Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England. It lies approximately 16 miles north of Wolverhampton,18 miles south of Stoke-on-Trent and 24 miles north-west of Birmingham. The population in 2001 was 63,681 and that of the borough of Stafford 122,000. Stafford means ford by a staithe, the original settlement was on dry sand and gravel peninsula that provided a strategic crossing point in the marshy valley of the River Sow, a tributary of the River Trent. There is still an area of marshland northwest of the town. It is thought Stafford was founded in about 700 AD by a Mercian prince called Bertelin who, according to legend, the tree-trunk coffin may have been placed there as an object of commemoration or veneration of St Bertelin. This new burh was fortified and provided with an area for the centralised production of Roman-style pottery which was supplied to the chain of West Midlands burhs. Anglo-Saxon women could play powerful roles in society, Æthelflæds death effectively ended the independence of Mercia. Edward the Elder of Wessex took over her fortress at Tamworth and accepted the submission of all who were living in Mercia, in late 918 Aelfwynn, Æthelflæds daughter, was deprived of her authority over Mercia and taken to Wessex. The project for the unification of England took another step forward, the Lady of Mercia, Æthelflæd, ruled Mercia for five years after the death of her father and husband, dying in Tamworth in 918. At around this time the county of Staffordshire was formed, Stafford lay within the Pirehill hundred. In 1069, a rebellion by Eadric the Wild against the Norman conquest culminated in the Battle of Stafford, two years later another rebellion, this time led by Edwin, Earl of Mercia, culminated in Edwins assassination. This meant his lands were distributed amongst the followers of William the Conqueror, robert de Tonei was granted the manor of Bradley and one third of the kings rents in Stafford. Stafford Castle was built by the Normans on the hilltop to the west in about 1090. It was first made of wood, and later rebuilt of stone and it has been rebuilt twice since, and the ruins of the 19th century gothic revival castle on the earthworks incorporate much of the original stonework. A motte was constructed on the side of the peninsula, overlooking a ford. In 1206 King John granted a Royal Charter which created the borough of Stafford, in the Middle Ages Stafford was a market town, mainly dealing in cloth and wool. In spite of being the town, Stafford required successive surges of external investment from the time of Æthelflæd to that of Queen Elizabeth I
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Stafford Rangers F.C.
The team wear black and white stripes with black shorts. Stafford Rangers rivals include Tamworth, Hednesford Town, Burton Albion, despite extensive research, no one has been able to prove conclusively when Stafford Rangers was actually formed, as early minute books were destroyed during the First World War. Rangers early matches were cup games and friendlies, with the reaching the FA Cup First Round in both 1884–85 and 1885–86. The club then had spells in the Shropshire League, Birmingham League and North Staffordshire League up to the turn of the century, and moved to their present Marston Road home in 1896. In 1900–01 Stafford rejoined the Birmingham League and in 1904–05 had an FA Cup run to the last Qualifying Round bowing out in a replay at Second Division Blackpool. They were demoted to the Birmingham Combination in 1912 but won the championship at the first attempt, Rangers won the Birmingham League title in 1926–27, twice finished runners-up and were twice third in five memorable seasons. During this period a total of 542 league goals were scored with striker Eddie Cameron regularly scoring goals, during April 1935 a successful appeal for £100 to pay creditors enabled the club to survive. When war broke out in 1939, Rangers participated in an emergency Birmingham League during the 1939–40 season, finishing as runners-up, after the Second World War the club reformed and played in the Birmingham Combination for six seasons, achieving a highest position of 6th in 1950–51. With a view to progress, Rangers joined the Cheshire County Football League in 1952, however, Rangers spell in the Cheshire Football League was generally one of struggle and during the early sixties financial difficulties again threatened the clubs existence. There were, however, some results, including the seven goals scored by Les Box in an 11–0 FA Cup victory over Dudley Town during September 1957. In 1965, the appointment of Colin Hutchinson as manager started an improvement, Rangers won the 1967–68 Cheshire League Cup and following season finished as Cheshire League runners-up to earn a place in the Northern Premier League. The seventies were the most successful era in the clubs history, however, they failed to gain election to the Football League, and have never since finished high enough to enter the Football League. The home Third Round tie with Rotherham attracted a record of 8,536 people to Marston Road. After Chapman had departed to manage League club Stockport County, Rangers were again at Wembley Stadium in 1975–76 for their second FA Trophy Final, roy Chapman returned as manager and success continued with a second FA Trophy Final win in 1979, this time against Kettering Town. After four seasons Rangers were relegated to the Northern Premier League and this form continued, but with the appointment of Ron Reid as manager during the 1983–84 season as manager the club soon began to rebuild its reputation and won the 1984–85 League title. Back in the Alliance, the Bob Lord Trophy, Jim Thompson Shield, during the late eighties and early nineties, Rangers struggled in the Conference, with six managers in seven seasons following Reids departure in May 1988. The sale of striker Stan Collymore to Crystal Palace in December 1990 for a substantial six-figure fee stands out in this period, under the management of Dennis Booth, Rangers enjoyed a tremendous 1992–93 campaign. In the league they finished 6th and reached the FA Cup Second Round, after Booth departed for Bristol Rovers, Rangers found success difficult to achieve and were relegated from the Conference to the Southern League Premier Division at the end of the 1994–95 season
Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
Macclesfield Town F.C.
