Leek is a market town and civil parish in the county of Staffordshire, England, on the River Churnet. It is situated about 10 miles north east of Stoke-on-Trent and it is an ancient borough and was granted its royal charter in 1214. It is the centre for the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council. King John granted Ranulph de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, the right to hold a weekly Wednesday market, leeks coat of arms is made up of a Saltire Shield. On the top is the Stafford Knot, either side is the Leek Double Sunset, the crest is a mural crown with three Mulberry leaves on a Mount of Heather on top of which a Moorcock is resting his claw on a small-weave Shuttle. The motto ARTE FAVENTE NIL DESPERANDUM translates to, Our skill assisting us, the town had a regular cattle market for hundreds of years, reflecting its role as a centre of local farming. Following the Industrial Revolution it was a producer of textiles. However, this industry has now ceased, the mills from the towns textile era remain and many have now been converted into housing. Britannia, the former Building Society, has its headquarters in the town and was a local employer. Most of the town is at or above 600 feet and is surrounded by the countryside of the Staffordshire Moorlands which is situated on the southern uplands of the Pennines. Leek is built on the slope and crown of a hill which is situated just a few south of the Roaches. Many Victorian period, and older, buildings stand in the town. In 1849 William Sugden came to Leek and he was an architect and his work on the design of the railway stations for the Churnet Valley Railway brought him to the area. In the following year William’s son, Larner Sugden, was born, the firm had offices in Derby Street. The building still survives, the ground floor now being occupied by Boots the Chemist, Larner was a great supporter of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and so Leek’s development was in sympathetic hands. The architectural output from Sugden & Son was both prolific and varied and this last was probably the last joint venture of the father-and-son team because William Sugden died in 1892. The Sugden masterpiece was, perhaps, the Nicholson Institute, built in the Queen Anne style, the fact that this building is tucked away behind the 17th century ‘Greystones’ is a further indication of Larner’s regard for old buildings. Larner would not countenance demolition of the old building, and so, as the Nicholsons owned the land to the rear, in 1899 came the Technical Schools and the Co-operative Society Hall
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
Port Vale F.C.
Port Vale Football Club is a professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Port Vale is one of the few English league clubs not to be named after a location, their name being a reference to the valley of ports on the Trent. They were founder members of the Second Division in 1892 and of the Fourth Division in 1958 and they have never played top-flight football, and hold the record for the most seasons in the English Football League without reaching the top tier. After playing at the Athletic Ground in Cobridge and The Old Recreation Ground in Hanley, outside the ground is a statue to Roy Sproson, who played 842 competitive games for the club. John Rudge was manager from 1983 to 1999, under his leadership the club lifted the Football League Trophy in 1993, since his reign the club have declined, slipping into the fourth tier whilst entering twice administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012, the clubs traditional rivals are Stoke City, and games between the two are known as the Potteries derby. However, the story given on the club website is that Port Vale F. C. was formed in 1876, following a meeting at Port Vale House. They played their football at Limekiln Lane, Longport and from 1880 at Westport, the club moved to Burslem in 1884, changing its name to Burslem Port Vale in the process, they played at Moorland Road before moving into the Athletic Ground in 1885. In 1892 the club were members of the Football League Second Division. The club dropped Burslem from their name in 1907 – a dark time of financial difficulties where the club were forced to resign from the league, the club were relegated for the first time during the 1928–29 season, going from the Second Division to the Third Division North. They came up the season as champions. In the 1930–31 season they placed fifth in the tier of English football. After this peak, the club were again relegated in the 1935–36 season. In 1950, Vale Park was completed, the fifth ground. Steele quickly established himself at the club, masterminding the celebrated Iron Curtain defence, three years later, the club were once again relegated, and once again became founder members of a league – this time the Football League Fourth Division. In their first season in new division the club took the title with a club record 110 goals. During the 1960s, the Vale fans witnessed numerous good cup runs, in 1967, Stanley Matthews took over, his reign ended in tears in 1968 as Vale were expelled from the Football League over seemingly illegal payments made to players
