Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. The club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921; the club changed their name in 1969, when they adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swansea's new status as a city. Swansea have played their home matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005, having played at the Vetch Field since the club was founded. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division, it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline set in near the season's end, before they finished sixth, still a club record. It was from here the club suffered a relegation the season after, returning to the Football League Fourth Division a few seasons and narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference in 2003; the Swansea City Supporters Society Ltd owns 20% of the club, with their involvement hailed by Supporters Direct as "the most high profile example of the involvement of a supporters' trust in the direct running of a club".
The club's subsequent climb from the fourth division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film, Jack to a King – The Swansea Story. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League. On 24 February 2013, Swansea beat Bradford City 5–0 to win the 2012–13 Football League Cup, winning the first major trophy in the club's history and qualifying for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, where they reached the Last 32 stage but lost over two legs to Napoli. Swansea were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2017–18 season; the area around Swansea traditionally had been a rugby area, despite previous attempts by a football club named Swansea Villa, there were no notable football clubs until the establishment of'Swansea Town AFC' in the summer of 1912. Following the lead of many other South Wales sides, the club joined the Second Division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the club's first chairman. A site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the club's ground.
The club's first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time; the Swans beat reigning English champions Blackburn Rovers 1–0 in the first round of the 1914–15 FA Cup, Swansea's goal coming from Ben Beynon. Following the First World War the Southern League dropped its Second Division, with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the First Division. After four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920 and Division Three the following season. After five seasons in Division Three and a few failed bids for promotion, the Swans reached the Second Division for the first time in 1925, beating Exeter City 2–1 at home on the final day of the season to win the division; the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later.
The following season the Swans reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time, beating Exeter City, Blackpool, Stoke City and Arsenal, before losing 3–0 to eventual cup winners Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane. Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour. During the 1931–32 season they finished 1st in the league and won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay. After just one season back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division, thus returned to Division Three for the first time since 1925; the following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time. Only one point was dropped at home all season as the feat of the 1925 promotion side was emulated, with the side finishing a whole seven points ahead of second placed Reading. Billy McCandless was the manager who led the side to promotion, in doing so he completed a rare hat-trick of winning the Third Division title with all three South Wales clubs – and without losing a home game with Swansea or Cardiff.
Following promotion, the Swans had another 15 years of Second Division football to look forward to, however despite what successive managers and chairmen were to say, Swansea Town only once during that time looked like they could genuinely challenge for promotion. That came in the 1955–56 season, when a side containing the likes of Ivor Allchurch, Terry Medwin, Harry Griffiths and Tom Kiley led the table early in the season, before an injury to Kiley, referred to as the linchpin of the side, in mid-November led to a decline in form, he was never adequately replaced, but despite this and the sale of some of the club's best players, the side remained in contention for promotion until the beginning of April. Following a 6–1 win over second placed Leicester City at the Vetch Field at the end of March the side was just two points behind second placed Liverpool with a game in hand – however subsequent results were not as encouraging, they slipped away to finish tenth. In 1964, the Swans reached a second FA Cup semi-final, beating Barrow, Sheffield United and Stoke City en route to a famous sixth round victory at Anfield.
Few gave the Swans, struggling for their lives at the bottom of Division Two, any chance
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following promotion via the playoffs from League Two in the 2017–18 season. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 before adopting their current name in 1898. They joined the Football League in 1919, they won their only major trophy in 1987. They are one of only five clubs to have won both the FA Youth Cup in the same season, they have reached two Football League Cup semi-finals, in 1981 and 1990. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, defeating Oxford United 2–1 to win the Football League Trophy and again in May 2018, beating Exeter City 3–1 to gain promotion to EFL League One via the play-offs; the club, nicknamed The Sky Blues because of the colour of their strip, was an inaugural member of the Premier League in 1992 and had spent 34 consecutive seasons in the English top flight prior to its relegation in 2001.
Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to League One in 2012, the first time they had been in the third tier since 1964. In 2017, there was a further relegation, with the club dropping to the fourth tier of the competition for the first time since 1959. Coventry has qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, the team competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, reaching the second round. Despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in the home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Germany, thus were eliminated; the team was unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, due to the ban on English clubs at that time, following the Heysel disaster. From 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road, which in 1981 became the first all-seater stadium in English football. In the late 1990s, the club's directors decided that a larger stadium was necessary, so chose a site in the Rowley's Green area of the city.
