Inverness Caledonian Thistle F.C.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club is a professional football club from Inverness, Scotland who compete in the Scottish Premiership. They are currently managed by Richie Foran, Caledonian Thistle F. C. were formed in August 1994 by the merger of Caledonian and Inverness Thistle, both members of the Highland Football League. The new club was formed with a view to applying for one of the two vacancies in the Scottish Football League, created when the league restructured in 1994 to four divisions of ten teams each. They were successful and were elected to the Scottish Third Division along with Highland derby rivals Ross County, the clubs name was amended to Inverness Caledonian Thistle F. C. in 1996 at the request of Inverness District Council. Inverness also knocked other SPL teams out of cup competitions, including Motherwell, over the first ten years of their existence the club had been responsible for a total of 12 shocks and as a result had gained themselves a reputation as being giant killers. On 25 February 2007, Invernesss run of cup victories over Celtic came to an end following two goals in the last two minutes of their fifth round tie at Caledonian Stadium. Having led 1–0 for the majority of the thanks to a Graham Bayne goal. A significant event in the history was the signing of Romanian international Marius Niculae. Niculae was involved in the clubs 2007–08 campaign and played at UEFA Euro 2008 and he later became involved in a dispute with the club over a share of the transfer fee that was not paid to him when he left. As a result, Inverness were ordered by FIFA to pay £133,000 to the player, the club appealed against the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in November 2011, the club won their appeal. Having won the 2009–10 First Division title in their first year back in the division since 2003–04, Season 2014–15 saw the club finish in their best ever placing of third. After a promising start to their campaign in 1994–95, the club eventually finished sixth in the Third Division. The following season, Inverness CT showed improvement with a third-place finish, in Season 1996–97, they won the Third Division Championship following a 4–1 home win over Albion Rovers in front of nearly 3,000 fans. This was just 5 months after moving into the Caledonian Stadium, the club spent two seasons in the Second Division. After a closely fought campaign, they finished runners-up to Livingston in Season 1998–99, Season 2003–2004 could be regarded as the clubs most successful up to that point. This made the club eligible for promotion to the Scottish Premier League, however, SPL rules at that time stated that all member clubs must have a stadium with a minimum capacity of 10,000 seats. Caledonian Stadium did not meet this criterion, leaving the clubs Board with a dilemma, either to remain in the First Division or to groundshare with Aberdeen, over 100 miles away. After consulting with supporters, the Board decided the sacrifice of one season in Aberdeen would be a compromise to ensure Premier League participation for the club
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders, centre-back, sweeper, full-back, the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations, a centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, and tries to prevent opposing players, particularly centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, tackling, intercepting passes, contesting headers, with the ball, centre-backs are generally expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defenders goal, during normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions, in the modern game, most teams employ two or three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper. The 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, and 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs, the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who sweeps up the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents. Because of this, it is referred to as libero. For example, the system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s. The more modern libero possesses the qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack. This variation on the position requires great pace and fitness, while rarely seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack, some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles. If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery, in modern football, its usage has been fairly restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a highly respected. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greeces manager, Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greeces sweeper to great success, as Greece surprisingly became European champions. The full-backs take up the wide positions and traditionally stayed in defence at all times
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
Rangers Football Club are a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city, Rangers were the first British club to reach a UEFA tournament final and won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 after being runner-up twice in 1961 and 1967. A third runners-up finish in Europe came in the UEFA Cup in 2008, Rangers have a long-standing rivalry with Celtic, the two Glasgow clubs being collectively known as the Old Firm. The four founders of Rangers – brothers Moses and Peter McNeil, Peter Campbell, Rangers first match, in May that year, was a goalless friendly draw with Callander on Glasgow Green. David Hill was also a founder member, in 1873, the club held its first annual meeting and staff were elected. By 1876 Rangers had its first international player, with Moses McNeil representing Scotland in a match against Wales. In 1877 Rangers reached a Scottish Cup final, after drawing the first game, Rangers refused to turn up for the replay, Rangers won the Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup the following year against Vale of Leven 2–1, their first major cup. The first-ever Old Firm match took place in 1888, the year of Celtics establishment, Rangers lost 5–2 in a friendly to a team composed largely of guest players from Hibernian. The 1890–91 season saw the inception of the Scottish Football League, the clubs first-ever league match, on 16 August 1890, resulted in a 5–2 victory over Heart of Midlothian. After finishing joint-top with Dumbarton, a play-off held at Cathkin Park finished 2–2, Rangers first-ever Scottish Cup win came in 1894 after a 3–1 final victory over rivals Celtic. By the start of the 20th century, Rangers had won two titles and three Scottish Cups. During William Wiltons time as secretary and then team manager. Taking over as manager from William Wilton in 1920, Bill Struth was Rangers most successful manager, on 2 January 1939 a British league attendance record was broken as 118,567 fans turned out to watch Rangers beat Celtic in the traditional New Years Day Old Firm match. During the wartime regional league setup, Rangers achieved their highest score against old firm rivals Celtic with an 8–1 win in the Southern Football League, Rangers also lost by their biggest Old Firm margin of 7–1. Rangers reached the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1960, losing to German club Eintracht Frankfurt by a record aggregate 12–4 for a Scottish team. In 1961 Rangers became the first British team to reach a European final when they contested the Cup Winners Cup final against Italian side Fiorentina, Rangers lost again in the final of the same competition in 1967, by a single goal after extra time to Bayern Munich. The Ibrox disaster occurred on 2 January 1971 when large-scale crushing on an exit at the culmination of the New Years Day Old Firm game claimed 66 lives. An enquiry concluded that the crush was likely to have happened ten minutes after the final whistle and to have been triggered by someone falling on the stairs
Coventry City F.C.
Coventry City Football Club is a professional football club in Coventry, West Midlands, England, which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Coventry City formed as Singers F. C. in 1883 and they won their only major trophy in 1987 when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 3–2 to win the FA Cup. They are one of five clubs to have ever won the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup in the same season. They returned to Wembley in April 2017, beating Oxford United 2-1 to win the English Football League Trophy. Following eleven seasons in the second-tier Football League Championship, Coventry were relegated to Football League One in 2012, Coventry have qualified for European competitions twice. In the 1970–71 season, they competed in the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, despite beating Bayern Munich 2–1 in their home leg, they had lost 1–6 in the first leg in Munich to go out of the competition. They were unable to compete in the 1987–88 UEFA Cup Winners Cup due to the ban on English clubs at that time, from 1899 to 2005, Coventry City played at Highfield Road. A return to the Ricoh Arena was announced on 21 August 2014 by the club after a one-year absence,1883 – The club is founded by employees of Singer, the cycle firm, with William Stanley one of the leading lights. 1898 – The clubs name is changed from Singers F. C. to Coventry City,1899 – The club move to Highfield Road following stints at Dowells Field and Stoke Road. 1901 – The club suffer their worst ever defeat with an 11–2 loss against Worcester-based Berwick Rangers in the round of the FA Cup. 1919 – The club are voted into the Football League, where they have remained ever since,1928 – In February, and with Coventry struggling near the foot of Division Three South, the clubs worst ever attendance is recorded. Only 2,059 turn up for the match against Crystal Palace,1932 – Centre-forward Clarrie Bourton heads the Football League scoring lists with 49 goals. The following season he scored 40 goals,1934 – City record their biggest ever victory a 9–0 league drubbing of Bristol City. 1936 – Coventry City win the Third Division South championship after a final day 2–1 victory over Torquay United. 1958 – Goalkeeper Alf Wood becomes the oldest player to start a game for the club and he played against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup aged 43 years and 207 days. 1961 – Former Fulham player and PFA chairman Jimmy Hill is appointed following an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at home to non-league Kings Lynn. 1964 – Jimmy Hill guides Coventry to promotion from Division Three as champions after a final day 1–0 victory over Colchester United,1967 – Coventry City promoted as Second Division champions to the top flight for the first time in their history. This made manager and BBC Sport presenter Jimmy Hill a legend at the club, Coventrys record attendance was also set in this year – officially recorded as 51,455, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team that finished a close second to Coventry at the top of the table
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
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
England national under-21 football team
