Association football, or, in most countries just football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams each consisting of eleven players and is the most popular team sport in the world. It is a ball game played on a rectangular grass field (or occasionally on artificial turf) with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by maneuvering the ball into the opposing team's goal. The predominant feature of the sport is that players other than the goalkeepers may not use their hands or arms to propel the ball in general play. The winner is the team that has scored the most goals at the end of the match.
The sport is known by many names throughout the English-speaking world, although football is perhaps the most common. Other names, such as association football and soccer, are often used to distinguish the game from other codes of football, since the word football may refer to several quite different games.
The game is played at a professional level all over the world and millions of people regularly go to a football stadium to follow their favourite team, whilst millions more avidly watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level.
The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920. They were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the second tier of English football, but a decline then set in and in 1993 they narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference. Between 2000 and 2005, Gillingham were in the second tier of the English league for the only time in their history, achieving a club record highest league finish of eleventh place in 2002–03.
... that Eric Bakie combined his football career with his job as a civil servant, and only saw his teammates once a week? (12 June 2015)
... that after signing a professional contract with Italian club Palermo, Norwegian footballer Arne Kotte injured his knee five minutes into his first training match, and was out of action for six months? (25 July 2015)