England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, the Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east, the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain in its centre and south, and includes over 100 smaller islands such as the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Wight. England became a state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the worlds first industrialised nation, Englands terrain mostly comprises low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there are uplands in the north and in the southwest, the capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland through another Act of Union to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the name England is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means land of the Angles. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages, the Angles came from the Angeln peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as Engla londe, is in the ninth century translation into Old English of Bedes Ecclesiastical History of the English People. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars, it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. An alternative name for England is Albion, the name Albion originally referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus, specifically the 4th century BC De Mundo, in it are two very large islands called Britannia, these are Albion and Ierne. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, the word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins. Albion is now applied to England in a poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago, Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years
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
Hellenic Football League
There is also one team each from Hampshire and Northamptonshire The league was established in 1953. In the 2000–01 season the Hellenic League absorbed the Chiltonian League and now has a Premier Division, Division One East, Division One West and three divisions for reserve teams. In the 2006–07 season the Hellenic League absorbed the Banbury District, starting with the 2004–05 re-organisation the Hellenic League became a step 5 and 6 league in the National League System. Premier Division clubs play at Step 5 level, which offers progression to the Southern Football League Division One for Premier Division winners who have the required ground status. Acceptance to HL Division One is also offered to teams playing in the various Step 7 County Leagues of the related Hellenic League area,50 teams play in the Hellenic Premier and Division Ones. 18 teams play at Veterans level The league started with only a Premier Division, for the 1971–72 season, Division One was split into Division One A and Division One B. The following season, Division One A and B were merged, after the 1999–2000 season, Division One was regionalised into East and West. The Hellenic League football cups are the Floodlit Cup, the Supplementary Cup and the Challenge Cup
English football league system
There are more than 140 individual leagues, containing more than 480 divisions. As there are no definitions of any level below 11, any references to the structure at level 12. The pyramid for womens football in England runs separately to nine tiers, the Football League was created in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. It was dominated by clubs who had supported professionalism. The twelve founding members consisted of six from Lancashire and six from the Midlands, no sides from the South including London initially participated. The system consists of a pyramid of leagues, bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation. A certain number of the most successful clubs in each league can rise to a higher league, in addition to sporting performance, promotion is usually contingent on meeting criteria set by the higher league, especially concerning appropriate facilities and finances. In theory it is possible for a local amateur club to rise to the pinnacle of the English game and become champions of the Premier League. While this may be unlikely in practice, there certainly is significant movement within the pyramid, the top five levels contain one division each and are nationwide in scope. Below this, the levels have progressively more leagues, with each covering progressively smaller geographic areas. Many leagues have more than one division, at the lower levels the existence of leagues becomes intermittent, although in some of the more densely populated areas there are leagues more than twenty layers below the Premier League. Clubs from these leagues may, if they feel they meet the standard of play and have suitable facilities. The seven levels immediately below the Premier League and English Football League are known as the National League System, in May 2014 The Football Association announced provisional plans for a new division between the English Football League and the National League which would include B teams of higher level clubs. The English football league system does not include the version of the game often called Sunday league football. These leagues are independent entities with no promotion or relegation involving the football pyramid, however, some Sunday League clubs have been known to join pyramid leagues if they desire to progress higher. There are also some Saturday leagues such as the Lincolnshire League which are not officially part of the pyramid, at the top is the single division of the Premier League, containing 20 clubs, all of which, up to the 2010–11 season, were based in England. Below the Premier League is the English Football League, which is divided into three divisions of 24 clubs each, The Championship, League One and League Two, the 92 clubs in the Premier League and English Football League are all full-time professional clubs. They are often referred to as League clubs because, before the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, clubs outside this group are referred to as non-League clubs, although they too play most of their football in league-type competitions
Combined Counties Football League
It has two non-reserve divisions and its top division sits at Step 5 of the National League System. The league was formed on 18 June 1978 when the Surrey Senior League underwent a metamorphosis in order to try to attract clubs from outside the county. The new league was called the Home Counties League but there was an objection to the title from the Home Counties Conference so, in 1979. Between 1982 and 2003 the league was half of its present size so a league existed below. Replicating football league terminology nationally, the teams in 2003 became an upper division. Division One is fed by the leagues at Step 7 of the National League System such as the Surrey Elite Intermediate League, the Middlesex County League, the Premier Challenge Cup is competed for by the teams in both divisions. The current holders are Farnham Town, the Division One cup is held by Worcester Park. The League organises the Grant McLellan Youth Cup for current and ex-member clubs who have teams playing in the under 18 age group in other leagues, the current holders are Bedfont Sports Under 18s. The league has had a succession of title sponsors, currently Cherry Red Records are the League and Premier Challenge Cup sponsors. Their RPM Records offshoot sponsors the Division One Challenge Cup, for the 1978–79 season the league was known as the Home Counties League. For the 1981–82 season the league expanded to two divisions, for the 1982–83 season the league reverted to a single division. For the 2003–04 season Division One was added formed mainly of clubs from the Surrey County Senior League, notes on location where name is not one town References Official site League Mitoo pages The FA – Full Time – League Page
