National League North
The National League North, formerly Conference North, is a division of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with the National League South, it is at Step 2 of the National League System and it consists of teams located in Northern England, Norfolk, the English Midlands and North Wales. From the start of the 2015–16 season, the league has been known as the National League North, as part of a sponsorship deal with Vanarama, the National League North is now known as the Vanarama National League North. The Conference North was introduced in 2004 as part of a restructuring of English non-League football. The champions are promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs involving the teams finishing in second to fifth place, the three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues. Teams from this division, as well as from the National League South, for sponsorship reasons, the division was known as the Nationwide North from its formation in 2004 until 2007, when it was renamed the Blue Square North. In 2010 it was renamed the Blue Square Bet North, when Blue Square sponsorship ended in 2013, it was renamed the Skrill North until the 2014–15 season, when it was renamed the Vanarama North. A further name change followed in 2015, when the division was renamed the Vanarama National League North
National League South
The National League South, formerly Conference South, is one of the second divisions of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with National League North it is at the level of the National League System. It was introduced in 2004 as part of a restructuring of the National League System. The champion team each year is promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs of the finishing in second place to fifth place. The three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues, from the start of the 2015–16 season, the league is known as the National League South. The current champions are Sutton United, who finished 6 points ahead of second place, the current member club for the 2016–17 season are as follows, The stadiums of all teams in the league for the 2016–17 season are listed below in capacity order, ** Not promoted. In 2004–05 only three places were available to the Conference National. The third place was decided in a Playoff at Stokes Britannia Stadium, which Eastbourne lost 2–1 to the Conference North Playoff winners, Altrincham
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League is one of the regional football leagues in England which sits directly below the National League featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs. Geographically, the covers all of Northern England, and the northern areas of the Midlands. Originally just one division, a division was added in 1987. This new division was split twenty years later into Division One North, together with the Southern League and the Isthmian League it forms level 7–8 of the English football league system. It is, however, also possible for teams to be promoted to the National League South. Due to title sponsorship deals, the league has been billed under various names, including a spell as the Unibond League. When this deal ended in 2010, a new deal was announced which will see the competition billed as the Evo-Stik League until at least the 2015–16 season. At that time they were the highest level non-League division below The Football League, the level as the other league in Northern England. From 1992–93 to 1994–95 the Leagues Division One included two clubs, Caernarfon Town from Wales and Gretna from Scotland, who have since joined their countries league systems. Colwyn Bay, Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl have also played in the league, the first sponsors of the NPL were Multipart who sponsored the 1985–86 season. The sponsors after this were, HFS Loans, Unibond and Evo-Stik, since 2007, the NPL has had three divisions, the Premier Division, Division One North and Division One South. Prior to 2007 there was just a single Division One, the Premier Division has 24 clubs, with the champions promoted to the National League along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. From the 2009–10 season, Division One North and South have 22 clubs each, in each division, the champions are promoted to the Premier Division, along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. The bottom two clubs in each division are relegated to one of the leagues below provided there are enough suitable promotion candidates from those leagues. The champions of the three feeder leagues covering the NPL area are promoted each season and these are the Northern League, the Northern Counties East League, and the North West Counties League. Clubs in the extremities of the Midland League and the United Counties League may also be promoted to the Northern Premier League. Division One North and South teams receive a bye to the Preliminary Round of FA Cup Qualification, Premier Division teams receive a bye to the First Round of Qualification. The league has two knockout competitions, all clubs in the three leagues play in the Challenge Cup
