Blackpool F. C. is a professional association football club in the seaside town of Blackpool, England, which competes in League One, the third tier of English football. Founded in 1887, Blackpool's home ground since 1901 has been Bloomfield Road. Blackpool won the 1953 FA Cup Final, the so-called "Matthews Final", in which they beat Bolton Wanderers 4–3, overturning a 1–3 deficit in the closing stages of the game. Blackpool made three FA Cup Final appearances in six years between 1948 and 1953 and in the 1950s had four top-six finishes in the Football League First Division, their best position being runners-up to Manchester United in 1955–56. In 1953, four Blackpool players were in the England team. Blackpool won promotion to the Premier League in 2009–10, becoming the first club in English football to have won promotion from every division of the Football League via the play-off system, they have a local rivalry with Preston North End, matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby.
Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a church club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St John's School to form a new club called Blackpool St John's, but the two factions remained disunited and, on 26 July 1887, at a meeting in the Stanley Arms public house, the members resolved to wind up St John's and form a new club to represent the whole town called Blackpool Football Club. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88: the Fylde Cup and the Lancashire Junior Cup. At the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished fifth out of the 13 member clubs, they finished as runners-up over the following three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpool's home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, part of a large entertainment complex that included a theatre and a boating lake, amongst other attractions.
This meant that the club's average attendances were around the 2000 mark, making the club's formative years a financial success. After struggling to repeat the success of the 1893–94 season, the Blackpool board decided it was time to leave local football behind, so on 13 May 1896 the club became a limited company and applied for entry to the Football League, their application was successful, for the club's debut season, 1896–97, they joined the 16-team Second Division. Blackpool's first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, which they lost 3–1 in front of around 1,500 spectators. For the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds, they remained there for the first seven home games of 1898–99, before returning to Raikes Hall for the remaining 10. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season, spent the 1899–1900 term back in the Lancashire League, they finished third, after the Football League's annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two.
It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore and moved to Bloomfield Road. During the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place; the club's top goalscorers in the league included Geordie Anderson and Bob Whittingham. At the end of 1910–11, the club found themselves in seventh place, thanks to Joe Clennell's haul of 18 goals, it was a case of as-you-were, for the four seasons leading up to the First World War, with finishing positions of 14th, 20th, 16th and 10th. For the last of those seasons, Joe Lane netted 28 goals; the outbreak of war forced the cancellation of League football for four years, during which time regional competitions were introduced. When normality resumed, in 1919–20, Blackpool had appointed their first full-time manager in the form of Bill Norman. Norman guided the club to fourth-placed finishes in his first two league seasons in charge, with Lane again netting close to 30 goals in the former.
The club's form nosedived in the 1921–22 season, with a finishing position of 19th, before bouncing back to a fifth-placed finish the following campaign. Harry Bedford, who had joined the club from Nottingham Forest, was the country's top league scorer, with 32 goals to his name. Bedford repeated the feat the following season, this time under the watchful eye of new manager Frank Buckley, who replaced Bill Norman after his four years of service. Blackpool finished fourth in Buckley's first season in charge; the 1924–25 season was not as successful. A single-goal defeat at fellow Lancastrians Blackburn Rovers ended the Seasiders' run. Buckley guided Blackpool to top-10 finishes in his final two seasons as manager – with Billy Tremelling's thirty goals in the latter helping – before he left to take the helm at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Buckley's replacement was Sydney Beaumont, who took charge for the 1927–28 season, but he lasted only until the spring after the club finished in 19th position. Harry Evans was installed as the new Blackpool manager, in an honorary capacity, for the 1928–29 campaign.
Due in no small part to Jimmy Hampson's 40 goals, the club finished eighth. In his second season, Evans guided Bla
Bradford City A.F.C.
Bradford City Association Football Club is a professional football club in Bradford, West Yorkshire, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Gary Bowyer is the club's manager, appointed on 4 March 2019; the club was founded in 1903 and elected into the Football League Second Division. Promotion to the top tier followed in 1908 and the club won the FA Cup in 1911, its only major honour. After relegation in 1922 from Division One, the club spent 77 years outside the top flight until promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Relegation followed in 2000–01 and since a series of financial crises have pushed the club to the brink of closure and resulted in two more relegations to League Two. In the 2012–13 season, they became the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final, losing 5–0 to Swansea City. In the same season, they returned to Wembley for the playoff final and won promotion to League One with a 3–0 win over Northampton Town; the club's colours are claret and amber and they play home games at Valley Parade.
