Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, the second largest on the island of Ireland, and the heart of the tenth largest Primary Urban Area in the United Kingdom. On the River Lagan, it had a population of 286,000 at the 2011 census and 333,871 after the 2015 council reform, Belfast was granted city status in 1888. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, and was an industrial centre until the latter half of the 20th century. It has sustained a major aerospace and missiles industry since the mid 1930s, industrialisation and the inward migration it brought made Belfast Irelands biggest city at the beginning of the 20th century. Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, additionally, Belfast city centre has undergone considerable expansion and regeneration in recent years, notably around Victoria Square. Belfast is served by two airports, George Best Belfast City Airport in the city, and Belfast International Airport 15 miles west of the city. Although the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888, the site of Belfast has been occupied since the Bronze Age. The Giants Ring, a 5, 000-year-old henge, is located near the city, Belfast remained a small settlement of little importance during the Middle Ages. The ONeill clan had a presence in the area, in the 14th century, Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, descendants of Aodh Buidhe ONeill built Grey Castle at Castlereagh, now in the east of the city. Conn ONeill of the Clannaboy ONeills owned vast lands in the area and was the last inhabitant of Grey Castle, evidence of this period of Belfasts growth can still be seen in the oldest areas of the city, known as the Entries. Belfast blossomed as a commercial and industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, industries thrived, including linen, rope-making, tobacco, heavy engineering and shipbuilding, and at the end of the 19th century, Belfast briefly overtook Dublin as the largest city in Ireland. The Harland and Wolff shipyards became one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, in 1886 the city suffered intense riots over the issue of home rule, which had divided the city. In 1920–22, Belfast became the capital of the new entity of Northern Ireland as the island of Ireland was partitioned, the accompanying conflict cost up to 500 lives in Belfast, the bloodiest sectarian strife in the city until the Troubles of the late 1960s onwards. Belfast was heavily bombed during World War II, in one raid, in 1941, German bombers killed around one thousand people and left tens of thousands homeless. Apart from London, this was the greatest loss of life in a raid during the Blitz. Belfast has been the capital of Northern Ireland since its establishment in 1921 following the Government of Ireland Act 1920 and it had been the scene of various episodes of sectarian conflict between its Catholic and Protestant populations. These opposing groups in conflict are now often termed republican and loyalist respectively. The most recent example of conflict was known as the Troubles – a civil conflict that raged from around 1969 to 1998
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Whitchurch Alport F.C.
Whitchurch Alport is an English football club based in Whitchurch, Shropshire, England. That season it joined the Shrewsbury and District League, spending two seasons in the league, winning the league in their second season, in 1948 they were briefly elected as members of the Birmingham League, before becoming founder members of the Mid-Cheshire League. They were admitted to the North West Counties League Division One from the Mercian Regional Football League in 2015, stuart Mason began youth playing career here, later player with Wrexham and Crewe Alexandra and manager Bangor City. Jimmy Quinn, later professional player and manager, began his career with Whitchurch Alport playing in the season 1977-78
Congleton Town F.C.
Congleton Town F. C. is a football club based in Congleton, Cheshire, England. They currently play in the North West Counties League Premier Division and are members of the Cheshire County Football Association. The club have played in a number of leagues in the Cheshire area. The club was formed in 1901 and joined the Crewe and District League, in 1904–05 they finished in fifth place. They then joined the North Staffordshire and District League in the 1905–06 season finishing in third place, up until the outbreak of World War I their highest league placing came in 1914–15 when they were runners-up. When the league resumed after the war Congleton spent one last season in the league, in 1920 they joined the Cheshire County League, finishing as runners-up to Winsford in their first season, 1920–21. In 1939–40 they spent one season in the Macclesfield and District League, finishing in equal first place, when football resumed after World War II Congleton Town were once again back in the Cheshire County League. However, the struggled at first including finishing in last place in 1947–48, the club continued to struggle and spent the 1950s finishing toward the bottom of the table each season. They began the 1960s still struggling culminating in a last place finish in 1964–65, before joining the Manchester League in the 1965–66 season and their stay in the league though lasted just three seasons and in the 1968–69 season they joined the Mid-Cheshire League, finishing in eighth place. They were runners-up again in 1971–72 then in 1973–74 they were crowned Mid-Cheshire league champions, the following seaso they finished third before winning the league for a second time in 1975–76. After another runners-up finish in 1976–77 they won the title for a time in 1977–78. In 1978 the club re-joined the Cheshire County League, finishing in place in their first season back in the league. In 1985–86 they were runners-up in the league, only missing out on the title on goal difference, in 1987–88 they joined the Northern Premier League in the newly created Division One, finishing in ninth place. In the 1989–90 season, they reached the First Round of the FA Cup after beating Witton Albion in the qualifying round. In the first round they were away to Football League club Crewe Alexandra where they lost 2–0. They did though reach the round of the FA Trophy where they lost 6–2 to Worksop Town. The club remained in Division One which was renamed the Premier Division for the 2008–09 season, regardless of where they had finished, Congleton would not have gained promotion because they did not submit a promotion application. At the end of the 2010–11 season joint managers Anthony Buckle and he was replaced on 6 November 2011 by Dean Sibson, who took on the role of caretaker manager until a successor was appointed on 31 January 2012
Swindon Town F.C.
Swindon Town Football Club is a professional football club in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Founded as Swindon AFC in 1879, they became Spartans in 1880, the team compete in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. The clubs home ground, where it has played since 1896, is the 15,728 capacity County Ground, the club went professional in 1894 and entered the Football League in 1920. Swindon Town won promotion to the Premier League in the 1992–93 season, Swindon Town Football Club was founded by Reverend William Pitt of Liddington in 1879. The team turned professional in 1894 and joined the Southern League which was founded in the same year, during this period Septimus Atterbury played for the club. Swindon reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in the 1909–10 season, Barnsley and Swindon were invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup in 1910 at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris. The result was a 2–1 victory for Swindon with Harold Fleming scoring both of the clubs goals, the following season, 1910–11, Swindon Town won the Southern League championship, earning them a Charity Shield match with the Football League champions Manchester United. This, the highest-scoring Charity Shield game to date, was played on 25 September 1911 at Stamford Bridge with Manchester United winning 8–4, some of the proceeds of this game were later donated to the survivors of the Titanic. In 1912 Swindon Town reached the finals of the FA Cup for a second time in 3 years. Swindons exploits at this time owed a lot to the skilful forward H. J. Fleming who was capped by England 11 times between 1909 and 1914 despite playing outside the Football League. Fleming remained with Swindon throughout a career spanning 1907 and 1924. Swindon entered the Football League in 1920 as a member of Division Three. This result stands as a record for the club in League matches, the club was relegated back into Division Three in 1965 but it was about to create a sensation. In 1969, Swindon beat Arsenal 3–1 to win the League Cup for the time in the clubs history. As winners of the League Cup, Swindon were assured of a place in their first European competition, however, the Football Association had previously agreed to inclusion criteria with the organizers which mandated that only League Cup winners from Division One would be able to take part. As the team were not eligible, the short lived Anglo-Italian competitions were created to give teams from lower divisions experience in Europe, the first of these, the 1969 Anglo-Italian League Cup, was contested over two legs against Coppa Italia winners A. S. Swindon won 5–2, with the scorer of two goals in the League Cup final – Don Rogers – scoring once and new acquisition Arthur Horsfield acquiring his first hat-trick for the club. The team then went on to win the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup competition in a tournament beset by hooliganism, napoli was abandoned after 79 minutes following pitch invasions and a missile barrage, with teargas being employed to allow the teams to return to the dressing room
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football. In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, in 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated and it was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times, once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier Leagues sixth-placed team, the 2011–12 season marked the clubs 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. The clubs motto is Arte et Labore, By Skill and Hard Work in Latin, the club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a club to play under Association rules. The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, on 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F. A, Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F. A, Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queens Park, the same teams played the F. A. Cup final again the season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious. Rovers repeated this success yet again the season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion
Leicester City F.C.
