Ayr United F.C.
Ayr United Football Club are a Scottish association football club, based in Ayr that plays in the Scottish Championship, the second tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Formed in 1910 after the merger of former clubs Ayr Parkhouse and Ayr, their nickname is The Honest Men, taken from a line in the poem Tam o Shanter by Scotlands national poet, Robert Burns. The club have spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division altogether, the club have been the champions of the second tier of Scottish football on six occasions and of the third tier twice, but have not won any national cup competitions. The clubs most famous and most successful manager is Ally MacLeod, in May 2016 United secured promotion to the Scottish Championship via the Playoffs. Ayr United were founded in 1910 after the merger of Ayr Parkhouse, the clubs honours include winning six Second Division titles and a further two such titles, most recently in 1996–97. They have won the competition the Ayrshire Cup on 26 occasions. The Ayrshire Cup was last played for in season 1996–97, since when the competition has been suspended, the clubs overall record scorer is Peter Price, who scored 213 times in competitive matches for the club between 1955 and 1962. Former Scottish national team manager Ally MacLeod is regarded as the clubs most famous and he led the club on three separate occasions spanning 15 years, during which his teams recorded a record 214 wins, and won two league titles. In 1973 MacLeod was voted Ayrs Citizen of the Year, more recent managers have also included the recent Scottish national team manager, George Burley, and former Scottish League Cup winner with Raith Rovers, Gordon Dalziel. Gordon Dalziel is the manager to take Ayr to a National Cup Final on 17 March 2002 when they lost to Rangers 4–0. Their current manager is Ian McCall, although the club has spent 34 seasons in Scotlands top division, they have played in the second and third tiers of Scottish senior football since the 1977–78 season. In 1988, Ayr United fan and businessman Sir David Murray offered to buy the club, during much of the 1990s and 2000s, a period of relative success both in league and cup competitions, the Ayr United chairman was local construction magnate Bill Barr. After Barr stood down, there were occasional boardroom struggles, the club suffered significant cashflow problems in 2004 although it survived with a combination of efforts, prestwick-based Roy Kennedy failed to takeover the club in 2005, and his company Kennedy Construction went bankrupt in 2006. On 24 May 2009, Ayr won the Scottish First Division Play-off against Airdrie United 3–2 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division. The following season, to celebrate the centenary, Ayr United played in black and white hoops. The away kit was crimson and gold with blue shorts to reflect the club colours. But it was not a successful season, Ayr were relegated on the last day of the season after losing 2–1 to Morton. The club bounced back the season, winning promotion after defeating Forfar Athletic
Partick Thistle F.C.
Kingsley is the official mascot for Scottish Premiership football team Partick Thistle. Kingsley succeeded Jaggy MacBee as the mascot, who was representative of the sponsorship of Scottish beverage company MacB. Following the launch of the Kingsford Capital sponsorship, Kingsley was the subject of mockery on social media. The launch, and subsequent pictures, appeared across the UK media including in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, BBC, Sky Sports, The Herald, The Sun, global coverage included media agencies such as CNN The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. Kingsley is active on Twitter, instagram and Facebook
Alloa Athletic F.C.
Alloa Athletic Football Club is a Scottish association football semi professional club based in the town of Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Founded as Clackmannan County in 1878, the changed its name to Alloa a year later. The club competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the club was elected to the second tier of the Scottish Football League in 1921–22, earning promotion to the top flight in its first season after winning the Second Division. Alloa Athletic first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1883, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1988. The clubs best result in a cup competition was reaching the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup thrice, winning in 1999. The clubs nickname is The Wasps, referring to its colours of black. Alloa Athletic has been based at Recreation Park in Alloa since 1895, the club were formed in 1878 as Clackmannan County, becoming Alloa a year later and finally adopting the present-day name Alloa Athletic in 1883. Admitted to the Scottish Football Association in the year, the club had to wait until 1921 to elected to the Scottish Football League. In 1906–07, the club were Scottish Football Union champions and won the Central Football League six years later, Alloa won the Scottish Football League Division Two title in their first season but were immediately relegated from the top flight the following season. Promotion was achieved again in 1938–39 but the onset of the Second World War saw the new season curtailed after just five games, when the leagues were re-organised after the war, Alloa were placed back in Division Two. The 1950s and 60s were not overly successful for the Wasps although the club did provide the game with John White who went on to play for Scotland, promotion was finally achieved again from the new Second Division in 1976–77 under the managership of Hugh Wilson. Relegation soon followed but the Wasps went back up 1981–82 under Alex Totten, unfortunately the team was relegated again a year later and a similar pattern followed after further promotions in 1984–85 and 1988–89. Following further league reconstruction, Alloa found themselves as members of the new Third Division in 1995. Under Tom Hendrie, Alloa won this league in 1997–98, the clubs first championship win since 1921–22, the following season saw the team consolidate in the Second Division and also enjoy a famous 7–0 derby win over local rivals Stirling Albion. The team was relegated at the first attempt but bounced back up in 2001–02, relegation followed once more, this time on goal difference. From 2003–2011 Alloa played in the Second Division, in the 2009–2010 season, Alloa looked certain to gain promotion to the Scottish First Division, but they lost out to Stirling by Goal Difference. Days after, however, Alloa pulled off a coup, appointing former Aberdeen. On 7 April 2012, Alloa were confirmed as Scottish Third Division champions after beating Elgin City 8–1 in a game at Recreation Park
Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton Football Club is a Scottish professional football club, which will play in the Scottish Championship in 2016–17. The club was founded as Morton Football Club in 1874, making it one of the oldest senior Scottish clubs, Morton was renamed Greenock Morton in 1994 to celebrate the links with its home town of Greenock. Morton won the Scottish Cup in 1922, and achieved its highest league finish in 1916–17, Morton holds the record for the most promotions to and relegations from the top flight, but has not competed in the top flight of the Scottish football league system since 1988. In 2014–15, Morton won its league title in all divisions by winning the Scottish League One championship on the final day. Morton Football Club was established in 1874, in the early 1870s the popularity of football was growing, with many clubs being established around Scotland. At the clubs inaugural meeting, the first recorded words were that this club be called Morton Football Club. The name would be altered in 1994 to read Greenock Morton Football Club, to celebrate the links with its hometown. Morton was one of the members of the old Second Division, formed in 1893. Morton first gained promotion to the old First Division in 1899–1900, Mortons greatest success came in its 1–0 defeat of Rangers in the 1922 Scottish Cup Final. Jimmy Gourlay scored the goal directly from a free kick in the 11th minute. Right after the match Morton boarded a train for Hartlepool to play the local side in a friendly match. The celebrations were delayed until the following Wednesday when 10,000 locals turned out at Cappielow Park to celebrate, Morton has made two other major cup final appearances. On Saturday 17 April 1948, Morton drew 1–1 with Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final, Mortons goal was a free kick scored by Jimmy White. The match was replayed on Wednesday 21 April and this time Rangers won 1–0 after extra time. The goal was said to be controversial because it was claimed that Morton goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was blinded by the flash of a camera. These matches were significant because of the crowds they attracted. The first match was played in front of 132,629, the replay, in front of 133,750, was at the time a British record attendance for a midweek match. Mortons third and final major cup final to date was in the League Cup, as in its previous two final appearances, Mortons opponent was once again Glasgow Rangers
Dunfermline Athletic F.C.
