Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
Gregory Dyke is a British media executive, journalist and broadcaster. He is the chairman of The Football Association. Dyke is a panellist on Sky News The Pledge, since the 1960s, Dyke has had a long career in the UK in print and then broadcast journalism. He is credited with introducing tabloid television to British broadcasting, in the 1990s, he held chief executive positions at LWT Group, Pearson Television and Channel 5. He is the chairman of childrens television company HiT Entertainment, and was the Chancellor of the University of York from 2004 to 2015, Dyke was born in 1947, in Hayes, Middlesex, the youngest of three sons in a stable, lower middle class family. His father was an insurance salesman, the family lived at 17 Cerne Close until he was 9, then moved to Cedars Drive, Hillingdon. He was educated at Yeading Primary School and then Hayes Grammar School, after school he was briefly a trainee manager at Marks & Spencer before leaving to work as a trainee reporter for the Hillingdon Mirror, becoming chief reporter in eight months. He left the Mirror after attempting to stage a union-backed protest against poor pay conditions by the staff of the work on the paper. He then got a job at the Slough Evening Mail, amongst his colleagues was future music journalist Colin Irwin. He then went on to study for a degree at the University of York as a mature student, during his time at York, Dyke was active in student politics, and was part of a collective that produced a psychedelic underground student magazine called Nouse. He also met and married his first wife Christine Taylor whilst at the university, as he was a mature student with work experience, his politics were more of a traditional Labour supporter than some of the more radical far left students. His contemporaries and friends at York included future journalists Linda Grant and Peter Hitchens, Dyke was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University in 1999 and was Chancellor from 2004 to 2015. After university, Dyke followed his first wife to Newcastle and he had become disillusioned with newspaper journalism, and tried for a job as a junior reporter at BBC Radio Teesside. He was unsuccessful, apparently because the interviewers felt no-one would understand his accent, Dyke instead found work covering rural affairs for the Newcastle Journal. He moved back to London with Christine in 1974 to become campaign officer for the Wandsworth Community Relations Council and he hated the job and left to campaign to be elected GLC councillor for Putney. He was given assistance getting a job at London Weekend Television by fellow ex-Newcastle journalist Nicholas Evans, Dyke got a junior position on LWTs local politics programme, in the current affairs department. His bosses there were John Birt and Peter Jay and he attracted attention for trying to give the programmes he worked on a more populist edge. This led to him being given the chance to launch a new evening current affairs topical news programme
Martin James Allen is an English former football player and manager. He played more than 100 games as a midfielder for each Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United before finishing his career with Portsmouth. Five years later, he took his first job in management and he has since managed Brentford, Milton Keynes Dons, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town, Barnet and Notts County. He rejoined Barnet as manager on 16 April 2012 on a short term and he was sacked as Gillingham manager in October 2013. Allen rejoined Barnet for a spell in 2014, leading the Bees back into League Two before dropping divisions to join Eastleigh in December 2016. Signed by manager Lou Macari, Allen made his debut on 26 August 1989 in a 3–2 home win against Plymouth Argyle and he scored the second goal, the other West Ham goals coming from David Kelly and Kevin Keen. Under manager Billy Bonds Allen was part of the team won promotion to the First Division in 1991. Allen was frequently booked during his West Ham career and had a reputation for poor discipline and he was sent off in a match on 17 January 1990 for a two-footed lunge on Derby Countys Mark Patterson. Although not sent-off, West Ham manager Bonds fined Allen a weeks wages, during his time at Queens Park Rangers Allen had been refused permission, by manager Francis, to attend the birth of his first child as Allen would miss an important match. Allen attended the birth and was disciplined by the club, under Bonds and Harry Redknapp Allen formed a successful partnership with Peter Butler with Allen contributing 34 goals from midfield in 234 appearances. However, by 1995 team discipline was poor at West Ham and with Allen playing alongside Julian Dicks, John Moncur, Allen was again dismissed in a match against Queens Park Rangers on 3 May 1995 after fouling Rufus Brevett. He would play five more games before being allowed to leave. Allen stayed with the Hammers until September 1995 when he made a £500,000 switch to Portsmouth after a loan spell at Fratton Park. After three frustrating years with Pompey, which took in a loan stint at Southend United, he retired. Allen began his management career as an assistant manager at hometown club Reading, the team produced championship form in their closing 20 fixtures, winning 12 and drawing 4 to secure a top 10 finish. Two years later won promotion to Division One. Allens first full role was at Conference side Barnet, from March 2003 to March 2004. He succeeded from Peter Shreeves, to whom he was assistant manager from March 2002, Allen built a team from scratch in pre-season of the 2003–04 campaign
Griffin Park is a football ground in Brentford, situated in the London Borough of Hounslow, west London. It has been the ground of Championship side Brentford since it was built in 1904. The ground is situated in a residential area and is known for being the only English league football ground to have a pub on each corner. The ground gets its name from the griffin, featured in the logo of Fullers Brewery, between forming in 1889 and prior to 1904, Brentford played at five grounds around Ealing – Clifden Road, Benns Field, Shotters Field, Cross Road and Boston Park Cricket Ground. After a gypsy camp was removed from the site, work began on building the ground in January 1904, the orchard was cut down by local volunteers, who were allowed to keep the wood. The ground was built with a 20,000 capacity in mind, with a provision for an increase to 30. An 800-capacity stand from Boston Park was rebuilt alongside the Braemar Road side of the ground, beneath and behind the stand were three dressing rooms, a number of offices and a recreation room. The ground was named Griffin Park after a pub, The Griffin. After a number of games, Griffin Park was opened on 1 September 1904. Season tickets for the 1904–05 season sold out, the first competitive match to be played at Griffin Park was a Western League fixture versus Plymouth Argyle on 1 September 1904. The Braemar Road grandstand had been completed by the time of the fixture, but as the rooms were not ready. The borough surveyor also declared the grandstand unsafe and banned its use until improvements had been made, Argyle scored the first competitive goal at the ground through Fred Buck, but four minutes from the final whistle, Tommy Shanks converted a James Swarbrick cross to secure a 1–1 draw. The attendance was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000, the first truly first team fixture to be played at the ground was a Southern League First Division match on 3 September 1904, which yielded a 0–0 draw between Brentford and West Ham United. The Bees would have to wait until 22 October 1904 for their first victory at the ground, the first Football League match to be played at the ground was on the opening day of the 1920–21 season, a 3–0 Third Division defeat to Exeter City. Unlike the old grandstand, the new stand ran the length of the pitch, after the season, it was announced that Griffin Park would be completely redeveloped over the following decade. Concrete terracing was installed at the Ealing Road end of the ground in 1930. A new stand was constructed at the Brook Road end of the ground in the 1933 off-season, a further extension to the terracing and a roof was added prior to Brentfords debut First Division season in 1935–36, taking the New Road stands capacity to 20,000. Little development occurred at Griffin Park between the mid-1930s, and the mid-1980s, the frontage of the Braemar Road stand was rebuilt in 1963, adding club offices and a club room
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter
It began in the 1983–84 season as the Associate Members Cup, but in 1992, after the lower-division clubs became full members of the Football League, it was renamed the Football League Trophy. The competition replaced the short-lived Football League Group Cup and it was renamed again in 2016, as the EFL Trophy. The competition has been associated with a sponsor since its second edition, currently. The first draws are made in August, then the runs as 16 regional groups. The top two from each group qualify for the stages before the two winners meet in late March or early April in the final at Englands national stadium. The current champions are Coventry City, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the first time, the competition was inaugurated as the Associate Members Cup in the 1983–84 season and followed on from the short-lived Football League Group Cup. The competition was renamed the Football League Trophy in 1992, the competition was renamed again in 2016, becoming the EFL Trophy, coinciding with the Football League rebranding to the English Football League. 64 teams enter from Round One, including all 48 teams from League One and League Two, the competition will now feature 16 regional groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. In the first year of the tournament, the 48 eligible Third, the first round had 12 knockout ties in each section, and the second had six. In each section the two second-round losers with the narrowest defeats were reprieved, and joined the six clubs in the regional quarter-finals. A major change was introduced for the 1985–86 tournament, with 8 three-team groups being set up in each of the two sections, teams played one home and one away game and the group winners proceeded to the regional knockout stages. This format was tweaked the following season, with two teams qualifying from each group, resulting in a round of 16 knockout stage in each section. For a number of seasons in the early to mid-1990s, the competition ran with only seven three-team groups and this was owing to League reorganisation and the demise of Aldershot and Maidstone United, which resulted in there being fewer than 48 teams in the 3rd and 4th levels. The group phase was abolished for the 1996–97 tournament, instead,8 teams in each received a bye to the second round. The number of Conference entrants was increased to 12 starting in 2002–03, resulting in 14 first-round ties, Conference teams no longer participated from the 2006–07 tournament onward, and the format reverted to 8 first-round teams in each section, with 8 sides gaining byes to the second round. The competition has always been contested by all teams at Levels Three, during the 2016–17 season,16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides have taken part in the competition. The first final in 1984 was to have played at the then Wembley Stadium. From 2001 to 2007, during the rebuilding of the former Wembley, source, napit. co. uk The record attendance for the final is 80,841, for the 1988 Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Wembley
Lloyd Magnus Owusu is a retired professional footballer who last played for Hakoah Sydney City East in the NSW State League Division One, Sydney, Australia. After a move from non-League Slough Town, his career took off at Brentford and he then moved to Sheffield Wednesday, and two years later transferred to Reading following a short loan spell. He returned to Brentford in 2005, and two later signed with Yeovil Town. In 2008, he moved to Cheltenham Town, and also had a spell at Brighton & Hove Albion the following year. In 2009, he moved Australia to play for Adelaide United, following this he spent a brief period with Luton Town back in England, before heading to Cyprus to play for AEP Paphos. He then returned to England having spells at Barnet and a spell at Hayes & Yeading United. In February 2012, he made a return to his first club Slough Town to try to help them achieve promotion from the Southern Football League Division One Central. Owusu started his career at non-league side Slough Town before being signed by then–Brentford manager Ron Noades in 1998, Owusu was an instant success, scoring 25 goals in all competitions, leading the Third Division scoring charts. He was less successful in the 1999–2000 campaign, scoring 14 goals in all competitions, during the 2000–01 season, he scored 12 goals in 34 games. He returned to form with a bang in 2001–02, scoring 22 goals – one of these came against Blackpool in a 3–1 win on March, winning him a Goal of the Month award. His excellent form helped the Bees to reach the Second Division play-off final at the Millennium Stadium, K Out of contact Owusu was targeted by Oldham Athletic and Crystal Palace, but instead signed to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on a three-year deal. However he did not really break into the first team, starting the majority of his 33 appearances from the bench in the 2002–03 season and he continued to be used sparingly in the 2003–04 season, and was signed on loan by Steve Coppells Reading in December 2003. He enjoyed his time at the Madejski Stadium, and was eager to join the Royals permanently so as to secure regular first team football and he got his wish as the loan move became permanent in the summer of 2004, Reading paying the Owls an undisclosed fee. In the 2004–05 season, Owusu finished with an record of six goals in fourteen league starts. He scored fourteen goals in 42 games in all competitions in 2005–06 and he missed most of the 2006–07 season with injury, and had to undergo multiple operations. Owusu finally made his comeback for Brentford against Rotherham in a 1–0 defeat at Griffin Park on 17 March 2007 and his comeback was to prove short-lived though, as he was released two months later. In July 2007 he signed a contract with Russell Slades Yeovil Town. Top-scorer in his first season at the club, he announced he was happy to continue at Huish Park despite interest from other clubs, however, in September 2008, Owusu joined League One side Cheltenham Town for free, on a one-year deal
Dudley Junior DJ Campbell is an English footballer who last played as a forward for Maidenhead United in the Conference South. Campbells early career was in football between 2000 and 2005, during which time he was capped by England C. Following a successful spell at Yeading he then moved into the Football League with Brentford, born in London, Campbell started his career at Aston Villa as a trainee, but was not offered a professional contract. On 20 May 2001 he signed for Conference National club Stevenage Borough and he made his debut on 21 August, scoring both goals in a 2–0 win over Hayes at Church Road, Hayes. In September 2002 he was loaned to Billericay Town of the Isthmian League Premier Division, in two years at Stevenage, Campbell made 23 league appearances, scoring three goals. On 4 February 2003 he moved to Yeading, who were then in the Isthmian League Division One North and he had a successful spell at Yeading, scoring 83 goals in a total of 109 appearances in all competitions. He helped the club win promotion as champions of Division One North in the 2002–03 season and his skills were showcased in the 2004–05 FA Cup against Newcastle United on 9 January 2005, a game which was televised on BBC One. Later that season he won the Isthmian League Premier Division championship with Yeading, at the end of the season, on 7 June 2005, Brentford manager Martin Allen signed him for the League One club for £5,000 on a one-year contract with an option to extend it. He scored on his debut, a 2–0 home win over Scunthorpe United on 6 August 2005, on 28 January 2006 Campbell scored two goals to lead Brentford to a 2–1 victory over Premier League club Sunderland in the fourth round of the FA Cup. He made a total of 28 appearances for Brentford, scoring twelve times in his seven months at the club. He was also named the League One Player of the Month for January 2006, after he scored five goals in his four league games. Three days later, Campbell was sold to Premier League club Birmingham City for £500,000 and he signed a three-and-half year contract with The Blues. He made his Premier League debut as a substitute on 4 February 2006, the club were relegated at the end of the season, and Campbell scored his first goal for them in a 2–1 win over Colchester United on 5 August 2006 in the Championship. On 25 November he scored with his first touch of the ball after coming on as an 82nd-minute substitute to give The Blues a 2–1 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. On 1 April 2007, after being included in the due to an injury to the clubs new loan signing Andrew Cole. Manager Steve Bruce stated, I made a big mistake by leaving him out of the sixteen and I had to admit that to him and he keeps knocking on the door and Im obviously going to have to put him right in my thoughts again. Campbell started twenty games for The Blues that season, scoring goals in all competitions as they were promoted back to the Premier League. In his column on BBC Sport, Ian Holloway, then-manager of Plymouth Argyle, three months later, he went on to manage Campbell at Leicester, and again at Blackpool
