Rushden & Diamonds F.C.
Rushden & Diamonds Football Club was an association football club based in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, England. It was formed by a merger of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds in 1992, the club played in the Conference National following a short spell in the Football League at the start of the 2000s. Nicknamed The Diamonds, the played at Nene Park. The clubs main rivals were county neighbours Kettering Town, Rushden and Diamonds was formed on 21 April 1992 by a merger of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds. The move was the brainchild of Max Griggs, on 22 August 1992, Ollie Kearns scored the first league goal in the clubs history, against Bilston Town in the Southern League Midland Division. The clubs first few seasons were remarkable for the success the team enjoyed, the following year they won the division, winning promotion to the Southern League Premier Division, and two years later the Diamonds were again promoted as champions. The team had gained promotion to the Football Conference after just four years as a club and it was within this period that the club had achieved their best success in the FA Cup, getting to the 3rd Round twice. In 1998–99, the Diamonds held Leeds United to a famous 0–0 draw at Nene Park, after taking a shock early lead at Elland Road in the replay, they went on to lose 3–1. In the following campaign, the club were rewarded with a 3rd Round draw away to Sheffield United, the Diamonds secured a 1–1 draw at Bramall Lane, to force a replay. In the return fixture, the match went to penalties following a 1–1 deadlock after extra-time, in the shootout however, it was the Blades who finally edged the Diamonds out 6–5 to go through. In their first season in new surroundings, the Diamonds reached the Division Three Play-Off Final, after overcoming Rochdale 4–3 on aggregate over the two-legged Semi-Final, the club lost to Cheltenham Town in the final, 3–1 at the Millennium Stadium. In 2003, they won the division, pipping Hartlepool United to the Division Three championship on the last day of the season – their third title in eight seasons. The 2003–04 season in Division Two proved to be one of difficulty for Rushden & Diamonds. Despite a promising start, a run of bad results over the winter period saw the club slip down the table. Barry Hunter took over as caretaker player-manager but they were relegated in 22nd place after losing their last three games of the season, ernie Tippett was confirmed as permanent manager for the start of the 2004–05 season. Hunters contract was not renewed over the summer, the seasons following the Diamonds return to the Football Conference were marred by instability on and off the pitch. Keith Cousins took over the club in November 2006 and resigned in 2011 and he was replaced by Liam Beasant and Gary Calder, the latter of whom himself quit the club just weeks after taking over. Meanwhile, five managers took control of the team at different times, during their first three seasons back in Englands fifth division the Diamonds failed to finish in the top ten
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sports Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Professional clubs also usually display players surnames or nicknames on their shirts, Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. The Laws of the Game set out the equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4. Five separate items are specified, shirt, shorts, socks, footwear, goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify that these are required, shirts must have sleeves, and goalkeepers must wear shirts which are easily distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts may be worn, but must be the colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered entirely by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, and provide a reasonable degree of protection. The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player. In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour. The England national team plays in red shirts even when it is not required. Many professional clubs also have a kit, ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the basic colour scheme for several decades. Teams representing countries in international competition generally wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation, shirts are normally made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed, competitions such as the Premier League may also require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. The captain of team is usually required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify him as the captain to the referee. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be either of leather or a synthetic material. Modern boots are cut slightly below the ankles, as opposed to the high-ankled boots used in former times, studs may be either moulded directly to the sole or be detachable, normally by means of a screw thread
Away colours are a choice of coloured clothing used in team sports. They are required to be worn by one team during a game between teams that would wear the same colours as each other, or similar colours. This change prevents confusion for officials, players, and spectators, in most sports it is the visiting team that must change – second-choice kits are commonly known as away kits or change kits in British English, and road uniforms in American English. Some sports leagues mandate that teams must always wear an alternative kit. In some sports, conventionally the home team has changed its kit, in most cases, a team wears its away kit only when its primary kit would clash with the colours of the home team. However, sometimes teams wear away colours by choice, occasionally even in a home game, at some clubs, the away kit has become more popular than the home version. Replica home and away kits are available for fans to buy. Some teams also have produced third-choice kits, or even old-fashioned throwback uniforms, in American sports, road teams usually wear a change uniform regardless of a potential colour clash. Further, almost all road uniforms are white in American football, in the National Basketball Association, home uniforms are white or yellow, and visiting teams wear a darker colour. In the United States, color vs. color games are a rarity, most teams choose to wear their color jerseys at home, with the road team changing to white in most cases. White road uniforms gained prominence with the rise of television in the 1950s, a white vs. color game was easier to follow in black-and-white. According to Phil Hecken, until the mid 1950′s, not only was color versus color common in the NFL, even long after the advent of color television, the use of white jerseys has remained in almost every game. The NFLs current rules require that a home jerseys must be either white or official team color throughout the season. If a team insists on wearing its home uniforms on the road, the road team might instead wear a third jersey, such as the Seattle Seahawks Wolf Grey alternate. According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Cleveland Browns wore white for home game of the 1955 season. The only times they wore brown was for games at Philadelphia and the New York Giants, in 1964 the Baltimore Colts, Browns, Vikings and Rams wore white regularly for their home games according to Tim Brulias research. The St. Louis Cardinals wore white for several of their home games, until 1964 Dallas had worn blue at home, but it was not an official rule that teams should wear their colored jerseys at home. The use of white jerseys was instigated by general manager Tex Schramm, the Cowboys still wear white at home today
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Rushden is a town and civil parish in the county of Northamptonshire, England. The parish of Rushden covers an area of some 9,000 acres, the population of Rushden is 29,272, making it the fifth largest town in the county. The Rushden-Higham urban area, which includes the town of Higham Ferrers, has an estimated population of 36,410. Rushden lies on the A6 midway between Bedford and Kettering, the southern limits of the town border on the county of Bedfordshire, and to its north lies the River Nene which flows into The Wash. Rushden lies in a valley, with a stream or brook known as Sidney Brook flowing through the centre of the town. During the late 1960s and 70s this stream was culverted to prevent flash flooding, from whichever way Rushden is approached, the streets and roads can be seen stretching out in the valley, with the spire of St Marys church prominent above its rooftops. Peter Bone MP is the local MP representing Wellingborough, as a result of recent electoral changes, Rushden has been divided into five wards for both District and Town Council purposes. With the following re-classifications, Rushden Spencer, Rushden Hayden, Rushden Bates, Rushden Sartoris, Rushdens growth has resulted from a number of industries, including lacemaking and farming, and especially shoemaking and associated trades. In the mid-1900s there were well over 100 boot and shoe factories in Rushden, one of the most renowned is Sanders and Sanders, which makes boots for the British Army and several other defence departments throughout the world. Some of the redundant factories have been converted into flats, today, as with many towns in England, industry in the town is varied, and mostly situated in an out-of-town industrial estate. As with the industry, town centre shopping in Rushden has changed considerably although there are many shops. Rushden has the oldest toy shop in the county, in 1893 a short branch line railway opened linking Rushden and Higham Ferrers with the Midland Main Line. The line was closed in 1959 and dismantled, in 1991 the trackbed was converted into a pocket park. The former Rushden railway station is now owned by the Rushden Historical Transport Society, the society often holds special events, including an annual 3-day transport cavalcade. The society aims to rebuild the line from Higham Ferrers to Wellingborough. There is also a privately owned museum in Rushden which is situated in the towns Hall Park and it is open between the months of May and October. Rushden Hall is the oldest domestic building in the town, once owned by families throughout the years including the Sartoris family. The hall now functions as the office of the town council
Northamptonshire, archaically known as the County of Northampton, is a county in the East Midlands of England. In 2011, it had a population of 629,000, the county is administered by Northamptonshire County Council and seven non-metropolitan district councils. Northamptonshire is the southernmost county in the East Midlands region, apart from the county town of Northampton, other large population centres include Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and Daventry. Northamptonshires county flower is the cowslip, there are two more possible hill-forts at Arbury Hill and Thenford. In the 1st century BC, most of what later became Northamptonshire became part of the territory of the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, the Catuvellauni were in turn conquered by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, there were other Roman settlements at Northampton, Kettering and along the Nene Valley near Raunds. A large fort was built at Longthorpe, after the Romans left, the area eventually became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and Northampton functioned as an administrative centre. The Mercians converted to Christianity in 654 AD with the death of the pagan king Penda, Northamptonshire was conquered again in 940, this time by the Vikings of York, who devastated the area, only for the county to be retaken by the English in 942. Consequently, it is one of the few counties in England to have both Saxon and Danish town-names and settlements, the county was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as Hamtunscire, the scire of Hamtun. The North was added to distinguish Northampton from the other important Hamtun further south, Rockingham Castle was built for William the Conqueror and was used as a Royal fortress until Elizabethan times. In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Northampton took place, the now-ruined Fotheringhay Castle was used to imprison Mary, Queen of Scots, before her execution. George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was born into the Washington family who had migrated to America from Northamptonshire in 1656. George Washingtons ancestor, Lawrence Washington, was Mayor of Northampton on several occasions and it was George Washingtons great-grandfather, John Washington, who emigrated in 1656 from Northants to Virginia. Before Washingtons ancestors moved to Sulgrave, they lived in Warton, King Charles I was imprisoned at Holdenby House in 1647. In 1823 Northamptonshire was said to a pure and wholesome air because of its dryness. Its livestock were celebrated, Horned cattle, and other animals, are fed to extraordinary sizes, in summer, the county hosted a great number of wealthy families. Country seats and villas are to be seen at every step, Northamptonshire is still referred to as the county of spires and squires because of the numbers of stately homes and ancient churches. In the 18th and 19th centuries, parts of Northamptonshire and the area became industrialised
Raunds Town F.C.
