Barnsley Football Club is an English football club, based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and nicknamed the Tykes, with Toby Tyke being their mascot. The club was founded in 1887 as Barnsley St. Peter's. They currently play in the Championship after promotion was secured at the end of the 2005-06 season by beating Swansea City 4-2 on penalties in the play-off final.
Barnsley have spent more seasons in the second tier of English football than any other club in history, and have produced some notable talents over the years who have gone on to be successful at other clubs. One example is Tommy Taylor, who was a prolific goalscorer for Barnsley in the early 1950s and went on to win two league titles with Manchester United (as well as scoring 16 times in 19 England internationals) before losing his life in the Munich air disaster. Taylor's move to Manchester United was for a then world-record fee of £29,999.
Barnsley FC was established in 1887, playing in the Sheffield and District League from 1890 and then in the Midland League from 1895. They joined the Football League in 1898, and struggled in Division Two for the first ten years, due in part to ongoing financial difficulties. In 1910 the club reached the FA Cup final, where they lost out to Newcastle in a replay match. However, they would then reach the 1912 FA Cup Final where they would defeat West Brom 1-0 in a replay to win the trophy for the first and only time in their history.
When the league re-started after the First World War, the 1919-20 season brought some significant changes to the league. The principle difference was that the First Division would be increased from 20 teams to 22. The bottom team from the previous season was Tottenham Hotspur and they were duely relegated. The first extra place in the First Division went to Chelsea, who retained their place despite finishing 2nd bottom and therefore in the relegation places. Derby and Preston were rightly promoted from the Second Division which left one place to be filled. Having finished the previous season's Second Division in 3rd place (1914-15), Barnsley were full of expectancy at gaining First Division status for the first time, but the Football League instead chose to call a ballot of the clubs. Henry Norris, the then Arsenal Chairman, had recently moved Woolwich Arsenal north of the River Thames to Highbury, and needed First Division Football to attract fans to their new home. He was later to admit some underhand dealings, allegedly including the bribing of some member clubs to vote for Arsenal's inclusion. They duely won the vote and Barnsley were consigned to the second tier of English Football for another 8 decades.
The club did however come close to reaching the top division in the early years, such as in 1922 where they missed promotion on goal difference decided by a single goal. From the thirties up to the fifties the club found themselves sliding between the Second and Third Division, and in the sixties and seventies they hovered around the Third and Fourth Division, not able to break back into the top two levels of English football.
The eighties and early nineties saw the club get back on track, earn promotion and once again establish themselves as a strong Division Two side as they had been in their early history, eventually reaching a position to once again start challenging for a place in the top tier for the very first time.
Over the past decade Barnsley have experienced a number of highs and lows as a football club. At the end of the 1996-97 season Barnsley reached the top tier of English football for the first time in their history. However, they were relegated the following season despite their efforts.
In the following years Barnsley were not as successful, with relegation to Division Two and administration both threatening the existence of the club. Barnsley suffered greatly due to the ITV Digital crisis, resulting in the club going into administration in 2002. A late purchase from Barnsley's then Mayor, Peter Doyle, saved the club from folding. Doyle has since left the club, leaving Gordon Shepherd and local businessman Patrick Cryne in control. There has also been a rapid turnover of managers, with no less than ten managers in the same number of years.
Barnsley had the distinction of playing in the last play-off final at Wembley before the stadium was closed for redevelopment, and in 2006 won in a play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, where they beat Swansea City 4-3 on penalties (2-2 after extra-time) to earn promotion to the Championship. The manager at this time was Andy Ritchie, who was in his first season in charge after replacing Paul Hart.
The team struggled in their first season back in the Championship. In November 2006, with Barnsley in the relegation zone, Ritchie was sacked in favour of Simon Davey. Davey managed to steer the team away from relegation in the second half of the season, and eventually finishing in 20th. The following season, a much-changed Barnsley side managed an historic FA Cup run, beating Premiership giants Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield and defending champions Chelsea 1-0 in order to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1912, where they narrowly lost out 1-0 to fellow Championship side Cardiff City at Wembley.
