Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
Paul Damien Phillip Scally is a London-born businessman who has been the chairman of association football club Gillingham since 1995. Scally has often shown himself to be unafraid of taking controversial positions and he dismissed manager Tony Pulis immediately after he led the team to a Wembley play-off final in 1999, which brought about a protracted court dispute. However, on 8 February 2007, Scally unexpectedly lifted the ban after approximately six years, as of 2009, Scally lived in Dubai. He has been married four times and has had seven children, one of his sons died after a fall at the age of one, and another of a heart defect in 2003 at the age of 16 weeks. His surviving children comprise two daughters and three sons and his son Max was jailed for two years for causing grievous bodily harm in January 2009, however, this was later shortened by Londons Court of Appeal as it was seen as too severe. His other sons are Jay and Adam, who has worked as editor of Gillinghams matchday programme
Martin James Allen is an English former football player and manager. He played more than 100 games as a midfielder for each Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United before finishing his career with Portsmouth. Five years later, he took his first job in management and he has since managed Brentford, Milton Keynes Dons, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town, Barnet and Notts County. He rejoined Barnet as manager on 16 April 2012 on a short term and he was sacked as Gillingham manager in October 2013. Allen rejoined Barnet for a spell in 2014, leading the Bees back into League Two before dropping divisions to join Eastleigh in December 2016. Signed by manager Lou Macari, Allen made his debut on 26 August 1989 in a 3–2 home win against Plymouth Argyle and he scored the second goal, the other West Ham goals coming from David Kelly and Kevin Keen. Under manager Billy Bonds Allen was part of the team won promotion to the First Division in 1991. Allen was frequently booked during his West Ham career and had a reputation for poor discipline and he was sent off in a match on 17 January 1990 for a two-footed lunge on Derby Countys Mark Patterson. Although not sent-off, West Ham manager Bonds fined Allen a weeks wages, during his time at Queens Park Rangers Allen had been refused permission, by manager Francis, to attend the birth of his first child as Allen would miss an important match. Allen attended the birth and was disciplined by the club, under Bonds and Harry Redknapp Allen formed a successful partnership with Peter Butler with Allen contributing 34 goals from midfield in 234 appearances. However, by 1995 team discipline was poor at West Ham and with Allen playing alongside Julian Dicks, John Moncur, Allen was again dismissed in a match against Queens Park Rangers on 3 May 1995 after fouling Rufus Brevett. He would play five more games before being allowed to leave. Allen stayed with the Hammers until September 1995 when he made a £500,000 switch to Portsmouth after a loan spell at Fratton Park. After three frustrating years with Pompey, which took in a loan stint at Southend United, he retired. Allen began his management career as an assistant manager at hometown club Reading, the team produced championship form in their closing 20 fixtures, winning 12 and drawing 4 to secure a top 10 finish. Two years later won promotion to Division One. Allens first full role was at Conference side Barnet, from March 2003 to March 2004. He succeeded from Peter Shreeves, to whom he was assistant manager from March 2002, Allen built a team from scratch in pre-season of the 2003–04 campaign
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter
It began in the 1983–84 season as the Associate Members Cup, but in 1992, after the lower-division clubs became full members of the Football League, it was renamed the Football League Trophy. The competition replaced the short-lived Football League Group Cup and it was renamed again in 2016, as the EFL Trophy. The competition has been associated with a sponsor since its second edition, currently. The first draws are made in August, then the runs as 16 regional groups. The top two from each group qualify for the stages before the two winners meet in late March or early April in the final at Englands national stadium. The current champions are Coventry City, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the first time, the competition was inaugurated as the Associate Members Cup in the 1983–84 season and followed on from the short-lived Football League Group Cup. The competition was renamed the Football League Trophy in 1992, the competition was renamed again in 2016, becoming the EFL Trophy, coinciding with the Football League rebranding to the English Football League. 