Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Highbury, London, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won 13 League titles,12 FA Cups, Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, in the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double, between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position, Herbert Chapman won Arsenals first national trophies, but died prematurely. He helped introduce the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers, Arsène Wenger has been the longest-serving manager and has won the most trophies. His teams set several English records, the longest win streak, the longest unbeaten run, in 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. They became Tottenham Hotspurs nearest club, commencing the North London derby, in 2006, they moved down the road to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal earned €435. 5m in 2014–15, with the Emirates Stadium generating the highest revenue in world football, based on social media activity from 2014–15, Arsenals fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2016, Forbes estimated the club was the second most valuable in England, on 1 December 1886, munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with David Danskin as their first captain. Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C. s first home was Plumstead Common, though spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead. Royal Arsenal won Arsenals first trophies in 1890 and 1891, Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893. They registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended later that year, Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers, businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall took the club over, and sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury and this saw their third change of name, the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to simply The Arsenal
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Penalty shoot-out (association football)
A penalty shoot-out is a method of determining the winner of an association football match that is drawn after the regulation as well as extra playing time. Although the procedure for taking kicks from the penalty mark resembles that of a penalty kick, most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked. The method of breaking a draw in a match requiring a winner is determined beforehand by the organizing body. Although employed in football commonly since the 1970s, penalty shoot-outs remain unpopular with some, during a shoot-out, coaches, players other than the kicker and the goalkeepers must remain in the centre circle. The kicking teams goalkeeper stands at the intersection of the goal line, goals scored during the shoot-out are not included in the final score, nor are they added to the goalscoring records of the players involved. A tie is a result in football. Exceptionally, a shoot-out after a league or round-robin match may be provided for and this provision appears for occasions where opposing teams in a final-day match finish the group with identical records, which can result in an immediate shoot-out. This happened in Group A of the 2003 UEFA Womens Under-19 Championship, several leagues, such as the J-League, have experimented with penalty shoot-outs immediately following a drawn league match, with the winner being awarded an extra point. A team that loses a penalty shoot-out is eliminated from the tournament but it does not count as a defeat, for instance, the Netherlands are considered to have concluded the 2014 FIFA World Cup undefeated, despite being eliminated at the semi-final stage. The following is a summary of the procedure for kicks from the penalty mark, the procedure is specified in Law 10 of the IFABs Laws of the Game document. The referee tosses a coin to decide the goal at which the kicks will be taken, the choice of goal by the coin toss winner may only be changed by the referee for safety reasons or if the goal or playing surface becomes unusable. The referee tosses the coin a second time to determine which team will take the first kick, all players other than the kicker and the goalkeepers must remain in the pitchs centre circle. Each kick will be taken in the manner of a penalty kick. Each kick will be taken from the penalty mark, which is 12 yards from the line and equidistant from each touch line. Each team is responsible for selecting from the players the order in which they will take the kicks. The referee is not informed of the order, each kicker can kick the ball only once per attempt. Once kicked, the kicker may not play the ball again, no other player on either team, other than the designated kicker and goalkeeper, may touch the ball. The ball may touch the goalkeeper, goal posts, or crossbar any number of times before going into the goal as long as the referee believes the motion is the result of the initial kick
The Millennium Stadium, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Principality Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby team and has also staged games of the Wales national football team. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped, the stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc, a subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union. The stadium was designed by a led by architects Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture. WS Atkins were the engineers, and the building contractor was Laing. The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, of which the Millennium Commission funded £46 million, with a total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third-largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham. It is also the second-largest stadium in the world with a retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature. Listed as a category four stadium by UEFA, the stadium was chosen as the venue for the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, due to take place on 3 June 2017. In 2015, the Welsh Rugby Union announced a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Principality Building Society that saw the renamed as the Principality Stadium from early 2016. Until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their matches on the same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this changed in the 1969–70 season. By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was officially opened, however, in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider redeveloping the National Stadium, and by 1995 the WRU had been chosen to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup. France was also about to build the Stade de France, which would have a capacity of more than 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000,11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500. It was only visible from across the River Taff in the west. Access to the ground was very restricted with the main entrance being a narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east which was shared by both vehicles and spectators alike. The options for the new stadium included adding a third tier to the existing National Stadium, the committee eventually chose a new stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It would also involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to north-south and this was the option supported by the Millennium Commission. It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site and it was also decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football
Wayne Mark Rooney is an English professional footballer who plays for and captains both Manchester United and the England national team. He has played much of his career as a forward, and he is the record goalscorer for the England national team and for Manchester United. Aged nine, Rooney joined the team of Everton, for whom he made his professional debut in 2002 at the age of 16. He spent two seasons at the Merseyside club, before moving to Manchester United for £25.6 million in the 2004 summer transfer window, in September 2013, Rooney scored his 200th goal for Manchester United. He is currently on 250 goals in all competitions which makes him the top goalscorer of all time. His 195 Premier League goals make him the second top scorer of all time. Rooney holds the record for most goals for one club in the Premier League, Rooney made his senior international debut in February 2003 aged 17, becoming the youngest player to represent England and he is Englands youngest ever goalscorer. He played at UEFA Euro 2004 and scored four goals, briefly becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship, Rooney has since featured at the 2006,2010 and 2014 World Cups and is widely regarded as his countrys best player. He has won the England Player of the Year award four times, with 53 goals in 118 international caps, Rooney is Englands all-time record goalscorer and second most-capped player, behind Peter Shilton. Along with David Beckham, Rooney is the most red carded player for England, in 2009–10, Rooney was awarded the PFA Players Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year. He has won the Premier League Player of the Month award five times and he came fifth in the vote for the 2011 FIFA Ballon dOr and was named in the FIFPro World 11 for 2011. Rooney was born in Croxteth, Liverpool, to Jeanette Marie and he is of Irish descent and was brought up as a Roman Catholic with younger brothers Graham and John, all three attended Our Lady and St Swithins primary school and De La Salle School. Rooney began playing for Liverpool Schoolboys and scored 72 goals in one season, at age nine, Rooney played for Copplehouse boys club in the local Walton and Kirkdale junior league and scored 99 goals in his final season before being spotted by Everton scout Bob Pendleton. Rooney joined Everton at age nine, and was the Everton mascot for the Merseyside derby against Liverpool as an 11-year-old. In the 1995–96 season, he scored 114 goals in 29 games for Evertons under-10s and 11s and he scored eight goals in eight games during Evertons run to the FA Youth Cup final in 2002. This included one goal in the defeat against Aston Villa and, upon scoring, he revealed a T-shirt that read, Once a Blue. Rooney was included in Evertons first team squad for their camp in Austria in the summer of 2002. Rooney was a substitute in Evertons 1–0 away win over Southampton on 20 April 2002
