Torquay United F.C.
Torquay United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Torquay, Devon, England. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. They are based at Plainmoor and are managed by player-manager. The original Torquay United was formed in 1899 by a group of school-leavers under the guidance of Sergeant-Major Edward Tomney, relations between the two Torquay clubs were poor, but in 1921 matters finally came to a head. From 1923 onwards the league was split into Eastern and Western halves, in 1925, the club battled through five qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in the clubs history. Captain Percy Mackrill lead the team through two 1–1 draws before a strong Reading side won the second replay 2–0 at Plainmoor. The club then went on to lose the Southern League Championship final against the Eastern Champions Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves 4–0, finally the town of Torquay had a professional league team and had joined Plymouth and Exeter in the football league at last. The side for that first game was, Millsom, Cook, Smith, Wellock, Wragge, Conner, Mackey, Turner, Jones, McGovern, a crowd of 11,625 watched a 1–1 draw with Torquays goal coming from Bert Turner. Throughout the 1930s Torquay struggled against financial problems, such as having to replace the roof when it was blown off in 1930. They also failed to finish higher than 10th in twelve seasons, in the last few seasons before league football was suspended during the Second World War, Torquay struggled in Division Three South, finishing 20th, 20th and 19th out of 22 teams. In 1939, Torquay qualified for the final of the Third Division South Cup, however, the 1939 final was never played due to the outbreak of the Second World War. When league football was resumed in 1946, United continued to struggle, with the change of colours came a change in fortunes starting with the clubs greatest ever FA Cup moment that very season. After defeating Cambridge United 4–0 at home and Blyth Spartans 1–3 away, Torquay were drawn against Leeds United, away, in the third round of the Cup. The Torquay United versus Huddersfield Town fourth round FA Cup game at Plainmoor will always live on in the memory of those who attended the match on 29 January 1955. Torquay lost 1–0 to the higher-placed Division One club, but the attendance of 21,908 remains a Club record. Following their FA Cup heroics, in the 1956–57 season Torquay just missed out on promotion to Division Two on goal average, the season had begun well – and by April, the possibility of a first promotion to Division Two was the talk of the town. A trip to Crystal Palace for the team and over 1,500 Torquay fans travelling on the last day of the season beckoned. However, after two seasons in the Third Division they were again relegated on the last day of the campaign, with a 4–2 away defeat at Barnsley
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
Torquay /tɔːrˈkiː/ is a seaside town in Devon, England, part of the unitary authority area of Torbay. Later, as the towns fame spread, it was popular with Victorian society, renowned for its healthful climate, the town earned the nickname the English Riviera. The writer Agatha Christie was born in the town and lived there during her years and there is an Agatha Christie Mile. Torquays name originates in its being the quay of the ancient village of Torre, the area comprising modern Torquay has been inhabited since Paleolithic times. Roman soldiers are known to have visited Torquay during the period when Britain was a part of the Roman Empire, leaving offerings at a rock formation in Kents Cavern. No evidence has found of Roman settlement in the town. The first major building in Torquay was Torre Abbey, a Premonstratensian monastery founded in 1196, Torquay remained a minor settlement until the Napoleonic wars, when Torbay was used as a sheltered anchorage by the Channel Fleet, and relatives of officers often visited Torquay. The population of Torquay grew rapidly from 838 in 1801, to 11,474 in 1851, the second phase in the expansion of Torquay began when Torre railway station was opened on 18 December 1848. The improved transport connections resulted in growth at the expense of nearby towns not on Isambard Kingdom Brunels railways. The more central Torquay railway station was opened on 2 August 1859 with views of the sea from the platforms, after the growth of the preceding decades, Torquay was granted borough status in 1872. Previously regarded as a retreat, Torquay began to encourage summer visitors. Torquay Tramways operated electric trams from 1907. The line was extended into Paignton in 1911 but the network was closed in 1934, the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions Torquay Lifeboat Station was at the Ladies Bathing Cove from 1876 until 1923. A second lifeboat was kept at the harbour from 1917 until 1928, Torquay was regarded as a Spa Town after the Marine Spa was built on Beacon Hill near the harbour. Originally called the Bath Saloons complex, it had an open air tide-filled swimming bath, the complex was opened in 1853 after Beacon Hill headland was dynamited to make space for it. Charles Dickens was said to have made readings there, in the 1900s a ballroom and a new sea water-filled swimming pool were built. The Marine Spa provided various therapies such as seaweed baths, needle, douche showers, hot and cold water baths, bands such as Ivy Benson and Ted Heath played at Marine Spa ballroom. Four stone arches that were part of the Marine Spa are still visible on the outside of the harbour wall
