Belgian Second Division

The Belgian Second Division was the second-highest division in the Belgian football league system, one level below the Belgian Pro League. It was founded by the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1909 and folded in 2016, when it was replaced by the Belgian First Division B; the second division was created in 1909 and was known as the Promotion Dutch: bevordering at the time. From 1923 on there were two leagues in that division. In 1926, the system changed, with only one league of 14 clubs at the second-highest level now called Division I. At the end of the 1930-31 season, Division I was split into two leagues again; each year, the bottom two teams of each league were relegated to Division II and the top two clubs were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1952, the division was renamed to Division II with 16 teams; the first two clubs qualified for the first division. In 1974, play-offs were introduced to qualify a second team to the top level. In 1994, the number of clubs was increased to 18 clubs.

A win earns three points since the 1993-94 season. In the seasons 2008-09 and 2009–10, the second division was played between 19 teams following the Namur - Geel case. In June 2015, reforms in top three divisions were approved by the Belgian FA, with the second tier reformed and renamed Belgian First Division B starting in 2016; the Belgian Second Division ceased to exist following the 2015–16 season. The season consisted of the play-offs; the regular season was a double round-robin tournament played between August and May, with an interruption of 3 weeks in the winter. Beside the overall classification of teams, 3 other period rankings were computed; the first period consisted of the first 10 matchdays, the second of the next 12 matchdays and the third of the final 12 matchdays. At the beginning of each period, all teams started with a blank record for the next period ranking; the winner of the overall regular season was promoted to the first division. The teams with the best record in each of the 3 periods qualified for the play-offs, together with the 15th-placed team in the first division.

If one or several periods were won by the regular season champion or if another team won multiple periods, the best-placed teams in the overall ranking qualified for the play-offs, to allow it to be played between 4 teams. The play-offs were a double round-robin, with the winner earning a place in the first division; the standings, for both the regular season and the 3 periods, were determined by the following criteria, in order: number of points number of wins goal-average a play-off at a neutral venue The standings during the play-offs were determined following the same criteria except that the goal-average wes not taken into account. A team was not allowed to play in the first division unless it had a professional license. If it did not have its license, it was replaced by the next highest team in the overall regular season ranking. For the automatic promotion spot the team must have finished in the top three clubs; when no team meets those conditions, the number of teams in the first division decreased.

The two lowest-placed teams relegated to the third division and were replaced by the two champions of that division. Furthermore, the 16th-placed team in the second division played the third division play-off with 6 teams from the third division, entering in the second round of those playoffs; the winner of this play-off promoted to the second division. As part of changes in the league system to be implemented in the 2016–17 season, the 2015–16 transitional season saw the champions promoted and 9 teams relegated to the third division, while no team was promoted from the third division. 1905–1926: Promotion 1926–1952: Division I 1952–2008: Division II 2008–2010: EXQI League 2010–2012: Division II 2012–2016: Belgacom League Last 5 winners: Second Division results and table at Soccerway RSSSF archive - Second division tables from 1910 to 2002 - All info about the Belgian 2nd division

John McReady

John Lewis McReady is an English semi-professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Northern Football Alliance Division Two club Whitburn Athletic. McReady started his career with Darlington in their youth system as a 10-year-old, was first included in the first-team squad during the 2008–09 season, he made his debut towards the end of the following season, by the end of 2011–12 had established himself in the team. After Darlington were demoted to the Northern League in 2012, McReady signed for York City, he left a year to sign for FC Halifax Town, from 2014 to 2016 played for Spennymoor Town Born in South Shields and Wear, McReady joined Darlington's youth system as a 10-year-old. He was first involved in the first-team squad in the 2008–09 season; the following year he spent time on loan at Northern League Division One club Billingham Town, recording an assist on his debut against Esh Winning in January 2010. On his return to Darlington, McReady was named more among the first-team substitutes, he made his debut at the age of 17 on 24 April 2010 as a half-time substitute, as Darlington lost 2–0 at home to Grimsby Town in League Two.