Referee (association football)
In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by an official who supervises the teams technical areas. Referees remuneration for their services varies between leagues, Referees are licensed and trained by the same national organisations that are members of FIFA. Each national organisation recommends its top officials to FIFA to have the honour of being included on the FIFA International Referees List. International games between national teams require FIFA officials, otherwise, the local national organisation determines the manner of training, ranking and advancement of officials from the youngest youth games through professional matches. The referees powers and duties are described by Law 5 of the Laws of the Game, as per Law 9 of the game, if during the game the ball hits the referee there is no stoppage in play. However the officials would be expected to position themselves such that this would be unlikely to occur. Modern day referees and their assistants wear a uniform consisting of a jersey, badge, shorts and socks, since then, most referees have worn either yellow or black, but the colours and styles adopted by individual associations vary greatly. For international contests under the supervision of FIFA, Adidas uniforms are worn because Adidas is the current sponsor, FIFA allows referees to wear five colours, black, red, yellow, green and blue. Along with the jersey, referees are required to wear shorts, black socks. The badge, which displays the referees license level and year of validity, is affixed to the left chest pocket. All referees carry a whistle, a watch, penalty cards, a wallet with pen and paper. Most are encouraged to have more than one of each on them in case they drop a whistle or a pen runs out, often, referees utilize two watches so that they can use one to calculate time lost for stoppages for the purposes of added time. In matches with goal-line technology, the referee will have on their person a device to receive the systems alerts, Referees use a whistle to help in match control. The whistle is sometimes needed to stop, start or restart play but should not be used for all stoppages, fIFAs Laws of the Game document gives guidance as to when the whistle should and should not be used. Overuse of the whistle is discouraged since, as stated in the Laws, the whistle is an important tool for the referee along with verbal, body and eye communication. Before the introduction of the whistle, referees indicated their decisions by waving a white handkerchief, the whistles that were first adopted by referees were made by Joseph Hudson at Mills Munitions in Birmingham, England. The Acme Whistle Company first began to mass-produce pea whistles in the 1870s for the Metropolitan Police Force, Referees in football are first described by Richard Mulcaster in 1581
2004 FA Cup Final
The match took place on 22 May 2004 and it was contested by Manchester United, who had finished third in the Premier League that season, and Millwall, who had finished 10th in the First Division. Manchester United secured a record 11th FA Cup victory with a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from Ruud van Nistelrooy. In contrast, it was Millwalls first appearance in a final of either the FA Cup or the Football League Cup. At the trophy presentation after the match, the Manchester United players wore shirts bearing the name and number of midfielder Jimmy Davis, the match was refereed by Jeff Winter. Tony Green and Roger East were the assistant referees and Matt Messias was the fourth official, Manchester United were appearing in their 16th FA Cup final and had won it on 10 of their previous 15 appearances. Two of these victories had yielded a League and FA Cup double and in 1999 they had won the FA Cup as part of a treble of Premier League, Champions League. For Millwall,2004 was their first appearance in an FA Cup final and their appearance in the 1937 semi-final was notable as Millwall were the first team in the old Third Division to reach that stage. They also became only the team from outside the top flight of English football to reach the final since 1982. Millwall reached the 2004 decider without having met any club from the Premier League along the way, due to the ongoing reconstruction of Wembley Stadium, the match was played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for the fourth year in a row. The stadium was built in 1998 ahead of the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales, delays to the construction of the new Wembley meant that deal was later extended until 2006. The referee for the final was Jeff Winter from Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, winters assistant referees were Roger East and Tony Green, while Matt Messias was the fourth official. The match was broadcast live on television in the United Kingdom on both BBC One and Sky Sports 1. The BBC broadcast was presented by Gary Lineker, with Alan Hansen, Peter Schmeichel and Michael Owen in the studio, and commentary from John Motson in his 25th FA Cup Final as lead commentator. The BBC also provided radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live, presented by Mark Pougatch, with commentary from Alan Green and Mike Ingham. However, a 1–0 defeat away to Portsmouth on 17 April led to a recall for American goalkeeper Tim Howard for the last five games of the season, although Howard conceded three goals in that time, he retained his place in the team for the cup final. One surprise selection saw Darren Fletcher named in midfield alongside Roy Keane ahead of both Nicky Butt and Phil Neville. Andy Roberts, Tony Warner and Charley Hearn also missed the game through injury, because they were unable to play in the game, and with manager Wise in the starting line-up, Muscat and Warner led the Millwall team out for the national anthem before kick-off. Millwalls only chance of the first half came when Paul Ifill broke down the side of the pitch and arrowed in towards the penalty area
2006 FA Cup Final
The 2006 FA Cup Final was a football match played between Liverpool and West Ham United on 13 May 2006 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. It was the match of the 2005–06 FA Cup, the 125th season of the worlds oldest football knockout competition. Liverpool were participating in their 13th final, they had won six. West Ham were appearing in their final, they had previously won three and lost once. This was the last final to be held at the Millennium Stadium while Wembley Stadium was rebuilt, Liverpool had won the first final to be held at the Millennium Stadium in 2001, when they beat Arsenal 2–1. The match has been called The Gerrard Final and is regarded as one of the greatest cup finals in the history of the competition. As both teams were in the highest tier of English football, the Premier League, they entered the competition in the third round, matches up to the semi-final were contested on a one-off basis, with a replay taking place if the match ended in a draw. Liverpools matches varied from close affairs to comfortable victories and they beat Manchester United 1–0 in the fourth round, while they won 7–0 against Birmingham City in the sixth round. The majority of West Hams matches were close, with their match to be decided by more than one goal being their 4–2 victory against Blackburn Rovers in the fourth round. Liverpool scored, courtesy of Djibril Cissé, to make the score 2–1 at half time and they equalised not long after the restart via a Steven Gerrard goal. However, ten minutes later West Ham defender Paul Konchesky gave his team a 3–2 lead, with the match in injury time, Gerrard equalised from distance to make the score 3–3 and force the game into extra time. The match remained goalless throughout the entirety of time and was to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. West Ham missed three of their four penalties while Liverpool converted three of four to win the shoot-out 3–1, the victory meant Liverpool won the FA Cup for the seventh time. They later played against league champions Chelsea in the 2006 FA Community Shield, given Liverpool had already qualified for Europe via their league position, their UEFA Cup spot was awarded to runners-up West Ham. Liverpool entered the competition in the round, as one of the twenty teams from the Premier League. They were drawn against Football League Championship side Luton Town, at Lutons home ground Kenilworth Road, there, they were drawn against fellow top division club Porstmouth. Portsmouth got a back through midfielder Sean Davis in the second half. Fellow Premier League team Manchester United were the opposition in the fifth round, with the match held at Liverpools home ground Anfield, they won 1–0, courtesy of a Peter Crouch goal in the 19th minute