Englands national Under-21 football team, also known as England Under-21s or England U21, is considered to be the feeder team for the England national football team. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level, the U-21 team came into existence, following the realignment of UEFAs youth competitions, in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against Wales at Wolves Molineux Stadium was England U21s first result, England U21s do not have a permanent home. They play in stadia dotted all around England, in an attempt to encourage fans in all areas of the country to get behind England. Because of the lower compared to the senior national team. The match was one of the required two ramp up events the stadium hosted in order to gain its safety certificate in time for its full-capacity opening for the 2007 FA Cup Final in May. The original and most successful coach is Dave Sexton, who led the U21s from 1977 to 1990, in this period he combined his duties with managing the top-flight clubs Manchester United and Coventry City. After Coventry he took a position within the FA as their first Technical Director and he handed over U21 responsibilities to England manager Graham Taylors assistant Lawrie McMenemy for three years before resuming control from 1994 to 1996. Peter Taylor took over in 1996 and, although never winning a tournament, Howard Wilkinson took over afterwards, yet could only produce four wins in ten competitive matches and quit after a year and a half in charge. David Platt took charge upon his departure from Nottingham Forest, Platt was U21 boss from 2001 to 2004, but had little success before Taylors return. Taylor left in January 2007, as the national manager Steve McClaren wanted the U21s to have a full-time manager. Taylor, at the time, was combining his duties with his role as Crystal Palace boss, on 1 February 2007, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was appointed as head coach on a part-time basis until after the European Championships in the summer of 2007. Nigel Pearson, Newcastle Uniteds assistant manager, agreed to become Pearces assistant and their first match in charge was a 2–2 draw against Spain on 6 February 2007 at Derby Countys Pride Park Stadium. For the match against Italy Nigel Pearson took charge as Stuart Pearce had club commitments, Pearce was dismissed as Manchester City manager on 14 May 2007, before the 2007 European Championships, but on 19 July 2007 he was named full-time U21s coach. He remained in the post until June 2013, when it was announced that his contract would not be renewed, former England international Gareth Southgate was made manager of the under-21 team on 22 August. In September 2016, Southgate was appointed to the position of caretaker manager of the England senior side after the departure of Sam Allardyce. With Southgate overseeing the main team for four games, Aidy Boothroyd, as a European U21 team, England compete for the European Championship, with the finals every odd-numbered year, formerly even-numbered years. There is no Under-21 World Cup, although there is an Under-20 World Cup, for the first six European Under-21 Football Championships, England did well, getting knocked out in the semi-finals on four occasions and winning the competition in 1982 and 1984
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England are one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom played in the worlds first international football match in 1872. Englands home ground is Wembley Stadium, London, and the current manager is Gareth Southgate, England contest the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, which alternate biennially. In contesting for the World Cup seventeen times over the past sixty four years, England won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world, it was formed at the same time as Scotland. A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association, a return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872. Over the next forty years, England played exclusively with the other three Home Nations—Scotland, Wales and Ireland—in the British Home Championship, to begin with, England had no permanent home stadium. They joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first ever games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908, Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and became their home ground. The relationship between England and FIFA became strained, and this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928 and their first ever defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1 and this still stands as Englands worst ever defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, it was like playing men from outer space, in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, and lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as Englands first ever manager in 1946. In UEFA Euro 1968, the reached the semi-finals for the first time. England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, and reached the quarter-finals, England had been 2–0 up, but were eventually beaten 3–2 after extra time. They failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramseys dismissal, under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, despite not losing a game, they were eliminated in the second group stage. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians’, the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade. However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, the 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a relatively brief period. Graham Taylor was Robsons successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, at UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968
Motherwell Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. The club compete in the Scottish Premiership, Motherwell have not dropped out of the top-flight of Scottish football since 1985, but have only lifted one trophy in that time – the Scottish Cup in 1991. Clad in their traditional claret and amber, Motherwell play their matches at Fir Park Stadium and have done since 1896. The clubs main rivals over the years have been Hamilton Academical and Airdrieonians and these matches are known as the Lanarkshire derby. Motherwells debut fixture proved to be a one as they overcame Hamilton Academical 3–2. On 5 August 1893 the decision was made to professional. Up until 1895 the club had played at a few different venues, including a site at Roman Road, the small pitch and muddy conditions at Dalziel Park were deemed unsuitable and fortunately Lord Hamilton granted a lease on a plot of land on his Dalzell estate. This new ground was named Fir Park and has remained the home for over one hundred years. The following years saw the club grow, appointing their first and longest serving manager to date, John Sailor Hunter, in 1913 the decision was made to change the clubs colours from blue to the now signature claret and amber. Motherwell enjoyed a period in the aftermath of World War I. The club placed third in the 1919–20 season and, although narrowly avoiding relegation in 1924–25, they climbed the table. In the summer of 1927, the made a very successful tour of Spain, winning six out of the eight games they played. These results included an emphatic 3–1 victory over Real Madrid and a 2–2 draw with Barcelona, following their success in Spain, the club went on another summer tour, this time of South America. After losing only three of their previous ten games, the tour culminated in a 5–0 defeat by a Brazilian League Select side, the championship was sealed on 23 April 1932, when Rangers could only draw at home against Clyde, handing Motherwell the title without kicking a ball. This was also the only League title won by a club outside the Old Firm between 1904 and 1947, in the two seasons following the league title win, Well finished runners up. Motherwell also contested three Scottish Cup finals in this period – in 1931,1933 and 1939, following the break-up of the squad after World War II, the club were not instantly successful. It then captured two trophies in as many years with victories in the 1950 Scottish League Cup Final. The club was relegated for the first time ever at the end of the 1952–53 season
Sydney Football Club /ˈsɪdni/, commonly known as Sydney FC, is an Australian professional soccer club based in Sydney, New South Wales. It competes in the premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia. The club has won two A-League Championships and two Premierships and is the only A-League club to have won the OFC Champions League, since 2006, A-League teams have competed in the AFC Champions League. Sydney FC have participated in the stage of the AFC Champions League three times, previously, in 2007,2011 and 2016, qualifying for the knock-out phase of the tournament once. Having won titles in the W-League and in the National Youth League Sydney hold the distinction of being the club to have won the A-League alongside its two affiliated competitions. The clubs home ground is Allianz Stadium, a 45,500 seat multi-use venue in the suburb of Moore Park, as the only A-League team in the city for the first seven years of its existence, the clubs fans hail from all across the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Since its establishment, Sydney FC has had a reputation for signing high-profile players, notable players who have represented the club include Dwight Yorke, Juninho Paulista, John Aloisi, Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill and Alessandro Del Piero. The first steps towards the foundation of Sydney FC taken in April 2004 when Soccer New South Wales announced its intention to bid for a licence in the new A-League competition. Sydney FC was officially launched as a member of the new 8-team A-League on 1 November 2004, with a 25% stake in the held by Soccer NSW. Walter Bugno was announced as the chairman of the club. These included the choice of the Sydney Football Stadium over Parramatta Stadium as the home ground. German Pierre Littbarski was signed as Head Coach, to be assisted by former Norwich City player Ian Crook, Sydney FC played its first ever match against Manly United FC on 25 March 2005, winning 6–1. Shortly after, Sydney FC set off on a tour to the United Arab Emirates to play matches against local teams FC Hatta, Al Ain FC and Al Jazira, winning all three. Sydney FCs first competitive match was against Queensland Roar at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford as part of an Australian qualifying tournament to enter the 2005 Oceania Club Championship. After winning the match 3–0, Sydney went on to defeat Perth Glory, despite an early scare against New Zealand club Auckland City FC, Sydney FC won all of its matches in the competition and qualified for the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan. The start of the 2005 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup marked Sydney FCs first match at Allianz Stadium, Yorke scored the first goal of Sydney FCs 3–1 win which stretched its unbeaten run to 9 competitive matches. Upon reaching the semi-finals, Sydneys unbeaten run ended at 11 with Perth Glory midfielder Nick Ward scoring in injury time to inflict the new clubs first ever loss. Sydney FCs first season was ultimately a success, finishing second on the ladder behind Adelaide United they went on to defeat Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the 2006 A-League Grand Final with Steve Corica scoring in the second half
Partick Thistle F.C.
