Notts County F.C.
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|Full name||Notts County Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Magpies, County, Notts|
|Founded||28 November 1862|
|2015–16||League Two, 17th|
|Website||Club home page|
Notts County Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. Formed on 28 November 1862, Notts County is the oldest football team in the world at professional level. Between 1888–89 and 2013–14 they played a total of 4,756 Football League matches – more than any other English team. The team plays in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. County play their home games at Meadow Lane in black and white striped shirts.
The club has had several spells in the top division of English football, most recently in 1991–92, when County played in the old First Division. Notable former managers of Notts County include Jimmy Sirrel, Howard Wilkinson, Neil Warnock, Howard Kendall and Sam Allardyce. The club has had several owners. In the 21st century, a series of financial problems has seen the club owned by a Supporters' trust, who sold the club to Munto Finance – a subsidiary of Qadbak Investments. Further monetary difficulties saw the club sold, for a nominal fee, to Peter Trembling, who then sold the club to Ray Trew for £1 after the club had been served with two winding up petitions from HM Revenue and Customs due to demands for a late PAYE payment of around £500,000.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Formation and early years
- 1.2 World War II to the 1950s
- 1.3 1960s to 1990s
- 1.4 2000s
- 1.5 Post Munto era
- 1.6 Ray Trew era
- 2 Colours and crest
- 3 Rivalries
- 4 Players
- 5 Coaching staff
- 6 League history
- 7 Honours
- 8 Club records
- 9 Most appearances
- 10 Notable former players
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Formation and early years
Notts pre-dated The Football Association and initially played a game of its own devising, rather than association football. At the time of its formation, Notts County, like most sports teams, were considered to be a "gentlemen-only" club. Notts County are considered to be one of the pioneers of the modern game and are the oldest of the world's professional association football clubs (there are older professional clubs in other codes of football, and Sheffield F.C., an amateur club founded in 1857, are the oldest club now playing association football).
The club initially played at Park Hollow in the grounds of the old Nottingham Castle. In December 1864, the decision was made to play games against outside opposition, and it was decided that the club needed to find a bigger venue. After playing at several grounds, including the Castle Ground, the Magpies settled at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in 1883. However, when Trent Bridge was in use for cricket, Notts played matches at the Castle Ground or Nottingham Forest's Town Ground. In November 1872, the Notts County full-back Ernest Greenhalgh played for England against Scotland in the first-ever international match, thereby becoming the club's first international player.
In 1888, Notts County, along with eleven other football clubs, became a founding member of The Football League. They finished their first league season in 11th place, but avoided the dubious honour of the wooden spoon, which went to Midlands rivals Stoke. However, Notts County did achieve their highest ever league finish of third in 1890–91, an achievement they repeated ten seasons later.
FA Cup Finals
On 25 March 1891, Notts County reached the FA Cup final for the first time. The Magpies were defeated 3–1 by Blackburn Rovers at The Oval, despite having beaten the same side 7–1 in the league only a week earlier.
Notts County made up for this on 31 March 1894, when they won the FA Cup at Goodison Park, defeating Bolton Wanderers 4–1 in a game in which Jimmy Logan scored the second hat-trick in FA Cup final history. This achievement is also memorable for Notts County becoming the first club outside the top division to win the FA Cup: Notts County finished 3rd in Division Two that season. In 1910 they moved to Meadow Lane.
Notts County were relegated in 1926 in what was to be their last season in the English top flight for over half a century. The 1925–26 season was the last season that famed giant goalkeeper Albert Iremonger played for the club. Legend among Notts County supporters it has been said he had 'hands like the claws of a JCB and was a seven foot tall monster'
World War II to the 1950s
The club suspended all fixtures during the 1941–42 season after Meadow Lane was hit by enemy bombing. In the 1946–47 season, the ground was used temporarily by Nottingham Forest after the River Trent flooded both Meadow Lane and the City Ground. Forest again used Meadow Lane in 1968, after fire destroyed the main stand at the City Ground. The 'golden age' of the club came just after the end of World War II. County stunned the footballing world by signing Tommy Lawton from Chelsea for £20,000 a then-record fee.
