- 2002–03 in English football
The 2002-03 season was the 123rd season of competitive football in
*Wigan Athletic marked their 25th season of Football League membership by winning the Division Two championship and reaching the league's second tier for the very first time.
*Sheffield Wednesday went down to Division Two, just 10 years after reaching the finals of both domestic cup competitions and 11 years after coming two places short of the league title.
22 July 2002- Manchester United broke the English transfer record for the third time in just over a year. They paid Leeds United £29 million for central defender Rio Ferdinand.
4 August 2002- Leicester City move into their new 32,500-seat Walkers Stadiumafter 111 years at Filbert Street. They drew 1-1 in a friendly with Athletic Bilbao.
17 August 2002- The FA Premier Leagueseason begins. West Bromwich Albion's first top division game for 17 years ends in a 1-0 away defeat to Manchester United.
31 August 2002- Leeds United sell striker Robbie Keaneto Tottenham Hotspur for £7 million.
7 October 2002- Peter Reidis sacked by FA Premier Leaguestrugglers Sunderland after seven-and-a-half years in charge.
10 October 2002- Howard Wilkinsonsteps down as the Football Association's technical director to become the new Sunderland manager. He names Stoke City manager Steve Cotterillas his assistant.
12 October 2002- England open their Euro 2004qualifying series with a 2-1 win over Slovakia in Bratislava. David Beckhamand Michael Owenscore for England.
19 October 2002- Everton striker Wayne Rooneybecomes the youngest-ever goalscorer in FA Premier Leaguehistory when he scores a last-minute winner against Arsenal, five days before his 17th birthday, to end the opposition's 30-match unbeaten Premiership run.
9 November 2002- Manchester City beat Manchester United 3-1 in the last-ever Manchester derby at Maine Road.
18 December 2002- The deaths are announced of former Football Association chairman Sir Bert Millichip, 88, and former Leicester City and Shrewsbury Town striker Arthur Rowley, 76, who scored a record 434 league goals during his 19-year career.
26 December 2002- Hull City celebrate their first competitive game at their new Kingston Communications Stadiumwith a 2-0 win over Hartlepool United in Division Three.
*4 January 2003 -
Shrewsbury Townbeat Everton 2-1 in an FA Cup third round tie at Gay Meadow.
2 March 2003- Liverpool win the League Cup for the seventh time in their history thanks to a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the final at Millennium Stadiumin Cardiff.
10 March 2003- Howard Wilkinson is sacked as Sunderland manager (along with his assistant Steve Cotterill) after his team won just two out of 20 Premiership matches under his management.
12 March 2003- Sunderland appoint former Republic of Ireland national coach Mick McCarthyas their new manager.
21 March 2003- Leeds United, 16th in the FA Premier Leagueand £80million in debt, sack Terry Venablesafter eight months as manager and replace him with Peter Reid, who signs a contract until the end of the season.
22 March 2003- Derby County (in Division One) suspend manager John Gregoryover allegations of misconduct and replace him with George Burleyas interim manager.
27 April 2003Portsmouth beat Rotherham 3-2 to win the First Division championship and gain promotion to the Premier League for the first time since the league's inception.
4 May 2003- Arsenal lose 3-2 at home to Leeds United, a result which ensures Leeds United's safety and ends Arsenal's defence of the title. Manchester United are crowned league champions for the eighth time in 11 seasons. Sunderland are relegated from the Premiership with a record low of 4 wins, 19 points and 21 goals. Shrewsbury Town are relegated to the Conference, ending 53 years of Football League membership. Exeter City finished 23rd in Division Three and are also relegatead to the Conference - the first club to suffer automatic relegation without finishing bottom of the league. Peter Schmeichelcalls time on his footballing career six months before his 40th birthday after helping Manchester City to finish ninth in the Premiership. He was replaced by David Seaman, who left Arsenal on a free transfer.
9 May 2003- Derby County confirm that suspended manager John Gregory will not be returning, and his contract is terminated to make way for George Burley to receive the job on a permanent basis.
17 May 2003- Arsenal win the FA Cup for the ninth time in their history by beating Southampton 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium.
26 May 2003- Wolverhampton Wanderers return to the top flight after a 19-year exile by beating Sheffield United 3-0 in the Division One playoff final.
17 June 2003- David Beckhamagrees to join Real Madridin a £25 million deal after 12 years at Manchester United.
26 June 2003- Marc-Vivien Foé, who spent the 2002-03 season on loan to Manchester City, collapses and dies at the age of 28 during a Confederations Cuptie for Cameroon.
Ruud van Nistelrooy(Manchester United), 25 Football League Second Division
Wigan won their first-ever promotion beyond the Second Division, helped by considerable investment in the team. Crewe managed a promotion on considerably less resources, while play-off winners Cardiff were another big-spending team that were able to earn promotion.
An ill-advised managerial change mid-season helped send Northampton down. Mansfield Town's first season out of the bottom division in over a decade ended as their previous spell had; with immediate relegation. Huddersfield started badly, and a financial crisis later in the season helped condemn them to relegation, only three years after they looked Premiership-bound. Cheltenham came close to survival, but a defeat on the final day of the season saw them return to Division Three.
Football Conference National League System
ummer transfer window
The summer transfer window ran from the end of the previous season until 31 August.
2 May 2002
Franck Queudruefrom Lens to Middlesbrough, £2.5m; 14 August 2002
Juninho Paulistafrom Atlético Madridto Middlesbrough, £6m; 30 August 2002
Tore André Flofrom Rangers to Sunderland, £8m; 31 August 2002
Robbie Keanefrom Leeds United to Tottenham Hotspur, £7m
January transfer window
The mid-season transfer window ran from 1 to 31 January 2003.
31 January 2003
Jonathan Woodgatefrom Leeds United to Newcastle United, £9m
For subsequent transfer deals see
2003-04 in English football.
* 16-year old
Wayne Rooneymade his competitive first-team debut for Everton on the opening day of the season, a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. By the end of the season he was part of the full England side.
James Milner, also 16, played his first game for Leeds Unitedas they won 4-3 at West Ham Unitedin November 2002.
Alan Ashman, 74, former football manager who took Carlisle United into the old First Division in 1974 and West Bromwich Albion to F.A Cup glory in 1968.
Bert Millichip, 88, chairman of the Football Associationfrom 1981 until 1996 and a former director of West Bromwich Albion.
Arthur Rowley, 76, a former centre forward of Leicester City player and Football Leaguerecord scorer who scored an English league career record of 434 goals.
Marc-Vivien Foé, 28, Cameroon midfielder who spent the 2002-03 season on loan to Manchester City from French side Lyon, collapsed and died during a FIFA Confederations Cupgame. A post mortem revealed that Foé, who had played for West Ham United earlier in his career, had suffered from an undetected heart condition.
Rob Hindmarch, 41, former Sunderland, Wolverhampton Wanderersand Derby Countycentre-half, died of motor neurone disease.
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