Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Thatcham Town F.C.
Thatcham Town Football Club is an English football club based in Thatcham, Berkshire. It is a member of the Hellenic League Premier Division and plays at Waterside Park, the club was known as Thatcham at this time and added Town to its name later in 1974. The club joined the Reading Temperance League in 1896 where it remained for the next fifty-seven years, during this period, Thatcham also won the Reading Town Senior Cup, the Berks & Bucks Junior Cup in 1935–36 and was runner-up in the Reading & District Premier League. In 1949, the club purchased eleven acres of land off Northfield Road and this became known as Lancaster Close. Early in 1970, seven acres were sold and the used to finance the construction of a new clubhouse. In 1953, Thatcham became a member of the Hellenic League and was promoted to the Premier Division on three occasions as Division one champions in 1958–59, 1964–65 and 1972–73. In 1974, the changed its name from Thatcham. However, Thatcham was awarded the Cup by default because of a dispute between Wanderers and the Berks & Bucks FA, in 1983, floodlights were erected and were first used when Thatcham entertained Fulham at Lancaster Close in January that year. After a short stay in the Athenian League, the club spent two seasons in the London Spartan League before joining the newly formed Wessex League in 1986. In the 1988–89 season, Thatcham achieved its best result in the FA Vase by reaching the quarter finals, losing to local rivals Hungerford Town. Under the management of Jim Greenwood, in 1994-95, the set a Wessex League and club record when they went 33 league games unbeaten. The following season, in 1995–96, Jim Greenwood led Thatcham to the League Title, the following season saw the clubs best ever FA Cup run, reaching the Fourth Qualifying Round after defeating Southern Premier Gloucester City and Southern Division Bashley. In 1997, the reached the Final of the Wessex League Cup for the sixth time in eight years. In 2002–03, Thatcham was awarded the FA Community Standard Charter, Two seasons later, under new manager Jason Braidwood, the club reached three local Cup Finals, winning two of them, and finished third in the League. In the 2008–09 season, his first full season in charge, in June 2010, Thatcham appointed Colin Millard as manager. Millard left the club in October 2010, and Ackling returned to manage the club, in April 2011, Thatcham Town beat Tadley Calleva 4–1 to win The Basingstoke Senior Cup Final. This was played at the ground at Andover New Street, Thatcham won the competition again at the end of the 2011–12 season, beating Basingstoke New Inn 3–0 in the final. Thatcham Town plays its games at Waterside Park in Crookham Hill, Thatcham, Berkshire
Wantage Town F.C.
Wantage Town Football Club is a football club based in Wantage, Oxfordshire, that currently play in the Southern Football League Division One South & West. The club is affiliated to the Berks & Bucks Football Association The club was formed in 1892. The club started playing in the Swindon & District League, winning the Swindon Advertiser Cup in the 1903–04 and 1907–08 seasons, in 1909 they became one of the founder members of the North Berks Football League. After the First World War in the 1919–20 season, the club became joint winners of the North Berkshire league, with Abingdon Town, two seasons later the club would go on to win the league again, but this time without having to share the honour. After the Second World War the club continued to compete in the Swindon & District League, after their second league win the club joined the premier division of the Hellenic Football League. They remained in the Premier division until the end of the 1963–64 competition, the club regained promotion back to the Premier Division, when they finished as runners up in Division One at the end of the 1969–70 campaign. In the 1974–75 season the club made their debut in the FA Vase reaching the round before being knocked out by Clanfield. The club was relegated at the end of the 1975–76 campaign, and it took the club until the 1980–81 season to regain their Premiership status. From the 1981–82 to 1993–94 season they remained in the Premier Division except for the 1987–88, despite finishing fourth at the end of the 1993–94 campaign, the club was demoted to Division one as a result of their ground failing to have floodlights. The club two seasons later finished as runners-up in Division one and subsequently erected floodlights to allow them to be promoted back to the premier Division, the club then remained in the premiership until the end of the 2002–03 season when upon finishing bottom were relegated to Division one east. The 2002–03 season also saw the club enter the FA Cup for the first time, when they met Gosport Borough in the preliminary round, the following season the club bounced back up as Champions. The 2010–11 season saw the club become Hellenic league Premier Division champions, following a rocky start to life in the Southern League, in October 2014 long-standing Chairman Tony Woodward stood down for personal reasons. Club stalwarts Glyn Austin and John Culley were put in charge of the running of the club. Gary Ackling, Andy Lyne and their team followed Woodward out of the club. Reserve team Manager Daniel Barry and his Assistant Ian Lovegrove were promoted to undertake the job at the top. Wantage Town play their games at Alfredian Park, Manor Road. Oxford United Club website Club history
Abingdon United F.C.