Leicester City Football Club, also known as the Foxes, is an English professional football club based at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. They compete in the Premier League, Englands top tier of football, having been promoted as champions of the Football League Championship in 2013–14, this signalled a return to the top flight of English football after a decade away. The club was founded in 1884 as Leicester Fosse F. C. playing on a field near Fosse Road and they moved to Filbert Street in 1891, were elected to the Football League in 1894 and adopted the name Leicester City in 1919. They moved to the nearby Walkers Stadium in 2002, which was renamed the King Power Stadium after a change of ownership in 2011, Leicester City won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described their title win as the greatest sporting upset ever, multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. Due to the magnitude of the title win, it went down in English football history as one of the games finest ever achievements. The clubs previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, throughout Leicesters history, they have spent all but one season within the top two leagues of English football. They hold a joint-highest seven second-tier titles, the club have been FA Cup finalists four times, in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition, City have several promotions to their name, two play-off final wins, and one League One title. In 1971, they won the FA Community Shield, and in 2016 and they have also won the League Cup three times in 1964,1997 and 2000, as well as being runners up in 1964–65 and 1999. Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as Leicester Fosse, before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. The club also joined the Midland League in 1891, and were elected to Division Two of the Football League in 1894 after finishing second. Leicesters first ever Football League game was a 4–3 defeat at Grimsby Town, with a first League win the following week, the same season also saw the clubs largest win to date, a 13–0 victory over Notts Olympic in an FA Cup qualifying game. In 1907–08 the club finished as Second Division runners-up, gaining promotion to the First Division, however, the club were relegated after a single season which included the clubs record defeat, a 12–0 loss against Nottingham Forest. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, the club was reformed as Leicester City Football Club, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status. However the 1930s saw a downturn in fortunes, with the relegated in 1934–35 and, after promotion in 1936–37. City reached the FA Cup final for the first time in their history in 1949, the club, however, was celebrating a week later when a draw on the last day of the season ensured survival in Division Two
Bradford City A.F.C.
Bradford City Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. The club was founded in 1903 and immediately elected into the Football League Second Division, promotion to the top tier followed in 1908 and the club won the FA Cup in 1911, its only major honour. After relegation in 1922 from Division One, the club spent 77 years outside the top flight until promotion to the Premier League in 1999. Relegation followed in 2000–01 and since then a series of financial crises have pushed the club to the brink of closure, in the 2012–13 season, they became the first team from the fourth tier of English football to reach the League Cup Final, losing 5–0 to Swansea City. In the same season, they returned to Wembley for the playoff final, the clubs colours are claret and amber and they play home games at Valley Parade. The ground was the site of the Bradford City stadium fire on 11 May 1985 which took the lives of 56 supporters, stuart McCall, the current manager, was appointed in June 2016. C. The Football League saw the invitation as a chance to promote football in the rugby league-dominated county of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It duly elected the new club into Division Two of the league, four days later, at the 23rd annual meeting of Manningham FC, the committee decided to change code from rugby league to association football. Bradford City Association Football Club were formed without having played a game, taking over Manninghams colours of claret and amber, robert Campbell was appointed the clubs first manager and with the help of the new committee, he assembled a playing squad at the cost of £917 10s 0d. Citys first game was a 2–0 defeat at Grimsby Town on 1 September 1903, the club finished 10th in their first season. Peter ORourke took over as manager in November 1905, and he led City to the Division Two title in 1907–08, having narrowly avoided relegation in their first season in the top flight, City recorded their highest finish of 5th in 1910–11. The same season won the FA Cup, when a goal from captain Jimmy Speirs won the final replay against Newcastle United. Citys defence of the cup, which included the first Bradford derby against Bradford Park Avenue, was stopped by Barnsley after a run of 12 consecutive clean sheets. City remained in the top flight in the period up to the First World War, back in Division Two, attendances dropped and City struggled for form, with five consecutive finishes in the bottom half of the table. They suffered a relegation to Division Three in 1926–27. Two seasons later, ORourke, who had retired in 1921 following the death of his son. ORourke left for a time after one more season, and although City spent a total of eight seasons back in Division Two
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, in 2016 the club re-located to the London Stadium. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United and they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919 and they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964,1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The clubs highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division, three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team, captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The club, Thames Ironworks were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality and they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team and they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, because of the original works team roots and links, they are still known as the Irons or the Hammers amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton, the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a meeting and soon after committed suicide. The club spent most of the next 30 years in division, first under Paynter
AFC Bournemouth /ˈbɔːrnməθ/ is a professional association football club based in Bournemouth, Dorset, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. Johns Institute F. C. the club was reformed in 1899 as Boscombe F. C and they changed to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic F. C. in 1923, before settling on their current name in 1972. Nicknamed The Cherries, since 1910 Bournemouth have played their games at Dean Court. Their home colours are red and black striped shirts, with black shorts, AFC Bournemouth have won the second and third tiers of English football, and were twice runners up of the fourth tier. They have also won the Football League Trophy, and the Football League Third Division South Cup, currently managed by Eddie Howe, the 2015–16 season was AFC Bournemouths first ever in Englands top division. Although the exact date of the foundation is not known. The club was known as Boscombe F. C. The first president was Mr. J. C, in their first season, 1899–1900, Boscombe F. C. competed in the Bournemouth and District Junior League. They also played in the Hants Junior Cup, during the first two seasons, they played on a football pitch in Castlemain Avenue, Pokesdown. From their third season, the played on a pitch in Kings Park. In the 1905–06 season, Boscombe F. C. graduated to senior amateur football, in 1910, the club was granted a long lease upon some wasteland next to Kings Park as the clubs football ground by President J. E. Cooper-Dean. With their own ground, named Dean Court after the benefactor, also in 1910, the club signed their first professional football player B. Around about this time, the club obtained their nickname The Cherries, for the first time, during the 1913–14 season, the club competed in the FA Cup. The clubs progress, however, was halted in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I, in 1920, the Third Division was formed and Boscombe were promoted to the Southern League, finding moderate success. To make the more representative of the district, the name was changed to Bournemouth. During the same year, the club was elected to the Football League to fill the left by Stalybridge Celtics resignation. The first league match was at Swindon Town on 25 August 1923, the first league game at Dean Court was also against Swindon, where Bournemouth gained their first league point after a 0–0 draw. Initially, Bournemouth struggled in the Football League but eventually established themselves as a Third Division club, Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club remain on the records as the longest continuous members of the Third Division
Reading Football Club is a professional association football club based in Reading, Berkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club played at Elm Park for 102 years between 1896 and 1998, in 1998 the club moved to the new Madejski Stadium, which is named after the clubs co-chairman Sir John Madejski. Reading then finished eighth in the 2006–07 Premier League, their first ever season as a top flight club, Reading were formed on 25 December 1871, following a public meeting at the Bridge Street Rooms organised by the future club secretary Joseph Edward Sydenham. The early matches were played at Reading Recreation Ground, and later the club held fixtures at Reading Cricket Ground, Coley Park and Caversham Cricket Ground. The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a ground and, to this end. In 1913, Reading had a tour of Italy, prompting the leading sports newspaper Corriere della Sera to write without doubt. Reading were elected to the Football League Third Division South of the Football League in 1920, Reading lost their place in Division Two in May 1931, and remained in Third Division South until the outbreak of World War II. When League football resumed after the war, Reading quickly came to prominence once again, the sides moment of cup glory came in 1988 when they won the Simod Cup, beating a number of top flight sides en route to their Wembley win over Luton Town. Reading were promoted to the Second Division as champions in 1986 under the management of Ian Branfoot, the appointment of Mark McGhee as player-manager, shortly after the takeover by John Madejski, in 1991 saw Reading move forward. They were crowned champions of the new Division Two in 1994, in 1995, Reading had eased past Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals and looked to have booked their place in the Premier League only to lose against Bolton Wanderers in the final. Quinn and Goodings contracts were not renewed two years later after Reading had slid into the half of Division One. Their successor, Terry Bullivant, lasted less than one season before being sacked in March 1998, the year 1998 also saw Reading move into the new 24,200 all-seater Madejski Stadium, named after Chairman John Madejski. Tommy Burns had taken over from Terry Bullivant but lasted just 18 months before being replaced by Alan Pardew, the club finished third in 2000–01 qualifying for the play-offs, losing 2–3 in the final against Walsall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Reading returned to Division One for 2002–03 after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the following season, they finished fourth in Division One and qualified for the play-offs, where they lost in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Alan Pardew moved to West Ham United the following October and was replaced by Steve Coppell, Reading won the 2005–06 Championship with a league record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing only twice. Reading were promoted to English footballs top division for the first time in their history, the 2006–07 season saw Reading make their first appearance in the top flight of English football. Reading defied pre-season predictions of relegation to finish the season in place with 55 points
Peterborough United F.C.