Lawton's arrival increased crowds by over 10,000. One incident during this period saw 10,000 fans locked outside the ground. In the 1949–50 season, Notts County clinched the Third Division (South) championship. Crowds averaged 35,000 as The Magpies held off Nottingham Forest in a thrilling championship race. The 1950–51 season was to be the last season in which Notts County would compete in a higher league than their city rivals.
As the 1950s drew to a close, Nottingham Forest replaced Notts County as the city's biggest club. After the 1957–58 season, the two clubs would not play each other again in a League match for sixteen years, on 26 December 1973.
1960s to 1990s
Jimmy Sirrel era
The Magpies struggled during the 1960s, being on the brink of financial ruin and striving to avoid the indignity of having to apply for re-election to the league. This situation continued until Jack Dunnett, a local Member of Parliament, took control of the club. He appointed Jimmy Sirrel, a charismatic Scot who had once played for Celtic F.C., as manager in November 1969. In the 1970–71 season, The Magpies clinched the Fourth Division title in record-breaking style, remaining unbeaten at Meadow Lane.
Two seasons later, Notts County were again promoted, this time to Division Two. It marked an amazing turnaround in form under Sirrel and would also renew meetings with old adversaries Forest. Sirrel departed for Sheffield United in October 1975 but returned two years later.
Sirrel completed the remarkable transformation of Notts County in May 1981. He had turned The Magpies from Fourth Division strugglers to a top division side in little over a decade, ending an absence of fifty-five years from the top flight. This achievement was with the same chairman (Jack Dunnett) and trainer (Jack Wheeler) throughout the decade.
In one of the most famous moments in the club's modern history, Notts County visited newly crowned champions Aston Villa on the opening day of the season. The Villa team had paraded their League Championship trophy to an expectant crowd before kickoff, but against all odds, County came away with a 1–0 victory. After surviving relegation at the end of the season, Sirrel became the club's general manager, with his assistant Howard Wilkinson taking over as manager. County survived relegation a little more comfortably the following season, but Wilkinson was tempted away by the manager's job at his boyhood club, Sheffield Wednesday, and the board recruited former Wigan Athletic manager Larry Lloyd to replace him. Despite a good run to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they eventually lost to Everton, the club had a poor league campaign that ultimately resulted in their relegation. This poor form continued into the following season, resulting in Lloyd's dismissal with the club bottom of the Second Division. Richie Barker took over as manager, but failed to improve the club's fortunes, and was dismissed after less than six months in charge.
Jimmy Sirrel took charge of the team once again, and while the club's form improved, it came too late, and County suffered their second successive relegation. After two decent but unremarkable finishes in the Third Division, Sirrel finally retired in 1987, bringing to a close one of the most successful and memorable periods in Notts County's history. He was replaced by John Barnwell, who nearly steered the club to automatic promotion in the season that followed, but a late stumble meant they had to settle for the play-offs, where they lost to eventual winners Walsall. The team failed to repeat their form the following season and instead found themselves battling relegation to the Fourth Division, resulting in Barnwell being dismissed just before Christmas.
Neil Warnock era
In late 1988, a new manager arrived. Neil Warnock had previously led Scarborough into the Football League as champions of the Football Conference. At the end of his first full season, Warnock had led Notts County to promotion back to Division Two. The club anthem The Wheelbarrow song originated during this season, stemming from the club's historic first game at Wembley Stadium in a 2–0 win over Tranmere Rovers. A famous 1–0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup booked them a place in the quarter-final, which they lost to eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur. Notts County also booked their second successive visit to Wembley and their second successive promotion. The Magpies defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 3–1 in front of 60,000 spectators, 25,000 of which were Notts County fans.
