Northern Ireland is a constituent unit of the United Kingdom in the north-east of Ireland. It is variously described as a country, province, region, or part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the total population. Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by an act of the British parliament, Northern Ireland has historically been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown significantly since the late 1990s. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17. 2% in 1986, dropping to 6. 1% for June–August 2014,58. 2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sports persons from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough, some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and the rest of the UK are complex, in many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, and people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games. The region that is now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century, the English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Victories by English forces in war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and their intention was to materially disadvantage the Catholic community and, to a lesser extent, the Presbyterian community. In the context of open institutional discrimination, the 18th century saw secret, militant societies develop in communities in the region and act on sectarian tensions in violent attacks. Following this, in an attempt to quell sectarianism and force the removal of discriminatory laws, the new state, formed in 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, was governed from a single government and parliament based in London. Between 1717 and 1775 some 250,000 people from Ulster emigrated to the British North American colonies and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million Scotch-Irish Americans now living in the US. By the close of the century, autonomy for Ireland within the United Kingdom, in 1912, after decades of obstruction from the House of Lords, Home Rule became a near-certainty. A clash between the House of Commons and House of Lords over a controversial budget produced the Parliament Act 1911, which enabled the veto of the Lords to be overturned. The House of Lords veto had been the unionists main guarantee that Home Rule would not be enacted, in 1914, they smuggled thousands of rifles and rounds of ammunition from Imperial Germany for use by the Ulster Volunteers, a paramilitary organisation opposed to the implementation of Home Rule
Cliftonville Football & Athletic Club is a Northern Irish semi-professional association football club playing in the NIFL Premiership. Founded on 20 September 1879 by John McCredy McAlery in the suburb of Cliftonville in north Belfast, it is the oldest football club in Ireland, since 1890, the club has played at Solitude. Cliftonville contests the North Belfast derby with nearest rivals Crusaders, and also has rivalries with Belfasts Big Two clubs, Glentoran. The club has won the Irish League championship four times outright and once shared, the Irish Cup eight times, the newly formed club, however, was beaten 2–1. In its first match against the Scottish club Caledonians, it fared worse, in 1880, it was again John McAlery who was the moving spirit in the formation of the Irish Football Association. He issued an invitation to interested parties in Belfast and district for a meeting to be called, the first meeting took place on 18 November 1880 at Queens Hotel, Belfast, presided over by John Sinclair, from which the Irish Football Association was formed. While Major Chichester was appointed president, McAlery became the secretary of the association. This meeting also paved the way for the Irish Cup, the first Irish Cup final, played at Cliftonville on 9 April 1881, saw a 1–0 defeat against Moyola Park, an opponent that was well known for rough and brutal play. In the following year Cliftonville lost again in the Irish Cup final, in 1883 Cliftonville won the cup for the first time with a 5–0 win over Ulster. During the 1880s Cliftonville also played in the English FA Cup, competing in the competition proper in 1886–87, in 1886–87 they finally lost in the third round 11–0 at home to Partick Thistle after beating Blackburn Park Road 7–2 in an earlier round. In 1887–88 they scratched their match with Church, the match lost to Linfield 7–0 in 1888 is the only FA Cup match to be played on Christmas Day. The inaugural meeting of the Irish Football League was held on 14 March 1890 in the Belfast Estate Office of the Marquess of Dufferin, eight clubs agreed to participate, Cliftonville, Clarence, Milford, Oldpark, Distillery, Glentoran, Ulster and Linfield. In the 1905–06 season Cliftonville won the League for the first time, in 1891 Cliftonville became the first Irish football club to use floodlights at games. Kick-off in each case was at 8 pm with lights suspended across the pitch and these were dismantled later with the announcement that spectators found it difficult to follow the action and that the player seemed to have all the fun in the middle. It had been an experience, but not a highly successful one with the public skeptical. In 1897 Cliftonville won the Irish Cup after a 3–1 win over Sherwood Foresters, a quite unusual protest was launched by Cliftonville after being beaten by Belfast Celtic in the 1900 Irish Cup competition. The Celtic goalposts were eventually measured and it was out that they were much too short. A replay took place, in which Cliftonville reversed the 4–0 defeat in the earlier match, subsequently they won the Cup that year, after beating Bohemians 2–1 in the Final
