Reading is a large, historically important town in Berkshire, England, of which it is the county town. The 19th century saw the coming of the Great Western Railway, Today Reading is a major commercial centre, with involvement in information technology and insurance, and, despite its proximity to London, has a net inward commuter flow. The first evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century, by 1525, Reading was the largest town in Berkshire, and tax returns show that Reading was the 10th largest town in England when measured by taxable wealth. By 1611, it had a population of over 5000 and had grown rich on its trade in cloth, the 18th century saw the beginning of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade for which Reading was to become famous. During the 19th century, the town rapidly as a manufacturing centre. It is ranked the UKs top economic area for economic success and wellbeing, according to such as employment, health, income. Reading is also a regional retail centre serving a large area of the Thames Valley. Every year it hosts the Reading Festival, one of Englands biggest music festivals, sporting teams based in Reading include Reading Football Club and the London Irish rugby union team, and over 15,000 runners annually compete in the Reading Half Marathon. In 2015, Reading had an population of 232,662. The town is represented in Parliament by two members, and has been continuously represented there since 1295, for ceremonial purposes the town is in the county of Berkshire and has served as its county town since 1867, previously sharing this status with Abingdon-on-Thames. It is in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway. Reading is 75 miles east of Bristol,25 miles south of Oxford,42 miles west of London,17 miles north of Basingstoke,13 miles south-west of Maidenhead and 20 miles east of Newbury. Reading may date back to the Roman occupation of Britain, possibly as a port for Calleva Atrebatum. However the first clear evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century, the name probably comes from the Readingas, an Anglo-Saxon tribe whose name means Readas People in Old English, or less probably the Celtic Rhydd-Inge, meaning Ford over the River. In late 870, an army of Danes invaded the kingdom of Wessex, on 4 January 871, in the first Battle of Reading, King Ethelred and his brother Alfred the Great attempted unsuccessfully to breach the Danes defences. The battle is described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and that account provides the earliest known record of the existence of Reading. The Danes remained in Reading until late in 871, when they retreated to their quarters in London. After the Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest of England, William the Conqueror gave land in, in its 1086 Domesday Book listing, the town was explicitly described as a borough
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system used in geography that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation, to specify a location on a two-dimensional map requires a map projection. The invention of a coordinate system is generally credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene. Ptolemy credited him with the adoption of longitude and latitude. Ptolemys 2nd-century Geography used the prime meridian but measured latitude from the equator instead. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes recovery of Ptolemys text a little before 1300, in 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while France and Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911, the latitude of a point on Earths surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the equator, the north pole is 90° N, the south pole is 90° S. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the equator, the plane of all geographic coordinate systems. The equator divides the globe into Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the longitude of a point on Earths surface is the angle east or west of a reference meridian to another meridian that passes through that point. All meridians are halves of great ellipses, which converge at the north and south poles, the prime meridian determines the proper Eastern and Western Hemispheres, although maps often divide these hemispheres further west in order to keep the Old World on a single side. The antipodal meridian of Greenwich is both 180°W and 180°E, the combination of these two components specifies the position of any location on the surface of Earth, without consideration of altitude or depth. The grid formed by lines of latitude and longitude is known as a graticule, the origin/zero point of this system is located in the Gulf of Guinea about 625 km south of Tema, Ghana. To completely specify a location of a feature on, in, or above Earth. Earth is not a sphere, but a shape approximating a biaxial ellipsoid. It is nearly spherical, but has an equatorial bulge making the radius at the equator about 0. 3% larger than the radius measured through the poles, the shorter axis approximately coincides with the axis of rotation
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998, in 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the clubs co-chairman Sir John Madejski. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club, Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham. The early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, and later the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a ground and, to this end. In 1913, Reading had a tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write without doubt. Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920, Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, and remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. When League football resumed after the war, Reading quickly came to prominence once again, the sides moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, the appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994, in 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Goodings contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the half of Division One. Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998, the year 1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, the club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Steve Coppell, Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English footballs top division for the first time in their history, the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in place with 55 points
Seating capacity is the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, in terms of both the physical space available, and limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats hundreds of thousands of people. The International Fire Code, portions of which have adopted by many jurisdictions, is directed more towards the use of a facility than the construction. It specifies, For areas having fixed seating without dividing arms and it also requires that every public venue submit a detailed site plan to the local fire code official, including details of the means of egress, seating capacity, arrangement of the seating. Once safety considerations have been satisfied, determinations of seating capacity turn on the size of the venue. For sports venues, the decision on maximum seating capacity is determined by several factors, chief among these are the primary sports program and the size of the market area. Seating capacity of venues also plays a role in what media they are able to provide, in contracting to permit performers to use a theatre or other performing space, the seating capacity of the performance facility must be disclosed. Seating capacity may influence the kind of contract to be used, the seating capacity must also be disclosed to the copyright owner in seeking a license for the copyrighted work to be performed in that venue. Venues that may be leased for private functions such as ballrooms and auditoriums generally advertise their seating capacity, seating capacity is also an important consideration in the construction and use of sports venues such as stadiums and arenas. The seating capacity for restaurants is reported as covers, a restaurant that can seat 99 is said to have 99 covers, seating capacity differs from total capacity, which describes the total number of people who can fit in a venue or in a vehicle either sitting or standing. Use of the term public capacity indicates that a venue is allowed to more people than it can actually seat. Again, the total number of people can refer to either the physical space available or limitations set by law
