David Gold (businessman)
David Gold is an English businessman. He was the chairman of Birmingham City Football Club until 2009, since 2010, he has been the joint chairman of West Ham United. Gold was raised in East London and for some time lived at 442 Green Street near to West Hams Boleyn Ground and he played youth team football for West Ham. His father, Godfrey, was an East End criminal, known locally as Goldy and his father was Jewish and his mother was a Christian. Gold owns Gold Group International, the parent company of the retailer Ann Summers, GGI was jointly owned by Gold and his brother Ralph, until he bought out Ralphs share in 2008. He co-owned adult magazine company Gold Star Publications, including printing and distribution businesses, and he and his brother sold their interests in November 2006. In 2007, the brothers sold their share in Sport Newspapers, following falling sales. He owned corporate air service Gold Air International until he sold it in 2006 for £4. 4m, Gold is the former chairman of Birmingham City F. C. In 2007 the Gold brothers were believed to be in the process of selling their share in Birmingham City which followed Birminghams return from relegation and lower than expected profits. After the club was relegated again to the Championship in May 2008. He sold his Birmingham City shares in 2009, in May 2005, Gold bought the second FA Cup trophy at auction for £488,620, saying he wanted to prevent it being bought by overseas buyers. In January 2010 Gold and David Sullivan acquired a 50 percent share of West Ham United giving them operational and commercial control of the club. They increased their share of the club to 30% each in May 2010 at a cost of £8 million and his time as chairman of West Ham has been conspicuous due to several incidents. In August 2010 his Rolls-Royce Phantom car was attacked by Aston Villa fans outside a pub near Villa Park after West Hams 3–0 defeat, the car sustained £8,500 worth of damage. He described the incident as the most frightening experience of my football life, in November 2010 Gold criticised Birmingham Citys new owners for reneging on their promise to keep him on as chairman following the sale of the club. Birmingham City and their chairman, Peter Pannu, responded by banning Gold from their ground St Andrews for Birmingham Citys game against West Ham on 6 November. Gold later issued an apology to Pannu on West Hams own website. After the campaign against Malcolm Glazers increase in the debt of Manchester United and Portsmouth going into administration in 2010 and he feels it is cheating for a team to take on debts which they could never pay off without external assistance and that he fears for the league
Trevor John Francis, is a former footballer who played as a forward. Throughout his playing career, he played for clubs in England, and also had spells in the United States, Italy. He became Englands first £1 million player following his transfer to Nottingham Forest in 1979, at international level, he played for England 52 times between 1976 and 1986, scoring 12 goals, and took part at the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Between 1988 and 2003 he was a manager, most notably with Sheffield Wednesday. Francis is currently working as a pundit with BT Sport, Francis was born in Plymouth and educated at Plymouths Public Secondary School for Boys. He was an agile and skilful forward and joined Birmingham City as a schoolboy, Francis quickly rose in status, making his debut for Birmingham Citys first team in 1970, aged just 16. His talent was noted when, before his 17th birthday, he scored four goals in a match against Bolton Wanderers and he ended his first season with 15 goals from just 22 games. However, in February 1979 came the moment which would define his career, Nottingham Forest, the reigning First Division champions and League Cup holders managed by Brian Clough, put in a bid for Francis which totalled just over £1 million. While recognised as the first million pound player, the transfer fee for the player was £1,150,000. With taxes, the fee exceeded £1. 1m. They won their semi-final, and in May 1979 Forest took on Swedish side Malmö in the final in Munich, and a major instalment of the huge investment money was repaid just before half time. Francis had already begun to sprint into position, but even so he had to increase his pace in order to reach the cross as it dropped and he connected with his head and the ball diverted powerfully into the roof of the net. Forest won the match 1–0 and footage of the goal was used in the titles to Match of the Day for some years afterwards. A giant picture of Francis stooping to head the ball remains on display in the main entrance and reception area of Forests City Ground stadium. In his brief NASL career, Francis scored 36 goals in 33 regular season matches and had 18 assists, placing him one ahead of Pelé on the all-time scoring list. Francis arguably did not achieve his potential as a Forest player. This may partly be due to Clough frequently playing Francis on the right wing and he was in the side which lost the League Cup final to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1980, but missed the European Cup final against Hamburger SV due to an injury to his Achilles tendon. Somehow the success of his Forest career never quite reflected his huge fee, he scored only 14 league goals in the 1979–80 season, although still a regular for England, his scoring record in club football was not spectacular
Michael Dennis Mick Mills MBE is an English former footballer who played for Ipswich Town, Southampton and Stoke City. He managed Stoke City, Colchester United and Birmingham City, during his career he achieved Ipswich Towns record number of appearances and captained England at the 1982 World Cup. Mills joined Portsmouth as a schoolboy, but the club abandoned its youth system, Ipswich Town took him on and he made his debut for the first team in 1966, aged just 17, in a 5–2 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers. It was also the year that Bobby Robson arrived as manager, Robson appointed Mills as team captain in 1971 and so began a close working relationship between coach and skipper which was at the forefront of Ipswichs rise to the top of the game for a decade. In 1973, Ipswich finished fourth in the First Division, won the Texaco Cup, Ipswich began to finish in the top sector of the First Division with some regularity and played in numerous European competitions, but actual success seemed to elude them. Mills was the captain of a young side consisting mainly of players brought through the ranks. They achieved third place in the First Division in 1977 and expected to go better than that the following year, however, that subsequent season in the First Division for Ipswich was disappointing as they struggled to find any consistency and finished a lowly 16th. There was a bonus for them in the FA Cup, however. Mills, as captain, lifted the trophy - Ipswichs first major honour for 16 years, in the same year, Robson had told a 33-year-old Mills that his contract at Ipswich would not be renewed. Mills joined Southampton in November 1982 for 40,000 pounds while Robson became Ron Greenwoods replacement as England manager and he made 741 appearances for Ipswich over 17 years, a club record. He joined Southampton in November 1982 and spent three seasons at The Dell making 123 appearances before leaving in the summer of 1985 to become player-manager at Stoke City, at Stoke Mills played himself 44 times before deciding to retire from playing at the age of 38. During the 1972–73 season, England manager Alf Ramsey gave Mills his first international cap in a 1–1 draw with Yugoslavia at Wembley, Mills played at right back, a position which became more familiar to him with England than with Ipswich as his career continued. His second cap came in 1976 against Wales and he had eleven by the end of the 1977 campaign, while his club had finally won a trophy, Mills international career was in a semi-statuesque state. Don Revie had given him a number of games at left back, including the opening qualifiers for the 1978 World Cup but Mills had to cope with lots of competition for both full back slots. After Revies departure, successor Ron Greenwood seemed to prefer Liverpools Phil Neal at right back and Leeds Uniteds Trevor Cherry at left back and he didnt play in any of the remaining qualifying games, and England failed to reach the finals. Mills sacrificed his place in the final England game of 1978, against Czechoslovakia, when England beat Hungary at Wembley in their final qualifier to reach their first World Cup in a dozen years, Mills won his 35th cap. England won 3–1 and Mills stayed in the side for the group matches. Greenwood reverted to a Mills-Sansom full back pairing for the second phase, in 1985, Mills became player-manager of Stoke City with Sammy Chung as his assistant
However, a caretaker may also be appointed if the regular manager is suspended, ill or unable to attend to their usual duties. Caretaker managers are appointed at short notice from within the club, usually the assistant manager. In other sports, the interim manager is more commonly used. Tony Barton was appointed manager of Aston Villa after the departure of Ron Saunders, if a caretaker proves to be particularly successful during their spell in charge, they are sometimes given the managers job full-time. Glenn Roeder was appointed manager of Newcastle United after having taken over as caretaker following Graeme Souness dismissal in 2006. This also occurred when Ricky Sbragia got the Sunderland job permanently after Roy Keanes resignation in November 2008 but he resigned himself at the end of the season 2008–09. This also happened in the 2010–11 Premier League, on 8 January 2011, Roy Hodgson was sacked by Liverpool after a run of poor results, kenny Dalglish was appointed the caretaker manager of Liverpool for the remainder of the season. After an impressive run of results, which saw Liverpool rise to 6th on the table, Dalglish was appointed the manager of Liverpool. In Norway, a notable example occurred in 2006 when Rosenborg BK manager Per-Mathias Høgmo announced he was taking a leave of absence in mid-season, at the time, Rosenborg were ten points behind leaders SK Brann. His assistant Knut Tørum was appointed on a basis, and proceeded to lead Rosenborg to a furious comeback. Høgmo announced his resignation two days after Rosenborg clinched, and Tørum was named permanent manager after the season. On the other hand, Tony Parkes was named manager of Blackburn Rovers on six separate occasions between 1986 and 2004, without ever being given the role in a full-time capacity. He is still yet to be given a full-time managerial role, in November 2007, Sandy Stewart led St Johnstone to victory in the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup in his only game in charge as caretaker manager. In the 2007–08 season, Cevat Güler won Süper Lig as Galatasarays caretaker manager and he was in charge for the last five matches of the season due to Karl Heinz Feldkamps resignation. In the 2007 Hazfi Cup final, Sepahans head coach, Luka Bonačić had travelled to his country, mansour Ebrahimzadeh who was assistant to Bonačić served as caretaker manager for that match. Sepahan won the match and the title, roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League and FA Cup as caretaker manager of Chelsea in 2012, leading to him being appointed permanent manager on a two-year contract. Benítez was not offered a contract as permanent manager, instead being replaced by José Mourinho who went back to Chelsea for a second term
