Lancashire is a non-metropolitan ceremonial county in north west England. The county town is Lancaster although the administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300, people from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians. The history of Lancashire begins with its founding in the 12th century, in the Domesday Book of 1086, some of its lands were treated as part of Yorkshire. The land that lay between the Ribble and Mersey, Inter Ripam et Mersam, was included in the returns for Cheshire, when its boundaries were established, it bordered Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. Lancashire emerged as a commercial and industrial region during the Industrial Revolution. Liverpool and Manchester grew into its largest cities, dominating global trade, the county contained several mill towns and the collieries of the Lancashire Coalfield. By the 1830s, approximately 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire, Accrington, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Bury, Chorley, Colne, Darwen, Manchester, Nelson, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale and Wigan were major cotton mill towns during this time. Blackpool was a centre for tourism for the inhabitants of Lancashires mill towns, the detached northern part of Lancashire in the Lake District, including the Furness Peninsula and Cartmel, was merged with Cumberland and Westmorland to form Cumbria. Lancashire lost 709 square miles of land to other counties, about two fifths of its area, although it did gain some land from the West Riding of Yorkshire. Today the county borders Cumbria to the north, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to the south and North and West Yorkshire to the east, with a coastline on the Irish Sea to the west. The county palatine boundaries remain the same with the Duke of Lancaster exercising sovereignty rights, including the appointment of lords lieutenant in Greater Manchester, the county was established in 1182, later than many other counties. During Roman times the area was part of the Brigantes tribal area in the zone of Roman Britain. The towns of Manchester, Lancaster, Ribchester, Burrow, Elslack, in the centuries after the Roman withdrawal in 410AD the northern parts of the county probably formed part of the Brythonic kingdom of Rheged, a successor entity to the Brigantes tribe. During the mid-8th century, the area was incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, in the Domesday Book, land between the Ribble and Mersey were known as Inter Ripam et Mersam and included in the returns for Cheshire. Although some historians consider this to mean south Lancashire was then part of Cheshire and it is also claimed that the territory to the north formed part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It bordered on Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire, the county was divided into hundreds, Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland, Lonsdale, Salford and West Derby. Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, the part north of the sands of Morecambe Bay including Furness and Cartmel
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in the Championship, the tier of English football. Founded in 1932, the club have played at the DW Stadium since 1999 and their colours are blue and white, recently most often striped, although all-blue shirts have been common throughout history. The team were elected to The Football League in 1978, the club also made their European debut during the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Wigan Athletic was formed in 1932, following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year, Wigan Athletic was the fifth attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Wigan Borough. Springfield Park, the home of Wigan Borough, was purchased by the club for £2,850. Despite their initial application being turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected into the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central, the club had also made the first of many attempts to be admitted into the Football League, but failed to receive a single vote. On 27 August 1932, Wigan Athletic played their first ever game against Port Vale Reserves. The team played in red and white shirts with black shorts, Wigan Athletic won their first honours in the 1933–34 season, finishing as champions of the Cheshire League. In the 1935–36 season, the club won their third consecutive Cheshire League title, after the Second World War, Wigan Athletic adopted their more familiar blue and white strip. The club struggled to assemble a side, and finished bottom of the league in 1946–47 season. Despite their pre-war success, the failed to gain re-election and were replaced by Winsford United. The club joined the Lancashire Combination, winning the league in their first season, in 1950, Wigan Athletic came close to election to The Football League, narrowly losing out to Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town. In the next round of the cup, Wigan Athletic were drawn against First Division side Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic held their top flight opponents to a 2–2 draw at St James Park, but went on to lose the replay 3–2. In 1961, the club moved back to the Cheshire League, in the 1964–65 season, Wigan Athletic won their first Cheshire League title since returning to the league, with top goalscorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the clubs greatest goalscorer of all time, Wigan Athletic won four cup titles in the 1966–67 season and were also Cheshire County League runners-up. In 1968, Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Northern Premier League, winning the league title in 1970–71, leading goalscorer with 42 goals, including 7 hat-tricks, was Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in the following 1971–72 season. As a non-league club, the played at Wembley Stadium for the first time in the 1973 FA Trophy Final
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
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
Rotherham United F.C.
