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Portal:English football

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The English Football Portal

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Football is of incredible importance to the English public and has an important place within English national life. The sport is almost always referred to simply as football; it is unusual for it to be called soccer and it is only referred to as "association football" in very limited circumstances. Any unqualified reference to football in an English context should be read as a reference to association football rather than to any other member of the football family of sports.

British Isles England.svg

Kicking ball games are described in England since at least 1280. England can boast the earliest ever documented use of the English word "football" (1409) and the earliest reference to football in French (1314). A description of an exclusively kicking ball game from Nottinghamshire in the fifteenth century bears similarity to football. There is good evidence for refereed, team "foteball" games being played in English public schools since at least 1581. The modern global game of football was first codified in 1863 in London by the English Football Association, the oldest football association in the world. The modern passing game is believed to have been innovated in London in the early 1870s. England is home to the oldest association football clubs in the world (dating from at least 1857), the world's oldest competition (the FA Cup founded in 1871) and the first ever football league (1888). For these reasons England is considered the home of the game of football.

Selected article

The 1888 Royal Arsenal squad, from left to right: Front row: Morris, Babour, Charteris; Seated: Brown, Connolly, Danskin; Standing: Horsington, Wilson, Beardsley, Bates (captain), McBean, Scott; Back: Parr
The History of Arsenal Football Club between 1886 and 1966 covers their time from the club's foundation, through the first two major periods of success (the 1930s, and the late 1940s and early 1950s, respectively) and the club's subsequent decline to mid-table status in the 1960s. Arsenal Football Club were founded in 1886 as a workers' team from Woolwich, southeast London. They turned professional in 1891 and joined the Football League two years later. They were promoted to the First Division in 1904 but financial problems meant they were close to bankruptcy by 1910.

They were bought out by Sir Henry Norris that year and to improve the club's financial standing, he moved the team to Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, North London in 1913. After World War I he arranged for the club's promotion back to the First Division, in controversial circumstances. It was not until the appointment of Herbert Chapman that Arsenal had their first period of major success; Chapman modernised and reformed the club's practices and tactics, and under him and his successor George Allison (who took over after Chapman's death in 1934), Arsenal won five First Division titles and two FA Cups in the 1930s.

Did you know...

Comic version of the first international game

Selected competition

The FA National League System Cup is a football competition run by The Football Association. It was created in the 2003-04 season to provide an English representative in the UEFA Regions' Cup.

In previous Regions' Cups, the FA had nominated a team to take part; in the 2002-03 season it was a Kent County League XI. UEFA decreed that in the future all Regions' Cup entrants must have won a national competition, and so the NLS Cup was formed.

The cup is contested by representative sides from leagues at level 7 of the National League System with a few other leagues permitted by the FA. That is roughly at the county level or eleventh overall tier of the English football league system. The first final was held on May 8, 2004, and was won by the Mid Cheshire League, who beat the Cambridgeshire County League 2-0.


Selected picture

Play between Hampton and Billericay
Credit: Beaver Patrol

Hampton & Richmond Borough playing Billericay Town in the Isthmian League in 2006. Founded in 1905, the league covers the regions of London and South East England and its champions are eligible for promotion to the Conference South.

In the news

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Brief in-the-news coverage of English football is also available at Sports current events.

  • February 3: Football: Giroud leaves Arsenal to sign eighteen-month deal with cross-town rivals Chelsea
  • February 2: Football: Arsenal signs Aubameyang from Dortmund
  • February 1: Football: Manchester United announces extending Juan Mata's contract
  • December 30: Football: Liverpool reaches agreement with Southampton FC to sign van Dijk
  • December 12: UEFA Champions League 2017–2018: Draw for Last 16 held at Nyon
Sports current events | Wikinews Football

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