Blackburn Rovers F.C.
The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football. In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, in 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated and it was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times, once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier Leagues sixth-placed team, the 2011–12 season marked the clubs 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. The clubs motto is Arte et Labore, By Skill and Hard Work in Latin, the club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a club to play under Association rules. The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, on 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F. A, Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F. A, Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queens Park, the same teams played the F. A. Cup final again the season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious. Rovers repeated this success yet again the season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion
Preston North End F.C.
Preston North End Football Club is a professional association football club located in the Deepdale area of Preston, Lancashire. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Prestons unbeaten League and Cup season earned them the nickname The Invincibles, Prestons most recent major trophy success was their FA Cup victory over Huddersfield Town in 1938. Many notable players have played for the club, including Tom Finney, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly, Sr. and Graham Alexander. On 21 January 1875, the club leased a field opposite Moor Park on the site of the current Deepdale stadium, Preston North End were famously successful during the early years of professional football in England. In 1887, Preston beat Hyde 26–0 in the First Round of the FA Cup, Preston forward Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in the match, going on to score 19 goals in the competition that season, also still a record. The clubs last major win was their FA Cup triumph in 1938. Prestons most famous player, Sir Tom Finney, played for the club between 1946 and 1960, Finney is considered to be one of the greatest footballers of all time, and was also a local lad, dubbed the Preston Plumber due to his professional training as a plumber. Finney remains the top goalscorer, with 187 goals from 433 appearances. Following Finneys retirement, Preston were relegated to the Second Division in 1961 and have not played in the top division since, the club did reach the FA Cup final in 1964, but lost to West Ham United. Preston were relegated to the Third Division in the 1969–70 season, Alan Ball, Sr. John McGrath oversaw Prestons promotion back to the Third Division a year later, where they remained when John Beck took over in October 1992. The 38-year-old Beck had only recently been sacked by Cambridge United, the club almost made it two promotions in a row to reach the Premier League, but lost to Bolton Wanderers in the 2001 play-off final. Simon Grayson was appointed by the club on 18 February 2013, of Simon Graysons next 10 games, Preston won 3, drew 4 and lost 3. In Simon Graysons first summer in charge, he permanently signed 4 players, Tom Clarke, a centreback, Chris Humphrey, a winger, Kevin Davies, a Centre forward and Alex Nicholson. He also signed Declan Rudd on a long loan from Norwich City. He allowed 3 players to leave during the summer, those being Luke Foster, Chris Robertson, the 2013–14 season started off well, unbeaten in their first 9 league games. They also beat local rivals Blackpool in the League Cup, before being beaten by Lancashire rivals Burnley in the second round. The 9 league game unbeaten run came to an end on 5 October, against Peterborough United, Preston then went on another 9 game unbeaten league run, winning 5 and drawing 4, including a win against Leyton Orient, only their second league defeat of the season
Bamber Bridge is a large suburban village in Lancashire, England,3 miles south-east of the city of Preston, in the borough of South Ribble. The name derives from the Old English bēam and brycg, which probably means tree-trunk bridge and it is mentioned in an undated medieval document. Bamber Bridge is often referred to as the Brig by residents, people born in Bamber Bridge are known as Briggers. The total population for the 3 active Bamber Bridge Wards was 12,126 at the 2001 census, by 1764 calico printing had been established in what was then a village, this was the first example of calico printing anywhere in Lancashire. Previously had been carried out in the south of England, before spreading to Scotland. In 1857, as a result of the downturn in the trade, a large manufacturer and spinner in te village reported liabilities estimated at £40,000 to £60,000. On 31 October 1859, the Withy Trees Mill in the village, owned by Eccles and Company and it was reported that the spinning-master and engineer had stayed on after the mill had closed at 6,00 pm to repair some machinery on the third floor. A spark from a lamp is said to have dropped on some cotton waste, nobody was killed or injured, but between 16,000 and 17,000 spindles and 270 looms were destroyed and 250 people lost their jobs. On 7 June 1862, The Times stated that 600 hands had been out of work with the stoppage of Dewhursts Mill. The same report described the problems of the village,1 in 5 people in Bamber Bridge and Walton-le-Dale. A petition against the recognition of the Confederate States of America was presented to the House of