Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
Walter John Wally Downes is an English former football player and manager and coach. He was most recently first team coach with West Ham United before leaving this post in December 2012 and he is the nephew of former world middleweight boxing champion Terry Downes. Downes started out as an apprentice with Wimbledon and was their first ever full-time Football League apprentice and he is often cited as being the main instigator of the Crazy Gang spirit at the club, as it rose from the Fourth to the First Division inside a decade. In 1979, aged 17 he scored on his debut against Barnsley and went on to make over 200 appearances for Wimbledon. In 1988, he left to join his mentor and former Wimbledon manager Dave Bassett at Sheffield United, following four broken legs he retired through injury. Downes took a position at Crystal Palace, and spent 12 years at Selhurst Park. Downes then once again rejoined Coppell, this time at Reading, initially on a basis, but quickly proved himself invaluable. In January 2007, Downes was involved in a scuffle with Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock after he accused Warnock of telling his players to break legs. However Warnock said, I made the gesture to tell the referee that Steve Sidwells tackle on Chris Armstrong had been the worst of the game. Fortunately for me, the referee heard exactly what was said, Downes was charged with improper conduct for his role in the affray. This was officially announced on the day of Steve Coppells press conference and was first seen in an article in the Daily Mail saying he has been sacked, on 7 September 2009, Downes was appointed to a position within the backroom staff of League 1 club, Southampton. He was dismissed along with Alan Pardew on 30 August 2010, for a few weeks in October and November 2010 Downes was hired as a part-time defensive coach for League Two side Gillingham. Then on 23 November 2010, Downes was appointed as a coach at West Ham United under manager Avram Grant. His appointment came hours after the West Ham board sacked assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic, in May 2011, shortly after West Ham were relegated from the Premier League, Grant was sacked however Downes kept his job and was named first team coach when new manager Sam Allardyce took over. On 11 December 2012 Downes departure from his role with West Ham United was announced, Downes left Crystal Palace in 2000, following Steve Coppell to Brentford, where he became assistant manager. When Coppell left Brentford in June 2002, Downes was appointed manager and he had an unbeaten start to his reign in August 2002, winning the Division Two Manager of the Month award. Downes led the club to 16th position in the Second Division in 2002–03, but was sacked in March 2004 after a run of poor results and the club near the bottom of the table and facing relegation. Football League Second Division Manager of the Month, August 2002 Wally Downes management career statistics at Soccerbase Wally Downes profile at the League Managers Association website
Martin James Allen is an English former football player and manager. He played more than 100 games as a midfielder for each Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United before finishing his career with Portsmouth. Five years later, he took his first job in management and he has since managed Brentford, Milton Keynes Dons, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town, Barnet and Notts County. He rejoined Barnet as manager on 16 April 2012 on a short term and he was sacked as Gillingham manager in October 2013. Allen rejoined Barnet for a spell in 2014, leading the Bees back into League Two before dropping divisions to join Eastleigh in December 2016. Signed by manager Lou Macari, Allen made his debut on 26 August 1989 in a 3–2 home win against Plymouth Argyle and he scored the second goal, the other West Ham goals coming from David Kelly and Kevin Keen. Under manager Billy Bonds Allen was part of the team won promotion to the First Division in 1991. Allen was frequently booked during his West Ham career and had a reputation for poor discipline and he was sent off in a match on 17 January 1990 for a two-footed lunge on Derby Countys Mark Patterson. Although not sent-off, West Ham manager Bonds fined Allen a weeks wages, during his time at Queens Park Rangers Allen had been refused permission, by manager Francis, to attend the birth of his first child as Allen would miss an important match. Allen attended the birth and was disciplined by the club, under Bonds and Harry Redknapp Allen formed a successful partnership with Peter Butler with Allen contributing 34 goals from midfield in 234 appearances. However, by 1995 team discipline was poor at West Ham and with Allen playing alongside Julian Dicks, John Moncur, Allen was again dismissed in a match against Queens Park Rangers on 3 May 1995 after fouling Rufus Brevett. He would play five more games before being allowed to leave. Allen stayed with the Hammers until September 1995 when he made a £500,000 switch to Portsmouth after a loan spell at Fratton Park. After three frustrating years with Pompey, which took in a loan stint at Southend United, he retired. Allen began his management career as an assistant manager at hometown club Reading, the team produced championship form in their closing 20 fixtures, winning 12 and drawing 4 to secure a top 10 finish. Two years later won promotion to Division One. Allens first full role was at Conference side Barnet, from March 2003 to March 2004. He succeeded from Peter Shreeves, to whom he was assistant manager from March 2002, Allen built a team from scratch in pre-season of the 2003–04 campaign
Griffin Park is a football ground in Brentford, situated in the London Borough of Hounslow, west London. It has been the ground of Championship side Brentford since it was built in 1904. The ground is situated in a residential area and is known for being the only English league football ground to have a pub on each corner. The ground gets its name from the griffin, featured in the logo of Fullers Brewery, between forming in 1889 and prior to 1904, Brentford played at five grounds around Ealing – Clifden Road, Benns Field, Shotters Field, Cross Road and Boston Park Cricket Ground. After a gypsy camp was removed from the site, work began on building the ground in January 1904, the orchard was cut down by local volunteers, who were allowed to keep the wood. The ground was built with a 20,000 capacity in mind, with a provision for an increase to 30. An 800-capacity stand from Boston Park was rebuilt alongside the Braemar Road side of the ground, beneath and behind the stand were three dressing rooms, a number of offices and a recreation room. The ground was named Griffin Park after a pub, The Griffin. After a number of games, Griffin Park was opened on 1 September 1904. Season tickets for the 1904–05 season sold out, the first competitive match to be played at Griffin Park was a Western League fixture versus Plymouth Argyle on 1 September 1904. The Braemar Road grandstand had been completed by the time of the fixture, but as the rooms were not ready. The borough surveyor also declared the grandstand unsafe and banned its use until improvements had been made, Argyle scored the first competitive goal at the ground through Fred Buck, but four minutes from the final whistle, Tommy Shanks converted a James Swarbrick cross to secure a 1–1 draw. The attendance was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000, the first truly first team fixture to be played at the ground was a Southern League First Division match on 3 September 1904, which yielded a 0–0 draw between Brentford and West Ham United. The Bees would have to wait until 22 October 1904 for their first victory at the ground, the first Football League match to be played at the ground was on the opening day of the 1920–21 season, a 3–0 Third Division defeat to Exeter City. Unlike the old grandstand, the new stand ran the length of the pitch, after the season, it was announced that Griffin Park would be completely redeveloped over the following decade. Concrete terracing was installed at the Ealing Road end of the ground in 1930. A new stand was constructed at the Brook Road end of the ground in the 1933 off-season, a further extension to the terracing and a roof was added prior to Brentfords debut First Division season in 1935–36, taking the New Road stands capacity to 20,000. Little development occurred at Griffin Park between the mid-1930s, and the mid-1980s, the frontage of the Braemar Road stand was rebuilt in 1963, adding club offices and a club room
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter
It began in the 1983–84 season as the Associate Members Cup, but in 1992, after the lower-division clubs became full members of the Football League, it was renamed the Football League Trophy. The competition replaced the short-lived Football League Group Cup and it was renamed again in 2016, as the EFL Trophy. The competition has been associated with a sponsor since its second edition, currently. The first draws are made in August, then the runs as 16 regional groups. The top two from each group qualify for the stages before the two winners meet in late March or early April in the final at Englands national stadium. The current champions are Coventry City, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the first time, the competition was inaugurated as the Associate Members Cup in the 1983–84 season and followed on from the short-lived Football League Group Cup. The competition was renamed the Football League Trophy in 1992, the competition was renamed again in 2016, becoming the EFL Trophy, coinciding with the Football League rebranding to the English Football League. 64 teams enter from Round One, including all 48 teams from League One and League Two, the competition will now feature 16 regional groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. In the first year of the tournament, the 48 eligible Third, the first round had 12 knockout ties in each section, and the second had six. In each section the two second-round losers with the narrowest defeats were reprieved, and joined the six clubs in the regional quarter-finals. A major change was introduced for the 1985–86 tournament, with 8 three-team groups being set up in each of the two sections, teams played one home and one away game and the group winners proceeded to the regional knockout stages. This format was tweaked the following season, with two teams qualifying from each group, resulting in a round of 16 knockout stage in each section. For a number of seasons in the early to mid-1990s, the competition ran with only seven three-team groups and this was owing to League reorganisation and the demise of Aldershot and Maidstone United, which resulted in there being fewer than 48 teams in the 3rd and 4th levels. The group phase was abolished for the 1996–97 tournament, instead,8 teams in each received a bye to the second round. The number of Conference entrants was increased to 12 starting in 2002–03, resulting in 14 first-round ties, Conference teams no longer participated from the 2006–07 tournament onward, and the format reverted to 8 first-round teams in each section, with 8 sides gaining byes to the second round. The competition has always been contested by all teams at Levels Three, during the 2016–17 season,16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides have taken part in the competition. The first final in 1984 was to have played at the then Wembley Stadium. From 2001 to 2007, during the rebuilding of the former Wembley, source, napit. co. uk The record attendance for the final is 80,841, for the 1988 Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Wembley
Stephen Hunt (footballer, born 1981)
Stephen Patrick Hunt is a retired Irish international footballer who played as a left midfielder or left back. He played for Brentford, Crystal Palace, Reading, Hull City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and his younger brother, Noel, is also a footballer. Hunt became known for his creative and skilful play as well as his work rate as a winger, although born in Laois, Hunt grew up in Clonea-Power, Waterford. He was a talented hurler and soccer player. He played for Waterford hurlers at under-15 and under-16 levels, Hunts first introduction to organised football was when he moved to the Christian Brothers Secondary School in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary at the age of 11, during his time at secondary school he also began playing for Waterford soccer side Johnville F. C. and won a Munster Schools Junior Cup with Carrick CBS. This gained Hunt a degree of recognition and he played in the Kennedy Cup with Waterford County and he later excelled for Carrick United at various age levels, before going to England starting his career as a trainee with Crystal Palace. Failing to make an impact on the first team, Hunt had trials with clubs including Dundee United before leaving to join Brentford, in his four years at the West London club, he became an integral part of the team. In 2005 Hunt rejected a new contract and decided to leave Brentford, after agreeing to join Bradford City, late interest from Reading, then in the Football League Championship, made him change his mind. Hunt was denied more starting appearances in his first Reading season by the form of Bobby Convey and he still made a good contribution, appearing from the bench, as Reading won the Championship title and promotion to the Premiership during the 2005–06 season. On 14 October 2006, Hunts knee collided with Chelseas goalkeeper Petr Čech when the Reading player was lunging at the ball, since the injury, Petr Čech has had to wear head protection during every game. Hunt scored his first Premier League goal in the 6-0 home win over West Ham, during the January 2008 transfer window, Reading rejected a series of bids from Sunderland for Hunt, but Reading confirmed that they had no intention of selling players at that time. On 1 February 2008, Hunt signed a new deal with Reading keeping him at the club until the summer of 2011, in 2007–08, Hunt scored 6 goals in 39 appearances for Readings first team but could not prevent the club being relegated on goal difference. On 4 February 2009, Reading confirmed that Hunt had signed a new three-and-a-half year contract, on 13 August 2009 it was confirmed that Hunt had signed for Hull City for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around the region of £3.5 million. He scored his first goal for the club 28 minutes into his debut against Chelsea on 15 August 2009 and this was also the first goal of the 2009–10 Premier League season. However, he was taunted by Chelsea fans throughout the game, Hunt also scored in his next match, his home debut for Hull City, but they were beaten 5–1 by Tottenham. In the January transfer window, Hunt was the subject of a £5 million bid from Wolverhampton Wanderers, shortly after, Hunt suffered a foot injury that ruled him out of the run-in. In his absence, the club were relegated amid growing financial worries, on 21 June 2010 Wolverhampton Wanderers signed Hunt on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £3 million
The Great Escape (film)
The film is based on Paul Brickhills 1950 book of the same name, a non-fiction first-hand account of the mass escape from Stalag Luft III in Sagan, in the province of Lower Silesia, Nazi Germany. The characters are based on men, and in some cases are composites of several men. However, many details of the escape attempt were changed for the film. The Great Escape was made by the Mirisch Company, released by United Artists, the film had its Royal World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in Londons West End on 20 June 1963. In 1943, having expended enormous resources on recapturing escaped Allied POWs, the commandant, Luftwaffe Colonel von Luger, tells the senior British officer, Group Captain Ramsey, There will be no escapes from this camp. Von Luger points out the features of the new camp designed to prevent escape. After several failed attempts on the first day, the POWs settle into life at the camp, meanwhile, Gestapo and SD agents bring RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bartlett to the camp. Known as Big X, Bartlett is introduced as the principal escape organiser, as Kuhn leaves, he warns Bartlett that if he escapes again, he will be shot. The POWs organise themselves into teams, flight Lieutenant Robert Hendley is the scrounger who finds needed materials, from a camera to clothes and identity cards. Australian Flying Officer Louis Sedgwick, the manufacturer, makes tools like picks for digging, flight Lieutenants Danny Valinski and William Willie Dickes are the tunnel kings in charge of the digging. Flight Lieutenant Andrew MacDonald acts as intelligence provider and Bartletts second-in-command, Lieutenant Commander Eric Ashley-Pitt of the Royal Navy devises a method of spreading soil from the tunnels over the camp, under the guards noses. Flight Lieutenant Griffith acts as the tailor, creating civilian outfits from scavenged cloth, the prisoners work on three tunnels simultaneously, calling them Tom, Dick, and Harry. USAAF Captain Virgil Hilts, the Cooler King, irritates guards with frequent escape attempts, however, Hilts and Ives are caught and returned to the cooler. Meanwhile, Hendley forms a friendship with German guard Werner, which he exploits to obtain documents, soon, Bartlett orders Dick and Harry to be shut down, as Tom is closest to completion. While the POWs enjoy a 4th of July celebration arranged by the three Americans, the guards discover Tom, the prisoners switch their efforts to Harry, and Hilts agrees to reconnoiter outside the camp and allow himself to be recaptured. The information he brings back is used to maps to guide the escapees. The last part of the tunnel is completed on the scheduled night, knowing there are no other options, Bartlett orders the escape to go ahead, and Hilts improvises a signal system to allow them to exit the tunnel between sweeps of the guards on patrol. The claustrophobic Danny, having spent much of his time in the tunnel and barely surviving multiple cave-ins, nearly refuses to go,76 prisoners manage to escape, however, Griffith impatiently exits the tunnel in view of the guards and the escape is discovered
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