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the eleventh-largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is the chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media. The unitary authority areas mid-2011 population was estimated to be 346,100, the Cardiff metropolitan area makes up over a third of the total population of Wales, with a mid-2011 population estimate of about 1,100,000 people. Cardiff is a significant tourist centre and the most popular destination in Wales with 18.3 million visitors in 2010. In 2011, Cardiff was ranked sixth in the world in National Geographics alternative tourist destinations, the city of Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan. Cardiff is part of the Eurocities network of the largest European cities, the Cardiff Urban Area covers a slightly larger area outside the county boundary, and includes the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a port for the transport of coal following the arrival of industry in the region contributed to its rise as a major city. Cardiff was made a city in 1905, and proclaimed the capital of Wales in 1955, since the 1980s, Cardiff has seen significant development. A new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay contains the Senedd building, home to the Welsh Assembly, sporting venues in the city include the Millennium Stadium, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff International Sports Stadium and Cardiff Arms Park. The city was awarded the title of European City of Sport twice, due to its role in hosting major sporting events, first in 2009. The Millennium Stadium hosted 11 football matches as part of the 2012 Summer Olympics, including the opening event. Caerdydd derives from the earlier Welsh form Caerdyf, the change from -dyf to -dydd shows the colloquial alteration of Welsh f and dd, and was perhaps also driven by folk etymology. This sound change had probably first occurred in the Middle Ages, Caerdyf has its origins in post-Roman Brythonic words meaning the fort of the Taff. The fort probably refers to that established by the Romans, the anglicised form Cardiff is derived from Caerdyf, with the Welsh f borrowed as ff /f/, as also happens in Taff and Llandaff. As English does not have the vowel the final vowel has been borrowed as /ɪ/, although some sources repeat this theory, it has been rejected on linguistic grounds by modern scholars such as Professor Gwynedd Pierce. A group of five Bronze Age tumuli is at the summit of The Garth, four Iron Age hill fort and enclosure sites have been identified within Cardiffs present-day county boundaries, including Caerau Hillfort, an enclosed area of 5.1 hectares. The fort was one of a series of military outposts associated with Isca Augusta that acted as border defences, the fort may have been abandoned in the early 2nd century as the area had been subdued. However, by this time a settlement, or vicus, was established
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
Patrick Vieira is a French former footballer and current head coach of New York City FC. A former midfielder, Vieira began his career with French club Cannes in 1994 and he moved to Italian side Milan the following season, but was unable to break into the starting line-up, and was subsequently sold. He rose to prominence during a successful spell at Arsenal from 1996 to 2005, where he eventually became club captain. He transferred from Arsenal in 2005 and spent one season at Juventus, in May 2010, Vieira was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Before being appointed as coach of MLS club New York City FC on 1 January 2016. Vieiras family moved from Senegal to Dreux, France, when he was eight and his parents divorced when Vieira was young, and he never met his father again. His grandfather served in the French Army, making him eligible for French nationality at birth and his surname Vieira, which is Portuguese, is his mothers maiden name, who is from Cape Verde. Vieira first played for Cannes, where he made his debut at the age of 17, in the summer of 1995, he was signed by Italian giants Milan, though he played mainly in the reserves and made just two first-team appearances for the club. On 10 August 1996, the Daily Mirror reported that Vieira was subject to a move to English club Arsenal and he joined Arsenal four days later in a £3.5 million move. Being able to speak French to him will make life a lot easier for me, Vieira made his full debut against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium, three days after. He scored his first goal for the club against Derby County on 8 December 1996 – a late equaliser in a 2–2 draw, davis himself noted that in the matches Vieira was suspended during the Christmas period, Arsenal struggled to win. He ended his first season with 38 appearances in total and Arsenal finished in third place, Vieiras partnership with international teammate Emmanuel Petit the following season was instrumental in helping Arsenal complete a domestic league and cup double. Vieira scored his first goal of the campaign against Manchester United in a 3–2 victory on 9 November 1997, Vieira, however, twisted his knee during the match and was ruled out from playing for a month. He returned for the trip at Wimbledon on 22 December 1997, in a game against Coventry City on 16 January 1998, Vieira received his first red card for using foul and abusive language at referee Stephen Lodge. Vieira was again dismissed a month later, this time in a League Cup semi-final against Chelsea, after a successful World Cup campaign with the national team, Vieira had another productive season at Arsenal in 1998–99. Although Arsenal failed to retain the Premier League, Vieira’s endeavour was rewarded – he was named in the PFA Team of the Year alongside Petit, against West Ham United on 2 October 1999, Vieira was sent off for a second booking, after fouling striker Paolo Di Canio. Moments after, he spat at Neil Ruddock, who walked into him and was dragged off the pitch by officials, Vieira was subsequently charged, banned for six matches and fined a record £45,000 by The Football Association. The season ended in disappointment for both Vieira and Arsenal, as the team finished 18 points behind champions Manchester United, in second place
Paul Scholes is a retired English footballer and current television pundit for BT Sport, who played his entire professional career for Manchester United and is currently co-owner of Salford City. Born in Salford and raised in Langley from infancy, Scholes excelled in cricket and football while at school. He made his debut for United in the 1994–95 season. Scholes represented the England national team from 1997 to 2004, gaining 66 caps and participating in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, as well as the UEFA Euro 2000, Thierry Henry has cited Scholes as the greatest player in Premier League history. Scholes made 718 appearances for United, the third-highest number of appearances by any player for the club, Scholes announced his retirement from playing on 31 May 2011, receiving a testimonial match, and began his coaching career at the club from the 2011–12 season onward. However, he reversed this decision on 8 January 2012, Scholes was born at Hope Hospital in Salford, Greater Manchester, the son of Stewart and Marina Scholes. On his mothers side, his grandmother came from the Republic of Ireland while his grandfather was from Northern Ireland, Scholes has said that he looks out for the results of the Republic of Ireland team and hopes that they do well. The family moved to Langley, Greater Manchester, when he was 18 months old and he attended the St Marys RC Primary School in Langley. The first team he played for was Langley Furrows, at age 14, he began training with Manchester United. He later joined as a trainee upon leaving the Cardinal Langley Roman Catholic High School in Middleton during the summer of 1991, in his final term at school, he was selected to represent Great Britain National Schools in football. His debut came on 21 September 1994, where he scored goals in a 2–1 victory over Port Vale in the Football League Cup. His league debut three days later against Ipswich Town at Portman Road, a game which United lost 3–2. He scored two goals when he came on 10 December when United beat Queens Park Rangers 3–2 at Loftus Road. On 3 January 1995, he got onto the scoresheet at Old Trafford for the first time with the opener in a 2–0 league win over Coventry City and he scored once more that season, in a 3–2 away win over Coventry City on 1 May. Scholes came on as a substitute in the 1995 FA Cup final against Everton and he came close to scoring twice late in the game, only to be foiled by Neville Southall both times. Scholes scored 14 goals in all competitions as United became the first English team to win the double twice and he picked up another Premier League winners medal in 1996–97 – in this season he changed his shirt number to 18, which he held for the next 15 years. By this stage, Scholes was rated at £5 million, shearer, however, never came to Old Trafford, instead joining Newcastle United for £15 million. After Roy Keane suffered an injury in late September 1997 and was ruled out for the season
Goalkeeper (association football)
Goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport, the goalkeepers primary role is to prevent the opposing team from successfully moving the ball over the defended goal-line. This is accomplished by the moving into the path of the ball. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have a view of the entire pitch. If an attacker on the opposing team obstructs the keeper from catching or saving the ball, for example, in a corner, it will normally be a free kick. If a goalkeeper is injured or sent off, a goalkeeper has to take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper and they then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. Goalkeepers often have longer playing careers than players, many not retiring until their late thirties or early forties. This can be explained by noting that goalkeepers play a physically demanding position that requires significantly less running. For example, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47. Because only one player can play in goal and the position is so specialised many professional teams on average especially at the highest level have one player as first-choice for many years, for example Gianlugi Buffon has played as first choice keeper for Juventus for more than 15 years. Petr Cech prior to his move to Aresnal was first choice keeper for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, the squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1. Although this is common, some goalkeepers now wear other numbers when in goal, association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581, the earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, there is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers. Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 16th century, for example, in John Days play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Ill play a gole at camp-ball