Raunds Town F. C. is a football club based at Raunds, Northamptonshire, England. The play in the United Counties League Division One and they were FA Vase semi-finalists in 1994–95. Raunds Town was founded in 1946, there had been other teams with Raunds in the title as long ago as 1896–97, but at a meeting in the towns Temperance Hall in May 1946 a new amalgamated club was formed. The club is nicknamed The Shopmates in reference to the boot and shoe industry. In 1950 the Shopmates joined the United Counties League, playing in the Second Division and they did not set the league on fire, and after switching between the divisions settled in Division One after the former first division was redesignated the Premier Division. Raunds Town embarked upon an ambitious programme, having played at Greenhouse Field for two years at the start, they moved to The Berristers for thirty-three seasons and in 1991 they moved to Kiln Park. The stadium adjacent to the A45 was designed to host football at a higher level, the Shopmates’ on-field performance matched this munificence. In 1994–95 the Shopmates lost the FA Vase semi-final against Arlesey Town having led 3–0 after the first leg, the following season they were eliminated in the quarter-final by Bristol club Mangotsfield United. In 2006–07 the Shopmates eliminated Isthmian League side Enfield from the FA Cup by way of a 2–1 away win, meanwhile, in the United Counties League, the leadership of manager Keith Burt led an assault on the top of the table. Having lost out on the championship on goal difference in 1994–95 and they were duly promoted to the Southern League, where they took their place in the Midland Division. This had financial implications, not least the cost of travelling, manager Keith Burt resigned, and the club had little option but to apply for re-admission to the United Counties League at the end of 1999–2000. In the 2012–13 season, Raunds Town are playing in the United Counties Football League Division One, led by manager Stuart Brown
Wellingborough Town F.C.
Wellingborough Town F. C. is a football club based in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England. They play in the United Counties League Premier Division, the current club, Wellingborough Town 2004, was reformed in 2004 after the previous club bearing the name had folded. The club was formed in 1867. It is claimed that this makes it not only the oldest club in Northamptonshire, the club played originally under the part-handling code, until becoming a genuine soccer club in 1869, playing at Broad Green, wearing an old gold and black strip. In 1879 Wellingborough Town became the first club to play under floodlights, the club joined Division One of the Southern League in 1901–02, moving to their current ground at the Dog & Duck in London Road. Wellingborough joined the Metropolitan League in 1968–69, finishing seventh and they won the title the following season and joined the West Midlands League Premier Division, finishing third. In 1971–72, they joined the Southern League Division One North, a reorganisation of the league saw it split into Southern and Midland Divisions, with Wellingborough playing in the Midland Division. However, they struggled, until in 1988–89 they were relegated to the United Counties League, the club struggled for thirteen seasons in the UCL, narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier Division in a number of seasons. However, they could hold out no longer than 2001–02 when the club folded, Wellingborough had been without a senior football team for two years when three friends got together to set about re-establishing a football club. Together they assembled a group of people who worked to get a new club up. Included among the number was World Champion snooker player Peter Ebdon, the Dog & Duck ground had substantially survived, despite becoming the site of a Travelodge motel. Laurie Owen played a part in reforming the club and still plays an active part on the clubs committee today. The Doughboys spent their comeback campaign in the Northamptonshire Senior Youth League and their application for re-admission to the UCL was approved by the FA. The club finished runners-up in Division One for the loss of just one game in 2005–06 and were promoted back to the Premier Division, improvements to the ground have seen it graded as suitable for Southern League football. Goode resigned in May 2008 with local businessman David Clingo taking over the role, Manager Jason Burnham left in October 2008 to be replaced by Joe Smyth. In December 2008 the club signed former Premier League striker and Jamaica international Trevor Benjamin arguably one of the most experienced, the club then appointed former Northampton Town player Rob Gould as first team manager and assistant Nick Verity. Verity left due to personal reasons at the start of the 2012–13 season, after a disappointing start to the 2012–13 season Rob Gould resigned as manager on 10 September 2012 and was replaced by former Woodford United boss, Phil Mason. When Mason was forced to stand due to person reasons he was replaced by Craig Adams
Rushden & Higham United F.C.
