Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
Pausanias noted that for about half a century the only event at the ancient Greek Olympic festival was the race that comprised one length of the stade at Olympia, where the word stadium originated. In modern times, a stadium is officially a stadium when at least 50% of the capacity is an actual building. If the majority of the capacity is formed by grasshills, the venue is not officially considered a stadium. Most of the stadiums with a capacity of at least 10,000 are used for football, or soccer. A large amount of sports venues are also used for concerts. Stadium is the Latin form of the Greek word stadion, a measure of length equalling the length of 600 human feet, as feet are of variable length the exact length of a stadion depends on the exact length adopted for 1 foot at a given place and time. Although in modern terms 1 stadion =600 ft, in a historical context it may actually signify a length up to 15% larger or smaller. The equivalent Roman measure, the stadium, had a similar length — about 185 m -, the English use of stadium comes from the tiered infrastructure surrounding a Roman track of such length. Most dictionaries provide for both stadiums and stadia as valid English plurals, although etymological purists sometimes apply stadia only to measures of length in excess of 1 stadium. The oldest known stadium is the one in Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, Greece, initially the Games consisted of a single event, a sprint along the length of the stadium. The stadion, a measure of length, may be related to the Stadium, Greek and Roman stadiums have been found in numerous ancient cities, perhaps the most famous being the Stadium of Domitian, in Rome. The excavated and refurbished ancient Panathenaic stadium hosted a version of the Olympic Games in 1870,1875,1896 and 1906. The excavation and refurbishment of the stadium was part of the legacy of the Greek national benefactor Evangelos Zappas, the first stadiums to be built in the modern era were basic facilities, designed for the single purpose of fitting as many spectators in as possible. One such early stadium was the Lansdowne Road Stadium, the brainchild of Henry Dunlop, banned from locating sporting events at Trinity College, Dunlop built the stadium in 1872. Some 300 cartloads of soil from a trench beneath the railway were used to raise the ground, other early stadiums from this period in the UK include the Stamford Bridge stadium and Anfield stadium. In the U. S. However, many of these caught fire. All of the 19th-century wooden parks were replaced, some only a few years. Goodison Park was the first purpose-built football stadium in the world, walton-based building firm Kelly brothers were instructed to erect two uncovered stands that could each accommodate 4,000 spectators
River Avon, Bristol
The River Avon /ˈeɪvən/ is an English river in the south west of the country. To distinguish it from a number of rivers of the same name. The name Avon is a cognate of the Welsh word afon, the Avon rises just north of the village of Acton Turville in South Gloucestershire, before flowing through Wiltshire. In its lower reaches from Bath to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth near Bristol, the Avon is the 19th longest river in the UK at 75 miles although there are just 19 miles as the crow flies between the source and its mouth in the Severn Estuary. The catchment area is 2,220 square kilometres, the name Avon is a cognate of the Welsh word afon river, both being derived from the Common Brittonic abona, river. River Avon, therefore, literally means River River, several other English and Scottish rivers share the name, the County of Avon that existed from 1974 to 1996 was named after the river, and covered Bristol, Bath, and the lower Avon valley. The Avon rises east of the town of Chipping Sodbury in South Gloucestershire, running a somewhat circular path, the river drains east and then south through Wiltshire. Its first main settlement is the village of Luckington, two miles inside the Wiltshire border, and then on to Sherston, at Malmesbury it joins up with its first major tributary, the Tetbury Avon, which rises just north of Tetbury in Gloucestershire. This tributary is known locally as the Ingleburn, which in Old English means English river, here, the two rivers almost meet but their path is blocked by a rocky outcrop of the Cotswolds, almost creating an island for the ancient hilltop town of Malmesbury to sit on. Upstream of this confluence the river is referred to as the River Avon to distinguish it from the Tetbury Branch. This was supplemented in Norman times by the bridge that still stands today. The Norman side is upstream, and has pointed arches, the side has curved arches. The Town Bridge and Chapel is a grade I listed building and it was originally a Packhorse bridge, but widened in the 17th century by rebuilding the western side. On the bridge stands a building which was originally a chapel. The Avon Valley between Bradford on Avon and Bath is a classic example of a valley where four forms of ground transport are found, road, rail, river. The river passes under the Avoncliff and Dundas Aqueducts and at Freshford is joined by the Somerset River Frome, Avoncliff Aqueduct was built by John Rennie and chief engineer John Thomas, between 1797 and 1801. The aqueduct consists of three arches and is 110 yards long with an elliptical arch of 60 ft span with two side arches each semicircular and 34 ft across, all with V-jointed arch stones. The spandrel and wing walls are built in courses of ashlar masonry
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
Twickenham Stadium is a rugby union stadium in Twickenham, south west London, England. Owned by the body of rugby union in England, the Rugby Football Union. The RFU headquarters are based in the stadium and it is the second largest stadium in the UK, after Wembley Stadium, and the fourth largest in Europe. Twickenham is often referred to as the home of rugby union, the stadium, owned and operated by the RFU, hosts rugby union fixtures year round. It is the home of the English rugby union team, who nearly all their home games at the stadium. Twickenham hosts Englands home Six Nations matches, as well as inbound touring teams from the Southern Hemisphere, apart from its relationship with the national team, Twickenham is the venue for a number of other domestic and international rugby union matches. It is also the venue for the final of the Aviva Premiership as well as the season-opening London Double Header, Big Game, anglo-Welsh Cup, Heineken Cup and Champions Cup finals have also been held here in the past. Sold out Tests against New Zealand and South Africa at Crystal Palace saw the RFU realise the benefit of owning their own ground. Committee member William Williams and treasurer William Cail led the way to purchasing a 10.25 acre market garden in Twickenham in 1907 for £5,500 12s 6d, the first stands were constructed the following year. Before the ground was purchased, it was used to grow cabbages, after further expenditure on roads, the first game, between Harlequins v. Richmond, was played on 2 October 1909, and the first international, England v. Wales, on 15 January 1910. At the time of the English-Welsh game, the stadium had a capacity of 20,000 spectators. During World War I the ground was used for cattle, horse, king George V unveiled a war memorial in 1921. In 1926, the first Middlesex Sevens took place at the ground, in 1927 the first Varsity Match took place at Twickenham for the first time. On 19 March 1938, BBC Television broadcast the England – Scotland match from Twickenham, in 1959, to mark 50 years of the ground, a combined side of England and Wales beat Ireland and Scotland by 26 points to 17. Coming into the last match of the 1988 season, against the Irish, the Twickenham crowd had only seen one solitary England try in the previous two years, and at half-time against Ireland they were 0–3 down. During the second half a remarkable transformation took place and England started playing a game many had doubted they were capable of producing. A 0–3 deficit was turned into a 35–3 win, with England scoring six tries and this day also saw the origins of the adoption of the negro spiritual Swing Low, Sweet Chariot as a terrace song. In the 35–3 win against Ireland, three of Englands tries were scored by Chris Oti, a player who had made a reputation for himself that season as a speedster on the left wing
New Zealand national rugby union team
The New Zealand national rugby union team, commonly called the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in mens rugby union, which is regarded as the countrys national sport. The side has won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015, as well as the tournament in 1987. They have a 77% winning record in test match rugby, and are the international side with a winning record against every opponent. Since their international debut in 1903, they have lost to only six of the 19 nations they have played in test matches, since the introduction of the World Rugby Rankings in 2003, New Zealand has held the number one ranking longer than all other teams combined. The All Blacks are statistically the best side to have played the game, New Zealand competes with Argentina, Australia and South Africa in The Rugby Championship. The All Blacks have won the fourteen times in the competitions twenty-one-year history. As of the end of 2016 competition, they hold the Bledisloe Cup, which is contested annually with Australia, New Zealand have achieved a Grand Slam four times –1978,2005,2008 and 2010. Fifteen former All Blacks have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, All Black coaches have won World Rugby Coach of the Year nine times since the awards 2001 launch. The teams first match was in 1884, and their first international test match was in 1903 against Australia in Sydney, the following year they hosted their first ever home test, a match against a British Isles side in Wellington. This was followed by a 34-game tour of Europe and North America in 1905, New Zealands early uniforms consisted of a black jersey with a silver fern and white knickerbockers. By the 1905 tour, they were wearing all black, except for the silver fern, the team perform a haka – a Māori challenge or posture dance – before each match. The haka performed has traditionally been Te Rauparahas Ka Mate, although since 2005 Kapa o Pango is often performed, the first recorded game in New Zealand took place in May 1870 in Nelson between the Nelson club and Nelson College. The first provincial union, the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, was formed in 1879, NSW did not face a New Zealand representative team but played seven provincial sides – the tourists won four games and lost three. Two years later the first New Zealand team to travel overseas toured New South Wales, a privately organised British team, which later became the British and Irish Lions, toured New Zealand in 1888. No test matches were played, and the only played provincial sides. The British players were mainly from Northern England, but there were representatives from Wales. The first officially sanctioned New Zealand side toured New South Wales in 1893, the following year New Zealand played its first home international game, losing 8–6 to New South Wales. The teams first true test match occurred against Australia on 15 August 1903 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in front of over 30,000 spectators, a representative New Zealand team first toured the British Isles in 1905