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Dunfermline, Fife, commonly known as just Dunfermline. Founded in 1885, the club play in the Scottish Championship. Dunfermline play at East End Park, are nicknamed The Pars and are managed by Allan Johnston. The Pars most successful period was in the 1960s, when the won the Scottish Cup twice, in 1961 and 1968 under the management of Jock Stein. The club regularly played European football in this period, reaching the semi-finals of the 1968–69 European Cup Winners Cup under Farm. The club have played at East End Park since their formation in 1885, however, after a period of relative success in the 2000s marked by appearances in three major finals, all of which were lost against Celtic, Dunfermline were relegated to the First Division in 2007. Bobby Ancell was offered the managers post in 1950 but with the Pars making headlines for board room disputes, with a new board in place two seasons later, Ancell was offered the position again and this time accepted. Improving year on year Ancell delivered promotion back to the top flight in 1955 before leaving to start a decade at Motherwell, Jock Stein became manager in 1960 and so began the clubs golden decade. The club played regular European football in the UEFA and European Cup Winners Cups throughout the 60s, under Stein Dunfermline won the Scottish Cup in the 1960–61 season. They beat Celtic 2–0 in the final after a replay, in 1962 they reached the Cup-Winners Cup quarter finals, losing 5–3 on aggregate to Újpest Dózsa SC. On the way they beat St Patricks Athletic and FK Vardar, in the 1962–63 season Dunfermline beat Everton in the Fairs Cup and then played Valencia, losing 4–0 away before winning 6–2 at home. The Pars lost the subsequent play-off, Stein left in 1964 to join Hibernian. New manager Willie Cunningham took the club to the Scottish Cup final in the 1964–65 season and they lost the final 3–2 to a Celtic team that was at the beginning of new manager Jock Steins era. The Pars finished 3rd in the league, one point behind top two Kilmarnock and Hearts, the following year Cunningham took Dunfermline to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals. Alex Ferguson was a player in the Dunfermline squad between 1964 and 1967, George Farm was manager from 1967 until 1970. He matched Stein by winning the Scottish Cup in 1968 with a 3–1 win in the final against Hearts, on the way to the semi-final Dunfermline beat APOEL, Olympiacos and West Bromwich Albion. Dunfermline, managed by Pat Stanton started the 1980s in poor form, the core of the team were Pars stalwarts, Dr Hugh Whyte in goal, John Salton, Kenny Thomson and Dr Bobby Robertson in defence and Sandy McNaughton up front. Of this quintet only Salton was not an ever-present in the league campaign, the team developed a habit of losing streaks,2 of five games and 2 of three games and this caused relegation nerves
Ross County F.C.
Ross County Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Dingwall, Highland. They play all of their matches at the Global Energy Stadium in Dingwall. The club currently play in the Scottish Premiership after winning promotion as champions of the First Division in the 2011–12 season, prior to the 1994–95 season they played in the Highland Football League, a competition they won three times. They have also won the Scottish First Division, Second Division, Third Division, in 2010, they reached the Scottish Cup Final and in 2016, they won the Scottish League Cup. Nicknamed The Staggies, Countys home colours are blue and white. The club was subsequently renamed Ross County, playing in the Highland League from 1929, they won the championship on three occasions, first in 1967, then in 1991 and 1992. They also gained a reputation for their performances in the early rounds of the Scottish Cup. The most notable of these came on 8 January 1994, when they won 4–0 at Forfar Athletic. County gathered 57 votes, while the merger to form Inverness Caledonian Thistle amassed 68. In 1998–99 they were Champions of the Third Division and thereby won promotion to the Second Division and this resulted in promotion to the First Division thanks to a reorganisation of the League, with the Premier League being expanded from ten clubs to twelve. After seven seasons in the First Division Ross County were relegated back to the Second Division in 2006–07 and they won the Second Division in 2007–08, and were promoted back to the First Division. Ross County finished their first season back in the First Division in 8th place and their manager for a very short spell until October 2005, was former Inverness and Hearts manager John Robertson. He left the club on 24 October 2005, due to differences of opinion on a number of issues with the chairman. Gardner Spiers, a former Aberdeen coach, was appointed caretaker manager, director of Football George Adams took temporary charge before former Motherwell player Scott Leitch was appointed on 18 April 2006. Ross County won their first ever trophy when they won the Scottish Challenge Cup in November 2006 on penalties with Jason Crooks scoring the deciding spot kick on his competitive debut. Leitch, after winning the Challenge Cup but suffering relegation, stood down at the end of the 2006–07 season, former Partick Thistle manager Dick Campbell was announced as his replacement in May 2007. However, after a run of results to start their Division 2 campaign, Campbell. Derek Adams took over as caretaker, and was confirmed as permanent manager a month later, after the good form continued
Dundee United F.C.
Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian, the changed to the present name in 1923. United are nicknamed The Terrors or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs, the club has played in tangerine kits since the 1960s and have played at the present ground, Tannadice Park, since their foundation in 1909. United were founder members of the Scottish Premier League in 1998 and were ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure, United were relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, which is the second tier of the SPFL. Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion, the Scottish Cup twice, United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987, the club has a 100% record in four matches against Barcelona in competitive European ties. The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park and they were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and then relegated three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929. The club achieved little success until Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerrs team won promotion in his first season in charge and became established in the top flight, Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and his youth policy led to the most successful era in the clubs history. United won the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and 1980 and then the Premier Division title in 1982–83, the club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Cup Final. The latter featuring another elimination of Barcelona, despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won a FIFA Fair Play Award. McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman, United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLeans successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, returning a year later. Shortly after Leveins departure, the won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston. After several relatively successful seasons, a slump in form led to United being relegated in 2016, for a complete pictorial history of playing kit, see the Historical Football Kits site. After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the own in 1969 to give the club a brighter. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a friendly against Everton in August. When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts
Ladbrokes Coral Group plc /ˈlædbrʊks/ is a British-based betting and gambling company. It is based in Stratford, London, from 14 May 1999 to 23 February 2006, when it owned the Hilton hotel brand outside the United States, it was known as Hilton Group plc. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a member of the FTSE250 Index, in July 2015, Ladbrokes reached an agreement to merge with its rival, Gala Coral Group. Under the terms, Ladbrokes chief executive Jim Mullen became CEO of the new company, the company was founded by Mr. Schwind and Pennington in 1886 as commission agents for horses trained at Ladbroke Hall in Warwickshire. The name Ladbrokes was adopted in 1902 when one Arthur Bendir joined the partnership, Ladbrokes first London offices were situated in the vicinity of the Strand, later moving to Hanover Square in 1906 and, in 1913, the firm graduated to Six Old Burlington Street, Mayfair. Unusually for the times, Ladbrokes principal long-time representative on British racecourses was a woman, Mrs. Helen Vernet. Having joined the firm at behest of Arthur Bendir in 1919, she was made a partner in 1928 and remained with the firm shortly before her death in 1956. As a result, in 1956 the Company was acquired by Mark Stein and his then 28-year-old nephew, in 1961, the government legalised betting shops under the Betting and Gaming Act. As managing director, Stein used profits from the areas of the business to establish a chain of betting shops. On the last Saturday of 1963, football results cost the company over £1 million, in 1966, Cyril Stein became chairman of Ladbrokes and the following year floated the company on the London Stock Exchange at an initial valuation of £1 million. Under his chairmanship the company acquired Texas Homecare in 1986, and in 1995 sold it to J Sainsbury plc, in 1989, Ladbrokes also acquired Vernons Football Pools. In 1993, at the age of 65, Cyril Stein retired as chairman – at which time Ladbrokes was valued at near £2 billion on the London Stock Exchange, in 1999, the company acquired the Stakis Hotels chain and rebranded itself as Hilton Group plc. The Company once again came under fire from the ASA in January 2009 due to complaints received relating to an advertising campaign, in November 2009, the Company announced it would close its call centre at Aintree with the loss of 263 jobs. The last day of call centre operations at Aintree was at the end of March 2010, in January 2012, the Ladbrokes affiliate program introduced a new commission model based on the number of new customers sent every month, valid as from 1 February 2012. On 5 September 2013, Ladbrokes launched in Australia, on 30 September 2013, Ladbrokes issued a warning that full year profits from its e-gaming division would be much lower than originally expected. Profits from the division were originally forecast to be £27.5 million for the year and its woes relating to income uncertainty continued and in August 2014, Ladbrokes announced a pre-tax profits drop of 49. 7% during the first half of 2014. On 3 December 2014, Ladbrokes announced that it was to look for a replacement for CEO Richard Glynn who was to leave at the end of his five-year term. In June 2015, Ladbrokes said they were in talks with the board of Gala Coral Group over a possible merger, the deal was negotiated in July 2015