Rushden & Higham United F. C. is a football club based in Rushden, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the United Counties League Division One, records show that a Higham Town club was formed in 1876 at a meeting held in the Griffin. There was a competing in the Northants League during the 1890s. They joined the Northamptonshire League in 1897, the clubs golden age was however in the 1920s. Re-formed after the end of the war the team started in the Wellingborough and District league in season 1920–21, winning the NFA junior cup. The team won the league at the first attempt together with the NFA senior cup, the league title was retained the following season and the county FAs premier competition, the Maunsell cup was also won, a unique cup treble unlikely ever again to be repeated. That same season saw the club draw at Football League third division north side Chesterfield, 4–4 in the FA Cup. The club were the highest scorers in the FA cup that year, in 1923–24 and 1926–27 the club were runners up in the league and in 1931 and 1933 were senior cup runners up. In 1934 the Maunsell cup was won for the second and to date the last time by a United Counties League side, northampton Town who had beaten First Division leaders Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup earlier in the season being beaten finalists. In 1994–95 the NFA junior cup was won for only the second time, the first team were runners up in the Division Two knock out cup in 1954 whilst the reserves won the division three cup in 1980. More recently the club beat a number of Premier Division sides in the league cup. Rushden Rangers were formed as a football club in 1978. In the short time that they were in existence before the merger they won the NFA lower junior cup as well as being Northants Combination league, founded by Steve Cavender in 1978 who was inspired by watching local lads playing a game of football at Melloway Park. He was General Secretary until 1990, the Rangers started by playing friendlies with only 3 teams coached by Bruce Ogden and Joe Payne. They had expanded to 5 teams by 1990 ranging in age from 11 to 15, players went on to Higham Youth Team at 16. Home games were played at Jubilee Park, Spencer Park and Higham, in 1994 Neil Gant offered the Hayden Road ground to Rushden Rangers when Rushden Town formed with Irthlingborough Diamonds to become Rushden and Diamonds Football Club. With assistance from the Stadia Improvement fund the Hayden road ground was brought up to the required standard, Rushden Rangers continued at youth level for one season before changing their name to Rushden & Higham United as well
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
United Counties League
It had a total of four divisions, two for first teams and two for reserve teams, but the reserves divisions were merged into a single division for season 2013/14 and remains so at present. Clubs in the Premier Division are eligible to enter the FA Cup in the Preliminary Round stages and those clubs in the league with floodlights are eligible for the FA Vase, and there are knockout cups for the Premier/Division One clubs and for the Reserve Divisions clubs. The United Counties League was formed in 1895 as the Northamptonshire Junior League and it took its current name in 1934 as teams from other counties had long since been a part of the league. Northampton Town joined the league in 1897 and became champions in their season before moving up to the Southern League. They would become the league’s first former member to reach the Football League in 1920, in 1900 Bedford Queens became the first club from outside the county to join the league. The Premier Division is at level 9 of the National League System and it was known as the Northamptonshire League until 1934. There are currently nineteen clubs in division, three less than is normal for Leagues at a similar level in the English football league system. The member clubs take part in Cup competitions organised by the County FA to which they are affiliated, there are currently twenty-two clubs in this division. It is one of the few step 6 divisions across the country that is not all-floodlit, the membership of the two reserve divisions is made up largely of the Reserve teams of the clubs in the main United Counties League. These divisions were merged into a division of twenty teams for season 2013/14. United Counties League FA Full Time United Counties League Mitoo
Raunds /ˈrɔːndz/ is a small market town in rural Northamptonshire, England. It has a population of 8,641, is a civil parish, Raunds is situated 21 miles north-east of Northampton. The town is on the edge of the Nene valley. Nearest civilian airports are Luton 50 miles and East Midlands 65 miles, Raunds is close to Stanwick Lakes, a country park developed from gravel pits and managed by the Rockingham Forest Trust. This park is recognised for its birdlife and can be reached on foot from Raunds along Meadow Lane bridleway. In the mid-1980s, during excavations in the Nene valley. Excavation of the area, near Stanwick, was delayed by several years while archaeologists studied the remains, in 2002 Channel 4s Time Team excavated a garden and found remains of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. The place-name Raunds is first attested in an Anglo-Saxon charter of circa 972-992 and it appears as Rande in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in a later survey of Northamptonshire as Raundes. The name is the plural of the Old English rand, meaning border, Raunds played a role in the boot and shoe industry until its decline in the 1950s and 60s. In 1905 a dispute arose about wages to be paid to army bootmakers, several factories remained into the early 1990s but all are now closed, with many being demolished and housing estates built. The Coggins boot factory was the last to go, and the site of it is now Coggins Close. The land on which the factory and the original Coggins houses stood, was purchased by Robert Coggins on 25 February 1899 from the Duchy of Lancaster. The houses are there, but were sold to Charles Robinson of Wellingborough in 1934. Robert Coggins lived in the hall where his picture hangs in the meeting room, there is no industry in the town now, although there are some industrial sites on the outskirts. Raunds once held the record for the highest temperature in Britain at 36.7 °C, set on 10 August 1911, the Historic England website contains details of a total of 19 listed buildings and six scheduled monuments at or in the vicinity of Raunds. Amongst them are, St Peters Church, Church Street, the Manor House,2 Manor Street. St Peters, CoE is in the Diocese of Peterborough and St Thomas Mores, RC is in the Diocese of Northampton. In 1801 there were 800 persons In 1831 there were 1,370 persons In 1841 there were 1,653 persons In 2011 there were 8,641 persons Raunds is adjacent to the A45 and close to the A14 jct 13
Dale Roberts (footballer, born 1986)
Dale Roberts was an English footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Roberts started his career in his native North-East with the sides at Sunderland. He failed to make Forests first team and had spells with Eastwood Town. He had two loan spells both with Rushden & Diamonds before joining the Conference National side on a permanent deal in 2009. He won the player of the season in 2008–09. He also won six caps for the England C team, winning the 2009–10 player of the year, Roberts was born in Horden, County Durham. He played for Cleveland Juniors Football Club and attended Easington Comprehensive School with fellow academy footballer Adam Johnson. He was with the Sunderland and Middlesbrough football academies, joining the latter in 2003 as a scholar and was part of Boros FA Youth Cup winning squad in 2004 as back-up to David Knight, Roberts began his senior career with Nottingham Forest after signing as a professional in 2005. He joined local Northern Premier League First Division side Eastwood Town on loan in March 2006 and he joined Conference North club Alfreton Town on a season-long loan for the 2006–07 season in July, which he finished with 42 appearances. He joined Conference National team Rushden & Diamonds on a loan on 24 January 2008. He made 19 first team appearances for the club, including the Conference League Cup Final, Roberts rejoined Rushden for a second loan spell in October 2008 as cover for Alan Marriott who was out with a stomach injury that needed surgery. The loan was extended until January 2009 and he finished the spell with 18 appearances, keeping five clean sheets and he was named Rushdens player of the season in 2008–09. Roberts performances for Rushden & Diamonds during the 2008–09 season earned him international recognition and he made his debut for the England C team against Malta. During the 2009–10 season, Roberts played in all four England C games and his last appearance for England C, and in fact in all senior football, came against Wales on 14 September 2010. Roberts was engaged to Lindsey Cowan, but the split in May 2010 after revelations she had been having an affair with Roberts teammate Paul Terry. Later in the year, Roberts and Cowan got back together and were engaged at the time of Roberts death. On 14 December 2010, just hours before he was due to play in an FA Trophy match against his former club Eastwood Town, Roberts was found by Northamptonshire Police at his home in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, they said that they were not treating the circumstances as suspicious. The clubs FA Youth Cup tie the following day was postponed as was the following first team game against Eastbourne Borough, the cause of death was reported to be suicide by hanging
Daventry Town F.C.
Daventry Town F. C. is a football club based in the town of Daventry, Northamptonshire, England, formed in 1886. They are members of the United Counties League Division One, the club was established in 1886 as a local-town club playing in the Northampton Town League. In 1989–90, the joined the United Counties League Division One. Since joining the United Counties League, they have won promotion to the Premier Division on three occasions, but have also been relegated twice. The club started at The Hollow Ground in the town, and their manager left, and the fortunes of the club declined with relegation alternating with promotion. The club was threatened with extinction in 2005–06, when the Elderstubbs clubhouse, however, a sponsorship deal with mobile phone company Go Mobile enabled the club to survive. 2007–08 was a successful season for Daventry Town. They won UCL Division One, losing just once, and defeated three Premier division teams en route to the League Knockout Cup final, where they were defeated by Desborough Town 3–2. In the 2009–10 season Daventry won promotion to the Southern League Division One Central, 2010–2011, Fullers Town finished 3rd in their first season in the Southern League Division One Central losing to Hitchin Town 2–0 in the play off final in front of a crowd of 1048. Prior to the start of the 2011–2012 Mark Kinsella was brought in, a majority of Fullers team moved elsewhere. Over 40 players wore the shirt during the season and not surprisingly the team struggled to find any consistency until the end of the season. During the 2011–2012, local rivals Daventry United folded and their Manager Darran Foster moved to Daventry Town as Mark Kinsellas Assistant, however, Kinsella was relieved of his duties shortly afterwards and Foster took charge of team affairs. In Fosters first season, 2012–2013, Town finished a highly respectable 8th in the table and they were drawn away to Chesterfield from Football League Two, and ended up losing the tie 2–0. After the playing budget was cut, manager Darran Foster resigned in early November 2014, Daventry then appointed ex Watford striker Allan Smart as his replacement. However, in June 2015, Iain Humphrey resigned as chairman and was replaced by Allan Smart, however, Humphrey would make a u-turn and return as chairman just a month later, in July 2015, replacing Smart and caretaker manager Fuller who both left the club altogether. His first move was to re-appoint former manager Darran Foster who had left the club in November 2014, Foster had only just been appointed manager at Woodford United in June 2015. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. A Cup best Performance, First round proper 2013–14 F. A. Trophy best performance, First round proper 2013–14 F. A, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Kempston Rovers F.C.