The following season was disappointing, seeing Notts County relegated from the top flight after just one season back there. Their first game of that season was a prestigious visit to Manchester United at Old Trafford, where they lost 2–0. However, they did manage to hold the Reds to a 1–1 draw in the return game at Meadow Lane just after the turn of the year, as United began a dismal second half of the season which ultimately cost them the league title. County's relegation came shortly after the sale of strikers Paul Rideout and Tommy Johnson, which raked in nearly £2million in total and contributed towards a £5million stadium revamp which saw Meadow Lane rebuilt on three sides shortly afterwards.
With the introduction of the Premier League, County were relegated from the old Division One to the new Division One. Warnock was dismissed in January 1993 and was succeeded by Mick Walker. Walker successfully averted a second consecutive relegation.
Mick Walker era
The Magpies narrowly missed the play-offs for promotion to the Premiership. The season is most remembered for a 2–1 victory over arch rivals Nottingham Forest in which Charlie Palmer scored the winning goal with just four minutes remaining. Notts had led for much of the game, until Forest got a free kick from which they equalised. Notts fans were reluctantly resigning themselves to a draw, when Palmer headed in the winner. This was all the more remarkable because he only scored 4 goals in his whole career. The game has become a celebrated event among Notts County fans, who have dubbed 12 February (the anniversary of the game) Sir Charlie Palmer Day, and Charlie Palmer has been referred to as "Sir Charlie" by Notts fans ever since. In March 1994, Notts County lost the Anglo-Italian Cup final to Brescia.
Walker was surprisingly sacked in September 1994. This event triggered a dramatic decline in the club's fortunes that has persisted to the present. Notts won the Anglo-Italian Cup at Wembley in March 1995, but ended the season relegated to Division Two, with Walker, Russell Slade, Howard Kendall and Steve Nicol each taking control of the team at different times throughout the season, before the club appointed yet another manager, Colin Murphy after the season ended. County made another visit to Wembley Stadium in the 1996 play-off final, but missed the chance of a return to Division One with a 2–0 defeat to Bradford City.
Sam Allardyce era
The following season ranks among the club's worst, as they managed just seven victories all season and finished in the bottom position of the league table. Relegation to the league's basement division happened just six years after promotion to the top flight. However, success followed relegation under Sam Allardyce. The Magpies secured the Division Three title in March 1998 by a record margin of seventeen points. They became the first side since World War II to win promotion in mid-March, with six games still remaining.
Financial crisis and relegation battles
Allardyce left in October 1999 to join his old team Bolton Wanderers. In September 2003, Notts County faced the real possibility of dissolution. Crippling debts and an increasingly impatient Football League board combined to leave the future of the league's oldest club in doubt. However, the considerable efforts of a group of local businessmen and the club's supporters helped save the club from extinction. But despite new ownership, the club were unable to avoid relegation back to the bottom division in 2004. In a similar circumstance as their relegation in 1992, due to the rebranding of the Football League, County went from Division Two to League Two.
Ian Richardson replaced Gary Mills as manager in November 2004. Richardson managed to guide the club away from the relegation zone and held the manager's job until the end of the season when Gudjon Thordarson became the club's sixth manager in five years. The 2005–06 season began well for the Magpies: they won or drew their first seven league games and were top of the table in September. But their form dropped and they escaped relegation only on the final day of the season with a 2–2 draw against Bury, whilst Oxford United lost and went down. The Magpies' 21st place in League Two, and 89th place overall, was the lowest position the club had ever finished, and at the end of the season both the chairman and the manager left, a long-standing youth squad programme was ended, and many of the first-team players were out-of-contract or nearing contract maturity.
Former assistant manager Steve Thompson was appointed as manager and he led the team to a 13th place division finish in 2006–07. The following season started with poor results, including early exits from the League Cup and the Football League Trophy, and Thompson was sacked in October 2007, to be replaced by Ian 'Charlie' McParland. However, the team's poor form continued and safety from relegation was only secured in the penultimate match of the season. McParland parted company with the club in October 2009 with Notts fifth in League Two and 4 points from the top of the table; youth team manager Michael Johnson and Assistant Manager Dave Kevan were installed as joint caretaker managers.