The Isthmian League is a regional mens football league covering London, East and South East England featuring mostly semi-professional clubs. It is sponsored by Ryman, and therefore known as the Ryman League. It was founded in 1905 by amateur clubs in the London area and it now consists of 72 teams in three divisions, the Premier Division above its two feeder divisions, Division One North and Division One South. Together with the Southern League and the Northern Premier League, it forms the seventh and eighth levels of the English football league system and it has various regional feeder leagues and the league as a whole is a feeder league mainly to the National League South. Before the Isthmian League was formed, there were no leagues in which amateur clubs could compete, therefore, a meeting took place between representatives of Casuals, Civil Service, Clapton, Ealing Association, Ilford and London Caledonians to discuss the creation of a strong amateur league. All the clubs supported the idea and the Isthmian League was born on 8 March 1905, membership to the league was through invitation only. The league was strongly dedicated to amateurism, the champions did not even receive a trophy or medals, teams less able to compete financially thus gravitated to it rather than the Southern League, while those with ambition and money would move in the opposite direction. By 1922 the league had fourteen clubs and over the five decades, only a few new members were admitted. Most new Isthmian League members joined from the Athenian League, which was dedicated to amateurism. The league began to admit professionalism in the 1970s, a second division of sixteen clubs was formed in 1973 and a third division followed in 1977. The reward of promotion into the Conference means that, since 1985, the Athenian League disbanded in 1984 when the Isthmian League Second Division split into North and South Divisions. These were restructured again to Second and Third Divisions in 1991, in 2002, the league was restructured again, with the First and Second Divisions merging to become Division One North and Division One South, and the Third Division being renamed as Division Two. In 2004, The Football Association pushed through a restructuring of the non-league National League System. The Isthmian League was reduced back down to three divisions, and its boundaries were changed to remove the overlap with the Southern League, in 2006, further reorganisation saw a reversion to two regional Division Ones and the disbandment of Division Two. This current plan calls for clubs based on the edges of the Isthmian Leagues territory to transfer to, One team, Clapton, had been ever-present in the Isthmian League since its foundation, but they moved to the Essex Senior League for the 2006–07 season. Dulwich Hamlet, who joined the league in 1907, are currently its longest serving member, for the 1973–74 season, the Second Division was added. For the 1977–78 season, the Premier Division was added, for the 1984–85 season, the Second Division was reorganised into North and South regions. For the 1991–92 season, the regional Second Divisions were merged, at the end of the 1994–95 season, Enfield were denied promotion to the Conference
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Carlisle United F.C.
Carlisle United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Carlisle, Cumbria, where they play at Brunton Park. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1904, they have won three titles and two cup competitions in their history. They played in the then First Division in the 1974–75 season, making the city of Carlisle the smallest location, by population, to have had a resident top-flight English football club since 1906. The club has reached the final of the Football League Trophy 6 times, more than any other team, the clubs traditional kit is blue with white and red detail. The badge takes elements from the coat of arms including two wyverns which are the regent of Cumbria. The club was formed on 17 May 1904 at Shaddongate Uniteds annual general meeting where the members voted to change the teams name to Carlisle United. The newly formed club initially played at Milhome Bank and later at Devonshire Park, when the Carlisle United first team left to join the Football League the reserve team resumed its place in the competition. Carlisle United were crowned champions of the North Eastern League in 1922, the 1927–28 season was Carlisles last in the North Eastern League. An excellent home record helped them to second in the table finishing a full 10 points behind Champions Sunderland Reserves, the close season meant the usual round of applications to join the Football League. Carlisle went up against Chester City, Durham City, Nelson, on 4 June 1928 a delegation of representatives from Carlisle United took their seats at the Football League meeting in London to hear the results of the vote. Carlisle received the second-most votes with 33, and replaced Durham City and their next game was played against Hartlepool United and still stands to this day as their record victory at 8 goals to nil. When the Second World War began in 1939, Carlisle United withdrew from national and regional competitions, when the war was over the club returned to the Football League and appointed Ivor Broadis as player-manager, making him the youngest league club manager in history. He then had the distinction of becoming the first manager to transfer himself when he moved to Sunderland, he continued to live, Broadis returned to Carlisle United in 1955 an ex-England international. In 1949, the became the first to appoint Bill Shankly as manager. It is at Carlisle where he met local player Geoff Twentyman, who he would sign as head scout at Liverpool. According to Shankly, he said to Broadis, What do you think youre doing, who do you think you are. If you do the training we do you can train with us and well play five-a-side, Carlisle were members of the Third Division North until 1958 when it combined with the Third Division South to become the Fourth Division
York City F.C.