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
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998, in 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the clubs co-chairman Sir John Madejski. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club, Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham. The early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, and later the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a ground and, to this end. In 1913, Reading had a tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write without doubt. Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920, Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, and remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. When League football resumed after the war, Reading quickly came to prominence once again, the sides moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, the appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994, in 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Goodings contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the half of Division One. Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998, the year 1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, the club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Steve Coppell, Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English footballs top division for the first time in their history, the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in place with 55 points
Richard Adrian Ricky Newman is an English former professional footballer who last played as a defensive midfielder for Surrey Intermediate League side Cranleigh. He previously played in the Premier League for Crystal Palace and in the Football League for Millwall, Reading, Brentford and his career has spanned over 13 years, having started with Crystal Palace in 1992. He left Palace in 1995 when he joined Millwall, staying with the club until 2000 when he left for Reading on a free transfer having spent time at the club on loan during the previous season. After being released by Reading following the 2004-05 season he moved to Brentford on 10 June 2005 reuniting with Martin Allen who he worked under during Allens time as assistant manager at Reading, Newman was released by Brentford on 17 May 2006 after one season with the club. He went on to join Aldershot Town on 1 August 2006 and was given a role at the end of the 2007–08 season. Due to financial constraints he was released, with reluctance, by manager Gary Waddock at the end of the 2008-09 season, Ricky currently plays for Cranleigh after leaving Aldershot. Division 1,1994 Conference National,2008 Conference League Cup,2008 Ricky Newman at Soccerbase
Samuel Lee Sam Tillen is an English professional footballer who plays for Icelandic club FH. Tillen began his career with Chelsea, and played for their academy, Tillen is a pacy left sided player, equally at home at full back or on the wing, and showed his versatility by filling in at right back and right wing in the 2005–06 season. His contract was cancelled by mutual consent in January 2008, and he made his debut in the first game of the Landsbankadeild season, a 3–0 defeat of Fylkir on 10 May 2008. He spent five seasons with Fram, making a total of 113 appearances in league, on 22 October 2012, Tillen signed for Icelandic champions FH on a two-year contract. His brother Joe is also a footballer who joined Fram in 2008. Sam Tillen at Soccerbase Daily Mail article on Sam Tillen KSÍ profile Sam Tillen at Soccerway
Non-League football describes football leagues played outside of the top leagues in that country. Generally it describes leagues which are not fully professional, the term is primarily used in football in England, where it describes football played at a level below that of the Premier League and the three divisions of The Football League. The term can be confusing as the vast majority of football clubs in England play in a league. The League of non-League football refers to the Football League, rather than leagues in general – non-League clubs play most of their football in league competitions. There are many leagues below the level of The Football League, the most senior of these leagues are loosely organised by The Football Association, the sports governing body in England, into a National League System. The NLS has seven levels or steps, and includes over 50 separate leagues, prior to 1987, there was no automatic promotion and relegation between The Football League and the leagues of non-League football. The bottom clubs of The Football League were required to apply for re-election to the League at the end of the season, the system ensured that Football League membership remained relatively static, with non-League clubs having little chance of joining. Scarborough became the first non-League club to win promotion to The Football League. Since 2003, two clubs from the Conference have been promoted at the end of each season, the entire English football league system includes the Premier League, The Football League, the NLS leagues, and any local leagues that have feeder relationships with an NLS league. Since the end of the Second World War, nine non-league clubs have reached the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, the Football Association Challenge Trophy was formed in 1970 by the FA to offer non-League football clubs a realistic chance of winning a cup competition. Now in its 43rd season, it is becoming more and more popular for fans around the country. There is also the FA Vase for clubs further down the league ladder, in womens football, the non-League term is used for those clubs in the divisions below the FA Womens Premier Leagues two regional second divisions. In Scotland, football outside the top four divisions consists of the Junior leagues together with a number of regional Senior Leagues, until 1974, it was the second tier of the league system before being disbanded. The Regionalliga was then re-introduced as the tier of the system in 1994. National Game XI Non League UK
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
London Broncos R. L. F. C. are a professional rugby league club in Ealing, London, who compete in the Kingstone Press Championship, the second tier of professional rugby league football. They competed in the Super League from its introduction in 1996 until the end of the 2014 season, the current head coach is Andrew Henderson, assisted by England and Great Britain internationals Jamie Langley and Danny Ward. The Broncos are captained by Daniel Harrison and play at the Trailfinders Sports Ground in Ealing, sharing with the union side Ealing Trailfinders. The club was formed as Fulham in 1981, entering the Rugby Football League Championships second division for the 1980–81 Rugby Football League season. The club has also known as London Crusaders, London Broncos. Whilst the club has never won a trophy, they were finalists in the 1999 Challenge Cup. The only trophy the club has won since its formation in 1980 is the Rugby Football League Championship Second Division in 1982–83, professional rugby league was briefly represented in London in the 1930s by London Highfield, Acton and Willesden and Streatham and Mitcham. All were speculative clubs set up by local businessmen purely as money making exercises, thereafter, the sport of rugby league in England remained exclusively a Northern game for over forty years until the formation of new club in London, Fulham. In 1980, Fulham Football Club chairman Ernie Clay, set up a league team at Craven Cottage. The Rugby Football League, keen to encourage the expansion of the sport beyond its traditional Northern heartland, one of the games leading players, Reg Bowden, was recruited by Genders to act as player-coach and the clubs first signing was Roy Lester on a free transfer from Warrington. Within nine weeks, Genders and Bowden had assembled a team of experienced players approaching retirement, nearly 10,000 Londoners turned up for the opening game at Craven Cottage to see the newly formed side convincingly beat highly regarded Wigan 24–5. The new Fulham RL team quickly proved to be very competitive, after their initial season, immediate relegation from the first division in 1981–82 was something of a reality check. However, with the backing of supporters Roy and Barbara Close and with a new coach, former player Roy Lester, most of the players had moved on as free agents and a new team began life at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. The club moved to Chiswick Polytechnic Sports Ground in 1985 and they also played several one-off games at football grounds around London such as Wealdstone, Hendon, Brentford and Chelseas ground Stamford Bridge in 1983. Bill Goodwin replaced Lester as coach between 1986 and 1987, in August 1986, Fulham hit a cash crisis and withdrew from RFL11 days before the start of the season but re-launched in September. Bev Risman was asked to be coach at Fulham in 1987, the team was in the bottom half of the second division. The team struggled for success and Risman left after a couple of seasons, phil Sullivan was coach for just two months between January and February 1989, Goodwin came in for his third spell and held the reins until May 1989 when Ross Strudwick was appointed. The club returned to Crystal Palace in 1990, a 1991 name change to London Crusaders coincided with a slightly more successful period on the pitch
