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Ken Smith looks back at Boro’s footballing history and stats

 

Ken Smith
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With so many new members on Diasboro.club perhaps many of you are not aware of another section which I researched prior to the current forum. It was published under the heading of ‘Ken Smith looks back at Boro’s footballing history and stats’ on the former Diasboro.worldpress.com site. Part of the section reviews the birth of the Boro, their seasons in the Northern League right up to the 21st century. I appreciate that not everyone is particularly interested in the history of Middlesbrough FC but there are also some other sections which folk might find interesting such as the 1925/26 season when George Camsell broke the League scoring record with 59 goals. 

My first match of watching Boro was on the 11th October 1947 at home to Everton which unfortunately we lost 0-1, but I can still remember the team for that match:- Derek Goodfellow; Bobby Stuart, Dickie Robinson; Harry Bell, Bill Whitaker, Jimmy Gordon; Johnny Spuhler, Cec McCormack, Mickey Fenton, Wilf Mannion and Geoff Walker. That was the main eleven for the whole of that season except that club captain George Hardwick didn’t play in that match because of injury.

In later years I marvelled at the goalscoring ability of Brian Clough, and being a person who later in life was prone to write rhymes, had my first one published in the Sports Gazette by Cliff Mitchell in 1956 entitled ‘Pronounce it Cluff!’ as follows:-

When first Boro’s centre forward played
His name was not announced;
Spectators knew how it was spelled, 
But not how was t’was pronounced.

”It’s easy to decide” said on
”He plays for Boro, though
I think if he were ever asked
He’d say his name was Clough”. 

“That don’t sound right” said one outside the ground
”Now let me climb this bough,
I want to get a better view
Of the lad I know as Clough”. 

At last our hero got the ball;
McLean had sent him through.
His shot went straight between the posts;
Some shouted “Good shot, Clough”.

The crowd began to roar like mad,
It made some of them cough.
Our hero’s colleagues shook his hand
And said “A good goal, Clough!”

But now this rhyme comes to an end;
I think you’ve read enough.
Perhaps you’ve guessed our hero’s name -
If not, it’s Brian Clough.


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Ken Smith
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STATISTICS BEYOND OUR KEN

Now that I’m completely housebound I’m looking for something to occupy my time and was thinking about producing all Boro’s League results season by season starting from their first entry into the Football League in 1899. This is Boro’s 112th season of League football in their long history, so if I recapture two seasons a week it will keep me occupied for just over a year. Not everyone’s cup of tea I know, but just an historical boring set of statistics that can be referred to at will but that I feel should be recorded in perpetuity.

This post was modified 7 days ago 2 times by Ken Smith

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Ken Smith
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I didn’t realise that Werdermouth had transferred some of my historical seasons from Diasboro .worldpress to the current diasboro.club. Many thanks to him for that. Jarrko seems to have picked up on that, so not wishing to repeat myself, I’ll have to think of another project to keep me busy.


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Ken Smith
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I thought I’d start by briefly writing about the second oldest Football League in the World and its impact not only on Middlesbrough FC but also on Middlesbrough Ironopolis. That League was of course the Northern League which today has two divisions, one of 20 clubs, the other of 21 clubs. Today it’s a far cry from the first season in 1889 when it was made up of only 10 clubs. The first champions were Darlington St Augustines who    were equal on points with Newcastle West End but with a better goal average. Stockton finished 3rd followed by Newcastle East England, Darlington FC and Middlesbrough FC who finished a poor 7 points behind St Augustines. The other members in that inaugural season were South Bank, Bishop Auckland, Birtley and Elswick Rangers who all resigned at the end of the season, not an auspicious start for the League or in fact Middlesbrough FC. 

However they were replaced in the following season by two new clubs, Sunderland Albion and notably Middlesbrough Ironopolis who went on to win the League by a single point over Middlesbrough FC. The Nops played their home matches at Paradise Road and they won the League by one point over a rejuvenated Middlesbrough FC. The first local derby between the two clubs on the 1st of November ended in a 2-2 draw at Linthorpe Road before an estimated crowd of 12,000 spectators. Not a lot is known about the match or indeed the goalscorers. The return fixture was played on the 28th of March before an estimated crowd of 8,000 at Paradise Road which the Nops won 1-0 in the title decider.  

