The FA Cup known as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world, it is named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is held, the FA Women's Cup; the competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League and the English Football League, several hundred "non-league" teams in Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12; the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the final. Entrants are not seeded, although a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in rounds – the minimum number of games needed to win, depending on which round a team enters the competition, ranges from six to fourteen.
The first six rounds are the Qualifying Competition, from which 32 teams progress to the first round of the Competition Proper, meeting the first of the 48 professional teams from Leagues One and Two. 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 reached the quarter-finals, teams below Level 2 have never reached the final; as a result, significant focus is given to those "minnows" who progress furthest if they achieve an unlikely "giant-killing" victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have been five actual cups. Winners qualify for the Europa League and a place in the FA Community Shield match. Chelsea are the current holders. Arsenal are the most successful club with 13 titles. Arsène Wenger is the most successful manager in the history of the competition, having won seven finals as manager of Arsenal. 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 FA Secretary C. W. Alcock proposed to the FA committee that "it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete"; the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, on 16 March 1872. Wanderers retained the trophy the following year; the modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, when qualifying rounds were introduced. Following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, 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. Due to the wartime breaks, the competition did not celebrate its centenary year until 1980–81.
Having 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 2001–2006 finals being played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff; 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 next six levels are eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup, FA Trophy or FA Vase competitions in the previous season. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and 2006–07, may not therefore play in the FA Cup in their first season. All clubs entering the competition must have a suitable stadium, it is rare for top clubs to miss the competition, although it can happen in exceptional circumstances.
Manchester United did not defend their title in 1999–2000, as they were in the inaugural Club World Championship. The club stated that entering both tournaments would overload their fixture schedule and make it more difficult to defend their Champions League and Premier League titles; the club claimed. The move benefited United as they received a two-week break and won the 1999–2000 league title by an 18-point margin, although they did not progress past the group stage of the Club World Championship; the withdrawal from the FA Cup, drew considerable criticism as this weakened the tournament's prestige and Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his regret regarding their handling of the situation. Welsh sides that play in English leagues are eligible, although since the creation of the League of Wales there are only six clubs remaining: Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County, Merthyr Town and Colwyn Bay. In the early years other teams from Wales, Ireland a
The SEC Centre is Scotland's largest exhibition centre, located in the district of Finnieston on the north bank of the River Clyde, Glasgow. It is one of the three main venues within the Scottish Event Campus. Since the opening of the original buildings in 1985, the complex has undergone two major expansions; the venue's holding company SEC Limited, is 91% owned by Glasgow City Council and 9% owned by private investors. It is best known for hosting concerts in Hall 4 and Hall 3; the Scottish Development Agency first supported the construction of an exhibition centre in Glasgow in 1979. A site at the former Queen's Dock on the north bank of the Clyde at Finnieston, which had closed to navigation in 1969, was selected. Land reclamation works started in 1982 using rubble from the demolished St Enoch railway station; the construction of the SECC buildings began on the site in 1983. The Main Building was completed and opened in 1985, with a concert by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Hall 1.
It held the Grand International Show in Hall 4 as part of the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. In 1990, the SECC was one of the hubs of Glasgow's year as European City of Culture, hosting concerts by Luciano Pavarotti, the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera and Bryan Adams. Upon its opening, the Centre gained its nickname from the local press and thus to general usage, "The Big Red Shed", owing to its outward appearance, which resembled a giant red painted warehouse; the nickname became redundant after the Main Building was painted grey in 1997. The SECC occupies 64 acres of land – most of, surface car parking space – and hosts numerous music concerts and professional conferences; the SECC has its own railway station, Exhibition Centre, on the Argyle Line of Glasgow's suburban railway network. The 16-storey Forum Hotel was opened on the site in 1989. In September 1996, a new 5,095 m2 exhibition hall, Hall 3, was opened. In May 1997, the conversion of Hall 1 into the Loch Suite conference venue was completed.
