trophy, coinciding with the Football League rebranding to the English Football League. 64 teams enter from Round One, including all 48 teams from League One and League Two, the competition will now feature 16 regional groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. In the first year of the tournament, the 48 eligible Third, the first round had 12 knockout ties in each section, and the second had six. In each section the two second-round losers with the narrowest defeats were reprieved, and joined the six clubs in the regional quarter-finals. A major change was introduced for the 1985–86 tournament, with 8 three-team groups being set up in each of the two sections, teams played one home and one away game and the group winners proceeded to the regional knockout stages. This format was tweaked the following season, with two teams qualifying from each group, resulting in a round of 16 knockout stage in each section. For a number of seasons in the early to mid-1990s, the competition ran with only seven three-team groups and this was owing to League reorganisation and the demise of Aldershot and Maidstone United, which resulted in there being fewer than 48 teams in the 3rd and 4th levels. The group phase was abolished for the 1996–97 tournament, instead,8 teams in each received a bye to the second round. The number of Conference entrants was increased to 12 starting in 2002–03, resulting in 14 first-round ties, Conference teams no longer participated from the 2006–07 tournament onward, and the format reverted to 8 first-round teams in each section, with 8 sides gaining byes to the second round. The competition has always been contested by all teams at Levels Three, during the 2016–17 season,16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides have taken part in the competition. The first final in 1984 was to have played at the then Wembley Stadium. From 2001 to 2007, during the rebuilding of the former Wembley, source, napit. co. uk The record attendance for the final is 80,841, for the 1988 Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Wembley
Darlington 1883 is an English football club that plays at Blackwell Meadows, Darlington. This policy had previously applied to other collapsing clubs, such as Chester City FC. Darlington applied to join the Northern League as a new club, a deadline imposed by the FA meant the board was unable to wait for the results of a poll of supporters, so the name Darlington 1883 was chosen. The company Darlington 1883 Limited was incorporated on 18 Jan 2012 by owners of Darlington Football Club and this company then went on to purchase the assets of Darlington F. C. on 3 May 2012 when a CVA could not be agreed with creditors. Darlington Football Club itself was founded in 1883, and became a football club in 1908. The club became a member of the Football League in 1920, in which it competed until 1989, in the 1989–90 season and from 2010 to 2012, Darlington played in the Football Conference. The club was taken over by Darlington1883, a group of local fans. Darlington1883 failed to arrange a CVA, and as such on 21 June 2012 Darlington F. C. ceased to exist, an appeal against the FA decision was inevitably rejected, confirming that the new club would not be able to play as Darlington F. C. On 25 June 2012 the new registration of a new club. In March 2013 it was confirmed that the Darlington Football Club Community Interest Company and this made the club 100% fan and community owned, with 26% owned by the Darlington 1883 Supporters Club and 22% by 22 individual fans. Following a successful first season in the Northern League Division One, Darlington 1883 were crowned champions with a haul of 122 points. As a result, Darlington 1883 were promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One North, even though Darlington 1883 are a new club, they are committed to paying the former clubs debt including a recent payment of £53,000 to HMRC. Darlington played in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2013–14 season, in the 2013–14 season, Darlington finished 2nd and qualified for the playoffs, where they were beaten in the semifinal by Ramsbottom United. Ramsbottom went on to win the final and achieve promotion, in the 2014–15 season, Darlington again finished 2nd and on 2 May 2015 they won the playoff final 2–0 against Bamber Bridge to win promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. In the 2015–16 season, Darlington clinched the Northern Premier League Premier Division title on 21 April 2016 after beating Whitby Town 7–1 to seal promotion to the National League North. Norman Stephens and some of the staff were retained by Darlington who took Hordens place in the Wearside League. They played their first game under the new name on 6 October in a 1–0 away defeat to Boldon C. A, plans had originally been laid down to move to Shildon Football Club, but Heritage Park was eventually chosen as Darlingtons first official home. Heritage Park is south-west of Bishop Auckland, the attendance was exactly 3,000 at Blackwell Meadows
Oldham Athletic A.F.C.