Macclesfield Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England. The club currently plays in the National League, the tier of English football. The club was formed in 1874 and play games at the 6,355 capacity Moss Rose stadium. They were members of the Football League from 1997 until 2012, a football club was first formed in Macclesfield in the mid-19th century, but played rugby union rules. In 1874, the club adopted the rules of the Football Association, between 1874 and 1940 the club was known by a succession of names, including Macclesfield Football and Athletic Club, Hallifield F. C. and Macclesfield F. C. When competitive football resumed after World War II, Macclesfield Town Football Club Ltd. was formed, the club joined the Cheshire County League in 1946–47, playing their first game after reformation on 31 August,1946, a 2–0 defeat to Buxton. The clubs form in the remainder of the 1940s was largely indifferent, Macclesfield Town progressed through four qualifying rounds to make their first appearance in the FA Cup first round in 1960 under manager Frank Bowyer, but lost 7–2 to Southport. The club reached the FA Cup third round for the first time in 1968, the club were founder members of the Northern Premier League, one of three leagues at the fifth tier of English football, upon its creation in 1968. Macclesfield Town were champions in each of the first two seasons of the competition, finishing twelve points clear in 1968–69, and by goal average in 1969–70. The 1969–70 season also resulted in a trip to Wembley for the final of the FA Trophy. Macclesfield Town defeated Telford United 2–0 in front of more than 28,000 spectators to win the competition, the club finished as Northern Premier League runners-up in the 1984–85 season, and two years later Macclesfield Towns third Northern Premier League title resulted in promotion to the Conference. Macclesfield Town finished in mid-table in their first Conference season, the club reached the FA Trophy final for the second time in 1989, facing Telford United, the same opponents as Macclesfield Towns first final nineteen years earlier. However, the team did not match the achievement of their predecessors, mcIlroy took charge at the start of the 1993–94 season, and guided the club to the Football Conference championship in his second season as manager. Upon gaining League status, the club turned fully professional, Macclesfield Towns first League match was a 2–1 win at home to Torquay United. It was a year for the club, who were unbeaten at home for the entire season. However, the higher level proved a step too far for the club, mcIlroy soon left to become the Northern Ireland national coach and was replaced by former Manchester United colleague Peter Davenport. A dismal start to the season cost Davenport his job though. David Moss in turn succeeded Prescott as manager and delivered two decent mid-table finishes, but a bad start to the 2003–04 season resulted in his sacking, Club stalwart John Askey succeeded Moss initially on a temporary basis, and earned the job permanently with some promising early results
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
A.F.C. Telford United
Telford United is a football club based in Telford, Shropshire, England. The club were formed after Telford United folded due to financial problems, currently members of the National League North, the sixth tier of English football, they play home matches at the New Bucks Head in Wellington, part of the new town of Telford. Their colours are white with blue and red trim. The club went into administration, and although supporters raised around £50,000 in two months, the clubs debts totalled over £4 million, resulting in liquidation on 27 May 2004. On the same day, Telford United Supporters Limited announced that a new club would be formed, Telford United, a new club motto, numquam obliviscere was also adopted. In June the new club were placed in Division One of the Northern Premier League by the Football Association, bernard McNally was appointed as manager and a new squad assembled. The clubs first season saw them finish third in Division One, after beating Eastwood Town 1–0 in the semi-final, they defeated Kendal Town 2–1 in the final to earn promotion to the Premier Division. The attendance of 4,215 for the final was a club record, the following season saw the club finish tenth. During the season, McNally was replaced as manager by Rob Smith, however, they qualified for the promotion play-offs, and a 2–0 win over Marine in the semi-final, they defeated Witton Albion 3–1 to earn promotion to the Conference North. The 2007–08 season saw Telford finish second in the Conference North, again qualifying for the playoffs, the 2008–09 season resulted in a fourth-place finish and another play-off campaign. After beating Alfreton Town 5–4 on aggregate in the semi finals, the season also saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, where they were drawn at home to Football League club Southend United. Following a 2–2 draw, the club lost 2–0 in the replay, in the FA Trophy they reached the semi-finals, losing 4–2 on aggregate to York City. However, they were victorious in the Conference League Cup, beating Forest Green Rovers 3–0 on penalties after a 0–0 draw, in 2009–10 the club finished eleventh in the league, resulting in the sacking of Smith and his replacement with Andy Sinton. Sintons first season saw them finish as runners-up again and they also reached the first round of the FA Cup again, losing 3–1 at home to Lincoln City. The 2011–12 season saw them finish twentieth, one place above the relegation zone, another appearance in the first round of the FA Cup resulted in a 4–0 defeat at Chelmsford City. Sinton left the club mid-way through the season, and was replaced by Mark Cooper. He was replaced by Graham Hyde, who lasted just two games, resigning after a defeat to Macclesfield Town, john Psaras took over for the remainder of the season, which saw them finish bottom of the division and be relegated to the Conference North. Liam Watson was appointed as manager in May 2013, in 2013–14 the club won the Conference North, earning an immediate return to the Conference Premier
