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Plymouth Argyle Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Plymouth, Devon, England. They will play in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, in the 2017–18 League One season. They are one of two teams in Devon currently competing in the Football League, the other being Exeter City – Argyle's local rivals.

Plymouth Argyle F.C.
The initials "P.A.F.C" underneath a shield featuring a ship called the Mayflower in full sail.
Full name Plymouth Argyle Football Club
Nickname(s) The Pilgrims[1]
Founded 1886; 131 years ago (1886), as Argyle F.C.
Ground Home Park
Ground Capacity 17,800
Owner James Brent
Chairman James Brent
Manager Derek Adams
League League One
2016–17 League Two, 2nd (Promoted)
Website Club website
Current season

Since becoming professional in 1903, the club has won five Football League titles (one Division Two and two Division Three), five Southern League titles and one Western League title. The 2009–10 season was the club's 42nd in the second tier of English football. The team set the record for most championships won in the third tier, having finished first in the Third Division South twice, the Third Division once and the Second Division once.

The club takes its nickname, "The Pilgrims", from an English religious group that left Plymouth for the New World in 1620. The club crest features the Mayflower, the ship that carried the pilgrims to Massachusetts. The club have predominantly played in dark green and white throughout their history, with a few exceptions in the late 1960s and early 1970s when white was the colour of choice. The city of Plymouth is the largest in England never to have hosted top-flight football. They are the most southerly and westerly League club in England.

Contents

HistoryEdit

StadiumEdit

 
Outside view of the Devonport Stand

Home Park is the 37th biggest stadium in England.

The original ground of the professional club at Home Park was destroyed by German bombers during the Blitz on Plymouth in World War II. Having been rebuilt after the war, Home Park was largely demolished as part of an extensive process of renovation, and the first phase of a new stadium built by Barrs plc was completed in May 2002. The new Devonport End was opened for the 2001 Boxing Day fixture with Torquay United. The other end, the Barn Park End, opened on the same day. The Lyndhurst stand reopened on 26 January 2002 for the game against Oxford United. Plans are currently under discussion regarding the completion of the refurbishment of the ground with the replacement of the Mayflower stand. The ground is situated in Central Park, very near to the residential area of Peverell. Towards the end of the 2005–06 Championship season, the club decided to buy the stadium for £2.7 million from Plymouth City Council, releasing the ground from a 125-year lease. This purchase was concluded in December 2006.

In the summer of 2007, the club, having failed to persuade the UK authorities[2] of the case for retaining a standing terrace, decided to add 3,500 temporary seats to the Mayflower enclosure,[3] dropping the capacity to just under 20,000 from 20,922 (an exact figure is not yet available). In December 2009 it was announced that the stadium was to be one of 12 chosen to host matches during the World Cup 2018, should England's bid be successful.[4] The then Argyle chairman Paul Stapleton stated that work on a new South Stand at Home Park would start in 2010. However, England failed to be chosen for the 2018 tournament, and Plymouth Argyle entered administration in March 2011. After selling the stadium back to the council on 14 October 2011 for £1.6 million,[5] this project was in serious doubt.

The club was then taken over by local business owner James Brent, who submitted fresh plans to build a new Mayflower Grandstand with a 5,000 seating capacity, and an associated leisure complex. The plans include an ice rink with 1,500 spectator seats, a 10 screen cinema complex with an iMax screen, a 120 bedroom hotel and 4,200m sq retail units. Planning permission for the project was granted on 15 August 2013. The development was due to commence in September 2013, with demolition of the old stand planned for late October 2013 after the Portsmouth home match. As of June 2015 the plans have been withdrawn, though planning permission still remains.

The family section of the stadium was moved from block 1 of the Devonport End to the 'Zoo corner' between the Lyndhurst Stand and the Barn Park End, with a kids activities zone in the concourse.[6]

In January 2017, director Simon Hallett invested £5,000,000 into the club, along with all other directors exchanging previous loans into equity, with the intention on using the money for renovating the Mayflower Grandstand. No immediate timeframe was put on the renovations, but chairman James Brent indicated work is planned to start in 2018, finishing in 2020 ahead of the Plymouth 2020 Mayflower celebrations.[7]

Later that month, temporary seating was once again put in place on the Grandstand, this time as a one-off for an FA Cup 3rd round replay vs Liverpool.[8] The seating was kept in place for the next home match, a League 2 game vs Devon rivals Exeter City, but tickets were not on sale to the general public. Shortly after this game, the seating was removed.[9]