In sports, a loan involves a particular player being to temporarily play for a club other than the one he is currently contracted to. Loan deals may last from a few weeks to all season-long, players may be loaned out to other clubs for several reasons. Most commonly, young prospects will be loaned to a club in a league in order to gain valuable first team experience. In this instance, the parent club may continue to pay the wages in full or in part. Some clubs put a formal arrangement in place with a club for this purpose, such as Manchester United and Royal Antwerp, Arsenal and Beveren, or Chelsea. In other leagues such as Italys Serie A, some clubs have a reputation as a farm club and regularly take players, especially younger players. A club may take a player on loan if they are short on transfer funds but can still pay wages, the parent club might demand a fee and/or that the loaning club pays some or all of the players wages during the loan period. A club might seek to out a squad player to make a saving on his wages. A loan may be made to get around a transfer window, such a loan might include an agreed fee for a permanent transfer when the next transfer window opens. Some players are loaned because they are unhappy or in dispute with their current club, examples of this situation include Henri Camara with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Craig Bellamy with Newcastle United, and Darren Bent with Aston Villa. In the Premier League, players on loan are not permitted to play against the team holds their registration. Loanees are, however, allowed to play against their owning clubs in cup competitions, in the Scottish Professional Football League, clubs are permitted to take players on as unpaid trialists even for competitive fixtures. Sometimes for the first two weeks of a trial period players names are obfuscated, match reports use the convention A Trialist to refer to players in lieu of using their real names
Tommy Wright (footballer, born 1984)
Thomas Andrew Tommy Wright is an English professional footballer and manager, who currently works at Nuneaton Town as a playing-manager. A former England U19 and U20 international, he started his career with Leicester City, however he failed to hold down a regular first team place, and was loaned out to Brentford and Blackpool, before transferring to Barnsley in 2006. He helped the Tykes to promotion out of League One via the play-offs and he was sold on to SPL side Aberdeen in August 2008 for a £100,000 fee. He returned to England in January 2010, signing with Grimsby Town and he re-joined Darlington, helping the club to lift the FA Trophy in 2011. He then spent a time with Kidderminster Harriers and then Luton Town. Wright was born in Kirby Muxloe, Leicester, the Foxes were relegated at the end of the season, and new manager Micky Adams played Wright 13 times in the 2002–03 First Division promotion campaign. He was offered a new contract at the end of the campaign, despite journalist Phil McNulty naming the youngster as one to watch at the start of 2003–04, Wright did not feature for Leicester throughout the campaign. Leicester were relegated at the end of the season, and Wright played seven Championship and he joined League One Blackpool on loan at the start of the 2005–06 season, and hit six goals in fifteen games under Colin Hendry and then Simon Grayson. Wright was signed by Barnsley on 1 January 2006 for a £50,000 fee, manager Andy Ritchie led the Tykes to promotion out of League One via the play-offs in 2005–06, with Wright scoring one goal in 22 appearances. He appeared in the play-off Final victory over Swansea City at the Millennium Stadium after coming on for Marc Richards after 70 minutes. Scoring on his debut at the Bescot Stadium, he netted twice in five starts for the Saddlers, having failed to agree personal terms with Rotherham United, Wright signed with Dave Penneys Darlington, also of League Two. He finished the campaign with four goals in 13 appearances for the Quakers and he fired Darlington into the play-offs in 2007–08, where they were knocked out by Rochdale at the semi-final stage, Wright finished as the clubs top scorer with thirteen goals. He was nominated for the League Two player of the award for January after scoring three goals in the space of six games, but lost out to Grimsby Towns Danny North. On 8 August 2008, Wright was transferred to Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen, manager Jimmy Calderwood paying a fee of £100,000, the deal had been delayed after Wright suffered a knee injury. Wright caused a stir in his first appearance in an Aberdeen shirt, receiving a card for a reckless challenge. He scored his first senior goal for the Dons with an effort from the edge of the area in a Scottish Cup Fifth Round tie against East Fife at Pittodrie on 17 February. Shortly after, on 3 March, he netted his first SPL goal and he finished the 2008–09 campaign with two goals in nineteen games, and Aberdeen finished fourth to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League. His injury problems continued into the 2009–10 season, by January it became clear that new manager Mark McGhee had little faith in Wright, and he told the striker that he was available for a transfer
Stephen John Steve Perryman MBE is a former English international football player who is best remembered for his successes with Tottenham Hotspur during the 1970s and early 1980s. Perryman was voted Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year in 1982 and he is now the director of football at Exeter City. A midfielder and later defender, Perryman played in a club record 866 first team appearances, in all competitions for Tottenham Hotspur between 1969 and 1986 and was their longest serving player. During his seventeen-year career with the north London club, Perryman collected many medals, winning the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984, the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982 and the League Cup in 1971 and 1973. After leaving White Hart Lane Perryman moved to Oxford United in 1986, then Brentford as player-manager in the same year, before retiring in 1990. Perryman became manager of Watford from 1990–93 saving them from relegation in the years, before managing Start in Norway, Shimizu S-Pulse. He also served as manager for Spurs in November 1994. As a coach he has won the J. League stage championship and he then worked at Exeter City with no official title to help them stay in the then football Division 3. After this he returned to Japan to manage J. League side Kashiwa Reysol, Perryman lent his name to a brand of Sports stores in the 1980s which were concentrated in the West London area and sported the Tottenham Hotspur cockerel. There were stores in Ruislip, Greenford and Hayes, a store in Bergen, Norway, also opened in the early 1980s, and that is still running. Perryman now works as the director of football for Exeter City, a month later he revealed that he might have died if it had not been for the instant medical support available at the ground, and he spent three weeks in a coma on life support. He said he wanted to resume his job with Exeter City as soon as he was fit enough, after 17 matches for England U21, Perryman made a solitary appearance for England, appearing as a 70th-minute substitute against Iceland on 2 June 1982. League Manager of the Year,1999 Steve Perryman management career statistics at Soccerbase Official Steve Perryman website, archived from the original on 19 April 2012. CS1 maint, Unfit url Steve Perryman at National-Football-Teams. com Great players – Steve Perryman at TottenhamHotspur. com
Director of football
Director of football is a term describing a senior management figure at a football club, most commonly used in Europe. The exact nature of the role is unclear and extremely variable. The director may help to stabilise the club – many examples exist of director stepping in as a caretaker manager on the departure of the manager. The director – often an experienced football figure – may also positively advise a less experienced manager or the board of a well developed club. This had led to many well publicised and often, highly damaging disputes within clubs, in general, directors of football are not shareholders in the club, or hold a nominal stake. This is opposed to members of the board with whom the director of football will sit. The level of power and influence in the day-to-day and transfer operations of the held by a director of football may vary considerably. Often, the position in case is filled by a former famous player. Bobby Charlton at Manchester United is such an example, in such a case, the role of the director of football is more one of club promotion and marketing than that of actual control over footballing operations. Employing a well-known football personality in such a position may also be used to enhance the prestige of the club. Other well known managers have been promoted to director of football or similar roles, including Ron Greenwood at West Ham United in 1974, however, Greenwood returned to frontline management three years later with the England national football team. In March 2002, Harry Redknapp stepped down as director of football at Portsmouth after a year in the role to succeed Graham Rix as manager, appointments in this case are often long-term, likely due to the negative reaction of fans to the removal of a former club legend. Others remain in the role until their health restricts their activities and this may be the case where the manager is inexperienced or perceived as naive in a particular aspect, allowing the director to advise against potentially costly errors. Such an example is that of Giovanni Trapattoni at Red Bull Salzburg or Sven-Göran Eriksson at Notts County, appointments in this case are often short term – for between 1/2 seasons – with the director imparting their advice and departing to another club. In other cases, the role of the director of football may include control over transfer dealings and targets and aspects outside coaching and squad selection, the director may oversee all levels of the club – youth to first team – with the manager dedicated to first team affairs. Often, a director in this case is a manager or experienced former coach. A notable recent example of such tension is that of manager Kevin Keegan, an example of the description of the role in this case as from the perspective of the manager is given by Dave Bassett as. The director of football is answerable to the board but there to assist the manager, hes experienced in football and there to help the board members who dont have that experience
Gainsborough Trinity F.C.