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
West Reading, Berkshire
The informal subdivision is in the borough of Reading, comprising Battle ward together with parts or all of Abbey, Minster, Norcot and Southcote wards. Whereas most of area is in the Reading West parliamentary constituency. The area has a 21st-century supermarket and residential estate on the site of Battle Hospital, once Readings largest general hospital in site area, adjoining Oxford Road. The Elm Park stadium in West Reading was home to Reading Football Club from 1896 to 1998 and was redeveloped as an estate between 1998 and 2000. The Bath Road Reservoir, a water storage reservoir and ornate brick-built pumping station is an elevated landmark along the Bath Road. The early 21st-century years saw residents opposition defeat an attempt by Thames Water to demolish the station, level the reservoir. West Reading is served by Reading West railway station on the lines between Reading/Basingstoke and Reading/Newbury. Reading Buses operates frequent services along the Oxford Road, Bath Road, the district contains the Church of England parish churches of All Saints, Holy Trinity, St. Mark and Tylehurst St George, together with English Martyrs Church in the Catholic church. The Reading Half Marathon runs through the streets of West Reading every year and into the town centre
The Madejski Stadium /məˈdeɪski/ is a football stadium located in Reading, Berkshire, England. It is the home of Reading Football Club playing in the Football League Championship and it also provides the finish for the Reading Half Marathon. The stadium is named after Readings chairman Sir John Madejski and it is an all-seater bowl stadium with a capacity of 24,161 and is located close to the M4 motorway. It is built on the site of a household waste dump and is surrounded by methane vents. The West Stand contains the Millennium Madejski Hotel, the stadium was opened on 22 August 1998 and replaced Elm Park as Readings home ground. In 1994, the Taylor Report made all-seater stadiums compulsory in the top two divisions, Reading were champions of the Second Division in 1994, and were promoted to the first division. Reading became subject to the Taylor requirements, converting Elm Park to an all-seater stadium was not practical, so a location in Smallmead was identified as the site for a new stadium. The location of a landfill, the site was purchased for £1. The last competitive match at Elm Park took place on 3 May 1998 against Norwich City, Reading began the 1998–99 season at the Madejski Stadium. It was opened on 22 August 1998 when Luton Town were beaten 3–0 with Grant Brebner having the honour of scoring the first ever goal at the stadium. Following the death of academy manager Eamonn Dolan in 2016, Reading announced that the North Stand would now be renamed The Eamonn Dolan Stand. The stadium cost more than £50m to build and the pitch incorporates a system of synthetic fibres interwoven with natural grass, the Eamonn Dolan Stand capacity is said to be 4,946 including 25 spaces for wheelchairs. Although in use for all Reading matches, the stand is normally closed for London Irish, the South Stand has a capacity of 4,350 including 29 wheelchair spaces and is where visiting supporters sit for Reading games. The initial allocation visiting teams receive is 2,327 and is the half of the stand joining onto the East Stand, under the terms of the original lease, London Irish only utilised the South Stand for the most popular matches. However, with the original renegotiation and extension of the lease, London Irish sold season tickets for South Stand between 2008 and 2014-15. Since 2014, with falling attendance at London Irish, the South stands remained closed for rugby, the East Stand has a capacity of 7,286 including 18 spaces for wheelchairs. The stand also contains the video screen which is located in the corner adjoining the South Stand. The stand was open for all London Irish fixtures only until the end of the 2015-16 season, the West Stand, the stadiums main stand, has a capacity of 7,579 including 15 wheelchair spaces and contains a lower and an upper tier
Coley Park is a suburb of the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It is largely built on the estate of a house of the same name. Coley Park lies entirely within the borough of Reading, within Minster ward and it is within the Reading West parliamentary constituency. Coley Park is split between the Church of England parishes of All Saints Church and St Giles Church, although neither church is actually within the area, the suburb of Coley Park was built largely on the lands of the Coley Park estate. The original manor house, known as Vachel House, was built c.1555 by Thomas Vachell on the banks of the Holy Brook rivulet and it was restored after the English Civil War c.1651 by Tanfield Vachell. Eventually Vachel House once again fell into disrepair and a new mansion, Coley House, was built on ground by the new owner. Between 1882 and 1889, Reading Football Club played their games at Coley Park, on the site now known as Coley Park Recreation Ground. During the First World War two fields in Coley Park were used as an airfield for the Royal Flying Corps No 1 School of Military Aeronautics and No.1 School of Technical Training, based nearby. However, flying was disrupted by river fogs and by the end of the war the airfield fell into disuse, amongst the pilots trained at Coley Park was W. E. Johns, who went on to create the Biggles series of aviation based adventure stories. After the Second World War, the Ministry of Agriculture occupied Coley House, two blocks of offices were built for the ministry in these grounds, the more recent in 1968. In 1956 the then Reading Corporation purchased the section of Coley Park estate for a future council housing estate. By 1958 new residents were arriving and by 1960 a set of three high-rise 15-storey flats were under construction, by the end of the 1960s a row of five shops, a pub, a church and a school had been built on the Coley Park estate. New roads built at this stage included Wensley Road and Lesford Road, in 1993 the Berkshire Independent Hospital run by Ramsay Health Care UK was purpose built on a site adjacent to Coley House. This involved constructing a new road parallel to Wensley Road. Subsequently Coley House itself underwent major works, including the construction of new buildings to the rear. Today this Grade II Heritage listed building contains consulting rooms and other outpatient facilities for the hospital, two new housing developments on the site of Coley Houses former gardens followed. One, at the end of Swallows Croft, replaced the later of the office blocks. The other, accessed by the new Rembrandt Way, was situated to the north of the hospital, the earlier ministry office block remains occupied by what is now the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and has recently been refurbished and reroofed
A gravel pit is an open-pit mine for the extraction of gravel. Gravel pits often lie in valleys where the water table is high. Old, abandoned gravel pits are used either as nature reserves, or as amenity areas for water sports, landfills. In addition, many pits in the United Kingdom have been stocked with freshwater fish such as the common carp to create coarse fishing locations. Gravel and sand are mined for concrete, construction aggregate and other industrial mineral uses