Rotherham United Football Club, nicknamed The Millers, is a professional association football club based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. They compete in the Championship, the tier in the English football league system. Founded in 1925 as a merger between Rotherham Town and Rotherham County, the colours were initially yellow and black, but later evolved into the more traditional red. Rotherham United play their games at New York Stadium, a 12,000 capacity all-seater stadium. The Millers featured in the inaugural League Cup final in 1961 and they also achieved two separate back to back promotions in 1999–2001 under Ronnie Moore and 2012–2014 under Steve Evans. The clubs roots go back to 1870, when the club was formed as Thornhill Football Club, george Cook was the trainer around this time. For many years the team in the area was Rotherham Town. By the turn of the century, however, Town had resigned from the Football League and gone out of business, a new club of the same name later joined the Midland League. Meanwhile, Thornhills fortunes were on the rise to the extent that in 1905 they laid claim to being the pre-eminent club in the town, for a period both clubs competed in the Midland League, finishing first and second in 1911–12. Over time it became clear that to have two clubs in the town was not sustainable. Talks had begun in February 1925 and in early May the two merged to form Rotherham United. Days later the club was formally re-elected under its new name. The red and white was adopted around 1928 after playing in amber and black, immediately after the Second World War things looked up. The Millers won the only edition of the Football League Third Division North Cup in 1946 beating Chester 5–4 on aggregate. They then finished as runners-up three time in succession between 1947 and 1949 and then were champions of Division Three in 1951, during that season they had notable results including a 6–1 win over Liverpool. In 1961 the Millers beat Aston Villa 2–0 at Millmoor in the inaugural League Cup final first leg, the second leg was played the season after due to Villa having a Congested Fixture List. The club held on to its place in Division Two until 1968, in 1975 they were promoted back to the Third Division finishing in the 3rd promotion spot in the Fourth Division. The Millers won the Division Three title in 1981, Rotherham had a dismal first half of the 1981–82 season but a surge after the turn of 1982 saw them emerge as promotion contenders for the first time in nearly 30 years
Altrincham Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at Moss Lane, the club were established by a Sunday school around 1891 as Rigby Memorial Club. They soon merged with local team, Grapplers, to form Broadheath Football Club. Their first match in the league on 16 September 1893 saw them lose 7–0 to Hulme, after playing at various grounds in Broadheath, Timperley and Altrincham, the club moved to Pollitts Field in 1903, at which point they changed their name to Altrincham. They won the Cheshire Amateur Cup in their first season under the new name and they won the Manchester League again in 1906–07, and moved to their Moss Lane ground in 1910. In 1911 the club joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination and they finished as runners-up in their first season in the division, only missing out on the title on goal average and earning promotion to Division One. They remained in Division One until World War I, in 1934–35 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 at Gainsborough Trinity. After missing out the 1945–46 season, they rejoined the Cheshire County League in 1946, achieving little success until the 1960s, when Altrincham director Noel White hired Freddie Pye as manager. A key turning point in the history of the club is often cited as the signing of Jackie Swindells in 1965, helping Altrincham to the first of back-to-back Cheshire County League titles, scoring over 120 goals in the league in both seasons. After finishing as runners-up in 1967–68, they were members of the Northern Premier League in 1968. The following season went one better in the FA Trophy, reaching the Wembley final. In 1978–79 they finished as runners-up in the Northern Premier League, although they finished as the top non-League club in the ballot, they received only 13 votes to the 37 received by Halifax Town, the lowest-placed Football League club. The leagues inaugural season saw Altrincham crowned champions, the next two seasons saw the club finish in mid-table, together with another FA Trophy final appearance in 1981–82, this time losing 1–0 to Enfield. This was followed by four consecutive top-five finishes between 1984 and 1987 and a second FA Trophy win in 1985, beating Runcorn 1–0 in the final. The 1985–86 season saw them one of the biggest FA Cup giant-killings of all time when they defeated top division Birmingham City 2–1 at Birminghams St Andrews. The club then returned to mid-table with occasional successful seasons, finishing third in 1990–91, after finishing bottom of the Conference in 1996–97 the club were relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League. An eighth-place finish in 1997–98 saw them return to the Conference two seasons later as Premier Division champions, however, they lasted only a single season in the Conference as they finished second-from-bottom and were relegated back to the Northern Premier League. A twelfth-place finish in 2003–04 saw them qualify for the newly formed Conference North and they finished fifth in the new division in its first season, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
