Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club formed in Wimbledon, south-west London, in 1889 and based at Plough Lane from 1912 to 1991. Founded as Wimbledon Old Centrals, the club were a team for most of their history. The team rose quickly from obscurity during the 1980s and were promoted to the then top-flight First Division in 1986, the team remained in the First Division and its successor the FA Premier League until they were relegated in 2000. In 2001, after rejecting a variety of local sites and others further afield. A group of supporters responded by forming a new club, AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon played their first match in Milton Keynes in 2003, and adopted the name Milton Keynes Dons in 2004. Wimbledon Old Central Football Club were formed in 1889, taking its name from the Old Central School on Wimbledon Common where players had been pupils. The clubs first match was a 1–0 victory over Westminster, Wimbledon won the Clapham League again in 1900–01, as well as two minor trophies. The club was restarted a year later under the name Wimbledon Borough, though Borough was dropped from the name after barely a year. The club continued to play on Wimbledon Common and at other locations in the Wimbledon area until 1912. Wimbledon joined the Athenian League for 1919–20, and in the season in its new division finished as runners-up. The club then joined the Isthmian League, winning four Isthmian League titles during the 1930s, and reaching the FA Amateur Cup final in 1934–35, Wimbledon began to prosper. The club reached another FA Amateur Cup final in 1946–47, Wimbledon won the Isthmian League for the fifth time in 1958–59 before starting a period of domination that saw three successive championships – 1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64. Following these successes the decision was taken to turn professional for the 1964–65 season, Wimbledon had continued success in their new league, finishing as runners-up at the first attempt. They then became the first non-League team that century to beat a First Division side away from home by defeating Burnley at Turf Moor. In the fourth round the good form continued, as the team held the reigning First Division champions Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road. Goalkeeper Dickie Guy saved a penalty from Peter Lorimer to earn a replay, after winning the Southern League three times running from 1974–75 to 1976–77, Wimbledon were elected to The Football League in place of Workington for the 1977–78 season. The 1977–78 season was a satisfactory Football League debut for Wimbledon, Allen Batsford had resigned as manager on 2 January 1978 to be succeeded by Dario Gradi, who guided the club to promotion in 1978–79. Wimbledons first stay in the Third Division was not a successful one, the team struggled, and were relegated in bottom place, winning just 10 league games all season
Worcester City F.C.
Worcester City Football Club is an English football club based in Worcester, Worcestershire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Established in 1902, they have spent the majority of their history in non-league football and they currently play at Victoria Ground, home to Bromsgrove Sporting, after leaving St Georges Lane in 2013. Initially they played on Pitchcroft on an area called Severn Terrace. They played there until the start of the 1905 season and it was in 1905 that they reached the first round of the FA Cup, losing 6–0 at home to Watford. In 1924–25 they won the league for the first time, the club won back-to-back league titles in 1928–29 and 1929–30, also reaching the FA Cup first round in the former, losing 3–1 at Walsall. In 1938 they joined the Southern League, in 1940 they won the Southern League Cup beating Chelmsford 7–3 over two legs under the guidance of former Fulham F. C. legend Syd Gibbons. During World War II the club returned to the Birmingham & District League for two seasons, after the war Worcester rejoined the Southern League. In 1958–59 the club reached the first round of the FA Cup again, after beating Chelmsford City in a replay and then Millwall 5–2 in the second round, they were drawn against Liverpool. A 2–1 win saw Worcester qualify for the round against Sheffield United. They were defeated 2–0 in front of a home attendance of 17,042 at St Georges Lane. In 1973–74 the club were relegated to Division One North of the Southern League and they returned to the Premier Division as Division One champions in 1977, and in 1978–79 won the title. The following season they became members of the Alliance Premier League. However, they were relegated at the end of the 1984–85 season, the 1973–74 season saw City reach the quarter-final of the FA Trophy. They beat Taunton Town 1–0 away from home and then a 5–1 home win over Bletchley saw the club reach the third round. Having beaten Sandbach Ramblers 4–1, City progressed to the last eight where a 2–0 away defeat followed a draw against South Shields ended their cup run. In the 1978–79 season, Worcester reached the semi-finals after beating Cardiff City 3–2 in the quarters and they again played Shrewsbury, this time losing 2–0 away. The club remained in the Southern League Premier Division until 2004, in 2008 they were moved to the Conference South after no southern teams were relegated from the Conference National
Derry City F.C.
