Stoke City F.C.
Stoke City Football Club is a professional football club based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863 the club changed its name to Stoke in 1878 and they are the second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and are one of the founding members of the Football League. Their first, and to date only major trophy, the League Cup was won in 1972, the clubs highest league finish in the top division is 4th, which was achieved in the 1935–36 and 1946–47 seasons. Stoke played in the FA Cup Final in 2011, finishing runners-up to Manchester City and have reached three FA Cup semi-finals, in 1899 then consecutively in 1971 and 1972. Stoke have competed in European football on three occasions, firstly in 1972–73 then in 1974–75 and most recently in 2011–12, the club has won the Football League Trophy twice, in 1992 and in 2000. Stokes home ground is the bet365 Stadium, a 28,116 all-seater stadium, before the stadium was opened in 1997, the club was based at the Victoria Ground, which had been their home ground since 1878. The clubs nickname is The Potters, named after the industry in Stoke-on-Trent and their traditional home kit is a red and white vertically striped shirt, white shorts. Stokes traditional rivals are Midlands clubs West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers whilst their local rivals are Port Vale with whom they contest the Potteries derby, the clubs first documented match was in October 1868, against an EW May XV at the Victoria Cricket Club ground. Henry Almond, the founder, was also captain. During this period they played at the Victoria Cricket Ground, however, in 1878, the club merged with Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and became Stoke Football Club. They moved from their previous ground, Sweetings Field, to the Athletic Club ground and it was around this time that the club adopted their traditional red-and-white striped kit. In August 1885, the club turned professional, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League when it was introduced in 1888. The club struggled in their first two seasons, 1888–89 and 1889–90, finishing bottom on both occasions, in 1890 Stoke failed to be re-elected and joined the Football Alliance, which they won and thus were re-elected to the Football League. Stoke spent the next 15 seasons in the First Division and reached the FA Cup Semi-Final in the 1898–99 season before being relegated in 1907, Stoke went bankrupt and entered non-league football until 1914, when the First World War meant the Football League was suspended for four years. During the wartime period, Stoke entered the Lancashire Primary and Secondary leagues, when football recommenced in August 1919, Stoke re-joined the league. The club became owners of the Victoria Ground in 1919 and this was followed by the construction of the Butler Street stand, which increased the overall capacity of the ground to 50,000. In 1925, Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status and this led the club to change its name to Stoke City F. C, the 1930s saw the debut of clubs most celebrated player, Stanley Matthews. Matthews, who grew up in Hanley, was an apprentice at the club and made his first appearance in March 1932, against Bury, by end of the decade, Matthews had established himself as an England international and as one of the best footballers of his generation
Retford is a market town in Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands of England, located 31 miles from the city of Nottingham, and 23 miles west of Lincoln, in the district of Bassetlaw. The population of the town at the 2011 census was 22,013, the town is situated in a valley with the River Idle and the Chesterfield Canal running through the centre of the town. The village of Ordsall, west of the River Idle and the East Coast Main Line railway, Retford is under the control of Bassetlaw District Council, with their base being located in neighbouring Worksop. Retford is twinned with the town of Pfungstadt, Germany, Retford gained its first charter in 1246, when Henry III granted the right for a fair, this was later extended to holding a Saturday Market by Edward I in 1275. It was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and then remained a municipal borough until 1974 when it was merged into Bassetlaw district and its civic traditions are maintained by Charter Trustees. The origins of its name are unknown and have been subject to much debate and it was originally named Redforde because the river water was tinged red due to the red clay river bed and frequent crossing of people and livestock disturbing the clay river bed. The first land settled was on the side of the ford. This was known as West Retforth, the highly unusual coat of arms for the town consists of two rampant choughs. On 27 June 2007, a few low-lying parts of the town were affected by the 2007 United Kingdom floods, the majority of Kings Park was flooded under three feet of water. The Asda and Morrisons supermarkets adjacent to the river were also flooded, in the Market Square there is an ornate French-inspired Victorian Town Hall, in front of which is The Broad Stone. Legend says that this stone had a hollow in it used to be filled with vinegar during plague times to disinfect coins. However, it is thought to be the base of a boundary marker - perhaps the Dominie Cross. Also in the Market Square is the war memorial unveiled by Sir Frederick Milner in 1921, the memorial is in the form of an Eleanor cross, an octagonal structure of late gothic design. The names of the men killed in World War I are on the lower 8 panels, the monument was designed by architect Leonard W. Barnard F. R. I. B. A. of Cheltenham. The memorial is constructed of Stancliffe stone from Darley Dale, Derbyshire, just across from the Market Square is Cannon Square which has St Swithuns Church and a cannon captured from the Russians during the Siege of Sevastopol at the end of the Crimean War in 1856. From 2011, Retford was made the European town of respect, each yeah retford has been this for 7 years at August. Nikolaus Pevsner, architectural historian, was scathing about Retford. A singularly unattractive town, he wrote, however Bill Bryson, the American author and former president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England praised the town
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
Rushall Olympic F.C.
Rushall Olympic Football Club are an English football club based in Rushall, a former mining village now forming part of the northern suburbs of Walsall. They play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, the club joined the Cannock & District League in 1895, finishing as runners-up in their first season and later joined the Junior, Amateur, Parks and Senior sections of the Walsall & District League. During the inter-war years the team won a number of local honours, at this time the team comprised mainly local colliery workers and played on a field behind the Miners Arms pub in Rushall and changed in the pub itself. However, some prior to World War II the club disbanded. In 1951, a group of young men decided to reform the club. They approached the proprietor of a fish and chip shop for permission to use his premises as their headquarters. Following promotion to the First Division, the club won four titles between 1960 and 1965. In 1975, in a bid to gain a higher league status, meanwhile, the club obtained the lease on some land in Daw End, Rushall, and the new Dales Lane ground was officially opened on Sunday 14 August 1977. The club were accepted into the West Midlands League in 1978, the club enjoyed fourteen seasons of moderate success in the Premier Division, with a highest finish of fifth place achieved in season 1988–89. In 1994 the Pics became founder members of the new Midland Football Alliance, after finishing in second place in both 2000–01 and 2002–03, the Pics finally claimed the league title in 2004–05 and with it promotion to the Southern League Division One West. They were then transferred to the Southern League Division One Midlands for the 2006–07 season where they stayed for two years, qualifying for the playoffs in their last season by finishing 5th and they were also unsuccessful in achieving promotion this time. A 2–0 victory over Grantham Town in the final saw Rushall Olympic to reach Northern Premier League Premier Division, the first season at this higher level saw Rushall Olympic finish 8th in the league. They reached the final of three cup competitions, the cup, the Staffordshire Senior Cup and the Walsall Senior Cup which they retained. Rushall also equalled their best ever performance in the FA Cup reaching the fourth qualifying round where they suffered a defeat at the hands of Stourbridge. In 2012–13 Rushall made their debut in the first round proper of the FA Trophy having qualified with victories over Woodford United, Chasetown and their reward was a trip to Wrexham where they suffered a defeat against a team that went on to win the final of the competition. In the League Rushall again were on the verge of the play offs finishing in 6th position, in 2013–14 Rushall Olympic made the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup before losing out at Grimsby Town. Rushall eventually finished in 7th place in the league narrowly missing out on the play offs, however, there were two cup final appearances. The Pics lost out in the final of the Walsall Senior Cup, at the end of the season the club amicably parted company with manager of five years Neil Kitching
Retford United F.C.