The ground was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985 which took the lives of 56 supporters. Bradford City were formed in 1903 as a result of a series of meetings called by James Whyte, a sub-editor of the Bradford Observer, with Football Association representatives and officials at Manningham F. C. a rugby league side. The Football League saw the invitation as a chance to promote association football in the rugby league-dominated county of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it duly elected the new club in place of Doncaster Rovers. Four days at the 23rd annual meeting of Manningham FC, the committee decided to change code from rugby league to association football. Bradford City Association Football Club were formed without having played a game, taking over Manningham's colours of claret and amber, their Valley Parade ground. Robert Campbell was appointed the club's first manager and with the help of the new committee, he assembled a playing squad at the cost of £917 10s 0d. City's first game was a 2–0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 1 September 1903, six days before their first home game attracted 11,000 fans.
The club finished 10th in their first season. Peter O'Rourke took over as manager in November 1905, he led City to the Division Two title in 1907–08 and with it promotion to the Division One. Having narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight, City recorded their highest finish of 5th in 1910–11; the same season they won the FA Cup, when a goal from captain Jimmy Speirs won the final replay against Newcastle United. City's defence of the cup, which included the first Bradford derby against Bradford Park Avenue, was stopped by Barnsley after a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War and for three seasons afterwards, but were relegated in 1921–22 along with Manchester United. Back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table, they suffered a second relegation to Division Three in 1926–27. Two seasons O'Rourke, who had retired in 1921 following the death of his son and guided City to promotion with a record haul of 128 goals.
O'Rourke left for a second time after one more season, although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two, they looked like earning promotion back to the top flight. Instead in 1936–37, the club were relegated back to Division Three. City won their third piece of silverware two seasons when they lifted the Third Division North Challenge Cup, but they were unable to defend the trophy because competitive football was suspended for the Second World War. After the war, City went through two managers in the first two seasons, were in the bottom half of the Division Three table until 1955–56. After three successive top half finishes, City were placed in the new Division Three in 1958–59. Bradford spent just three seasons in Division Three, but during their relegation season in 1960–61, they upset Division One side Manchester United in the inaugural season of the League Cup. With 34 goals from David Layne, City nearly earned an instant promotion the following season 1961–62, but it did include a record 9–1 defeat to Colchester United.
Layne left for Sheffield Wednesday, without him City finished second from bottom of the league and had to apply for re-election. Bradford City just failed to win promotion in 1963–64, winning more games than any other team in the division that season, twenty five, with Rodney Green top scoring with 29 league goals. There followed three difficult seasons during which time manager Grenville Hair died following a heart attack in training, City returned to Division Three getting promoted in 1968–69. City's stay in Division Three lasted just three years, when they finished bottom in 1971–72. Promotion via fourth spot was won again in 1976–77 but it was followed by a relegation season. City failed to win promotion for three successive seasons, until the board appointed former England centre back Roy McFarland as manager in May 1981. McFarland won promotion in his first season, but was poached by his former club Derby County just six months later. City won compensation from Derby and installed another England international Trevor Cherry as McFarland's replacement.
Cherry, with former teammate Terry Yorath as his assistant manager, failed to win for two months, but the pair guided City to safety from relegation. During the summer, the club chairman Bob Martin had to call in the official receivers; the club was saved by former chairman Stafford Heginbotham and former board member Jack Tordoff
2005 Football League One play-off Final
The 2005 Football League One play-off Final was contested by Hartlepool United and Sheffield Wednesday at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Sheffield Wednesday won 4–2 in extra time, with goals from Jon-Paul McGovern, Steven MacLean, Glenn Whelan and Drew Talbot. First leg Second leg Sheffield Wednesday won 3–1 on aggregate. Tranmere Rovers 2–2 Hartlepool United on aggregate. Hartlepool United won 6–5 on penalties. 2005 Football League play-offs Football League website
Steven MacLean (footballer)
Steven MacLean is a Scottish footballer who plays as a forward for Heart of Midlothian. MacLean has played for Rangers, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield Wednesday, Cardiff City, Plymouth Argyle, Oxford United, Yeovil Town, Cheltenham Town and St Johnstone, he represented the Scotland national under-21 football team. He began his senior football career at Rangers, followed by a loan spell at Third Division outfit Scunthorpe United, scoring 25 goals. Despite this, Rangers manager Alex McLeish deemed that he was not "a first team prospect" and placed him on the transfer list. On 7 July 2004, MacLean joined Football League One club Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £125,000, signed a three-year deal, he scored 20 goals in his first season, including a hat-trick against fellow South Yorkshire side Doncaster Rovers, Wednesday's first away hat-trick for 32 years. He was the first Sheffield Wednesday player to hit the 20 goal mark in one season since Mark Bright in 1994, he scored a crucial penalty under pressure in the play-off final.
