Bristol City F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Bristol City


fullname = Bristol City Football Club
nickname = The Robins
founded = 1897
ground = Ashton Gate,
Bristol
capacity = 21,497
chairman = Steve Lansdown
manager = flagicon|England Gary Johnson
league = The Championship
season = 2007-08
position = The Championship, 4th
pattern_la1=_whitelower|pattern_b1=_white_sleeve_seams|pattern_ra1=_whitelower
leftarm1=CC0000|body1=CC0000|rightarm1=CC0000|shorts1=FFFFFF|socks1=CC0000
pattern_la2=_upperwhite|pattern_b2=_redwhitestriped_sides|pattern_ra2=_upperwhite
leftarm2=CC0000|body2=FFFFFF|rightarm2=CC0000|shorts2=CC0000|socks2=FFFFFF|

Bristol City Football Club is one of two football league clubs in Bristol, England, (the other being arch rivals Bristol Rovers). They play at Ashton Gate, located in the south-western portion of the City. Gary Johnson has been the team's manager since 23 September 2005, succeeding Brian Tinnion. They were promoted to the Coca-Cola Championship in the 2006-07 season after finishing second in League One but failed to make a second consecutive promotion to the Premier League after they were defeated by Hull City in the Championship Play-Offs.

Bristol City won the Welsh Cup - despite being an English team - in 1934. In 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest-ever final position.

In 1982, Bristol City became the first English team to suffer three successive relegations but by 1990 they were back in the Second Division. Another relegation followed in 1995, when City finished second from bottom in the new Second Division, and a return to that division three years later lasted just one season. Most of their seasons between 1999 and 2006 were spent challenging for promotion in the upper half of the division.

The club's nickname is "The Robins", and a robin featured on the club's badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a label showing a robin. A recent attempt by the club to alter the club's badge was abandoned after the club was criticized fiercely by fans.

Bristol City currently play at Ashton Gate stadium in the Ashton/Bedminster area of the city of Bristol, which has an all-seater capacity of 21,497.

History

Early years and early successes (1897-1911)

The club was founded in 1897, when Bristol South End turned professional and changed its name to Bristol City. In 1900 the club merged with local rivals Bedminster, who had been founded as Southville in 1887. The side joined the Football League in 1901 and were the only non-London League side south of Birmingham until 1920. Their first game in the Football League was against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on 7 September, 1901. City won 2–0. [Calley, Roy (1992). "Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992", Breedon Books Sport]

They first entered Division 1 in 1906 as Second Division champions, and as newcomers became known as the "Bristol Babes", a nickname that would last into the thirties. They were runners-up to Newcastle in their first season in the top flight, and in 1909 reached the FA Cup final, where they were beaten by Manchester United at the Crystal Palace in London. But these achievements were not consistent, and in 1911 City were relegated back to the Second Division. They have not repeated the heights of the 1906-1909 era since, and did not even return to the top flight for 65 years.

The yo-yo era (1912-1965)

The 1920s were a rocky time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the lower division, and stayed that way until the Second World War. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years. An engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s. The late 1950s were a better time for City, with a five year stay in the Second Division, a league they returned to for a further spell in 1965.

Back among the elite (1966-1979)

In 1967 Alan Dicks was appointed manager, and things gradually began to improve. Promotion to the First Division was finally achieved in 1976, ending a 65-year exile from the top flight.

City's second stint in the top flight was less successful and memorable than the club's first, with 13th position in 1979 being their highest finish during this era. Stars of this era included Geoff Merrick, Tom Ritchie, Clive Whitehead, Gerry Gow, Trevor Tainton and Jimmy Mann.

Decline and financial ruin (1980-1982)

City were relegated back to the Second Division in 1980, but this was only the beginning of their problems. Debts mounted and losses increased, with two successive relegations following. In 1982, City fell into the Fourth Division and were declared bankrupt. However, a new company - BCFC (1982) Ltd - was set up to allow the club to continue playing. The club's survival was confirmed when eight highly-paid senior players (the 'Ashton Gate Eight') accepted redundancy. These players, who all agreed to half their contract if they left the club, were: Julian Marshall, Chris Garland, Jimmy Mann, Peter Aitken, Geoff Merrick, David Rodgers, Gerry Sweeney and Trevor Tainton.