Jens Gerhard Lehmann is a retired German footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 1996–97 and 2005–06 seasons and he was a member of Arsenals Invincibles, playing every match of their famous unbeaten title winning season. He also holds the UEFA Champions League record for the most consecutive clean sheets, Lehmann started his career in the 1988/89 season with Schalke 04, playing for them for nearly a decade. He scored his first league goal on 12 March 1995 in a 6–2 victory over 1860 Munich in the 84th minute and his second goal was a last-minute equaliser scored against Borussia Dortmund on 19 December 1997. Lehmann became Schalkes team hero in their 1997 UEFA Cup Final victory over Internazionale, after playing a strong season, Lehmann left Schalke for Milan in 1998, however his performances didnt match the standards set at Milan. In one game Gabriel Batistuta scored a hat-trick against him, including a goal from a kick in the box which Lehmann had conceded by handling a back pass. In another game he was substituted after giving away a penalty, Lehmann was dropped after just five matches and believing he wouldnt get another chance at Milan, he left during the winter. In early 1999, Lehmann returned to Germany to play for Borussia Dortmund replacing long-time goalkeeper Stefan Klos, Lehmann had a difficult start with the team with several poor performances and a lack in his discipline and reliability. Rumors of a parting of Lehmann arose, who was viewed critically by both supporters and critics. However, Borussia Dortmund began the 2001–02 season strongly, Lehmanns overall performance improved and he became more reliable for the team. FC Köln, Hamburger SV and Werder Bremen back-to-back, Lehmann, during the same season Lehmann became known for his poor disciplinary record. In a match against SC Freiburg, Lehmann kicked opposing attacker Soumaila Coulibaly after they collided in the penalty area, Lehmann was suspended afterwards and currently still holds the record for most red cards for any player of Borussia Dortmund as well as for any goalkeeper in the German Bundesliga. After a weak season in 2003, which saw Borussia Dortmund slip into mediocrity and he was replaced by Roman Weidenfeller and Guillaume Warmuz, who had just left Arsenal. Arsenal continued unbeaten until 24 October 2004, at the end of his first season at Arsenal, he had already played 54 times earning himself a Premier League winners medal at the end of the season. By the middle of the 2004–05 season, Lehmann did not play well, however, Almunia made a series of mistakes himself, thus allowing Lehmann to regain his position. Lehmann had an outstanding 2005–06 season with Arsenal, making his 100th Premier League appearance for the club in their game against West Bromwich Albion on 15 April 2006. That run formed the bulk of an 853-minute spell without conceding a goal, the final clean sheet was earned in the semi-finals against Villarreal, after Lehmann saved an 89th minute Juan Román Riquelme penalty. Lehmanns contract at Arsenal was due to expire in summer 2007, however, it was reported on 26 April 2007 that he had signed a years extension on his contract, tying him to the club until 2008
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
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in League One, the tier of English football. The football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, the club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is currently an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,609, Sheffield United won the original First Division in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899,1902,1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936 and they reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the history they have played in red. Their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday, with whom they contest the Steel City Derby, Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg. The Wednesday had moved from Bramall Lane to their own ground at Olive Grove, Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally also the president of The Wednesday. Their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981 and they did fall back into the Third Division in 1988, but new manager Dave Bassett masterminded a quick revival which launched the Blades towards one of the most successful eras in their history. Successive promotions in the aftermath of the 1988 relegation saw them return to the First Division in 1990 after a 14-year exile and they survived at this level for four seasons and reached an FA Cup semi-final in the 1992–93 season before being relegated in 1994. Three years later, however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Football League Championship, Neil Warnock resigned as manager after the Blades went down. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, in the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, and entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on a return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town. In 2014, the Blades gained the nickname of giant-killers, having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City. In 2014–15, they reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, the club was formed by members of the Sheffield United Cricket Club, itself formed in 1854 and the first English sports club to use United in its name. Sheffield Uniteds predominant nickname is The Blades, a reference to Sheffields status as the producer of cutlery in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the nickname would also be used in reference to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, another nickname used was The Cutlers. In 1907, Wednesday came to be referred to as The Owls, in reference to their new ground in Owlerton, within Sheffield fans of the club are also sometimes referred to as Unitedites
Exeter City F.C.
Exeter City Football Club /ˈɛksɪtə ˈsɪti/ is a professional association football club based in Exeter, Devon, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club is owned by the clubs supporters through the Exeter City Supporters Trust, the club was a member of the Football League from 1920 to 2003. Following five seasons in the Conference National, Exeter were promoted back to League Two for the 2008–09 season, in the 2011–12 season of League One Exeter City were relegated to League Two, finishing 23rd with 48 points, they have remained in League Two ever since. Exeter City was founded in 1904 and began playing on an old used for fattening pigs. Exeter remain at St James Park to this day, the club is nicknamed The Grecians. For the 2016–17 season Citys home kit is supplied by Joma and it consists of red and white shirts, black shorts, and black and white socks. The club is known as the first side to play a team from Brazil. As a result, City and Brazilian side Fluminense are now also partner clubs, Exeter City F. C. was formed from two predecessor clubs, Exeter United F. C. and St Sidwells United. Exeter United was a club from Exeter, Devon, that played between 1890 and 1904. In 1904, Exeter United lost 3–1 to local rivals St Sidwells United, the new team took the name Exeter City and continued to play at Exeter Uniteds ground, St James Park, where Exeter City still play today. Exeter United was formed from the team of the same name and were one of the first football teams with the moniker United. St Sidwells United was a club that had formed from the regulars who frequented the Foresters Inn in Sidwell Street, Exeter, although the house was always known as the Drum. The team played in St Sidwells old colours of green and white, on 10 September 1904, Exeter City played its first ever competitive match, a 2–1 victory at St James over 110th Battery of the Royal Artillery, in the East Devon League. The attendance was 600, and the goal scored by Sid Thomas. City topped the East Devon League with 11 wins, two draws, one defeat in its first season, and transferred to the Plymouth & District League for next three seasons, in 1908, Exeter City A. F. C. became a limited company. City became a professional team, and applied successfully for membership of the Southern League. A wooden grandstand was erected, and the club entered into an arrangement over the ground
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, CBE is a former Scottish football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is regarded by players, managers and analysts to be the greatest and most successful manager of all time. Ferguson played as a forward for several Scottish clubs, including Dunfermline Athletic, while playing for Dunfermline, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league in the 1965–66 season. Towards the end of his career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire. Ferguson then enjoyed a successful period as manager of Aberdeen. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup. Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and he was knighted in the 1999 Queens Birthday Honours list, for his services to the game. Ferguson is the longest serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busbys record on 19 December 2010 and he retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season. He attended Broomloan Road Primary School and later Govan High School, Fergusons playing career began as an amateur with Queens Park, where he made his debut as a striker aged 16. He described his first match as a nightmare, but scored Queens Parks goal in a 2–1 defeat against Stranraer. Perhaps his most notable game for Queens Park was the 7–1 defeat away to Queen of the South on Boxing Day 1959 when ex-England international Ivor Broadis scored four of the Queen of the South goals, Ferguson was the solitary Queens Park goalscorer. Despite scoring 20 goals in his 31 games for Queens Park, he could not command a regular place in the side, although he continued to score regularly at St Johnstone, he was still unable to command a regular place and regularly requested transfers. Dunfermline signed him the summer, and Ferguson became a full-time professional footballer. Dunfermline lost the final 3–2 to Celtic, then failed to win the League by one point, the 1965–66 season saw Ferguson notch up 45 goals in 51 games for Dunfermline. Along with Joe McBride of Celtic, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish League with 31 goals and he then joined Rangers for £65,000, then a record fee for a transfer between two Scottish clubs. According to his brother, Ferguson was so upset by the experience that he threw his losers medal away, the following October, Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Ferguson, but his wife was not keen on moving to England at that time so he went to Falkirk instead. Fergusons time at Falkirk was soured by this and he responded by requesting a transfer and moved to Ayr United, in June 1974, Ferguson was appointed manager of East Stirlingshire, at the comparatively young age of 32. It was a job that paid £40 per week
