Southampton FC Information
St.Mary's Stadium, Britannia Road, SOUTHAMPTON. SO14 5FP
Southampton FC History
Southampton F.C. (originally St.
Mary's YMA) is an English football team, nicknamed The Saints.
Based in the city of Southampton in Hampshire, the team was
formed in November 1885. In 1898 the team moved into The Dell,
the ground which was to be their home for over 100 years.
However, as a result of poor stadium capacity, the team moved to
St Mary's Stadium in 2001.
Their finest hour was their FA Cup win in 1976, when they beat
Manchester United 1-0. They also were the runners-up in 2003
against Arsenal and runners-up in the 1979 League Cup final
against Nottingham Forest.
Southampton enjoy a fierce rivalry with Portsmouth Football
Club; despite Southampton being in a superior division for much
of the 1980s and 90s, this derby was recently reignited by
Portsmouth's promotion to the Premiership in 2003.
On 4 March 2004, Paul Sturrock was named as Southampton's
manager, succeeding Gordon Strachan. However, just over five
months later, on August 23, 2004, it was announced that Sturrock
was leaving the club 'by mutual consent', after a disappointing
run of form and rumours of boardroom dissatisfaction with his
management. He was replaced by Steve Wigley as head coach,
despite rumours at the time that former England Rugby Union
coach Sir Clive Woodward was to switch codes to football.
On October 11, 2004 Frenchman Christian Damiano was unveiled as
the Saints' 1st team coach, to work alongside Wigley.
However, following a string of 14 Premiership games with only
one win under the leadership of Wigley, Harry Redknapp was
appointed as manager on December 8, 2004, signing an eighteen-month
contract. This shocked much of the footballing world as Redknapp
had recently resigned as manager of the Saints' arch rivals
The 1970's and 1980's
Although Southampton had made several appearances in the First
Division of the English league, they never really grabbed the
headlines until the 1975-76 season - when they were a Second
Division side. A Southampton side managed by Lawrie McMenemy was
drawn to play Manchester United in the F.A Cup final at Wembley
Stadium, and surprised all observers by beating United 1-0
thanks to a goal from striker Bobby Stokes (1952-1995).
Southampton continued to progress well under McMenemy's
stewardship, finishing runners-up in the league in 1983-84 and
making a few threats to win the league title - a feat which
Southampton has yet to achieve.
Lawrie McMenemy left in 1986 to be succeeded by Chris Nicholl,
who was sacked after five years in charge despite preserving the
club's top flight status. He was replaced by former Southampton
player Ian Branfoot, who until the end of the 1990-91 season had
been assistant manager to Steve Coppell at Crystal Palace. By
this stage a key player in the Southampton line-up was Guernsey
born striker Matthew Le Tissier, who was voted Young Player of
the Year in 1990 by the PFA and later made seven appearances for
the England team - he finally retired in 2002 at the age of 33.
Southampton in the Premiership
Southampton were founder members of the Premiership in the
1992-93 season and have stayed there ever since, although they
have come close to relegation on several occasions and their top
flight survival is currently in the balance.
Ian Branfoot was sacked in January 1994 with Southampton
battling relegation. He was replaced by Exeter manager Alan
Ball, who like Branfoot was a former Southampton player. Ball
secured Southampton's survival for the 1993-94 season and guided
them to a respectable tenth-place finish in 1994-95. But he was
lured to Manchester City in the summer of 1995 and Southampton
turned to long-serving coach David Merrington to take charge of
the team in 1995-96. Southampton finished 17th with 38 league
points, avoiding relegation on goal difference. Two important
wins during the final weeks of the season did much to ensure
that Southampton and not Manchester City would achieve
Premiership survival. First came a 3-1 home win over eventual
double winners Manchester City, then came a 1-0 away win over
relegated Bolton Wanderers. Merrington was dismissed a few days
after the end of the season and replaced by former Liverpool and
Glasgow Rangers manager Graeme Souness.
Southampton fared little better in 1996-97 despite the arrival
of Souness, whose track record included two Scottish league
titles with Rangers and an F.A Cup victory with Liverpool. He
resigned after just one season in charge, which had seen
Southampton finish 16th in the Premiership, and Southampton's
directors turned to Dave Jones - one of the most respected
managers outside the Premiership who had won promotion to
Division One with Stockport County as well as reaching the
League Cup semi finals.
With such an inexperienced manager, Southampton were tipped by
many observers to be relegated from the Premiership in 1997-98.
But thanks to the addition of young striker Kevin Davies, and
the acquisition of a few more competent players, Southampton
achieved a respectable 11th place finish in the table. Their
form dipped in 1998-99 but they avoided relegation on the last
day of the season. In 1999 Southampton were given the go-ahead
to build a new 32,000-seat stadium in the St Mary's area of the
city, a welcome move after playing in the cramped Dell since
During the 1999-2000 season, Dave Jones quit as Southampton
manager to concentrate on a court case after he was accused of
abusing children at the children's home where he had worked
during the 1980's. The accusations were later proved to be
groundless but it was too late to save Jones's career as
Southampton manager and he was succeeded by ex-England team
manager Glenn Hoddle.
Glenn Hoddle helped keep Southampton well clear of the
Premiership drop zone but he defected to Tottenham Hotspur just
before the end of the 2000-01 season. He was replaced by
first-team coach Stuart Gray, who oversaw the relocation to the
St Mary's Stadium for the 2001-02 season. But Gray was sacked
after a disastrous start to the season, and in came ex-Coventry
manager Gordon Strachan as his replacement.
Gordon Strachan did much to revitalise Southampton during the
2001-02 season, and they finished in a secure 11th place in the
final table. They did even better in 2002-03, finished eighth in
the Premiership and coming runners-up in the F.A Cup to
Southampton. Strachan resigned the following March and was
replaced by Paul Sturrock, who was in the process of guiding
Plymouth Argyle to their second promotion in three seasons.
Paul Sturrock suddenly announced his resignation just after the
start of the 2004-05 season, and first-team coach Steve Wigley
was put in charge of the first team. But a bad run of form saw
Southampton battling near the foot of the Premiership table, and
the club's directors felt that a more experienced manager was
needed. So they turned to former Portsmouth, West Ham and
Bournemouth manager Harry Redknapp, but whether Redknapp can
secure Southampton's Premiership survival will be determined any
Southampton FC Honours, Trophies & Awards
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