Falkirk Football Club are a Scottish professional association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1876 and competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the football club was registered as a Limited Liability Company in April 1905 – Falkirk Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913, after 1945, Falkirk were promoted and demoted between the Premier and First Divisions seven times until 1995–96, and during the 1970s spent three seasons in the Second Division. In 2005, Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League, Falkirk won the Scottish Cup again in 1957 and were runners-up in the competition in 1997,2009 and 2015. As a result of its performance in the 2009 Scottish Cup, Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, in their early years, Falkirk played at three venues, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. Between 1885 and 2003, the club was based at Brockville Park, after the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, and the club was denied promotion on three occasions. The clubs present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, the clubs date of formation is uncertain. Although some accounts point to the year 1876, others claim it was formed in 1877, however, the former is the date used by the club and its fans. The club reached the round in the first year that it competed. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played mostly friendly games and they played their home matches at three different grounds during this period, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded in 1883, which invited clubs from the Stirlingshire region to join. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament, the Stirlingshire Cup, a competition open exclusively to the teams from the region, the clubs nickname is The Bairns, a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, which is given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto, Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fakirk, at the time, the league consisted of two tiers, the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons, despite the clubs success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, which was narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirks third season in the top flight, the finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top scorers in the league. In 1913, the won the Scottish Cup for the first time
Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club is a professional football club from Inverness, Scotland who compete in the Scottish Premiership. They are currently managed by Richie Foran, Caledonian Thistle F. C. were formed in August 1994 by the merger of Caledonian and Inverness Thistle, both members of the Highland Football League. The new club was formed with a view to applying for one of the two vacancies in the Scottish Football League, created when the league restructured in 1994 to four divisions of ten teams each. They were successful and were elected to the Scottish Third Division along with Highland derby rivals Ross County, the clubs name was amended to Inverness Caledonian Thistle F. C. in 1996 at the request of Inverness District Council. Inverness also knocked other SPL teams out of cup competitions, including Motherwell, over the first ten years of their existence the club had been responsible for a total of 12 shocks and as a result had gained themselves a reputation as being giant killers. On 25 February 2007, Invernesss run of cup victories over Celtic came to an end following two goals in the last two minutes of their fifth round tie at Caledonian Stadium. Having led 1–0 for the majority of the thanks to a Graham Bayne goal. A significant event in the history was the signing of Romanian international Marius Niculae. Niculae was involved in the clubs 2007–08 campaign and played at UEFA Euro 2008 and he later became involved in a dispute with the club over a share of the transfer fee that was not paid to him when he left. As a result, Inverness were ordered by FIFA to pay £133,000 to the player, the club appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in November 2011, the club won their appeal. Having won the 2009–10 First Division title in their first year back in the division since 2003–04, Season 2014–15 saw the club finish in their best ever placing of third. After a promising start to their campaign in 1994–95, the club eventually finished sixth in the Third Division. The following season, Inverness CT showed improvement with a third-place finish, in Season 1996–97, they won the Third Division Championship following a 4–1 home win over Albion Rovers in front of nearly 3,000 fans. This was just 5 months after moving into the Caledonian Stadium, the club spent two seasons in the Second Division. After a closely fought campaign, they finished runners-up to Livingston in Season 1998–99, Season 2003–2004 could be regarded as the clubs most successful up to that point. This made the club eligible for promotion to the Scottish Premier League, however, SPL rules at that time stated that all member clubs must have a stadium with a minimum capacity of 10,000 seats. Caledonian Stadium did not meet this criterion, leaving the clubs Board with a dilemma, either to remain in the First Division or to groundshare with Aberdeen, over 100 miles away. After consulting with supporters, the Board decided the sacrifice of one season in Aberdeen would be a compromise to ensure Premier League participation for the club
Queen of the South F.C.
Queen of the South Football Club are a Scottish professional football club founded in 1919 and located in Dumfries. The club currently plays in the Scottish Championship, in the tier of Scottish football. They are officially nicknamed The Doonhamers but are referred to as Queens or QoS. Their home ground since their formation has been Palmerston Park, Queens led Scotlands top division up until New Year in season 1953–54 and the clubs highest finish in Scotlands top division was fourth in season 1933–34. The club reached their first major cup final in 2008 when they reached the final of the Scottish Cup, gary Naysmith is the current club manager, having been appointed on 1 December 2016 and John Rankin is the current club captain, having been appointed on 7 January 2017. Robbie Neilson, the current manager of MK Dons, said about Queens from his period at the club in 2002, Its a well-run club. In the 2008 UEFA Cup qualifying trip to Denmark Queen of the South fans were hailed as a great credit both to their club and to Scotland by Danish police, about 850 supporters of the Dumfries club travelled to Denmark to watch the UEFA Cup clash with FC Nordsjaelland. Despite the fact that their team was eliminated, local police said their behaviour was impressive. Insp Rune Hamann said, It was a pleasure hosting such a visit by Queen of the South whose supporters were well behaved. Copenhagen was particularly busy in the build up to and after the match with a carnival, I look forward to welcoming Queen of the South and their terrific supporters back in Denmark in the future. Ch Insp Mickey Collins from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said the fans were a pleasure to work along with and he added, Despite the huge numbers of supporters who travelled to Denmark there were no arrests, incidents or issues of any concern. Great praise should be passed on to those fortunate enough to be at the match, the club mascot is Dougie the Doonhamer, a human sized border collie dog. The character has been played for many years by supermarket worker Brian Harkness. Queen of the South are often cited as the only league club in the United Kingdom to be mentioned in the Bible. Luke 11,31 states The Queen of the South shall rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation, Queen of the South is similarly quoted under Matthew 12,42. In the biblical quote the Queen of the South is considered to be the Queen of Sheba. P, Queens played for 78 minutes with 10 men after goalkeeper George Farm was injured in the 12th minute and was carried off. Dundees Alan Gilzean scored 7 of the goals, Dundee were reigning Scottish League Champions at the time and would make the European Cup semi-finals that season where they lost to eventual winners AC Milan. Highest free standing floodlights in Scottish football, Queens floodlights were first used on 29 October 1958, to mark the occasion Preston North End sent a team north for a friendly match. First Queens players to four senior Scottish football medals while playing for the club, Jim Thomson
Albion Rovers F.C.
Albion Rovers Football Club is a semi-professional football team from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and, as of the 2016–17 season, play in League One and their sole major honours during that time have been wins in the lower two divisions of the senior league system. The clubs stadium, Cliftonhill, known as the Exsel Group Stadium for sponsorship purposes, Albion Rovers were formed in 1882 from a merger of the two Coatbridge sides Albion FC and Rovers FC, and played at Meadow Park from that year. The club joined the Scottish Football League Second Division in 1903 along with Ayr Parkhouse following an expansion in numbers. Rovers settled into the League reasonably well, albeit without ever clinching promotion, by 1915 the Scottish Football League had been merged into a single division structure, with the second division scrapped. The Rovers moved to join the Western Football League and whilst members of this moved to their current Cliftonhill home in 1919. They were close to returning to the Scottish League in 1917 but lost out in a vote amongst Clydebank, Vale of Leven, with their new stadium completed, Rovers returned to the single division Scottish League for the 1919–20 season. Rovers remained a top-flight side even after the return of the Second Division until their relegation in 1923 and it was during this period that John Jock White, became Rovers only international appearing for Scotland, in a match against Wales. The club remained in the Second Division until the 1933–34 season when they took the title by a point from Dunfermline Athletic, of the five seasons immediately before the Second World War Rovers spent all but one of them as a top-flight side. They took part in the emergency Western League during the 1939–40 season before transferring over to the Southern Football League, despite struggling from time to time to get a full side out the Rovers managed to survive the war in good shape. To add to their problems the celebrated wing partnership of Willie Findlay and Johnny McIlhatton was broken up when the former departed for Rangers, One feature of the McIlhatton transfer was a friendly match between the two clubs at Goodison Park in September 1946, which the Toffees won 6–3. Rovers took a 2–0 lead in the first leg against Kilmarnock, and no team has ever been able to put together a more spicy trio than Currie, Sage and Rice, who appeared in Rovers sides of the early 1970s. Changes brought in for the 1975–76 season saw Rovers placed in the new Second Division, in 1986 a book covering the clubs history was published, The Boys From the Brig by Robin Marwick. Players such as Vic Kasule and Bernie Slaven brought some flamboyancy to Rovers in the mid-1980s, the First Division stay was again to last just one season and Rovers subsequently finished bottom of the bottom division several times during the 1990s. Rovers found themselves in the newly created Scottish Football League Third Division, in an attempt to cut costs, the number of full-timers was substantially reduced and the clubs board took a decision to sell Cliftonhill and groundshare with Airdrieonians. Following another last place finish in 1999–00 there was an attempt to change the clubs fortunes, the team went full-time, although many of the full-time players were youths to whom the club gave employment under a government scheme. Rovers went into the last day of the season in 2001–02 and 2002–03 with a chance of promotion, the full-time experiment proved too expensive and had to be dismantled to keep the clubs costs under control. Rovers stayed put and it was against this background that a group of fans set up Albion Rovers Supporters Trust with a view to benefit the club and local community
St Johnstone F.C.
