Middlesbrough have had a tumultuous history in the last couple of decades ... almost going out of business, before moving to a new stadium and getting big money backing to buy top players and fail in cup finals.

It all started so differently.  There are even disputes about how the club came about.  One story goes that they formed in a local gym at the Albert Park Hotel, while a more prosaic tale tells that the club got together over a tripe supper at the Corporation Hotel ... and from the way the club progressed the latter might have more than a ring of truth to it.

In their early years, they won two Amateur Cups, one of which in 1898 was achieved despite having to play the semi-final miles away from their home ground, because of a smallpox outbreak in Cleveland at the time.  Funnily enough, illness hit the club again in 1997, when the club could not put a side out to play Blackburn Rovers and lost three points.  Three points that lost them their place in the Premier League.  Maybe it was travelling that did it, as once they went four and a half years without an away win (33 games).

Innovation is not anything new to Boro.  In 1902, they had the first half-time scoreboard, which involved a man with some chalk, making lots of dots to produce the latest scores for the crowd on a blackboard.  Alf Common was signed in 1905 for 1,000, a record at the time and you can see that even then, Boro were throwing big money after common players.  Just a couple of years later, Brian Average was bought for 1,500.

They really came into their own in the late 20s, when in 1927, Middlesbrough took the Second Division title, with George Camsell scoring 59 goals, among them 8 hat-tricks, still a record.  Unfortunately, they were relegated straight away (another phenomenon that was to be repeated much later), but won the championship the following year to get back to the First Division.

With the gates locked at Ayresome Park in 1985-86, the club looked like slipping out of business.  They had offered the use of the ground to Hartlepool United, who were being forced to rebuild two of their stands, but Boro ended up playing their first game of the season at Victoria Park, as it was they who were without a ground !!  But they were rescued by forming a new company and then chairman Steve Gibson started pumping lots of money from his personal fortune to fund a new ground at the Riverside and also in buying big name players in the twilight of their careers. Again, this helped and hindered their progress, because many of the players were here only to line their pockets and left as soon as the going got tough.  That happened in a weird season, when in 1997 Boro lost in both major domestic cup finals and were relegated from the Premiership, while still managing to fit in a defeat in the League Cup final for the second year running.  Echoing the 1927-29 years, they bounced back with promotion straight away.

Now established in the Premiership, Steve McClaren has taken over the reins from Bryan Robson and Boro are seeking some stability rather than the roller-coaster years of the late 90s.  The achievement of winning a trophy at Cardiff in 2004 by McClaren's side would have been welcomed by Robson, who was known to enjoy taking part in the Carling Cup.

A 2006 UEFA Cup final loss was a fitting finale to McClaren's time at Boro, where he left to take over the England job, while former England international Gareth Southgate took over the hot seat and struggled to match his predecessor's efforts in the first season as manager, but as crowds became smaller and the money injected by Chairman Steve Gibson similarly reduced, the managers came and went as Boro were the only constant in staying in the Championship. 

After a couple of attempts, Aitor Karanka, the former Real Madrid player, took Boro up as champions and a new top flight era began.

Famous Players : - Rocky Outcrops; Wilf Mannion; Ian Hoe Jnr.; Stuart Boam; John Craggs; Juninho; Brian Clough; Malcolm "Bunny" Warren; Alf Common; 

Famous Fans : - Bob Mortimer (Comedian & Actor "Reeves & Mortimer", "Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)"; Chris Kamara (Sky Sports commentator); Chris Rea (Musician); David Shayler (Former MI5 spy); Jet (Former star of "Gladiators"); Derek Thomson (Channel 4 Racing presenter)

Club Records

Formed 1876 
Turned Professional 1889 (returned to amateur status in 1892) and 1899
Became a Limited Company 1892
Previous names -
Previous grounds Old Archery Ground, Albert Park   1877-79 
Breckon Hill                    1879-82  
Linthorpe Road Ground          1882-1903 
Ayresome Park                 1903-95
Nickname "BORO"
Record Premier League Win 8-1  v   Manchester City
Home        11.05.2008
Record Premier League Defeat 1-6  v  Southampton
Home      24.5.1999
Record Football League Win 9-0  v  Brighton & Hove Albion
Div. 2       23.8.1958
Record Football League Defeat 0-9  v Blackburn Rovers
Div.2        6.11.1954
Record FA Cup Win 9-3  Goole Town
FAC  R1      9.1.1915
Record League Cup Win 7-0  Hereford United
LC  R2      .9.1996
Record Fee Paid 15 million to Nottingham Forest for  Britt ASSOMBALONGA (July 2017)
Record Fee Received 12 million from Atletico Madrid (Spain) for JUNINHO (July 1997)
Record Football League Appearances 563 -  Tim WILLIAMSON (1902-23)
Record Premier League Appearances 108 -  Robbie MUSTOE (1992-99)
Record Premier League goalscorer 16 -  Fabrizio RAVANELLI  (1996-97)
Record all-time goalscorer 326 - George CAMSELL  (1925-39)
Record goalscorer in a Premier League season 16 -  Fabrizio RAVANELLI  (1996-97)
Record goalscorer in a League season 59   George CAMSELL   Division 2, (1926-27)
Record Home Attendance (all-time) 53,596 v   Newcastle United
Div. 1        27.12.1949    
(at Ayresome Park)
Record Premier League Attendance 34, 687  v  Tottenham Hotspur  20.2.1999  
(at Riverside Stadium)
Record total of goals in a League season 54 -  1992-93,  42 games
54 -  1998-99,  38 games
Record total of goals in a Premier League season 122    Division 2   (1926-27)
Record League points total 94  -  1986-87
Record Premier League points total 51  -  1998-99,  38 games
Most Capped Player while at club Wilf MANNION  26 (England)


Stadium details 

Address : The Cellnet Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, Cleveland TS3 6RS

Telephone :  01642 877700
01642 877745  (Box Office)
   0891 424200  (Information)
01642 877720 (Club Shop)
Fax :  01642 248450

Capacity :  34,500
Pitch size : 115 yards x  75 yards
Official website : http://www.mfc.co.uk
Unofficial website : ic teeside  


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