Gainsborough Trinity Football Club is a football club based in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at the Northolme, the club was established in 1873 as Trinity Recreationists by Reverend George Langton Hodgkinson, the vicar at the Holy Trinity Church. In 1889 the club were members of the Midland League. The club finished as runners-up the following season and again in 1895–96, in the vote they finished third, ahead of existing members Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra, and were elected into the Second Division. The clubs first season in Division Two of the League saw them finish seventh, in 1901–02 Trinity finished bottom of the division, but were re-elected. In 1904–05 the club finished sixth in Division Two, their best performance during their Football League membership. In 1911–12 Gainsborough finished bottom of the Second Division for a second time, the club returned to the Midland League, finishing third in 1912–13 and second in 1913–14, after which they unsuccessfully applied for readmission to the Football League. When the Football League created a new Third Division North in 1921, Trinity applied for membership, in 1931–32 they beat Crewe again in the first round, before losing 5–2 at home to Watford. In 1937–38 Trinity beat Port Vale in the first round, before losing to fellow non-League club Yeovil & Petters United, another Football League team was beaten the following season, when Trinity knocked out Gateshead in the first round, before losing to Doncaster Rovers. In 1948–49 they reached the round after defeating Witton Albion in the first round. They went on to win a third Midland League title that season and they reached the first round again the following season, before losing 4–1 at home to Chesterfield. The club failed to repeat the feat until 1959–60, when they lost to Doncaster Rovers in a replay, at the end of the 1959–60 season, the Midland League was disbanded. Gainsborough spent a season playing in both the Central Alliance and Division Two of the Yorkshire League, before returning to a reformed Midland League in 1961. Trinity won their fourth Midland League title in 1966–67, also reaching the first round of the FA Cup, the club applied to join the Football League again in 1975 and 1976, but received only a single vote on each occasion. The 1983–84 season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for over a decade, when the Northern Premier League added a second division in 1987, Gainsborough were placed in the Premier Division. In 1997–98 FA Cup saw them drawn against local rivals Lincoln City, another first round appearance in 2003–04 ended with a 7–1 defeat at Brentford. At the end of the season a tenth-place finish saw the club become members of the Conference North. FA Cup first round appearances followed in 2006–07 (a 3–1 defeat by Barnet, in 2011–12 the club finished fourth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
Goalkeeper (association football)
Goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport, the goalkeepers primary role is to prevent the opposing team from successfully moving the ball over the defended goal-line. This is accomplished by the moving into the path of the ball. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have a view of the entire pitch. If an attacker on the opposing team obstructs the keeper from catching or saving the ball, for example, in a corner, it will normally be a free kick. If a goalkeeper is injured or sent off, a goalkeeper has to take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper and they then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. Goalkeepers often have longer playing careers than players, many not retiring until their late thirties or early forties. This can be explained by noting that goalkeepers play a physically demanding position that requires significantly less running. For example, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47. Because only one player can play in goal and the position is so specialised many professional teams on average especially at the highest level have one player as first-choice for many years, for example Gianlugi Buffon has played as first choice keeper for Juventus for more than 15 years. Petr Cech prior to his move to Aresnal was first choice keeper for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, the squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1. Although this is common, some goalkeepers now wear other numbers when in goal, association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581, the earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, there is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers. Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 16th century, for example, in John Days play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Ill play a gole at camp-ball
Paul Smith (footballer, born 1979)
Paul Daniel Smith is an English footballer who plays as a goalkeeper, most recently for Southend United. Smith holds A-levels in PE, Home Economics, Sociology, Advanced Mathematics, Biology, Smith was born in Epsom and started his career at Charlton Athletic, but was released in the summer of 1999, after one year as a professional. At Brentford, he made 104 appearances as a goalkeeper, at Southampton, he was initially deputy to Antti Niemi, but, following Niemis departure, Smith took over as their number one. However, he found further down the pecking order with the arrival of Bartosz Białkowski. In search of first team football, Smith signed for League One side Nottingham Forest for around £500,000 in July 2006 and he established himself ahead of Rune Pedersen as Forests first choice goalkeeper for the clubs 2006–07 promotion campaign. In the 2007–08 campaign, Smith helped Forest gain automatic promotion finishing second in the league they were promoted from League One to the Championship, Smith had a terrific season and helped enormously in goal, making match winning saves to help the Reds gain promotion. He kept 24 clean sheets in 46 games, the record for the league in that season and this achievement was recognised when he received the Puma Golden Glove award. He also made footballing history in the Football League Cup when he scored after 15 seconds against Leicester City in the round of the competition on 18 September 2007. Smith became the quickest goalkeeper ever to score in football. The unusual goal came about because the tie had been abandoned at half-time due to the collapse of Leicester Citys Clive Clarke. In a show of sportsmanship, Leicester allowed Forest to take the kick-off and run up to score the goal and it was decided that Smith should be the player to score, to avoid suspicions surrounding betting patterns. Leicester City did come back into the game to beat Forest 3–2, in July 2008, Smith signed a new two-year contract with Forest, keeping him at the City Ground until 2010, and signed another extension in 2009, to keep Smith at the City Ground until 2012. After falling out of favour with manager Billy Davies, Smith lost his first choice status to Lee Camp, on 30 July 2010, Smith was placed on the transfer list and told he was free to seek first team football elsewhere. This was two days after a friendly at the City Ground against French Ligue 1 team Olympique Lyonnais which Forest lost 3–1. Smith was replaced by youngster Karl Darlow in the 75th minute, in the 2011–12 season, Smith was restricted to one first team game, a Football League Cup tie at home to neighbours Notts County which ended in a 3–3 draw, Forest winning the penalty shoot-out. Smiths contract expired with Forest at the end of the 2011–12 season, on 8 March 2011, he joined Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season, he made his debut that night in a 2–1 win against Derby County. He played in 10 first team games, on 18 August 2012 Smith signed a two-year deal with Southend United
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
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
Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. For the 2016–17 season, they are competing in League Two, founded in 1887, Blackpools home ground has been Bloomfield Road since 1901. Their main nickname is the Seasiders, but they are called the Pool and the Tangerines, the latter in reference to the colour of their home kit. Blackpools least successful period was in the 1980s, particularly when, in the 1982–83 season, they finished 21st in English League footballs lowest tier, the clubs motto is Progress, as featured on the club crest. Blackpool have a rivalry with Preston North End, and matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby. They have not met in a match since February 2010. Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years later but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St Johns School to form a new club called Blackpool St Johns. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88, the Fylde Cup, at the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished out of the 13 member clubs. They finished as runners-up over the three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpools home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, which was part of an entertainment complex that included a theatre. This meant that the average attendances were around the 2000 mark. Their application was successful, and for the debut season, 1896–97. Blackpools first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, for the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds. They remained there for the first seven games of 1898–99. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season and they finished third, and after the Football Leagues annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two. It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore, during the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place
Barnet Football Club /ˈbɑːrnɪt/ is an English professional football club based in Edgware, north-west London. The club currently participates in League Two, the tier of English football. The club was founded in Chipping Barnet, then part of Hertfordshire and they played their home matches at Underhill Stadium from 1907 until 2013, when they moved to the new Hive Stadium in Edgware. Barnet were first promoted to the Football League in 1991, after winning the 1990–91 Football Conference under manager Barry Fry, in 1993 they reached the Football League Second Division, then the third tier of English football, but were relegated after one season. They were relegated back to the Conference in 2001, but returned to the Football League four years later winning the 2004–05 Conference National. They then spent the eight seasons in League Two before being relegated to the Conference once again in 2013. In 2015, they returned to the Football League once more, the club also competes in the Middlesex Senior Cup. Before moving to the Hive, they competed in the Herts Senior Cup, for a complete list of seasons, see List of Barnet F. C. seasons Barnet FC were formed in 1888, having formerly been known as New Barnet FC and Woodville FC. The clubs origins are from ex-scholars of Cowley College and Lyonsdown Collegiate School and they were known as The Hillmen and played in New Barnet before moving to Ravenscroft Park in Queens Road in 1889. Initially they played friendly games before becoming members of the North London League in 1892–93. They went on to have success in the North Middlesex League Division II, Division I, promoted to the London League Division II, Barnet became champions in 1897–98 and spent the following seasons in London League Division I before ceasing to exist in the 1901–02 season. Two local clubs, Barnet Avenue FC and Alston Works AFC continued to attract support, Avenue played their home games initially at Hadley Green before moving to Queens Road. Alston Works AFC, later Barnet Alston FC, were formed in 1901, formed from workers at Alston Works, a dental manufacturers, they were known as The Dentals. Their club strip of amber and black is the basis of the current Barnet team strip, in 1907 they moved to the clubs current ground at Underhill, Barnet Lane. Their first match was a 1–0 win over Crystal Palace on 14 September 1907, after merging with the Avenue team in 1912 they spearheaded the new Athenian League as Barnet and Alston FC. After the First World War in 1919 they became the third instance of Barnet FC, for over 50 years Barnet FC competed in the Athenian League. Inaugural members in 1912–13 they were league champions no fewer than seven times between 1919–65 before turning professional in 1965, during the 1920s Barnet consolidated their amateur status in the Athenian League under team secretary Tom Goss. The 1930–31 season saw Barnet gain their first Athenian League Championship to be repeated again the following season, in the two seasons after World War II, Barnet won the FA Amateur Cup, the Athenian League Championship twice, and the London Senior Cup
Wycombe Wanderers F.C.