The Football Association
The Football Association, also known simply as the FA, is the governing body of association football in England, and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur, the FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the County Football Associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup, the FA is a member of both UEFA and FIFA and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game. As the first football association, it not use the national name English in its title. The FA is based at Wembley Stadium, London, the FA is a member of the British Olympic Association, meaning that the FA has control over the mens and womens Great Britain Olympic football team. All of Englands professional football teams are members of the Football Association, although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the League Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules. The English Football League, made up of the three professional divisions below the Premier League, is self-governing, subject to the FAs sanctions. Another set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, was used by a number of clubs in the North of England from the 1850s, eleven London football clubs and schools representatives met on 26 October 1863 to agree on common rules. The founding clubs present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone, many of these clubs are now defunct or play rugby union. Civil Service FC, who now plays in the Southern Amateur League, is the one of the original eleven football clubs still in existence. There are only three institutions which have been members of the F. A. since 1863, those being Civil Service, Forest School and Kings College. Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley and he was a founding member of the Football Association in 1863. In 1862, as captain of Barnes, he wrote to Bells Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport led to the first meeting at The Freemasons Tavern that created the FA. He was the FAs first secretary and its president and drafted the Laws of the Game generally called the London Rules at his home in Barnes. As a player, he played in the first ever match in 1863, the first version of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in The Freemasons Tavern from October till December. Of the clubs at the first meeting, Crusaders, Surbiton and Charterhouse did not attend the subsequent meetings, replaced instead by the Royal Navy School, Wimbledon School, at the final meeting, F. M. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA, the term soccer dates back to this split to refer to football played under the association rules. The Richmond side were obviously unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871
Annual general meeting
An annual general meeting is a meeting of the general membership of an organization. These organizations include membership associations and companies with shareholders and these meetings may be required by law or by the constitution, charter, or by-laws governing the body. The meetings are held to conduct business on behalf of the organization or company, an organization may conduct its business at the annual general meeting. The business may include electing a board of directors, making important decisions regarding the organization, at the annual general meeting, the president or chairman of the organization presides over the meeting and may give an overall status of the organization. The secretary prepares the minutes and may be asked to read important papers, the treasurer may present a financial report. Other officers, the board of directors, and committees may give their reports, attending this meeting are the members or the shareholders of the organization, depending on the type of organization. Notice of the general meeting must be in writing and is subject to a minimum notice period that varies by state. In 2007, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to require all companies to make their annual meeting materials available online. Convention Extraordinary general meeting Corporate law
Reading railway station
Reading railway station is a major transport hub in Reading, England. On the northern edge of the centre, near the main retail and commercial areas. Reading is the ninth-busiest station in the UK outside London, Reading is one of 19 stations managed by Network Rail. The station is served by three train operating companies, Great Western Railway, CrossCountry and South West Trains, the first Reading station was opened on 30 March 1840 as the temporary western terminus of the original line of the Great Western Railway. The time taken to travel from London to Reading was reduced to one hour and five minutes, the line was extended to its intended terminus at Bristol in 1841. In 1844, the Great Western Hotel, was opened across the Forbury Road for people visiting the town and it is thought to be the oldest surviving railway hotel in the world. New routes soon joined the London to Bristol line, with the line from Reading to Newbury and Hungerford opening in 1847, in 1860, a new station building, in Bath Stone and incorporating a tower and clock, was constructed for the Great Western Railway. In 1898 the single sided station was replaced by a design with up, down. Access to the station from Broad Street was not direct, until Queen Victoria Street was built in 1903 and this provided a route through to Friar Street and Station Road. The station was originally named Reading and became Reading General on 26 September 1949 to distinguish it from the ex-South Eastern Railway station nearby, the General suffix was dropped from British Rail timetables in 1973, but some of the station nameboards still stated Reading General in 1974. From 6 September 1965, services from the former Reading Southern station were diverted into a newly constructed terminal platform in the General station. At the same time a new station car park was built on the site of the former goods yard and signal works to the north of the station. The station facilities in the 1860 station building were converted into The Three Guineas public house, the Queen reopened the station on 4 April 1989. By 2007, the station had become a bottleneck on the railway network. This was caused by limited number of through-platforms, the flat junctions immediately east and west of the station, the Great Western Main Line at Reading has two pairs of tracks – the main lines on the southern side and the relief lines on the northern side. Passenger and freight trains transferring between the Reading to Taunton Line and Reading to Basingstoke Line and the lines had to cross the Main lines. On 10 September 2008 Network Rail unveiled a £400 million regeneration and reconfiguration of the station, the plans included an underpass to allow freight and passenger trains to transit from the to the Relief lines without blocking the Main lines. This was planned to alleviate current delays, due to slow moving freight trains passing through the station