Retford United Football Club are an English football club based at Cannon Park in Retford, Nottinghamshire. They currently play in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, the club was founded in 1987 by Retfordian Brian Jackson to give the town a senior club after the original Retford Town had gone out of business. Just three years passed before another milestone was reached and the joined the Northern Counties East League. The success continued, finishing as runners-up in the Northern Counties East League Division One in 2005–06, gaining promotion to the Premier Division, which they won at their first attempt. They were then promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One South, in all, between 2000 and 2009, they won a total of six championships, of various leagues and divisions, in nine seasons. However, at the end of the 2010–11 season they finished bottom and were relegated to the Northern Premier League Division One South and their first season in the FA Trophy in 2007–08 took them to the first round where they were defeated 5–2 by Histon. When Retford United was formed in 1987 it consisted of a team in the Gainsborough & District League. Also girls football was introduced in the years and still continues. The first ever youth games were played on the Jenkins Sports Ground on Thrumpton Lane, the Junior Section of the club now operate independently at Oaklands as Retford United Junior F. C. The first senior games were played on the council owned Goosemoor for a period before moving to Oaklands
Nottingham Forest F.C.
Nottingham Forest Football Club is a professional association football club based in Nottinghamshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. The club, often referred to as Forest, have played matches at the City Ground since 1898. Founded in 1865, Forest were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889, since then, they have mostly competed in the top two League tiers, bar five seasons in the third tier. Forest won the FA Cup in 1898 and 1959, Forest were founded in 1865 as Nottingham Forest Football and Bandy Club by a group of shinty players shortly after their neighbours Notts County, in 1862. They joined the Football Alliance in 1889, and won the competition in 1892, in their early years Forest were a multi-sports club, as well as their roots in bandy and shinty, the baseball club Forest deployed were British champions in 1899. Forests charitable approach to the sport helped teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, in 1886, Forest donated a set of football kits to help Arsenal establish themselves – the North London team still wear red. Forest also donated shirts to Everton and helped secure a site to play on for Brighton, Forest claimed their first major honour when they won the 1898 FA Cup, beating Derby County 3–1 at Crystal Palace. However, for much of the first half of the 20th century the club spent life in the Second Division and had to seek re-election in 1914 after finishing bottom. In 1949 the club were relegated to the Third Division, but were promoted back two years later as champions having scored a record 110 goals in the 1950–51 season. They therefore became the first team to defeat the Wembley hoodoo, by this time Forest had replaced Notts County as the biggest club in Nottingham and went on to become runners-up in the First Division and FA Cup semi-finalists in 1967. However, after a successful period for the club, Forest were relegated from the First Division in 1972. Clough became the most successful manager in the history of Nottingham Forest, cloughs first game in charge was the third round FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, a 1–0 victory thanks to a goal by Scottish centre-forward Neil Martin. Nottingham Forest became one of the few teams to win the First Division Championship a year after winning promotion from the Second Division and they also won the European Super Cup and two League Cups. The club reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in 1983–84 but were knocked out by Anderlecht in controversial but uncertain circumstances. The case was dismissed and Anderlecht was acquitted from all charges Nottingham Forests next major trophies came in 1989 when they won the Football League Cup. Cloughs side retained the League Cup in 1990 when they beat Oldham Athletic 1–0, in Forests team that day was young Irish midfielder Roy Keane, who had joined the club the previous summer. In the summer of 1991, Brian Clough broke Forests transfer record fee by signing the top scorer, Millwall striker Teddy Sheringham
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
Sunderland Association Football Club is a professional football club based in the North East city of Sunderland in the larger metropolitan area of Tyne and Wear. The club is playing in the Premier League, the top league of English football. Since its formation in 1879, the club has won six top-flight First Division titles, a total bettered by five other clubs. The club has won the FA Cup twice and been runners-up twice, as well as winning the FA Community Shield in 1936. Sunderland have also been Football League Cup finalists in 1985 and 2014, Sunderland won their first FA Cup in 1937 with a 3–1 victory over Preston North End, and remained in the top league for 68 successive seasons until they were relegated for the first time in 1958. Sunderlands most notable trophy after the Second World War was their second FA Cup in 1973, the team has won the second tier title five times in that period and the third tier title once. Sunderland play their games at the 49, 000-capacity all-seater Stadium of Light having moved from Roker Park in 1997. The original ground capacity was 42,000 which was increased to 49,000 following expansion in 2000, Sunderland have a long-standing rivalry with their neighbouring club Newcastle United, with whom they have contested the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. Founded 17 October 1879 as Sunderland and District Teachers A. F. C. by schoolmaster James Allan and they replaced Stoke, who had failed to be re-elected, becoming the first new club to join the league since its inauguration in 1888. During the late 19th century, they were declared the Team of All Talents by William McGregor, Sunderland won the league championship in the 1891–92 season, one season after joining The Football League. The clubs 42 points were five clear of nearest rivals Preston North End, Sunderland successfully defended the title the following season, aided by centre forward Johnny Campbell, who broke the 30-goal mark for the second time in consecutive seasons. In the process, they became the first team to score 100 goals in a season, a feat not matched until 1919–20, Sunderland came close to winning a third successive league championship in the 1893–94 season, finishing second behind Aston Villa. However, they regained the title in the 1894–95 season, ending the five points ahead of Everton. After winning the English League Championship, Sunderland played against Heart of Midlothian, Sunderland won the game 5–3 and were announced Champions of the world. Sunderland came close to winning another title in the 1897–98 season. That season was their last at Newcastle Road, as moved to Roker Park the following season. After coming second in 1900–01, the club won their league title in the 1901–02 season. In 1904, Sunderlands management was embroiled in a payment scandal involving player Andrew McCombie, the club was said to have given the player £100 to help him start his own business, on the understanding that he would repay the money after his benefit game
Portsmouth Football Club /ˈpɔərtsməθ/ is a professional football club in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, which plays in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. Home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the formation in 1898. Portsmouth have been champions of England twice, in 1949 and 1950, in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, Portsmouth played European heavyweights A. C. Milan. In this period, the club had international footballers including England players Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David James, financial problems, however, soon set in and Portsmouth were relegated to the Football League Championship in 2010. In 2012, they were relegated, to League One. They began the 2013–14 season in the tier of the English football league system for the first time since the late 1970s. Portsmouth became the largest fan-owned football club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013, Portsmouth Football Club are nicknamed Pompey, a name which it shares with the city of Portsmouth and its historic naval base. Pompey is thought most likely to originate from the abbreviation of Portsmouth Point to the shorter Pom. The club was founded in 1898 with John Brickwood — owner of the local Brickwoods Brewery — as chairman, a blue plaque on the wall of 12 High Street Portsmouth commemorates the founding on 5 April. That first season was successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, 1910–11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager, the team was promoted the following season. League football was suspended during First World War, but following the resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the second time, continuing success saw them in the Third Division for the 1920–21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won the division in the 1923–24 season, the club continued to perform well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing second in the 1926–27 season, gaining a record 9–1 win over Notts County along the way. Portsmouths debut season in the First Division was a struggle, the next season they continued to falter, losing 10–0 to Leicester City, still a club record defeat. Despite their failings in the league, however, that also saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time. Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes began to change, the 1933–34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final, beating Manchester United, Bolton, Leicester and Birmingham City on the way. The club was defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City. Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938–39 season saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final and this time, Portsmouth managed to convincingly defeat favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1. Bert Barlow and Jock Anderson scored, whilst Cliff Parker scored twice to complete a famous victory, League football resumed for the 1946–47 campaign after five years and Portsmouth continued in the First Division
Cardiff City F.C.