RivalriesEdit

The club's traditional rivals are fellow Devon sides Exeter City and Torquay United; other rivalries exist with Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth. The rivalry with Portsmouth was heightened in May 2016, when the two teams met in the League 2 play off semi final, of which Argyle prevailed. However, a season later, Portsmouth beat Argyle to the League 2 title on the last game of the season, furthering their dislike. Along with Portsmouth, the play-offs have sprung up a mutual disliking of Wycombe Wanderers, after the 2014–15 play off loss.[10]

Although the rivalry with Exeter City has been blunted for a while due to a difference in divisions, Argyle's relegation into League One, coupled with Exeter City's survival, reignited the tensions. A distinct rivalry arose between Argyle and Luton Town after inflammatory comments made by Joe Kinnear who was manager of the Hatters during the 2001–02 promotion season, although this mutual antipathy has now somewhat abated. Similarly, after the departure of Ian Holloway to Leicester City in November 2007 a noticeable mutual dislike arose, culminating in Argyle's 0–1 victory at the Walkers Stadium in early February 2008 although this mutual antipathy has now similarly subsided.[11]

In the 1990s, Argyle had a rivalry with Burnley as the Clarets beat them in a Division Two (now League One) play-off semi-final in 1994, and relegated them on the last day of the season four years later. However, the rivalry has subsided over the past few years, especially after Burnley's promotion to the Premier League in 2014.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 21 August 2017[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Robbert te Loeke
2   DF Gary Miller
3   DF Gary Sawyer (vice-captain)
4   DF Yann Songo'o
5   DF Ryan Edwards
6   MF Jamie Ness
7   MF Antoni Sarcevic
8   MF Lionel Ainsworth
9   FW Nadir Çiftçi (on loan from Celtic)
10   MF Graham Carey
11   MF Ruben Lameiras
13   FW Nathan Blissett
14   FW Jake Jervis
No. Position Player
15   DF Sonny Bradley
16   MF Joel Grant
17   DF Aaron Taylor-Sinclair
18   DF Oscar Threlkeld
19   FW Ryan Taylor
20   DF Jakub Sokolík
21   MF Gregg Wylde
23   GK Luke McCormick (captain)
24   MF David Fox
26   DF Jordan Bentley
27   FW Alex Fletcher
28   DF Callum Rose

Retired numbersEdit

Reserves and Development squadEdit

The club's reserve team, up to the end of the 2010–11 season, played in the Football Combination. The club also entered a team in the South Western League, but withdrew from that competition after one season in 2007. The club confirmed their withdrawal from the Football Combination on 27 June, alongside 18 other Football League clubs. The club will now arrange reserve fixtures on dates of their choice, rather than follow a fixture list.[14] Argyle had earlier withdrawn from the Combination in mid-season in 1981–82, for financial reasons.

The reserves' honours include the Southern League Championship in 1922, 1926, 1929, 1934 and its League Cup in 1933, 1934 and 1936; 1934 was the first Southern League Double.[15]

For the 2015–16 season, Argyle entered a team into the South West Peninsula League Division One West, with matches played at Seale-Hayne, dubbed 'Hodges Park' after club legend Kevin Hodges, outside Newton Abbot.[16] The side consists mainly of U-18 players, but occasionally includes senior players who are not getting first team football or who are returning from injury.[17]

After applying for promotion and finishing 2nd behind Mousehole, the reserves side were promoted to the Premier Division for the 2016–17 season. The team started playing their games at the home of the Devon FA, Coach Road, in Newton Abbot[18] and finished 6th in 2016–17.

Player of the YearEdit

Noted former playersEdit

For details on former players who have a Wikipedia article, see: Category:Plymouth Argyle F.C. players.

Team of the centuryEdit

For the centenary celebrations, an all-time best team of Plymouth Argyle players was chosen by fans of the club.[19]

1   GK Jim Furnell
2   DF Gordon Nisbet
3   DF Jack Chisholm
4   DF Graham Coughlan
5   DF Colin Sullivan
6   MF Kevin Hodges
7   MF Johnny Williams
8   MF Garry Nelson
9   FW Tommy Tynan
10   FW Paul Mariner
11   MF Sammy Black

Manager:   Paul Sturrock

World Cup playersEdit

The following players were chosen to represent their country at the FIFA World Cup while contracted to Plymouth Argyle.