Peterborough United Football Club is a professional football club based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. The team compete in League One, the tier in the English football league system. Peterborough United formed in 1934 and played in the old Midland League and their home ground is London Road Stadium, currently known as the ABAX Stadium for sponsorship reasons, and the club nickname is The Posh. After being relegated from the Championship on the day of the 2012–13 season. Their highest finishing position in the Football League ladder was 10th in the Championship, Peterborough were the holders of the 2013–14 Football League Trophy, beating Chesterfield 3–1 in the final at Wembley Stadium in March 2014. Peterborough United was formed in 1934 at Peterboroughs Angel Hotel to provide a replacement for Peterborough & Fletton United, the Posh played in the old Midland League. They won this league on six occasions, including five seasons in a row from 1956 to 1960, the Posh were elected to The Football League for the beginning of the 1960–61 season, winning Division Four. Following the Fourth Division Championship success in 1960–61, The Posh spent seven seasons in the 3rd Division and they reached the quarter-finals of the F. A. Cup in 1964–65, beating Arsenal and Swansea Town along the way before going out to Chelsea and they were relegated back to the 4th Division for financial irregularities in the summer of 1968. The club took six seasons to return to Division 3, winning the 4th Division championship, the Wrexham defeat cast a long shadow over the club and it fell into a long decline. Relegation followed in 1979 and Posh subsequently spent 12 years back in the 4th division, the 1980s was a long story of mismanagement and false dawns, punctuated by the odd cup run. Six players were signed on transfer deadline day, which at the time was a record for the number of players signed by one club on a single day, on the final day of the season, Posh travelled to Chesterfield needing a win to seal promotion. Despite going two goals down in the first ten minutes, the team rallied and drew level with goals from David Robinson, however, Poshs closest rivals, Blackpool lost at Walsall and promotion was achieved. The following season arguably remains the most successful in the clubs history, after an inconsistent start the team hit form during the Autumn when they knocked Wimbledon and Newcastle United out of the League Cup. The reward was a tie with a Liverpool team containing Bruce Grobbelaar, Jan Mølby, Steve McManaman, Dean Saunders. Garry Kimble scored the goal after 19 minutes prompting wild celebrations. In the league, the team went from strength to strength, progress continued in the league and a play-off place was clinched on the last day of the season despite a 1–0 defeat to champions Brentford. The following week, Huddersfield Town came to London Road for the first leg of the Semi-final, captain Mick Halsalls last minute equaliser levelled the score at 2–2
Northwich Victoria F.C.
Northwich Victoria Football Club is an English football club based in Northwich, Cheshire, playing their home games at Wincham Park, Northwich, the home of Witton Albion. The new club was a member of several leagues including the Football League Second Division. They played at the same Drill Field ground for over 125 years, at the time Drill Field was believed to be the oldest ground in the world on which football had been continuously played. The generally accepted year for the original Northwich Victoria Football Clubs founding is 1874 by Charles James Hughes and James Heyworth, however, according to club historian Ken Edwards book A Team for All Seasons, the organisation itself could have been in existence earlier in the 1870s. Northwich played their first challenge matches in the 1874 season and originally accepted both association football and rugby rules. This was shown in 1876 when they contested a match under Rugby rules at Farnworth and Appleton F. C. and then at home under association rules. The first time the club entered a competition was the 1877 Welsh Cup. Its best achievement in the competition was in the 1881–82 and 1888–89 seasons, when they reached the final in 1882, they were the first English club to do so. In 1880, the club entered the competition for the new Cheshire Football Association Challenge Cup. They went on to win the cup for the five seasons, defeating in the finals, Birkenhead, Northwich Novelty, Crewe Alexandra. In 1890, the became a founding member of the second incarnation of The Combination. In their second season in the league they finished as runners-up, a great leap forward was taken in 1892, when Northwich became one of the founding members of the English Second Division, which saw the team turn professional. In the leagues inaugural season, Northwich finished 7th, the highest finish in the clubs history and it was during the latter stages of this season that Northwich acquired the services of Billy Meredith, the Welsh International, who is widely regarded as the first football superstar. It was said by many that Finnerhan made Meredith, another notable result was holding Woolwich Arsenal to a 2–2 draw at the Drill Field. However, as a result of their position at the bottom of the league. Up to the middle of decade, Northwich played in red. However a major change in the clubs livery occurred when they adopted the colours they wear today, green. Lured by the chance of increased revenues, the joined the Manchester League in the 1900–01 season
Hereford United F.C.
Hereford United Football Club was an English association football club based in the city of Hereford that last played in the Southern League Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football. Founded in 1924, the club was elected to the Football League in 1972, the club reached the old Second Division in 1976, its best league performance, but was relegated after only one season at that level. Hereford achieved national prominence in 1972 when, as a Southern League club, Hereford played at Edgar Street for their entire history. They were nicknamed The Whites or The Lilywhites, after their predominantly white kit, the clubs motto was Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall. The club was affiliated to the Herefordshire County FA, on 19 December 2014, the club was wound up in the High Court after a petition had been brought against it by HM Revenue and Customs. Following the demise of United, a new club was being set up. The new club incorporates the words Forever United into its crest design, for league and cup performance, see List of Hereford United F. C. seasons. Hereford United Football Club was founded in 1924 with the merger of two local clubs St Martins and RAOC, with the intention of sustaining a higher class of football in the city of Hereford, Hereford joined the Birmingham Combination and lost its first match 2–3 to Atherstone United. The clubs second match was an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie against future rivals Kidderminster Harriers which they lost 2–7. Hereford progressed to the Birmingham & District League in 1928 where the club spent 11 seasons, at the same time the club became a limited company. When football resumed after the war, Hereford finished 1st in their first full season in the only to be demoted to 2nd behind Chelmsford City. In 27 seasons in the Southern League, Hereford finished as runners-up three times, and also lifted the Southern League Cup three times, when the league was regionalised for one season in 1958–59, Hereford also won their regional division to add to their third League Cup win. In 1966 Hereford signed John Charles, the former Leeds United, Juventus and Welsh international and he became manager a year later and set about building a team to challenge at the top of the Southern League and gain election to the Football League. With the club becoming one of the best-supported non-league clubs in the country Charles used his standing within the game to canvass votes from member clubs for election to the Football League. The 1971–1972 season saw the club second in the Southern League. Charles had departed the club in October 1971 and his successor Colin Addison inherited a side that defeated top-flight Newcastle United in the FA Cup. The star player was Dudley Tyler, Ronnie Radford and Ricky Georges goals earned the club a Fourth Round tie against West Ham United where they were defeated in a replay at Upton Park. The Cup run played a part in the successful election to the Fourth Division
Highworth Town F.C.
