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
Anthony Richard Tony Pulis is a Welsh football manager and former footballer who is the head coach of West Bromwich Albion. Pulis obtained his FA coaching badge at age 19, followed by his UEFA A licence aged 21 – making him one of the youngest professional players ever to have obtained the qualification and his son, Anthony, was a professional footballer and played at Stoke. Pulis had a 17-year career as a defender where he played for Bristol Rovers, Newport County, AFC Bournemouth and he also had a short spell in Hong Kong with Happy Valley. Pulis took his first steps into management at AFC Bournemouth, where he was a player/coach and he then took control when Redknapp left the club. He then went on to Gillingham before leaving in 1999 after a dispute with chairman Paul Scally, Pulis then had unsuccessful spells at Bristol City and Portsmouth before being appointed manager of Stoke City in 2002. He guided Stoke through a tough 2002–03 season avoiding relegation to the Second Division on the day of the season. He spent two seasons with Stoke before being sacked by Stokes Icelandic board for failing to exploit the foreign market. He spent the 2005–06 season at Plymouth Argyle before returning to Stoke along with Peter Coates, after narrowly missing out on a play-off spot in the 2006–07 season he guided Stoke to the Premier League in the 2007–08 season by finishing runners-up in the Championship. With Stoke amongst the favourites for relegation upon their return to the top flight after a 23-year absence, Stoke went on to comfortably survive, Pulis made history during the 2010–11 season as he guided Stoke to their first FA Cup Final after beating Bolton Wanderers 5–0 in the semi-final. The Potters, however, lost the final 1–0 to Manchester City, in the UEFA Europa League, Stoke were drawn against Croatian side Hajduk Split and after two legs ran out 2–0 winners. After beating Swiss club Thun, Stoke were handed a tough group containing Beşiktaş, Dynamo Kyiv and Maccabi Tel Aviv which Stoke managed to progress through, finishing in second position. Citys reward was a tie against Spanish giants Valencia, but despite putting up a spirited second-leg performance, the 2012–13 season saw Stoke make little progress and Pulis left the club by mutual consent on 21 May 2013. Pulis returned to management on 23 November 2013 joining Crystal Palace on a two-and-a-half-year contract and he guided Palace away from relegation, to their highest Premier League finish of 11th in 2013–14, which earned him the Premier League Manager of the Season award. He left the club, however, shortly before the start of the subsequent season and he joined West Brom in January 2015. Pulis began his career at Bristol Rovers where he joined their school of excellence in Eastville from Newport YMCA. Pulis cites his time at Eastville as an excellent grounding with his Rovers team mate, the basic principles were drilled into us, both on and off the pitch. Nothing was given to us and we had to very, very hard for everything we got. Pulis made 85 league appearances for the Pirates before leaving to join Hong Kong club Happy Valley AA in 1981 and he returned to Rovers the following year and made a further 45 league appearances before moving to his home town club Newport County in 1984
The bet365 Stadium is an all-seater football stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England and the home of Premier League club Stoke City. The stadium was called the Britannia Stadium but was renamed on 1 June 2016 when the club entered into a new stadium-naming rights agreement with its parent company. It has space for 27,902 spectators with expansions plans announced by the club, the stadium was built in 1997 at a cost of £14.7 million as a replacement for the Victoria Ground. The highest attendance recorded at the stadium was 28,218 for the fixture against Everton in their FA Cup 3rd Round tie in 2002. Former player Sir Stanley Matthews ashes were buried beneath the circle of the pitch following his death in February 2000. In European competitions it is known as the Stoke Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship, the all-seater stadium cost nearly £15 million to build and brought the club up to standards with the Taylor Report of January 1990 to end 119 years at the Victoria Ground. Relocation had been considered by 1994 and by early 1996 the decision to build a new stadium had been confirmed, by early 1997, the skeletal steel superstructure was in place and the stadium began to take shape. Another £3 million was given as a grant by the Football Trust, the stadium was officially opened made by club legend Sir Stanley Matthews, then aged 82. After he died in February 2000, his ashes were buried beneath the centre circle. The first season at the new ground was a bad one as Stoke were relegated from Division One, four seasons of third tier football followed with Gunnar Gíslason taking control of the club in November 1999. The name of the ground was changed to the bet365 Stadium in June 2016, in total, the stadium cost £14. 7million and took around ten months to construct on the former site of Stafford No.2 Colliery, which had been closed in 1969. Building work began in late autumn 1996 and was completed in August 1997, the all-seater stadium can hold 28,384 supporters in four cantilever stands. The main West stand consists of two tiers of seating which house 7,357 spectators, plus all of the stadiums corporate, the L-shaped Boothen and East stands hold 6,006 and 8,789 people respectively. The South Stand, which is used by home and away supporters can hold 4,996 people but is unlikely to reach capacity due to spectator segregation. The clubs dressing rooms, offices, boardroom, ticket office, in 2006, work took place on the A50 to allow direct access to the stadium from the eastbound direction, involving building a bridge across the road. It is close to the Sideway junction with the A500, at the start of the 2010–11 season, the stadium was accessible via a new underpass under Stanley Matthews Way, to reduce traffic problems with exiting the area back onto the A50. In the middle of 2009, surveyors were asked to investigate the feasibility of filling in one, filling in a corner of the ground would cost approximately £3 million, increasing capacity by around 3,000 seats and taking the total capacity to over 30,000. In November 2009, chairman Peter Coates said that a decision on expansion would be made at the end of the season and was dependent on the clubs Premier League survival
Ricardo Dwayne Fuller is a retired Jamaican professional footballer who played as a striker. He has also played for the Jamaica national team, Fuller started his football career with Jamaican side Tivoli Gardens, before he moved to England with Crystal Palace in February 2001. He returned to Jamaica and then went on loan to Hearts and he scored 27 goals in 58 League game at Preston, which prompted Portsmouth to pay £1million for his services. Fuller failed to make an impact at Portsmouth and joined rivals Southampton in 2005 before Stoke City signed him for £500,000 in August 2006. At Stoke, he became a member of the first team. He remained a key figure in the top-flight, despite a poor record, and helped Stoke reach the 2011 FA Cup Final. After he recovered from his injury he was give a bit-part role. He spent the 2013–14 season with Blackpool and 2014–15 with Millwall and he joined Oldham Athletic in October 2015. Fuller was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and began his career with Tivoli Gardens and he had a trial with Charlton Athletic, playing in three reserve team matches. He moved to English club Crystal Palace in February 2001 for a fee of £1 million. At the time of his transfer he was suspended by the Jamaican football authority for kicking a Wadadah player in the head and he suffered from knee problems, and played just eight games for the Eagles. He returned to Tivoli at the end of the campaign failing to settle in London. Fuller spent the next season 2001–02 on loan at Scottish Premier League club Hearts and he had an instant impact, scoring 8 goals in 27 appearances, and finishing as the clubs joint top-scorer with Kevin McKenna. However, the Edinburgh-based club could not afford to sign Fuller on a permanent basis, Preston North End stepped in to sign the striker, paying £500,000. Fuller scored on his Preston debut, a 2–1 defeat at home to old club Crystal Palace and he had an explosive scoring rate, but unfortunately he suffered knee ligament damage in early December, which ended his season prematurely. He had scored 11 goals in only 20 appearances for the club, a fit again Fuller began the 2003–04 season on fire, including a run of six goals in five games, but his form tailed off as his knee troubled him once more. Despite this, he still scored 19 goals that season to become the clubs top-scorer, Fuller handed in a transfer request in June 2004 to force through a move to a Premiership club. Both Leeds United and Portsmouth then displayed their interest, however, Fuller moved to Fratton Park in August 2004 for £1 million, after scoring 31 goals in only 63 appearances for Preston