Stephen Roger Steve Bruce is an English professional football manager and former player who is currently manager of Aston Villa. Born in Corbridge, Northumberland, he was a schoolboy footballer but was rejected by several professional clubs. He was on the verge of quitting the game altogether when he was offered a trial with Gillingham, Bruce was offered an apprenticeship and went on to play more than 200 games for the club before joining Norwich City in 1984, winning the Football League Cup in 1985. In 1987, he moved to Manchester United, with whom he achieved success, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup. He also became the first English player of the 20th century to captain a team to the Double, despite his success on the field, he was never selected to play for the England national team. Commentators and contemporaries have described him as one of the best English players of the 1980s and 1990s never to play for his country at international level. Bruce began his career with Sheffield United, and spent short periods of time managing Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic. He twice led Birmingham to promotion to the Premier League during his tenure of six years. At the end of the 2008–09 season he resigned to take over as manager of Sunderland, a post he held until he was dismissed in November 2011. Seven months later, he was appointed manager of Hull City and he took over at Aston Villa four months later. Bruce was born in Corbridge in Northumberland, the elder of two sons of Joe and Sheenagh Bruce and his father was local, and his mother had been born in Bangor in Northern Ireland. The family lived in Daisy Hill near Wallsend, and Bruce attended Benfield School and they were my team, I went to support them as a boy and being a Geordie its in-bred, you follow the club still the same today. Like several other future professionals from the area, he played football for Wallsend Boys Club and he travelled down to Kent with another player from the Wallsend club, Peter Beardsley, but although Gillingham signed Bruce as an apprentice, they turned Beardsley away. Bruce spent the 1978–79 season in Gillinghams reserve team and, despite playing in defence, in January 1979, he was selected to represent the England Youth team, and he went on to gain eight caps, participating in the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship. He went on to more than 200 appearances for the club. Confident that he was being targeted by clubs from higher divisions and he returned in time to play a key role in Gillingham achieving two draws against Everton in the FA Cup in 1984, attracting the attention once again of scouts from First Division clubs. Arthur Cox, manager of Bruces beloved Newcastle United, expressed an interest in signing the player, Bruce eventually opted to sign for Norwich City in August 1984 for a fee variously reported as £125,000 or £135,000. In 2009, he was voted into Gillinghams Hall of Fame, Bruce was voted Norwich City Player of the Year, but the team was relegated to the Second Division
St Andrew's (stadium)
St Andrews is an association football stadium in the Bordesley district of Birmingham, England. It has been the ground of Birmingham City Football Club for more than a century. The attendance record, variously recorded as 66,844 or 67,341, was set at a 1939 FA Cup tie against Everton. During the Second World War, St Andrews suffered bomb damage, in the 1950s, the club replaced the stand and installed floodlights, and later erected a second small stand and roofed over the open terraces, but there were few further changes. The ground became dilapidated, a boy was killed when a wall collapsed during rioting in the 1980s, the seating capacity of the modern stadium is just over 30,000. It has function rooms suitable for business or social events and a store selling Birmingham City merchandise. A2004 proposal that the club should sell the ground and move into a multi-purpose City of Birmingham Stadium remains speculative, in 2013, the ground was listed as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011. St Andrews has been the venue for England international football matches at all levels below the national team. It has played host to events in sports, including rugby union and professional boxing. In 1876, they made a move to a fenced-off field in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, with an estimated capacity of 3,000 spectators, because the field was enclosed. This ground, which known as Muntz Street, had four sides of open terracing, a small covered wooden stand. When first opened it could hold approximately 10,000 spectators, over the years the height of the terracing was raised, which increased the capacity to around 30,000, but this became insufficient to cope with the demand. The attendance at a match in 1905 against local rivals Aston Villa was officially recorded as 28,000 spectators, the landlords refused to sell the freehold of the ground, nor would they permit major extensions to be made. As the board of directors estimated that staying at Muntz Street was costing the club £2,000 a year, director Harry Morris identified a site for a new ground in Bordesley, some three-quarters of a mile from Muntz Street towards the city centre. Covering an area of 7.5 acres, bounded by Cattell Road, Coventry Road, Tilton Road, Garrison Lane and the railway, and near St Andrews church, the site was where a brickworks had once operated. Club director Thomas Turley, a builder, acted as clerk of works, artesian springs, which kept the land flooded, had to be drained and blocked off with tons of rubble before soil could be laid on top. To create height for the terracing on the Coventry Road side of the ground and this embankment was known from the beginning as the Spion Kop, stood 110 terraces high at its highest point, and had a reported capacity of 48,000 spectators, each paying 6d. The Grandstand, on the Garrison Lane side of the ground, was 123 yards in length and it held 6,000 seats divided among six sections, priced from 1s to 2s, and all accesses were lit by electricity
Liverpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, the club has won 5 European Cups,3 UEFA Cups,3 UEFA Super Cups,18 League titles,7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields. The club was founded in 1892 and joined the Football League the following year, the club has played at Anfield since its formation. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably the North West Derby against Manchester United, the clubs supporters have been involved in two major tragedies. The second was the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing, the team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. The clubs anthem is Youll Never Walk Alone, Liverpool F. C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892, the team won the Lancashire League in its début season, and joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, losing 1–0 to Burnley. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950, playing against Arsenal, the club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, the club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years. In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup, in 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, and the FA Cup again a year later, Shankly retired soon afterwards and was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisleys second season as manager, the club won another League, the following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979, Paisley retired in 1983 and was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagans first season, Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium. Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence separated the two groups of supporters, and charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a wall to collapse, killing 39 fans. The incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster, the match was played in spite of protests by both managers, and Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is a football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Marks, they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887, the club moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won five major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, by 2014–15, Manchester City had the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €463.5 million. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated they were the sixth most valuable football club. City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899, with it promotion to the highest level in English football. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, in the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, after relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer, in the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Further trophies followed, City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy, the club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, the final trophy of the clubs most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2–1 in the League Cup final. A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s, Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone, under John Bond, City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were relegated from the top flight in the 1980s. However, this was only a respite, and following Reids departure Manchester Citys fortunes continued to fade. City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, after two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their countrys third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline, under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham
Thomas John Tommy Mooney is an English former professional football player who played as a striker, having scored in each of the top four divisions of the English football league system. Mooney began his career at Aston Villa, but was released in 1990 by Graham Taylor without ever playing for the first team. Mooney then joined Scarborough, where he made a name for himself, after three years at Scarborough, he moved to Southend United for a reported £100,000. In his early days at the club, under manager Glenn Roeder, he failed to cement a successful striking partnership with Jamie Moralee and he eventually ended up playing as part of the defensive line during the Second Division championship-winning campaign of 1997–98. Mooney started the 1998–99 season in a role, but slipped out of the side as Watford reverted to 4–4–2. Meanwhile, Watford, after a start, had fallen out of the play-off positions as the season drew to a close. On 3 April 1999 during a league match against Tranmere Rovers Watford manager Graham Taylor brought on Mooney as part of a triple substitution. The effect was almost immediate with Mooney whipping in a cross for Peter Kennedy to half volley home, Taylor picked Mooney for the following weeks away fixture against Birmingham City in his favoured strikers role. He scored the first and made the second in a 2–0 win, Watford went on to reach the play-offs gaining 19 points from their last seven games with Mooney scoring in every game bar one. He went on to give performances in both legs of the subsequent play-off semi final and the final against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium. Watfords inaugural Premiership season started brightly enough for Mooney, who scored the goal in front of The Kop at Anfield to secure a memorable away win against Liverpool – his boyhood club. He then grabbed another the week at home to Bradford City. He was injured in a 1–0 win against Gianluca Viallis Chelsea in mid-September and he was only able to make eight appearances as Watford were relegated. A return to the First Division in 2000 witnessed a fully fit Mooney back as centre forward and he became the first player in nearly a decade to score twenty league goals for the club. This achievement was enough to earn Mooney his second Player of the Season award, in May 2006 Mooney became the fourth inductee into the Watford Hall of Fame, alongside Luther Blissett, John McClelland and Tony Coton. He featured heavily in the side that took Birmingham from the First Division to the FA Premier League via the playoffs in the 2001–2002 season, however Mooney played just one game in the top division before being loaned to Stoke City. At Stoke Mooney played 12 times scoring three goals one of which came against his former club Watford, two other loans followed that season for Sheffield United and Derby County. At Sheffield United he scored once in the FA Cup, against future club Walsall, Mooney then moved to Swindon Town for the 2003–2004 season
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in League One, the tier of English football. The football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, the club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is currently an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,609, Sheffield United won the original First Division in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899,1902,1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936 and they reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the history they have played in red. Their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday, with whom they contest the Steel City Derby, Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg. The Wednesday had moved from Bramall Lane to their own ground at Olive Grove, Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally also the president of The Wednesday. Their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981 and they did fall back into the Third Division in 1988, but new manager Dave Bassett masterminded a quick revival which launched the Blades towards one of the most successful eras in their history. Successive promotions in the aftermath of the 1988 relegation saw them return to the First Division in 1990 after a 14-year exile and they survived at this level for four seasons and reached an FA Cup semi-final in the 1992–93 season before being relegated in 1994. Three years later, however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Football League Championship, Neil Warnock resigned as manager after the Blades went down. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, in the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, and entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on a return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town. In 2014, the Blades gained the nickname of giant-killers, having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City. In 2014–15, they reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, the club was formed by members of the Sheffield United Cricket Club, itself formed in 1854 and the first English sports club to use United in its name. Sheffield Uniteds predominant nickname is The Blades, a reference to Sheffields status as the producer of cutlery in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the nickname would also be used in reference to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, another nickname used was The Cutlers. In 1907, Wednesday came to be referred to as The Owls, in reference to their new ground in Owlerton, within Sheffield fans of the club are also sometimes referred to as Unitedites
Southend United F.C.
Southend United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of English football. Southend are known as The Shrimpers, a reference to the maritime industry included as one of the quarterings on the club badge. Founded 19 May 1906 in the Blue Boar pub Southend has been a member of the Football League since 1920, the club has spent most of its League career in the English lower divisions, with seven seasons in the Leagues second tier. The club is based at Roots Hall Stadium in Prittlewell, with plans to move to a new stadium at Fossetts Farm. The club has played at five grounds, the original Roots Hall, the Kursaal, the Greyhound Park, Roots Hall was the first stadium that the club owned and was built on the site of their original home, albeit at a lower level. The site previous to Southend purchasing it in 1952 had been used as a quarry, by the council as a landfill site. It took 10 years to complete the building of Roots Hall. The first game was played on 20 August 1955, a 3–1 Division Three victory over Norwich City, the North Stand had a single-barrelled roof which ran only the breadth of the penalty area, whilst the West Bank was covered at its rear only by a similar structure. Drainage was a problem, and the wet winter turned the ground into a quagmire, the terracing was finally completed soon after, but the colossal task of completely terracing the South Bank, all of its 72 steps, was not completed until 1964. The North Bank roof was extended in the early 1960s, floodlights were also installed during this period. Until 1988 Roots Hall was still the newest ground in the Football League, United had hit bad times in the mid-1980s and new chairman Vic Jobson sold virtually all of the South Bank for development, leaving just a tiny block of 15 steps. In 1994, seats were installed onto the original terracing whilst a second tier was added, the West Bank had already become seated in 1992 upon Uniteds elevation to Division Two whilst the East Stand paddock also received a new seating deck, bolted and elevated from the terracing below. The application was submitted to Ruth Kelly, then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. However, the application was called in at the beginning of April 2007, the inquiry began in September 2007, followed in October 2007 by a final inquiry, when chairman Ron Martin called for supporters to show in numbers at Southends local government headquarters. On 6 March 2008, permission to develop Fossetts Farm was given by the government, the club has a fierce local rivalry with fellow Essex side Colchester United. The two clubs were promoted from League One at the end of the 2005–06 season after a battle for top spot was eventually won by Southend. The rivalry extends back many years, the two clubs met again in an Essex derby match in the same competition the following season, with Southend emerging as the victors once more after a penalty shootout
Birmingham City Football Club
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Football League First Division
The Football League First Division is a former division of the Football League. Between 1888 and 1992 it was the division in the English football league system. Following the creation of the FA Premier League it was a second-level division, in 2004 it was rebranded as the Football League Championship. The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor and it originally consisted of a single division of 12 clubs, known as The Football League. When the League admitted additional members from the rival Football Alliance in 1892, for the next 100 years, the First Division was the top professional league in English football. Then, in 1992 the 22 clubs making up the First Division elected to resign from the Football League, the Football League was consequently re-organised, with the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions now renamed the First, Second and Third respectively. Thus, the First Division, while still the top level of the Football League, the First Division was renamed as the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, as part of a league-wide rebrand. Liverpool were the most frequent winners of the First Division when it was the top flight of English football, winning it a total of 18 times. After the creation of the Premier League, the new Division One title was won more than once by one club, Sunderland. The First Division initially consisted of 12 founder clubs, since then it has undergone a series of expansions as football became more popular, as of the 1975–76 season players had to make 14 appearances for their club during the season in order to qualify for a winners medal. See List of English football champions, see List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. The club currently plays in the Championship, the tier of English football. They were first promoted to the top flight in 1972, Norwich have won the League Cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. The club has never won the top flight, but finished third in 1993, the club was founded in 1902. The fans song On the Ball, City is regarded as being the oldest football song in the world which is still in use, the club plays in characteristic yellow and green kits and are nicknamed The Canaries after the history of breeding the birds in the area. They joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League for the 1902–03 season, but following a FA Commission, the club was ousted from the amateur game in 1905, deemed a professional organisation. Later that year Norwich were elected to play in the Southern League