St Johnstone Football Club is a professional football club based in Perth, Scotland. Although it is recorded as being formed in 1884, the club did not play its first game until February 1885. The clubs home since 1989 has been McDiarmid Park, the clubs first Scottish Cup appearance was in 1886–87 and they joined the Scottish Football League in 1911–12. St Johnstone won the Scottish Football League First Division, the tier of league football in Scotland. This gained them promotion to the Scottish Premier League, bringing a return of SPL football to McDiarmid Park for the 2009–10 campaign, the club have historically floated between the top two divisions of Scottish football, obtaining the reputation of being a yo-yo club. Their traditional rivals are the two Dundee clubs, Dundee and Dundee United, with matches between St Johnstone and either Dundee club being called Tayside derbies, the club has had limited success in cup competitions. After losing at the stage on numerous occasions, the club won their first Scottish Cup in 2014 with a 2–0 win against Dundee United. It has reached two Scottish League Cup Finals, losing them to each of the Old Firm clubs. They have also won the Scottish Second Tier seven times, the Scottish Challenge Cup in 2007, the B Division Supplementary Cup in 1949 and they have qualified for European competitions on six occasions. Their highest league position in the top division was third place on three occasions,1971,1999 and 2013, the club was formed by members of the local cricket team seeking to occupy their time once the cricket season had finished. The cricketers were kicking a football around the South Inch, a public park beside the River Tay during the autumn of 1884. Club members leased a piece of land adjacent to the South Inch, known as the Recreation Grounds, in the 1910–11 Scottish Division Two season, Port Glasgow Athletic F. C. finished next to bottom and declined to apply for re-election. They were replaced for the 1911–12 Scottish Division Two season by St Johnstone, St Johnstone were promoted to the old First Division in 1924–25, by winning the Second Division title, and appointed David Taylor as team manager. They remained in the top flight until 1929–30 when they finished bottom of Division One, Two years later, under new manager Tommy Muirhead, the Saints were runners-up in Division Two to gain their second promotion. They performed well in Division One through the 1930s, reaching the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1933–34, in the final season before World War II, St Johnstone played well under manager David Rutherford to finish eighth. The Scottish Football League suspended competition for the duration of the war, St Johnstone were closed for most of the war and lost their top flight status as a result. The Southern Football League continued through the post-war 1945–46 season but with two divisions to incorporate clubs that were restarting, including St Johnstone, the Saints played in the 1945–46 B Division and finished sixth of fourteen clubs. St Johnstone had lost all the ground gained in the 1930s, jimmy Crapnell became the team manager for the 1947–48 season and was succeeded by Johnny Pattillo for 1953–54
Brechin City F.C.
Brechin City Football Club is a Scottish football club based in the town of Brechin in Angus. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials of two clubs, Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. The club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the clubs highest achievements include winning the third tier of Scottish football four times, the last coming in 2004–05 as champions of the Second Division. The club has reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup. Brechins home ground is Glebe Park with the capacity to seat around 1,500 spectators in its capacity of 4,083, the current player/manager is Darren Dods, who was appointed in June 2015. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials from two successful local junior sides – Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. Although Brechin Harp folded with the establishment of the side, Brechin Hearts continued as a viable. The club won its first important local honour, the Forfarshire Cup, the club moved to their Glebe Park home in 1919, a stadium which currently has a capacity of 3,960 and is famous for the hedge that runs alongside one side of the pitch. The team was admitted to the Scottish league in 1923 with the formation of the original Third Division, however City struggled, finishing bottom of the League in that first season. The club failed to make any headway in the doomed division, the club was not away long however as it returned to the League for the 1929–30 season following the departure of Bathgate and Arthurlie the previous season. Once again however the club finished rock bottom, the club continued to struggle in the bottom half of the Second Division throughout the 1930s before going into hibernation during the Second World War. Indeed, so poor was the club at times that during the 1937–38 season the club were beaten 10–0 by Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, the club remained in this set-up until its success in the North-East section in the 1953–54 season saw it return to full League membership. Their first season back however resulted in another bottom placed finish, the unwanted feat of finishing bottom two years in a row was repeated again in 1972–73 and 1973–74 as Brechin City continued to be one of the weakest sides in Scottish League football. The club finished 17th out of 20 in the 1974–75 season and as such was placed in the new Division Two, the new set-up suited the club little better as they remained in and around the bottom. However a mid-table 1979–80 season ushered in something of a change in fortune as the club began to challenge for its first promotion as full League members. With both a new stand and floodlighting added to Glebe Park, the club played with a new ambition until finally breaking its duck with a win in the 1982–83 season. Under Wills progressive leadership City found its feet in the First Division, brechins return to the First Division was to prove somewhat inauspicious as it was immediately relegated, although 1992–93 season saw it promoted again, this time as runners-up. Again, however, it was relegated immediately and worse was to follow as it suffered consecutive demotions, dropping into the newly created Third Division, the fourth tier of League football
St Mirren F.C.
St Mirren Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Paisley, Renfrewshire, founded in 1877. The team plays in the Scottish Championship, having been relegated from the Scottish Premiership in 2014–15, the team has two nicknames, the Buddies and the Saints. St Mirren have won the Scottish Cup three times,1926,1959 and 1987, and the Scottish League Cup in 2013, the club has played in European competition four times, UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1987–88 and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81, 1983–84 and 1985–86. The clubs home ground since 2009 is St Mirren Park, an 8,023 capacity all seater ground on Greenhill Road, the clubs former ground from 1894 until 2009 was also called St Mirren Park, but was more commonly known as Love Street. St Mirren was formed as a club which included, among other sports, cricket. The increasing popularity of football ensured that by 1877 the members had decided to play football and 1877 is the football clubs official foundation date. They are named after Saint Mirin, the founder of a church at the site of Paisley Abbey, there is also a street in Paisley named St Mirren Street. St Mirren played their first match on 6 October 1877, defeating Johnstone Britannia 1–0 at Shortroods, two years later, the club moved to another ground, Thistle Park, Greenhills. St Mirrens first Scottish Cup match came on 4 September 1880, the following year, the Buddies reached their first cup final but were beaten 3–1 by Thornliebank in the Renfrewshire Cup. In 1883 however the scores were reversed with the Saints winning the Renfrewshire Cup and it is in 1883 that move to their third home, that of West March, defeating Queens Park in the first game. In 1885, St Mirren played their first match against Morton, the 1890 season was an historic season for St Mirren, as they became founder members of the Scottish Football League along with fellow Paisley club Abercorn. Of the 11 founder clubs, only 4 survive in the current league system and it was during the match against Morton at Cappielow in this year, that St Mirren played one of the first night games under light from oil lamps. St Mirren moved to Love Street in 1894 and reached their first Scottish Cup final in the 1907–08 season but were defeated 5–1 by Celtic, the Buddies went on to lift the trophy in 1926,1959 and 1987. In 1922, St Mirren were invited to play in the Barcelona Cup invitational tournament to celebrate the inauguration of Les Corts and they won the tournament by beating Notts County in the final. In the 1979–80 season, St Mirren achieved their equal highest-ever finish in the top-flight finishing third behind Aberdeen and that season Saints also became the first and last Scottish club to win the Anglo-Scottish Cup, defeating Bristol City in a two-legged final. The following season, St Mirren competed in European competition for the first time, IF Elfsborg in Sweden, followed by a 0–0 draw in the second leg. The next round saw them play French team Saint-Étienne, although St Mirrens home leg ended up a 0–0 draw, Saint-Étienne pulled off a 2–0 victory in the second leg to put St Mirren out of the cup. In 2001, St Mirren finished bottom of the Premier League despite losing one of their final seven matches
