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Middlesbrough F.C. History – All about the Club

Founded almost one and a half centuries ago, Middlesbrough F.C. history has a lot to tell us about everything that has happened throughout its existence.

Middlesbrough Football Club, a professional football team located in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England, competes in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football.

Established in 1876, the men’s team has been based at the Riverside Stadium since 1995, having previously played at Ayresome Park for 92 years from 1903 to 1995.

As one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, Middlesbrough, along with Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, faced relegation after the inaugural 1992–93 season.

In 1986, the club encountered severe financial difficulties and was on the brink of folding before being rescued by a consortium led by then-board member and later chairman Steve Gibson.

In 1997, Middlesbrough experienced two lost cup finals and relegation in the same year.

Middlesbrough’s primary rivals include Sunderland, Newcastle United, and Leeds United.

Regarding Middlesbrough F.C. trophies history, the club’s notable accomplishments comprise winning the League Cup in 2004, marking their first and only major trophy.

They also reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2006, ultimately losing to the Spanish club Sevilla.

The club’s best league finish occurred in the 1913–14 season when they secured third place in the top flight.

Throughout its history, Middlesbrough has spent only two seasons outside the top two divisions of English football, one of Middlesbrough F.C. honors.

Despite an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League, which included winning the League Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup Final, Middlesbrough faced relegation in 2009.

Although the club made a return in 2016, they experienced immediate relegation and have not returned to the Premier League since.

All You Need to Know about Middlesbrough F.C. History

All You Need to Know about Middlesbrough F.C. History
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  • Full Name: Middlesbrough Football Club
  • Nicknames: Boro, Smoggies
  • Year of Formation: 1876
  • Place of Origin: Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England
  • Home Stadium: Riverside Stadium
  • Owner: Steve Gibson
  • Chairman: Steve Gibson
  • Head coach: Michael Carrick
  • League: EFL Championship
  • Market Value: €66.75m

Another Cricket-originated English Football Club

Another Cricket-originated English Football Club

According to Boro folklore, the notion of establishing the football club was reputedly proposed during a tripe supper at the Corporation Hotel in Middlesbrough.

Club historian Harry Glasper has debunked this as false.

However, it is indeed accurate that Middlesbrough F.C. was founded by members of the local cricket club seeking to stay active during the winter.

Players formed the fledgling team from Middlesbrough Cricket Club at Albert Park on Linthorpe Road.

The club maintained its amateur status until 1889.

That’s when a disagreement led to the formation of Middlesbrough Ironopolis by several members of Middlesbrough FC.

Both teams debuted as professional entities in December 1889, within a week of each other.

After three years, it became evident that both clubs were gaining success.

Officials recognized that only a merger would provide a serious chance of entering the Football League.

An application was submitted to the Football League under the name Middlesbrough and Ironopolis Football and Athletic Club.

The application was unsuccessful, leading to the separation of the clubs once again, with Middlesbrough FC returning to amateur status.

They secured the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and 1898.

Middlesbrough F.C. history says that in 1899, Middlesbrough turned professional again in an effort to join the Football League.

On May 18, 1899, supported by local neighbors Newcastle United and Sunderland, they were admitted to the Second Division.

They narrowly defeated Blackpool.

Boro’s initial season in the FL was challenging, finishing 14th out of 18 teams without an away win.

In the 1901–02 season, they achieved second place, earning promotion to the First Division.

They played their home games at their new ground, Ayresome Park, for the next 92 years.

Finding Their Place After the War

Middlesbrough F.C. history - Finding Their Place After the War

By February 1905, Boro hadn’t won an away game for two years.

To address this, the board approved the controversial transfer of Alf Common for a then-record fee of £1,000.

The subsequent season saw the arrival of Steve Bloomer from Derby County.

By 1907–08, Boro secured their highest finish in the top division, ranking sixth, just two points behind Aston Villa.

In 1910, a national scandal unfolded when Boro defeated local rivals Sunderland 1–0.

We see in Middlesbrough F.C. history that it was revealed after the match that Boro manager Andy Walker had offered Sunderland’s players £2 each to let Boro win.

Walker received an indefinite suspension from the FL, and Middlesbrough’s season concluded uneventfully.

Four years later, in the 1913–14 season, Middlesbrough achieved their highest finish to date.

They ended in third place before the outbreak of the First World War.

Following the war, some players were too old to continue, and three had lost their lives in action.

