Monday, October 15, 2012

Southampton Football Club,,

Southampton Football Club is an English football club, nicknamed The Saints, based in the city ofSouthampton, Hampshire. The club compete in the Premier League, having gained promotion in the 2011–12 season, finishing as runners up in the Championship. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery

After 27 years playing top-flight football the club was relegated to the Championship in 2005, before being relegated further to League One in 2009. After a year playing football in the third tier, the club secured back to back promotions under the new and current management of Nigel Adkins. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery

The Saints' home ground is the St Mary's Stadium, where the club moved to in 2001 from The Dell. The club has been nicknamed "The Saints" since its inception in 1885 due to its history as a church football team, founded as St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association (or St Mary's Y.M.A) and has since played in red and white. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery

The club has a long standing rivalry with Portsmouth F.C due to its close proximity and both cities' respective maritime history. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast Derby.

The club has won the FA Cup once in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84.[1] Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery

Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 ending 27 successive seasons of top division football for the club.[2]

On 8 July 2009 the club was purchased by Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr,[3] who died on 10 August 2010. Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery

In September 2010, Nigel Adkins was appointed manager on a three year deal,[4] and yielded successive promotions in his first two seasons as manager.

In 2001 the move from The Dell to the new Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium was a homecoming for Southampton F.C., Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery

because of the new stadium's proximity to St Mary's, the church where the club was founded on 21 November 1885 by members of the St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association.

St Mary's Y.M.A., as they were usually referred to in the local press, played most of their early games on Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery

The Common where games were not infrequently interrupted by pedestrians insistent on exercising their right to roam. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Mary's Road.

The club was originally known as St. Mary's Young Men's Association F.C. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery

(usually abbreviated to "St. Mary's Y.M.A.") and then became simply St. Mary's F.C. in 1887–88, before adopting the name Southampton St. Mary's when the club joined the Southern League in 1894. After they won the Southern League title in 1896–97, the club became a limited company and changed their name to Southampton F.C. Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery

They won the Southern League championship for three years running between 1897 and 1899 and again in 1901, 1903 and 1904.

That success spanned some major changes for the Saints as they moved to a newly-built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, to the North-West of the city centre in 1898. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery

Although they would spend the next 103 years there, the future was far from certain in those early days and the club had to rent the premises first before they could stump up the cash to buy the stadium in the early part of the 20th century.

Good omens were quick to arrive though and before the 19th century was out the Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery

South Coast was given a taste of things to come as they reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day they went down 4–0 to Bury and two years later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield Unitedas they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final, but it had given the club a thirst for the big occasion—albeit one that would not be truly satisfied for over seven decades. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery

After the First World War, when many teams were broken up by the call of National Service, Saints joined the newly-formed Football League Division 3 in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later. The 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay inDivision 2. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery

In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United and Arsenal respectively.

Saints were briefly forced to switch home matches to the ground of their local rivals Portsmouth F.C. Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery

at Fratton Park during the Second World War when a bomb landed on The Dell pitch in November 1940, leaving an 18-foot crater which damaged an underground culvert and flooded the pitch.

Promotion was narrowly missed in 1947–48 when they finished in third place, a feat repeated the following season (despite having an eight point lead with eight games to play) Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery

whilst in 1949–50 they were to be denied promotion by 0.06 of a goal, missing out on second place to Sheffield United. In the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 (South).

It took until 1960 for Saints to regain Division 2 status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’ 106 league goals. Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery

On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.

The dream of Division 1 football at the Dell for the first time was finally realised in 1966 when Ted Bates’ team were promoted as runners-up, with Martin Chivers scoring 30 of Saints' 85 league goals. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery

Promotion was a never-to-be-forgotten achievement.

For the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season as Saints scored 74 league goals, conceding 92. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery

These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 (going out in Round 3 to Newcastle United) and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, when they went out in the First Round to Athletic Bilbao.