York City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of York, North Yorkshire, England. The team compete in the National League, the tier of league football in England. First founded in 1908, the club played seven seasons in non-League football before folding in 1917, a new club was formed in 1922, and played in the Midland League for seven years before joining the Football League. They played in the third tier until 1959, when they were promoted for the first time, York achieved their best run in the FA Cup in 1954–55, when they met Newcastle United in the semi-final. They fluctuated between the Third and Fourth Divisions, before spending two seasons in the Second Division in the 1970s, York first played at Wembley Stadium in 1993, when they won the Third Division play-off final. At the end of 2003–04, they lost their Football League status after being relegated from the Third Division, the 2011–12 FA Trophy was the first national knockout competition won by York, and they returned into the Football League that season. York are nicknamed the Minstermen, after York Minster, and the team play in red kits. They played at Fulfordgate from 1922 to 1932, when moved to their current ground. The ground has been subject to numerous improvements over the years, York bought it back five years later, but the terms of the loan used to do so necessitated they move to a new ground. They are due to move into the York Community Stadium in 2018, York have had rivalries with numerous clubs, but their traditional rivals are Hull City and Scarborough. The clubs record holder is Barry Jackson, who made 539 appearances, while their leading scorer is Norman Wilkinson. York City Football Club was founded in 1908 as an amateur club and they left the Northern League after two seasons when joining the Yorkshire Combination to reduce travelling. The club turned professional in 1912 and purchased a new ground at Field View, York joined the Midland League, where they played for three seasons, rising as high as 10th-place in 1912–13. They played their season in 1914–15, after which the competition was suspended due to the First World War. The club into liquidation through the court in August 1917 after a creditor pressed for payment for the grounds stand. York ranked in 19th-place in 1922–23 and 1923–24, and entered the FA Cup for the first time in the latter, York played in the Midland League for seven seasons, achieving a highest finish of sixth, in 1924–25 and 1926–27. They surpassed the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup for the first time in 1926–27, the club made its first serious attempt for election into the Football League in May 1937, but this was unsuccessful as Barrow and Accrington Stanley were re-elected. However, the club was two years later, being elected into the Football League in June 1929 to replace Ashington in the Third Division North
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the clubs supporters through the Exeter City Supporters Trust, the club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003. Following five seasons in the Conference National, Exeter were promoted back to League Two for the 2008–09 season, in the 2011–12 season of League One Exeter City were relegated to League Two, finishing 23rd with 48 points, they have remained in League Two ever since. Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old used for fattening pigs. Exeter remain at St James Park to this day, the club is nicknamed The Grecians. For the 2016–17 season Citys home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks. The club is known as the first side to play a team from Brazil. As a result, City and Brazilian side Fluminense are now also partner clubs, Exeter City F. C. was formed from two predecessor clubs, Exeter United F. C. and St Sidwells United. Exeter United was a club from Exeter, Devon, that played between 1890 and 1904. In 1904, Exeter United lost 3–1 to local rivals St Sidwells United, the new team took the name Exeter City and continued to play at Exeter Uniteds ground, St James Park, where Exeter City still play today. Exeter United was formed from the team of the same name and were one of the first football teams with the moniker United. St Sidwells United was a club that had formed from the regulars who frequented the Foresters Inn in Sidwell Street, Exeter, although the house was always known as the Drum. The team played in St Sidwells old colours of green and white, on 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the goal scored by Sid Thomas. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons, in 1908, Exeter City A. F. C. became a limited company. City became a professional team, and applied successfully for membership of the Southern League. A wooden grandstand was erected, and the club entered into an arrangement over the ground
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