Captain (association football)
The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband. The only official responsibility of a captain specified by the Laws of the Game is to participate in the toss prior to kick-off. Contrary to what is said, captains have no special authority under the Laws to challenge a decision by the referee. However, referees may talk to the captain of a side about the general behaviour when necessary. At an award-giving ceremony after a fixture like a cup competition final, any trophy won by a team will be received by the captain who will also be the first one to hoist it. The captain also generally leads the teams out of the room at the start of the match. The captain generally provides a point for the team, if morale is low. Captains may join the manager in deciding the first team for a certain game, in youth or recreational football, the captain often takes on duties, that would, at a higher level, be delegated to the manager. A club captain is usually appointed for a season, if he is unavailable or not selected for a particular game, then the club vice-captain will be appointed to perform a similar role. The match captain is the first player to lift a trophy should the team win one, a good example of this was in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final when match captain Peter Schmeichel lifted the trophy for Manchester United as club captain Roy Keane was suspended. In the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, match captain Frank Lampard jointly lifted the trophy for Chelsea with club captain John Terry, a club may appoint two distinct roles, a club captain to represent the players in a public relations role, and correspondent on the pitch. After Neville retired in 2011, regular starter Nemanja Vidić was named as club captain, são Paulos Rogério Ceni is the player who has worn the captains armband the most times. A vice-captain is a player that is expected to captain the side when the captain is not included in the starting eleven, or if, during a game. Examples include Manuel Neuer succeeding Philipp Lahm at Bayern Munich, Marcelo attaining from Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid C. F, gary Cahill being the understudy of John Terry at Chelsea FC and Lionel Messi taking over from Andrés Iniesta at FC Barcelona. Similarly, some clubs also name a 3rd captain to take the role of captain when both the captain and vice-captain are unavailable, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Germany had three captains. Michael Ballack had skippered the team since 2004, including the successful qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Lahm ended up becoming the permanent captain of Germany, as Ballack was never called up for the national team
Darren Antony Pratley is an English-Jamaican footballer who captains Bolton Wanderers as a midfielder. Starting his career at Fulham after signing from Arsenal, Pratley signed his first professional contract with the club in 2002, Pratley made his debut in a League Cup game at Wigan Athletic on 23 September 2003, coming on as a substitute for Andrejs Stolcers. He made his debut against Charlton Athletic on 8 November 2003, again as a substitute. These turned out to be the two games he would play for Fulham. At the end of the 2003–04 season, Pratley signed a contract with the club. However, on 8 June 2006, he was sold by Fulham to Swansea City for a fee of £100,000, on 7 November 2009, Pratley scored a brace against their archrivals Cardiff City. Pratley had not scored for 26 games since the previous seasons corresponding fixture at the Liberty Stadium, Pratley went on to score a further three times before the end of 2009, against Sheffield Wednesday and Reading. He started off the 2010–11 season well, however a string of poor performances saw him dropped by manager Brendan Rodgers, on 9 June 2011, it was confirmed that Pratley would leave Swansea City having rejected a new contract. Pratley signed for Bolton Wanderers on 1 July 2011 on a four-year deal and he scored his first Premier League goal in the game against Queens Park Rangers at the Reebok Stadium on 10 March in Boltons 2–1 win. On 3 August 2013, the first day of the 2013–14 season and he then also scored in a 1–1 draw with Reading a week later. On 1 July 2015, Pratley signed a year contract that will keep him at Bolton Wanderers until the summer of 2018. A few weeks later Pratley was appointed as the new captain of Bolton. He played the first game of the 2016–17 season, picking up an injury ruled him out for seven months. When he was due to return in January, a further setback ruled him out for the rest of the season, Pratley managed to return earlier than expected and started in Boltons 4–2 win over Feetwood Town on 11 March. On 16 January 2009, Pratley was called up to the Jamaican squad by coach John Barnes to face Nigeria on 11 February 2009, as of 21 March 2017 Darren Pratley at Soccerbase
Fulham Football Club is a professional association football club based in Fulham, Greater London, England. Founded in 1879, they play in the Championship, the tier of English football. They are the football team from London to have played in the Premier League. The club has spent 25 seasons in English footballs top division, the latter spell was associated with former chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, after the club had climbed up from the fourth tier in the 1990s. The club has produced many English greats, including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and they play at Craven Cottage, a ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham which has been their home since 1896. Fulhams training ground is located near Motspur Park, where the clubs Academy is also situated, Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrews Church Sunday School F. C. founded by worshipers at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington. Fulhams mother church still today with a plaque commemorating the teams foundation. They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, one of the clubs first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–87 season. Fulham started playing at their current ground at Craven Cottage in 1896, the club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern Leagues Second Division. They were the club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal. They adopted a red and white kit during the 1900–01 season, in 1902–03, the club won promotion from this division, entering the Southern League First Division. The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07, Fulham joined The Football League after the second of their Southern League triumphs. The clubs first league game, playing in the Second Divisions 1907–08 season, the first win came a few days later at Derby Countys Baseball Ground by a score line of 1–0. Fulham finished the three points short of promotion in fourth place. The club progressed all the way to the semi-final of that seasons FA Cup, in the semi-final, however, they were heavily beaten, 6–0, by Newcastle United. This is still a loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. Two years later, the won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909–10 season. Fulhams first season in Division Two turned out to be the highest that the club would finish for 21 years, until in 1927–28 when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920
Huddersfield Town A.F.C.
