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Bristol City
Bristol City FC.svg
Full name Bristol City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Robins
Founded 1897
Ground Ashton Gate,
(Capacity: 21,497)
Chairman Steve Lansdown
Manager Ian Atkins league = The Championship
2008–09 The Championship, 10th
All-time top scorer John Atyeo (351)
Home colours
Away colours

Bristol City Football Club is one of two football league clubs in Bristol, England, (the other being arch rivals Bristol Rovers). They play at Ashton Gate, located in the south-west of the City. Gary Johnson is the most recent manager of the club. They were promoted to the Coca-Cola Championship in the 2006–07 season after finishing second in League One but failed to make a second consecutive promotion to the Premier League after they were defeated by Hull City in the Championship Play-Offs.

Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English team – in 1934. In 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest-ever final position.

In 1982, Bristol City became the first English team to suffer three successive relegations but by 1990 they were back in the Second Division. Another relegation followed in 1995, when City finished second from bottom in the new Second Division, and a return to that division three years later lasted just one season. Most of their seasons between 1999 and 2006 were spent challenging for promotion in the upper half of the division.

The club's nickname is "The Robins", and a robin featured on the club's badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a label showing a robin. A recent attempt by the club to alter the club's badge was abandoned after the club was criticized fiercely by fans.[1]

Bristol City currently play at Ashton Gate stadium in the Ashton/Bedminster area of the city of Bristol, which has an all-seater capacity of 21,497.




Early years and early successes (1897–1911)

The club was founded in 1897, when Bristol South End turned professional and changed its name to Bristol City. In 1900 the club merged with local rivals Bedminster, who had been founded as Southville in 1887. The side joined the Football League in 1901 and were the only non-London League side south of Birmingham until 1920. Their first game in the Football League was against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on 7 September 1901. City won 2–0.[2]

They first entered Division 1 in 1906 as Second Division champions, and as newcomers became known as the "Bristol Babies", a nickname that would last into the thirties. They were runners-up to Newcastle in their first season in the top flight, and in 1909 reached the FA Cup final, where they were beaten by Manchester United at the Crystal Palace in London. But these achievements were not consistent, and in 1911 City were relegated back to the Second Division. They have not repeated the heights of the 1906–1909 era since, and did not even return to the top flight for 65 years.

The yo-yo era (1912–1965)

The 1920s were a rocky time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the lower division, and stayed that way until the Second World War. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years. An engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s. The late 1950s were a better time for City, with a five year stay in the Second Division, a league they returned to for a further spell in 1965.

Back among the elite (1966–1980)

In 1967 Alan Dicks was appointed manager, and things gradually began to improve. Promotion to the First Division was finally achieved in 1976, ending a 65-year exile from the top flight.

City's second stint in the top flight was less successful and memorable than the club's first, with 13th position in 1979 being their highest finish during this era. Stars of this era included Geoff Merrick, Tom Ritchie, Clive Whitehead, Gerry Gow, Trevor Tainton and Jimmy Mann.

Decline and financial ruin (1980–1982)

City were relegated back to the Second Division in 1980, but this was only the beginning of their problems. Debts mounted and losses increased, with two successive relegations following. In 1982, City fell into the Fourth Division and were declared bankrupt. However, a new company – BCFC (1982) Ltd – was set up to allow the club to continue playing. The club's survival was confirmed when eight highly-paid senior players (the 'Ashton Gate Eight') accepted redundancy. These players, who all agreed to half their contract if they left the club, were: Julian Marshall, Chris Garland, Jimmy Mann, Peter Aitken, Geoff Merrick, David Rodgers, Gerry Sweeney and Trevor Tainton.

Revival (1982–1990)

City spent two seasons in the Fourth Division before winning promotion under Terry Cooper in 1984. They consolidated themselves in the Third Division during the later part of the 1980s, and in 1990 Cooper's successor Joe Jordan achieved promotion as Third Division runners-up. This was easily the most successful footballing year to date for the city of Bristol, as neighbours Bristol Rovers were also promoted to the Second Division as champions.

Back in the second tier (1990–1995)

Jordan moved to Heart of Midlothian in September 1990, and his successor Jimmy Lumsden remained in charge for 18 months before making way for Denis Smith. Smith's first signing was the 20-year-old Arsenal striker Andy Cole, who was an instant hit with fans and quickly established himself as one of the finest goalscoring talents ever to wear a Bristol City shirt. But he was sold to Newcastle United in February 1993 and later established himself as a world class goalscorer, most prominently with Manchester United, where he collected five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup.