Ards Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club playing in NIFL Premiership. The club, founded in 1900, is formerly from Newtownards, but plays its matches at Clandeboye Park in Bangor. Club colours are red and blue, Ards were forced to sell their Castlereagh Park home in 1998 to try to reduce their crippling debts. The stadium remained well tended for another three years while plans for a new ground further down the road were developed. In 2002 Castlereagh Park was demolished, as planned, Ards hoped to play at a new community-owned site, a stones throw from Castlereagh Park that was due to be developed in 2010 by the local council. This plan has since been shelved, and they are still the nomads of Northern Irish football, for the 2012–13 season they played their home games at Clandeboye Park and were promoted to the NIFL Premiership for the 2013–14 season and went straight back down that season. Ards 2014–15 season was a season of change, with players coming and going from the club. The 2015–16 was a one with Ards reaching the league cup final by knocking out premiership sides Ballinamallard United. These included experienced Premiership players such as Ballymena United centre-back Johnny Taylor, other recruitments included defender Stuart McMullan and French striker Guillaume Keke, both signed from Larne. Ards started the season with a creditible 2–2 draw with Cliftonville, plans were under-way to develop Londonderry Park as the new grounds for the team. Planning officials gave Ards Borough Council the go-ahead on the £3.8 million plan in October 2010, in 2009, supporters launched a campaign, Bring Ards FC Home, in which they publicised the need in the media and had discussions with politicians. Back as far as November 2008, the Council had discussed the need for a new Ards stadium, plans included upgrades to the existing grass surfaces and the addition of new synthetic surfaces, and to allow for the possibility of future upgrading to meet regulations should the need arise. The ground would have continued to provide facilities for hockey. However, in August 2012 it was announced that Ards Borough Council would not be proceeding with the new stadium, and the plans were shelved. Andy Bothwell,5 caps, 1925–27 Tommy Forde,4 caps, 1958–60 Billy Humphries,1 cap,1962 Paul Kee,2 caps,1994 Ards FC Website Ards Statistics and Results at the Irish Football Club Project
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
Northern Ireland Football League Cup
It is the third-highest rated competition in domestic Northern Irish football after the NIFL Premiership and Irish Cup. It should not be confused with the Irish League Floodlit Cup which ran from 1987–88 to 1997–98 initially under the sponsorship of Budweiser and latterly Coca-Cola. Unlike the Irish Cup, the competition does not have a berth for UEFA Europa League qualification, ballymena United are the current holders, after they defeated Carrick Rangers 2–0 in the 2017 final to win the competition for the first time. Unlike the Irish Cup, the League Cup is restricted to the 40 Northern Ireland Football League clubs and it is contested by the 12 NIFL Premiership clubs, and the 28 clubs in NIFL Championship 1 and NIFL Championship 2. The competition uses a knock-out system, each round consists of a single match. In the event that the scores are level, extra time is played, the top 16 ranked clubs from the previous season receive byes into the second round, which includes the 12 Premiership clubs, and the top four ranked clubs from Championship 1. Of the remaining 24 Championship clubs,16 enter in the first round, the second round draw is seeded so that the top 16 clubs from the previous season avoid each other. The second round is the round of the competition in which seeding is used. From there on, the competition has a round, quarter-finals, semi-finals. The competition began with 32 clubs in a straight knock-out format in February 1987, the League Cup would have been considered less prestigious than the long-standing Gold Cup and Ulster Cup. The actual trophy presented to the winners is the old City Cup, the first final took place on 9 May 1987 at Glentorans ground, the Oval, and was contested by Linfield and Crusaders. Linfield became the winners of the cup, defeating Crusaders 2–1. Linfield have gone on to win the competition nine times overall – more than any other club and they have appeared in twelve different finals, which is a record they share with rivals Glentoran. Linfield and Cliftonville have both won the competition in three seasons, which is the record for the most consecutive wins. The most common final has been the Big Two Derby which has occurred seven times, Linfield have won on four occasions and Glentoran on three. The 1988–89 final, played between the two sides at the Oval on 11 November 1988 was won courtesy of a goal by Glentoran goalkeeper Alan Patterson and this was the first time that a goalkeeper had ever scored in a British football final. Thirteen different clubs have reached the final, but only ten clubs have won the cup, ballymena United, Larne and Newry City are the three clubs to have played in the final but never won. In 2011, Lisburn Distillery became the different club to win the cup, in what was their first