Partick Thistle Football Club are a professional football club from Glasgow, Scotland. Despite their name, the club are based at Firhill Stadium in the Maryhill area of the city and they are one of three Glasgow-based teams competing in the Premiership, the others being Celtic and Rangers, with Queens Park playing in the Scottish League One. Since 1908 the club have won the Scottish Second Division once, Thistle have won the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup in 1921 and 1971 respectively. The club are managed by former defender Alan Archibald, who took over the role on 30 January 2013, under Archibalds management, the club achieved promotion to the newly formed Scottish Premiership in 2013, and have remained there for three consecutive seasons. Partick Thistle Football Club was formed in 1876 in the burgh of Partick, the clubs first recorded match took place in February against a local junior team, named Valencia. The location of this match, and thereby Thistles first home ground, was recorded as Overnewton Park, in 1891, Partick Thistle joined the Scottish Football Alliance, one of several competitions set up immediately after the formation of the Scottish Football League in 1890. The club won the Second Division championship in 1897 and were elected to the First Division, the following season they were re-elected after finishing in eighth place. In 1900 they were elected back to the top level, having finished as Second Division champions again and this would be the last time Thistle changed their division for almost 70 years. Since joining the Scottish professional leagues in 1893, Thistle had been a side, spending four years in the First Division and five in the Second. It was during the 1902–03 Scottish Division One season in which Thistle set their highest finish in the Scottish league structure, in the following 33 years, they moved from home to home, using parks at Kelvingrove, Jordanvale, Muirpark, Inchview among others. In 1891 they moved to Meadowside, where they played until 1908, after being homeless for over a season, they moved to their present home, Firhill Stadium, in the Maryhill district of Glasgow. They played their first home match at Firhill, on 18 September 1909, in 1921 Thistle won the Scottish Cup, beating Rangers 1–0 in the final. Johnny Blair scored the goal of the game, which was held at Celtic Park. The Jags reached the final nine years later, facing the same opposition. In 1935 the Jags won both the Glasgow Cup and the Charity Cup, competitions that were seriously at the time. On 23 October 1971 Davie McParlands team secured the clubs most famous result against Jock Steins Celtic in the League Cup final at Hampden Park, kenny Dalglish pulled a goal back for Celtic, however the final result was never in doubt as Thistle eased to a 4–1 victory. Ironically before the match, former BBC sport broadcaster Sam Leitch stated that In Scotland, its League Cup final day at Hampden Park, where Celtic meet Partick Thistle, Thistles fortunes on the pitch declined during the 1980s. Although the club had experienced difficult times before, having dropped into the tier of Scottish football twice in the 1970s
Brentford Football Club is a professional association football club based in Brentford, Greater London, England. The team play in the Championship, the tier of English football. It was founded on 10 October 1889 and plays its games at Griffin Park, its home stadium since 1904. Brentfords most successful spell came during the 1930s, when it achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division, Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have been runners-up of the Football League Trophy on three occasions. As a result of a vote, by eight votes to five, taken six days later, the very first fixture, between Brentford FC and Kew FC, was on 23 November 1889. Due to ownership of the land changing hands, Brentford FC was on the lookout for a new ground after only 30 months, in October 1892, Benns Field – land behind The Plough PH Little Ealing Lane – in Little Ealing, was the clubs new home. The football club decided to move nearer to Brentford and in December 1894 it moved to Shotters Field – what is now Gunnersbury School, The Ride – and stayed there until April 1898. As the club grew, therefore entertaining larger crowds, a move to a ground with the chance of improving better spectator facilities, with under cover enclosures and changing rooms, was looked for. Boston Park Cricket Ground, in York Road, Brentford – what is now land along the east side of Ealing Road, finally, in January 1904, the club agreed a 21-year lease on an orchard, once owned by Chiswick brewers Fuller, Smith and Turner. The clearance of the orchard, over 200 trees, and the levelling of the land took several months, in August 1904 trial matches were played on the pitch. Then the first competitive match was played, a team game in the Western League v Plymouth Argyle. On 7 September 1904, Brentford and West Ham United played out a 0–0 draw, in the Southern League First Division, in 1920 it was a founder member of the Football League Third Division. In 1921–22, the Football League Third Division was regionalised and Brentford FC was placed in the Southern section, during the late 1920s and 1930s, the club began to make real progress. In the 1929–30 season, the side won all 21 of its matches in the Third Division South. It is the last of six teams in English football to amass a perfect record. After several more near-misses, promotion to the Second Division was finally achieved in 1932–33, Two years later, Brentford reached the First Division and finished 5th in its debut season – which is still the clubs highest ever league position – to complete a remarkable rise for the club. Under manager Harry Curtis and captain Arthur Bateman, Brentford achieved more impressive placings in the league for the rest of the decade before the Second World War interrupted. During the war, Brentford competed in the London War Cup, the club was relegated in the first season after the war, and a downward spiral set in, which culminated in relegation to the Third Division in 1953–54 and the Fourth Division in 1961–62
It is one of three SPFL clubs in the city, the others being their Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts and Edinburgh City. Hibernian was founded in 1875 by Irish immigrants, but support for the club is now based on rather than ethnicity or religion. The Irish heritage of Hibernian is still reflected, however, in its name, colours, the name of the club is usually shortened to Hibs. The team are also called The Hibees and The Cabbage, a shortening of the slang for Hibs of Cabbage and Ribs, by fans of the club. Home matches are played at the Easter Road stadium, in use since 1893, Hibernian have played in the second tier of the Scottish football league system, known as the Scottish Championship, since being relegated in 2014. Hibernian have won the Scottish league championship four times, most recently in 1952, three of those four championships were won between 1948 and 1952, when the club had the services of The Famous Five, a notable forward line. The club have won the Scottish Cup three times, in 1887,1902 and 2016, Hibs have also won the Scottish League Cup three times, in 1972,1991 and 2007. The club was founded in 1875 by Irishmen from the Cowgate area of Edinburgh, the name is derived from Hibernia, the Roman name for Ireland. James Connolly, the famous Irish Republican leader, was a Hibs fan, there was some sectarian resistance initially to an Irish club participating in Scottish football, but Hibs established themselves as a force in Scottish football in the 1880s. Hibs were the first club from the east coast of Scotland to win a major trophy and they went on to defeat Preston North End, who had won the 1887 FA Cup, in a friendly match described as the Association Football Championship of the World Decider. Mismanagement over the few years led to Hibs becoming homeless. A lease on the Easter Road site was acquired in late 1892, despite this interruption, the club today views the period since 1875 as one continued history and therefore counts the honours won between 1875 and 1891, including the 1887 Scottish Cup. The club were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1893, a significant change at this time was that players were no longer required to be members of the Catholic Young Mens Society. Hibs are not seen today as being an Irish or Roman Catholic institution, for instance, the Irish harp was only re-introduced to the club badge when it was last re-designed in 2000. This design reflects the three pillars of the identity, Ireland, Edinburgh and Leith. Geography rather than religion is now seen as the reason for supporting Hibs. Hibs had some success after being reformed, winning the 1902 Scottish Cup, after this, however, the club endured a long barren spell. The club lost its placing in the league, and were relegated for the first time in 1931, the notorious Scottish Cup drought began as they reached three cup finals, two in consecutive years, but lost each of them
Newport County A.F.C.