F. C. Halifax Town is a semi-professional association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. They replaced Halifax Town A. F. C. which went into administration in the 2007–08 season, huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A. F. C. after almost 100 years as a football club. New figures put to a creditors meeting in May 2008 showed the cash-strapped Shaymen owed over £800,000 to Her Majestys Revenue. The Revenue refused any deal and that finished the club – already over £2 million in the red. It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, but the news that it owed £814,000 meant that even if all the other creditors had accepted the 2. 5p-in-the-pound offer originally on the table it would not have been enough. Halifax appealed against the decision to them from the Football Conference. Though the appeal was rejected on 11 June, the hope was that Halifax could play in the NPL Premier Division. This did not materialise, and eventually Halifax Town were accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the new season under the new name FC Halifax Town. The clubs first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly away against Tamworth on 19 July 2008, there was to be no fairytale ending however, and the game ended in a 2–0 defeat. The clubs first ever victory was against Alsager Town on 26 July 2008 by a 2–0 scoreline, colin Hunter scored the new clubs first ever goal after six minutes. Their first competitive Northern League Division One North match was at The Shay against Bamber Bridge on 16 August 2008, the club got off to a poor start, despite recording their first competitive victory in the next match. However, a 7–1 home win against Salford City in late September seemed to turn the tide for Town and they went on an 8-game unbeaten run,7 of those being victories, and shot to the top of the league table. The run eventually came to an end against Rossendale United, who ended up doing the double over Halifax. Despite the loss, Halifax remained top and more results, including 5–1 and 4–1 victories against Garforth Town and Wakefield respectively. After the Wakefield match however, Halifax won just 2 of their final 14 league games and this poor run led to the sacking of manager Jim Vince, and senior player Nigel Jemson stepped up to the managers position for the remainder of the season. They could only manage 2 draws and so a poor ending to the season cost them dearly, with new manager Neil Aspin taking the helm near the start of close season, Halifax Town got off to a much better start. Promising results in friendlies were consolidated after beating Colwyn Bay 3–0 on their own turf in the first league match of the season
Rochdale Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The clubs colours are black and blue and they play their games at Spotland Stadium. Formed in 1907 and nicknamed the Dale, they were accepted into the Football League in 1921, since then, the club has remained in the bottom two professional divisions of English Football. The team has achieved promotion three times – in 1969,2010 and 2014. Rochdale attract a small, but loyal fanbase, with a hardcore following of around 3000 home fans on average per match. Local fixtures however attract a higher turnout. The club reached the League Cup Final in 1962 and this was the first time a club from the bottom league division had reached the final of a major competition – where they lost to Norwich City. During its history, the club has had three promotions and three relegations, with coming in 1969 and 2010 and 2014 and relegation in 1959,1974 and 2012. The 1959 relegation followed the 1958 restructuring which saw the combination of the two Third Division sections into the Third Division and Fourth Division. In the restructuring, Rochdale managed to secure a spot in the Third Division, Rochdale A. F. C. was formed in 1907. After World War I the Football League was expanded and the club applied to join. In 1921 Rochdale was recommended to be included in the new Third Division North, however, this first season ended with the club at the bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership. In the early stages of the 1969–70 season, Rochdale topped the Division Three table, the teams form significantly declined around Christmas 1969, however, and a failure to halt the teams decline led to the dismissal of Richley. He was succeeded by Dick Conner, who stabilised the clubs form, the following three seasons saw the club finish in the lower reaches of the Division Three table, narrowly avoiding relegation each time. The board viewed merely surviving in Division Three as unacceptable and replaced Conner with Walter Joyce for the 1973–74 season and this move failed to pay off, and Rochdale was relegated after a campaign in which they won only 2 of 46 league games. The club finished bottom of the league in 1977–78, but was successful in their bid for re-election, southport, which had finished one place above Rochdale, was demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Rochdale finished bottom for a time in 1979–80, but was again re-elected – by one vote over Altrincham
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past, the club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swanseas new status as a city. Swansea have played their matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division and it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the seasons end before finishing sixth, although a club record. The clubs subsequent climb from the division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League, following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the clubs first chairman, a site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the clubs ground. The clubs first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the half with ten men. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920, the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. Sadly for the Swans, an experienced Bolton side won the game 3–0, Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour, during the 1931–32 season they finished 1st and went out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However they won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay and it was not until the 1933–34 season that Wilfred Milne scored his first goal for Swansea at Lincoln City after 501 appearances without a goal. After just one back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division. The following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time
Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day. It originated in the United Kingdom, and is celebrated in a number of countries that formed part of the British Empire. Boxing Day is on 26 December, although the bank holiday or public holiday may take place either on that day or a day later. In the liturgical calendar of Western Christianity, Boxing Day is the day of Christmastide. In some European countries, notably Germany, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, there are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which is definitive. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect Christmas boxes of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys diary entry for 19 December 1663 and this custom is linked to an older British tradition, since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food. The European tradition, which has included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor, Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day. 26 December is also St. Stephens Day, a religious holiday, when 26 December falls on the weekend, the Boxing Day public holiday is moved to the following day. In the UK, Boxing Day is a bank holiday, on the occasions when Christmas Day is on a Sunday, the following Monday is Boxing Day and Tuesday the substitute bank holiday for Christmas Day. In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as a bank holiday since 1974, by Royal Proclamation under the Banking. In Ireland – when the island as a whole was part of the United Kingdom – the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen as a public holiday on 26 December. Following partition in 1920, Northern Ireland reverted to the British name, in Australia, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday. The Australian state of South Australia instead observes a public holiday known as Proclamation Day on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday. In New Zealand, Boxing Day is a holiday, penalty rates. In Canada, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday
Oldham Athletic A.F.C.