Meanwhile, City remained in the new Division One (no longer the Second Division after the creation of the Premier League in 1992) and Smith moved to Oxford United in November 1993. His successor Russell Osman was sacked within a year, being a very unpopular figure with fans. One of Osman's few successful moments with City came in January 1994 when he led them to a shock 1–0 victory over Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.

Joe Jordan was brought back to Ashton Gate in September 1994, but was unable to prevent relegation to Division Two.

Promotion and relegation (1995–2000)

Jordan remained at the helm for two seasons after City's relegation, but left in June 1997 after failing to get them back into Division One. Former Bristol Rovers manager John Ward took over, and achieved promotion in 1998 as Division Two runners-up. But City struggled back in Division One, and Ward stepped down in October 1998 to be succeeded by Benny Lennartsson. City were relegated in bottom place and Lennartsson was dismissed in favour of Gillingham's Tony Pulis, who lasted six months before leaving to take over at Portsmouth. During his time at Ashton Gate he was manager of perhaps the worst City side since the one that completed a hat-trick of successive relegations almost 20 years earlier. Coach Tony Fawthrop took over until the end of the season, when Danny Wilson was appointed. Wilson was arguably the most prominent manager to take charge of a City side since Denis Smith, as he had guided Barnsley to promotion to the Premier League in 1997 and Sheffield Wednesday to a 12th place finish in 1999.

The Danny Wilson Era (2000–2004)

City were regular Division Two playoff contestants during Wilson's spell as manager. City tasted the agony of failing to reach them in 2002, although he paid back his debt by almost making automatic promotion, and winning the LDV Vans trophy in Cardiff in 2003. The taste of the play-offs was bitter though, losing to rivals Cardiff City 1–0 on aggregate in the semi-final. In his final year – 2004 – they reached the final, but lost to Brighton & Hove Albion. He was sacked within days and replaced by veteran player Brian Tinnion.

Disappointment under Brian Tinnion (2004–2005)

City failed to make the playoffs in Tinnion's first season as manager, and he stepped down in September 2005 after a 7–1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City. This rounded off a dismal start to the season in which City's form had slumped even further despite the addition of high profile players including Marcus Stewart and Michael Bridges. Yeovil manager Gary Johnson was recruited as his successor.

Revival under Gary Johnson (September 2005 – May 2007)

Pitch invasion at Ashton Gate after securing promotion

Johnson arrived in September 2005, making the move from Yeovil Town, with whom he had gained two promotions. His first game in charge (only hours after meeting the squad) saw City win away at Brentford 3–2. After a short spell of decent results, City were plunged into the relegation mire, enduring a club record of nine successive defeats, leaving them at the foot of League One. Much criticism was aimed at Gary Johnson at this time; the Chairman of Bristol City Supporters Club labelled him a 'Conference Manager' and contended that he was 'totally out of his depth'. The run was brought to an end with a 2–0 victory at home to Huddersfield on 10 December. City then lost just three of their next 16 games, and this fine run of form was capped with a 6–0 win over Gillingham, in which defender Louis Carey scored a brace. This was City's largest league win since late 1969, and was an encouraging sign of things to come, although they didn't quite make playoffs in 2006.

Despite a slow start to the following season, which saw a vocal minority of fans calling for Johnson to be sacked after a 4–2 home defeat by Blackpool (who were eventually also promoted), City were in the top six of League One by November and at the end of the month began an 11-match unbeaten run which drove them to the top of the division. They also hit the headlines with an impressive FA Cup run, being knocked out in the 4th round on penalties after a replay in which they held Premiership side Middlesbrough to a 2–2 draw in both ties. They knocked out Championship side Coventry City in the 3rd round. They also reached the Southern Area Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but were knocked out over two legs by local rivals Bristol Rovers after a 0–0 draw at Ashton Gate and a Rickie Lambert goal condemned the Robins to a 1–0 aggregate defeat in the 2nd leg. Promotion to the Championship was confirmed on the final day of the season with a 3–1 win over doomed Rotherham. David Noble scored two goals and Alex Russell scored once, securing runners-up place in the division and resulting in automatic promotion and joyous scenes of celebration in the city and even more so on the pitch at the full time whistle. 2007–08 is the first season in almost a decade that has seen Bristol City playing at this level of English football.