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England, the Midlands, and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament on 31 August 1835, Goods wagons were painted red but this was later changed to mid-grey. Great Western trains included long-distance express services such as the Flying Dutchman, the Cornish Riviera Express and it also operated many suburban and rural services, some operated by steam railmotors or autotrains. The company pioneered the use of larger, more economic goods wagons than were usual in Britain and it operated a network of road motor routes, was a part of the Railway Air Services, and owned ships, docks and hotels. The Great Western Railway originated from the desire of Bristol merchants to maintain their city as the port of the country. The company was founded at a meeting in Bristol in 1833 and was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, then aged twenty-nine, was appointed engineer and this was by far Brunels largest contract to date. Firstly, he chose to use a gauge of 7 ft to allow for the possibility of large wheels outside the bodies of the rolling stock which could give smoother running at high speeds. Secondly, he selected a route, north of the Marlborough Downs and this meant the line was not direct from to London to Bristol. From Reading heading west, the line would curve in a northerly sweep back to Bath, the first 22.5 miles of line, from Paddington station in London to Maidenhead Bridge station, opened on 4 June 1838. When Maidenhead Railway Bridge was ready the line was extended to Twyford on 1 July 1839, the cutting was the scene of a railway disaster two years later when a goods train ran into a landslip, ten passengers who were travelling in open trucks were killed. This accident prompted Parliament to pass the 1844 Railway Regulation Act requiring railway companies to provide carriages for passengers. The next section, from Reading to Steventon crossed the Thames twice, a 7. 25-mile extension took the line to Faringdon Road on 20 July 1840. Meanwhile, work had started at the Bristol end of the line, on 17 December 1840, the line from London reached a temporary terminus at Wootton Bassett Road west of Swindon and 80.25 miles from Paddington. The section from Wootton Bassett Road to Chippenham was opened on 31 May 1841, as was Swindon Junction station where the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway to Cirencester connected. That was an independent line worked by the GWR, as was the Bristol and Exeter Railway, in 1851, the GWR purchased the Kennet and Avon Canal, which was a competing carrier between London, Reading, Bath and Bristol. The GWR was closely involved with the C&GWUR and the B&ER, the South Wales Railway had opened between Chepstow and Swansea in 1850 and became connected to the GWR by Brunels Chepstow Bridge in 1852. It was completed to Neyland in 1856, where a port was established
Thames Valley Royals proposal
This appellation combined a loose term for the geographical region, Thames Valley, with the Reading teams nickname, the Royals. With each team having financial problems, Maxwell claimed that both were on the verge of going out of business and that uniting them was necessary for the region to retain a Football League club. Both sets of supporters promptly embarked on mass demonstrations against the merger, including protest marches, Maxwell pressed on with his plan regardless, insisting that nothing short of the end of the Earth would prevent its fruition. The proposed amalgamation was stopped by the actions of one of Readings board directors, Roy Tranter, and Roger Smee, a businessman and former Reading player. During the 1982–83 Football League season, both Oxford United and Reading competed in the Football League Third Division, then the tier of English football—equivalent to todays League One. The colourful media mogul and former MP Robert Maxwell owned and chaired Oxford, One of the worlds oldest football teams, Reading were a public limited company, chaired by Frank Waller, a prominent local businessman, while owning Oxford, Maxwell also held 19% of Readings shares. The two clubs share a local rivalry, at the time, both were in financial difficulties, particularly Reading. The merged club would be called Thames Valley Royals, a combination of Thames Valley, a term for the geographical area, and the nickname of Reading Football Club. If we in Thames Valley are to retain a League club weve got to unite Reading and Oxford, everything in the world that cannot pay its way must go the way of merger to combine into stronger units. Maxwell made this announcement on a Saturday when most Football League clubs, including Oxford, Oxford were playing away at Doncaster Rovers. Smith immediately called Maxwell to ask whether or not he would be retained to manage Thames Valley Royals, the two clubs would continue separately for the last few weeks of the 1982–83 campaign, and Thames Valley Royals would begin play at the start of the 1983–84 League season. Maxwell claimed to have support in principle for this from the Football League, the majority of both teams supporters reacted negatively to the merger proposal. A spokesman for the Oxford United Supporters Club called the idea crazy, One angry fan wrote to the Oxford Mail that I will not follow Thames Valley Royals or whatever their name is if they played at the end of my street. Players at both clubs received the news with apprehension, as Ley put it, When you merge two clubs into one, you cannot have a squad of 45. The Oxford team learned of the merger and the new name from Smith in the dressing room at Belle Vue just before the match against Doncaster on 16 April. According to Jones, Smith attempted to assuage the Oxford players fears by telling them that were doing it so we can buy Kerry Dixon. Oxford Uniteds board of directors unanimously supported Maxwells proposed amalgamation at a meeting held on 20 April 1983. Their only reservation was regarding the name, they preferred Thames Valley United, the chairman of the Football League, Jack Dunnett, described Maxwells proposal as a bold and imaginative move which Ill be watching with interest
Oxford United F.C.
Oxford United Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. The chairman is Darryl Eales, the coach is Michael Appleton. Founded in 1893 as Headington United, Oxford United adopted its current name in 1960 and it joined the Football League in 1962 after winning the Southern Football League, reaching the Second Division in 1968. After relegation in 1976, between 1984 and 1986 the club earned successive promotions into the First Division, and won the League Cup in 1986, however, Oxford was unable thereby to enter the 1987 UEFA Cup because of the UEFA ban on English clubs in European competitions. Relegation from the top flight in 1988 began an 18-year decline which saw the club relegated to the Conference in 2006 and this was the first time in the history of English football when a team that had won a major trophy was relegated from the Football League. After four seasons, Oxford was promoted to League Two in 2010 via the playoffs, in total, nineteen players have made international appearances while playing for the club. Uniteds home ground is the Kassam Stadium in Oxford and has a capacity of 12,500, United moved to the stadium in 2001 after leaving the Manor Ground, their home for 76 years. Swindon Town is the main rival. Oxford United were formed as Headington in 1893, adding the suffix United in 1911 after merging with Headington Quarry, the club was founded by Rev. John Scott-Tucker, the vicar at Saint Andrews Church in Headington, and a local doctor named Robert Hitchings. A football team was a way for the cricketers of Headington Cricket Club to maintain their fitness during the winter break, the first football match played was against Cowley Barracks. Headington had no home until 1913, when they were able to purchase Woottens Field on London Road. A permanent home was found in 1925, when they purchased the Manor Ground site on London Road, the facility was used as a cricket pitch in the summer, and a football pitch in the winter. In 1921 the club was admitted into the Oxon Senior League, the first season included a 9–0 victory, with eight of those goals coming from P. Drewitt. This remains a record for the highest number of goals scored by an Oxford player in a first-team match, at this time a small rivalry existed with Cowley F. C. who were based a few miles south of Headington. During a league game on May Day, the referee gave two penalties to Cowley, supporters broke past security and players, resulting in the referee being freely baited. The first FA Cup tie played was in 1931, against Hounslow F. C. in the Preliminary Round, United spent two seasons in the Spartan League in 1947 and 1948, finishing fifth and fourth respectively. It was around this time that the team left the Manor
Norwich City F.C.