Oldham Athletic Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Oldham, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of English football. The history of Oldham Athletic A. F. C. begins with the founding of Pine Villa F. C. in 1895, playing in the Manchester and Lancashire leagues. When rivals Oldham County F. C. folded in 1899, Pine Villa F. C. moved into their stadium and they were Football League runners-up in the 1914–15 season but were relegated from the Football League First Division in 1923. They reached the 1990 Football League Cup Final and won the Football League Second Division title in 1991 and they secured their top division status a year later to become founder members of the new Premier League but were relegated in 1994. After a period of insolvency in 2003–04, the club was taken over by a group of US-based expatriate British businessmen led by Simon Blitz, Pine Villa Football Club was formed in 1895, though the club changed its appearance and name in 1899 to Oldham Athletic Football Club. The club immediately gained professional status and played in both the Lancashire Combination and Lancashire League, unlike many clubs, Oldham Athletic gained quick success and gained acceptance into the Football League in 1907–08. After three years in the Second Division, Latics gained promotion to the First Division, within a couple of seasons, Oldham had announced themselves serious contenders, finishing 4th in the league in 1912–13, and reaching the F. A. Cup semi-finals the same season, losing out 1–0 versus Aston Villa, in 1914–15, Latics reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup but were knocked out once again after a 0–3 replay against Sheffield United. In the league season they almost won it all, Latics lost the league by one point. Latics early success was halted by the First World War. Many of the players from their former squads had either retired from football or had killed in the war. Their highest success came in the 1929–30 season as finished in 3rd. From then on they slowly but surely fell down the league table and they found life in this new division much more to their liking, coming 7th in their first season and following this with three seasons in the top five. Promotion back to the Second Division looked like it might just be a possibility, players contracts were terminated, and relying largely on guest players, the club was to play in the war-time Northern League until August 1946. Following the return of football there was to be no immediate success for Oldham Athletic. They finished 19th in the first league season after the war, Hardwicks appointment came at a cost, with a £15,000 transfer fee paid to Middlesbrough. In Hardwicks first full season in charge they finished 4th after topping the table for a considerable time, eric Gemmell scored seven of these to establish an individual club record for one game which still stands to date
Stockport County F.C.
Stockport County Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, the team adopted their name in 1890 after the County Borough of Stockport and they have played at Edgeley Park since 1902, traditionally in blue and white, and are nicknamed The Hatters after the towns former hat-making industry. Stockport County joined the Football League in 1900 and competed in it continuously from 1905 to 2011, however, instability on and off the pitch eventually led to Stockport falling back to the lower divisions. The club started the 2011–12 season in the Conference National, having been relegated from Football League Two for the first time in their history at the end of 2010–11, at the end of 2012–13, Stockport were relegated to the Conference North. Stockport County was formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers by members of the Wycliffe Congregational Church, the club adopted The Hatters as their nickname, owing to Stockports history as the centre of the Victorian hat-making industry, a nickname that is shared with Luton Town. Stockport played in the Lancashire League until 1900, when they gained admission to the Football League Second Division, Stockports first Football League match was against Leicester Fosse which ended in a 2–2 draw. Stockport left their Green Lane home in 1902 and moved to Edgeley Park where they currently reside, the club finished in the bottom three for their first four seasons, and at the end of 1903–04 they failed to gain re-election. They spent one year in the Lancashire Combination and the Midland League, at the end of the season, they were re-admitted to the Football League after being re-elected through the Midland League. In their first season back in the Football League, Stockport reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, however, Stockport finished the league in 10th position that season. Stockport remained in Division 2 of the Football League for seven years until 1912–13 when they again had to seek re-election, Stockport gained 22 votes and was therefore re-elected. Albert Williams was presented with the seven days later before the home game with Lincoln City. This title win began a remarkable coincidence which has occurred in each of Stockports title winning seasons where Lincoln City have been the last opponents in each of those seasons. Joe OKane, who joined Stockport the previous season, was a factor in the clubs promotion although he left the club at the end of the season. Once Stockport returned to Division 2, they struggled and survived an automatic relegation by one point, the 1923–24 season saw Stockport County finish 13th, one place above Manchester United. This is the time in history Stockport has achieved better than Manchester United. During this campaign Stockport goalkeeper Harry Hardy was called up to play for the England national team and he is the only player to be capped at full level by England while on Stockports books. Two seasons later Stockport returned to the division after finishing bottom of the league. Stockport closed out the 1920s in Division Three North with a 3rd-placed finish in 1927–28, Joe Smith was Stockports and the divisions leading goalscorer in this particular season contributing to 38 of Stockports 89 goals
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
Sunderland Association Football Club is a professional football club based in the North East city of Sunderland in the larger metropolitan area of Tyne and Wear. The club is playing in the Premier League, the top league of English football. Since its formation in 1879, the club has won six top-flight First Division titles, a total bettered by five other clubs. The club has won the FA Cup twice and been runners-up twice, as well as winning the FA Community Shield in 1936. Sunderland have also been Football League Cup finalists in 1985 and 2014, Sunderland won their first FA Cup in 1937 with a 3–1 victory over Preston North End, and remained in the top league for 68 successive seasons until they were relegated for the first time in 1958. Sunderlands most notable trophy after the Second World War was their second FA Cup in 1973, the team has won the second tier title five times in that period and the third tier title once. Sunderland play their games at the 49, 000-capacity all-seater Stadium of Light having moved from Roker Park in 1997. The original ground capacity was 42,000 which was increased to 49,000 following expansion in 2000, Sunderland have a long-standing rivalry with their neighbouring club Newcastle United, with whom they have contested the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. Founded 17 October 1879 as Sunderland and District Teachers A. F. C. by schoolmaster James Allan and they replaced Stoke, who had failed to be re-elected, becoming the first new club to join the league since its inauguration in 1888. During the late 19th century, they were declared the Team of All Talents by William McGregor, Sunderland won the league championship in the 1891–92 season, one season after joining The Football League. The clubs 42 points were five clear of nearest rivals Preston North End, Sunderland successfully defended the title the following season, aided by centre forward Johnny Campbell, who broke the 30-goal mark for the second time in consecutive seasons. In the process, they became the first team to score 100 goals in a season, a feat not matched until 1919–20, Sunderland came close to winning a third successive league championship in the 1893–94 season, finishing second behind Aston Villa. However, they regained the title in the 1894–95 season, ending the five points ahead of Everton. After winning the English League Championship, Sunderland played against Heart of Midlothian, Sunderland won the game 5–3 and were announced Champions of the world. Sunderland came close to winning another title in the 1897–98 season. That season was their last at Newcastle Road, as moved to Roker Park the following season. After coming second in 1900–01, the club won their league title in the 1901–02 season. In 1904, Sunderlands management was embroiled in a payment scandal involving player Andrew McCombie, the club was said to have given the player £100 to help him start his own business, on the understanding that he would repay the money after his benefit game
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
Hartlepool United F.C.