1892-93 - Founder member of Sheffield League, as "Barnsley St. Peter's"
1893-94 - Sheffield League Division Two runner-up
1895-96 - Joined Midland League
1897 - Dropped "St Peter's" to become simply Barnsley
1897-98 - Midland League runner-up. Also played in Yorkshire League
1898 - Elected to the Football League
1909-10 - FA Cup runner-up
1911-12 - FA Cup Winners
1921-22 - Missed promotion on goal average
1932 - Relegated to Division Three North
1933-34 - Football League Division Three North Champions; promoted to Division Two
1938 - Relegated to Division Three North
1938-39 - Football League Division Three North Champions; promoted to Division Two
1939-40 - Football League programme abandoned due to outbreak of war
1953 - Relegated to Division Three North
1953-54 - Football League Division Three North runner-up
1954-55 - Football League Division Three North Champions; promoted to Division Two
1959 - Relegated to Division Three
1965 - Relegated to Division Four
1967-68 - Football League Division Four runner-up; promoted to Division Three
1972 - Relegated to Division Four
1978-79 - Missed runner-up spot on goal difference; promoted to Division Three
1980-81 - Football League Division Three runner-up (on goal difference); promoted to Division Two
1990-91 - Missed play-off spot on goal difference
1992-93 - Division Two re-designated Division One on formation of FA Premiership
1996-97 - Football League runner-up; promoted to FA Premiership
1997-98 - Relegated to Football League Division One
1999-00 - Not promoted after play-offs. Finished 4th in the final table. (Semi-final - Brimingham City 0 Barnsley 4, Barnsley 1 Birmingham City 2, Agg 5-2. Final - Barnsley 2 Ipswich Town 4 at Wembley.)
2002 - Relegated to Division Two
2004-05 - Division Two re-designated Football League One on formation of Football League Championship
2005-06 - Promoted as Football League One play-off winners. Finished 5th in the final table. (Semi-final - Barnsley 0 Huddersfield Town 1, Huddersfield Town 1 Barnsley 3, Agg 3-2. Final - Swansea City 2 Barnsley 2 (AET). Barnsley win 4-3 on penalties at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.)
2007-08 - FA Cup Semi-Finalists (Defeated Blackpool 2-1 Goals by Stephen Foster and Michael Coulson, Defeated Southend United 1-0 Goal by Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Deafeated Liverpool 2-1 Goals by Stephen Foster and Brian Howard, Defeated Chelsea 1-0 Goal by Kayode Odejayi, Lost to Cardiff City 1-0 in the Semi-Final)
Barnsley have played their home games in red shirts for most of their history. The only exception to this is the period 1887-1901, where it is speculated that the team first wore blue shirts with purple/claret arms, then circa 1890 the team wore chocolate and white stripes, before moving on to blue and white stripes around 1898. The team first wore their now traditional red shirts in 1901.
Since this time, the team has worn red shirts often with a white trim. In more recent times a black trim has sometimes been used. As with most football clubs the shirt design varies from season to season. One particular design that stands out is the 1989-90 season shirt which featured white stars on a red background and has been named as one of the worst shirts ever. However, the kit is fondly remembered by some fans. Sponsors names and logos were first worn in the 1980-81 season and the club has had 12 different sponsors on the shirt in total. Since manufacturers logos were added to the shirt in the 1976-77 season, the club has 12 different kit manufacturers.
Traditionally, the team has worn white shorts (sometimes with red and/or black trim) for their home games with the only exceptions coming in the early years of the 20th century. One other notable exception came in the 2000 Division One Playoff Final against Ipswich Town, where the team wore red shorts, thus having an all-red strip.
Apart from the clubs early years and the period 1921-1934 where the team wore black, the team has worn red and/or white socks for its home games. Again, the design changes from season to season.
The club's away strip (used for away or cup fixtures where there is a clash of colours) differs from season to season but usually follows the design of the season's home strip with a variation on the colours. The most common colour for the away shirt has been white but many others have been used, including blue, yellow, black, ecru, dark green and even black and blue stripes. One notable away strip was the 2001-2002 “Its just like watching Brazil” kit, where the team wore the colours of the 5-time World Cup winners Brazil for their away games. However, that season it was not at all like watching Brazil as the team were relegated to Division 1.
The current strip for the 2007-2008 season is manufactured by Surridge Sports and the main sponsor is Wake Smith Solicitors. The home shirt is the traditional red with white stitching from the collar to underneath the arms and around the end of the sleeves. The collar itself is white. The shorts are white with a thick red band down each side with red stitching down the front. The socks are red with a thick white band running down the back getting wider further down.
The away strip is of the same design as the home strip substituting ecru for red and navy blue for white.
For next season, financial backer Patrick Cryne has secured Lotto as the manufacturer, replacing Surridge, who produced a poor effort with the writing peeling off most shirts. Barnsley Building Society will also replace Wake Smith Solicitors as the main club sponsor after the Sheffield firm was emblazoned on the Reds' shirts throughout their 2007-08 FA Cup run.
Barnsley FC Official Website
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