Kempston Rovers Football Club is a football club based in Kempston, Bedfordshire, England. The club are members of Division One Central of the Southern League. The club is affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association, the club are thought to have been founded in 1884, although the first evidence of their existence dates to 1887 when the Kempston Rovers rugby club played their first football match. At the rugby clubs AGM in 1891, it was decided to create a team called Kempston Montrose. Three years later Kempston Montrose folded and its assets transferred to Kempston Association, an 1895 meeting saw another new team formed, Kempston Rovers. They gained the nickname the Walnut boys due to Kempston being well known for its walnuts and they won the division in 1955–56, and the following season Division Two and One were merged into one league in which Kempston finished runners-up. In 1957–58, the club were crowned champions of the UCL, the league was split into two division again in 1961–62 and Kempston were placed in Division Two. Despite finishing tenth that season, they were promoted to Division One, in 1973, Division One was renamed the Premier Division and in 1974–75 the club were league champions again, also reaching the fifth round of the FA Vase. In 1978–79 Kempston reached the qualifying round of the FA Cup. They repeated their record FA Vase run in 1980–81, again reaching the fifth round, Rovers were relegated to Division One at the end of the 1983–84 season, but were promoted again in 1985–86 after winning Division One. The club won the Huntingdonshire Premier Cup for the first time in 1999–2000, the club was relegated again in 2003, and in 2004 were renamed AFC Kempston Rovers name following the merger of Kempston Rovers, Kempston Colts and Kempston Town. After finishing third in Division One in 2006–07 they were promoted to the Premier Division, in 2010–11, the club was again promoted to the Premier Division after winning Division One for the third time. In 2015–16 the club won the Premier Division, earning promotion to Division One Central of the Southern League for the first time in their history, the clubs Hillgrounds Leisure ground is located on Hillgrounds Road, near parkland beside the River Great Ouse. A new third generation training area has been built with the funding of the Football Foundation as well as a new set of changing rooms, board room, the clubs reserve team entered Division Three of the UCL in 1970. After a third-placed finish in a renamed Division Two in 1974–75, in 1980 the UCL created a dedicated reserves division, which the team were transferred to. F. C. Kempston Rovers managers Official website Kempston Rovers F. C. on Twitter
Corby Town F.C.
Corby Town Football Club is a football club based in Corby, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club was established in 1948, taking over from Stewarts & Lloyds as the main team in the town. The new team contained a mix of Stewarts & Lloyds and new players and their first league match saw them win 5–1 against Wellingborough Town. In front of a crowd of 6,294, Corby lost the match, in 1954–55 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 2–0 at home to Watford. In 1958 Corby transferred to the Southern League, spending their first season in the North-Western Division, despite only finishing sixth in 1961–62, Corby applied for election to the Football League. However, they failed to receive a single vote, after finishing seventh the following season the club applied again, and again received no votes. In 1963–64 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for a second time and they appeared in the first round again the following season, losing 3–1 at home to Hartlepools United. The season also saw them finish fourth in Division One, earning promotion to the Premier Division, in the third round they were beaten 6–0 at Plymouth Argyle. The club applied for Football League membership for a fourth time, the club made their final application in 1966–67, again receiving no votes. The following season saw another FA Cup first round appearance but ended in relegation to Division One, in 1971 the club were placed in Division One North after league reorganisation. Further reorganisation in 1979 and 1982 saw them placed in the Midland Division, after finishing bottom of the Premier Division in 1994–95, the club were relegated again. In 1998 they were moved to the Division One South, after being transferred to Division One West in 2004, they were moved back to Division One East the following season. In 2005–06 they finished second, and were promoted to the Premier Division, the 2008–09 season saw Corby win the Premier Division, earning promotion to the Conference North. In 2010–11 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1960s and they appeared in the first round again the following season, losing 3–1 at Bristol Rovers. After four seasons in the Conference North, Corby were relegated at the end of the 2012–13 season and they were Southern League Premier Division champions again in 2014–15 and were promoted back to the renamed National League North. However, another relegation in 2015–16 saw the club relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League, the club originally played at Occupation Road. The new ground was opened on 6 September 1985 by Neil Kinnock, in 2011 the club moved to Steel Park, built adjacent to the athletics stadium. The first match was played on 25 July 2011, a 2–0 win over Notts County and it has a capacity of 3,893, of which 577 is seated. C
Crawley Green F.C.
Crawley Green Football Club is a football club based in Crawley Green, an area of Luton, Bedfordshire England. The club was established in November 1989 by a merger of three Sunday league clubs, Ramridge Rangers, Stopsley Harriers and The Wyvern, after absorbing Somerset Tavern in 1992, the club established a Saturday team. However, they left the league at the end of the 1997–98 season, in 1999 the club rejoined the Spartan South Midlands League, and were placed in Division One, which was renamed Division Two in 2001. They won the Division in 2004–05, but were not promoted, in 2007–08 they finished as runners-up and were promoted to Division One. In 2011–12 they won the Division One Cup and they won it again in 2015–16. The season also saw them second in the league and earning promotion to the Premier Division. After the clubs formation, they obtained a 99-year lease on the Crawley Green Sports & Social Club, a new clubhouse was built and opened by Luton Town manager David Pleat on 9 June 1992. However, the club were forced to groundshare at Barton Rovers due a lack of floodlights
The Football Association Challenge Vase, usually referred to as the FA Vase is an annual football competition for teams playing below Step 4 of the English National League System. For the 2013–14 season 535 entrants were accepted, with two qualifying rounds preceding the six rounds, semi-finals and final to be played at Wembley Stadium. The 2016 winners were Morpeth Town, who beat Hereford 4–1 at Wembley Stadium, until 1974, football players were either professionals or amateurs. Professionals were paid to play by their clubs, and the cup competitions such clubs were allowed to enter were the FA Cup and after 1969, for clubs outside The Football League. Amateurs, on the hand, did not get paid by their clubs, and such clubs had their own cup competition. In recent years, entry to the FA Vase has been restricted to clubs in the ninth, reorganization of the National League System for 2004 onwards moved the dividing line down to the new Step 5. Clubs from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man also entered the Vase in the past, guernsey F. C. who were formed in 2011 and played in the Step 5 Combined Counties League, gained entry for the 2012–13 season and reached the semi-finals. Eligible teams who played in the FA Trophy the previous season and were relegated from a Step 4 league are exempt from qualifying and start play in the First round Proper of the Vase as well. Clubs that played in the 4th round or later of the previous seasons FA Vase are exempt from qualifying, only six teams have managed to win the FA Vase more than once. Whitley Bay are the team to win the FA Vase three times in successive seasons. Two FA Vase winners, Forest Green Rovers and Tamworth, have gone on to play in the National League at the top level of the non-league pyramid, billericay Town won three times in the mid to late 70s. BT Sport showed the 2016 FA Vase Final between Hereford and Morpeth Town live on 22 May as part of a double-header along with the 2016 FA Trophy Final, the FA Vase at the FA website
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
London Colney F.C.