Revival (1982-1990)

City spent two seasons in the Fourth Division before winning promotion under Terry Cooper in 1984. They consolidated themselves in the Third Division during the later part of the 1980s, and in 1990 Cooper's successor Joe Jordan achieved promotion as Third Division runners-up. This was easily the most successful footballing year to date for the city of Bristol, as neighbours Bristol Rovers were also promoted to the Second Division as champions.

Back in the second tier (1990-1995)

Jordan moved to Heart of Midlothian in September 1990, and his successor Jimmy Lumsden remained in charge for 18 months before making way for Denis Smith. Smith's first signing was the 20-year-old Arsenal striker Andy Cole, who was an instant hit with fans and quickly established himself as one of the finest goalscoring talents ever to wear a Bristol City shirt. But he was sold to Newcastle United in February 1993 and later established himself as a world class goalscorer, most prominently with Manchester United, where he collected five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup.

Meanwhile, City remained in the new Division One (no longer the Second Division after the creation of the Premier League in 1992) and Smith moved to Oxford United in November 1993. His successor Russell Osman was sacked within a year, being a very unpopular figure with fans. One of Osman's few successful moments with City came in January 1994 when he led them to a shock 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.

Joe Jordan was brought back to Ashton Gate in September 1994, but was unable to prevent relegation to Division Two.

Promotion and relegation (1995-2000)

Jordan remained at the helm for two seasons after City's relegation, but left in June 1997 after failing to get them back into Division One. Former Bristol Rovers manager John Ward took over, and achieved promotion in 1998 as Division Two runners-up. But City struggled back in Division One, and Ward stepped down in October 1998 to be succeeded by Benny Lennartsson. City were relegated in bottom place and Lennartsson was dismissed in favour of Gillingham's Tony Pulis, who lasted six months before being dismissed as manager of perhaps the worst City side since the one that completed a hat-trick of successive relegations almost 20 years earlier. Coach Tony Fawthrop took over until the end of the season, when Danny Wilson was appointed. Wilson was arguably the most prominent manager to take charge of a City side since Denis Smith, as he had guided Barnsley to promotion to the Premier League in 1997 and Sheffield Wednesday to a 12th place finish in 1999.

The Danny Wilson Era (2000-2004)

City were regular Division Two playoff contestants during Wilson's spell as manager. City tasted the agony of failing to reach them in 2002, although he paid back his debt by almost making automatic promotion, and winning the LDV Vans trophy in Cardiff in 2003. The taste of the play-offs was bitter though, losing to rivals Cardiff City 1-0 on aggregate in the semi-final. In his final year - 2004 - they reached the final, but lost to Brighton & Hove Albion. He was sacked within days and replaced by veteran player Brian Tinnion.

Disappointment under Brian Tinnion (2004-2005)

City failed to make the playoffs in Tinnion's first season as manager, and he stepped down in September 2005 after a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City. This rounded off a dismal start to the season in which City's form had slumped even further despite the addition of high profile players including Marcus Stewart and Michael Bridges. Yeovil manager Gary Johnson was recruited as his successor.

Revival under Gary Johnson (September 2005 - May 2007)

scored a brace. This was City's largest league win since late 1969, and was an encouraging sign of things to come, although they didn't quite make playoffs in 2006.

after a 0-0 draw at Ashton Gate and a Rickie Lambert goal condemned the Robins to a 1-0 aggregate defeat in the 2nd leg. is the first season in almost a decade that has seen Bristol City playing at this level of English football.