The 32,609-capacity Ricoh Arena was opened in August 2005. The club has played home games there since, apart from the 2013–14 season when it played at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium, some 35 miles away, due to a rent dispute. 1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The club's name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City. 1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the qualifying round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained since. 1928 – In February, with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the club's worst attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace. 1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals.
1934 – City record their biggest victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a nail-biting final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United and return to Division Two after eleven years in the lower division. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club, which this year was a founding member of Division Four. He played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed manager following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league King's Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United. 1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club. Coventry's record attendance was set in this year – recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table.
1970 – Under Noel Cantwell, Coventry finish 6th in the First Division, their highest League placing. Coventry qualify for the European Fairs Cup but lost 7–3 on aggregate in the second round to Bayern Munich, despite winning the second leg 2–1 at Highfield Road. 1977 – Coventry City escaped relegation after drawing with Bristol City who escaped relegation. The result of this game relegated Sunderland, which caused allegations of match fixing over the outcome of the match due to the result of the Sunderland game being relayed to Coventry City and Bristol City players on the stadium screen before their game had finished. 1978 – The strike partnership of Ian Wallace and Mick Ferguson helped the Sky Blues finish in seventh position in the First Division, their second-highest final league placing, but fractionally missing out on a UEFA Cup place. 1981 – The club reaches the League Cup semi-final but are denied their first Wembley appearance by West Ham United, despite being 3–2 ahead after the first leg.
Highfield Road becomes England's first all-seater stadium. 1987 – The Sky Blues won the FA Cup, beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final. It is their only major trophy to date, they were runners-up to Everton in August in the Charity Shield. Coventry won the FA Youth Cup in this year. 1989 – Coventry were defeated by non-league Sutton United in the FA Cup Third Round, only 19 months after lifting the trophy. However, their impressive league for
Gigg Lane is an all-seater football stadium in Bury, Greater Manchester. One of the world's oldest professional football stadiums, it was built for Bury F. C. in 1885 and has been their home since. The ground is known for sponsorship reasons as the Energy Check Stadium but it will soon be renamed the Planet-U Energy Stadium following a deal signed by the club with Leeds-based Planet-U Energy on 19 February 2019; the first match to be played at Gigg Lane was a friendly between Bury and Wigan on 12 September 1885, which Bury won 4–3. The first league game was a 4–2 victory over Manchester City on 8 September 1894 in the 1894–95 Football League Second Division; the stadium has had permanent floodlights since 1953, although the first floodlit match to be played there took place in 1889, before the Football League had authorised the use of floodlights in competitive matches. The capacity of the ground was once 35,000 and this was achieved when the ground's record crowd attended Bury's FA Cup third round tie against Bolton Wanderers on 9 January 1960.
The game ended 1–1 and Bury lost the replay after extra time 4–2. In 1986, Gigg Lane saw its lowest crowd of just 461 for a Freight Rover Trophy game against Tranmere Rovers. There has never been a league crowd below 1,000 although the closest to that mark came in 1984 with a crowd of 1,096 against Northampton Town; the highest all-seater attendance at Gigg Lane was recorded when Bury played Manchester City on 12 September 1997, with an attendance of 11,216. The ground was renamed the JD Stadium in November 2013 after Bury announced a new sponsorship deal with JD Sports; the deal was ended in July 2015. In 2016 it was announced that the club was looking to build a new 15,000–20,000 capacity stadium in the borough of Bury. Since however, there has been a change of club ownership and a new stadium sponsorship deal. On 19 February 2019, it was announced that the ground is to be renamed the Planet-U Energy Stadium after Bury concluded a five-year sponsorship deal with the Leeds-based renewable energy supplier, Planet-U Energy.
The stadium will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. The stadium's official capacity is 12,500; the South Stand is the largest stand and it was renamed the "Les Hart Stand" in the summer of 2010. The stand contains a pattern of blue and white seats that spell out "SHAKERS" After the Taylor Report forced all Football League clubs to switch to all-seater stadiums, the stadium began converting all four sides of the ground in 1993, with the Cemetery End being the final terraced section to be demolished in 1999; the East Stand on the rebuilt Cemetery End has a capacity of 2,500. The Manchester Road End was home to the club's electronic scoreboard until 2011. A new scoreboard was placed in the south-east corner of the ground a few months later. In September 2015 a screen was installed in the right-hand side of the Les Hart Stand. On matchdays the club show match highlights and the scoreline. In November 2015, Bury announced that the Main Stand was to be renamed the Neville Neville Stand in honour of the late English cricketer and friend of the club, Neville Neville.
Towards the end of the 2015–16 season, a fence was constructed between the Cemetery End and the Les Hart Stand in an attempt to stop the rise of hooliganism at the ground. This further separates home and away supporters but it has reduced the stadium's capacity with the consequent loss of 660 seats. Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers have hosted. F. C. United of Manchester shared the ground from the 2005–06 season until 2014, they moved into their own ground for the 2015–16 season. F. C. United set a club record attendance of 6,731 when they played Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup on 8 December 2010. A couple of teams have moved their "home" games to the stadium, including Preston North End for a League Cup tie in 1994. Non-league sides Rossendale United and Radcliffe Borough moved home F. A. Cup ties to Gigg Lane against York City respectively. In 1996, the stadium was used as the filming location for the TV film based on the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, where 96 Liverpool fans died as a result of a crush on the stadium's terraces.
Hillsborough was seen as an unsuitable location for the film to avoid causing further distress to survivors and bereaved families, because the appearance of Gigg Lane was more akin to the 1989 Hillsborough than the actual stadium was seven years after the tragedy due to redevelopment. The stadium has been used for many sports other than football, such as rugby league, cricket and lacrosse
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales that plays in the English football league system. Based on the club's recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales and the third oldest professional football team in the world. Since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club; the club has competed in the National League, the fifth tier of English football, since being relegated from Football League Two at the end of the 2007–08 season, after 87 years of consecutive membership of the Football League. In 1992, Wrexham upset the reigning English Champions Arsenal in the FA Cup, they scored a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners' Cup. Wrexham were eligible for the European Cup Winners' Cup due to winning the Welsh Cup. Wrexham's honours include winning the Third Division title in 1977–78, the Welsh Cup a record 23 times, the Football League Trophy in 2005 at the Millennium Stadium and the FA Trophy in 2013 at Wembley Stadium.
Wrexham are record winners of the short-lived FAW Premier Cup, winning it five times out of the 11 years of its tenure, participating against fellow Welsh clubs such as Cardiff City, Swansea City and Newport County. Wrexham's home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the world's oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games; the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. The club was formed in 1864 by members of the Wrexham Cricket Club, who wanted a sporting activity for the winter months, which makes them the sixth oldest football team, third oldest professional club and the oldest in Wales, their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade. As the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time.
In 1876, the newly formed Football Association of Wales saw Wales play their first international match, against Scotland at The West of Scotland Cricket Club, featuring Edwin Cross and Alfred Davies as the first of many Wrexham F. C. players to play for Wales. In the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup; the first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park. Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. For their first decade, Wrexham played friendly matches against both Welsh and English opposition, with the Welsh Cup providing most of their competitive football, Wrexham winning it again in 1883. 1883 saw Wrexham's first appearance in the FA Cup, when after receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry.
Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, leading to the club being reformed in 1884 as Wrexham Olympic. Olympic was dropped from this club's name in 1888. Thanks to a dispute with their landlords, who had raised the rent of the Racecourse Ground to £10 a year, Wrexham played their home games in the 1881–82 and 1882–83 seasons at Rhosddu Recreation Ground, before moving back to the Racecourse Ground for the 1883–84 season, where the club have played their home games since. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, with Arthur Lea scoring Wrexham's only goal in a 5–1 defeat. Lea played for the club despite only having one arm. Wrexham finished the season second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before a rapid increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. Wrexham won the Welsh League both years that they were in it, but they decided to return to the Combination, as despite the reduced support they received, the savings made on their travelling expenses outweighed the reduction in gate revenue.
The club remained in the Combination league until 1905, by which time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were elected to the Birmingham and District League in time for the beginning of the 1905–06 season. Wrexham's first match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league. During their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1920–21, they reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a second time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League, their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators. Playing in blue shirts, Wrexham were defeated 0–
Cambridge United F.C.
Cambridge United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cambridge, England. The team compete in the fourth tier of the English football league system; the club is based at the Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road 1.86 miles east of Cambridge city centre. The stadium has a capacity of 8,127, made up of seated areas; the club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United, took the name Cambridge United in 1951. They played in local amateur leagues before joining the Southern League after finishing as runners-up of the Eastern Counties League in 1957–58. Under Bill Leivers's stewardship they were crowned Southern League Premier Division champions in 1968–69 and 1969–70, which helped to secure their election into the Football League in 1970, they won promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1972–73, but suffered relegation. They won the Fourth Division title in 1976–77, secured promotion out of the Third Division the following season, they remained in the Second Division for six seasons.
Manager John Beck led United to promotion out of the Fourth Division via play-offs in 1990 and the Third Division title in 1990–91, with the club reaching the Second Division play-offs the following season. Two relegations in three years left Cambridge back in the fourth tier, before promotion was secured at the end of the 1998–99 campaign, they entered the Conference in 2005 after two relegations in four seasons, where they remained for nine seasons. They finished as runners-up of the Conference three times, but were beaten in the play-off finals in 2008 and 2009, before securing promotion after winning the 2014 play-off final. Although the club has traditionally worn amber and black at home, it has experimented with a number of designs of shirts including plain amber with black trim and black squares, stripes and, amber with a black sash; the club had close links with Cambridge Regional College, a team that operated as a de facto reserve team between 2006 and 2014. The Cambridge United Community Trust perform a lot of charity work in the local community.
The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United, named after the Abbey district of Cambridge. A club called Cambridge United existed in Cambridge from 1909, but it was not linked to the club that exists today; the club played in local amateur leagues for many of its early years, moving from ground to ground around Cambridge before settling at the Abbey Stadium. In 1949 the club turned professional, changed its name to Cambridge United in 1951, they played in the Eastern Counties League until finishing as runners-up in 1957–58, which saw them promoted to the Southern League. Three years Cambridge United reached the Premier Division of the Southern League. After election to the Football League in 1970, to replace Bradford, the club was promoted from the Fourth Division after three seasons, but went straight back down. Following the appointment of Ron Atkinson as manager, Cambridge won successive promotions which took them into the Second Division in 1978 – a mere eight years after joining the Football League.
Atkinson had gone to West Bromwich Albion, a First Division club, in January 1978, was succeeded by John Docherty, who oversaw the second promotion. Cambridge peaked at eighth place in the Second Division in 1980. However, a terrible season in 1983–84 was followed by a further relegation in 1984–85; these successive relegations, which had a negative affect on the club's attendances as well as its finances, placed Cambridge back in the Fourth Division, the lowest professional league in English football at the time. They had to apply for re-election in their first season back in the Fourth Division, promotion would not be achieved for another four years; the early 1990s was the U's most successful period. Soon after the appointment of new manager John Beck, the club won the first appearance as a professional club at Wembley Stadium, the Fourth Division playoff final in May 1990, which secured promotion to the Third Division – the club's first promotion for 12 years. Dion Dublin scored the only goal in a game against Chesterfield.
Under Beck, United gained promotion from the Fourth Division and had reached the FA Cup quarter finals in 1990, reached them again a year and winning the Third Division in 1991. United reached the play-offs in 1992, after finishing 5th in the Second Division, but failed in their bid to become founder members of the Premier League; this was the club's highest final league placing to date. The following season the club were relegated from the new First Division. Further relegation followed two seasons later. United returned to Division Two but were relegated in 2002 despite a successful run in the Football League Trophy which saw them reach the final which they lost 1–4 to Blackpool at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In 2005, after 35 years in the Football League, Cambridge United were relegated into the Football Conference; this brought with it the club filed for administration on 29 April. On 22 July 2005 the club came out of administration with a deal being struck with HM Revenue and Customs at the eleventh hour after the intervention of sports minister Richard Caborn.
Cambridge had sold their Abbey Stadium home earlier in the season for £1.9 million to keep the club afloat. On the eve of the 2006–07 season, it was announced that former Norwich City striker Lee Power would be the club's new chairman taking over from Brian Attmore's
Gary McAllister, MBE is a Scottish professional football coach and former player, the assistant manager of Rangers. McAllister played as a midfielder, in a successful career spanning over nineteen years, he started his career at local side Motherwell before moving south of the border to Leicester City at the age of 20. He went on to play for Leeds United, where he won the English league championship in 1991–92. McAllister had spells at Coventry City intersected by a successful stint at Liverpool. McAllister represented his national side for nine years, winning 59 caps and scoring five goals, his leadership qualities were noticed, he spent four successful years as Scotland captain in addition to two seasons as Leeds United captain. He was awarded an MBE in the 2001 New Year Honours in recognition of his contribution to football and was inducted to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2016; as his playing career drew to a close he decided to enter the managerial side of the game. During his second stay at Coventry, he was appointed manager in April 2002.
He resigned from this position in January 2004 and did not enter management again until he returned to Elland Road in January 2008, to replace Dennis Wise. McAllister guided Leeds to the promotion playoffs, but was sacked in December 2008. In April 2011, McAllister became the caretaker manager at Premier League club Aston Villa, due to the ill health of manager Gérard Houllier. McAllister began his playing career at his local side Motherwell, his senior debut was away to Queen of the South on 1 May 1982. McAllister scored eight goals in 70 appearances, culminating in a fine performance in the 1985 Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic. With Motherwell he was more a striker than a midfielder. McAllister's performances in the cup caught the eye of Leicester City manager Gordon Milne, he signed for the English club, along with Motherwell teammate Ally Mauchlen, for a combined fee of £350,000 in August 1985. Although Mauchlen's greater experience cast McAllister as the'make-weight' in the deal, he soon rose to prominence as an attacking force in Leicester midfield, impressing manager and fans alike with his accurate passing to feet, confident range of skills on the ball.
During his first season at Filbert Street he adapted well to regular First Division football, began to rise to prominence in creating chances for a team that included Steve Lynex and Alan Smith. During Leicester's unsuccessful campaign to stave off relegation to Second Division that season under Milne's successor Bryan Hamilton, McAllister found himself employed in a variety of midfield and forward roles, which affected his form. After Hamilton was replaced by David Pleat, his stylish playmaking abilities began to flourish. Over the following three seasons his reputation grew into being one of the best players in the Second Division, boosted by a respectable goal tally from midfield that included an uncommon number of well-executed strikes from unfavourable positions, he was named in the Second Division PFA Team of the Year in both 1988–89 and 1989–90 and was the subject of constant transfer speculation and interest by several First Division sides throughout the following term. He turned down a mooted £1.15 million move to Nottingham Forest to see out his contract with Leicester after Brian Clough failed to impress him during an interview.
In five seasons with Leicester, McAllister played 225 games in scoring 52 goals. McAllister arrived at Leeds United on 2 July 1990 for a tribunal-determined fee of £1,000,000, replaced the role vacated by Vinnie Jones when he left for Sheffield United; the club had just achieved promotion to Division One, the top tier of English football at the time. Leeds performed well in McAllister's first season at Elland Road, finishing fourth in the table and reaching the League Cup semi-finals, he formed a strong midfield quartet that season with fellow Scottish international Gordon Strachan and relative youngsters David Batty and Gary Speed. This midfield was the force behind the success of the 1991–92 season, in which Leeds United were crowned League Champions; the title-winning team owed a lot to the midfield. The side had little international talent in attack or defence and so much of the onus was on Strachan, McAllister, Wales international Speed and England's Batty to provide that required class.
The quality of the midfield was that any of the four could slot into whichever area they needed to be in, be it left, right or centre, though Batty tended to be the holding midfield player whilst McAllister and Speed provided the creativity. McAllister's dead-ball skills were utilised by top-scorer Lee Chapman, who scored the majority of his goals from headers and thrived off the service provided by McAllister and Strachan's free kicks; the rest of McAllister's time at Leeds saw. The highest the club finished during this period was fifth in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons and the lowest was 17th in the 1992–93 Premier League – one of the lowest-placed finishes of a defending league champion in English football history. Despite this, he captained the side for two seasons and won a special place in the hearts of Leeds United fans with his fine attitude, blistering long-range strikes and trademark free kicks. During the 1992–93 season, McAllister made his debut in the UEFA Champions League, he scored in matches against VfB Stuttgart and Rangers, but Leeds were knocked out by the latter in a match hyped as the Battle of Britain.