Oldham Athletic Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of English football. The history of Oldham Athletic A. F. C. begins with the founding of Pine Villa F. C. in 1895, playing in the Manchester and Lancashire leagues. When rivals Oldham County F. C. folded in 1899, Pine Villa F. C. moved into their stadium and they were Football League runners-up in the 1914–15 season but were relegated from the Football League First Division in 1923. They reached the 1990 Football League Cup Final and won the Football League Second Division title in 1991 and they secured their top division status a year later to become founder members of the new Premier League but were relegated in 1994. After a period of insolvency in 2003–04, the club was taken over by a group of US-based expatriate British businessmen led by Simon Blitz, Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed its appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club. The club immediately gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League, unlike many clubs, Oldham Athletic gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08. After three years in the Second Division, Latics gained promotion to the First Division, within a couple of seasons, Oldham had announced themselves serious contenders, finishing 4th in the league in 1912–13, and reaching the F. A. Cup semi-finals the same season, losing out 1–0 versus Aston Villa, in 1914–15, Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. In the league season they almost won it all, Latics lost the league by one point. Latics early success was halted by the First World War. Many of the players from their former squads had either retired from football or had killed in the war. Their highest success came in the 1929–30 season as finished in 3rd. From then on they slowly but surely fell down the league table and they found life in this new division much more to their liking, coming 7th in their first season and following this with three seasons in the top five. Promotion back to the Second Division looked like it might just be a possibility, players contracts were terminated, and relying largely on guest players, the club was to play in the war-time Northern League until August 1946. Following the return of football there was to be no immediate success for Oldham Athletic. They finished 19th in the first league season after the war, Hardwicks appointment came at a cost, with a £15,000 transfer fee paid to Middlesbrough. In Hardwicks first full season in charge they finished 4th after topping the table for a considerable time, eric Gemmell scored seven of these to establish an individual club record for one game which still stands to date
Rochdale Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The clubs colours are black and blue and they play their games at Spotland Stadium. Formed in 1907 and nicknamed the Dale, they were accepted into the Football League in 1921, since then, the club has remained in the bottom two professional divisions of English Football. The team has achieved promotion three times – in 1969,2010 and 2014. Rochdale attract a small, but loyal fanbase, with a hardcore following of around 3000 home fans on average per match. Local fixtures however attract a higher turnout. The club reached the League Cup Final in 1962 and this was the first time a club from the bottom league division had reached the final of a major competition – where they lost to Norwich City. During its history, the club has had three promotions and three relegations, with coming in 1969 and 2010 and 2014 and relegation in 1959,1974 and 2012. The 1959 relegation followed the 1958 restructuring which saw the combination of the two Third Division sections into the Third Division and Fourth Division. In the restructuring, Rochdale managed to secure a spot in the Third Division, Rochdale A. F. C. was formed in 1907. After World War I the Football League was expanded and the club applied to join. In 1921 Rochdale was recommended to be included in the new Third Division North, however, this first season ended with the club at the bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership. In the early stages of the 1969–70 season, Rochdale topped the Division Three table, the teams form significantly declined around Christmas 1969, however, and a failure to halt the teams decline led to the dismissal of Richley. He was succeeded by Dick Conner, who stabilised the clubs form, the following three seasons saw the club finish in the lower reaches of the Division Three table, narrowly avoiding relegation each time. The board viewed merely surviving in Division Three as unacceptable and replaced Conner with Walter Joyce for the 1973–74 season and this move failed to pay off, and Rochdale was relegated after a campaign in which they won only 2 of 46 league games. The club finished bottom of the league in 1977–78, but was successful in their bid for re-election, southport, which had finished one place above Rochdale, was demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Rochdale finished bottom for a time in 1979–80, but was again re-elected – by one vote over Altrincham
Wembley Stadium (1923)
The Original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium located in Wembley Park, London. It stood on the now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The great Brazilian footballer Pelé once said of the stadium, Wembley is the cathedral of football and it is the capital of football and it is the heart of football in recognition of its status as the worlds best-known football stadium. It also hosted music events, including the 1985 Live Aid charity concert. The twin towers were an icon for England and Wembley, debris from the Original Wembley Stadium was used to make the award-winning Northala Fields in Northolt, Ealing. The stadiums first turf was cut by King George V, much of Humphrey Reptons original Wembley Park landscape was transformed in 1922–23 during preparations for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924–25. First known as the British Empire Exhibition Stadium or simply Empire Stadium, the stadium cost £750,000, and was constructed on the site of an earlier folly called Watkins Tower. The architects were Sir John Simpson and Maxwell Ayrton and the Head Engineer Sir Owen Williams, the stadium had gone into liquidation, after it was pronounced financially unviable. Elvin offered to buy the stadium for £127,000, using a £12,000 downpayment and they then immediately bought it back from Elvin, leaving him with a healthy profit. Instead of cash he received shares, which gave him the largest stake in Wembley Stadium, the electric scoreboard and the all-encircling roof, made from aluminium and translucent glass, were added in 1963. The stadiums distinctive Twin Towers became its trademark and nickname, also well known were the 39 steps needed to be climbed to reach the Royal box and collect a trophy. Wembley was the first pitch to be referred to as Hallowed Turf, in 1934, the Empire Pool was built nearby. The Wembley Stadium Collection is held by the National Football Museum, the stadium closed in October 2000, and demolition commenced in December 2002, completing in 2003 for redevelopment. The top of one of the towers was erected as a memorial in the park on the north side of Overton Close in the Saint Raphaels Estate. Wembley is best known for hosting football matches, having hosted the FA Cup Final annually as well as numerous England International fixtures, the Empire Stadium was built in exactly 300 days at the cost of £750,000. Described as the worlds greatest sporting arena, it was ready only 4 days before the White Horse Final in 1923, the FA had not considered admission by ticket, grossly underestimating the number of fans who arrived at the 104 gates on match day. However, after the game, every event, apart from the 1982 replay, was ticketed, the first event held at the stadium was the FA Cup Final on 28 April 1923 between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. This is known as the White Horse Final, the crowds overflowed onto the pitch as there was no room on the terraces