Rhyl Football Club is a Welsh football club from Rhyl in Denbighshire, playing in the Welsh Premier League. The club was founded in 1879 and the team plays its matches at Belle Vue. Football in Rhyl dates from the late 1870s and at one time there were several Rhyl clubs in existence, Rhyl F. C. became founder members of the Welsh League, formed in 1890, but withdrew the following year. They reformed as Rhyl Athletic in 1893 and became members of the North Wales Coast League. Rhyl Athletic joined forces with Rhyl Town in 1898 and in an ambitious move switched to the Anglo-Welsh competition known as The Combination, despite financial crises, they remained in membership until the league disbanded at the end of the 1910–11 season. Rhyl won the title in 1925–26 and became a company in 1928 as Rhyl Athletic. In 1929 Rhyl applied to join the Football League but York City became the only non-league team elected to the Third Division North, with North Wales football in turmoil in the early 1930s, Rhyl sought to realise their ambitions elsewhere. Another unsuccessful application to the Football League was made in 1932 before joining the Birmingham, in a post-war purple patch, Rhyl won the league title twice – in 1947–48 and 1950–51 – and the Welsh Cup twice in succession. In 1952, they beat Merthyr Tydfil 4–3 and became the first non-league side in the era to retain the trophy. Rhyl had been losing finalists to Cardiff City in 1930 and Crewe Alexandra in 1937, but did not feature in the final again until 1993, between 1948 and 1972 Rhyl appeared regularly in the first round proper of the FA Cup. In 1957 Rhyl reached the fourth round proper, losing 3–0 away to Bristol City, in the Cheshire County League, success eluded them for several years before they won the title in 1972. On the dissolution of the Cheshire County League in 1982, Rhyl became members of the North West Counties League, in 1993–94, they won the title by six points and gained promotion to the League of Wales. Rhyl completed a quadruple by rounding off the season with a 6–0 win against Halkyn United in the Final of the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup. However, these feats were later tainted by the revelation that leading scorer Andy Moran had been taking the banned stimulant Nandrolone throughout the season, Rhyl won many games with late goals, leading to widespread rumours that other players were also taking the drug. Moran was stripped of his Golden Boot as a result, although the results were allowed to stand. Rhyl could not reproduce their quadruple heroics in 2004–05, the club finished runners-up in the Welsh Premier League to TNS and also fell to the same team in both the Welsh Cup semi-final and Welsh Premier Cup quarter-final. In 2005–06, Rhyl recorded their first-ever win in European competition when they defeated Lithuanian side FK Atlantas 2–1 in the leg of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. Rhyl lost the away leg 3–2, but progressed on the away goals rule and they lost in the second round against Norwegian club Viking F. K
Welsh Premier League
The Welsh Premier League is the national football league for Wales. It has both professional and semi-professional status clubs and is at the top of the Welsh football league system, prior to 2002, the league was known as the League of Wales, but changed its name as part of a sponsorship deal. Currently, the sponsored name of the league is the Dafabet Welsh Premier League. At the end of the 2015/16 season the Welsh Premier League was ranked 48th out of 55 members by the UEFA coefficient. The league was formed in October 1991 by Alun Evans, Secretary General of the Football Association of Wales, the new league was formed for the 1992–93 season, and officially launched on 15 August 1992. At the time, despite the FAW being a FIFA and UEFA member it had not previously organised a national league, traditionally, the strongest teams in Wales had always played in the English leagues. Aberdare Athletic, Cardiff City, Merthyr Town, Newport County, Swansea City, the formation of the League of Wales saw the start of a bitter dispute between the Football Association of Wales and those non-League clubs who wanted to remain part of the English football pyramid. The Irate Eight, as they were dubbed, consisted of Bangor City, Barry Town, Caernarfon Town, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Newtown and Rhyl. At the time, Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham were playing in The Football League, prior to the inaugural season, Bangor City, Newtown and Rhyl reluctantly agreed to play in the League of Wales. However, as Rhyls application to join the league was late, because of FAW sanctions, the remaining five clubs were forced to play their home matches in England. Following a season in exile at Worcester City, five became four, conversely, in 1996 now-defunct English team Oswestry Town were accepted by the League of Wales and currently The New Saints are based in Oswestry. The PA added the results at the start of the 1996–97 season. One of the problems facing the league is its failure to attract teams from the major population centres of Wales. This is because the four most populous areas of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, the Welsh Premier League is therefore made up of clubs from smaller towns and even villages. Clubs are promoted to the Welsh Premier League from the two feeder leagues, the Cymru Alliance in the north and the Welsh Football League Division One in the south. No teams were promoted to the Welsh Premier League following the 2005–06 season, however, Cardiff Grange Quins, who finished bottom of the Welsh Premier League resigned leaving the league to operate with an odd number of clubs for 2006–07. The 2009–10 season saw Bala Town promoted to the Welsh Premier League after they won the Cymru Alliance in 2008–09 and they replaced Caernarfon Town who were relegated to the Cymru Alliance. At the end of the 2009–10 season, due to league restructuring Connahs Quay, Porthmadog, Welshpool Town, Caersws, no teams were promoted to the Welsh Premier League from the feeder leagues