Manchester is a major city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 514,414 as of 2013. It lies within the United Kingdoms second-most populous urban area, with a population of 2.55 million, Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council and it was historically a part of Lancashire, although areas of Cheshire south of the River Mersey were incorporated during the 20th century. Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a township but began to expand at an astonishing rate around the turn of the 19th century. Manchesters unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, Manchester achieved city status in 1853. The Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, creating the Port of Manchester and its fortunes declined after the Second World War, owing to deindustrialisation. The city centre was devastated in a bombing in 1996, but it led to extensive investment, in 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London. Manchester is the third-most visited city in the UK and it is notable for its architecture, culture, musical exports, media links, scientific and engineering output, social impact, sports clubs and transport connections. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station was the worlds first inter-city passenger railway station and in the city scientists first split the atom, the name Manchester originates from the Latin name Mamucium or its variant Mancunium and the citizens are still referred to as Mancunians. These are generally thought to represent a Latinisation of an original Brittonic name, both meanings are preserved in languages derived from Common Brittonic, mam meaning breast in Irish and mother in Welsh. The suffix -chester is a survival of Old English ceaster and their territory extended across the fertile lowland of what is now Salford and Stretford. Central Manchester has been settled since this time. A stabilised fragment of foundations of the version of the Roman fort is visible in Castlefield. After the Roman withdrawal and Saxon conquest, the focus of settlement shifted to the confluence of the Irwell, much of the wider area was laid waste in the subsequent Harrying of the North. Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor, founded and constructed a church for the parish in 1421. The church is now Manchester Cathedral, the premises of the college house Chethams School of Music. The library, which opened in 1653 and is open to the public today, is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. Manchester is mentioned as having a market in 1282, around the 14th century, Manchester received an influx of Flemish weavers, sometimes credited as the foundation of the regions textile industry
NAC Breda, simply often known as NAC, is a Dutch professional football club, based in Breda, The Netherlands. NAC Breda play in the Rat Verlegh Stadium, named after their most important player and they play in the Dutch Eerste Divisie and are known by the fierce and fanatic support of their fans. In their history, NAC won one title in 1921. NAC was founded on September 19,1912, when the two clubs ADVENDO and NOAD merged to one club. NOAD is a Dutch abbreviation for Nooit Opgeven, Altijd Doorgaan, while ADVENDO is a Dutch abbreviation for Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning, the full name of NAC Breda expands to Nooit opgeven altijd doorgaan, Aangenaam door vermaak en nuttig door ontspanning, Combinatie Breda. Early 2003 NAC added, as a symbol of gratitude, Breda to their club name, at the end of season 2009/2010 it appeared, despite earlier denials by management and the chairman, that NAC had a debt of 3.2 million Euros. The crisis lead to the resignation of several members and the installation of a new board. Finally it appeared that NAC had a debt of 7.1 million Euros, in 2012 Stefaan Eskes succeeded Ed Busselaar and in August 2012 NAC Breda reinstated their first logo as the new clublogo for the season 2012–13. NAC Breda was founded on September 20,1912 when the two clubs ADVENDO and NOAD merged to one club, during the new club’s foundation meeting the atmosphere became tense, since NOAD wanted to name the new club NOAD. This name was for ADVENDO no option, eventually, Frans Konert proposed to call the club NAC, which was accepted by the meeting’s attendants. At first, the NVB refused NAC to play associated football, the first years weren’t that well for NAC, but when NAC moved to a new stadium ‘t Ploegske the results improved. NAC became one of the topteams in the highest Southern Division, in 1919 NAC became champion of this competition and was allowed to play the Dutch Champions’ Competition. During this competition NAC finished in the last place, in 1920, NAC was one of the first clubs to play international matches. NAC played a couple of matches, including a match against Real Madrid CF. NAC won this match with 0–4 and the Spanish newspapers called NAC ‘Los muchacos del Breda, in 1921 NAC celebrated one of its greatest achievements, when they became Dutch football champion. In the Dutch Championship competition, NAC defeated Ajax, Be Quick 1887, NAC continued to play soccer on a high level and in the twenties and thirties NAC was considered to be one of the best clubs in Dutch football. During this period NAC won 6 Southern Division titles and the football was deemed technically perfect by press, because of this view, the NAC board decided to hire a professional trainer. Englishman Ben Affleck was hired as a coach and was a couple of months later succeeded by James Moore, when Moore resigned, the NAC board issued a committee, who would select the best 11 NAC players to play a match