The Championship challenge (Since May 2007)

In the summer between City's promotion and the start of the Championship season, Gary Johnson made a number of signings. However their pre season form didn't start well, losing 4–2 to Forest Green Rovers. However City got off to a good start going unbeaten for a number of matches and briefly topping the Championship after beating Coventry City 3–0. City then suffered a slight blip after losing 3–0 to Barnsley before beating a variety of big name teams including Sheffield United live on Sky Sports and Southampton. In November City's form dipped and they endured a run of 4 games without a win, including a 6–0 thrashing at the hands of Ipswich Town. In December City's form picked up again and went unbeaten all the way to Boxing Day when they lost to West Brom 4–1.

After a stop start run of form including victories over Blackpool and Coventry and losses to QPR and Crystal Palace city went top of the Championship on March 1 after a 2–1 home victory over Hull City. After a poor run of form city went back to the top after a last gasp winner from Steve Brooker, who was just returning from injury, in a 2–1 win over Norwich City. However a poor run of form ended City's chances of an automatic promotion place. On 4 May 2008, a 3–0 home win against Preston North End on the final day of the league season ensured a play-off place and a semi-final fixture against Crystal Palace. On 13 May 2008 a 4–2 aggregate win over Crystal Palace with goals from Lee Trundle and Michael McIndoe confirmed City's trip to Wembley, where they were beaten 1–0 by Hull City.

After a poor start in the first half of the 2008–09 season, City recovered after Christmas. After winning 4–2 away at Watford on Boxing Day, they went on to take 13 points from five games in early 2009 to reach 8th place in the league by early February. City had a memorable away victory against Reading which saw them jump up to their highest position of the season to 4th. After a lot of draws, the season eventually petered out and City finished the season in 10th place.

The 2009–10 season saw some good results in the autumn, but big defeats by Cardiff City (0–6) and Doncaster Rovers (2–5) in early 2010 lead to much disatisfaction amongst fans.[3] On 18 March 2010, the club issued a statement that Johnson had "left his post as manager of Bristol City FC by mutual consent".[4]


Colours, Crest, Mascot & Anthem

Scrumpy, Bristol City FC mascot

Bristol City have played in red and white since the 1890s, occasionally also including black.[5] The 2009–2010 season's kit, made by Puma (in the 4th of a 4 year deal) has a red shirt with white trim on the chest.[6] Puma logos are on each shoulder. The away shirt is of a different design. It's black with black stripes down the right side of the underarm. The shirts are sponsored by DAS and Blackthorn. It is unlikely there will be a third strip this season.

  • The club's crest is a simplified version of the coat of arms of the city of Bristol.
  • The club's mascot is Scrumpy the Robin who has been the club's mascot since 2005.[7]
  • The club's official anthem is One For The Bristol City by The Wurzels. First released in 1976, it is the tune the team run out to at home matches. A newly-recorded version of the song reached number 66 in the UK charts in September 2007.[8]

Current management

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Vacant
Assistant Manager: Keith Millen England English
Development Coach: John Clayton England English
Goalkeeping Coach: Stuart Naylor England England
Chief Scout: Pete Johnson England England
Fitness/Conditioning Coach: Glen Schmidt England English
First Team Physio: John Dawes England English
Academy Director: John Clayton Scotland Scottish

Current squad

As of 15 March 2010.[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 England DF Bradley Orr
3 Scotland DF Jamie McAllister
4 England DF Liam Fontaine
5 England DF Jamie McCombe
6 Scotland DF Louis Carey (captain)
7 England MF Marvin Elliott
8 England MF Lee Johnson
9 Scotland FW David Clarkson
10 England FW Nicky Maynard
11 Scotland MF Paul Hartley
12 England The FANS
13 England GK Steve Collis
14 England MF Cole Skuse
17 Northern Ireland MF Ivan Sproule
No. Position Player
18 Wales DF James Wilson
20 Jamaica MF Jamal Campbell-Ryce
21 England MF Frankie Artus
22 England GK Dean Gerken
24 England FW Tristan Plummer
25 England MF Brian Wilson
27 England MF Ashley Kington
28 England DF Joe Edwards
29 Netherlands MF Evander Sno (on loan from Ajax)
30 Republic of Ireland GK Stephen Henderson
31 England FW Danny Haynes
32 Wales DF Lewin Nyatanga
36 Ghana FW Patrick Agyemang (on loan from QPR)
37 Austria FW Stefan Maierhofer (on loan from Wolves)

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
15 Wales MF Gavin Williams (to Yeovil Town)
19 Wales DF Christian Ribeiro (to Colchester United)
23 England FW Lee Trundle (to Swansea City)
26 England FW Marlon Jackson (to Aldershot Town)
Slovakia FW Peter Štyvar (to FC Spartak Trnava)

Notable Players

For a list of notable Bristol City players in sortable-list format see List of Bristol City F.C. players.

England England
Scotland Scotland
Wales Wales
Bermuda Bermuda
Canada Canada
Nigeria Nigeria
Australia Australia
Poland Poland
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Hungary Hungary
Netherlands Netherlands
Jamaica Jamaica
Costa Rica Costa Rica
Brazil Brazil
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago

Managerial History

Name Period
England Sam Hollis 1897–1899
England Robert Campbell 1899–1901
England Sam Hollis 1901–1905
England Harry Thickett 1905–1910
England Frank Bacon 1910–1911
England Sam Hollis 1911–1913
England George Hedley 1913–1917
England Jack Hamilton 1917–1919
England Joe Palmer 1919–1921
Scotland Alex Raisbeck 1921–1929
England Joe Bradshaw 1929–1932
England Bob Hewison 1932–1949
England Bob Wright 1949–1950
England Pat Beasley 1950–1958
Northern Ireland Peter Doherty 1958–1960
England Fred Ford 1960–1967
England Alan Dicks 1967–1980
England Bobby Houghton 1980–1982
England Roy Hodgson 1982
England Terry Cooper 1982–1988
Scotland Joe Jordan 1988–1990
England Jimmy Lumsden 1990–1992
England Denis Smith 1992–1993
England Russell Osman 1993–1994
Scotland Joe Jordan 1994–1997
England John Ward 1997–1998
Sweden Benny Lennartsson 1998–1999
Wales Tony Pulis 1999
England Tony Fawthrop & David Burnside 2000
Northern Ireland Danny Wilson 2000–2004
England Brian Tinnion 2004–2005
England Gary Johnson 2005–2010


Ashton Gate

Bristol City play at Ashton Gate in the south-west of Bristol, just south of the River Avon. The ground has an all-seated capacity of about 21,500, with an effective capacity (depending on how many away tickets are allocated, and how they are segregated) of around 19,100. It was the home of Bedminster F.C. until the 1900 merger, and the merged team played some games there the following season, but it did not become the permanent home of Bristol City until 1904.

In the past plans were considered for expansion work to be carried out at Ashton Gate. There were also proposals to build a new 36,000-seat stadium at Hengrove Park. This was turned down in a local referendum in December 2000.[16] In 2002, the local council was looking at possible sites for a new 40,000-seat stadium which would house both City, Rovers and Bristol Rugby, but these plans were scrapped and it is widely accepted that this would not have been welcomed by the majority of supporters from all clubs.[17] Ashton Gate's current capacity is an average size for Championship grounds, however in November 2007 the club announced plans to relocate to a new 30,000 capacity stadium in Ashton Vale with the option of expanding to 42,000 should it be considered for World Cup football in 2018.[18][19]

As well as football, Ashton Gate has played host to many big music concerts in recent years, including those of The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Elton John, Neil Diamond, The Who, Ronan Keating, Meat Loaf and Bon Jovi.

Bristol City Women's FC

The women's team was formed in 1990 supported by the club's community officer. Their greatest achievement was reaching the semi-finals of the FA Women's Cup in 1994 and winning promotion to the Premier League in 2004. Following the decision by the FA to fund only one centre of excellence in Bristol, the two senior teams were disbanded in June 2008 and the girls youth side merged with the Bristol Academy for girls at Filton College.[20] The majority of the senior players, with coach Wayne Roberts, moved to the University of Bath in summer 2008 and now play as AFC TeamBath Ladies in the South West Combination Women's Football League.[21]

Notable fans

Notable fans of Bristol City include:


  • Record League victory — 9–0 v. Aldershot F.C. (28 December 1946)
  • Record FA Cup victory — 11–0 v. Chichester City (5 November 1960)
  • Record League defeat — 0–9 v. Coventry City F.C. (28 April 1934)
  • Highest attendance — 43,335 v. Preston North End (16 February 1935)
  • Highest attendance (at any ground) — 86.703 v. Hull City (Championship Play-Off Final – Wembley Stadium – 24 May 2008)
  • Most League appearances — 597, John Atyeo (1951–66)
  • Most League goals scored — 314, John Atyeo (1951–66)
  • Most goals scored in a season — 36, Don Clark (1946–47)
  • Record transfer fee paid — £2.25 million to Crewe Alexandra for Nicky Maynard (July 2008)
  • Record transfer fee received — £3.5 million from Wolverhampton Wanderers for Ade Akinbiyi (July 1999 – plus subsequent revenue from a sell-on clause realised by his move from Wolves to Leicester)
  • Record sequence of League wins — 14; 9 September 1905 – 2 December 1905 – This is a joint league record.

Most appearances

# Name Career Appearances
1 England John Atyeo 1951–1966 645
2 England Trevor Tainton 1967–1982 581
3 England Louis Carey 1995–2004; 2005–present 572 [23]
4 England Brian Tinnion 1993–2005 551
5 Scotland Tom Ritchie 1972–1981; 1983–1985 504
6 Scotland Gerry Sweeney 1971–1981 490
7 England Rob Newman 1981–1991 483
8 Scotland Gerry Gow 1969–1981 445
9 England Geoff Merrick 1967–1982 433
10 Scotland Scott Murray 1997–2003; 2004–2009 427

Most club appearances including substitute appearances in all competitions (excluding Gloucestershire Cup). Updated 1 Mar 2010.[24]


  1. ^ "CITY FANS ARE CREST-FALLEN!". BCFC.,,10327~633693,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  2. ^ Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992, Breedon Books Sport
  3. ^ Staff writer (18 March 2010). "Race is on to find Bristol City Gary Johnson's successor". Bristol Evening Post (Bristol: Bristol News and Media). Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Gary Johnson Leaves City". Bristol City F.C..,,10327~1997573,00.html. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Bristol City". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  6. ^ "New Home Kit". Bristol City F. C..,,10327~1634123,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Bristol City mascot". flikr. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  8. ^ "One for the Bristol City – The Wurzels". Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  9. ^ "Profiles". Bristol City F.C..,,10327,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  10. ^ "All-time Leading Golascorers". Bristol City Football Club. Bristol City Football Club.,,10327~484747,00.html. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Gus Caesar – What Happened Next? – Interviews – FourFourTwo". Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "FourFourTwo". Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "WHERE ARE THEY NOW: PAUL CHEESLEY". The Football League. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Andy Cole: How my son ended up at City's academy – Premier League, Football – The Independent". Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "BBC – Bristol – Sport – Ashton Gate Eight: The interviews". Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "Hengrove Park- Football Stadium Referendum December 2000" (PDF). Bristol City Council. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  17. ^ "Bristol super-stadium plan collapses". BBC. 2002-11-27. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  18. ^ "Bristol City Announce New Stadium". 2007-11-29.,,10327~1178896,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  19. ^ "New Stadium at Ashton Vale". 2008-11-29.,,10327,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  20. ^ "WOMEN'S TEAM TO FOLD". BCFC. 2008-06-19.,,10327~1035029,00.html. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  21. ^ "Bristol City Ladies to get new lease of life at TeamBath". Team Bath. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  22. ^ "Lucky Foundation Jackpot Winner". Bristol City FC. 4 March 2009.,,10327~1576996,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  23. ^,,10327~8943,00.html Official Site
  24. ^ Official Site


  • Woods, David M. (1994). The Bristol Babe: The First 100 Years of Bristol City F.C.. Harefield, Middlesex: Yore Publications. ISBN 187442795X. 

External links

Preceded by
Wigan Athletic
Football League Trophy Winners
Succeeded by
Mansfield Town
Preceded by
Football League Trophy Winners
Succeeded by

Simple English

Bristol City F.C.
Full nameBristol City Football Club
GroundAshton Gate stadium
(Capacity 21,497)
ChairmanSteve Lansdown
ManagerSteve Coppell
LeagueLeague Championship
2009/10League Championship, 10th

Bristol City F.C. are an English football club. They are based in the city of Bristol and play at a stadium called Ashton Gate. They were formed in 1897.

League position

2000/01Second Division9th
2001/02Second Division7th
2002/03Second Division3rd
2003/04Second Division3rd
2004/05League One7th
2005/06League One9th
2006/07League One2nd
2007/08League Championship4th
2008/09League Championship10th
2009/10League Championship10th

Former position



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