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Middlesbrough F.C.

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Middlesbrough Football Club is an English football club, commonly known as The Boro, currently in the FA Premier League. The team plays at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, North-East England. The current manager is Gareth Southgate who was appointed on June 7, 2006. The chairman of the club is Steve Gibson. The official historian/statistician is Harry Glasper. The official mascot is Roary the Lion, who is played by Andrew Morgan of Kirklevington.

Middlesbrough won the League Cup in 2004, the club's first major trophy since its formation in 1876.The club's traditional local rivals are Sunderland and Newcastle United.


Formation and Foundation (The Early Years)

Members of Middlesbrough Cricket Club founded Middlesbrough Football Club in 1876. Middlesbrough FC turned professional in 1889, returned to amateur status in 1892 and then became professional for good in 1899. In the 1913/14 season the club finished third in the English First Division which is still to this day the highest the club has finished in the top division of English football.

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Mannion, Hardwick and a Missed Opportunity (Pre and Post World War II)

Many believe that the record of third place would have been beaten if it wasn't for the outbreak of World War II, in the final season before the war Middlesbrough finished 4th in the first division with an excellent young team that included England Captain George Hardwick and the legendary Wilf Mannion. The following season Middlesbrough were heavily tipped to challenge for the Championship and along with Everton were the favourites to win the title, sadly that great team never saw its best years as World War II intervened and deprived the people of Middlesbrough of seeing if their team was capable of being champions of England. Some seven years later after the war had ended, the team although still very good had lost a number of its players to retirement. The club still managed to finish sixth in the 1950/51 season but many people felt that the Middlesbrough teams best years had been lost to the war. In 1954 the club was relegated from the first division for the first time in 25 years. They wouldn't return to the top flight of English football until former World Cup winner Jack Charlton became the manager.


Return to the Top (1974 - 1982)

Middlesbrough's next significant impact on the English game came in 1974, when they won the Second Division championship and were promoted to the First Division under the management of Jack Charlton. Boro finished sixth in the league a year later and just missed out on a place in the UEFA Cup, although Charlton was credited Manager of the Year for masterminding the club's impressive progress over the previous two seasons.

Near Oblivion (1982 - 1986)

Boro were relegated back to the Second Division in 1982, but the club's lowest ebb came in 1986 when they were relegated to the Third Division and found themselves in a financial crisis which looked likely to cause bankruptcy. The bailiffs even locked the club out of Ayresome Park and they had to play their first two home games of the 1986-87 season at Hartlepool United's Victoria Park. Lifelong fan and Teesside businessman, Steve Gibson, then came along and saved the club with a takeover deal. Gibson was founder and chairman of Bulkhaul Limited, which was established in 1981 and is dedicated to the global transportation of bulk liquids, powders and gasses. He has often been seen as a fan funding his passion, rather than a businessman working for profit. This meant that the fans were quickly won over and he continues to be held in the highest regard by the fans of his club.

The Rioch Revival (1986 - 1990)

Manager Bruce Rioch and his players pulled together after the takeover and finished second in the Third Division to win automatic promotion to the Second Division. A year later they won the Second Division promotion/First Division relegation playoffs and achieved a second successive promotion which landed them in the First Division.

Middlesbrough endured a difficult time in 1988-89 and spent whole season fighting a battle against relegation which was lost on the final day. Their dismal form continued into the following season and a second successive relegation looked on the cards. Rioch left for Millwall in March 1990 and his successor Colin Todd just managed to save Boro from the drop.

Up... and down again (1990 - 1994)

1990-91 saw Boro's form improve substantially and a seventh place finish was enough to qualify for the playoffs - this time four promotion places were up for grabs because the First Division was re-expanding to 22 clubs for the 1991-92 season. But the promotion dream was ended in the semi-finals when Boro lost to eventual playoff winners Notts County. Todd left soon afterwards and was succeeded by Charlton's Lennie Lawrence.