London Colney Football Club are a football club based in London Colney, near St. Albans, England. They play in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, the club was established in 1907 and joined the Herts County League Division One A in 1955. In the 1999–2000 season, they reached the 4th round of the FA Vase and they are currently members of the Spartan South Midlands Football League Premier Division. They also experienced the Herts Intermediate Cup Final, leading Kings Langley 1st team 1–0 until 3 minutes from time when an own goal forced extra time, after a very successful spell in charge. Ryan Thompson stepped down in April 2016, joe Sweeney was appointed his successor in June 2016, after previously working at Chesham, Berkhamsted, and Leverstock Green he brings Paul Copson with him as his assistant
Northwood Football Club is an English football club based in Northwood in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The club is affiliated to the Middlesex County Football Association and they play their home games at Northwood Park, also known as Chestnut Avenue – the road on which the ground is located. The club will play in the Southern Football League Division One Central for the 2016–17 season having finished 7th in the previous campaign and their current manager is former Northwood player Mark Burgess, who took the job following the departure of Gary Meakin in November 2012. A club in the Northwood area was established in 1899, however Northwood as they are today were not believed to have been formed until 1926. Their early history is unknown and it is unclear what leagues they played in until 1931. They were champions of this league for six years in a row just prior to World War II and this success did not last, however, and the 1950s and 1960s were mainly spent playing local junior-level football. In 1969 the Woods joined the Middlesex County Senior League, Northwood began life as Northwood Rovers and later United, but after The Second World War they dropped the suffix, to become what they are today – simply Northwood FC. In 1978, Northwood won the Middlesex League Championship and were able to step up to the Hellenic League Division One and this led to promotion to the Premier Division, where they spent five, mostly mid-table, seasons. The club moved across the pyramid in 1984 to the London Spartan League, in 1994, the club progressed to the final of the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup but were beaten by Staines Town. In fact, Yakus tally of 54 goals in his first season remains the most by any Woods player in a single season, Northwood were then shuffled across from the Isthmian League Division One North in 2010 to the Southern League Division One Central where they remain now. Northwood chairman Ian Barry acted quickly replacing Hale with 27-year-old Gary Meakin who arrived from Hillingdon Borough, Meakin enjoyed three spells as a Northwood player making 47 appearances and helped guide the team to safety with three games remaining. His first Northwood win came on 2 April 2011 – in what was his first home game in charge – as Northwood came from behind to beat Soham Town Rangers 2–1. Following their 1–1 draw with Aylesbury at Chestnut Avenue a fortnight later, Northwood competed in the same division in the 2011–12 campaign having just avoided relegation in 2010–11, finishing 20th – just one spot above the drop zone with 39 points from 42 games. After Northwood managed to survive the drop the previous season, manager Gary Meakin assembled a strong squad, as he set about trying to improve the sides fortunes in the 2011/12 season. In the early part of the campaign, consistency was a problem as they slipped into mid-table in the league and crashed out of the FA Cup, FA Trophy and Middlesex Senior Cup at the first hurdle. However success was to follow in both the Southern League Cup and Middlesex Charity Cups as the Woods made decent progress, top scorer and eventual Supporters Player of the Year Oliver Hawkins would prove the major catalyst in their assault up the table scoring several goals in a ten-game period. Victory over Bedworth United on New Years Eve saw Northwood move into the places for the first. The club were knocked out of the League Cup by Chesham United
Cockfosters Football Club is a football club based in Cockfosters in the London Borough of Enfield, England. They are currently members of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, the club was established in 1921 as Cockfosters Athletic and joined the Barnet League. Cockfosters Juniors merged into the club at the start of the 1930s and they won Division Two in 1931–32 and Division One in 1933–34. The 1938–39 season saw them win the Premier Division, League Cup, following World War II the club joined Division One of the Northern Suburban Intermediate League, and after finishing as runners-up in 1946–47, they were promoted to the Premier Division. Although they were relegated back to Division One a year later, the following season saw them finish as Premier Division runners-up. Cockfosters won Division One again in 1960–61 and, after being promoted, were Premier Division champions the following season, in 1966 they joined Division One of the Hertfordshire Senior County League, and after winning it in their first season, they were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1968 Athletic was dropped from the clubs name and they won the London Intermediate Cup in 1970–71, beating Clapton Reserves 2–1 in a replayed final. They won the Premier Division title in 1978–79, also winning the Herts Intermediate Cup, the club were Premier Division champions again in 1980–81 and 1983–84, and won the Aubrey Cup again in 1984–85. The 1989–90 season saw them win the London Intermediate Cup for a second time, in 1990 Cockfosters moved up to the Premier Division of the Spartan League. When the league merged with the South Midlands League to form the Spartan South Midlands League in 1997, after finishing bottom of the division in the 1997–98 season, they were placed in the Senior Division for the following season, the division was renamed Division One in 2001. In 2006–07 Cockfosters were Division One runners-up, earning promotion to the Premier Division, the following season saw them win the leagues Floodlit Cup. However, they were relegated back to Division One at the end of the 2008–09 season, the 2012–13 season saw them finish as Division One runners-up again, resulting in promotion to the Premier Division. In 2013–14 they won the leagues Challenge Trophy and Floodlit Cup, the club have played at the Cockfosters Sports Ground on Chalk Lane since their foundation, with the site given to the club by Lady Bevan. C
Cambridge City F.C.
Cambridge City Football Club is an English football club based in Cambridgeshire, currently playing in the Southern League Premier Division. Formed in 1908, as Cambridge Town, the club have spent their whole history as a club, and have operated as amateur, professional. The club does not own its own ground and currently plays its games at Westwood Road in St Ives. For most of their history, between 1922 and 2013, they played in Cambridge at the City Ground and their home colours are white and black, leading to the clubs nickname of The Lilywhites. The club was founded in 1908 as Cambridge Town F. C. as Cambridge had not been granted city status at that point, the club competed in the Southern Amateur League, developing a fierce rivalry with Ipswich Town that was evident both on and off the pitch. In 1936 the club were invited to apply to the Football League, however, City declined in order that the club should uphold its amateur nature, though Ipswich took up the offer and were elected in 1938. Cambridge was formally granted city status in 1951, both Cambridge Town and their neighbours Abbey United applied to change their name to Cambridge City. The club went on to make five applications to join the Football League between 1959 and 1974, all of which were unsuccessful and they were Southern League Champions in 1962–63 and stayed in the Leagues top division until 1968, when they were relegated and turned semi-professional. They were promoted back to the Premier Division after finishing in the Division One runners-up spot in 1969–70, 1975–76 saw the second relegation in the clubs history, into the Southern Leagues Division One North. They remained here until 1979–80, when a re-organisation of the structure, in order to become a feeder to the newly formed Football Conference. The then board announced that it was to scrap the first team and this prompted the formation of a supporters trust, who within weeks had taken over the running of the club. Though the original deal was not overturned, in May 2008 City were demoted from the Conference South, after their ground failed an FA inspection, to the Southern League Premier Division for the 2008–09 season. Cambridge City have traditionally played in shirts, leading to the club being nicknamed The Lilywhites, they currently play in white shirts, black shorts. Their current away strip is sky blue shirts, sky blue shorts, the clubs badge is a simplified version of the crest of the city of Cambridge, featuring a fortified bridge over a river. The City Ground, was Cambridge Citys home ground from 29 April 1922 until 27 April 2013 and it is located in the Chesterton area of the city, approximately 0.62 miles north of the city centre. In the mid 80s, part of the land the original ground stood on was sold for redevelopment, the capacity of the second ground was approximately 3,000 with 700 seats. The club was in a dispute with their landlords over the ground. The High Court ruled that the club had been misrepresented
National League South
The National League South, formerly Conference South, is one of the second divisions of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with National League North it is at the level of the National League System. It was introduced in 2004 as part of a restructuring of the National League System. The champion team each year is promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs of the finishing in second place to fifth place. The three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues, from the start of the 2015–16 season, the league is known as the National League South. The current champions are Sutton United, who finished 6 points ahead of second place, the current member club for the 2016–17 season are as follows, The stadiums of all teams in the league for the 2016–17 season are listed below in capacity order, ** Not promoted. In 2004–05 only three places were available to the Conference National. The third place was decided in a Playoff at Stokes Britannia Stadium, which Eastbourne lost 2–1 to the Conference North Playoff winners, Altrincham
Dover Athletic F.C.
