Bristol City Football Club: A Brief Lowdown
Bristol City Football Club History and Highlights.
Bristol City Football Club is one of England’s popular professional football clubs. Despite playing in the lower tiers of English Football for most of its history, the club has had some trophy successes.
The club has won the Second Division title once, the Third Division Title four times, the Football League Trophy three times, and the Anglo-Scottish Cup once. The club also won the Welsh Cup, despite being an English Club.
The Beginning and Early Successes
The football club started with Bristol South End as its name when it was founded in 1894. However, the name changed to Bristol City when the club became a professional and joined the Southern League. The club had a successful early spell in the Southern League, finishing second in three of its first four seasons.
Merger and Joining the Football League
In 1900, Bristol City Football Club merged with another club in the Southern League known as Bedminster FC.
The following year, in 1901, the football club joined the Football League and became the third club from Southern Birmingham to join the club. This was after Woolwich Arsenal and Luton Town had joined the league. The club also recorded a victory in its first match in the Football League, beating Blackpool 2-0 at home.
Promotion to First Division
Bristol City Football Club won the Second Division championship in the 1905-06 season, creating history as the first English team to win 30 matches out of 38. This victory earned the club a place in the First Division, finishing second in the 1906-07 season. Bristol City Football Club became the first southern football club to finish top two before the First World War.
First FA Cup Final
The club made it to its first FA Cup final in 1909, losing to Manchester United by a lone goal. The football club spent five years in the first division before its first relegation in the 1910-11 season.
Bristol City Football Club spent three years in the Second Division before the outbreak of the First World War. After the war ended and the Football League resumed in 1919, the club would reach the semi-final of the 1919-20 season and finish third in the 1920-21 season.
However, the brilliant performance did not continue as the club was relegated to the Third Division South in the 1921-22 season.
1922 to 1965
Struggles in the Early 1920s
The early 1920s were rough for the football club as it juggled between the Second Division and the Third Division South. The club was promoted to the Second Division in the 1922-23 season but was relegated in the following season.
Bristol City Football Club was not promoted to Second Division until the 1926-27 season. Following this, the club played Second Division until the 1930s, when it got relegated to the Third Division, where it stayed for about ten years after the end of the Second World War.
Post-Second World War
It was during this era that Bristol City Football Club won the Welsh Cup in 1934. The club also put up a good show in the 1937-38 season when it reached the Third Division South Cup’s final and finished second in the division. However, the club would lose the cup to Reading, who won the cup on 6-2 aggregate. There wasn’t much in the 1940s except that the club recorded its biggest win against Aldershot 9-0 in the 1946-47 season. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that the club returned to the Second Division and enjoyed a five-year stay before returning in 1965.
1966 to 2000
Back to the First Division
Bristol City Football Club retained the services of Alan Dicks as a manager in 1967, and the gaffer guided the club to its return to the First Division football after 65 years in the lower tiers. The club also won its first Anglo-Scottish cup, a competition it competed in between 1975 and 1981) in the 1977-78 season. However, the return to the First Division was not as glamorous as the first one because the highest position the team could manage was the thirteenth. By 1980, the team was relegated back to the Second Division.
With the relegation in 1980 also came financial woes as the club’s debts increased. By 1982, the club was already in the Fourth Division and declared bankruptcy. After the declaration, a new club was formed and was known as Bristol City Football Club (1982) LTD. However, the new club had to terminate the contract of eight of its highest-paid players.
Finding a Footing in Third Division
Success then came in 1984 when the club earned a promotion to the Third Division. The club built on this success and consolidated itself. In 1990, it got promoted to the Second Division. However, the same year, a striker playing for the club, Dean Horrix, died in a car crash two weeks after joining the club.
The club stayed in the Second Division, which soon became the First Division due to the establishment of the Premier League, until 1994, when it was relegated back into Division 2.
The club returned to the First Division in 1998 when it finished as runners-up in Division Two. After that, however, Bristol City Football Club struggled again in the First Division and was relegated in the same season.
The Early 2000s
The only success for the club in this era was the 2003 Football League Trophy win. Bristol City Football Club failed to make a promotion to the First Division throughout this period, losing out in numerous play-offs. The promotion came in the 2006-07 season under manager Gary Johnson. The team would stay in this division until the 2012-13 season, when the club was relegated to League One.
2014 to Modern Era
The fortunes of Bristol City Football Club changed when Steven Cotterill joined the club in the mid-2013-14 season. The club then won the League One Title the following season, earning promotion to the Championships for the 2015-16 season.
The club also won Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. However, despite the success, Bristol City Football Club struggled in the Championships and eventually sacked its manager. Lee Johnson, who was Gary Johnson’s son, took over and saw the club to the semi-final of the League Cup after beating teams like Stoke, Watford, and Manchester United.
Must Know Facts about the Club
- First Division Football League: 1906-07 (Runners-Up)
- Second Division Football League: 1905-06
- Third Division Football League: 1922-23, 1926-27, 1954-55, and 2014-15
- Football League Trophy: 1985-86, 2002-03, and 2014-15
- Welsh Cup: 1933-34
- Anglo-Scottish Cup: 1977-78