Lawrence's first season at the helm was a success, with Boro reaching the League Cup semi finals for the first time and most significantly finishing runners-up in the Second Division - booking their place in the inaugural Premier League.

Boro were mid table in the Premiership come Christmas 1992, but a run of seven defeats beginning in February dragged them down the table and they were relegated after losing their penultimate game of the season. The board kept faith in Lawrence but he resigned a year later after failing to achieve promotion back to the Premiership.

The Robson Revolution (1994 - 2001)

Lawrence's successor was 37-year-old player-manager Bryan Robson, who had just ended an illustrious 13-year career with Manchester United and was a former England captain. His first season was a great success as Boro lifted the Division One title and were promoted back to the Premiership after a two-year exile. 1994-95 was the club's last season at Ayresome Park, from which they were relocating after 92 years to the impressive new Riverside Stadium on the banks of the River Tees.

Boro went on a massive spending spree after their promotion to the Premiership, paying £5.25million for 21-year-old Tottenham winger Nick Barmby and £4.75million for 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder Juninho. The policy looked to have paid off as Boro stood fourth in the Premiership in October, but a terrible run of form followed and they slid to 12th place in the final table. Boro's dismal away form - just 8 goals in 19 games - also helped end their dreams of European football.

Robson paid £7million for Italian Serie A striker Fabrizio Ravanelli and £3million for Brazilian midfielder Emerson during the summer of 1996, but Boro spent the season battling relegation instead of chasing a top-five finish. Their task was complicated by a 3 points deduction imposed just after Christmas, as punishment for the club's failure to fulfill a fixture against Blackburn because so many players were absent due to injury or illness. The club's explanation was that so many of the squad had been laid low by 'flu that it coudn't field a competitive team, however the Football Association rejected this explanation.

Meanwhile, Boro were building up an impressive cup run and reached the first professional cup final of their history in March, where they faced Leicester City. The deadlock was not broken until extra time, when Fabrizio Ravanelli's goal looked to have secured the trophy for Boro. But Leicester then scored an equaliser and went on to win the replay.

Boro's 3-point deduction eventually cost them their Premiership status and they were relegated on the final day of the season. A week later they lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the F.A Cup final and became the first English club to finish in the last two of all three English major tournaments.

The board kept faith in Robson and they were rewarded with promotion back to the Premiership as Division One runners-up the following season. During this period, Robson also acted as a coach to the England team under Terry Venables. Two more secure mid-table finishes followed, but Boro found themselves battling relegation come the 2000-01 season. Venables was appointed to work alongside Robson and they comfortably avoided the drop.

Reaching new heights under McClaren (2001 - 2006)

In the 2001 close season, Robson handed in his notice after seven years as manager and was replaced by Steve McClaren - the Manchester United assistant manager who was regarded as one of the finest coaches in Europe and was also one of the most prominent coaches in the England team. His first season saw Boro finish 12th in the Premiership and reach the FA Cup semi finals.

An 11th place finish followed in 2002-03, a marginal improvement on the previous season's finish but slightly disappointing considering Middlesbrough's early season form suggested that they could qualify for Europe.

The following season, 2003-04, was easily the best in the club's history as they finally won a major trophy after beating Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the League Cup final. This success also ensured that Boro would qualify for Europe - the UEFA Cup - for the first time.

They reached the last 16 of the competition and started the season very well hovering around the top 6 until november/december but a horrendous nmber of injurys almost sucked them into mid-table UEFA cup qualification was reached after a 1-1 draw at the city of manchester stadium

2005-06 was a mixed season for Middlesbrough. Dismal mid-season form saw them sucked into the bottom half of the Premiership, and at one stage they looked in real danger of being relegated (notably after their 7-0 loss to Arsenal), although a subsequent recovery— which included a 3-0 win over eventual champions Chelsea— saw them finish above the relegation places. In McClaren's last Premiership game against Fulham Steve picked an all English 16 with 15 of the players (except Malcolm Christie) coming from the local area and the avarge age of the team was less the 20 Lee Cattermole was the captain for that match making himself Middlesbrough's youngest ever captain in their youngest ever 1st team.