Before the resumption of the season, Boro achieved success in the Northern Victory League, anticipating a return to competitive football.

While striker George Elliott and goalkeeper Tim Williamson remained in their prime, the team’s chances of winning the championship dwindled, resulting in a mid-table finish.

They maintained this position for the next few seasons before ultimately facing relegation in 1923–24.

They finished 22nd out of 22, ten points behind their closest rivals.

Three seasons later, they secured the Division Two title despite gaining only one point from their first four games.

In their fifth game, George Camsell, signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, entered the lineup due to an injury.

War Disrupting One of Middlesbrough’s Best Squads Ever

War Disrupting One of Middlesbrough’s Best Squads Ever
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Camsell proved to be a revelation, ending the season with a record 59 league goals, including nine hat tricks.

He continued as the top scorer for the next ten seasons.

Despite returning to the top flight, the club’s stay was short-lived.

Despite a promising start to the season, Herbert Bamlett was replaced in January 1928 by former Spurs boss Peter McWilliam.

However, the team eventually sank to the bottom of the table and suffered relegation.

They swiftly bounced back the next season, winning another Second Division title and remaining in the top flight until 1954.

In the 1936–37 season, Wilf Mannion, signed from local club South Bank St Peter’s, and George Hardwick, from South Bank East End, emerged as notable players.

Boro rose to seventh that season, progressing to fifth and then fourth.

That was their highest position since before the First World War.

Middlesbrough F.C. managers history tells us that under former Grimsby boss Wilf Gillow, the club seemed poised to challenge for the 1939–40 title.

However, after three games, when war was declared, Boro, who were second-bottom, disbanded arguably their finest-ever side.

Post-war, the club struggled to regain the form of previous seasons.

They consistently hovered around mid-table and the early rounds of the FA Cup.

With Jamaican-born Lindy Delapenha playing on the wing, Boro reached ninth in 1949–50.

The following season in Middlesbrough F.C. history, despite heading the First Division table nearing Christmas, a 1–0 defeat at Leeds affected their confidence, leading to a slip to sixth.

Midway through the season, Hardwick left the club to become Oldham’s player-manager.

The team faltered, eventually facing relegation in 1953–54.

The initial season after relegation started poorly, but they managed to recover and finish 12th.


Middlesbrough F.C. history - Relegation
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Results varied, with a 6–0 win over West Ham and a 9–0 defeat to Blackburn.

Mannion, refusing to sign a new contract upon relegation, was transferred to Hull City, disappearing into non-league football.

This marked the beginning of a 20-year period outside the top flight.

However, it also saw the rise of another Middlesbrough great, Brian Clough.

Making his debut in 1955–56, Clough helped the club secure 14th place.

Over the following seasons, he became a goal-scoring force, gaining his only two England caps in 1959–60.

Then he left for arch-rivals Sunderland after scoring 204 goals in 222 games.

Although Boro made reasonable progress in the Second Division during this period, promotion remained elusive.

After a 4th-place finish in 1962–63, Boro’s fortunes took a downturn.

They finished 10th, 17th, and then 21st.

On the last day of the season, needing a draw at Cardiff to stay up, Boro faced a challenging situation.

Against a Cardiff side, they required a win to remain in the division.

Middlesbrough F.C. history states that despite a hat-trick from makeshift striker Dickie Rooks, Boro went down 5–3, suffering relegation to the Third Division for the first time.

The responsibility fell on new manager Stan Anderson to guide the club back to the second tier.

Despite just two wins in their initial ten games, supporters feared the club’s descent to the Fourth Division.

However, Anderson orchestrated a turnaround, and the team finished in the second position.

Gordon Jones served as captain, and John Hickton joined, both eventually securing the second and third spots, respectively, in the club’s all-time appearances table.

Following their promotion to the Second Division, Boro enjoyed a period of good form.

They never finished below ninth in the next eight seasons.

Bouncing Back With Stan Anderson and Jack Charlton

Bouncing Back With Stan Anderson and Jack Charlton

Despite their consistent performance, the club couldn’t advance beyond the quarter-finals in the FA Cup during this period.

Noteworthy players like John Hickton, converted from defense, and newcomers Willie Maddren, John Craggs, and Stuart Boam, along with goalkeeper Jim Platt, strengthened the team.

Graeme Souness joined, completing the spine of the squad that secured promotion to the First Division.

Under the management of Jack Charlton, Boro returned to the top flight.

They clinched the second-division title with a record 65 points.