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They compete in the Premier League, Englands top tier of football, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14, this signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away. The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road and they moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011, Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting upset ever, multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. Due to the magnitude of the title win, it went down in English football history as one of the games finest ever achievements. The clubs previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, throughout Leicesters history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles, the club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition, City have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016 and they have also won the League Cup three times in 1964,1997 and 2000, as well as being runners up in 1964–65 and 1999. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as Leicester Fosse, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicesters first ever Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, the same season also saw the clubs largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, however, the club were relegated after a single season which included the clubs record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, the club was reformed as Leicester City Football Club, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, the club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is a professional association football club based in White City, London, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, as well as finishing top of the tier in 1983 and 2011. QPR were also runners-up of the Football League First Division in 1975–76, Queens Park Rangers were founded in 1886 after the merger of Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute. Owing to their proximity to other west London clubs, QPR maintain long-standing rivalries with other clubs in the area. The most notable of these are Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford, outside London, QPR also traditionally share rivalries with Watford, Luton and Cardiff, although in recent years these fixtures have become less prominent. For the current season see 2015–16 Queens Park Rangers F. C. season The club was formed in 1886, the resulting team was called Queens Park Rangers, because most of the players came from the Queens Park area of north-west London. QPR were promoted as champions of Division 3 South in the 1947–48 season, Dave Mangnall was the manager as the club participated in four seasons of the Second Division, being relegated in 1951–52. Tony Ingham was signed from Leeds United and went on to make the most ever league appearances for QPR, arguably the clubs greatest ever manager, Alec Stock, arrived prior to the start of the 1959–60 season. The 1960–61 season saw QPR achieve their biggest win to date, in time, Stock, together with Jim Gregory who arrived as chairman in the mid-1960s, helped to achieve a total transformation of the club and its surroundings. It is still the major trophy that QPR have won. It was also the first League Cup final to be held at Wembley Stadium, after winning promotion in 1968 to the top flight for the first time in their history, Rangers were relegated after just one season and spent the next four years in Division Two. Terry Venables joined from Spurs at the beginning of the 1969–70 season, during this time, new QPR heroes emerged including Phil Parkes, Don Givens, Dave Thomas and Stan Bowles. These new signings were in addition to home-grown talent such as Dave Clement, Ian Gillard, Mick Leach, after completing their 42-game season, QPR sat at the top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool who went on to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers to clinch the title. Wolves were relegated to the Second Division that same season, following Sextons departure in 1977 the club eventually slipped into the Second Division in 1979. In 1980 Terry Venables took over as manager and the club installed a plastic pitch, in 1982 QPR, still playing in the Second Division, reached the FA Cup Final for the only time in the clubs history, facing holders Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham won 1–0 in a replay, the following season QPR went on to win the Second Division championship and returned to English footballs top division. After a respectable fifth-place finish, and UEFA Cup qualification, the following year, in 1988 the club had a new chairman, Richard Thompson. Who at 24 was the Premier Leagues youngest ever chairman, over the next seven years, various managers came and went from Loftus Road and the club spent many seasons finishing mid table but avoided relegation
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
English football league system
There are more than 140 individual leagues, containing more than 480 divisions. As there are no definitions of any level below 11, any references to the structure at level 12. The pyramid for womens football in England runs separately to nine tiers, the Football League was created in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. It was dominated by clubs who had supported professionalism. The twelve founding members consisted of six from Lancashire and six from the Midlands, no sides from the South including London initially participated. The system consists of a pyramid of leagues, bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation. A certain number of the most successful clubs in each league can rise to a higher league, in addition to sporting performance, promotion is usually contingent on meeting criteria set by the higher league, especially concerning appropriate facilities and finances. In theory it is possible for a local amateur club to rise to the pinnacle of the English game and become champions of the Premier League. While this may be unlikely in practice, there certainly is significant movement within the pyramid, the top five levels contain one division each and are nationwide in scope. Below this, the levels have progressively more leagues, with each covering progressively smaller geographic areas. Many leagues have more than one division, at the lower levels the existence of leagues becomes intermittent, although in some of the more densely populated areas there are leagues more than twenty layers below the Premier League. Clubs from these leagues may, if they feel they meet the standard of play and have suitable facilities. The seven levels immediately below the Premier League and English Football League are known as the National League System, in May 2014 The Football Association announced provisional plans for a new division between the English Football League and the National League which would include B teams of higher level clubs. The English football league system does not include the version of the game often called Sunday league football. These leagues are independent entities with no promotion or relegation involving the football pyramid, however, some Sunday League clubs have been known to join pyramid leagues if they desire to progress higher. There are also some Saturday leagues such as the Lincolnshire League which are not officially part of the pyramid, at the top is the single division of the Premier League, containing 20 clubs, all of which, up to the 2010–11 season, were based in England. Below the Premier League is the English Football League, which is divided into three divisions of 24 clubs each, The Championship, League One and League Two, the 92 clubs in the Premier League and English Football League are all full-time professional clubs. They are often referred to as League clubs because, before the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, clubs outside this group are referred to as non-League clubs, although they too play most of their football in league-type competitions
The English Football League Championship is the highest division of the English Football League and second-highest overall in the English football league system, after the Premier League. Each year, the top finishing teams in the Championship are promoted to the Premier League, the Football League Championship, which was introduced for the 2004–05 season, was previously known as the Football League First Division, and before that was known as Division Two. The winners of the Championship receive the Football League Championship trophy, the Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and the seventh richest division in Europe. With an average attendance for the 2015-16 season of 17,578. Bundesliga as the secondary league in the world. In the 2015–16 season, Burnley were the champions, Middlesbrough were the runners up. At present, Ipswich Town hold the longest tenure in the Championship, the total figures were aided somewhat by the presence of 24 clubs, compared to 20 clubs in both Serie A and Ligue 1, and 18 in the Bundesliga. A major factor to the success comes from television revenue. On 30 September 2009, Coca-Cola announced they would end their deal with The Football League at the end of the 2009–10 season. On 18 July 2013, UK bookmaker Sky Bet announced that signed a 5-year agreement to sponsor the league. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, the teams are ranked in the league table by points gained, then goal difference, then goals scored and then their head-to-head record for that season. At the end of the season, the top two teams and the winner of the Championship play-offs are promoted to the Premier League and the three teams are relegated to Football League One. The Football League Championship play-offs is a competition for the teams finishing the season in third to sixth place with the winner being promoted to the Premier League. In the play-offs, the team plays against the sixth-placed team. The winners of each semi-final then compete in a match with the prize being promotion to the Premier League. From 2009 to 2012, Sky Sports had the rights to broadcast 65 live matches, the BBC had the rights to show 10 first choice live games for the regular season as well as the rights to show a highlight show. The deal is on a contract and is worth £264m that will mostly be paid by Sky. The deal included 75 live league games, all the matches,15 League Cup ties