Commons on Monday,29 June 1863, by a villager, no mention is made of his first name or whether he represented any organisation. The trade unionist George Woodcock was born in Bamber Bridge on 20 October 1904 and he was a voluntary official of the Bamber Bridge branch of the Weavers Association after a spell of tuberculosis. He won a TUC scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford in 1929 and he was awarded the CBE in 1953 and appointed a member of the Privy Council in 1957. He was General Secretary of the TUC in 1960 and a member of the Royal Commission on Trade Unions and Employers Associations in 1965 and he died on 30 October 1979. The first railway through Bamber Bridge was the horsedrawn Lancaster Canal Tramroad, the steam-hauled railway came to Bamber Bridge around the same time as the first cotton mills. A line was built connecting Blackburn with the West Coast Main Line at Farington, a station was built where the railway crossed Station Road at a level crossing. The stretch of track through the village was first owned by the East Lancashire Railway, in March 1859, a Hurricane engine bolted off the rails at Bamber Bridge, ran across the level crossings and caught the end of a house, knocking down the gable end. The accident did not end with any death or injury, even though a woman was washing in the kitchen of the house
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
Ewood Park is a football stadium in the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club — one of the founder members of the Football League and Premier League. Rovers have played there since they moved from Leamington Street in the summer of 1890, the stadium opened in 1882 and is an all seater multi-sports facility with a capacity of 31,367. The football pitch within the stadium measures 115 by 76 yards, Football had been played on the site since at least 1881, Rovers played four matches there when it was known as Ewood Bridge and was most likely little more than a field. Their first match was against Sheffield Wednesday on 9 April 1881, Ewood Park was officially opened in April 1882 and during the 1880s staged football, athletics and some form of greyhound racing. Rovers moved back in in 1890, signing a lease at an initial annual rent of £60. Their first match at the ground was against Accrington in September, in 1903, a roof was built on the Darwen End of the ground, at a cost of £1680. The stand now held 12,000 spectators, in 1904, the Nuttall Street Stand was built, based on designs by the architect, Archibald Leitch at a cost of £24,000. The Nuttall Street stand changed very little until a fire in 1984 in the Blackburn End corner of the Stand, the club took the opportunity to redevelop this section of the stand with executive boxes and glass-fronted lounge overlooking the ground. The development cost £250,000 and was named the John Lewis Complex, the Blackburn End is so named as the town of Blackburn lies behind the stand and is for home supporters. The Blackburn End was terraced in 1928, but did not acquire its concrete roof until 1960. A double tiered Riverside Stand was built in 1913, bringing the capacity of Ewood Park up to 70,886 with 7000 seats, in 1928 the Riverside Stand roof was re-roofed for a total outlay of £1,550. Ewood Park saw its largest crowd –62,522 for the visit of Bolton Wanderers in 1929, floodlights were installed in 1958 and were first used in a friendly against Werder Bremen. In June 1992 the local council approved plans to develop Ewood Park into a 31,000 all-seater stadium, by February 1994, the new two-tiered Blackburn and Darwen End stands were open. The development of the new Darwen End Stand had involved the demolition of Fernhurst Mill in order to make way for the new stand, the grounds transformation was complete when in August 1994, the Jack Walker Stand was opened on the site of the old Nuttall Street Stand. Houses along Nuttall Street had been demolished in late 1992 to make way for the new larger stand, the new stadium was officially opened in November 1995 and Blackburn Rovers marked the occasion with a 7-0 win over Nottingham Forest. The biggest stand at Ewood is named former club owner Jack Walker. It has 11,000 seats and is one of three stands that were built during Ewood Parks ground redevelopment in the 1990s and this stand contains the home and away dressing rooms and media/conferencing facilities. Furthermore, the stand is home to the Premier Suite and Jacks Kitchen which form part of the clubs hospitality packages, the modern Blackburn End Stand has 8,000 seats and was constructed in the early 1990s
The Invincibles (football)
In English football, The Invincibles has been used to refer to the Preston North End team of the 1880s managed by William Sudell, and the Arsenal team of the 2003–04 season managed by Arsène Wenger. Preston earned the nickname after completing a season undefeated in league and cup competition. Prestons league record was 18 wins,4 draws and 0 losses, out of 22 games played, Preston also won the Cup without conceding a goal. Prestons unbeaten run stretched to one game the season, their first league defeat came away to Aston Villa in the second game. Of the seven teams to have completed the Double in England, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger wanted his team to push on for more honours and described the defeat of Manchester United as a shift of power in English football. Do you think Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea dont dream that as well and they just dont say it because theyre scared to look ridiculous, but