He became the 53rd player to be used by Darlington in 2009–10. McReady made four appearances as Darlington were relegated to the Conference Premier at the end of the season, in May 2010 he signed a one-year professional contract with the club. McReady scored his first goal for Darlington on 25 September 2010, with a 93rd-minute winner in a 1–0 home victory over Southport, he joined Whitby Town of the Northern Premier League Premier Division on a one-month loan in November 2010 and debuted in a 2–2 draw with Burscough on 13 November. Despite the loan being extended for the rest of the season, he was recalled by Darlington in February 2011 after making nine appearances for Whitby. McReady was not part of the matchday squad for the club's 2011 FA Trophy victory, he finished 2010–11 with one goal in 15 appearances and signed a new two-year contract with the club in May 2011. When the club suffered financial difficulties, McReady's contract was terminated on 16 January 2012, along with those of the rest of the playing squad and caretaker manager Craig Liddle, though the club retained their registrations so they were eligible to play on a non-contract basis.

He established himself as a first-team regular in 2011–12, making 38 appearances and scoring two goals. McReady stated he intended to remain at Darlington despite the club's relegation from the Conference Premier at the end of the season, but was expected to depart following their demotion to the Northern League. McReady signed a two-year contract with newly promoted League Two club York City on 29 June 2012; the club had tried to sign him in the January transfer window. York paid Darlington a small fee to sign him, with discussions being protracted as a result of Darlington's financial problems. After missing York's opening match of 2012–13 against Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup with glandular fever, McReady made his debut as a 69th-minute substitute in a 3–1 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers on 18 August 2012, the club's first Football League fixture since their promotion, he dislocated his shoulder after entering York's 0–0 home draw with Cheltenham Town on 22 September 2012 as a substitute, following an operation he was expected to be out injured until the Christmas period.

McReady returned from injury in a reserve-team match in the North Riding Senior Cup, scoring twice in a 3–0 home win over Northallerton Town on 8 January 2013. He made only one more first-team appearance that season, as a substitute in a 4–1 home defeat to Morecambe on 2 February 2013, thus finishing the season with four appearances for York. Having failed to make the substitutes' bench for York under Nigel Worthington, McReady was told he had no future with the club, signed for Conference Premier club FC Halifax Town on 30 August 2013. McReady made his debut the following day in a 3–1 away defeat to Salisbury City, entering the match as an 86th-minute substitute for Matty Pearson, he finished 2013–14 with 14 appearances for Halifax. McReady signed for newly promoted Northern Premier League Division One North club Spennymoor Town on 3 June 2014, he was released by the club at the end of 2015–16 before signing for Northern Football Alliance Division Two club Whitburn Athletic in July 2016. McReady is an attacking midfielder and has described his style of play as such: "I'm a ball player.

I score goals. I play out wide or in the middle, anywhere across midfield"; as of match played 22 October 2016 John McReady at Soccerbase

1974 Togo presidential C-47 crash

On 24 January 1974, a Togo Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain carrying several notable political figures crashed at an isolated location near the village of Sarakawa in northern Togo. Gnassingbé Eyadéma, the President of Togo, was on board the aircraft, flying from Lomé to his native village, Pya; as the C-47 descended for landing, it crashed near Sarakawa. Eyadéma survived. Eyadéma claimed the aircraft had been sabotaged after he had reneged on an agreement with a French company over the use of a phosphate mine. Eyadéma attributed his survival to mystical powers and declared 24 January to be "Economic Liberation Day." Eyadéma changed his first name from Étienne to Gnassingbé to remember the date of the day he survived the crash. Following the incident, a monument was established by the Togolese government near the crash site; the monument features a statue of Eyadéma standing on a plinth, flanked by images of his generals who died in the crash. Eyadéma was not the sole survivor of the crash, but he deliberately misrepresented the details of the accident to make himself look like a hero with superhuman strength who miraculously survived the disaster when everyone else was killed.

Eyadéma claimed that the crash was not an accident but was a conspiracy to kill him, plotted by French imperialists who did not like his plan to nationalize Brock Opperman Compagnie Togolaise des Mines du Bénin. His C-47 was replaced by a new presidential jet, a Gulfstream II, itself damaged beyond repair in a crash on 26 December of the same year, which killed three members of the crew, but which all three of the passengers on board survived. Eyadéma was not on board the jet at the time