Rugby World Cup
The Rugby World Cup is a mens rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand, New Zealand are the current champions, having defeated Australia in the final of the 2015 tournament in England. Four countries have won the trophy, New Zealand have won it three times, two teams have won twice, Australia and South Africa, while England have won it once, the tournament is administered by World Rugby, the sports international governing body. Sixteen teams were invited to participate in the tournament in 1987. Japan will host the event in 2019. Qualifying tournaments were introduced for the tournament, where eight of the sixteen places were contested in a twenty-four-nation tournament. The remaining twelve positions were filled by continental qualifying tournaments, positions were filled by three teams from the Americas, one from Asia, one from Africa, three from Europe and two from Oceania. Another two places were allocated for repechage, the second repechage position was determined between the runners-up from the Asia and Oceania qualifiers. The qualification system for the eight places is region-based, with a total eight teams allocated for Europe, five for Oceania. The last place is determined by an intercontinental play-off, the 2015 tournament involved twenty nations competing over six weeks. There were two stages, a pool and a knockout, Nations were divided into four pools, A through to D, of five nations each. The teams were seeded before the start of the tournament, with the seedings taken from the World Rankings in December 2012, the four highest-ranked teams were drawn into pools A to D. The next four highest-ranked teams were drawn into pools A to D. The remaining positions in each pool were filled by the qualifiers, Nations play four pool games, playing their respective pool members once each. A bonus points system is used during pool play, if two or more teams are level on points, a system of criteria is used to determine the higher ranked, the sixth and final criterion decides the higher rank through the official World Rankings. The winner and runner-up of each pool enter the knockout stage, the knockout stage consists of quarter- and semi-finals, and then the final. The winner of each pool is placed against a runner-up of a different pool in a quarter-final, the winner of each quarter-final goes on to the semi-finals, and the respective winners proceed to the final. Losers of the semi-finals contest for third place, called the Bronze Final, if a match in the knockout stages ends in a draw, the winner is determined through extra time
Charles Joseph John Joe Hart is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A club Torino, on loan from Premier League club Manchester City, and the England national team. With over 100 Premier League clean sheets, Hart holds the record for the most Premier League Golden Glove awards and has amassed over 60 international caps since his debut in 2008 and he began his career at his hometown club Shrewsbury Town in the Conference and League Two. In 2006, he moved to top-flight Manchester City, having attracted the attention of several Premier League teams and he spent time on loan at Tranmere Rovers and Blackpool in his first season, before spending the 2009–10 season at Birmingham City. Hart was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year and was voted as the Premier League goalkeeper of the 2009–10 season in recognition of his performances at Birmingham. He returned to Manchester City for the 2010–11 season and won the Golden Glove for keeping the most clean sheets throughout the Premier League season, Hart replicated this feat in the 2011–12 season and was a key player during Citys title-winning campaign. He won the Golden Glove for the year in a row in the following season. In 2015, Hart once again won the Golden Glove award for the time in five years. In 2015, Hart was praised by Gianluigi Buffon who described him as the best goalkeeper in the world, a former regular for England at Under-21 level, Hart made his senior international debut in June 2008, and has been recognised as Englands first-choice goalkeeper since 2010. He has gained over 60 caps and was selected in Englands squads for two FIFA World Cups and as many UEFA European Championships. Hart was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, to Charles and Linda Hart, and attended Oxon Primary School, followed by Meole Brace School in Shrewsbury, where he was Head Boy in his final year. While still a 15-year-old schoolboy, Hart travelled with the squad of his hometown club, Shrewsbury Town. He was a substitute on that occasion and fulfilled that role again versus Rochdale at Gay Meadow on 1 March 2003. This match yielded Shrewsburys final victory in a season that culminated in relegation to the Football Conference, during the one season that Shrewsbury spent in the Conference, Hart made his senior debut on 20 April 2004, a day after his 17th birthday. He played the full 90 minutes in the match against Gravesend & Northfleet, four days later, he conceded three at Morecambe. Hart did not play again until April of the following year, with Shrewsbury back in the Football League and struggling, Hart played six matches, conceding four goals. From the start of the 2005–06 season, Hart made the step up into the first team and he played a full 46-match league season, conceding 55 goals. Despite conceding more than one goal per game, Hart won plaudits for his performances, winning his first England under-19 cap in October 2005. Hart also found admirers in the Premier League, with several top-flight scouts attending matches, on 30 November 2005, the Shropshire Star newspaper reported that Everton goalkeeping coach Chris Woods had been present at Towns previous league match, a 4–3 loss at Rochdale