and with increasing crowds, they were forced to leave Newmarket Road in 1908, moving to The Nest, a disused chalk pit. During the First World War, with football suspended and facing spiralling debts, the club was officially reformed on 15 February 1919 – a key figure in the events was Charles Frederick Watling, future Lord Mayor of Norwich and the father of future club chairman, Geoffrey Watling. When, in May 1920, the Football League formed a third Division and their first league fixture, against Plymouth Argyle, on 28 August 1920, ended in a 1–1 draw. The club went on to endure a mediocre decade, finishing no higher than eighth, the inaugural match, held on 31 August 1935, against West Ham United, ended in a 4–3 victory to the home team and set a new record attendance of 29,779. The biggest highlight of the four seasons was the visit of King George VI to Carrow Road on 29 October 1938. However, the club was relegated to the Third Division at the end of the season, the league was suspended the following season as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War and did not resume until the 1946–47 season. City finished this and the season in 21st place, the poor results forcing the club to apply for re-election to the league. The 1958–59 season saw Norwich reach the semi-final of the FA Cup as a Third Division side, in the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. In 1962 Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a final to win the League Cup. They made their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Relegation to the Second Division in 1974 came after Saunders had departed and been succeeded by John Bond, a highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa. Bond departed to Manchester City in the autumn of 1980 and the club were relegated six months later, Norwich had also been the beneficiaries of one of English footballs first million-pound transfers when they sold striker Justin Fashanu to Nottingham Forest in August 1981
Penalty shoot-out (association football)
A penalty shoot-out is a method of determining the winner of an association football match that is drawn after the regulation as well as extra playing time. Although the procedure for taking kicks from the penalty mark resembles that of a penalty kick, most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked. The method of breaking a draw in a match requiring a winner is determined beforehand by the organizing body. Although employed in football commonly since the 1970s, penalty shoot-outs remain unpopular with some, during a shoot-out, coaches, players other than the kicker and the goalkeepers must remain in the centre circle. The kicking teams goalkeeper stands at the intersection of the goal line, goals scored during the shoot-out are not included in the final score, nor are they added to the goalscoring records of the players involved. A tie is a result in football. Exceptionally, a shoot-out after a league or round-robin match may be provided for and this provision appears for occasions where opposing teams in a final-day match finish the group with identical records, which can result in an immediate shoot-out. This happened in Group A of the 2003 UEFA Womens Under-19 Championship, several leagues, such as the J-League, have experimented with penalty shoot-outs immediately following a drawn league match, with the winner being awarded an extra point. A team that loses a penalty shoot-out is eliminated from the tournament but it does not count as a defeat, for instance, the Netherlands are considered to have concluded the 2014 FIFA World Cup undefeated, despite being eliminated at the semi-final stage. The following is a summary of the procedure for kicks from the penalty mark, the procedure is specified in Law 10 of the IFABs Laws of the Game document. The referee tosses a coin to decide the goal at which the kicks will be taken, the choice of goal by the coin toss winner may only be changed by the referee for safety reasons or if the goal or playing surface becomes unusable. The referee tosses the coin a second time to determine which team will take the first kick, all players other than the kicker and the goalkeepers must remain in the pitchs centre circle. Each kick will be taken in the manner of a penalty kick. Each kick will be taken from the penalty mark, which is 12 yards from the line and equidistant from each touch line. Each team is responsible for selecting from the players the order in which they will take the kicks. The referee is not informed of the order, each kicker can kick the ball only once per attempt. Once kicked, the kicker may not play the ball again, no other player on either team, other than the designated kicker and goalkeeper, may touch the ball. The ball may touch the goalkeeper, goal posts, or crossbar any number of times before going into the goal as long as the referee believes the motion is the result of the initial kick
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
Manager (association football)
In association football, a manager is an occupation of head coach in the United Kingdom responsible for running a football club or a national team. Outside of the British Isles and across most of Europe, a title of coach or coach is predominant. The manager of a club is responsible to the club chairman. The managers responsibilities in a football club usually include the following, Selecting the team of players for matches. Planning the strategy, and instructing the players on the pitch, motivating players before and during a match. Delegating duties to the first team coach and the coaching and medical staff, scouting for young but talented players for eventual training in the youth academy or the reserves, and encouraging their development and improvement. Buying and selling players in the market, including loans. Facing the media in pre-match and post-match interviews, some of the above responsibilities are shared with the director of football or sporting director, and are at times delegated to an assistant manager or club coach. Additionally, depending on the club, some minor responsibilities include, Marketing the club, most especially for ticket admission, sponsorship, growing turnover and keeping the club profitable. These responsibilities are more common among managers of small clubs, for this reason, in many cases, national football team managers are selected from current club team managers and also in many cases, they select the players of their clubs. The title of manager is almost exclusively used in British football, in the majority of countries where professional football is played, the person responsible for the direction of a team is awarded the position of coach or trainer. For instance, despite the general equivalence in responsibilities, Bobby Robson was referred to as the manager of England, for example, a typical European football manager would have the final say on in-game decisions, and off-the-field and roster management decisions. In American sports, these duties would be handled separately by the coach and general manager
Crystal Palace F.C.
Crystal Palace Football Club is a professional football club based in South Norwood, London, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club was founded in 1905 at the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building by the owners of the FA Cup Final stadium which was situated inside the historic Palace grounds. The club played their games at the Cup Final venue until 1915, but then the First World War forced them to move out and play at Herne Hill Velodrome. In 1924, the moved to their current home at Selhurst Park. Palace have been FA Cup finalists twice, in 1990 and 2016, the club were denied a place in Europe at the end of that season due to the partial UEFA ban on English clubs caused by the Heysel Stadium disaster. Palace were one of the founding members of the Premier League. The club were winners of the Full Members Cup in 1991 when they beat Everton in the Wembley final, Palace have been second tier champions twice and hold the record for the most play-off wins for promotion to the top flight, winning the final four times. In 1973, the changed its original nickname from The Glaziers to The Eagles. The club had played in claret and blue colours. Palace have rivalries with Brighton & Hove Albion, with whom they contest the M23 derby, in 1895, the Football Association had found a new permanent home for the FA Cup Final at the site of the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building. There had been an amateur Crystal Palace team as early as 1861, the owners of the venue wanted a professional club to play there and tap into the vast crowd potential of the area. Crystal Palace Football Club, originally nicknamed The Glaziers, was formed on 10 September 1905 under the guidance of Aston Villa assistant secretary Edmund Goodman, the club applied to enter the Football League alongside Chelsea and Southampton, but was the only unsuccessful team of the three. The club instead found itself in the Southern League Second Division for the 1905–06 season, the club was successful in its inaugural season and was promoted to the First Division, crowned as champions. Palace remained in the Southern League up until 1914, their one highlight the 1907 shock First Round victory over Newcastle United in the FA Cup. The outbreak of the First World War led to the Admiralty requisitioning the Crystal Palace, Three years later the club moved again to the Nest due to the folding of Croydon Common F. C. The club joined the Football League Third Division in the 1920–21 season, finishing as champions, during this period, Palace also won the London Challenge Cup three times in 1913,1914, and 1921. Palace moved to the purpose-built stadium Selhurst Park in 1924, the ground the club plays at today, the opening fixture at Selhurst Park was against Sheffield Wednesday, Palace losing 0–1 in front of a crowd of 25,000. Finishing in twenty-first position, the club was relegated to the Third Division South, before the Second World War Palace made good efforts at promotion, never finishing outside the top half of the table and finishing second on three occasions
Le Coq Sportif
Le Coq Sportif is a French company producing sports equipment such as shoes, shorts, and t-shirts. It was founded in 1882 by Émile Camuset and located in Entzheim, but the first clothing items branded with the rooster appeared in 1948. The companys name derives from the Gallic rooster, a symbol of France. The company has sponsorship deals with several clubs, most notably European clubs Saint-Étienne. In addition, the company sponsors the Quick Step-Innergetic and Team Milram cycling teams, the company also sponsored Brazilian club Sport Club Internacional in 1982. The club won the traditional Joan Gamper Trophy at the Camp Nou in Barcelona while using Le Coq uniforms, Internacional also won the 1982 Gaúcho Championship wearing Le Coq. South Korean golfer Yang Yong-eun wore a Le Coq Sportif shirt on the last day of the PGA Championship in 2009 and it also has an endorsement deal with NBA basketball player Joakim Noah. Le Coq Sportif is famous in Japan and Korea and hired local designers to complete and they also signed some partnerships to release special models. Le Coq Sportif in Japan associated with Sou to create handmade shoes and they also released a line of shoes with designer Kamishima Chinami. For Le Coq Sportif Korea, the partnership was made with the car manufacturer Peugeot to create a shoe named the Peugeot 207cc, the shoes were recalled in 2009 for a product fault, when the fabric was exposed to water the shoes stitching would come apart. This in turn lost Le Coq Sportif millions in revenue, in 2012, Le Coq Sportif returned to professional cycling, and manufactured the jerseys for the Tour de France under a new five-year contract with Amaury Sport Organisation. Le Coq Sportif started supplying the Tour de France in 1951, Le Coq Sportif is the official uniform supplier of the following teams/players, Richard Gasquet Chung Hyeon Tahiti Australia Virreyes Rugby Club Racing Paris Official website
Phones 4u was a large independent mobile phone retailer in the United Kingdom. It was part of the 4u Group based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, since opening in 1996, it expanded to over 600 stores. On 14 September 2014, EE, Vodafone, Orange & O2, the company entered administration on 15 September 2014 with PricewaterhouseCoopers appointed as administrators. In 1987, John Caudwell and his brother Brian founded Midlands Mobile Phones, the company became the Caudwell Group, whose high street retail arm was named Phones 4u. On 26 September 2006, The Caudwell Group was sold for a sum of £1.47 billion to private equity firms Providence Equity Partners, in February 2008, the group bought online retailer Dialaphone in a deal worth an estimated £9 million. In July 2010, Phones 4u partnered with electrical chain Dixons to place 49 concessions inside Currys and this number increased to over 100. However, following a merger between Dixons and rival phone shop, Carphone Warehouse, it was announced that this partnership would not be renewed, the group was acquired by private equity group BC Partners in March 2011. The deal, estimated to be worth in the region of £700 million, was agreed several months after talks with a United States private equity owner ended, on 15 September 2014, Phones 4u entered administration. Stores closed and both the Phones 4u and Dial-A-Phone websites were offline, pending a decision by the administrators. The other mobile networks already stopped trading through Phones 4u, with Three leaving in 2012, on 19 September 2014, Vodafone reached an agreement with the administrators of Phones 4u to take over and rebrand 140 stores. It was also revealed that 628 employees at the office in Newcastle-Under-Lyme would be laid off. On 23 September 2014, administrators PwC announced that close to 1700 jobs would be lost, on 14 October 2014, EE announced that it would acquire Life Mobile from Phones 4us administrators. Until September 2014, these were available on all major UK network providers with the exception of Three, aside from handsets, Phones 4u stocked mobile phone accessories and tablet computer devices. Innovative JUMP and 4u Wifi have been introduced to accompany the mobile lifestyle, insurance was available on many of its products from the financial arm of the 4u Group, Policy Administration Services. Before 2008, complaints surfaced about shoppers feeling pressured by hard sell tactics for phone insurance, negative service perceptions, the retailer retrained staff and eliminated some of its more aggressive practices, including street-fighting, the practice of sales people standing in shop doorways to lure customers. In November 2008, Ofcom found Phones 4u guilty of misleading customers over network coverage, failing to provide refunds for faulty handsets. Phones 4u responded with a series of undertakings to prevent recurrences, the company said 80% of complaints were due to problems in its repair business, rather than sales, which the company was in the process of resolving. After six months of scrutiny, the Ofcom investigation resulted in minor changes to terms
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
The Millennium Stadium, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Principality Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby team and has also staged games of the Wales national football team. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped, the stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc, a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union. The stadium was designed by a led by architects Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. WS Atkins were the engineers, and the building contractor was Laing. The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million, with a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is also the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, due to take place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the renamed as the Principality Stadium from early 2016. Until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was officially opened, however, in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, and by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. France was also about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000,11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. It was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east which was shared by both vehicles and spectators alike. The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, the committee eventually chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would also involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south and this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site and it was also decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football
Iwan Wyn Roberts is a Welsh former professional footballer who played as a striker from 1986 to 2005. Since retiring, he has worked as a sports commentator, Roberts notably played in the Premier League for Leicester City and Norwich City, as well as earning 15 caps for Wales. He also played in the Football League for Watford, Huddersfield Town, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Gillingham and Cambridge United. Local Norwich football newspaper The Pinkun described him as one of the greatest goal ever to pull on a Norwich City shirt. Since retiring as a player, Roberts, who speaks fluent Welsh, has worked as a commentator for Sky Sports, Radio Cymru and his book, All I Want for Christmas. A reference to his appearance, prompted both controversy and praise when it was published in 2004. Roberts was born in Bangor, Gwynedd and grew up in Dyffryn Ardudwy and he played schoolboy football for his school and local side Caernarfon Town. He lost his front teeth following an elbow to the mouth when he was 18, Roberts began his professional career at Watford, when he joined as a trainee, signing his first professional contract in July 1986, shortly after his eighteenth birthday. One of his contemporaries at Watford was future Norwich manager, Glenn Roeder, Roberts remembers Roeder as an absolute gentleman. I cant speak highly enough of him and he helped me a great deal with his experience and any problems that the young lads had they knew he would help them with. He scored nine goals in 63 games for the Hornets before moving to Huddersfield Town prior to the start of the 1990–91 season. His form for Huddersfield – where he scored 50 goals in 142 games – got him noticed by other clubs and in November 1993 he was signed by Leicester City. Roberts scored 41 goals in 100 league games for Leicester and was part of the team won promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs at the end of the 1993–94. His goals and performances for Leicester persuaded Wolves to sign him in the summer of 1996 and he did, however, score a hat-trick for the club in a match against their bitter local rivals West Bromwich Albion and, overall, scored 12 goals in 33 games. Roberts was called up to represent his country against Holland in May 1992, in July 1997, Norwich City manager Mike Walker paid £850,000 to Wolves to secure the services of Roberts. His time at the club did not begin happily, however and he played eight games in Division One before finally breaking his league duck. He then played another eight matches before his goal but, gradually. Hed scored just four goals in most of a season, however, three goals in the final two home games of the season left in good heart for the next campaign
Geoffrey Malcolm Horsfield is an English former professional footballer and football coach. He made more than 300 appearances in the Football League playing as a striker and he was a strong and forceful player, able to hold the ball up in order to bring other players into the game. Horsfield made his Football League debut with Scarborough as a teenager, released by the club, he returned to part-time football with Halifax Town, Guiseley and Witton Albion, before a second spell at Halifax saw him help the club regain their Football League status. He moved on to Fulham, with whom he achieved promotion to the First Division and he played in the final of the 2001 League Cup with Birmingham, and the following season helped them reach the Premier League. After a short period at Wigan Athletic in 2003, he joined West Bromwich Albion, in 2006, he moved to Sheffield United, but much of his time there was spent on loan to other clubs, namely Leeds United, Leicester City and Scunthorpe United. In July of that year he was appointed player-assistant manager at Port Vale under Micky Adams, in March 2013 he returned to playing football for Alvechurch. Horsfield was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and his father, Terry, was a coal miner, as was his grandfather. While still a schoolboy he started playing football for a team, Athersley Recreation, in the Barnsley Sunday League. On leaving school, Horsfield took a course in bricklaying. Given his league debut in March 1993 by manager Ray McHale, he was released after playing 12 league matches and returned to bricklaying and part-time football. He moved on to Witton Albion, where he sustained a potentially career-threatening knee injury, Horsfield made his second debut for Halifax in October 1996. On the last day of the 1996–97 season, needing to beat Stevenage Borough to avoid relegation from the Conference, the following season, Halifax won the Conference title by a nine-point margin, thus regaining their Football League status. Horsfields 30 goals in 40 league games, including hat-tricks against Yeovil Town, Telford United and Hereford United, together with team-mate Mark Bradshaw, Horsfield was selected for Englands semi-professional representative team for a match against their Dutch counterparts, but injury prevented him from playing. Seven goals in his first ten games in the Third Division attracted a bid from Fulham, then in the Second Division, an initial fee of £300,000 was agreed, plus an additional £50,000 depending on appearances, and in October 1998 Horsfield joined Fulham. A clause was included in the contract which would allow Halifax a share of the profits from any future sale. The remainder of his 1998–99 season produced 15 goals from 28 games as Fulham won the Second Division title by 14 clear points and he was also named in the PFAs Second Division Team of the Year. According to Keegan, Geoffs your old-fashioned centre forward and we love him and he will score goals in this division, he will score goals in the next divisions. He chases a lot of lost causes and is important for us
Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club formed in Wimbledon, south-west London, in 1889 and based at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991. Founded as Wimbledon Old Centrals, the club were a team for most of their history. The team rose quickly from obscurity during the 1980s and were promoted to the then top-flight First Division in 1986, the team remained in the First Division and its successor the FA Premier League until they were relegated in 2000. In 2001, after rejecting a variety of local sites and others further afield. A group of supporters responded by forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon played their first match in Milton Keynes in 2003, and adopted the name Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Wimbledon Old Central Football Club were formed in 1889, taking its name from the Old Central School on Wimbledon Common where players had been pupils. The clubs first match was a 1–0 victory over Westminster, Wimbledon won the Clapham League again in 1900–01, as well as two minor trophies. The club was restarted a year later under the name Wimbledon Borough, though Borough was dropped from the name after barely a year. The club continued to play on Wimbledon Common and at other locations in the Wimbledon area until 1912. Wimbledon joined the Athenian League for 1919–20, and in the season in its new division finished as runners-up. The club then joined the Isthmian League, winning four Isthmian League titles during the 1930s, and reaching the FA Amateur Cup final in 1934–35, Wimbledon began to prosper. The club reached another FA Amateur Cup final in 1946–47, Wimbledon won the Isthmian League for the fifth time in 1958–59 before starting a period of domination that saw three successive championships – 1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64. Following these successes the decision was taken to turn professional for the 1964–65 season, Wimbledon had continued success in their new league, finishing as runners-up at the first attempt. They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor. In the fourth round the good form continued, as the team held the reigning First Division champions Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road. Goalkeeper Dickie Guy saved a penalty from Peter Lorimer to earn a replay, after winning the Southern League three times running from 1974–75 to 1976–77, Wimbledon were elected to The Football League in place of Workington for the 1977–78 season. The 1977–78 season was a satisfactory Football League debut for Wimbledon, Allen Batsford had resigned as manager on 2 January 1978 to be succeeded by Dario Gradi, who guided the club to promotion in 1978–79. Wimbledons first stay in the Third Division was not a successful one, the team struggled, and were relegated in bottom place, winning just 10 league games all season
Selhurst Park is an association football stadium located in the London suburb of South Norwood in the Borough of Croydon. It is the current home ground of Crystal Palace Football Club playing in the Premier League, the stadium was designed by architect Archibald Leitch and opened in 1924. The stadium has hosted one football match as well as games for the 1948 Summer Olympics. Part of the stadium incorporates a branch of Sainsburys, the stadium was shared by Charlton Athletic F. C. from 1985 until 1991 and then by Wimbledon F. C. from 1991 until 2003. In 1922 the site, a former brickfield, was bought from the London, Brighton, the club had been pursuing a deal for the ground as early as 25 February 1919. There was then only one stand, the present Main Stand, two years later, on St Davids Day in 1926, England played Wales in an international at the stadium. England amateur matches and various other finals were staged there, as were other sports including boxing, bicycle polo and cricket. In addition to this, it hosted two games for the 1948 Summer Olympics, real Madrid marked the occasion by playing under the new set of bulbs – a real footballing coup at the time for third division Palace, as it was Reals first ever match in London. The ground remained undeveloped until 1969, when Palace were promoted to Division One for the first time, the Arthur Wait Stand was built, and is named after the clubs long-serving chairman, who was a builder by trade and was often seen working on the site himself. Arthur Wait was notable for overseeing Palaces rise from the 4th to the 1st Division in the 1960s, the Whitehorse Lane end was given a new look when a second tier of terracing, brick-built refreshments and toilets were provided along the top. The Safety of Grounds Act required the Holmesdale Road terrace to be split into three sections for safety reasons, the remaining poorer facilities were mainly where opposition supporters were situated. New facilities were built at the back of the Holmesdale Stand. In the summer of 1981, the Main Stand terraced enclosure was redesigned and refitted with seating and this year also saw Palace sell the back of the Whitehorse Lane terrace and adjacent land to supermarket retailer Sainsburys for £2m, to help their financial problems. The size of the terrace at this end was effectively halved, Charlton Athletic moved in to the stadium as temporary tenants in 1985, and became with Palace the first league clubs in England to agree such a ground-sharing scheme. The following year, chairman Ron Noades purchased the stadium from the club as a means of raising revenue, two rows of executive boxes were constructed above the Whitehorse Lane terrace in 1991 and this was subsequently roofed and made all-seater in the summer of 1993. Charlton moved back to The Valley via West Hams Boleyn Ground, the Holmesdale terrace was demolished in 1994 and replaced a year later with a two-tiered 8,500 capacity stand. The roof cladding of the stand was also replaced, the previous one having started to leak. Some 23 years on, this remains the most recent major work to be carried out at Selhurst Park, when Mark Goldberg bought Crystal Palace, he bought just the club
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The ground is known as Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The clubs nickname, The Saddlers, reflects Walsalls status as a centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground, Walsall Town Swifts first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps, in 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892 and they moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League, at the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. a year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, with the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsalls highest home attendance was set in 1930, when played in of front of 74,600 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents Villa Park ground, in 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, in 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Players such as Bill Chopper Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side
Bescot Stadium, also known as the Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is a football stadium in Walsall, England, and the current home ground of Walsall Football Club. It was built in 1989-90, by GMI Construction, with a build cost of £4. 5m. The stadium replaced the previous ground, Fellows Park, which was located a quarter of a mile away. The stadium was opened on 18 August 1990, by Sir Stanley Matthews, the first competitive game was played a week later on 25 August 1990. 5,219 spectators watched Walsall draw 2-2 with Torquay United, the first goal scored for Walsall at the stadium was by Stuart Rimmer. A sponsorship deal with Banks Brewery in 2003 saw the changed from Bescot Stadium to Banks Stadium. The stadium has been host to England under-21, under-19 and under-17 international matches, Aston Villa reserve team matches and England womens international matches. Outside football, in 1991 the stadium hosted a concert by Black Country band The Wonder Stuff Originally both ends of the ground were standing areas, and the capacity of the ground was around 11,000. However, capacity was reduced to around 9,800 in 1992, following an extension to the Tile Choice Stand, during the 2002-03 season, it is now an all-seater stadium, with a capacity of 11,300. The stadium is situated less than a mile from junction 9 of the M6 motorway, has a railway station within easy walking distance. Bescot Stadium has two large conferencing suites - the Bonser Suite and the Stadium Suite, the Bonser Suite adjoins the rear of the Main Stand, while the Stadium Suite is underneath the upper tier of the northern most stand. Both suites host conferences, cabaret evenings, concerts and events, there are food and beverage kiosks in all four corners of the ground, whilst the Bonser Suite doubles as a restaurant on match days. In 2009, the club erected a large advertising hoarding to the south of the southern most stand, facing the M6 motorway. It was reported in the Express and Star Newspaper on 6 June 2008, that Walsall were attempting to sell the stadium to Walsall Council, the Council, however, stated they did not have the funds to purchase the ground. During Spring 2011, the owner of Bescot Stadium, Jeff Bonser, announced via his proxy, Suffolk Life, steve Jenkins, record producer and lifelong Walsall supporter, tried to drum up support for the council to buy the land. On 11 July 2011, the idea of ownership of Bescot Stadium was finally put to bed after the council voted 28-24 against purchasing the stadium. Plans to develop the southern most stand were announced by the club during 2005, the proposed development would mean using the blueprint of the northern most stand, which stands opposite it. Funding for the redevelopment was to come, in part, from an advertising board on the back of the stand facing the M6 motorway
Stockport County F.C.
Stockport County Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, the team adopted their name in 1890 after the County Borough of Stockport and they have played at Edgeley Park since 1902, traditionally in blue and white, and are nicknamed The Hatters after the towns former hat-making industry. Stockport County joined the Football League in 1900 and competed in it continuously from 1905 to 2011, however, instability on and off the pitch eventually led to Stockport falling back to the lower divisions. The club started the 2011–12 season in the Conference National, having been relegated from Football League Two for the first time in their history at the end of 2010–11, at the end of 2012–13, Stockport were relegated to the Conference North. Stockport County was formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers by members of the Wycliffe Congregational Church, the club adopted The Hatters as their nickname, owing to Stockports history as the centre of the Victorian hat-making industry, a nickname that is shared with Luton Town. Stockport played in the Lancashire League until 1900, when they gained admission to the Football League Second Division, Stockports first Football League match was against Leicester Fosse which ended in a 2–2 draw. Stockport left their Green Lane home in 1902 and moved to Edgeley Park where they currently reside, the club finished in the bottom three for their first four seasons, and at the end of 1903–04 they failed to gain re-election. They spent one year in the Lancashire Combination and the Midland League, at the end of the season, they were re-admitted to the Football League after being re-elected through the Midland League. In their first season back in the Football League, Stockport reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, however, Stockport finished the league in 10th position that season. Stockport remained in Division 2 of the Football League for seven years until 1912–13 when they again had to seek re-election, Stockport gained 22 votes and was therefore re-elected. Albert Williams was presented with the seven days later before the home game with Lincoln City. This title win began a remarkable coincidence which has occurred in each of Stockports title winning seasons where Lincoln City have been the last opponents in each of those seasons. Joe OKane, who joined Stockport the previous season, was a factor in the clubs promotion although he left the club at the end of the season. Once Stockport returned to Division 2, they struggled and survived an automatic relegation by one point, the 1923–24 season saw Stockport County finish 13th, one place above Manchester United. This is the time in history Stockport has achieved better than Manchester United. During this campaign Stockport goalkeeper Harry Hardy was called up to play for the England national team and he is the only player to be capped at full level by England while on Stockports books. Two seasons later Stockport returned to the division after finishing bottom of the league. Stockport closed out the 1920s in Division Three North with a 3rd-placed finish in 1927–28, Joe Smith was Stockports and the divisions leading goalscorer in this particular season contributing to 38 of Stockports 89 goals
Martin Grainger is an English former footballer who played as a defender. He made 380 appearances and scored 44 goals in the Football League and he was an attacking left back who could also play further up the field or even as a winger and was a dead ball specialist. He was a regular throughout his time at the club, making 100 league starts. He joined Birmingham City on 25 March 1996, and quickly became a player due to his continued consistency. He picked up the fans Player of the Season award for 1999–2000, as Birmingham continued to improve in the First Division, and eventually earned promotion into the Premiership, Graingers playing time became limited. He failed to appear for Birmingham due to injury during the first half of the 2003–04 season, Grainger retired from football on 1 January 2005, having spent 13 years as a player. His goal-scoring appearance against Manchester United, on 10 April 2004, in the years following his retirement, Grainger has continued to be a popular figure amongst supporters of Birmingham City. He currently works as a VIP chauffeur, in January 2008, Grainger was appointed manager of Southern League Premier Division club Cheshunt, but he left the post after less than a week. In their only game during his tenure, Cheshunt lost 4–0 to Hemel Hempstead Town and he is currently the shortest-reigning manager of the club. Graingers son Charlie plays as a goalkeeper and he joined Leyton Orient in 2009, turned professional in 2014, and has represented England at under-18 level. Colchester United Football Conference, 1991–92 Birmingham City Football League First Division play-off, 2001–02 Football League Cup runner-up, 2000–01 PFA Team of the Year First Division, 2000–01
Penalty kick (association football)
A penalty kick is a method of restarting play in association football, taken from 11 metres out from the goal, on the penalty mark. Penalty kicks are performed during normal play and they are awarded when a foul that is punishable by a direct free kick is committed within the offending players own penalty area. Similar kicks are made in a penalty shootout in some tournaments to determine which team is victorious after a drawn match, in practice, penalties are converted to goals more often than not, even against world class goalkeepers. This means that penalty awards are often decisive, especially in low-scoring games, the referee gives the ball to the non-offending team. The goalkeeper must stand on the line between the post until the ball is kicked. Lateral movement is allowed, but the keeper is not permitted to come off the goal line by stepping or lunging forward until the ball is in play. When the goalkeeper indicates to the referee that they are ready, once the shooter has started their approach to the ball, they are not permitted to interrupt it. The ball must be stationary before the kick, and must be struck forwards, violation of these rules will result in a re-kick. After the penalty is taken properly, the ball may be played by any player except the one who executed the penalty kick. The kicker may not play the ball again until it has touched or played by another player on either team. For penalties taken near the end of time, play may be extended so that the penalty kick may be taken. A two-man penalty, or tap penalty, occurs when the penalty-taker, instead of shooting for goal, taps the ball slightly forward so that a team-mate can run on to it and shoot. The team-mate, like all other players, must be at least ten yards from the penalty mark when the ball is initially kicked and this strategy depends on the element of surprise, so that the team-mate can reach the ball ahead of any defenders. There is no requirement for the penalty taker to shoot for goal, the first recorded tap penalty was taken by Jimmy McIlroy and Danny Blanchflower of Northern Ireland against Portugal on 1 May 1957. Another was taken by Rik Coppens and André Piters in the World Cup Qualifying match Belgium v Iceland on 5 June 1957, arsenal players Thierry Henry and Robert Pirès failed in an attempt at a similar penalty in 2005, during a Premier League match against Manchester City at Highbury. Lionel Messi tapped a penalty for Luis Suárez as Suárez completed his hat-trick on 14 February 2016 against league opponents Celta De Vigo, in the case of a player repeatedly infringing the laws during the penalty kick, the referee may caution the player for persistent infringement. Note that all offences that occur before kick may be dealt with in this manner, as with a direct free kick, the kicker may not touch the ball a second time, until another player has touched the ball. Another example of an infringement is when a player will run up, stop directly at the ball and this gives the goalkeeper no chance at saving it, and the result of this would be a free kick for the opposing team
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
Andrew Johnson (English footballer)
Andrew Johnson, also known as Andy Johnson, is an English former professional footballer who played as a striker. He played for Birmingham City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham and he was capped eight times for England. As of March 2016, Johnson was working at Crystal Palace as a club ambassador, Johnson was born in Bedford, Bedfordshire, and started his career at Luton Towns Academy. Initially his career was back by the perception that he was too small to prosper as a top level striker. He moved on to Birmingham City, where he signed his first professional contract on 11 March 1998 and he missed a deciding penalty in the 2001 League Cup Final penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool. After only a few appearances, he was sold to Crystal Palace in 2002. Johnson was used as the makeweight in a deal for Clinton Morrison. The new strike partnership initially worked well, with Palace winning their first three games and topping the table, however, the good start to the season did not continue and, with Palace languishing in 20th place in November, Kember was dropped. Under the aegis of new manager and coach Iain Dowie, Johnsons all-round game improved, now partnering Shipperley, Johnson ended the season as top scorer in the 2003–04 First Division season with 32 goals. Palace reached the play-offs and were promoted into the Premier League for 2004–05 after beating West Ham United 1–0 in the final – five months after they had occupied 19th place in the league. Despite Palaces relegation back into the Championship the following season, Johnson was the highest scoring English player with 21 goals and the second highest overall in the Premier League. Johnsons tally of 21 Premier League goals was the most ever scored by a Crystal Palace player in the top flight, although Johnsons detractors noted that 11 of these came from penalties rather than open play, he himself won seven of the penalties. Palace were relegated at the end of 2004–05 and Johnson requested a transfer prompting much speculation as to which club he might move to. However, on 2 August 2005, Johnson signed a new contract with Palace. Palace chairman Simon Jordan blamed Johnsons agent Leon Angel for pressurising Johnson into handing in the transfer request. Johnson was soon playing alongside Clinton Morrison, who had rejoined Palace from Birmingham for a fee of £2 million, however, due to injury to Johnson, and Morrisons lack of form, the pairing was limited in the early part of the season. With a return to fitness and form, the two soon became Dowies first choice pairing as the season progressed, with Dougie Freedman adding experience to the strike force. Palace comfortably made it into a position but in the play-offs failed to recover from a first leg defeat at the hands of Watford
