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, founded in 1928, initially played in the Irish League, the domestic league in Northern Ireland, but withdrew in 1972 after security concerns relating to unrest in Northern Ireland forced the team to play "home" fixtures 30 miles away in Coleraine. After 13 years in junior football, they joined the League of Ireland's new First Division for 1985–86. Derry won the First Division title and achieved promotion to the Premier Division in 1987, and have remained there since. The club went on to win a domestic treble in 1988–89 and the Premier Division again in 1996–97.
Fowler's career began with Liverpool, with whom he made his début in 1993. He scored 120 premiership goals for Liverpool in an eight year period and was also voted the PFA Young Player of the Year in two consecutive years, 1995 and 1996. 1996 was also the year that he won a UEFA Fair Play award for admitting that he had not been fouled by David Seaman at Highbury after a penalty had been given.
Fowler moved on to Leeds United in 2001 and later Manchester City in 2003 before returning to Liverpool in January 2006 for a season. He signed a two-year contract with Cardiff City in July 2007.
He has been capped for England twenty-six times, scoring seven goals. The most recent of these appearances came in the 2002 World Cup. As of August 2007, Fowler is the fourth highest goalscorer in Premier League history. In 2005, Fowler was listed as one of the 1,000 wealthiest Britons by the Sunday Times Rich List. Business interests including a large property portfolio led to Fowler becoming the third wealthiest footballer in that year's selection.
The association was founded in 1863 with a view to creating a governing body for the sport and to decide on which variety of rules to use. The original Laws of the Game were drawn up and first used in a game played at Mortlake on 19 December 1863 between Barnes and Richmond.
All of England's professional football clubs are members of the Football Association. The FA is also responsible for the appointment of the management of the England men's and women's national teams and the organization of the FA Cup.