Abingdon United Football Club is a football club based in Abingdon-on-Thames, England. The club are members of the Hellenic League Division One West. The club was founded in 1946 by ex-servicemen as a rival to the already existing Abingdon Town at the Anchor pub on the bank of the River Thames. The new club joined Division One of the North Berks League, despite finishing ninth out of twelve clubs in Division One in 1947–48, they were relegated to Division Two. They went on to win Division Two in 1952–53, and were promoted back to Division One. In 1958 they moved up to the Hellenic League, where for the next 19 seasons the club remained in the division of the Hellenic League. After finishing third in 1976–77 they were promoted to the Premier Division and they stayed in the premier division until the 1980–81 season, in which they finished bottom and were relegated back to Division One. However, after a season in Division One, they made an immediate return. The club then remained in the Hellenic premier Division for another 24 seasons, the 1996–97 season saw the club win three trophies, the Hellenic Leagues Floodlit Cup, the Hellenic – Hungerford Cup and the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy. They retained the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy the following season, in 2005–06 the club finished third in the Premier Division, and were promoted to Division One South & West of the Southern League. The club remained in the Southern League Division One South & West until the end of the 2012–13 season, at the end of the 2015–16 season they were relegated to Division One East. Abingdon United play their games at the Northcourt Stadium in Northcourt Road. It has a capacity of 2,000, of which 158 is seated and 258 covered. C
Reading Town F.C.
Reading Town Football Club were a semi-professional English football club in the Hellenic League Division One East, based in Reading, Berkshire. The club was formed in 1966 as Lower Burghfield and started life in the Reading Combination League, in the early 1980s they were the Premier Division Champions on four occasions, with the 1983–84 season seeing them not just win the league, but three league cup competitions too. The next season saw them move to the Reading & District League where they finished as runners-up in the Premier Division and went on to win the Reading Senior Cup. The 1985–86 season saw them again finish as runners-up in the Premier Division. During their time in the Reading leagues the club changed its name several times, being known as XL United, Vincents United, in 1989–90 they joined the Premier Division of the Chiltonian League, and changed their name from Reading Garage to I T S Reading. In 1993–94 they changed their name to Reading Town and relocated to their present home of Scours Lane, the 1994–95 season saw the team win the Premier Division Championship, and gain promotion to the Combined Counties Football League. Their first season in the Combined counties league the club finished midtable but went on to win the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy, beating Lambourn Sports in the final. Floodlights were installed the following season and the reached the final of the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Trophy again. That season also saw the club enter the FA Vase for the first time, the 1997–98 campaign saw the club finish as runners-up in the league, losing out to Ashford Town. That season also saw them enter the FA Cup for the first time in their history, entering at the qualification round. At the start of 2001–02 season Town appointed former Manchester United, however Webb was unable to transfer his success as a player to the management role and after a poor start to the season he resigned in November. Twenty-three-year-old Colin Millard was made the manager for the 2002–03 campaign Town, the club then appointed Neil Goff and Glenn Goudie as joint managers of the club for the 2007–08 season. In September 2007 Millard resigned as Assistant Manager at Bracknell Town and was re-appointed as Manager, with Goudie, in June 2008 Reading Town moved across leagues to join the Premier Division of the Hellenic Football League. The first season in the new league saw the club finish eighth, and win the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy again, at the end of season Colin Millard resigned and was replaced by former Henley Town boss Roddy Slater. Roddys stint in charge lasted only one season and he resigned at the end of 2010–11 to be succeeded by Mark Bartley, under Mark Bartley the club went on to win the Hellenic League Supplementary cup, beating Highmoor Ibis 4–3 in the final. At the end of the season Bartley resigned due to not wanting to work on a budget for the following season. Michael Butcher was appointed as Bartleys replacement but only lasted till January 2013 when he quit as manager and former manager Colin Millard took over, in June 2013 Millards appointment was made permanent. In February 2016, Reading Town were closed down by owners Battersea, Reading Town played their home games at Scours Lane Stadium, in the Tilehurst area of the town
Brackley Town F.C.