Middle East investment
In June 2009, it was announced that County were in talks on a takeover by Munto Finance, a Middle Eastern consortium owned by Qadbak Investments and represented by Nathan and Peter Willett. Speculated by the British media and supported in part by various press releases, the club were believed to be given multimillion-pound backing and were linked during the takeover's initial planning stages with the Qatari royal family by British tabloids; however, the latter claim was denied by the family. The Supporters' Trust, who owned the majority 60% share in the club, voted in favour of the takeover. On 14 July 2009, the takeover was confirmed, with Peter Trembling being appointed as Executive Chairman. A week later former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was announced as the club's new Director of Football, having been persuaded by convicted fraudster Russell King to join Notts County. On 28 July 2009, the club unveiled a new logo.
On 20 October 2009, the League announced that County's owners had met its "fit and proper persons" regulations, and that while their structure was "complicated" and featured "both offshore entities and discretionary trusts", it had provided "extensive disclosure" to the League on their ownership structure. The League also stated that public disclosure of their ownership structure was a "matter for the club". On 27 November 2009, The Guardian revealed that the league reopened its inquiries into the ownership of Notts County. The League chairman, Brian Mawhinney, confirmed the club has been sent a series of questions relating to its ownership structure.
On 12 December 2009 Peter Trembling purchased the club for a nominal fee from Munto Finance.
Post Munto era
Hans Backe, Eriksson's former assistant at Manchester City, was given the job of manager in October 2009 . He signed a three-year deal and stated his intent to get the club promoted to League 1, but resigned two months later after just nine games in charge.
Ray Trew era
Ray Trew bought the club in February 2010 after the club had been served with two winding up petitions from HM Revenue and Customs due to demands for a late PAYE payment of around £500,000. After two months without a permanent manager, Steve Cotterill was given the Notts County job until the end of the 2009–2010 season in February 2010. Cotterill led the club to the League Two title after a 5–0 away win against the already-relegated Darlington, becoming the third club to win the fourth tier of English football three times. A month after winning the title Cotterill stated that he would not be renewing his contract at Meadow Lane. Ex-Notts County player Craig Short replaced Cotterill as Manager but was relieved of duties along with Assistant Manager Dave Kevan on 24 October 2010.
Four days later Paul Ince was appointed Manager and the following day Alex Rae was appointed as Ince's Assistant. In April 2011 Ince left the club by mutual consent. Carl Heggs was then appointed caretaker manager before Martin Allen became his permanent successor. Allen turned around the team's poor form in the league and managed to avoid relegation. Allen was relieved of duties on 18 February 2012. He was replaced with Keith Curle. Curle was able to improve the form of the team as the club finished the 2011–12 season in 7th position, missing out on the play offs by goal difference only. Curle left the club on 3 February 2013.
On 3 February 2013 Chris Kiwomya was appointed caretaker manager. On 27 March 2013, he was appointed full-time manager on a three-year deal. On 27 October 2013 Kiwomya left the club by mutual consent.
On 6 November 2013 Shaun Derry was appointed manager. Despite it looking as though the team would be relegated from League One, Derry was able to turn the team's fortunes around in a run that saw them take 19 points from the last 9 games of the 2013–14 season and avoid relegation thanks to a 1–1 draw away at Oldham Athletic on the final day. On 23 March 2015 Derry and assistant manager Greg Abbott were sacked after winning only 3 games in 24 matches since November 2014.
On 7 April 2015 Ricardo Moniz was appointed manager on a 3-year contract. On 29 December 2015 Moniz along with assistant manager Dave Kevin and defensive coach Dean Yates were sacked. In the interim period the Club has placed Mick Halsall, Academy Manager & Richard Dryden, Under 21's Coach in charge of the first team, supported by Kevin Pilkington (GK coach) & Mike Edwards (player & fitness coach).
On 20 March 2016, Mark Cooper was appointed manager initially until the end of the season with the contract to be made permanent if a certain (undisclosed) points total is achieved. On 7 May 2016 Cooper left the club at the end of his short term contract.