Ryan James Shawcross /ˈʃɔːkrɒs/ is an English professional footballer who plays as a centre-back and is captain of Premier League club Stoke City. Shawcross began his career with Manchester United and made his debut for the club against Crewe Alexandra in the League Cup and he joined Stoke City on loan in August 2007 and made an instant impact scoring on his debut against Cardiff City. His good form prompted Stoke to pay Manchester United £1 million in January 2008 to keep him at the Britannia Stadium. He formed a defensive partnership with Leon Cort as Stoke gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time. Despite making a bad start to Premier League football, Shawcross established himself as first-choice centre-back along with Abdoulaye Faye, Stoke comfortably stayed up, and after another mid-table finish in 2009–10, Shawcross was handed the Captains armband by manager Tony Pulis ahead of the 2010–11 season. With Faye drifting out of the side, Robert Huth became Shawcrosss defensive partner, the run to the final also meant that Stoke entered the UEFA Europa League in 2011–12, and they reached the round of 32 losing to Spanish side Valencia. Shawcross continued to be a regular under Pulis in 2012–13 and then under Mark Hughes in 2013–14 which saw him win the player of the year award. Born in Chester, Shawcross grew-up in the Welsh town of Buckley, Flintshire where he attended Mountain Lane Primary School, while living in Buckley, Shawcross played in the youth team at Cymru Alliance side Buckley Town. During his primary school days, Shawcross played representative football for Flintshire Boys. When Shawcross was 15 years old, he and a number of Flintshire Boys players had a trial at Football League club Wrexham who offered contracts to some players but not to Shawcross. However, just three weeks later, he had a trial at Manchester United and was offered a contract at their academy and he also came on in the final minute of a 1–0 defeat to Southend United in the next round. On 9 August 2007, Shawcross was sent on loan again, after Stokes 2–1 win over Charlton Athletic Shawcross expressed his delight at Stokes early season from. In October 2007 he was involved in a tackle with Sheffield Wednesday player Francis Jeffers who sustained ligament damage, despite this Shawcross was named as the Championships player of the month for October. Additionally, Alex Ferguson negotiated a clause that gives Manchester United first refusal on any offer for the player and he lost his place in the side for the final few games of the promotion winning season to loan signing Chris Riggott. Although he did play in the match against Leicester City. At the end of the 2007–08 season, Shawcross was named in the Championship PFA Team of the Year along with team mates Ricardo Fuller, Shawcross re-claimed his place in side in late 2008 due to Sonkos poor performances. In a match against Arsenal in November 2008 a Shawcross off-the-pitch tackle led to an injury to Emmanuel Adebayor. Following his return to the side Shawcross scored in games against Aston Villa, Everton, the goal against Boro proved to be vital win for Stoke in the fight from relegation
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
Richard Paul Wesley Cresswell is an English semi-professional footballer who plays for Northern Premier League Division One North club Tadcaster Albion. He primarily plays as a striker but can play as a winger. Cresswell started his career with York City in their youth system, having scored 19 goals for York in the 1998–99 season, he signed for Premier League club Sheffield Wednesday in 1999. He signed for Preston permanently later that year and he had four full seasons with Preston, scoring a career best 21 goals in 2004–05, which culminated in defeat in the 2005 Championship play-off Final. Cresswell signed for Prestons Championship rivals Leeds United in 2005, and he missed their defeat in the 2006 Championship play-off Final through suspension. Following Leeds relegation into League One in 2007, he signed for Championship club Stoke City and he won promotion with them into the Premier League as Championship runners-up in 2007–08, with Cresswell scoring 12 goals. He spent one season in the Premier League with Stoke before joining Championship club Sheffield United on loan in 2009, United were relegated into League One in 2011, and Cresswell played in their defeat in the 2012 League One play-off Final. He was made player-coach at the club in 2012 before rejoining his first club York in 2013, Cresswell retired from playing later that year, before joining Yorks backroom staff in 2014. He had a spell as the clubs caretaker manager in 2015. Cresswell was born in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire to George and Denise and he started playing for Bridlington Rangers at the age of eight before joining the York City youth system aged 14 in 1991. Having been top scorer for the Northern Intermediate League team for three seasons, he signed a professional contract on 15 November 1995. Cresswell made his debut away to Brentford in a 2–0 defeat in the Second Division on 20 January 1996. He first scored for York with the goal of a 2–2 draw away to Bradford City on 2 March 1996. This proved to be his goal in the 1995–96 season. He scored his first and only goal for Mansfield in a 1–0 win away to Rochdale on 5 April 1997 and he scored four goals in 30 appearances for York in 1997–98, and during this season he was barracked by a small section of the York support. Cresswell admitted he had not made the impact he had hoped to in the York first team, but ahead of 1998–99 said Ive had some stick from a number of fans. This a big season for me, I want to do it for York City. I want to do it for myself, after a positive start to the season, Cresswell attracted attention from other clubs, with a number of scouts attending matches to watch him play
Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cardiff, Wales that competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C. before changing its name to Cardiff City in 1908 and they play their home games at the Cardiff City Stadium, after moving from Ninian Park in 2009. The club reverted to their traditional blue in January 2015 and they have long-standing rivalries with nearby clubs Swansea City, known as the South Wales derby, and Bristol City, known as the Severnside derby. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C and their first season saw them playing friendlies against local sides at their Sophia Gardens ground, but in 1900 they joined the Cardiff & District League for their first competitive season. To combat this they arranged to join the South Wales Amateur League in 1907, with the club growing in stature, they were forced to turn down the opportunity to join the newly formed Southern League Second Division due to the lack of facilities at their Sophia Gardens ground. The club eventually secured land to build their own stadium, moving into Ninian Park, the club made its first signing the following year with the acquisition of Jack Evans from fellow Welsh club Cwmparc. With the new ground in place, Cardiff joined the Southern League Second Division, and appointed their first manager in Davy McDougall, who became player-manager. They went on to finish in place in their first year in the league but the board decided to replace McDougall with Fred Stewart. In 1920, the club submitted an application to join the Football League and were placed into the Second Division for the 1920–21 season. Stewart brought in players with Football League experience, breaking the clubs transfer record on two occasions to sign Jimmy Gill and later Jimmy Blair from The Wednesday. In the 74th minute, after collecting a throw George MacLachlan, dan Lewis, the Arsenal goalkeeper, appeared to collect the ball but, under pressure from the advancing Len Davies, clumsily allowed the ball to roll through his grasp. In a further attempt to retrieve the ball Lewis only succeeded in knocking the ball with his elbow into his own net, captain Fred Keenor received the FA Cup trophy from King George V only seven years after Cardiff City had entered the Football League. However, he was unable to turn the fortunes around by the end of the season. McCandless left the club soon after and was replaced by Cyril Spiers who led the club to promotion the in 1951–52 season, however, despite spending five seasons in the First Division, the club continually struggled in the bottom half of the table and were eventually relegated in 1957. They returned to the First Division for two seasons between 1960 and 1962 before again suffering relegation, during the 1960s, Cardiff began qualifying for European competition for the first time as a result of winning the Welsh Cup. They went on to reach the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Real Zaragoza, despite their exploits in Europe, the club were still struggling in league competition under the stewardship of Jimmy Scoular, finishing in 20th position in the Second Division. After a 1–1 draw in the first leg, just over 43,000 fans turned out at Ninian Park to watch Hamburg win 3–2, during the 1970–71 season, Cardiff reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup where they faced Spanish side Real Madrid. The first leg of the tie was held at Ninian Park where 47,000 fans watched one of the most famous victories in the history when Brian Clark headed in to give Cardiff a 1–0 win
Charlton Athletic F.C.
Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London. They play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded on 9 June 1905 when a number of clubs in south-east London, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission. The clubs traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks, Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four periods in the top flight of English football, 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999. Historically, Charltons most successful period was the 1930s, when the clubs highest league finishes were recorded, after World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947. Charlton Athletic F. C. were formed on 9 June 1905 by a group of 15- to 17-year-olds in East Street, Charlton which is now known as Eastmoor Street, Charlton spent most of the years before the First World War playing in youth leagues. They became a side in 1913 the same year that nearby Woolwich Arsenal relocated to North London. After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season before becoming professional and they were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season before being voted into the Football League. Charltons first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, later that year it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support. In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of The Enders, light, however, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process. Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful, Three years later the Addicks won the Division Three championship in 1929 and they remained at the Division Two level for four years. Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of gas in the First World War. He is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley, Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division and they were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War. This continued during the war years and they won the war cup, Charlton reached the 1946 FA Cup Final, but lost 4–1 to Derby County at Wembley. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, with Chris Duffy scoring the goal of the day. In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only thirteen English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season, the Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club in Coventry, West Midlands, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 and they won their only major trophy in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 to win the FA Cup. They are one of five clubs to have ever won the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup in the same season. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, beating Oxford United 2-1 to win the English Football League Trophy. Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to Football League One in 2012, Coventry have qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, they competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in their home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Munich to go out of the competition. They were unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners Cup due to the ban on English clubs at that time, from 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road. A return to the Ricoh Arena was announced on 21 August 2014 by the club after a one-year absence,1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The clubs name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City,1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst ever defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained ever since,1928 – In February, and with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the clubs worst ever attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace,1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals,1934 – City record their biggest ever victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club and he played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 43 years and 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league Kings Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United,1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made manager and BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club, Coventrys record attendance was also set in this year – officially recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Colchester, Essex, England. The team competes in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1937, the club spent its early years playing in the Southern Football League until they were elected to the Football League in 1950. Colchester United were relegated to the Football Conference in 1990 following a decline in the late 1980s and they achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1998 following a 1–0 win against Torquay United in the play-off final. The club were promoted in 2006, achieving second place in League One. The club returned to League One in 2008 following relegation from the Championship, Colchester United play their home games at Colchester Community Stadium in Colchester. They relocated to the stadium in 2008 when they moved away from Layer Road, until 1937, Colchester Town were Colchesters main club and were the original tenants of Layer Road. Colchester Town joined the Eastern Counties League in 1935, but their performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional. With club officials against the idea of turning professional, a new club was formed in March 1937, Colchester United. United joined the Southern Football League as crowds for Town matches dwindled, in December 1937, Colchester United formed a reserve team, signing many of Towns players. As a result of this and Town struggling with £300 debts, the club won the Southern League Cup in their first season of existence, and were Southern League champions during in 1939 prior to the Second World War. They finally fell to Blackpool in the fifth round and this set them in good stead for potential election to the Football League. Colchester United were elected to the Football League in 1950 on the back of their second Southern League Cup win and ending the 1949–50 season second to Merthyr Tydfil on goal average alone. With the draw having been made prior to the replay against Rochdale, the Us knew they would face a home tie with First Division Leeds United, and duly trounced Dale 5–0. In the match with Leeds, the Us raced to an unprecedented 3–0 lead in front of a 16,000 Layer Road crowd, Leeds did grab two goals back but Colchester held on for a famous 3–2 victory. The club faced Everton in the quarter-finals but succumbed to a 5–0 defeat in front of 53,028 at Goodison Park. Financial difficulties and a number of changes at board level in the mid-1980s caused a slide towards the end of the Fourth Division table. Despite a brief turn around in form under former Rangers manager Jock Wallace, despite their relegation, the Us remained a full-time club while playing in the Football Conference, as they sold their Layer Road ground to the Colchester Borough Council to clear the clubs debts
Jonathan Parkin is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for National League club York City. Born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Parkin progressed through the system of his hometown club Barnsley as a defender. He made his debut at the age of 17 against Hartlepool United. But after only 13 games for Barnsley, he moved to Hartlepool on loan making a permanent move to Terry Dolans York City. Parkin scored 15 goals in 87 appearances for York, despite playing in a central defensive role. After nearly two years with the club, he moved to Macclesfield Town in February 2004, after York told him they would not be able to him the same pay deal for the 2004–05 season. In 2004–05, he scored 26 goals in all competitions for the team, by this time he was playing solely as a forward. At the start of 2005–06, Parkin had an injury to his knee stopped him from playing until October 2005. Macclesfield confirmed they had rejected two bids for Parkin by 5 January 2006, but Championship club Hull City eventually signed him for a fee on an 18-month contract on 12 January. He marked his debut with a goal against Crystal Palace, in a match that Hull were defeated 2–1 and he finished 2005–06 with five goals in 18 games for Hull. This, along with his towering position upfront, helped Hull City stay clear of the zone, finishing in 18th place. In the opening month of 2006–07, he was the only Hull City player to score in the league, Parkin was loaned out to Stoke City for the remainder of 2006–07 in March 2007. He made his debut in a 2–1 victory over Southampton and he was recalled by Hull on 10 April 2007 after making six appearances and scoring three goals for Stoke. On 20 June 2007, Parkin signed for Stoke permanently for a fee of £275,000. He joined Preston North End on a loan on 30 August 2008. He made his debut on the day he joined the club as the team beat Charlton Athletic 2–1 and his first goal came after heading in a Ross Wallace cross against Doncaster Rovers in the 82nd minute on 9 December, which sealed a 1–0 victory. He followed this up with the winner against second-place Birmingham City and he also went on to score in the Boxing Day win over Derby County following another cross from Wallace. He scored Prestons first goal in a 2–1 victory over Queens Park Rangers with a 37th-minute goal, on 2 January 2010, Parkin scored his first FA Cup hat-trick for Preston in their 7–0 win over Colchester United
Ninian Park was a football stadium in the Leckwith area of Cardiff, Wales. The site is now a development with the same name. Between 1910 and 2009 the Ninian Park stadium was the ground of Cardiff City F. C. Ninian Park stadium was demolished and the site was redeveloped with residential housing. Ninian Park is named after Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Ninian Crichton-Stuart, son of John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the ground featured large floodlights in each corner and a plasma-screen television showed highlights during the game. The stadium hosted a number of Welsh international fixtures, including the Wales v Scotland World Cup qualifier on 10 September 1985, at which Scotland manager Jock Stein collapsed and died. The last ever Cardiff City football match played at Ninian Park was a 3-0 defeat to Ipswich Town, the club relocated to their new all-seater stadium for the 2009-10 season, and the 99-year-old Ninian Park was demolished later in 2009 to make way for a housing development. This left Corneli Primary Schools manager, lifelong Cardiff fan Alex Clarke, the stadium featured four stands, the Spar Family Stand, the John Smiths Grange End, the Popular Bank and the Grandstand. The Grandstand was a two-tier, all-seater stand, with old-fashioned wooden seats in the upper tier and this stand also had several supporting poles holding up the roof. This stand also housed the area in which the player dressing rooms and tunnel were incorporated, as well as housing the dugouts, the V. I. P. area and the press/media benches. The Popular Bank had a mixture of covered seating to the rear of the stand and it also had several supporting poles, and one section housed the away fans. The away section had terracing to the back and seating at the front, in between the home and away fans was a gap separating opposing fans from home fans. There was also netting in the middle just in case anybody wanted to get to the side or throw anything. This gap in between the fans came in in 2005 where before there was just a metal fence separating home. It was officially opened on 1 September 1928 before a match against Burnley by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. The area behind the goal where the stand was built was previously an earth embankment, in the 1946/1947 season a spectator fell through the roof of the Grange End during a game with Bristol City. The Spar Family Stand was a covered, all-seated stand with several supporting poles along the width of the stand. The club ticket office was located within this stand where an exterior entrance was provided
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight
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
Hull City A.F.C.