Hartlepool United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Hartlepool, County Durham, England. The team plays in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Hartlepool play their games at Victoria Park on Clarence Road. The club was founded in 1908 as Hartlepools United Football Athletic Company and their main rivals were Darlington, until that club entered into administration in 2012. Brian Clough began his career at the club in 1965. Under Cyril Knowles management the club won promotion to the Third Division in 1990, in 2005, Hartlepool narrowly missed promotion to the Football League Championship. The team mascot HAngus the Monkey was elected mayor at the 2002 Hartlepool Council election, the club receives vocal support from Jeff Stelling, the presenter of Sky Sports Soccer Saturday. In 1920, the Football League formed a third division and this was based almost entirely in the south, as the new division was created by absorbing virtually the entire top division of the Southern League, with Grimsby Town the only northern representative. This was rectified the following season when a Third Division North was created, brian Clough was invited to manage Hartlepool in 1965. His reaction was, I dont fancy the place, but he took the job, in 1968 the s and the United were dropped from the team name of Hartlepools United. This was in connection with West Hartlepool being absorbed along with the old town of Hartlepool. The appendage of United was restored in 1977, under Len Ashurst, the team slowly began to revive after years of largely indifferent form. Ashurst did precisely that, finishing in 11th in 1973–74, he left the club to manage Gillingham. Ken Hale took over and guided the team to 13th and 14th over the two seasons and also reached the League Cup Fourth round in 1974–75. However, 1976–77 saw a return to the doldrums, Hale was sacked after failing to win any of the first nine games at the start of October and his successor Billy Horner could not stop the rot either, and the team finished in 22nd place. Over the close season the name was changed to its current form of Hartlepool United. A tragedy struck the club a few weeks before the end of the season when 20-year-old player Dave Wiggett was killed in a car crash and it seemed to be only a matter of time before Hartlepool United followed the same way. Once again then, it was a relief for the supporters that Horner managed to make considerable improvements the following season
A corner kick is a method of restarting play in a game of association football. It was devised in Sheffield under the 1867 Sheffield Rules and it was adopted by the Football Association on 17 February 1872. A corner kick is awarded to the team when the ball leaves the field of play by crossing the goal line without a goal having been scored. The kick is taken from the corners of the field of play nearest to where the ball crossed the goal line. Corners are considered to be a reasonable goalscoring opportunity for the attacking side, the referee then awards the corner by pointing to the relevant arc. When taking a kick, the ball is initially placed so that at least some part of the ball is within the corner arc closest to where the ball went out of play. The corner arc is located at the intersection of the goalline and touchline and has a radius of one yard, all defending players must be at least ten yards from the corner arc until the corner kick is taken. A corner kick is taken as soon as the ball is kicked, the attacking side may score directly from a corner kick, though this is uncommon. An attacking player who receives the ball from a corner kick cannot be penalised for offside. Opposing players must retire the required distance as stated above, failure to do so promptly may constitute misconduct and be punished by a yellow card. A common tactic is for several attackers to stand close in front of the goal, the defending team may choose to form a wall of players in an attempt to force the ball to be played to an area which is more easily defended. However, this is not done often because defending players must remain at least 10 yards from the ball until it is in play. The defending team also has the choice of whether to instruct a player to him or herself beside one or both of the goalposts to provide protection to the goal in addition to the goalkeeper. The defending team also has to decide how many players it needs to defend a corner, two popular strategies used for defending corners are called man marking and zonal marking. Man marking involves each player at a corner given an attacking player to defend. The other tactic, zonal marking, involves allocating each player to an area of the box to defend. The objective for players in zonal marking is to get to the ball first if it enters their zone, an alternative strategy for the attacking team is to take a short corner. The ball is kicked to a player located within ten yards of the kicker, the strategy involved Uniteds Wayne Rooney, standing at the corner flag, pretending to change his mind about taking the corner and signalling to winger Ryan Giggs to do it instead
Charlton Athletic F.C.
Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London. They play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded on 9 June 1905 when a number of clubs in south-east London, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission. The clubs traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks, Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four periods in the top flight of English football, 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999. Historically, Charltons most successful period was the 1930s, when the clubs highest league finishes were recorded, after World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947. Charlton Athletic F. C. were formed on 9 June 1905 by a group of 15- to 17-year-olds in East Street, Charlton which is now known as Eastmoor Street, Charlton spent most of the years before the First World War playing in youth leagues. They became a side in 1913 the same year that nearby Woolwich Arsenal relocated to North London. After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season before becoming professional and they were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season before being voted into the Football League. Charltons first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, later that year it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support. In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of The Enders, light, however, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process. Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful, Three years later the Addicks won the Division Three championship in 1929 and they remained at the Division Two level for four years. Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of gas in the First World War. He is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley, Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division and they were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War. This continued during the war years and they won the war cup, Charlton reached the 1946 FA Cup Final, but lost 4–1 to Derby County at Wembley. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, with Chris Duffy scoring the goal of the day. In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only thirteen English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season, the Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000