Cardiff City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Cardiff, Wales that competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C. before changing its name to Cardiff City in 1908 and they play their home games at the Cardiff City Stadium, after moving from Ninian Park in 2009. The club reverted to their traditional blue in January 2015 and they have long-standing rivalries with nearby clubs Swansea City, known as the South Wales derby, and Bristol City, known as the Severnside derby. The club was founded in 1899 as Riverside A. F. C and their first season saw them playing friendlies against local sides at their Sophia Gardens ground, but in 1900 they joined the Cardiff & District League for their first competitive season. To combat this they arranged to join the South Wales Amateur League in 1907, with the club growing in stature, they were forced to turn down the opportunity to join the newly formed Southern League Second Division due to the lack of facilities at their Sophia Gardens ground. The club eventually secured land to build their own stadium, moving into Ninian Park, the club made its first signing the following year with the acquisition of Jack Evans from fellow Welsh club Cwmparc. With the new ground in place, Cardiff joined the Southern League Second Division, and appointed their first manager in Davy McDougall, who became player-manager. They went on to finish in place in their first year in the league but the board decided to replace McDougall with Fred Stewart. In 1920, the club submitted an application to join the Football League and were placed into the Second Division for the 1920–21 season. Stewart brought in players with Football League experience, breaking the clubs transfer record on two occasions to sign Jimmy Gill and later Jimmy Blair from The Wednesday. In the 74th minute, after collecting a throw George MacLachlan, dan Lewis, the Arsenal goalkeeper, appeared to collect the ball but, under pressure from the advancing Len Davies, clumsily allowed the ball to roll through his grasp. In a further attempt to retrieve the ball Lewis only succeeded in knocking the ball with his elbow into his own net, captain Fred Keenor received the FA Cup trophy from King George V only seven years after Cardiff City had entered the Football League. However, he was unable to turn the fortunes around by the end of the season. McCandless left the club soon after and was replaced by Cyril Spiers who led the club to promotion the in 1951–52 season, however, despite spending five seasons in the First Division, the club continually struggled in the bottom half of the table and were eventually relegated in 1957. They returned to the First Division for two seasons between 1960 and 1962 before again suffering relegation, during the 1960s, Cardiff began qualifying for European competition for the first time as a result of winning the Welsh Cup. They went on to reach the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Real Zaragoza, despite their exploits in Europe, the club were still struggling in league competition under the stewardship of Jimmy Scoular, finishing in 20th position in the Second Division. After a 1–1 draw in the first leg, just over 43,000 fans turned out at Ninian Park to watch Hamburg win 3–2, during the 1970–71 season, Cardiff reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup where they faced Spanish side Real Madrid. The first leg of the tie was held at Ninian Park where 47,000 fans watched one of the most famous victories in the history when Brian Clark headed in to give Cardiff a 1–0 win
They play their home games at Toumba Stadium, with a capacity of 28,803 seats. PAOK was established on 20 April 1926 by Greek Constantinopolitans who fled to Thessaloniki from the city of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul in the wake of the Greco-Turkish War, emblem of the team is a Byzantine-style double-headed eagle, adopted three years after the establishment of the club. PAOK currently plays in the top-flight Superleague Greece, which they have won twice and they have won also four times the Greek Football Cup. The team has appeared several times in the UEFA Europa League competition and their best European performance was in the 1973–74 season, when they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. PAOK FC is the oldest division of PAOK Sports Club, the successor of Hermes Sports Club, which was formed in 1877 by the Greek community of Pera, the football club was founded in 1926. The original logo of PAOK was a horseshoe and a four-leaf clover, the two teams were merged in 1929, adopting the still-current two-headed eagle symbol, also in 1929. The eagle symbolizes the origins of the club in the former Byzantine capital, Constantinople, the first professional contract was signed by the club on 5 September 1928. The contract stipulated that the French footballer Raymond Etienne – of Jewish descent from Pera Club – would be paid 4,000 drachmas per month, the contract was signed by Dr. Meletiou, the PAOK chairman, and Mr. Sakellaropoulos, the Hon. Secretary. In the 1950s, the won the Thessaloniki Championship for four successive seasons. In 1959, their new Toumba Stadium opened, Giorgos Koudas, the great star of the team made his first appearance in 1963. With him, PAOK won their first national titles, the Greek Football Cup and they won also for the first time the Greek Championship in 1975–76, a feat they would repeat in 1984–85. At the European level, the club made its best ever performance after reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1973–74, where they were knocked out by Milan. PAOK also made an appearance against German giants Bayern Munich in the 1983–84 UEFA Cup. Since 1985, a period of decline affected the club, in 1992, they lost in the Greek Cup final to Olympiacos. In 1996, Thomas Voulinos handed over the reins of the club to Giorgos Batatoudis, numerous transfers of well-known players such as Percy Olivares, Zisis Vryzas, Spiros Marangos and Kostas Frantzeskos took place under the new administration. In 1997, having served its five-year ban, PAOK qualified for the UEFA Cup under coach Angelos Anastasiadis, the clubs reappearance at European level was marked by a victory and qualification over Arsenal. The new team, however, did not prove successful in the domestic league. The clubs continuing inability to break the dominance of the big three in the league resulted in several changes over the following three years
Barnsley Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed the Tykes, they were founded in 1887 by Reverend Tiverton Preedy under the name Barnsley St. Peters, the club colours are red and white, and their home ground since 1888 has been Oakwell. Taylor broke into the Barnsley team just after the sale of wing-half Danny Blanchflower to Aston Villa. Blanchflower would go on to sign for Tottenham Hotspur and be voted FWA Player of the Year twice as well as captaining the North London club to the first league and cup double of the 20th century. Barnsley FC was established in 1887 by a clergyman, Tiverton Preedy and they joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in the Second Division for the first decade, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910 the club reached the FA Cup final, where they lost out to Newcastle United in a replay match. However, they would reach the 1912 FA Cup Final where they would defeat West Bromwich Albion 1–0 in a replay to win the trophy for the first. When the league restarted after World War I, the 1919–20 season brought significant changes to the league. The principal difference was that the First Division would be increased from 20 teams to 22, the bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were duly relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, derby County and Preston North End were rightly promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled. Henry Norris, the then Arsenal chairman, had recently moved Woolwich Arsenal north of the River Thames to Highbury and he was later to admit some underhand dealings, allegedly including the bribing of some member clubs to vote for Arsenals inclusion. They duly won the vote and Barnsley were consigned to the tier of English football for another 8 decades. The club did come close to reaching the top division in the early years. In 1922, they missed out on promotion by a single goal, during the years preceding and following World War II, the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division. Around the time of Blanchflowers departure, a young centre-forward called Tommy Taylor broke into the Barnsley team, scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Barnsley. In April 1953, he one of the most expensive players in English football at the time when Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United for a fee of £29,999. In 1965, Barnsley were relegated to the Football League Fourth Division for the first time and they went down to the Fourth Division again in 1972, and this time stayed down for seven seasons, finally returning to the Third Division in 1979
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
Bristol Rovers F.C.
Bristol Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Bristol, England. They compete in League One, the tier of English football. The team play their matches at Memorial Stadium, in Horfield, a suburb of Bristol. The club was founded in 1883 as Black Arabs F. C. and were known as Eastville Rovers. The clubs official nickname is The Pirates, reflecting the history of Bristol. According to a survey conducted in December 2003, Cardiff City and Swindon Town are considered their second, Rovers were admitted to the Football League in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in 6th place in Division Two, then the tier of English football. Rovers were Football League Trophy finalists in 1990 and 2007, the club was formed following a meeting at the Eastville Restaurant in Bristol in September 1883. It was initially called Black Arabs F. C. after the Arabs rugby team and this name only lasted for the 1883–84 season, and in a bid to draw more fans from the local area the club was renamed Eastville Rovers in 1884. The club played friendly games until the 1887–88 season, when it took part in the Gloucestershire Cup for the first time. In 1892 the club became a member of the Bristol and District League. In 1897 Eastville Rovers joined the Birmingham and District League, at the beginning of the 1897–98 season, the club turned professional and changed its name to Bristol Eastville Rovers, and on 17 February 1899 the name was officially changed to Bristol Rovers. In 1899 Bristol Rovers joined the newly formed Southern League, where remained until 1920. For the 1920–21 season, the Southern League teams were moved into the new Division Three of the Football League and they remained in this division for over 30 years, before winning the league, and promotion in the 1952–53 season. The club has been relegated six times—in 1961–62, 1980–81, 1992–93, 2000–01, 2010–11 and most recently at the end of the 2013–14 season. The highest position in the football ladder achieved by Rovers at the end of season is sixth place in the tier, which they did twice, once in 1955–56. The closest they came to the top flight was in 1955–56, the lowest league position achieved by the club is twenty-third out of twenty-four teams in the fourth tier, which has occurred twice. This position was matched at the end of the 2013–14 season and they returned to the league at the end of their first Conference season, with a penalty shootout victory over Grimsby Town in the play-off final
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
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
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
Blackpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. For the 2016–17 season, they are competing in League Two, founded in 1887, Blackpools home ground has been Bloomfield Road since 1901. Their main nickname is the Seasiders, but they are called the Pool and the Tangerines, the latter in reference to the colour of their home kit. Blackpools least successful period was in the 1980s, particularly when, in the 1982–83 season, they finished 21st in English League footballs lowest tier, the clubs motto is Progress, as featured on the club crest. Blackpool have a rivalry with Preston North End, and matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby. They have not met in a match since February 2010. Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years later but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St Johns School to form a new club called Blackpool St Johns. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88, the Fylde Cup, at the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished out of the 13 member clubs. They finished as runners-up over the three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpools home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, which was part of an entertainment complex that included a theatre. This meant that the average attendances were around the 2000 mark. Their application was successful, and for the debut season, 1896–97. Blackpools first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, for the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds. They remained there for the first seven games of 1898–99. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season and they finished third, and after the Football Leagues annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two. It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore, during the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place
It began in the 1983–84 season as the Associate Members Cup, but in 1992, after the lower-division clubs became full members of the Football League, it was renamed the Football League Trophy. The competition replaced the short-lived Football League Group Cup and it was renamed again in 2016, as the EFL Trophy. The competition has been associated with a sponsor since its second edition, currently. The first draws are made in August, then the runs as 16 regional groups. The top two from each group qualify for the stages before the two winners meet in late March or early April in the final at Englands national stadium. The current champions are Coventry City, who beat Oxford United 2-1 in the final to win the competition for the first time, the competition was inaugurated as the Associate Members Cup in the 1983–84 season and followed on from the short-lived Football League Group Cup. The competition was renamed the Football League Trophy in 1992, the competition was renamed again in 2016, becoming the EFL Trophy, coinciding with the Football League rebranding to the English Football League. 64 teams enter from Round One, including all 48 teams from League One and League Two, the competition will now feature 16 regional groups of four teams, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. In the first year of the tournament, the 48 eligible Third, the first round had 12 knockout ties in each section, and the second had six. In each section the two second-round losers with the narrowest defeats were reprieved, and joined the six clubs in the regional quarter-finals. A major change was introduced for the 1985–86 tournament, with 8 three-team groups being set up in each of the two sections, teams played one home and one away game and the group winners proceeded to the regional knockout stages. This format was tweaked the following season, with two teams qualifying from each group, resulting in a round of 16 knockout stage in each section. For a number of seasons in the early to mid-1990s, the competition ran with only seven three-team groups and this was owing to League reorganisation and the demise of Aldershot and Maidstone United, which resulted in there being fewer than 48 teams in the 3rd and 4th levels. The group phase was abolished for the 1996–97 tournament, instead,8 teams in each received a bye to the second round. The number of Conference entrants was increased to 12 starting in 2002–03, resulting in 14 first-round ties, Conference teams no longer participated from the 2006–07 tournament onward, and the format reverted to 8 first-round teams in each section, with 8 sides gaining byes to the second round. The competition has always been contested by all teams at Levels Three, during the 2016–17 season,16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides have taken part in the competition. The first final in 1984 was to have played at the then Wembley Stadium. From 2001 to 2007, during the rebuilding of the former Wembley, source, napit. co. uk The record attendance for the final is 80,841, for the 1988 Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Wembley
Northampton Town F.C.
Northampton Town Football Club /nɔːrˈθæmptən ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based in the town of Northampton, Northamptonshire, England. The team play in League One, the tier of English football. They hold the record for the shortest time taken to be promoted from the tier to the top tier. Northampton were formed in 1897, after meetings between the town’s schoolteachers and local solicitor A. J. They play their games at the 7,724 capacity all-seater Sixfields Stadium, having moved in 1994 from the County Ground which they shared with the owners. The club’s main rivals are Peterborough United, a rivalry which has endured since the 1960s, other recent rivals include Rushden & Diamonds and Oxford United. The clubs colours have traditionally been claret and white, the club nickname is The Cobblers, a reference to the towns historical shoe-making industry. In 1919–20, the first season after the war, Town conceded a club record 103 goals, nonetheless, the club was allowed to join the Football League for the following season, in Division Three. 1922–23 saw the club become a company and 8,000 shares were released at £1. The season produced a record crowd of 18,123 against Plymouth on Boxing day, 1923–24 started with the club raising £5,000 to build a stand with a players tunnel underneath and also improved terracing in the Hotel End. The following season saw the formation of the supporters club, in 1925 the clubs first foreign transfer took place as William Shaw was signed from Barcelona. A new ground record was set for the F. A, Cup third-round replay with Sunderland,21,148 turned up to see the Cobblers lose 3–0. However, disaster occurred at the County Ground during December 1929, only one stand was saved although this was charred. The source of the fire was thought to be in the dressing room. By August 1930, the stands were rebuilt, in 1932–33, the club created history when brothers Fred and Albert Dawes both scored in an 8–0 win over Newport County. The latter finished the season scoring 32 league goals and even scored all four in a 4–0 win over the Netherlands national football team while the club was on tour. Cup fifth round was reached for the first time courtesy of a round win away to Huddersfield Town who. The Cobblers lost to Preston North End 4–0 at Deepdale, setting a new record of 40,180
Huddersfield Town A.F.C.
F. C. Halifax Town is a semi-professional association football club based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England. The club participates in the National League North, the tier of English football. They replaced Halifax Town A. F. C. which went into administration in the 2007–08 season, huge tax debts buried Halifax Town A. F. C. after almost 100 years as a football club. New figures put to a creditors meeting in May 2008 showed the cash-strapped Shaymen owed over £800,000 to Her Majestys Revenue. The Revenue refused any deal and that finished the club – already over £2 million in the red. It was originally thought the club owed the taxman around £500,000, but the news that it owed £814,000 meant that even if all the other creditors had accepted the 2. 5p-in-the-pound offer originally on the table it would not have been enough. Halifax appealed against the decision to them from the Football Conference. Though the appeal was rejected on 11 June, the hope was that Halifax could play in the NPL Premier Division. This did not materialise, and eventually Halifax Town were accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the new season under the new name FC Halifax Town. The clubs first game under the new name FC Halifax Town was a friendly away against Tamworth on 19 July 2008, there was to be no fairytale ending however, and the game ended in a 2–0 defeat. The clubs first ever victory was against Alsager Town on 26 July 2008 by a 2–0 scoreline, colin Hunter scored the new clubs first ever goal after six minutes. Their first competitive Northern League Division One North match was at The Shay against Bamber Bridge on 16 August 2008, the club got off to a poor start, despite recording their first competitive victory in the next match. However, a 7–1 home win against Salford City in late September seemed to turn the tide for Town and they went on an 8-game unbeaten run,7 of those being victories, and shot to the top of the league table. The run eventually came to an end against Rossendale United, who ended up doing the double over Halifax. Despite the loss, Halifax remained top and more results, including 5–1 and 4–1 victories against Garforth Town and Wakefield respectively. After the Wakefield match however, Halifax won just 2 of their final 14 league games and this poor run led to the sacking of manager Jim Vince, and senior player Nigel Jemson stepped up to the managers position for the remainder of the season. They could only manage 2 draws and so a poor ending to the season cost them dearly, with new manager Neil Aspin taking the helm near the start of close season, Halifax Town got off to a much better start. Promising results in friendlies were consolidated after beating Colwyn Bay 3–0 on their own turf in the first league match of the season
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was known as St. Lukes FC and was founded in 1877. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, the following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The clubs current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged. They ended the season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first Double winners. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a time when they moved to Molineux. Wolves lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1–0, and added a second triumph in 1908, two years after having dropped into the Second Division. After struggling for years to regain their place in the top division, the club suffered a further relegation in 1923, entering the Third Division. Eight years later Wolves regained their status after winning the Second Division title under Major Frank Buckley. This game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, the 1950s were by far the most successful period in the clubs history. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the championship for the first time in 1953–54. This became the final spur for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of LÉquipe, to propose the creation of the European Cup, although the decade opened with a fourth FA Cup victory and almost the first double of the 20th century, the 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline. Cullis was sacked in September 1964 in a season that ended with relegation and this exile would last only two seasons though, as they were promoted in 1967 as runners-up. During the close season in 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of the fledgling United Soccer Association league which imported clubs from Europe. Playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the Western Division, the clubs return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success under Bill McGarry, with a fourth place in 1971 qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. They lifted silverware though two later, when they won the League Cup for the first time by beating Manchester City 2–1 in the final. The club was saved from liquidation at the last minute when it was purchased by a consortium fronted by former player Derek Dougan
Stadium of Light
The Stadium of Light is an all-seater football stadium in Sunderland, England and home to Sunderland A. F. C. With space for 49,000 spectators, the Stadium of Light has the eighth-largest capacity of any English football stadium and is the sixth-largest capacity Premier League stadium, the stadium primarily hosts Sunderland A. F. C. home matches. According to Sir Bob Murray then chairman of Sunderland F. C, a Davy lamp monument stands at the entrance to reflect the coal mining industry that brought prosperity to the town. As well as hosting Sunderland games, the stadium has hosted three matches for the England national football team, as well as one England under-20 football team match. With an original capacity of 42,000, it was expanded in 2002 to seat 48,707 and its simple design is apparently to allow for redevelopments up to a capacity of 66,000 though this is unlikely to ever be required. The attendance record at the Stadium of Light is 48,353 set on 13 April 2002, along with hosting football matches, the stadium has played host to performers such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Oasis, Take That, Kings of Leon and Coldplay. The ground also holds conference and banqueting suites, the Black Cats Bar, following the release of the Taylor Report in January 1990, Sunderland was obliged to make plans to turn their Roker Park home into an all-seater stadium. Roker Park was a ground that mainly consisted of standing terraces, enclosed by residential streets on all sides, expansion was practically impossible. So, by 1991, Sunderland chairman Bob Murray began investigating the possibility of relocation to a new stadium, the front-runner that emerged was a proposed stadium located on an area of land adjacent to the Nissan car plant. The 49,000 all-seater ground was labelled the Wembley of the North by Sunderland fans, the plans did not come to fruition. Shortly after the plans were announced in 1992, Nissan launched an official objection, in 1995, Sunderland put forward a plan to build a stadium on the former site of Wearmouth Colliery, which had closed in December 1993. The area, on the bank of the River Wear in the Sheepfolds district of Sunderland, was only a few hundred yards from Roker Park. In 1993, Sunderlands planned new stadium was on the shortlist for Euro 96 venues, however, it soon become clear that a new stadium in Sunderland would not be ready in time for the tournament. On 13 November 1995, the Sunderland chairman Bob Murray announced that the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation had approved plans for Sunderland to build a 34, 000-seater stadium on the site. Ballast Wiltshier plc, a company that had built the Amsterdam Arena, was contracted to build the stadium at an initial cost of £15 million. In June 1996, as the capacity rose to more than 40,000. The capacity was revised again in early 1997, and the stadium was completed on time, during construction, the stadium had not adopted an official name, and had been known colloquially as the Wearside Stadium and New Roker Park. The name was revealed as the Stadium of Light, a reference to a miners lamp
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in the Championship, the tier of English football. Founded in 1932, the club have played at the DW Stadium since 1999 and their colours are blue and white, recently most often striped, although all-blue shirts have been common throughout history. The team were elected to The Football League in 1978, the club also made their European debut during the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Wigan Athletic was formed in 1932, following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year, Wigan Athletic was the fifth attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Wigan Borough. Springfield Park, the home of Wigan Borough, was purchased by the club for £2,850. Despite their initial application being turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected into the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central, the club had also made the first of many attempts to be admitted into the Football League, but failed to receive a single vote. On 27 August 1932, Wigan Athletic played their first ever game against Port Vale Reserves. The team played in red and white shirts with black shorts, Wigan Athletic won their first honours in the 1933–34 season, finishing as champions of the Cheshire League. In the 1935–36 season, the club won their third consecutive Cheshire League title, after the Second World War, Wigan Athletic adopted their more familiar blue and white strip. The club struggled to assemble a side, and finished bottom of the league in 1946–47 season. Despite their pre-war success, the failed to gain re-election and were replaced by Winsford United. The club joined the Lancashire Combination, winning the league in their first season, in 1950, Wigan Athletic came close to election to The Football League, narrowly losing out to Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town. In the next round of the cup, Wigan Athletic were drawn against First Division side Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic held their top flight opponents to a 2–2 draw at St James Park, but went on to lose the replay 3–2. In 1961, the club moved back to the Cheshire League, in the 1964–65 season, Wigan Athletic won their first Cheshire League title since returning to the league, with top goalscorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the clubs greatest goalscorer of all time, Wigan Athletic won four cup titles in the 1966–67 season and were also Cheshire County League runners-up. In 1968, Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Northern Premier League, winning the league title in 1970–71, leading goalscorer with 42 goals, including 7 hat-tricks, was Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in the following 1971–72 season. As a non-league club, the played at Wembley Stadium for the first time in the 1973 FA Trophy Final
The DW Stadium is a sports stadium in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. Built and opened in 1999, it is named after its main sponsor, in UEFA matches, it is called Wigan Athletic Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship. The stadium architect was Alfred McAlpine, Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors moved into it from their long-term homes of Springfield Park and Central Park respectively. International rugby league matches have taken place at the venue. The stadium was designed by Alfred McAlpine and completed in August 1999, Wigan Athletic had spent the previous 67 years playing at Springfield Park, and their first match at the stadium was a friendly against Morecambe, just before the stadiums official opening. The first competitive match there took place on 7 August 1999. Simon Haworth scored twice, including the first competitive goal at the new stadium, as Athletic triumphed 3–0. Wigan Warriors moved to the stadium a month after it opened, once they had played their home game of the 1999 regular season at Central Park. After their former ground was sold, the possibility of sharing with Bolton Wanderers F. C. at the Reebok Stadium was presented. Their first game there was a match against Castleford Tigers. The Warriors did not lose a match at the stadium in 2001. The first away team to win a football match at the stadium was Wigan Athletic. A first round FA Cup tie against non-league Cambridge City was played due to Citys ground being deemed unsuitable to host the tie. Wigan played in their changed strip and used the away dressing room since it was technically a game for Cambridge City. A Stuart Barlow brace secured the win for Wigan, Wigan subsequently lost at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup on 11 December 1999. Oldham Athletic became the first team to beat Wigan in a fixture at the JJB on 7 January 2000. The game was live on sky sports and finished 1–0 thanks to an 86th-minute header from Lee Duxbury. Whilst Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic flourished in the new stadium, Dave Whelan and Maurice Lindsay decided to invest heavily in the club, with the aim of having the club play in rugby unions Guinness Premiership at the stadium
The English Football League Championship is the highest division of the English Football League and second-highest overall in the English football league system, after the Premier League. Each year, the top finishing teams in the Championship are promoted to the Premier League, the Football League Championship, which was introduced for the 2004–05 season, was previously known as the Football League First Division, and before that was known as Division Two. The winners of the Championship receive the Football League Championship trophy, the Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and the seventh richest division in Europe. With an average attendance for the 2015-16 season of 17,578. Bundesliga as the secondary league in the world. In the 2015–16 season, Burnley were the champions, Middlesbrough were the runners up. At present, Ipswich Town hold the longest tenure in the Championship, the total figures were aided somewhat by the presence of 24 clubs, compared to 20 clubs in both Serie A and Ligue 1, and 18 in the Bundesliga. A major factor to the success comes from television revenue. On 30 September 2009, Coca-Cola announced they would end their deal with The Football League at the end of the 2009–10 season. On 18 July 2013, UK bookmaker Sky Bet announced that signed a 5-year agreement to sponsor the league. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, the teams are ranked in the league table by points gained, then goal difference, then goals scored and then their head-to-head record for that season. At the end of the season, the top two teams and the winner of the Championship play-offs are promoted to the Premier League and the three teams are relegated to Football League One. The Football League Championship play-offs is a competition for the teams finishing the season in third to sixth place with the winner being promoted to the Premier League. In the play-offs, the team plays against the sixth-placed team. The winners of each semi-final then compete in a match with the prize being promotion to the Premier League. From 2009 to 2012, Sky Sports had the rights to broadcast 65 live matches, the BBC had the rights to show 10 first choice live games for the regular season as well as the rights to show a highlight show. The deal is on a contract and is worth £264m that will mostly be paid by Sky. The deal included 75 live league games, all the matches,15 League Cup ties
Fulham Football Club is a professional association football club based in Fulham, Greater London, England. Founded in 1879, they play in the Championship, the tier of English football. They are the football team from London to have played in the Premier League. The club has spent 25 seasons in English footballs top division, the latter spell was associated with former chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, after the club had climbed up from the fourth tier in the 1990s. The club has produced many English greats, including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and they play at Craven Cottage, a ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham which has been their home since 1896. Fulhams training ground is located near Motspur Park, where the clubs Academy is also situated, Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrews Church Sunday School F. C. founded by worshipers at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington. Fulhams mother church still today with a plaque commemorating the teams foundation. They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, one of the clubs first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–87 season. Fulham started playing at their current ground at Craven Cottage in 1896, the club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern Leagues Second Division. They were the club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal. They adopted a red and white kit during the 1900–01 season, in 1902–03, the club won promotion from this division, entering the Southern League First Division. The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07, Fulham joined The Football League after the second of their Southern League triumphs. The clubs first league game, playing in the Second Divisions 1907–08 season, the first win came a few days later at Derby Countys Baseball Ground by a score line of 1–0. Fulham finished the three points short of promotion in fourth place. The club progressed all the way to the semi-final of that seasons FA Cup, in the semi-final, however, they were heavily beaten, 6–0, by Newcastle United. This is still a loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. Two years later, the won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909–10 season. Fulhams first season in Division Two turned out to be the highest that the club would finish for 21 years, until in 1927–28 when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920
Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, London, that competes in the Premier League. Founded in 1905, the home ground since then has been Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had their first major success in 1955, when they won the league championship and they then won various cup competitions between 1965 and 1996. The clubs greatest period of success has come during the last two decades, winning 21 trophies since 1997. Chelsea are the only London club to win the UEFA Champions League, and one of four clubs, Chelseas regular kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The clubs crest has changed several times in attempts to re-brand the club. The current crest, featuring a lion rampant regardant holding a staff, is a modification of the one introduced in the early 1950s. The club have the sixth-highest average all-time attendance in English football and their average home gate for the 2015–16 season was 41,500, the seventh highest in the Premier League. Since 2003, Chelsea have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, in 2016, they were ranked by Forbes magazine as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, at £1.15 billion. In 1904, Gus Mears acquired the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the aim of turning it into a football ground, an offer to lease it to nearby Fulham was turned down, so Mears opted to found his own club to use the stadium. Chelsea were founded on 10 March 1905 at The Rising Sun pub, opposite the main entrance to the ground on Fulham Road. The club won promotion to the First Division in their second season and they reached the 1915 FA Cup Final, where they lost to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, and finished third in the First Division in 1920, the clubs best league campaign to that point. Chelsea attracted large crowds and had a reputation for signing big-name players, former Arsenal and England centre-forward Ted Drake became manager in 1952 and proceeded to modernise the club. The following season saw UEFA create the European Champions Cup, but after objections from The Football League, Chelsea failed to build on this success, and spent the remainder of the 1950s in mid-table. Drake was dismissed in 1961 and replaced by player-coach Tommy Docherty, Docherty built a new team around the group of talented young players emerging from the clubs youth set-up and Chelsea challenged for honours throughout the 1960s, enduring several near-misses. They were on course for a treble of League, FA Cup and League Cup going into the stages of the 1964–65 season, winning the League Cup. In three seasons the side were beaten in three major semi-finals and were FA Cup runners-up, under Dochertys successor, Dave Sexton, Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1970, beating Leeds United 2–1 in a final replay. Chelsea took their first European honour, a UEFA Cup Winners Cup triumph, the year, with another replayed win
Newcastle United F.C.
Newcastle United Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Following the clubs most recent relegation from the top-flight during the 2015–16 season, Newcastle returned to the Football Leagues 2nd tier, the Championship, for the 2016–17 campaign. Newcastle United was founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, the ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,354. They have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Newcastle United has the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club. The clubs most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles. The club were successful in the Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s, but have been mostly struggling since the 2006–07 season. Newcastle has a local rivalry with Sunderland, and the two clubs have engaged in the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The clubs traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and their traditional crest takes elements of the city coat of arms, which features two grey seahorses. The club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long term chairman, the club is the seventeenth highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169. 3m in 2015. Historically, Newcastles highest placing was in 1999 when they were the fifth highest revenue producing club in the world. The first record of football being played on Tyneside dates from 3 March 1877 at Elswick Rugby Club, later that year, Newcastles first football club, Tyne Association, was formed. The origins of Newcastle United Football Club itself can be traced back to the formation of a club by the Stanley Cricket Club of Byker in November 1881. This team was renamed Newcastle East End F. C. in October 1882, to avoid confusion with the club in Stanley. Rosewood F. C. of Byker merged with Newcastle East End a short time later, in 1886, Newcastle East End moved from Byker to Heaton. In August 1882, Newcastle West End F. C. formed from West End Cricket Club, and in May 1886, the two clubs became rivals in the Northern League. In 1889, Newcastle East End became a team, before becoming a limited company the following March. However, on the hand, Newcastle West End were in serious financial trouble. With only one club in the city for fans to support
St James' Park
St. James Park is a football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It is the home of Championship club Newcastle United F. C, with a seating capacity of 52,405 it is the seventh largest football stadium in England. St James Park has been the ground of Newcastle United since 1892 and has been used for football since 1880. Throughout its history, the desire for expansion has caused conflict with local residents and this has led to proposals to move at least twice in the late 1960s, and a controversial 1995 proposed move to nearby Leazes Park. Reluctance to move has led to the distinctive lop-sided appearance of the present-day stadiums asymmetrical stands, in addition to professional football, the stadium has hosted charity football events and rock concerts, and been used as a set for film and reality television. The site of St. Leazes Terrace was built c1830 by notable Newcastle residents, the site was also near the gallows of the city, last used in 1844, lending the Gallowgate End its name. The first football team to play at St James Park was Newcastle Rangers in 1880 They moved to a ground at Byker in 1882, Newcastle West End took over the ground in 1886. West End were wound up in 1892 and effectively merged into their rivals Newcastle East End, local residents opposition to football being played at St James dated back to the first games in the Football League following the building of the first small stand at the Gallowgate End. A redeveloped Gallowgate and further stands followed in 1899, bringing the first official capacity to 30,000, while the stadium is now synonymous with the Black and Whites, Newcastle United actually played in red and white at St James Park until 1904. In 1905, a doubling of capacity to 60,000, with a stand on the Barrack Road. The second-ever rugby league test match, and first test victory by Great Britain, was played at the ground in 1908 against the touring Australian Kangaroos side on 23 January 1909. Between 1920 and 1930, plans were drawn up for a stand by notable football architect Archibald Leitch. However, after planning disputes, all that was achieved was a roof over the Leazes Terrace side. Floodlights were constructed in the 1950s, with the first match played using them held on 25 February 1953 against Celtic, in the late 1960s further attempts were made to develop the site, and the council proposed a multi-use sports development of St. James Park. This was rejected as not financially viable, plans were drawn up by the club for a move to a stadium in Gosforth, or even a groundshare with Sunderland A. F. C. in a new stadium on Wearside. These plans were withdrawn in 1971 after agreement to redevelop St James Park was finally reached, after mediation by the then Minister for Sport, in 1972, work started on the East Stand,50 years after it was last permitted to be developed. In 1978 the Leazes End was demolished, but relegation and financial difficulties meant the new stand was not built, investigations following the Bradford City stadium fire in 1985 identified a need to replace the ageing West Stand, which was demolished in 1986. Its replacement, the Milburn Stand, was named in honour of Jackie Milburn, further development was again shelved for lack of finance
Dean Whitehead is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Huddersfield Town. Whitehead joined his local non-league club Abingdon Town before he signed for Football League side Oxford United in 1999 and he impressed in the lower divisions and was signed by Championship side Sunderland in 2004. He won promotion in his first season with the Black Cats however and he was made captain by Roy Keane as Sunderland claimed an instant return to the top flight. After two more seasons in the north-east Whitehead joined Stoke City for a fee of £5 million in August 2009 and he helped Stoke reach the 2011 FA Cup Final where Stoke finished runners-up to Manchester City. After spending four seasons with the Potters, Whitehead moved to Middlesbrough in July 2013, born in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Whitehead started his career with Abingdon Towns youth team, before joining the youth scheme of his local league club, Oxford United. He progressed through the ranks there making his debut in a 2–0 win over Luton Town in the Football League Trophy on 7 December 1999. Whitehead played in 23 games in 2000–01 as Oxford suffered relegation to the Third Division and he scored his first goal in the Football League against Rushden & Diamonds in August 2001. He was a regular in 2001–02 playing in 43 fixtures as Oxford had a season finishing in 21st position. He was restricted to 22 appearances in 2002–03 as Oxford missed out on a place by a single point. In 2003–04 Whitehead reclaimed his place in the side and made 47 appearances scoring seven goals which included a brace against Bury. After playing for the club for five seasons, making 136 appearances for Oxford, scoring nine goals his contract expired, in June 2004 he signed for Sunderland on a free transfer. Sunderland were ordered to pay £150,000 to Oxford at an FA tribunal, to compensate for the time, Oxford would also receive 25% of any fee should Sunderland sell Whitehead. Whitehead quickly became a key member of the first team as Sunderland won the Championship in 2004–05, Sunderland were relegated to the Championship for the 2006–07 season, during which Whitehead was given the captains armband for the second time. Reading made a bid of £1. 2m for Whitehead which was rejected by Sunderland, Whitehead and team-mate Liam Lawrence both signed new contracts in August 2006. Sunderland finished first in the Championship in 2006–07 thus gaining an instant return to the Premier League, Whitehead had a good season and was included in the PFA Team of the Year. He also came second in the player of the year vote. Whitehead was injured early on in their 2007–08 Premiership campaign and he sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury in a match against Wigan Athletic, which kept him out for six months. He made his comeback from injury in November 2007 and he left Sunderland in August 2009 after making 200 appearances for the Black Cats
Roy Maurice Keane is an Irish football assistant manager and former professional football player. He is the joint-most successful Irish footballer of all time, having won 19 major trophies,17 of which came at Manchester United and he is currently the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national football team. In his 18-year-long playing career, Keane played for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, joining the club in 1993, Keane helped United achieve a sustained period of success during his twelve year tenure at the club. He then signed for Celtic, but retired as a less than a year later. Keane played at international level for much of his career, representing the Republic of Ireland over a period of 14 years, most of which he spent as captain. Regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders of his generation, in 2007, The Times placed him at number 11 in their list of the 50 hardest footballers in history. Keanes arrival was cited as the key catalyst in Sunderlands recovery and he managed to keep Sunderland from relegation in the 2007–08 season but in his second season as a top-flight manager he left his position with Sunderland in the relegation zone. In April 2009, he was appointed as manager of Ipswich Town but was dismissed after 20 months in January 2011 due to the position of 19th in the Championship. In November 2013, he was appointed assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland national team by manager Martin ONeill, Keane was born into a working class family in Ballinderry Park, Mayfield, Cork. His father, Maurice, took work wherever he could find, which led to jobs at a local knitwear company and his family were keen on sport, football especially, and many of his relatives had played for junior clubs in Cork, including Rockmount. Keane took up boxing at the age of nine and trained for a number of years, during this period he was developing as a much more promising footballer at Rockmount, and his potential was highlighted when he was voted Player of the Year in his first season. Many of his teammates were offered trials abroad with English football teams, undeterred, he began applying for trials with English clubs, but he was turned down by each one. As his childhood years passed, he took up temporary jobs involving manual work while waiting for a breakthrough in his football prospects, in 1989, he eventually signed for the semi-professional Irish club Cobh Ramblers after persuasion from Ramblers youth team manager Eddie ORourke. Keane was one of two Ramblers representatives in the inaugural FAI/FAS scheme in Dublin, and it was through this initiative that he got his first taste of full-time training. In an FAI Youth Cup match against Belvedere, Keanes performance attracted the attention of watching Nottingham Forest scout Noel McCabe, Keane impressed Forest manager Brian Clough, and eventually a deal for Keane worth £47,000 was struck with Cobh Ramblers in the summer of 1990. Keane initially found life in Nottingham difficult due to the long periods away from his family, Keane expressed his gratitude at Cloughs generosity when considering his requests, as it helped him get through his early days at the club. Keanes first games at Forest came in the Under-21s team during a tournament in the Netherlands. In the final against Haarlem, he scored the penalty in a shootout to decide the competition
Ipswich Town F.C.
Ipswich Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They play in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936 and they play their home games at Portman Road in Ipswich. The clubs traditional colours are blue shirts and white shorts. Ipswich have won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62 and they won the FA Cup in 1977–78, and the UEFA Cup in 1980–81. They have competed in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957–58. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio and Barcelona F. C. among others. The club was founded as a side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A. F. C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club. The team won a number of cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup. The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, Ipswich were elected to The Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in Division Three until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to Division Two. The club won the Division Three title again in 1956–57, and this time, Ipswich established themselves in Division Two, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, Division One, in 1960–61. In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became Champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62, as English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to Milan. Ramsey quit the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team, after the team won the 1966 World Cup, Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn, under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Milburn quit after just one season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969, Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup, at their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties
Ricardo Dwayne Fuller is a retired Jamaican professional footballer who played as a striker. He has also played for the Jamaica national team, Fuller started his football career with Jamaican side Tivoli Gardens, before he moved to England with Crystal Palace in February 2001. He returned to Jamaica and then went on loan to Hearts and he scored 27 goals in 58 League game at Preston, which prompted Portsmouth to pay £1million for his services. Fuller failed to make an impact at Portsmouth and joined rivals Southampton in 2005 before Stoke City signed him for £500,000 in August 2006. At Stoke, he became a member of the first team. He remained a key figure in the top-flight, despite a poor record, and helped Stoke reach the 2011 FA Cup Final. After he recovered from his injury he was give a bit-part role. He spent the 2013–14 season with Blackpool and 2014–15 with Millwall and he joined Oldham Athletic in October 2015. Fuller was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and began his career with Tivoli Gardens and he had a trial with Charlton Athletic, playing in three reserve team matches. He moved to English club Crystal Palace in February 2001 for a fee of £1 million. At the time of his transfer he was suspended by the Jamaican football authority for kicking a Wadadah player in the head and he suffered from knee problems, and played just eight games for the Eagles. He returned to Tivoli at the end of the campaign failing to settle in London. Fuller spent the next season 2001–02 on loan at Scottish Premier League club Hearts and he had an instant impact, scoring 8 goals in 27 appearances, and finishing as the clubs joint top-scorer with Kevin McKenna. However, the Edinburgh-based club could not afford to sign Fuller on a permanent basis, Preston North End stepped in to sign the striker, paying £500,000. Fuller scored on his Preston debut, a 2–1 defeat at home to old club Crystal Palace and he had an explosive scoring rate, but unfortunately he suffered knee ligament damage in early December, which ended his season prematurely. He had scored 11 goals in only 20 appearances for the club, a fit again Fuller began the 2003–04 season on fire, including a run of six goals in five games, but his form tailed off as his knee troubled him once more. Despite this, he still scored 19 goals that season to become the clubs top-scorer, Fuller handed in a transfer request in June 2004 to force through a move to a Premiership club. Both Leeds United and Portsmouth then displayed their interest, however, Fuller moved to Fratton Park in August 2004 for £1 million, after scoring 31 goals in only 63 appearances for Preston
Stoke City F.C. Player of the Year
The Stoke City Player of the Year award is an award presented to the Stoke City fans player of the season. Towards the end of season, fans are invited to cast their votes for this award. The winner is announced at an end-of-season awards dinner at either the Britannia Stadium or the Kings Hall in Stoke-on-Trent. The inaugural award was made to Howard Kendall in 1978, peter Fox has won the award a record three times, Mickey Thomas is the only other player to have once the award more than once. There have been 13 different nationalities to have won the award, Stoke City Player of the Year at stokecityfc. com
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967