Altrincham Football Club is a semi-professional football club in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. They are currently members of the National League North and play at Moss Lane, the club were established by a Sunday school around 1891 as Rigby Memorial Club. They soon merged with local team, Grapplers, to form Broadheath Football Club. Their first match in the league on 16 September 1893 saw them lose 7–0 to Hulme, after playing at various grounds in Broadheath, Timperley and Altrincham, the club moved to Pollitts Field in 1903, at which point they changed their name to Altrincham. They won the Cheshire Amateur Cup in their first season under the new name and they won the Manchester League again in 1906–07, and moved to their Moss Lane ground in 1910. In 1911 the club joined Division Two of the Lancashire Combination and they finished as runners-up in their first season in the division, only missing out on the title on goal average and earning promotion to Division One. They remained in Division One until World War I, in 1934–35 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1–0 at Gainsborough Trinity. After missing out the 1945–46 season, they rejoined the Cheshire County League in 1946, achieving little success until the 1960s, when Altrincham director Noel White hired Freddie Pye as manager. A key turning point in the history of the club is often cited as the signing of Jackie Swindells in 1965, helping Altrincham to the first of back-to-back Cheshire County League titles, scoring over 120 goals in the league in both seasons. After finishing as runners-up in 1967–68, they were members of the Northern Premier League in 1968. The following season went one better in the FA Trophy, reaching the Wembley final. In 1978–79 they finished as runners-up in the Northern Premier League, although they finished as the top non-League club in the ballot, they received only 13 votes to the 37 received by Halifax Town, the lowest-placed Football League club. The leagues inaugural season saw Altrincham crowned champions, the next two seasons saw the club finish in mid-table, together with another FA Trophy final appearance in 1981–82, this time losing 1–0 to Enfield. This was followed by four consecutive top-five finishes between 1984 and 1987 and a second FA Trophy win in 1985, beating Runcorn 1–0 in the final. The 1985–86 season saw them one of the biggest FA Cup giant-killings of all time when they defeated top division Birmingham City 2–1 at Birminghams St Andrews. The club then returned to mid-table with occasional successful seasons, finishing third in 1990–91, after finishing bottom of the Conference in 1996–97 the club were relegated to the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League. An eighth-place finish in 1997–98 saw them return to the Conference two seasons later as Premier Division champions, however, they lasted only a single season in the Conference as they finished second-from-bottom and were relegated back to the Northern Premier League. A twelfth-place finish in 2003–04 saw them qualify for the newly formed Conference North and they finished fifth in the new division in its first season, qualifying for the promotion play-offs
Leek Town F.C.
Leek Town Football Club is an English football club based in Leek, Staffordshire, currently playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South. The team, nicknamed The Blues, play their games at Harrison Park. Leek Town reached the final of the FA Trophy in 1990, having progressed all the way from the first qualifying round, but lost in the final at Wembley Stadium. The club began playing in the local Leek and Moorlands League, playing on a field adjoining a pub. In 1949–50 Lowe Hamil were champions of this league, becoming the first team to win the title without losing a single match, in 1968 a new committee was formed, under which the club emerged from the doldrums. Manager Paul Ogden took over in 1969 and led the club to two Staffordshire County League championships, followed in succession by two Manchester League titles. In 1982 the Cheshire County League merged with the Lancashire Combination to form the new North West Counties League, following Kevin Lewis brief reign Neil Baker took over in 1986 and was to lead the club to some of its greatest successes to date. In 1993–94 Leek finished second in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, however, they were refused promotion due to financial irregularities. To compound their problems, they were shifted from the Northern Premier League to the Southern League, after one season the club was allowed to return to the Northern Premier League. In 1996–97 Leek claimed the Northern Premier League title by ten points and were this time granted promotion to the Conference. In their first season at this level they narrowly managed to avoid relegation, in 2000–01 the Blues were relegated to Division One, but regained their place in the Premier Division when the league was restructured due to the formation of Conference North in 2004. The club achieved several mid-table finishes in the league but struggled off the pitch, in the 2007–08 season Leek finished in the bottom four, resulting in relegation to Division One South. Four seasons later the club qualified for the play-offs for promotion back to the Premier Division, Leeks home colours have traditionally been all blue, and their away colours all yellow, both colours which reflect the towns coat of arms, which is predominantly blue and gold. The club has used a blue and white kit similar to that of Blackburn Rovers. Since 1997, the shirts have been sponsored by butter manufacturer Kerrygold. Harrison Park lies on the outskirts of Leek and has been the home since 1948. The ground currently has a stand along one side of the pitch. In 1998 the ground was flooded when a nearby reservoir overflowed, Leek County School Old Boys, when they were in the North West Counties Football League, shared the ground between the early 1990s and 2014
Northwich Victoria F.C.