Dover Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Dover, Kent, England. The club currently competes in the National League, the tier of English football. The club was formed in 1983 after the dissolution of the previous club. In the 1989–90 season Dover Athletic won the Southern League championship, three seasons later the team won the title again and this time gained promotion to the Conference, where they spent nine seasons before being relegated at the end of the 2001–02 season. In the 2007–08 season, Dover won Division One South of the league, before winning the Premier Division in 2008–09, the team usually wear white shirts and are consequently nicknamed the Whites. They have played at the Crabble Athletic Ground since the clubs formation, Dover Athletic F. C. was formed in 1983 after the towns previous club, Dover, folded due to its debts. The new club took Dovers place in the Southern League Southern Division, with former Dover player Alan Jones as manager, initially Athletic struggled, finishing second from bottom of the table in the 1984–85 season. In November 1985 Steve McRae, who had succeeded Jones a year earlier, was sacked and replaced by Chris Kinnear, under Kinnear the clubs fortunes turned round, with two top-five finishes followed by the Southern Division championship, and with it promotion, in the 1987–88 season. The team started strongly in the Premier Division, finishing in place at the first attempt. The club was denied promotion to the Football Conference, however, after finishing fourth and second in the subsequent two seasons, Dover won the title again in the 1992–93 season and this time were admitted to the Conference. John Ryan was appointed as the new manager, but his reign was a short one. Bill Williams took over as manager in 1997 and led the club to the FA Trophy semi-finals in the 1997–98 season, Williams left the club to take a senior position with Conference rivals Kingstonian in May 2001. By now the club was in financial difficulties, with a number of directors resigning. Amid the crisis the entire board of directors resigned, forcing the clubs Supporters Trust to take over the running of the club, and manager Gary Bellamy was sacked after just six months in the job. Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall took over but was dismissed just three months later, with Clive Walker taking over in March 2002 with the club rooted to the foot of the table. The club finished the bottom of the Conference and was relegated back to the Southern League Premier Division. In Dovers first season back in the Southern League Premier Division the Whites finished in place, albeit 17 points adrift of Tamworth. A poor start to the season saw Walker replaced by Richard Langley
Desborough Town F.C.
Desborough Town Football Club is a football club based in Desborough, Northamptonshire, England. They are currently members of the United Counties League Premier Division, the club was established in 1896 and joined Division One of the Northamptonshire League in the same year. They won back-to-back league titles in 1900–01 and 1901–02, and were runners-up in 1902–03 and they won the title again in 1906–07, and were runners-up in 1910–11. After another second-place finish in 1919–20, they won the league for a time in 1920–21. This was repeated soon afterwards as they finished as runners-up in 1922–23 and won a league title in 1923–24. In the replayed match, Doncaster won 3–0, a seventh title was won in 1927–28. In 1934 the league was renamed the United Counties League and they were league champions again in 1948–49, but finished bottom of the league in 1954–55 and 1955–56, winning only one league match during the latter season. Another league title was won in 1966–67, the club won the League Cup in 1977–78 and 2000–01. The clubs reserve team joined Division Two of the Northamptonshire League in 1901, although they left at the end of the 1902–03 season, they rejoined in 1907. After finishing as runners-up in 1909–10, they won the division in 1910–11, another second-place finish was achieved in 1926–27, with the team going on to win the division in 1928–29. However, they left the league at the end of the 1929–30 season. C
Potton United F.C.
Potton United F. C. is an English football club based in Potton, Bedfordshire. The club are members of Division One of the United Counties League Division One. The club was established in 1943 and won the Bedfordshire Intermediate Cup in 1944, after World War II they joined the South Midlands League, which they played in until 1955. They then left the league and applied to join the Parthenon League, after a season without league fixtures, they joined Division One South of the Central Alliance. In 1961 they joined the United Counties League and they won the Premier Division of the UCL in 1986–87 and again in 1988–89. They were relegated to Division One at the end of the 2000–01 season and they finished as runners-up in both of their first two seasons back in the Premier Division. However, they were relegated back to Division One at the end of the 2008–09 season
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known simply as the FA, is the governing body of association football in England, and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur, the FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the County Football Associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup, the FA is a member of both UEFA and FIFA and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game. As the first football association, it not use the national name English in its title. The FA is based at Wembley Stadium, London, the FA is a member of the British Olympic Association, meaning that the FA has control over the mens and womens Great Britain Olympic football team. All of Englands professional football teams are members of the Football Association, although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the League Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules. The English Football League, made up of the three professional divisions below the Premier League, is self-governing, subject to the FAs sanctions. Another set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, was used by a number of clubs in the North of England from the 1850s, eleven London football clubs and schools representatives met on 26 October 1863 to agree on common rules. The founding clubs present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone, many of these clubs are now defunct or play rugby union. Civil Service FC, who now plays in the Southern Amateur League, is the one of the original eleven football clubs still in existence. There are only three institutions which have been members of the F. A. since 1863, those being Civil Service, Forest School and Kings College. Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley and he was a founding member of the Football Association in 1863. In 1862, as captain of Barnes, he wrote to Bells Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport led to the first meeting at The Freemasons Tavern that created the FA. He was the FAs first secretary and its president and drafted the Laws of the Game generally called the London Rules at his home in Barnes. As a player, he played in the first ever match in 1863, the first version of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in The Freemasons Tavern from October till December. Of the clubs at the first meeting, Crusaders, Surbiton and Charterhouse did not attend the subsequent meetings, replaced instead by the Royal Navy School, Wimbledon School, at the final meeting, F. M. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA, the term soccer dates back to this split to refer to football played under the association rules. The Richmond side were obviously unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871
The competition was instigated in 1969 to cater for those non-league clubs that paid their players and were therefore not eligible to enter the FA Amateur Cup. This covers the National League, the Southern League, Isthmian League, the final of the competition was held at the original Wembley Stadium from the tournaments instigation until the stadium closed in 2000. The final has been played at the new Wembley Stadium since its opening in 2007, the record for the most FA Trophy wins is shared by Woking and two defunct clubs, Scarborough and Telford United, with three victories each. The Trophy is currently held by FC Halifax Town who beat Grimsby Town F. C. in the 2016 final, the competition was created by the Football Association in 1969 to afford semi-professional teams an opportunity to compete for the chance to play at Wembley Stadium. The first winners of the competition were Macclesfield Town of the Northern Premier League, Northern Premier League clubs dominated the first decade of the competition, with Telford United the only Southern League team to break the northern clubs hold on the competition. In the early years of its existence the competition struggled to achieve the level of prestige as the long-established Amateur Cup. In 1974 the FA abolished the distinction between official professional and amateur status and discontinued the Amateur Cup, and the Trophy soon had 300 entrants and this figure was gradually reduced until by 1991 only around 120 clubs took part. Telford Uniteds win in 1989 made them the team to win the Trophy three times. Between 1990 and 2000 three more teams claimed multiple wins, as of 2001 the competition was sponsored by Umbro, in the 2007-08 season it was sponsored by Carlsberg. The competition is a tournament with pairings drawn at random. If a match is drawn, there is a replay, usually at the ground of the team played away from home for the first game. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time and penalty shootouts, originally the competition included as many qualifying rounds as were required to reduce the number of teams to 32. In 1999 the format was amended to match that of the FA Cup, with six rounds prior to the semi-final stage, albeit without qualifying rounds. Teams from the Football Conference received byes through the early rounds, as of 2008–09 the competition featured four qualifying rounds and four rounds proper before the semi-finals. The FA pays prize money to all teams win at least one match in the Trophy competition. In the 2014-15 season the prize for the 64 preliminary round winners was £2,500, the final was traditionally held at the original Wembley Stadium, but was moved to Villa Park during Wembleys redevelopment, and a final was also played at West Ham Uniteds Boleyn Ground. In 2007 the final moved to the new Wembley Stadium, Scarborough, Telford United, and Woking share the record for the most victories in the final. In 1985 Wealdstone became the first team to win the Non-League Double of FA Trophy, since then Colchester United in 1992 and Wycombe Wanderers in 1993 have equalled Wealdstones achievement
Barwell Football Club is a football club based in Barwell, near Hinckley in Leicestershire. They are currently members of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, in 1994 Barwell were founder members of the Midland Alliance, and went on to win the League Cup in 2005–06, beating Leamington 3–1 in the final. After finishing as runners-up in 2008–09, they won the league the following season and their first season in the division saw them win the title, earning promotion to step three of the National League System. Instead of playing in the Northern Premier Leagues Premier Division, the club were moved to the Premier Division of the Southern League, however, two seasons later, they were transferred back to the Northern Premier League. In 2015–16 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, the club play at Kirkby Road in Barwell. The sports complex also incorporates bowling facilities and a cricket pitch, floodlights were installed prior to the 1992–93 season, and a number of seats were obtained from the old main stand at Leicester Citys Filbert Street ground. A new covered stand to accommodate five hundred spectators was built prior to the 1996–97 season, towards the end of the 2000–01 season, a new 256 seater cantilever stand was erected, and the club have made further improvements to allow them to progress up the pyramid. The ground currently has a capacity of 2,500, of which 256 is seated and 750 covered. C, players Barwell F. C. managers Official website
Royston Town F.C.