Chasetown Football Club is an English football club based in the Chasetown area of Burntwood, Staffordshire. They went on to finish the 2005–06 season as Midland Alliance champions, in the 2007–08 F. A Cup they made the third round for the first time in their history after holding Port Vale to a 1–1 draw and winning the replay 1–0. They lost the third round match 3–1 to eventual finalists Cardiff City, in doing so, they became the lowest ever ranked club to reach as far as the third round proper of the FA Cup. The club was formed in 1954 as Chase Terrace Old Scholars Youth Club, at the start of the 1958–59 season the club joined the Lichfield and District League, where the club spent three seasons, finishing as runners-up in the league and Challenge Cup. For the 1961–62 season the club stepped up to the Staffordshire County League before moving to the West Midlands League Division One, in 1983 the club moved to a new ground, The Scholars Ground, and gained entry to the Premier Division. Chasetown beat Blakenall at the Bescot Stadium and retained the trophy in 1992–93, in the early 1990s, Chasetown won the West Midlands League Cup twice and finishing as runners-up in the twice. The Scholars were among the members of the newly formed Midland Football Alliance in 1994. In 2000–01 the club in a period after the departure of long-serving manager Mervyn Rowe. Present manager Charlie Blakemore returned to the club in partnership with Michael Rowe, son of previous manager Mervyn, and the clubs fortunes began to turn around, with two top-half finishes. In Blakemores first full season in complete control of the first team, 2004–05, Chasetown won the Walsall Senior Cup for the third time and finished second to Rushall Olympic in the Midland Alliance. Chasetown were placed the national spotlight in November 2005 when the reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. After defeating Blyth Spartans the team took on Oldham Athletic in a match broadcast live on television, a peak audience of 3.2 million people watched the game live. In front of 1,997 supporters, Chasetown took the lead through Nicky Harrison, only for veteran David Eyres to level the scores, Chasetown took 2,436 supporters to the replay but succumbed to a 0–4 defeat. As a result of cup run the club was able to secure a shirt sponsorship deal with Richard Bransons Virgin Holidays for the 2006–07 season. In 2007–08, Chasetown beat Team Bath 2–0 to reach the second round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. While Chasetown lost the third match to Cardiff City 3–1, they went ahead because of a Kevin McNaughton own goal. In November 2008, Chasetown submitted plans for a new 500 seater stand to Lichfield District Council, on 14 December 2010 Chasetown beat Kettering Town 2–1 in an FA Trophy replay, another cup upset as two divisions separated the sides and Kettering were at home. On 15 January 2011 Chasetown produced another upset by defeating Conference National side Grimsby Town to reach the last sixteen of the competition, in the last sixteen they defeated Eastleigh of Conference South to gain a place in the quarter finals
Gainsborough Trinity F.C.
Gainsborough Trinity Football Club is a football club based in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at the Northolme, the club was established in 1873 as Trinity Recreationists by Reverend George Langton Hodgkinson, the vicar at the Holy Trinity Church. In 1889 the club were members of the Midland League. The club finished as runners-up the following season and again in 1895–96, in the vote they finished third, ahead of existing members Port Vale and Crewe Alexandra, and were elected into the Second Division. The clubs first season in Division Two of the League saw them finish seventh, in 1901–02 Trinity finished bottom of the division, but were re-elected. In 1904–05 the club finished sixth in Division Two, their best performance during their Football League membership. In 1911–12 Gainsborough finished bottom of the Second Division for a second time, the club returned to the Midland League, finishing third in 1912–13 and second in 1913–14, after which they unsuccessfully applied for readmission to the Football League. When the Football League created a new Third Division North in 1921, Trinity applied for membership, in 1931–32 they beat Crewe again in the first round, before losing 5–2 at home to Watford. In 1937–38 Trinity beat Port Vale in the first round, before losing to fellow non-League club Yeovil & Petters United, another Football League team was beaten the following season, when Trinity knocked out Gateshead in the first round, before losing to Doncaster Rovers. In 1948–49 they reached the round after defeating Witton Albion in the first round. They went on to win a third Midland League title that season and they reached the first round again the following season, before losing 4–1 at home to Chesterfield. The club failed to repeat the feat until 1959–60, when they lost to Doncaster Rovers in a replay, at the end of the 1959–60 season, the Midland League was disbanded. Gainsborough spent a season playing in both the Central Alliance and Division Two of the Yorkshire League, before returning to a reformed Midland League in 1961. Trinity won their fourth Midland League title in 1966–67, also reaching the first round of the FA Cup, the club applied to join the Football League again in 1975 and 1976, but received only a single vote on each occasion. The 1983–84 season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for over a decade, when the Northern Premier League added a second division in 1987, Gainsborough were placed in the Premier Division. In 1997–98 FA Cup saw them drawn against local rivals Lincoln City, another first round appearance in 2003–04 ended with a 7–1 defeat at Brentford. At the end of the season a tenth-place finish saw the club become members of the Conference North. FA Cup first round appearances followed in 2006–07 (a 3–1 defeat by Barnet, in 2011–12 the club finished fourth, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