MacLean sustained a broken leg on the eve of the club's Championship campaign in August 2005, but returned in the latter part of the season to score two penalties for Wednesday, first at home to rival club Sheffield United in a 2–1 defeat and against league champions Reading, which earned the Owls a 1–1 draw. MacLean sustained another injury setback in August 2006 after scoring in a 1–1 draw against Burnley, but made a comeback a month in the defeat to Derby County, he finished the 2006–07 season with 13 goals from 22 first team starts and 22 substitute appearances, making him the club's joint top goal scorer for the season with Deon Burton and showing signs of returning to the form in which he played with in the 2004–05 season. On 22 June 2007, it was announced that MacLean had signed for Sheffield Wednesday's Championship rivals Cardiff City, after failing to agree a new contract at Hillsborough; the move was a surprise to many Owls fans as MacLean was rumoured to have declared his willingness and desire to remain at the club.
Speculation arose during the prolonged contract-talks with Wednesday that MacLean was demanding a significant pay-rise from that of his previous contract. It is possible that another stumbling block which prevented Sheffield Wednesday renewing MacLean's contract, was a clause in his contract which would grant former club Rangers £50,000 if he re-signed. MacLean began the season as Cardiff's leading striker after Robbie Fowler was deemed not fit enough to play in some of the team's opening games. Famous for having never missed a penalty in his career, he came to Cardiff to miss one on his debut, leaving his new club to lose 1–0 to Stoke City on the first game of the season, he scored his first goal for the Bluebirds in the next game away to Queens Park Rangers, as Cardiff won 2–0. However, with Fowler soon returning and the arrival of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, MacLean found himself relegated to the bench. Things continued to get worse for him as he suffered ruptured ankle ligaments in a reserve match against Plymouth Argyle, expected to rule him out until December.
However, he made an early return coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 loss to Southampton on 21 October 2007. After his return, he made late substitute appearances, with just three starts for Cardiff – in a 2–0 defeat against Charlton Athletic, a 2–2 draw with Watford, a 3–1 win against Chasetown in the FA Cup. After finding himself out of favour at Cardiff, MacLean signed a three and a half-year deal with Plymouth Argyle on 18 January 2008, reuniting with former Sheffield Wednesday manager Paul Sturrock; the fee of £500,000 was a record signing for Argyle. He made his debut for the club the next day in a 1–1 draw against Southampton and scored his first goal for the club on 12 February in the sixth minute against Barnsley in a 3–0 win at Home Park. MacLean failed to gel into the team and an attitude problem combined with a lack of goals angered the fans. In October 2009 Maclean was informed by Plymouth manager Sturrock that he was free to look for a new club. On 28 December, MacLean joined Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian on trial.
He swiftly left again. After a month of speculation, MacLean signed for Aberdeen on loan until the end of the 2009–10 season on 1 February 2010, he scored his first goal for Aberdeen in a 2–2 draw with Hibernian on 10 February 2010 and scored a brace in his next match, a 4–4 draw with Celtic at Pittodrie on 13 February 2010, bringing his tally to three goals in three league games for the Dons. By the time his loan at Aberdeen had finished, MacLean scored 5 goals. On 11 November 2010, MacLean signed for Oxford United on loan, he scored his first goal for Oxford in a 2–1 win against league leaders at the time Chesterfield on 23 November. On 19 January 2011, MacLean signed an extension to his current loan deal to play for'The U's' for the rest of the season. After finished his spell at Oxford United, MacLean made scoring 6 goals. Released by Plymouth at the end of the season, MacLean sought out other clubs and went on trial with Yeovil Town in July 2011. On 26 July 2011, MacLean joined Yeovil Town on a one-year deal.