Royston Town Football Club are an English football club based in Royston, Hertfordshire, England, and have played their home games at Garden Walk since 1932. Founded in 1875, they are the second oldest club in Hertfordshire behind Hitchin Town and they reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in season 2009–10 for the first time in their history and the Third Qualifying Round in the FA Cup in 1998–99. They won the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division in 2011–12, the current first team manager is former St Albans City boss Steve Castle who arrived at the club in 2013. The 2014-15 season was a successful one finishing 2nd in the league, however Royston lost to Barton Rovers 5-4 on penalties and their promotion dreams were ended. During the summer, Royston started to rebuild by bringing in the likes of Rhys Hoenes, Lewis Donovan, Ryan Towner, a poor first few games in the new season came before an incredible run which included a 7-1 hammering of North Greenford United. Royston beat Great Wakering Rovers 3-0 in the round of the FA Trophy. Goals from Rhys Hoenes, The club-captain Scott Bridges and Ryan Towner, Royston Town, known as The Crows were formed in 1875 and are the second oldest club in Hertfordshire. One of the first traces of the club was in October 1875 when Royston visited Saffron Walden, the game was played at Saffron Walden common. This game was re-lived in October 1975 to celebrate the Essex Clubs centenary year, after the First World War the club entered the Buntingford & District League and in 1921, when the Club was affiliated to the Cambs F. A. they won the Creake Shield. The clubs first major honour came in guise of the Herts County Premier League title in 1969–70 and they repeated the feat in 1972–73, in 1978 they rejoined the South Midlands League and won the Division One title at the first time of asking. Success continued with a Cup Final appearance in the Herts Charity Shield for the first time in 1979, the Herts Charity Shield was won in 1981–82 and two years later the club joined the Isthmian League Division Two North were they remained for six years. One of the legacies of their spell in the Isthmian League is the stand at Garden Walk, erected in 1984, it replaced an earlier timber structure and is constructed largely from brick with a sloping metal roof supported by ten posts. The official seated capacity is 300, although this is largely on benches, in 1990 the club lifted the Herts Charity Shield again with a 1–0 defeat of Pirton. However, after a start to the following season, the club dropped from 6th place to 16th. As a result, were relegated to Division Three where they remained until resigning from the Isthmian League at the end of the 1993–94 season despite finishing 8th spot. The club had never been well supported and were instructed to construct a new stand behind the dugouts opposite the existing stand at an estimated £20,000. Rather than comply with the ruling, Royston resigned from the Isthmian League after ten seasons and it was during this season that the club achieved its highest official attendance of 876 with the visit of Aldershot Town. The following season saw a 6th-place finish and the departure of Tony Galvin, Paddy Butcher took over as player/manager having returned to the club from Ware
St Ives Town F.C.
St. Ives Town F. C. is a football club based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, England. They play in the Southern League Premier Division and this St Ives Town should not be confused with the Cornwall Combination team playing in St Ives, Cornwall, which is also called St Ives Town F. C. The club is managed by Ricky Marheineke and assisted by Jack Cassidy who both joined from Histon in preparation for the 2014-15 Season, St Ives Town Football Club was formed in 1887. The club briefly played in the United Counties Football League Division Two for two seasons in the early 1950s and they rejoined the United Counties Football League Division One in 1985–86, and gained promotion to the Premier Division in 2004–05 after a third-placed finish. They reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in 2007–08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 and they won promotion to the Southern Football League after finishing second in the United Counties League Premier Division in 2012–13. They also produced Conor Washington who now plays at Queens Park Rangers and has several appearances for Northern Ireland. In the 2015–16 season, the club earned promotion to the Southern League Premier Division via the play-offs, FA CupFirst Qualifying Round 2006–07, 2009–10 FA Vase Quarter Finals 2011–12 St Ives Town official website
Kettering Town F.C.
Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891, the club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of football until the 2000–01 season. Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900, the Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions, during the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan, four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to Kettering T, and claimed that the T stood for Town. Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, shirt sponsorship was eventually permitted within the English game in 1977, although the ban on shirt sponsors in televised games wasnt lifted until 1983. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their grounds floodlights, the club finished runners-up in the Football Conference in 1981,1989,1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times. The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. During the 1994–95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TV in a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, as of 2016 the Poppies had scored more goals than any other team in the FA Cups history, with 870 goals scored in 381 appearances. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before, the Poppies lost 2–0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently, the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3–2, most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000–01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The following season was a disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted – this time to the Isthmian League. Carl Shutt left the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a period as acting manager. After a poor run of results and a disappointing defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Town manager. Changes to the team were made and the finished the season on a 12-game unbeaten run
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League is one of the regional football leagues in England which sits directly below the National League featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs. Geographically, the covers all of Northern England, and the northern areas of the Midlands. Originally just one division, a division was added in 1987. This new division was split twenty years later into Division One North, together with the Southern League and the Isthmian League it forms level 7–8 of the English football league system. It is, however, also possible for teams to be promoted to the National League South. Due to title sponsorship deals, the league has been billed under various names, including a spell as the Unibond League. When this deal ended in 2010, a new deal was announced which will see the competition billed as the Evo-Stik League until at least the 2015–16 season. At that time they were the highest level non-League division below The Football League, the level as the other league in Northern England. From 1992–93 to 1994–95 the Leagues Division One included two clubs, Caernarfon Town from Wales and Gretna from Scotland, who have since joined their countries league systems. Colwyn Bay, Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl have also played in the league, the first sponsors of the NPL were Multipart who sponsored the 1985–86 season. The sponsors after this were, HFS Loans, Unibond and Evo-Stik, since 2007, the NPL has had three divisions, the Premier Division, Division One North and Division One South. Prior to 2007 there was just a single Division One, the Premier Division has 24 clubs, with the champions promoted to the National League along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. From the 2009–10 season, Division One North and South have 22 clubs each, in each division, the champions are promoted to the Premier Division, along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. The bottom two clubs in each division are relegated to one of the leagues below provided there are enough suitable promotion candidates from those leagues. The champions of the three feeder leagues covering the NPL area are promoted each season and these are the Northern League, the Northern Counties East League, and the North West Counties League. Clubs in the extremities of the Midland League and the United Counties League may also be promoted to the Northern Premier League. Division One North and South teams receive a bye to the Preliminary Round of FA Cup Qualification, Premier Division teams receive a bye to the First Round of Qualification. The league has two knockout competitions, all clubs in the three leagues play in the Challenge Cup
Witton Albion F.C.