Newport County Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Newport, South Wales. The team play in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. Most recently reformed in 1989, the club is a continuation of the Newport County club which was founded in 1912 and was a member of the Football Leagues new Third Division in 1920. Newport County were Welsh Cup winners in 1980 and subsequently reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1981, the club was relegated from the Football League in 1988 and went out of business in February 1989. The club reformed shortly afterwards and entered the English football league system at a lower level. In 2013 the club won back to the Football League for the first time since 1988. Newport County, originally nicknamed The Ironsides due to Newport being home to Lysaghts Orb Works steel works, the official name of the club was The Newport & Monmouth County Association Football Club, although the shorter Newport County was soon adopted. The club were reformed in 1919 and were first elected to the Football League in 1920 and they were not re-elected after the 1930–31 season but rejoined for 1932–33. After almost 20 years in the Third Division South, the club clinched promotion to the Second Division as champions in 1939 under manager Billy McCandless. Hopes were high that the side could prosper in the Second Division. Newport County managed a 1–1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and a 3–1 win over Southampton, the War League operated for the remainder of the 1939–40 season and County finished 10th in the South-West Division. After the war, the reformed and competed in the temporary Football League South for the 1945–46 season. Newcastle player Len Shackleton remarked they were lucky to get nil, despite victories over Coventry City, Sheffield Wednesday and Fulham, the club needed four wins out of the last four games to have any hope of safety. Despite a revenge victory over Newcastle United, defeats to Birmingham City, Luton Town, County finished bottom of the Second Division and were relegated. Newport reached the round of the 1948–49 FA Cup under manager Tom Bromilow. They only narrowly lost the game 3–2 away to Portsmouth, the eventual FA Cup semi-finalists, after 11 further seasons in the Third Division South, the club narrowly avoided another effective relegation with the creation of the Fourth Division for the 1958–59 season. The bottom 12 teams from the Third Division North and South were placed in the new division, County avoided this fate by a mere four points. However, in 1962, with seven wins all season
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
Manager (association football)
In association football, a manager is an occupation of head coach in the United Kingdom responsible for running a football club or a national team. Outside of the British Isles and across most of Europe, a title of coach or coach is predominant. The manager of a club is responsible to the club chairman. The managers responsibilities in a football club usually include the following, Selecting the team of players for matches. Planning the strategy, and instructing the players on the pitch, motivating players before and during a match. Delegating duties to the first team coach and the coaching and medical staff, scouting for young but talented players for eventual training in the youth academy or the reserves, and encouraging their development and improvement. Buying and selling players in the market, including loans. Facing the media in pre-match and post-match interviews, some of the above responsibilities are shared with the director of football or sporting director, and are at times delegated to an assistant manager or club coach. Additionally, depending on the club, some minor responsibilities include, Marketing the club, most especially for ticket admission, sponsorship, growing turnover and keeping the club profitable. These responsibilities are more common among managers of small clubs, for this reason, in many cases, national football team managers are selected from current club team managers and also in many cases, they select the players of their clubs. The title of manager is almost exclusively used in British football, in the majority of countries where professional football is played, the person responsible for the direction of a team is awarded the position of coach or trainer. For instance, despite the general equivalence in responsibilities, Bobby Robson was referred to as the manager of England, for example, a typical European football manager would have the final say on in-game decisions, and off-the-field and roster management decisions. In American sports, these duties would be handled separately by the coach and general manager
Captain (association football)
The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband. The only official responsibility of a captain specified by the Laws of the Game is to participate in the toss prior to kick-off. Contrary to what is said, captains have no special authority under the Laws to challenge a decision by the referee. However, referees may talk to the captain of a side about the general behaviour when necessary. At an award-giving ceremony after a fixture like a cup competition final, any trophy won by a team will be received by the captain who will also be the first one to hoist it. The captain also generally leads the teams out of the room at the start of the match. The captain generally provides a point for the team, if morale is low. Captains may join the manager in deciding the first team for a certain game, in youth or recreational football, the captain often takes on duties, that would, at a higher level, be delegated to the manager. A club captain is usually appointed for a season, if he is unavailable or not selected for a particular game, then the club vice-captain will be appointed to perform a similar role. The match captain is the first player to lift a trophy should the team win one, a good example of this was in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final when match captain Peter Schmeichel lifted the trophy for Manchester United as club captain Roy Keane was suspended. In the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, match captain Frank Lampard jointly lifted the trophy for Chelsea with club captain John Terry, a club may appoint two distinct roles, a club captain to represent the players in a public relations role, and correspondent on the pitch. After Neville retired in 2011, regular starter Nemanja Vidić was named as club captain, são Paulos Rogério Ceni is the player who has worn the captains armband the most times. A vice-captain is a player that is expected to captain the side when the captain is not included in the starting eleven, or if, during a game. Examples include Manuel Neuer succeeding Philipp Lahm at Bayern Munich, Marcelo attaining from Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid C. F, gary Cahill being the understudy of John Terry at Chelsea FC and Lionel Messi taking over from Andrés Iniesta at FC Barcelona. Similarly, some clubs also name a 3rd captain to take the role of captain when both the captain and vice-captain are unavailable, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Germany had three captains. Michael Ballack had skippered the team since 2004, including the successful qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Lahm ended up becoming the permanent captain of Germany, as Ballack was never called up for the national team
FIFA World Cup
The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is Germany, which won its title at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. 32 teams, including the qualifying host nation, compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about a month. The 20 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight different national teams, Brazil have won five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. The worlds first international match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the edition of the British Home Championship. After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906 and these were very early days for international football, and the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure. At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition, planned by The Football Association, Englands football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain won the gold medals and they repeated the feat in 1912 in Stockholm. With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between clubs from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. Lipton invited West Auckland, a side from County Durham. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title, in 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a world football championship for amateurs, and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the worlds first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and 13 European teams, Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928. Those were also the first two world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFAs professional era. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania, in total,13 nations took part, seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, sometimes referred to as the Lion City or the Little Red Dot, is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the tip of peninsular Malaysia. Singapores territory consists of one island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its size by 23%. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan, after early years of turbulence, and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed rapidly as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub, the country has also been identified as a tax haven. Singapore ranks 5th internationally and first in Asia on the UN Human Development Index and it is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety, and housing, but does not fare well on the Democracy index. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied, 38% of Singapores 5.6 million residents are permanent residents and other foreign nationals. There are four languages on the island, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil. English is its language, most Singaporeans are bilingual. Singapore is a multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The Peoples Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959, however, it is unlikely that lions ever lived on the island, Sang Nila Utama, the Srivijayan prince said to have founded and named the island Singapura, perhaps saw a Malayan tiger. There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name, the central island has also been called Pulau Ujong as far back as the third century CE, literally island at the end in Malay. In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama and these Indianized Kingdoms, a term coined by George Cœdès were characterized by surprising resilience, political integrity and administrative stability. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement, which by then was part of the Johor Sultanate. The wider maritime region and much trade was under Dutch control for the following period, in 1824 the entire island, as well as the Temenggong, became a British possession after a further treaty with the Sultan. In 1826, Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements, under the jurisdiction of British India, prior to Raffles arrival, there were only about a thousand people living on the island, mostly indigenous Malays along with a handful of Chinese. By 1860 the population had swelled to over 80,000, many of these early immigrants came to work on the pepper and gambier plantations
