Smethwick is a town in Sandwell, West Midlands, historically in Staffordshire. It is 4 miles west of Birmingham city centre and borders West Bromwich and Oldbury to the north and it was suggested that the name Smethwick meant smiths place of work, but a more recent interpretation has suggested the name means the settlement on the smooth land. Smethwick was recorded in the Domesday Book as Smedeuuich, the d in this spelling being the Anglo-Saxon letter eth, until the end of the 18th century it was an outlying hamlet of the south Staffordshire village of Harborne. Harborne became part of the county borough of Birmingham and thus transferred from Staffordshire to Warwickshire in 1891, the worlds oldest working engine, made by Boulton and Watt, the Smethwick Engine, originally stood near Bridge Street, Smethwick. It is now at Thinktank, the new museum in Birmingham. One notable company was The London Works, manufacturing base of the Fox Henderson Company which made the framework for the Crystal Palace. This was founded by Charles Fox, whose inventions included the first patented railway points and his notable employees included William Siemens, the notable mechanical and electrical engineer. The company was bankrupted in 1855 by the failure of a railway to pay for work done. The site was used by the GKN company. In 2015 the site was being cleared to build the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital which combines the Sandwell General Hospital at West Bromwich and City Hospital, phillips Cycles, once one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world, was based in Bridge Street, Smethwick. Nearby, in Downing Street, is the famous bicycle saddle maker, the important metalworking factory of Henry Hope & Sons Ltd was based at Halfords Lane where the company manufactured steel window systems, roof glazing, gearings and metalwork. Council housing began in Smethwick after 1920 on land belonging to the Downing family. The mass council house building of the 1920s and 1930s also involved Smethwicks boundaries being extended into part of neighbouring Oldbury in 1928, the Ruskin Pottery Studio, named in honour of the artist John Ruskin, was in Oldbury Road. Many English churches have stained glass made by Hardman Studios in Lightwoods House, or, before that. During the Second World War, Smethwick was bombed on a number of occasions by the German Luftwaffe, a total of 80 people died as a result of these air raids. After the Second World War, Smethwick attracted a number of immigrants from Commonwealth countries. In the election, the Labour Party MP was unseated following a campaign slogan If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour allegedly being used by supporters of the winning candidate. This came two years after race riots had hit the town in 1962 and was set against a background of factory closures, in 1961 the Sikh community purchased the Congregational Church on the High Street in Smethwick
Birmingham is a major city and metropolitan borough of West Midlands, England lying on the River Rea, a small river that runs through Birmingham. It is the largest and most populous British city outside London, the city is in the West Midlands Built-up Area, the third most populous urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,440,986 at the 2011 census. Birminghams metropolitan area is the second most populous in the UK with a population of 3.8 million and this also makes Birmingham the 8th most populous metropolitan area in Europe. By 1791 it was being hailed as the first manufacturing town in the world, perhaps the most important invention in British history, the industrial steam engine, was invented in Birmingham. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive demolition. Today Birminghams economy is dominated by the service sector and its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121. 1bn, and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors, Birminghams sporting heritage can be felt worldwide, with the concept of the Football League and lawn tennis both originating from the city. Its most successful football club Aston Villa has won seven league titles, people from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the citys nickname of Brum. This originates from the citys name, Brummagem, which may in turn have been derived from one of the citys earlier names. There is a distinctive Brummie accent and dialect, Birminghams early history is that of a remote and marginal area. The main centres of population, power and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon. The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era, within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years, by 1700 Birminghams population had increased fifteenfold and the town was the fifth-largest in England and Wales. The importance of the manufacture of goods to Birminghams economy was recognised as early as 1538. Equally significant was the emerging role as a centre for the iron merchants who organised finance, supplied raw materials. The 18th century saw this tradition of free-thinking and collaboration blossom into the phenomenon now known as the Midlands Enlightenment
Goalkeeper (association football)
Goalkeeper, often shortened to keeper or goalie, is one of the major positions of association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport, the goalkeepers primary role is to prevent the opposing team from successfully moving the ball over the defended goal-line. This is accomplished by the moving into the path of the ball. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are able to use their hands, goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have a view of the entire pitch. If an attacker on the opposing team obstructs the keeper from catching or saving the ball, for example, in a corner, it will normally be a free kick. If a goalkeeper is injured or sent off, a goalkeeper has to take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually substitutes an outfield player for the backup keeper and they then play the remainder of the match with nine outfield players. Goalkeepers often have longer playing careers than players, many not retiring until their late thirties or early forties. This can be explained by noting that goalkeepers play a physically demanding position that requires significantly less running. For example, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47. Because only one player can play in goal and the position is so specialised many professional teams on average especially at the highest level have one player as first-choice for many years, for example Gianlugi Buffon has played as first choice keeper for Juventus for more than 15 years. Petr Cech prior to his move to Aresnal was first choice keeper for Chelsea between 2004 and 2015, the squad number for a first choice goalkeeper is generally number 1. Although this is common, some goalkeepers now wear other numbers when in goal, association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581, the earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, there is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers. Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 16th century, for example, in John Days play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, Ill play a gole at camp-ball
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
Bromsgrove Rovers F.C.