Middlesbrough spent the subsequent eight seasons in the First Division.

They achieved a seventh-place finish in 1974–75 but generally maintained a mid-table standing in the following seasons.

Despite beliefs that the team lacked the necessary firepower to contend seriously, the club’s youth system produced talents like David Armstrong, Graeme Souness, Stan Cummins, Craig Johnston, and Mark Proctor.

Although luck in the cups eluded them, with a sixth-round FA Cup appearance and a quarter-final League Cup run in 1974–75, Boro claimed their first silverware as a professional side in 1975–76 by lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup, an interesting fact in Middlesbrough F.C. history.

After four seasons, Jack Charlton resigned as manager following three mid-table finishes, and John Neal took over.

In Neal’s first season, Boro missed a chance to reach the FA Cup semi-finals.

They faced defeat to Second Division Leyton Orient.

David Mills, after eleven years at the club, was sold for a then-national record to West Bromwich Albion in 1979.

Bobby Murdoch took charge in 1981; that same year, Proctor, Johnston, and Armstrong left the club.

The 1981/82 season ended with Middlesbrough relegated in last place.

In February 1982, chairman Charles Amer and his son Kevin left the club, and George Kitching took over.

Owing A Lot of Money Followed by Another Third Tier Relegation

Middlesbrough F.C. history - Owing A Lot of Money Followed by Another Third Tier Relegation

That season saw Middlesbrough suffer a disappointing relegation back to the Second Division.

Serious financial issues arose, leading to pressure on manager Malcolm Allison to offload star players.

In March 1984, Allison claimed it was “better for the club to die than to linger slowly on its deathbed.”

Subsequently, Willie Maddren replaced Allison temporarily with assistance from Jack Charlton.

Middlesbrough finished 19th in 1984–85.

The opening day of the 1985–86 season saw Middlesbrough suffer a 3–0 defeat to Wimbledon.

On that day, manager Willie Maddren named four debutants, including Gary Pallister.

Alf Duffield replaced Mike McCullagh as chairman; in 1986, Bruce Rioch succeeded Maddren as coach.

The club, facing serious financial troubles, borrowed money to pay wages.

They eventually finished 16th, but they were relegated to the Third Division in April.

On May 21, 1986, the club called in the Provisional Liquidator, and shortly afterward, Middlesbrough F.C. was wound up.

Rioch and 29 other non-playing staff in August were sacked, and Ayresome Park’s gates were padlocked.

Looking back at Middlesbrough F.C. history, we understand that facing imminent folding, Steve Gibson, a board member, assembled a consortium involving Bulkhaul Limited, ICI, Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, and London businessman Henry Moszkowicz.

Middlesbrough F.C. narrowly avoided missing the deadline.

They completed their registration with the Football League for the 1986–87 season with a change in crest and name.

Under the management of Bruce Rioch and a young squad, including Colin Cooper, Gary Pallister, and Tony Mowbray, Middlesbrough finished second in the Third Division, securing automatic promotion to the Second Division.

They won the Second Division promotion/First Division relegation playoffs the following year.

The club achieved a second successive promotion to the First Division.

Unable to Remain at the First Division

Unable to Remain at the First Division

Middlesbrough showed promise in the 1988–89 season but faced relegation on the final day.

That was coupled with the departure of Gary Pallister to Manchester United.

The dismal form continued into the following season, leading to the dismissal of Rioch in March 1990.

Colin Todd took over and narrowly avoided relegation.

In the same season, Middlesbrough played their first Wembley Cup final.

They lost 1–0 to Chelsea in the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

The 1990–91 season witnessed an improvement in form, and a seventh-place finish qualified Boro for the playoffs.

However, they lost to Notts County in the semi-finals.

Lennie Lawrence succeeded Colin Todd, and his first season was successful.

Boro finished runners-up in the Second Division and secured a place in the inaugural Premier League.

While mid-table in the Premier League by Christmas 1992, a run of seven defeats dragged Middlesbrough down the table.

That resulted in relegation after losing their penultimate game of the season.

Although the board retained faith in Lawrence, he resigned a year later.

That was after he failed to achieve promotion back to the Premier League.

Bryan Robson, a 37-year-old player-manager and former England captain, took over from Lennie Lawrence.

Assisted by Viv Anderson, they made significant signings like Neil Cox, Nigel Pearson, and Jan Age Fjortoft.