Hull City Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the Premier League, the top tier of English football – and their greatest achievement in cup competitions came in 2014, when the team reached the final of the FA Cup. In 2007–08 they achieved promotion to the top flight of English football for the first time in their history by winning the Championship play-off Final at Wembley Stadium and their highest league finish was for the 2013–14 season, in which they finished 16th in the Premier League table. Hull City play their games at the KCOM Stadium. They moved there in 2002 after playing their previous 56 seasons at Boothferry Park, Boothferry Park has since been demolished and been replaced by a housing development. Hull traditionally play in black and amber, often with a shirt design. The clubs mascots are Roary the Tiger and his sister Amber. C. and these early matches were played at the Boulevard, the home of Hull F. C. The clubs first competitive match was in the FA Cup preliminary round, drawing 3–3 with Stockton on 17 September. After disputes with landlords at the Boulevard, Hull City moved to Anlaby Road Cricket Ground, after having played 44 friendly fixtures the previous season, Hull City were finally admitted into the Football League Second Division for the 1905–06 season. Other teams competing in the league season included the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, Bradford City. Hull defeated Barnsley 4–1 at home in their first game and finished the season in fifth place, the following season a new ground was built for Hull City across the road from the cricket ground. Still under the managership of Ambrose Langley, Hull continued to finish consistently in the top half of the table and they came close to promotion in the 1909–10 season, recording what would be their highest finish until they matched it in 2008. Hull finished third, level on points with second placed Oldham Athletic, Hulls greatest achievement in cup competitions until 2014 was in 1930, when they reached the FA Cup semi-finals. The cup run saw Hull knock out the champions of the Second and Third Divisions, Blackpool. They then knocked out Manchester City, to meet Newcastle United in the quarter-finals, the first game at St James Park finished as a 1–1 draw, but in the replay Hull beat Newcastle 1–0. The semi-final match against Arsenal took place at Elland Road in Leeds, the game ended 2–2, Arsenal knocked Hull out at Villa Park, the game ending 1–0. After the Second World War, the moved to another new ground. In the 1948–49 season, managed by former England international Raich Carter, Hull also became the first team in the world to go out of a cup competition on penalties, beaten by Manchester United in the semi-final of the Watney Cup on 1 August 1970
Barnsley Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the Tykes, they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy under the name Barnsley St. Peters, the club colours are red and white, and their home ground since 1888 has been Oakwell. Taylor broke into the Barnsley team just after the sale of wing-half Danny Blanchflower to Aston Villa. Blanchflower would go on to sign for Tottenham Hotspur and be voted FWA Player of the Year twice as well as captaining the North London club to the first league and cup double of the 20th century. Barnsley FC was established in 1887 by a clergyman, Tiverton Preedy and they joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in the Second Division for the first decade, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910 the club reached the FA Cup final, where they lost out to Newcastle United in a replay match. However, they would reach the 1912 FA Cup Final where they would defeat West Bromwich Albion 1–0 in a replay to win the trophy for the first. When the league restarted after World War I, the 1919–20 season brought significant changes to the league. The principal difference was that the First Division would be increased from 20 teams to 22, the bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were duly relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, derby County and Preston North End were rightly promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled. Henry Norris, the then Arsenal chairman, had recently moved Woolwich Arsenal north of the River Thames to Highbury and he was later to admit some underhand dealings, allegedly including the bribing of some member clubs to vote for Arsenals inclusion. They duly won the vote and Barnsley were consigned to the tier of English football for another 8 decades. The club did come close to reaching the top division in the early years. In 1922, they missed out on promotion by a single goal, during the years preceding and following World War II, the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division. Around the time of Blanchflowers departure, a young centre-forward called Tommy Taylor broke into the Barnsley team, scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Barnsley. In April 1953, he one of the most expensive players in English football at the time when Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United for a fee of £29,999. In 1965, Barnsley were relegated to the Football League Fourth Division for the first time and they went down to the Fourth Division again in 1972, and this time stayed down for seven seasons, finally returning to the Third Division in 1979
Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. They have played in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. They are one of two teams in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City – Argyles local rivals, since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles, five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the clubs 42nd in the tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once. The club takes its nickname, The Pilgrims, from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620, the club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have played in dark green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football and they are the most southerly and westerly League club in England. Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England, the original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of a process of renovation. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United, the other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United, plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council. This purchase was concluded in December 2006, in December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should Englands bid be successful. The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010, however, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million. The club was taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Daniel Adam Pugh is an English footballer who plays for EFL League One club Port Vale. A versatile player, he can play in midfield or at left-back and he began his career with Manchester United, and made a handful of first team appearances before being traded to Leeds United in May 2004. He spent two seasons at Elland Road before joining Preston North End for a fee of £250,000 in June 2006, another two-year spell followed until he joined Stoke City for £500,000 in January after a short loan period. He became a regular under Tony Pulis and helped the club to promotion out of the Championship in 2007–08. He made 62 appearances in his spell at Leeds and also played on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in the 2012–13 season. He left Leeds and went on to spend the 2014–15 season with Coventry City and he signed with Port Vale in January 2017. He made his Premier League debut three days later, this time replacing Ryan Giggs with five minutes remaining of a 1–0 home victory over Tottenham Hotspur and he went on to make further appearances against Juventus and Deportivo de La Coruña in the second group stage of the Champions League. Having played five times in the 2002–03 season, he was given just two appearances by Alex Ferguson in the 2003–04 campaign, in May 2004, Pugh was traded to derby rivals Leeds United in part-exchange for Alan Smith, becoming the first player signed by manager Kevin Blackwell. He scored his first goal in football on 10 August. He went on to both of Uniteds goals in a 2–2 draw at Crewe Alexandra on 18 September. He held down the midfield position in a 4–4–2 formation for the first half of the 2004–05 season. However Pugh fell out of favour at Leeds after Blackwells decision to switch to a 4–3–3 formation, Pugh was sold to Championship rivals Preston North End in June 2006 for a fee of £250,000, becoming Paul Simpsons first signing as manager at Deepdale. He scored four goals in 49 games in the 2006–07 season, on 2 November 2007, Pugh joined Stoke City initially on loan with a view to a permanent move in January, manager Tony Pulis was delighted to have signed a quality left-sided midfielder. The move was made permanent on 3 January, with Stoke paying Preston £500,000 for Pughs services and he played 32 games for Stoke in the 2007–08 season as the club secured promotion to the Premier League by finishing second in the Championship. However he struggled to establish himself in the first team during the 2008–09 season and he did though score his first goal for the club in a 2–0 win over Rotherham United in a League Cup match at the Britannia Stadium on 11 November. He signed a contract extension in October 2009. He scored his first Premier League goal in a 3–1 home defeat to Arsenal on 27 February, however he also gave away a penalty in the match. After struggling for first team appearances at Stoke, Pugh returned to his old club Preston North End on a loan on 17 November 2010
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
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Andrew Andy Griffin is an English former footballer. Griffin began his career at Stoke City, where he established a reputation as a solid wing-back defender and his impressive performances for the Potters led to him being signed by Newcastle United for a fee of £1. 5million in January 1998. He spent six years on Tyneside before moving south to Portsmouth in 2004 and he was unable to establish himself as first choice right back at Pompey and re-joined his old club Stoke on loan for the 2006–07 season. He helped Stoke to claim promotion and was captain of the side for the 2008–09 season. Griffin lost his place in the side after an on the altercation with Ricardo Fuller at West Ham United in December 2008. He joined Reading in 2010 helping them gain promotion at the attempt after failing in the play-offs. He was released by Reading in May 2012 and joined Doncaster Rovers in October 2012 and he spent two years at Doncaster before ending his career with a short spell at Chester Griffin was born in Wigan, Greater Manchester and began his career with Stoke City. He impressed in the youth ranks and he was handed a professional contract in July 1996. 5million in January 1998. Griffin settled quickly in Newcastle and earned call-ups to the England U21 team, however he picked up an injury in August 1999 ruling him out for the 1999–2000 season but made a comeback the following season but he again suffered a hernia injury missing another season. Injuries and a failure to get a place in the side saw him not offered a new contract by Newcastle at the end of the 2003–04 season. Griffin joined Portsmouth in May 2004 on a free transfer, after agreeing to join the Fratton Park club Griffin revealed that he took the advice of former Newcastle team mate Lomana LuaLua. His Pompey career got off to a bad start as he conceded an own goal on his debut in a 2–0 home defeat against Tottenham Hotspur and he played 27 games in 2004–05 and 21 games in 2005–06. By the summer of 2006 he dropped out of Harry Redknapps plans and he became first choice right back under Tony Pulis as was a number of loan signings for Stoke in the 2006–07 season which helped turn around the clubs fortunes. He scored two goals for Stoke, firstly against Leeds United in a 4–0 victory, and then a sensational 30-yard strike against Coventry City, after the match Pulis spoke of his delight at Grffins goal and performance. It was a fantastic goal. He came through the ranks at Stoke as a kid and that mean a lot to him. It will have been lovely for him to score because hes got family here, were delighted that Portsmouth have allowed us to have him on loan. He played 34 matches for Stoke in 2006–07 as Stoke narrowly missed out on a play-off place, on 31 July 2007 Griffin signed for Premier League side Derby County on a three-year deal
Paul Gallagher (footballer)
Paul Gallagher is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a forward for Preston North End. Born in Glasgow, he has played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers, and he has been capped once by the Scotland national team. Gallagher made his performance as a substitute in a 2–0 win over the 2001–02 Premier League champions Arsenal on 15 March 2003. He scored his first goal in a 4–0 win over Birmingham City in the 2003–04 season, on 21 February 2004, in an away game against Charlton Athletic, Gallagher assisted goalkeeper Brad Friedel to his only career goal from open play in the 90th minute. Friedels goal equalised the game at 2–2, but seconds later Charlton scored again through Claus Jensen and he spent almost all of the 2005–06 season on loan to Stoke City. He played most of his 36 games on the left or right wing, scoring 12 goals. Against Southampton on 15 April 2006, he exchanged a one-two on the edge of the area with Adam Rooney before drilling home a thunderous thirty yard drive into the far top corner of the net. On transfer deadline day 31 August 2007, Gallagher signed a 6-month loan deal with Championship side Preston North End and he scored once during his spell at Preston, scoring the winner in a 1–0 win over Sheffield Wednesday. The following January, he moved from Blackburn back to Stoke City on loan again until summer of 2008, then-manager Tony Pulis however, was not impressed with Gallagher, remarking he hasnt done as well as the other players. On 30 August 2008, Gallagher signed on loan for the rest of the 2008–09 season with Plymouth Argyle, making his debut that day at Turf Moor against Blackburns fierce local rivals. Although Blackburn Rovers appointed Sam Allardyce as their new manager in December 2008 and he was a huge impact for the club, scoring 13 goals in 40 league games. Gallagher was hopeful that he would secure a permanent deal with Plymouth after resigning himself to the fact that he was not wanted at Blackburn, seeing his return to Blackburn as a fresh start, Gallagher was informed by Sam Allardyce he could yet have a future at the club. On 21 August 2009, Gallagher signed a deal with Leicester City for an undisclosed fee. Handed the number 24 shirt, Gallagher was delighted to be here and he scored his first two goals for Leicester in a 2–0 win over Crystal Palace on 20 October 2009, coming on as a half-time substitute for Lloyd Dyer. Gallagher failed to score for 17 games before bagging a hat-trick, leaving the field to a standing ovation 7 minutes from the final whistle, it was his first ever professional hat-trick. On 27 February, Gallagher scored from a free-kick in a 3–0 win over Nottingham Forest and his fine form earned him the Championship Player of the Month award for February. He signed an extension with the club on 15 March 2011. Gallagher scored two goals in Leicesters 3–0 win over Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on 20 November 2011, in September 2012, Gallagher joined Sheffield United on a month-long loan
John Mark Eustace is an English former footballer who played as a central midfielder for Coventry City, Stoke City, Watford and Derby County. He also spent time on loan at Dundee United, Middlesbrough and he is currently manager of National League side Kidderminster Harriers. Born in Solihull, Eustace began his career as a trainee at Coventry City, despite the fact that he was at the club for seven years, he only recorded 98 appearances in all competitions due to injuries. At 19 he went out on loan to Dundee United to gain first team experience and he played eleven matches and scored one goal against Hearts, becoming a firm favourite with United fans who voted him their young player of the year. He returned to Coventry where he began to establish himself in the first team, in the 2000–01 season, he appeared in 32 league games. Despite his efforts, the club were relegated from the Premier League, at the start of the next season, he was named as captain by manager Gordon Strachan. However, on 8 September 2001, Eustace was struck down with an injury during Coventrys league defeat to Grimsby which kept him sidelined for 7 months. He returned to action in April 2002, Eustace started the 2002–03 season well and attracted interest from Premier League club Middlesbrough, to whom he was loaned out. He only made one appearance, away to Liverpool, where he appeared for only the final two minutes of the game, but earned himself a yellow card. Eustace made 33 league appearances over the season, his last with Coventry, at the start of the 2003–04 season, Eustace left Coventry for Stoke City. He made his debut at Stoke in a 3–0 win over Derby County at the start of the 2003–04 season and it later became clear that Eustaces injury would keep him out for at least the rest of the season. He missed the rest of the 2004–05 season and all of the 2005–06 season because of the injury, however, Eustace signed a 1-year contract extension at the beginning of the season, which lasted until the end of the 2006–07 season. Eustace returned from his injury lay off in June 2006. He made his first appearance for Stoke City in over 18 months in their 2–0 friendly win over local opposition Newcastle Town, on 13 October 2006, Eustace joined Hereford United on loan to gain first team football to aid his comeback. During his time at Edgar Street he was a key part of the Hereford midfield, however, on 14 December 2006 he was suddenly recalled by Stoke due to them suffering several injuries in midfield. Johns grandfather Ken Eustace also played one match for Hereford during the 1949–50 season, Eustace returned to the Stoke starting line up in the 3rd round FA Cup match against Millwall. On 11 February 2007, he started his first league match of the season in Stokes 1–0 loss to Birmingham City, in total, Eustace made 23 league appearances over the course of the season for Stoke and Hereford. Eustace later signed a contract extension with the club, to take him up until the summer of 2008