Witton Albion F. C. are a football club based in Northwich, England. They have won the Cheshire Senior Cup 11 times since 1902 and their most recent success in this competition was in 2006, when they defeated Stalybridge Celtic in the final. They have also reached the FA Cup Second Round on at least three occasions, the club will play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the 2015–16 season. The clubs ground was for years in the centre of the town. In 1989, they moved a couple of miles to Chapel Street in nearby Wincham, Sainsburys Supermarket now occupies the old Central Ground site. Wittons current home, Wincham Park, holds in excess of 4,500 and is equipped with floodlights, segregation, a club shop, there used to be a fierce local rivalry with Northwich Victoria. The first records of a Witton Albion F. C. are in 1887, the club first entered the FA Cup in 1907–08 but failed to reach the First Round proper until 1948–49. Finally in 1920, the club became members of the Cheshire County League. They won the three times after World War 2, including the league and cup double in 1953–54. After the formation of the Northern Premier League in 1969, many Cheshire clubs left the Cheshire County League and it is thought that Northwich Victorias decision to persuade other clubs not to allow their town rivals in was the deciding factor. Albion continued to be a decent side in the Cheshire County League and eventually earned promotion to the Northern Premier League in 1978–79, although they missed out on joining their arch-rivals, as they had just left to form the Alliance Premier League. The sale of the clubs Central Ground to Sainsburys allowed the club to move to a more modern stadium. The second season at Wincham Park in 1990–91 proved to be one of the best seasons in the history as they won the NPL by 16 points. However, the club found this tough going and continual relegation struggles resulted in the first relegation in the history in 1994. A further relegation from the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League followed in 1997, in 2004, club captain Brian Pritchard enjoyed worldwide fame following his sending off during the Cheshire County F. A. Senior Cup final against Woodley Sports and he was sent off after he tripped a streaker that had run onto the pitch, incensing the Witton fans. Many football fans around the world deemed this sending off unfair, the 2006–07 season saw Witton miss out on automatic promotion on the last day of the season to Burscough, by 1 goal on goal difference. Witton hit the woodwork 3 times in the last 20 minutes and this was the second time in seven years that Burscough had beaten Witton to promotion on goal difference
Beaconsfield Town F.C.
Beaconsfield SYCOB Football Club is a football club based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. They are currently members of the Southern League Division One Central, in 2000–01 the club won the Premier Division. After repeating this in 2003–04 they were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League and they were transferred to Division One West for the following season, which became Division One South & West for the 2006–07 season. However, after finishing bottom of the division that season, they were relegated back to the Spartan South Midlands League, Beaconsfield won the league at the first attempt, and were promoted back to Division One South & West of the Southern League. The following season, 2008–09, saw them finish fourth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, however, they lost 2–1 to AFC Totton in the semi-finals. In 2009 the club were transferred to Division One Midlands, which became Division One Central the following season. A fifth-place finish in 2011–12 saw them qualify for the play-offs again, another fifth-place finish the following season led to another play-off campaign, but they were beaten 1–0 by Rugby Town in the semi-finals. The club play at Holloways Park on Windsor Road in Beaconsfield, floodlights were installed in 1991 and a large clubhouse incorporating a 200-capacity covered terrace built behind one goal. C. Players Beaconsfield SYCOB F. C. managers Club website
FIFA eligibility rules
In the 20th century, FIFA allowed a player to represent any national team, as long as the player held citizenship of that country. FIFA has used its authority to overturn results of competitive matches that feature ineligible players. FIFAs eligibility rules also demand that in mens competitions, only men are eligible to play, historically, it was possible for players to play for different national teams. For example, Alfredo di Stefano played for Argentina and Spain, di Stefanos Real Madrid team-mate Ferenc Puskás also played for Spain after amassing 85 caps for Hungary earlier in his career. Other 20th century examples of players officially representing more than one country – excluding those resulting from changes to geopolitical borders e. g. e, fixtures not recognised by FIFA as full internationals. These caps are not officially recognised due to a dispute between FIFA and the Colombian Football Federation at the time, the first player to do so was Antar Yahia, who played for the France under-18s before representing Algeria in qualifiers for the 2004 Olympic Games. In March 2004, FIFA amended its policy on international eligibility. An emergency FIFA committee ruling judged that players must be able to demonstrate a connection to a country that they had not been born in. Defender Nikola Vujadinović, for example, would be eligible to play for the teams of Serbia or Montenegro. In June 2009, FIFA Congress passed a motion that removed the age limit for players who had played for a countrys national team at youth level to change national associations. This ruling features in Article 18 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes, thiago Motta has three caps for Brazil in matches deemed friendlies for Brazil and now represents Italy. Mehdi Carcela-González was born and raised in Belgium, and won two caps for Belgium in official friendly matches before switching to his nation of Morocco in 2011. Diego Costa represented Brazil in 2 friendlies before switching his allegiances to Spain in 2013, apostolos Giannou represented Greece in a friendly in 2015, before switching his allegiances to Australia, making his debut for the latter in March 2016. A FIFA Players Status Committee is responsible for making such judgements, FIFA takes punitive action against teams that field ineligible players. In August 2011, FIFA expelled Syria from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification process following the appearance of George Mourad in a qualification match against Tajikistan. Mourad had made friendly match appearances for Sweden earlier in his career, after the game, a protest was lodged by their opponents Vanuatu, on the basis that Wynne was not an eligible player. As Wynne was 20 years old, it was impossible for him to have lived in New Zealand for five years after the age of 18. This protest was upheld by the Oceania Football Confederation, resulting in New Zealand being disqualified, there are 25 FIFA member associations that share a common nationality with at least one other FIFA member association
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
Goalkeeper (association football)
Goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport, the goalkeepers primary role is to prevent the opposing team from successfully moving the ball over the defended goal-line. This is accomplished by the moving into the path of the ball. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have a view of the entire pitch. If an attacker on the opposing team obstructs the keeper from catching or saving the ball, for example, in a corner, it will normally be a free kick. If a goalkeeper is injured or sent off, a goalkeeper has to take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper and they then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. Goalkeepers often have longer playing careers than players, many not retiring until their late thirties or early forties. This can be explained by noting that goalkeepers play a physically demanding position that requires significantly less running. For example, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47. Because only one player can play in goal and the position is so specialised many professional teams on average especially at the highest level have one player as first-choice for many years, for example Gianlugi Buffon has played as first choice keeper for Juventus for more than 15 years. Petr Cech prior to his move to Aresnal was first choice keeper for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, the squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1. Although this is common, some goalkeepers now wear other numbers when in goal, association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581, the earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, there is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers. Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 16th century, for example, in John Days play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Ill play a gole at camp-ball