Middlesbrough F.C. history lets us know that Robson’s inaugural season was a triumph, securing the Division One title and promotion to the Premier League after a two-year absence.

Uwe Fuchs, a valuable loan signing, played a crucial role in the promotion push.

He contributed nine goals in 13 league games.

The 1994–95 season marked the end of Boro’s 92-year tenure at Ayresome Park as they moved to the new Riverside Stadium.

Bryan Robson at the Helm

Bryan Robson at the Helm

Upon promotion to the Premier League, Middlesbrough embarked on a substantial spending spree, acquiring Nick Barmby and Juninho Paulista for significant fees.

Despite a promising start with a fourth-place standing in October, a poor run of form ensued, resulting in a 12th-place finish.

The team’s struggle in away games, scoring just eight goals in 19 matches, dashed their hopes of European football.

In the following season, Robson invested £7 million in Fabrizio Ravanelli and £4 million in Emerson.

However, Boro faced relegation battles instead of contending for a top-five finish.

The club incurred a three-point deduction for failing to fulfill a fixture against Blackburn Rovers, exacerbating their challenges.

Despite this, they had an impressive cup run, reaching the League Cup final but ultimately losing to Leicester City.

We see in Middlesbrough F.C. history that the three-point deduction proved costly, leading to Boro’s relegation on the season’s final day.

A week later, they lost 2–0 to Chelsea in the FA Cup final, becoming the first English club to lose both major cup finals and be relegated from the top division in the same season.

Despite setbacks, Juninho finished as the runner-up in the Footballer of the Year award.

The board retained faith in Robson, and they secured promotion back to the Premier League as Division One runners-up the following season.

While Emerson, Ravanelli, and Juninho were sold, new players such as Paul Merson, Marco Branca, and Mark Schwarzer were brought in.

Boro reached the League Cup final for the second consecutive year but lost again to Chelsea.

During this period, Robson also served as a coach for the England team.

The subsequent seasons saw mid-table finishes.

In 2001, Steve McClaren replaced Robson.

The League Cup Victory and the All-English Squad

The League Cup Victory and the All-English Squad

In the 2000–01 season, Boro, under the management of McClaren, comfortably avoided relegation with the assistance of Terry Venables.

Players like Franck Queudrue, Mark Wilson, Jonathan Greening, and Gareth Southgate were brought in to refresh the squad.

Boro finished 12th in the Premier League and reached the FA Cup semi-finals in McClaren’s first season.

The 2002–03 season welcomed back Juninho alongside George Boateng and Massimo Maccarone.

Despite Juninho’s cruciate ligament injury before the season, Boro finished 11th.

The following season in Middlesbrough F.C. history, they won their first major trophy, the League Cup, defeating Bolton Wanderers 2–1.

This triumph qualified Boro for the UEFA Cup for the first time, although they finished 11th in the league.

McClaren’s final Premier League game featured an all-English, youth-heavy squad with an average age of under 20.

Middlesbrough F.C. history depicts that they reached the UEFA Cup final in Eindhoven, losing 4–0 to Sevilla FC.

A remarkable moment in the 2005–06 season unfolded during Middlesbrough’s final Premier League game against Fulham.

In an extraordinary display of local talent and academy graduates, 15 out of the 16 squad members hailed from the immediate vicinity, with Malcolm Christie being the sole exception.

The significance of this event was heightened when, in the 62nd minute, Josh Walker replaced Malcolm Christie, resulting in an entire on-field lineup consisting of players born within a 30-mile radius of Middlesbrough, all of whom had graduated from the club’s academy.

This historic match not only marked the first all-English starting lineup in the Premier League since Bradford City in 1999 but also the first all-English match squad since Aston Villa in 1998, earning the distinction of being the youngest starting lineup in Premier League history.

Gareth Southgate As Manager

Gareth Southgate As Manager

In the same season, Middlesbrough’s journey in the 2006 UEFA Cup showcased their resilience, staging two comebacks from 3–0 deficits in the preceding rounds.

However, their valiant efforts were thwarted in the final in Eindhoven, where they succumbed to a 4–0 defeat against Sevilla.

Following the disappointment of the cup final, Steve McClaren departed to manage the England national team, paving the way for club captain Gareth Southgate to assume the managerial role.

Despite lacking the required coaching qualifications, Southgate received special dispensation, allowing him to continue at the helm.

Gareth Southgate signed a five-year contract and ended his playing career to focus on the managerial role.