64 teams enter from Round One, including all 48 teams from League One and League Two, the competition will now feature 16 regional groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. In the first year of the tournament, the 48 eligible Third, the first round had 12 knockout ties in each section, and the second had six. In each section the two second-round losers with the narrowest defeats were reprieved, and joined the six clubs in the regional quarter-finals. A major change was introduced for the 1985–86 tournament, with 8 three-team groups being set up in each of the two sections, teams played one home and one away game and the group winners proceeded to the regional knockout stages. This format was tweaked the following season, with two teams qualifying from each group, resulting in a round of 16 knockout stage in each section. For a number of seasons in the early to mid-1990s, the competition ran with only seven three-team groups and this was owing to League reorganisation and the demise of Aldershot and Maidstone United, which resulted in there being fewer than 48 teams in the 3rd and 4th levels. The group phase was abolished for the 1996–97 tournament, instead,8 teams in each received a bye to the second round. The number of Conference entrants was increased to 12 starting in 2002–03, resulting in 14 first-round ties, Conference teams no longer participated from the 2006–07 tournament onward, and the format reverted to 8 first-round teams in each section, with 8 sides gaining byes to the second round. The competition has always been contested by all teams at Levels Three, during the 2016–17 season,16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides have taken part in the competition. The first final in 1984 was to have played at the then Wembley Stadium. From 2001 to 2007, during the rebuilding of the former Wembley, source, napit. co. uk The record attendance for the final is 80,841, for the 1988 Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Wembley
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
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
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
Dartford Football Club is an English association football club based in Dartford, Kent. The club participates in the National League South, the tier of English football. After finishing as champions of the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2007–08 season and they finished in 8th position in their first season. They were crowned champions of the Isthmian League Premier Division in their second season and that season they finished in 10th place, but once again gained promotion at the second attempt in 2011–12, by winning the play off final, after finishing second in the table. Since the 2012–13 season they have playing in the Conference Premier. Home matches are played at the environmentally friendly stadium, Princes Park. The club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working mens club and they have also reached the final of the FA Trophy once. Dartford Football Club was formed in 1888 by members of the Dartford Working Mens Club, the club soon was entering cup competitions, reaching the final of the Kent Senior Cup in 1894. Following this, Dartford were founder members of the Kent League for the 1894–95 season, Two seasons later, Dartford became founder members of the Southern League Division Two, winning the Championship at the first attempt. The club moved between the Southern and Kent Leagues several times over the seasons, dropping to the West Kent League in the 1900s. Around the same time the club found its first permanent home ground, Summers Meadow in Lowfield Street, in 1908–09 Dartford won the West Kent League and Cup double and rejoined the Kent League where they remained until the outbreak of the First World War. In 1913 Dartford undertook a tour of Norway culminating in a 6–1 win over a Norway XI. Darts continued their association with the Kent League, winning the cup in 1923–24. At the start of the 1930s the Dartford Board appointed the successful Kettering Town manager, Bill Collier, the Scot continued his pattern of success with Dartford and won trophies by the shoal during the decade leading up to the 1939–45 war. In county football Dartford won the Kent Senior Cup four times in five seasons, in addition Dartford gained a reputation nationally by becoming the first club outside the Football League to reach the FA Cup Third Round Proper in successive seasons. In 1935–36 Dartford lost to a star-studded Derby County by 3–2 at the Baseball Ground having at one time led by 2–0, leading player Fred Dell was transferred to West Ham United for a reported £2,000 immediately after the game. The following season saw Dartford lose 0–1 at home to Darlington at the same stage, for a decade and a half following the 1939–1945 war, Dartford had little to show for its efforts except for a sparkling win over Bromley in Kent Senior Cup in 1947. Included in the Dartford line-up that day was Ted Croker, later to become the Secretary of the Football Association, soon after this win Dartford transferred Riley Cullum and Fred Alexander to Charlton Athletic for £6,000, which wiped out the clubs debts entirely
Princes Park (Dartford)