On Thursday 27th April 2006, Middlesbrough reached the UEFA Cup final in Eindhoven in May 2006 after defeating Steaua Bucharest 4-3 on aggregate in stunning fashion being 3-0 down on aggregate after 25 minutes of the second leg. This was the second time in the competition that 'Boro found themselves 3-0 down after 25 mins of the return leg and yet still going through as they beat FC Basel 4-3 in the Quarter Finals. On 4 May 2006, McClaren was chosen to take over as the manager of the England national team after the 2006 World Cup. Martin O'Neill, Tony Mowbray and Alan Curbishley have been linked with the manager's job at Middlesbrough, with Steve Gibson expecting whoever takes the manager's job to achieve a Champions League place in the near future.

Boro fans watched from the stands as their Middlesbrough team lost 4-0 in the final to Sevilla FC in Eindhoven. Trailing Sevilla 0-1 at the break, McClaren opted for a very attacking line-up for the second half with four strikers, which had worked to great effect in the quarter and semi finals. Middlesbrough were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after what looked like a rather clumsy shove on Mark Viduka in the box. Nevertheless, Middlesbrough were forced to push on in desperate search of an equaliser, and as a result conceded 3 in the last 10 minutes. A 4-0 scoreline rather flattered the Spanish side despite their superior play over their English opponents.

The Southgate Era (2006 - Present)

In May 2006, the FA appointed Steve McClaren as the new England Manager, so the Middlesbrough Chairman Steve Gibson began the search for a new manager. His shortlist included three names - Martin O'Neill, Terry Venables and Alan Curbishley. Martin O'Neill was the first to be approached but the two parties could not agree on a number of details including backroom staff and Martin O'Neill's insistence on initially wanting to work part time. Terry Venables was then approached and a deal was thought to be done, but Venables after much agonising decided that he was too old to manage full time in the Premier League. Gibson then decided to go back to Martin O'Neill after it was made clear that O'Neill was willing to soften his stance slightly if Middlesbrough would also give way on their demands. However neither party could come to an agreement over O'Neills working hours, thus leading to the club approaching Alan Curbishley over the spot, Curbishley was never involved in serious discussions with the club after he made it clear that he wants a break from football. Gibson then looked within his own club and has decided to make club captain Gareth Southgate the next manager of Middlesbrough F.C. He has decided not to play for 'Boro' and be manager, but to just be manager. At an age of 35, he believes that he won't cope with both being manager and playing as captain.

George Boateng will be the Captain. Southgate has known and played with for several years. Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink, Franck Queudrue And Doriva have left. Southgate is the 2nd youngest manager in the premiership, but has shown promise in several friendlies, and has made a declaration that the team will be a fit, attacking side, and will use the teams youth to their advantage. He is signed to a five-year contract, which will most likely be extended if the club does well.

Former Grounds

  • Linthorpe Road -1903
  • Ayresome Park 1903-1995


  • League Cup winners 2003-04; runners up 1996-97, 1997-98
  • UEFA Cup runners up 2005-06
  • FA Cup runners up 1996-97;
  • Football League First Division (new) champions 1994-95; runners up 1997-98
  • Football League Second Division (old) champions 1926-27, 1928-29, 1973-74; runners up 1901-02, 1991-92
  • Football League Third Division (old) runners up 1966-67, 1986-87
  • FA Amateur Cup winners 1894-95, 1897-98
  • Anglo-Scottish Cup winners 1976
  • Zenith Data Systems Cup Runners up 1990