Under Southgate’s management, several players left, and new signings like Julio Arca and Herold Goulon were introduced.

The 2007–08 season marked a significant move for Middlesbrough as Southgate shattered the club’s transfer fee record, securing Brazilian international striker Afonso Alves for £13.6 million.

In his initial two seasons, Southgate guided the club to 12th and 13th place finishes, overseeing notable achievements such as reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals for three consecutive seasons.

However, Middlesbrough F.C. history informs us that the optimism was dampened as the 2008–09 season concluded with Middlesbrough’s relegation to the Championship.

The disappointment unfolded on the last day of the season, marking a challenging period for the club under Southgate’s leadership.

Gordon Strachan replaced Southgate in 2009.

The 2010–11 season marked the beginning of a challenging period for Middlesbrough, as they entered the campaign with high hopes of promotion.

However, a disappointing start led to Gordon Strachan’s resignation on October 18.

Former player Tony Mowbray stepped into the managerial role, attempting to navigate the team through a turbulent season.

On the Lookout For a Manager to Bring the Hope Back

On the Lookout For a Manager to Bring the Hope Back

Mowbray’s tenure, though, was short-lived, as he left during the 2013–14 season, prompting the appointment of Aitor Karanka.

Karanka, a former Spain international defender and assistant coach at Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho, took the reins with a two-year contract.

His impact was significant, culminating in Middlesbrough finishing second in the 2015–16 season and securing a return to the Premier League.

However, the joy was short-lived, as Karanka faced dismissal in March 2017 due to a string of poor performances.

The club’s fortunes took a downturn, resulting in relegation after just one season back in the Premier League, ultimately finishing in 19th place.

In the aftermath of these challenges, Middlesbrough underwent managerial changes with appointments like Garry Monk and Tony Pulis, but the elusive return to the top flight remained distant.

The club turned to Jonathan Woodgate as their new manager at the beginning of the 2019–20 season.

Despite a lackluster pre-season, Woodgate, alongside his backroom staff, including the esteemed former Karanka stalwart Leo Percovich and Woodgate’s ex-Spurs teammate Robbie Keane, began the season with a thrilling 3–3 draw against Luton on Sky Sports.

Woodgate introduced the concept of a “golden thread” during his unveiling, emphasizing an attacking and intense pressing style, and early signs indicated that this approach could yield positive results.

The inclusion of promising young talents such as Lewis Wing, Hayden Coulson, and Djed Spence added an exciting dimension to the team.

In Middlesbrough F.C. history, Woodgate’s appointment initially met with tempered enthusiasm. It garnered increased support from the Boro faithful, who were willing to give the local manager and his innovative style a chance.

The blend of experienced players and youthful exuberance created an optimistic atmosphere as Middlesbrough embarked on a new chapter under Woodgate’s leadership.

Fans Disappointed at Woodgate

Middlesbrough F.C. history - Fans Disappointed at Woodgate

Heading into September, Middlesbrough faced a challenging run, securing just one victory in seven games, a period that notably included an early League Cup exit on penalties courtesy of Crewe Alexandra.

The struggles persisted throughout September, with three additional defeats and only one win since the season’s commencement, leaving Boro situated uncomfortably just outside the relegation places in 18th.

October offered little respite, as the club managed to gather merely two more points, plummeting to 22nd place by month-end with a meager total of 12 points and a notable absence of away wins.

Woodgate’s attempt to mitigate concerns through a public relations campaign, asserting that the league table did not accurately reflect the team’s actual performance, only fueled frustration among fans.

Despite the ongoing reassurances, the on-field evidence failed to convince supporters that Middlesbrough had the capability to compete at a higher level.

The autumn period unfolded similarly, with the club struggling to secure victories despite moments of promise.

Draws against fellow strugglers Hull and QPR were marred by lackluster performances against Leeds and Derby, culminating in a significant 4–0 defeat to Woodgate’s former club, Leeds, away from home.

We read in Middlesbrough F.C. history that Woodgate’s post-match comments praising Leeds further heightened discontent among the Boro faithful.

However, as Middlesbrough entered the winter period, traditionally a time when the club tended to underperform, a positive change occurred.

Woodgate’s team embarked on a purple patch, amassing an impressive 13 points out of a possible 18.

This strong showing earned Woodgate the Manager of the Month award for December.

Notably, the period featured a rare away win against promotion-chasing WBA, highlighted by a remarkable goal from Ashley Fletcher.