Lowestoft is a town in the English county of Suffolk. The town is on the North Sea coast and is the most easterly settlement of the United Kingdom and it is 110 miles north-east of London,38 miles north-east of Ipswich and 22 miles south-east of Norwich. It is situated on the edge of The Broads system and is the settlement within the district of Waveney with a population of 71,010 in 2011. Some of the earliest evidence of settlement in Britain has been found in Lowestoft and it is a port town which developed due to the fishing industry, and a traditional seaside resort. It has wide, sandy beaches, two piers and a number of other tourist attractions and this role has since declined and the town has begun to develop as a centre of the renewable energy industry within the East of England. Following the discovery of flint tools in the cliffs at Pakefield in south Lowestoft in 2005 and this establishes Lowestoft as one of the earliest known sites for human habitation in Britain. The area was settled during the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages and during the Roman and Saxon periods, the settlements name is derived from the Viking personal name Hlothver and toft, a Viking word for homestead. The towns name has been spelled variously, Lothnwistoft, Lestoffe, Laistoe, at the Domesday survey the village was known as Lothuwistoft and was relatively small with a population of around 16 households comprising, in 1086, three families, ten smallholders and three slaves. The manor formed part of the kings holding within the Hundred of Lothingland and was worth about four geld in tax income, roger Bigod was the tenant in chief of the village. The village of Akethorpe may have been located close to Lowestoft, in the Middle Ages Lowestoft became an increasingly important fishing town. The industry grew quickly and the town grew to challenge its neighbour Great Yarmouth, the trade, particularly fishing for herring, continued to act as the towns main identity until the 20th century. In June 1665 the Battle of Lowestoft, the first battle of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the battle resulted in a significant victory for the English fleet over the Dutch. The factory, built on the site of a pottery or brick kiln, was later used as a brewery. Most of its buildings were demolished in 1955. In the 19th century, the arrival of Sir Samuel Morton Peto brought about a change in Lowestofts fortunes, Railway contractor Peto was contracted by the Lowestoft Railway & Harbour Company to build a railway line between Lowestoft and Reedham. This stimulated the development of the fishing industry and the Port of Lowestoft in general. The development of the port boosted trade with the continent, during World War I, Lowestoft was bombarded by the German Navy on 24 April 1916 in conjunction with the Easter Rising. In World War II, the town was targeted for bombing by the Luftwaffe due to its engineering industry
Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west, the North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich, other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Felixstowe, the county is low-lying with very few hills, and is largely arable land with the wetlands of the Broads in the north. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, by the fifth century, the Angles had established control of the region. The Angles later became the folk and the south folk. Suffolk and several adjacent areas became the kingdom of East Anglia, Suffolk was originally divided into four separate Quarter Sessions divisions. In 1860, the number of divisions was reduced to two, the eastern division was administered from Ipswich and the western from Bury St Edmunds. Under the Local Government Act 1888, the two divisions were made the administrative counties of East Suffolk and West Suffolk, Ipswich became a county borough. A few Essex parishes were added to Suffolk, Ballingdon-with-Brundon and parts of Haverhill. On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, East Suffolk, West Suffolk, the county was divided into several local government districts, Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, and Waveney. This act also transferred some land near Great Yarmouth to Norfolk, in 2007, the Department for Communities and Local Government referred Ipswich Borough Councils bid to become a new unitary authority to the Boundary Committee. The Boundary Committee consulted local bodies and reported in favour of the proposal and it was not, however, approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Beginning in February 2008, the Boundary Committee again reviewed local government in the county, West Suffolk, like nearby East Cambridgeshire, is renowned for archaeological finds from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Bronze Age artefacts have been found in the area between Mildenhall and West Row, in Eriswell and in Lakenheath, other finds include traces of cremations and barrows. The majority of agriculture in Suffolk is either arable or mixed, Farm sizes vary from anything around 80 acres to over 8,000. Soil types vary from clays to light sands. The continuing importance of agriculture in the county is reflected in the Suffolk Show, although latterly somewhat changed in nature, this remains primarily an agricultural show. Below is a chart of regional gross value added of Suffolk at current basic prices published by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling, well-known companies in Suffolk include Greene King and Branston Pickle in Bury St Edmunds
Everton F. C. /ˈɛvərtən/ is a football club in Liverpool, England, that currently competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club have competed in the top division for a record 114 seasons and won the League Championship nine times, formed in 1878, Everton were founding members of The Football League in 1888 and won their first League Championship two seasons later. The mid-1980s represented their most recent period of sustained success, with two League Championships, an FA Cup, and the 1985 European Cup Winners Cup, the clubs most recent major trophy was the 1995 FA Cup. The clubs supporters are known as Evertonians, Everton have a rivalry with neighbours Liverpool, and the two sides contest the Merseyside derby. The club have been based at Goodison Park in Walton, Liverpool, since 1892, the clubs home colours are royal blue shirts with white shorts and socks. Everton were founded as St Domingos in 1878 so that people from the parish of St Domingos Methodist Church Everton could play year round — cricket was played in summer. The clubs first game was a 1–0 victory over Everton Church Club, the club was renamed Everton in November 1879 after the local area, as people outside the parish wished to participate. The club was a member of the Football League in 1888–89. Everton won the FA Cup for the first time in 1906, the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 interrupted the football programme while Everton were champions, which was something that would again occur in 1939. It was not until 1927 that Evertons first sustained period of success began, in 1925 the club signed Dixie Dean from Tranmere Rovers. In 1927–28, Dean set the record for league goals in a single season with 60 goals in 39 league games. He helped Everton win their third League Championship that season, however, Everton were relegated to the Second Division two years later during internal turmoil at the club. The club quickly rebounded and was promoted at the first attempt, on return to the top flight in 1931–32, Everton wasted no time in reaffirming their status and won a fourth League Championship at the first opportunity. Everton also won their second FA Cup in 1933 with a 3–0 win against Manchester City in the final, the era ended in 1938–39 with a fifth League Championship. Everton were relegated for the time in 1950–51 and did not earn promotion until 1953–54. The club have been a top-flight presence ever since, Evertons second successful era started when Harry Catterick was made manager in 1961. In 1962–63, his season in charge, Everton won the League Championship. In 1966 the club won the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, Everton again reached the final in 1968, but this time were unable to overcome West Bromwich Albion at Wembley
That of England manager was his final role in football. Ron Greenwood was born in the village of Worsthorne, near Burnley, Lancashire and he was educated at the Wembley County Grammar School which now forms part of Alperton Community School in Middlesex, leaving at the age of 14 to be an apprentice sign-writer. Greenwood played as a centre-half, joining Chelsea as an amateur whilst training as an apprentice sign-writer, during World War II he served in the Royal Air Force in Northern Ireland and guested for Belfast Celtic. In 1945, he left Chelsea for Bradford Park Avenue, in 1949, Greenwood moved to the club he supported as a boy, Brentford, his £9500 fee breaking the clubs incoming transfer record. He made 142 league appearances and scored one goal, after three years at Brentford, he returned to Chelsea, where he played 65 times and won a First Division winners medal in 1954-55 under Ted Drake. That summer, he moved to Fulham, where he made another 42 league appearances before retiring at the end of the 1955-1956 season, after retiring Greenwood moved into coaching. He coached Eastbourne United, Oxford University, the England Youth and he combined the England Under-23 post with being the assistant manager at Arsenal under George Swindin, having moved to Highbury in December 1957. He remained there until April 1961, when he was selected by chairman Reg Pratt to replace Ted Fenton as manager of West Ham United, Greenwoods reign at West Ham brought them sizeable success. He moved upstairs in 1974, becoming the general manager for the next three years, with John Lyall being placed in charge of the first team. In the first season of this arrangement, West Ham won another FA Cup, in July 1977, after England coach Don Revies resignation, Greenwood was appointed full-time manager in the same year, ending his 15-year association with West Ham United. Under Greenwood, England qualified for the UEFA Euro 1980, and then the 1982 FIFA World Cup, England came through the tournament unbeaten, but did not win enough games to progress beyond the second group stage. Greenwood resigned after the World Cup, and retired from football, one major landmark during Greenwoods tenure was the selection of the first black player for England, Viv Anderson, in 1978. Greenwood stated Yellow, purple or black - if theyre good enough, after his career in football Greenwood was a regular analyst on BBC Radio. He died on 9 February 2006, aged 84, after a struggle with Alzheimers disease. When West Ham played Birmingham in a Premier League fixture on 13 February 2006, West Ham won the game 3-0. The Heritage Foundation charity erected a plaque in Greenwoods memory at West Hams Upton Park. Greenwood was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006 and he was survived by his widow, Lucy. He is buried in the Town Cemetery at Sudbury in Suffolk, ron Greenwood management career statistics at Soccerbase Obituary from BBC Sport Obituary from The Times Obituary from The Guardian
Australia national association football team