Brackley Town Football Club is a football club based in Brackley, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at St. James Park, established in 1890, the club spent much of the pre-World War I era in the Oxfordshire Senior League. After the war they switched to the North Bucks & District League, however, they rejoined the North Bucks League in 1974. In 1977 the club joined Division One of the Hellenic League and they won the leagues Knock-Out Cup in 1982–83, after which they switched to Division One of the United Counties League in 1983. They went on to win the division at the first attempt, although Brackley finished third-from-bottom of the Premier Division in their first season, the 1995–96 season saw them end the season as runners-up. The following season the club were champions, earning promotion to Division One Midlands of the Southern League. After one season they were transferred to Division One South, but were relegated back to the Hellenic League at the end of the 1998–99 season, which saw them finish bottom of the division. In 2003–04 Brackley won the Hellenic League for a time, as well as the Supplementary Cup, and were promoted back to the Southern League. A third-place finish in 2005–06 saw them qualify for the promotion play-offs, however, after beating Marlow 2–1 in the semi-finals, they lost 3–2 to Hemel Hempstead Town in the final. The club were transferred to Division One Midlands for the following season, in 2008–09 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 2–1 at Eastwood Town. After finishing fifth in 2009–10 the club qualified for the promotion play-offs again, the 2011–12 season saw Brackley win the Premier Division, earning promotion to the Conference North. They finished third in their first season in the division, in the subsequent promotion play-offs, they beat Altrincham 4–2 on aggregate in the semi-finals before losing 1–0 to FC Halifax Town in the final. The following season the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, in the second round the club lost 3–2 at Macclesfield Town. Brackley reached the first round again in 2015–16, losing 4–1 to Newport County in a replay after a 2–2 draw in the first match, the 2016–17 FA Cup saw the club reach the second round after again beating Gillingham in a first-round replay. The clubs reserve team play under the name Brackley Town Saints and they joined Division One East of the league in 2014 under the name Brackley Town Development. After finishing as runners-up in their first season, they were promoted to the Premier Division, the club played at Manor Road from their establishment until 1968, when they moved to Buckingham Road, where player changed in the nearby Plough pub. In 1974 they moved to St. James Park on Churchill Way, floodlights were installed during the 1988–89 season. During their first spell in the Southern League a 300-seat stand was built on one touchline, the ground currently has a capacity of 3,500, of which 300 is seated and 1,500 covered
Burnham F. C. is a non-League football club from Burnham in Buckinghamshire, near Slough. They currently compete in the Hellenic League Premier Division, the team play in blue and white shirts and white shorts. The clubs chairman is Gary Reeves, home matches are played at The Gore. The Gore has been redeveloped, with a new stand. The club was founded in 1878, and so Burnham FC is the second oldest club in Buckinghamshire, the club spent its first years in various local leagues, and then joined the Great Western Combination league in 1948. 16 years later moved to the Wycombe Combination in 1964. In 1975–76 they were Premier Division champions, in 1977 they switched to the Athenian League, where they achieved two runners-up finishes, and also reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase. In 1984 Burnham switched leagues to the London Spartan League, where they were champions at the first attempt, the following year the club merged with Hillingdon Borough to form Burnham & Hillingdon F. C. taking over Hillingdons place in the Southern League. In 1987 the clubs name reverted simply to Burnham F. C. but performances on the pitch declined, Burnham have had modest success in cup competitions. Their best run in the FA Vase came in the 1982–83 season where they lost to Halesowen Town in a two legged semi-final, in 1999–2000 they reached the 4th round of the FA Trophy where they drew Scarborough, then