Norwich City Football Club is an English professional football club based in Norwich, Norfolk. The club currently plays in the Championship, the tier of English football. They were first promoted to the top flight in 1972, Norwich have won the League Cup twice, in 1962 and 1985. The club has never won the top flight, but finished third in 1993, the club was founded in 1902. The fans song On the Ball, City is regarded as being the oldest football song in the world which is still in use, the club plays in characteristic yellow and green kits and are nicknamed The Canaries after the history of breeding the birds in the area. They joined the Norfolk & Suffolk League for the 1902–03 season, but following a FA Commission, the club was ousted from the amateur game in 1905, deemed a professional organisation. Later that year Norwich were elected to play in the Southern League and with increasing crowds, they were forced to leave Newmarket Road in 1908, moving to The Nest, a disused chalk pit. During the First World War, with football suspended and facing spiralling debts, the club was officially reformed on 15 February 1919 – a key figure in the events was Charles Frederick Watling, future Lord Mayor of Norwich and the father of future club chairman, Geoffrey Watling. When, in May 1920, the Football League formed a third Division and their first league fixture, against Plymouth Argyle, on 28 August 1920, ended in a 1–1 draw. The club went on to endure a mediocre decade, finishing no higher than eighth, the inaugural match, held on 31 August 1935, against West Ham United, ended in a 4–3 victory to the home team and set a new record attendance of 29,779. The biggest highlight of the four seasons was the visit of King George VI to Carrow Road on 29 October 1938. However, the club was relegated to the Third Division at the end of the season, the league was suspended the following season as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War and did not resume until the 1946–47 season. City finished this and the season in 21st place, the poor results forcing the club to apply for re-election to the league. The 1958–59 season saw Norwich reach the semi-final of the FA Cup as a Third Division side, in the 1959–60 season, Norwich were promoted to the Second Division after finishing second to Southampton, and achieved a fourth-place finish in the 1960–61 season. In 1962 Ron Ashman guided Norwich to their first trophy, defeating Rochdale 4–0 on aggregate in a final to win the League Cup. They made their first appearance at Wembley Stadium in 1973, losing the League Cup final 1–0 to Tottenham Hotspur. Relegation to the Second Division in 1974 came after Saunders had departed and been succeeded by John Bond, a highly successful first season saw promotion back to the First Division and another visit to Wembley, again in the League Cup final, this time losing 1–0 to Aston Villa. Bond departed to Manchester City in the autumn of 1980 and the club were relegated six months later, Norwich had also been the beneficiaries of one of English footballs first million-pound transfers when they sold striker Justin Fashanu to Nottingham Forest in August 1981
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
Football League First Division
The Football League First Division is a former division of the Football League. Between 1888 and 1992 it was the division in the English football league system. Following the creation of the FA Premier League it was a second-level division, in 2004 it was rebranded as the Football League Championship. The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor and it originally consisted of a single division of 12 clubs, known as The Football League. When the League admitted additional members from the rival Football Alliance in 1892, for the next 100 years, the First Division was the top professional league in English football. Then, in 1992 the 22 clubs making up the First Division elected to resign from the Football League, the Football League was consequently re-organised, with the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions now renamed the First, Second and Third respectively. Thus, the First Division, while still the top level of the Football League, the First Division was renamed as the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, as part of a league-wide rebrand. Liverpool were the most frequent winners of the First Division when it was the top flight of English football, winning it a total of 18 times. After the creation of the Premier League, the new Division One title was won more than once by one club, Sunderland. The First Division initially consisted of 12 founder clubs, since then it has undergone a series of expansions as football became more popular, as of the 1975–76 season players had to make 14 appearances for their club during the season in order to qualify for a winners medal. See List of English football champions, see List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors
The A33 is a major road in England, situated in the counties of Berkshire and Hampshire. The road currently runs in three disjoint sections, a two-year redevelopment scheme ran from early 2008 until late 2010, widening the northern section of the dual carriageway and significantly expanding and improving the motorway junction. The Mereoak Roundabout south of the motorway was replaced two separate junctions with traffic lights. The section south of the M4 is dual carriageway up to the county boundary with Hampshire, the second section of the A33 starts near Popham, southwest of Basingstoke at a junction with the A30. The road from here to Winchester is a mix of single and dual carriageway. The route runs through much of the borough of Basingstoke and Deane, at Kings Worthy, the road diverts onto part of the original Winchester Bypass, constructed in the late 1930s, up to the A34. The third section of A33 starts at the Chilworth Roundabout, a junction with the M3 and A27, and runs south into the centre of Southampton and further south to Ocean Village. It then turns west & into dual carriageway at a roundabout near the Isle of Wight ferry terminal, past the docks & through Town Quay to run along West Quay Road, continuing past Leisure World & Ikea. The A33 then bears left slightly to carry on along the Millbrook Road West dual carriageway to meet the M271 & A35 at Redbridge Flyover and this section of the route became part of the London - Southampton Trunk Road. The road was progressively detrunked as the M3 was extended, the Winchester Bypass was constructed in the mid 1930s. While a significant improvement at the time, as parts of the road were improved around it, it became increasingly ineffective. The bypass was subsequently replaced by the completion of the M3 over Twyford Down, media related to A33 road at Wikimedia Commons A33 route on OpenStreetMap
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