Clifton Suspension Bridge
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset. Since opening in 1864, it has been a toll bridge, the bridge is built to a design by William Henry Barlow and John Hawkshaw, based on an earlier design by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and contributed to by Sarah Guppy. It is a grade I listed building and forms part of the B3129 road, the idea of building a bridge across the Avon Gorge originated in 1753. Original plans were for a bridge and later iterations were for a wrought iron structure. In 1831, an attempt to build Brunels design was halted by the Bristol riots, although similar in size, the bridge towers are not identical in design, the Clifton tower having side cut-outs, the Leigh tower more pointed arches atop a 110-foot red sandstone-clad abutment. Roller-mounted saddles at the top of each tower allow movement of the three independent wrought iron chains on each side when loads pass over the bridge, the bridge deck is suspended by 162 vertical wrought-iron rods in 81 matching pairs. The Clifton Bridge Company initially managed the bridge under licence from a charitable trust, the trust subsequently purchased the company shares, completing this in 1949 and took over the running of the bridge using the income from tolls to pay for maintenance. The bridge is a landmark, used as a symbol of Bristol on postcards, promotional materials. It was also used as a backdrop to several films and television advertising and it has also been the venue for significant cultural events such as the first modern bungee jump in 1979, the last ever Concorde flight in 2003 and a handover of the Olympic Torch relay in 2012. It is unknown when the first bridge was constructed across the Avon in Bristol and it had houses with shopfronts built on it to pay for its maintenance. A 17th-century illustration shows that these houses were five stories high, including the attic rooms. In the 1760s a bill to replace the bridge was carried through parliament by the Bristol MP Sir Jarrit Smyth, by the early 18th century, increase in traffic and the encroachment of shops on the roadway made the bridge fatally dangerous for many pedestrians. A new bridge, designed by James Bridges and finished by Thomas Paty was built in 1763 and 1768, resentment at the tolls exacted to cross the new bridge occasioned the Bristol Bridge Riot of 1793. To achieve this, any bridge constructed between Bristol Bridge and Avon Gorge, from Hotwells to Ashton Gate, would require massive embankments and viaducts, the alternative was to build across the narrowest point of the Avon Gorge, well above the height required for shipping. Although there was little development in the area before the late 18th century, as Bristol became more prosperous, Clifton became fashionable, in 1793 William Bridges published plans for a stone arch with abutments containing factories, which would pay for the upkeep of the bridge. The French Revolutionary Wars broke out soon after the design was published, affecting trade and commerce, Sarah Guppy patented designs for a suspension bridge across the gorge which she later gave to Brunel. By 1829, Vicks bequest had reached £8,000, a competition was held to find a design for the bridge with a prize of 100 guineas. Entries were received from 22 designers, including Samuel Brown, James Meadows Rendel, William Tierney Clark, several were for stone bridges and had estimated costs of between £30,000 and £93,000
Rugby union, known in some parts of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using a ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts on each try line. Historically an amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, World Rugby, originally the International Rugby Football Board and from 1998 to 2014 the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886. Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland, early exponents of the sport included Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Georgia, Madagascar, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Rugby union is played in over 100 countries across six continents, there are 101 full members and 18 associate members of World Rugby. The Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place four years with the winner of the tournament receiving the Webb Ellis Cup. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are major annual competitions. The origin of football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895, despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first football team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with pupils from Rugby. Other important events include the Blackheath Clubs decision to leave the Football Association in 1863, despite the sports full name of rugby union, it is known simply as rugby throughout most of the world. The first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England, by 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, and in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is also the year of the first rugby tournament, the Melrose Sevens. During the early history of union, a time before commercial air travel. The first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe, All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, and were far more successful than critics had expected. After Morgan began singing, the crowd joined in, the first time a national anthem was sung at the start of a sporting event, in 1905 France played England in its first international match