Derry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Derry, Northern Ireland. It plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division and it was reinstated a few weeks later but demoted to the First Division, the second tier. The club are the League of Irelands only participant from Northern Ireland, the clubs home ground is the Brandywell Stadium and the players wear red and white striped shirts from which its nickname, the Candystripes, derives. Others refer to the club as the Red and White Army or abbreviate the name to Derry or City, the club, founded in 1928, initially played in the Irish League, the domestic league in Northern Ireland, and won a title in 1964–65. In 1971, security concerns related to the Troubles meant matches could not be played at the Brandywell, the team played home fixtures 30 miles away in Coleraine. After 13 years in football, it joined the League of Irelands new First Division for 1985–86. Derry won the First Division title and achieved promotion to the Premier Division in 1987, the club won a domestic treble in 1988–89, the only League of Ireland club so far to do so. Derry City was granted entry into the Irish League in 1929 as professionals and was given permission by the Londonderry Corporation to use the municipal Brandywell Stadium, the clubs first significant success came in 1935 when it lifted the City Cup. It repeated the feat in 1937, but did not win major trophy until 1949. This led to the clubs first entry into European competition, in the 1964–65 UEFA Cup Winners Cup, in which it was beaten by Steaua Bucharest 5–0 on aggregate. The club won the 1964–65 Irish League and subsequently became the first Irish League team to win a European tie over two legs, beating FK Lyn 8–6 on aggregate in the 1965–66 European Cup. Derry did not complete the round, as the Irish Football Association declared its ground was not up to standard. Derry suspected sectarian motives, as it played in a mainly nationalist city, the IFA, Belfast-based, was dominated by Protestants and it was widely suspected that it would rather have been represented by a traditionally unionist team. Relations between the club and IFA quickly deteriorated, despite the social and political unrest, Derry reached the Irish Cup final in 1971, in which it was beaten 3–0 by Distillery. As the republican locality surrounding the Brandywell saw some of the worst violence and this situation lasted from September 1971 until October 1972 when, faced with dwindling crowds and dire finances, the club formally requested permission to return to the Brandywell. Continuing without a ground was seen as unsustainable and on 13 October 1972 Derry withdrew from the league amidst a perception that it was forced out. The club continued as a team during the 13-year-long flim flam years, playing in the local Saturday morning league. Each time, the club nominated the Brandywell as its home ground
Wembley Stadium (1923)
The Original Wembley Stadium was a football stadium located in Wembley Park, London. It stood on the now occupied by its successor, the new Wembley Stadium. The great Brazilian footballer Pelé once said of the stadium, Wembley is the cathedral of football and it is the capital of football and it is the heart of football in recognition of its status as the worlds best-known football stadium. It also hosted music events, including the 1985 Live Aid charity concert. The twin towers were an icon for England and Wembley, debris from the Original Wembley Stadium was used to make the award-winning Northala Fields in Northolt, Ealing. The stadiums first turf was cut by King George V, much of Humphrey Reptons original Wembley Park landscape was transformed in 1922–23 during preparations for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924–25. First known as the British Empire Exhibition Stadium or simply Empire Stadium, the stadium cost £750,000, and was constructed on the site of an earlier folly called Watkins Tower. The architects were Sir John Simpson and Maxwell Ayrton and the Head Engineer Sir Owen Williams, the stadium had gone into liquidation, after it was pronounced financially unviable. Elvin offered to buy the stadium for £127,000, using a £12,000 downpayment and they then immediately bought it back from Elvin, leaving him with a healthy profit. Instead of cash he received shares, which gave him the largest stake in Wembley Stadium, the electric scoreboard and the all-encircling roof, made from aluminium and translucent glass, were added in 1963. The stadiums distinctive Twin Towers became its trademark and nickname, also well known were the 39 steps needed to be climbed to reach the Royal box and collect a trophy. Wembley was the first pitch to be referred to as Hallowed Turf, in 1934, the Empire Pool was built nearby. The Wembley Stadium Collection is held by the National Football Museum, the stadium closed in October 2000, and demolition commenced in December 2002, completing in 2003 for redevelopment. The top of one of the towers was erected as a memorial in the park on the north side of Overton Close in the Saint Raphaels Estate. Wembley is best known for hosting football matches, having hosted the FA Cup Final annually as well as numerous England International fixtures, the Empire Stadium was built in exactly 300 days at the cost of £750,000. Described as the worlds greatest sporting arena, it was ready only 4 days before the White Horse Final in 1923, the FA had not considered admission by ticket, grossly underestimating the number of fans who arrived at the 104 gates on match day. However, after the game, every event, apart from the 1982 replay, was ticketed, the first event held at the stadium was the FA Cup Final on 28 April 1923 between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. This is known as the White Horse Final, the crowds overflowed onto the pitch as there was no room on the terraces
Sutton United F.C.