In December 1973, long term manager Ted Bates stood down to be replaced by Lawrie McMenemy who was unable to prevent Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery

The Saints becoming the first victims of the new 3-down relegation system in 1974 when they were relegated, along with Manchester United and Norwich City.

Under Lawrie McMenemy's management, Saints started to rebuild in Division 2, capturing players such as Peter Osgood, Jim McCalliog, Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery

Jim Steele and Peter Rodrigues (captain) and what many people feel was the team's greatest moment (to date) came in 1976, when they reached the FA Cup Final, playing Manchester United at Wembley, and surprised all observers by beating much-fancied United 1–0 thanks to a goal from Bobby Stokes. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery

Southampton had finally broken their major honours duck and finally laid to rest memories of defeats in the 1900 FA Cup Final against Bury and more agonisingly the 1902 FA Cup Final against Sheffield United. However more pain was yet to be inflicted in the 2003 FA Cup Final against a phenomenal Arsenal side. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery

The following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners' Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht.

Southampton returned to cup success with the demolition of Carlisle United in the 2010 Football League Trophy Final. Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery

This saw the South Coast Club pick up their First Trophy (albeit a minor success) since the 1976 FA Cup Final, Southampton also equalled the largest winning margin by a team at Wembley and would have stood alone if not for a late Carlisle consolation. Southampton also took 44,000 fans to the final. Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery

This would have been many more if the Carlisle unused allocation had been given to the club. The 44,000 fans provided Southampton with the largest following to any domestic game at Wembley.

In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in Division 2 (behind Bolton Wanderers) and returned to Division 1. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery

They finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight. The following season they returned to Wembley in the final of the League Cup when they acquitted themselves well, losing 3–2 to Nottingham Forest.

In 1980, McMenemy made his finest signing, capturing the "European Footballer of the Year" Kevin Keegan. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery

Although Keegan's Southampton career only lasted two years, Saints fielded an attractive side also containing Alan Ball, prolific scorer of goals Ted MacDougall, (who still holds the record for the largest number of goals in an FA Cup game – 9 – for Bournemouth against Margate in an 11–0 win), Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery

MacDougall's strike partner at Bournemouth and Norwich Phil Boyer, club stalwart Mick Channon and Charlie George and in 1980–81 they scored 76 goals, finishing in sixth place, then their highest league finish.

Southampton continued to progress well under McMenemy's stewardship, Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery

and with a team containing Peter Shilton, Nick Holmes, David Armstrong, top-scorer Steve Moran and Danny Wallace reached their highest ever league finish as runners-up in 1983–84[1] (3 points behind the champions Liverpool) as well as reaching the semi-final of the FA Cup losing 1–0 to Everton at Highbury Stadium. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery

They finished fifth the following year, but as a result of the Heysel Disaster all English clubs were banned from European competition – had it not been for this, then Southampton would have qualified for the UEFA Cup once again.

Lawrie McMenemy left at the end of the 1984–85 season to be succeeded by Chris Nicholl, Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery

who was sacked after six years in charge despite preserving the club's top flight status. He was replaced by Ian Branfoot, who until the end of the 1990–91 season had been assistant manager to Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace. By this stage a key player in the Southampton line-up was Guernsey-born attacking midfielder/striker Matthew Le Tissier, the best-loved player in Saints' recent history. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery

He was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990 and later made eight appearances for the England team – he finally retired in 2002 at the age of 33.

Southampton were founding members of the Premier League in 1992–93, having played in the top flight of English football since 1978. Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery

Ian Branfoot was sacked in January 1994 with Southampton battling relegation. He was replaced by Exeter City manager Alan Ball. Ball secured the Saints' survival for the 1993–94 season and guided them to a respectable tenth-place finish in the Premiership in 1994–95, with performances from Matthew Le Tissier. Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery

But amidst rumours of lack of support from the Board, Ball was lured to Manchester City in the summer of 1995 and Southampton turned to long-serving coach David Merrington to take charge of the team in 1995–96. Southampton finished 17th with 38 league points, avoiding relegation on goal difference. Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery

Two important wins during the final weeks of the season did much to ensure that Saints and not Manchester City would achieve Premiership survival. First came a 3–1 home win over eventual double winners Manchester United, then came a 1–0 away win over relegated Bolton Wanderers. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery

Merrington was dismissed a few days after the end of the season and replaced by former Liverpool and Rangers manager Graeme Souness.