Maine Road was a football stadium in Moss Side, Manchester, England, that was home to Manchester City F. C. from 1923 to 2003. It hosted FA Cup semi-finals, Charity Shield matches, a League Cup final and England matches and, because of its high capacity, gained the nickname Wembley of the North. The following season Manchester City moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in East Manchester, two sites in Belle Vue, East Manchester were suggested, but neither was deemed sufficient. To many City fans east Manchester was regarded as Citys home, but the site was just 8 acres and an available lease of 50 years was deemed too short by the club, so it was decided that City would move to Moss Side. The move to a stadium at Maine Road was backed by then manager Ernest Mangnall. Many were disappointed when a site in south Manchester was chosen, a City director, John Ayrton, resigned from the Board later in the decade and helped to form a breakaway club, Manchester Central F. C. which played at Belle Vue. A sixteen and a quarter acre former brickworks on Maine Road was purchased for £5,500, during construction, the stadium was reputedly cursed by a gypsy when officials evicted a gypsy camp from the area. This curse was allegedly removed on 28 December 1998, however, the gypsy curse is likely to be an urban myth, as such stories are endemic to a number of football league grounds. Construction took 300 days, the total cost £100,000, the initial layout of the ground consisted of one covered stand with a seating capacity of 10,000, and uncovered terracing on the other three sides, with gentle curves connecting the corners. The first match at Maine Road took place on 25 August 1923 when 58,159 fans watched the home side beat Sheffield United 2–1. The first changes to the ground took place in 1931, when the corner between the Main Stand and the Platt Lane end at the south of the ground was rebuilt to incorporate a roof. This renovation was the first of many, as Maine Roads layout, in 1934, the second highest attendance at an English football game at a club ground was recorded at Maine Road. The first was the 1913 FA Cup Final, hosted by Crystal Palace with a crowd of 121,919, the Maine Road match was between Manchester City and Stoke City in front of 84,569 fans in the 6th round of the FA Cup on 3 March 1934. Queues formed four hours before the match, and one journalist stated that Maine Road was packed two hours before kick-off, a decision was taken to close the turnstiles with an attendance at approximately 85,000,3000 short of what was thought to be the maximum capacity. Supporters witnessed a visiting Stoke team which included Stanley Matthews and Citys team boasted players, Frank Swift, Fred Tilson, Sam Cowan, the match was won 1–0 by Manchester City. This is the home attendance for a domestic match and the record home attendance at a club ground. Changes at the Platt Lane end took place in 1935, extending the terracing and providing a roof for the full stand and this marked the peak capacity of the ground, estimated at around 88,000. Further changes were planned, but suspended when Manchester City were relegated from Division One in 1938, the stadium was shared by Manchester United after the Second World War as Manchester Uniteds Old Trafford ground had been damaged during the Manchester Blitz
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
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is a professional association football club located in the Deepdale area of Preston, Lancashire. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Prestons unbeaten League and Cup season earned them the nickname The Invincibles, Prestons most recent major trophy success was their FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town in 1938. Many notable players have played for the club, including Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly, Sr. and Graham Alexander. On 21 January 1875, the club leased a field opposite Moor Park on the site of the current Deepdale stadium, Preston North End were famously successful during the early years of professional football in England. In 1887, Preston beat Hyde 26–0 in the First Round of the FA Cup, Preston forward Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in the match, going on to score 19 goals in the competition that season, also still a record. The clubs last major win was their FA Cup triumph in 1938. Prestons most famous player, Sir Tom Finney, played for the club between 1946 and 1960, Finney is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, and was also a local lad, dubbed the Preston Plumber due to his professional training as a plumber. Finney remains the top goalscorer, with 187 goals from 433 appearances. Following Finneys retirement, Preston were relegated to the Second Division in 1961 and have not played in the top division since, the club did reach the FA Cup final in 1964, but lost to West Ham United. Preston were relegated to the Third Division in the 1969–70 season, Alan Ball, Sr. John McGrath oversaw Prestons promotion back to the Third Division a year later, where they remained when John Beck took over in October 1992. The 38-year-old Beck had only recently been sacked by Cambridge United, the club almost made it two promotions in a row to reach the Premier League, but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the 2001 play-off final. Simon Grayson was appointed by the club on 18 February 2013, of Simon Graysons next 10 games, Preston won 3, drew 4 and lost 3. In Simon Graysons first summer in charge, he permanently signed 4 players, Tom Clarke, a centreback, Chris Humphrey, a winger, Kevin Davies, a Centre forward and Alex Nicholson. He also signed Declan Rudd on a long loan from Norwich City. He allowed 3 players to leave during the summer, those being Luke Foster, Chris Robertson, the 2013–14 season started off well, unbeaten in their first 9 league games. They also beat local rivals Blackpool in the League Cup, before being beaten by Lancashire rivals Burnley in the second round. The 9 league game unbeaten run came to an end on 5 October, against Peterborough United, Preston then went on another 9 game unbeaten league run, winning 5 and drawing 4, including a win against Leyton Orient, only their second league defeat of the season
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, after finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922. Watford spent most of the half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours. England manager Graham Taylors tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights, between Taylors appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, the club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyds management. After eight years, Watford are again competing in the Premier League 2015–16 season, Watford is currently owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Watford Rovers was formed in 1881 by Henry Groverand, who went on to play for the club as a full-back, Rovers, originally composed entirely of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford. The team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, the team became the football section of West Hertfordshire Sports Club in 1890, and consequently moved to a ground on Cassio Road. Renamed as West Hertfordshire in 1893, Rovers joined the Southern Football League in 1896, West Hertfordshire merged with local rivals Watford St. Marys in 1898, the merged team was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and he led Watford to promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, there was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. The Football League was suspended in 1939 due to the Second World War, Football resumed in 1946, with Watford still in the Third Division South. Ron Burgess replaced McBain during that season, and in the following campaign Burgess presided over Watfords first Football League promotion and this team included Fourth Division top scorer Cliff Holton, who scored a club record 42 league goals in the season. Holton was sold to Northampton the following year after another 34 goals, eighteen-year-old Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings also featured under McGarry, and made his international debut despite being a Third Division player. Furphys rebuilding came to fruition in 1969 with the signing of Barry Endean, Watford secured the Third Division title in April, at home to Plymouth Argyle. A year later Watford reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, defeating First Division teams Stoke City, hampered by a lack of funds, however, Furphy eventually joined Blackburn Rovers, to be succeeded by George Kirby