The following season saw the introduction of Sheffield United, but Ironopolis retained the Championship by three points over Middlesbrough FC recording a double over their neighbours. On Boxing Day the Nops won 1-0 and on New Year’s Day 2-0 before another estimated crowd of 12,000. Sheffield United finished 3rd but the two Newcastle clubs finished 4th and 8th in a League of only 9 clubs and in the off-season decided to amalgamate to form Newcastle United. However that didn’t stop Ironopolis from winning their third successive title although by then there were one 6 clubs left in the Northern League. The Nops won all but one of their 10 matches, a draw against the reformed Newcastle. This of course included another double over Middlesbrough FC by the same scores as the previous season as FC finished 4th with Newcastle and Sheffield United separating the two Teesside clubs. Ironopolis had won 5 of their 6 meetings, and crowds for both clubs had dissipated.

In the following summer talks began to follow Newcastle’s lead about an amalgamation as it became evident that a town of Middlesbrough’s size wouldn’t be able to support two clubs in the English Second Division where the town had aspirations to compete.

This post was modified 6 days ago 3 times by Ken Smith

Original Fat Bob
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Ken

 

i was a ref and linesman in the northern league and you certainly grew up very quickly in this environment!

I developed a hard nosed no nonsense reputation by being firm and to be honest it taught me more about man management than any courses I have ever been on and I loved it!

OFB


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Ken Smith
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For three years both Middlesbrough FC and Ironopolis had battled it out against each other in the Northern League, though after drawing 2-2 in their first encounter Ironopolis not only won the League each season but won 5 times thereafter in their meetings with Middlesbrough FC without conceding a goal. By then with the League reduced to only six clubs, the Nops resigned to play friendly matches against professional clubs after signing many Middlesbrough FC players in their wake. Middlesbrough FC meanwhile continued participating in the Northern League for 6 more years being Champions 3 times, but more importantly winning the FA Amateur Cup twice in 1885 against Old Carthusians 2-1 and Uxbridge three years later by the same score.

However for several years afterwards a bitter rivalry took place in the town when Middlesbrough FC members were split on deciding whether to turn professional or not. With the formation of the English Football League in 1888 several players left to sign professional forms for the resurgent Ironopolis. Eventually it was decided to have meetings with Ironopolis to enable the club to make application to join the Second Division of the English Football League. Agreement was reached but Middlesbrough FC took umbrage at the name of the new club being registered as Middlesbrough and Ironopolis Athletic Football Club. Eventually the

club was accepted for membership having the support of both Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC, but the Boro reneged on the deal and Middlesbrough Ironopolis were left to fight alone. This caused a lot of ill feeling in the town and for several years later Boro were nicknamed the Scabs.

Following is the Second Division League Table for Ironopolis’s one and only season for 1893/94:-  

1. Liverpool——50  0-2, 0-6
2. Birmingham 42  3-0, 1-2 (formerly Small Heath)
3. Notts County39  0-0, 0-3
4. Newcastle— 36  1-1, 2-7           
5. Grimsby——32   2-6, 1-2
6. Burton Swifts31 2-1, 0-7      
7. Port Vale——-30.3-1, 0-4 (formerly Burslem Port Vale)
8. Lincoln City—28. 0-0, 3-2
9. Arsenal———26  3-6, 0-1 (formerly Woolwich Arsenal)
10.Walsall——   23. 1-1, 0-1 (formerly Walsall Town)
11. IRONOPOLIS 20         

12. Crewe Alex-19   2-0, 0-5          
13. Man.City—-18    2-0, 1-6 (formerly Ardwick)      
14. Rotherham-15   6-1, 1-4
15. Northwich— 9    2-1, 1-2 (full name Northwich Victoria)

The points are shown followed by the home result and away result. Ironopolis lost every away match except winning at Lincoln. I have used the current name for each club with their former name where applicable after each club’s results.

This post was modified 5 days ago 2 times by Ken Smith

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Ken Smith
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Middlesbrough FC have now played 96 different clubs in League matches since 1899. Some of these clubs are not now in the English Football League and others are extinct. At the moment Boro have played 76 of the current 91 League clubs but have still to lock horns with Accrington Stanley, AFC Wimbledon, Barrow, Cheltenham Town, Crawley Town, Exeter City, Fleetwood Town, Forest Green Rovers, Hartlepool United, Harrogate Town, Morecambe, Rochdale, Salford City, Stevenage and Sutton United. The latest opponents were Wycombe Wanderers last season, although Boro have met some of those 15 clubs in Cup competitions. I can’t envisage playing against any of those clubs in the near future unless Accrington Stanley manage to be promoted via the playoffs this season which seems very unlikely at the moment and assuming that Boro remain in the Championship.

I propose to look at the record of Boro against the aforementioned 96 clubs      starting next week as my next project which should keep me awake in my current humdrum existence.

 

This post was modified 4 days ago by Ken Smith

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