History of Middlesbrough Football Club
Middlesbrough Football Club was originally founded in the late 19th century. The club had varying degrees of success but it wasn’t until the times prior to the 2nd World War that the team was in good enough shape to challenge for the major trophies. This team graced by the likes of England internationals like George Hardwick and Wilf Mannion although never winning a trophy, was said to have been capable of going on to win the league had it not been for the outbreak of the war. It wasn’t until the 70’s arrived that the club had any degree of major success again. This team, containing the likes of David Armstrong and Greame Souness coached by the great Jack Charlton formally a Word Cup winner with England had been the best seen for a while. The promotions seen over this period although impressive produced no trophies to behold.
Into the 80’s the club almost went into liquidation, and if it wasn’t for the financial assistance of a consortium lead by the now chairman and successful businessman Steve Gibson then the club might has disappeared. A boost to the re-emergence of the club in 1986 was funds appreciated by the sale of a number of talented youngsters who had come through the youth system, including but not limited to Gary Pallister and Colin Cooper. In successive years after the take-over ‘Boro’ as they are affectionately know by their fans cemented themselves as a side good enough to get out of the 2nd tier league but not quite good enough to stay in the top league for very long. An example of this yo-yoing nature being the inclusion of Boro in the very 1st year of the ‘Premier League’ but relegation the year after. In 1994 Boro attracted probably their highest profiled manager to date in the shape of former England and Manchester United captain Brian Robson.
Using the crutch of the squad left to him by his predecessor Lennie Lawrence swell as some good decent professionals like Nigel Pearson and Steve Vickers, who had been brought in, he took the team back into the Premiership. A new season in the top league and the moving into a brand new 30,000 all seater stadium saw a new sense of belief and optimism around the town. This sense of belief was backed with funds and with the captures of the likes of then England international Nick Barmby and the magnificent Brazilian international Juninho the club had one of the best teams in a long time. Boro were to retain their premiership status in the years following, and with the captures of the likes of Champions League winner Fabrizio Ravinelli and the Brazilian powerhouse Emerson football fever was taking over the town. Riding this support the team went on magnificent runs in both the League and FA Cup. Disastrously heartache would soon follow though and Boro fell at the final hurdle in both cups and as if to add insult injury a deduction of 3 points for failing to turn a team out against Blackburn saw the club relegated back to the 2nd tier. Although the relegation would see the team lose Juninho and Emerson, they were able to capture the high profile Paul Merson and with hope still high the club was dominant in both the League and League Cup seeing them win promotion straight back into the top league and reach the final of the League Cup. The successive season would see boro retain their premiership status but seasons after saw results getting progressively worse culminating in the decision by the board to bring in the experienced former England coach Terry Venables to work alongside Robson. The decision bore fruit and the club was to avoid relegation. Support for the club was dwindling though and change was wanted.
The upshot of this being the reluctant sacking of Robson and the bringing in of the then Manchester United assistant manager Steve Mclaren. Mclaren would bring solidarity to a haphazard team with his strong work ethic and love of professionalism. The football was boring to watch but the team was never to look like relegation material. With this new professionalism and continued financial backing the club would cement their position in the top league, putting behind it the yo-yoing years. Another cup final soon followed and this time Boro were the victors leaving with their first ever major trophy in the shape of the League Cup. This victory would see Boro’s first ever qualification for Europe. The following season would see Boro qualify again for Europe with their best ever Premiership position. The season following this would see Boro push all the way to the EUFA Cup Final, making McClaren the most successful manager in the club’s history. McClaren though, on the back on his triumphs has recently left the club for the dizzy heights of coaching England. The club has now a great set of players, a great setup, as well as top class youth and reserve teams.
With this and recent successes, and the likelihood of continued financial backing, a new manager with worthy credentials I would have thought is only around the corner. And whatever future this brings for the lowly north east football club is yet to be written.