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
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878)
Airdrieonians Football Club, more commonly known as Airdrie, were a Scottish professional football team from the town of Airdrie, in the Monklands area of Lanarkshire. During their 124-year existence the Diamonds, as they were nicknamed, the club also competed in four separate Scottish Cup finals, winning the competition in 1924. Airdrieonians were the first club in the Scottish League to fold since 1967, the team was founded in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire in 1878 as Excelsior Football Club, changing its name to Airdrieonians in 1881. It was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1894, the club enjoyed its most successful era in the 1920s, following the signing of Hughie Gallacher from Queen of the South in 1921. Airdrie challenged the dominance of Rangers, as finished in second place in the Scottish League championship four years in a row between 1923 and 1926 and won the Scottish Cup in 1924. Following this victory, in early summer 1925, the club visited Norway and Sweden, translations of local newspaper reports, and some photographs of the tour, are still available. This successful era came to an end after Gallacher and Bob McPhail were sold to Newcastle United, Airdrie spent much of the post war era yo-yoing between the top flight and Second Division. Airdrie entered the first Texaco Cup competition in 1970–71, defeating Nottingham Forest in the first round and that tie was decided by a penalty shootout and Airdrie became the first Scottish club to be involved in that method of deciding a contest. Airdrie reached the Texaco Cup Final in 1972, losing 2–1 on aggregate to Derby County and they also reached the 1975 Scottish Cup Final, losing 3–1 to Celtic. After the leagues were restructured in 1975, a called the Spring Cup was instituted for the teams in the lower divisions. Airdrie won this competition in 1976, but it was discontinued after one season as clubs preferred to play league games instead. MacDonald also guided the Diamonds to two Scottish Cup Finals, the first appearance coming on 9 May 1992 when the club faced Rangers in front of 44,045 strong crowd at Hampden Park. Unfortunately for Airdrie on this however, a goal each from Mark Hateley. Although Airdrie lost in the 1992 Scottish Cup Final they had qualified for the 1992–93 European Cup Winners Cup. Airdrie were drawn against Czech side Sparta Prague in the first round, Airdrie lost 1–0 at Broomfield and 2–1 in Prague, losing 3–1 on aggregate. Kenny Black, who went on to become manager of Airdrie United, scored the only Airdrie goal. Airdrie also reached the 1995 Scottish Cup Final, where they faced the other half of the Old Firm, Airdrie would once again fall at the final hurdle, as they lost 1–0 to a Pierre van Hooijdonk goal. Airdrie also won the Scottish Challenge Cup in 1994–95, Airdrie sold their Broomfield home to Safeway in 1994, but had to groundshare with Clyde at Broadwood Stadium for four years until the Excelsior Stadium was opened
Scottish Football League
The Scottish Football League was a league featuring professional and semi-professional football clubs mostly from Scotland. From its foundation in 1890 until the breakaway Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, after 1998, the SFL represented levels 2 to 4 of the Scottish football league system. In June 2013, the SFL merged with the SPL to form the Scottish Professional Football League, the SFL was associated with a title sponsor from the 1985–86 season. As this sponsor has changed over the years the league was known in turn as the Fine Fare League, B&Q League, Bells Scottish Football League, the SFL also organised two knock-out cup competitions, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Challenge Cup. Organised football in Scotland began in 1873 with the formation of the Scottish Football Association, during the next 15 years or so, clubs would play friendly matches, Scottish Cup ties and local cup ties. The Football League, initially containing clubs from the North West and this had been done in response to the professionalisation of football in England in 1885, with the regular diet of league fixtures replacing the haphazard arrangement of friendlies. Many Scottish players, known as the Scotch Professors, moved to the English league clubs to receive the high salaries on offer. This prompted Scottish clubs into thinking about forming their own league, in March 1890, the secretary of Renton wrote to thirteen other clubs inviting them to discuss the organisation of a league. All of the clubs accepted the invitation, except Queens Park and these concerns were to prove well-founded, as six of the founder members would leave the league before 1900. The Scottish Football League was inaugurated on 30 April 1890, the first season of competition, 1890–91, commenced with 11 clubs because St Bernards were not elected. The eleven original clubs in membership were Abercorn, Cambuslang, Celtic, Cowlairs, Dumbarton, Heart of Midlothian, Rangers, Renton, St Mirren, Third Lanark and Vale of Leven. Renton were expelled five games of the 1890–91 season for playing against St Bernards. Renton raised an action against the SFA in the Court of Session and won, in the 1890–91 season, Rangers and Dumbarton were level at the top of the league on 29 points. The teams drew 2–2 in a match, but no further thought had been given to separating teams by another method. Goal average was introduced for the 1921–22 season and replaced by goal difference for the 1971–72 season, the league proved to be highly successful, and in 1893 a Second Division was formed by the inclusion of a number of clubs previously in the Scottish Football Alliance. Promotion was initially based on a ballot of clubs, automatic promotion was not introduced until 1922, in 1923, the League decided to introduce a Third Division. The Western Football League was used as its backbone but the new set-up lasted only three years before it collapsed under heavy financial losses, from 1926 until 1946, the League returned to two divisions. Post-World War II reforms saw the League resume with three divisions, postwar seasons saw the divisions renamed A, B and C with the last section also including reserve sides
Clydebank Football Club are a Scottish junior football club based in the town of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. The current club, formed in 2003, is a member of the West Super League Premier Division, the town has been represented by several previous incarnations in both senior and junior football. The current club can trace their development from Clydebank Juniors F. C. who were founded in 1899. Following chronic financial difficulties, the club were out by Airdrie United and relocated to play in Airdrie under the new identity. A year later, supporters of the version of the club re-established its identity once more. The 1965–2002 incarnation of Clydebank F. C. were the club of that name to represent the town in senior football. The first club was formed in 1888 but never competed at a high level, of more significance was the second Clydebank F. C. formed in 1914 and a Scottish Football League member from then until 1931. The first senior club to represent the town was formed in 1888 and they entered the Scottish Cup several times, making their last appearance in the competition proper in the 1893–94 competition. In addition they were members of the Scottish Federation from 1891 to 1893 and this club folded in 1895, to be resurrected in 1899, with this second incarnation also based at Hamilton Park. They retained their membership of the Scottish Football Association until 1902, the junior club were formed in the village of Duntocher in 1899, under the name of Duntocher F. C. This was as the result of a breakaway from another local junior club and they changed their name to Clydebank Juniors in 1900 on moving to the town itself. They were based at the original Kilbowie Park prior to the construction of a ground in 1939. Around about this time they were one of Scotlands leading junior sides and they also won the West of Scotland Cup in 1949–50 season captained by centre half Joe Gallagher. They were formed in 1914 and immediately elected to the Scottish Football League, after suffering from financial difficulties, they resigned from the SFL and disbanded in 1931. During their time in the league, they were runners-up in Division Two twice, in 1922-23, in 1964 the Steedman brothers, Jack and Charlie, owners of East Stirlingshire F. C. controversially merged their club with Clydebank Juniors. The new club inherited East Stirlingshires place in Division Two, playing matches at Kilbowie. After a year, a challenge by East Stirlingshire supporters led to them resuming their former identity back in Falkirk. The Steedmans elected to remain at Clydebank, establishing a new club at senior level, although in many senses a resumption of Clydebank Juniors, albeit at a different level, they were technically a brand new club
Brechin City F.C.
Brechin City Football Club is a Scottish football club based in the town of Brechin in Angus. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials of two clubs, Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. The club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the clubs highest achievements include winning the third tier of Scottish football four times, the last coming in 2004–05 as champions of the Second Division. The club has reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup. Brechins home ground is Glebe Park with the capacity to seat around 1,500 spectators in its capacity of 4,083, the current player/manager is Darren Dods, who was appointed in June 2015. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials from two successful local junior sides – Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts. Although Brechin Harp folded with the establishment of the side, Brechin Hearts continued as a viable. The club won its first important local honour, the Forfarshire Cup, the club moved to their Glebe Park home in 1919, a stadium which currently has a capacity of 3,960 and is famous for the hedge that runs alongside one side of the pitch. The team was admitted to the Scottish league in 1923 with the formation of the original Third Division, however City struggled, finishing bottom of the League in that first season. The club failed to make any headway in the doomed division, the club was not away long however as it returned to the League for the 1929–30 season following the departure of Bathgate and Arthurlie the previous season. Once again however the club finished rock bottom, the club continued to struggle in the bottom half of the Second Division throughout the 1930s before going into hibernation during the Second World War. Indeed, so poor was the club at times that during the 1937–38 season the club were beaten 10–0 by Cowdenbeath, Albion Rovers, the club remained in this set-up until its success in the North-East section in the 1953–54 season saw it return to full League membership. Their first season back however resulted in another bottom placed finish, the unwanted feat of finishing bottom two years in a row was repeated again in 1972–73 and 1973–74 as Brechin City continued to be one of the weakest sides in Scottish League football. The club finished 17th out of 20 in the 1974–75 season and as such was placed in the new Division Two, the new set-up suited the club little better as they remained in and around the bottom. However a mid-table 1979–80 season ushered in something of a change in fortune as the club began to challenge for its first promotion as full League members. With both a new stand and floodlighting added to Glebe Park, the club played with a new ambition until finally breaking its duck with a win in the 1982–83 season. Under Wills progressive leadership City found its feet in the First Division, brechins return to the First Division was to prove somewhat inauspicious as it was immediately relegated, although 1992–93 season saw it promoted again, this time as runners-up. Again, however, it was relegated immediately and worse was to follow as it suffered consecutive demotions, dropping into the newly created Third Division, the fourth tier of League football
East Fife F.C.
East Fife Football Club is a semi-professional football club established in 1903 in Methil, Fife, Scotland. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and they compete in League One, the third tier of the Scottish football league system. The club were the first club to win the Scottish League Cup three times and one of two clubs from the second tier of the Scottish league system to win the Scottish Cup. This makes them the most successful club in Fife in terms of honours won. East Fife are one of four senior clubs based in Fife, the three other clubs are Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic and the Kirkcaldy-based Raith Rovers, all of whom have historically shared rivalries. The clubs East Fife Ladies team competes in the Scottish Womens Football League Second Division East and they are a developing club at all ages including first-team for ladies football, and play their home games in Levenmouth, Fife. Local demand for the establishment of a football team led to a public meeting being held in January 1903. The following season East Fife joined the Northern League, which included such as Dunfermline Athletic. The club remained in the Northern League until the 1908–09 season, East Fife remained in the Central League until 1921, apart from a period during the First World War when the Eastern League was reformed. In the period following the war, the clubs competing for the Central League were mainly from the coal and shale mining communities of Fife and West Lothian. As the mining towns thrived with the growth of the industry and its associated influx of miners and their families. The result of this was that by the end of the decade, in an effort to stop the migration of its players to the Central League, the Scottish League decided to admit the Central League clubs, including East Fife, to its membership. The Central League therefore became the Scottish Second Division at the start of the 1921–22 season, only six years after becoming members of the Scottish League, East Fife appeared in the 1927 Scottish Cup final, which it lost 3–1 to Celtic at Hampden Park. East Fifes only season in Scottish footballs top division before World War II was 1930–31 after finishing Second Division runners-up the year before, the 1927 cup feat was surpassed just over a decade later when The Fifers won the 1937–38 Scottish Cup. The prestigious cup was secured with a 4–2 win over Kilmarnock in the final, the game was watched by a crowd of almost 92,000 spectators. East Fifes best years were undoubtedly in the following the Second World War. In 1946–47 the club finished third missing promotion by one place, scot Symon joined as manager in 1947. At the end of East Fife were promoted to the top flight of Scottish football as B Division champions, during this Golden Period, the club won the Scottish League Cup on three separate occasions in seven seasons
Stranraer Football Club is a Scottish semi-professional football club based in the town of Stranraer in Dumfries and Galloway. The club was founded in 1870, making it the third oldest football club in Scotland behind Queens Park and Kilmarnock, the club currently competes in the Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League. They also won the Scottish Second Division on two occasions, most recently in 1997–98 as well as coming runners-up in 2004–05 and 2014–15 and their only ever national cup final came in 1996, when the club defeated First Division champions St Johnstone 1–0 in the Scottish Challenge Cup final. Stranraers home ground is Stair Park, which has the capacity to seat around 1,830 spectators and 4,178 including standing, the ground was opened in 1907 and is located in the east of Stranraer. They were founded in 1870 and play their football at Stair Park, however they had taken part in the Scottish Cup since their debut in the national tournament in 1877–78. In 1955 C Division was abolished and the Blues found themselves in B Division and they would remain in the bottom tier until their first-ever promotion eventually arrived under the clubs legendary manager Alex McAnespie in 1993–94. With Campbell Money at the helm Stranraer spent three seasons in the Second Division before winning back to the First Division at the end of the 1997–98 season. Once again, they finished bottom of the league, with the points total as before and 29 defeats. During that season a league win was secured at Easter Road against Hibernian. During Moneys reign the club lifted the Scottish League Challenge Cup, saints Danny Griffin was the unfortunate scorer of an own goal. However, the cup run did not reflect their league form, as they finished ninth in the Second Division. However, the teams fortunes improved from there, as, under Neil Watt, they won the Third Division at the first attempt, in season 2004–05, the team shocked most people, as they stayed in the top two for most of the campaign. The team had an unsuccessful campaign in 2006–07, with heavy defeats by relegation rivals Peterhead. They finished ninth, which resulted in a play-off with Third Division promotion contenders East Fife, a 4–2 aggregate defeat saw them relegated to the Third Division. On 21 January 2009, club chairman Nigel Redhead stated that Stranraer F. C. owed £250,000, and had a 50–50 chance of survival to the end of the season. In response, on 22 January 2009, a small consortium launched the Friends of Stranraer F. C. to try to secure the future through donations from the football community at www. savestranraerfc. com. On 23 January 2009, as part of efforts to reduce costs to a manageable level, on 24 January 2009, Stirling Albion defeated Stranraer 8–2. Shortly after the game, Stranraer and team manager Derek Ferguson parted company by mutual consent and Keith Knox took over the reins
Dunfermline Athletic F.C.
Dunfermline Athletic Football Club is a Scottish football club based in Dunfermline, Fife, commonly known as just Dunfermline. Founded in 1885, the club play in the Scottish Championship. Dunfermline play at East End Park, are nicknamed The Pars and are managed by Allan Johnston. The Pars most successful period was in the 1960s, when the won the Scottish Cup twice, in 1961 and 1968 under the management of Jock Stein. The club regularly played European football in this period, reaching the semi-finals of the 1968–69 European Cup Winners Cup under Farm. The club have played at East End Park since their formation in 1885, however, after a period of relative success in the 2000s marked by appearances in three major finals, all of which were lost against Celtic, Dunfermline were relegated to the First Division in 2007. Bobby Ancell was offered the managers post in 1950 but with the Pars making headlines for board room disputes, with a new board in place two seasons later, Ancell was offered the position again and this time accepted. Improving year on year Ancell delivered promotion back to the top flight in 1955 before leaving to start a decade at Motherwell, Jock Stein became manager in 1960 and so began the clubs golden decade. The club played regular European football in the UEFA and European Cup Winners Cups throughout the 60s, under Stein Dunfermline won the Scottish Cup in the 1960–61 season. They beat Celtic 2–0 in the final after a replay, in 1962 they reached the Cup-Winners Cup quarter finals, losing 5–3 on aggregate to Újpest Dózsa SC. On the way they beat St Patricks Athletic and FK Vardar, in the 1962–63 season Dunfermline beat Everton in the Fairs Cup and then played Valencia, losing 4–0 away before winning 6–2 at home. The Pars lost the subsequent play-off, Stein left in 1964 to join Hibernian. New manager Willie Cunningham took the club to the Scottish Cup final in the 1964–65 season and they lost the final 3–2 to a Celtic team that was at the beginning of new manager Jock Steins era. The Pars finished 3rd in the league, one point behind top two Kilmarnock and Hearts, the following year Cunningham took Dunfermline to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals. Alex Ferguson was a player in the Dunfermline squad between 1964 and 1967, George Farm was manager from 1967 until 1970. He matched Stein by winning the Scottish Cup in 1968 with a 3–1 win in the final against Hearts, on the way to the semi-final Dunfermline beat APOEL, Olympiacos and West Bromwich Albion. Dunfermline, managed by Pat Stanton started the 1980s in poor form, the core of the team were Pars stalwarts, Dr Hugh Whyte in goal, John Salton, Kenny Thomson and Dr Bobby Robertson in defence and Sandy McNaughton up front. Of this quintet only Salton was not an ever-present in the league campaign, the team developed a habit of losing streaks,2 of five games and 2 of three games and this caused relegation nerves