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
William Amos Bratt MBE is the former chairman of Port Vale Football Club, who served the club in this post from 2003 to 2011. After decades working in the industry, Bratt turned his attention to his hometown club Port Vale. Leading the Valiant 2001 supporters trust, he gained control from the administrators and he then faced a constant battle to steady the clubs finances whilst also advancing through the leagues. He left the club after fan protests against his chairmanship, Bratts stepfather was a World War II veteran who was taken by the Japanese as a prisoner of war. After the war his father appeared to be scarred from his time in POW camps and regularly beat him. He died in the 1960s of cancer and he lived in numerous childrens homes in the Penkhull area, before becoming a miner at Chatterley Whitfield pit. The charity he received members of the church helped to instil Christian beliefs that he holds to this day. From an early age he was a Port Vale supporter, something which would have a significant impact upon his life in the future. Bratt worked in several coal-mines, but was forced to retire after a motorcycle accident severely damaged his left hand and he then tried several jobs, including selling encyclopaedias. However, Bratt built up his business acumen and earned an income as an insurance broker over a 30-year period. During this time he started a family - a son. The club went into administration under Bell in December 2002, Valiant 2001 eventually secured control of the club after a long and drawn-out process as the 2002–03 season neared its close. Their takeover bid beat that of a mystery bidder, Bratt had been a lifelong supporter of the club when he took the chairman position in 2003. The Valiant2001 Charter, drafted by Charles Machin, listed ten points, One, Robbie Williams bought £240,000 worth of the £250,000 worth of available shares in the club. Castle Comfort Stairlifts, the sponsors, at the same time bought the remainder for £10,000. Three months later Bratt also took up the role of Chief executive officer, under Bratts chairmanship, the club were relegated to the bottom tier of English league football after a dismal 2007–08 season. He also reiterated his prior statements by stating that he would be prepared to leave his position if the offer were to be made. As Chairman he was criticized for the perceived unprofessional practices of the board
Martin John Foyle is an English former professional footballer and manager, who is now Head of Recruitment at Northampton Town. In his 20-year playing career he played 533 League games, scoring 155 goals, as a manager he took charge of Port Vale and York City, Northwich Victoria, Hereford United and Southport. He started his career with Southampton as a trainee and after spending four years at the club, an £140,000 move to Oxford United followed in March 1987, and he became Port Vales record signing when they paid £375,000 for him in June 1991. He spent nine seasons at the club, where he scored 107 goals and he was twice voted the clubs Player of the Year and helped the Vale to win the Football League Trophy in 1993. After retiring as a player, he managed Port Vales youth team and in February 2004 took charge of first-team affairs, a spell as caretaker manager at Wrexham preceded his appointment as manager of York City in November 2008. Foyle took York to an FA Trophy Final and Conference Premier play-off Final and he was put in charge of Northwich Victoria for a three-month spell in February 2012 before being appointed manager at Hereford United in May 2012. He stayed with Hereford until departing in March 2014 and he was appointed as Southport manager in May 2014 but resigned five months later. Foyle was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he made his name in football, before Football League referee Tony Glasson recommended him to Lawrie McMenemy. He joined Southampton as a trainee in 1980, signing as a professional on 13 August of that year, shortly after his return to Southampton he made his first team debut on 15 January 1983 in a 1–1 draw at home to Coventry City. On 25 October 1983, he came on as a substitute for Ian Baird in a League Cup match at home to Carlisle United. His 86th-minute goal brought the tie level on aggregate and was followed by the winner in extra-time. He spent a few weeks on loan with Blackburn Rovers in March 1984, without making any first-team appearances and he made 98 appearances and scored 35 goals in the league for Aldershot, as the Shots posted mid-table finishes in the Fourth Division in 1984–85 under Ron Harris. Harris was replaced by Len Walker for the 1985–86 campaign, the club won promotion in 1986–87 after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–0 in the play-off Final. However Foyle missed out on the celebrations, as he was transferred to Oxford United on 26 March 1987 for a fee of £140,000 and he featured for Oxford in the First Division during two seasons and scored 44 goals in 151 appearances for the club. The club avoided a relegation play-off in 1986–87 by two points, before a last place finish in 1987–88, after which manager Maurice Evans was replaced by Mark Lawrenson. Lawrenson resigned in October 1988, and was replaced by Brian Horton, Oxford then posted mid-table finishes in the Second Division in 1988–89, 1989–90 and he signed for Port Vale on 25 June 1991 for a club record fee of £375,000. His first game was against former club Oxford at Vale Park, although he finished as leading scorer in the 1991–92 campaign with 16 goals, the club finished bottom of the Second Division that season and were relegated. The 1993–94 season, with 18 goals, Foyle was again the leading scorer as the club finally achieved promotion in 1994
