Wigan /ˈwɪɡən/ is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the River Douglas,7.9 miles south-west of Bolton,10 miles north of Warrington and 16 miles west-northwest of Manchester, Wigan is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is its administrative centre. The town of Wigan had a population of 97,000 in 2011. Historically in Lancashire, Wigan during classical antiquity was in the territory of the Brigantes, the Brigantes were subjugated in the Roman conquest of Britain during the 1st century, and it is asserted that the Roman settlement of Coccium was established where Wigan lies. Wigan is believed to have incorporated as a borough in 1246 following the issue of a charter by King Henry III of England. At the end of the Middle Ages it was one of four boroughs in Lancashire established by Royal charters, the others were Lancaster, Liverpool, during the Industrial Revolution Wigan experienced dramatic economic expansion and a rapid rise in the population. Although porcelain manufacture and clock making had been major industries in the town, Wigan subsequently became known as a mill town. The first coal mine was established at Wigan in 1450 and at its peak there were 1,000 pit shafts within 5 miles of the town centre, mining was so extensive that one town councillor remarked that a coal mine in the backyard was not uncommon in Wigan. Coal mining ceased during the part of the 20th century. Wigan Pier, a wharf on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, was famous by the writer George Orwell. In his book, The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell highlighted the poor working and living conditions of the inhabitants during the 1930s. Following the decline of activities in the region, Wigan Piers collection of warehouses and wharfs became a local heritage centre. On 24th November 2016, on his 80th birthday, a statue of Dave Whelan was unveiled outside the stadium. Wigan had a population of 99,391 in 2011 but its Urban Subdivision had a population of 103,608, the name Wigan has been dated to at least the 7th century and probably originally meant a village or settlement. It has also suggested that the name is Celtic, named after a person called Wigan. This may have linked with Tre to give an original name of Trewigan. The name of the town has been recorded variously as Wigan in 1199, Wygayn in 1240, the first people believed to have settled in the Wigan area were the Brigantes, a Celtic tribe who controlled most of northern Britain. In the 1st century, the area was conquered by the Romans, the late 2nd-century Antonine Itinerary mentions a Roman settlement called Coccium 17 miles from the Roman fort at Manchester and 20 miles from the fort at Ribchester
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Fylde is a professional football club based in Wesham in the Borough of Fylde, Lancashire, England. Originally known as Kirkham & Wesham following a merger of Kirkham Town and Wesham in 1988 and they are currently members of the National League North and play at Mill Farm in Wesham. The new club assumed Kirkham Towns place in Division One of the West Lancashire League, in 1989–90 they finished bottom of the division and were relegated to Division Two. After three seasons in Division Two they were promoted in the 1992–93 season after finishing third, only to be relegated again in 1994–95, the following season they finished as runners-up in Division Two, losing only two league games all season, and were promoted back to Division One. The West Lancashire League was re-structured in 1998 with Division One renamed the Premier Division. In the 21 months between January 2003 and October 2004, the club did not lose a match in any competition, as the nominated representatives of the Lancashire FA, the club also won the Northern Counties Cup in 2004–05, 2005–06, and 2006–07. Following their West Lancashire League championship success in 2006–07, the club were accepted into Division Two of the North West Counties League for the 2007–08 season. At the clubs general meeting in July 2007, a 15-year plan was put forward with the stated aim of reaching the Conference National by 2017. The clubs first match in the North West Counties League was a match on 11 August 2007, against Darwen in front of 101 fans. The club had also arranged for the FA Vase trophy to be on display before the game, on 26 January 2008 the club reached the last sixteen of the FA Vase when they beat Studley 3–0. On 9 February they reached the quarter-finals after they beat Sussex County League leaders and they subsequently defeated Midland Football Alliance club Coventry Sphinx 1–0 in a replay after a 3–3 draw. In the two-legged semi-final against Eastern Counties League Premier Division club, Needham Market, Kirkham & Wesham secured prize money of £20,000 for their win. Although the total amount the club earned was expected to be around £75,000. The season also saw the win the Division Two knockout trophy with a 1–0 win over Bootle. For the start of the 2008–09 season, the changed their name to A. F. C. They won the Premier Division at the first attempt, finishing above New Mills on goal difference, long-serving manager Mick Fuller was moved upstairs in September 2010 and Kelham OHanlon was brought in as first team coach. The club finished in mid-table with a turnover of playing staff. The following season the club finished fifth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs, after beating Skelmersdale United 1–0 in the semi-final, they lost 2–1 to Chorley in the final
Crewe Alexandra F.C.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the links with the rail industry. The team compete in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra and it was a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892, but only lasted four years in the League. Since re-entering the competition in 1921, they have remained in the lower divisions. Crewes only major honour is the Football League Trophy which they won in 2013 and they have also won several minor trophies, including the Cheshire Premier Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup. Gradi is known for focusing on development and promoting attractive. Notable players brought through the Crewe youth system include former internationals Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, other notable players to have made their name at Crewe in that time include Geoff Thomas, David Platt and Robbie Savage. Crewe Alexandra were formed in 1877 as Crewe Football Club, separate from the successful Crewe Cricket Club and they were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground and played their first match against North Staffs that same year, a match that ended 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandras first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queens Park of Glasgow, in 1888, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Football Alliance, in 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site. Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921, during which season a crowd of 15,102 packed into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City. Crewe earned their first honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, in 1936, Bert Swindells scored his 100th League goal for Crewe Alexandra. He went on to score 126 goals for the club, a record still stands today. 1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches, the dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport. One of Crewes most famous took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, on 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe,1961 saw Crewes most notable win in their history, Jimmy McGuigans side defeated Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge
Lancaster City F.C.