Notable matches

  • Coventry City 2 Middlesbrough 1, FA Premier League, 15th August 1992
    • Middlesbrough's first Premiership match. They were relegated at the end of the season.
  • Leicester City 1 Middlesbrough 1, League Cup Final, 1997
    • Middlesbrough's first appearance in a major cup final. They lost the replay 1 - 0 at Hillsborough.
  • Chelsea 2 Middlesbrough 0, FA Cup Final, 1997
    • Middlesbrough's first appearance in an FA Cup final. They conceded the fastest goal in a Wembley cup final to Roberto di Matteo after 42 seconds.
  • Chelsea 2 Middlesbrough 0, League Cup Final, 1998
    • Middlesbrough made the final despite playing that season in the (then) First Division. Boro held Chelsea well for ninety minutes, but extra time goals from Frank Sinclair and Roberto di Matteo gave Chelsea the trophy. It was also the Middlesbrough debut for Paul Gascoigne, who was booked almost immediately after coming on as a substitute.
  • Middlesbrough 2 Bolton Wanderers 1, League Cup Final, 2004
    • Middlesbrough's first major trophy. Joseph-Désiré Job scored the fastest goal in League Cup Final history, although his record was broken the following year by Liverpool's John Arne Riise against Chelsea. Boudewijn Zenden doubled the lead in the seventh minute with a penalty, before Kevin Davies pulled one back for Bolton midway through the first half.
  • Middlesbrough 3 Baník Ostrava 0, UEFA Cup Round 1, 2004
    • Middlesbrough's first match in European competition. They drew the return leg in the Czech Republic 1-1 to progress. They eventually made the last 16, going out to Sporting Lisbon.
  • Arsenal 7 Middlesbrough 0, FA Premier League 14 January 2006
    • A very unfortunate game for Boro. The match was staged at Highbury, and after Thierry Henry's stunning volley which resulted in the first goal, the floodgates opened. Henry finished the game with a hattrick and other goal scorers were Gilberto Silva, Robert Pires, Aleksandr Hleb, and Philippe Senderos. It also remained the largest win for a team in the 2005-06 season.
  • Middlesbrough 3 Chelsea 0, FA Premier League 11 Februrary 2006
    • A huge upset that turned heads all over England. In the first minute, Fabio Rochemback scored and then near the end of the half, Stewart Downing struck giving Boro a 2-0 lead at half-time. Chelsea were unable to recover and Boro ultimatley sealed the victory after Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored in the 67th minute.
  • Middlesbrough 4 Basel 1, UEFA Cup Quarter Final 2nd Leg, 6th April 2006
    • Arguably Middlesbrough's greatest ever match. 2-0 down from the first leg in Switzerland, Middlesbrough went 1-0 behind after 23 minutes and looked like they were going out of the tournament, needing four goals to go through. Mark Viduka equalized in the 33rd minute to give them hope, before scoring a second after half-time. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored a superb long-range goal with twelve minutes left, before Massimo Maccarone scored the winning goal in the very last minute, to jubilant celebrations at the Riverside Stadium.
  • Middlesbrough 4 Charlton Athletic 2, FA Cup Quarter Final Replay, 12 April 2006
    • A match to rival the latter, Middlesbrough went into the match having drawn with Charlton, but this game was to be more exciting than at the Valley. Fabio Rochemback's 30-yard free-kick gave the home side an unlikely lead but it was cancelled out by Bryan Hughes' volley. James Morrison scored to give Boro the lead again, while in the second half Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink smashed in the third. Charlton subsitute Jay Bothroyd interfered in the Addicks' second, his shot bouncing off Gareth Southgate. But Boro restored their two goal advantage when Mark Viduka jinked past two Charlton defenders and put a scorching strike past Thomas Myhre. It was the second time in a fortnight that Middlesbrough got through to the semi-finals of important tournaments and set up a thrilling finale for the end of the season.
  • Middlesbrough 4 Steaua Bucharest 2 UEFA Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg, 27th April 2006
    • In what seemed like a repeat of the previous UEFA Cup match at the Riverside, Middlesbrough made it hard for themselves once again, already 1 - 0 down from the first leg, Dica made it 1 - 0 on the night then Goian made it 2 - 0 with a scrappy goal. Once again needing to score four goals in order to progress, Massimo Maccarone scored in the 33rd minute to give them some hope of making a dramatic comeback. In the second half, a Mark Viduka header on 64 minutes, a scrappy goal from Chris Riggott and another late goal from Maccarone completed another unlikely comeback.
  • Middlesbrough 0 Sevilla FC 4 UEFA Cup Final, 10th May 2006
    • In what was Steve McClaren's final game as Middlesbrough's manager before taking over as England manager from the departing Sven-Göran Eriksson, Middlesbrough had the opportunity to become the lowest ranking club ever to win the UEFA cup (having finished 14th in their domestic league) However, a brace from Enzo Maresca and goals from Luís Fabiano and Frédéric Kanouté gave Sevilla a 4-0 Win.