Sutton United Football Club is a football club in Sutton, South London, England, who play in the National League, the fifth tier of English football. They play home games at Gander Green Lane, close to West Sutton Station, the club is an FA Charter Standard Community Club affiliated to the Surrey County Football Association. Sutton started out playing in junior, local leagues, but progressed into the Athenian League in 1921, the Isthmian League in 1964, the team fell back into the Isthmian League in 1991. They appeared in the Conference for one season in 1999–2000. Sutton won the National League South in 2015–16, and thus are competing in the National League in 2016–17, the team has had several cup successes, including playing at Wembley in the FA Amateur Cup final twice and in the FA Trophy final in 1981. Sutton won the Anglo-Italian Cup in 1979, but the club is most famous for its FA Cup giant killing exploits, most notably in the 1988–89 season, the Coventry team was composed mostly of star international players and had won the competition in 1987. In the 2016–17 season, Sutton reached the 5th Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history, beating three Football League teams before losing 2–0 at home to Arsenal. The club was formed on 5 March 1898 when Sutton Guild Rovers F. C. the club gained a reputation locally in junior leagues and in 1910 decided to become a senior side. They joined the Southern Suburban League and won it on their first attempt, during this period the team moved between several grounds, including what was then known as the Sutton Adult School Ground. After the First World War, the team moved in for good and have not left the stadium since, Sutton gained election into the Athenian League in 1921. The team did not challenge at the top of the table and in 1926 finished last, only one seasons later, in 1928, the team won its first Athenian League Championship. The thirties were a time for Sutton, who twice reached the semi-final of the FA Amateur Cup. During the Second World War, Sutton kept playing football but on a smaller scale. The Athenian League had been suspended and so organised competitions were rare and sporadic and this put them in good stead for winning the league again when the war came to an end. With the help of 42 goals from Charlie Vaughan, Sutton ran away with the 1945–46 season and this was also the first time the club won the Surrey Senior Cup and got through to the FA Cup first round. The 1950s brought little success for Sutton, though the team is said to have progressed off the field, assets were transferred to a limited company, something which was unusual for the time. In addition, the stand was constructed, which today holds over 700 spectators. It was not until George Smith became manager that success returned, the Athenian League title was won for the time in 1958
The Isthmian League is a regional mens football league covering London, East and South East England featuring mostly semi-professional clubs. It is sponsored by Ryman, and therefore known as the Ryman League. It was founded in 1905 by amateur clubs in the London area and it now consists of 72 teams in three divisions, the Premier Division above its two feeder divisions, Division One North and Division One South. Together with the Southern League and the Northern Premier League, it forms the seventh and eighth levels of the English football league system and it has various regional feeder leagues and the league as a whole is a feeder league mainly to the National League South. Before the Isthmian League was formed, there were no leagues in which amateur clubs could compete, therefore, a meeting took place between representatives of Casuals, Civil Service, Clapton, Ealing Association, Ilford and London Caledonians to discuss the creation of a strong amateur league. All the clubs supported the idea and the Isthmian League was born on 8 March 1905, membership to the league was through invitation only. The league was strongly dedicated to amateurism, the champions did not even receive a trophy or medals, teams less able to compete financially thus gravitated to it rather than the Southern League, while those with ambition and money would