Southampton fared little better in 1996–97 despite the arrival of Souness, whose track record included three Scottish league titles with Rangers and an FA Cup victory with Liverpool. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery

Souness brought in quality foreign players with Egil Ă˜stenstad and Eyal Berkovic. The highlight of the season was a 6–3 win over Manchester United at the Dell in October, when both his signings scored twice. However, he had to deal with criticism over the Ali Dia debacle. He resigned after just one season in charge following a dispute over transfer funds, Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery

after he had overseen Southampton's 16th place finish in the Premiership. Southampton's directors turned to Dave Jones—one of the most respected managers outside the Premiership who had won promotion to Division One with Stockport County as well as reaching the League Cup semi finals. Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery

With such an inexperienced manager, Southampton were tipped by many observers to be relegated from the Premiership in 1997–98. But thanks to the addition of young striker Kevin Davies, and the acquisition of a few others, Southampton achieved a respectable eleventh place finish in the table and managed a home win over Manchester United for the third consecutive season. Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery

Their form seriously dipped in 1998–99 as they were rooted to the bottom of the table for much of the first half of the season, but they again avoided relegation on the last day of the season after a late run of good results, helped by the intervention of Latvian Marian Pahars and old hero Le Tissier (The so-called "Great Escape"). Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery

In 1999 Southampton were given the go-ahead to build a new 32,000-seat stadium in the St Mary's area of the city, a welcome move after playing in the cramped Dell since 1898.

During the 1999–00 season, Dave Jones quit as Southampton manager to concentrate on a court case after he was accused of abusing children at the children's home where he had worked during the 1980s.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery

The accusations were later proved to be groundless but it was too late to save Jones' career as Southampton manager and he was succeeded by ex-England team manager Glenn Hoddle.

Glenn Hoddle helped keep Southampton well clear of the Premiership drop zone but having received an offer he moved to Tottenham Hotspur just before the end of the 2000–01 season. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery

He was replaced by first-team coach Stuart Gray, who oversaw the relocation to the St Mary's Stadium for the 2001–02 season. At the end of the 2000–01 season, in the last competitive match at the Dell, Matthew Le Tissier came on late to score the last ever league goal at the old stadium with a half volley on the turn. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery

Southampton finished the match 3–2 against Arsenal, providing a fairy-tale ending to the days at The Dell. Gray was sacked after a disastrous start to the following season, and in came ex-Coventry manager Gordon Strachan as his replacement. Gordon Strachan did much to revitalise Southampton during the 2001–02 season, and they finished in a secure eleventh place in the final table. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery

They did even better in 2002–03, finished eighth in the Premiership and coming runners-up in the FA Cup to Arsenal (after losing 1–0 at the Millennium Stadium), thanks in no small part to the metamorphosis of James Beattie, who fired home 24 goals, 23 in the league. Consistency followed in the next season, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery

as a side led in attack by Beattie and Kevin Phillips secured twelfth place and yet again defeated Manchester United on their own soil.

Strachan resigned in March 2004 (to take a break from football) and was replaced by Paul Sturrock, who had been in the process of guiding Plymouth Argyle to their second promotion in three seasons. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery

However, rumours of player dissatisfaction and personal problems dogged Sturrock, and he was replaced just five months later by reserve team coach Steve Wigley. Wigley's tenure proved disastrous, with Southampton slipping further and further down the Premiership table during 2004–05. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery

Frenchman Christian Damiano was brought in to assist, but after a run of only one win in 14 games, both men's contracts were terminated.

Chairman Rupert Lowe risked the ire of Saints fans when he appointed Harry Redknapp as manager on 8 December 2004. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery

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