Highworth Town FC is a football club based in Highworth, Wiltshire, England established in 1893. Is a member of the Hellenic League Premier Division, Highworth Town Football Club was formed in 1893. The 1950s saw Highworth make a dramatic rise through the football ranks. They won the Swindon & District League Third Division title again in 1954-55, One more season was needed to clinch the Division One title and also the Wilts Junior Cup. They reached the final of the Wilts Senior Cup for the first time in 1962-63, there was a switch to the Wilts Combination League, where they finished as Runners-Up in Division Two in 1970-71. 1972-73 saw another Wilts Senior Cup victory and all this success prompted them to join the Hellenic League and they achieved their first honours in 1988-89, winning the First Division Challenge Cup and reached the final of the Wilts Senior Cup yet again. They finally achieved Premier Division status in 1993-94 gaining promotion finishing third in Division One. However, their greatest achievement to date was in reaching the Semi-Final of the FA Vase in 2015, where they were knocked out by eventual winners, North Shields in a closely fought two-legged tie
Hayes Football Club was an English association football club based in Hayes, Greater London. The club started out as Botwell Mission in 1909, adopting the name Hayes F. C. in 1929, the team nickname, The Missioners, was a salute to the history of the team. The club played in the Conference South for their last few seasons in existence and their home stadium was Church Road which seated 500 with a total capacity of 6,500. The team was recognised by their red and white striped shirt, wordsworth had been unable to emulate the success of his predecessor, the highly regarded Terry Brown, who left to take a vacancy at Aldershot Town in 2002. Hayes merged with Yeading F. C. on 18 May 2007 to form the new club Hayes & Yeading United, Hayes were formed in 1909 by Eileen Shackle, who wished to create a club to encourage boys to participate in sport as well as encourage their religious convictions. Their original name, Botwell Mission, derived from the fact that changed at the small mission church. The club was runner-up in the FA Amateur Cup to Wycombe Wanderers in 1931, approximately 32,000 watched Hayes succumb to a late goal at Highbury. After winning the Isthmian League in 1996, Hayes had a stint in the Conference National. They reached their highest league-finish in 1999, ending the season just seven points away from promotion to the Football League, Hayes reached the FA Cup second-round on four occasions, in the FA Trophy they reached the quarter-finals twice. The club claimed some respectable cup triumphs, among the most noteworthy being those against Fulham, Bristol Rovers, in 1999 they missed out on a lucrative third-round tie with Chelsea after defeat in extra time to Hull City. An FA Cup tie against Reading in 1972 brought Missioners player Robin Friday to the attention of a wider public, Friday was voted Reading and Cardiff Citys Cult Hero on the BBCs Football Focus
Shrewsbury Town F.C.
Shrewsbury Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1886 and was elected to the Football League in 1950 and it has also competed in the Welsh Cup, winning it six times, a record for an English team. From 1910 onwards, the club was based at Gay Meadow on the banks of the River Severn, since 2007, they have played at the New Meadow, Shrewsbury Town were formed at a meeting on 20 May 1886 at the Turf Hotel in Claremont Hill, Shrewsbury. This was following the demise of first Shropshire Wanderers and later indirectly after Castle Blues, the Blues were a rough team, leading to their demise after several games were marred by violence. The new team hoped to be as successful but without the notoriety, press reports differ as to the date the new club was formed, The Eddowes Shropshire Journal of 26 May 1886 reported the birth of the club at The Lion Hotel, Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. The Shrewsbury Chronicle reported the clubs being formed at the Turf Hotel, Claremont Hill and it may be both accounts are true, with a get-together at The Lion being finalised at the Turf. In 1910, Shrewsbury looked to move to a new ground, having spent early years at locations across the town, the club moved to Gay Meadow on the edge of the town centre, within sight of Shrewsbury Abbey, and stayed 97 years. Shrewsburys Birmingham League days were mostly mid-table, with a few seasons challenging near the top, a move to the Midland Champions League in 1937–38 saw the club enjoy one of its most successful seasons, winning a league and cup treble. Shrewsbury were league champions, scoring 111 goals, in addition, the Welsh Cup was won following a replay, the team enjoyed a run in the FA Cup, and won the Shropshire Senior Cup. After a run of seasons in post-war years, Shrewsbury were admitted to the old Division 3 of the Football League in 1950. Shrewsbury Town were elected to the Football League Division 3 North for 1950–51 following the decision to expand from 88 to 92 clubs, Shrewsbury were then promoted to the Third Division in 1958–59. They remained in the third tier 15 years, slipping back to Division Four at the end of 1973–74, 1960–61 season saw Shrewsbury Town reach the Semi Final of the League Cup. After beating Everton in the quarter-finals, they narrowly lost over two legs 4–3 on aggregate to Rotherham United and this era was also remembered for Arthur Rowley. He arrived from Leicester City in 1958, the clubs first player/manager, during his playing and managerial career, he broke Dixie Deans goal-scoring record, scoring his 380th league goal against Bradford City at Valley Parade on 29 April 1961. Retiring from playing in 1965 he remained manager until July 1968, Shrewsbury were promoted to the Third Division in 1974–75 as runners-up, before another successful season in 1978–79, when they were league champions under Ritchie Barker and later Graham Turner. Over 14,000 fans packed Gay Meadow on 17 May 1979 to see Shrewsbury seal promotion with a 4–1 win over Exeter City, in addition, the club had their first run to the FA Cup quarter-finals, before a replay defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Turner is the teams most successful manager, winning the Third Division Championship in 1978–79 – his first season in charge – to take the club into the Second Division for the first time and they remained for ten years, although Turner departed for Aston Villa in 1984
Nantwich Town F.C.
Nantwich Town Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Nantwich, Cheshire, England. The club was founded in 1884 and is nicknamed The Dabbers, the club is currently a member of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the seventh tier in the English football league system, with home matches played at the Weaver Stadium. Nantwich Town won the FA Vase Final on 6 May 2006, two goals from Andy Kinsey and one from Stuart Scheuber produced a 3–1 win over Hillingdon Borough at St Andrews. Cup preliminary round tie against Droylsden, Andy Locke scored the fastest ever F. A, Locke completed his hat trick in 2 minutes 20 seconds. This record still stands for a hat trick in any round of the F. A. Cup, Nantwich followed up their FA Vase winning season of 2005–06 with another successful campaign in 2006–07. Nantwich also progressed to the Semi-Final stage of the FA Trophy in their 2015-16 campaign, founded in 1884, Nantwich has a long and proud football tradition. Early years were spent playing friendly and cup matches but in 1891 the club joined the Shropshire & District League, Nantwich moved into the stronger Combination the following season and on 15 October 1892 hosted Liverpool in the Merseysiders’ first ever FA Cup match. Before the First World War, Nantwich also had spells in a variety of including the North Staffs & District. In those early years, the club were honoured to have A. N, hornby captained England at rugby and cricket and, as well as being President, turned out for the club on a number of occasions. After the war, the club became members of the Cheshire County League in which they were perennial strugglers. The season before, a home attendance of 5,121 watched the Dabbers play Winsford United in the Cheshire Senior Cup at their temporary home at Kingsley Fields. Ironically, this is the location where the club is now looking to build a new modern stadium and move to for the 2005–06 season. Success, though, came in the Cheshire Senior Cup in 1933 when the Dabbers lifted the trophy after beating ICI at the Drill Field, Northwich in front of 8,000 fans. After the Second World War, the Dabbers joined the newly founded Mid Cheshire League and in 1952, the club entered the inaugural FA Youth Cup competition. However, the mid-1960s saw considerable success and in the 1963–64 season the club completed a treble, winning the Mid Cheshire League, League Cup and Cheshire Amateur Cup under manager Alan Ball. According to former player the late Mike Brookes, Mr Ball trained us very hard and he made us think ‘the game’ more. One ploy was when we were attacking – for me as centre forward to mark the centre out of the game. The other forwards could still use me for the wall pass to break through
Northern Ireland national football team
The Northern Ireland national football team represents Northern Ireland in international association football. From 1882 to 1921 all of Ireland was represented by a single side, the Football Association of Ireland organises the separate Republic of Ireland national football team. Northern Ireland has competed in three FIFA World Cups, reaching the stage in the 1958 and 1982 tournaments. At UEFA Euro 2016, the team made its first appearance at the European tournament, on 18 February 1882,15 months after the founding of the Irish FA, Ireland made their international debut against England, losing 13–0 in a friendly played at Bloomfield in Belfast. This remains the record defeat for the team, and also Englands largest winning margin, on 25 February 1882, Ireland played their second international, against Wales at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, and an equaliser from Johnston became Ireland’s first ever goal. In 1884, Ireland competed in the inaugural British Home Championship, Ireland did not win their first game until 19 February 1887, a 4–1 win over Wales in Belfast. Between their debut and this game, they had a run of 14 defeats and 1 draw, despite the end of this run, heavy defeats continued. On 3 March 1888, they lost 11–0 to Wales and three weeks later, on 24 March, lost 10–2 to Scotland. Further heavy defeats came on 15 March 1890 when they lost 9–1 to England, on 18 February 1899 when they lost 13–2 to England, in 1899, the Irish FA also changed its rules governing the selection of non-resident players. Before then the Ireland team selected its players exclusively from the Irish League, on 4 March 1899, for the match against Wales, McAteer included four Irish players based in England. The change in policy produced dividends as Ireland won 1–0, in 1920, Ireland was partitioned into Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. In 1922, Southern Ireland gained independence as the Irish Free State, amid these political upheavals, a rival football association, the Football Association of Ireland, emerged in Dublin in 1921 and organised a separate league and international team. The Irish FA continued to organise its national team on an all-Ireland basis, between 1928 and 1946, the IFA were not affiliated to FIFA and the two Ireland teams co-existed, never competing in the same competition. On 8 March 1950, however, in a 0–0 draw with Wales at the Racecourse Ground in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, the IFA fielded a team that included four players who were born in the Irish Free State. All four players had played for the FAI in their qualifiers. After complaints from the FAI, FIFA intervened and restricted players eligibility based on the political border. In 1953 FIFA ruled neither team could be referred to as Ireland, decreeing that the FAI team be designated as the Republic of Ireland. Until the 1950s, the competition for Northern Ireland/Ireland was the British Home Championship
Cambridge United F.C.
