The club traces its origins back 1894, when its forerunner Bristol South End was formed, but its official foundation is listed as 1897, the date when South End chose to turn professional and change its name to Bristol City Football Club. At the turn of the century the club chose to merge with neighbours Bedminster FC, a professional football club which played its home games at Ashton Gate – the same site where Bristol City plays to this day. The club entered the Football League in 1901.
City first entered the top-flight in 1906, arriving as Second Division Champions and carrying this momentum on to finish runner-up to Newcastle in the First Division in their first taste of top-flight football. The club came frustratingly close to glory again in 1909, this time losing the FA Cup final to Manchester United. Sadly in 1911, relegation followed, and the club did not return to the elite until 1976. After four years when the club finished no higher than 13th, the club was relegated in 1980. Relegation to the Second Division was sadly followed by two successive relegations, and the club reached its nadir in 1982 when it languished in Division Four and was declared bankrupt. However the club survived, a new company – Bristol City Football Club (1982) – was formed and the club was able to survive.
The club has arguably been clawing its way back to the top ever since, winning promotion back to the third tier in 1984, then achieving promotion to the second tier in 1990 (with Joe Jordan at the helm). Relegation followed in 1994, followed by another fleeting season in the second flight in 1998, which ended in ignominy, with City stranded at the foot of the Division One table. The club wasn’t to fight its way back to the second tier until 2007, when Gary Johnson steered the club into the second tier – or the Championship.
Bristol City, or ‘the Robins’ to use the club nickname, play in a home-strip of Red shirts, white shorts and red socks, which have been the club colours more or less since its foundation in the 1890s.
2009/2010 was an eventful season for City, if largely for the wrong reasons. The season started well enough, but the fans’ hopes of a play-off unravelled in the second half of the season – perhaps most notably with a torrid 6-0 thrashing at home to local rivals Cardiff City in January. Manager Gary Johnson had arrived in September 2005, and had overseen a substantial revival in City’s fortunes, but in March, following a 3-2 defeat away to Plymouth Argyle, Johnson stepped down by ‘mutual consent.’ The experienced figure of Stephen Coppell will lead the team for the 2010/11 season.
Head to head
I’m indebted to the excellent PompeyRama for this.
The head to head is tight, but in City’s favour. The two clubs have met 45 times, of which City have won 17, Pompey 13, and there have been 15 draws. The most recent meeting of the two clubs came in the 2008/09 season, when Tony Adam’s Pompey snuck past City in the Cup, following a 0-0 draw at Ashton Gate with a 2-0 win in the replay.
The last league fixtures occurred in the 1998/99 season, which may have finished disastrously for City, but Pompey provided them with some cheer – a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate was followed up with a 1-0 win for City at Fratton Park.
League standings in last 5 years
2009/10 – 10th (Championship)
2008/09 – 10th (Championship)
2007/08 – 4th (Championship)
2006/07 – 2nd (League 1)
2005/06 – 9th (League 1)
At Fratton Park – Tuesday 28th September, 19:45
At Ashton Gate – Tuesday 8th March, 19:45
There are strong rumours that Scotland international Paul Hartley is heading back North of the border – although I don’t know how much credence to give to those rumours. Two players who should still be playing for City next year are Cole Skuse and Nicky Maynard. Skuse is the type of player every fan wants in their team – he’s a local boy, and a product of the club’s academy. The 24 year-old midfielder was last season’s fans’ player of the year. 23-year-old Maynard is a product of the successful Crewe academy. The young striker become Bristol City’s record signing in 2008, for 2.25 million.
The club have played their home games at Ashton Gate Stadium for over 100 years. The ground has a capacity of 21,497, but the club has plans to build a new 30,000 seater stadium nearby – and the England 2018 bid committee have selected ‘New Ashton Gate’ to be part of its bid.
Written by SouthLondonBlue.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.
Opponents in focus: Barnsley FC – here.
Opponents in focus – Bristol City