At the end of the season, the champion club is presented with the Gibson Cup. The current Premiership format was introduced for the 2008–09 season after the League system for Northern Ireland was re-organised. The top flight was reduced in size from 16 to 12 clubs, included on the not only of their performance in the 2007–08 season. Finance – based on solvency, debt management and cash-flow projection, the Premiership remained under IFA control for five seasons until the creation of the Northern Ireland Football League in 2013, when it became the NIFL Premiership. Each team plays a total of 38 fixtures during the season, each team initially plays every other team three times for a total of 33 fixtures per team. The post-split fixtures are usually arranged in such a way as to result in the teams in each half playing each other twice at home and twice away. After the split, teams in the top six cannot finish lower than 6th place, the League campaign begins in August and continues until late April or early May. Most fixtures are played on Saturday afternoons, with fixtures on Friday evenings. Traditionally, there are Bank Holiday afternoon fixtures on Boxing Day, New Years Day, three points are awarded for a win, and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss, points can be deducted for breaches of rules e. g. fielding an ineligible player. The teams are first and foremost ranked by number of points, the team with the most points at the end of the season wins the championship. A tiebreaker other than goal difference has not been required since the 1961–62 season, the league champions qualify for the following seasons UEFA Champions League, with the league runners-up and Irish Cup winners qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. If, however, the Irish Cup winners have qualified for Europe by finishing as champions or runners-up in the league. In order to compete in any of these European competitions, however, in the event that a team qualifies without such a licence, lower-placed teams may take their place. A new method of Europa League qualification was introduced for the 2015–16 season, the play-offs are seeded, with the two higher-placed qualifiers given home advantage when facing the two lower-placed qualifiers in the semi-finals. The two semi-final winners then meet in the final, if, however, the Irish Cup winners finish lower than seventh in the league, all five teams that finish in third to seventh will qualify for the play-offs. This will require an additional match to be played by the two lowest-placed qualifiers in sixth and seventh, with the winner joining the other three clubs in the semi-finals. Additionally, the two highest-placed teams in the Premiership also qualify automatically for the next seasons all-Ireland Setanta Cup, the third and fourth-placed teams may also qualify if either or both of the winners of the Irish Cup and League Cup have qualified via the League
Ballymoney United F.C.
Ballymoney United Football Club is an intermediate, Northern Irish football club playing in the Northern Ireland Intermediate League. The club, founded in 1944, hails from Ballymoney, County Antrim, before relegation from the Northern Ireland Football League in 2015, the club played at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney, which is shared with Glebe Rangers. Club colours are all blue with a white and black away kit, the current manager is Peter Cairns and is one of the youngest managers to take charge of Ballymoney but has yet to win them any silverware. The club was relegated to NIFL Championship 2 in the 2010–11 season after finishing 13th in Championship 1, in 2015, Ballymoney were relegated out of the football league after only winning two games and not winning one to April. The club decided to join the Northern Ireland Intermediate League, after returning to the Northern Ireland Intermediate League for the first time since their relegation, the club were crowned champions of the 2015/16 season. B Division Knock-out Cup,1 1998–99 Northern Ireland Intermediate League,3 1980–81, 1982–83, 2015–16 Irish Junior Cup,1 1960–61 Jimmy Kelly Ballymoney United Website
Solitude (football ground)
Solitude is a football stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is the oldest football stadium in Ireland, and the ground of Irelands oldest football club. The stadium holds 6,224, but is restricted to 2,530 under safety legislation. The stadium was built in 1890, since 2010 Crumlin Star of the Northern Amateur Football League have also played their home games at the ground. However they moved the Cliff in Larne for the 2013-14 season, the stadium has undergone several renovations. In 2002, a new stand was built at one end of the ground to house visiting supporters, and in 2008, a synthetic 3G pitch was installed to replace the previous grass surface in 2010. Solitude was opened in 1890 after Cliftonville moved across the road from Oldpark Avenue, the ground holds the distinction of having the first ever penalty in International Football taken there. Previously consisting of two pitches, Solitude is the oldest football ground in Ireland, Solitude has hosted a number of cup finals and international games. During the 1890s and early 1900s Solitude was the ground of Ireland. During the 1890s, the ground hosted 11 home internationals, on 3 March 1894, after thirteen attempts Ireland, playing at Solitude, finally avoided defeat to England. Against an England team that