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club /ˈwɪkəm/ is a professional association football club based in the town of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of English football. The club plays at Adams Park, which is situated on the outskirts of High Wycombe. The clubs nicknames are the Chairboys and the Blues, Ainsworth retired from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season. He is assisted by Richard Dobson and Barry Richardson, the club was awarded the Family Club of the Year award twice in a row in 2006–07 and 2007–08. This is the time that the award has been given to the same club in consecutive seasons. The club received a Football League Family Excellence Award after the 2009–10, 2011–12, the exact details of the formation of Wycombe Wanderers F. C. have largely been lost to history. A group of young furniture trade workers started a team to play matches in 1884 and this team was called North Town Wanderers. In 1887, a meeting held at the Steam Engine public house in Station Road and it is highly likely the club was named Wanderers after the famous Wanderers, winners of the first F. A. The club played friendly matches between 1887 and 1896, Amateur Cup in 1894 and the F. A. In 1895 the club moved to Loakes Park, which would become its home for the next 95 years, in 1896 the club joined the Southern League and competed in the Second Division until 1908. In the summer of 1908 the club declined the invitation to retain their membership of the Southern League, the club decided to pursue amateur instead of professional football and joined the Great Western Suburban League and remained there until the outbreak of the First World War. After the hostilities had ended the club joined the Spartan League in 1919 and were Champions in successive years, in March 1921 the clubs application to join the Isthmian League was accepted. The club remained a member of the Isthmian League until 1985, for over sixty years the Wanderers sought to be the greatest amateur club in the country. One of the clubs greatest achievements came in April 1931 when the F. A, Amateur Cup was won for the only time. The Wanderers beat Hayes 1–0 in the final at Highbury, home of Arsenal, the club also reached the first round proper of the F. A. Cup for the first time in November 1932, losing to Gillingham in a replay at Loakes Park, the club remained active during the Second World War, competing in the Great Western Combination, which was won in 1945. It provided the basis for a period of unprecedented success in 1950s, the club appointed Sid Cann as coach in 1952 and he led the Wanderers to their first Isthmian League title in 1956
Grimsby Town F.C.
Grimsby Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the seaside town of Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, England. The team compete in League Two, the tier of league football in England. They were formed in 1878 as Grimsby Pelham and later became Grimsby Town, the club is located at Blundell Park where it has been since 1898. They are the most successful of the three professional clubs in historic Lincolnshire, being the only one to play top-flight football. It is also the club of the three to reach an FA Cup semi-final It has also spent more time in the English games first. In 2008 Buckley took Grimsby to the again, but lost out to MK Dons in the final of the Football League Trophy. Grimsby managed to reach the Conference play-off final in both 2015 and 2016, after losing to Bristol Rovers they defeated Forest Green Rovers to earn promotion back to the Football League. Initial relegation back in 2010 made them the club to compete in all top five divisions of English football. Grimsbys claims to fame are that their 1939 FA Cup semi-final with Wolverhampton Wanderers attendance of 76,962 is still a record at Manchester Uniteds Old Trafford stadium and they were also the first English club to appoint a foreign manager doing so in 1954 with Hungarian manager Elemér Berkessy. The clubs record holder is John McDermott, who made 754 appearances between 1987 and 2007, while their leading scorer is Pat Glover, with 180 goals. Grimsby Town F. C. was formed in 1878 after a meeting held at the Wellington Arms public house in Freeman Street, Grimsby. Several attendees included members of the local Worsley Cricket Club who wanted to form a club to occupy the empty winter evenings after the cricket season had finished. The club was originally called Grimsby Pelham, this being the name of the Earl of Yarborough. In 1880 the club purchased land at Clee Park which was to become their ground until 1889 when they relocated to Abbey Park, before moving again in 1899 to their present home, Blundell Park. The original colours were blue and white hoops, which were changed to chocolate, in 1888 the club first played league football, joining the newly formed Combination. The league soon collapsed and the year the club applied to join the Football League. Instead the club joined the Football Alliance, in 1890 the club became a limited company and in 1892 finally entered the Football League, when it was expanded to two divisions. The first game was a 2–1 victory over Northwich Victoria, however they finished as champions at the first attempt and at the subsequent re-election vote, replaced local rivals Lincoln City in the Football League
AFC Bournemouth /ˈbɔːrnməθ/ is a professional association football club based in Bournemouth, Dorset, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. Johns Institute F. C. the club was reformed in 1899 as Boscombe F. C and they changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F. C. in 1923, before settling on their current name in 1972. Nicknamed The Cherries, since 1910 Bournemouth have played their games at Dean Court. Their home colours are red and black striped shirts, with black shorts, AFC Bournemouth have won the second and third tiers of English football, and were twice runners up of the fourth tier. They have also won the Football League Trophy, and the Football League Third Division South Cup, currently managed by Eddie Howe, the 2015–16 season was AFC Bournemouths first ever in Englands top division. Although the exact date of the foundation is not known. The club was known as Boscombe F. C. The first president was Mr. J. C, in their first season, 1899–1900, Boscombe F. C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup, during the first two seasons, they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season, the played on a pitch in Kings Park. In the 1905–06 season, Boscombe F. C. graduated to senior amateur football, in 1910, the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park as the clubs football ground by President J. E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, also in 1910, the club signed their first professional football player B. Around about this time, the club obtained their nickname The Cherries, for the first time, during the 1913–14 season, the club competed in the FA Cup. The clubs progress, however, was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I, in 1920, the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, finding moderate success. To make the more representative of the district, the name was changed to Bournemouth. During the same year, the club was elected to the Football League to fill the left by Stalybridge Celtics resignation. The first league match was at Swindon Town on 25 August 1923, the first league game at Dean Court was also against Swindon, where Bournemouth gained their first league point after a 0–0 draw. Initially, Bournemouth struggled in the Football League but eventually established themselves as a Third Division club, Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club remain on the records as the longest continuous members of the Third Division
Alex Rhodes (footballer)