Devon, also known as Devonshire, which was formerly its common and official name, is a county of England, reaching from the Bristol Channel in the north to the English Channel in the south. It is part of South West England, bounded by Cornwall to the west, Somerset to the northeast, combined as a ceremonial county, Devons area is 6,707 km2 and its population is about 1.1 million. Devon derives its name from Dumnonia, which, during the British Iron Age, Roman Britain, the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain resulted in the partial assimilation of Dumnonia into the Kingdom of Wessex during the eighth and ninth centuries. The western boundary with Cornwall was set at the River Tamar by King Æthelstan in 936, Devon was constituted as a shire of the Kingdom of England thereafter. The north and south coasts of Devon each have both cliffs and sandy shores, and the bays contain seaside resorts, fishing towns. The inland terrain is rural, generally hilly, and has a low density in comparison to many other parts of England. Dartmoor is the largest open space in southern England at 954 km2, to the north of Dartmoor are the Culm Measures and Exmoor. In the valleys and lowlands of south and east Devon the soil is fertile, drained by rivers including the Exe, the Culm, the Teign, the Dart. As well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is linked with tourism, in the Brittonic, Devon is known as Welsh, Dyfnaint, Breton, Devnent and Cornish, Dewnens, each meaning deep valleys. One erroneous theory is that the suffix is due to a mistake in the making of the original letters patent for the Duke of Devonshire. However, there are references to Defenascire in Anglo-Saxon texts from before 1000 AD, the term Devonshire may have originated around the 8th century, when it changed from Dumnonia to Defenascir. Kents Cavern in Torquay had produced human remains from 30–40,000 years ago, Dartmoor is thought to have been occupied by Mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples from about 6000 BC. The Romans held the area under occupation for around 350 years. Devon became a frontier between Brittonic and Anglo-Saxon Wessex, and it was absorbed into Wessex by the mid 9th century. This suggests the Anglo-Saxon migration into Devon was limited rather than a movement of people. The border with Cornwall was set by King Æthelstan on the east bank of the River Tamar in 936 AD, the arrival of William of Orange to launch the Glorious Revolution of 1688 took place at Brixham. Devon has produced tin, copper and other metals from ancient times, Devons tin miners enjoyed a substantial degree of independence through Devons Stannary Parliament, which dates back to the 12th century. The last recorded sitting was in 1748, agriculture has been an important industry in Devon since the 19th century
Bradford City stadium fire
The Valley Parade stadium, long-established home to Bradford City Football Club, had been noted for its antiquated design and facilities, including the wooden roof of the main stand. Warnings had also given about a major build-up of litter just below the seats. The stand had been condemned and was due for demolition. The match against Lincoln City had started in a celebratory atmosphere, with the home-team receiving the Football League Third Division trophy. At 3.40 pm, a fire was reported by TV commentator John Helm. In the panic that ensued, fleeing crowds had to break down locked exits to escape, and many were burnt to death at the turnstiles, There were many cases of heroism, with more than fifty people receiving police awards or commendations. The disaster led to new safety standards in UK football grounds, Bradford City continues to support the Burns Unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary as its official charity. Bradford City Association Football Club had played their games at Valley Parade, in Bradford. It had been the home of Manningham Rugby Football Club. The playing area and stands were very basic but the ground had enough room for 18,000 spectators, when the association football club was formed, the ground was changed very little and had no covered accommodation. However, when Bradford City won promotion to the highest level of English football, Division One, in 1908, Football architect Archibald Leitch was commissioned to carry out the work. By 1911, his work was completed and it included a main stand which seated 5,300 fans, and had room for a further 7,000 standing spectators in the paddock in front. The main stand was described as a structure, but was unusual for its time because of its place on the side of a hill. The entrances to the stand were all at the rear and were higher than the rest of the ground, although there had been some changes to other parts of the ground, the main stand remained unaltered by 1985. Football ground writer Simon Inglis had described the view from the stand as like watching football from the cockpit of a Sopwith Camel because of its supports and struts. However, he warned the club of a build-up of litter beneath the stand because of a gap between the seats. One letter from the council said the problems should be rectified as soon as possible, in March 1985, the clubs plans became more apparent when it took delivery of steel for a new roof. The 1984–85 season had one of Bradford Citys most successful seasons
The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
Maidenhead United F.C.
Maidenhead United Football Club is a semi-professional English football club in Maidenhead, Berkshire. They currently play in the National League South, the tier of English football. The club was founded in 1870 and moved to their current ground at York Road the following year, the Football Association have acknowledged that it is the oldest senior football ground continuously used by the same club. On 16 February 1871 the club played their first game on the York Road site against Marlow, the club were one of the original 15 entrants for the first-ever FA Cup competition in 1871–72. The following season reached the last four before losing to Oxford University. Maidenhead reached the quarter-finals in the two seasons, but in 1876 withdrew, returning the following season. They also entered the first-ever Berks & Bucks Cup competition in 1878, in 1904 Maidenhead joined the Great Western Suburban League. Maidenhead Norfolkians, meanwhile, were founded in 1884 and were members of the South Bucks & East Berks League before also joining the West Berks League. In 1904 they joined Maidenhead FC in the Great Western Suburban League, Norfolkians played at Kidwells Park which can still be seen to this day, but as a public park – it once staged a Berks & Bucks Cup Final. After the Great War the two clubs amalgamated as Maidenhead Town and adopted the black and white stripes. They had immediate success winning the Great Western League, in 1920 the name United was adopted and two years later they entered the Spartan League. They won the three times in their nineteen-year stay. In 1936 Maidenhead reached the semi-final of the FA Amateur Cup losing 4–1 to Ilford at West Ham in front of 18,000 spectators and it was that season that the ground record attendance of 7,989 was set when Southall came to York Road in the quarter-final. In the 1929–30 season the club’s goal-scoring record for a season was set when Jack Palethorpe scored 65 goals in 39 games and he went on to play for Sheffield Wednesday and scored in the Owls FA Cup win in 1935. Following the end of the Second World War the club entered the Corinthian League and they also made three appearances in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. In 1963 United joined the Athenian League, but were unable to repeat their Corinthian success and they had a flirtation with promotion to the Premier Division in 1979 and 1980 under Geoff Anthony, and then again in 1985 under Brian Caterer and Colin Lippiatt. It took four seasons to get out of Division Two, which was achieved under the guidance of Martyn Spong in 1991. An Isthmian League record of 13 straight wins at the start of the season was the springboard to success, following the departure of Spong to Enfield, Gary Goodwin, John Clements and then John Watt took on the manager’s job with mediocre results, the club regularly finishing mid-table
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales. Based on the clubs recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales, since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club. As of May 2015, the club has 4,129 adult members, Wrexham are perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over reigning English Champions Arsenal in 1992 and a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners Cup. Wrexhams home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the worlds oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games, the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. Their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, as the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. C, in the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park, Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. 1883 also saw Wrexhams first appearance in the FA Cup, when receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, Olympic was dropped from this clubs name in 1888. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before an increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham, Wrexhams first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league, during their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League and their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators
Gateshead International Stadium