Princes Park is a football stadium in Dartford, Kent, England. It is the home of Dartford F. C. Thamesmead Town F. C. have been sharing the ground with the Darts since 2017, the stadiums postcode is DA1 1RT, the closest possible representation of the word Dart. DA1 1FC was unobtainable, as the letter C is not allocated for use at the end of British postcodes, the stadium is owned by Dartford Borough Council. Construction work began on 14 November 2005, designed by Alexander Sedgley architects, the stadium has a capacity of 4,100, and has been described as one of the most ecologically sound ever built. The pitch level is two meters below the external ground level to reduce noise and light pollution. It is estimated to have cost around £7 million, the stadium roof has a sedum roof blanket, a living roof that provides a natural air filtration system. Solar panels on the serve the community changing areas and public toilets hot water storage cylinders. The roof is supported by treated Glulam timber beams, water recycling system which serves the toilets within the clubhouse. Rain water is collected in the two ponds at the north end of the stadium grounds. Underfloor heating on both levels of the clubhouse, increased fabric insulation to give the clubhouse better thermal retention and efficiency. Condensing boilers to provide an energy efficient system. Also excavated earth was reused for landscaping the external courtyard areas around the stadium, Princes Park has an all-weather training pitch available for community use, and the stadiums clubhouse which contains bars, banqueting suites and meeting rooms. Located close to Dartford town centre and the M25 motorway, Princes Park is also served by a dedicated Fastrack bus stop, the use of public transport for travel to the stadium is encouraged, although there is a dedicated car park with spaces for up to 300 vehicles. Vehicle access is via Grassbanks, a new road named by the winner of a newspaper competition. On non-matchdays, this is available for use as a park, sports played at the stadium include Football - Dartford F. C. The stadium has received a number of commendations for its design, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors acknowledged the stadium for being green, and the venue has received significant publicity in the national press. Princes Park was the winner of the GT Ground Awards, Best New Non-League Ground award, saying, Lets hope other forward-thinking councils will follow their lead. That’s the way that buildings should go, it’s just fantastic, adding that the absolute number one new stadium in the country is from a club that is in the conference - Dartford ahead of Arsenals Emirates Stadium and the new Wembley Stadium
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
Priestfield Stadium is a football stadium in Gillingham, Kent. It has been the home of Gillingham Football Club since the formation in 1893. The stadium has also hosted womens and youth football matches. The stadium underwent extensive redevelopment during the late 1990s, which has brought its capacity down from nearly 20,000 to a current figure of 11,582 and it has four all-seater stands, all constructed since 1997, although one is only of a temporary nature. There are also conference and banqueting facilities and a nightspot named The Factory, despite having invested heavily in its current stadium, Gillingham F. C. has plans to relocate to a new stadium. New Brompton Football Club, the forerunner of Gillingham Football Club, at the same time an area of land in Gillingham was acquired by the clubs founders, the purchase being funded through an issue of 1,500 £1 shares. A pitch was laid and a pavilion erected, and the first matches at Priestfield were staged on 2 September 1893, new Bromptons reserve team played Grays, followed immediately by the first match for the clubs first team, against Woolwich Arsenals reserves. The admission charge for the two matches was 3d, most spectators stood on terracing, banked earth, or simply along the perimeter of the pitch, as was the case at most football grounds at the time. Sheep were allowed to graze on the pitch during the week, in 1899, a second stand was added along part of the Gordon Road side of the ground, reportedly built by off-duty dock workers in exchange for beer and cigarettes. By 1908, the number of seats had been increased to 800. In 1912, the clubs first Supporters Association was formed, its initial project being to raise the funds to construct terracing at the opposite end of the ground. Two years later the club, which had changed its name to Gillingham F. C, the club sued the contractors, but it took a further three months for the damage to be repaired. A new attendance record was set in 1924 when an FA Cup match against First Division leaders Cardiff City drew a crowd of 19,472. This record stood until 1948, when 23,002 fans watched Gillingham take on Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup, the ground underwent its most extensive redevelopment to date in 1955, at a total cost of £28,500. The first floodlights were erected in 1963, at a cost of over £14,000, by the early 1980s the capacity of the ground was listed as 22,000, although this was reduced to 19,000 when the Gordon Road Stand was closed for safety reasons. The clock was removed during later stadium redevelopment work and its current whereabouts are unknown, new owner Paul Scally took over at the club in 1995 and soon instigated a programme of redevelopment which completely transformed the formerly run-down ground. The closed stand was replaced with a new Gordon Road Stand in 1997 at a cost of more than £2 million, two years later the Rainham End terracing was replaced with a new all-seater stand, with the sports centre behind it demolished and replaced with a car park. Supporters were not able to sit in the new stand until the latter stages of the 1999–2000 season, the stand also caused severe financial problems for the club, as its facilities eventually cost significantly more than the original estimate