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, after finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922. Watford spent most of the half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours. England manager Graham Taylors tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights, between Taylors appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, the club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyds management. After eight years, Watford are again competing in the Premier League 2015–16 season, Watford is currently owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Watford Rovers was formed in 1881 by Henry Groverand, who went on to play for the club as a full-back, Rovers, originally composed entirely of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford. The team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, the team became the football section of West Hertfordshire Sports Club in 1890, and consequently moved to a ground on Cassio Road. Renamed as West Hertfordshire in 1893, Rovers joined the Southern Football League in 1896, West Hertfordshire merged with local rivals Watford St. Marys in 1898, the merged team was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and he led Watford to promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, there was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. The Football League was suspended in 1939 due to the Second World War, Football resumed in 1946, with Watford still in the Third Division South. Ron Burgess replaced McBain during that season, and in the following campaign Burgess presided over Watfords first Football League promotion and this team included Fourth Division top scorer Cliff Holton, who scored a club record 42 league goals in the season. Holton was sold to Northampton the following year after another 34 goals, eighteen-year-old Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings also featured under McGarry, and made his international debut despite being a Third Division player. Furphys rebuilding came to fruition in 1969 with the signing of Barry Endean, Watford secured the Third Division title in April, at home to Plymouth Argyle. A year later Watford reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, defeating First Division teams Stoke City, hampered by a lack of funds, however, Furphy eventually joined Blackburn Rovers, to be succeeded by George Kirby
Glenn David Whelan is an Irish footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Stoke City and the Republic of Ireland national team. In January 2008 Whelan joined Stoke City for a fee of £500,000 with whom he helped gain promotion to the Premier League, Whelan continued to be a regular in the side under Pulis in and kept his place under Mark Hughes. Whelan grew up in Palmerstown and attended St. Lorcans Boys National School, Whelan started his career with Manchester City joining from Irish feeder club Cherry Orchard in 2001. He made a appearance in the UEFA Cup coming on as a substitute for Paul Bosvelt against Total Network Solutions in August 2003. After appearing in the Republic of Irelands World Youth Cup campaign in November and December, in total Whelan played 15 times on loan at Bury and caught the attentions of Sheffield Wednesday manager Chris Turner. Whelan joined Sheffield Wednesday on a transfer in the summer of 2004. He scored his first goal for Wednesday in a 1–1 draw against Walsall in the league and his promising start to his Wednesday career took a knock as he was sent off in a League Cup tie against Coventry City for violent conduct. However, caretaker manager Mark Smith criticised the referees decision, under new manager Paul Sturrock the team managed to finish in 5th position in 2004–05 claiming a play-off place where they defeated Brentford to reach the final. Whelan was voted man of the match in the League One play-off final against Hartlepool United at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff after scoring the third goal for Wednesday. After Wednesday won promotion to the Championship, Whelan was trialled as captain by Paul Sturrock after regular captain Lee Bullen was injured. In July 2006, Whelan was placed on the transfer list by Sturrock following increased competition for places in the Wednesday midfield after the arrival of Wade Small, Kenny Lunt and he was subsequently removed from the transfer list by the following manager, Brian Laws. Whelan repaid the faith shown in him with seven goals and he then went on to win a number of player of the year awards for the clubs 2006–07 season. His performances led to manager Laws entering into negotiations with Whelan. Sheffield Wednesday rejected bids for Whelan from both Burnley and Plymouth Argyle in January 2008, however, a £500,000 bid from Stoke City was accepted on transfer deadline day. Whelan joined Stoke City on 30 January 2008 for £500,000 signing a three and a half-year contract. He made his first Stoke City appearance in a Championship match against Cardiff City on 2 February 2008 when he came on as a substitute in the 82nd minute for Mamady Sidibe, Whelan made his first Stoke City league start the following game in a 4–2 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers. He scored his first goal for Stoke in a 2–1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on 7 April 2008, Whelan played 14 times for Stoke City in the 2007–08 season as Stoke finished 2nd and were promoted to the Premier League. Whelan started the clubs first game in the Premier League against Bolton Wanderers, Whelan didnt have a good game and as a result he didnt feature much in the first team, only playing in League Cup fixtures and even reserve games
Molineux Stadium is a Championship football stadium situated in Wolverhampton, England. The stadium has however hosted England internationals and, more recently, England under-21 internationals, although currently a 31,000 seater stadium, the record attendance at Molineux stands at 61,315. Initial plans were announced in May 2010 to rebuild two sides of the stadium by the 2014–15 season to increase capacity to around 36,000, the first stage of this project began in summer 2011 and was completed on course for the start of the 2012–13 season. There are also future plans for a longer term redevelopment of every stand that could potentially create a 50,000 capacity. It consists of four stands, the Steve Bull Stand, the Sir Jack Hayward Stand, the Stan Cullis Stand, both the Billy Wright and Stan Cullis stands feature statues of each man in front of them. The total seated capacity of the stands is approximately 31,500, the 1940s and 1950s saw average attendances for seasons regularly exceed 40,000, coinciding with the clubs peak on the field. The first was a 6–1 win over Ireland on 7 March 1891, England again beat Ireland, this time 4–0, on 14 February 1903 and lost to Wales 2–1 on 5 February 1936. The last was a 5–2 defeat of Denmark in a 1958 World Cup qualifier on 5 December 1956 and it has also hosted three England under-21 internationals and, in 2005, hosted some European Youth Championship qualifying matches. On 24 June 2003, Molineux also became Wolverhamptons biggest live concert venue, up until May 2011, the ground had a capacity of 29,400. The lower tier of the new North Bank was opened for use in September 2011 for the second home game of the season. The upper tier on the new stand was completed by the start of the 2012–13 season, however the club have delayed the second phase of the redevelopment in rebuilding the Steve Bull Stand. For both the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons in the Championship and League One respectively, the South-West Corner has been closed. The Molineux name originates from Benjamin Molineux, a local merchant who, in 1744, purchased land on which he built Molineux House. The estate was purchased in 1860 by O. E, mcGregor, who converted the land into a pleasure park open to the public. Molineux Grounds, as it was titled, included a range of facilities including an ice rink, a cycling track, a boating lake and, most crucially. The grounds were sold to the Northampton Brewery in 1889, who rented its use to Wolverhampton Wanderers, after renovating the site, the first ever league game was staged on 7 September 1889 in a 2–0 victory over Notts County before a crowd of 4,000. Wolves bought the freehold in 1923 for £5,607 and soon set about constructing a grandstand on the Waterloo Road side. In 1932, the club built a new stand on the Molineux Street side
Scunthorpe United F.C.
Scunthorpe United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The team is nicknamed The Iron, and has played in a strip of claret. It plays its games at Glanford Park, having moved from the Old Show Ground in 1988. Grimsby Town, Hull City, Doncaster Rovers, Lincoln City and York City are its main rivals, the club was formed in 1899, turned professional in 1912 and joined the Football League in 1950. It achieved promotion to Division Two in 1958, where it stayed until 1964, the club has had more success recently, however, it was promoted from Football League Two in 2005, and then spent three out of four seasons from 2007 in the Football League Championship. The Iron were relegated to Football League One in 2011, having finished bottom of the Championship, in recent years, the club has developed a reputation for developing promising young strikers, having sold Billy Sharp, Martin Paterson and Gary Hooper on for seven-figure sums. The club was considered one of the most financially prudent in English football. Scunthorpe United was formed in 1899, in 1910 they merged with local rivals North Lindsey United to become Scunthorpe & Lindsey United, and joined the Midland Football League in 1912. After an unsuccessful application to join the Football League in 1921, Scunthorpe & Lindsey won the Midland League in 1926–27, after the end of the war, in 1945, Scunthorpe & Lindsey United would re-apply to join the Football League at every opportunity. The club finished as runners-up in the Midland League in 1947–48, the clubs first game in Football League Division Three North was against fellow new entrants Shrewsbury Town. After an unremarkable few years in the Football League, which included the clubs first ever third and fourth round FA Cup ties, in 1958 Scunthorpe United won promotion to Football League Division Two as champions of the old Division Three under the guidance of manager Ron Suart. This was despite the sale of its leading marksman Barrie Thomas to Newcastle United for a reported £40,000, after relegation from Division Two, the Iron spent the next four years bouncing around in the Third Division. Freddie Goodwin left the club during the 1967–68 season, however his replacement Ron Ashman was unable to save the club from relegation to Division Four at the end of the season. The Iron were unable to cement a place in the Third Division, at the same time Ron Ashman departed to manage local rivals Grimsby Town, only to return during 1976. The period between his two tenures saw several management changes and a league campaign which saw the Iron finish rock bottom of the Football League in 1975. The next five years saw United stagnate in the bottom-half of Division Four, in 1988 Scunthorpe United became the first English football club in the modern era to move to a new, purpose-built stadium, Glanford Park. The ground was sold to the supermarket chain Safeway and the search was started for a new location
Ipswich Town F.C.
Ipswich Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936 and they play their home games at Portman Road in Ipswich. The clubs traditional colours are blue shirts and white shorts. Ipswich have won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62 and they won the FA Cup in 1977–78, and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81. They have competed in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957–58. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio and Barcelona F. C. among others. The club was founded as a side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A. F. C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club. The team won a number of cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup. The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, Ipswich were elected to The Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in Division Three until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to Division Two. The club won the Division Three title again in 1956–57, and this time, Ipswich established themselves in Division Two, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, Division One, in 1960–61. In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became Champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62, as English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to Milan. Ramsey quit the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team, after the team won the 1966 World Cup, Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn, under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Milburn quit after just one season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969, Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup, at their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties
Layer Road was a Football League stadium in Colchester, England. It was only used for matches and was the home ground of Colchester United before being replaced by the Colchester Community Stadium. The stadium held 6,320 spectators and was built in 1907, Layer Road has often had up to 17,000 packed into the ground, when Colchester had been on a good FA Cup run, before the capacity was reduced to 6,320. The record attendance at Layer Road is 19,072 for an FA Cup fixture against Reading in November 1948, the ground was also used to host Sudbury Towns FA Cup match against Brentford in 1996, as their Priory Stadium was deemed unfit. The most recent development to the ground was the construction of a small and it held 143 supporters and was similar to the chocolate boxes at The Dell. The last match at Layer Road took place on 26 April 2008, the stadium was locked for the last time on 17 July 2008 after 98 years in use, being demolished by the end of the year. In 2011 a deal was signed to build flats and houses on the site, in mid-2012, Layer Road was demolished with the construction of houses commencing immediately. The statue was made by local artist Mandy Pratt and cast at Butterfly Bronze Foundry in Romford by Will Hayes Layer Road information Colchester United F. C
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
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Following the clubs most recent relegation from the top-flight during the 2015–16 season, Newcastle returned to the Football Leagues 2nd tier, the Championship, for the 2016–17 campaign. Newcastle United was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, the ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,354. They have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club. The clubs most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles. The club were successful in the Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s, but have been mostly struggling since the 2006–07 season. Newcastle has a local rivalry with Sunderland, and the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The clubs traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms, which features two grey seahorses. The club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long term chairman, the club is the seventeenth highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169. 3m in 2015. Historically, Newcastles highest placing was in 1999 when they were the fifth highest revenue producing club in the world. The first record of football being played on Tyneside dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club, later that year, Newcastles first football club, Tyne Association, was formed. The origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881. This team was renamed Newcastle East End F. C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the club in Stanley. Rosewood F. C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later, in 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F. C. formed from West End Cricket Club, and in May 1886, the two clubs became rivals in the Northern League. In 1889, Newcastle East End became a team, before becoming a limited company the following March. However, on the hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble. With only one club in the city for fans to support