Calum Daniel Willock is a semi-professional footballer who plays as a forward for Isthmian League club Merstham. In his career he has played in each of the top seven levels of English football, beginning his career with Fulham in 2000, he enjoyed loan spells with Queens Park Rangers, Bristol Rovers, and Peterborough United, before switching permanently to Peterborough in 2003. In 2006 he signed with Brentford, moving to Port Vale in summer 2007 and he switched to Stevenage Borough in January 2008, before joining Crawley Town the following year. He played on loan at Cambridge United 2010, before transferring to Ebbsfleet United later in the year and he helped the club to win promotion out of the Conference South in 2011, before he returned to the division when he signed with Dover Athletic in June 2012. He joined Boreham Wood in July 2013 and was registered with Harrow Borough before he joined Staines Town in January 2014. He moved on to Lewes in February 2015, before going on to join Merstham via Dulwich Hamlet later in the year. A striker, Willock started his career at Fulham, making his debut as a substitute in the First Division on 4 November 2000. The youngster played no part in the season. He played two games of the 2001–02 Premier League season, both against Blackburn Rovers, both times the home side winning, in November 2002, he was loaned out to Queens Park Rangers of the Second Division, playing three games. Willock went on to say playing in the Premiership is a dream coming true, at the start of the 2003–04 season he joined Fourth Division club Bristol Rovers. In two months he made just five appearances, all as a substitute, though at age 21 he had now played at level of the Football League. In October 2003, he joined Peterborough United of the Third Division on loan and he scored his first professional goal on 1 November in a 2–2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at London Road. On 17 December the loan deal was made permanent for an undisclosed fee and he finished the season with nine goals for the Posh. He started the 2004–05 season struggling with hamstring trouble, also fighting a calf injury at the end of the season, despite all this he finished the season with 14 goals, though this was not enough to save Peterborough from relegation to League Two. Willock was signed by Brentford on the last day of the 2006 January transfer window as a replacement for DJ Campbell, the Bees finished the 2005–06 in third place in League One, though failed to gain promotion. After the signing of Neil Shipperley, Willock dropped to the bench and he was released by Brentford in May 2007. In August 2007, Willock had a trial with Martin Foyles Port Vale and he was soon signed on a short term deal, due to finish at the end of the year. The first ten games of his 2007–08 season went without a goal and he was to score a further three goals in nine games before being released in January 2008 by new manager Lee Sinnott, after Willock rejected a longer contract at the club
Kevin O'Connor (footballer, born 1982)
Kevin OConnor is a retired professional football utility player who made over 500 appearances for Brentford. A one club man, at the time of his retirement in May 2015 he was Brentfords longest serving player and he is fourth on the most Brentford appearances list, captained the club on over 200 occasions and was inducted into the Brentford Hall of Fame in 2015. He represented Republic of Ireland U21 at international level and is head coach of Brentfords B team. Born in Blackburn, Lancashire to Irish parents, OConnor joined Division Two side Brentford as a schoolboy in 1995 and he began his career as a striker and was awarded a scholarship in 1998. After a run of 23 goals in 30 games for the reserves, OConnor received his maiden call into to the first team squad for a league match against Cardiff City on 12 February 2000. He was a substitute during the 1–1 draw. OConnor made his Brentford debut in a 3–2 Football League Trophy semi-final defeat at Exeter City on 15 February 2000 and he was awarded his first start in a goalless league draw with Wycombe Wanderers on 19 February 2000. OConnor made seven appearances during the 1999–2000 season, oConnors appearance against Wigan was the first of a run in the side and he scored the first senior goal of his career in a 2–1 league win over Bristol City on 20 February 2001. He made 12 appearances during the 2000–01 season and scored one goal and he found himself utilised in the hole by outgoing manager Ray Lewington. OConnor became a regular second-half substitute under new manager Steve Coppell during the 2001–02 season and he scored his second career goal in a 1–0 League Cup first round victory over Norwich City on 21 August 2001. OConnor made 32 appearances during the 2001–02 season, scoring one goal, through November 2002 to January 2003, OConnor went on a run of scoring five goals in 11 games and finished the 2002–03 season having scored nine goals in 53 appearances. OConnor signed a new contract in June 2003. OConnor made consistent appearances during the 2003–04 season and kept his place in the following the sacking of Downes. He scored the equaliser in a 1–1 draw with bitter rivals Queens Park Rangers in the West London derby on 14 February 2004, OConnor began the 2004–05 season as a substitute and scored the only goal of the game versus Wrexham on 14 August 2004 with a 20-yard volley. An injury to Michael Dobson in a 4–1 defeat to Bristol City on 30 August saw Martin Allen press OConnor into service as a back for much of the season. OConnor was awarded the captaincy for the first time for a match against Hartlepool United on 19 October and he made 44 appearances during the 2004–05 season, scoring two goals as Brentford failed to progress past Sheffield Wednesday in the 2005 playoff semi-finals. OConnors performances in his new right back position earned him the Most Improved Player Of The Year award, after the season, he was rewarded with a new two-year contract extension. OConnor was Martin Allens first-choice right back for the 2005–06 season and became the regular penalty taker, netting from the spot against Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers
Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
Milton Keynes Dons Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. As of the 2016–17 season its first team plays in League One, initially based at the National Hockey Stadium, the club competed as Milton Keynes Dons from the start of the 2004–05 season. After two years in League One it was relegated to the fourth-tier League Two, Milton Keynes Dons also won the Football League Trophy that year. The team remained in League One until the 2014–15 season when it won promotion to the Championship under the management of Karl Robinson, Milton Keynes, about 45 miles north-west of London in Buckinghamshire, was established as a new town in 1967. There was no precedent in English league football for such a move between conurbations and the authorities and most fans expressed strong opposition to the idea. Another team linked with the new town was Wimbledon Football Club, Wimbledon, established in south London in 1889 and nicknamed the Dons, were elected to the Football League in 1977. They thereafter went through a fairytale rise from obscurity and by the end of the 1980s were established in the top division of English football, despite Wimbledons new prominence, the clubs modest home stadium at Plough Lane remained largely unchanged from its non-league days. The clubs then-owner Ron Noades identified this as a problem as early as 1979, however he then decided that the club would not get higher crowds in Milton Keynes and abandoned the idea. Sam Hammam, who now owned Wimbledon, said the club could not afford to redevelop Plough Lane, a new stadium for Wimbledon proved hard to arrange. Hammam sold the club to two Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, in 1997, and a year later sold Plough Lane to Safeway supermarkets, Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 1999–2000 season. Starting in 2000, a consortium led by music promoter Pete Winkelman and supported by Asda, the consortium proposed that an established league club move to use this site, it approached Luton, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Barnet and Queens Park Rangers. In 2001 Røkke and Gjelsten appointed a new chairman, Charles Koppel, to the fury of most Wimbledon fans, Koppel announced on 2 August 2001 that the club intended to relocate to Milton Keynes. The league and FA stated opposition but the commissioners ruled in favour, AFC Wimbledon entered a groundshare agreement with Kingstonian in the borough of Kingston upon Thames, adjacent to Merton. The original Wimbledon intended to move to Milton Keynes immediately but were unable to do so until a home in the town meeting Football League criteria could be found. The club remained at Selhurst Park in the meantime and in June 2003 went into administration, with the move threatened and the club facing liquidation, Winkelman decided to buy it himself. He secured funding for the administrators to keep the team operating with the goal of getting it to Milton Keynes as soon as possible, the club arranged the temporary use of the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes and played its first match there in September 2003. Nine months later Winkelmans Inter MK Group bought the club out of administration and announced changes to its name, badge and colours—the team was renamed Milton Keynes Dons Football Club. The first season for the club as Milton Keynes Dons was 2004–05, in Football League One, under Stuart Murdoch, the teams first game was on 7 August 2004, a 1–1 home draw against Barnsley, with Izale McLeod equalising with their first competitive goal