Although his final season with Leeds may have been a disappointing 13th, it allowed McAllister to achieve one of his first footballing ambitions – to captain a sid
Shrewsbury Town F.C.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a professional football club in Shrewsbury, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. The club was formed in 1886 and was elected to the Football League in 1950; the club has since competed in each of the lower three tiers of the Football League, in addition to one season spent in the Conference Premier in 2003–04. It has competed in the Welsh Cup, winning it six times, a record for an English team. Between 1910 and 2007, the club was based at Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn. Shrewsbury Town were formed in 1886, following the demise of first Shropshire Wanderers and indirectly Castle Blues; the Blues were a rough team. The new team hoped to be as successful but without the notoriety. Press reports differ as to the date the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May 1886 reported the birth of the club at The Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury; the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the club's being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury.
It may be both accounts, with a get-together at The Lion being finalised at the Turf. After friendlies and regional cup competitions for the first few seasons, Shrewsbury were founder members of the Shropshire & District League in 1890–91 admitted to the Birmingham & District League in 1895–96. Many of the teams Town faced in the early days have vanished, however Shrewsbury met many of today's Football League and Conference teams, including Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City, Stoke City, Kidderminster Harriers and Stafford Rangers. In 1910, Shrewsbury looked to move to a new ground, having spent early years at locations across the town, notably at Copthorne Barracks west of the town; the club moved to Gay Meadow on the edge of the town centre, within sight of Shrewsbury Abbey, stayed 97 years. Shrewsbury's Birmingham League days were mid-table, with a few seasons challenging near the top, the club being league champions in 1922–23. A move to the Midland Champions League in 1937–38 saw the club enjoy one of its most successful seasons, winning a league and cup treble.
Shrewsbury were league champions, scoring 111 goals. In addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, won the Shropshire Senior Cup. After a run of good seasons in post-war years, Shrewsbury were admitted, alongside Scunthorpe United to the old Division 3 of the Football League in 1950, after being Midland League champions in 1949–50, following the decision to expand from 88 to 92 clubs. Shrewsbury gained their first promotion, to the Third Division, in 1958–59, they remained in the third tier 15 years, slipping back to Division Four at the end of 1973–74. 1960–61 season saw Shrewsbury Town reach the Semi Final of the League Cup. After beating Everton in the quarter-finals, they narrowly lost over two legs 4–3 on aggregate to Rotherham United; this era was remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived from Leicester City in the club's first player/manager. During his playing and managerial career, he broke Dixie Dean's goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 29 April 1961.
Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained manager until July 1968. Shrewsbury were promoted to the Third Division in 1974–75 as runners-up, before another successful season in 1978–79, when they were league champions under Ritchie Barker and Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on 17 May 1979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 4–1 win over Exeter City. In addition, the club had their first run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, before a replay defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Turner is the team's most successful manager, winning the Third Division Championship in 1978–79 – his first season in charge – to take the club into the Second Division for the first time, they remained for ten years, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984. Shrewsbury repeated their 1979 feat of reaching the quarter-final in 1981–82, defeating UEFA Cup holders Ipswich Town in the fifth round before defeat away to Leicester City; the 1980s saw many big teams defeated by Shrewsbury, whose period in the old Second Division coincided with some of the current Premier League clubs.
During the 1980s, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Chelsea lost to Shrewsbury Town. Middlesbrough were defeated at Gay Meadow at the end of 1985–86, Shrewsbury winning 2–1, relegating Middlesbrough, who went out of business and out of existence; the match was marred by violence from Middlesbrough fans, with many of them having to return to Shrewsbury for court appearances. In the early to mid-1980s the club enjoyed. Shrewsbury survived through the sale of players, with some to have played for Shrewsbury including Steve Ogrizovic, David Moyes, John McGinlay and Bernard McNally, they were relegated at the end of 1988–89 after ten years. In the Third Division, on 22 December 1990, Gary Shaw scored the quickest Town hat trick – 4 minutes and 32 seconds – against Bradford City at Valley Parade. At the end of 1991–92, three years after relegation to the Third Division, the club was relegated to the Fourth – the first time since 1975. However, two seasons Shrewsbury won the new Division Three championship under Fred Davies in 1993–94, remained in Division Two three seasons.
Shrewsbury were not to rise any further, remaining mid-table before slipping down again at the end of 1996–97. The 1990s saw Shrewsbury make their first appearance at Wembley as finalists in the 1996 Football League Trophy final. Shre