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. It is about 0.5 miles from Old Trafford Cricket Ground, future expansion is likely to involve the addition of a second tier to the South Stand, which would raise the capacity to around 95,000. The stadiums record attendance was recorded in 1939, when 76,962 spectators watched the FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town and it also hosted football matches at the 2012 Summer Olympics, including womens international football for the first time in its history. Before 1902, Manchester United were known as Newton Heath, during time they first played their football matches at North Road. However, both grounds were blighted by wretched conditions, the pitches ranging from gravel to marsh, while Bank Street suffered from clouds of fumes from its neighbouring factories. Including the purchase of the land, the construction of the stadium was originally to have cost £60,000 all told. The subsidy would have come to the sum of £10,000, however, despite guarantees for the loan coming from the club itself and two local breweries, both chaired by club chairman John Henry Davies, the Cheshire Lines Committee turned the proposal down. The CLC had planned to build a new station adjacent to the new stadium, the station – Trafford Park – was eventually built, but further down the line than originally planned. The CLC later constructed a modest station with one timber-built platform immediately adjacent to the stadium and it was initially named United Football Ground, but was renamed Old Trafford Football Ground in early 1936. It was served on match days only by a service of steam trains from Manchester Central railway station. It is currently known as Manchester United Football Ground, construction was carried out by Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester and development was completed in late 1909. The stadium hosted its game on 19 February 1910, with United playing host to Liverpool. However, the side were unable to provide their fans with a win to mark the occasion. A journalist at the game reported the stadium as the most handsomest, the most spacious, as a football ground it is unrivalled in the world, it is an honour to Manchester and the home of a team who can do wonders when they are so disposed. Before the construction of Wembley Stadium in 1923, the FA Cup Final was hosted by a number of different grounds around England including Old Trafford. The first of these was the 1911 FA Cup Final replay between Bradford City and Newcastle United, after the tie at Crystal Palace finished as a no-score draw after extra time. Bradford won 1–0, the goal scored by Jimmy Speirs, in a match watched by 58,000 people, the grounds second FA Cup Final was the 1915 final between Sheffield United and Chelsea. Sheffield United won the match 3–0 in front of nearly 50,000 spectators, most of whom were in the military, leading to the final being nicknamed the Khaki Cup Final
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
Farnborough Football Club is a football club based in Farnborough, Hampshire, England. Founded in 1967 as Farnborough Town, they are members of the Southern League Division One Central. The club was established as Farnborough Town in 1967 and joined the Surrey Senior League in 1968 and their first league match saw them beat Surbiton Byron 7–6. In 1971 they reached the top division of the Surrey Senior League and they went on to win three consecutive league titles, losing only one league match during each of the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons. When the league merged with the Metropolitan–London League to form the London Spartan League in 1975, the club were placed in Division One, following their move to Cherrywood Road, Farnborough moved up to Division Two of the Athenian League in 1976. They won the division at the first attempt, and were accepted into Division Two of the Isthmian League. During their domination of the Spartan and Athenian league divisions, the club went 87 matches unbeaten at home between 1973 and 1977, in 1978–79 they won Division Two of the Isthmian League, earning promotion to Division One. The 1980–81 season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, another first round appearance in 1983–84 ended with a 2–1 defeat at Barking. They reached the first round again the season and faced Football League opposition for the first time. The season also saw them win the Division One title, resulting in promotion to the Premier Division, Farnborough were relegated at the end of their first season in the Conference and were placed in the Premier Division of the Southern League. They won the division at the first attempt to earn promotion back to the Conference and they were drawn at home to top division West Ham. With the game switched to the Boleyn Ground, they held West Ham to a 1–1 draw before losing the replay 1–0, the season also saw them finish fifth in the Conference, but they were relegated back to the Southern League at the end of the following season. Farnborough were Southern League champions again in 1993–94, making a return to the Conference. The club spent five seasons in the Conference until being relegated at the end of the 1998–99 season and they were placed in the Premier Division of the Isthmian League, which they went on to win in 2000–01, resulting in promotion back to the Conference. They were then drawn at home to Arsenal in the fourth round, following a 5–1 defeat, manager Graham Westley left the club, also taking seven players with him as he moved to Stevenage Borough. Farnborough remained in the Conference until the end of the 2004–05 season, a third-place finish in 2005–06 saw them qualify for the promotion play-offs, but they lost 3–0 to Histon in the semi-finals. In 2006–07 Farnborough went into administration and were deducted ten points, in May 2007 the club was expelled from the Football Conference and were reformed as Farnborough Football Club. They were admitted to Division One South & West of the Southern League, in 2008–09 they were Premier Division runners-up, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
Leigh Genesis F.C.