included Fred Spiksley and Jack Reynolds, goals from Olphert Stanfield and W. K. Gibson inspired Ireland to come back from 2–0 down to gain a 2–2 draw, the ground continued to host Ireland internationals into the early 1900s, but was gradually replaced as Ireland’s home ground by Windsor Park and Dalymount Park. The main stand at Solitude, situated on the side of the ground. It was constructed during the 1950s, and has two tiers, the lower tier is terracing, and the upper tier has a mixture of seating and benches, and holds over 2,500 people. The original stand was destroyed in January 1949 when a fire broke out after a Linfield v Glentoran Irish Cup tie at the ground, also contained within the main stand at Solitude, is Cliftonville Social Club, Cliftonvilles licensed premises. In 2016 the main stand will be demolished to make way for a new stand which will look similar to the new south stand at Crusaders ground Seaview. This will hold an estimated 1100 supporters along with parking and bring Solitudes seated capacity up to around 3500. In many peoples opinion this most famous part of the old ground, the Cage was demolished and a new stand seating 1600 was opened on 27 October 2008
Ballymena United F.C.
Ballymena United Football Club is a semi-professional football club from Northern Ireland. Based in Ballymena, County Antrim, the team competes in the NIFL Premiership, Ballymena United was formed in 1934 as a replacement for the earlier Ballymena that had folded following a dispute regarding the illegal payment of amateur players. The club has never won the title in its history. The club has won the County Antrim Shield on five occasions. The main club rivals of Ballymena United would be local club Coleraine, the traditional Boxing Day fixture between the two teams attracts large crowds and is one of the most high-profile fixtures in the Northern Irish football calendar. Ballymena Football Club was formed on 7 April 1928, when four local businessmen, four men – Albert McClelland, DB Elliott, John Gordon and James McIlhagga – tapped into the popular mood of the period that the time had arrived for Ballymena to be represented in senior circles. The newly formed club took the place of Barn United in the Irish League for the 1928–29 season, however, five days later Ballymena gained their first point in a 2–2 away to Larne and created another landmark when Jimmy McCambridge scored the clubs first ever goal. Ballymena defeated Glentoran, Broadway United and Coleraine en route to a showdown with League Champions Belfast Celtic at Solitude. A remarkable 2–1 victory over Celtic followed with goals from Jamie Shiels, a replica of the trophy was produced and awarded to the club for winning the Irish Cup in their first season. Ballymena were unlucky at Solitude as they lost 4–3 to the Windsor Park Blues, with goals from Davy Reid, however, this was arguably the most forgettable of the three cup finals as a poor effort saw Ballymena lose to Linfield again by three goals without reply. The following season brought wholesale changes at the Showgrounds, despite a poor start to the 1931–32 season the team began to gel in September, now renowned as cup specialists the Light Blues reached the final of the Gold Cup, eventually losing 3–0 to nearby rivals, Coleraine. Despite an early exit from the Irish Cup for the first time, Ballymena continued to threaten a very competitive league, despite a bright start the 1932–33 campaign proved to be the leanest so far during the clubs very short history. Early exits in all the cup competitions and failure to challenge in the Irish League summarised a disappointing season for Ballymena, little did anyone realise in August 1933 what the importance of the following nine months in the history of Ballymena FC. This was to be the last season in which the club took part in senior football, in 1934, club chairman Albert McClelland was overheard making a remark that something had to be done to curb the payments to amateurs. When word of his comments reached the Irish League they immediately suspended the club, Ballymenas directors refused claiming that they were being made scapegoats for a practice which was widespread among the other clubs in the Irish League. Failure to meet the deadline for the presentation of accounts stipulated by the League resulted in Ballymenas dismissal from senior football. Immediately attempts were made to reinstate the club but when these were rejected it was suggested that the club be renamed Ballymena United and merge with a junior club, Ballymena Crusaders. Happily this was acceptable to the League authorities although in reality it was virtually the same club as before with the ground, same players