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is a football club in Manchester, England. Founded in 1880 as St. Marks, they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887, the club moved to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, having played at Maine Road since 1923. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, having regained their Premier League status in the early 2000s, the club was purchased in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group and has become one of the wealthiest in the world. Since 2011 the club have won five major honours, including the Premier League in 2012 and 2014, by 2014–15, Manchester City had the sixth-highest revenue in the footballing world with an annual revenue of €463.5 million. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated they were the sixth most valuable football club. City gained their first honours by winning the Second Division in 1899, with it promotion to the highest level in English football. A fire at Hyde Road destroyed the main stand in 1920, in the 1930s, Manchester City reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing to Everton in 1933, before claiming the Cup by beating Portsmouth in 1934. The club won the First Division title for the first time in 1937, after relegation to the Second Division in 1963, the future looked bleak with a record low home attendance of 8,015 against Swindon Town in January 1965. In the summer of 1965, the management team of Joe Mercer, in the first season under Mercer, City won the Second Division title and made important signings in Mike Summerbee and Colin Bell. Further trophies followed, City won the FA Cup in 1969, before achieving European success by winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1970, beating Górnik Zabrze 2–1 in Vienna. City also won the League Cup that season, becoming the second English team to win a European trophy, the club continued to challenge for honours throughout the 1970s, finishing one point behind the league champions on two occasions and reaching the final of the 1974 League Cup. Former United player Denis Law scored with a backheel to give City a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, the final trophy of the clubs most successful period was won in 1976, when Newcastle United were beaten 2–1 in the League Cup final. A long period of decline followed the success of the 1960s and 1970s, Malcolm Allison rejoined the club to become manager for the second time in 1979, but squandered large sums of money on unsuccessful signings, such as Steve Daley. A succession of managers then followed – seven in the 1980s alone, under John Bond, City reached the 1981 FA Cup final but lost in a replay to Tottenham Hotspur. The club were relegated from the top flight in the 1980s. However, this was only a respite, and following Reids departure Manchester Citys fortunes continued to fade. City were co-founders of the Premier League upon its creation in 1992, after two seasons in Division One, City fell to the lowest point in their history, becoming the second ever European trophy winners to be relegated to their countrys third league tier, after 1. After relegation, the club underwent off-the-field upheaval, with new chairman David Bernstein introducing greater fiscal discipline, under manager Joe Royle, City were promoted at the first attempt, achieved in dramatic fashion in a play-off against Gillingham
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
Sale, Greater Manchester
Sale is a town in Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. Historically in Cheshire, it is on the bank of the River Mersey,1.9 miles south of Stretford,2.5 miles northeast of Altrincham. In 2011, it had a population of 134,122, according to a 2017 study commissioned by the Royal Mail, Sale was found to be the 4th most desirable town to live in in England. Evidence of Stone Age, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon activity has been discovered locally, in the Middle Ages, Sale was a rural township, linked ecclesiastically with neighbouring Ashton upon Mersey, whose fields and meadows were used for crop and cattle farming. By the 17th century, Sale had an industry manufacturing garthweb. The Bridgewater Canal reached the town in 1765, stimulating Sales urbanisation, agriculture gradually declined as service industries boomed. Sales urban growth resulted in a merger with neighbouring Ashton upon Mersey, the increase in population led to the granting of a charter in 1935, giving Sale honorific borough status. Since then, Sale has continued to thrive as a town, supported by its proximity to the M60 motorway. Sale Water Park contains a lake used for water sports. Sale FC and Sale Sharks rugby union clubs and Sale Harriers athletics club were founded in Sale, a flint arrowhead discovered in Sale suggests a prehistoric human presence at the location, but there is no further evidence of activity in the area until the Roman period. A 4th-century hoard of 46 Roman coins was discovered in Ashton upon Mersey, Sale lies along the line of the Roman road which runs between the fortresses at Chester and York, via the fort at Manchester, the present-day A56 follows the route of the road through the town. After the Roman departure from Britain in the century, Britain was invaded by the Anglo-Saxons. Some local field and road names, and the name of Sale itself, are Anglo-Saxon in origin, the Old English salh, from which Sale is derived, means at the sallow tree, and Ashton upon Mersey means village or farm near the ash trees. Although the townships of Sale and Ashton upon Mersey were not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the first recorded occurrences of Sale and Ashton upon Mersey are in 1199–1216 and 1260 respectively. The settlements were referred to as townships rather than manors, which suggests evidence of Anglo-Saxon origins as townships were developed by the Saxons. The manor of Sale was one of 30 held by William FitzNigel and he divided it between Thomas de Sale and Adam de Carrington, who acted as Lords of the Manor on FitzNigels behalf. On de Sales death, his passed to his son-in-law, John Holt, de Carringtons land passed into the ownership of Richard de Massey. Sale descended through the Holt and Massey families until the 17th century, Sale Old Hall was built in about 1603 for James Massey, probably to replace a medieval manor house, and was one of the first buildings in northwest England to be made of brick
Manchester City F.C. ownership and finances
The Ownership of Manchester City Football Club traces back to 1894, when Ardwick A. F. C. dissolved and were reformed as Manchester City Football Club Ltd. Net spending in the Premier League era is comparable with Tottenham Hotspur, the report highlighted the clubs immense spending power, meaning as of September 2010 there was a surplus transfer budget of around £175m after the transfer window of summer 2010. Since September 2010 up to September 2011, approximately a further £100m has been spent, as of 21 August 2015 Since September 2008, the club is owned fully by Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak is Chairman on his behalf. Al Mubarak has been Chairman since September 2008, when he took over from previous owner, garry Cook has been Chief Executive Officer since July 2008, after he was previously one of Nike Inc. top hierarchy. His tenure at the club has been marked by improvement in facilities for supporters, players, and staff, brian Marwood has been Football Administration Officer since March 2009. Then Manager Mark Hughes was concerned about the club bringing someone in a Director of Football role and its main role signing transfer targets, whilst improving the clubs infrastructure off the pitch. Patrick Vieira, who retired from football in July 2011, is currently Football development executive, Vieira has stated his intention to acquire his UEFA coaching badges while in his Football development executive role. The club posted a loss of £92.5 million for the year ending 31 May 2009. Furthermore the agreement of understanding gave the permission to build. In July 2011, it was announced the area where the developments will be built will be called the Etihad Campus, in return Etihad Airways will pay sponsorship to Manchester City F. C. The new training complex will be based on AC Milans Milanello training complex, preliminary preparation began in April 2010 with remiadiation of the 17 acres of empty land around the Eastlands stadium. After increasing tickets figures and a sell out all 36,000 season tickets for the 2010–11 season the club has explored options for increasing the stadiums capacity. This previous system earned the council approximately £2 million a year, whereas the new, the agreement is linked to Manchester Citys willingness to considering potential development as part of a contribution to the regeneration of east Manchester, proposals which are being planned. The modern day Manchester City Football Club became a limited company on 16 April 1894. Shares in the club were owned by a number of club figures, the first Chairman was John Chapman, a local publican. In 1902 City were relegated and Hulton took charge, an early board member was newspaper owner Edward Hulton, who held influence at the start of the 20th century. In the 1920s Lawrence Furniss was Chairman, he had served the club in various capacities since playing for them when the club was still Gorton AFC in the mid-1880s, after the end of hostilities in the mid-1940s the Chairman was Robert Smith. In the mid-50s Walter Smith became Chairman before Alan Douglas took over between 1956 and 1964, Douglas stepped down due to ill health, allowing the Alexander family to gain control
James Meredith (footballer)
James Gregory Meredith is an Australian professional footballer who plays as a defender for League One club Bradford City and the Australia national team. Meredith started his career with the Derby County youth system in 2004 and he was loaned out to Cambridge United and Chesterfield before moving to Ireland with Sligo Rovers. He returned to England with Shrewsbury Town, but after making three appearances for them, he joined AFC Telford United on loan for most of the 2008–09 season. He played for them in the semi-finals of both the Conference League Cup and the FA Trophy, as well as the 2009 Conference North play-off Final. Meredith joined York City in 2009 and at the end of his first season played for them in the 2010 Conference Premier play-off Final at Wembley Stadium. Two years later he won in the 2012 FA Trophy Final and 2012 Conference Premier play-off Final with York at Wembley and he signed for Bradford City in 2012, winning promotion to League One in his first season with victory in the 2013 League Two play-off Final. Born in Albury, New South Wales, Meredith was spotted playing football in Melbourne at the age of 16 by a Derby County scout and he was offered a trial by the club and he joined their youth system on a two-year contract in 2004. He progressed through the team and he signed a two-year professional contract with Derby on 19 July 2006. He joined Conference National club Cambridge United on a loan on 19 October 2006. He finished the loan with two appearances and he had a trial with Conference National club York City in January 2007, playing in a reserve-team match against Rotherham United. He joined League One team Chesterfield on a loan on 19 February 2007. Following the expiry of the loan, Chesterfield opted against extending it, Meredith joined League of Ireland Premier Division club Sligo Rovers on a contract until the end of the 2007 season on 31 July 2007. He made his debut in a 2–0 defeat at Galway United on 24 August 2007 and he was told that he did not figure in new manager Paul Simpsons immediate plans in July 2008, being left behind as the club travelled to Spain on a pre-season training camp. Meredith joined Conference North club AFC Telford United on 16 October 2008 on a loan, saying I dont see it as a step down but as a step up. Meredith signed a further extension with Telford in November 2008. The loan was extended for a further month in December 2008. Telford were looking to extend his loan for the remainder of 2008–09 and he eventually extended the loan on 8 January. Meredith played for Telford in both legs of the defeat to York City in the FA Trophy
Charlton Athletic F.C.
Charlton Athletic Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Charlton, south-east London. They play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded on 9 June 1905 when a number of clubs in south-east London, including East Street Mission and Blundell Mission. The clubs traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts and red socks, Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then they have had four periods in the top flight of English football, 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999. Historically, Charltons most successful period was the 1930s, when the clubs highest league finishes were recorded, after World War II, the club reached the FA Cup Final twice, losing in 1946 and winning in 1947. Charlton Athletic F. C. were formed on 9 June 1905 by a group of 15- to 17-year-olds in East Street, Charlton which is now known as Eastmoor Street, Charlton spent most of the years before the First World War playing in youth leagues. They became a side in 1913 the same year that nearby Woolwich Arsenal relocated to North London. After the war, they joined the Kent League for one season before becoming professional and they were accepted by the Southern League and played just a single season before being voted into the Football League. Charltons first Football League match was against Exeter City in August 1921, later that year it was proposed that Charlton merge with Catford Southend to create a larger team with bigger support. In the 1923–24 season Charlton played in Catford at The Mount stadium and wore the colours of The Enders, light, however, the move fell through and the Addicks returned to the Charlton area in 1924, returning to the traditional red and white colours in the process. Charlton finished second bottom in the Football League in 1926 and were forced to apply for re-election which was successful, Three years later the Addicks won the Division Three championship in 1929 and they remained at the Division Two level for four years. Seed, an ex-miner who had made a career as a footballer despite suffering the effects of gas in the First World War. He is commemorated in the name of a stand at the Valley, Seed was an innovative thinker about the game at a time when tactical formations were still relatively unsophisticated. In 1937, Charlton finished runners up in the First Division and they were the most consistent team in the top flight of English football over the three seasons immediately before the Second World War. This continued during the war years and they won the war cup, Charlton reached the 1946 FA Cup Final, but lost 4–1 to Derby County at Wembley. This time they were successful, beating Burnley 1–0, with Chris Duffy scoring the goal of the day. In this period of renewed football attendances, Charlton became one of only thirteen English football teams to average over 40,000 as their attendance during a full season, the Valley was the largest football ground in the League, drawing crowds in excess of 70,000
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in League One, the tier of English football. The football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, the club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is currently an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,609, Sheffield United won the original First Division in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899,1902,1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936 and they reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the history they have played in red. Their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday, with whom they contest the Steel City Derby, Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg. The Wednesday had moved from Bramall Lane to their own ground at Olive Grove, Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally also the president of The Wednesday. Their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981 and they did fall back into the Third Division in 1988, but new manager Dave Bassett masterminded a quick revival which launched the Blades towards one of the most successful eras in their history. Successive promotions in the aftermath of the 1988 relegation saw them return to the First Division in 1990 after a 14-year exile and they survived at this level for four seasons and reached an FA Cup semi-final in the 1992–93 season before being relegated in 1994. Three years later, however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Football League Championship, Neil Warnock resigned as manager after the Blades went down. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, in the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, and entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on a return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town. In 2014, the Blades gained the nickname of giant-killers, having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City. In 2014–15, they reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, the club was formed by members of the Sheffield United Cricket Club, itself formed in 1854 and the first English sports club to use United in its name. Sheffield Uniteds predominant nickname is The Blades, a reference to Sheffields status as the producer of cutlery in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the nickname would also be used in reference to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, another nickname used was The Cutlers. In 1907, Wednesday came to be referred to as The Owls, in reference to their new ground in Owlerton, within Sheffield fans of the club are also sometimes referred to as Unitedites
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final
Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium