Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
Gregory Dyke is a British media executive, journalist and broadcaster. He is the chairman of The Football Association. Dyke is a panellist on Sky News The Pledge, since the 1960s, Dyke has had a long career in the UK in print and then broadcast journalism. He is credited with introducing tabloid television to British broadcasting, in the 1990s, he held chief executive positions at LWT Group, Pearson Television and Channel 5. He is the chairman of childrens television company HiT Entertainment, and was the Chancellor of the University of York from 2004 to 2015, Dyke was born in 1947, in Hayes, Middlesex, the youngest of three sons in a stable, lower middle class family. His father was an insurance salesman, the family lived at 17 Cerne Close until he was 9, then moved to Cedars Drive, Hillingdon. He was educated at Yeading Primary School and then Hayes Grammar School, after school he was briefly a trainee manager at Marks & Spencer before leaving to work as a trainee reporter for the Hillingdon Mirror, becoming chief reporter in eight months. He left the Mirror after attempting to stage a union-backed protest against poor pay conditions by the staff of the work on the paper. He then got a job at the Slough Evening Mail, amongst his colleagues was future music journalist Colin Irwin. He then went on to study for a degree at the University of York as a mature student, during his time at York, Dyke was active in student politics, and was part of a collective that produced a psychedelic underground student magazine called Nouse. He also met and married his first wife Christine Taylor whilst at the university, as he was a mature student with work experience, his politics were more of a traditional Labour supporter than some of the more radical far left students. His contemporaries and friends at York included future journalists Linda Grant and Peter Hitchens, Dyke was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University in 1999 and was Chancellor from 2004 to 2015. After university, Dyke followed his first wife to Newcastle and he had become disillusioned with newspaper journalism, and tried for a job as a junior reporter at BBC Radio Teesside. He was unsuccessful, apparently because the interviewers felt no-one would understand his accent, Dyke instead found work covering rural affairs for the Newcastle Journal. He moved back to London with Christine in 1974 to become campaign officer for the Wandsworth Community Relations Council and he hated the job and left to campaign to be elected GLC councillor for Putney. He was given assistance getting a job at London Weekend Television by fellow ex-Newcastle journalist Nicholas Evans, Dyke got a junior position on LWTs local politics programme, in the current affairs department. His bosses there were John Birt and Peter Jay and he attracted attention for trying to give the programmes he worked on a more populist edge. This led to him being given the chance to launch a new evening current affairs topical news programme
Terence Ian Butcher is an English former professional footballer and manager. During his playing career as a defender, Butcher captained the England national team, Butcher also enjoyed success in his club career, particularly with Ipswich Town and Rangers. He has subsequently managed clubs in England, Scotland, Australia, born in Singapore, Butcher spent most of his childhood in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where he attended Lowestoft Grammar School and met his future wife Rita. He turned down the chance to join Norwich City youth team and this was soon noticed by England manager Ron Greenwood who gave him his debut in a friendly against Australia in 1980. In 1981, Butcher was part of the Ipswich side that won the UEFA Cup under Bobby Robson and came close to their first League title since 1962, though they were pipped at the post by Aston Villa. In 1986, Butcher left Ipswich when they were relegated, Souness, the former Liverpool player, paid Ipswich £725,000 for him in July 1986. As captain, he led them to three League titles in four seasons, plus two Scottish League Cups, in November 1987 he broke his leg during a Scottish Premier Division fixture against Aberdeen, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. In April 1988 Butcher was convicted of conduct and breach of the peace due to his behaviour in an Old Firm match in November 1987. In October 1988 Butcher was the subject of an investigation when he kicked the referees room door off its hinges after a match at Pittodrie. No criminal charges were brought, but the SFA fined Butcher £1500 and his last Rangers game came in September 1990, in a 2–1 league defeat against Dundee United. His performance in that match was dismal and largely blamed on both of the goals, leading to him being dropped from the side. One of his first games as Coventry manager was against the Leeds side he had close to signing for. Other promising early results included a thrilling 5–4 home win over cup holders Nottingham Forest in the Football League Cup fourth round on 28 November. However, their quest for the League Cup ended in the quarter-finals on 23 January 1991 when they were beaten 1–0 at home by eventual winners Sheffield Wednesday. However, their form over the two months was less impressive, and by the end of November they had fallen to 13th place. A 2–1 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on New Years Day 1992 saw them enter the new year in 15th place and he was dismissed on 6 January 1992 after just over a year as Coventry City manager, being replaced by his recently appointed assistant Don Howe. Butcher then played three games for Clydebank before finally retiring as a player, Butchers impressive performances for Ipswich were noticed by England manager Ron Greenwood who gave him his debut in a friendly against Australia on 31 May 1980, when he was 21 years old. He won his second cap 10 months later in a 2–1 defeat against Spain, in 1982, Butcher was the youngest member of the back four which featured at the World Cup in Spain
Griffin Park is a football ground in Brentford, situated in the London Borough of Hounslow, west London. It has been the ground of Championship side Brentford since it was built in 1904. The ground is situated in a residential area and is known for being the only English league football ground to have a pub on each corner. The ground gets its name from the griffin, featured in the logo of Fullers Brewery, between forming in 1889 and prior to 1904, Brentford played at five grounds around Ealing – Clifden Road, Benns Field, Shotters Field, Cross Road and Boston Park Cricket Ground. After a gypsy camp was removed from the site, work began on building the ground in January 1904, the orchard was cut down by local volunteers, who were allowed to keep the wood. The ground was built with a 20,000 capacity in mind, with a provision for an increase to 30. An 800-capacity stand from Boston Park was rebuilt alongside the Braemar Road side of the ground, beneath and behind the stand were three dressing rooms, a number of offices and a recreation room. The ground was named Griffin Park after a pub, The Griffin. After a number of games, Griffin Park was opened on 1 September 1904. Season tickets for the 1904–05 season sold out, the first competitive match to be played at Griffin Park was a Western League fixture versus Plymouth Argyle on 1 September 1904. The Braemar Road grandstand had been completed by the time of the fixture, but as the rooms were not ready. The borough surveyor also declared the grandstand unsafe and banned its use until improvements had been made, Argyle scored the first competitive goal at the ground through Fred Buck, but four minutes from the final whistle, Tommy Shanks converted