Lancaster City Football Club is an English football club based in Lancaster, Lancashire. The club are members of Northern Premier League Division One North. Following the folding of two Lancaster-based teams, Skerton F. C. and Lancaster Athletic F. C. Lancaster Town F. C. was founded in 1911 and they joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination at the start of the 1911-12 season. After World War I the Combination was reduced to a single division, the club finished as runners-up in 1919–20, and the following season the club applied to join the new Third Division North of the Football League, but were unsuccessful. However, they won the Combination for the first time in 1921–22, in 1928–29 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, but lost 3–1 at home to Lincoln City. The following year won the Combination for a second time and reached the FA Cup first round again. The first round was reached again in 1930–31, 1931–32 and 1933–34, Two years later they were relegated to Division Two after finishing second from bottom of the league. However, despite only finishing thirteenth in 1987–88, the club were accepted into the new Division One of the Northern Premier League thanks to in no part to ground standard. In 1995–96, and under the stewardship of former Preston North End and Bury player Alan Tinsley, after finishing eighth in 2003–04, under Tony Hesketh, the club were placed in the newly established Conference North. This proved to be a successful period for Lancaster with the club enjoying healthy league positions. During the summer, the reformed and were accepted into Division One of the Northern Premier League. The 2008–09 season was the last one for ex player and fans favourite Barrie Stimpson and he was replaced by Tony Hesketh, towards the end of the season, returning for a second spell. Lancaster lost the 2009–10 play-off final 1–0 at home to Colwyn Bay but unfortunately, Hesketh was relieved of his duties early into the 2012–13 season. Mick Hoyle once again taking the helm until a new manager was appointed, the former Sunderland, Darlington and Morecambe player Neil Wainwright and local non-league stalwart Michael Stringfellow were appointed as joint managers. Both Wainwright and Stringfellow left in February 2013 due to budget cuts, on 21 April 2013 Lancaster City appointed former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers defender Darren Peacock as their new manager. Both Peacock and Sinclair left the club at the end of September 2015 after a start to the season being replaced by former player. The club play at Giant Axe, located close to Lancaster railway station, Giant Axe was given its name as it was the centrepiece of a sports club, the exterior wall of which was, when viewed from above, the same shape as an axe head. The ground has been the home since the early days, but was renovated in the 1970s when the original main grandstand was destroyed by fire
Barrow Association Football Club is an association football club based in the town of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. The club participates in the National League, the tier of the English league system. Barrow play their games at Holker Street, close to the town centre. The club spent over fifty years in the Football League between 1921 and 1972, achieving promotion to Division 3 by finishing 3rd in the Football League Fourth Division in the 1966–67 season. The highest league period in the history was to be short-lived. Barrow have since spent their time in the top two levels of football, having been promoted five times to the Conference, most recently as Conference North champions in 2014–15. The club colours are blue and white, though the combination of these has varied over time, average attendance stood at 1456 during the 2014–15 season. Barrow are owned by Dallas-based businessman Paul Casson, who purchased the club for £600,000 in September 2014. Barrow were founded on 16 July 1901 at the old Drill Hall in the Strand and played initially at the Strawberry Ground, before moving to Ainslie Street and then on to Little Park, Roose. In 1903 Barrow was elected to Division Two of the Lancashire Combination, in 1909, Barrow moved once more to Holker Street, the stadium that they still occupy today. The club remained in the Lancashire Combination for up to and after the First World War and this victory preceded the formation of the Football League Third Division North in the 1921–22 season, and Barrow became one of the leagues founder members. In their early years as a club, Barrow were as notable for their absence of success as any achievements. Their highest finish before the Second World War was 5th in the 1931–32 season, in 1933–34 season Barrow finished in 8th position. Barrow remained in the lowest tier of the Football League when football resumed after the war, the 1950s saw greater success in the FA Cup, however. The clubs record crowd of 16,874 watched Barrow draw 2–2 with Swansea Town in the 1953–54 FA Cup, a few years later this was followed by a Third Round tie in the 1958–59 competition against the then Football League champions Wolverhampton Wanderers at Holker Street. Wolves, captained by Billy Wright, won 4–2, the late 1960s finally saw Barrow win promotion, after a third-place finish under the management of Don McEvoy in the 1966–67 Fourth Division. McEvoys successor, Colin Appleton, lead Barrow to their highest ever league position of eighth in the Football League Third Division the following season. The club topped the Third Division league table for one day during the season, during this period defender Brian Arrowsmith became the player to make the most Football League appearances for Barrow
Colchester United F.C.