Richmond Football Club is a rugby union club from Richmond, London. It is a member of the Rugby Football Union, and is one of the oldest football clubs. It fields teams in mens and womens rugby, with the mens first team recently promoted into the Greene King IPA Championship. In 1878 it hosted the first ever floodlit match and in 1909 played in the match at Twickenham Stadium. Richmond always traditionally played without a number 13 – the outside centre would wear 14, right wing 15, in 1996, the then third division club was bought by financial markets trader and Monaco tax exile Ashley Levett. Levett turned the club into the first professional team in England, and began buying in big names to push the club up the leagues, including Ben Clarke from Bath Rugby, the club outgrew the Richmond Athletic Ground and became tenants at the Madejski Stadium in Reading. But the crowds and revenues from competition meant that Levett was continually financing the club, the professional Richmond club and professional London Scottish F. C. were both merged into London Irish, who moved to the Stoop Memorial Ground before taking up tenancy at Madejski the following year. This period of hesitancy and uncertainty resulted in many of the players leaving the club pre-merger. The amateur club was reformed in 2000, and the club rejoined the leagues as a club at the bottom of the pyramid. After the professional era, hooker Andy Cuthbert remained at the club, however, the club seemingly stalled at that level, continuing to put together winning seasons, but failing to gain promotion in 2005–06 and 2006–07. For the 2007–08 season, the club recruited a number of players to boost Richmonds promotion chances. One of these players was USA international Jon Hartman, Richmond eventually achieved promotion, winning all but one of their League games. However, during summer 2008, London Scottish were boosted financially and subsequently signed Taylor as their head coach, Richmond appointed Geoff Richards to take his place. Following two years in National League Two, Geoff Richards decided not to renew his contract citing differences in opinion between the board and himself on how the club should move forward. In 2009–10 Richmond appointed Oxford University Director of Rugby Steve Hill to take over after fourteen years in charge of the university side. Within two years promotion was achieved and Richmond played in National League 1 until the end of the 2015-16 season when they achieved a promotion into the Green King IPA Championship. Yet another former Richmond Youth, Joe Simpson, winning his first full England cap in 2011 Rugby World Cup, also of London Wasps, was scrum half for the U20s. Simpson was in the England Sevens squad for the first round of the 2007–08 IRB Sevens World Series, Sevens being an important stepping stone for the development of the best youth talent
It competed in the top division of English rugby union between 1996 and 2015-16, after which it was relegated into the Greene King IPA Championship. From October 2016 it will play in the British and Irish Cup in addition to the Championship, the club will continue to play its home games at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, Berkshire until at least 2019. The team plays in green and white colours, with a black away strip, London Irish won its first major trophy in 2002, claiming the Powergen Cup. Irish also reached the final of the 2009 English Premiership, narrowly losing 10–9 to Leicester Tigers at Twickenham Stadium, in the 2007–08 season the team came close to a place in the Heineken Cup Final losing out to Stade Toulousain 15–21 in a tense semi-final encounter at Twickenham Stadium. The clubs mascot is an Irish Wolfhound called Digger, London Irish was the last club to be formed in England by working and student exiles from the home countries, following London Scottish in 1878 and London Welsh in 1885. The first game took place on 1 October 1898 against the former Hammersmith club at Herne Hill Athletic Ground, the team benefited from the early recruitment of vet and Irish international Louis Magee. London Irish manage their own academy, with such as Nick Kennedy, Jonathan Joseph, Topsy Ojo and Delon Armitage having gone on to play for the senior side. London Irish play at the Madejski Stadium, in Reading, Madejski is the home of Reading FC and was opened in August 1998. The ground is a 24,161 all-seater capacity stadium, and was the largest used as a home ground in the premiership before Wasps moved to the Ricoh Arena in 2014. With the exception of the annual London Double Header at Twickenham, the largest crowd for a London Irish match was for a game against London Wasps on 15 March 2008 during the 2007–08 Guinness Premiership. The crowd of 23,790 was also the highest attendance for a regular season Guinness Premiership match until December 2008. The club announced on 15 August 2016 of their intention to return to London, on 10 February 2017 the club confirmed that Brentford had approved their application to use the stadium for rugby. Notes 2016-17 Note, Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-WR nationality. Note, Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-WR nationality. The kit is supplied by ONeills, the emerald home shirts features main club sponsor Powerday on the front with Etixx and FoodCloud on the right sleeve. On the back of the shirt, main sponsor Powerday is on the collar while Pump Technology is at the top. On the shorts, VGC appear on the right leg, the clubs logo is embossed diagonally across the bottom left in a different shade of emerald. The team play at the location of London Irishs training ground and offices, some players such as Justin Bishop and Kieran Campbell have come through the ranks to play for London Irish
Craig Douglas Bellamy is a Welsh former footballer who played as a forward. He is currently a pundit for BT Sport, born in Cardiff, Bellamy began his career with Norwich City. He went on to play for Coventry City and Newcastle United and he returned to the Premier League later that year, playing for Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Ham United and Manchester City. For the 2010–11 season, Bellamy dropped down a division to the Championship in order to represent his boyhood club, Cardiff City and he moved to play at former club Liverpool the following season, before returning to Cardiff permanently. He later led Cardiff to the Premier League, the first time they had been in the top-flight for half a century, by scoring for Cardiff, he became the first player in Premier League history to score a goal for seven different teams. During his career, Bellamy won the Championship, the League Cup, the Scottish Cup and he also was a runner-up in the FA Cup and Champions League. He was at times criticised for his behaviour on and off the pitch and he made his senior debut for Wales in 1998 and over the next fifteen years gained 78 caps for his country and scored 19 goals. He was the Wales captain from 2007 to 2011, when he stepped down from the due to injuries. Bellamy retired from football, following the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. He was also a member of the Great Britain Olympic team at the 2012 Olympics in London, appearing five times, Bellamy began his footballing career as a nine-year-old at Bristol Rovers, and spent two years at the club before being brought into the youth system of Norwich City. He made his first career start in the League Cup first round against Barnet on 12 August 1997, on 1 November, he scored his first goal, the opener in a 2–2 home draw with Bury. Bellamy earned his first career red card on 7 February 1998, a red in the 23rd minute against Manchester City. Bellamys first hat-trick in his career was scored on 22 August 1998, in December 1998, Bellamy injured his left knee following a challenge by Wolves defender Kevin Muscat and was ruled out for two months. He tore the ligaments on the same knee during a pre-season match in the summer of 1999. He made his return to the first team against Port Vale on 22 April 2000, Bellamy became Coventrys record signing, joining for £6 million on 16 August 2000 as a replacement for Robbie Keane. Amid strong interest from Newcastle United, he signed for the club after being impressed by manager Gordon Strachan and he had a poor start to his career with Coventry, scoring only three league goals by the start of December, two of which were penalties. On 10 December 2000, he scored the goal in a 1–0 victory over Leicester City to gain his side a crucial three points. Bellamys form improved after the arrival of his Wales strike partner John Hartson, however, Coventry were relegated at the end of the 2000–01 season as the team finished 19th in the Premier League, ending 34 consecutive years in the English top flight