Pietro Piero Mingoia is an English professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Cambridge United. He began his career with Watford, and spent time on loan at Brentford, Hayes & Yeading United, Accrington Stanley, Mingoia, who was born in Enfield of Italian and Sicilian descent, joined Watford at the age of 13 and rose through the ranks. He signed professional terms towards the end of the 2009–10 season and he marked his full debut on 8 January 2011 against Hartlepool United in the FA Cup with a fine goal, curling in from 25 yards. Watford went on to win the game 4–1 and he made his league debut for Watford in the 3–0 home win against Derby County a week later, as an 81st-minute substitute for Marvin Sordell. Mingoia made four appearances during the 2010–11 season and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension. Mingoia joined Brentford on loan for a month on 5 January 2012 and he took no part in any matchday squad for the club, and returned to Watford a week before his loan spell was due to end. Mingoia joined Hayes & Yeading United on loan on 22 March for one month, Mingoia joined League Two side Accrington Stanley on an initial months loan in September 2012. This was extended for a three months in October, keeping Mingoia at Stanley until January 2013. On 31 January 2013, He joined Boreham Wood on loan until the end of the season, stating that he wanted to go back to basics, Watford released Mingoia when his contract expired at the end of the 2012–13 season. Mingoia returned to Accrington Stanley to sign a contract on 1 August 2013. On 22 January 2014, Mingoia signed a new extension to keep him contracted until the summer of 2015. Mingoia signed a deal with Cambridge United on 2 June 2016. He scored on his debut in a 1–1 draw with Barnet on 6 August 2016, as of match played 2 January 2016
Bradford City A.F.C.
Bradford City Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded in 1903 and immediately elected into the Football League Second Division, promotion to the top tier followed in 1908 and the club won the FA Cup in 1911, its only major honour. After relegation in 1922 from Division One, the club spent 77 years outside the top flight until promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Relegation followed in 2000–01 and since then a series of financial crises have pushed the club to the brink of closure, in the 2012–13 season, they became the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final, losing 5–0 to Swansea City. In the same season, they returned to Wembley for the playoff final, the clubs colours are claret and amber and they play home games at Valley Parade. The ground was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985 which took the lives of 56 supporters, stuart McCall, the current manager, was appointed in June 2016. C. The Football League saw the invitation as a chance to promote football in the rugby league-dominated county of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It duly elected the new club into Division Two of the league, four days later, at the 23rd annual meeting of Manningham FC, the committee decided to change code from rugby league to association football. Bradford City Association Football Club were formed without having played a game, taking over Manninghams colours of claret and amber, robert Campbell was appointed the clubs first manager and with the help of the new committee, he assembled a playing squad at the cost of £917 10s 0d. Citys first game was a 2–0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 1 September 1903, the club finished 10th in their first season. Peter ORourke took over as manager in November 1905, and he led City to the Division Two title in 1907–08, having narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight, City recorded their highest finish of 5th in 1910–11. The same season won the FA Cup, when a goal from captain Jimmy Speirs won the final replay against Newcastle United. Citys defence of the cup, which included the first Bradford derby against Bradford Park Avenue, was stopped by Barnsley after a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War, back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table. They suffered a relegation to Division Three in 1926–27. Two seasons later, ORourke, who had retired in 1921 following the death of his son. ORourke left for a time after one more season, and although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two