Yes, that’s right. Our stadium, currently named the Exacta Stadium, bisects the England/Wales border. The main stand and offices are all in Cheshire, England, whilst the pitch and the other stands are in Flintshire, Wales. It’s the only stadium in the world to be in two countries, but luckily you don’t need to take your passport to the turnstiles.
The footysphere iPhone app is here! Thanks to a wonderful service by bloapp you can now get footysphere on your iPhone. All the latest togga tumbles and soccer snips served up lickety-split no matter where you may be .. for free .. WAHEY!
Here’s how to do it. First up dear readers download the app from ..
The first foreign sport came to Town’s Shay stadium in 1949, when in exchange for a share of the gate receipts, Halifax Town allowed tenancy for the speedway outfit Halifax Dukes. The speedway went on to beat the football in popularity during the ’70s. The Dukes eventually left in 1986 after skirmishes with Halifax Town for the nearby Odsal Stadium, home of the Rugby League side Bradford Bulls, before going pop in 1997.
The users of deviantART have created some fabulous football images. The player below showcases those I have added to my favourites. If you see any image that you wanna take a closer look at simply click on it within the player and it’s item page will open up on deviantART. If you wish you can then show your appreciation to the artists by faving it or leaving a nice comment.
We’re on fire with the five fun facts feature. They’re coming thick and fast. After a brief sojourn into continental Europe we’re back in blighty to focus on one of London’s less well known clubs. Mark of 9-men introduces us to his team Dagenham & Redbridge FC.
He can cook too! According to the 1958/59 edition of Charles Buchan’s Soccer Gift Book, Tommy Docherty owned a cafe in Preston and had something of a reputation for cooking up the best Cornish pasties in the area.
He was still with Preston North End at the time this photo was taken but signed for Arsenal soon after.
The Beginning of Manchester United's Brave Fight Back
The caption reads: Shattered by the terrible air disaster in Munich in which so many fine players died, Manchester United began their gallant fight back to greatness by beating Sheffield Wednesday in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. The picture shows Billy Foulkes, the United captain, shaking hands with Wednesday’s Albert Quixall.
Image taken from the 1958/59 edition of Charles Buchan’s Soccer Gift Book
Another installment in our continuing Five Fun Facts feature and for the first time (but not the last) we focus on a European side. We cross the channel with Andrew Gibney of the Gib Football Show for a lean lowdown on the French 2010/11 double winners Lille OSC.
As the English football season nears it’s end we here at footysphere are humbled and honoured to be short-listed in the 2010/11 EPL Awards for best football blog of the year.
Our tumblr compadres over at A Football Report are also nominated along with other denizens and luminaries from the football blogging community. For sure we are not worthy and when we found out about our nomination we were truly gobsmacked.
Of course if our lovely followers here on tumblr want to cast a vote for footysphere then by all means please do, all votes will be much appreciated. But we ask that you take some time to check out all the other nominees too, there are some really excellent football blogs deserving of a vote or two.
As well as the best blog there are thirty other categories where you can vote for the best managers, best footballers, podcasts, tweeters and more ..
The Youdan Cup - The World's First Football Trophy
On Monday 2nd May Hallam FC will play Sheffield FC in a special fixture to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the World’s oldest inter-club football fixture. This is as good a time as any to have a bit of a look back into the history of the Countrymen, as Hallam are known, and revisit the occasion of what is probably still their finest hour; their triumph in the World’s very first football tournament.
In 1867 a Sheffield theatre owner by the name of Thomas Youdan offered up a cup and some prize money so that local clubs could play what turned out to be the World’s first competitive cup-tie fixtures. Previously all games had been challenge matches with nothing at stake bar local pride and maybe a few pennies as a side bet. Twelve Sheffield clubs accepted the invitation to take part. Though the oldest amongst them Sheffield FC declined having decided earlier in 1867 to forsake the local game and play only games against teams from outside Sheffield in an effort to popularise the game on a national level. This isolationist policy, with the exception of two games against Sheffield Gymnasium in 1870, lasted until 1887.
It’s been reported that Sheffield FC, the World’s first football club, are planning to auction an archive of historical documents that include a pamphlet containing the original handwritten rules of 1858. Auctioneers estimate that the archive could fetch in excess of one million pounds. Money that club chairman Richard Tims says is essential to ensure the future of the club.
When most clubs turn up at La Manga training camp in Southern Spain, a few days of intense training and team bonding lay ahead. But when Leicester City turned up prior to their 2000 League Cup Final, there was a lot more of the latter than the former. Boss Martin O’Neill decided to stay at home for the trip, and must have regretted it when he listened to his phone messages on the first evening. A very intoxicated Ian Marshall decided that it would be a good idea to call the Gaffer and ask for an extension on the strict curfew given to the players. By the time O’Neill had listened to his voicemails, the Foxes players had already been kicked out of the resort after Stan Collymore set off a fire extinguisher in the bar.
The Opening of Glanford Park in 1988 - Scunthorpe United's new ground
Back in August 1988 Glanford Park, the new home of Scunthorpe United opened it’s doors to the public. According to the official Iron website the new ground brought “gasps of disbelief” from supporters. Costing £2.5m it was the first new football ground built in England since Southend United had moved to Roots Hall in 1955.
The inaugural match saw Scunny, wearing a specially commisioned strip, take on a Football League XI. Kevin Keegan, who had started his career with Scunthorpe, guested for the Iron and his appearance prompted a boycott of the event by local Labour councillors protesting his coaching involvement in the then apartheid state of South Africa. A decision he called ‘selfish’ and ‘childish’.
The Football League XI included Peter Shilton, Peter Reid, Mike Phelan, Danny Wilson, Trevor Francis, Alan McInally and Mick Harford amongst others and ran out easy 5-1 winners.
The third installment of footysphere’s Five Fun Facts feature. Last up was Newcastle United so it’s only right to redress the North-East balance by today showcasing their bitter rivals Sunderland AFC. Thank you to Simon Walsh of The Roker Report for this guest post.
1. We’ve been involved in three record-breaking transfers.
Yeah, it’s not just your Manchester City’s and Real Madrid’s of the world breaking transfer records, Sunderland have had their share too. In the early part of the 20th century, Sunderland were the selling team twice. Who’d have thought little old Sunderland would have two of the most coveted players in the world, but we certainly did. In 1904 Andy McCombie was transferred to the dark side of the North East when Newcastle decided to splash out a massive £700 for the Scottish Right-Back.
It was only one year later when McCombies former team mate, striker Alf Common, became the world’s first £1000 transfer as he moved down the road to Middlesbrough. It only took another 17 years for Sunderland to bother spending any of the big money received, when they broke the bank to sign Warney Cresswell from South Shields FC for £5500. South Shields could have invested wisely, but now find themselves in the lower reaches of local league football.
Last week we wrote about Arthur Wharton, the World’s first black professional footballer. As an addendum to that we’ve got a photo (shown above with the kind permission of @TonyCSGreenall) of the commemorative headstone which was placed on his hitherto unmarked grave in Edlington Cemetery, Doncaster in 1997. The headstone, funded by the Football Unites, Racism Divides campaign helps ensure that his achievements and legacy will remain visible for many years to come.
This, the footysphere"Top 25 Tumblr Blogs about Football" is a personal list I’ve compiled whilst on my virtual travels through the tumblr community. It’s ordered alphabetically & I hope you find it useful in finding some great football (soccer) blogs to follow here on tumblr.
This list is of course not exhaustive and apologies if I’ve missed anyone out. Please don’t be offended. Indeed feel free to leave a comment below with a link to your football-themed tumblr blog. Be sure to checkout 50 more top tumblr blogs about football.
Today we continue with our Five Fun Facts feature with a guest post by Michael Hudson. A gentleman blogger who is doing a wonderful job organising and promoting the upcoming Northern League Day on the 9th of April 2011. So without further ado we present for your delectation and edification five amazing and astounding facts about that giant of English football, Newcastle United.
On Tuesday 29th March England will play Ghana at Wembley in the first meeting between the two countries. The game will honour the memory and achievements of Arthur Wharton, the World’s first black professional footballer.
Wharton was born 1865 in Jamestown, Gold Coast, current day Ghana. His father was a Methodist priest from Grenada and his mother was a member of the Fante royal house. In 1882 he left for England to train as a missionary and it was whilst at college in Darlington that his talent for sports shone through. He soon gave up his studies to become a full-time athlete.
He was a very talented individual indeed, in 1886 he became the first man to run the 100 yards dash in ten seconds and in 1887 set the fastest time for cycling between Preston and Blackburn. But it was in football that he was to make his name.
Wonderful picture from the even more wonderful ground-hopping blog Reynards Hunting Grounds. It would be remiss of me not post a couple of 3-wheeler jokes ..
A Vics fan was driving his Reliant Robin down the motorway when his mobile phone started ringing. Answering the call he heard his wife warning him to be careful, “Fred, I’ve just heard on the news that there’s a car driving the wrong way down the M6, keep a look-out and please be careful.” “Blimey,” said Fred to his wife, “It’s not just one car there’s hundreds of ‘em!”
What do you call a Reliant Robin with a football in it? … A whistle ..
Brazilian champs or Brazilian chumps? The strange case of Bela Vista
Bela Vista FC Tour of Europe 1958
Back in the fifties many Brazilian sides toured Europe and one club who hoped to cash in on the success of the 1958 World Cup winning Brazilian national team was Bela Vista Futebol Clube de Sete Lagoas. They weren’t a big club by any stretch of the imagination though a resourceful Brazilian businessman with an eye for an opportunity organised a tour of Europe by the club in the hope of making some money.
Today sees the start of a new feature here on footysphere where we invite football bloggers to give us five fun facts about their club. First up is Scunthorpe United fan Nicola Kilmore who gives us five fun facts, and little bit more, about her club, the Iron.
Following the success of Non-League Day last year the first Northern League Day takes place on the 9th April which you can read more about here. I’m hoping to travel up to the North-east on that day to take in the Ryton v Billingham Synthonia game but in the meantime below you will find my contribution to the Northern League Day blog.
What has the Northern League ever done for us? Sheffield United
March 1889 was, in some quarters, a significant month for English football. On the 16th nearly 23000, at the time the largest crowd to watch an FA Cup game outside of the final, saw Preston North End beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in an FA Cup semi-final at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. The gate receipts of £574 convinced the Sheffield United ground committee that a permanent team should be formed to play football at the Lane and so six days later on the 22nd the Sheffield United Cricket Club became the Sheffield United Football & Cricket Club.
In 1972 the great Brazilian team Santos who included Pele, the King of football amongst their number, visited England for a bit of a mini-tour. As far as I know they played two games; one at Aston Villa and one at Sheffield Wednesday. The photo above shows Pele in action against Wednesday at their Hillsborough ground.
Can you make a twitter team? Sheffield United fans can...
This post has been prompted by an article that appeared on the seventy two, an excellent blog that focuses on the 72 clubs who make up the Football League. This article Can you make a twitter team? Ipswich Town fans can (and whose title I have shamelessly ripped off) names a number of former & current Ipswich Town players who maintain a twitter account. It’s a pretty good team but not a patch on the one that can be made up of former Sheffield United players who are on twitter.