A terrace or terracing in sporting terms which refers to the traditional standing area of a sports stadium, particularly in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. A terrace is a series of steps which are erected for spectators to stand on. Due to safety concerns related to terraces, they have out of favour in many places. There is currently a growing demand for a reintroduction of terracing, based on the modern designs in Germany and other European countries. In Ireland, terraces are still a feature in gaelic football, hurling, camogie, rugby union. Hill 16 in Croke Park is one of the most notable terraces in Ireland, rows of railways sleepers were laid on top to provide something solid for spectators to stand on. The earth and sleeper terraces would gradually make way for concrete terraces with metal barriers being erected at various points to prevent crushing. An excellent example of one old style terrace can be found at Cathkin Park in Glasgow, an abandoned football stadium. The terraces were hugely popular in England, particularly from the 1920s to the 1980s, by far the most common name was Spion Kop, named after the Battle of Spion Kop in the Boer War in South Africa in 1902 between Britain and the Boers. Arsenal F. C. were the first to adopt such a name, terraces were generally a safe, cheap and enjoyable way to watch sport, but on occasion they could be dangerous too. C. s Burnden Park ground. By the 1970s the lower cost of travel meant it was easier for fans to have days, or road trips. Large bodies of supporters of the team would infiltrate the popular terracing of the home supporters with the result that violence often erupted. This led to crowd segregation at football grounds and also played a part in the erection of high fencing. These pens became a factor in the Hillsborough disaster, Englands worst ever stadium disaster. 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in the resultant crush, although claiming that terraces were not intrinsically unsafe, the final Taylor Report into the disaster led to a recommendation that terraces be done away with at major British stadiums. Today every major British football ground is all-seater, though terracing is still found at grounds in the lower leagues, britains biggest remaining terraced ground is Brunton Park in Carlisle, which still has three sides of terracing. It has been argued that terraces encourage crowd disorder, in 2011 the Scottish Premier League announced that their clubs would be given permission to introduce safe standing areas at their grounds. In 2012, Aston Villa announced they would be looking to install safe standing areas in Villa Park in time for the 2013–14 season, peterborough United became the second Championship club to back the safe standing campaign through their CEO Bob Symns
Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, after finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922. Watford spent most of the half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours. England manager Graham Taylors tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights, between Taylors appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, the club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyds management. After eight years, Watford are again competing in the Premier League 2015–16 season, Watford is currently owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Watford Rovers was formed in 1881 by Henry Groverand, who went on to play for the club as a full-back, Rovers, originally composed entirely of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford. The team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, the team became the football section of West Hertfordshire Sports Club in 1890, and consequently moved to a ground on Cassio Road. Renamed as West Hertfordshire in 1893, Rovers joined the Southern Football League in 1896, West Hertfordshire merged with local rivals Watford St. Marys in 1898, the merged team was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and he led Watford to promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, there was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. The Football League was suspended in 1939 due to the Second World War, Football resumed in 1946, with Watford still in the Third Division South. Ron Burgess replaced McBain during that season, and in the following campaign Burgess presided over Watfords first Football League promotion and this team included Fourth Division top scorer Cliff Holton, who scored a club record 42 league goals in the season. Holton was sold to Northampton the following year after another 34 goals, eighteen-year-old Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings also featured under McGarry, and made his international debut despite being a Third Division player. Furphys rebuilding came to fruition in 1969 with the signing of Barry Endean, Watford secured the Third Division title in April, at home to Plymouth Argyle. A year later Watford reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, defeating First Division teams Stoke City, hampered by a lack of funds, however, Furphy eventually joined Blackburn Rovers, to be succeeded by George Kirby
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Highbury, London, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won 13 League titles,12 FA Cups, Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, in the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double, between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position, Herbert Chapman won Arsenals first national trophies, but died prematurely. He helped introduce the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers, Arsène Wenger has been the longest-serving manager and has won the most trophies. His teams set several English records, the longest win streak, the longest unbeaten run, in 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. They became Tottenham Hotspurs nearest club, commencing the North London derby, in 2006, they moved down the road to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal earned €435. 5m in 2014–15, with the Emirates Stadium generating the highest revenue in world football, based on social media activity from 2014–15, Arsenals fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2016, Forbes estimated the club was the second most valuable in England, on 1 December 1886, munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with David Danskin as their first captain. Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C. s first home was Plumstead Common, though spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead. Royal Arsenal won Arsenals first trophies in 1890 and 1891, Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893. They registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended later that year, Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers, businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall took the club over, and sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury and this saw their third change of name, the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to simply The Arsenal
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
Notts County F.C.