The senior team was reintroduced for the 2012–13 season. The club was based in Leigh, Greater Manchester, and played at Grundy Hill, Hilton Park, Leigh Sports Village, and finally Crilly Park. The highest level at which the club competed was the Conference National, the club was founded in 1896 and was initially known as Horwich RMI F. C. the clubs name until 1995 when it relocated to Leigh and was renamed Leigh RMI. Its name was changed again in June 2008 when the club became Leigh Genesis FC, RMI was one of two football clubs founded at the locomotive-building works of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, it was started at the main works in Horwich. The other club was started at the Newton Heath works and later became known, manager Les Rigby led RMI to the final of the GMAC Cup in 1988 against Weymouth, which was played on the sloping pitch of Grundy Hill. The home advantage was credited by many, including Rigby, for spurring RMIs victory in the match, as part of this deal, a new company, Grundy Hill Estates, was formed to take over the ownership of the shared ground. Once the move had been finalised and agreements had been made to share the 10,000 capacity stadium, RMI lost its first match at Hilton Park in March 1995 to Boston United 4–0, and were relegated at the end of the 1995 season. In 2000, five years after this move, Leigh RMI reached the top tier of the Conference, upon entering the Conference, RMI had a very successful first season, finishing a very respectable fifth place. Steve Jones spearheaded the attack that season, scoring 19 league goals. Leigh RMIs reprieve only lasted one season, however, as they were relegated after finishing bottom of the Conference table in 2004–05 with only 18 points from 42 games. The season after relegation, Leigh RMI hosted F. C. Leigh RMIs ownership had previously offered to merge with FCUM prior to this friendly in 2005. It would seem hypocritical to some degree, in light of the Glazer events, if a team came into being by taking over another club, in the 2006–07 campaign, RMI avoided relegation more easily, despite finishing 17th and in the bottom half of Conference North. As of 6 October 2007, Leigh RMI were again facing a fight as they stood on the threshold of the relegation zone in 19th place. In May 2008 Leigh RMI lost their fight for survival and were relegated to the Northern Premier League, in June 2008 the club was renamed Leigh Genesis to signify a new beginning for the club ahead of its move to the Leigh Sports Village. The rebranding was also used to signify chairman Dominic Speakmans restructuring of the club with the view of taking the club forward. In October 2008, chairman Dominic Speakman announced his departure from the club, Genesis had been due to move into the new Leigh Sports Village Stadium. Continuing delays and unrealistic pricing, in the end cost the club, with the rising losses, and lack of home ground Speakman withdrew his financial backing from the club. A large amount of the staff agreed to play voluntarily
Northwich Victoria F.C.
Northwich Victoria Football Club is an English football club based in Northwich, Cheshire, playing their home games at Wincham Park, Northwich, the home of Witton Albion. The new club was a member of several leagues including the Football League Second Division. They played at the same Drill Field ground for over 125 years, at the time Drill Field was believed to be the oldest ground in the world on which football had been continuously played. The generally accepted year for the original Northwich Victoria Football Clubs founding is 1874 by Charles James Hughes and James Heyworth, however, according to club historian Ken Edwards book A Team for All Seasons, the organisation itself could have been in existence earlier in the 1870s. Northwich played their first challenge matches in the 1874 season and originally accepted both association football and rugby rules. This was shown in 1876 when they contested a match under Rugby rules at Farnworth and Appleton F. C. and then at home under association rules. The first time the club entered a competition was the 1877 Welsh Cup. Its best achievement in the competition was in the 1881–82 and 1888–89 seasons, when they reached the final in 1882, they were the first English club to do so. In 1880, the club entered the competition for the new Cheshire Football Association Challenge Cup. They went on to win the cup for the five seasons, defeating in the finals, Birkenhead, Northwich Novelty, Crewe Alexandra. In 1890, the became a founding member of the second incarnation of The Combination. In their second season in the league they finished as runners-up, a great leap forward was taken in 1892, when Northwich became one of the founding members of the English Second Division, which saw the team turn professional. In the leagues inaugural season, Northwich finished 7th, the highest finish in the clubs history and it was during the latter stages of this season that Northwich acquired the services of Billy Meredith, the Welsh International, who is widely regarded as the first football superstar. It was said by many that Finnerhan made Meredith, another notable result was holding Woolwich Arsenal to a 2–2 draw at the Drill Field. However, as a result of their position at the bottom of the league. Up to the middle of decade, Northwich played in red. However a major change in the clubs livery occurred when they adopted the colours they wear today, green. Lured by the chance of increased revenues, the joined the Manchester League in the 1900–01 season
Altrincham Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at Moss Lane, the club were established by a Sunday school around 1891 as Rigby Memorial Club. They soon merged with local team, Grapplers, to form Broadheath Football Club. Their first match in the league on 16 September 1893 saw them lose 7–0 to Hulme, after playing at various grounds in Broadheath, Timperley and Altrincham, the club moved to Pollitts Field in 1903, at which point they changed their name to Altrincham. They won the Cheshire Amateur Cup in their first season under the new name and they won the Manchester League again in 1906–07, and moved to their Moss Lane ground in 1910. In 1911 the club joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination and they finished as runners-up in their first season in the division, only missing out on the title on goal average and earning promotion to Division One. They remained in Division One until World War I, in 1934–35 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 at Gainsborough Trinity. After missing out the 1945–46 season, they rejoined the Cheshire County League in 1946, achieving little success until the 1960s, when Altrincham director Noel White hired Freddie Pye as manager. A key turning point in the history of the club is often cited as the signing of Jackie Swindells in 1965, helping Altrincham to the first of back-to-back Cheshire County League titles, scoring over 120 goals in the league in both seasons. After finishing as runners-up in 1967–68, they were members of the Northern Premier League in 1968. The following season went one better in the FA Trophy, reaching the Wembley final. In 1978–79 they finished as runners-up in the Northern Premier League, although they finished as the top non-League club in the ballot, they received only 13 votes to the 37 received by Halifax Town, the lowest-placed Football League club. The leagues inaugural season saw Altrincham crowned champions, the next two seasons saw the club finish in mid-table, together with another FA Trophy final appearance in 1981–82, this time losing 1–0 to Enfield. This was followed by four consecutive top-five finishes between 1984 and 1987 and a second FA Trophy win in 1985, beating Runcorn 1–0 in the final. The 1985–86 season saw them one of the biggest FA Cup giant-killings of all time when they defeated top division Birmingham City 2–1 at Birminghams St Andrews. The club then returned to mid-table with occasional successful seasons, finishing third in 1990–91, after finishing bottom of the Conference in 1996–97 the club were relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League. An eighth-place finish in 1997–98 saw them return to the Conference two seasons later as Premier Division champions, however, they lasted only a single season in the Conference as they finished second-from-bottom and were relegated back to the Northern Premier League. A twelfth-place finish in 2003–04 saw them qualify for the newly formed Conference North and they finished fifth in the new division in its first season, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
Grays Athletic F.C.
The club is currently a member of the Isthmian League Premier Division. Grays Juniors were founded in 1890 as a club, rising through the ranks to senior status. The newly formed club joined the Grays & District League Division, other teams competing in Grays at the time were Grays Amateurs, Grays Avenue Swifts, Grays Hotspurs and Grays Wednesday – with whom they shared the Recreation Ground pitch. Grays Athletic became founder members of the Athenian League, in which briefly played before World War I. In 1945 they were one of the nine members of the Corinthian League. After playing in the Isthmian League between 1983 and 2004, they were members of the new Conference South. They were divisional champions at the first attempt, and also won the FA Trophy and they did, however, successfully retain the FA Trophy with a 2–0 win over Woking. After the 2005–06 season Mark Stimson left the club and Frank Gray was appointed as the new manager, however, after just 14 games, his last being a disappointing 0–1 home defeat to Bromley, he was sacked. Micky Woodward appointed himself as manager for a short while and player/coach Jamie Stuart took charge of an Essex Senior Cup match with Woodward assisting, after this Andy King was appointed as manager. On 5 January 2007, Andy King handed in his resignation and he was replaced by Justin Edinburgh, his assistant at the time, who became the fourth manager of Grays during the season. Grays eventually finished 19th in the league, just avoiding relegation, in total Grays fielded over 50 players in all competitions. On 20 February 2008, it was announced that Justin Edinburgh had departed the club, terminating his contract by mutual consent, chairman, Micky Woodward, took the helm for a second time until the end of the 2007–08 season. Woodward promoted goalkeeping coach Gary Phillips to assistant manager, while also appointing Neil Smith and Tim OShea as coaches to help with training, after resigning from the Football Conference in 2010, Grays attempted to gain entry to the Isthmian League Premier Division. This was at first accepted but, on 8 July 2010, the League reversed the decision, however, on 15 July, it was announced that Grays Athletic would play in the Isthmian League Division One North. They finished mid-table in their first year in the Isthmian Division One North, the following 2011–12 season, Grays finished fifth, losing to Enfield Town in the play-offs. From 9 February 2013 to 27 April 2013 Grays Athletic won 18 consecutive league matches, on 14 June 2013, it was announced that the club would groundshare for the 2013–14 season with Aveley at their Mill Field ground in Thurrock. In August 2016, enough funds were raised by the Grays Athletic Community Football Club Ltd, between 1906 and 2010 the club played at the New Recreation Ground. After the ground was sold to developers, Grays Athletic ground-shared with East Thurrock United at their Rookery Hill ground in Corringham
