BARNSLEY FOOTBALL CLUB
 
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BARNSLEY FOOTBALL CLUB

HISTORY

Barnsley Football Club play in red shirts and white shorts. Their home ground is Oakwell and has been for all but the first year of their history.

The club was formed in 1887 and for the first ten years was called Barnsley St Peters. They joined the Football League (Division 2) in 1898/9 but had made their first appearance in the FA Cup in 1893/4.

They reached the FA Cup final in 1910, being beaten by Everton after a replay. Two years later in 1912 they won the cup beating West Bromwich Albion, again after a replay.

They retained their Second Division status until 1931/32 when they were relegated but spent just two years in Division 3 before achieving promotion.

The 1950's

The decade started with Barnsley in Division 2 where they had in fact spent all but three years of their league history. However the 1950's saw them twice relegated - in 1952/3 and then again in 1958/9 after being promoted in 1954/5.

There was little FA Cup success during this decade, the best performance being in 1957 when they were reached the 5th round to be beaten by Nottingham Forest at home.

The 1950's saw the departure from Barnsley of two young players who were to become household names - Danny Blanchflower was transferred to Aston Villa. The Northern Ireland international would go on to captain the double-winning Spurs side of 1960/61. The other player was the legendary centre forward Tommy Taylor who moved to Manchester United to become one of the famous "Busby Babes". Tragically he lost his life in the Munich air crash.

The 1960's

In league terms this was the least successful decade so far. In four out of the five seasons from 1959/60 to 1963/4 they finished in the bottom six so it was no surprise when 1964/5 saw them drop in to the Fourth Division for the first time after finishing bottom of the league.

The 1965/6 and 1966/7 seasons were disappointing for Banrlsey fans with the team finishing sixteenth in each season - their lowest ever finishing position in the league.

There was a dramatic upturn in fortunes the following season however. Promotion was achieved with Barnsley finishing in second place behind Luton Town. Furthermore, they had gone through the whole season without losing a league game at home.

In the Fa Cup they reached Round 6 in 1961 and Round 5 in 1964 but otherwise did not get beyound Round 3.

The 1970's

Having achieved promotion in 1969, Barnsley performed only modestly back in Divison 3, their best finish being seventh place in 1969/70.

Early results in 1971/2 were not encouraging and longstanding team manager Johnny Steele moved to an admistrative position at the club being replaced by John McSeveney. Despite changes in the playing staff however, the season could not be saved. Barnsley were relegated to Division 4, finishing on thirty six points - the same total as two other teams who stayed up because of their superior goal difference.

Barnsley's highest final position in the next four seasons in Division 4 was just twelfth but things improved in 76/77 and 77/78 with them on the fringe of the promotion race, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

The 1977/8 season ended with the departure of team manager Jim Iley to be replaced as player-manager by Leeds United legend Allan Clarke. Clarke secured promotion for the Tykes in his first season - 1978/9, the club finishing in fourth place.

The 1970's were barren years in the FA Cup. Barnsley never progressed beyond Round 2 and were twice eliminated by Non-League sides - Rhyl in 1971 and Marine in 1976.

The 1980's

1979/80 saw Barnsley consolidate their position after promotion, finishing eleventh despite a poor first half of the season. The season had also seen extensive changes in playing staff so there was optimism for 1980/81.

However their was disappointment in September 1980 when Allan Clarke left the club to take over at Leeds United. His replacement was another Leeds and England star - Norman Hunter. He had joined the club as part of Clarke's team strengthening and he took over as player-manager.

Just like Clarke, Hunter secured promotion in his first season with Barnsley finishing in second position behind local rivals Rotherham United. Barnsley had climbed back to Division 2 for the first time since being relegated in 1959.

The club finished sixth in their first season back in Division 2 and maintained their place in that division for the rest of the decade mostly with mid-table finishes.

There was an improvement in FA Cup fortunes in the 1980's including one appearance in the 6th Round and three in the 5th. In addition, in 1981/2 they reached the League Cup quarter final, losing to Liverpool in a replay.

The 1990's

The 1989/90 season turned out to be a battle against relegation under new manager Mel Machin but Barnsley survived, avoiding the drop by six points to finish nineteeth.

1992/3 saw the birth of the FA Premier League with the old Division 2 becoming known as the Barclays League Division 1.

Barnsley held their position in this league with reasonable comfort even narrowly missing the play-offs in 1994/5 when they finished sixth.

Danny Wilson had worked under Viv Anderson during 1993/4 and took over as team manager in 1994 when Anderson left to join Middlesborough. His first two seasons produced reasonable success with the club finishing sixth and tenth in what was now known as the Endsleigh League Division 1 (old Division 2).

In 1996/7 the league became the the Nationwide League and it was in this first season of the new sponsorship that, for the first time in their history, Barnsley, under Wilson, were to reach the top flight of English football which had changed from the old First Division to become the glamorous FA Premier League.

Despite a few ups and downs Barnsley had maintained a strong challenge all season and, fittingly, automatic promotion was clinched at Oakwell with a win over Bradford City. Barnsley finished second behind champions Bolton.

Their stay in the Premier League was, sadly, just one season but one which their fans will always cherish. They were relegated after finishing nineteenth.

The season also saw their best FA Cup run for many years, reaching Round 6 after beating three Premier League teams including reigning champions Manchester United. They also reached Round 6 the following season.

2000 - Present Day

Barnsley remained in the old Division 2 for four years. Danny Wilson had left after relegation to manage Sheffield Wednesday where he had been a player. He was replaced by Barnsley striker John Hendrie who was the first of no less than eight managers a between 1998 and 2005.

In 1999/2000 under Dave Bassett, the club finished fourth and then went on to reach the play-off final but were beaten by Ipswich.

Three years of frustration in the old Division 3 followed and in 2005 Andy Ritchie was appointed team manager - his first full managerial post. Against expectations and after a very up and down season Barnsley qualified for the play-offs after finshing fifth.

Their opponents in the semi-final were Yorkshire neighbours Huddersfield Town and fans must have feared the worst when they lost the first leg 1-0 at home. However a tremendous performance resulted in a 3-1 win in the away leg and sent them to the final in Cardiff.

The final against Swansea was a dramatic encounter. After taking an early lead, Barnsley were behind 2-1 at half time but a second half equaliser from Nardiello sent the game into extra time and then penalties. The Reds held their nerve during the shoot-out and the moment of glory came when Colgan saved the penalty which secured promotion.

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