In 1995, construction began on a new building – the SEC Armadillo – to become part of the SECC complex. Designed by award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster and called "the armadillo" by Glaswegians, this new 3,000 capacity building was completed in 1997. In April 2004, the owners SEC Ltd again commissioned Foster and Partners to design a £562 million regeneration of the Queen's Dock area, under the name QD2 – so called as this is the second regeneration of the former Queen's Dock area since the centre's inception; this project incorporated SSE Hydro, a 12,500 seat, £50 million concert arena for the SECC, which opened in September 2013. The centre is to be served by the Clyde FastLink; the surface carparks to the West of the site will be sold for residential development and land to the east has been identified for commercial development. The venue hosted the Eurovision Dance Contest 2008; the SECC hosted the Girls' Day Out Show in 2009, 2010 and 2012. It staged The Scottish Golf Show in 2009 and 2010.
The venue annually stages the popular BBC Good Food Show. On 15 November 2015, it played host to Insane Championship Wrestling's biggest show of the year, Fear & Loathing VIII, the company's biggest sold out show to date, it was the biggest selling show in British wrestling history since Big Daddy fought Giant Haystacks at Wembley Arena in 1981. The SECC hosted the World Science Fiction convention twice, as Intersection, the 53rd World Science Fiction convention in 1995, Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in 2005. Irish pop band Westlife were honored at this venue with four specially commissioned bar stools which will be a permanent fixture at the venue; this marks an amazing 49 performances at SECC where they entertained over 380,000 fans over the years selling more tickets than any other act. TicketSOUP web site Aerial Map of SECC Google Satellite Image of SECC and surrounding area Queen's Dock regeneration project SECC National Arena project details – Clyde Waterfront regeneration Scotland's National Arena Plans for the new Arena Arena page at Foster & Partners Link to the Architects of the new Arena BBC report on failed Casino bid Painting of SECC re-envisioned as a spaceport by Jim Burns Painting of SECC re-envisioned as a spacecraft by Frank Wu The Good Food Show at SECC venue of Glasgow by Giuseppe Polli
Reading is a large minster town in Berkshire, England, of which it is now the county town. It is in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway. Reading is 70 miles east of Bristol, 24 miles south of Oxford, 40 miles west of London, 14 miles north of Basingstoke, 12 miles south-west of Maidenhead and 15 miles east of Newbury as the crow flies; the first evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century. It was an important trading and ecclesiastical centre in the medieval period, as the site of Reading Abbey, one of the richest monasteries of medieval England with strong royal connections, of which the 12th century abbey gateway and significant ruins remain. By 1525, Reading was the largest town in Berkshire, tax returns show that Reading was the 10th largest town in England when measured by taxable wealth; the town was affected by the English Civil War, with a major siege and loss of trade, played a pivotal role in the Revolution of 1688, with that revolution's only significant military action fought on the streets of the town.
The 18th century saw the beginning of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade for which Reading was to become famous. The 19th century saw the coming of the Great Western Railway and the development of the town's brewing and seed growing businesses. During that period, the town grew as a manufacturing centre. Today, Reading is a major commercial centre, with involvement in information technology and insurance, despite its proximity to London, has a net inward commuter flow, it is ranked the UK's top economic area for economic success and wellbeing, according to factors such as employment, health and skills. Reading is a major regional retail centre serving a large area of the Thames Valley, is home to the University of Reading; every year it hosts one of England's biggest music festivals. Sporting teams based in Reading include Reading Football Club and the London Irish rugby union team, over 15,000 runners annually compete in the Reading Half Marathon. In the 2011 census, the urban area around Reading had an estimated population of 318,014, making it one of the largest towns in the UK without city status.
The Borough of Reading has a population of 163,100. It is represented in Parliament by two members, has been continuously represented there since 1295. For ceremonial purposes the town is in the county of Berkshire and has served as its county town since 1867 sharing this status with Abingdon-on-Thames. Reading may date back to the Roman occupation of Britain as a trading port for Calleva Atrebatum. However, the first clear evidence for Reading as a settlement dates from the 8th century, when the town came to be known as Readingum; the name comes from the Readingas, an Anglo-Saxon tribe whose name means Reada's People in Old English, or less the Celtic Rhydd-Inge, meaning Ford over the River. In late 870, an army of Danes set up camp at Reading. On 4 January 871, in the first Battle of Reading, King Ethelred and his brother Alfred the Great attempted unsuccessfully to breach the Danes' defences; the battle is described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, that account provides the earliest known written record of the existence of Reading.
The Danes remained in Reading until late in 871, when they retreated to their winter quarters in London. After the Battle of Hastings and the Norman conquest of England, William the Conqueror gave land in and around Reading to his foundation of Battle Abbey. In its 1086 Domesday Book listing, the town was explicitly described as a borough; the presence of six mills is recorded: four on land belonging to the king and two on the land given to Battle Abbey. Reading Abbey was founded in 1121 by Henry I, buried within the Abbey grounds; as part of his endowments, he gave the abbey his lands in Reading, along with land at Cholsey. It is not known how badly Reading was affected by the Black Death that swept through England in the 14th century, but it is known that the abbot of Reading Abbey, Henry of Appleford, was one of its victims in 1361, that nearby Henley lost 60% of its population; the Abbey was destroyed in 1538 during Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. The last abbot, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was subsequently tried and convicted of high treason and hanged and quartered in front of the Abbey Church.
By 1525, Reading was the largest town in Berkshire, tax returns show that Reading was the 10th largest town in England when measured by taxable wealth. By 1611, it had a population of over 5000 and had grown rich on its trade in cloth, as instanced by the fortune made by local merchant John Kendrick. Reading played an important role during the English Civil War. Despite its fortifications, it had a Royalist garrison imposed on it in 1642; the subsequent Siege of Reading by Parliamentary forces succeeded in April 1643. The town's cloth trade was badly damaged, the town's economy did not recover until the 20th century. Reading played a significant role during the Revolution of 1688: the second Battle of Reading was the only substantial military action of the campaign; the 18th century saw the beginning of a major iron works in the town and the growth of the brewing trade for which Reading was to become famous. Reading's trade benefited from better designed turnpike roads which helped it establish its location on the major coaching routes from London to Oxford and the West Country.
In 1723, despite considerable local opposition, the Kennet Navigation opened the River Kennet to boats as far as Newbury. O
Hǎikǒu is the capital and most populous city of Hainan province, China. It is situated by the mouth of the Nandu River; the northern part of the city is the district of Haidian Island, separated from the main part of Haikou by the Haidian River, a branch of the Nandu. Administratively, Haikou is a prefecture-level city, comprising four districts, covering 2,280 square kilometres. There are 2,046,189 inhabitants in the built up area all living within the 4 urban districts of the city. Haikou was a port city. Today, more than half of the island's total trade still goes through its ports; the city is home to Hainan University. The hanzi characters comprising the city's name, 海口, mean mouth/port, respectively. Thus, the name "Haikou" is a word for "seaport" - similar to Portsmouth in England. Haikou served as the port for Qiongshan, the ancient administrative capital of Hainan island, located some 5 km inland to the south east. During its early history Haikou was a part of Guangdong province. In the 13th century it became a military post under the Ming dynasty.
The port is located west of the mouth of Hainan's principal river. When Qiongshan was opened to foreign trade under the Treaty of Tianjin in 1858, Haikou started to rival the old administrative city, it was known internationally based on the local dialect. In 1926, Haikou overtook Qiongshan in population and it was declared a separate administrative city. Haikou was developed as a port during the Sino-Japanese War when the Japanese invaded and occupied Hainan Island from early 1939 to 1945; the city and island of Hainan stayed under the control of the Nationalists until April 1950, when it fell to the Communists during the Landing Operation on Hainan Island. Since 1949, Haikou has maintained its position as Hainan's main port, handling more than half of the island's total trade, it has replaced Qiongshan as the island's administrative capital. In 1988, Haikou was made a prefecture-level city as well as the capital of the newly created Hainan Province. Haikou old town contains the oldest buildings in the city and was built by wealthy Chinese from the mainland and some "overseas Chinese" who had returned to their homeland.
The houses are a mixture of styles including Portuguese and Southeast Asian. The streets used to be divided into different areas selling Chinese and western medicine, for silk and bespoke clothes, one for fresh fish and meat, others for the sale of incense, paper and other goods. Various projects are under discussion to decide the best way to restore and preserve these historical buildings. Haikou is situated on the north coast of Hainan Island, by Haikou Bay, facing the Leizhou Peninsula across the Qiongzhou Strait that stretches west from Beibu Bay near Vietnam to the James Shoal bordering the South China Sea to the west. Most of the city is completely flat and only a few metres above sea level, it has an area of 2,304.84 km2. The Meishe River winds through the east side of the city flowing northward to the Haidian River; the northern part of Haikou City, the district of Haidian Island, is separated from the main part of Haikou by the Haidian River, a tributary of the Nandu River. The district is accessed by one of four bridges, the largest being Haikou Century Bridge, which connects the Guomao district with Haidian Island at the estuary of the Haidian River.
From east to west the remaining three road connections are provided by the Renmin and Xinbu Bridges. Directly to the northeast of Haikou and to the east of Haidian Island is Xinbu Island. Further information: Hainan#Annual fogHaikou is on the northern edge of the torrid zone, is part of the Intertropical Convergence Zone. April to October is the active period for tropical storms and typhoons, most of which occur between August and September. May to October is the rainy season with the heaviest rainfall occurring in September. Despite its location 378 km south of the Tropic of Cancer, the city has a humid subtropical climate, falling just short of a tropical climate, with strong monsoonal influences; as of 2018, Haikou has the second best air quality among major cities nationally, preceded only by Lhasa, Tibet. However, since 2009, due to an increase in the number of automobiles, there has been somewhat worsening air pollution. According to the 2005 statistical book issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, Haikou scored the highest among China's main cities in air quality, with 366 days of ambient air quality equal to or above grade II, with only 0.033 milligrams/m2 of particulate matter, 0.003 milligrams/m2 of sulphur dioxide, 0.013 milligrams/m2 of nitrogen dioxide.
In 1995, the Haikou city government began an initiative to improve the quality of life for its residents. With the approval of the World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, a ten-point plan was undertaken to address such issues as: Community health care Vaccinations for children Waste recycling Green belts and urban trees Environmentally friendly construction Public toilets Sewage treatment Communications Noise pollutionThe groundwater is of international standard, is classified as mineral water. By 2004, the city had established 43 new community health service centers reaching 85 percent of the population; the initiative has increased the size of Haikou's green spaces to 2,000 hectares, with trees lining 40 percent of its roads. Noise pollution has d
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player. He made his first breakthrough into the top professional ranks in the 2006/2007 season, he won the 2010 World Championship and was the world number one in the same year, a ranking that he attained again in 2013 and 2014. Robertson is the only Australian to have won a ranking event, was undefeated in his first six televised finals. Robertson is one of twelve players to win both the world and UK titles, one of ten to win the Triple Crown of World Championship, UK Championship and Masters; as a prolific break-builder, Robertson has compiled more than 600 century breaks in professional competition. During the 2013/2014 season he became the first player to make 100 centuries in a single season. Robertson is considered Australia's best snooker player, as well as one of the best players from outside the United Kingdom in the sport's history, he plays left-handed. Robertson began his snooker career at 14, when he became the youngest player to make a century break in an Australian ranking event.
He began his professional career in the 1998/1999 season. When he was 17 years old, he reached the third qualifying round of the 1999 World Championship. In July 2003, Robertson won the World Under-21 Snooker Championship in New Zealand; this earned him a vital wildcard spot on the subsequent WPBSA Main Tour. In 2003, he won the qualifying tournament for a wildcard place at the 2004 Masters, where he subsequently lost 2–6 to Jimmy White in the first round. In 2004/2005 season, he moved up to the top 32 in the rankings, reaching the final stages of 6 of the 8 tournaments, despite having to play at least 2 qualifying matches for each one, he qualified for the final stages of the 2005 World Championship, losing 7–10 to Stephen Hendry in the first round. In the 2005/2006 season, he continued to progress, moving up to the top 16 of the rankings at the end of the season, he reached 4 quarter-finals in the season, including the 2006 World Championships, in which he fought back from 8–12 down to level at 12–12 against eventual champion Graeme Dott, before losing the final frame by inadvertently potting the final pink, which he needed on the table in his attempts to snooker the Scotsman.
He made his breakthrough in the 2006/2007 season. After finishing top of his group at the 2006 Grand Prix's round robin stage, Robertson beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–1 in the quarter-finals of the event. So he went on to the semi-finals, being only the fourth Australian to do so in a ranking event, he beat Alan McManus 6–2 in the semis, to reach his first major final, where he faced a fellow first-time finalist, the unseeded Jamie Cope, whom he beat comfortably by 9–5 to win his first professional ranking tournament. The win earned Robertson £60,000, his highest amount of money earned in one tournament. Robertson had early exits in both the UK Championship and the Masters, but found his form again en route to the final of the Welsh Open, he defeated Stephen Hendry 5–3, making a break of 141 in the last frame recovered from 4–3 down to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–4 in the quarter-finals. He beat Steve Davis 6–3 in the semi-finals, surprise finalist Andrew Higginson 9–8 in the final to take the title.
He led 6–2 after the first session dropped six frames in a row to come within one frame of defeat, but took the remaining three frames to win the match. He reached the second round of the 2007 World Championship, losing 10–13 to Ronnie O'Sullivan despite at one stage winning six frames in a row. Robertson started 2007/2008 season poorly, making early exits in three of the first four ranking events, plus the 2008 Masters and 2008 Malta Cup, he did reach the quarter-finals of the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy after wins over Jamie Cope and Ian McCulloch. He finished. After a disappointing start to the 2008/2009 season, Robertson reached the final of the 2008 Bahrain Championship, where he played Matthew Stevens; the match lasted 6 hours in total, with the Australian edging it 9–7. During the 2009 Masters Robertson and opponent Stephen Maguire set a record of 5 consecutive century breaks. Robertson made 2 centuries, Maguire made 3, with the 3rd sealing a 6–3 win over the Australian. At the 2009 World Championship Robertson defeated Steve Davis, Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time, before losing to Shaun Murphy 14–17.
In October 2009, Robertson clinched the 2009 Grand Prix trophy in Glasgow with a 9–4 win over China's Ding Junhui in the final. His semi-final match with defending champion John Higgins was won on the final black of the deciding frame. Robertson's fourth title made him the most successful player from outside the UK and Ireland in ranking tournaments, although Ding equalled his total at that season's UK Championship, he achieved his 100th career century during the 2009 Grand Prix. On 1 April 2010, Robertson made the first official maximum break of his career in his second round match in the 2010 China Open against Peter Ebdon. At the 2010 World Championship, Robertson defeated Fergal O'Brien 10–5 in the first round. In his second round match against Martin Gould Robertson trailed 0–6 and 5–11 before recovering to win the match 13–12. In the quarter-finals he defeated Steve Davis 13–5, he faced Ali Carter in the semi-finals. There he defeated 2006 champion Graeme Dott 18–13 to become only the third player from outside the UK, the first Australian, to become world champion in the modern era of the game.
The win took him to a career-
Marco Fu Ka-chun, MH, JP is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He won the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, was the runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship and the 2011 Masters, he won the 2013 Australian Goldfields Open and the 2016 Scottish Open and was runner-up in the 2013 German Masters and 2013 International Championship. In addition, Fu reached the semi-finals of the World Championship twice – in 2006 and in 2016. Fu's career high world ranking is fifth, achieved in 2017; as a prolific break-builder, Fu has compiled 500 century breaks in professional competition, including four maximum 147 breaks. He resides in London. Fu started playing snooker at the age of nine, but did not start playing until he was 15. Fu was born in Hong Kong and migrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his parents at the age of 12. After his high school graduation at age 18, Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council Co. Ltd President Joseph Lo invited him to return to Hong Kong to begin his career as a professional snooker player.
Before turning professional, Fu won the World Amateur and World Under-21 Championships, both in 1997. In 1998, the year he turned professional, Fu reached the final of the Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan and Peter Ebdon in the process. An in-form Stephen Lee proved too strong for Fu in the final, defeating him 9–2, but Fu rose through the rankings, reaching number 15 in the world for the 2000/01 season; when he first turned professional, he was ranked 377th in the world. During the rest of the 1998/99 season, Fu qualified for four more ranking tournaments, including the World Championship, winning four qualifying matches before losing to James Wattana 8–10 in the first round of the main draw, he was voted WPBSA Newcomer of the Year and WSA Young Player of the Year in 1999. Tipped by many pundits as a potential champion of the game, Fu's subsequent performance was disappointing, he slid back down the rankings. In the 1999/2000 season, with Fu now ranked 35 in the world, he received automatic entry into the main draw of most of the ranking tournaments.
Although he failed to repeat the success of reaching the final of the Grand Prix, he made a credible run to the quarter finals before losing to Allister Carter. Other achievements of note include reaching semi finals of the Malta Grand Prix and the Scottish Open. In the 2000/2001 season Fu was ranked 15th in the world, his first appearance in the top 16. However, a succession of defeats in the last 16, a first round defeat in the World Championship to Chris Small, saw him fall out of the top 16 for next season. In the 2001/02 season Fu's best result was a last 16 appearance at the LG Cup, he failed to qualify for three ranking events, including the World Championship, and, as a result, his ranking fell to 27 for the following season, his lowest in two seasons. The 2002/2003 season brought better luck for Fu, although prior to the Welsh Open his best result was reaching the third round of the UK Championship in December 2002, where he was defeated 9–7 by Ronnie O'Sullivan. However, at the Welsh Open in February 2003, he produced a run to the semi finals.
Fu whitewashed Stephen Lee 5–0 in the second round and beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–3 in the quarter-finals, before losing his semi-final 6–4 to Stephen Hendry, who went on to win the title. Going into the 2003 World Championship three months after first round losses at the European and Scottish Open suggested he would not go far in the tournament as his first round opponent was world No. 1 and runaway favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan. Fu reached the first of his two World Championship quarter-finals to date. In what Snooker Scene magazine described as "one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game", the unseeded 25-year-old overcame the odds to defeat O'Sullivan in their first round clash. Fu dominated this match from the outset. Fu subsequently eliminated Alan McManus 13–7 in the second round before losing 7–13 to Stephen Lee in his quarter-final match. In 2003, Fu won his first title since turning professional in the invitational Premier League, beating Mark Williams 9–5 in the final in Sunderland.
This was the first time. As a result of his run to the quarter finals of the World Championship the previous season, he climbed up to number 19 for the 2003/2004 season; this meant. He qualified for all the ranking tournaments except the World Championship, his best results including a third round loss to Michael Holt in the LG Cup and reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Open, beating Liu Song, Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry before succumbing to Steve Davis. After a consistent 2003/2004 season, he regained a top 16 position for 2004/2005 season, ranked 16; the following season was less consistent, although he qualified for all tournaments except the Malta Cup, his best result was a quarter-final loss to Ding Junhui at the China Open. He finished; the 2005/2006 season did not look better either, a series of first round defeats saw him provisionally drop out of the top 32. However, he had a good run at the 2006 World Championship, beating three seeded players – Alan McManus 10–3, Stephen Maguire 13–4, Ken Doherty 13–10 – to reach the semi-finals, where he lost to world no.7 and 2002 World Champion Peter Ebdon 16–17.
In that match, Fu was 9–15 down with only one session left to play, but won seven out of the next eight frames to send th
Preston Guild Hall
Preston Guild Hall is an entertainment venue in Preston, England. It was built to replace the town's Public Hall, intended to be ready for the Preston Guild of 1972, but construction was delayed and it opened in 1973; the complex has two performance venues, the Grand Hall which holds 2,034 people and the Charter Theatre which holds 780 people. There is direct pedestrian access, via footbridge, from the adjacent Preston bus station and car park. Artists that have performed at the venue include Morrissey, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Jackson 5, Thin Lizzy and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel among others, it hosted the UK Snooker Championship for the years 1977-1997. Until July 2014, it was owned by Preston City Council, who were considering its demolition due to its high running costs, it was sold to local businessman Simon Rigby, who has promised to spend £1m to renovate the venue