Notts County Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. With records of games as early as 28 November 1862, Notts County is recognised as the oldest association football team in the world now playing at a professional level. Between 1888–89 and 2013–14 they played a total of 4,756 Football League matches – more than any other English team, the team plays in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. County play their games at Meadow Lane in black and white striped shirts. The club has had spells in the top division of English football, most recently in 1991–92. Notable former managers of Notts County include Jimmy Sirrel, Howard Wilkinson, Neil Warnock, Howard Kendall, the club has had several owners. In the 21st century, a series of problems has seen the club owned by a supporters trust. Notts County are the oldest professional club in the world having been formed in 1862. Notts pre-dated The Football Association and initially played a game of its own devising, at the time of its formation, Notts County, like most sports teams, were considered to be a gentlemen-only club. Notts County are considered to be one of the pioneers of the game and are the oldest of the worlds professional association football clubs. In November 1872, the Notts County full-back Ernest Greenhalgh played for England against Scotland in the international match. In 1888, Notts County, along with 11 other football clubs and they finished their first league season in 11th place, but avoided the dubious honour of the wooden spoon, which went to Midlands rivals Stoke. However, Notts County did achieve their highest ever finish of third in 1890–91. On 25 March 1891, Notts County reached the FA Cup final for the first time, the Magpies were defeated 3–1 by Blackburn Rovers at The Oval, despite having beaten the same side 7–1 in the league only a week earlier. This achievement is also memorable for Notts County becoming the first club outside the top division to win the FA Cup, in 1910 they moved to Meadow Lane. Notts County were relegated in 1926 in what was to be their last season in the English top flight for half a century. The 1925–26 season was the last season that famed giant goalkeeper Albert Iremonger played for the club, in the 1946–47 season, the ground was used temporarily by Nottingham Forest after the River Trent flooded both Meadow Lane and the City Ground. Forest again used Meadow Lane in 1968, after fire destroyed the main stand at the City Ground, the golden age of the club came just after the end of World War II
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Swansea City represent England when playing in European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past, the club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swanseas new status as a city. Swansea have played their matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division and it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline then set near the seasons end before finishing sixth, although a club record. The clubs subsequent climb from the division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League, following the lead of many other South Wales sides, joined the second division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the clubs first chairman, a site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the clubs ground. The clubs first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time, before the game Bradshaw had scored with thirty-six consecutive spot kicks. Remarkably, the Swans played most of the half with ten men. The Swans drew at another First Division side, Newcastle United, in the next round, following the First World War the Southern League dropped its second division, and with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the first division. After just four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920, the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later. Sadly for the Swans, an experienced Bolton side won the game 3–0, Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour, during the 1931–32 season they finished 1st and went out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. However they won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay and it was not until the 1933–34 season that Wilfred Milne scored his first goal for Swansea at Lincoln City after 501 appearances without a goal. After just one back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division. The following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time
Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. They have played in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. They are one of two teams in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City – Argyles local rivals, since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles, five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the clubs 42nd in the tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once. The club takes its nickname, The Pilgrims, from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620, the club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have played in dark green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football and they are the most southerly and westerly League club in England. Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England, the original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of a process of renovation. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United, the other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United, plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council. This purchase was concluded in December 2006, in December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should Englands bid be successful. The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010, however, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million. The club was taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They compete in the Premier League, Englands top tier of football, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14, this signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away. The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road and they moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011, Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting upset ever, multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. Due to the magnitude of the title win, it went down in English football history as one of the games finest ever achievements. The clubs previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, throughout Leicesters history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles, the club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition, City have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016 and they have also won the League Cup three times in 1964,1997 and 2000, as well as being runners up in 1964–65 and 1999. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as Leicester Fosse, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicesters first ever Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, the same season also saw the clubs largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, however, the club were relegated after a single season which included the clubs record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, the club was reformed as Leicester City Football Club, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, the club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two
Reading Buses is a bus operator serving the towns of Reading, Bracknell, Newbury and the surrounding area in the county of Berkshire, England. The operating company is known as Reading Transport Limited, and is owned by Reading Borough Council. The origins of Reading Transport can be traced back to 1878, the company was authorised to construct and operate a horse tram route on an east–west alignment from Oxford Road through Broad Street in the town centre to Cemetery Junction. This route formed the core of what became known as the line of the tram. Construction started in January 1879, with the line open by May. A fleet of six single-decked cars were used, with 31 horses. The cars operated from a depot on the side of the Oxford Road. By the 1890s the whole fleet had been replaced by double-decked cars operating at a 10-minute frequency, the company made several proposals to add routes and electrify the system, but none of these were implemented, and in 1899 the borough corporation decided to purchase the system. The purchase deal was completed on 31 October 1901, and Reading Corporation Tramways came into being, the corporation set out about first extending, and then electrifying the system. The extensions were completed by December 1902, and the last horse cars ran in July of the following year, the new electric trams started operating in July 1903. Extensions were constructed to the Wokingham Road and London Road, and new routes added to Whitley, Caversham Road, Erleigh Road and Bath Road. The trams operated from a new depot in Mill Lane, a site that was to remain Reading Transports main depot until it was demolished to make way for The Oracle shopping mall in 1998. The electric tram services were operated by 30 four-wheeled double decked cars supplied by Dick. In 1904, six cars and a water car were added to the fleet. No further trams were acquired, and an extension from the Caversham Road terminus across Caversham Bridge to Caversham itself was abandoned because of the outbreak of World War I. The war also led to a significant maintenance backlog, in 1919, Reading Corporation started operating its first motor buses. These ran from Caversham Heights to Tilehurst, running over the tram lines, because of the state of the track, the Bath Road tram route was abandoned in 1930, followed by the Erleigh Road route in 1932. Eventually it was decided that the tramways should be abandoned and replaced by trolleybuses, the last tram ran on the Caversham Road to Whitley route in July 1936, and the last car on the main line ran in May 1939