Cambridge United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire. The club currently plays in League Two, the tier of the English league system. The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United, and took the name Cambridge United in 1951 and it first competed in the Football League in 1970, staying there for 35 seasons until relegation in 2005. Football League status was regained in 2014, after nine seasons in the Conference, Cambridge United have had two spells in the leagues second tier, from 1978 to 1984, and again from 1991 to 1993. They reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup twice and Football League Cup once during the early 1990s, the club is based at the Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road, approximately 1.86 miles east of Cambridge city centre. The stadium has a capacity of 8,127, made up of terracing, the club had close links with Cambridge Regional College, a team formed in 2006 as a de facto reserve team, however, CRC folded at the end of the 2013–14 season. The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United, named after the Abbey district of Cambridge, a club called Cambridge United existed in Cambridge from 1909, but it was not linked to the club that exists today. The club played in amateur leagues for many of its early years. In 1949 the club turned professional, and changed its name to Cambridge United in 1951 and they played in the Eastern Counties League until finishing as runners-up in 1957–58, which saw them promoted to the Southern League. Three years later, Cambridge United reached the Premier Division of the Southern League, after election to the Football League in 1970, to replace Bradford, the club was promoted from the Fourth Division after three seasons, but went straight back down. Following the appointment of Ron Atkinson as manager, Cambridge won successive promotions took them into the Second Division in 1978 – a mere eight years after joining the Football League. Atkinson had gone to West Bromwich Albion, a First Division club, in January 1978, and was succeeded by John Docherty, Cambridge peaked at eighth place in the Second Division in 1980. However, a season in 1983–84 was followed by a further relegation in 1984–85. They had to apply for re-election in their first season back in the Fourth Division, the early 1990s was the Us most successful period. Dion Dublin scored the goal in a game against Chesterfield. Under Beck, United gained promotion from the Fourth Division and had reached the FA Cup quarter finals in 1990, and reached them again a year later. United reached the play-offs in 1992, after finishing 5th in the Second Division and this was the clubs highest final league placing to date. The following season the club sacked John Beck and were relegated from the new First Division, further relegation followed two seasons later
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
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
County Ground (Swindon)
The County Ground is a stadium located near the town centre of Swindon, England, and has been home to Swindon Town Football Club since 1896. The current capacity of 15,728, all-seated, has been at that level since the mid-1990s, a record attendance of 32,000 was set on 15 January 1972, against Arsenal in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. North of the stadium is Swindon Cricket Club, with their pitch is also named The County Ground which was used for the football club from 1893 till 1896. Since its original construction, the ground has been updated with new features or fittings. A covered stand on the Shrivenham Road side was erected in 1932, at a cost of £4,300 a roof was erected over the Town End, this was raised by the Supporters Club, and was opened on 27 August 1938 by local MP, W. W. The War Department took over the ground in 1940, where for a while POWs were housed in huts placed on the pitch, for this the club received compensation of £4,570 in 1945. The addition of floodlights in 1951 at a cost of £350 and these were first tried out v Bristol City on 2 April 1951 beating Arsenal by six months. These original set of lights were supplemented by lights on both side stand roofs, which were sufficient for the County Ground to stage its first floodlit league match on 29 February 1956 v Millwall, the present pylons date from 1960. The Nationwide Stand replaced the Shrivenham Road enclosure, a two-tiered terrace, during the stands history, a fire broke out on the top tier making the upper area unsafe. In its last years the upper tier was used by TV cameras, the ground itself is on land owned by Swindon Borough Council to whom the club pay rent. Swindon have in the past considered a move to a club owned stadium to generate more revenue, the stadium is pro Swindon Towns new owners released a 10-point plan after they took over the club in January 2008 outlining future plans for the County Ground. In this 10 point plan various upgrades to the current ground were noted, the club plans to replace all of the seats that are not red and white and replace them with red and white seas to unify the seating and make the stadium look more up to date. The club also plan to improve disabled access and improve the playing surface, relocation was first proposed around the year 2000, but since then redevelopment appears to have been the preferred option. In September 2009 Swindon Town announced that the County Ground would be redeveloped into a 25, had Bristol become a World Cup host city, it had been hoped that international Teams will use the County Ground as a training ground in 2018 or 2022. However, Englands bid to host the World Cup failed in December 2010 and it was also suggested that in the future, if needs be, the stadium could be increased to hold 25,000. This proposition was due to the increased financial viability and sustainability for the future. The land which the county ground is on will also be bought in the process and these plans, however, were delayed due to Swindon Towns relegation to League Two at the end of the 2010-11 season. By the end of the 2012-13 season, redevelopment should start with the end being the first stand to be rebuilt
Walsall Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Walsall, West Midlands, England. The team play in League One, the tier in the English football league system. The club was founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts, an amalgamation of Walsall Town F. C. and their first match at Wembley Stadium was the 2015 Football League Trophy Final, which they lost to Bristol City. Walsall moved into their Bescot Stadium in 1990, having played at nearby Fellows Park for almost a century. The ground is known as Bankss Stadium for sponsorship purposes, the team play in a red and white kit and their club crest features a swift. The clubs nickname, The Saddlers, reflects Walsalls status as a centre for saddle manufacture. Walsall were formed as Walsall Town Swifts in 1888 when Walsall Town F. C. Walsall Town had been founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. Both clubs had played at the Chuckery, and the new club remained at the same ground, Walsall Town Swifts first match was a draw against Aston Villa. Two players from this early era received international caps, in 1882, Alf Jones won the first two of his three caps while with Walsall Swifts, and in 1889 Albert Aldridge received the second of his two caps while playing for Walsall Town Swifts. The club were first admitted to the Football League in 1892 and they moved to the West Bromwich Road ground in 1893. After finishing 14th out of 16 teams in 1894–95 the club failed to be re-elected to the Football League, at the start of the 1895 season the club moved to Hilary Street, later renamed Fellows Park. In 1896 they changed their name to Walsall F. C. a year later, they returned to the Second Division, three teams having failed re-election in 1896. The team finished in place in 1898–99, but once again failed re-election two years later, dropping back into the Midland League. A move to the Birmingham League followed in 1903, and in 1910, with the expansion of the Football League after World War I, Walsall became a founding member of the Third Division North in 1921. Walsalls highest home attendance was set in 1930, when played in of front of 74,600 fans against Aston Villa in the FA Cup Fourth Round. Although a home match for Walsall, the tie was played at their opponents Villa Park ground, in 1933, Walsall won 2–0 in the FA Cup against Arsenal at Fellows Park. Arsenal went on to win the First Division that season, in 1958, following a reorganisation of the Football League, Walsall became founder members of the Fourth Division. Players such as Bill Chopper Guttridge, Tony Richards and Colin Taylor were intrinsically important to the success of the side
Oxford United F.C.