Alexander Graham Alex Rhodes is an English professional footballer who plays for Isthmian League Premier Division side Margate. He predominantly plays as a winger but also as a striker. Rhodes started his career with Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Newmarket Town, Rhodes scored 20 goals in the early part of the 2003/04 season, including 14 goals in 11 games in the league. After trials with several Football League clubs, he joined Brentford in November 2003, Rhodes scored five goals during his four seasons at Brentford, which were hampered by injury and included loan spells at Swindon Town and Grays Athletic. He signed for Bradford City in August 2007 but was released one season. A loan spell at Woking was followed by his release from Rotherham in May 2009 and he played just four games before leaving Oxford by mutual consent, and moved to Braintree Town, initially on a short-term deal. Rhodes rejoined Grays Athletic in January 2010, but was released at the end of the 2009–10 season, Alex Rhodes was born on 23 January 1982 in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. He first attended a game at his hometown side Cambridge United. As well as football, he played cricket as a youngster, Rhodes is nicknamed Tiger, because of his likeness to golfer Tiger Woods. Rhodes had a tattoo of a 142-word quotation inked onto his leg in November 2008 and it took five hours to inscribe onto Rhodes leg. Rhodes started his career at non-League side Newmarket Town, breaking into the clubs youth team at the age of 17. He combined his early years at the club with work as a coach at Cambridge Regional College, during the 2002–03 season, Rhodes scored more than 30 goals. He scored 21 goals for Newmarket in the Eastern Counties League during the first four months of the 2003–04 season, after trials with Yeovil, Norwich and Ipswich Town, Rhodes signed with Brentford in November 2003 for £10,000. It was the first time Brentford had paid a fee for a player since Jean-Philippe Javary three years earlier, with the money donated by the clubs fans. In his final game with Newmarket, he scored a hat-trick in a 4–3 victory against Great Yarmouth Town, Rhodes made his Brentford debut on Boxing Day 2003 in a 2–1 defeat to Bristol City but had to wait more than four months for his second game. He scored his first senior goal in his game to ensure Brentford avoided relegation from the Second Division when they defeated Bournemouth 1–0. Rhodes returned to Newmarket Town for a friendly game with Brentford in August 2004. It helped him to win a place in the first team and it was not until November 2004 that he scored his second goal in another defeat—2–1 to Bradford City
Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. They have played in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. They are one of two teams in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City – Argyles local rivals, since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles, five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the clubs 42nd in the tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once. The club takes its nickname, The Pilgrims, from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620, the club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have played in dark green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football and they are the most southerly and westerly League club in England. Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England, the original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of a process of renovation. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United, the other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United, plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council. This purchase was concluded in December 2006, in December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should Englands bid be successful. The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010, however, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million. The club was taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is a professional association football club based in White City, London, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, as well as finishing top of the tier in 1983 and 2011. QPR were also runners-up of the Football League First Division in 1975–76, Queens Park Rangers were founded in 1886 after the merger of Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute. Owing to their proximity to other west London clubs, QPR maintain long-standing rivalries with other clubs in the area. The most notable of these are Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford, outside London, QPR also traditionally share rivalries with Watford, Luton and Cardiff, although in recent years these fixtures have become less prominent. For the current season see 2015–16 Queens Park Rangers F. C. season The club was formed in 1886, the resulting team was called Queens Park Rangers, because most of the players came from the Queens Park area of north-west London. QPR were promoted as champions of Division 3 South in the 1947–48 season, Dave Mangnall was the manager as the club participated in four seasons of the Second Division, being relegated in 1951–52. Tony Ingham was signed from Leeds United and went on to make the most ever league appearances for QPR, arguably the clubs greatest ever manager, Alec Stock, arrived prior to the start of the 1959–60 season. The 1960–61 season saw QPR achieve their biggest win to date, in time, Stock, together with Jim Gregory who arrived as chairman in the mid-1960s, helped to achieve a total transformation of the club and its surroundings. It is still the major trophy that QPR have won. It was also the first League Cup final to be held at Wembley Stadium, after winning promotion in 1968 to the top flight for the first time in their history, Rangers were relegated after just one season and spent the next four years in Division Two. Terry Venables joined from Spurs at the beginning of the 1969–70 season, during this time, new QPR heroes emerged including Phil Parkes, Don Givens, Dave Thomas and Stan Bowles. These new signings were in addition to home-grown talent such as Dave Clement, Ian Gillard, Mick Leach, after completing their 42-game season, QPR sat at the top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool who went on to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers to clinch the title. Wolves were relegated to the Second Division that same season, following Sextons departure in 1977 the club eventually slipped into the Second Division in 1979. In 1980 Terry Venables took over as manager and the club installed a plastic pitch, in 1982 QPR, still playing in the Second Division, reached the FA Cup Final for the only time in the clubs history, facing holders Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham won 1–0 in a replay, the following season QPR went on to win the Second Division championship and returned to English footballs top division. After a respectable fifth-place finish, and UEFA Cup qualification, the following year, in 1988 the club had a new chairman, Richard Thompson. Who at 24 was the Premier Leagues youngest ever chairman, over the next seven years, various managers came and went from Loftus Road and the club spent many seasons finishing mid table but avoided relegation
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club /ˈbraɪtən ən ˈhoʊv/ is a professional football club based in the city of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, England, often referred to simply as Brighton. The team is nicknamed the Seagulls or Albion, the team has historically played in blue and white stripes, though this changed to all white briefly in the 1970s and again to plain blue during the clubs most successful spell in the 1980s. Crystal Palace are considered the main rivals, although the grounds are 40 miles apart. Founded in 1901, Brighton played their early football in the Southern League before being elected to the Football League in 1920. The club enjoyed greatest prominence between 1979 and 1983 when they played in the First Division and reached the 1983 FA Cup Final and they were relegated from the top division in the same season. Mismanagement brought Brighton close to relegation from the Football League to the Conference which they narrowly avoided in 1997 and 1998. Brighton & Hove Albion F. C. were founded in 1901 and 19 years later, in 1920, Mike Bamber was the chairman of Brighton from October 1972 until 1983. He famously brought Brian Clough to the club in 1973 and later appointed former England player Alan Mullery as manager, the 1982/83 season saw a wildly inconsistent start for the club, with victories over Arsenal and Manchester United mixed in with heavy defeats. Manager Mike Bailey eventually lost his job at the start of December 1982, jimmy Melia took over as manager, but was unable to turn the situation around and Brighton were relegated in 1983, having finished in bottom place. Despite their relegation, that season Brighton reached their first FA Cup final, Brightons goals were scored by Gordon Smith and Gary Stevens. However, Smiths kick was saved by the Manchester United goalkeeper. In the replay, Manchester United won 4–0, a lifelong fan named Dick Knight took control of the club in 1997 having led the fan pressure to oust the previous board following their sale of the clubs Goldstone Ground to property developers. If Brighton won or drew, they would be safe, Brighton defender Kerry Mayo scored an own goal in the first half and it looked as though their 77-year league career was over. But a late goal from Robbie Reinelt saved the day, Brighton retained their status on goal difference. The sale of the Goldstone ground went through in 1997, leading to Brighton having to play some 70 miles away at Gillinghams Priestfield stadium for two seasons, micky Adams was appointed Brightons manager in 1999. For the start of the 1999–2000 season the Seagulls secured a lease to play games at Withdean Stadium. In February 2000 Brighton signed a little known forward on loan from Bristol Rovers called Bobby Zamora, Zamora made an instant impact, scoring in his debut, the 1–1 home draw with Plymouth. 2000–01 was Brightons first successful season for 13 years and they were crowned champions of Division Three and promoted to Division Two, where they made an excellent start and looked good bets for a second successive promotion
Swindon Town F.C.
Swindon Town Football Club is a professional football club in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they became Spartans in 1880, the team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The clubs home ground, where it has played since 1896, is the 15,728 capacity County Ground, the club went professional in 1894 and entered the Football League in 1920. Swindon Town won promotion to the Premier League in the 1992–93 season, Swindon Town Football Club was founded by Reverend William Pitt of Liddington in 1879. The team turned professional in 1894 and joined the Southern League which was founded in the same year, during this period Septimus Atterbury played for the club. Swindon reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the 1909–10 season, Barnsley and Swindon were invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup in 1910 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris. The result was a 2–1 victory for Swindon with Harold Fleming scoring both of the clubs goals, the following season, 1910–11, Swindon Town won the Southern League championship, earning them a Charity Shield match with the Football League champions Manchester United. This, the highest-scoring Charity Shield game to date, was played on 25 September 1911 at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United winning 8–4, some of the proceeds of this game were later donated to the survivors of the Titanic. In 1912 Swindon Town reached the finals of the FA Cup for a second time in 3 years. Swindons exploits at this time owed a lot to the skilful forward H. J. Fleming who was capped by England 11 times between 1909 and 1914 despite playing outside the Football League. Fleming remained with Swindon throughout a career spanning 1907 and 1924. Swindon entered the Football League in 1920 as a member of Division Three. This result stands as a record for the club in League matches, the club was relegated back into Division Three in 1965 but it was about to create a sensation. In 1969, Swindon beat Arsenal 3–1 to win the League Cup for the time in the clubs history. As winners of the League Cup, Swindon were assured of a place in their first European competition, however, the Football Association had previously agreed to inclusion criteria with the organizers which mandated that only League Cup winners from Division One would be able to take part. As the team were not eligible, the short lived Anglo-Italian competitions were created to give teams from lower divisions experience in Europe, the first of these, the 1969 Anglo-Italian League Cup, was contested over two legs against Coppa Italia winners A. S. Swindon won 5–2, with the scorer of two goals in the League Cup final – Don Rogers – scoring once and new acquisition Arthur Horsfield acquiring his first hat-trick for the club. The team then went on to win the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup competition in a tournament beset by hooliganism, napoli was abandoned after 79 minutes following pitch invasions and a missile barrage, with teargas being employed to allow the teams to return to the dressing room
Hartlepool United F.C.
Hartlepool United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Hartlepool, County Durham, England. The team plays in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Hartlepool play their games at Victoria Park on Clarence Road. The club was founded in 1908 as Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company and their main rivals were Darlington, until that club entered into administration in 2012. Brian Clough began his career at the club in 1965. Under Cyril Knowles management the club won promotion to the Third Division in 1990, in 2005, Hartlepool narrowly missed promotion to the Football League Championship. The team mascot HAngus the Monkey was elected mayor at the 2002 Hartlepool Council election, the club receives vocal support from Jeff Stelling, the presenter of Sky Sports Soccer Saturday. In 1920, the Football League formed a third division and this was based almost entirely in the south, as the new division was created by absorbing virtually the entire top division of the Southern League, with Grimsby Town the only northern representative. This was rectified the following season when a Third Division North was created, brian Clough was invited to manage Hartlepool in 1965. His reaction was, I dont fancy the place, but he took the job, in 1968 the s and the United were dropped from the team name of Hartlepools United. This was in connection with West Hartlepool being absorbed along with the old town of Hartlepool. The appendage of United was restored in 1977, under Len Ashurst, the team slowly began to revive after years of largely indifferent form. Ashurst did precisely that, finishing in 11th in 1973–74, he left the club to manage Gillingham. Ken Hale took over and guided the team to 13th and 14th over the two seasons and also reached the League Cup Fourth round in 1974–75. However, 1976–77 saw a return to the doldrums, Hale was sacked after failing to win any of the first nine games at the start of October and his successor Billy Horner could not stop the rot either, and the team finished in 22nd place. Over the close season the name was changed to its current form of Hartlepool United. A tragedy struck the club a few weeks before the end of the season when 20-year-old player Dave Wiggett was killed in a car crash and it seemed to be only a matter of time before Hartlepool United followed the same way. Once again then, it was a relief for the supporters that Horner managed to make considerable improvements the following season
Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
Tranmere Rovers F.C.
Tranmere Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club founded in 1884, and based in Birkenhead, Wirral, England. Originally known as Belmont Football Club, they adopted their current name in 1885. They were a member of Division Three North in 1921, and were a member of The Football League until 2015, when they were relegated to the National League. During the 1980s, they were beset by problems and, in 1987. Under Kings successor, John Aldridge, Tranmere experienced a number of cup runs, other cup runs include reaching FA Cup quarter-finals in 2000,2001 and 2004. Tranmeres regular kit is a strip with blue trim, their main colours since 1962. The club moved to its current home, Prenton Park, in 1912, in 1995, the ground had a major redevelopment in response to the Taylor Report. It now seats 16,567 in four stands, the Main Stand, the Kop, the Johnny King Stand, Tranmere Rovers were, initially, formed as Belmont Football Club when the football arms of two cricket clubs – Lyndhurst Wanderers and Belmont – came together in 1884. On 15 November 1884, they won their first game 4–0 against Brunswick Rovers and this was a friendly match, as there were no leagues until 1888. Under the presidency of James McGaul, the team had an inaugural season. An unrelated, disbanded side had played under the name Tranmere Rovers Cricket Club in 1881–82, on 16 September 1885, before their second season began, Belmont F. C. adopted this name Tranmere Rovers. Tranmere played their first matches at Steeles Field in Birkenhead, in 1887, they bought Ravenshaws Field from Tranmere Rugby Club. In 1895, their ground was renamed Prenton Park, although it was 25 years later that the team moved into the current stadium of the same name, Tranmere first wore a kit of blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks. In 1889 they adopted orange and maroon shirts, but in 1904 returned to wearing their original kit, in 1886, Tranmere entered their first competition, the Liverpool and District Challenge Cup, in 1889, they entered the West Lancashire League. They joined the Combination, a stronger league, in 1897. Tranmere won the Lancashire Combination Championship in 1914 and Stan Rowlands became the first Tranmere player to receive a cap when he was selected to play for Wales. Rovers continued to play throughout the First World War, although their players were criticised for avoiding military service, following the expulsion of Leeds City Reserves in 1919, Tranmere were able to enter the Central League. Their timing was excellent as the season, four Central League clubs – including Tranmere – were invited to join the new Division Three North
Luton Town F.C.