Vale Park is a football stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England. It is the ground of Port Vale F. C. who have played at the ground since 1950. At 520 feet above sea level it is the eleventh highest ground in the country, the pitch is clay underneath the grass, rather than sand. These two factors make the pitch vulnerable to freezing temperatures, there is also a coal seam under the pitch, and numerous mine shafts dotted around the local area, including many under the park opposite the ground. The Vale Park pitch is one of the widest in the Football League, the head groundsman since September 1992 is Steve Speed. He was one of three nominated for the League Two Groundsmen of the Year award in 2009. Denis Dawson was head groundsman from 1966 to 1975, he succeeded Len Parton and was followed by Graham Mainwaring. Following the club being informed that they would be evicted from The Old Recreation Ground by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, plans for a new stadium in a new area began to be made. In 1944 Hamil Road – the site of a clay pit – was chosen, a site opposite Burslem Park. The development became known as The Wembley of the North due to the size of the stadium. The clubs leadership had not allowed the third tier status or their lack of money to curb their ambition. Life-time seats were sold for £100 but fewer than 100 fans bought them, also costing £100, the pitch was the most expensive ever laid in the country at the time. The ground opened in 1950 having eventually cost £50,000, the original ground consisted of just two stands with banks of terracing at the Bycars and Hamil ends of the ground. The first match was a 1–0 victory over Newport County on 24 August 1950 in front of 30,196 rain-soaked spectators, walter Aveyard took the honour of being the first to score at the ground. On the same day the name was revealed for the first time – Vale Park. Vale Park initially had problems with drainage, leaving many games of the 1950–51 to be postponed, the problem was finally resolved in summer 1960, when new drains were installed to help ease the winter mud spots. In summer 1951,578 seats were installed on the Railway Terrace, in 1954 the Railway Stand was built, as capacity gradually increased to 50,000 by the end of the decade. On 24 September 1958, Vale Park saw its first match under the new £17,000 floodlights, in summer 1973, the club erected a 2.5 feet high steel fence around the Bycars End to help combat hooliganism
Port Vale F.C. Player of the Year
The Port Vale Player of the Year award is voted for annually by Port Vales supporters in recognition of the best overall performance by an individual player throughout the football season. Towards the end of season, fans are invited to cast their votes for this award. The inaugural award was made to Roy Sproson in 1967, david Harris, Ray Walker, Mark Grew, Neil Aspin, and Martin Foyle have all won two awards during their time at Vale Park. Foyle also went on to manage the club, no player has won the award more than twice. Eamonn OKeefe and Anthony Griffith represented Ireland and Montserrat respectively at international level, tom Pope, winner in 2013, stated that To be voted for by the fans like this is a massive honour for me. It means such a lot, more than the other awards Ive been lucky enough to win, specific General Kent, Jeff, Port Vale Personalities, Witan Books, ISBN 0-9529152-0-0
William Paul Paynter is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for EFL League Two club Hartlepool United. Born in Liverpool, he started his career with Port Vale in 2000 and he was sold to Hull City in January 2006, before moving on to Southend United eight months later. His career stalled, and following a spell with Bradford City. Averaging more than a goal three games with the club, he transferred to Leeds United in June 2010. He joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan in October 2011 and he helped Rovers to win the League One title in 2012–13. He was loaned out to Sheffield United in January 2014 and he signed with Carlisle United in June 2014, moving on to Hartlepool United twelve months later He started his career at Port Vale after being scouted in his native Liverpool at the age of ten. He signed professional forms in 2000, and manager Brian Horton gave Paynter his debut against Walsall at Vale Park on 