Oxford United Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. The chairman is Darryl Eales, the coach is Michael Appleton. Founded in 1893 as Headington United, Oxford United adopted its current name in 1960 and it joined the Football League in 1962 after winning the Southern Football League, reaching the Second Division in 1968. After relegation in 1976, between 1984 and 1986 the club earned successive promotions into the First Division, and won the League Cup in 1986, however, Oxford was unable thereby to enter the 1987 UEFA Cup because of the UEFA ban on English clubs in European competitions. Relegation from the top flight in 1988 began an 18-year decline which saw the club relegated to the Conference in 2006 and this was the first time in the history of English football when a team that had won a major trophy was relegated from the Football League. After four seasons, Oxford was promoted to League Two in 2010 via the playoffs, in total, nineteen players have made international appearances while playing for the club. Uniteds home ground is the Kassam Stadium in Oxford and has a capacity of 12,500, United moved to the stadium in 2001 after leaving the Manor Ground, their home for 76 years. Swindon Town is the main rival. Oxford United were formed as Headington in 1893, adding the suffix United in 1911 after merging with Headington Quarry, the club was founded by Rev. John Scott-Tucker, the vicar at Saint Andrews Church in Headington, and a local doctor named Robert Hitchings. A football team was a way for the cricketers of Headington Cricket Club to maintain their fitness during the winter break, the first football match played was against Cowley Barracks. Headington had no home until 1913, when they were able to purchase Woottens Field on London Road. A permanent home was found in 1925, when they purchased the Manor Ground site on London Road, the facility was used as a cricket pitch in the summer, and a football pitch in the winter. In 1921 the club was admitted into the Oxon Senior League, the first season included a 9–0 victory, with eight of those goals coming from P. Drewitt. This remains a record for the highest number of goals scored by an Oxford player in a first-team match, at this time a small rivalry existed with Cowley F. C. who were based a few miles south of Headington. During a league game on May Day, the referee gave two penalties to Cowley, supporters broke past security and players, resulting in the referee being freely baited. The first FA Cup tie played was in 1931, against Hounslow F. C. in the Preliminary Round, United spent two seasons in the Spartan League in 1947 and 1948, finishing fifth and fourth respectively. It was around this time that the team left the Manor
Kettering Town F.C.
Kettering Town Football Club is an English football club originating in Kettering, Northamptonshire but currently based in the town of Burton Latimer. The club participates in the Southern League Premier Division, the tier of English football. Kettering Town were originally formed in 1872, turning professional in 1891, the club graduated through twelve different leagues from 1892 until they became founding members of the Alliance Premier League in 1979. The club maintained its status in the top flight of football until the 2000–01 season. Many honours have found their way to Rockingham Road, winning the Midland Football League title in 1896 and 1900, the Southern League Championship was won on three occasions by the club, in 1928 and 1957 under Tommy Lawton and in 1973 under the guidance of Ron Atkinson. In the 1930s the club won the East Midlands League and in 1948 the Poppies became Birmingham League Champions, during the 1970s, Kettering Town sought election to the Football League, coming five votes short of election in 1974. The deal was brokered by chief executive and manager Derek Dougan, four days later, The Football Association ordered the club to remove the slogan, but Dougan changed the words on the shirts to Kettering T, and claimed that the T stood for Town. Nonetheless, the FA ordered the club to remove the words, shirt sponsorship was eventually permitted within the English game in 1977, although the ban on shirt sponsors in televised games wasnt lifted until 1983. Kettering are also the first ever British team to have their initials on their grounds floodlights, the club finished runners-up in the Football Conference in 1981,1989,1994 and 1998. The GMAC Cup was won in 1987 and the Poppies were runners-up in 1995, County competitions have been won regularly by Kettering Town, with the Northants Senior Cup won on 28 occasions and the Maunsell Cup 13 times. The FA Cup has brought success and publicity to Rockingham Road with the first round proper being reached on 41 occasions. During the 1994–95 season the club made their debut live on Sky TV in a first round tie against Plymouth Argyle, as of 2016 the Poppies had scored more goals than any other team in the FA Cups history, with 870 goals scored in 381 appearances. Wembley has been reached on two occasions before, the Poppies lost 2–0 to Stafford Rangers in the 1979 FA Trophy Final. More recently, the FA Trophy Final in 2000 saw the Poppies lose a closely fought final with Kingstonian 3–2, most recently, the club were narrowly relegated on the last day of the 2000–01 season which ended 30 years in the top flight of non-league football. The following season was a disappointment and the club, rarely out of the bottom three, were again demoted – this time to the Isthmian League. Carl Shutt left the club in April 2003 and Dominic Genovese, after a period as acting manager. After a poor run of results and a disappointing defeat to Boreham Wood in the FA Cup Dominic Genovese was replaced by former Northampton Town manager. Changes to the team were made and the finished the season on a 12-game unbeaten run
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
Mansfield Town F.C.
Mansfield Town Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England. The club was formed in 1897 as Mansfield Wesleyans, changing its name to Mansfield Wesley in 1906 before settling on Mansfield Town in 1910 and they are nicknamed The Stags and traditionally play in amber and royal blue. The club currently competes in League Two, the tier of English football. The Stags also finished as runners-up in the 2010–11 FA Trophy, since 1919 Mansfield have played at Field Mill which is now an all-seater stadium with a capacity of 10,000. Their main rivals are Chesterfield and Notts County, Mansfield Town was formed under the name of Mansfield Wesleyans in 1897, the name of the club coming from the local Wesleyan church. The club played friendlies up until the 1902–03 season, when it joined the Mansfield, when the league dropped its amateur tag in 1906, the church abandoned the club, which changed its name to Mansfield Wesley and moved into the Notts and District League. In the summer of 1910, despite having lost the season to Mansfield Mechanics in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. In the following years, Mansfield Town swapped between the Notts and District League, Central Alliance League and Notts and Derbyshire League, before World War I brought a halt to proceedings. After the war, Mansfield became occupants of the Field Mill ground, in 1921, the club was admitted into the Midland Counties League, and celebrated by reaching the 6th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup twice in a row. The club won the league in 1923–24 and was the runner-up the following season, however, York City beat the Stags in elections for a League place. In 1931, Mansfield were finally elected to the Southern Section of the Third Division, however, the club struggled to adapt to League surroundings and were frequently in the lower reaches of the table. One of very few highlights in the years before the Second World War was Ted Harston, after the war, Mansfield started to see some progress. Lucky to escape the need for re-election when it was decided that no club would be relegated after the 1946–47 season, in 1959–60 the club was relegated to the recently created Fourth Division, before gaining promotion back to the Third Division in 1962–63. Two seasons later, the club narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. The season after avoiding relegation due to a deduction for Peterborough United. Mansfield beat First Division West Ham United 3–0 in the Fifth Round of the 1968–69 FA Cup, in 1971–72 Mansfield were relegated, again, to the Fourth Division. By 1976–77, the club was back in the Third Division, the club went straight back down, and only a good run of form at the end of the 1978–79 season saved Mansfield from a double relegation. Mansfield won the Football League Trophy in front of 58,000 fans in May 1987, however, the years that followed were inconsistent, with Mansfield becoming a yo-yo team between the Third and Fourth Divisions
Gillingham Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, England. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, the Gills play their matches at the Priestfield Stadium. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920 and they were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the tier of English football. The local success of a football side, Chatham Excelsior F. C. encouraged a group of businessmen to meet with a view to creating a football club which could compete in larger competitions. New Brompton F. C. was formed at the meeting, the founders also purchased the plot of land which later became Priestfield Stadium. The new club played its first match on 2 September 1893, New Brompton were among the founder members of the Southern League upon its creation in 1894, and were placed in Division Two. They were named Champions in the first season going on to defeat Swindon Town in a test match to win promotion, in the seasons that followed, the club struggled in Division One, finishing bottom in the 1907–08 season, avoiding relegation only due to expansion of the league. In 1938 the team finished bottom of the Third Division and were required to apply for re-election for the time since joining the league. This bid for re-election failed, with Gillingham returning to the Southern League, Gillingham quickly established themselves as one of the stronger sides in the league, winning a local double of the Kent League and Kent Senior Cup in the 1945–46 season. In the 1946–47 season the team won both the Southern League Cup and the Southern League championship, during which they recorded a club record 12–1 victory over Gloucester City, the Gills also won the league title in 1948–49. The team spent eight seasons in Division Three before the restructuring of the system for the 1958–59 season saw them placed in the newly created Fourth Division. They remained in this division until 1964, when manager Freddie Cox led them to promotion, the team finished the season level on 60 points with Carlisle United, but with a fractionally better goal average, which was the tightest league title finish in Football League history. After relegation back to the Fourth Division in 1970–71, the Gills were soon promoted back to the Third Division in the 1973–74 season. During this period the club produced future stars Steve Bruce and Tony Cascarino, in 1987, the Gills hit the headlines when, on consecutive Saturdays, they beat Southend United 8–1 and Chesterfield 10–0, the latter a club record for a Football League match. Just a few later, however, manager Keith Peacock was controversially sacked. The ensuing spell in the division brought little success
Football League First Division
The Football League First Division is a former division of the Football League. Between 1888 and 1992 it was the division in the English football league system. Following the creation of the FA Premier League it was a second-level division, in 2004 it was rebranded as the Football League Championship. The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor and it originally consisted of a single division of 12 clubs, known as The Football League. When the League admitted additional members from the rival Football Alliance in 1892, for the next 100 years, the First Division was the top professional league in English football. Then, in 1992 the 22 clubs making up the First Division elected to resign from the Football League, the Football League was consequently re-organised, with the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions now renamed the First, Second and Third respectively. Thus, the First Division, while still the top level of the Football League, the First Division was renamed as the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, as part of a league-wide rebrand. Liverpool were the most frequent winners of the First Division when it was the top flight of English football, winning it a total of 18 times. After the creation of the Premier League, the new Division One title was won more than once by one club, Sunderland. The First Division initially consisted of 12 founder clubs, since then it has undergone a series of expansions as football became more popular, as of the 1975–76 season players had to make 14 appearances for their club during the season in order to qualify for a winners medal. See List of English football champions, see List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors
Mark Edward McGhee is a former Scottish professional football player and current assistant manager of the Scottish national team. McGhee started his career at Greenock Morton in 1975 and spent spells at clubs including Newcastle United, Aberdeen, SV Hamburg, Celtic, IK Brage and Reading. McGhee was part of the Aberdeen side which won the 1983 European Cup Winners Cup and 1983 UEFA Super Cup, McGhee has since managed several clubs in both England and Scotland, including Reading, Millwall, Aberdeen and Brighton & Hove Albion. McGhee began his career in 1975 at Morton, where he developed into a very promising centre forward. In December 1977 he moved to England, signing for Newcastle United, despite an encouraging start at St James Park, managerial changes at the club saw McGhee fall down the pecking order. McGhee returned north in March 1979 as Alex Fergusons first major signing for Aberdeen and he made his début for The Dons on 1 April 1979 against former club Morton. This would be the start of the most successful part of McGhees playing career and he won his first major honour the following season when Aberdeen won the Scottish Premier Division, the first time in 15 years that a club outwith the Old Firm had finished Scottish Champions. At Aberdeen McGhee went on to win a league title in 1984 as well as a hat-trick of successive Scottish Cup wins from 1982 to 1984. McGhee also won the European Super Cup the following season, with him scoring against SV Hamburg in the leg at Pittodrie. During his time at Aberdeen, he won the Scottish PFA Players Player of the Year in 1982. McGhee moved to Germany in the summer of 1984, with SV Hamburg paying Aberdeen a transfer fee of £330,000. His time there was not a success, primarily due to injuries, McGhee won a further Scottish Premier Division title in 1986 as Celtic pipped Hearts on goal difference. The following year saw McGhee struggle at Parkhead through injury and the inability to displace Mo Johnston and Brian McClair from the starting line-up. However, the departure of several Celtic players in the summer of 1987 gave McGhee a new lease of life at Celtic Park and he won a League and Scottish Cup double in the clubs Centenary Season. He won a further Scottish Cup in 1989 and was Celtics top scorer that season, McGhee joined Newcastle United for a second time in 1989. He quickly forged a partnership up front with Micky Quinn. McGhee and Quinn were less prolific the following season, and the arrival of Ossie Ardiles as manager in March 1991 saw McGhee dropped from the team, a brief spell in Sweden at IK Brage followed before McGhee joined Reading as player-manager in May 1991. He finally retired from playing in 1993 due to injury, during his playing career, McGhee also won four caps and scored two goals for the Scotland national football team
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter
In British sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a players appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in a match of association football. An early illustration of the first international match between Scotland and England in 1872 shows the Scottish players wearing cowls, and the English wearing a variety of school caps. These to be termed International Caps, the act of awarding a cap is now international and is applied to other sports. Thus, a cap is awarded for each game played and so a player who has played x games, the practice of awarding a physical cap varies from sport to sport. It may be awarded prior to a debut or, particularly for national teams. As an example, the England mens association football teams still awards physical caps, Players are awarded one cap for every match they play — unless they play in a World Cup or European Championship finals tournament. Then they are given a cap for the competition — with the names of all their opponents stitched into the fabric of the cap itself. In mens association football, the record belongs to former player Ahmed Hassan of Egypt, the first footballer to win 100 international caps was Billy Wright of Englands Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wright went on to appear 105 times for England,90 of them he obtained whilst he was a captain, however, it is a players choice to refuse to play for or retire from his or her national team. In cricket, there are two types of caps, firstly, there is the international type, as described above. Some countries also award a domestic type generally known as a county cap, the latter system is most commonly applied in English county cricket. Most counties do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance, instead, indeed, one can play at the highest domestic level for several years, and have a quite significant career in first-class cricket, without ever winning a cap. The world record for the number of caps in Test cricket is held by Sachin Tendulkar of India, Tendulkar also holds the record for One Day Internationals, with 463 caps. In rugby union,35 players have reached 100 international caps as of 5 June 2012, Players from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are eligible for selection to the British and Irish Lions touring squad. Lions matches are classed as full international tests, and caps are awarded, the Pacific Islanders team, composed of players from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Niue and Cook Islands have a similar arrangement, although no players involved have so far reached 100 caps. Players still active at Test level are in bold type, the record for most caps is held by former Australian Kangaroos player & captain Darren Lockyer with 59 games and second place is former New Zealand Kiwis player & captain Ruben Wiki with 55 games. Players still active at Test level are in bold type, mens Records and Facts FIFA Players with 100+ Caps RSSSF Picture of International Football Cap National Museum of Scotland Gallery of International Caps and Honours Caps
In sports, a goal is a physical structure or area where an attacking team must send the ball or puck in order to score points. In several sports, a goal is the method of scoring. In other sports, a goal may be one of several scoring methods, the structure of a goal varies from sport to sport. Most often, it is a structure that is placed at each end of the playing field. Each structure usually consists of two posts, called goal posts, supporting a horizontal crossbar. A goal line marked on the surface between the goal posts demarcates the goal area. Thus, the objective is to send the ball or puck between the posts, under or over the crossbar, and across the goal line. Less commonly, as in basketball or netball, goals are ring-shaped, the structure is often accompanied with an auxiliary net, which stops or slows down the ball when a goal is scored. In some sports, the goal is the method of scoring. In these sports the final score is expressed as the number of goals scored by each team, in other sports, a goal is the primary, but not the sole method of scoring. In these sports, the goal is worth a set number of points, in these sports, the score is expressed as the number of goals plus the number of alternate scores and the combined total of points with the winner being decided on total points. For example, in Australian rules football the score may be expressed as follows, Brisbane 9.12 In this example Sydney scored 10 goals and 4 behinds for a total of 64 points. Brisbane scored 9 goals and 12 behinds for a total of 66 points, despite having fewer goals, Brisbane won the game. Other sports may use methods of scoring, with the points earned for each type of score varying. In these sports, the object of the game is to score a number of total points than the opponent. Scores are expressed solely as numbers of points, in many games, at each end of the field of play, there are two vertical posts supporting a horizontal crossbar. The vertical supports are usually called goal posts and the top is usually called the crossbar. A goal in these games normally requires that the ball or puck be sent between the posts, under the crossbar and completely behind the goal line, in Australian rules football, there is no crossbar but four uprights instead
Republic of Ireland national football team