Southport Football Club are a professional association football club based in Blowick, Southport, Merseyside. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. From 1921 to 1978 they were a Football League club and they play their home matches at Haig Avenue, which has a capacity of 6,008. They are known by their nickname the Sandgrounders and it was on Thursday 12 November 1881 that Southport played its first association football match. Although association football was played in the private schools in the late 1870s the original Southport Football Club began as a rugby team. Southport Football Club arranged rugby fixtures for 1881–82, after some heavy defeats, the last recorded being on 15 October 1881, the club switched to association football. On 12 November, six of that lined up when Southport played Bootle second in their first match under Association Rules. Ralph Rylance did more than anyone to establish association football in the town and he came to Southport from Blackburn having played for the Blackburn Law team, a noted eleven in those days. Performances soon improved with him playing, and Tranmere Rovers were beaten twice whilst the Tradesman of Southport, on 7 October 1882, Southport entertained Liverpool Ramblers in their first ever F. A. or English Challenge Cup tie as the competition was called for years. The game was watched by 300 spectators and resulted in a 1–1 draw, in the 1884–85 season the club merged with the Southport Athletic Society and the team moved to the Sports Ground, Sussex Road. As football grew in popularity other clubs sprang up in the town, Southport Wanderers, High Park, Churchtown and Southport Old Boys were amongst the most prominent however Southport Football Club was considered to be the towns premier side. After 5 years existence Southports first football club folded, at least six former Southport players and many of their supporters transferred their affiliations to Southport Wanderers. Southport Wanderers moved to a new ground in Scarisbrick New Road for the 1886–87 season, on 28 September 1886, at a General Meeting held in the Mathers Saleroom, it was unanimously resolved that in future the club be called Southport Football Club. In the summer of 1888, the year the Football League was founded, with the increasing in popularity. The idea met with favour and the meeting called to form such a club took place on 12 June at Scarletts Rooms. At a second meeting, held at the Railway Hotel a week later, at the start of the 1905–06 season Central moved to its present home, Haig Avenue, which was then known as Ash Lane. In 1911, the club became members of the Central League. In 1918, the club was renamed as Southport Vulcan – having been bought by the Vulcan Motor Company – becoming the first club to take a sponsors name
Hereford United F.C.
Hereford United Football Club was an English association football club based in the city of Hereford that last played in the Southern League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. Founded in 1924, the club was elected to the Football League in 1972, the club reached the old Second Division in 1976, its best league performance, but was relegated after only one season at that level. Hereford achieved national prominence in 1972 when, as a Southern League club, Hereford played at Edgar Street for their entire history. They were nicknamed The Whites or The Lilywhites, after their predominantly white kit, the clubs motto was Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall. The club was affiliated to the Herefordshire County FA, on 19 December 2014, the club was wound up in the High Court after a petition had been brought against it by HM Revenue and Customs. Following the demise of United, a new club was being set up. The new club incorporates the words Forever United into its crest design, for league and cup performance, see List of Hereford United F. C. seasons. Hereford United Football Club was founded in 1924 with the merger of two local clubs St Martins and RAOC, with the intention of sustaining a higher class of football in the city of Hereford, Hereford joined the Birmingham Combination and lost its first match 2–3 to Atherstone United. The clubs second match was an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against future rivals Kidderminster Harriers which they lost 2–7. Hereford progressed to the Birmingham & District League in 1928 where the club spent 11 seasons, at the same time the club became a limited company. When football resumed after the war, Hereford finished 1st in their first full season in the only to be demoted to 2nd behind Chelmsford City. In 27 seasons in the Southern League, Hereford finished as runners-up three times, and also lifted the Southern League Cup three times, when the league was regionalised for one season in 1958–59, Hereford also won their regional division to add to their third League Cup win. In 1966 Hereford signed John Charles, the former Leeds United, Juventus and Welsh international and he became manager a year later and set about building a team to challenge at the top of the Southern League and gain election to the Football League. With the club becoming one of the best-supported non-league clubs in the country Charles used his standing within the game to canvass votes from member clubs for election to the Football League. The 1971–1972 season saw the club second in the Southern League. Charles had departed the club in October 1971 and his successor Colin Addison inherited a side that defeated top-flight Newcastle United in the FA Cup. The star player was Dudley Tyler, Ronnie Radford and Ricky Georges goals earned the club a Fourth Round tie against West Ham United where they were defeated in a replay at Upton Park. The Cup run played a part in the successful election to the Fourth Division