Gateshead International Stadium is a multi-purpose, all-seater venue in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Originally known as the Gateshead Youth Stadium, the venue was built in 1955 at a cost of £30,000 and it has since been extensively re-developed on three occasions. Its capacity of around 11,800 is the greatest in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, the third-largest in Tyne and Wear, the main arena is principally used for athletics. The inaugural athletics competition at the venue, the 1974 Gateshead Games, was instigated by Brendan Foster. It is the venue to have hosted the latter event three times. Five world records have been set at the stadium, including two by pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and a tied 100 metres record by Asafa Powell in 2006, although the venue primarily caters for athletics, it is the current or former home to teams in several sports. It has been used by the main football club since 1973. Gateshead Harriers Athletic Club, which includes Foster and Jonathan Edwards among its members, are the oldest tenants. The stadium has also used as a concert venue by numerous musical artists including Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams. The stadium is built on the site of two large chemical works opened in 1827 and 1834 and these works initially thrived, but by the early part of the 20th century both were in terminal decline, and were demolished in 1932 to leave behind a 2-million-tonne heap of spoil. This land, approximately 2 miles east of the centre of Gateshead, was cleared in 1942, in early 1955, Gateshead Council began work on transforming this land. The Gateshead Youth Stadium, built on the site of the old works, was opened by Jim Peters on 27 August 1955. Costing £30,000, the venue contained little more than a cinder running track and an asphalt cycling track, though floodlights. According to author Thomas Telfer, by the turn of the 1970s, the response during the 1960s had been a programme of systematic derelict land reclamation and environmental improvement. One such opportunity was identified at the Gateshead Youth Stadium, where the believed that investment might raise the regions profile. In April 1974, Gateshead Council inaugurated a Sport and Recreation department, in July 1974, the council appointed Brendan Foster—a former schoolteacher turned athlete and a native of Tyne and Wear—as the Councils sport and recreation manager. Foster, who according to Gibson became the father of Gateshead athletics, had forced to train in Edinburgh during 1973 as a result of the poor condition of the Youth Stadium track. In December 1973, he had invited to a civic reception to celebrate his breaking of the two-mile world record earlier that year at Crystal Palace
Dover Athletic F.C.
Dover Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Dover, Kent, England. The club currently competes in the National League, the tier of English football. The club was formed in 1983 after the dissolution of the previous club. In the 1989–90 season Dover Athletic won the Southern League championship, three seasons later the team won the title again and this time gained promotion to the Conference, where they spent nine seasons before being relegated at the end of the 2001–02 season. In the 2007–08 season, Dover won Division One South of the league, before winning the Premier Division in 2008–09, the team usually wear white shirts and are consequently nicknamed the Whites. They have played at the Crabble Athletic Ground since the clubs formation, Dover Athletic F. C. was formed in 1983 after the towns previous club, Dover, folded due to its debts. The new club took Dovers place in the Southern League Southern Division, with former Dover player Alan Jones as manager, initially Athletic struggled, finishing second from bottom of the table in the 1984–85 season. In November 1985 Steve McRae, who had succeeded Jones a year earlier, was sacked and replaced by Chris Kinnear, under Kinnear the clubs fortunes turned round, with two top-five finishes followed by the Southern Division championship, and with it promotion, in the 1987–88 season. The team started strongly in the Premier Division, finishing in place at the first attempt. The club was denied promotion to the Football Conference, however, after finishing fourth and second in the subsequent two seasons, Dover won the title again in the 1992–93 season and this time were admitted to the Conference. John Ryan was appointed as the new manager, but his reign was a short one. Bill Williams took over as manager in 1997 and led the club to the FA Trophy semi-finals in the 1997–98 season, Williams left the club to take a senior position with Conference rivals Kingstonian in May 2001. By now the club was in financial difficulties, with a number of directors resigning. Amid the crisis the entire board of directors resigned, forcing the clubs Supporters Trust to take over the running of the club, and manager Gary Bellamy was sacked after just six months in the job. Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall took over but was dismissed just three months later, with Clive Walker taking over in March 2002 with the club rooted to the foot of the table. The club finished the bottom of the Conference and was relegated back to the Southern League Premier Division. In Dovers first season back in the Southern League Premier Division the Whites finished in place, albeit 17 points adrift of Tamworth. A poor start to the season saw Walker replaced by Richard Langley
Leyton Orient F.C.
Leyton Orient Football Club /ˌleɪtən ˈɔəriənt/ is a professional football club in Leyton, London, England. They play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The clubs home colours are all red, Leyton Orient have spent one season in the top flight of English football, in 1962–63. In 1978, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the time in their history. Between October 1993 and September 1995, Orient did not win an away game in the league. Leyton Orients home ground Brisbane Road is officially known as the Matchroom Stadium after former club chairman Barry Hearns sports promotion company, in 2014, Hearn sold the club to Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti. Leyton Orient finished seventh, one away from the playoff positions. In the 2013–14 season, Orient lost the League One Play-Off final at Wembley to Rotherham United, the team has had several name changes since, first as Eagle Cricket Club in 1886 then as Orient Football Club in 1888. Indeed, the nickname the Savage Cuts came from a particularly gruesome incident during training in the 19th Century when the goalkeeper suffered a laceration to the arm. A cry was heard across the pitch, the goalkeeper is cut, its a deep and savage cut. The other players believing this to be a lampoon, mockingly repeated, we have savage cuts, the Os are the second-oldest league club in London behind Fulham and are the 24th oldest club currently playing in the Football League. Following Fulhams promotion to the Premier League they became the oldest London club playing in the Football League and they played in the Second Division of the Southern Federations League in 1904, joined the Football League in 1905. By this time such as part-time outside right, Herbert Kingaby could earn £2 4s per week – payment being somewhat sporadic. The twelve History books written on the club by its historian Neilson N. C, the name Leyton Orient was adopted following the conclusion of the Second World War. The club had moved to Leyton in 1937, though there was another team called Leyton F. C. A further rename back to simply Orient took place in 1966 after the Borough of Leyton was absorbed into the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the 1914–15 season was the last football season before the League was suspended due to the outbreak of the First World War. Forty one members of the Clapton Orient team and staff joined up into the 17th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, the highest of any team in the country. At the final game of the season – Clapton Orient vs Leicester Fosse,20,000 people came out to support the team, a farewell parade was also hosted, but not before the Os had won 2–0
Maidstone United F.C.
Maidstone United Football Club is a semi-professional English football club based in Maidstone, Kent. They currently compete in the National League, the tier of English football. The current club filled the void left by the old Maidstone United and that club was forced out of the league through bankruptcy but the nucleus of a new club was built around the youth squad. They changed their name to Maidstone United in 1995, Maidstone were without a stadium of their own from their creation until 2012 when the Gallagher Stadium, located near Maidstone town centre, was opened at the start of the 2012–13 season. Maidstone Invicta were originally a club and were taken over within days of the Football League side folding. The clubs home games took place on the original Maidstones reserve and training pitch, initially Jim Thompson ran the club, but was banned from football for his part in the demise of Maidstone and Dartford and Paul Bowden-Brown took over as Chairman – a position he retained until 2010. They also managed to win the West Kent Challenge Shield and the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup, during the close season of 1994 the club managed to gain promotion to Division 2 of the league after restructuring. The club went on to win Division 2, picking up the Kent Junior Cup on the way, the 1999–2000 season saw Maidstones début season in the Premier Division, with the team finishing in a respectable third place. The next season saw the club, which was now managed by another former Maidstonian in Matt Toms, successfully apply to become a senior club and these factors now left the door open to seek elevation to the Kent League. The clubs application was accepted and the Stones started the 2001–2002 season in the Kent League, in its first Kent League season since reformation, Maidstone won the Kent League and Cup double under the management of Jim Ward. However, the club could not gain promotion to the Southern League Eastern Division because of problems with the lease on Central Park. The 2002–03 season saw Maidstone enter the FA Cup for the first time since reformation, the years 2003 till 2005 contained two indifferent seasons for the Stones, on the pitch at least. Both campaigns saw the club finish 4th in the league, although this disappointment was offset somewhat by reaching the third qualifying round of the FA Cup in successive years. Off the pitch, the took a huge step forward when in November 2004 it successfully applied for planning permission to build a new stadium at James Whatman Way. However, construction of the stadium could not begin until a lease for the site was agreed with its owners, the 2005–06 season saw Maidstone, now managed by Lloyd Hume after a spell in charge from Mal Watkins, win the Kent League title. They spent the season toe-to-toe with Beckenham Town before securing the championship on the day of the season. The title win meant the club gained promotion to Step 4 of the non league pyramid. However the overwhelming success on the pitch was overshadowed by little visible progress being made in the building of the stadium at James Whatman Way