Portadown Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club which plays in the NIFL Premiership. The club was founded in 1887 as a team looking to participate in the Mid-Ulster Cup. They eventually joined the Irish League with the help of local clubs in 1924. They are based in Portadown in County Armagh and play their games at Shamrock Park. The clubs colours are red and white, their home kit consists of red shirts, red shorts and red socks with white trim on all, the clubs main rivals are Glenavon with their derby game being known as the Mid Ulster Derby. The league fixtures are compiled each season so that one of their league meetings always takes place on Boxing Day, the club is also bitter rivals with Glentoran. Ronnie McFall served the club for 29 years as manager from 1986 to 2016, in 1887 the Mid Ulster Football Association was established and in Portadown a young group of men set about creating a football club to participate in the Mid-Ulster Cup. Early meetings of the committee were held in a dimly lit room for the Young Mens Institute in Edwards Street in Portadown where club secretary William Mullen would read the minutes by candlelight. Early games were played at Tavanagh and Ripleys Field, Armagh Road and Old Shamrock Park, among the early names to turn out for The Ports were Val Wilson who would later become High Sheriff for County Armagh and Harry Bell, whose father owned brickworks on the Armagh Road. They won the Irish Junior Cup beating Larne at Grosvenor Park on 18 March 1899 and that same season The Ports won their first ever cup double by bringing home the Mid-Ulster Cup for the first time. Portadown retained the trophy the following season and the five seasons before the outbreak of World War 1. The junior game was strong in the town at the time and The Ports had to compete for talent with teams such as Edenderry Arrows, Greenview from Edgarstown, Portadown Celtic. Portadown is the one of those clubs that remains today. In 1916 the new Irish Intermediate League was formed and Portadown were selected as one of the clubs for the new competition. However, they were forced to withdraw due to the number of players who had gone off to fight in the Great War. With the return of the men from the war the clamour for senior football was growing. The many junior clubs in that area put aside their rivalry with The Ports to back the bid to join the Irish League. This was in a time of expansionism in Irish Football with the league keen to take the game beyond the boundary of Belfast, the only team who were in the league at the time were bitter rivals Glenavon
Annagh United F.C.
Annagh United Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Championship. The club is close neighbours to Portadown in the NIFL Premiership. The club, founded in 1963, hails from Portadown, the club home colours have always been and remain a mixture of red and white with black trim. Tandragee Road has been the home since 1983. Indeed when the club opened its new pitch a Northern Irish star player of the time, the club run two senior teams, with the reserve team playing in the Championship Reserve League and managed by Paul Matchett. More recently the club have developed youth teams who play in the Mid Ulster / Lisburn Youth Leagues, in the 2009–10 season however, the team finished near the bottom of the league and manager Wilkinson parted company with the club. In late July David Johnstone ex Loughgall caretaker manager was appointed manager with Michael Crowe the backroom staff, Johnstone played for Ards, Carrick Rangers, Larne and Loughgall. Ironically, Annagh lost out to the team in the Bob Radcliffe Cup semi-final earlier in that season. Johnstone has since departed the club and the management team of players Dean Smith, Darragh Peden. Dean Smith was confirmed as manager for the 2013–14 season with Alan Murphy assistant, the club were promoted to the NIFL Championship 1 in the 2014–15 season and managed to survive for the 2016–17 season. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Annagh United FC Website Irish Football Club Project Irish Premier League Website Irish FA Website Irish League Supporters Forums nifootball. co. uk
Dergview Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Championship. The club, founded in 1980, hails from Castlederg, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, Club colours are red, black, and white. They are nicknamed Constitution or The Constitutes, richard Clarke was appointed player-manager in June 2013. IFA Intermediate League Second Division,1 2007–08 Fermanagh & Western Intermediate Cup,1 2009–10 Note, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Dollingstown Football Club is an intermediate-level football club, from Dollingstown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and competing in the Intermediate A Division of the Mid-Ulster Football League. In the 2010–11 season the club was denied promotion to IFA Championship 2 for fielding a player in eight league matches. As a result, they were deducted all the points gained in the matches the player took part in. The club appealed the decision, and took their case all the way to the High Court, had they won their case they would have been promoted, with Chimney Corner being relegated. Tandragee Rovers were crowned champions of the division instead, but did not apply for entry to the Championship, in the 2012–13 season, they narrowly missed out on a place in Championship 2 again. A 3–2 home win followed by a 2–1 away defeat was not enough, in the 2013–14 season, the club finally secured promotion to the NIFL Championship after winning a play-off against Brantwood. After losing the first leg 2–1 at Skegoneill Avenue, Dollingstown won the second leg 5–2 at Planters Park to ensure a 6–4 victory on aggregate, as a result, they were promoted to NIFL Championship 2 in place of Killymoon Rangers, who had finished bottom of Championship 2. They became the first club relegated from Championship 2 since its inauguration in 2009, in 2016 the club was relegated from the Northern Ireland Football League. Bob Radcliffe Cup,1 2016-17 Mid-Ulster Football League,3 2008–09, 2012–13, 2013–14 NI Football League Official website nifootball. co. uk -
Limavady United F.C.
Limavady United Football Club is an intermediate, Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Premier Intermediate League. The club comes from Limavady, County Londonderry, and plays matches at the Showgrounds. Club colours are blue shirts with white trim, blue socks. The current manager is Paul Owens, who took over from Neil Mullan in January 2015 The club was formed in 1884 when Alexander amalgamated with local club The Wanderers. Alexander had been a member of the Irish Football Association in 1880. Nicknamed The Roesiders or The Lims, in 1885 and 1886 the club reached consecutive Irish Cup Finals, after a protest by Limavady in 1886 the result was confirmed, but medals were withheld from both teams in spite of a challenge in the High Court by a Distillery player. Between 1882 and 1888, the club provided seven internationals to the Irish national football team, the club also famously travelled to Liverpool in 1886, and defeated Everton 1–0- the first team from outside Great Britain to do so. After a long time as a team, the club joined the senior Irish Football League in 1997–98. In 2008, the club lost its status when it failed to gain admission to the new IFA Premiership. Since then, the club has played in the IFA Championship, in April 2013, three players received suspensions after being found guilty of breaching IFA betting rules on one of the clubs league matches. The offer, although meant as tongue in cheek became global headline news with some news agencies believing the offer to be a serious one, the story gained the club brief worldwide recognition although Manchester City themselves did not respond. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Lisburn Distillery F.C.
Lisburn Distillery Football Club is a Northern Irish, intermediate football club based in Ballyskeagh, County Down. The club, founded in 1880, originated in west Belfast, after sharing Skegoneill Avenue and Seaview for some years the club moved in 1980 to a permanent new home at New Grosvenor Stadium, Ballyskeagh, County Antrim, on the southern outskirts of Belfast. The club was known as Distillery until 1999, when it changed its name to Lisburn Distillery in an attempt to itself more closely with its adopted borough of Lisburn. The club, a member of the Irish League in 1890, was relegated in May 2013. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Jimmy McIntosh Maurice Tadman George Eastham, Sr
Lurgan Celtic F.C.
Lurgan Celtic Football Club is an semi-professional, Northern Irish football team based in Lurgan, County Armagh, and plays in the NIFL Championship. Its home ground is Knockramer Park, the club was formed in the 1970s and plays in a similar strip to that of Scotlands Glasgow Celtic. At the time it was a move to try and break into the world of football. The Gaelic Athletic Association was in its stages and was keen to promote Gaelic sports and football in particular. There was also a suggestion that it was the clubs clearly Catholic stance as they pushed for membership of what was considered a predominantly Protestant league that stood in their way. The restructuring of the league in the part of the 21st century eventually resulted in both Celtic clubs gaining admission to the Irish Football League Second Division for the 2002–03 season. In 2003 the club closed their town centre ground and relocated to share Oxford Uniteds ground on the edge of Lurgan at Knockramer Park and they successfully made the necessary improvements to gain admission to the newly formed third tier, IFA Championship 2, for the 2009–10 season. On the back of their success the previous season, Celtic pulled off one of the local games biggest giant-killing acts of the 21st century. Celtic stunned the Ports by taking a 2–0 lead after 54 minutes, however, Portadown came back into the match after 70 minutes with two goals of their own to level the score at 2–2. The match was notable as Portadowns final match under the management of Ronnie McFall. After the match, the legendary Portadown manager resigned, ending his reign at the club after 29 years, in the Irish Cup semi-final they were defeated 3–0 by Linfield with Aaron Burns scoring a hat-trick. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, Lurgan Celtic Homepage Ground Hoppers tour of Knockramer Park