Ryan Joseph Giggs, OBE is a Welsh football coach and former player who is the co-owner of Salford City. He played his professional career for Manchester United. The son of rugby league player Danny Wilson, Giggs was born in Cardiff, predominantly a left winger, he began his career with Manchester City, but joined Manchester United on his 14th birthday in 1987. He made his debut for the club in 1991 and spent the next 23 years in the Manchester United first team. At the end of the 2013–14 season, he was named as Manchester Uniteds interim player-manager following the sacking of David Moyes and he was named as assistant manager under Moyes permanent replacement, Louis van Gaal, on 19 May 2014, he retired from playing the same day. He holds the record for competitive appearances. At international level, Giggs played for the Wales national team 64 times between 1991 and 2007, and was named as the captain of the Great Britain team that competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He is one of only 18 players to have made over 1,000 career appearances, Giggs is the most decorated player in football history. Giggs captained the team on occasions, particularly in the 2007–08 season when regular captain Gary Neville was ruled out with various injuries. Giggs also has a number of personal achievements and he was the first player in history to win two consecutive PFA Young Player of the Year awards, though he did not win the PFA Player of the Year award until 2009. He was the player to play in each of the first 22 seasons of the Premier League. He was elected into the PFA Team of the Century in 2007, Giggs holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history, with 271. He was named as BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2009, in addition to the many honours Giggs has received within football, he was appointed an OBE in the Queens 2007 Birthday Honours List for his services to football. Giggs was born at St Davids Hospital in Canton, Cardiff, to Danny Wilson, a union player for Cardiff RFC. Giggs is mixed race – his paternal grandfather is from Sierra Leone – and has spoken of the racism he faced as a child, as a child, Giggs grew up in Ely, a suburb of western Cardiff. His younger brother, Rhodri, is a manager of non-league Salford City. He spent much time with his mothers parents and playing football, in 1980, when Giggs was six years old, his father switched rugby codes and signed for Swinton RLFC, forcing the whole family to move north to Swinton, a town in Salford, Greater Manchester. The move was a one, as Giggs was very close to his grandparents in Cardiff
1996 FA Cup Final
The 1996 FA Cup Final was the 51st to be held at Wembley Stadium after the Second World War and was held between two of the biggest rivals in English football, Manchester United and Liverpool. A few days before the final, Manchester United had secured their league title in four years. The final was also their third in three seasons, having beaten Chelsea 4–0 in 1994 and lost 1–0 to Everton in 1995. Keane went on to stop virtually every attack the Liverpool midfield threw at United, the game started with a frenetic pace and Manchester United started with several positive chances before Liverpool came back into the game, but chances at either end were limited. Neither goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel for United and David James for Liverpool, was tested throughout the majority of the game. However, with just five minutes remaining on the clock, David James tried to punch a corner clear, cantona hit his shot goalwards, through the crowded penalty area and the ball nestled in the back of the goal, winning the game for United. Cantona had been marked out of the game, but true to his form all season, the win was Uniteds third FA Cup win under Alex Ferguson, having also won in 1990 and 1994. They became the first club to win the competition nine times, line-ups LFC History Match Report Match at FA Cup Finals
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
Roy Maurice Keane is an Irish football assistant manager and former professional football player. He is the joint-most successful Irish footballer of all time, having won 19 major trophies,17 of which came at Manchester United and he is currently the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national football team. In his 18-year-long playing career, Keane played for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, joining the club in 1993, Keane helped United achieve a sustained period of success during his twelve year tenure at the club. He then signed for Celtic, but retired as a less than a year later. Keane played at international level for much of his career, representing the Republic of Ireland over a period of 14 years, most of which he spent as captain. Regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation, in 2007, The Times placed him at number 11 in their list of the 50 hardest footballers in history. Keanes arrival was cited as the key catalyst in Sunderlands recovery and he managed to keep Sunderland from relegation in the 2007–08 season but in his second season as a top-flight manager he left his position with Sunderland in the relegation zone. In April 2009, he was appointed as manager of Ipswich Town but was dismissed after 20 months in January 2011 due to the position of 19th in the Championship. In November 2013, he was appointed assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national team by manager Martin ONeill, Keane was born into a working class family in Ballinderry Park, Mayfield, Cork. His father, Maurice, took work wherever he could find, which led to jobs at a local knitwear company and his family were keen on sport, football especially, and many of his relatives had played for junior clubs in Cork, including Rockmount. Keane took up boxing at the age of nine and trained for a number of years, during this period he was developing as a much more promising footballer at Rockmount, and his potential was highlighted when he was voted Player of the Year in his first season. Many of his teammates were offered trials abroad with English football teams, undeterred, he began applying for trials with English clubs, but he was turned down by each one. As his childhood years passed, he took up temporary jobs involving manual work while waiting for a breakthrough in his football prospects, in 1989, he eventually signed for the semi-professional Irish club Cobh Ramblers after persuasion from Ramblers youth team manager Eddie ORourke. Keane was one of two Ramblers representatives in the inaugural FAI/FAS scheme in Dublin, and it was through this initiative that he got his first taste of full-time training. In an FAI Youth Cup match against Belvedere, Keanes performance attracted the attention of watching Nottingham Forest scout Noel McCabe, Keane impressed Forest manager Brian Clough, and eventually a deal for Keane worth £47,000 was struck with Cobh Ramblers in the summer of 1990. Keane initially found life in Nottingham difficult due to the long periods away from his family, Keane expressed his gratitude at Cloughs generosity when considering his requests, as it helped him get through his early days at the club. Keanes first games at Forest came in the Under-21s team during a tournament in the Netherlands. In the final against Haarlem, he scored the penalty in a shootout to decide the competition
Where more than two competitors can play in each match, such as in a shootout poker tournament, players are removed when they can no longer play until one player remains from the group. This player moves on to the next round, some competitions are held with a pure single-elimination tournament system. Others have many phases, with the last being a final stage called playoffs. The round before the quarterfinals is sometimes called the round of sixteen, Last Sixteen, or pre-quarterfinals, earlier rounds are typically numbered counting forwards from the first round, or by the number of remaining competitors. If some competitors get a bye, the round at which they enter may be named the first round, with the matches called a preliminary round. Many Olympic single-elimination tournaments feature the bronze medal if they do not award bronze medals to both losing semifinalists. The FIFA World Cup has long featured the third place match, the number of distinct ways of arranging a single-elimination tournament is given by the Wedderburn–Etherington numbers. Brackets are set up so that the top two seeds could not possibly meet until the round, none of the top four can meet prior to the semifinals. If no seeding is used, the tournament is called a random knockout tournament. One version of seeding is where brackets are set up so that the quarterfinal pairings would be the 1 seed vs. the 8 seed,2 vs.7,3 vs.6 and 4 vs. This may be done after each round, or only at selected intervals, in American team sports, for example, the MLS, NFL and WNBA employ this tactic, but the NBA does not. MLB does not have teams in its playoff tournament where re-seeding would make a large difference in the matchups. In international fencing competitions, it is common to have a group stage, participants are divided in groups of 6–7 fencers who play a round-robin tournament, and a ranking is calculated from the consolidated group results. Single elimination is seeded from this ranking, the single-elimination format enables a relatively large number of competitors to participate. There are no dead matches, and no matches where one competitor has more to play for than the other, the format is less suited to games where draws are frequent. In chess, each fixture in a single-elimination tournament must be played multiple matches, because draws are common. In association football, games ending in a draw may be settled in extra time, another perceived disadvantage is that most competitors are eliminated after relatively few games. Variations such as the tournament allow competitors a single loss while remaining eligible for overall victory