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
Northern Premier League
The Northern Premier League is one of the regional football leagues in England which sits directly below the National League featuring semi-professional and amateur clubs. Geographically, the covers all of Northern England, and the northern areas of the Midlands. Originally just one division, a division was added in 1987. This new division was split twenty years later into Division One North, together with the Southern League and the Isthmian League it forms level 7–8 of the English football league system. It is, however, also possible for teams to be promoted to the National League South. Due to title sponsorship deals, the league has been billed under various names, including a spell as the Unibond League. When this deal ended in 2010, a new deal was announced which will see the competition billed as the Evo-Stik League until at least the 2015–16 season. At that time they were the highest level non-League division below The Football League, the level as the other league in Northern England. From 1992–93 to 1994–95 the Leagues Division One included two clubs, Caernarfon Town from Wales and Gretna from Scotland, who have since joined their countries league systems. Colwyn Bay, Bangor City, Newtown, and Rhyl have also played in the league, the first sponsors of the NPL were Multipart who sponsored the 1985–86 season. The sponsors after this were, HFS Loans, Unibond and Evo-Stik, since 2007, the NPL has had three divisions, the Premier Division, Division One North and Division One South. Prior to 2007 there was just a single Division One, the Premier Division has 24 clubs, with the champions promoted to the National League along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. From the 2009–10 season, Division One North and South have 22 clubs each, in each division, the champions are promoted to the Premier Division, along with the winners of a playoff between the second to fifth place clubs. The bottom two clubs in each division are relegated to one of the leagues below provided there are enough suitable promotion candidates from those leagues. The champions of the three feeder leagues covering the NPL area are promoted each season and these are the Northern League, the Northern Counties East League, and the North West Counties League. Clubs in the extremities of the Midland League and the United Counties League may also be promoted to the Northern Premier League. Division One North and South teams receive a bye to the Preliminary Round of FA Cup Qualification, Premier Division teams receive a bye to the First Round of Qualification. The league has two knockout competitions, all clubs in the three leagues play in the Challenge Cup
Bristol City F.C.
Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city and they currently play in the Championship, the second tier of English football, after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season. Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934, in 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to three consecutive relegations. With victories in 1986,2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy, the clubs nickname is The Robins, and a robin featured on the clubs badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans, the teams main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby. Bristol Citys current manager is Lee Johnson, a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City. The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign. Unfortunately, there was no such award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. The 1920s were a time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the division. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years, an engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s
Substitute (association football)
In association football, a substitute is a player who is brought on to the pitch during a match in exchange for an existing player. Substitutions are generally made to replace a player who has become tired or injured, or who is performing poorly, unlike some sports, a player who has been substituted during a match may take no further part in it. Most competitions only allow each team to make a maximum of three substitutions during a game, although more substitutions are permitted in non-competitive fixtures such as friendlies. A fourth substitution in extra time is currently being trialled at several tournaments over a two-year period. Each team nominates a number of players who may be used as substitutes, these players typically sit in the area with the coaches. A player who is noted for making appearances, or scoring important goals. The origin of football substitutes goes back to at least the early 1860s as part of English public school football games, the original use of the term substitute in football was to describe the replacement of players who failed to turn up for matches. The substitution of absent players happened as early as the 1850s, the first use of a substitute in international football was on 15 April 1889, in the match between Wales and Scotland at Wrexham. Waless original goalkeeper, Jim Trainer, failed to arrive, local amateur player Alf Pugh started the match and played for some 20 minutes until the arrival of Sam Gillam, however, the use of substitutes in finals matches was not allowed until the 1970 tournament. The number of substitutes usable in a match has increased from zero to one. Substitutions during matches in the English Football League were first permitted in the 1965–66 season, during the first two seasons after the law was introduced, each side was permitted only one substitution during a game. Moreover, the substitute could only replace an injured player, from the 1967–68 season, this rule was relaxed to allow substitutions