Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Middlesbrough F.C. are an English football team, commonly known as 'Boro'. They are currently in the Premier League. They play at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. Their manager is Steve McClaren , and the chairman is Steve Gibson . Their mascot is Roary the Lion, played by Andrew Morgan of Yarm.
Members of Middlesbrough Cricket Club founded Middlesbrough Football Club in 1876. This was a common practice at the time because football was seen as a game to be played in cricket's off season. Middlesbrough FC turned professional in 1889, returned to amateur status in 1892 then became professional for good in 1899.
The club faced huge financial problems in the 1980s, falling briefly into liquidation in 1986. At the end of that year, the club was brought back to life through the influence of Teesside businessman Steve Gibson, 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 was quick to bring the club back onto a sound financial footing and then build on that foundation to create the modern club. Mr Gibson, a lifelong Boro fan, 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 - in stark contrast to the position at some other clubs.
Mr Gibson's first attempt at creating a successful top flight team began with his 1994 appointment of former England captain Bryan Robson as the team's player-manager. Robson brought tremendous excitement in his time at the club, most notably with the purchases of the Serie A star Fabrizio Ravanelli and the tiny Brazilian genius Juninho, perhaps Boro's best-loved player since that other tiny genius Wilf Mannion. There were also three appearances at Wembley but, although Robson brought with him some of his former Manchester United teammates, he was ultimately unable also to bring to Boro the North-West giants' knack of winning trophies.
In his first season as manager, 1994-1995, Boro were promoted to the Premiership. However, they were relegated again in 1997 and also lost both domestic cup finals - the FA Cup to Chelsea and the League Cup to Leicester City. Controversy surrounded the relegation - Middlesbrough had been deducted three vital points after they failed to send a team out for the Premiership fixture at Blackburn Rovers. 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. The Football Association rejected this explanation and the punishment, combined with an appalling run of form at the end of the season, was enough to see Boro relegated. They did, however, bounce back to the big time the following season. During this period, Robson also acted as a coach to the England team under Terry Venables, who later joined him at Middlesbrough for a short coaching spell when the club was in danger of relegation. Thanks to Venables Boro survived, just. Robson's fun but fruitless tenure nonetheless ended at the end of the 2000-2001 season.
Seeking a replacement for Robson, Mr Gibson again looked west, this time poaching Sir Alex Ferguson's number two, Steve McClaren . This has proved a much more successful appointment. Under McClaren, Boro attained Teesside's holy grail of a first senior trophy with victory over Bolton Wanderers in the 2003-04 League Cup final. Like Robson, McClaren combines his club work with involvement in coaching the England team under Sven-Göran Eriksson.
Middlesbrough FC is in probably its strongest position ever coming to the end of the 2004-2005 season. Riding high in the Premiership, involved in the 'Round of 16' of the UEFA Cup, and with a strong squad combining bought-in senior pros and youngsters from the club's excellent youth development programme, the future looks bright.
- FA Cup runners up 1996-97
- League Cup winners 2003-04; runners up 1997-98, 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
Current first team squad
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