George Sidney Raynor was an English professional footballer and one of the most successful international football managers ever. One of his greatest achievements was taking the Sweden national football team to a World Cup final, he managed them to an Olympic gold medal. Before 1966 FIFA World Cup, he was the only Englishman to put a national team into a Final of a World Cup. Raynor first played football in the non-Leagues for Elsecar Bible Class, Mexborough Athletic and Wombwell; when he did sign professional forms Raynor's career took him only on an uninspired jaunt around the Football League. His first professional club was Sheffield United whom he joined in 1930, making only one first team appearance in the two years he was with the club. Between 1932 and 1939 he played for four different League clubs, the last of these in the truncated season before the start of the War, he signed up as a physical training instructor in 1939 in order to train soldiers in the British Army. The Football Association had requested that all professional footballers become PTI's if they were not inclined to see active service.
Raynor was posted to Iraq and whilst in the course of working as a training instructor in Baghdad, Raynor helped a fellow teacher club together a group of students into a team which toured the neighbouring states as a representative of Iraq. His work in Iraq came to the notice of the Secretary of Stanley Rous. Thereafter, as Brian Glanville notes in his The Story of the World Cup, "the FA whisked him in 1946 from reserve team trainer at Aldershot to the team managership of Sweden". During 1939 he was a'guest' WW2 player with Aldershot, Bury, Clapton Orient with 1 appearance, Crystal Palace and Hull City. Source: Neilson N. Kaufman, historian Leyton Orient FC. Raynor was an irascible, indefatigable figure, character notes that aligned him more to a responsive Sweden than they would in conservative England and accordingly, with his insights into club management coming to the fore, Sweden developed into a force. Under his tutelage, Sweden gave England a scare before losing 4-2 at Highbury in 1947.
The following year Sweden, won the 1948 Olympic Games title defeating Yugoslavia 3-1 in the final, in front of 60,000 at Wembley. This was after having surpassed Austria and South Korea in the earlier stages. At that stage Raynor was assisted by Putte Kock, they had assessed the team and decided that Nils Liedholm and Kjell Rosén could work as defensive midfielders. The team had a core of players. Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Liedholm formed the wonderfully inventive striking force and each were picked up by impressed Italian scouts following the Gold-medal victory. Raynor remains the last English manager to lead a team to Olympic Gold. Divested of his best players and belaboured by the constraints of domestic initiative whereby professionals were barred from playing for the national side, Raynor was still able to qualify the side for the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil where the team overcame Italy and finished in third place. Raynor was still in charge of the national side for their Bronze medal performance at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki and coached the national side during a two-game tour in late Autumn 1953.
One of those games included an international against Hungary in Budapest on November 15. Raynor is reputed to have said: "If we win, I'll paint moustache red." The game finished 2-2, against the brilliant Hungarian Golden Team, who had remained undefeated for over 4 years. On the journey back to Sweden, Raynor met Walter Winterbottom in Vienna and explained to him how to play the Hungarians, using man-to-man marking to cut out the threat of Nándor Hidegkuti. Winterbottom did not follow the advice and this, in part, led to England losing their home record against Hungary at Wembley Stadium on 22 November 1953. By that stage the Swedish FA had decided to allow professionalism in domestic football, but there was still the need to go cap in hand to the Italian clubs in order to confirm the selection of Kurt Hamrin and Liedholm and there was still a need to convince the Swedish public of the need to play'foreigners' in the national side. Raynor said "It would have been impossible for us to meet world-class opposition without such performers as Liedholm, Gren and Skoglund.
Some people thought it wrong to play these "Italians" as the side was not representative of Swedish football. It wasn’t, but it was representative of the footballers Sweden produced."Raynor managed Sweden to the final against Brazil. He famously said that if Sweden get the first goal in the Final'Brazil would panic all over the show'. Up to that stage the Brazilians had yet to go a goal down and when they were held by the Welsh in the quarter-final, they had struggled to unlock the defence; as it happened the Swedes did score first. The runners-up place is still the greatest achievement for Sweden in a major football competition. Raynor drifted back and forth into club management throughout this time with AIK in Stockholm, Lazio in Rome and Coventry City FC in England
Gordon David Strachan is a Scottish football manager and former player, the manager of the Scotland national team. Strachan played for Dundee, Manchester United, Leeds United and Coventry City, as well as the Scotland national team, he has managed Coventry City, Southampton and Middlesbrough. In club football, he played 635 league games, scoring a total of 138 goals, playing 21 of 25 career seasons in either the English or Scottish top-flight. In international football Strachan earned 50 caps, scoring five goals and playing in two FIFA World Cup final tournaments, Spain 82 and Mexico 86. Strachan retired from playing in 1997 at age 40, setting a Premier League record for an outfield player. A right-sided midfielder, Strachan made his senior debut in 1974 with Dundee before moving on within Scotland, to spend seven seasons at Aberdeen, he first played for the Scotland national team in 1980. While at Aberdeen Strachan won multiple domestic league and cup honours in the early 1980s, as well as the 1982–83 European Cup Winners' Cup and 1983 European Super Cup.