residing in the Conference. Burnham managed a 1–1 draw at home before losing 6–0 in the replay, in the 2005–06 season Dave Mudges Burnham side achieved their best run in the FA Cup, losing 3–1 at home to Aldershot Town in the 1st round proper. The game was watched by one of the biggest crowds at Burnham in recent years, Burnham completed one of their best seasons in recent memory when they finished 3rd in the Southern League Division One South & West in 2006–07. Due to this position they entered the promotion playoffs but lost at home in the semi-final 1–2 to eventual playoff winners Swindon Supermarine. This outcome was mirrored three seasons later, when, under the guidance of Jamie Jarvis, the Blues again lost out in the semi-final of the play-offs. Martin Stone was appointed manager in December 2011 and under his stewardship the club enjoyed its most successful period. After winning the Wycombe Senior Cup in 2011-12 the 2012–13 season saw the club promotion to the Southern League Premier Division when they finished as champions of the Division One Central. This was to be the first time Burnham had ever played at level of football, but they had to reckon without top scorer Ryan Bird. Martin Stone resigned in January 2014 with the club 8th in the Southern League Premier Division, byron Walton, who most recently served as SYCOB manager before leaving in 2012, joined as General Manager
Hellenic Football League
There is also one team each from Hampshire and Northamptonshire The league was established in 1953. In the 2000–01 season the Hellenic League absorbed the Chiltonian League and now has a Premier Division, Division One East, Division One West and three divisions for reserve teams. In the 2006–07 season the Hellenic League absorbed the Banbury District, starting with the 2004–05 re-organisation the Hellenic League became a step 5 and 6 league in the National League System. Premier Division clubs play at Step 5 level, which offers progression to the Southern Football League Division One for Premier Division winners who have the required ground status. Acceptance to HL Division One is also offered to teams playing in the various Step 7 County Leagues of the related Hellenic League area,50 teams play in the Hellenic Premier and Division Ones. 18 teams play at Veterans level The league started with only a Premier Division, for the 1971–72 season, Division One was split into Division One A and Division One B. The following season, Division One A and B were merged, after the 1999–2000 season, Division One was regionalised into East and West. The Hellenic League football cups are the Floodlit Cup, the Supplementary Cup and the Challenge Cup
Kidlington Football Club is a football club based in Kidlington, near Oxford, England. They were established in 1909 and joined the Hellenic Football League in 1954, in the 1976–77 season, they reached the 5th round of the FA Vase. For the 2016–17 season, they are members of the Southern League Division One Central, Kidlington Football Club was formed in 1909 and joined the Oxfordshire District League in that year. In 1929 Kidlington won their first cup, the Lord Jersey Cup, in 1945, The club joined the Oxford City Junior League and six seasons later, in 1951, they entered the Oxfordshire Senior League. They then entered the Hellenic League in 1954 after winning the Oxfordshire Senior League the season before and have stayed in that league ever since. In 1970 the team won the Oxfordshire Intermediate cup, and in 1976–77 they achieved their record in the FA Vase by reaching the last 16. The club then had to wait until the 2007–08 season to win any more silverware, four seasons later in 2010–11 the team added the Hellenic Supplementary Cup to the clubs honours under manager Gordon Geary. The club also reached the final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup for the first time in 2010–11, in 2015–16 Kidlington won the Hellenic Premier League and were therefore promoted for 2016–17 to the Southern League Division One Central. 2015–16 also saw Kidlington reach the last 8 of the FA Vase, Kidlington play their home games at Yarnton Road Stadium, Kidlington, OX5 1AT. A Cup best performance, First qualifying round 2009–10 F. A. Vase best performance, Fifth round 1976–771, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club. Jimmy Giles Jermaine McSporran Club website A brief history
Wokingham & Emmbrook F.C.
Wokingham & Emmbrook F. C. are a football club based in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. The club was formed in 2004, as a merger of Wokingham Town and their nickname is The Satsumas, a reference to the teams colours. They currently play in the Hellenic League Division One East, the club was formed in 2004 when Wokingham Town Merged with Emmbrook Sports. Among their former players were Darren Barnard, Terry Brown, Paul Bence, established in 1989, Emmbrook Sports had a much more modest history, being long-term members of the Reading League. Wokingham & Emmbrook started in Division one east of the Hellenic Football League for the 2004–05 season, in November 2007, Wokingham Borough Council submitted a planning application to improve the facilities at Wokingham & Emmbrooks Cantley Park home. This would include a small stand accommodating 250 people and also flood lighting, at the end of the 2008–09 season the club won its first silverware by picking up the Reading Senior Cup with a 3–0 win over Woodley Town at the Madjeski stadium. At the start of the 2011–12 season the club made its debut in the FA Cup reaching the First Qualifying round, during October 2011 Woodley Town announced plans to join forces with Wokingham and Emmbrook to create a super-club for the region. However the plan was not fully confirmed, on 22 May 2012 Wokingham and Emmbrook F. C. won the Reading Senior Cup 2012 defeating Highmoor Ibis 3–1 at the Madejski Stadium On 21 May 2013 Wokingham and Emmbrook F. C. As a result of great form, in the end of the season Wokingham ended up 2nd place in the Hellenic Division One East. On 15 May 2014 Wokingham were able to retain the Reading Senior Cup for the 3rd season running with an emphatic 5–0 win against local rivals Finchampstead at the Madejski Stadium. In May 2015 the Sumas won the Reading Senior Cup for the 4th time on the bounce, the season was a historic one for Wokingham & Emmbrook, winning the Hellenic Division One east securing their first ever league title. Wokingham and Emmbrook play their games at Lowther Road, Wokingham, Berkshire. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Milton United F.C.
Milton United F. C. is a football club based in Milton, near Didcot in Oxfordshire, England. They were established in 1909 first noted as competing in the North Berks League in 1926 and they are currently looking for a new Manager. They are currently members of the Hellenic League Division One West, the club played in the North Berks league for two seasons before returning again for the 1920–21 season, under the nameMilton and finally Milton United in the following season. In 1926 Milton gained their first trophy for beating Aston Tirrold by 8 to 2 in a playoff for the Division 2 league title, Milton United continued after the war but folded in the early 1950s. The club reformed in 1958 and regained entry to the North Berks League, Milton became champion of the Northe Berks league for the first time in the 1962–63 Season. The club would then enjoy more league title success during the sixties with three successes in the 1963–64, 1965–66 and 1969–70 seasons. While the club remained in the top flight throughout most of the seventies, Two seasons later the club bounced back to the top flight when they finished as Champions of Division Two, at the end of the 1980–81 season. After being promoted back to the top division in the league the club, the club also ended as runners-up in the Berks and Bucks intermediate cup in 1984. In 1989 they applied to join the Hellenic Football League, the application was successful and finished as runners up in their first season in both the first division & the Division One Cup, and winning the Berks and Bucks Intermediate cup. As a consequence of their position they were promoted to the premier league. They also retained the Berks and Bucks intermediate trophy, the Season after winning the Premier Division, the club made its debut in the FA Vase reaching the first round before being knocked out by Thame United. The club stayed in the premier Division until the end of the 1993–94 season, in 1998 the club moved to their current home of Milton Heights with floodlights being installed and the clubhouse was erected. The club gained promotion again three seasons later at the end of the 2003–04 season and that season also saw the club reach the final of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy, but losing in the final on penalties. The club stayed in the Premier division until the end of the 2008–09 season when they were relegated back to Division one East, Milton believe that football is not about money, but having the passion to play for a club that is willing to develop into something big. Milton United play their games at Potash Lane, Milton Heights, the Grounds highest crowd is 608, when it hosted the League Challenge Cup Final in 2005 between Carterton and Cirencester Town. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Colin Askey Paul Bannister Peter Griffiths Official website League Website Milton Hill Bowls
Tuffley Rovers F.C.
Tuffley Rovers F. C. are a football club based in Tuffley in Gloucester, England. The club is playing in the Hellenic League Premier Division, the 9th level of the English football league system, the club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA. The club operates four adult sides, the Reserve team won the Stroud and District Division One title in 2011/12, securing promotion to the Gloucestershire Northern Senior League structure. In the 1988–89 season, they joined the Gloucestershire County League and were champions in 1991, in 1993, they were Hellenic League Division One champions and were promoted to the Premier Division. Under the management of Doug Foxwell they regularly finished in the top half of the Hellenic League, however, during the 2005–06 season, they resigned from the Premier Division and their record was expunged. Doug Foxwell returned to manage the side for the 2011/12 season, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, Hellenic Football League Division OneChampions 1992–93 Gloucestershire County LeagueChampions 1990–91 Tuffley Rovers have not had much success in the national FA competitions. Their best result in the FA Cup was a 2nd qualifying round defeat in 1999–2000 to Lymington & New Milton, official website Tuffley Rovers F. C. on Facebook