On Town's first match for the 2011–12 season, MacLean made his Yeovil debut in a 2–0 loss against Brentford. On his debut, MacLean received a yellow card in the third minute. On 9 September 2011, MacLean and scored his first goals for Yeovil in a 4–3 loss against Preston, he scored in a cup tie with A. F. C. Bournemouth setting up Max Ehmer in the game, his next goal was in a 3–2 defeat away to Bury, but his celebration was said to be a gesture towards new manager Gary Johnson. The in
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Colchester, England. The team competes in the fourth tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1937, the club spent its early years playing in the Southern Football League until they were elected to the Football League in 1950. Between 1950 and 1990, Colchester spent their time between the Third Division and Fourth Division, during which time they produced one of their most memorable results, a 3–2 victory in the fifth round of the FA Cup over Don Revie's Leeds United in 1971. Colchester United were relegated to the Football Conference in 1990 following a decline in the late 1980s, but won the Conference title in 1992 to make a swift return to League football, they achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1998 following a 1–0 win against Torquay United in the play-off final. The club were again promoted in 2006; the following season, they achieved their highest league finish in club history, ending the season 10th in the Championship ahead of East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town, Norwich City and Essex rivals Southend United, despite having the division's lowest attendance.
The club returned to League One in 2008 following relegation from the Championship and made a return to the fourth tier for the first time in 18-years in 2016. Colchester United play their home games at Colchester Community Stadium in Colchester, they relocated to the stadium in 2008 when they moved away from Layer Road, their home stadium for 71 years. Until 1937, Colchester Town were the original tenants of Layer Road. Colchester Town joined the Eastern Counties League in 1935, but their poor performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional, much like nearby Ipswich Town. With club officials against the idea of turning professional, a new professional club was formed in March 1937, Colchester United, which would play at Layer Road. United joined. In December 1937, Colchester United formed a reserve team; as a result of this and Town struggling with £300 debts, Colchester Town folded the same month. The club won the Southern League Cup in their first season of existence, were Southern League champions in 1939 prior to the Second World War.
Following the war, in 1947–48, the U's produced one of the most notable FA Cup runs by a non-league side, defeating fellow non-leaguers Banbury Spencer in the first round, before beating Football League clubs Wrexham, Huddersfield Town and Bradford Park Avenue. They fell to Blackpool in the fifth round; this set them in good stead for potential election to the Football League. Colchester United were elected to the Football League in 1950 on the back of their second Southern League Cup win and ending the 1949–50 season second to Merthyr Tydfil on goal average alone, they spent eleven years in the Third Division South and Third Division following the league's reorganisation, with a best finish of third place in 1957, just one point behind rivals Ipswich Town and Torquay United. The club suffered their first relegation in 1961 as they finished 23rd in the Third Division, but didn't have to wait long until their first Football League promotion, spending just one season in the Fourth Division as they ended the season second to Millwall by just one point.
This trend continued over the next two decades as they were relegated to the Fourth Division in 1965 and promoted to the Third Division in 1966 relegated in 1968 and promoted in 1974, relegated in 1976 and promoted in 1977 before a final relegation to the Fourth Division in 1981. During this time, the club embarked on one of the most notable runs in FA Cup history, as manager Dick Graham took his ageing side to the 1970–71 quarter-finals, dispatching non-league Ringmer, Cambridge United and Rochdale following a replay. With the draw having been made prior to the replay against Rochdale, the U's knew they would face a home tie with First Division Leeds United, duly trounced Dale 5–0. In the match with Leeds, the U's raced to an unprecedented 3–0 lead in front of a 16,000 Layer Road crowd, with two goals from Ray Crawford and one from Dave Simmons. Leeds did grab two goals back but Colchester held on for a famous 3–2 victory; the club faced Everton in the quarter-finals but succumbed to a 5–0 defeat in front of 53,028 at Goodison Park.
Financial difficulties and a number of changes at board level in the mid-1980s caused a slide towards the lower end of the Fourth Division table and crowd numbers to dwindle. Despite a brief turn around in form under former Rangers manager Jock Wallace, United were relegated from the Football League for the first time since their election. Despite their relegation, the U's remained a full-time club while playing in the Football Conference, as they sold their Layer Road ground to the Colchester Borough Council to clear the club's debts; the club finished the season as runners-up to Barnet during their first season outside of the Football League, under the stewardship of player-manager Roy McDonough, the U's won the league the following season on goal difference over bitter rivals Wycombe Wanderers. In addition to earning a swift return to League football, the club won the FA Trophy in 1992; the club had a successful 1995–96 season as they reached the 1995–96 Football League play-offs, but were defeated by Plymouth Argyle at the semi-final stage.