Bromsgrove Rovers F. C. were a non-League football club from the town of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire. The peak of the success was in 1993 when Rovers finished runner-up in the Football Conference. Their ground is used by successor club Bromsgrove Sporting. Bromsgrove Rovers were formed in 1885 and initially played in the local Studley & District League, Rovers were promoted to the Birmingham & District League in 1898, where they were runners up in the 1904–05 season. The club switched to the Birmingham Combination in 1908, where they were to remain until 1954 when it was absorbed into the Birmingham & District League (later renamed the West Midlands League, Rovers were champions of the Combination on two occasions and runners-up on four other occasions. In 1972 Rovers joined the Southern Football League, initially in Division One North, in 1979 the league was re-organised and they were placed in the Midland Division, which they won in 1985–86 to gain a place in the Premier Division. The most successful period in the history is without doubt between 1991 and 1998, particularly under the management of Bobby Hope. In the 1991–92 season a remarkable run saw them win 15 home games in a row and this saw Bromsgrove promoted to the Football Conference, the highest level of non-league football in England. The remarkable form from the season continued during the 1992–93 season. Bromsgrove were one of smallest clubs in the Conference, yet managed to finish runners-up to the eventual champions Wycombe Wanderers, the following season saw Bromsgrove get past the first round of the FA Cup, claiming their only ever league scalp with an away victory over Northampton Town. After another away victory in the round, Bromsgrove were drawn at home to Barnsley. A capacity crowd of 4,893 was in attendance for the game, Bromsgrove were 1–0 up with just two minutes of time remaining, when Barnsley scored two late goals to end up winners. In post-match comments, the Barnsley manager Viv Anderson described his team as the luckiest in the world. During this time Bromsgrove also won the Conference League Cup two years in a row during the 1994–95 and 1995–96 seasons, they were the first team in the history to win it back to back. The 1995–96 final saw Bromsgrove involved in a high scoring 10–2 aggregate victory over Kettering Town, Bromsgrove were eventually relegated from the Conference in 1996–97. By this time Bobby Hope had left as manager, and many of the clubs finest players had either left, retired. These included the inspirational captain Kevin Psycho Richardson, Paul Webb, Chris Hanks and Martyn OConnor, after this the club went into an almost constant decline. Their relegation to the Southern League Premier Division in 1996–97 was followed by relegation to Division One West in 1998–99, promotion back to the Southern League was gained at the first attempt, but the club still found itself a long way removed from its successes of the early 1990s
Kidderminster Harriers F.C.
Kidderminster Harriers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Formed in 1886, Kidderminster have played at Aggborough Stadium since they were formed and they are the only club from Worcestershire ever to have played in the Football League, competing from 2000 to 2005. Kidderminster Harriers were formed in 1886 from a successful athletics. In July 1880 the Athletics club amalgamated with the local Clarence rugby club to become Kidderminster Harriers, matches were played at White Wickets on the Franche Road in Kidderminster. 1885-6 was the last season played as a club and the Harriers switched to Association rules for the next season. Playing games at Chester Road Harriers first game was 18 September 1886, away to Wilden, the town saw a rival team start up as Kidderminster Olympic in 1887, rapidly becoming one of the best sides in the area. In 1887–88 the club started playing its matches at Aggborough, both Olympic and Harriers were founder members of the Birmingham and District League in 1889, Olympic won the league in 1890, with Harriers runners-up. Both sides regularly attracted crowds of 2–4,000, with the local derbies seeing over 7,000 attending, in 1890 the two clubs amalgamated as Kidderminster FC on a full professional basis, the new club being admitted to the Midland League which had been formed in 1889. The club became the first from the town to enter the FA Cup and after winning 4 qualifying round games and they lost 3–1 away to Darwen but protested the result because of the poor state of the pitch. Their protest was upheld and the tie was replayed a week later, again at Darwen, however the club found things difficult financially as a fully professional club, resigned from the league and were wound up in March 1891. The club reverted to amateur status in the Birmingham and District League the following season as Kidderminster Harriers, the club again reached the 1st Round of the F. A Cup in 1906–07, losing to Oldham Athletic away 5–0. In 1910 the then current England international full-back Jesse Pennington signed for Harriers after a dispute with his then club West Bromwich Albion and he played one game before the dispute was resolved and he returned to Albion. The twenties were hard going for the club as poor form on the pitch, Harriers did manage a League runners-up place in 1924–25. The then Wolves captain George Getgood, also in dispute at the time. The 1927–28 season saw another accusation of bribery, this time against secretary Pat Davis by Cradley Heath, during an investigation Davis admitted he had offered Burton Town players a ten shillings bonus if they managed to beat Worcester City in the last match of the season. The match was drawn so the bonus was never paid, the case made the national newspapers and Pat Davis was temporarily suspended from all duties. In 1935–36 a new scoring record for the club was set, Harriers did not win the West Midlands League until 1938, finishing the season undefeated
Birmingham City F.C.
Birmingham City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Birmingham, England. Formed in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance, they became Small Heath in 1888, then Birmingham in 1905, the team compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. As Small Heath, they played in the Football Alliance before becoming founder members, the most successful period in their history was in the 1950s and early 1960s. They won the competition for the second time in 2011. St Andrews has been their ground since 1906. They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Aston Villa, their nearest neighbours, the clubs nickname is Blues, due to the colour of their kit, and their fans are known as Bluenoses. Birmingham City were founded as Small Heath Alliance in 1875, the club turned professional in 1885, and three years later became the first football club to become a limited company with a board of directors, under the name of Small Heath F. C. Ltd. From the 1889–90 season they played in the Football Alliance, which ran alongside the Football League, in 1892, Small Heath, along with the other Alliance teams, were invited to join the newly formed Football League Second Division. The club adopted the name Birmingham Football Club in 1905, and moved into their new home, St Andrews Ground, matters on the field failed to live up to their surroundings. Birmingham were relegated in 1908, obliged to apply for two years later, and remained in the Second Division until after the First World War. Frank Womacks captaincy and the creativity of Scottish international playmaker Johnny Crosbie contributed much to Birmingham winning their second Division Two title in 1920–21, Womack went on to make 515 appearances, a club record for an outfielder, over a twenty-year career. 1920 also saw the debut of the 19-year-old Joe Bradford, who went on to score a club record 267 goals in 445 games, and won 12 caps for England. In 1931, manager Leslie Knighton led the club to their first FA Cup Final and they were finally relegated in 1939, the last full season before the Football League was abandoned for the duration of the Second World War. The name Birmingham City F. C. was adopted in 1943, under Harry Storer, appointed manager in 1945, the club won the Football League South wartime league and reached the semifinal of the first post-war FA Cup. Two years later won their third Second Division title, conceding only 24 goals in the 42-game season. Storers successor Bob Brocklebank, though unable to stave off relegation in 1950, when Arthur Turner took over as manager in November 1954, he made them play closer to their potential, and a 5–1 win on the last day of the 1954–55 season confirmed them as champions. In their first season back in the First Division, Birmingham achieved their highest league finish of sixth place. They also reached the FA Cup final, losing 3–1 to Manchester City in the game notable for Citys goalkeeper Bert Trautmann playing the last 20 minutes with a bone in his neck
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
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