Colours and crest
Notts County's first known colours were amber and black hooped shirts, dating from the 1870s. This was followed by short spells playing in amber, then chocolate and blue halves. In 1890 the club adopted black and white striped shirts, and have played in these colours for most of the rest of their history.
Juventus F.C. shirts
The Italian football club Juventus F.C. derived its famous black-and-white striped kits from Notts County. Juventus have played in black and white striped shirts, with white shorts, sometimes black shorts since 1903. Originally, they played in pink shirts with a black tie, which only occurred due to the wrong shirts being sent to them, the father of one of the players made the earliest shirts, but continual washing faded the colour so much that in 1903 the club sought to replace them. Juventus asked one of their team members, Englishman John Savage, if he had any contacts in England who could supply new shirts in a colour that would better withstand the elements. He had a friend who lived in Nottingham, who being a Notts County supporter, shipped out the black and white striped shirts to Turin.
|“||Juve have worn the shirts ever since, considering the colours to be aggressive and powerful.||”|
On 8 September 2011 to mark the opening of the new Stadium in Turin, Juventus invited Notts County for an historic exhibition match. The game ended 1–1 with goals from Luca Toni and Lee Hughes coming in the second half.
Notts County view their main rivals as neighbours Nottingham Forest. However, during recent stints in the lower levels of the Football League, rivalry has increased with Nottinghamshire neighbours Mansfield Town. Other clubs sharing local rivalries with Notts County are Derby County, Leicester City, Lincoln City and Chesterfield.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Assistant Manager||Mark Crossley|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Kevin Pilkington|
|Head of Sports Medicine||John Wilson|
|Strength & Conditioning Coach||Mike Edwards|
Last updated: 5 July 2016
Source: Staff directory
L1 = Level 1 of the football league system; L2 = Level 2 of the football league system; L3 = Level 3 of the football league system; L4 = Level 4 of the football league system.
- Seasons spent at Level 1 of the football league system: 30
- Seasons spent at Level 2 of the football league system: 37
- Seasons spent at Level 3 of the football league system: 33
- Seasons spent at Level 4 of the football league system: 15
Ups and downs
With a total of thirteen promotions and sixteen relegations, no club has moved between the divisions of the Football League on more occasions than Notts County.
Promotion year 1897 1914 1923 1931 1950 1960 1971 1973 1981 1990 1991 1998 2010
Relegation year 1893 1913 1920 1926 1930 1935 1958 1959 1964 1984 1985 1992 1995 1997 2004 2015
- FA Cup
- Second Division (1892–1992), First Division (1992–2004), The Championship (2004–present)
- Third Division (1958–92), Second Division (1992–2004), League One (2004–present)
- Third Division South (1921–58)
- Champions: 1930–31, 1949–50
- Fourth Division (1958–92), Third Division (1992–2004), League Two (2004–present)
- Anglo-Scottish Cup
- Runners-up: 1980–81
- Anglo-Italian Cup
- Winners: 1994–95
- Runners-Up: 1993–94
Most League Points (2 for a win) 69, Division Four 1970–71
Most League Points (3 for a win) 99, Division Three 1997–98
Most League Goals 107, Division Four 1959–60
All Time Top Scorer (League) Les Bradd, 125, 1967–78
Fastest Goal 6 seconds, Barrie Jones, 31 March 1962
All Time Most Appearances (League) Albert Iremonger, 564, 1904–26
Youngest player (League) Tony Bircumshaw, 16 years and 54 days, 3 April 1961
Most consecutive away league games without defeat 19, 28 February 2012 – 26 December 2012
As of the 2013–14 season, Notts County have played more league games (4756) than any other English side.