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was known as St. Lukes FC and was founded in 1877. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, the following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The clubs current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged. They ended the season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first Double winners. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a time when they moved to Molineux. Wolves lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1–0, and added a second triumph in 1908, two years after having dropped into the Second Division. After struggling for years to regain their place in the top division, the club suffered a further relegation in 1923, entering the Third Division. Eight years later Wolves regained their status after winning the Second Division title under Major Frank Buckley. This game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, the 1950s were by far the most successful period in the clubs history. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the championship for the first time in 1953–54. This became the final spur for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of LÉquipe, to propose the creation of the European Cup, although the decade opened with a fourth FA Cup victory and almost the first double of the 20th century, the 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline. Cullis was sacked in September 1964 in a season that ended with relegation and this exile would last only two seasons though, as they were promoted in 1967 as runners-up. During the close season in 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of the fledgling United Soccer Association league which imported clubs from Europe. Playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the Western Division, the clubs return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success under Bill McGarry, with a fourth place in 1971 qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. They lifted silverware though two later, when they won the League Cup for the first time by beating Manchester City 2–1 in the final. The club was saved from liquidation at the last minute when it was purchased by a consortium fronted by former player Derek Dougan
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bolton, Greater Manchester. The club currently competes in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed as Christ Church Football Club in 1874, founder members of the Football League in 1888, Bolton have spent the highest number of seasons of any club in the top flight without winning the title. The closest they have come to the title is third in the First Division on three occasions, as of 2015, the club has spent more seasons in the top division than any other club outside the current Premier League. Bolton were a successful cup side in the 1920s, winning the FA Cup three times, the club won the cup a fourth time in 1958. A leaner spell followed, reaching a nadir in 1987 when the club spent a season in the Fourth Division, the club regained top-flight status in 1995 after a 15-year absence. In a period of success, the club qualified for the UEFA Cup twice, reaching the last 32 in 2005–06. The club played at Burnden Park for 102 years from 1895, on 9 March 1946, The Burnden Park disaster occurred, which was a human crush in which 33 Bolton fans lost their lives. In 1997 it moved out of town to the Reebok Stadium, the stadium was renamed the Macron Stadium in July 2014, to reflect the clubs new deal with Italian sportswear company Macron. The club was founded by the Reverend Joseph Farrall Wright, Perpetual curate of Christ Church Bolton and Thomas Ogden, the schoolmaster at the adjacent church school in 1874 as Christ Church F. C. It was initially run from the church of the name on Deane Road. The club left the following a dispute with the vicar. The name was chosen as the club initially had a lot of difficulty finding a permanent ground to play on, Bolton were one of the 12 founder members of the Football League, which formed in 1888. At the time Lancashire was one of the strongest footballing regions in the country, having remained in the Football League since its formation, Bolton have spent more time in the top flight than out of it. In 1894 Bolton reached the final of the FA Cup for the first time, a decade later they were runners-up a second time, losing 1–0 to local rivals Manchester City at Crystal Palace on 23 April 1904. In this period Bolton equalled their record finish of third twice, in 1920–21 and 1924–25, on 28 April 1923, Bolton won their first major trophy in their third final, beating West Ham United 2–0 in the first ever Wembley FA Cup final. The match, famously known as The White Horse Final was played in front of over 127,000 supporters, boltons centre-forward, David Jack scored the first ever goal at Wembley Stadium. Driven by long-term players Joe Smith in attack, Ted Vizard and Billy Butler on the wings, in 1928 the club faced financial difficulties and so was forced to sell David Jack to Arsenal to raise funds
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football. In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, in 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated and it was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times, once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier Leagues sixth-placed team, the 2011–12 season marked the clubs 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. The clubs motto is Arte et Labore, By Skill and Hard Work in Latin, the club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a club to play under Association rules. The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, on 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F. A, Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F. A, Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queens Park, the same teams played the F. A. Cup final again the season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious. Rovers repeated this success yet again the season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a forward for Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe and the Netherlands national team. He made his debut during the 2001–02 season, which culminated with victory in the 2002 UEFA Cup Final. After five years with Feyenoord, he fell out with manager Bert van Marwijk, and he joined English club Arsenal in 2004 for £2.75 million as a long-term replacement for compatriot Dennis Bergkamp. With victories in only the 2004 FA Community Shield and the 2004–05 FA Cup to his name, in his first season, he won the 2012–13 Premier League and finished as the leagues top scorer with 26 goals, winning his second consecutive Premier League Golden Boot award. After two injury-hit seasons followed, van Persie fell out of favour at Manchester United and he was allowed to leave for Fenerbahçe in July 2015. After representing the Netherlands at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level, a month later, he scored his first senior international goal in a 4–0 win over Finland. Van Persie has over 100 caps and has scored 50 goals for the Netherlands and he has represented his country at the 2006,2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and the 2008 and 2012 UEFA European Championships. An injury crisis at Feyenoord meant he was promoted into the first team, and made his debut for the club at 17. After starting for Feyenoord in the final of the UEFA Cup, the following season, van Persie signed a three-and-a-half-year professional contract with Feyenoord, and scored five goals in a 6–1 KNVB Cup thrashing of AGOVV Apeldoorn on 6 February 2003. During a match featuring the Feyenoord and Ajax reserves, he was one of several Feyenoord players assaulted by hooligans who had invaded the pitch. Van Persie finished his tumultuous first full season with the first team having scored eight goals in a total of 28 appearances and he again played 28 matches, but finished with two fewer goals than the previous season. Feyenoord shopped him at the end of the campaign but found few takers due to Van Persies past disciplinary issues, on 17 May 2004, van Persie signed a four-year deal with Arsenal for £2.75 million, just over half of Feyenoords original asking price of £5 million. Arsenal had further padded their stable of strikers in January by signing Spanish forward José Antonio Reyes, leaving the two to battle for playing time. Van Persie made his debut and won a trophy in the process and he then later lambasted his charge in the press. I do not support van Persie today, but he did not look out of control at half-time, when the referee has sent off a home player, he is under pressure, so, if any player had to behave, it was him. Meanwhile, Telegraph sportswriter Clive White described van Persie in his report as 21 going on nine. The rest of Van Persies season was cut short by injury, two days after signing the contract, however, van Persie was again hit by injury when an opponent stepped on his foot and broke his toe during an FA Cup match against Cardiff. Van Persie played the three matches with a hole cut into his shoe to alleviate the pain until he was finally rested for Arsenals Premier League match against West Ham United on 1 February
Karl Fredrik Freddie Ljungberg is a Swedish former footballer who played as a winger. He currently works as the assistant manager of VfL Wolfsburg, after leaving Arsenal in 2007, he had short spells at a number of clubs in England, Scotland, the United States, Japan and India. An international for a decade, Ljungberg earned 75 caps and was captain of the Swedish national team until he announced his international retirement after UEFA Euro 2008. Ljungberg was a model for Calvin Klein underwear until 2007 and he previously represented brands such as Nike, Procter & Gamble, LOreal, Puma, Beats, ESPN and Pepsi. On 12 September 1984, the Ljungbergs had another son, Karl Oskar Filip, in 1982, the Ljungberg family left Vittsjö and moved to Halmstad. At first, the tenacious 5-year old would not have any part of moving, Fredrik argued with his parents that he did not want to live in Halmstad. His parents relented and took him to Halmstads BK where he played on the team under Olle Eriksson. From the time he was 5–14, Ljungberg was coached by Eriksson, Ljungberg credits Eriksson for having a profound effect on his career as well as Brazilian football player, Sócrates. Ljungberg did well in subjects as well as sports. When he finished 9th grade his marks averaged 4.1 on the 5-point scale, eventually, he quit university to concentrate on his football career. In 1989, at the age of 12, Ljungberg had convinced Halmstads BK to move him from p12 to p14 which was against Halmstads policies at the time, at age 14, Ljungberg joined the junior team under coach Robert Nordström. His perseverance paid off three years later he was moved up to the senior team. Ljungberg made his debut on 23 October 1994 in the Allsvenskan against AIK. In 1995, Ljungberg played 31 games in which he scored his first goal as a professional player and that same year Halmstad won the Swedish Cup. In 1997, Halmstad won the Allsvenskan with Ljungberg scoring and setting up goals that season for the club picking up injuries. During his time with Halmstad, he went on to make 139 appearances, after his winning of several trophies in his years with Halmstad, Ljungberg’s star was on the rise with interest from Barcelona, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Parma and Arsenal. Ljungberg was signed by Arsenal in 1998 for £3 million, seeing Ljungberg’s performance against England only confirmed to Wenger that Ljungberg could cope against English opponents, and he was signed shortly after. Ljungberg proved himself without difficulty and scored on his debut on 20 September after coming on as a substitute against rival club Manchester United, some of Ljungbergs best form came in the second half of the 2001–02 season, when Arsenal won their second Premier League and FA Cup double
Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp is a former Dutch professional footballer, who is the assistant manager at Ajax. Originally a wide midfielder, Bergkamp was moved to main striker and then to second striker, Bergkamp has been described by Jan Mulder as having the finest technique of any Dutch international and a dream for a striker by teammate Thierry Henry. The son of an electrician, Bergkamp was born in Amsterdam and he was spotted by Ajax at age 11 and made his professional debut in 1986. Good form led to an international call-up a year later, attracting the attention of several European clubs, Bergkamp signed for Italian club Internazionale in 1993, where he had two disappointing seasons. In 2007, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp has been affectionately nicknamed the Non-Flying Dutchman by Arsenal supporters. Born in Amsterdam, Bergkamp was the last of Wim and Tonnie Bergkamps four sons and he was brought up in a working-class suburb, in a family aspiring to reach middle-class status. His father, an electrician and amateur footballer in the lower leagues, to comply with Dutch given name customs, an extra n was inserted in Bergkamps first name by his father after it was not accepted by the registrar. Bergkamp was raised as a Catholic by his family and regularly attended church during his childhood, although in later years he said visits to church did not appeal to him, Bergkamp still maintains his faith. Bergkamp was brought up through Ajaxs youth system, joining the club at age 11, manager Johan Cruyff gave him his professional debut on 14 December 1986 against Roda JC, the game ended in a 2–0 victory for Ajax. Bergkamp scored his first senior goal for the club against HFC Haarlem on 22 February 1987 in a match Ajax won 6–0. He went on to make 23 appearances in the 1986–87 season, including a European debut against Malmö FF in the 1986–87 European Cup Winners Cup, Ajax won the competition, beating Lokomotive Leipzig 1–0 as Bergkamp made an appearance as a substitute. In later seasons, Bergkamp established himself as a player for Ajax. This culminated in a period of success for the club, which won the Eredivisie title in the 1989–90 season for the first time in five years. Bergkamp scored 29 goals in 36 games the season and became the joint top goalscorer in the league. Ajax won the 1992 UEFA Cup Final, beating Torino through the away goals ruling and they then defeated SC Heerenveen 6–2 in the final of the KNVB Cup on 20 May 1993. Bergkamp was the top scorer in the Eredivisie from 1991 to 1993, in total, he scored 122 goals in 239 games for his hometown club. Bergkamp attracted the attention of several European clubs as a result of his performances for Ajax, Cruyff advised him not to join Real Madrid, one of the teams said to have been interested in him. But Bergkamp was insistent on playing in Italy and he considered Serie A the biggest league at the time and preferred a move to either Juventus or Internazionale
Danny Cullip is an English former footballer. Cullip, a centre-back, made more than 350 appearances in the Football League, Cullip played 41 games in 18 months at Craven Cottage before signing for Brentford in February 1998 for £75,000. During his time at Brighton, he became something of a hero, Cullip played in total 212 games for the Sussex club scoring six times. Three months later in March 2005, he joined Watford on loan as part of the deal that took Danny Webber to Bramall Lane, Cullip joined Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee in August 2005, signing a three-year contract. The injuries restricted him to just nine starts in the 2005–6 season as Forest struggled, Cullip moved to Championship club Queens Park Rangers in January 2007 on an 18-month contract. After becoming surplus to requirements under Luigi De Canio, his contract was terminated with immediate effect, in February 2008, two months after being released by Queens Park Rangers, he joined Gillingham on a non contract basis until the end of the 2007–08 season. He made his debut on 23 February in a 1–0 home win over Huddersfield Town and he left Gillingham at the end of the 2007–08 season. He joined Conference National club Lewes in July 2008, but after one season with the club, Cullip is now working as a coach for Brighton & Hove Albion whilst also helping out at Worthing College running their academy 2nd team
Andy Gray (footballer, born 1977)
Andrew David Andy Gray is a former footballer who manages Leeds Uniteds under-18 team. He is the son of the former Scotland defender Frank Gray and his cousin Stuart Gray was also a pro footballer. He started his career as a player but later moved into a forward position. He has also won two caps for Scotland, against Lithuania and New Zealand in 2003, Gray was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. He signed for Leeds United which carried on the tradition of his father Frank Gray. One of Grays first senior appearances came for Leeds United in the 1996 League Cup final, Leeds lost 3–0 to Aston Villa, Gray was one of the standout performers on the day for Leeds despite a 3–0 defeat. Gray joined fellow Premier League side Nottingham Forest on a permanent deal, signed as a winger, Gray endured a frustrating time at the City Ground where he was deployed at full back for a portion of his time there. He managed to net his only goal for the club in a game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and he also had loan spells at Preston North End and Oldham Athletic. Gray left Forest for a spell at Bradford City where he converted to the role of Striker and he earned the Bradford City Player of the year Award in 2003. His form at Bradford earned him a call up to the Scotland national team, in total Gray scored 20 league goals in 77 games for Bradford. His form at Bradford also alerted Neil Warnock who signed Gray for Sheffield United, one of the highlights of Grays career came when he scored a last minute equaliser against Arsenal in the FA Cup in 2005. After scoring 25 goals in 58 games for United, Gray joined Sunderland in the Premier League in a multimillion-pound deal, in August 2005, Gray returned to the Premier League after he signed for Sunderland. He had a record of 28 goals in 65 games at Sheffield United. However, his stint in the Premier League was unprofitable as he scored only once in 22 appearances. On 17 March 2006, after prolonged interest from a number of clubs, he signed on loan for Burnley until the end of the season, after he was placed on the transfer list by manager Niall Quinn. His former club Leeds United were favourites to sign him but his switch to Burnley became permanent when the transfer window reopened in the summer of 2006 for around £750,000. His early form at Burnley at the end of the 2005–06 season and his 2006–07 season was disrupted by a broken metatarsal, incurred against Leeds United, but both before and after the injury he scored regularly. Burnleys long winless run that season coincided with Grays absence through injury and he returned towards the end of the 2006–07 season, scoring four goals in three games as Burnley won five of their last six games
Bramall Lane is a football stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Sheffield United and it was also used by Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield F. C. for major matches. This is because Sheffield Wednesday are a club and used to own this ground. It has been the home of Sheffield United since the establishment in 1889. It is the oldest major stadium in the still to be hosting professional association football matches. The stadium was built on a Sheffield road named after the Bramall family, the Bramalls owned The Old White House on the corner of Bramall Lane and Cherry Street, and subsequently built the Sheaf House, now a public house that still stands at the top of Bramall Lane. The stadium was opened as a cricket ground. It was also used for games in the 19th century by Sheffield F. C. and Sheffield Wednesday. Bramall Lane is one of two grounds which has hosted England football internationals, an England cricket test match and an FA Cup Final. It also regularly hosted FA Cup Semi Finals and replays between 1889 and 1938, the ground has also hosted rugby league games for the Sheffield Eagles, a Billy Graham Evangelist meeting in 1985 and a pair of rock concerts by Bruce Springsteen in 1988. The record attendance for the ground is 68,287, set at an FA Cup 5th Round tie between Sheffield United and Leeds United on 15 February 1936. Bramall Lane opened as a ground in 1855, having been leased by Michael Ellison from the Duke of Norfolk at an annual rent of £70. The site was then away from the industrial area. It was built to host the matches of cricket clubs and originally had six clubs playing there, one of whom was the Wednesday Cricket Club. Bramall Lane opened on 30 April 1855 as a ground with a match between The Eleven and The Twenty Two, The Eleven, despite being the senior team. A team representing Yorkshire played the first county match at the ground on 27 August 1855, against Sussex, although the first county game had been played eight years earlier, the official Yorkshire County Cricket Club was not formed until 1863. The idea came from Ellison, who was using his own finances to support the club and it was the clubs headquarters until 1893, when they moved to Headingley in Leeds. In 1897, Jack Brown and John Tunnicliffe recorded a first wicket score of 378 against Sussex—a ground record that has never been beaten, browns score of 311 and Yorkshires innings of 681 for 5 declared were also records when the cricket ground closed
Manuel Almunia Rivero is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He competed mainly in the Spanish lower leagues in his early years, most of his professional career was spent with Arsenal, for which he signed in 2004, going on to play 175 official matches and winning the 2005 FA Cup. He also had a loan spell at West Ham United. In 2012, after his contract expired, Almunia joined Watford, born in Pamplona, Navarre, Almunia started his senior career with CA Osasunas reserves in 1995, going on to spend four seasons with the team in Segunda División B. Subsequently, he stayed in the level, where he represented FC Cartagonova. In the 2001 summer Almunia first reached La Liga, after signing with Celta de Vigo and he never represented the club officially however, being loaned to SD Eibar, Recreativo de Huelva and Albacete Balompié, the last two in the top flight. It was one of two league appearances during the season, as the Andalusians suffered relegation after ranking 18th. At Albacete Balompié, Almunia started as backup to Carlos Roa, Almunia joined Arsenal on 14 July 2004 for an undisclosed sum, to provide back up to Jens Lehmann. He performed well for the most part, only conceding both goals in the 1–2 loss late in the game, 2006–07 brought Almunia 14 appearances for the Gunners all competitions comprised. This included the League Cup final, lost to Chelsea and he and Lehmann were by all accounts rivals off the pitch as well. But at the moment I’m just swallowing it all as part of the humiliation, but I think – and this is aimed at my dear manager – one shouldn’t humiliate players for too long. I won’t just fade away quietly, Almunia has not yet showed he can win matches for us. I’ve experienced this before and know what the others are expecting from the goalkeeper. ”Five months later, Almunia responded, to have someone here who hates me is just amazing. Every morning I wake up I know it is going to be the same, but I don’t care any more. I come into training and work with Łukasz Fabiański and Vito Mannone and they are better than him anyway. ”Almunia finally won the battle for first-choice duties in the 2007–08 season. Highlights included saving a penalty from Robbie Keane to help Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 2–1, despite the speculation, Almunia started 2010–11 as first-choice. However, on 25 September against West Bromwich Albion, he conceded a penalty and he lost his place through injury and, upon his return, found himself third-choice behind the Polish duo of Fabiański and Wojciech Szczęsny. Almunia made a return to the team on 30 January 2011 against Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup, with Szczęsny, Fabianski and Mannone all out with injury, Almunia again became Arsenals first-choice
For other uses, see Macron -. From its opening in 1997 until 2014, the stadium was named Reebok Stadium, however, after Bolton Wanderers signed an initial four-year naming rights and kit deal with Italys Macron sportswear company, the stadium name was changed to reflect the new deal. A hotel forms part of the construction and some of the rooms offer views of the pitch. The hotel was operated by the De Vere Group until August 2013, the stadium is also the temporary location of Bolton Wanderers Free School. Macron Stadium is a modern, all-seater stadium with a capacity of almost 29,000 and was completed in 1997, replacing the old ground. The value of the contract was £25 million, the stadium is noted for its distinct gabled architecture, first pioneered by the John Smiths Stadium. The upper-tier corners do not have seating due to concerns of health, the stadium was opened in 1997 by John Prescott, a Labour Party politician who was the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time. When the stadium was named after team sponsor Reebok in 1997, fans considered the title impersonal. This opposition considerably lessened after the stadium was built, as fans grew accustomed to the name and were bolstered by Reeboks status as a local company, the new Macron title was applied in July 2014 after the Bolton Wanderers club finalised a partnership with the large Italian sportswear brand. In April 2014, club chairman Phil Gartside stated that he was proud to be associated with Macron and had been impressed with their passion for football. A four-year duration was negotiated for the Macron deal and the club has the option to extend at completion, the first competitive – and Premier League – match at the stadium was a 0–0 draw between Bolton and Everton on Monday 1 September 1997. The first player to score at the stadium was Alan Thompson, Chris Armstrong, who later in his career had a short spell with Wanderers, got the equaliser. On 6 September 2002, it hosted its first international, which was England’s under-21’s international friendly against Yugoslavia’s under-21’s and it ended in a 1 -1 draw with 10,531 in attendance. Lokomotiv Plovdiv were the visitors in the first UEFA Cup match at the stadium, boban Janchevski scored first for the visitors, but late goals from El Hadji Diouf and Jared Borgetti secured a 2–1 home victory in the first competitive European match in Boltons history. In addition to hosting football games, the stadium also offers services, such as a hotel. The stadium has used to host concerts by famous acts such as Oasis, Pink. Footage from the Coldplay concert was used in the video for the single, Fix You, the Rugby League World Cup Semi-final in 2000 between England and New Zealand was hosted at the Reebok Stadium. The stadium has hosted three of St. Helens World Club Challenge matches
BBC Sport is a department of the BBC North division providing national sports coverage for BBC Television, radio and online. Results, analysis and coverage is also added to the BBC Sport Website, the BBC has broadcast sport for several decades under individual programme names and coverage titles. Grandstand was one of the more notable Sport programmes, broadcasting sport since the launch in 1958. This practice continued throughout the two decades. Upon the launch of the BBC News website in 1997, sport was included in the BBCs online presence for the first time, in May 2007, the BBC Trust approved plans for several BBC departments, including BBC Sport, to be moved to a new development in Salford. The new development at MediaCityUK marks a major decentralisation of BBC departments from London, the department moved into Quay House, MediaCityUK gradually in late 2011 and early 2012 with the first Sports bulletins being broadcast from the new BBC Sport Centre on 5 March 2012. The BBC shares the rights to the FIFA World Cup with ITV, a near equal split of group stage and knockout stage games are shown, including a semi final and the final is shown on both networks. The BBC shows highlights of the Premier League on Match of the Day which has been hosted by Gary Lineker since 1999, Match of the Day 2 and Match of the Day 2 Extra, are presented by Mark Chapman. Dan Walker hosts Football Focus every Saturday lunchtime before Jason Mohammad presents Final Score every Saturday afternoon, the BBC also broadcasts live coverage of the FA Cup and will do so until 2018. BBC Sport currently holds the rights to broadcast the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Wimbledon contract has been held by the BBC since 1937 and the current contract lasts until 2017 making it the longest such contract in the world. The BBC produce over 900 hours of footage that is distributed to broadcasters in 159 different countries, BBC Wimbledon coverage is presented by former British number one and 1976 French Open Champion Sue Barker. Matches are broadcast live on BBC One, BBC Two, the Red Button, highlights are also shown on the long-running Today at Wimbledon, presented by Clare Balding, who replaced John Inverdale in 2015. The same year, the programme was renamed Wimbledon 2day, with a new lighthearted magazine format, but after one year. Regular tournament weather updates are provided by Carol Kirkwood, the BBC also broadcasts two traditional Grass warm up events in the fortnight before the Wimbledon Championships. First is the AEGON Championships from Queens Club, which takes two weeks before Wimbledon. Coverage is led by Sue Barker with commentary by Andrew Castle, Andrew Cotter, the following week is the WTA AEGON International event from Eastbourne. In 2015, coverage was introduced by John Inverdale and Lee McKenzie with commentary from Andrew Cotter, Sam Smith, both events are primarily shown on BBC Two. The BBC also shares broadcasting coverage of the ATP World Tour Finals with Sky Sports, showing one afternoon match per day including one semi-final and the final which are usually shown on BBC Two