The Australian national soccer team represents Australia in international mens soccer. The team has represented Australia at the FIFA World Cup tournament on four occasions, the team has also represented Australia at the FIFA Confederations Cup three times. The first Australia national team was constituted in 1922 for a tour of New Zealand, during the tour, Australia suffered two defeats and scraped a draw. For the next 36 years, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa became regular opponents in tour matches, during that period, Australia also competed against Canada and India during their tours of Australia in 1924 and 1938 respectively. Australia recorded their worst ever defeat on 30 June 1951 as they lost 17–0 in a match to a touring England side, Australia had a rare opportunity to compete on the worlds stage during the teams very first major international tournament as hosts of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. However, an inexperienced squad proved to be reason for the disappointing performance. With the advent of air travel, Australia began to diversify its range of opponents. However, its isolation continued to play a role in its destiny for the next 30 years. It would prove to be the appearance for the Australian team until the World Cup tournament returned to Germany more than three decades later in 2006. The teams previously poor record in World Cup competition was not reflected in their performances against strong European. In 1988, Australia defeated reigning world champions Argentina 4–1 in the Australian Bicentennial Gold Cup, in 1997, Australia drew with reigning world champions Brazil 0–0 in the group stage and then defeated Uruguay 1–0 in the semi-finals to reach the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup Final. Many commentators and fans, most notably soccer broadcaster and former Australian captain Johnny Warren, on 13 March, the AFC executive committee made a unanimous decision to invite Australia to join the AFC. After the OFC executive committee unanimously endorsed Australias proposed move, FIFA approved the move on 30 June 2005. Australia joined Asia, with the taking effect on 1 January 2006, though until then. After a successful campaign, the team took the first steps towards qualification for the 2006 World Cup, after coach Frank Farina stood down from the position after Australias dismal performance at the 2005 Confederations Cup, Guus Hiddink was announced as the new national coach. Australia, ranked 49th, would then have to play the 18th ranked Uruguay in a rematch of the 2001 qualification play-off for a spot in the 2006 World Cup. The second leg of the qualifying play-off was played in front of a crowd of 82,698 at Stadium Australia, Australia led Uruguay 1–0 after 90 minutes following a goal by Mark Bresciano in the first half. The aggregate was tied, and extra time was played, neither team scored after two periods of extra time, bringing the game to a penalty shootout
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year
Sir Robert William Bobby Robson CBE was an English footballer and football manager. His career included playing for and later managing the England national team. Robsons professional playing career as an inside-forward spanned nearly 20 years and he also made 20 appearances for England, scoring four goals. His last management role was as a mentor to the manager of the Irish national football team, Robson was created a Knight Bachelor in 2002, was inducted as a member of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2003, and was the honorary president of Ipswich Town. But then everyone has to go sometime and I have enjoyed every minute and he died just under a year later. Robson was born in Sacriston, County Durham, the fourth of five sons of Philip, when he was a few months old, Robsons family moved to the nearby village of Langley Park where his father was a coal miner. Their two-bedroom house had no bath and an outside toilet, as a boy, he was often taken by his father to watch Newcastle United play at St James Park on Saturday afternoons, requiring a 34-mile round trip. Robson describes Jackie Milburn and Len Shackleton as his childhood heroes, both played for Newcastle in the inside-forward position, the position Robson would later assume during his playing career. Robson attended Langley Park primary school and then Waterhouses Secondary Modern School, instead, he began to play for Langley Park Juniors on Saturday mornings at the age of eleven, and by the time he was 15, he was representing the club at Under-18 level. Robson played football whenever he possibly could but left school aged 15 to start work as an apprentice for the National Coal Board in the Langley Park colliery. In May 1950, Bill Dodgin, the Fulham manager made a visit to the Robson household to offer Bobby a professional contract. Robson had also interested his beloved Newcastle, but he opted to join Fulham as, in his opinion and he also thought he stood a better chance of breaking into the first team at Fulham. Although Robson had signed professionally, his father insisted he continue to work as an electrician and he spent the day working at the Festival of Britain site and trained three nights a week at Fulham. Eventually this took its toll on Robson and he gave up his trade for professional football. In 1950 Robson made his debut for Fulham, recently promoted to the First Division. He came to regard Fulham as a club, a social club. The transfer fee of £25,000 was a record for Albion at the time. He made his Albion debut in a 4–0 home defeat by Manchester City on 10 March 1956, in 1957–58 he was the clubs top league goalscorer, his tally of 24 goals included four in a 5–1 win against Burnley
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season. It is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, failure to do either of these will result in a second, potentially unlimited points deduction. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two. The organisation celebrated its 100th birthday in 1988 with a Centenary Tournament at Wembley between 16 of its member clubs, after four years of debate, the Football Association finally permitted professionalism on 20 July 1885
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
Graeme James Souness is a retired Scottish professional football player and manager, who played as a midfielder. Souness was the captain of the successful Liverpool team of the early 1980s, player/manager of Rangers in the late 1980s and he also played for Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough and Sampdoria. His managerial career began when he joined Rangers, leading them to three Scottish titles and four cups, before joining Liverpool as manager. He went on to become manager of Galatasaray, Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn Rovers, Souness was brought up in the Saughton Mains area of Edinburgh, and supported local side Hearts and Rangers. As a teenager Souness played for boys club North Merchiston. Sounesss career began as an apprentice at Tottenham Hotspur under Bill Nicholson and he signed professional forms as a 15-year-old in 1968. Frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities, the teenage Souness reputedly informed Nicholson that he was the best player at the club, Souness made one first team appearance for Spurs, in a UEFA Cup tie as a substitute. During the summer of 1972, Souness played in the North American Soccer League for the Montreal Olympique and he appeared in 10 of his teams 14 games, and was named in the leagues All-Star team for that season. Spurs sold Souness to Middlesbrough for £30,000 in 1972, Souness made his first appearance for Middlesbrough on 6 January 1973, in a 2–1 league defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage. His first goal came on 11 December 1973 in a 3–0 league victory over Preston North End at Ayresome Park, Sounesss tenacious style began to garner acclaim during his time at Middlesbrough. His first season saw Middlesbrough finish fourth, two places and 14 points short of promotion, jack Charlton was appointed Middlesbrough manager, his first managerial post, in May 1973. One of Charltons first signings was experienced former Celtic midfielder Bobby Murdoch, promotion as champions of the Second Division followed in 1973/74. Sounesss influence was demonstrated when he scored a hat-trick in the final fixture. Sounesss playing career is best remembered for his seven seasons at Liverpool and his time at Anfield began in 1978 as a replacement for veteran Ian Callaghan. After winning his first European Cup in 1977, Liverpool manager Bob Paisley sought reinforcements by signing three Scottish players, all of whom were to contribute substantially to further success, central defender Alan Hansen arrived from Partick Thistle for £110,000. Kenny Dalglish – an established Scottish international – signed from Celtic for a then British record fee of £440,000, Souness formed the final part of the Scottish triumvirate, leaving Middlesbrough in acrimonious circumstances for a club-record fee of £350,000 on 10 January 1978. Sounesss Liverpool debut came in a 1–0 league victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on 14 January 1978, Souness played a critical role in Liverpools retention of the European Cup against FC Bruges at Wembley, providing the pass for Dalglish to score the games only goal. Sounesss first League title medals were won in seasons 1978–79 and 1979–80, Thompson initially refused to speak to Souness claiming he had stolen the captaincy from behind his back
Aberdeen Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen, Scotland. They compete in the Scottish Premiership and have never relegated from the top division of the Scottish football league system since they were promoted in 1905. Aberdeen have won four Scottish league titles, seven Scottish Cups and they are also the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies, having won the European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983. Aberdeen were the last club outside of the Old Firm to win a title, in 1984–85. The team has enjoyed success since this golden era, though a 19-year wait for a major trophy was ended by winning the 2013–14 Scottish League Cup. Aberdeen have played at Pittodrie Stadium since their inception, the ground currently has a capacity of 20,866 and was the first all-seated and all-covered stadium in the United Kingdom. Pittodrie was also the first football stadium to feature a dug-out, the clubs colours have been primarily red and white since 1939, before this, they played in black and gold vertical stripes. Aberdeen attract support from the city and surrounding areas, as they are the senior team within a wide area. Aberdeen have no close rivals, their nearest neighbours at the same level are in the city of Dundee. The current Aberdeen F. C. was formed following the merger of three based in the city—Aberdeen, Victoria United and Orion—in 1903. The new club played its first match on 15 August 1903 and that first season produced a win in the Aberdeenshire Cup, but only a third-place finish in the Northern League. The club applied for membership of the Scottish League for the following season, in 1904, the club were managed by Jimmy Philip. At the end of its first season, despite having finished seventh out of teams, Aberdeen were elected to the new. They have remained in the top tier of Scottish football ever since, from 1906, the club made steady progress, with a Scottish Cup semi-final appearance in 1908 and another in 1911. In that season of 1910–11, Aberdeen recorded their first victories over the Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers, and led the league for a time, wartime affected the club as much as any other, despite spending cuts and other economies, by 1917 the situation became untenable. Aberdeen dropped out of football, along with Dundee and Raith Rovers. Senior football returned on 16 August 1919, and Aberdeen resumed with a fixture against Albion Rovers, Philip was still in charge, and continued to oversee a team capable of isolated good results, but never quite able to sustain a challenge long enough to win a trophy. In 1923, Aberdeen were drawn against Peterhead in the Scottish Cup, Philip retired a year later, and was replaced as manager by Paddy Travers
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, CBE is a former Scottish football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is regarded by players, managers and analysts to be the greatest and most successful manager of all time. Ferguson played as a forward for several Scottish clubs, including Dunfermline Athletic, while playing for Dunfermline, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league in the 1965–66 season. Towards the end of his career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire. Ferguson then enjoyed a successful period as manager of Aberdeen. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup. Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and he was knighted in the 1999 Queens Birthday Honours list, for his services to the game. Ferguson is the longest serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busbys record on 19 December 2010 and he retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season. He attended Broomloan Road Primary School and later Govan High School, Fergusons playing career began as an amateur with Queens Park, where he made his debut as a striker aged 16. He described his first match as a nightmare, but scored Queens Parks goal in a 2–1 defeat against Stranraer. Perhaps his most notable game for Queens Park was the 7–1 defeat away to Queen of the South on Boxing Day 1959 when ex-England international Ivor Broadis scored four of the Queen of the South goals, Ferguson was the solitary Queens Park goalscorer. Despite scoring 20 goals in his 31 games for Queens Park, he could not command a regular place in the side, although he continued to score regularly at St Johnstone, he was still unable to command a regular place and regularly requested transfers. Dunfermline signed him the summer, and Ferguson became a full-time professional footballer. Dunfermline lost the final 3–2 to Celtic, then failed to win the League by one point, the 1965–66 season saw Ferguson notch up 45 goals in 51 games for Dunfermline. Along with Joe McBride of Celtic, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish League with 31 goals and he then joined Rangers for £65,000, then a record fee for a transfer between two Scottish clubs. According to his brother, Ferguson was so upset by the experience that he threw his losers medal away, the following October, Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Ferguson, but his wife was not keen on moving to England at that time so he went to Falkirk instead. Fergusons time at Falkirk was soured by this and he responded by requesting a transfer and moved to Ayr United, in June 1974, Ferguson was appointed manager of East Stirlingshire, at the comparatively young age of 32. It was a job that paid £40 per week
Stephen Roger Steve Bruce is an English professional football manager and former player who is currently manager of Aston Villa. Born in Corbridge, Northumberland, he was a schoolboy footballer but was rejected by several professional clubs. He was on the verge of quitting the game altogether when he was offered a trial with Gillingham, Bruce was offered an apprenticeship and went on to play more than 200 games for the club before joining Norwich City in 1984, winning the Football League Cup in 1985. In 1987, he moved to Manchester United, with whom he achieved success, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup. He also became the first English player of the 20th century to captain a team to the Double, despite his success on the field, he was never selected to play for the England national team. Commentators and contemporaries have described him as one of the best English players of the 1980s and 1990s never to play for his country at international level. Bruce began his career with Sheffield United, and spent short periods of time managing Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic. He twice led Birmingham to promotion to the Premier League during his tenure of six years. At the end of the 2008–09 season he resigned to take over as manager of Sunderland, a post he held until he was dismissed in November 2011. Seven months later, he was appointed manager of Hull City and he took over at Aston Villa four months later. Bruce was born in Corbridge in Northumberland, the elder of two sons of Joe and Sheenagh Bruce and his father was local, and his mother had been born in Bangor in Northern Ireland. The family lived in Daisy Hill near Wallsend, and Bruce attended Benfield School and they were my team, I went to support them as a boy and being a Geordie its in-bred, you follow the club still the same today. Like several other future professionals from the area, he played football for Wallsend Boys Club and he travelled down to Kent with another player from the Wallsend club, Peter Beardsley, but although Gillingham signed Bruce as an apprentice, they turned Beardsley away. Bruce spent the 1978–79 season in Gillinghams reserve team and, despite playing in defence, in January 1979, he was selected to represent the England Youth team, and he went on to gain eight caps, participating in the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship. He went on to more than 200 appearances for the club. Confident that he was being targeted by clubs from higher divisions and he returned in time to play a key role in Gillingham achieving two draws against Everton in the FA Cup in 1984, attracting the attention once again of scouts from First Division clubs. Arthur Cox, manager of Bruces beloved Newcastle United, expressed an interest in signing the player, Bruce eventually opted to sign for Norwich City in August 1984 for a fee variously reported as £125,000 or £135,000. In 2009, he was voted into Gillinghams Hall of Fame, Bruce was voted Norwich City Player of the Year, but the team was relegated to the Second Division
The Old Firm is the collective name for the Scottish football clubs Celtic and Rangers, who are both based in Glasgow. The name may also be a reference to two teams being among the original 11 members of the Scottish Football League formed in 1890. As a result, the fixture was recognised as having enduring appeal, the two clubs are the most successful in Scotland, between them having won 102 Scottish League championships,69 Scottish Cups and 43 Scottish League Cups. Interruptions to their ascendancy have occurred infrequently, most recently with the challenge of the New Firm of Aberdeen and Dundee United in the first half of the 1980s. Since the 1985–86 season one half of the Old Firm has won the Scottish League consistently and from the 2006–07 season to the 2011–12 season, both clubs finished in the top two places. Rangers and Celtic have played each other 406 times in competitions, Rangers have won 159 matches. The clubs have large fan bases around Glasgow but also clubs in most towns throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland. The presence of Rangers and Celtic had been estimated to be worth £120 million to the Scottish economy, it’s much more mixed now — my boy goes to a Catholic school, and there are maybe 5 percent Rangers fans now. The competition between the two clubs had roots in more than just a sporting rivalry. It has more to do with Northern Ireland than Scotland and this can be seen in the flags, cultural symbols and it was infused with a series of complex disputes, sometimes centred on religion, Northern Ireland-related politics, national identity, and social ideology. Rangers traditional support was largely from the Protestant community, while Celtics was largely from those of Irish Roman Catholic backgrounds, the ferocity of the rivalry made it rare for a player to represent both teams during his career. Opposing fans fought a battle in the aftermath of Celtics 1–0 victory in the 1980 Scottish Cup Final at Hampden. This remains one of the worst invasions onto a football pitch ever reported, several objects were thrown by Celtic fans, one of which struck referee Hugh Dallas forcing the game to be stopped while he received medical treatment. Since the events of that day, Old Firm league matches have normally been played in the early afternoon, in 2005 both Celtic and Rangers joined a project to tackle bigotry and sectarianism in sport, but there was little change in the behaviour and subsequent prosecution of the fans. The majority of Rangers and Celtic supporters do not get involved in sectarianism, the Old Firm rivalry fuelled many assaults on Derby days, and some deaths in the past have been directly related to the aftermath of Old Firm matches. An activist group that monitors sectarian activity in Glasgow has reported that on Old Firm weekends, an increase in domestic abuse can also be attributed to Old Firm fixtures. Other high-profile games involving Rangers and Celtic incurred much lower costs, tennents were the primary commercial sponsor of both teams for many years, any business that only sponsored one would likely lose half its customers. In 2015, former Rangers player Brian Laudrup said that the Old Firm topped all of the rivalries he had played in, which included the Milan derby and the Fiorentina-Juventus meetings in Italy
Pittodrie Stadium, commonly referred to as Pittodrie, is an all-seater stadium in Aberdeen, Scotland. Used primarily for football, it has been the ground of Scottish Professional Football League club Aberdeen F. C. since they were formed in 1903. Prior to then, the hosted the original Aberdeen F. C. from 1899 until the merger that created the present club. With a seating capacity of 20,866, Pittodrie is the fourth largest stadium in the SPFL, as of 2017, Pittodrie has hosted fourteen matches involving the Scotland national team. The ground has also staged rugby union, with four Scotland international fixtures being held, in club football, Inverness Caledonian Thistle temporarily shared Pittodrie during part of the 2004–05 season. Pittodrie’s original tenants were the original Aberdeen club, a precursor to Aberdeen FC, having previously played their football at various venues within the city, a former dung hill for police horses was chosen by Aberdeen to be cleared and readied for football on 1 February 1899. The land was leased from Mr Knight Erskine of Pittodrie with an agreement to construct a terrace on what is now the site of the Richard Donald Stand. On 2 September 1899, the first game was played in the new home, known then as Pittodrie Park, on 15 August 1903,8000 spectators turned up to watch the new Aberdeen FC draw 1–1 against Stenhousemuir, the first game played at Pittodrie by its amalgamated tenants. Increasing popularity of the team and rising attendances lead to continued construction on Pittodrie, Aberdeen FC purchased the ground they had been leasing, with the final payment made on 1 December 1920. In 1925 the Main Stand, where the offices, dressing rooms. Also in the 1920s, the dugout was introduced to football by coach Donald Coleman, after the Second World War, the team won its first trophy, a Scottish Cup victory, and with increased success came more additions to Pittodrie. The record attendance occurred on 13 March 1954, when 45,061 spectators turned up for a Scottish Cup match between Aberdeen and Heart of Midlothian, floodlights were introduced at Pittodrie on 21 October 1959, when English league side Luton Town were beaten 3–2 in a friendly. By the 1 August 1968, the Main Stand had become all-seated as part of a £100,000 improvement of the ground and this coincided with a change of name from Pittodrie Park to Pittodrie Stadium. On 6 February 1971, a destroyed part of the Main Stand. The Scottish Cup – held by Aberdeen at the time – had to be rescued by firemen, in 1978, Pittodrie became the second all-seated stadium in Great Britain, after the south terracing was fitted with bench style seating. This improvement pre-dated the Taylor Report on British football grounds by a decade and coincided with an upturn in the fortunes of the home team. The south side became the South Stand in 1980, following the installation of a roof which covered most of the seats. A year later, the benches were replaced by individual seats, both during the subsequent run in the 1980s and at numerous other times over the century the stadium has been in operation, there have been many memorable nights for the local fans
Scottish Football Association
Members of the SFA include clubs in Scotland, affiliated national associations as well as local associations. It was formed in 1873, making it the second oldest national football association in the world and it is not to be confused with the Scottish Football Union, which is the name that the SRU was known by until the 1920s. The Scottish Football Association sits on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game, the SFA is also a member of FIFA and founder member of UEFA. It is based at Hampden Park in Glasgow, in addition, the Scottish Football Museum is located there. Furthermore, Kilmarnock sent a letter stating their willingness to join, one of the most prominent roles of the chief executive is to hire and dismiss Scotland national football team managers. There was also a team, but this was disbanded in 2008. In womens football, there is the full Scotland womens national team, under-19. The Scottish Football Association encourages quality of governance in football clubs through a system of club licence awards, all SFA member clubs are assessed annually in four areas and, if appropriate, awarded a licence at gold, silver, bronze or entry level. As of January 2015, gold-level licences have been awarded to two clubs, Celtic and Hibernian. All clubs in the Scottish Professional Football League are required to be licensed at entry level or above, this has been extended to the Highland Football League and Lowland Football League
Dundee United F.C.
Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian, the changed to the present name in 1923. United are nicknamed The Terrors or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs, the club has played in tangerine kits since the 1960s and have played at the present ground, Tannadice Park, since their foundation in 1909. United were founder members of the Scottish Premier League in 1998 and were ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure, United were relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, which is the second tier of the SPFL. Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion, the Scottish Cup twice, United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the UEFA Cup final in 1987, the club has a 100% record in four matches against Barcelona in competitive European ties. The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park and they were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and then relegated three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929. The club achieved little success until Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerrs team won promotion in his first season in charge and became established in the top flight, Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and his youth policy led to the most successful era in the clubs history. United won the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and 1980 and then the Premier Division title in 1982–83, the club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Cup Final. The latter featuring another elimination of Barcelona, despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won a FIFA Fair Play Award. McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman, United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLeans successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, returning a year later. Shortly after Leveins departure, the won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston. After several relatively successful seasons, a slump in form led to United being relegated in 2016, for a complete pictorial history of playing kit, see the Historical Football Kits site. After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the own in 1969 to give the club a brighter. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a friendly against Everton in August. When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts
Leeds United A.F.C
Leeds United Football Club is a professional association football club in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The club was formed in 1919 following the disbanding of Leeds City F. C. by the Football League and they play in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Leeds United have won three First Division league titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup, the club has also won two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups. The majority of the honours were won under the management of Don Revie in the 1960s and 1970s, Leeds lost the 1975 European Cup Final against Bayern Munich and reached the semi-finals of the tournaments successor, the Champions League, in 2001. Leeds play in all-white kits, leading to their nickname being the whites, the clubs badge features the White Rose of York together with the monogram LUFC. The clubs anthem is Marching On Together, Leeds Uniteds predecessor team, Leeds City, was formed in 1904, and were elected League members in 1905. At first they found it hard to draw big crowds to Elland Road, in 1919, Leeds United was formed and they received an invitation to enter the Midland League, being voted into it on 31 October, taking the place vacated by Leeds City Reserves. Following Leeds Citys disbanding, Yorkshire Amateurs bought their stadium Elland Road, Yorkshire Amateurs offered to make way for the new team under the management of former player Dick Ray. The chairman of Huddersfield Town, Hilton Crowther loaned Leeds United £35,000 and he brought in Barnsleys manager Arthur Fairclough and on 26 February 1920, Dick Ray stepped down to become Faircloughs assistant. On 31 May 1920, Leeds United were elected to the Football League, over the following few years, they consolidated their position in the Second Division and in 1924 won the title and with it promotion to the First Division. They failed to establish themselves and were relegated in 1926–27, after their relegation, Fairclough resigned, which paved the way for Ray to return as manager. In the years up until the start of World War II Leeds were twice relegated, on 5 March 1935, Ray resigned and was replaced by Billy Hampson, who remained in charge for 12 years. In the 1946–47 season after the war, Leeds were relegated again, after this season, Hampson resigned and was replaced in April 1947 by Willis Edwards. In 1948, Sam Bolton replaced Ernest Pullan as the chairman of Leeds United, Edwards was moved to assistant manager in April 1948 after just one year as manager. He was replaced by Major Frank Buckley, Leeds remained in the Second Division until 1955–56, when they once again won promotion to the First Division, inspired by John Charles. Charles was hungry for success at the highest level, and manager Raich Carter was unable to convince him that Leeds could satisfy his ambitions, Charles was sold to Juventus for a then world record of £65,000. The loss of Charles resulted in Leeds being relegated to the Second Division in the 1959–60 season, in March 1961, the club appointed former player Don Revie as manager, following the resignation of Jack Taylor. His stewardship began in adverse circumstances, the club was in financial difficulty, Revie implemented a youth policy and a change of kit colour to an all-white strip in the style of Real Madrid, and Leeds soon won promotion to the First Division in 1963–64
Highfield Road was a football stadium in the city of Coventry, England. It was the ground for Coventry City F. C. for 106 years. A concert by pop star Elton John was held at the stadium afterwards, the club then moved to the Ricoh Arena, at Foleshill in the north of the city. Highfield Road had one of the largest playing surfaces in the English leagues and was the English leagues first all-seater stadium, the stadiums record attendance was 51,455 when Coventry City played their West Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Football League Division 2 game in 1967. The stadium had by then been well-developed with one corner filled to provide a modern look. However, it lacked facilities compared to the new stadia of similar-sized clubs, another reason for relocation was that parking facilities in the local area were inadequate. When the stadium was first given the go-ahead in 1999, it had planned to build a 45. However, Englands failure to win the bid to host the tournament - combined with Coventrys relegation in 2001 - saw the stadiums capacity scaled down, Demolition work began in February 2006 and was completed by the end of the following month. The site of the stadium was regenerated by George Wimpey plc to provide housing on the areas which were originally the car parks, the area which was the playing surface was relaid with grass so that the local children can continue the tradition of playing football on that space. Redevelopment Stadium Guide Article Demolition of Highfield Road Photo Gallery
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
Football League Cup
The EFL Cup, or simply the League Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in mens domestic English football. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top domestic competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup. It concludes in February, long before the two, which end in May. It was introduced by the league as a response to the popularity of European football. It also took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games, with the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup from the 2016–17 season onwards. The tournament is played over seven rounds, with single leg ties throughout, the final is held at Wembley Stadium, it is the only tie in the competition played at a neutral venue and on a weekend. Entrants are seeded in the rounds, and a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one also being the original, the current holders are Manchester United, who beat Southampton 3–2 in the 2017 final to win their fifth League Cup. Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition. Many of the top English sides, Arsenal and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wengers claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as a pot worth winning. The original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs who had already knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous who came to implement it, the re-organisation of the league was not immediately forthcoming, however, the cup competition was introduced regardless. The trophy was paid for personally by Football League President Joe Richards, Richards was proud of the competition, Richards described the competitions formation as an interim step on the way to the leagues re-organisation. I hope the Press will not immediately assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else, the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game. The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling, the league had lost 1 million spectators compared to the previous season. It was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high, the biggest disagreement was how revenue was shared between the clubs. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights and this opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter
Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club is a professional association football club based in Sheffield, England. The team competes in the Championship, the tier of the English football league system. Formed as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club in 1867, in 1868 they won the Cromwell Cup, only the second tournament of its kind, and in 1877 they won the inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup, the oldest county cup in England. They were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, in 1992 they became founder members of the Premier League. The club has spent most of its history in English footballs top flight. The Owls, as they are nicknamed, have won four league titles, Wednesday have also competed in UEFA cup competitions on four occasions, reaching the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1963. Since 1899 the club has played its matches at Hillsborough stadium. Although no contemporary evidence has found to support the claim. Nevertheless, an 1842 article in Bells Life magazine states the club was founded as far back as 1816, the club was so named because it was on Wednesdays that the founding members had their day off work. They were initially based at the New Ground in Darnall, and often went by the name of Darnall Wednesday, in 1855 they were one of six clubs that helped build Bramall Lane, and held a wicket there for many years. The proposal proved very popular, with over 60 members signing up for the new team on the first night and they played their first match against The Mechanics on 19 October the same year, winning by three goals and four rouges to nil. On 1 February 1868, Wednesday played their first competitive match as they entered the Cromwell Cup. A week after their semi-final, they went on to win the cup, beating the Garrick club in the final after extra time, a key figure during the formative years of the football club was Charles Clegg, who joined the Wednesday in 1867. His relationship with the club lasted for the rest of his life and he also became president and chairman of the Football Association, and was known as the Napoleon of Football. In 1876 Wednesday acquired Scot James Lang, although he was not employed by the club, he was given a job by a member of the Sheffield Wednesday board that had no formal duties. He is now acknowledged as the first professional player in England. With Lang in their team the club became one of the strongest in the region. In 1880 the club entered the FA Cup for the first time, but although they had had Lang on their books a decade earlier, the club officially remained staunchly amateur, and this stance almost cost the club its very existence
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
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight