Sie sind auf Seite 1von 17

History of football in England

The History of English football is a long and detailed

one, as it is not only the national sport but England was
where the game was developed and codied. The modern global game of Football was rst codied in 1863 in
London. The impetus for this was to unify English public school and university football games. There is evidence for refereed, team football games being played in
English schools since at least 1581. An account of an
exclusively kicking football game from Nottinghamshire
in the 15th century bears similarity to football. England
can boast the earliest ever documented use of the English
word football (1409) and the earliest reference to the
sport in French (1314). England is home to the oldest
football clubs in the world (dating from at least 1857),
the worlds oldest competition (the FA Cup founded in
1871) and the rst ever football league (1888). For these
reasons England is considered the home of the game of

on behalf of the king, on pain of imprisonment, such

game to be used in the city in the future.
In 1409 King Henry IV of England gives us the rst
documented use of the English word football when issued a proclamation forbidding the levying of money for
At the end of the 15th century comes the earliest description of a football game. This account in Latin of a football
game contains a number of features of modern football
and comes from Cawston, Nottinghamshire, England. It
is included in a manuscript collection of the miracles of
King Henry VI of England. Although the precise date
is uncertain it certainly comes from between 1481 and
1500. This is the rst account of an exclusively kicking
game and the rst description of dribbling: "[t]he game
at which they had met for common recreation is called by
some the foot-ball game. It is one in which young men,
in country sport, propel a huge ball not by throwing it into
the air but by striking it and rolling it along the ground,
and that not with their hands but with their feet ... kicking
in opposite directions The chronicler gives the earliest
reference to a football eld, stating that: "[t]he boundaries have been marked and the game had started.[3]

12001800: Pre-codication

Main article: Medieval football

In 1526 comes the rst record of a pair of football boots

occurs when Henry VIII of England ordered a pair from
the Great Wardrobe in 1526.[4] The boots are no longer
in existence.

Footballs roots in England has been found in Medieval

football, which was played annually on Shrovetide. It is
suggested that this game was derived from those played
in Brittany and Normandy, and could have been brought
to England in the Norman Conquest. These games were
violent and largely ruleless. As a result, they were often

In 1581 comes the earliest account of football as an organised team sport. Richard Mulcaster, a student at Eton
College in the early 16th century and later headmaster at
other English schools provides the earliest references to
England is the origin of nearly all rst accounts of features teams (sides and parties), positions (standings), a
referee (judge over the parties) and a coach "(trayning
of football:
maister)". Mulcasters footeball had evolved from the
In 1280 comes the rst account of a kicking ball
disordered and violent forms of traditional football:
game. This happened at Ulgham, near Ashington in
Northumberland, in which a player was killed as a result
[s]ome smaller number with such overlooking,
of running against an opposing players dagger. This consorted into sides and standings, not meeting with
rms that by the 13th century kicking ball games were
their bodies so boisterously to trie their strength:
being played in England.
nor shouldring or shung one an other so barIn 1314, comes the earliest reference to a game called
barously ... may use footeball for as much good
football when Nicholas de Farndone, Lord Mayor of the
to the body, by the chiefe use of the legges.
City of London issued a decree on behalf of King Edward
II banning football. It was written in the French used by
the English upper classes at the time. A translation reads: Mulcaster also conrms that in the 16th century England
"[f]orasmuch as there is great noise in the city caused by football was very popular and widespread: it had attained
hustling over large foot balls [rageries de grosses pelotes greatnes. .. [and was] much used ... in all places
de pee] in the elds of the public from which many evils Despite this violence continued to be a problem.
might arise which God forbid: we command and forbid For example, the parish archives of North Moreton,

Oxfordshire for May 1595 state: Gunters son and ye
Gregorys fell together by ye years at football. Old Gunter
drew his dagger and both broke their heads, and they died
both within a fortnight after.
In 1602 the earliest reference to a game involving passing
the ball comes from cornish hurling. In particular Carew
tells us that: Then must he cast the ball (named Dealing)
to some one of his fellowes. In this case, however, the
pass is by hand, as in rugby football. Although there are
other allusions to ball passing in the 17th century literature, this is the only one which categorically states that
the ball was passed to another member of the same team.
There are no other explicit references to passing the ball
between members of the same team until the 1860s, however, in 1650 English puritan Richard Baxter alludes to
player to player passing of the ball during a football game
in his book Everlasting Rest: like a Football in the midst
of a crowd of Boys, tost about in contention from one to

2 18001870: EARLY RULES

ester, subpnd to evye one that shall so use the same for
evye time xiid.
Although football was frequently outlawed in England,
it remained popular even with the ruling classes. For
example, during the reign of King James I of England
James Howellmentions how Lord Willoughby and Lord
Sunderland enjoyed playing football, for example:"Lord
Willoughby, and he, with so many of their servants ...
play'd a match at foot-ball against such a number of countrymen, where my Lord of Sunderland being busy about
the ball, got a bruise in the breast[9]
Football continued to be popular throughout 17th century England. For example in 1634 Davenant is quoted
(in Hones Table-Book) as remarking, I would now make
a safe retreat, but methinks Jam stopped by one of your
heroic gamea called football; which I conceive (under
your favor) not very conveniently civil in the streets, especially in such irregular and narrow roads as Crooked
Lane. Yet it argues your courage, much like your military pastime of throwing at cocks, since you have long
allowed these two valiant exercises in the streets. Similarly in 1638 Thomas Randolph suggests this in the following lines from one of his plays: Madam, you may in
time bring down his legs To the just size, now overgrown
with playing Too much at foot-ball.[10]

The rst references to goals come from England in the

late 16th and early 17th centuries. In 1584 and 1602 respectively, John Norden and Richard Carew referred to
goals in Cornish hurling. Carew described how goals
were made: they pitch two bushes in the ground, some
eight or ten foote asunder; and directly against them, ten
or twelue [twelve] score o, other twayne in like distance,
In 1660 comes the rst objective study of football, given
which they terme their Goales.[6] He is also the rst to in Francis Willughby's Book of Sports,[11] written in
refer to goalkeeping.
about 1660. This account is particularly noteworthy as
The rst direct references to scoring a goal come from he refers to football by its correct name and is the rst
England in the 17th century. For example, in John Day's to describe the following: goals and a pitch (a close that
play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (performed circa has a gate at either end. The gates are called Goals),
1600; published 1659): I'll play a gole at camp-ball" (an tactics (leaving some of their best players to guard the
extremely violent variety of football, which was popular goal), scoring (they that can strike the ball through their
in East Anglia).[7] Similarly in a poem in 1613, Michael opponents goal rst win) and the way teams were seDrayton refers to when the Ball to throw, And drive it lected (the players being equally divided according to
to the Gole, in squadrons forth they goe. The concept their strength and nimbleness). He is the rst to describe
of football teams is mentioned by English Poet Edmund a law of football: They often break one anothers shins
Waller in c1624: He mentions a a sort [i.e. company]of when two meet and strike both together against the ball,
lusty shepherds try their force at football, care of victory and therefore there is a law that they must not strike higher
... They ply their feet, and still the restless ball, Tossd to than the ball. His book includes the rst (basic) diagram
and fro, is urged by them all[8] ". The last line suggests illustrating a modern football pitch.
that playing as a team emerged much earlier in English Football continued to be played in the later 17th century,
football than previously thought.
even in cities such as London. The great diarist Samuel
Football continued to be outlawed in English cities, for
example the Manchester Lete Roll contains a resolution,
dated 12 October 1608: That whereas there hath been
heretofore great disorder in our towne of Manchester, and
the inhabitants thereof greatly wronged and charged with
makinge and amendinge of their glasse windows broken
yearlye and spoyled by a companye of lewd and disordered psons vsing that unlawfull exercise of playinge with
the ote-ball in ye streets of ye sd toune breakinge many
mens windowes and glasse at their plesures and other
great enormyties. Therefore, wee of this jurye doe order
that no manner of psons hereafter shall play or use the
footeball in any street within the said toune of Manch-

Pepys, for example, states in 1665 that in a London street

the streete being full of footballs.[12]

2 18001870: Early rules

Main article: Football The establishment of modern
codes of football
Football continued to be played in England throughout
the 19th century. For example, in 1838 a thirteen-yearold boy James Mills of Hamer Bottom near Rochdale
had his leg broken in three places while playing at

football[13] His leg had to be amputated. In 1844 football was evidently still popular in London. An advertisement in the Guardian newspaper for 14 December states:
Wanted immediately a eld for football in the neighbourhood of London Road or Oxford Street. In 1845 an interesting reference from Darwen, Lancashire shows how
football was popular among English factory workers: A
stranger passing through it at noon time may see a number of young men and boys dressed in Fustian engaged in
the favourite sport of football.[14]
England was the rst country in the world to develop codied football, coming about from a desire of its various
public schools to compete against each other. Previously,
each school had its own rules, which may have dated back
to the 15th or 16th centuries. The rst attempts to come
up with single codes probably began in the 1840s, with
various meetings between school representatives attempting to come up with a set of rules with which all would
be happy. The rst attempt was The Cambridge Rules,
created in 1848; others developed their own sets, most
notably Sheeld F.C. (1855) and J.C. Thring (1862).[15]
These were moulded into one set in 1863 when the Football Association was formed; though some clubs continued to play under the Sheeld Rules until 1878, and others dissented to form Rugby Union instead.

near the opponents goal to receive these balls. According to C.W. Alcock the Sheeld style gave birth to the
modern passing game. The Sheeld Rules of 1862 later
included both crossbars and half time and free kicks were
introduced to their code in 1866.
The oldest existing football trophy in the world the
Youdan Cup (1867).
The English introduced football into France in 1863,
founding their rst club, as the following newspaper cutting shows: A number of English gentlemen living in
Paris have lately organised a football club ... The football contests take place in the Bois de Boulogne, by
permission of the authorities and surprise the French

3 18701888: The FA Cup and

An oside rule had not been included in the 1863
FA rules.
In 1867 a loose oside rule based
on the Cambridge rules was introduced, permitting
forward passing[18] Consequently, in the late 1860s
scientic team play and ball passing strategies started
to evolve, which created the modern game as we know
it. Teamwork and passing were the innovation of
the Royal Engineers AFC[19][19][20] By 1869 they were
work[ing] well together, backing up and beneting
from cooperation.[21] By 1870 the Engineers were the
rst team to use ball passing strategies: Lieut. Creswell,
who having brought the ball up the side then kicked it into
the middle to another of his side, who kicked it through
the posts the minute before time was called[22] Passing
was a regular feature of their style[23] and their skills included turn[ing] the ball to colleagues and irreproachable organisation of forwards and defenders[24] By early
1872 the Engineers were the rst football team renowned
for play[ing] beautifully together[25]

Logo of Sheeld F.C. The rst side to play scientic football

The 1863 rules of the Football Association provides the

rst reference in the English Language to the verb to
pass a ball.
C. W. Alcock became the rst footballer ever to be ruled
o side on 31 March 1866, conrming that players were
probing ways of exploiting the new o side rule right from
the start.[16] The oside rule was introduced in 1866 into
the Football Association rules. It was almost identical to The Royal Engineers AFC (1872): the rst passing side
the one that had been part of the Cambridge Rules.
The early Sheeld Rules were particularly important as
their oside system allowed poaching or sneaking and
thus demonstrated the use of the forward pass: Players
known as kick throughs were positioned permanently

The FA Cup was the rst nationally organised competition. A knockout cup, it began 1871, with the rst winners being the Wanderers. In those days professionalism
was banned, and the cup was dominated by service teams

or old schoolboys teams (such as Old Etonians). The

Scottish Football Association split from the FA in 1873.


Scotchmen contributes nothing. The match
was, as announced, to all intents and purposes
between England and Scotland.[30]

In the early 1870s the modern team passing game was invented by the Sheeld FC, Royal Engineers A.F.C.[19][19]
and Scottish players of the era from Queens Park
FC.[26][27][28] This was the predecessor to the current
passing, defensive game was known as the Combination
Game and was spread around the world by British expatriates.

The 1870 and 1871 matches are not currently recognised

by FIFA as ocial, however the Scotsman newspaper
certainly identied them as "international [The Scotsmans italics]"[31]

in Scottish newspapers, including the Glasgow Herald.

He received no response to these adverts. One response
to Alcocks challenges illustrates that soccer was eclipsed
in Scotland by other codes:

The rst ocial (i.e. currently recognised by FIFA) international match would take place between Scotland and
England on 30 November 1872. This match was played
under the Football Association rules.

Alcock continued to pursue players from north of the

as the Scotsman to
England was home to the rst ever international football Tweed", inviting them in papers such[31]
match on 5 March 1870. The rst match ended in a draw
and was one of a series of four matches between repre- At this time, however, it was unusual for national sides
sentatives of England and Scotland at The Oval, London. to travel far for matches and even in the 1873 England
These matches were arranged by the Football Associa- v Scotland game, the rst FIFA recognised match in
tion, at the time the only national football body in the England, only 3 Scottish players were not from English
sides[32] Alcock decided in order to further the interests
The origin of these games came in 1870 when CW of the Association in Scotland, it was decided that during
should be sent to Glasgow to
Alcock's challenged homegrown contenders in Scotland the current season, a team
against an English eleven. These challenges were issued

Mr Alcocks challenge to meet a Scotch

eleven on the borders sounds very well and is
doubtless well meant. But it may not be generally well known that Mr Alcock is a very
leading supporter of what is called the association game... devotees of the association
rules will nd no foemen worthy of their steel
in Scotland.[29]

Englishman C. W. Alcock was responsible for instigating the worlds rst ocial football international in Glasgow on 30 November 1872. This match was played under
the Football Association rules and was drawn, however,
the following year England became the rst team in the
world to win an international football match when they
beat Scotland in London.
The South Derbyshire Football Association was established in March 1871[34]

This period in English football was dominated by conict between those who supported professionalism, and
those who wanted the game to remain amateur. Clubs
in Scotland and Northern England generally supported
a professional game, as the working class of these regions could not aord to miss work in order to play football. In Southern England, the game was more popular
Alcock was categorical that although most players were with the middle class, who supported "Corinthian" values
London based, this was due to lack of response from north of amateurism. A number of clubs, such as Blackburn
of the border:
Rovers and Darwen were accused of employing professionals, and the FA eventually legalised the practice in
I must join issue with your correspon1885, in order to avoid a split.
dent in some instances. First, I assert that
of whatever the Scotch eleven may have been
composed the right to play was open to every
4 18881915: Creation of the FootScotchman [Alcocks italics] whether his lines
ball League
were cast North or South of the Tweed and
that if in the face of the invitations publicly
The new professionals needed more regular competigiven through the columns of leading journals
tive football in which they could compete, which led to
of Scotland the representative eleven consisted
the creation of the Football League in 1888 by Aston
chiey of Anglo-Scotians ... the fault lies on
Villa director William McGregor. This was domithe heads of the players of the north, not on
nated by those clubs who had supported professionalthe management who sought the services of
ism, and the twelve founding members consisted of six
all alike impartially. To call the team London
As a result he was forced to draw upon London-based
players with Scottish origins. One notable Scottish player
of the 1870 and 1871 games was Smith, a player of
Queens Park FC. This suggests that southern teams were
not so isolated from Glasgow players and style of play as
originally thought.

from Lancashire (Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Bolton
Wanderers, Accrington, Everton and Preston North
End) and six from the Midlands (Aston Villa, Derby
County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion
and Wolverhampton Wanderers). No sides from the
South or London initially participated.
Preston North End won the rst ever Football League
championship without losing any of their 22 xtures, and
won the FA Cup to complete the double. They retained
their league title the following year but by the turn of the
20th century they had been eclipsed by Aston Villa, who
had emulated Prestons double success in 1897. Other
Midlands sides, such as Wolves (1893 FA Cup winners)
and West Bromwich Albion (1888 & 1892 FA Cup winners) were also successful during this era, as were Blackburn Rovers, who won ve FA Cups in the 1880s and

1909, they won the FA Cup and they added another

league championship in 1911. A decline set in, however,
and there would be no major trophies for the red half of
Manchester for the next 37 years. Further domination
of the game by clubs from the north-west came in the
shape of Liverpool, who won two league titles in 1901 and
1906, and Everton, who won the FA Cup in 1906. And
in the run-up to World War I, Blackburn Rovers recorded
two league titles 1912 and 1914, before hostilities meant
professional football was suspended.

Clubs from the South fared poorly in comparison, though

in 1904 Woolwich Arsenal became the rst club from
London to be promoted to the First Division, while a slew
of clubs from the capital joined the League (including
Clapton Orient, Chelsea, Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur), making it a properly nationwide competition; both
Chelsea and Spurs quickly gained promotion to the top
In 1891 Liverpool engineer John Alexander Brodie in- ight as well.
vented the football net.
Woolwich Arsenal had struggled to attract high attenIn 1892, a new Division Two was added, taking in more dances even after promotion to the First Division, and
clubs from around the country; Woolwich Arsenal be- so the clubs owners decided to relocate from Plumstead,
South London, to a new stadium in the Highbury area of
came the rst League club from the capital in 1893; they
were also joined by Liverpool the same year. By 1898, North London in 1913. They were to play at this site for
93 years until relocating to the Emirates Stadium nearby
both divisions had been expanded to eighteen clubs.
Other rival leagues on a local basis were being eclipsed in 2006.
by the Football League, though both the Northern League
and the Southern League - who provided the only ever
non-league FA Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur in 1901
- remained competitors in the pre-World War I era.

On the international scene, the Home Nations continued

to play each other, with Scotland the slightly more successful of the four. When the countries combined to play
as Great Britain in the Olympic Games they were unAt the turn of the 20th century, clubs from Sheeld were beatable, winning all three pre-World War I football gold
particularly successful, with Sheeld United winning a medals. England played their rst games against teams
title and two FA Cups, as well as losing to Tottenham in outside of the British Isles in 1908.
the 1901 nal; meanwhile The Wednesday (later Sheeld
Wednesday) won two titles and two FA Cups, despite being relegated in 1899 they were promoted the following 5 19191939: Inter-war years
year. Clubs in Tyne and Wear were also at the forefront;
Sunderland had won four titles between 1892 and 1902, From 1920 to 1923 the Football League expanded furand in the following decade Newcastle United won the ti- ther, gaining a new Third Division (expanding quickly to
tle three titles, in 1905, 1907 and 1909, and reached ve Division Three South and Division Three North), with all
FA Cup nals in seven years between 1905 and 1911, leagues now containing 22 clubs, making 88 in total. In
winning just the one, however. In addition Bury man- addition, in 1923 Wembley Stadium opened, and hosted
aged a 60 win over Derby County in the 1903 FA Cup its rst Cup nal, between Bolton Wanderers and West
Final, a record scoreline that stands to this day.
Ham United, known today as the "White Horse Final";
During the rst decade of the 20th century, Manchester Bolton won 20.
City looked to be emerging as Englands top side after
winning the FA Cup for the rst time in 1904, but it was
soon revealed that the club had been involved in nancial irregularities, which included paying 6 or 7 a week
in wages to players when the national wage limit was 4
per week. The authorities were furious and rebuked the
club, dismissing ve of its directors and banning four of
its players from ever turning out for the club again.

During the interwar years, Arsenal and Everton were the

two most dominant sides in English football, although
Hudderseld Town did make history in 1926 by becoming the rst team to complete a hat-trick of successive
league titles. Arsenal would do the same in 1935. Manager Herbert Chapman was involved with both of these
teams. He guided Hudderseld to the rst two of their
league titles before taking over at Arsenal, where he
Instead, it was Citys neighbours United who were the presided over the rst two league titles, but he died just
more successful during the early 20th century. They before the third consecutive title was clinched.
reached the First Division in 1906 and were crowned Everton had hit the headlines in 1928 by winning the
league champions two years later. The following year, league championship thanks largely to the record break-


ing 60 league goals of 21-year-old centre-forward Dixie

Dean. He was helped by the new rules of the 1920s, including the allowing of goals from a corner kick, and the
relaxing of the oside rule. Everton also won the league
twice more, in 1932 and 1939, and the FA Cup in 1933.
Their neighbours Liverpool had earlier won back-to-back
titles in 1922 and 1923, but were unable to sustain this
success. Arsenal remained successful in the 1930s, winning several more trophies.

also became the rst English team to compete in the

new European Cup, contested by champions of European
domestic leagues, reaching the semi-nals in 1957 and

The national team remained strong, but lost their rst

game to a non-British Isles country in 1929 (against Spain
in Madrid) and refused to compete in the initial World

and captain Billy Wright. Other Midlands sides also

enjoyed success after a barren period, including West
Bromwich Albions FA Cup win in 1954 (their rst trophy
in 23 years) and Aston Villa matching them with a Cup
win in 1957 (their rst in 37 years). In addition, in 1951
Tottenham Hotspur became the rst team in English football to win the league title immediately after being promoted, and Chelsea won their rst and only league title
of the 20th century in 1955.

But the Munich air disaster on 6 February 1958 resulted

in the deaths of eight players (including Edwards) and
ended the careers of two others, while Busby survived
with serious injuries. He built a new United side with a
mix of young players, Munich survivors and new signSheeld Wednesday were also successful during the ings, and ve years later his rebuilding programme paid
1930s, winning the 192930 title, the FA Cup in 1935 o with FA Cup glory.
and nishing in the top three in all but one season in the The other dominant team of the era was Wolverhampperiod 193036. In addition, it was during this time that ton Wanderers. Wolves, who had previously spent most
a Welsh side won the FA Cup for the only time; Cardi of the interwar period in the lower divisions, won three
City beating Arsenal 10 in the 1927 Final.
league titles and two FA Cups under manager Stan Cullis

19451961: The end of English


One of the most memorable matches of the era was

when Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 43 in the 1953
FA Cup Final, in a match that came to be known as
the Matthews Final, for Blackpools mercurial winger
Stanley Matthews, even though it was Stan Mortensen
who scored a hat-trick that day; it remains Blackpools
only major honour.

English football reconvened in the years following the end

of World War II, when most clubs had closed down for a
period, with the 194546 FA Cup, which saw the competition played over two legs to make up for a lack of league
competition that season. The rst post-war trophy went
to Derby County, who beat Charlton Athletic 41 in the
nal. The league restarted in the 194647 season, with English football as a whole, however, began to suer at
this time, with tactical naivety setting in. The national
the rst title going to Liverpool.
team were humiliated at their rst World Cup in 1950, faIn the immediate post-war years, Arsenal won another
mously losing to the USA 10. This was followed by two
two titles and an FA Cup but after the second title win
defeats in 1953 to Hungary, who destroyed England 6-3
in 1953, began to fade considerably and would not win
at home, the rst time England had lost at home to a nonanother trophy for nearly 20 years, although they did reBritish Isles team, and 71 in Budapest, Englands biggest
main in the First Division throughout this time. Liverpool
ever defeat. The early European club competitions also
won the rst postwar league title, but suered an even
went without much English success, with the FA initially
more miserable fate and were relegated to the Second Diunwilling to allow clubs to compete. No English team
vision in 1954, where they spent the next eight seasons.
reached a European Cup nal until 1968, which was the
Portsmouth were also successful; having won the FA Cup
same year that England got their rst Fairs Cup success;
in the last season before the war, they won two titles in
although English teams Birmingham City (twice) and a
a row in 194849 and 194950, but like Liverpool they
London XI had reached the rst three nals of the comwere relegated by the time the decade was out.
petition in its formative days.
Manchester United re-emerged as a footballing force unGreat players who rose to prominence during the 1950s
der new manager Matt Busby. They won the FA Cup in
include Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Charl1948 and the league title in 1952, the clubs rst trophies
ton, Denis Law, Bobby Robson, Norman Deeley, Peter
since before the Great War. Key players in this team
Sillett, Danny Blanchower, Denis Compton and Joe
included Johnny Carey, Jack Rowley and Stan Pearson.
Busbys next successful team was the "Busby Babes", so
called as the players were all young, rising through the While Edwards and Taylor both lost their lives due to the
clubs youth system, developed as one of Englands nest Munich tragedy, many older players naturally reached the
teams ever, with the likes of Bobby Charlton, Dennis end of their illustrious careers at around the same time.
Viollet, Tomm y Taylor and Duncan Edwards winning These include Nat Lofthouse, Tom Finney, Billy Wright,
two further titles in 1956 and 1957. Manchester United Stan Mortensen, Bert Williams and Johnny Carey.

Managers who achieved glory in the rst 15 years of post- pean club football, begun with Manchester Uniteds 4
war English football include Matt Busby, Tom Whittaker, 1 European Cup victory over S.L. Benca, and Leeds
Stan Cullis, Ted Drake and Stan Seymour.
United's Inter-Cities Fairs Cup victory, both in 1968. Indeed, Leeds win set o a series of 6 consecutive wins in
the competition (which was renamed the UEFA Cup in
1971) for English clubs, with the 1972 nal being held
7 19631971: The golden age
between two of them, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The end of the 1950s had seen the beginning of the modernisation of English football, with the Divisions Three During this time, a number of dierent teams competed
North and South becoming the national Division Three for league and cup success. Manchester City enjoyed sucand Division Four in 1958. 1960 saw the introduction of cess at the same time as their rivals United, winning the
the League Cup (with the rst winners being Aston Villa), First Division title for only the second time in 1968, and
whilst Matt Busby built a new team for the 1960s star- the FA Cup the year after that, and a double of the Cup
ring Munich survivor Bobby Charlton, youth team prod- Winners Cup and League Cup in 1970. Leeds Fairs Cup
uct George Best and British record signing Denis Law. success was no isolated eort; Don Revie's side also won
Meanwhile, successful sides of the 1950s like Wolves a League Cup in 1968 and the league title the season after.
started to decline, with relegation eventually coming in Liverpool under Bill Shankly had won promotion in 1962
1965. The decade was also less successful for the likes of and soon after won the league title in 1964, and again in
Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers, who had been among 1966, with an FA Cup in between; their neighbours Everton meanwhile had similar success but on a smaller scale,
the top sides of the early postwar years.
taking two league titles in 1963 and 1970, and the FA
It was Tottenham Hotspur who became the dominant
Cup in 1966.
force in English football in the early 1960s, winning the
elusive double of the League and FA Cup in 1961, retain- Players who dominated the English scene during the
ing the cup in 1962 and becoming the rst British team 1960s include Bobby Moore, Geo Hurst, Bobby Charlto win a European trophy, after their 51 victory over ton, George Best, Denis Law, Jimmy Greaves, Francis
Atltico Madrid in the 1963 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Lee, Je Astle, Gordon Banks and Roger Hunt.
nal. The captain of this side was Danny Blanchower, The decade also saw the illustrious careers of many
who retired in 1964, after which manager Bill Nicholson famous older players drawing to a close. These inbuilt a new side containing the likes of Jimmy Greaves clude Danny Blanchower, Harry Gregg, Dennis Violand Terry Venables, which won the FA Cup in 1967.
let, Norman Deeley, Peter McParland, Noel Cantwell,
Fellow London side West Ham United were also successful, with the England trio of Bobby Moore, Geo Hurst
and Martin Peters helping them win the 1964 FA Cup
and the 1965 Cup Winners Cup. All three would go on
to play a key role in an even bigger success for their country.

Bert Trautmann, Jimmy Adamson, Syd Owen, and the

50-year-old Stanley Matthews.
Successful managers of the 1960s include Matt Busby,
Bill Nicholson, Harry Catterick, Bill Shankly, Don Revie,
Joe Mercer and Ron Greenwood.

The 1970s began with Everton as league champions,

while Chelsea won their rst ever FA Cup. A year later,
Arsenal became the second club of the century to win
the double. 1972 saw Derby County win the league title
for the rst time under the management of Brian Clough,
while Leeds United continued to enjoy success as FA Cup
winners and Stoke City lifted the League Cup to claim the
The 1966 World Cup saw England win the World Cup rst major trophy of their history.
in a controversial 42 victory over West Germany. The
three goals scored by Geo Hurst within 120 minutes,
of which some are controversial, are the only hat trick to 8 19721985: The rise of Liverpool
be achieved in a World Cup nal to date. Bobby Moore
was the captain on that day, whilst Munich air crash sur- The 1970s was an odd decade in English football, with the
vivor Bobby Charlton also played. Moores West Ham national team disappointing but English clubs enjoying
colleagues Geo Hurst and Martin Peters scored that day. great success in European competitions. They failed to
The World Cup as a whole was highly successful, with qualify for the 1974 and 1978 World Cups and only made
the successes of the North Korea team, the fouls of the the second round in 1982. English club sides, however,
Uruguay team, the skill of Eusbio and the famous quote dominated on the continent. Altogether, in the 1970s,
They think its all over ... it is now entering Englands col- English clubs won eight European titles and lost out in
lective memory.
four nals; whilst from 1977 to 1984 English clubs won
The English national side showed signs of improving
with Alf Ramsey taking over as head coach following
a respectable quarter nal appearance at the 1962 FIFA
World Cup. Ramsey condently predicted that at the next
tournament, England would win the trophy, and they did
just that.

The period also saw the rst English successes in Euro- seven out of eight European Cups.


London clubs had enjoyed a strong start to the decade,

with Arsenal and Chelsea winning silverware, while West
Ham United won their second FA Cup in 1975. Arsenal
reached the FA Cup nal three years in a row from 1978,
but only had one win.

Other clubs did not fare as well in the 1970s; Manchester

United began to decline after Matt Busbys retirement in
1969 and were relegated in 1974. However, they were
promoted back the following season, and reached three
cup nals in four years (1976, 1977 and 1979), though
However, the dominant team in England in this period they only won the 1977 nal. United went on to nish
was Liverpool, winning league titles in 1973, 1976, 1977, second twice during the 1980s and won another FA Cup
1979, 1980, 1982, 1983 and 1984. They also collected in 1983, but the league title continued to elude them they had not won it since 1967.
three European Cups, three FA Cups and four League
Cups, under Shankly and his successor Bob Paisley, who On the other hand, their neighbours City struggled in the
retired as manager in 1983 to be succeeded by veteran early 1980s after doing relatively well in the 1970s. They
coach Joe Fagan. Players such as Emlyn Hughes and Alan were FA Cup runners-up in 1981, but heavy spending on
Hansen helped Liverpool have a solid and reliable side, players who rarely lived up to their price tags did the club
whose skill and talent was supported by a strong work no favours and they were relegated in 1983 and again in
ethic and the famous boot room identity. Kevin Kee- 1987, reclaiming their First Division status after two seagan was Liverpools leading striker for much of the 1970s sons on both occasions, although it would be more than
before being sold to HSV Hamburg in 1977 and being 20 years before they began to seriously compete among
replaced by Kenny Dalglish. The mideld was boosted the leading English clubs again.
towards the end of the decade by the arrival of Graeme Meanwhile, Chelsea were also going through a turbulent
Souness, and the early 1980s spawned further new stars time after winning the FA Cup in 1970 and the Euroincluding high-scoring striker Ian Rush, talented mid- pean Cup Winners Cup in 1971. Financial problems and
elder Craig Johnston and skilful defender Steve Nicol.
the loss of key players meant they spent most of 1970s
The other notably successful teams of the era were Derby
County, Nottingham Forest, Everton and Aston Villa.
Derby, led by Brian Clough and then Dave Mackay, were
the only team other than Liverpool to win the league
more than once in the 1970s and also reached the seminal of the European Cup in the 197273 season, though
they faded rapidly towards the end of the decade, going down in 1980. Forest, led by Brian Clough (who
had an infamous 44-day stint at Leeds United after resigning at Derby), took over at the City Ground in January 1975 when Forest were a struggling Second Division side; in 1977 he took them into the First Division
and they won the league title a year later, followed by two
successive European Cup triumphs and also adding two
League Cups. Everton began the 1970s on a high note
as league champions in 1970, but rarely featured in the
race for the major trophies until they won the FA Cup
under Howard Kendall in 1984. They added the league
title and European Cup Winners Cup a year later. Aston Villa had bounced back from relegation to the Third
Division in 1970, winning promotion to the top ight in
1975 and a League Cup the same year, and again in 1977.
They went on to win the 1981 league title and the year after won the European Cup, becoming the fourth English
club to do so, beating Bayern Munich 10 in Rotterdam.
Between 1965 and 1974 Leeds had been the most consistent club side in English football, winning two league
titles, as well as ve runners-up places, had never nished
outside the top four and had reached nine major nals,
and 4 other semi-nals, as well as winning the FA cup in
1972, however this success would end with the departure
of Don Revie for the England national team 1974, and
apart from a nal urry in the 1975 European cup nal,
they won no more trophies and were relegated in 1982.

and 1980s bouncing between the First and Second Divisions. In 1983, they only narrowly avoided relegation
to the Third Division, but were promoted the following
Wolves, who had arguably been the best team of the
1950s and were still a reasonable force in 1980 (when
they nished sixth and won the League Cup), suered
a spectacular decline which began in 1984 and ended in
1986 with three successive relegations that saw them in
the Fourth Division for the rst time. They were not alone
in suering a relegation hat-trick; Bristol City had completed the rst such humiliation in 1982, though they were
admittedly a far smaller club whose relegation in 1980
came after just four years in the top ight after an absence of 65 years.
Wolves were one of several once-great sides to endure a
decline during the 1970s and early 1980s. Hudderseld
Town (who complete the rst league title hat-trick during
the 1920s) were relegated from the First Division in 1971
and fell into the Fourth Division in 1975, not winning
promotion until 1980. Portsmouth (league champions in
1949 and 1950) fell into the Fourth Division in 1978 as
an almost bankrupt side, but climbed out of it in 1980
and within ve years were in the hunt for a First Division comeback. Derby County were league champions in
1972 and 1975, but a rapid decline saw them fall into the
Second Division in 1980 and the Third Division in 1984.
Burnley, league champions as recently as 1960, fell into
the Fourth Division in 1985, and with the introduction of
automatic relegation from the Football League, narrowly
avoided relegation to the Football Conference (the highest division of non league football since its formation in
1979) in 1987.
The period was also marked by some surprise FA Cup

wins by lower-division teams over top-ight sides; these
included Sunderland (beating Leeds United in 1973),
Southampton (beating Manchester United in 1976) and
West Ham United (beating Arsenal in 1980). Bobby
Robson's Ipswich Town were another successful smaller
club, winning the FA Cup in 1978 and the UEFA Cup in
1981. They also came second in the league in 1981 and
During this period transfer fees began to rise rapidly as
more money entered the game; Trevor Francis became
Britains rst million-pound rated footballer in 1979.
1979 also saw the formation of the Football Conference.
This was the rst national league to develop below the
Football League, and was the beginning of a formalisation of the English football pyramid. The rst seven Conference champions failed to gain election to the Football
League, but in 1986 it was decided that the following
years champions would be automatically promoted to the
league to replace the Fourth Divisions bottom side ...

deaths of 39 Juventus fans during the 1985 European Cup

nal. This led to English teams being banned from European football for ve years, and Liverpool - the club involved - being banned for six. Attendances also suered
throughout the league, with hooliganism and the recession
being seen as the key factors. Teams in the north of England, the region with some of the worst unemployment
rates nationally, suered a particularly sharp decline in
attendances, which did their nancial position no favours.
Even when English teams were re-admitted, it was not
until 1995 that they regained all of their lost places. And
it took a while for English teams to re-establish themselves in Europe. Although Manchester United won the
European Cup Winners Cup in the rst season after the
ban was lifted, the European Cup was not won by an English club until 1999 15 years after the last triumph.
The Hillsborough disaster, which also involved Liverpool, though not related to hooliganism but caused by bad
policing, an outdated stadium and anti-hooligan fences
led to 96 deaths and more than 300 injuries at the FA
Cup semi-nal in April 1989. These two tragedies led to
a modernisation of English football and English grounds
by the mid 1990s. Eorts were made to remove hooligans from English football, whilst the Taylor Report led
to the grounds of all top level clubs becoming all-seater.

The re-election system saw Cambridge United elected to

the league in 1970, Hereford United in 1972, Wimbledon
in 1977 and Wigan Athletic in 1978. Cambridge reached
the Second Division in 1978 and were a competent side
at this level for ve seasons before a terrible decline saw
them fall back into the Fourth Division in 1985, although
they did enjoy a swift but brief revival in the early 1990s
Match attendances, which had been in decline since the
which took them to the brink of top division football.
1970s, were beginning to recover by the turn of the 1990s
Hereford reached the Second Division after just four thanks to the improving image of football as well as
years of league membership, only to endure back-to-back the strengthened national economy and falling unemployrelegations which pushed them back into the Fourth Di- ment after the crises of the 1970s and the rst half of the
vision in 1978. Wimbledons rst two promotions from 1980s.
the Fourth Division ended in relegation after just one sea- On the eld, Liverpools domination was coming to an
son, but by 1984 they had reached the Second Division end; it also saw the culmination of the phenomenal rise
and their biggest successes were yet to come.
of Wimbledon, who rose from the Fourth Division to the
Players who dominated the English scene during the
1970s and early 1980s include Kevin Keegan, Kenny
Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Peter Shilton, Bryan Robson,
John Wark, Liam Brady, Steve Perryman, Glenn Hoddle
and Alan Hansen.
Older players whose careers nished during this time
include Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, George Best,
Denis Law, Jimmy Greaves, Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Emlyn Hughes, Gordon Banks and Alex Stepney.
Successful managers of this era include Bill Shankly, Bob
Paisley, Don Revie, John Lyall, Brian Clough, Ron Saunders, Ron Atkinson, Bobby Robson and Keith Burkinshaw.

First in just four seasons, before nishing sixth in their

inaugural season in the top ight and beating Liverpool
10 in the 1988 FA Cup nal, one of the competitions
biggest shocks. Another team to make an improbably
quick rise from Fourth to First Divisions was Swansea
City, who had climbed three divisions between 1977 and
1981. They nished sixth in their rst top division campaign, but were relegated the following year and in 1986
fell back into the Fourth Division. Watford had reached
the First Division for the rst time in 1982 and nished
league runners-up in their rst season at this level and
were FA Cup runners-up a year later, but were relegated
in 1988.

A number of other small clubs achieved success at this

time. Charlton Athletic, who were forced to leave The
Valley and ground-share with West Ham for safety reasons in 1985, won promotion to the First Division in 1986
9 19861991: The end of an era
after an exile of nearly 30 years. They deed the odds by
remaining at this level until their luck nally ran out and
During the 1970s and 1980s, the spectre of hooliganism
they were relegated in 1990. Norwich City went down to
had begun to haunt English football. The Heysel Stadium
the Second Division in 1985 but that blow was cushioned
disaster was the epitome of this, with English hooligans
by a League Cup triumph. They returned to the top ight
mixing with poor policing and an old stadium to cause the

a year later and nished fth on their comeback, also
coming fourth and reaching the FA Cup semi-nals in
1989. They reached another FA Cup semi-nal in 1992.
Oxford United, who had only joined the Football League
in 1962, reached the First Division in 1985 and lifted the
League Cup the following season. They went back down
again in 1988, the same year that Middlesbrough reached
the First Division a mere two seasons after almost going
out of business as a Third Division side. Luton Town,
who began the latest of several spells as a First Division
side in 1982, won the Football League Cup - their rst
major trophy - in 1988 at the expense of a much more
fancied Arsenal side.
Many fallen giants fell on hard times during the later
part of the 1980s. Burnley and Preston North End (both
Football League founders with ve league titles between
them), were relegated to the Fourth Division in 1985.
Preston were promoted back to the Third Division in
1987, but that year saw Burnley narrowly avoid becoming
the rst team to suer automatic relegation to the Conference (that humiliation was endured by Lincoln City instead) and it was not until 1992 that Burnley won promotion from the basement division.
One fallen giant to enjoy something of a resurgence in this
era was Derby County. They had been relegated to the
Third Division in 1984, just nine years after being league
champions, but back-to-back promotions saw them back
in the First Division in 1987. They emerged as surprise
title contenders in 198889 and nished fth, only missing out on a UEFA Cup place due to the ban on English
clubs in European competition. But Derby were unable to
sustain their run of success, and went down to the Second
Division in 1991.
In 1986, Wolverhampton Wanderers fell into the Fourth
Division for the rst time in their history, and became
only the second English team to endure three successive relegations. By 1989, they had won promotion to
the Second Division almost single-handedly thanks to the
goalscoring exploits of striker Steve Bull, who became
the rst English footballer to score 50 or more competitive goals in successive seasons. Local businessman Jack
Hayward took the club over in 1990, and declared his ambition to restore Wolves as a major footballing force.

9 19861991: THE END OF AN ERA

elder Michael Thomas scoring the crucial goal. Arsenal
would go on to be the rst side to pick up the Cup Double in 1993, and followed it with a Cup Winners Cup the
year after.
Arsenals neighbours Tottenham were also successful,
winning the FA Cup in 199091, with midelder Paul
Gascoigne proving the hero in the semi-nals against Arsenal before injuring himself in the nal against Nottingham Forest. Tottenham bought Barcelona's high-scoring
England striker Gary Lineker in 1989, and he continued
his excellent form over three years at the club before leaving to nish his career in Japan.
Leeds had nally won promotion back to the top ight in
1990 and under Howard Wilkinson they won the 1991
92 league title. Wilkinson is still the most recent English manager to win the league championship. However,
the departure of Eric Cantona to Manchester United,
amongst other factors, meant they were unable to make
a regular challenge for the title following the creation of
the Premier League, although they did survive at this level
for 12 seasons and achieved regular top ve nishes.
Manchester Uniteds six-year trophyless run had ended in
1983 when manager Ron Atkinson (appointed in 1981)
guided them to FA Cup glory. They achieved another triumph two years later, but had still gone without a league
title since 1967. 10 successive league wins at the start
of the 198586 season suggested that the title was on its
way back to Old Traord, but Uniteds form fell away as
they nished fourth and Liverpool sealed the title. A terrible start to the 198687 season cost Atkinson his job
in early November, when Alex Ferguson was recruited
from Aberdeen. Ferguson strengthened the squad in the
1987 close season and the rst stages of the new season
and things were looking good as Fergusons rst full season as manager saw United nished second behind runaway champions Liverpool. Further signings after this
improvement suggested that the title was even closer for
United, but a series of injuries blighted the side and they
nished 11th in 1989. Uniteds wait for silverware ended
in 1990 when they won their 7th FA Cup, and a year later
they won the European Cup Winners Cup, but it had now
been well over 20 years since the league title had been

Despite failure to qualify for Euro 1984 (the rst major

tournament since the appointment of Bobby Robson as
manager), England continued to improve as the 1980s
wore on, losing controversially to Argentina in the 1986
World Cup and unluckily on penalties to Germany in the
semi-nals of the 1990 World Cup, eventually nishing
fourth. This success for the national team, and the gradually improving grounds, helped to reinvigorate footballs
With Liverpools fortunes waning, George Grahams Ar- popularity. Attendances rose from the late 1980s and
senal started to win trophies again, with a League Cup continued to do so as football moved into the business
in 1987 and two league titles, in 1989 and 1991, the for- era.
mer being won in the nal minute of the nal game of The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the emergence of nuthe season against title rivals Liverpool, with young mid- merous young players who went on to reach great heights
Bolton Wanderers, four times FA Cup winners, were relegated to the Fourth Division in 1987, the same year that
Sunderland fell into the Third Division for the rst time
in their history. Both teams, however, won promotion
at the rst attempt. Burnleys recovery was more steady;
they did not climb out of the leagues basement division
until 1992 and did not reclaim their top ight status until
2009, only surviving for one season at this level.

in the game. These include Paul Gascoigne, David Platt, A number of other teams challenged for the title in the
Matt Le Tissier, Lee Sharpe, Ryan Giggs and Paul Mer- early Premiership years. Aston Villa nished second in
1993, but declined over the next two seasons (despite a
Established great players who were still playing the top in League Cup victory in 1994). They enjoyed a revival
the early 1990s include Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, Bryan in 1996, winning the League Cup and nishing fourth
Robson, Steve Bruce, Neville Southall and Ray Wilkins. in the Premiership, and by 1999 had qualied for the
UEFA Cup ve times in seven seasons, though their conThis era also saw many famous names hanging up their tinental form had been unconvincing. Norwich City were
boots after long and illustrious careers. These include surprise title contenders in 199293 under new manager
Ray Clemence, Gary Bailey, Alan Hansen, Craig John- Mike Walker, leading the table at several stages before
ston, Norman Whiteside, Andy Gray and Billy Bonds.
nishing third - and doing so entered the UEFA Cup for
Successful managers of this era include Kenny Dalglish, the rst time in their history. They achieved a shock win
George Graham, Howard Kendall, Howard Wilkinson, over Bayern Munich before being eliminated by Inter MiAlex Ferguson, Bobby Gould, John Lyall, Jim Smith, lan, but were unable to keep up their good progress and
in 1995 fell into Division One. By the end of the decade,
Maurice Evans and Dave Bassett.
they had yet to make a Premiership comeback.


The Premier
League and Sky Television

The FA Premier League was formed in 1992 when the

top twenty two clubs in English football broke away from
the football league, in order to increase their incomes and
make themselves more competitive on a European stage.
By selling TV rights separately to the Football League,
the clubs increased their income and exposure. The Premier League became the top level of English football, and
Division One (later renamed the Football League Championship) fell to the second level.

Many teams that had succeed in the 1970s and 1980s did
not fare as well in the Premiership. Liverpool were unable
to dominate the decade as they had done in the 1970s and
1980s; after their 1990 title win, their only other trophies
of the decade were the FA Cup in 1992 and the League
Cup in 1995; they nished as low as eighth in 1994 and
although they did nish sixth in the rst season of the
Premier League, they had spent much of that season in
the bottom half of the table. Everton fared no better, although they won the FA Cup in 1995, beating Manchester United, they were involved in no less than three relegation battles during the decade (once staying up only on
goal dierence) and never nished higher than sixth in the
league. After a promising start to the decade which included two fth place nish, Manchester City also fought
relegation, but lost, slipping into the Division One in 1996
and Division Two in 1998. But two successive promotions saw them back in the Premiership for the 200001
season. Nottingham Forest were relegated from the Premier League three times, in 1993 (when Brian Clough retired as manager), 1997 and 1999, and unlike City have
yet to return. Both City and Forest endured brief spells
in the leagues third tier.

Manchester United were the rst Premiership winners,

their rst title in 26 years, and under Alex Ferguson,
they dominated English football during the 1990s, winning ve league titles (including two doubles), one League
Cup, one Cup Winners Cup and, in 1999, a unique treble: the FA Cup, League and Champions League all in
one season. Their success was made even more remarkable by the high number of players who came up simultaneously through their youth system, including brothers Arsenal began the Premier League with moderate league
Gary and Philip Neville, Paul Scholes and David Beck- form (a shortage of goals restricting them to 10th place)
ham. This success continued in the new millennium.
but excellent form in the cups, as they became the rst EnUniteds main challengers for the title in the Premier glish team to win both domestic cups in the same season
Leagues rst few years were Blackburn Rovers, led by - beating Sheeld Wednesday 21 in both nals. They
star striker Alan Shearer, also won their rst league title won the Cup Winners Cup a year later, but manager
since World War I in 199495, and Newcastle United, George Graham was sacked the following February afwho famously conceded a 10-point lead at Christmas ter admitting to receiving a bung when signing Danish
to lose the title to United in 199596. Newcastle had midelder John Jensen in 1992. They reached the Cup
reached the Premiership in 1993 as Division One champi- Winners Cup nal for the second year running under
ons, and in their rst Premiership campaign nished third temporary manager Stewart Houston, but nished 12th
to qualify for the UEFA Cup. They nished second in in the Premiership. They reached fth the following sea1996 and again in 1997, but by the end of the decade had son under new manager Bruce Rioch, who was sacked
for a dispute with the directors soon afterwards and rewallowed away to mid table.
placed by Frenchman Arsne Wenger. Under Wenger,
Blackburn failed to sustain their success after the 1995 they won the double in 1998 to become only the second
title triumph, and in 1999 they were relegated to Division team in English football to repeat this triumph - though,
One, although they won promotion two years later and unlike Manchester United two years earlier, with an enwon the League Cup a year after that.

tirely dierent set of players.


of the 199495 season, although standing accommodaEnglish football grew wealthier and more popular than tion was still permitted at Division Two and Three stadiever before, with clubs spending tens of millions of ums, as well as non-league venues.
pounds on players and on their wages, which rose to Into the 21st century, some clubs who initially redevelover 100,000 a week for the top stars. This also made oped their old stadiums later decided to relocate, often
it harder for promoted clubs to establish themselves at after their success on the eld had driven ticket demand
the top ight. In 1993, newly promoted Middlesbrough to a level which the new capacities were unable to accomlost their top ight status after just one season, while modate. These include Southampton, Leicester City and
Blackburn nished fourth and Ipswich nished 16th (hav- Arsenal.
ing occupied fourth place in February). In 1994, newly Prominent footballers who emerged during the 1990s inpromoted Swindon went down after winning just ve clude Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Sol
games all season and conceding 100 goals. Newcastle, Campbell, Chris Sutton, Robbie Fowler, Gary Neville
meanwhile, qualied for the UEFA Cup in third place and Rio Ferdinand.
and West Ham achieved a respectable 13th place nish.
In 1995, newly promoted Nottingham Forest matched As well as British and Irish talent, there were numerous
Newcastles success by coming third and qualifying for foreign imports to the English game during the decade
the UEFA Cup, while Crystal Palace and Leicester City who went on to achieve stardom with English clubs.
went straight back down. In 1996, newly promoted These include Eric Cantona, Jrgen Klinsmann, Dennis
Bolton Wanderers went straight back down, while Mid- Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola, Patrick Vieira and Peter
dlesbrough attained a secure 12th place (they would have Schmeichel.
nished even higher had it not been for a dismal mid- Many experienced players whose careers began during
season run of form which saw them endure 10 defeats the 1980s were still playing at the highest level as the
from 11 games). In 1997, newly promoted Leicester 1990s drew to a close. These include David Seaman,
City nished ninth and won the League Cup, while Derby Tony Adams, Gary Pallister, Colin Hendry, Paul Ince,
County nished 12th, but Sunderland went straight back Alan Shearer and Mark Hughes.
down. In 1998, all three newly promoted teams - Bolton
Wanderers, Barnsley and Crystal Palace - were relegated The decade also saw the illustrious careers of numerous
straight back to Division One. In 1999, Middlesbrough legendary players draw to a close. These include Bryan
attained an impressive ninth place nish, but Charlton Robson, Gordon Strachan, Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley,
Steve Bruce, John Barnes and Peter Shilton.
Athletic and Nottingham Forest were relegated.
The Premier League was decreased from 22 to 20 clubs Successful managers of this era include Alex Ferguson,
Kenny Dalglish, Arsne Wenger, Ruud Gullit, Gianluca
in 1995.
Vialli, George Graham, Joe Royle, Frank Clark, Brian
The national team over this period varied in their success, Little and Martin O'Neill.
failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup but reaching the
semi-nals in Euro 96, losing on penalties to Germany at
the semi-nal stage. They also achieved automatic qualication for the 1998 World Cup, losing to Argentina on 11 2003present: Financial polaripenalties in the Second Round. Manager Graham Taylor
had quit in November 1993 after failing to attain a World
Cup place, and his successor Terry Venables left after the
encouraging Euro 96 campaign due to o-the-eld dis- In England, as in Europe in general, the early rst decade
putes. His successor Glenn Hoddle took England to the of the 21st century saw the nancial bubble burst, with
World Cup, but was red the following February after a the collapse of ITV Digital in May 2002 leaving a hole in
controversial newspaper interview in which he suggested the pockets of the Football League clubs who had relied
that disabled people were being punished for sins in a pre- on their television money to maintain high wages. Alvious life. His successor Kevin Keegan achieved the task though no Football League teams collapsed (no team has
done so since Maidstone United in 1992), many entered
of attaining qualication for Euro 2000.
administration, including Leicester City and Bradford
The trend for clubs to relocate to new stadiums accelerCity. From the 200405, administration for any Premier
ated throughout the 1990s. By the end of the decade,
League or Football League club would mean a 10-point
Walsall, Chester City, Milwall, Hudderseld Town,
deduction. Most of the non-league divisions adopted a
Northampton Town, Middlesbrough, Derby County,
similar penalty.
Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers, Stoke City, Reading and
Wigan Athletic had all moved to new stadiums, and sev- Another club that faced nancial ruin was Leeds United;
eral other clubs were planning to relocate. This was due having reached the Champions League semi-nals in
to the requirement that all Premier League and Division 200001 they looked set for dominance on the domesOne stadiums had to have all-seater stadiums by the start tic and European scene, but after failing to qualify for
the competition the following season, they were unable

to cover the loans they had taken out to fund their spending. They were forced to sell their ground (and lease it
back) and many of their best players. They were relegated at the end of the 200304 season and three years
later slipped into the leagues third tier for the rst time
in their history, although their debts have since been substantially reduced.
At the same time, the countrys richest clubs continued to
grow, with the wages of top players increasing further.

The 200607 season saw Manchester United win the Premier League title for the rst time in four years, with
Chelsea nishing second (their failure to win a third successive title compensated for in the shape of success in
both domestic cups), Liverpool nishing third and Arsenal fourth, while Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Bolton
Wanderers achieved UEFA Cup qualication. The gulf
between the Premier League and Football League Championship was highlighted once again as two of the newly
promoted teams (Watford and Sheeld United) were relegated, although Reading - the other newly promoted
team, and playing their rst top ight campaign ever nished 8th and narrowly missed out on European qualication. The race for promotion to the Premier League
had a predictable nish as the two automatic promotion
places were both taken by teams relegated a year earlier
- Sunderland and Birmingham City. Derby County took
the third and nal promotion places with a playo victory
at the expense of newly relegated West Bromwich Albion,
while Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton (who
had both been in the Premier League a couple of years
earlier) were the losing semi nalists. Narrowly missing
out on a playo place were Colchester United, who nished 10th in their very rst season at this level and had
been among the pre-season relegation favourites.

Manchester Uniteds outstanding success has continued,

though to a slightly lesser degree than the success they
had previously enjoyed. Arsenal won a third Double in
2002 and clinched the title in 2004 without losing a single league game all season. In 2003 and 2005, when
they missed out on the title, they had the FA Cup as
compensation. United still managed to win another FA
Cup in 2004 and the League Cup in 2006, as well as
league titles in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007. Chelseas
success continued to grow, with Roman Abramovich a Russian oligarch - purchasing Chelsea in a 150m
takeover in 2003. Abramovich, whose move to England made him the countrys richest man (he has since
been overtaken), made substantial transfer funds available to manager Claudio Ranieri. After nishing second
in 2004, Chelsea won the League Cup and league title
under Ranieris replacement Jos Mourinho in 2005, and Going down to League One were Southend United and
Luton Town, along with a Leeds United who just ve
another title in 2006.
years earlier had been one of the Premier Leagues top
While unable to challenge for the league title, Liverpool clubs, only for a string of nancial crises to drag them
achieved success in other competitions, including a tre- down the league. Scunthorpe United were among the
ble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001. clubs to reach the Championship in 2007, sealing the
Another League Cup followed in 2003, but the biggest League One title after more than 40 years in the leagues
triumph of the decade so far was a Champions League lower reaches, while Blackpool returned to the second tier
win in 2005, with a memorable comeback from 30 down for the rst time since the 1970s with a playo victory.
against AC Milan in the nal; Liverpool became the second club since the Heysel ban to take the trophy. The sea- 200708 brought a familiar pattern in the Premier League
son after Liverpool won the FA Cup, winning on penal- as Manchester United retained the Premier League title
ties after drawing 33 with newly promoted West Ham and Chelsea nished second, with Arsenal third and LivUnited. Tottenham Hotspur have also resurged under new erpool fourth. Everton and Aston Villa completed the
manager Martin Jol, narrowly missing out on a Champi- top six to seal UEFA Cup qualication, while Tottenham Hotspur lifted the Football League Cup to end their
ons League place in 2006 after nishing fth.
nine-year trophy drought. The most remarkable success
The England national team during this time became man- story of the season, however, belonged to Harry Redaged by a non-English national for the rst time in their knapp, who brought Portsmouth their rst major honour
history when Sven-Gran Eriksson took charge. He for nearly 60 years in the shape of the FA Cup. When
achieved respectable results in international tournaments, Redknapp had rst taken over as manager of Portsmouth
going out to eventual winners Brazil in the 2002 World in March 2002, the South Coast club hadn't played in the
Cup, hosts Portugal in Euro 2004, and Portugal once top ight for more than 40 years with the exception of
again on penalties in the 2006 World Cup having reached one unsuccessful campaign in the late 1980s. A year later
the quarter-nals. Arguably due to pressure over the lack they sealed promotion to the Premier League and slowly
of actual victories in major tournaments, Eriksson an- established themselves back among the elite. Redknapp
nounced his resignation prior to the 2006 World Cup. had been reviled by Portsmouth fans when defecting to
Steve McClaren was selected by the FA as his replace- their local rivals Southampton in November 2004, only to
ment, and took over as manager on 1 August 2006, on a return a year later after failing to save Southampton from
4-year contract. Englands failure to qualify for the 2008 relegation. After saving Portsmouth from relegation on
European Championships led to McClaren being sacked his return, he spent heavily and attracted top class playon 22 November 2007, after only 16 months in charge. ers including David James, Sol Campbell and Kanu to the
He was replaced by Italian Fabio Capello.
club and his heavy spending paid o as Portsmouth man-

aged a top half nish for the rst time since the 1950s,
and at Wembley Stadium on 17 May 2008 the long wait
for glory ended as a Kanu goal gave Portsmouth victory
over Cardi City in the FA Cup nal. Second season
syndrome kicked in at Reading, whose two-year spell in
the top ight ended with relegation on the nal day of the
season one year after almost qualifying for Europe.
West Bromwich Albion returned to the Premier League
as Championship champions at the end of the 200708
season, but the big news in this division came with Stoke
Citys return to the top ight after 23 years away, and
Hull City's promotion to the top ight for the very rst
time as they defeated a Bristol City side (without top division football since 1980) in the playo nal, just ve
years after they had been in the leagues basement division and barely a decade since they had been bankrupt
and on the verge of losing their Football League status. A
fallen giant at this level was Leicester City, who fell into
the third tier of English football for the very rst time having started the decade as League Cup winners and UEFA
Cup competitors.


FA Cup. Arsenal sealed the last Champions League place
with a fourth place nish. Evertons progress under David
Moyes continued as they nished fth in the league and
reached their rst cup nal for 14 years, taking an early
lead in the FA Cup nal before losing 21 to Chelsea. In
the Football League Cup, Manchester United sealed the
trophy for the third time, but endured disappointment on
the continental stage when losing the European Cup nal
to FC Barcelona. Aston Villa, enjoying something of a
revival under manager Martin O'Neill after a decade of
underachievement, qualied for the newly named UEFA
Europa League along with Everton and a rejuvenated Fulham side who had narrowly avoided relegation the previous season.

Midland rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City returned to the Premier League and ve years
and one year away respectively. Burnleys playo win saw
them return to the top ight as well, after 33 years away,
to join rejuventated Lancashire old powers Blackburn
Rovers and Bolton Wanderers among the elite. Preston
North End, another of the great old Lancashire clubs,
In the rst all-English European Cup nal, Manchester were left looking at the Premier League door after their
United defeated Chelsea on penalties in Moscow after a fourth playo failure in nine seasons. Hopes of a Welsh
presence in the Premier League were put on hold for at
11 draw in open play.
least another season at Cardi City and Swansea City narPromisement in the lower reaches of the league during rowly missed out on the playos.
200708 came from Milton Keynes Dons, who under the
management of former England captain Paul Ince sealed In League One, Leicester City made a quick return to the
second tier as champions, accompanied by Darren Fertheir rst honours in the shape of the Football League
Trophy and League Two title - four years after their name gusons thriving Peterborough United and a Scunthorpe
had appeared on xture lists following the controversial United side whose manager Nigel Adkins had rewarded
relocation of the old Wimbledon club from South Lon- the clubs faith in him by regaining the second tier place
don to the new town of Milton Keynes some 70 miles that had been lost two years earlier.
away. Meanwhile, fans of the old Wimbledon club had Luton Town, a top ight club as recently as 1992, suered
formed a new team - AFC Wimbledon - which joined a third successive relegation and fell out of the Football
the Combined Counties League in 2002 and reached the League due to a 30-point deduction for nancial irreguFootball League nine years later.
larities which rooted them to the bottom of League Two;
Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex Ferguson, was also without it they would have nished mid table and comheralded as a manager of the future after guiding fortably avoided a rare third successive relegation.
Peterborough United to promotion, while Aldershot
Town returned to the Football League under the management of Gary Waddock, 16 years after the old Aldershot
club had been declared bankrupt and forced out of the

Manchester United became the receipts of the worlds

biggest transfer fee during the 2009 close season when
they sold Cristiano Ronaldo, widely regarded as one of
the best football players in the world, to Real Madrid of
Spain for 80million.

The 200809 season began with the two biggest transfer fees in English football - Manchester Citys 32.4million move for the Brazilian winger Robinho and Manchester Uniteds 30.75million capture of Bulgarian striker
Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham Hotspur. The season had a familiar ending, as Manchester United sealed
their third successive Premier League title by a fourpoint margin over a Liverpool side who came their closest
yet to achieving the league title which has eluded them
since 1990; ironically Uniteds latest title win saw them
match Liverpools record of 18 English top division titles.
Chelsea nished outside the top two for the rst time since
2003 as they nished third but still managed to win the

Star players rising to prominence this era have included Wayne Rooney (Everton, Manchester United
and England), Thierry Henry (Arsenal and France),
Frank Lampard (Chelsea and England), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool and England) and Joe Cole (West Ham
United, Chelsea and England).
Michael Owen, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Sol Campbell were some of the prominent players still active in the game during the rst decade of the
21st century after rising to fame during the 1990s, though
Beckham has not played in England since 2003.
Legendary players whose illustrious careers have come to

an end during this decade include Alan Shearer, Dennis
Bergkamp, Denis Irwin, Paul Ince and Roy Keane.
Successful managers of this era include Alex Ferguson, Jos Mourinho, Arsne Wenger, Roberto Mancini,
Grard Houllier, and Rafael Bentez.
Since 2010, Manchester City have re-emerged as a top
club side, assisted by the wealth of their Arab owners who
took the club over in 2008. Citys rst major trophy for
35 years came in 2011 when they won the FA Cup, and a
year later they won the Premier League title in dramatic
fashion, coming from behind to beat QPR on the last day
of the season and nish above neighbours United on goal
dierence. These successes took place under the management of Robert Mancini, their Italian manager, who
was dismissed a year later after failing to win any trophies
in the 2012-13 season.
After a decade away from management, Kenny Dalglish
began his second spell as Liverpool manager in January 2011 after the dismissal of Roy Hodgson. Dalglish guided Liverpool to League Cup glory a year later
and they were also runners-up in the FA Cup, but nished eighth in the league and Dalglish was then sacked in
favour of Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers, who
had taken the South Wales club to a mid table nish in
the Premier League in their rst top division season since
the early 1980s.

History of the English football league system

History of the England national football team

13 References
[2] Magoun, Francis Peabody (1929) Football in Medieval
England and middle-English literature. The American
Historical Review, vol 35, No. 1; football
[3] Magoun, ibid.
[4] Chaudhary, Vivek (18 February 2004). Whos the fat
bloke in the number eight shirt?". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 May 2010.
[5] Marples, M. 1954. A History of Football, Secker and
Warburg, London
[7] Sports and Pastimes of the People of England: II. Rural Exercises Generally Practised: Chapter III. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
[8] Poetical Works of Edmund Waller and Sir John Denham
/". 2004-05-10. Retrieved 2013-1204.

After the appointment of David Moyes as manager in

March 2002, Everton fought back from a decade where [9] The Familiar Letters of James Howell.
they had mostly nished mid table or just above the Retrieved 2013-12-04.
egation zone and became a regular xture in the Premier
Leagues top seven places, qualifying for Europe on sev- [10] The Muses Looking Glass (1638), IV. ii.
eral occasions, although they failed to win a major trophy. [11] Francis Willughbys Book of Games: A Seventeenth- Century Treatise on Sports ... - Francis Willughby - Google
At the end of 2012-13, Sir Alex Ferguson announced
Books. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
his retirement as manager of Manchester United after 27
years and 25 major trophies. His successor was Everton [12]
manager David Moyes.
Despite the dominance of the established big clubs in the
contest for honours, a number of smaller clubs have enjoyed considerable success. After returning to the top
ight and staying there after three decades away, Swansea
won their rst major English trophy (to go with a host
of Welsh Cup wins) when they beat Bradford City (a
fourth tier side) to win the League Cup in 2013. The
same year saw Wigan Athletic, who only reached the Premier League in 2005 having joined the Football League
in 1978, win the FA Cup at the expense of Manchester
City, only to be relegated days later. Cardi City also returned to the top ight that year after 51 years away, while
Hull City went up with them to reclaim the top ight place
they had only held for a two-season spell until 2010.


See also

Timeline of English football

[13] The guardian newspaper, 6 January 1838

[14] The Guardian 4 January 1845

[15] Retrieved 2013-12-04.
[17] The Scotsman Newspaper, 22 December 1863, page 8
[18] Marples, Morris (1954) A History of Football, Secker and
Warburg, London
[19] [Cox, Richard (2002) The encyclopaedia of British Football, Routledge, United Kingdom]
[20] Wall, Sir Frederick (2005). 50 Years of Football, 1884
1934. Soccer Books Limited. ISBN 1-86223-116-8.
[21] Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 18 December 1869
[22] Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 5 November 1870,issue 2


[23] Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 18 November 1871,issue 2, 681
[24] Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 18 March
1871,issue 2, 646
[25] Bells Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 17 February
1872,issue 2694
[26] Scotlands amazing role in footballs success - The Scotsman. 2006-06-29. Retrieved
[27] Oxford DNB theme: The makers of association football. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
[28] Scots passing pioneers shaped football - The Scotsman. 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
[29] H>M. The Scotsman newspaper, 1 December 1870, page
[30] Charles W Alcock, The Scotsman newspaper, 28 November 1870, page 7
[31] The Scotsman newspaper, 21 November 1870, page 7
[32] Harvey, Adrian in Football The First Hundred Years The
Untold Story, Routledge
[33] Minutes of the Football Association of 3 October 1872,
[34] The Derby Mercury (Derby, England), Wednesday, 15
March 1871; Issue 8181.





Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


History of football in England Source:

Contributors: Kingturtle, Dale Arnett, TimR, Flauto Dolce, Matthead, An Siarach, Discospinster, Tompw, Villafanuk, Qwghlm,
Woohookitty, Bellhalla, BD2412, Rjwilmsi, Payo, Bgwhite, Quentin X, Gaius Cornelius, Nascigl, Number 57, Tony1, Fullerov, Chanheigeorge, SmackBot, Dwanyewest, Ilikeeatingwaes, Mauls, Gilliam, Hmains, Chris the speller, Colonies Chris, Darryl.matheson, AlexWilkes,
Derek R Bullamore, Ged UK, BigDom, Mr Stephen, GiantSnowman, Stevo1000, Cydebot, Ntsimp, Achangeisasgoodasa, Jameboy, AnOrdinaryBoy, Marek69, JustAGal, Djdannyp, JRRobinson, Bcnviajero, Tangerines, Kbthompson, Daemonic Kangaroo, Keith D, Pharaoh of
the Wizards, Plasticup, Jevansen, Maga, Kinigi, Aymatth2, AngChenrui, StaticGull, Tripod86, MegdalePlace, Niceguyedc, MickMacNee, Crazyfootballclub, Footballhistory211, DumZiBoT, Dthomsen8, Al tally, Wotapalaver, AtheWeatherman, Arteyu, Tassedethe, Lightbot, AnomieBOT, 1exec1, Materialscientist, LilHelpa, Stewdoug, Youdanshef, Footballloveaair, Sir Stanley, FrescoBot, Andy Lowson,
Pinethicket, VEO15, WaitingForConnection, RjwilmsiBot, JMG1992, K6ka, PohranicniStraze, TYelliot, ClueBot NG, Satellizer, Widr,
Helpful Pixie Bot, HMSSolent, MusikAnimal, The Almightey Drill, Khazar2, EuroCarGT, Hmainsbot1, BencaNNossaPaixao, Moony22,
FrigidNinja, Sweeney14 and Anonymous: 68



File:1stRoyalEngineers.png Source: License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ?

File:Ambox_important.svg Source: License: Public domain Contributors: Own work, based o of Image:Ambox scales.svg Original artist: Dsmurat (talk contribs)
File:Commons-logo.svg Source: License: ? Contributors: ? Original
artist: ?
File:Edit-clear.svg Source: License: Public domain Contributors: The
Tango! Desktop Project. Original artist:
The people from the Tango! project. And according to the meta-data in the le, specically: Andreas Nilsson, and Jakub Steiner (although
File:Folder_Hexagonal_Icon.svg Source: License: Cc-bysa-3.0 Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:P_history.svg Source: License: Public domain Contributors:
Own work Original artist: User:Kontos
File:Question_book-new.svg Source: License: Cc-by-sa-3.0
Created from scratch in Adobe Illustrator. Based on Image:Question book.png created by User:Equazcion Original artist:
File:Sheffield_FC.svg Source: License: Fair use Contributors:
The logo is from the Sheeld F.C. Ocial Website website. Converted to AI format by and then converted to SVG by Arteyu
using Adobe Illustrator Original artist: ?
File:Soccerball_England.svg Source: License: Public
domain Contributors: Image:Soccerball.svg and Image:Flag of England.svg Original artist: ed g2s talk


Content license

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0