nobody is ridiculous in this job as we know anything can happen. Arsenal lost to Everton in October 2002 and failed to win their three matches in all competitions, representing their worst run of form in 19 years. By March 2003, Arsenal had established themselves as league leaders, Arsenal finished the season with league wins against Southampton and Sunderland and was later consoled with success in the FA Cup – they beat the former team 1–0 in the 2003 final. Wenger sought to strengthen his team with minor additions, goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, as well as a number of players from academies abroad, namely Gaël Clichy. In comparison to their rivals Chelsea, bankrolled by new owner Roman Abramovich, the financial constraints that came with the Ashburton Grove stadium project meant Wenger had little income to spend on new players. Once funding was found amidst the season, the added to its roster, José Antonio Reyes arrived in the winter transfer window. In the 2003–04 season, Arsenal regained the Premier League without a single defeat, over the 38 games played, their league record stood at 26 wins,12 draws and 0 losses. The unbeaten run came close to ending six matches into the campaign against Manchester United, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a penalty in injury time, the match then ended 0–0. In Europe, Arsenal reached the stage of the UEFA Champions League where they were eliminated by London rivals Chelsea. Continuing into the season, a special gold version of the Premier League trophy was commissioned to commemorate Arsenal winning the title without a single defeat. The run extended to six matches for a total of 49 league games undefeated. Compared with the clubs double-winning side of 1998, only Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp remained as first team throughout the unbeaten run, Martin Keown. Defenders Lee Dixon and Tony Adams had retired from football in 2002
East Lancashire derby
The East Lancashire Derby also known as the Cotton Mills Derby is a football match between Blackburn Rovers F. C. and Burnley F. C. The nickname originates from the fact that Blackburn and Burnley were former mill towns, Blackburn also won the return fixture at Ewood Park 4–2. From a town standpoint there is an obvious reason for the rivalry as the two Lancashire towns only lie 11 miles apart. Accrington Stanley F. C. stands in the middle, but is not taken seriously as a rival by either, another alleged reason for the increased hostilities is that Blackburn complained to the Football League about Burnleys illegal number of Scottish players in the 1890s. Another such club was Burnley Rovers, who started out as a club until changing codes in 1882. The two clubs met for the first time at Turf Moor on 27 September in front of a 5,000 crowd, Burnley quickly gained revenge when they won 5–1 on the same ground the following March. Their first meeting in Blackburn took place at Leamington Road and ended all square at 2–2 and these early pre-league ‘friendlies’ were keenly contested affairs, with considerable pride at stake, and there was a refreshing informality in the way they were played and covered by the press. The total number of meetings between the clubs was 13, with Burnley winning seven, Blackburn four and the other two being drawn. The next season of 1890–91 was not much better for Burnley as Rovers managed to score both five and a six in the fixture, to this day, no-one in official fixtures between the clubs has matched his goal tally. Burnley finally recorded their first league victory over Rovers on 12 December 1891, however, it was in circumstances that were controversial. In driving snow and wind, Burnley had stormed to a three-goal interval lead at Turf Moor and this left the entire Burnley side against Herbie Arthur, Rovers’ goalkeeper who appealed for offside as Burnley bore down on his goal. The referee wisely abandoned the farce and the points were awarded to Burnley. The next season saw the start of the old First Division and their first meeting in it was goalless, the clubs were temporarily parted by Burnley’s relegation in 1896–97 which was assisted by Rovers completing the double over them, something they have done nine times to Burnley’s seven. Their next meetings were destined to be in the notorious Test match series at the end of 1897–98 season, the forerunner of the current play-offs, these were used to determine the composition of the First Division for the next season. Rovers had finished next to bottom while Burnley had won the Second Division at the first time of asking and they beat Rovers twice in these matches, Wilf Toman scoring in both with a hat-trick in the first. The controversy arose when Burnley met Stoke for the time as both sides needed to draw to ensure First Division football. The resultant 0–0 draw was known as the ‘game without a shot’, the powers-that-be decided to extend the First Division anyway and so that Test match series proved meaningless and Blackburn, along with Newcastle United, survived. Burnley won three of the four games between the clubs before their relegation at the turn of the century meant that it was to be 13 years before the rivals met again in official competition