Moving to England, Strachan won the 1985 FA Cup Final in five seasons with Manchester United, before spending the next seven seasons as club captain at Leeds, winning the 1989–90 Second Division and 1991–92 First Division league titles. He played his last game for Scotland in 1992 while still at Leeds, moved to Coventry in 1995 for a final three seasons, as a player-coach. Strachan became full-time manager of Coventry when the incumbent Ron Atkinson was appointed as director of football. After five years in the role, he was sacked in 2001 when Coventry were relegated from the top-flight for the first time in 34 years. However, he returned to the Premier League with Southampton and guided the "Saints" to the 2003 FA Cup Final, where they lost 1–0 to Arsenal. Strachan resigned from Southampton in 2004 and took a 16-month break from management before returning to Scotland to become manager of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. With Celtic, he achieved three successive league titles and other domestic cup wins, before resigning in May 2009 after failing to win a fourth title.
Five months he became manager of Middlesbrough in the English Championship, but left the club after an unsuccessful 12 months in the job. Strachan was named as FWA Footballer of the Year for the 1990–91 season while at Leeds, he was named Manager of the Year in Scotland several times by writers and players while at Celtic. In 2007, Strachan was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, he is the father of Craig Strachan and Gavin Strachan footballers. Born and raised in Muirhouse, Strachan supported Hibernian as a boy, his father, worked as a scaffolder, his mother, worked at a whisky distillery. At age 15, he damaged his vision playing football on the school playground when a pen in his pocket became lodged in his right eye, he was offered a contract by Hibernian manager Eddie Turnbull, but his father decided against the offer after stating the club did not pay sufficient expenses for footwear. Strachan began his career with Dundee, having decided to sign with the Scottish club at age 14.
In joining the club, he rejected an approach from Manchester United, reasoning he had a better chance to establish himself in the first team at Dens Park. His natural talent was apparent and he earned a reputation as an outstanding player in the second team, twice winning the Scottish Reserve Player of the Year Award, he made his mark as an 18-year-old when he outplayed Alan Ball in a friendly with Arsenal in August 1975. Strachan became a regular player in the 1975–76 season, the inaugural season of the Scottish Premier Division, featuring in 17 of the club's 36 league matches; however David White's "Dee" were relegated on the last day of the season after rivals Dundee United edged ahead on goal average with an unlikely draw with champions Rangers. New boss Tommy Gemmell handed 19-year-old Strachan the captaincy for the 1976–77 First Division campaign, he remains the youngest player to have captained Dundee. However, the club failed to shine in the lower divisions, Strachan lost his first team place early in the 1977–78 season following a drinking session with Jimmy Johnstone.
Strachan decided to leave Dundee. His last match for Dundee was on 26 October 1977 in a 6–0 defeat in the League Cup to Queen of the South at Palmerston Park, which Strachan described in his autobiography as "embarrassing". Strachan was signed by Aberdeen manager Billy McNeill in November 1977 for a fee of £50,000 plus Jim Shirra. Poor form and niggling injuries made 1977–78 a poor season for Strachan, though the "Dons" went on to finish second in the Scottish Premier Division, he was not picked for the 1978 Scottish Cup Final defeat to Rangers. McNeill left the Pittodrie Stadium for Celtic in summer 1978, Alex Ferguson was appointed as the new manager. Strachan played at Hampden Park in the 1979 League Cup defeat to Rangers, set up Duncan Davidson for the game's opening goal. Though the 1978–79 campaign was a disappointment, Aberdeen went on to win the league title in 1979–80 after closing a ten-point deficit over Celtic with a late run that included two victories at Celtic Park, they again reached the League Cup Fi
Ronald Frederick Atkinson known as Big Ron, is an English former football player and manager. In the 1990s and early 2000s, he was one of Britain's best-known football pundits, he spent his playing career at Oxford United. As a manager, he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and 1985 and the Football League Cup with Sheffield Wednesday in 1991 and Aston Villa in 1994. Atkinson, born in Liverpool but moved to Warwickshire shortly after his birth, did not achieve great heights in his playing career. After beginning his career as a ground staff boy at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he was signed by Aston Villa from works team BSA Tools at the age of 17, but never played a first-team match for them, he has referred to Villa coach Jimmy Hogan as his biggest influence. He was transferred to Oxford United in the summer of 1959 on a free transfer. There he played alongside his younger brother Graham Atkinson, he went on to make over 500 appearances in all competitions as a wing-half for the club, earning, in his playing days the nickname: "The Tank", scoring a total of 14 goals.