for tactical reasons. On the same day, Bobby Knox became the first ever substitute to score a goal when he scored for Barrow against Wrexham. Archie Gemmill of St Mirren was the first substitute to come on in a Scottish first-class match, the first official substitute in a Scottish League match was Paul Conn for Queens Park vs Albion Rovers in a Division 2 match on 24 August 1966. In England, the Premier League increased the number of players on the bench to five in 1996, according to the Laws of the Game, A player may only be substituted during a stoppage in play and with the permission of the referee. The incoming player may enter the field at the half-way line. Failure to comply with these provisions may be punished by a caution, a player that has been substituted may take no further part in a match, except where return substitutions are permitted. Unused substitutes still on the bench, as well as players who have been already substituted and these are liable for misconduct, though cannot be said to have committed a foul
John Paul Durnin is an English former footballer who scored 100 goals in 475 league appearances over a career spanning close to two decades. He spent four years with Oxford, playing close to 200 games, in six years with Pompey he made around 200 appearances, before he was loaned out to Blackpool, and then allowed to leave permanently for Carlisle United in 1999. In 2000 he signed with Kidderminster Harriers, before he entered the Welsh football circuit with Rhyl in 2001. Later that year he returned to the Football League with Port Vale, durnins career began with Liverpool in 1986, when he was signed from local non-league side Waterloo Dock for £500. Able to play in midfield or up front, he was a regular in the Liverpool Reserves but failed to break into the first team, in October 1988 he was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion, as one of Brian Talbots first signings at The Hawthorns. He scored twice in five Second Division appearances before returning to Anfield and he moved to Oxford United in February 1989, after manager Brian Horton paid a fee of £225,000. The Yellows finished 17th in the Second Division in 1988–89 and 1989–90 and they rose to 10th in 1990–91, only to plummet to one place and two points above the relegation zone in 1991–92. They rose to 14th in 1992–93, Durnin was snapped up by Portsmouth for £200,000 in July 1993, with manager Jim Smith looking to play up him front alongside Paul Walsh. The club finished 17th in the First Division in 1993–94 and 18th in 1994–95 and he hit three goals in 1995–96, as Pompey avoided the drop after finishing one place ahead of relegated Millwall on goal difference. He scored three times in 35 games in 1996–97, as Terry Fenwick led the club to 7th place, one place and he scored seven goals in 30 appearances in 1998–99, as Alan Ball led the club to 19th, ahead of relegated Bury on goals scored. Durnin lost his first team place at the start of the 1999–2000 campaign after he dislocated an elbow by crashing a golf cart into a fairway hollow and he joined Carlisle United on loan the following month, and signed a permanent deal at Brunton Park in February 2000. Durnin was without a club until he signed with Football League newcomers Kidderminster Harriers in October 2000 and he hit nine goals in 32 games in 2000–01, before leaving Aggborough in the summer. He joined League of Wales side Rhyl as player-coach in July 2001 and he returned to the Second Division in December 2001, linking up with his former manager Brian Horton at Port Vale. He stayed at Vale Park for eighteen months, also helping out in a coaching capacity, despite being the wrong side of 36, he still managed to play 19 games in 2001–02 and 31 games in 2002–03, scoring once in each campaign. Now aged 38, he signed a deal with Conference side Accrington Stanley, in July 2006, he joined the coaching staff of Southport, but left in October of that year. After retiring he became a regular for the Liverpool Masters team, sourced from John Durnin profile at the English National Football Archive John Durnin at Soccerbase
Redbridge Football Club is an English Association football club based in the London Borough of Redbridge. Prior to July 2004 the club was known as Ford United F. C, the change of name was chosen to help associate the club within the local area and attract a larger support. They should not be confused with the former Redbridge Forest, a predecessor of the current Dagenham & Redbridge, the clubs roots lie in the car industry which has long been a staple of the economy in East London and in Essex. The club was known as Ford United, which dated from a 1959 merger between two older clubs, Ford Sports and Briggs Sports, both of which were founded in 1934. Up until World War II, the latter actually began life as Briggs Motor Bodies, as Ford United, they performed well in the Aetolian League winning the title twice, and finishing runners up once. During the 2001–02 season Barkingsides lease at their Oakside ground was sold on to Ford United who needed to find a permanent home to allow their progression up the football pyramid, considerable investment by Jimmy Chapman, the then Chairman saw Oakside developed to a grade 1 ground. From 2004, Ford United were renamed Redbridge, new manager, ex-Wimbledon and Bolton Wanderers striker Dean Holdsworth was appointed on 30 June 2007. On 18 May 2008, Holdsworth left his post as manager of Redbridge to take up the position at Newport County. At the start of June 2008, former Dagenham & Redbridge reserve team coach, devereuxs first season was blighted by floodlight problems at Oakside, but the team still finished a respectable eighth in the division. The side had a start to the 2009–10 season and towards the end of September, it was announced that Devereux. First team coach Dave Ross took charge for Redbridges game at Harlow Town, poor winter weather affected the side at the start of 2010, the team initially struggled with a fixture pile up but Ross managed to keep the side in