The land on which the stadium stands was originally Deepdale Farm. It was leased on 21 January 1875 by the towns North End sports club and originally used for cricket and it hosted its first association football match on 5 October 1878. As football grew in popularity, it necessary to have raised areas. In the 1890s Preston built the West Paddock, which ran along the touch line, by the turn of the century, crowds were regularly over 10,000 and in 1921 they had to expand again. The Spion Kop was built and the West Paddock was extended to meet the Kop end, the pitch was removed to allow the building of the Town End, which was completed in 1928 but was destroyed by fire only five years later and had to be rebuilt. The Pavilion Stand, a small stand of two tiers holding the changing rooms and offices, was built and opened in 1934. The record league attendance for Preston North End at Deepdale is 42,684 v Arsenal in the First Division,23 April 1938, the womens team Dick, Kerrs Ladies also used to played at Deepdale, often beating mens professional teams in front of large crowds. During the 1960s and 1980s, big changes took place as roofs were placed on the stands, seating was installed, the original plans for the re-developed stadium were inspired by the Luigi Ferraris Stadium in Genoa, Italy. The regeneration of Deepdale began in 1995 when the old West Stand was demolished to make way for the new £4. 4m Sir Tom Finney Stand which includes press areas and restaurants. The next stand to be developed was the Bill Shankly Kop in 1998, followed by the Alan Kelly Town End in 2001, in 2008, a 25-metre screen was also erected on the roof of the Bill Shankly Kop. The statue, unveiled in July 2004, was inspired by a photo taken at the Chelsea versus PNE game played at Stamford Bridge, there had been a big downpour just before the kick off. The match would not have been played today because there were huge pools of water on the playing surface, I was going past a defender and the ball ran in to a pool of water. It was a photograph and it won the Sports Photograph of the Year award. The sculpture is a true likeness, Deepdale was used during the 2005 UEFA Womens Championship for three group games and a semi-final. Deepdale was the venue when the England Under-21s played Iceland in March 2011, Deepdale was used again at the end of the 2011–12 season to host two England Under-19s Elite Qualifying Round matches against Slovenia and Switzerland. Webcam showing construction of the fourth Stand
Blackburn Rovers L.F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Ladies Football Club are an English womens football club affiliated with Blackburn Rovers. In 2006 they won the FA Womens Premier League Northern Division and were promoted to the FA Womens Premier League National Division, the ladies club was formed in 1991 as part of Blackburn Rovers community programme, and reached the Northern Combination Womens Football League in 1998. After a few years in mid-table, the club began to take off in 2002, in 2003–04 Rovers won the Northern Combination by winning every match, and also added the Lancashire County Cup. The following season finished a creditable third in the Premier League Northern Division. Prior to the 2005–06 campaign, Rovers signed England Under-21 players Kay Hawke from Curzon Ashton, the club then won the league by finishing undefeated, with a record 20 wins from 22 games. McNally won FA Manager of the Year award, the first person from outside the top-flight to do so, for the clubs first season at the top-level, Rovers arranged to play their home games at Clitheroe FCs Shawbridge ground. The squad was strengthened with the signing of Leeds United full-back Mel Cook and England striker Amanda Barr, in October 2006 the club lost 6-3 to Chelsea in the Premier League Cup amidst farcical scenes. Despite several senior players demanding his return, McNally was suspended by his employers Blackburn Rovers, 34-goal striker Katie Anderton and goalkeeper Kay Hawke were both selected for the England squad at the end of the 2006–07 season. However, neither made the final 2007 World Cup squad, Anderton spent the summer playing in the United States, for FC Indiana. Kay Hawke and Mel Cook signed for Lincoln City in August 2007, Lincoln goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs arrived as a replacement for Hawke. Rovers recruited several new faces including international players Katie Williams, Michelle Walsh. Natalie Preston was signed from Leeds United and captained the side in pre-season, a poor second half of the season saw Rovers finish eighth in 2007–08, while they were ejected from the FA Womens Cup by Lincoln at the quarter-final stage. 2008–09 proved no better as Rovers finished ninth and suffered a humiliating County Cup final defeat to Combination League Rochdale, in summer 2009 Rovers quit Shawbridge, citing the condition of the pitch as a contributory factor in their poor form. 2009–10 saw Blackburn playing at the Stainton Park ground of Radcliffe Borough FC, in January 2010 Blackburn and Watford were the only top-flight clubs who failed to apply for membership of the new FA Womens Super League. In Blackburns case the decision was related to their reluctance to separate from the mens club, with the club back at the second level of English womens football, several players departed to Super League teams. Amy Kane and Danielle Hill returned to Everton, while Lynda Shepherd signed for Liverpool, Katie Anderton signed a Super League contract for Doncaster Rovers Belles but continued to play for Blackburn in the meantime. Although Blackburn intended to introduce players to their squad, they also remained active in the transfer market. Defender Charlotte Farrell and Northern Irish international midfielder Kim Turner arrived from Manchester City, in April 2011 the club parted company with Adam Lakeland, shortly before relegation into the Premier League Northern Division was confirmed