The signs of improvement were evident, instilling renewed belief and optimism as Middlesbrough entered 2020.

Michael Carrick, the Club’s Most Recent Appointed Manager

Michael Carrick, the Club’s Most Recent Appointed Manager

Woodgate faced dismissal on June 23, 2020, following a 3–0 loss to Swansea City in the initial match after the restart.

On the same day, the former Cardiff manager Neil Warnock stepped in as his successor and steered the team to safety with a 17th-place finish, successfully avoiding relegation.

The Warnock era concluded on November 6, 2021, as he and his assistants, Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson, departed Middlesbrough by mutual agreement.

The club swiftly identified Chris Wilder as Warnock’s replacement.

Wilder, at the helm for slightly over 11 months, faced termination on October 3, 2022, following a defeat against Coventry City; the team was positioned at the bottom of the league the preceding weekend.

His successor, former Manchester United player Michael Carrick, assumed the role three weeks later.

In Carrick’s inaugural stint as a head coach, he guided Boro to a commendable fourth place in the league and secured a spot in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the team fell short in the semi-finals, succumbing to Coventry by a single goal.

Middlesbrough F.C. history tells us that on May 26, 2023, the club formally affiliated with the women’s team.

Middlesbrough F.C. Champions League history is non-existent since the team has never climbed to the pinnacle of the European tournaments.

Read More: Fulham History – All about the Club

Middlesbrough F.C. Kit History

Middlesbrough F.C. Kit History
credit: facebook

Upon entering the Football League in 1899, Middlesbrough initially sported a white home shirt paired with red shorts.

Notably, their earlier kits featured a white shirt with a distinctive red and white polka-dotted collar from around 1889.

The essence of Middlesbrough’s kit has remained largely consistent since 1899, featuring a red shirt with white detailing, complemented by either red or white shorts and socks.

An iconic design choice was introduced by Jack Charlton in 1973, marked by a broad white stripe across the chest.

This design was briefly brought back for a one-off appearance in the 1997–98 season and then reintroduced for the 2000–01 and 2004–05 seasons due to popular demand.

Middlesbrough F.C. jersey history shows that in December 2007, the club took an innovative step by allowing fans to have a say in the kit’s design for the following season.

Through an online and text vote, supporters were given the opportunity to decide whether the beloved white band should make a return.

The decision was announced on January 8, 2008, revealing that 77.4% of voters favored the reintroduction of the white band.

Additionally, fans were empowered to choose the final shirt design from a selection of three options, with the winning design unveiled on May 7, 2008.

This inclusive approach further solidified the connection between the club and its passionate fanbase.

Kit Sponsors & Manufacturers

Kit Sponsors & Manufacturers

The initial sponsorship emerged in 1980 with Datsun Cleveland, starting a two-year collaboration.

This marked the beginning of a series of two-year deals that ensued until Dickens took up the sponsorship role for the 1994–95 season exclusively.

From 1995 to 2002, the club sported the logo of mobile phone service Cellnet, succeeded by a two-year stint with mobile retailer Dial-a-Phone.

The subsequent years witnessed diverse sponsors like online casino (2004–07) and satellite navigation company Garmin (2007–10).

The 2010–11 season saw temporary sponsors, including Ramsdens, a pawnbroking company.

Ramsdens’ commitment deepened, leading to a permanent sponsorship arrangement and a five-year deal in 2013.

Notably, Ramsdens’ sponsorship transcended traditional advertising in March 2011 when the company altruistically ceded its advertising space to Marie Curie Cancer Care for two games, exemplifying a commendable instance of corporate social responsibility.

The sponsorship was eventually passed to 32Red at the end of this period, signifying a new chapter in the club’s partnerships.

In the realm of kit manufacturers, the Italian brand Errea held the reins from 1994 to 2009.

Middlesbrough F.C. history says that Adidas took over in 2009, rekindling a partnership that had previously flourished from 1979 to 1983.

The Danish company Hummel, which had crafted Middlesbrough’s kits during the club’s winding up and rebirth phase from 1984 to 1987, made a triumphant return in 2018.

However, the landscape shifted once again in 2022 as Errea resumed its role as the kit manufacturer, continuing the club’s tradition of embracing change and evolution in its visual identity.

Read More: Nottingham Forest History – All about the Club

Middlesbrough F.C. Badge History

Middlesbrough F.C. Badge History

The evolution of the Middlesbrough crest spans four distinct changes since the club’s inception.

Initially, the badge featured the town of Middlesbrough’s crest, but with a red lion replacing the original blue lion to align with the club’s colors.

Subsequently, with the introduction of the iconic white band on the shirts in 1973, the crest underwent a transformation, retaining only the red lion, accompanied by the letters “M.F.C” in red below.

Middlesbrough F.C. logo history shows us that a significant shift occurred after the club’s reformation in 1986 when the crest took on a circular form.

The red lion remained at the center, surrounded by the words “Middlesbrough Football Club 1986,” symbolizing the ushering in of a new era for the club.

In 2007, another change transpired, featuring the lion positioned within a shield, with the inscription “Middlesbrough Football Club 1876” underneath.

This alteration aimed to emphasize the club’s extensive history, reaching back to its foundation in 1876 and not merely focusing on its post-liquidation status.

These changes in the Middlesbrough crest illustrate the club’s commitment to reflecting its evolving identity, incorporating both historical elements and contemporary developments.

Each modification serves as a visual representation of the club’s journey, emphasizing its enduring legacy and resilience throughout various periods in Middlesbrough F.C. history.

Read More: Aston Villa History – All About The Club

Middlesbrough F.C. Stadiums

Middlesbrough F.C. Stadiums

Following its formation in 1876, Middlesbrough Football Club initially played its amateur football at Albert Park in Middlesbrough.

However, due to concerns about damage caused by players and supporters, the Park Committee directed the club to find a new venue.

Subsequently, the club settled at Breckon Hill, behind the former Middlesbrough College Longlands site, renting the land from its owner.

In 1880, facing a rent increase, the club decided to relocate once more.

This led to the establishment of the Linthorpe Road ground in 1882, initially shared with Middlesbrough Cricket Club.

The cricket club vacated the premises in 1893–94, leaving Middlesbrough Football Club as the sole occupant.

Reading Middlesbrough F.C. history, we understand that as the club expanded and joined the Football League in 1903, it necessitated a move to a larger venue, resulting in the iconic Ayresome Park.

Designed by Archibald Leitch, Ayresome Park served as the club’s home for an impressive 92 years and was selected as one of the stadiums for the 1966 FIFA World Cup.

After the Taylor Report in 1990 emphasized the need for modernization or a new stadium, Middlesbrough Football Club opted for the latter.

Their New Home, the Riverside Stadium

Their New Home, the Riverside Stadium
credit: wikipedia

Consequently, Ayresome Park was replaced by the state-of-the-art Riverside Stadium, the club’s home since 1995.

The Riverside Stadium, so named by the supporters following a vote, was the first stadium built in accordance with the Taylor Report’s recommendations for all-seater stadiums in the top two divisions of the English football league system.

Initially constructed with a capacity of 30,000 at a cost of £16 million, the stadium underwent expansion in 1998, increasing its capacity to 35,100 for an additional £5 million.

The Riverside Stadium has undergone several modifications over the years in Middlesbrough F.C. history.

Ahead of the 2013–14 season, away fans were relocated to the Southeast corner, while home fans were positioned behind both goals to enhance the stadium’s atmosphere.

Notable changes also included the installation of a giant TV screen at the back of the Southeast corner.

Subsequent reorganizations, including improvements to broadcasting facilities and floodlighting, were implemented in preparation for the 2016–17 season and Middlesbrough’s return to the Premier League.

As of the 2023-2024 season, the stadium’s capacity stands at 34,742.

The club now conducts its training sessions at the impressive £7 million complex in Rockliffe Park, situated in Hurworth, on the outskirts of Darlington.

Read More: Sunderland History – All about the Club

Middlesbrough F.C. Rivalries History

Middlesbrough F.C. Rivalries History

The Tees–Wear derby is a closely contested football local derby featuring Middlesbrough F.C. and Sunderland A.F.C., situated just 30 miles apart and separated by the Tees and Wear rivers in the North East of England.

The rivalry holds particular significance in southern County Durham, where fans of both clubs reside in close proximity, fostering regular interaction.

The historical context of this intense rivalry saw heightened tensions during the 1990s when both teams frequently found themselves at the top of Division 1, sparking clashes between their passionate fanbases.

Over time, football-related violence between Middlesbrough and Sunderland supporters has diminished, particularly after the relocations from Ayresome Park and Roker Park, with the new stadiums providing improved conditions.

Nevertheless, Middlesbrough F.C. history states that when these two teams face off, a heightened police presence is still warranted due to the potential for violent incidents between the fans.

Sunderland, citing safety concerns and prior behavioral issues, has frequently reduced Middlesbrough’s away allocations for these matches.

While Sunderland boasts early 1900s trophies, it’s worth noting that Middlesbrough has achieved greater success in recent times.

Other Rivals

Middlesbrough F.C. history - Other Rivals

Additionally, significant rivalries exist with Newcastle United in the Tyne–Tees derby and Leeds United, as indicated by a 2004 survey on

The Tyne-Tes Derby refers to a football match between Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, a term commonly used by fans of both teams and the media.

Despite being located in different counties, there is a 42-mile distance between the two teams.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the fixture gained significance as the sole all-North-East match of the season.

This was particularly notable as Newcastle United and Middlesbrough were both competing in the Premier League during this period, while Sunderland was mostly outside the top flight.

Both teams experienced success during this time, with Newcastle qualifying for the Champions League and contending for the Premier League title.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough, boasting notable players like Juninho, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, and Mark Viduka, reached five major cup finals between 1997 and 2006, including the 2006 UEFA Cup Final, and secured the 2004 League Cup.

Read More: Crystal Palace History – All about the Club

Fan Base & Media

Fan Base & Media

Traditionally, the fanbase of Middlesbrough has predominantly been comprised of individuals from Middlesbrough itself and surrounding towns.

Notably, the club boasts one of the highest percentages in the UK of season ticket holders who are locally born, reaching an impressive 80%.

Additionally, Middlesbrough has one of the highest proportions of female fans, constituting 20% of the fan demographic.

A survey conducted at the commencement of the 2007–08 season ranked Middlesbrough supporters as the seventh-loudest in the Premier League.

The Middlesbrough Official Supporters Club, which includes its own team in the local football league, has established connections with supporters’ clubs worldwide.

Prominent among these are the Official Supporters’ Club, the Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters’ Association, Yarm Reds, Red Faction, and Middlesbrough Supporters South.

The moniker “Smoggies” initially emerged as a derogatory term from opposing fans, referencing the historical industrial air pollution or smog that hung over the town.

However, Middlesbrough fans have embraced the term in a self-deprecating manner and, over time, turned it into a badge of pride.

Banners proudly proclaiming “Smoggies on Tour” exemplify the fans’ lighthearted adoption of the nickname.

Middlesbrough supporters gained recognition for their exemplary behavior during the 2005–06 UEFA Cup campaign.

UEFA Chief Executive Lars-Christer Olsson commended the fans for transforming matches into friendly, violence-free celebrations.

The positive conduct of Middlesbrough fans had also earned praise from Cleveland Police in previous rounds, especially considering potential challenges, such as those encountered during the match at Roma.

About Middlesbrough F.C. mascot history, you should know that Roary the Lion serves as the mascot for Middlesbrough.

The club operates Roary’s Children’s Charity Fund, which is dedicated to acquiring items for local children’s charities.

TV Programs

TV Programs

Middlesbrough pioneered football club television channels with the introduction of Boro TV, making them the first club globally to launch such a platform.

The channel debuted with broadcasts linked to Middlesbrough’s inaugural major cup final appearance in 1997, a remarkable achievement predating Manchester United’s MUTV by a year, despite the latter’s claim to be the first in the world.

The inception of Boro TV was credited to Peter Wilcock, the then NTL marketing director.

The program became synonymous with Bernie Slaven, a former Middlesbrough star, and Alastair Brownlee, a radio commentator, who enjoyed popularity on both TV and radio platforms.

Initially, Boro TV’s programs were pre-recorded and hosted by Dave Roberts, a local radio/TV broadcaster and devoted Boro fan.

Notably, Middlesbrough F.C. history says that in August 2001, Boro TV achieved another milestone by becoming the first English football club to broadcast time-delayed full-match footage of their league games on their own channel.

Boro TV utilized NTL cable television until July 2005.

Presently, the club showcases match highlights through a subscription-based model on its official website.

Middlesbrough’s official matchday program, Redsquare, received recognition as Programme Monthly’s 2006–07 Program of the Year.

Alongside this, various fanzines are available, with Fly Me to the Moon being particularly noteworthy.

Established in September 1988, this fanzine originated from a memorable quote by Bruce Rioch to Tony Mowbray, expressing the sentiment that if he had to go to the moon, he would want Mowbray by his side.

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Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.


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