He was United's captain through their rise from the Southern League to the Second Division, achieved in only six years from 1962 to 1968, an impressive achievement. He was the first footballer to captain a club from the Southern League through three divisions of the Football League. After retiring from playing, Atkinson became manager player of non-league Kettering Town in 1971, aged only 32, his success there led to a move to the league with Cambridge United, going on to win the Fourth Division in 1977 and leaving them when they were on the verge of promotion to the Second Division. At the start of 1978, Atkinson moved to manage First Division West Bromwich Albion, he soon signed black player Brendon Batson from his former club, to play alongside the black pair of Laurie Cunningham and Cyrille Regis. Never before had a team in the top division of English football fielded three black players on a regular basis. Atkinson led West Bromwich Albion to third place in the league in the season 1978–79 and to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
On 30 December 1978 they achieved a famous 5–3 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. The club were second in the table at the time, only beaten off top spot from Liverpool by goal difference, they finished fourth in 1981, shortly after this Atkinson became manager of Manchester United on the dismissal of Dave Sexton. Atkinson was seen as the man who could bring the spark to Manchester United, so sorely lacking under his predecessor. Dave Sexton had taken them to second place in the league in 1980 but did not win a major trophy in his four years at the club. United had finished eighth in the season before Atkinson's appointment, Atkinson had missed out of the chance of overseeing a UEFA Cup campaign by departing from Albion and taking over at United. In the 1981–82 season, United finished third in the First Division, to qualify for the UEFA Cup, though for much of the season they were one of several teams who topped the table before a late surge from Liverpool saw Bob Paisley's team seal the title.
Early in the season he had paid a national record £1.5 million for Bryan Robson from his old club West Bromwich Albion, shortly afterwards added midfielder Remi Moses and Arsenal striker Frank Stapleton to his ranks. He gave a debut to promising young forward Norman Whiteside in April 1982, just before the player's 17th birthday. In the 1982–83 season, two appearances at Wembley, one of, an FA Cup victory against Brighton & Hove Albion, coupled with another third-place finish in the league, fuelled speculation that United were back in a big way. During the first half of the season, they had topped the league more than once but a storming run of form by Liverpool beginning before Christmas meant that the title headed for Anfield for the second year running. 1982–83 saw the breakthrough of young Norman Whiteside as one of the best performing players in the First Division. Whiteside was on the scoresheet for the FA Cup final replay as United beat Brighton 4–0 after drawing the first game 2–2. In the 1983–84 season, Atkinson's side reached the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup although their defence of the FA Cup ended at the first hurdle with a shock 2–0 defeat at Third Division Bournemouth.
They finished fourth in the league, having topped the table at several stages once again, before injuries to key players counted against them and they dropped points. The end of the season saw the sale of key midfielder Ray Wilkins to A. C. Milan of Italy for £1.5 million, while the duration of the season had seen the breakthrough of young striker Mark Hughes. Rather than plunge into the transfer market for a big name, Atkinson shifted Norman Whiteside into midfield to fill the gap left by Wilkins and allowed Hughes to form a partnership with the experienced Frank Stapleton. In the 1984–85 season, United again won the FA Cup; however and his team were denied the chance of another European Cup Winners Cup campaign as the Heysel disaster at the European Cup final that year resulted in an indefinite ban on all English clubs in European competitions. In the 1985–86 season, they won their first 10 games of the league season and were unbeaten after their first 15 games to build a comfortable lead at the top of the table that lasted into the new year.
However, their form tailed off badly and they again finished fourth, with Liverpool finishing the season as league champions. With the ban on English clubs in European competitions continuing, there was not the consolation of a UEFA Cup place. United's ti
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club based in Coventry, West Midlands, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following promotion via the playoffs from League Two in the 2017–18 season. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 before adopting their current name in 1898. They joined the Football League in 1919, they won their only major trophy in 1987. They are one of only five clubs to have won both the FA Youth Cup in the same season, they have reached two Football League Cup semi-finals, in 1981 and 1990. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, defeating Oxford United 2–1 to win the Football League Trophy and again in May 2018, beating Exeter City 3–1 to gain promotion to EFL League One via the play-offs; the club, nicknamed The Sky Blues because of the colour of their strip, was an inaugural member of the Premier League in 1992 and had spent 34 consecutive seasons in the English top flight prior to its relegation in 2001.
Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to League One in 2012, the first time they had been in the third tier since 1964. In 2017, there was a further relegation, with the club dropping to the fourth tier of the competition for the first time since 1959. Coventry has qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, the team competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, reaching the second round. Despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in the home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Germany, thus were eliminated; the team was unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, due to the ban on English clubs at that time, following the Heysel disaster. From 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road, which in 1981 became the first all-seater stadium in English football. In the late 1990s, the club's directors decided that a larger stadium was necessary, so chose a site in the Rowley's Green area of the city.
The 32,609-capacity Ricoh Arena was opened in August 2005. The club has played home games there since, apart from the 2013–14 season when it played at Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium, some 35 miles away, due to a rent dispute. 1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The club's name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City. 1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the qualifying round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained since. 1928 – In February, with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the club's worst attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace. 1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals.
1934 – City record their biggest victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a nail-biting final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United and return to Division Two after eleven years in the lower division. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club, which this year was a founding member of Division Four. He played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed manager following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league King's Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United. 1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club. Coventry's record attendance was set in this year – recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table.
1970 – Under Noel Cantwell, Coventry finish 6th in the First Division, their highest League placing. Coventry qualify for the European Fairs Cup but lost 7–3 on aggregate in the second round to Bayern Munich, despite winning the second leg 2–1 at Highfield Road. 1977 – Coventry City escaped relegation after drawing with Bristol City who escaped relegation. The result of this game relegated Sunderland, which caused allegations of match fixing over the outcome of the match due to the result of the Sunderland game being relayed to Coventry City and Bristol City players on the stadium screen before their game had finished. 1978 – The strike partnership of Ian Wallace and Mick Ferguson helped the Sky Blues finish in seventh position in the First Division, their second-highest final league placing, but fractionally missing out on a UEFA Cup place. 1981 – The club reaches the League Cup semi-final but are denied their first Wembley appearance by West Ham United, despite being 3–2 ahead after the first leg.
Highfield Road becomes England's first all-seater stadium. 1987 – The Sky Blues won the FA Cup, beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final. It is their only major trophy to date, they were runners-up to Everton in August in the Charity Shield. Coventry won the FA Youth Cup in this year. 1989 – Coventry were defeated by non-league Sutton United in the FA Cup Third Round, only 19 months after lifting the trophy. However, their impressive league for
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, it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The three leagues below the Premier League are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the League and is further extended to allow the top Championship clubs to exchange places with the lowest-placed clubs in the Premier League, the bottom clubs of League Two to switch with the top clubs of the National League, thus integrating the League into the English football league system. Although a competition for English clubs, clubs from Wales – Swansea City and Newport County – take part, while in the past Cardiff City, Merthyr Town and Aberdare Athletic have been members.
The Football League was 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. Starting with the 2016–17 season, the league has moved away from having a title sponsor, rebranding itself as the English Football League, in much the same way the Premier League is known as the "EPL" internationally; the English Football League is the name of the governing body of the league competition, this body 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 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, it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It organises two knockout cup competitions, the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy; the Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor with 12 member clubs.
Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant. Financial considerations led to a major shake-up in 1992 when, in a step to maximise their revenue, the leading members of the Football League broke away to form their own competition, the FA Premier League, renamed in 2007 as the Premier League; 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 EFL's 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions: the EFL Championship, EFL League One, EFL League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, in any given season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents; this makes for a total of 46 games played each season. Clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the next higher division, while those at the bottom may be relegated to the next lower one.
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. At the lower end, two League Two clubs lose their Football League status with relegation to the National division of the National League, while two teams from that division join League Two of The Football League in their stead. Promotion and relegation are determined by final league positions, but to sustain interest for more clubs over the length of the season one promotion place from each division is decided according to a playoff between four clubs, which takes place at the end of the season, it is therefore possible for a team finishing sixth in the Championship or League One, or seventh in League Two, to be promoted rather than the clubs finishing above them in the standings. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season. If a club enters administration before 31 March of any given season, they will be deducted 12 points.