Luton Town Football Club /ˈluːtən ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based at Kenilworth Road, Luton, Bedfordshire since 1905. Founded in 1885, it is nicknamed the Hatters and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association and its first-team is contesting the fourth tier of English football, League Two, during the 2016–17 season. The clubs history includes major trophy wins, several financial crises, numerous promotions and relegations, the club was the first in southern England to turn professional, making payments to players as early as 1890 and turning fully professional a year later. It joined the Football League before the 1897–98 season, left in 1900 because of financial problems, Luton reached the First Division in 1955–56 and contested a major final for the first time when playing Nottingham Forest in the 1959 FA Cup Final. The team was relegated from the top division in 1959–60. However, it was promoted back to the top level by 1974–75, Luton Towns most recent successful period began in 1981–82, when the club won the Second Division, and thereby gained promotion to the First. Luton defeated Arsenal 3–2 in the 1988 Football League Cup Final, between 2007 and 2009, financial difficulties caused the club to fall from the second tier of English football to the fifth in successive seasons. The last of these came during the 2008–09 season, when 30 points were docked from Lutons record for various financial irregularities. Luton thereafter spent five seasons in non-League football before winning the Conference Premier in 2013–14, Luton Town Football Club was formed on 11 April 1885, the product of a merger of the two leading local teams, Luton Town Wanderers and Excelsior. Initially based at Excelsiors Dallow Lane ground, the club began making payments to individual players in 1890. The following year, Luton became the first club in southern England to be fully professional, the club was a founder member of the Southern Football League in the 1894–95 season and finished as runners-up in its first two seasons. It then left to form the United League and came second in that leagues inaugural season before joining the Football League for 1897–98. The club continued to enter a team to the United League for two seasons, and won the title in 1897–98. A return to the Southern League was therefore arranged for the 1900–01 season, eight years after arriving at Dunstable Road, Luton moved again, settling at their current ground, Kenilworth Road, in 1905. Captain and left winger Bob Hawkes became Lutons first international player when he was picked to play for England against Ireland on 16 February 1907, a poor 1911–12 season saw Luton relegated to the Southern Leagues Second Division, the club won promotion back two years later. After the First World War broke out, Luton took part in The London Combination during 1915–16, a key player of the period was Ernie Simms, a forward. Simms was invalided back to England after being wounded on the Italian front, however, after Luton finished fourth in the division, the squad was broken up as Simms, Bookman and Mathieson joined South Shields, Port Vale and Exeter City respectively. Luton stayed in the Third Division South until 1936–37, when the team finished top and won promotion to the Second Division, during the early 1950s, one of Lutons greatest sides emerged under manager Dally Duncan
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Colchester, Essex, England. The team competes in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1937, the club spent its early years playing in the Southern Football League until they were elected to the Football League in 1950. Colchester United were relegated to the Football Conference in 1990 following a decline in the late 1980s and they achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1998 following a 1–0 win against Torquay United in the play-off final. The club were promoted in 2006, achieving second place in League One. The club returned to League One in 2008 following relegation from the Championship, Colchester United play their home games at Colchester Community Stadium in Colchester. They relocated to the stadium in 2008 when they moved away from Layer Road, until 1937, Colchester Town were Colchesters main club and were the original tenants of Layer Road. Colchester Town joined the Eastern Counties League in 1935, but their performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional. With club officials against the idea of turning professional, a new club was formed in March 1937, Colchester United. United joined the Southern Football League as crowds for Town matches dwindled, in December 1937, Colchester United formed a reserve team, signing many of Towns players. As a result of this and Town struggling with £300 debts, the club won the Southern League Cup in their first season of existence, and were Southern League champions during in 1939 prior to the Second World War. They finally fell to Blackpool in the fifth round and this set them in good stead for potential election to the Football League. Colchester United were elected to the Football League in 1950 on the back of their second Southern League Cup win and ending the 1949–50 season second to Merthyr Tydfil on goal average alone. With the draw having been made prior to the replay against Rochdale, the Us knew they would face a home tie with First Division Leeds United, and duly trounced Dale 5–0. In the match with Leeds, the Us raced to an unprecedented 3–0 lead in front of a 16,000 Layer Road crowd, Leeds did grab two goals back but Colchester held on for a famous 3–2 victory. The club faced Everton in the quarter-finals but succumbed to a 5–0 defeat in front of 53,028 at Goodison Park. Financial difficulties and a number of changes at board level in the mid-1980s caused a slide towards the end of the Fourth Division table. Despite a brief turn around in form under former Rangers manager Jock Wallace, despite their relegation, the Us remained a full-time club while playing in the Football Conference, as they sold their Layer Road ground to the Colchester Borough Council to clear the clubs debts
Barnsley Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the Tykes, they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy under the name Barnsley St. Peters, the club colours are red and white, and their home ground since 1888 has been Oakwell. Taylor broke into the Barnsley team just after the sale of wing-half Danny Blanchflower to Aston Villa. Blanchflower would go on to sign for Tottenham Hotspur and be voted FWA Player of the Year twice as well as captaining the North London club to the first league and cup double of the 20th century. Barnsley FC was established in 1887 by a clergyman, Tiverton Preedy and they joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in the Second Division for the first decade, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910 the club reached the FA Cup final, where they lost out to Newcastle United in a replay match. However, they would reach the 1912 FA Cup Final where they would defeat West Bromwich Albion 1–0 in a replay to win the trophy for the first. When the league restarted after World War I, the 1919–20 season brought significant changes to the league. The principal difference was that the First Division would be increased from 20 teams to 22, the bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were duly relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, derby County and Preston North End were rightly promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled. Henry Norris, the then Arsenal chairman, had recently moved Woolwich Arsenal north of the River Thames to Highbury and he was later to admit some underhand dealings, allegedly including the bribing of some member clubs to vote for Arsenals inclusion. They duly won the vote and Barnsley were consigned to the tier of English football for another 8 decades. The club did come close to reaching the top division in the early years. In 1922, they missed out on promotion by a single goal, during the years preceding and following World War II, the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division. Around the time of Blanchflowers departure, a young centre-forward called Tommy Taylor broke into the Barnsley team, scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Barnsley. In April 1953, he one of the most expensive players in English football at the time when Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United for a fee of £29,999. In 1965, Barnsley were relegated to the Football League Fourth Division for the first time and they went down to the Fourth Division again in 1972, and this time stayed down for seven seasons, finally returning to the Third Division in 1979
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales. Based on the clubs recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales, since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club. As of May 2015, the club has 4,129 adult members, Wrexham are perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over reigning English Champions Arsenal in 1992 and a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners Cup. Wrexhams home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the worlds oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games, the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. Their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, as the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. C, in the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park, Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. 1883 also saw Wrexhams first appearance in the FA Cup, when receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, Olympic was dropped from this clubs name in 1888. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before an increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham, Wrexhams first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league, during their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League and their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators
Oldham Athletic A.F.C.
Oldham Athletic Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of English football. The history of Oldham Athletic A. F. C. begins with the founding of Pine Villa F. C. in 1895, playing in the Manchester and Lancashire leagues. When rivals Oldham County F. C. folded in 1899, Pine Villa F. C. moved into their stadium and they were Football League runners-up in the 1914–15 season but were relegated from the Football League First Division in 1923. They reached the 1990 Football League Cup Final and won the Football League Second Division title in 1991 and they secured their top division status a year later to become founder members of the new Premier League but were relegated in 1994. After a period of insolvency in 2003–04, the club was taken over by a group of US-based expatriate British businessmen led by Simon Blitz, Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed its appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club. The club immediately gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League, unlike many clubs, Oldham Athletic gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08. After three years in the Second Division, Latics gained promotion to the First Division, within a couple of seasons, Oldham had announced themselves serious contenders, finishing 4th in the league in 1912–13, and reaching the F. A. Cup semi-finals the same season, losing out 1–0 versus Aston Villa, in 1914–15, Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. In the league season they almost won it all, Latics lost the league by one point. Latics early success was halted by the First World War. Many of the players from their former squads had either retired from football or had killed in the war. Their highest success came in the 1929–30 season as finished in 3rd. From then on they slowly but surely fell down the league table and they found life in this new division much more to their liking, coming 7th in their first season and following this with three seasons in the top five. Promotion back to the Second Division looked like it might just be a possibility, players contracts were terminated, and relying largely on guest players, the club was to play in the war-time Northern League until August 1946. Following the return of football there was to be no immediate success for Oldham Athletic. They finished 19th in the first league season after the war, Hardwicks appointment came at a cost, with a £15,000 transfer fee paid to Middlesbrough. In Hardwicks first full season in charge they finished 4th after topping the table for a considerable time, eric Gemmell scored seven of these to establish an individual club record for one game which still stands to date
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