Colchester United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Colchester, Essex, England. The team competes in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1937, the club spent its early years playing in the Southern Football League until they were elected to the Football League in 1950. Colchester United were relegated to the Football Conference in 1990 following a decline in the late 1980s and they achieved promotion to the Second Division in 1998 following a 1–0 win against Torquay United in the play-off final. The club were promoted in 2006, achieving second place in League One. The club returned to League One in 2008 following relegation from the Championship, Colchester United play their home games at Colchester Community Stadium in Colchester. They relocated to the stadium in 2008 when they moved away from Layer Road, until 1937, Colchester Town were Colchesters main club and were the original tenants of Layer Road. Colchester Town joined the Eastern Counties League in 1935, but their performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional. With club officials against the idea of turning professional, a new club was formed in March 1937, Colchester United. United joined the Southern Football League as crowds for Town matches dwindled, in December 1937, Colchester United formed a reserve team, signing many of Towns players. As a result of this and Town struggling with £300 debts, the club won the Southern League Cup in their first season of existence, and were Southern League champions during in 1939 prior to the Second World War. They finally fell to Blackpool in the fifth round and this set them in good stead for potential election to the Football League. Colchester United were elected to the Football League in 1950 on the back of their second Southern League Cup win and ending the 1949–50 season second to Merthyr Tydfil on goal average alone. With the draw having been made prior to the replay against Rochdale, the Us knew they would face a home tie with First Division Leeds United, and duly trounced Dale 5–0. In the match with Leeds, the Us raced to an unprecedented 3–0 lead in front of a 16,000 Layer Road crowd, Leeds did grab two goals back but Colchester held on for a famous 3–2 victory. The club faced Everton in the quarter-finals but succumbed to a 5–0 defeat in front of 53,028 at Goodison Park. Financial difficulties and a number of changes at board level in the mid-1980s caused a slide towards the end of the Fourth Division table. Despite a brief turn around in form under former Rangers manager Jock Wallace, despite their relegation, the Us remained a full-time club while playing in the Football Conference, as they sold their Layer Road ground to the Colchester Borough Council to clear the clubs debts
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final
Chester Football Club is a professional association football club based in Chester, Cheshire, England. The club competes in the National League, the tier of English football. After winning this division, it won the Northern League Premier Division in 2011–12. The team plays its games at the Deva Stadium. The original Chester FC was founded in 1885 and joined the Football League before the 1931–32 season and they changed their name to Chester City in 1983. They were members of the Football League, predominantly in its fourth tier but occasionally in its third tier and they returned to the Football League after winning the Conference title in 2004. City Fans United had been formed in October 2009, following growing disquiet amongst fans with the running of Chester City, the group then began preparations in February 2010 to form a phoenix club for the following season just weeks before Chester City FC was wound up. Following the official winding up of Chester City in March 2010, over 1,000 people participated in the ballot and 70% voted for the name Chester FC, which had been the old clubs name for its first 98 years. The club received the support of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Chester FC started competing in the 2010–11 season. The FA initially recommended that they should be placed in the North West Counties Football League Premier Division, the club was formally relaunched on 20 May 2010, when Neil Young and Gary Jones were announced as the first manager and assistant of the club. A pre-season friendly played at Colwyn Bay on 10 July 2010 was the first fixture for the new club, the teams first home friendly was played against Aberystwyth Town which the Blues won 3–0. The clubs first league match was on 24 August 2010, away at Warrington Town, rob Hopley scored the first ever goal for the club in the 6th minute, but the game ended in a 1–1 draw. Chester played their first home game against Trafford and won 6–0, in September, Chester lost their first game after a 2–1 home defeat to Chorley. Second-placed Skelmersdale then dropped points, to leave Chester three points clear with one remaining game, and a goal difference eight ahead of their chasing rivals, following Chesters promotion to the NPL Premier Division, form was initially variable, with two losses in their first six league fixtures. However, form, particularly defensively, improved greatly, with no goals conceded in September, and they were not to be caught again in the league during the season. During the calendar year 2011, Chester were unbeaten in league fixtures. Chesters last loss of the came in their 2–1 home defeat to Hednesford on 21 January. After that point, the team went on a 16-match unbeaten run, the game was watched by a crowd of 5,009, which was not only a record for the reformed club, but also the highest gate ever recorded in the seventh tier of English football