- As of 27 May 2016
|Albert Fisher (secretary – manager)||1913||1927||—||0||0||0||0||—|
|R.C.White (Fisher's absence due to WW1)||1917||1919||—||0||0||0||0||—|
|Horace Henshall (secretary – manager)||1927||1934||—||0||0||0||0||—|
|Frank Broome (Caretaker)||1957||1957||—||0||0||0||0||—|
|Ernie Coleman (Caretaker)||1958||1958||—||0||0||0||0||—|
|Andy Beattie||February 1967||September 1967||—||22||5||3||14||22.73|
|Neil Warnock||5 January 1989||14 January 1993||1,470||205||90||45||70||43.90|
|Mick Walker||14 January 1993||14 September 1994||608||82||31||19||32||37.80|
|Russell Slade||September 1994||January 1995||—||23||6||5||12||26.09|
|Howard Kendall||12 January 1995||1 April 1995||79||15||4||4||7||26.67|
|Steve Nicol||20 January 1995||5 June 1995||136||20||4||7||9||20.00|
|Colin Murphy||5 June 1995||23 December 1996||567||83||33||24||26||39.76|
|Sam Allardyce||16 January 1997||19 October 1999||1,006||145||56||39||50||38.62|
|Gary Brazil||23 October 1999||June 2000||—||34||10||9||15||29.41|
|Jocky Scott||28 June 2000||10 October 2001||469||71||28||19||24||39.44|
|Gary Brazil||10 October 2001||7 January 2002||89||20||4||6||10||20.00|
|Billy Dearden||7 January 2002||6 January 2004||730||103||30||27||46||29.13|
|Gary Mills||9 January 2004||4 November 2004||301||40||10||11||19||25.00|
|Ian Richardson (Caretaker)||4 November 2004||17 May 2005||194||34||11||9||14||32.35|
|Gudjon Thordarson||17 May 2005||12 June 2006||391||50||13||16||21||26.00|
|Steve Thompson||12 June 2006||16 October 2007||491||65||21||19||25||32.31|
|Ian McParland||18 October 2007||12 October 2009||725||103||28||31||44||27.18|
|Dave Kevan / Michael Johnson (Caretakers)||/||13 October 2009||27 October 2009||14||2||1||1||0||50.00|
|Hans Backe||27 October 2009||15 December 2009||49||7||2||3||2||28.57|
|Dave Kevan (Caretaker)||15 December 2009||23 February 2010||70||11||6||3||2||54.55|
|Steve Cotterill||23 February 2010||27 May 2010||93||18||14||3||1||77.78|
|Craig Short||1 July 2010||24 October 2010||115||18||8||1||9||44.44|
|Paul Ince||27 October 2010||3 April 2011||158||29||10||6||13||34.48|
|Carl Heggs (Caretaker)||3 April 2011||11 April 2011||8||2||0||0||2||0.00|
|Martin Allen||11 April 2011||18 February 2012||313||43||16||10||17||37.21|
|Keith Curle||20 February 2012||2 February 2013||348||51||23||14||14||45.10|
|Chris Kiwomya||2 February 2013||27 October 2013||267||34||9||9||16||26.47|
|Steve Hodge (Caretaker)||27 October 2013||6 November 2013||10||2||1||0||1||50.00|
|Shaun Derry||6 November 2013||23 March 2015||502||77||26||14||37||33.77|
|Paul Hart/Mick Halsall (Caretakers)||23 March 2015||7 April 2015||15||3||0||3||0||0.00|
|Ricardo Moniz||7 April 2015||29 December 2015||266||34||11||8||15||32.35|
|Mick Halsall/Richard Dryden (Caretakers)||29 December 2015||10 January 2016||12||1||0||0||1||0.00|
|Jamie Fullarton||10 January 2016||19 March 2016||69||12||3||1||8||25.00|
|Mark Cooper||20 March 2016||7 May 2016||48||10||3||2||5||30.00|
|John Sheridan||27 May 2016||Present||0||0||0||0||0||—|
|2||Tony Hateley||1958–63, 1970–72||114|
|10=||Mark Stallard||1999–2004, 2005||79|
Notable former players
For details on former players who have a Wikipedia article, see: Category:Notts County F.C. players
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-  Archived 10 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
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- Allardyce, Sam (2015). Big Sam: My Autobiography. London: Headline Publishing Group. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-4722-3267-0.
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