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Bristol City F.C.

Bristol City is a football club in Bristol, England, which plays in the Second Division of the Football League. Its home is Ashton Gate Stadium. Home colours are presently all red, though for most of the club's history red shirts and white shorts have been the norm. Change colours are presently yellow shirts and green shorts, though a number of other combinations have been used, particularly white shirts and black shorts. The club's nickname is "the Robins", and a robin featured on the club's badge from 1976 to 1994.

City's derby rival is Bristol Rovers and there is considerable antipathy between the sides and supporters.

Table of contents

Honours

The team has never won any major honours, but has played in the FA Cup final, losing 1 - 0 to Manchester United at Crystal Palace, London, in 1909.

Its highest finishing position in the League was in the 1906-1907 season when the team was runners-up to Newcastle in Division 1.

Minor honours include: Second Division champions 1905-06; Third Division (South) champions three times; Associate Members' Cup winners 1985-86 (as Freight Rover Trophy); Football League Trophy winners 2002-3 (as LDV Vans Trophy); Anglo-Scottish Cup winners 1977-78.

History

The club was founded in 1897, when Bristol South End F.C. turned professional and changed its name to Bristol City. In 1900 the club merged with local rival Bedminster F.C., which had been founded as Southville in 1887. The side joined the Football League in 1901. They first entered Division 1 in 1906 as Division 2 champions, and as newcomers became known as the "Bristol Babes", a nickname that would last into the thirties. They were runners-up in their first season in the top flight, but couldn't match this performance again, and were relegated in 1911. They would not return for sixty-five years.

The 1920s were a rocky time as City "yo-yoed" between Division 2 and Division 3 South. By the thirties they were solidly stuck in the third division, and stayed that way until after World War II. 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 Division 2, a league they returned to for a further spell in 1965. In 1967 the club's longest-serving manager, Alan Dicks, was appointed, and he eventually led them back to the top division in 1976 when they were runners-up in Division 2.

Surviving just four seasons in the top division and only managing a 13th position in the 1978-79 season, they were relegated in 1980 and plummeted to Division 4 in straight seasons. The club went bankrupt and was only able to continue playing under the ownership of a new company, BCFC (1982) plc, because eight highly-paid senior players (the "Ashton Gate Eight") accepted redundancy.

City's stay in the basement was short - just two years - since when they have remained in the middle two divisions of the League structure. The late nineties were a period of instability for the club, with five managers in four seasons. Danny Wilson was appointed as manager in June 2000, and looks set to be the team's longest serving boss since the 1980s.

Famous Players

Billy Wedlock

William John Wedlock (October 28, 1880 - January 25, 1965) also known as "Fatty" or the "India Rubber Man" played for City in 1900-01 and from 1905 until his retirement in 1921. He was a centre-half whose skill outweighed his short and stout stature. He won twenty-six England caps between 1907 and 1914, his only rival for the centre-half position being Charlie Roberts of Manchester United. The East End at Ashton Gate is named the Wedlock Stand in his honour.

John Atyeo

Forward Peter John Walter Atyeo (February 7, 1932 - June 8, 1993) was signed from under the noses of League Champions Portsmouth in 1951. He won six England caps from 1955 to 1957, scoring five goals. Despite offers from Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool that could have made him the most expensive player in England, he stayed with City throughout his career, making 700 appearances and scoring 395 goals by the time he retired in 1966. The new stand that replaced the Park End at Ashton Gate in 1994 is named the Atyeo Stand after him.

Stadium Information

History and Arrangement

Ashton Gate is located in the south-west of Bristol, just south of the River Avon. It has an all-seated capacity of 22,000. It was the home of Bedminster F.C. until the 1900 merger, and the merged team played some games there the following season, but it did not become the permanent home of Bristol City until 1904. Visiting fans are housed in the Wedlock Stand at the south-east end of the ground, which was built as a covered terrace in 1928, converted to seats in the 1990s and was the traditional home fans' end until 1994. The Williams Stand on the south-west side, which includes the directors' box and press box, was built in 1958. The lower part of the stand was converted from the Grand Enclosure terracing in the 1990s. The Dolman Stand, which lies opposite it, was built in 1970. At that time it had a small, flat Family Enclosure in front of it, which was later built up and converted to seating. The most recent addition to the stadium is the Atyeo Stand, which was built in 1994 to replace an open terrace, and contains new dressing rooms and a large gymnasium.

Travelling to the Stadium

By Road: There is limited parking available at the ground, or you can seek on-street parking nearby. The club recommends that you approach via M5 junction 18, then down the Portway (A4) and follow signs for Bristol Airport/Taunton (A38) over the Brunel Way swing bridge. Fork left into Winterstoke Road, and the stadium is on the your left. If arriving from the east, it is also possible to go down the M32 and through the city centre, but there is a danger of congestion.

By Train: Bristol Temple Meads is nearly two miles from the ground. On match days a special bus service runs from Temple Meads to Ashton Gate, departing one hour before kick-off, and returning from Ashton Road, behind the Atyeo Stand.

By Bus or Coach: Bristol Bus Station is also well over a mile from the ground. The match day bus service runs from nearby Haymarket (near the House of Fraser department store).

External Link

Official website: http://www.bcfc.co.uk/ (requires registration)



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