a James Swarbrick cross to secure a 1–1 draw. The attendance was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000, the first truly first team fixture to be played at the ground was a Southern League First Division match on 3 September 1904, which yielded a 0–0 draw between Brentford and West Ham United. The Bees would have to wait until 22 October 1904 for their first victory at the ground, the first Football League match to be played at the ground was on the opening day of the 1920–21 season, a 3–0 Third Division defeat to Exeter City. Unlike the old grandstand, the new stand ran the length of the pitch, after the season, it was announced that Griffin Park would be completely redeveloped over the following decade. Concrete terracing was installed at the Ealing Road end of the ground in 1930. A new stand was constructed at the Brook Road end of the ground in the 1933 off-season, a further extension to the terracing and a roof was added prior to Brentfords debut First Division season in 1935–36, taking the New Road stands capacity to 20,000. Little development occurred at Griffin Park between the mid-1930s, and the mid-1980s, the frontage of the Braemar Road stand was rebuilt in 1963, adding club offices and a club room
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter
It began in the 1983–84 season as the Associate Members Cup, but in 1992, after the lower-division clubs became full members of the Football League, it was renamed the Football League Trophy. The competition replaced the short-lived Football League Group Cup and it was renamed again in 2016, as the EFL Trophy. The competition has been associated with a sponsor since its second edition, currently. The first draws are made in August, then the runs as 16 regional groups. The top two from each group qualify for the stages before the two winners meet in late March or early April in the final at Englands national stadium. The current champions are Coventry City, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the first time, the competition was inaugurated as the Associate Members Cup in the 1983–84 season and followed on from the short-lived Football League Group Cup. The competition was renamed the Football League Trophy in 1992, the competition was renamed again in 2016, becoming the EFL Trophy, coinciding with the Football League rebranding to the English Football League. 64 teams enter from Round One, including all 48 teams from League One and League Two, the competition will now feature 16 regional groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. In the first year of the tournament, the 48 eligible Third, the first round had 12 knockout ties in each section, and the second had six. In each section the two second-round losers with the narrowest defeats were reprieved, and joined the six clubs in the regional quarter-finals. A major change was introduced for the 1985–86 tournament, with 8 three-team groups being set up in each of the two sections, teams played one home and one away game and the group winners proceeded to the regional knockout stages. This format was tweaked the following season, with two teams qualifying from each group, resulting in a round of 16 knockout stage in each section. For a number of seasons in the early to mid-1990s, the competition ran with only seven three-team groups and this was owing to League reorganisation and the demise of Aldershot and Maidstone United, which resulted in there being fewer than 48 teams in the 3rd and 4th levels. The group phase was abolished for the 1996–97 tournament, instead,8 teams in each received a bye to the second round. The number of Conference entrants was increased to 12 starting in 2002–03, resulting in 14 first-round ties, Conference teams no longer participated from the 2006–07 tournament onward, and the format reverted to 8 first-round teams in each section, with 8 sides gaining byes to the second round. The competition has always been contested by all teams at Levels Three, during the 2016–17 season,16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides have taken part in the competition. The first final in 1984 was to have played at the then Wembley Stadium. From 2001 to 2007, during the rebuilding of the former Wembley, source, napit. co. uk The record attendance for the final is 80,841, for the 1988 Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Wembley
Promotion and relegation
In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between two divisions based on their performance for the completed season. In some leagues, playoffs or qualifying rounds are used to determine rankings. This process can continue through several levels of divisions, with teams being exchanged between levels 1 and 2, levels 2 and 3, levels 3 and 4, the number of teams exchanged between the divisions is almost always identical. Such variations will almost inevitably cause an effect through the lower divisions. Even in the absence of such circumstances, the pyramid-like nature of most European football league systems can still create knock-on effects at the regional level. The system is said to be the characteristic of the European form of professional sports league organization. Promotion and relegation have the effect of allowing the maintenance of a hierarchy of leagues and divisions and they also maintain the importance of games played by many low-ranked teams near the end of the season, which may be at risk of relegation. In contrast, a low-ranked US or Canadian teams final games serve little purpose, although not intrinsic to the system, problems can occur due to the differing monetary payouts and revenue-generating potential that different divisions provide to their clubs. For example, financial hardship has sometimes occurred in leagues where clubs do not reduce their wage bill once relegated, some leagues offer parachute payments to its relegated teams for the following year. The payouts are higher than the money received by some non-relegated teams and are designed to soften the financial hit that clubs take whilst dropping out of the Premier League. However, in many cases these parachute payments just serve to inflate the costs of competing for promotion among the lower division clubs as newly relegated teams retain a financial advantage. If these are not satisfied, a team may be promoted in their place. While the primary purpose of the system is to maintain competitive balance. On several occasions, the Italian Football Federation has relegated clubs found to have involved in match-fixing. This occurred most recently in 2006, when the initial champions Juventus were relegated to Serie B. An exception is the proposed UEFA Nations League, which will feature promotion and relegation across four levels, in tennis, the Davis Cup has promotion and relegation where each group uses a knockout tournament format in which first-round losers play off to avoid relegation. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, teams are not promoted or relegated. The USL set up two leagues, now known as the United Soccer League and the Premier Development League, although the system is now in place, it is not compulsory and is rarely used