Livingston Football Club, is a Scottish football club based in Livingston, West Lothian. Livingston currently play in the Scottish League One and were founded in 1943 as Ferranti Thistle, the club was admitted to the Scottish Football League and renamed as Meadowbank Thistle in 1974, and played its matches at Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh. In 1995, the club was relocated to Livingston, West Lothian, since then Livingston have played their home games at the Almondvale Stadium. However, the club hit financial problems in 2004, and was relegated to the Scottish First Division in 2006, in July 2009 the club faced further financial problems and were on the verge of suffering a liquidation event before a deal was struck. Livingston were subsequently demoted to the Scottish Third Division, but the club achieved consecutive promotions, the club began life as Ferranti Amateurs in 1943. A works team of the Ferranti engineering company, they played in the Edinburgh FAs Amateur Second Division. During this period the club won the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup in 1963, in 1969 the club moved to the City Park ground in Edinburgh. In 1972 the club members of SFA which allowed them to enter the Scottish Qualifying Cup which they won in 1973 which previously had not been open to them. The clubs first match in the Scottish Cup was on 16 December 1972 against Duns. In 1974, as a result of the demise of Third Lanark seven years earlier, after beating off competition from four Highland League sides, Hawick Royal Albert and Gateshead United, Ferranti Thistle were accepted into the league by a vote of 21–16 over Inverness Thistle. The local council offered use of Meadowbank Stadium, a stadium built in 1970. After an Edinburgh Evening News campaign to find a name for the club and this was approved by the SFL in time for the new season. Having had little time to form a squad from the existing Ferranti squad, Meadowbank played their first competitive match in the League Cup, eventually losing 1–0 to Albion Rovers. In 1983 the club achieved promotion to the First Division but ultimately were relegated back to the Second Division at the end of the 1984–85 season, in the 1986–87 season, Meadowbank won the Second Division championship and won promotion to the First Division. They finished runners-up in the First Division in the following season, the part-time club began to struggle, and it became a limited company in 1993 but was relegated a short time after at the end of the 1992–93 season to the Second Division. Meadowbank suffered a relegation in 1994–95, finishing second from bottom in the Second Division. After this, Chairman Bill Hunter claimed Meadowbank had run into financial difficulties and were facing closure as a result. C. In their first season as Livingston they were crowned champions of the Third Division for the 1995–96 season, Three years later, in 1998–99, they won promotion again as Second Division champions
Dumbarton Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Dumbarton, Scotland. The club were one of the most successful of the nineteenth century, the club were the first team to win at least one league title in each of the four tiers in the Scottish league system. Stevie Aitken is the manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2015. For the 2016–17 season, the team will wear strips from the Joma brand, the clubs badge features an elephant with a castle on its back, this represents Dumbarton Rock with Dumbarton Castle upon it, based on the historic town crest. Dumbarton Rock, a plug, is said to resemble an elephant. The teams nickname The Sons is derived from the phrase Sons of The Rock, Dumbarton play their home games at The Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium. The 2,020 all seated stadium has used since 2 December 2000. The main stand is overshadowed by Dumbarton Rock & sits aside the banks of the River Leven, between May and November 2000, Dumbarton shared Cliftonhill in Coatbridge with Albion Rovers. The existing site would be used by Denny Homes to build 180 houses, Dumbarton were the first league club in Scotland to have a supporters trust, which works to strengthen the links between the club and the fans. The trust own a significant number of shares in the club and are currently the fourth largest shareholder, following a £25,000 direct investment, the trust also has a representative on the club board of directors. The supporters trust works with the club to produce the match programme & run the club website, as well as those important functions, the trusts main role at the club is that of overseeing commercial activity. As of 31 March 2017 Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Stats include permanent managers who had initial caretaker spells, as of match played Saturday 1 April 2017. C
Recreation Park, Alloa
Recreation Park, also known as The Indodrill Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is a football stadium in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. It is the ground of Scottish Professional Football League team Alloa Athletic. Additionally, BSC Glasgow of the Scottish Lowland Football League have been groundsharing at Recreation Park since 2016, the stadium has an artificial playing surface and has a capacity of 3,100. Alloa Athletic have played at Recreation Park since 1895, a wooden main stand was built during the 1920s. Around 1950, a cover was built on the Hilton Road Side. A record attendance of 15,467 was set by a 1954–55 Scottish Cup match against Celtic, floodlights were installed in 1979 and a new main stand was opened in 1991. The new main stand cost £350,000, most of which was provided by the Football Trust, by the mid-1990s, when the ground was being used for Rangers reserve team matches, capacity had been restricted to just over 4,000. An artificial surface was installed at the ground before the 2007–08 season, a seated stand was constructed on the Hilton Road Side in 2008. Clyde played matches at Recreation Park early in the 2012–13 season, on 12 September 2014, a six-figure sponsorship deal was struck that saw the stadium renamed as The Indodrill Stadium. However, supporters of the continue to call it Recreation Park or The Recs. Recreation Park has two seated stands, one on each side, the main stand, which has just over 400 seats, runs approximately half the length of the pitch and is raised above ground level. The other stand, on the Hilton Road Side, is used by away team supporters, views from both the main stand and the Hilton Road Side are impeded by the floodlight pylons, which run along each side of the pitch. The rest of the ground is open terracing, apart from a cover at the Clackmannan Road End. The Ochil Hills are clearly visible behind the Railway End of the ground, since 2007, an artificial pitch has been used at Recreation Park. Alloa railway station, which is within walking distance of Recreation Park and it is served by trains on the Croy Line from Glasgow Queen Street and Stirling. Recreation Park is situated on the A907 road, which runs between Stirling and Dunfermline, Street parking is available in the surrounding area
Somerset Park is a football stadium located in Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It has been the home of Ayr United since they were founded in 1910, prior to that, it was the home ground of Ayr, who merged with Ayr Parkhouse to form Ayr United. Ayr commissioned Somerset Park in 1888 to replace Beresford Park, Ayr needed an alternative venue for a friendly match against Aston Villa because Beresford Park was being used for the Ayr Cattle Show at the time. The Beresford Park clubhouse and grandstand were dismantled and reassembled at Somerset Park, Ayr entered the Scottish Football League in 1897, but failed to seriously challenge for promotion to the First Division. Ayr Parkhouse, who played at Beresford Park, subsequently joined the league, the two clubs decided to merge in 1910 to form Ayr United and the new club adopted Somerset Park as its primary home, although Beresford Park was used during the First World War. Ayr United bought Somerset Park for £2,500 in 1920, four years later, the direction of the pitch was changed when the club built a new Main Stand. A roof was built in 1933 over the end terrace. The grounds record attendance of 25,225 was set on 13 September 1969 in a match against Rangers, floodlights were installed a year later. Somerset Park was relatively late in doing this because the ground is in the path of the nearby Prestwick Airport. The Somerset Road end terrace was covered in 1971, a new wing was added to the Main Stand in 1989, increasing the seating capacity to 1,450 in an overall capacity of 12,128. Despite this work on other Scottish grounds, Somerset Park was not developed, barr had plans for an out-of-town stadium rejected by the Scottish Executive. He retired in 2004 and passed control of the club to Donald Cameron, in November 2006, Ayr United publicised plans to sell Somerset Park to housing developer Barratt Homes and move to a new purpose built stadium in the Heathfield area of Ayr. The new ground was planned to consist of a stand of 3,650 seats, with the potential to add another 3, 000-seat stand. South Ayrshire Council gave outline planning permission in January 2008, Barratt Homes pulled out of the deal to purchase Somerset Park in August 2008, however, with the developer claiming that the planning rules were unworkable. The credit crunch, which depressed housing values, also affected the proposals viability, the Main Stand roof was damaged by Hurricane Bawbag in December 2011, forcing Ayr United to postpone a First Division match against Ross County. Ayr railway station is approximately 10 minutes walk from Somerset Park, newton-on-Ayr railway station is closer to the ground, but fewer trains stop there. The A77 road is the route towards Ayr. To reach Somerset Park, take the A719 road into town, there is a small car park next to Somerset Park and nearby street parking is also available
Tannadice Park, usually referred to as Tannadice, is a football stadium in Dundee, Scotland. It is the ground of Dundee United F. C. who have played at Tannadice since the club was founded as Dundee Hibernian in 1909. The stadium has been all-seated since 1994 and has a capacity of 14,223 and it is located only 200 yards from Dundee F. C. s stadium, Dens Park, the two are the closest senior football grounds in the UK. The ground was known as Clepington Park, and was used by a number of local teams in the 19th century. It was the home of Dundee Wanderers F. C. from 1894 until 1909, the name of the ground was changed to Tannadice when Dundee Hibernian took over the lease in 1909. The ground that is now Tannadice was first used for football in the 1870s, in July 1882, Dundee East End secured the use of Clepington Park for the coming season, remaining there until the following year, when they moved to Madeira Park. Clepington was also used by newly formed junior club Dundee Violet during the 1883–84 season, both clubs vacated Clepington in 1884, Violet relocated to Fairmuir, while East End had spells at Madeira Park and Pitkero Park before returning to Clepington in 1887. They remained there until moving to Carolina Port, the most developed ground in Dundee at the time, East End would subsequently amalgamate with Dundee Our Boys to form Dundee F. C. in 1893. Clepington Park was subsequently taken over by Johnstone Wanderers, who had begun as an offshoot of Our Boys, by this time, the surrounding modern street pattern had begun to emerge, with Provost Road, Arklay Street, and Clepington Road all having been laid out. West of Arklay Street remained open land while the east was being developed, by 1890, one of the new streets leading off Arklay Street had been given the name Tannadice Street. In 1891, Johnstone Wanderers decided to enclose Clepington to enable them to charge for admission, in conjunction, it was decided to utilise the natural slope roughly a hundred yards to the west in order to provide better views for spectators. As well as enclosing the new pitch, now situated on approximately its modern alignment, the built an modest grandstand. It probably housed no more than 500 spectators, in January 1894 Johnstone Wanderers merged with another local club, Strathmore, to form Dundee Wanderers. The new combination successfully applied for Scottish Football League membership and Clepington Park staged its first Scottish League fixture against Motherwell on 25 August 1894, Wanderers struggled at national level, however, and were not re-elected at the end of the season, dropping down to the Northern League. From 1899, Wanderers had to contend with competition for local support with the opening of Dens Park. This was situated almost opposite Clepington, where the extended Tannadice Street met Sandeman Street at an angle, the two grounds are approximately 200 yards apart, which is the shortest distance between two senior football grounds in Britain. Only the grounds of two clubs in Budapest, MTK and BKV Elore, are closer together than Dens and Tannadice in the whole of Europe,1909 saw the formation of Dundee Hibernian, a new club representing the citys Irish community, which had previously supported Dundee Harp. As much of the local Irish population was concentrated in the Lochee district, however, rather than building a new ground from scratch, the new clubs secretary Pat Reilly took the controversial step of approaching the landlord of Clepington Park to secure a ready-made venue
East End Park
East End Park is a football stadium situated in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland with a seating capacity of 11,480. The stadium is all seater and has under-soil heating, East End Park was first used in 1885, the same year as the club was formed. The original stadium was situated slightly to the west, in 1920, the Board of Directors purchased 3 acres of land from the North British Railway company for £3,500, and the present position of the ground was laid out. A wooden stand with a low roof and a pavilion were built on the southern side, terrace banks were extended to give a capacity of 16,000 when the club was promoted to the First Division in 1926. Relegation and the effects of the Great Depression forced East End Park to be used for racing in the early 1930s. The rent from this activity helped keep the club afloat, Dunfermline were promoted in 1934 and a roof was built over the northern terrace. One year later, the terrace was improved using wood salvaged from the liner Mauretania. Polish and British army units were stationed at East End Park during the Second World War, Dunfermline received £329 in compensation, but the ground remained quite primitive. Crush barriers were not installed until 1951, after a 20,000 crowd had attended a match, East End Park was greatly developed between 1957 and 1970, a period in which the club qualified several times for European competition. A two-tier Main Stand was constructed in 1962, funded by the winning the 1960–61 Scottish Cup. The terracing was also improved, with an L-shaped roof formed over the western and northern sections, the record attendance for a Dunfermline Athletic home game of 27,816 was against Celtic on 30 April 1968. There was some chaotic crowd scenes, as people scaled the stand roof, one person died from his injuries after falling. In the late 1990s, East End Park was converted to a stadium with a capacity of 12,509. But since then, the capacity has been downgraded to the present 11,480, since then there have been sell-outs against Rangers in the Scottish Cup and against Raith Rovers in a title decider for the 2010–11 Scottish First Division. An artificial playing surface was installed at East End Park in 2003, opposing managers and players expressed reservations at the time that the surface could lead to injuries. The pitch was replaced with grass two seasons later. The 2006–07 Scottish Junior Cup Final between Kelty Hearts and Linlithgow Rose was held at East End Park on 3 June 2007, Dunfermline announced in November 2011 that the North Stand was to close, in order to reduce operating costs. However, in July 2012 the club announced it planned to reopen the stand, the greyhound racing was independent and started on 5 June 1931 until 1951
The Falkirk Stadium is a football stadium in the east of Falkirk in central Scotland, which is the home ground of Scottish Championship club, Falkirk. The stadium has a capacity of 7,937 and currently consists of three completed stands. The stadium was opened in 2004 with the main stand completed and it became the home of Falkirk in the same year after the club ground shared Ochilview Park for the 2003–04 season whilst the stadium was being constructed. The north and south stands were built and opened in 2005 and 2009 respectively, work began on building the stadium in 2003 after Brockville Park, the clubs town centre home since 1885, was sold and demolished. Falkirk Council estimated £6.1 million would be required for the first stage of the Community Stadium build and would contribute £3.1 million initially. The sale of Brockville Park amounted to £9 million pounds for the club, of which £2.8 million went towards the build, falkirks first ever game at the stadium was a friendly in July 2004 against Dundee resulting in a 2–1 defeat. A month later the first league game was hosted in the stadium with visitors Hamilton Academical drawing 1–1, in October 2004 construction work commenced for the building of a second stand to the north of the pitch. The stand has a capacity of 2,000, the stand received its safety certificate in late March 2005, shortly before the SPLs deadline for a stadium which met the seating criteria. By May of the year the north stand was fully completed. Construction of the stand began in December 2008 by contractors Ogilvie. A £2m pledge from Sandy Alexander, founder of Schuh and Falkirk supporter, the south stand has a capacity of around 2,000 and is identical in appearance to the north stand of the stadium. It was officially opened in August 2009 in a game against Royal Antwerp FC of Belgium. This brought the capacity of the stadium to around 8,000 people without the inclusion of the temporary east stand. The joint venture that was set up between Falkirk F. C. and Falkirk Council, ended in 2009, just a few months before the opening of the south stand, an artificial playing surface was installed at the stadium in June 2013. The Falkirk Stadium is a stadium which currently consists of three completed stands in the form of the main west stand and smaller north and south stands. Upon the stadiums construction the west stand was the first to be built, the north and south stands were completed in 2005 and 2009 respectively. The west stand has a capacity of roughly 4,200, a temporary east stand has been present on several occasions. As well as hosting the games of Falkirk in football
Cappielow Park, commonly known as Cappielow, is a football stadium in Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland. It is the ground of Scottish Professional Football League club Greenock Morton. It has a capacity of 11,589, including 5,741 seats, the ground was formerly also shared by Clydebank F. C. between 1999 and 2002. Cappielow has staged one full international match, Scotland against Wales in 1902, cappielows etymology is supposedly of Scandinavian origin, although details of this are sketchy. It has been home to Greenock Morton since 1879, Cappielow hosted a Scotland v Wales match in the 1902 British Home Championship and was used for other events, including public lectures, track cycling and athletics, in its early history. The record attendance of 23,500 was for a match against Celtic in 1922. This match ended in a riot, however, which caused damage to Cappielow, floodlights were first used at Cappielow for a league match against Third Lanark in 1958. Cappielow presently has a capacity of 11,589, with 5,741 of these being seated, the area behind the western goal is known as the Wee Dublin end, which contains non-backed bench seating. This was converted from the old terracing in 1978, when Morton were promoted to the Premier Division and it is known as the Wee Dublin end because the Irish immigrant population of Greenock was once housed behind that stand. The main stand, built in 1931, contains plastic bucket seating that replaced the wooden benches that were a fixture of the ground until the late 1990s, behind the eastern goal is the Sinclair Street end, with uncovered terracing. On 12 December 2008, Morton announced the purchase of a stand from longtime rivals St Mirren and it will be re-erected at the Wee Dublin end. It was also announced two of St Mirrens floodlights had also purchased, to be put at either end of the Cowshed. Cappielow Park is across East Hamilton Street from the River Clyde, the uncovered home terrace behind the goals on the turnstile side runs along Sinclair Street. The ground is five minutes walk from Cartsdyke railway station. The railway line immediately behind the Main Stand and passengers have an excellent view of the Cappielow pitch over the stand roof. In recent years, both Clydebank and Ayr United have played matches at Cappielow. Cappielow was one of three Scottish grounds to host matches in the UEFA Under-17 Championship in March 2012, on 3 October 2013, Cappielow hosted a UEFA Youth League match between Celtic and Barcelona, with Barcelona winning 2–1. Independent greyhound racing started on 12 August 1933 and the track was known as Cappielow
The Caledonian Stadium, currently known as the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is an association football stadium situated in the Longman area of Inverness, Scotland. The stadium plays host to the matches of Scottish Premiership team Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Inverness Caledonian Thistle was formed in 1994 by the merging of two Highland League clubs, Caledonian and Inverness Thistle, between 1994 and 1996, the new club played their home matches at Telford Street Park, which had been the home ground of Caledonian. However, one of the made to gain entrance into the Scottish Football League was that they would move to a newly built ground by August 1995. Four sites were considered early in 1995, when Highland Council gave approval to a site called East Longman, next to the A9 road. Inverness District Council approved the plans and authorised £900,000 of public funds to cover a funding gap, the club threatened to resign from the SFL if the funds were not forthcoming, but eventually the District Council granted the funds in December 1995. The new stadium opened in November 1996 and hosted its first SFL match, the stadium held 5,000 supporters at opening and cost £5.2 million. The Caledonian Stadium had a capacity of 6,280. Inverness CT agreed to groundshare with Aberdeen at Pittodrie, the SPL initially rejected the groundsharing application, but accepted it on appeal. The SPL also voted to reduce the 10,000 seat requirement to 6,000, Inverness CT played at Pittodrie for the first two rounds of fixtures of the 2004–05 season, while redevelopment works were carried out at the Caledonian Stadium. The redevelopment in 2004–05 included the construction of two new stands at either end of the ground, which made the stadium all-seater and increased its capacity to over 7,500. These stands were built in a remarkable 47 days by the Tulloch Construction Company who are also the clubs biggest shareholder, as Tulloch also paid part of the development cost, the stadium had the Tulloch name added to it on completion of the work. In 2007, the added a very small stand opposite the Main Stand - called the West Stand. It has a capacity of around 400 and was intended to be a singing section. The highest football attendance recorded at the Caledonian Stadium is 7,753, the stadium first appeared as a concert venue when it successfully hosted Elton John in 2007 and its reputation was bolstered further when Rod Stewart entertained 19,400 fans there in 2010. Tulloch Caledonian Stadium - Scottish Ground Guide
Firhill Stadium is a football and former rugby union, rugby league and greyhound racing stadium located in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, Scotland. Since 1909, the stadium has been the home of Partick Thistle, past ground-sharing agreements have seen Firhill act as a temporary home for two other football clubs, Clyde and Hamilton Academical. It was also a venue for the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, furthermore, the stadium was used for a short time by Queens Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics as their own Hampden Park stadium was in use for the Olympic football competitions. As of 2014, the capacity of Firhill is 10,102. Partick Thistle played at sites between 1876 and 1891, including Kelvingrove, Jordanvale Park and Muir Park. The club settled at Meadowside, beside the River Clyde, in 1891 and they were forced out of this site in 1908, however, to make way for a shipyard. The club found some spare Caledonian Railway land in Maryhill, the site was purchased by the club for £5,500, and construction started soon after. The ground was due to open on 21 August 1909, but the match was postponed because it had not been declared safe for public use, the record attendance for a Partick Thistle game at Firhill was set against Rangers in 1922, when 49,838 people attended. The present main stand was constructed in 1927, at time the terraces were expanded. Although the main stand resembles an Archibald Leitch design, it was in fact designed by David Mills Duncan, the stadiums attendance record was set by the 1928 British Home Championship match between Scotland and Ireland, when 54,728 people attended. There were no further improvements until the early 1950s, when Thistle had a successful period. This success financed a roof over part of the terracing and floodlights, Firhill hosted the first European Cup match ever to be played in Glasgow, when Swedish club Djurgårdens played their home match against Hibernian in 1955–56. Djurgårdens played at Firhill because of the conditions in Sweden at the time of the match. Firhill became designated under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act in 1977, in 1986, Firhill became the first Scottish ground in modern times to be used by more than one team, when Clyde moved in after being evicted from Shawfield. Hamilton Academical then shared Firhill with Thistle in two different spells, the first arrangement beginning in 1994, to cope with the resulting additional usage, undersoil heating was installed in 1994. The North Stand was built in 2002 to meet the Scottish Premier League criteria on stadium capacity, originally, the stand only ran for two thirds the length of the pitch, but it was extended in 2003. The construction of this stand was assisted by the sale of land to allow the construction of student flats which now lie behind the stand. The modern stadium comprises three seated stands, with an area at the south end
Palmerston Park is a football stadium on Terregles Street in Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is the ground of Scottish Championship club Queen of the South. South of Scotland League club Heston Rovers have shared Palmerston since 2013, the stadium has a capacity of 8,690 of which 3,377 are seats. Palmerston Park was first opened in 1919, when Queen of the South were formed, the site of the ground was formerly a farm called Palmers Toun. This is on the Maxwelltown side of the River Nith in Dumfries, jimmy McKinnell, Tom Wylie and Willie McCall were all sold to Blackburn Rovers around the same time by Queen of the South. This combined with the sale of Ian Dickson to Aston Villa helped to fund the purchase of Palmerston Park in 1921 for £1,500, the Portland Drive Terrace was covered in the late 1950s. Soon afterwards, floodlights were installed and these were first used in a match against Preston North End in October 1958 and these are the tallest free standing floodlights in Scottish football, standing at 85 feet. The current main stand was constructed in 1965, soon after the original had burned down and this was replaced by an all seater stand in 1995 and was named the East Stand. A challenge game was held in April 1995 to commemorate the opening of the new stand, guest players for Queens in the 2–2 draw included Davie Irons, future managers Rowan Alexander and Ian McCall, Ted McMinn, Andy Thomson. Scenes from the film A Shot at Glory, starring Robert Duvall, were shot at Palmerston Park during 1999, the club was relegated to the Scottish Second Division in 2012, but carried out some remedial work to the stadium, including new water systems and ticket offices. A redevelopment of the 1960s main stand is planned, during March 2013, Queen of the South were given approval to install a new 5G artificial pitch at Palmerston Park for the start of the 2013–14 season. After the clubs home game of the 2012–13 season, the club sold the turf for £10 per square yard as well as auctioning seven special lots. These were the four plots, the two penalty spots and Ryan McCanns 84 yard spot. Of the 8,690 capacity, there are 3,377 seats, up until the late 1990s the stadium had a capacity of 8,352, but this was reduced when the Terregles Street end terracing was closed. It was given a safety certificate in September 2014, adding standing capacity of 1,968, there are 2,192 seats in the all seated East Stand. This stand was under sponsorship for the 2012–13 season and was known as the Galloway News Stand, since the 2013–14 season the stand has been known as the Rosefield Salvage Stand under new sponsorship. Opposite this is the stand, built in 1965, which now has 1,185 seats. The main stand is a small, classic looking covered stand, there are standing terraces for fans to the left and in front of this stand
Victoria Park, Dingwall
Victoria Park, also known as the Global Energy Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is an all-seater football stadium in the town of Dingwall, Highland, Scotland. It is the ground of Ross County, who currently play in the Scottish Premiership. Victoria Park has a greater capacity than the population of Dingwall, however the County of Ross and Cromarty from which the club draws much of its support has a population of over 60,000. The largest crowd ever to watch a match at Victoria Park was reported as 8,000, the revenue from this match helped to fund construction of the Jail End terrace. Ross County played in the Highland League until 1994, when they were admitted to the Scottish Football League Third Division alongside Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Victoria Park then became the most northerly ground in the section of the Scottish football league system. Ross County gained promotion to the Scottish Premier League by winning the 2011–12 Scottish First Division, the stadium was renovated in the spring and summer of 2012 to meet SPL criteria. This involved installing seats in the Jail End, constructing a new North Stand, Victoria Park was renamed the Global Energy Stadium, after the company founded by Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor, when the renovation was completed in July 2012. There are four all-seated stands, the West and the East are on side of the pitch, while the North Stand. The Jail End is so called because the old County Jail, the jails have since been converted to housing, but the Sheriff Court is still used. Away fans are housed in the Academy End, home fans occupy all other sections of the stadium. There are corporate hospitality facilities and executive boxes in both the East and West Stands, the Dingwall campus of the Highland Football Academy is situated behind the Academy End. It has a three-quarter size 3G astroturf pitch under cover and a full size Astroturf pitch adjacent to the East Stand, the Academy also has three full size grass pitches, plus additional grassed training and warm-up areas
Republic of Ireland
Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the part of the island. The state shares its land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint Georges Channel to the south-east, and it is a unitary, parliamentary republic. The head of government is the Taoiseach, who is elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President, the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was officially declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955. It joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, after joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth. The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by a financial crisis that began in 2008. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again quickly ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index and it also performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a member of the Council of Europe. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was styled, the Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland. Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland. The 1948 Act does not name the state as Republic of Ireland, because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name Eire, and, from 1949, Republic of Ireland, for the state, as well as Ireland, Éire or the Republic of Ireland, the state is also referred to as the Republic, Southern Ireland or the South. In an Irish republican context it is referred to as the Free State or the 26 Counties. From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, during the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the islands population of over 8 million fell by 30%
James Michael Jim Goodwin is an Irish footballer. He also had a spell at Oldham Athletic. Goodwin also had a career at various junior levels with Republic of Ireland before a cap with Republic of Ireland B. He began his spell at St. Mirren as a player-coach in a brief spell before losing his coaching duties. This career was resurrected when he was named assistant manager at Alloa Athletic before his current role, born in Tramore, he began his professional career with Scottish club Celtic where he made one appearance for the club in 2000 before moving to Stockport County in 2002. Goodwin made his debut for Stockport in their 1–1 draw at home to Queens Park Rangers, he made 33 appearances scoring 3 goals during his first season at the club. His first game of the 2003–04 season came in their 1–0 loss away at Wycombe Wanderers, Goodwin made 34 appearances, scoring 4 goals throughout the 2003–04 season. Goodwin left Stockport in 2005 after making 103 appearances and scoring seven goals from 2002 to 2005, Goodwin was signed by Scunthorpe United in 2005, where he made 84 appearances scoring six goals between 2005 and 2008. He was injured in a pre-season friendly shortly after signing, and he made his debut and scored his first goal for the club in their 3–1 home defeat to Brentford on 26 November 2005. He was part of the Scunthorpe side that won League One in the 2006–07 season, Goodwin was released by Scunthorpe on 8 May 2008, along with two other players after the club were relegated from The Championship after one season in the division. His last game being the victory at home against Cardiff City and he was also named as Scunthorpe player of the year 2007 and won goal of the season 2007. On 5 June 2008, he signed a deal at Huddersfield Town. He along with five players made his debut in the 1–1 draw against Stockport County at the Galpharm Stadium on 9 August 2008. On 28 December, he scored his first goal for Huddersfield when he scored to give Town the lead against ex-club Scunthorpe in a 2–0 victory. His first start came in the match, a Football League Trophy first round tie at Rotherham United on 1 September. He made his first and only League start for Huddersfield in the 2009–10 season, Goodwin made seven appearances for the Terriers during the 2009–10 season, before moving on loan to Oldham Athletic until the end of the season. Goodwin was released from his contract on 31 August 2010, on 1 January 2010, he joined fellow League One side Oldham on an emergency months loan. He made his debut in the 2–1 defeat by Hartlepool United the following day, the loan was then extended until the end of the 2009–10 season
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union also created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles, the legal system within Scotland has also remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law. Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is also a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages. Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was also discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
Ian McCall (footballer)
Ian Holland McCall is a Scottish former football player and manager. He is currently the manager of Ayr United, during his playing days McCall played for Queens Park, Dunfermline Athletic, Rangers, Bradford City, Dundee, Falkirk, Hamilton Academical, Happy Valley, Partick Thistle and Clydebank. Ian McCall was born in Dumfries, Scotland, in his boyhood, he was a regular on the Palmerston terraces watching Queen of the South. His hopes of playing for his town club were dashed, though. I played a game for the club, and thought I did reasonably well, McCall recalls. Drew Busby was the manager, but I was told by Willie Harkness I might not make the grade, instead I went to Queens Park, and then three years after that was sold to Rangers for £250,000. McCall began his career as a midfielder for Queens Park in 1983, then was with Dunfermline Athletic from 1986 to 1987 and he was transferred to Bradford City for £200,000 before rejoining Dunfermline. His playing career included spells with Dundee, Falkirk, Hamilton Academical, Happy Valley in Hong Kong. His final club as a player was Clydebank, where he became player-manager during the 1997–98 season, McCall never made more than 75 league appearances in a single spell for one club. He made 85 league appearances for Dunfermline broken over two periods with the Fife club. His spell at Clydebank took place against the backdrop of a scheme to relocate the club to Dublin. In 17 games in charge at Morton, McCall achieved five wins and 9 defeats and this was followed by a move to Airdrieonians. Airdrie challenged for promotion to the Scottish Premier League before the extinction in 2002. McCall won 23 of his 65 games in charge, a spell, at Falkirk, with the best win rate of his managerial career, led to McCall twice being offered the managers job at Dundee United, which he finally accepted in January 2003. In McCalls first top flight managerial season the Tayside Club achieved a top-6 finish, in November 2005, Ian McCall returned to management with his home town club Queen of the South. 2006/07 provided a second relegation battle, allan Jenkins scored the Stranraer winner on a 2 January South West relegation derby leaving Queens firmly in the play off spot that was ninth place. However Jenkins was sold to Gretna 10 days later, stranraers league form imploded immediately recording only one other league win from then until the seasons end. Despite narrowly avoiding relegation, Ian McCall was sacked by Queen of the South, with his assistant Gordon Chisholm taking over and his departure from Queen of the South was in bitter circumstances
Adidas AG is a German multinational corporation, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second biggest in the world, Adidas revenue for 2016 was listed at €19.29 billion. Adidas was registered on 18 August 1949 by Adolf Dassler, following a feud at the Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik company between him and his older brother Rudolf. Rudolf had earlier established Puma, which became the business rival of Adidas. The companys clothing and shoe designs typically feature three parallel bars, and the motif is incorporated into Adidass current official logo. The brand name is uncapitalized and is stylized with a case a. Christoph Von Wilhelm Dassler was a worker in a shoe factory, after leaving school, their son, Rudolf Rudi Dassler, joined his father at the shoe factory. When he returned from fighting in World War I, Rudolf received a management position at a porcelain factory, Adolf Adi Dassler started to produce his own sports shoes in his mothers wash kitchen in Herzogenaurach after his return from World War I. In July 1924, his brother Rudolf returned to Herzogenaurach to join his brothers business. Following Owens haul of four medals, his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes among the worlds most famous sportsmen. Letters from around the world landed on the desks. Business boomed and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of every year before World War II. After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, American occupying forces subsequently became major buyers of the Dassler brothers shoes. Although it is a urban myth that the name is an acronym for All Day I Dream About Sports. Puma and Adidas entered into a fierce and bitter rivalry after the split. Indeed, the town of Herzogenaurach was divided on the issue, even the towns two football clubs were divided, ASV Herzogenaurach club was supported by Adidas, while 1 FC Herzogenaurach endorsed Rudolfs footwear. When handymen were called to Rudolfs home, they would deliberately wear Adidas shoes, Rudolf would tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of free Pumas. The two brothers were never reconciled and although both are now buried in the cemetery, they are spaced as far apart as possible
Hungary is a unitary parliamentary republic in Central Europe. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken language in Europe. Hungarys capital and largest metropolis is Budapest, a significant economic hub, major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended to the throne in 1000, converting the country to a Christian kingdom, by the 12th century, Hungary became a middle power within the Western world, reaching a golden age by the 15th century. Hungarys current borders were established in 1920 by the Treaty of Trianon after World War I, when the country lost 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, following the interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a four-decade-long communist dictatorship. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became again a democratic parliamentary republic, in the 21st century, Hungary is a middle power and has the worlds 57th largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the 58th largest by PPP, out of 188 countries measured by the IMF. As a substantial actor in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds 36th largest exporter and importer of goods, Hungary is a high-income economy with a very high standard of living. It keeps up a security and universal health care system. Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and part of the Schengen Area since 2007, Hungary is a member of the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe and Visegrád Group. Well known for its cultural history, Hungary has been contributed significantly to arts, music, literature, sports and science. Hungary is the 11th most popular country as a tourist destination in Europe and it is home to the largest thermal water cave system, the second largest thermal lake in the world, the largest lake in Central Europe, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe. The H in the name of Hungary is most likely due to historical associations with the Huns. The rest of the word comes from the Latinized form of Medieval Greek Oungroi, according to an explanation the Greek name was borrowed from Proto-Slavic Ǫgǔri, in turn borrowed from Oghur-Turkic Onogur. Onogur was the name for the tribes who later joined the Bulgar tribal confederacy that ruled the eastern parts of Hungary after the Avars. The Hungarians likely belonged to the Onogur tribal alliance and it is possible they became its ethnic majority. The Hungarian endonym is Magyarország, composed of magyar and ország, the word magyar is taken from the name of one of the seven major semi-nomadic Hungarian tribes, magyeri