Northwich Victoria Football Club is an English football club based in Northwich, Cheshire, playing their home games at Wincham Park, Northwich, the home of Witton Albion. The new club was a member of several leagues including the Football League Second Division. They played at the same Drill Field ground for over 125 years, at the time Drill Field was believed to be the oldest ground in the world on which football had been continuously played. The generally accepted year for the original Northwich Victoria Football Clubs founding is 1874 by Charles James Hughes and James Heyworth, however, according to club historian Ken Edwards book A Team for All Seasons, the organisation itself could have been in existence earlier in the 1870s. Northwich played their first challenge matches in the 1874 season and originally accepted both association football and rugby rules. This was shown in 1876 when they contested a match under Rugby rules at Farnworth and Appleton F. C. and then at home under association rules. The first time the club entered a competition was the 1877 Welsh Cup. Its best achievement in the competition was in the 1881–82 and 1888–89 seasons, when they reached the final in 1882, they were the first English club to do so. In 1880, the club entered the competition for the new Cheshire Football Association Challenge Cup. They went on to win the cup for the five seasons, defeating in the finals, Birkenhead, Northwich Novelty, Crewe Alexandra. In 1890, the became a founding member of the second incarnation of The Combination. In their second season in the league they finished as runners-up, a great leap forward was taken in 1892, when Northwich became one of the founding members of the English Second Division, which saw the team turn professional. In the leagues inaugural season, Northwich finished 7th, the highest finish in the clubs history and it was during the latter stages of this season that Northwich acquired the services of Billy Meredith, the Welsh International, who is widely regarded as the first football superstar. It was said by many that Finnerhan made Meredith, another notable result was holding Woolwich Arsenal to a 2–2 draw at the Drill Field. However, as a result of their position at the bottom of the league. Up to the middle of decade, Northwich played in red. However a major change in the clubs livery occurred when they adopted the colours they wear today, green. Lured by the chance of increased revenues, the joined the Manchester League in the 1900–01 season
Kidsgrove Athletic F.C.
Kidsgrove Athletic F. C. is an English football club based in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, England currently playing in the Northern Premier League Division One South. The team, nicknamed The Grove, play their games at The Novus Stadium. Football was played in the town of Kidsgrove before the outbreak of World War II saw the team disband, Football was resurrected in when Kidsgrove United was formed which brought a number of players from further afield. Local young men unhappy with this structure formed their own club in 1952 under the name Kidsgrove Athletic, the club joined the amateur Burslem and Tunstall League. They played on the Vickers and Goodwin pitch next to the A50 before deciding not to play football in 1961 in order to develop a ground on Hollinwood Road, the club won the Burslem and Tunstall League in 1962 and joined the Staffordshire County League in 1963. They won the Division Two title in 1963–64 before winning the Division One title in 1965–66, Kidsgrove moved to the Mid-Cheshire League in 1966 a move which caused some controversy. The team thrived in the new league and were crowned champions in 1970–71, 1977–78, 1986–87 and 1987–88, the club joined the North West Counties Football League in 1990 and were promoted to the Premier Division in 1991–92 due to ground grading. After several seasons of struggle at this level they won the title in 1997–98, Kidsgrove struggled with the step up to the eighth tier narrowly avoiding relegation in 2002–03 and 2003–04. Under the management of Ant Buckle and Darren Twigg they finished in mid-table in 2004–05, Peter Ward re-joined the club in the summer of 2006 which saw Kidsgrove begin to mount a promotion challenge and they reached the play-offs in 2009–10 but lost out to Glapwell. In 2010–11 Grove missed out on a spot by four points finishing in 7th position. In 2011–12 Kidsgrove reached the round of the FA Cup where they lost 2–0 to Bradford Park Avenue. In the summer of 2012 Peter Ward left the club and was replaced by Shaun Hollinshead however he was sacked in April 2013, Ant Buckle and Darren Twigg took control of the side for the 2013–14 season. Grove had a poor 2013–14 season finishing bottom of the table which saw Ant Buckle replaced by Neil Gill in May 2014, however after a poor start to the 2014–15 campaign Gill was sacked on 7 September 2014, being replaced by Paul Moore four days later. However Moore quit on 22 October 2014 blaming board interference, in his place came former manager Peter Ward. Kidsgrove have yet to reach the first round of the FA Cup, Athletic have won the Staffordshire Senior Cup five times in 2004,2007,2009,2011 and 2012. com
Witton Albion F.C.