The Republic of Ireland national football team represents Ireland in association football. It is governed by the Football Association of Ireland and plays its home fixtures at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the team made their debut at the 1924 Summer Olympics, reaching the quarter-finals. Between 1924 and 1936, the team competed as the Irish Free State and from then until 1950, Northern Ireland was allowed to use the title Ireland by FIFA in the Home International Competition until it was discontinued in 1984. The Republic of Ireland was the first nation from outside the United Kingdom to defeat England at home at a fixture played at Goodison Park, Liverpool, the team also reached the quarter-final stage of the 1964 European Nations Cup, where they lost to the eventual winners Spain. Charltons successor Mick McCarthy lost out on the two major tournaments but ultimately qualified for the 2002 World Cup, making it to the last 16. Under Giovanni Trapattoni, the narrowly lost out on qualification for the 2010 World Cup during a controversial play-off. The team failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Republic of Ireland also fell to a record low FIFA ranking of 59th, then a record low of 70th in June 2014. The Boys in Green reached the Round of 16 stage at that tournament and were knocked out by the hosts, between 1882 and 1924, Ireland was represented by a single national football team organised by the Belfast-based Irish Football Association. In 1923, the FAIFS was recognised by FIFA as the body of the Irish Free State and at the 1924 Summer Olympics. On 28 May, at the Stade Olympique, they beat Bulgaria 1–0, as a result, they qualified for the quarter-finals. On 14 June 1924, the Irish Free State made their debut against the United States. Ed Brookes scored a hat-trick in a 3–1 home win at Dalymount Park, the Irish Free State did not play their next game until 21 March 1926, an away game against Italy lost 3–0. In subsequent years, the status of the Olympic Games football competition was downgraded and as a result, on 25 February 1934, the Irish Free State made their FIFA World Cup debut, drawing 4–4 with Belgium at Dalymount Park in a 1934 FIFA World Cup qualifier. Paddy Moore scored all four of the Free States goals and became the first player ever to four goals in a World Cup game. After 1936, they reverted to the designation Football Association of Ireland, during this entire period, there were two Irish international football teams, chosen by two rival Associations. FIFA eventually intervened when both teams entered 1950 World Cup qualification, the first time they had entered the same competition, four players – Tom Aherne, Reg Ryan, Davy Walsh, Con Martin – actually played for the two different teams in the same FIFA World Cup tournament. All four players concerned had been born in the Irish Free State and this may have alarmed the FAI, since they subsequently lobbied FIFA to prevent the IFA from picking Southern-born players. e. Initially the FIFA World Cup and subsequently the European Nations Cup, FIFA decreed that the FAI team officially be called the Republic of Ireland while the IFA team was to be named Northern Ireland
1986 FIFA World Cup
The 1986 FIFA World Cup, the 13th FIFA World Cup, was held in Mexico from 31 May to 29 June 1986. The tournament was the second to feature a 24-team format, Mexico was selected as the new host in May 1983. This was the third FIFA World Cup tournament in succession that was hosted by a Hispanophonic country, in addition to Spain hosting in 1982, Argentina was captained by the 25-year old Diego Maradona, who played a large part in his teams success. Maradona scored the Hand of God goal, as well as another voted Goal of the Century and these were two of the five goals that Maradona scored during the tournament, and he also created another five for his team-mates. Argentina beat West Germany 3–2 in the final at Mexico Citys Estadio Azteca, total attendance was 2,394,031, an average per match of 46,039. Canada, Denmark and Iraq made their first appearances at the final stage, the 1986 World Cup saw the appearance of the phenomenon dubbed the Mexican wave, which was popularised worldwide after featuring during the tournament. The format of the changed from 1982, with the second round being played on a knock-out basis rather than groups. The 24 teams qualified were divided into six groups of four, the top two teams and the four best third-place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams. Colombia was originally chosen as hosts by FIFA in June 1974, however, the Colombian authorities eventually declared in November 1982 that they could not afford to host the World Cup under the terms that FIFA demanded because of economic concerns. Mexico was selected on 20 May 1983 as the replacement hosts, beating the bids of Canada and the United States and this second World Cup in Mexico came 16 years after the first one in 1970. For the design of the logo an unofficial motto was adopted, the official mascot of the 1986 World Cup was Pique, a jalapeño pepper, characteristic of Mexican cuisine, with a moustache, a Colimote sombrero, and Mexican football team colours. Its name comes from picante, Spanish for spicy peppers and sauces, the character caused a degree of controversy within Mexico for its ethnic stereotypes. Three teams qualified for the World Cup for the first time, Canada, Denmark, Canada clinched its spot after winning the final match against Honduras 2–1 in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Iraq played all their matches on neutral ground because of the Iran–Iraq War. South Korea qualified for the first time since 1954, Paraguay for the first time since 1958, as of 2016, this was the last time that Hungary, Canada, Iraq and Northern Ireland qualified for the finals. The Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, the largest stadium used for the tournament, hosted 9 matches, Mexico City hosted 13 total matches, the Olimpico Universitario Stadium hosted 4 matches. The Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara hosted 7 matches, and the Cuauhtémoc Stadium in Puebla hosted 5 matches, all of the venues listed hosted knockout round matches except the ones in Nezahualcoyotl, Irapuato, Zapopan, Toluca and the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey. Morocco and Portugal played in Guadalajara while Spain and Algeria played in Monterrey, for a list of all squads that appeared in the final tournament, see 1986 FIFA World Cup squads
Romania national football team
The Romania national football team is the national football team of Romania and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation. Romania is one of four national teams from Europe, the other three being Yugoslavia, France, and Belgium, that took part in the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. Since that performance, Romania have qualified for the 1934,1938,1970,1990,1994 and 1998 editions and they also reached the last eight in 1960 and 1972, and qualified for the 1984,1996,2008 and 2016 tournaments. The Romanian Football Federation was established in October 1909 in Bucharest, Romania played their first international match on 8 June 1922, a 2–1 win over Yugoslavia in Belgrade, being coached by Teofil Moraru. Several temporary coaches were employed, before Moraru resumed control in August 1924, Romania enjoyed some success during the 1930s, manager Costel Rădulescu took them to the first three FIFA World Cup tournaments, a feat matched only by Brazil, Belgium and France. Romania qualified for the next World Cup in 1934 after beating Yugoslavia 2–1 in a repeat of their first international. At the finals, Romania played only one game in a new format, losing 2–1 to Czechoslovakia in Trieste, Italy. Romania qualified by default for the 1938 World Cup after their playoff opponents Egypt withdrew. They suffered a defeat in the finals in France, losing to minnows Cuba, who, like Romania, had only qualified due to the withdrawal of their qualifying opponents. The first match at the Stade Chapou in Toulouse ended 3–3 after extra time, angelo Niculescus promising side were given the toughest of draws, in Group 3 with holders England, giants Brazil and Czechoslovakia. A Geoff Hurst goal gave England a narrow victory in Romanias first match at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, chances were improved with a 2–1 win over the Czechs. Despite going behind early to a Ladislav Petráš goal, Romania turned it around after half-time with Alexandru Neagu, even then, only a win over the excellent Brazilians would take them into the quarter-finals. But Brazil played some of the best football of the competition, with Pelé scoring twice, Romania battled bravely, Dumitrache pulled the score back to 2–1 before the break and a late Emerich Dembrowski goal made it 3–2, but they were out. On 26 September 1973, under new coach Valentin Stanescu, Romania suffered a significant defeat to East Germany in Leipzig, the East Germans won 2–0 to effectively seal their first ever qualification for the World Cup, which would be held over the border in West Germany. With East Germany scoring a predictable 4–1 win in Albania, Romania were out, Romania continued to suffer poor form in the UEFA European Championship. In their qualifying group for the 1976 European Football Championship, they were out-qualified by Spain despite an impressive 1–1 draw in the away match, Romania failed to win matches, drawing twice with Scotland and Spain and dropping points in Denmark with a dismal goalless draw. Romania were again beat by Spain for a place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, despite a 1–0 win in Bucharest, Romania lost a bizarre match at home to Yugoslavia 6–4 having led 3–2 at half time. Spain won 1–0 in Belgrade to seal passage to South America, Romanias sole successful qualifying campaign was for the European Championships in 1984 in France
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England are one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom played in the worlds first international football match in 1872. Englands home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current manager is Gareth Southgate, England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world, it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association, a return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship, to begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908, Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928 and their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1 and this still stands as Englands worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, it was like playing men from outer space, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as Englands first ever manager in 1946. In UEFA Euro 1968, the reached the semi-finals for the first time. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramseys dismissal, under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’, the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, the 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robsons successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968