move in the opposite direction. By 1922 the league had fourteen clubs and over the five decades, only a few new members were admitted. Most new Isthmian League members joined from the Athenian League, which was dedicated to amateurism. The league began to admit professionalism in the 1970s, a second division of sixteen clubs was formed in 1973 and a third division followed in 1977. The reward of promotion into the Conference means that, since 1985, the Athenian League disbanded in 1984 when the Isthmian League Second Division split into North and South Divisions. These were restructured again to Second and Third Divisions in 1991, in 2002, the league was restructured again, with the First and Second Divisions merging to become Division One North and Division One South, and the Third Division being renamed as Division Two. In 2004, The Football Association pushed through a restructuring of the non-league National League System. The Isthmian League was reduced back down to three divisions, and its boundaries were changed to remove the overlap with the Southern League, in 2006, further reorganisation saw a reversion to two regional Division Ones and the disbandment of Division Two. This current plan calls for clubs based on the edges of the Isthmian Leagues territory to transfer to, One team, Clapton, had been ever-present in the Isthmian League since its foundation, but they moved to the Essex Senior League for the 2006–07 season. Dulwich Hamlet, who joined the league in 1907, are currently its longest serving member, for the 1973–74 season, the Second Division was added. For the 1977–78 season, the Premier Division was added, for the 1984–85 season, the Second Division was reorganised into North and South regions. For the 1991–92 season, the regional Second Divisions were merged, at the end of the 1994–95 season, Enfield were denied promotion to the Conference
FA Amateur Cup
The FA Amateur Cup was an English football competition for amateur clubs. It commenced in 1893 and ended in 1974 when The Football Association abolished official amateur status, following the legalisation of professionalism within football, professional teams quickly came to dominate the sports main national knock-out tournament, the FA Cup. The Football Association declined the offer, but a year later decided to organise just such a competition. The entrants included 12 clubs representing the old boys of leading schools, and Old Carthusians. The old boy teams competed in the Amateur Cup until 1902, when disputes with the FA led to the formation of the Arthur Dunn Cup, the 1973-74 competition was the last, as the FA abolished the distinction between professional and amateur clubs. The strongest amateur teams instead entered the FA Trophy, which had set up five years earlier to cater for those teams outside The Football League which were professional rather than amateur. A new competition, the FA Vase, was set up to cater for the amateur clubs. The first tournament attracted 81 entrants, with three qualifying rounds used to reduce the number down to 32 for the first round proper. This remained the format until 1907, when the number of entrants to the first round was doubled to 64. The competition continued under this format until it was discontinued in 1974, matches in the Amateur Cup were played at the home ground of one of the two teams, as decided when the matches are drawn. Occasionally games were moved to other grounds, in the event of a draw, the replay was played at the ground of the team who originally played away from home. The second replay, and any further replays, were played at neutral grounds. The final was held at grounds in the early years of the competition. A few years after the Second World War the final moved to Wembley Stadium, in the 1950s attendances for the final reached 100,000, comparable to the FA Cup final itself. Amateur Cup winners who later turned professional and gained entry to The Football League include Middlesbrough, West Hartlepool, Wimbledon, Wycombe Wanderers, thirty-six different clubs won the cup. In A Class of Their Own, A History of English Amateur Football
Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
Tooting & Mitcham United F.C.
Tooting & Mitcham United Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in the London Borough of Merton and playing at Imperial Fields in Morden. Their nickname is the Terrors or occasionally Stripes or the Jail birds, the club currently plays in Division One South of the Isthmian League having been relegated from the leagues Premier Division after finishing 21st in the 2011/12 season. In the 2012/13 season the club finished 16th in Division One South, in 1932, Tooting FC and Mitcham Wanderers FC quite literally united to become the modern club representing the two areas. Their merger had been mooted for two previously, but it was only after it became clear that the area couldnt host two competitive teams that anything happened to advance it. Originally playing in white shirts, in 1956 the broad black, the club has reached the FA Cup proper on 10 occasions, the last time being the 2009–10 season. It has also won the Isthmian League twice, in 1958 and 1960, other honours include the Surrey Senior Cup and the London Senior Cup which the club has won six times. Forest won the replay 3–0 in front of a crowd of 42,362, a British Pathe newsreel features this game. Alex Stepney, who was born in Mitcham in 1942, joined the club in 1961, in 1963 he signed for Millwall and later played for Chelsea, Manchester United and England. Dario Gradi, who spent more than twenty four years as manager of Crewe Alexandra, Tooting enjoyed a more sustained period of FA Cup glory in the 1970s. The game was played at Tooting’s tiny Sandy Lane ground on 27 November 1974, attendance figure from The Times, via The Times Digital Archive 1785–1985. A Crystal Palace side which included Terry Venables, Peter Taylor, Tooting’s goal was scored by Steve Grubb. In 1975-76, Tooting went three steps further reaching the fourth round proper, the last 32 and they beat Romford 1-0 in the first round proper and Leatherhead 2-1 after a replay in the second. In the third round they triumphed over Football League opposition defeating Swindon Town of Football League Division 3, after a 2-2 draw at Swindon, Tooting won 2-1 at Sandy Lane with goals from Dave Juneman and Alan Ives. On 24 January 1976, the team and its supporters made the journey to Bradford City of Football League Division 4. Although they did get on the scoresheet through Dave Juneman, they went down 3-1, after the game, Bradford City’s Don Hutchins, who scored two of his side’s goals, said he thought ‘the game was tougher than Rotherham and Shrewsbury’. ‘Tooting put up a good fight, in 2000–01 Keith Boanas led the club to the Isthmian League Second Division title, before leaving to manage Charlton Athletic Ladies. In the Isthmian League First Division, the club were managed by Richard Cadette, whose lengthy list of clubs include Falkirk, Millwall. The team played a consistent first half of the 2005–06 season but injuries
Ashford Town (Middlesex) F.C.
This article is about the club based in Middlesex. For the club known as Ashford Town, see Ashford United. Ashford Town Football Club are a club based in Ashford, Surrey. The club are members of the Southern League Division One Central. They are affiliated to both the Middlesex FA and the Surrey FA, the club was established in 1958 as Ashford Albion and joined Division Two of the Hounslow & District League. They finished second in their first season, earning promotion to Division One and they finished as runners-up again the following season, and were promoted to the Premier Division, adopting their current name in 1964. However, the club pulled out the Premier Division during the 1964–65 season, the following season the first team took over from the reserves in Division Two. The club finished third in Division Two in 1965–66, resulting in promotion to Division One, after finishing as runners-up in Division One the following season, the club joined the Premier Division B of the Surrey Intermediate League for the 1967–68 season. They finished fourth in their first season, earning promotion to Premier Division A, after claiming the runners-up spot in 1972–73, they won the division in 1974–75. Ashford became founder members of the Surrey Premier League in 1982, in 1989–90 they were league runners-up and won the Surrey Premier Cup, beating Farnham Town Reserves 3–0 in the final. In 1990 they were formally renamed Ashford Town to avoid confusion with the Kent club which previously shared the same name, in the same year they joined the Combined Counties League. They finished as runners-up in 1993–94, and won the league the following season and they went on to win the league in each of the next three seasons, and again in 1999–2000, after which they were promoted to Division Three of the Isthmian League. After finishing third in their first season in Division Three, they were promoted to Division Two, in 2002, they were moved to Division One South as a result of league reorganisation and, in 2004, switched to the Western Division of the Southern League. In 2005–06, they finished second in the division, and were promoted, in 2006–07 they won the Isthmian League Cup and, in 2008–09, the Surrey Senior Cup. In 2011–12 the club won both the Middlesex Senior Charity Cup and the Aldershot Senior Cup, the 2013–14 saw the club finish bottom of Division One Central, resulting in relegation back to the Combined Counties League. After finishing third in the Premier Division in their first season back in the league, Ashford Town have played home games at Short Lane in Stanwell since 1986. The ground has a capacity of 2,550, of which 250 is seated and covered, the ground was renamed the Robert Parker Stadium in 2010 in honour of Bob Parker, who had served as chairman for 28 years. C. Players Ashford Town F. C. managers Club website