It is required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditor's Voluntary Agreement, pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these will result in a second unlimited points deduction; the other main situation in, a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted; the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions: the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby 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 "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is 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 modern football. 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 and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Philip George Neal is an English retired footballer who played for Northampton Town and Bolton Wanderers as a full back. He is one of the most successful English players of all time, having won eight First Divisions, four League Cups, five FA Charity Shields, four European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup during his eleven years at Liverpool, he returned to Bolton Wanderers as manager, leading them to victory in the Football League Trophy before spells managing Coventry City, Cardiff City and Manchester City. Neal had a long career with the England national team, winning 50 caps and playing in the 1982 World Cup, he would go on to be England's assistant manager under Graham Taylor. Phil Neal's nickname whilst at Liverpool was Zico – a reference to the Brazilian play maker and a compliment to Neal, known for scoring important goals throughout the club's history. Phil's son, Ashley Neal became a footballer. Neal began his playing career at Wellingborough Town, before he joined Northampton Town in 1968.
He went on to make 187 appearances for the club before being signed on 9 October 1974 for £66,000 by Liverpool manager Bob Paisley. Paisley had intended to break Neal in as a replacement for the ageing Chris Lawler, meaning that he played as a left-back, it would be, his industrious and energetic performances at right-back where he made his name. Neal made his Liverpool début in the Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park on 16 November 1974, a game which ended 0–0. Neal made his début alongside midfielder Terry McDermott. Neal's first goal for the club came exactly one year on 4 November 1975, during the 6–0 defeat of Real Sociedad in a UEFA Cup game at Anfield. Neal scored from the penalty spot late in the 1977 European Cup Final, when the Anfield club beat Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 in Rome to win the European Cup for the first time. Neal subsequently played in the winning 1978 and 1981 finals, Liverpool beating FC Bruges and Real Madrid respectively, he scored in the first half of the 1984 final against A.
S. Roma, which ended 1-1 and was decided on penalty kicks, won by Liverpool. Neal was the only player to appear in all four of Liverpool's European Cup wins of the 1970s and 1980s. In total, Neal won eight First Divisions, four League Cups, five FA Charity Shields, four European Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Super Cup during his eleven years at Liverpool, making him one of the most successful Englishmen to play the game. During his Liverpool career, Neal was ever-present in the starting lineup for several seasons, he played a club-record 365 consecutive league matches from 14 December 1974 until 24 September 1983, when he suffered an injury against Manchester United that forced him to miss the following week's match against Sunderland. Neal departed Anfield after 11 years in 1985, he retired from playing in 1989 after 50 caps for England. In December 1985, Neal was appointed player-manager of Bolton Wanderers and managed the club for seven years. During this period, Neal led the club to win the Football League Trophy in 1989, although the club would suffer relegation to the Fourth Division for the first and only time in their history.
They won promotion back to the Third Division the following season, reaching the Third Division play-offs in 1990 and 1991 but failed to win promotion on either occasion. In 1991, they had been pipped to automatic promotion by Grimsby Town on goal difference, lost to Tranmere Rovers in the playoff final. A year they finished 13th in the Third Division and Neal was sacked on 8 May 1992, his successor was Bruce Rioch, who guided Bolton to promotion from the newly named Division Two in 1993 and to the top flight in 1995. Neal returned to club management on 23 October 1993 with Coventry City, beginning his spell at Highfield Road on that day with a 5–1 defeat against QPR that left them 12th in the Premier League. Despite a shaky start to his time as Sky Blues manager, they did well in the second half of the season and finished 11th in the league – their highest finish since coming seventh in 1989; the most impressive result that season after Neal's arrival was a 4–0 home win over Manchester City on 19 February 1994.
However, Coventry struggled in 1994–95 despite the £2million arrival of striker Dion Dublin from Manchester United on 10 September, Neal was sacked on 14 February 1995 despite a 2–0 away win over fellow strugglers Crystal Palace three days earlier, which saw them 17th in the Premier League and two places above the relegation zone. Neal's successor Ron Atkinson ensured City's survival, he was appointed manager of Cardiff City in Division Three in February 1996, but in October that year he left Ninian Park to become assistant manager to Steve Coppell at Manchester City who were struggling in Division One after relegation from the Premier League. However, Coppell resigned on 8 November 1996 and Neal became caretaker manager until the arrival of Frank Clark on 29 December. For the 1997–98 season, Neal was recruited as assistant manager to chairman-manager Barry Fry at Peterborough United after their relegation to Division Three, but he was axed by Fry on 15 March 1998, he has played for and coached the Liverpool masters side which dominated the Sky Sports Masters series.
In recent years, Neal has worked as a football pundit for various television and radio organisations. He has written two autobiographies, Attack From The Back in 1981 and Life at the Kop in 1986. 1 – Also played in the FA Charity Shield 2 – Also played in the Intercontinental Cup 3 – Also pl