Jonathan Osei-Kuffour, known as Jo Kuffour, is a professional footballer who most recently played for Sutton United. Born in Edmonton, Greater London, and after school at St. Ignatius College, Enfield, he joined Arsenal as a trainee. He failed to break into the first team at Highbury and was allowed to join Swindon Town on loan in August 2001 and his league debut came on 25 August as a substitute as Swindon lost 2–0 at home to Oldham Athletic. He left Arsenal at the end of the 2001–02 season and joined Torquay United, initially on non-contract terms, in October 2002 and his Torquay debut came as a substitute in the 4–1 home defeat to Hull City. He quickly became a regular in Leroy Roseniors side, scoring ten times in the 2003–04 side that won promotion to the third tier of English football. Kuffours club form was rewarded with a call-up to the Ghana squad for the game against Nigeria on 6 February 2006 and he was one of the few shining lights in a disastrous 2006–07 season for Brentford, scoring 12 league goals despite the team finishing bottom of the table. Kuffour signed for Bournemouth on 19 June 2007 on a Bosman free transfer, after rejecting a new offer from Brentford that would have made him the best paid player at the club. It was also revealed that he rejected a move to Huddersfield Town, because it was too far north, on 29 August 2008, Bristol Rovers announced they had signed Kuffour on a three-year deal. He has made an impact at Rovers, including a volley at Leicester City. He finished the 2009–10 season as top scorer with 14 goals, at the end of the season Kuffour was released with teammates Simon King and Garry Richards. Kuffour was released from Wycombe Wanderers at the end of the 2013-14 season, -2000 Brentford Supporters Player of the Year, 2006–07 Jo Kuffour player profile at afcb. co. uk Jo Kuffour at Soccerbase
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders, centre-back, sweeper, full-back, the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations, a centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, and tries to prevent opposing players, particularly centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, tackling, intercepting passes, contesting headers, with the ball, centre-backs are generally expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defenders goal, during normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions, in the modern game, most teams employ two or three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper. The 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, and 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs, the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who sweeps up the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents. Because of this, it is referred to as libero. For example, the system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s. The more modern libero possesses the qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack. This variation on the position requires great pace and fitness, while rarely seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack, some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles. If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery, in modern football, its usage has been fairly restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a highly respected. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greeces manager, Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greeces sweeper to great success, as Greece surprisingly became European champions. The full-backs take up the wide positions and traditionally stayed in defence at all times
Andrew James Kerr Andy Frampton is an English former professional footballer who played as a central defender. He spent four seasons with the Football League First Division side before joining Brentford on a transfer in October 2002. He would go on to make 138 league appearances for The Bees in a tenure with the club. He was later educated at Lancing College and he went on to make five more appearances for the club during the 1998–99 season, with the club ultimately finishing 14th in the league. The 21-year–old defender made another ten league appearances in the 2000–2001 season, crystal Palace struggled throughout the season however and only prevented relegation to the Second Division on the final day, beating Stockport County 1–0 on 6 May 2001. Frampton found his opportunities limited during the 2001–02, playing just two matches in April 2002, as he proved unable to compete with Craig Harrison as first choice left-back. Frampton made his debut for the Bees in a 0–0 draw with Plymouth Argyle on 29 October 2002 and he would go on to make a further 14 league appearances for the Bees in the 2002–03 season, including a 5–0 win over Blackpool on 2 November 2002. He was appointed Brentfords vice–captain for the 2006–07 season, on 27 June 2007, Frampton joined Millwall for an undisclosed fee. His Millwall career began slowly, with a number of defensive mistakes drawing criticism from the Millwall faithful in his first season. But he won over the Millwall supporters with a series of strong, gutsy displays, Frampton left Millwall in the summer of 2011 after spending much of the season on loan at Swindon Town. He joined Gillingham in July 2011 and he was appointed the new team captain replacing Barry Fuller. He made his debut for Gillingham in the 1–0 win over Cheltenham Town on 6 August helping produce a sheet in his first game. On 28 June 2013, Frampton joined Football League Two side AFC Wimbledon on a deal after turning down the offer of a one-year contract extension with Gillingham. Millwall Football League One play-offs, 2009–10 Gillingham Football League Two, 2012–13 Andy Frampton at Soccerbase Andy Frampton at Soccerway
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
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Gary Smith (footballer, born 1984)
Although suffering from numerous spells out injured, he established himself as a fans favourite due to his attacking style and flair in midfield. After impressing in several games in pre-season whilst on trial at Brentford, at the start of 2008, this was extended to the end of the 2008–09 season, when he was released from the club. On 1 July 2009 he signed for League Two side Darlington, Darlington were relegated to the Conference National during the 2009–10 season. In the 2010–11 season, Smith picked up the second significant honour of his career, Smith was released by the club in June 2011. Brentford League Two title winner, 2008–09 Darlington FA Trophy winner, 2010–11 Gary Smith at Soccerbase MK Dons official club website
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Alan John Connell is an English former professional footballer and current youth team coach at Bournemouth. As a player he was a striker who played between 2001 and 2016 and this prompted him to move to Torquay United in 2005 after three years with Bournemouth. A year later he moved on again to Hereford United before re-signing for Bournemouth in 2008, in his second season back with the club he helped them to a 2nd-place finish in League Two thus securing promotion to League One. After a year with Swindon he moved again, signing with Bradford City. He has since had stints with Northampton Town and former club. He finished his career in Non League playing for both Havant & Waterlooville and Poole Town, born in Enfield, Connell was a trainee at Tottenham Hotspur as a youngster but soon transferred to George Burleys Ipswich Town in 2001. During Connells only season at Portman Road he was part of the squad that was relegated after finishing 18th in the Premier League, Connell then transferred to Bournemouth after a successful trial period at the end of the 2001–02 season. Alan was handed his debut by Sean ODriscoll on 13 August 2002 in the clubs 0–0 home draw with Kidderminster Harriers. He would go on to score 7 goals in 14 games before he suffered a ligament injury in October 2002 in a match against Leyton Orient which ruled him out for the remainder of his first season. By the end of the season Bournemouth had earned promotion from Division Three via a final victory over Lincoln City at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. During the 2003–2004 season, Connell would only feature 7 times for The Cherries and his final season at Bournemouth was also thwarted by a foot injury. In all,42 