Witton Albion F. C. are a football club based in Northwich, England. They have won the Cheshire Senior Cup 11 times since 1902 and their most recent success in this competition was in 2006, when they defeated Stalybridge Celtic in the final. They have also reached the FA Cup Second Round on at least three occasions, the club will play in the Northern Premier League Division One North in the 2015–16 season. The clubs ground was for years in the centre of the town. In 1989, they moved a couple of miles to Chapel Street in nearby Wincham, Sainsburys Supermarket now occupies the old Central Ground site. Wittons current home, Wincham Park, holds in excess of 4,500 and is equipped with floodlights, segregation, a club shop, there used to be a fierce local rivalry with Northwich Victoria. The first records of a Witton Albion F. C. are in 1887, the club first entered the FA Cup in 1907–08 but failed to reach the First Round proper until 1948–49. Finally in 1920, the club became members of the Cheshire County League. They won the three times after World War 2, including the league and cup double in 1953–54. After the formation of the Northern Premier League in 1969, many Cheshire clubs left the Cheshire County League and it is thought that Northwich Victorias decision to persuade other clubs not to allow their town rivals in was the deciding factor. Albion continued to be a decent side in the Cheshire County League and eventually earned promotion to the Northern Premier League in 1978–79, although they missed out on joining their arch-rivals, as they had just left to form the Alliance Premier League. The sale of the clubs Central Ground to Sainsburys allowed the club to move to a more modern stadium. The second season at Wincham Park in 1990–91 proved to be one of the best seasons in the history as they won the NPL by 16 points. However, the club found this tough going and continual relegation struggles resulted in the first relegation in the history in 1994. A further relegation from the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League followed in 1997, in 2004, club captain Brian Pritchard enjoyed worldwide fame following his sending off during the Cheshire County F. A. Senior Cup final against Woodley Sports and he was sent off after he tripped a streaker that had run onto the pitch, incensing the Witton fans. Many football fans around the world deemed this sending off unfair, the 2006–07 season saw Witton miss out on automatic promotion on the last day of the season to Burscough, by 1 goal on goal difference. Witton hit the woodwork 3 times in the last 20 minutes and this was the second time in seven years that Burscough had beaten Witton to promotion on goal difference
The English are a nation and an ethnic group native to England, who speak the English language. The English identity is of medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD, England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom. Collectively known as the Anglo-Saxons, they founded what was to become England along with the later Danes, Normans, in the Acts of Union 1707, the Kingdom of England was succeeded by the Kingdom of Great Britain. Over the years, English customs and identity have become closely aligned with British customs. The English people are the source of the English language, the Westminster system and these and other English cultural characteristics have spread worldwide, in part as a result of the former British Empire. The concept of an English nation is far older than that of the British nation, many recent immigrants to England have assumed a solely British identity, while others have developed dual or mixed identities. Use of the word English to describe Britons from ethnic minorities in England is complicated by most non-white people in England identifying as British rather than English. In their 2004 Annual Population Survey, the Office for National Statistics compared the ethnic identities of British people with their national identity. They found that while 58% of white people in England described their nationality as English and it is unclear how many British people consider themselves English. Following complaints about this, the 2011 census was changed to allow respondents to record their English, Welsh, Scottish, another complication in defining the English is a common tendency for the words English and British to be used interchangeably, especially overseas. In his study of English identity, Krishan Kumar describes a common slip of the tongue in which people say English, I mean British. He notes that this slip is made only by the English themselves and by foreigners. Kumar suggests that although this blurring is a sign of Englands dominant position with the UK and it tells of the difficulty that most English people have of distinguishing themselves, in a collective way, from the other inhabitants of the British Isles. In 1965, the historian A. J. P. Taylor wrote, When the Oxford History of England was launched a generation ago and it meant indiscriminately England and Wales, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and even the British Empire. Foreigners used it as the name of a Great Power and indeed continue to do so, bonar Law, by origin a Scotch Canadian, was not ashamed to describe himself as Prime Minister of England Now terms have become more rigorous. The use of England except for a geographic area brings protests and this version of history is now regarded by many historians as incorrect, on the basis of more recent genetic and archaeological research. The 2016 study authored by Stephan Schiffels et al, the remaining portion of English DNA is primarily French, introduced in a migration after the end of the Ice Age
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