Managers Of Middlesbrough FC

2006-Present Gareth Southgate

2001-06 Steve McClaren

2001 Bryan Robson with Terry Venables

1994-2001 Bryan Robson

1991-94 Lennie Lawrence

1990-91 Colin Todd

1986-90 Bruce Rioch

1984-86 Willie Maddren

1982-84 Malcolm Allison

1981-82 Bobby Murdoch

1977-81 John Neal

1973-77 Jack Charlton

1966-73 Stan Anderson

1963-66 Raich Carter

1954-63 Bob Dennison

1952-54 Walter Rowley

1944-52 David Jack

1934-44 Wilf Gillow

1927-34 Peter McWilliam

1923-26 Herbert Bamlett

1920-23 Jimmy Howie

1911-19 Tom McIntosh

1910-11 Andy Walker

1908-10 J Gunter

1906-09 Andy Aitken

1905-06 Alex Mackie

1899-05 John Robson

Notable Former players

Listed according to year of Middlesbrough first-team debut (year in parentheses):

  • Tim Williamson (1901)
  • Alf Common (1905)
  • Steve Bloomer (1906)
  • Jacky Carr (1911)
  • George Camsell (1925)
  • Wilf Mannion (1936)
  • George Hardwick (1937)
  • Dicky Robinson (1945)
  • Brian Clough (1955)
  • John Hickton (1966)
  • Jim Platt (1971)
  • David Armstrong (1972)
  • Graeme Souness (1973)
  • Bobby Murdoch (1973)
  • Craig Johnston (1978)
  • Willie Maddren (1969)
  • Tony Mowbray (1982)
  • Colin Cooper (1985)
  • Bernie Slaven (1985)
  • Gary Pallister (1985)
  • Juninho (1995)
  • Fabrizio Ravanelli (1996)
  • Paul Ince (1999)
  • Gareth Southgate (2001)
  • Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (2004)


  • 1979 - 1980 Datsun Cleveland
  • 1982 - 1983 McClean Homes
  • 1986 - 1987 Camerons and Hansa Beer
  • 1987 - 1988 Dickens
  • 1988 - 1990 Heritage Hampers
  • 1990 - 1992 Evening Gazette
  • 1992 - 1994 ICI
  • 1994 - 1995 Dickens
  • 1995 - 1999 Cellnet
  • 2000 - 2001 BT Cellnet
  • 2002 - 2004 Dial-a-Phone
  • 2004 - Present 888.com

Their kits are manufactured by Errea

Former Captains

  • 1994-1998 Nigel Pearson
  • 1998-1999 Andy Townsend
  • 1999-2002 Paul Ince
  • 2002-2006 Gareth Southgate
  • 2006-Present George Boateng

Wiki Source

Vote on your favourite Middlesbrough player past or present and say why if you want

Player Votes Comment
David Armstrong


because he plays left side like myself and was consistent, great left foot good with his head and deserved more England caps
Yakubu Aiyegbeni


Neil Mochan


Willie Maddren



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