The club narrowly missed the play-offs in 1996–97 but did however reach the Football League Trophy Final held at Wembley. The U's were defeated 4 -- 3 on penalties; the following season however, Colchester were promoted via the Third Division play-off Final wi
Oldham Athletic A.F.C.
Oldham Athletic Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system, play home matches at Boundary Park. Known as the "Latics", they traditionally play in blue shirts; the club has a rivalry known as the A62 derby with nearby Huddersfield Town. The history of Oldham Athletic began with the founding of Pine Villa F. C. in 1895, a team that played in the Manchester and Lancashire leagues. When rivals Oldham County folded in 1899, Pine Villa moved into their stadium and changed their name to Oldham Athletic, they were elected into the Football League. They won promotion out of the Second Division in 1909–10 and went on to finish second in the First Division in 1914–15, before being relegated in 1923. Another relegation in 1935 left them in the Third Division North, which they won at the end of the 1952–53 campaign, only to be relegated back into the following year.
Placed in the Fourth Division, they secured promotion in 1962–63, again in 1970–71 after another relegation in 1969. Jimmy Frizzell managed the cub from 1970 to 1982 and under his leadership Oldham won the Third Division title in 1973–74, he was succeeded by Joe Royle, who had a 12-year spell in charge, during which time Oldham reached the League Cup final in 1990, before winning the Second Division title in 1990–91, which took them back into the top-flight for the first time in 68 years. Oldham were founder members of the Premier League in 1992, but were relegated two years and fell to the third tier by 1997; the club ended a 21 season long stay in the third tier – which encompassed numerous financial crises – with relegation out of League One in 2018. Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed its appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club; the club gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League. Unlike many clubs, Oldham Athletic gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08.
After three years in the Second Division, Latics gained promotion to the First Division. Within a couple of seasons, Oldham had announced themselves serious contenders, finishing 4th in the league in 1912–13, reaching the F. A. Cup semi-finals the same season. In 1914–15, Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. In the league that season they won it all. Latics early success was only halted by the First World War. Following the return of competitive football after the First World War, Oldham Athletic struggled to find their early success before they returned to the Second Division in 1923 – it would be another 68 years before they played top division football again. Many of the players from their former squads had either retired from football or had been killed in the war, their highest success came in the 1929–30 season as they finished in 3rd, missing out on promotion by finishing two points behind Chelsea F. C.
From on they but fell down the league table, until a final placing of 21st at the end of the 1934–35 season saw them relegated to the Third Division North. They found life in this new division much more to their liking, coming 7th in their first season and following this with three seasons in the top five. Promotion back to the Second Division looked like it might just be a possibility, but the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 brought an end to League Football. Players' contracts were terminated, relying on guest players, the club was to play in the war-time Northern League until August 1946. Following the return of competitive football there was to be no immediate success for Oldham Athletic, they finished 19th in the first league season after manager Frank Womack resigned. In spite of reaching a more respectable 6th place under his successor Billy Wooton in 1949, it wasn't until the appointment of George Hardwick as player-manager in November 1950 that the club found any real form.
Hardwick's appointment came with a £ 15,000 transfer fee paid to Middlesbrough. This was a huge amount at the time for a third division club, but it was to stir up the town and its fans, who now looked forward to seeing a man, captain of England only two years in charge of its club's fortunes. In Hardwick's first full season in charge they finished 4th after topping the table for a considerable time. Home gates stayed high, with an amazing 33,450 watching a 1–0 win over local rivals Stockport County in March 1952, after a January game in the snow had established a new club scoring record when Chester were beaten 11–2. Eric Gemmell scored seven of these to establish an individual club record for one game which still stands to date; the season after, Oldham Athletic proudly finished champions of the division and won promotion to the Second Division. With an ageing squad and little money to recruit however, the season that followed was a massive disappointment. Only eight games were won, Oldham finished in last place and returned to the Third Division North, where a first disappointing season saw them finish no higher than 10th.
Hardwick resigned in 1955 and between and 1960, they continued to struggle, finishing below the top 20 on three occasions. With a 15th-place finish in 1958–59, Oldham became a founding member of a newly formed Fourth Division. In the following season they finished in the 23rd position – their lowest position in the entire League, had to apply for r