The Championship challenge (Since May 2007)

In the summer between City's promotion and the start of the Championship season, Gary Johnson made a number of signings. However their pre season form didn't start well, losing 4-2 to Forest Green Rovers. However City got of to a good start going unbeaten for a number of matches and briefly topping the Championship after beating Coventry City 3-0 in an early kick off. City then suffered a slight blip after losing 3-0 to Barnsley before beating a variety of big name teams including Sheffield United live on Sky Sports and Southampton. In November City's form dipped and they endured a run of 4 games without a win, including a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Ipswich Town. In December City's form picked up again and went unbeaten all the way to boxing day where they lost to West Brom 4-1.

After a stop start run of form including victories over Blackpool and Coventry and losses to QPR and Crystal Palace city went top of the Championship on March 1st after a 2-1 home victory over Hull City. After a poor run of form city went back to the top after a last gasp winner from Steve Brooker, who was just returning from injury, in a 2-1 win over Norwich City. However a poor run of form ended City's chances of an automatic promotion place. On 4 May 2008, a 3-0 home win against Preston North End on the final day of the league season ensured a play-off place and a semi-final fixture against Crystal Palace. On 13 May 2008 a 4-2 aggregate win over Crystal Palace with goals from Lee Trundle and Michael McIndoe confirmed City's trip to Wembley, where they were beaten 1-0 by Hull City.

Honours

*The Football League runners-up: 1906–07

*FA Cup finalists: 1909

*Welsh Cup winners: 1934

*Second Division champions: 1905–06

*Third Division South champions: 1922–23, 1926–27, 1954–55

*Football League One runners-up: 2006–07

*Football League Trophy winners: 1985–86, 2002–03

*Anglo-Scottish Cup winners: 1977–78

Colours and crest

Bristol City have played in red and white since the 1890s, occasionally also including black. [cite web|url=http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Bristol_City/Bristol_City.htm|title=Bristol City|publisher=www.historicalkits.co.uk|accessdate=2008-05-20] The 2008-09 season's kit, made by Puma (in the 3rd of a 4 year deal) has a matching style for the home and away strips, with the away colours being white and red and the home colours the opposite. The shirts are sponsored by DAS and Blackthorn. At the pre-season friendly against Cheltenham Town they played in a third kit, which is all black with white trim that follows the same design as the home and away strips. The club have stated that the third strip will not go on sale to the public [cite web|url=http://www.bcfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10327~1301171,00.html|title=Bristol City|publisher=www.bcfc.co.uk|accessdate=2008-05-20]

The club's crest is a simplified version of the coat of arms of the city of Bristol.

Current management

Most club appearances including substitute appearances in all competitions (excluding Gloucestershire Cup). Updated 29 May 2008. [ [http://www.bcfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10327~1267316,00.html Official Site] ]

Trivia

* The club's mascot is Scrumpy the Robin who has been the club's mascot since 2005.
* The club's official anthem is One For The Bristol City by The Wurzels. First released in 1976, it is the tune the team run out to at home matches. A newly-recorded version of the song reached number 66 in the UK charts in September 2007.

References

ource

*cite book
last = Woods
first = David M.
title = The Bristol Babe: The First 100 Years of Bristol City F.C.
publisher = Yore Publications
date = 1994
location = Harefield, Middlesex
id = ISBN 187442795X

External links

* [http://www.bcfc.co.uk/ Official website]
* [http://www.skysports.com/football/team/0,19734,11726,00.html Skysports.com - Bristol City]
* [http://www.football365.com/teams/bristol_city/0,17032,12237,00.html football365.com - Bristol City]
* [http://www.bristolcity-mad.co.uk Bristol City at FootyMAD]
* [http://www.teamtalk.com/football/bristolcity/0,16370,1817,00.html TEAM"talk".com - Bristol City]
* [http://www.sportinglife.com/football/cc_championship/bristolcity/news/ sportinglife.com - Bristol City]
* [http://www.otib.co.uk/ Fans' Bristol City otib forum]
* [http://www.bristolcityst.org.uk/ Bristol City Supporters Trust]

succession box
before=Wigan Athletic
title=Football League Trophy Winners
years=1985-86
after=Mansfield Town
succession box
before=Blackpool
title=Football League Trophy Winners
years=2002-03
after=Blackpool


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