the league avoiding relegation. The 2010–11 season proved to be one of the most turbulent in the clubs history, manager Dave Ross brought in Kris Taylor to form a management team. After a bad start to the season, which saw the club sitting bottom of the league, Kris Taylor was confirmed as first team manager on 1 October 2010, after talks broke down with Kevin Durrant who looked all set to join the club. Taylors tenure ended in December 2010 when his work affected the amount of time demanded to run a club of this stature meant he was unable to give 100% to the management of the team. Chairman Dan Holloway moved quickly at the end of the season to make the changes that bring the structure. Terry Spillane was appointed first team manager after a successful spell with Stansted with Jody Brown reverting to a coaching role. On 29 October 2011, Redbridge reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time since 2003 after beating Conference National side Ebbsfleet United 2–0. In the First Round they drew 0–0 with Oxford City and won the replay 2–1 after extra time, thanks to goals by Nathan Gordon and Ben Bradbury
Vale Park is a football stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, England. It is the ground of Port Vale F. C. who have played at the ground since 1950. At 520 feet above sea level it is the eleventh highest ground in the country, the pitch is clay underneath the grass, rather than sand. These two factors make the pitch vulnerable to freezing temperatures, there is also a coal seam under the pitch, and numerous mine shafts dotted around the local area, including many under the park opposite the ground. The Vale Park pitch is one of the widest in the Football League, the head groundsman since September 1992 is Steve Speed. He was one of three nominated for the League Two Groundsmen of the Year award in 2009. Denis Dawson was head groundsman from 1966 to 1975, he succeeded Len Parton and was followed by Graham Mainwaring. Following the club being informed that they would be evicted from The Old Recreation Ground by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, plans for a new stadium in a new area began to be made. In 1944 Hamil Road – the site of a clay pit – was chosen, a site opposite Burslem Park. The development became known as The Wembley of the North due to the size of the stadium. The clubs leadership had not allowed the third tier status or their lack of money to curb their ambition. Life-time seats were sold for £100 but fewer than 100 fans bought them, also costing £100, the pitch was the most expensive ever laid in the country at the time. The ground opened in 1950 having eventually cost £50,000, the original ground consisted of just two stands with banks of terracing at the Bycars and Hamil ends of the ground. The first match was a 1–0 victory over Newport County on 24 August 1950 in front of 30,196 rain-soaked spectators, walter Aveyard took the honour of being the first to score at the ground. On the same day the name was revealed for the first time – Vale Park. Vale Park initially had problems with drainage, leaving many games of the 1950–51 to be postponed, the problem was finally resolved in summer 1960, when new drains were installed to help ease the winter mud spots. In summer 1951,578 seats were installed on the Railway Terrace, in 1954 the Railway Stand was built, as capacity gradually increased to 50,000 by the end of the decade. On 24 September 1958, Vale Park saw its first match under the new £17,000 floodlights, in summer 1973, the club erected a 2.5 feet high steel fence around the Bycars End to help combat hooliganism
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
Kidderminster Harriers F.C.
Kidderminster Harriers Football Club is a professional association football club based in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. Formed in 1886, Kidderminster have played at Aggborough Stadium since they were formed and they are the only club from Worcestershire ever to have played in the Football League, competing from 2000 to 2005. Kidderminster Harriers were formed in 1886 from a successful athletics. In July 1880 the Athletics club amalgamated with the local Clarence rugby club to become Kidderminster Harriers, matches were played at White Wickets on the Franche Road in Kidderminster. 1885-6 was the last season played as a club and the Harriers switched to Association rules for the next season. Playing games at Chester Road Harriers first game was 18 September 1886, away to Wilden, the town saw a rival team start up as Kidderminster Olympic in 1887, rapidly becoming one of the best sides in the area. In 1887–88 the club started playing its matches at Aggborough, both Olympic and Harriers were founder members of the Birmingham and District League in 1889, Olympic won the league in 1890, with Harriers runners-up. Both sides regularly attracted crowds of 2–4,000, with the local derbies seeing over 7,000 attending, in 1890 the two clubs amalgamated as Kidderminster FC on a full professional basis, the new club being admitted to the Midland League which had been formed in 1889. The club became the first from the town to enter the FA Cup and after winning 4 qualifying round games and they lost 3–1 away to Darwen but protested the result because of the poor state of the pitch. Their protest was upheld and the tie was replayed a week later, again at Darwen, however the club found things difficult financially as a fully professional club, resigned from the league and were wound up in March 1891. The club reverted to amateur status in the Birmingham and District League the following season as Kidderminster Harriers, the club again reached the 1st Round of the F. A Cup in 1906–07, losing to Oldham Athletic away 5–0. In 1910 the then current England international full-back Jesse Pennington signed for Harriers after a dispute with his then club West Bromwich Albion and he played one game before the dispute was resolved and he returned to Albion. The twenties were hard going for the club as poor form on the pitch, Harriers did manage a League runners-up place in 1924–25. The then Wolves captain George Getgood, also in dispute at the time. The 1927–28 season saw another accusation of bribery, this time against secretary Pat Davis by Cradley Heath, during an investigation Davis admitted he had offered Burton Town players a ten shillings bonus if they managed to beat Worcester City in the last match of the season. The match was drawn so the bonus was never paid, the case made the national newspapers and Pat Davis was temporarily suspended from all duties. In 1935–36 a new scoring record for the club was set, Harriers did not win the West Midlands League until 1938, finishing the season undefeated
Martin John Foyle is an English former professional footballer and manager, who is now Head of Recruitment at Northampton Town. In his 20-year playing career he played 533 League games, scoring 155 goals, as a manager he took charge of Port Vale and York City, Northwich Victoria, Hereford United and Southport. He started his career with Southampton as a trainee and after spending four years at the club, an £140,000 move to Oxford United followed in March 1987, and he became Port Vales record signing when they paid £375,000 for him in June 1991. He spent nine seasons at the club, where he scored 107 goals and he was twice voted the clubs Player of the Year and helped the Vale to win the Football League Trophy in 1993. After retiring as a player, he managed Port Vales youth team and in February 2004 took charge of first-team affairs, a spell as caretaker manager at Wrexham preceded his appointment as manager of York City in November 2008. Foyle took York to an FA Trophy Final and Conference Premier play-off Final and he was put in charge of Northwich Victoria for a three-month spell in February 2012 before being appointed manager at Hereford United in May 2012. He stayed with Hereford until departing in March 2014 and he was appointed as Southport manager in May 2014 but resigned five months later. Foyle was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he made his name in football, before Football League referee Tony Glasson recommended him to Lawrie McMenemy. He joined Southampton as a trainee in 1980, signing as a professional on 13 August of that year, shortly after his return to Southampton he made his first team debut on 15 January 1983 in a 1–1 draw at home to Coventry City. On 25 October 1983, he came on as a substitute for Ian Baird in a League Cup match at home to Carlisle United. His 86th-minute goal brought the tie level on aggregate and was followed by the winner in extra-time. He spent a few weeks on loan with Blackburn Rovers in March 1984, without making any first-team appearances and he made 98 appearances and scored 35 goals in the league for Aldershot, as the Shots posted mid-table finishes in the Fourth Division in 1984–85 under Ron Harris. Harris was replaced by Len Walker for the 1985–86 campaign, the club won promotion in 1986–87 after beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–0 in the play-off Final. However Foyle missed out on the celebrations, as he was transferred to Oxford United on 26 March 1987 for a fee of £140,000 and he featured for Oxford in the First Division during two seasons and scored 44 goals in 151 appearances for the club. The club avoided a relegation play-off in 1986–87 by two points, before a last place finish in 1987–88, after which manager Maurice Evans was replaced by Mark Lawrenson. Lawrenson resigned in October 1988, and was replaced by Brian Horton, Oxford then posted mid-table finishes in the Second Division in 1988–89, 1989–90 and he signed for Port Vale on 25 June 1991 for a club record fee of £375,000. His first game was against former club Oxford at Vale Park, although he finished as leading scorer in the 1991–92 campaign with 16 goals, the club finished bottom of the Second Division that season and were relegated. The 1993–94 season, with 18 goals, Foyle was again the leading scorer as the club finally achieved promotion in 1994
National League North
The National League North, formerly Conference North, is a division of the National League in England, taking its place immediately below the top division National League. Along with the National League South, it is at Step 2 of the National League System and it consists of teams located in Northern England, Norfolk, the English Midlands and North Wales. From the start of the 2015–16 season, the league has been known as the National League North, as part of a sponsorship deal with Vanarama, the National League North is now known as the Vanarama National League North. The Conference North was introduced in 2004 as part of a restructuring of English non-League football. The champions are promoted to the National League. A second promotion place goes to the winners of play-offs involving the teams finishing in second to fifth place, the three bottom clubs are relegated to Step 3 leagues. Teams from this division, as well as from the National League South, for sponsorship reasons, the division was known as the Nationwide North from its formation in 2004 until 2007, when it was renamed the Blue Square North. In 2010 it was renamed the Blue Square Bet North, when Blue Square sponsorship ended in 2013, it was renamed the Skrill North until the 2014–15 season, when it was renamed the Vanarama North. A further name change followed in 2015, when the division was renamed the Vanarama National League North
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
Michael Paul Husbands is a footballer who plays as a winger and forward. He began his football career with Aston Villa in 2002. He was loaned out to Hereford United, before signing with Southend United in 2003, in 2005 he moved to Port Vale via Bristol Rovers and Walsall. After two seasons with Vale he joined Macclesfield Town, there he was loaned out to Telford United, before he finished his career with Oxford United in 2008. He served as an Elite Commando in the Royal Marines and he accepted a call-up from the Saint Lucia national team in September 2012, and returned to club football with Redditch United in December 2012. Husbands, a forward, began his career at Aston Villa as a schoolboy in 1998. He had a trial at Macclesfield Town before he joined Hereford United on loan in December 2002, he made five substitute appearances over his two months at Edgar Street. He was allowed to join Southend United in July 2003, he spent two years at the club, but played only 16 games due to a number of injuries including a pelvic problem. In August 2005 he joined Bristol Rovers for a spell on a non-contract basis before moving on to Walsall the next month. Husbands made 47 league appearances for the Valiants, the highlight of his time at Vale Park was on 26 September 2006 against Nottingham Forest, he scored within 14 seconds – the fastest goal of that season. He was released by Port Vale in July 2007, and joined Macclesfield Town, Husbands made 25 appearances for the Shropshire side scoring three times. He rejected the opportunity to sign permanently at the end of the campaign and so after a trial at Cheltenham Town in July, he opted to join Oxford United in the Conference National in August 2008. Manager Darren Patterson urged him to make the most of this opportunity, saying, For whatever reason hes had lots of clubs, maybe this is the last chance saloon for Michael. He needs a club where he regularly and scores goals. However he was released by Oxford at the end of the month after his contract expired, after leaving the professional game, Husbands joined the Royal Marines. He made his debut for the Marines football team against the Devon & Somerset Fire Service on 18 May 2010, in December 2012, he returned to English football with Southern League club Redditch United. Husbands is of Saint Lucian descent, but for many years not to represent Saint Lucia in international competitions. He finally accepted a call-up and was named to their squad for the 2012 Caribbean Cup qualification and he had not played professionally for over four years, though had remained fit as he was serving in the Royal Marines
Nuneaton Town F.C.
Nuneaton Town Football Club is an English football club based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. In 1889 Nuneaton St. Nicholas were the first team to senior football within Nuneaton. Five years later, they changed their name to Nuneaton Town, however, two days later Nuneaton Borough F. C. were founded. In 2008 the club was liquidated, and due to a FA ruling were reformed as Nuneaton Town – suffering a two division demotion, the club is still known as The Boro by its supporters. The club currently play their fixtures at Liberty Way, Nuneaton. The clubs home colours are blue & white, local rivals include Tamworth, Leamington, Bedworth United and Coventry City. The club origins date from 1889 when young men from Nuneaton St. Nicolas Parish Church formed a team to represent the town. Originally playing only friendly games, from 1892 Nuneaton St. Nicolas entered Charity Cup competitions, in September 1894 the Nicks’ changed their name to Nuneaton Town Association F. C. This was despite Nuneaton Town being financially sound, following the disbandment of the Boro by its shareholders, a new group of local gentlemen decided to reform the football club. The new name Nuneaton Borough reflected the royal charter status that the town had been granted, Southern League Cup, Winners 1995–96, Runners Up 1962–63, Southern League Championship Match, Winners 199. Runners Up 1996, Home, At Manor Park 22,114, in May 2007, the curtain came down on Manor Park as they drew the last game 1–1 against Vauxhall Motors. Striker Gez Murphy took the honour of being the last Nuneaton Borough scorer at the ground, in the 2007–08 season, ill-health meant that the clubs owner, Ted Stocker, decided to sell his shares. March 2008 saw local businessman Ian Neale planned to take ownership of the club for a trial period, however, he took 100% ownership of the club in April. In May 2008, Mr Neale found some irregularities in the finances of the club, on 2 June 2008 Nuneaton Borough went into liquidation. Following the clubs liquidation, the reformed, this time as Nuneaton Town. The new club was forced to revert to its name of Nuneaton Town. Falling foul of regulations regarding football finance, the new club was demoted two divisions from Conference North to Southern League Division One, nevertheless, successive promotions saw the club quickly regain its former league status
The Northolme is a football ground in Gainsborough in England. The home ground of Gainsborough Trinity, it has a capacity of 4,304, the Northolme was opened in the 1850s, and was originally used as a cricket ground. Gainsborough Trinity moved to the ground in 1884, at time the only spectator facility was a small covered stand in the south-west corner of the ground. Players used the nearby Sun Inn for changing rooms, with the pub building an extension for use by the football club. A 200-seat grandstand was added along the southern touchline, along with a covered terrace on the northern side of the pitch. Trinity were elected to the Football League in 1896, and the first League match at the ground was played on 12 September 1896, with 2,000 spectators watching a 1–1 draw with Manchester City. The ground was used for cricket, and Trinity occasionally had to play matches at the Bowling Green Ground in the north-west of the town. The record attendance for a Football League match at the Northolme was set on 29 April 1911, Gainsborough were voted out of the Football League at the end of the 1911–12 season, and returned to the Midland League. The grounds record attendance of 9,760 was set for a Midland League match against local rivals Scunthorpe United in the 1940s, during the same decade the stand on the southern touchline burnt down and a new grandstand was built on the northern touchline. In 1988 Worksop Town lost their Central Avenue ground, and were forced to groundshare at the Northolme until 1992, a similar request was rejected in 2008