National League System
The National League System comprises the seven levels of the English football league system immediately below the level of the Premier League and the English Football League. It contains 84 league competitions and more than 1,600 clubs and it comes under the jurisdiction of The Football Association. The National League System has a format with promotion and relegation between leagues at different levels. For details of leagues above and below the National League System, the system underwent a rearrangement from 2004 to 2008. Phase one went into operation in 2004–05, at the start of the 2006–07 season, phase two was introduced, and a further phase three started from 2007–08 with the starting of a second Step 4 league in the north of England. At the top of the National League System pyramid is the National League and its top division, also called the National League, is the only division in the System which is organised on a national rather than regional basis. Although the National League is the top level of the non-league pyramid, below the National League, the layers have progressively more leagues and cover ever smaller geographical areas. Some leagues have more than one division, at the lower levels the existence of leagues becomes intermittent, although in some areas there are as many as twenty layers. All the leagues are bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation, clubs that are successful in their league can rise higher in the pyramid, whilst those that finish at the bottom can find themselves sinking further down. In theory it is possible for a local amateur club to rise to the pinnacle of the English game and become champions of the Premier League. While this may be unlikely in practice, there certainly is significant movement within the pyramid, in particular, clubs that hope to be promoted from Step 5 leagues to Step 4 must apply in advance to be assessed for whether they meet the grading requirements. The teams must then also finish in the top 3 in their league to be considered for promotion, which is not automatic. For instance, in the 2005–06 season 100 clubs applied to be considered for promotion, of which 51 met the grading requirements, under the direction of The Football Association, the National League System evolved over many years. Todays pyramid can be said to be twenty years old. Leagues have formed and dissolved over the years and reorganisations have taken every few years as a result. The Conference North and South have since renamed the National League North and South. This table includes the seven steps of the National League System, above the NLS are the Premier League and the English Football League. Two teams from the National League can be promoted to EFL League Two at the end of each season and this structure was the result of changes made after the 2005–06 season
Highmoor Ibis F.C.
Highmoor Ibis Football Club is a football club, who are currently members of the Hellenic League Premier Division who play their home games at the Rivermoor Stadium in Reading. The chairman is Martin Law, the manager is Marcus Richardson, the club in its first season in the Hellenic League gained promotion to the Premier Division by finishing as runners up in Division One East. In the 2012-13 season the club made their debut in the FA Vase losing their first ever game in the competition 3-1 to Wokingham & Emmbrook, after leaving Scours Lane in 2011, Highmoor Ibis started playing their home games at Palmer Park Sport Stadium. The ground has a 780 capacity stand and floodlights, after some much-needed improvements, Highmoor Ibis returned to Scours Lane for the 2016-17 season. In the summer of 2016, the club renamed Scours Lane to The Rivermoor Stadium, Highmoor Ibis played their first match at their newly renamed stadium against Bagshot Lea. The Moor won the match 2-1, with Mo Davies becoming the first player to score at The Rivermoor Stadium, the ground has a capacity of 2,000, with a 162 seated stand. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality
Marlow United F.C.
Marlow United Football Club is a football club based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England. They were established in 1977 and were among the members of the Reading Football League in 1989. They are currently members of the Thames Valley Premier League Premier Division, the club was formed in 1977 and started in division 5 of the Wycombe & District Football League for the 1977–78 season. The following season they were promoted to the division. Marlow then joined the Pages East Berks Football League for the 1979–80 season, United returned to the Wycombe League in 1982–83, playing in the First Division. They remained in the First division until they were promoted as champions to the Senior Division in the 1984–85 season, for the 1987–88 season United decided to leave the Wycombe & District Football League to join the Premier Division of the then Reading & District Football League. One season later United won promotion as runners up to the senior division, Marlow United became joint founder members of this league. In 2004–05 they went on to become the side from Buckinghamshire to ever win the Reading Football League championship. Although United were to lose 2–1 in the round they still earned the accolade of FA Vase team of the round for their giant killing exploits over Bournemouth FC. The 2007–08 season saw United make their first ever appearance in the FA Cup, a 2–1 defeat to Cove, with the return to the Reading league United also moved to playing their games at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre. The following season the Club gained promotion to the Senior Division of the Reading league and have remained there since, Marlow United now play at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Bisham Village, Marlow Road, Bisham, Marlow, SL7 1RR. Their highest attendance was 161 at their old ground of Wilks Park. A
Newbury Football Club are a football club based in Newbury, Berkshire, England. They are currently members of the Thames Valley Premier League Premier Division, Newbury was originally formed in 2002 as the Saturday side for A. F. C. Newbury and entered into the Reading League Division 4, winning it in its debut season, in the next two years, the club had won successive promotions and this culminated in arriving in Division 1 of the Reading League. They joined the Hellenic Football League league in 2008 and started in Division one east, Newbury became champions of Division one east in the 2011–12 season and won promotion to the Premier Division. At the end of the 2014–15 season the club resigned from the Hellenic league for financial reasons, Newbury play their home games at Faraday Road, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2AD. The club has played at Faraday Road since 1963
Taplow United F.C.
Taplow United Football Club is a football club based in the village of Taplow, in the county of Buckinghamshire, England. They were founded in 1923 and offer football for boys and girls across all age groups from Under 7 to Under 18 plus 3 senior mens sides, the mens first team currently compete in the Thames Valley Premier League Premier Division and play at the Stanley Jones Memorial Ground. The football club was formed, by pupils of Slough Secondary School in 1923 and were originally called Old Paludians. In the 1994–95 season the club joined division one of the Chiltonian League, in 1998 the club then changed its name to Taplow United. In 2000 the Chiltonian league merged into the Hellenic Football League, in the 2004–05 season the club moved to the Reading League. Taplow United play their games at Stanley Jones Memorial Ground, Berry Hill, Taplow. The club has played here since 1955, previously having played at Lascelles Road, Slough Town Challenge CupWinners 1994–95 Runners-up 1995–96 Official website
Wokingham & Emmbrook F.C.
Wokingham & Emmbrook F. C. are a football club based in Wokingham, Berkshire, England. The club was formed in 2004, as a merger of Wokingham Town and their nickname is The Satsumas, a reference to the teams colours. They currently play in the Hellenic League Division One East, the club was formed in 2004 when Wokingham Town Merged with Emmbrook Sports. Among their former players were Darren Barnard, Terry Brown, Paul Bence, established in 1989, Emmbrook Sports had a much more modest history, being long-term members of the Reading League. Wokingham & Emmbrook started in Division one east of the Hellenic Football League for the 2004–05 season, in November 2007, Wokingham Borough Council submitted a planning application to improve the facilities at Wokingham & Emmbrooks Cantley Park home. This would include a small stand accommodating 250 people and also flood lighting, at the end of the 2008–09 season the club won its first silverware by picking up the Reading Senior Cup with a 3–0 win over Woodley Town at the Madjeski stadium. At the start of the 2011–12 season the club made its debut in the FA Cup reaching the First Qualifying round, during October 2011 Woodley Town announced plans to join forces with Wokingham and Emmbrook to create a super-club for the region. However the plan was not fully confirmed, on 22 May 2012 Wokingham and Emmbrook F. C. won the Reading Senior Cup 2012 defeating Highmoor Ibis 3–1 at the Madejski Stadium On 21 May 2013 Wokingham and Emmbrook F. C. As a result of great form, in the end of the season Wokingham ended up 2nd place in the Hellenic Division One East. On 15 May 2014 Wokingham were able to retain the Reading Senior Cup for the 3rd season running with an emphatic 5–0 win against local rivals Finchampstead at the Madejski Stadium. In May 2015 the Sumas won the Reading Senior Cup for the 4th time on the bounce, the season was a historic one for Wokingham & Emmbrook, winning the Hellenic Division One east securing their first ever league title. Wokingham and Emmbrook play their games at Lowther Road, Wokingham, Berkshire. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Woodley United F.C.
Woodley United F. C. is a football club based in Woodley, Berkshire, England. The club can trace its history back to 1904 although it is thought that it existed in the 19th century, currently it is a member of the Hellenic League Division One East having won promotion by winning the Reading Football League Senior Division in the 2008–09 season. Each of the clubs ran teams at a single age group in isolation of one another. They were formed at U12 level and played in the Bracknell Boys League, the name Woodley Hammers came as a result of the kit that Brian obtained for the boys to play in – an old West Ham United kit. The club has grew continuously throughout the years and celebrated its Silver Jubilee in February 1999, Woodley Hammers Football Club had teams ranging from U7 to U18 and senior mens teams. Those children were given the chance to continue to represent the club at older levels and become more and more successful in winning local competitions. Winning was not always the aim for the club, it was more about participating in an enjoyable atmosphere at a friendly club. The efforts of the club to local football are dedicated to all members past and present. The club forged an association with The Bulmershe School, Woodley who are a specialist school for sport. Woodley Hammers were best known for their annual small sided tournament which was held at The Bulmershe School. The tournament continues to run under Woodley United FC, Woodley Town FC was formed in 1904 and competed in the Wargrave & District League. The club achieved in the 1909–10 season the ‘double’ of Champions, fourteen seasons later in the 1923–24 season they won the Reading Junior Cup. The club were the last team to win the Wargrave and District League in the 1926–27 season, with the club in the Reading & District League they had to wait 31 years until the 1957–58 season to win any Silverware by winning the Premier Division. They then won it the season afterwards but would have to wait thirty years to win anything again. However, an exodus of players saw the First Team fold mid season leaving just the Division four team in operation, the club won Division four that season and Division three the following season. However it took the club another five season to gain promotion to Division one kennet when they finished as runners-up in Division two kennet in the 1997–98 campaign, during their time in Division Two the Club also changed their name from Woodley to Woodley Town. In their first two seasons in Division one Kennet the club won the Reading Evening Post Junior Cup in 1999, a season later in the 2000–01 campaign the club gained promotion to the Reading League premier Division as runners-up. Next Season the club gained promotion to the Senior Division but could only last a season at the top, however the club bounced back up the next season and then managed to stay in the Senior Division