of his 61 appearances for the Cherries were from the substitutes bench and he scored 11 goals. He moved to Torquay United in the summer of 2005 for a fee of £5,000, however he failed to secure a regular first-team place and Bournemouth even tried to sign him back on loan in March 2006. By the end of the season Torquay had narrowly avoided relegation from the Football League and Connell would eventually leave the club after making 26 appearances in all competitions, in the summer of 2006 he signed for newly promoted Conference National play-off champions Hereford United in July 2006. In the second half of the season, he was named in the starting XI as other strikers at the club were rotated. He was named Player of the Month for October and he finished the season on 51 appearances in all competitions scoring 10 goals Connell turned down Herefords offer of a new contract and instead signed for Brentford on 2 July 2007. He remained at Griffin Park for only one season and departed a year later, however, in this season he was hugely influential and made regular starting appearances. He started well again the season but was slowly moved to the side by new signing Charlie Macdonald
In sports, a loan involves a particular player being to temporarily play for a club other than the one he is currently contracted to. Loan deals may last from a few weeks to all season-long, players may be loaned out to other clubs for several reasons. Most commonly, young prospects will be loaned to a club in a league in order to gain valuable first team experience. In this instance, the parent club may continue to pay the wages in full or in part. Some clubs put a formal arrangement in place with a club for this purpose, such as Manchester United and Royal Antwerp, Arsenal and Beveren, or Chelsea. In other leagues such as Italys Serie A, some clubs have a reputation as a farm club and regularly take players, especially younger players. A club may take a player on loan if they are short on transfer funds but can still pay wages, the parent club might demand a fee and/or that the loaning club pays some or all of the players wages during the loan period. A club might seek to out a squad player to make a saving on his wages. A loan may be made to get around a transfer window, such a loan might include an agreed fee for a permanent transfer when the next transfer window opens. Some players are loaned because they are unhappy or in dispute with their current club, examples of this situation include Henri Camara with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Craig Bellamy with Newcastle United, and Darren Bent with Aston Villa. In the Premier League, players on loan are not permitted to play against the team holds their registration. Loanees are, however, allowed to play against their owning clubs in cup competitions, in the Scottish Professional Football League, clubs are permitted to take players on as unpaid trialists even for competitive fixtures. Sometimes for the first two weeks of a trial period players names are obfuscated, match reports use the convention A Trialist to refer to players in lieu of using their real names
Kevin O'Connor (footballer, born 1982)
Kevin OConnor is a retired professional football utility player who made over 500 appearances for Brentford. A one club man, at the time of his retirement in May 2015 he was Brentfords longest serving player and he is fourth on the most Brentford appearances list, captained the club on over 200 occasions and was inducted into the Brentford Hall of Fame in 2015. He represented Republic of Ireland U21 at international level and is head coach of Brentfords B team. Born in Blackburn, Lancashire to Irish parents, OConnor joined Division Two side Brentford as a schoolboy in 1995 and he began his career as a striker and was awarded a scholarship in 1998. After a run of 23 goals in 30 games for the reserves, OConnor received his maiden call into to the first team squad for a league match against Cardiff City on 12 February 2000. He was a substitute during the 1–1 draw. OConnor made his Brentford debut in a 3–2 Football League Trophy semi-final defeat at Exeter City on 15 February 2000 and he was awarded his first start in a goalless league draw with Wycombe Wanderers on 19 February 2000. OConnor made seven appearances during the 1999–2000 season, oConnors appearance against Wigan was the first of a run in the side and he scored the first senior goal of his career in a 2–1 league win over Bristol City on 20 February 2001. He made 12 appearances during the 2000–01 season and scored one goal and he found himself utilised in the hole by outgoing manager Ray Lewington. OConnor became a regular second-half substitute under new manager Steve Coppell during the 2001–02 season and he scored his second career goal in a 1–0 League Cup first round victory over Norwich City on 21 August 2001. OConnor made 32 appearances during the 2001–02 season, scoring one goal, through November 2002 to January 2003, OConnor went on a run of scoring five goals in 11 games and finished the 2002–03 season having scored nine goals in 53 appearances. OConnor signed a new contract in June 2003. OConnor made consistent appearances during the 2003–04 season and kept his place in the following the sacking of Downes. He scored the equaliser in a 1–1 draw with bitter rivals Queens Park Rangers in the West London derby on 14 February 2004, OConnor began the 2004–05 season as a substitute and scored the only goal of the game versus Wrexham on 14 August 2004 with a 20-yard volley. An injury to Michael Dobson in a 4–1 defeat to Bristol City on 30 August saw Martin Allen press OConnor into service as a back for much of the season. OConnor was awarded the captaincy for the first time for a match against Hartlepool United on 19 October and he made 44 appearances during the 2004–05 season, scoring two goals as Brentford failed to progress past Sheffield Wednesday in the 2005 playoff semi-finals. OConnors performances in his new right back position earned him the Most Improved Player Of The Year award, after the season, he was rewarded with a new two-year contract extension. OConnor was Martin Allens first-choice right back for the 2005–06 season and became the regular penalty taker, netting from the spot against Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers
John Michael Lewis Mousinho is an English professional footballer who plays for Burton Albion as a midfielder. He spent two and a half years at Brentford, before joining Wycombe Wanderers in June 2008 on a free transfer, Mousinho played regularly for Wycombe for two seasons, witnessing both a promotion and relegation during his tenure at the Buckinghamshire club. He rejected an extension from Wycombe in June 2010. Following an injury-hit season during the 2011–12 campaign, Mousinho left Stevenage, in his final season at the club, he was loaned to Gillingham and back to Stevenage before being released and joining Burton in June 2014. He was recommended to Brentford by Martin Allens son, having previously been on the books at Chesham United and he made his Brentford debut in October 2005 in a 1–1 against Oxford United in the Football League Trophy, playing the whole match. He made his debut for the club two months later in a 4–1 away win over Tranmere Rovers, coming on as a 76th-minute substitute. Initially he acted as cover for regular right-back Kevin OConnor, but was played in a central midfield role. Mousinho was then sent on loan to several clubs in the form of Woking, Slough Town. He failed to make any appearances for Woking, with his loan spell lasting just two weeks. In April 2006, he was loaned out to Conference South side Yeading, Martin Allen stated that Mousinhos loan moves were positive and definitely not the end of his time at Brentford. However, he played a total of 24 times in all competitions,15 times less than during the clubs previous campaign. At the end of the 2007–08 season, Mousinho was transfer–listed by manager Andy Scott because he did not feature in the future plans and, as a result. His contract was terminated by mutual consent with a year to run on 16 June 2008 and he made his debut for Wycombe in a 1–1 draw against Morecambe, and scored his first goal for the club shortly after in a 2–0 away victory over Chester City. Shortly after this, Wycombe triggered an extension clause in his contract. Mousinho scored his goal of the season in Wycombes 3–3 draw against his former employers, Brentford. Two weeks later, he provided the assist for John Akindes goal in the clubs 1–1 draw with Barnet. The following season, he played a further 41 games for the club, scoring once in a 5–2 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, during his two years at Wycombe, he played a total of 79 times for the club, scoring three goals. In late June 2010, Mousinho rejected an extension at Wycombe, which led to Wycombe manager Gary Waddock saying we wanted to keep John
Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
Milton Keynes Dons Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. As of the 2016–17 season its first team plays in League One, initially based at the National Hockey Stadium, the club competed as Milton Keynes Dons from the start of the 2004–05 season. After two years in League One it was relegated to the fourth-tier League Two, Milton Keynes Dons also won the Football League Trophy that year. The team remained in League One until the 2014–15 season when it won promotion to the Championship under the management of Karl Robinson, Milton Keynes, about 45 miles north-west of London in Buckinghamshire, was established as a new town in 1967. There was no precedent in English league football for such a move between conurbations and the authorities and most fans expressed strong opposition to the idea. Another team linked with the new town was Wimbledon Football Club, Wimbledon, established in south London in 1889 and nicknamed the Dons, were elected to the Football League in 1977. They thereafter went through a fairytale rise from obscurity and by the end of the 1980s were established in the top division of English football, despite Wimbledons new prominence, the clubs modest home stadium at Plough Lane remained largely unchanged from its non-league days. The clubs then-owner Ron Noades identified this as a problem as early as 1979, however he then decided that the club would not get higher crowds in Milton Keynes and abandoned the idea. Sam Hammam, who now owned Wimbledon, said the club could not afford to redevelop Plough Lane, a new stadium for Wimbledon proved hard to arrange. Hammam sold the club to two Norwegian businessmen, Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten, in 1997, and a year later sold Plough Lane to Safeway supermarkets, Wimbledon were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 1999–2000 season. Starting in 2000, a consortium led by music promoter Pete Winkelman and supported by Asda, the consortium proposed that an established league club move to use this site, it approached Luton, Wimbledon, Crystal Palace, Barnet and Queens Park Rangers. In 2001 Røkke and Gjelsten appointed a new chairman, Charles Koppel, to the fury of most Wimbledon fans, Koppel announced on 2 August 2001 that the club intended to relocate to Milton Keynes. The league and FA stated opposition but the commissioners ruled in favour, AFC Wimbledon entered a groundshare agreement with Kingstonian in the borough of Kingston upon Thames, adjacent to Merton. The original Wimbledon intended to move to Milton Keynes immediately but were unable to do so until a home in the town meeting Football League criteria could be found. The club remained at Selhurst Park in the meantime and in June 2003 went into administration, with the move threatened and the club facing liquidation, Winkelman decided to buy it himself. He secured funding for the administrators to keep the team operating with the goal of getting it to Milton Keynes as soon as possible, the club arranged the temporary use of the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes and played its first match there in September 2003. Nine months later Winkelmans Inter MK Group bought the club out of administration and announced changes to its name, badge and colours—the team was renamed Milton Keynes Dons Football Club. The first season for the club as Milton Keynes Dons was 2004–05, in Football League One, under Stuart Murdoch, the teams first game was on 7 August 2004, a 1–1 home draw against Barnsley, with Izale McLeod equalising with their first competitive goal
Peterborough United F.C.
Peterborough United Football Club is a professional football club based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. The team compete in League One, the tier in the English football league system. Peterborough United formed in 1934 and played in the old Midland League and their home ground is London Road Stadium, currently known as the ABAX Stadium for sponsorship reasons, and the club nickname is The Posh. After being relegated from the Championship on the day of the 2012–13 season. Their highest finishing position in the Football League ladder was 10th in the Championship, Peterborough were the holders of the 2013–14 Football League Trophy, beating Chesterfield 3–1 in the final at Wembley Stadium in March 2014. Peterborough United was formed in 1934 at Peterboroughs Angel Hotel to provide a replacement for Peterborough & Fletton United, the Posh played in the old Midland League. They won this league on six occasions, including five seasons in a row from 1956 to 1960, the Posh were elected to The Football League for the beginning of the 1960–61 season, winning Division Four. Following the Fourth Division Championship success in 1960–61, The Posh spent seven seasons in the 3rd Division and they reached the quarter-finals of the F. A. Cup in 1964–65, beating Arsenal and Swansea Town along the way before going out to Chelsea and they were relegated back to the 4th Division for financial irregularities in the summer of 1968. The club took six seasons to return to Division 3, winning the 4th Division championship, the Wrexham defeat cast a long shadow over the club and it fell into a long decline. Relegation followed in 1979 and Posh subsequently spent 12 years back in the 4th division, the 1980s was a long story of mismanagement and false dawns, punctuated by the odd cup run. Six players were signed on transfer deadline day, which at the time was a record for the number of players signed by one club on a single day, on the final day of the season, Posh travelled to Chesterfield needing a win to seal promotion. Despite going two goals down in the first ten minutes, the team rallied and drew level with goals from David Robinson, however, Poshs closest rivals, Blackpool lost at Walsall and promotion was achieved. The following season arguably remains the most successful in the clubs history, after an inconsistent start the team hit form during the Autumn when they knocked Wimbledon and Newcastle United out of the League Cup. The reward was a tie with a Liverpool team containing Bruce Grobbelaar, Jan Mølby, Steve McManaman, Dean Saunders. Garry Kimble scored the goal after 19 minutes prompting wild celebrations. In the league, the team went from strength to strength, progress continued in the league and a play-off place was clinched on the last day of the season despite a 1–0 defeat to champions Brentford. The following week, Huddersfield Town came to London Road for the first leg of the Semi-final, captain Mick Halsalls last minute equaliser levelled the score at 2–2
Hereford United F.C.
Hereford United Football Club was an English association football club based in the city of Hereford that last played in the Southern League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. Founded in 1924, the club was elected to the Football League in 1972, the club reached the old Second Division in 1976, its best league performance, but was relegated after only one season at that level. Hereford achieved national prominence in 1972 when, as a Southern League club, Hereford played at Edgar Street for their entire history. They were nicknamed The Whites or The Lilywhites, after their predominantly white kit, the clubs motto was Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall. The club was affiliated to the Herefordshire County FA, on 19 December 2014, the club was wound up in the High Court after a petition had been brought against it by HM Revenue and Customs. Following the demise of United, a new club was being set up. The new club incorporates the words Forever United into its crest design, for league and cup performance, see List of Hereford United F. C. seasons. Hereford United Football Club was founded in 1924 with the merger of two local clubs St Martins and RAOC, with the intention of sustaining a higher class of football in the city of Hereford, Hereford joined the Birmingham Combination and lost its first match 2–3 to Atherstone United. The clubs second match was an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against future rivals Kidderminster Harriers which they lost 2–7. Hereford progressed to the Birmingham & District League in 1928 where the club spent 11 seasons, at the same time the club became a limited company. When football resumed after the war, Hereford finished 1st in their first full season in the only to be demoted to 2nd behind Chelmsford City. In 27 seasons in the Southern League, Hereford finished as runners-up three times, and also lifted the Southern League Cup three times, when the league was regionalised for one season in 1958–59, Hereford also won their regional division to add to their third League Cup win. In 1966 Hereford signed John Charles, the former Leeds United, Juventus and Welsh international and he became manager a year later and set about building a team to challenge at the top of the Southern League and gain election to the Football League. With the club becoming one of the best-supported non-league clubs in the country Charles used his standing within the game to canvass votes from member clubs for election to the Football League. The 1971–1972 season saw the club second in the Southern League. Charles had departed the club in October 1971 and his successor Colin Addison inherited a side that defeated top-flight Newcastle United in the FA Cup. The star player was Dudley Tyler, Ronnie Radford and Ricky Georges goals earned the club a Fourth Round tie against West Ham United where they were defeated in a replay at Upton Park. The Cup run played a part in the successful election to the Fourth Division
Stockport County F.C.
Stockport County Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England. Formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers, the team adopted their name in 1890 after the County Borough of Stockport and they have played at Edgeley Park since 1902, traditionally in blue and white, and are nicknamed The Hatters after the towns former hat-making industry. Stockport County joined the Football League in 1900 and competed in it continuously from 1905 to 2011, however, instability on and off the pitch eventually led to Stockport falling back to the lower divisions. The club started the 2011–12 season in the Conference National, having been relegated from Football League Two for the first time in their history at the end of 2010–11, at the end of 2012–13, Stockport were relegated to the Conference North. Stockport County was formed in 1883 as Heaton Norris Rovers by members of the Wycliffe Congregational Church, the club adopted The Hatters as their nickname, owing to Stockports history as the centre of the Victorian hat-making industry, a nickname that is shared with Luton Town. Stockport played in the Lancashire League until 1900, when they gained admission to the Football League Second Division, Stockports first Football League match was against Leicester Fosse which ended in a 2–2 draw. Stockport left their Green Lane home in 1902 and moved to Edgeley Park where they currently reside, the club finished in the bottom three for their first four seasons, and at the end of 1903–04 they failed to gain re-election. They spent one year in the Lancashire Combination and the Midland League, at the end of the season, they were re-admitted to the Football League after being re-elected through the Midland League. In their first season back in the Football League, Stockport reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, however, Stockport finished the league in 10th position that season. Stockport remained in Division 2 of the Football League for seven years until 1912–13 when they again had to seek re-election, Stockport gained 22 votes and was therefore re-elected. Albert Williams was presented with the seven days later before the home game with Lincoln City. This title win began a remarkable coincidence which has occurred in each of Stockports title winning seasons where Lincoln City have been the last opponents in each of those seasons. Joe OKane, who joined Stockport the previous season, was a factor in the clubs promotion although he left the club at the end of the season. Once Stockport returned to Division 2, they struggled and survived an automatic relegation by one point, the 1923–24 season saw Stockport County finish 13th, one place above Manchester United. This is the time in history Stockport has achieved better than Manchester United. During this campaign Stockport goalkeeper Harry Hardy was called up to play for the England national team and he is the only player to be capped at full level by England while on Stockports books. Two seasons later Stockport returned to the division after finishing bottom of the league. Stockport closed out the 1920s in Division Three North with a 3rd-placed finish in 1927–28, Joe Smith was Stockports and the divisions leading goalscorer in this particular season contributing to 38 of Stockports 89 goals
Rochdale Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The clubs colours are black and blue and they play their games at Spotland Stadium. Formed in 1907 and nicknamed the Dale, they were accepted into the Football League in 1921, since then, the club has remained in the bottom two professional divisions of English Football. The team has achieved promotion three times – in 1969,2010 and 2014. Rochdale attract a small, but loyal fanbase, with a hardcore following of around 3000 home fans on average per match. Local fixtures however attract a higher turnout. The club reached the League Cup Final in 1962 and this was the first time a club from the bottom league division had reached the final of a major competition – where they lost to Norwich City. During its history, the club has had three promotions and three relegations, with coming in 1969 and 2010 and 2014 and relegation in 1959,1974 and 2012. The 1959 relegation followed the 1958 restructuring which saw the combination of the two Third Division sections into the Third Division and Fourth Division. In the restructuring, Rochdale managed to secure a spot in the Third Division, Rochdale A. F. C. was formed in 1907. After World War I the Football League was expanded and the club applied to join. In 1921 Rochdale was recommended to be included in the new Third Division North, however, this first season ended with the club at the bottom of the League, having to reapply for membership. In the early stages of the 1969–70 season, Rochdale topped the Division Three table, the teams form significantly declined around Christmas 1969, however, and a failure to halt the teams decline led to the dismissal of Richley. He was succeeded by Dick Conner, who stabilised the clubs form, the following three seasons saw the club finish in the lower reaches of the Division Three table, narrowly avoiding relegation each time. The board viewed merely surviving in Division Three as unacceptable and replaced Conner with Walter Joyce for the 1973–74 season and this move failed to pay off, and Rochdale was relegated after a campaign in which they won only 2 of 46 league games. The club finished bottom of the league in 1977–78, but was successful in their bid for re-election, southport, which had finished one place above Rochdale, was demoted instead and replaced by Wigan Athletic. Rochdale finished bottom for a time in 1979–80, but was again re-elected – by one vote over Altrincham
Darlington 1883 is an English football club that plays at Blackwell Meadows, Darlington. This policy had previously applied to other collapsing clubs, such as Chester City FC. Darlington applied to join the Northern League as a new club, a deadline imposed by the FA meant the board was unable to wait for the results of a poll of supporters, so the name Darlington 1883 was chosen. The company Darlington 1883 Limited was incorporated on 18 Jan 2012 by owners of Darlington Football Club and this company then went on to purchase the assets of Darlington F. C. on 3 May 2012 when a CVA could not be agreed with creditors. Darlington Football Club itself was founded in 1883, and became a football club in 1908. The club became a member of the Football League in 1920, in which it competed until 1989, in the 1989–90 season and from 2010 to 2012, Darlington played in the Football Conference. The club was taken over by Darlington1883, a group of local fans. Darlington1883 failed to arrange a CVA, and as such on 21 June 2012 Darlington F. C. ceased to exist, an appeal against the FA decision was inevitably rejected, confirming that the new club would not be able to play as Darlington F. C. On 25 June 2012 the new registration of a new club. In March 2013 it was confirmed that the Darlington Football Club Community Interest Company and this made the club 100% fan and community owned, with 26% owned by the Darlington 1883 Supporters Club and 22% by 22 individual fans. Following a successful first season in the Northern League Division One, Darlington 1883 were crowned champions with a haul of 122 points. As a result, Darlington 1883 were promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One North, even though Darlington 1883 are a new club, they are committed to paying the former clubs debt including a recent payment of £53,000 to HMRC. Darlington played in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2013–14 season, in the 2013–14 season, Darlington finished 2nd and qualified for the playoffs, where they were beaten in the semifinal by Ramsbottom United. Ramsbottom went on to win the final and achieve promotion, in the 2014–15 season, Darlington again finished 2nd and on 2 May 2015 they won the playoff final 2–0 against Bamber Bridge to win promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division. In the 2015–16 season, Darlington clinched the Northern Premier League Premier Division title on 21 April 2016 after beating Whitby Town 7–1 to seal promotion to the National League North. Norman Stephens and some of the staff were retained by Darlington who took Hordens place in the Wearside League. They played their first game under the new name on 6 October in a 1–0 away defeat to Boldon C. A, plans had originally been laid down to move to Shildon Football Club, but Heritage Park was eventually chosen as Darlingtons first official home. Heritage Park is south-west of Bishop Auckland, the attendance was exactly 3,000 at Blackwell Meadows
Wycombe Wanderers F.C.
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club /ˈwɪkəm/ is a professional association football club based in the town of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The team play in League Two, the tier of English football. The club plays at Adams Park, which is situated on the outskirts of High Wycombe. The clubs nicknames are the Chairboys and the Blues, Ainsworth retired from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season. He is assisted by Richard Dobson and Barry Richardson, the club was awarded the Family Club of the Year award twice in a row in 2006–07 and 2007–08. This is the time that the award has been given to the same club in consecutive seasons. The club received a Football League Family Excellence Award after the 2009–10, 2011–12, the exact details of the formation of Wycombe Wanderers F. C. have largely been lost to history. A group of young furniture trade workers started a team to play matches in 1884 and this team was called North Town Wanderers. In 1887, a meeting held at the Steam Engine public house in Station Road and it is highly likely the club was named Wanderers after the famous Wanderers, winners of the first F. A. The club played friendly matches between 1887 and 1896, Amateur Cup in 1894 and the F. A. In 1895 the club moved to Loakes Park, which would become its home for the next 95 years, in 1896 the club joined the Southern League and competed in the Second Division until 1908. In the summer of 1908 the club declined the invitation to retain their membership of the Southern League, the club decided to pursue amateur instead of professional football and joined the Great Western Suburban League and remained there until the outbreak of the First World War. After the hostilities had ended the club joined the Spartan League in 1919 and were Champions in successive years, in March 1921 the clubs application to join the Isthmian League was accepted. The club remained a member of the Isthmian League until 1985, for over sixty years the Wanderers sought to be the greatest amateur club in the country. One of the clubs greatest achievements came in April 1931 when the F. A, Amateur Cup was won for the only time. The Wanderers beat Hayes 1–0 in the final at Highbury, home of Arsenal, the club also reached the first round proper of the F. A. Cup for the first time in November 1932, losing to Gillingham in a replay at Loakes Park, the club remained active during the Second World War, competing in the Great Western Combination, which was won in 1945. It provided the basis for a period of unprecedented success in 1950s, the club appointed Sid Cann as coach in 1952 and he led the Wanderers to their first Isthmian League title in 1956
Chesterfield Football Club /ˈtʃɛstərfiːld/ is a professional association football club based in the town of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was a member of the Football League Third Division North in 1921–22 and has remained in the Football League since that time. While they have never played in the top flight, they rose to the second twice in the 1930s. Chesterfield play their games at the 10,504 capacity Proact Stadium. Chesterfields most notable recent successes came in the 1990s, when they won the Division Three playoff final at Wembley in 1995, in May 2011, Chesterfield secured the League Two title but were relegated from League One the following season. In 2011, Dave Allen was given ownership of the club. The 2011/12 season saw Chesterfield secure the Football League Trophy with a 2–0 victory over Swindon Town, a return to Wembley for the final of the Football League trophy was secured in 2014, with Chesterfield finishing runners-up after losing 3–1 to Peterborough United. In 2014, Chesterfield were crowned champions of League Two for a fourth time. Potentially five or more teams have been called Chesterfield Football club at different times, a second Chesterfield F. C. was formally created as an offshoot of Chesterfield Cricket Club in October 1867. The cricket and football clubs moved to the Recreation Ground at Saltergate in 1871, however, a souring of the relationship between the two led to the closure of the football club in 1881, when it found itself homeless. Three years later, in 1884, an entity called Chesterfield Football Club was formed. It drew in players from the club and both Chesterfield Livingstone and Chesterfield Spital, though records show Spital continued as a separate club. After changing its name to Chesterfield Town, the club turned professional in 1891, for the 1892–93 season, the club wore an extraordinary playing strip of all dark blue with the Union Jack emblazoned across the front of the shirt. Chesterfield joined the Midland League in 1896, and successfully applied for a place in the Second Division of the Football League at the start of the 1899–1900 season, finishing seventh. After finishing bottom of the League three years in a row, the failed to gain re-election to the League in 1909. It lasted only two years before its management and players were suspended by the FA for illegal payments and the shut down. The current Chesterfield F. C was formed on 24 April 1919 by Chesterfield Borough Council, in 1921–22, Chesterfield F. C. became a founder member of the new Football League Third Division North
Rotherham United F.C.
Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, is a professional association football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. They compete in the Championship, the tier in the English football league system. Founded in 1925 as a merger between Rotherham Town and Rotherham County, the colours were initially yellow and black, but later evolved into the more traditional red. Rotherham United play their games at New York Stadium, a 12,000 capacity all-seater stadium. The Millers featured in the inaugural League Cup final in 1961 and they also achieved two separate back to back promotions in 1999–2001 under Ronnie Moore and 2012–2014 under Steve Evans. The clubs roots go back to 1870, when the club was formed as Thornhill Football Club, george Cook was the trainer around this time. For many years the team in the area was Rotherham Town. By the turn of the century, however, Town had resigned from the Football League and gone out of business, a new club of the same name later joined the Midland League. Meanwhile, Thornhills fortunes were on the rise to the extent that in 1905 they laid claim to being the pre-eminent club in the town, for a period both clubs competed in the Midland League, finishing first and second in 1911–12. Over time it became clear that to have two clubs in the town was not sustainable. Talks had begun in February 1925 and in early May the two merged to form Rotherham United. Days later the club was formally re-elected under its new name. The red and white was adopted around 1928 after playing in amber and black, immediately after the Second World War things looked up. The Millers won the only edition of the Football League Third Division North Cup in 1946 beating Chester 5–4 on aggregate. They then finished as runners-up three time in succession between 1947 and 1949 and then were champions of Division Three in 1951, during that season they had notable results including a 6–1 win over Liverpool. In 1961 the Millers beat Aston Villa 2–0 at Millmoor in the inaugural League Cup final first leg, the second leg was played the season after due to Villa having a Congested Fixture List. The club held on to its place in Division Two until 1968, in 1975 they were promoted back to the Third Division finishing in the 3rd promotion spot in the Fourth Division. The Millers won the Division Three title in 1981, Rotherham had a dismal first half of the 1981–82 season but a surge after the turn of 1982 saw them emerge as promotion contenders for the first time in nearly 30 years
Bradford City A.F.C.
Bradford City Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded in 1903 and immediately elected into the Football League Second Division, promotion to the top tier followed in 1908 and the club won the FA Cup in 1911, its only major honour. After relegation in 1922 from Division One, the club spent 77 years outside the top flight until promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Relegation followed in 2000–01 and since then a series of financial crises have pushed the club to the brink of closure, in the 2012–13 season, they became the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final, losing 5–0 to Swansea City. In the same season, they returned to Wembley for the playoff final, the clubs colours are claret and amber and they play home games at Valley Parade. The ground was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985 which took the lives of 56 supporters, stuart McCall, the current manager, was appointed in June 2016. C. The Football League saw the invitation as a chance to promote football in the rugby league-dominated county of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It duly elected the new club into Division Two of the league, four days later, at the 23rd annual meeting of Manningham FC, the committee decided to change code from rugby league to association football. Bradford City Association Football Club were formed without having played a game, taking over Manninghams colours of claret and amber, robert Campbell was appointed the clubs first manager and with the help of the new committee, he assembled a playing squad at the cost of £917 10s 0d. Citys first game was a 2–0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 1 September 1903, the club finished 10th in their first season. Peter ORourke took over as manager in November 1905, and he led City to the Division Two title in 1907–08, having narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight, City recorded their highest finish of 5th in 1910–11. The same season won the FA Cup, when a goal from captain Jimmy Speirs won the final replay against Newcastle United. Citys defence of the cup, which included the first Bradford derby against Bradford Park Avenue, was stopped by Barnsley after a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War, back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table. They suffered a relegation to Division Three in 1926–27. Two seasons later, ORourke, who had retired in 1921 following the death of his son. ORourke left for a time after one more season, and although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two