3 May 2001, at only 16 years and 294 days old, this made him the youngest Vale player for twenty years. Horton went on to give the young striker seven further Second Division games in the 2001–02 season and he scored his first senior goal past Notts County on 17 September 2002, making him the clubs youngest goalscorer for 24 years. By the end of the season he had scored five goals in 34 appearances and he was rewarded with a long-term contract at the seasons end. He finished the 2004–05 campaign as the clubs top-scorer with thirteen goals in fifty games, in March, manager Martin Foyle dismissed rumours of Paynter moving to nearby Crewe Alexandra. At the end of the season, fans voted Paynter as the clubs Player of the Year and he started the 2005–06 season with just two goals in sixteen League One games, but had still done enough in his Port Vale career to justify a move into Championship football. The club reported Tony Pulis Plymouth Argyle to The Football Association for an illegal approach for the player. In November 2005, Hull City manager Peter Taylor signed Paynter on loan, teammate Sam Collins also moved to Hull at the same time. Again, Paynter mainly played as a striker, but also made appearances as a right midfielder. He scored three times in his 23 appearances, before moving on again at the end of the season. Paynter scored his first and what turned out to be only Southend goal in a 3–2 League Cup victory over Brighton, Paynter made his debut for Bradford City against Nottingham Forest on 3 February 2007, scoring a last minute equaliser to earn the Bantams a 2–2 draw. He played fifteen times for Bradford, scoring four goals, after his loan was extended to the end of the season, in August 2007, Paynter signed for Swindon Town on transfer deadline day on a three-year contract. He made his debut on 9 September, coming on as a substitute in a defeat against Yeovil
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
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
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
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
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
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
Christopher Birchall CM is a former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He scored 21 goals in 322 league and cup appearances in a 16-year professional career, forging his career with local club Port Vale, he earned worldwide recognition by playing at the 2006 FIFA World Cup for Trinidad and Tobago – the country of his mothers birth. His exploits led to a move up the leagues to Coventry City later that year, after short loan spells with Scottish side St Mirren and Carlisle United, he moved on to Brighton & Hove Albion. In 2009 he moved to the United States to sign with MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy, whilst with the Galaxy, the club were crowned Major League Soccer Western Conference champions in 2009 and 2011, and also captured a Supporters Shield and MLS Cup double in 2011. He joined Columbus Crew for a spell in May 2012. He rejoined Port Vale in January 2013, and helped the club to promotion out of League Two in 2012–13. He dropped into non-league in September 2016 by joining Kidsgrove Athletic, Birchall attended Alleynes High School in Stone, Staffordshire, and started his career with Port Vale, having been associated with the Burslem based club since the age of nine. He made his debut under Brian Horton on 12 September 2001, on 20 April 2002 he made his league debut, again replacing Brisco, this time in a 1–0 defeat by Brighton at Vale Park. I came up through the ranks at Port Vale from the age of 8 until I left the club at 22, I owe all the coaching to them, they nurtured me and really looked after me and had confidence in me. He made two Second Division appearances in 2002–03, both away defeats, the teenager earned his first start on 18 October 2003, he was taken off at half-time for Ian Armstrong, as he watched his teammates lose 5–1 at home to Plymouth Argyle. He also played in games of the clubs First Round FA Cup struggle over minnows Ford United. In all he made thirteen appearances in 2003–04 and it was throughout the 2004–05 campaign that Birchall showed his potential, scoring seven goals in 39 games. His first senior goal was a 76th-minute winner against Swindon Town on 19 October and he also scored a brace against Tranmere Rovers on 7 December in a 3–1 home win. At the end of the season he was voted the Young Player of the Year, Birchall scored twice in 32 appearances in the 2005–06 season. In July 2006, with the World Cup still in progress, Martin Foyle denied reports that his young midfielder would be exiting Vale Park, specifically for Ipswich Town. The next month Birchall was snapped up by Micky Adams Coventry City for a fee of £300,000 and he scored his first Sky Blues goal against Norwich City with a 20-yard low drive. He made 28 appearances in the tier that season. In August 2007, Birchall signed with St Mirren on loan until January 2008, however he returned to Coventry in early December, after suffering a hamstring injury
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
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bolton, Greater Manchester. The club currently competes in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed as Christ Church Football Club in 1874, founder members of the Football League in 1888, Bolton have spent the highest number of seasons of any club in the top flight without winning the title. The closest they have come to the title is third in the First Division on three occasions, as of 2015, the club has spent more seasons in the top division than any other club outside the current Premier League. Bolton were a successful cup side in the 1920s, winning the FA Cup three times, the club won the cup a fourth time in 1958. A leaner spell followed, reaching a nadir in 1987 when the club spent a season in the Fourth Division, the club regained top-flight status in 1995 after a 15-year absence. In a period of success, the club qualified for the UEFA Cup twice, reaching the last 32 in 2005–06. The club played at Burnden Park for 102 years from 1895, on 9 March 1946, The Burnden Park disaster occurred, which was a human crush in which 33 Bolton fans lost their lives. In 1997 it moved out of town to the Reebok Stadium, the stadium was renamed the Macron Stadium in July 2014, to reflect the clubs new deal with Italian sportswear company Macron. The club was founded by the Reverend Joseph Farrall Wright, Perpetual curate of Christ Church Bolton and Thomas Ogden, the schoolmaster at the adjacent church school in 1874 as Christ Church F. C. It was initially run from the church of the name on Deane Road. The club left the following a dispute with the vicar. The name was chosen as the club initially had a lot of difficulty finding a permanent ground to play on, Bolton were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, which formed in 1888. At the time Lancashire was one of the strongest footballing regions in the country, having remained in the Football League since its formation, Bolton have spent more time in the top flight than out of it. In 1894 Bolton reached the final of the FA Cup for the first time, a decade later they were runners-up a second time, losing 1–0 to local rivals Manchester City at Crystal Palace on 23 April 1904. In this period Bolton equalled their record finish of third twice, in 1920–21 and 1924–25, on 28 April 1923, Bolton won their first major trophy in their third final, beating West Ham United 2–0 in the first ever Wembley FA Cup final. The match, famously known as The White Horse Final was played in front of over 127,000 supporters, boltons centre-forward, David Jack scored the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium. Driven by long-term players Joe Smith in attack, Ted Vizard and Billy Butler on the wings, in 1928 the club faced financial difficulties and so was forced to sell David Jack to Arsenal to raise funds
Dean Smith (footballer, born 1971)
Dean Smith is an English footballer turned football manager, who is now in charge of Championship club Brentford. Starting his playing career with Walsall in 1989, over the course of five years he played 166 league, signing with Hereford United in 1994, three years and 146 appearances later he moved on to Leyton Orient. In six years with Orient he made 309 appearances in all competitions, after a season with Wednesday he moved on to Port Vale, retiring in January 2005. He scored 54 goals in 566 league games in a 16-year career in the Football League, returning to Leyton Orient, he worked as assistant manager until January 2009. In July 2009, he was appointed as Head of Youth at Walsall and he took Walsall from relegation certainties to safety in his first four months in charge. He took Walsall to the 2015 final of the Football League Trophy, Smith started his playing career at Walsall, as the club suffered relegation from the Third Division in 1989–90 under John Barnwells stewardship. They then struggled to adapt to life in the Fourth Division under new manager Kenny Hibbitt, finishing 16th in 1990–91, the Saddlers qualified for the play-offs with a fifth-place finish in 1992–93, but were badly beaten by Crewe Alexandra at the semi-final stage. Walsall finished tenth in 1993–94, and Smith left the club, having played a total of 166 games for the Saddlers, in summer 1994, Smith was sold to Hereford United for £80,000, a club record fee for the Bulls. They finished 16th in the Third Division in 1994–95 under John Layton, Smith scored 26 goals in 146 appearances in all competitions during his time at Edgar Street. Smith signed with Tommy Taylors Leyton Orient in August 1997, with a setting the fee at £42,500. He scored ten goals in 51 games in 1997–98, Orient would have finished one point outside the Third Division play-offs had they not been deducted three points. He captained Orient to the play-offs in 1998–99, and converted a penalty in the victory over Rotherham United at the semi-final stage. However his team were beaten 1–0 by Scunthorpe United in the Wembley final, over the course of the campaign he scored ten goals in 49 appearances. Orient then struggled in 1999–2000, finishing in the half of the table. Smith was again a key player, scoring six goals in 50 appearances, following a fifth-place finish in 2000–01, he again captained the Os to the play-off final in 2001, this time at the Millennium Stadium. Despite twice taking the lead against Blackpool, they lost the match 4–2, over the course of the season he scored five goals in 54 games. He scored four goals in 51 games in 2001–02, but Paul Brushs team struggled and finished in mid-table, closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs, Smith continued to feature heavily in the 2002–03 campaign, though he left the club in mid-season. He had played 309 games for the club in all competitions and he joined First Division side Sheffield Wednesday in February 2003, then managed by Chris Turner
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, in 2016 the club re-located to the London Stadium. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United and they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919 and they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964,1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The clubs highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division, three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team, captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The club, Thames Ironworks were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality and they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team and they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, because of the original works team roots and links, they are still known as the Irons or the Hammers amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton, the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a meeting and soon after committed suicide. The club spent most of the next 30 years in division, first under Paynter
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man, also known simply as Mann, is a self-governing crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Northern Ireland. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann, the Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. Foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the British Government, the island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. Gaelic cultural influence began in the 5th century and the Manx language, in 627, Edwin of Northumbria conquered the Isle of Man along with most of Mercia. In the 9th century, Norsemen established the Kingdom of the Isles, magnus III, King of Norway, was also known as King of Mann and the Isles between 1099 and 1103. In 1266, the became part of Scotland under the Treaty of Perth. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the short form often used in English, Mann, is derived from the Manx Mannin, though sometimes the name is written as Man. The earliest recorded Manx form of the name is Manu or Mana, the Old Irish form of the name is Manau or Mano. Old Welsh records named it as Manaw, also reflected in Manaw Gododdin, the name for an ancient district in north Britain along the lower Firth of Forth. The oldest known reference to the calls it Mona, in Latin, in the 1st century CE, Pliny the Elder records it as Monapia or Monabia. Later Latin references have Mevania or Mænavia, and Eubonia or Eumonia by Irish writers and it is found in the Sagas of Icelanders as Mön. The name is cognate with the Welsh name of the island of Anglesey, Ynys Môn, usually derived from a Celtic word for mountain. The name was at least secondarily associated with that of Manannán mac Lir in Irish mythology, later, a Manannán is recorded as the first king of Mann in a Manx poem. The island was cut off from the islands around 8000 BC. The first residents were hunter gatherers and fishermen, examples of their tools are kept at the Manx Museum. There were also the local Ronaldsway and Bann cultures, during the Bronze Age, burial mounds became smaller. Bodies were put in stone-lined graves with ornamental containers, the Bronze Age burial mounds created long-lasting markers around the countryside. The ancient Romans knew of the island and called it Insula Manavia although it is whether they conquered the island
The Primera División, commonly known as La Liga and as La Liga Santander for sponsorship reasons, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system. A total of 60 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception, nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 32 times and Barcelona 24 times. Real Madrid dominated the championship from the 1950s through the 1980s, from the 1990s onwards, Barcelona and Real Madrid both dominated, though La Liga also saw other champions, including Atlético Madrid, Valencia, and Deportivo de La Coruña. In more recent years, Atlético Madrid has joined a coalition of now three teams dominating La Liga alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona. Its clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup titles, and its players have accumulated the highest number of Ballon dOr awards. La Liga is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. The competition format follows the usual double round-robin format, during the course of a season, which lasts from August to May, each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 38 matchdays. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss, teams are ranked by total points, with the highest-ranked club at the end of the season crowned champion. A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Primera División and the Segunda División, the top teams in La Liga qualify for the UEFA Champions League. The first, second, and third placed teams enter the group stage. Teams placed fifth and sixth play in the UEFA Europa League, if both teams in the cup final finish in the top six, an additional berth in the Europa League is given to the team that finishes in seventh. In April 1927, José María Acha, a director at Arenas Club de Getxo, first proposed the idea of a national league in Spain. After much debate about the size of the league and who would take part, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Unión were all selected as previous winners of the Copa del Rey. Atlético Madrid, Espanyol and Europa qualified as Copa del Rey runners-up, only three of the founding clubs, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, have never been relegated from the Primera División. They were also runners-up in 1932 and 1933, in 1935, Real Betis, then known as Betis Balompié, won their only title to date. Primera División was suspended during the Spanish Civil War, in 1937, the teams in the Republican area of Spain, with the notable exception of the two Madrid clubs, competed in the Mediterranean League and Barcelona emerged as champions. Seventy years later, on 28 September 2007, Barcelona requested the RFEF to recognise that title as a Liga title and this action was taken after RFEF was asked to recognise Levante FCs Copa de la España Libre win as equivalent to Copa del Rey trophy. Nevertheless, the body of Spanish football has not made an outright decision yet
Racing de Santander
Real Racing Club de Santander, S. A. D. is a Spanish football club based in Santander, in the autonomous community of Cantabria. Founded in 1913 it plays in Segunda División B – Group 1, holding home games at Estadio El Sardinero, Racing de Santander played its first match on 23 February 1913, losing 1–2 to neighbouring Strong. In 1950 the Cantabrians returned to the top flight after a ten-year absence, during the period of Francoist Spain, the club was renamed Real Santander in 1941, because of the prohibition of non-Spanish names. The name was restored in 1973 as the returned to the first division one year after nearly relegating. Racing de Santander was immediately relegated, going on to spend the following years bouncing between divisions one and two, also being crowned champions in Segunda División B in 1991. Veteran Quique Setién returned to his club the following year, helping it return to the top flight and scoring in the 1994–95 campaign against FC Barcelona. In the 2000s Racing only played one season in the second division, the 2011–12 season brought with it three different managers, and the side returned to the second level after one full decade in the top division. At the end of the campaign, Racing again finished in 20th position and suffered relegation, also being immersed in a severe institutional. On 27 January 2014 Racings players, citing several months of wages, announced that they would not play their upcoming Cup match unless the clubs president. Three days later, prior to the leg against Real Sociedad and after a 1–3 loss in the first match, Racing players gathered at the centre circle immediately after kick-off. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, note, this list includes players that have appeared in at least 100 league games and/or have reached international status. Racing de Santander B – Racings B team Official website Futbolme team profile BDFutbol team profile Club & Stadium History at Estadios de España
The Potteries derby is the football local derby in Stoke-on-Trent between Port Vale and Stoke City. The fans of each club both consider the other to be their main rivals, this has led to an atmosphere at these matches, especially with the rise of football hooliganism. The two teams have met a total of 185 times, consisting of,44 The Football League,6 FA Cup,62 friendlies, Stoke-on-Trent is the least populous city to have two Football League clubs. Leeds, Leicester, Coventry, Hull, Bradford, and Cardiff are all cities that contain just one league club. Both clubs come from Stoke-on-Trent and are the clubs from the city to have played in the football league. Port Vale are Burslem based and Stoke City traditionally are based in Stoke-upon-Trent, the city of Stoke-on-Trent was incorporated in 1910, therefore before this time the two clubs were based in separate towns and were local rivals rather than rivals within the same city. Despite this however, the Valiants did use The Old Recreation Ground as their home stadium, both clubs had strong links to the local pottery industry, Port Vales unique name being based on the Trent and Mersey Canal and with Citys nickname being The Potters. Port Vale tends to get support from the North of the city, notably Tunstall, Stoke therefore tend to enjoy greater support in the South of the city. The two clubs have long histories, Stoke City were founded in 1863 or 1868 and Port Vale were probably formed in 1879. In the early 20th century, both spent time out of the Football League structure, from 1907 and 1908 until 1919 - both had resigned due to financial troubles. Stoke were founder members of the league in 1888 and Port Vale were founder members of both the Second Division in 1892 and the Fourth Division in 1958. City have tended to be the successful club over the years. Although Vale did reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1954, Stoke have also tended to play in higher tiers of the football league throughout the clubs history, although since 1919 the two clubs have found themselves in the same league for 22 seasons. Vale have had five seasons playing at a higher level than City. Whilst competing in the division, Vale have finished above Stoke on seven occasions. Stoke therefore have finished above Vale 87 times, the first derby game was played at Westport Meadows on 2 December 1882, in the Second Round of the Staffordshire Senior Cup. Vale were complete unknowns, and so pulled off a surprise by managing a 1–1 with their more established rivals-to-be, no details of the match were recorded, though The Staffordshire Sentinel did mention the match along with the comment that it was a spirited game. Stoke won the replay 5–1 at the Victoria Ground seven days later and it took Vale seventeen attempts to register their first victory over Stoke, which they finally did in a friendly on 29 March 1890, winning 2–1
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
SC Austria Lustenau
SC Austria Lustenau is an Austrian association football club based in Lustenau. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. As of 3 June 2016 From 1992 onwards List of football clubs List of football clubs in Austria Official website
Leyton Orient F.C.
Leyton Orient Football Club /ˌleɪtən ˈɔəriənt/ is a professional football club in Leyton, London, England. They play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The clubs home colours are all red, Leyton Orient have spent one season in the top flight of English football, in 1962–63. In 1978, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the time in their history. Between October 1993 and September 1995, Orient did not win an away game in the league. Leyton Orients home ground Brisbane Road is officially known as the Matchroom Stadium after former club chairman Barry Hearns sports promotion company, in 2014, Hearn sold the club to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti. Leyton Orient finished seventh, one away from the playoff positions. In the 2013–14 season, Orient lost the League One Play-Off final at Wembley to Rotherham United, the team has had several name changes since, first as Eagle Cricket Club in 1886 then as Orient Football Club in 1888. Indeed, the nickname the Savage Cuts came from a particularly gruesome incident during training in the 19th Century when the goalkeeper suffered a laceration to the arm. A cry was heard across the pitch, the goalkeeper is cut, its a deep and savage cut. The other players believing this to be a lampoon, mockingly repeated, we have savage cuts, the Os are the second-oldest league club in London behind Fulham and are the 24th oldest club currently playing in the Football League. Following Fulhams promotion to the Premier League they became the oldest London club playing in the Football League and they played in the Second Division of the Southern Federations League in 1904, joined the Football League in 1905. By this time such as part-time outside right, Herbert Kingaby could earn £2 4s per week – payment being somewhat sporadic. The twelve History books written on the club by its historian Neilson N. C, the name Leyton Orient was adopted following the conclusion of the Second World War. The club had moved to Leyton in 1937, though there was another team called Leyton F. C. A further rename back to simply Orient took place in 1966 after the Borough of Leyton was absorbed into the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the 1914–15 season was the last football season before the League was suspended due to the outbreak of the First World War. Forty one members of the Clapton Orient team and staff joined up into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, the highest of any team in the country. At the final game of the season – Clapton Orient vs Leicester Fosse,20,000 people came out to support the team, a farewell parade was also hosted, but not before the Os had won 2–0
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