Club officialsEdit

Boardroom positionsEdit

Position Name Nationality
Chairman: James Brent   English
Chief Executive: Martyn Starnes   English
Director: Simon Hallett   American
Director: David Felwick CBE   English
Director: Peter Jones   English
Director: Richard Holliday   English
Director: Tony Wrathall   English
Director: John Morgan   English

Coaching positionsEdit

First Team

Position Name Nationality
Manager: Derek Adams   Scottish
Assistant Manager: Craig Brewster   Scottish
First Team Coach: Paul Wotton   English
Goalkeeping Coach: Rhys Wilmot   Welsh
Head Physio: Paul Atkinson   English
Physiotherapist: Vicki Hannaford   English
Chief Scout: Greg Strong   English
Football Analyst: Matt Neil   English

Youth Team/Academy

Position Name Nationality
Academy Manager: Kevin Hodges   English
Head of Academy Coaching: Kevin Nancekivell   English
Professional Development Phase Coach 17–21: Shaun Taylor   English
Youth Development Phase Lead Coach 5–11: Phil Stokes   English
Academy Goalkeeping Coach: Rhys Wilmot   Welsh
Academy Physiotherapist: Tom Hunter   English
Head of Academy Recruitment: John James   English

Managerial historyEdit

HonoursEdit

RecordsEdit

Club recordsEdit

SeasonsEdit

Most appearancesEdit

# Name Argyle career Appearances Goals
1   Hodges, KevinKevin Hodges 1978–1992 620 87
2=   Black, SammySammy Black 1924–1938 491 184
2=   Wotton, PaulPaul Wotton 1995–2008
2012–2015
491 66
4   Craig, FredFred Craig 1912–1915
1919–1930
467 5
5   Williams, JohnnyJohnny Williams 1955–1966 448 55
6=   Hore, JohnnyJohnny Hore 1965–1975 441 17
6=   Jones, PatPat Jones 1947–1958 441 2
8   Evans, MichaelMichael Evans 1990–1997
2001–2006
432 81
9   Leslie, JackJack Leslie 1921–1934 401 136
10   Russell, MosesMoses Russell 1914–1915
1919–1930
400 6

Most goalsEdit

# Name Argyle career Goals Appearances Goal/game ratio
1   Black, SammySammy Black 1924–1938 184 491 2.668
2   Carter, WilfWilf Carter 1957–1964 148 275 1.858
3   Tynan, TommyTommy Tynan 1983–1985
1986–1990
145 310 2.137
4   Leslie, JackJack Leslie 1921–1934 136 401 2.948
5   Tadman, MauriceMaurice Tadman 1947–1955 112 253 2.258
6   Vidler, JackJack Vidler 1929–1939 103 256 2.485
7   Burch, FredFred Burch 1906–1915 92 239 2.597
8   Hodges, KevinKevin Hodges 1978–1992 87 620 7.126
9   Bowden, RayRay Bowden 1927–1933 85 153 1.800
10=   Dews, GeorgeGeorge Dews 1947–1955 81 271 3.345
10=   Mickey Evans 1990–1997
2001–2006
81 432 5.333
12   Bickle, MikeMike Bickle 1965–1971 71 179 2.521

SponsorshipEdit

The club's current sportswear manufacturer is Puma, having signed a contract in 2011 to take over from Adidas.[21] The club's main sponsor is WH Bond & Sons, a company specialising in agriculture, which signed an agreement to sponsor the club in the summer of 2011, to take over from Ginsters.[22] Shirt sponsorship was not introduced by the club until 1983.[23] Beacon Electrical were the first company to have their name on the shirt of Plymouth Argyle, but it lasted just one season. Ivor Jones Insurance was the next sponsor and their agreement with the club lasted for two seasons. National & Provincial (now merged with Abbey National) were sponsors for the 1986–87 season before the club signed an agreement with the Sunday Independent which would last for five seasons. Rotolok Holdings plc became the club's major sponsor in 1992, which was owned by then Pilgrims chairman Dan McCauley. This lasted for six seasons before the club linked up with local newspaper the Evening Herald. Between 2002 and 2011 the club was sponsored by Cornish pasty-makers Ginsters.[24]

Period Sportswear Sponsor
1975–1976 Umbro None
1976–1978 Pilgrim
1978–1980 Bukta
1980–1982 Adidas
1982–1983 Pilgrim
1983–1984 Beacon Electrical
1984–1986 Ivor Jones Insurance
1986–1987 National & Provincial
1987–1990 Umbro Sunday Independent
1990–1992 Ribero
1992–1996 Admiral Rotolok
1996–1998 Super League
1998–1999 Errea Evening Herald
1999–2002 Patrick
2002–2003 Ginsters
2003–2005 TFG
2005–2009 Puma
2009–2011 Adidas
2011–2014 Puma WH Bond
2014–2016 Puma LTC Powered Access
Present Puma Ginsters

See alsoEdit

References and notesEdit

Special thanks to BBC Devon: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/devon/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8303000/8303515.stm

  1. ^ "Plymouth Argyle". The Football League. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  2. ^ No Standing Room | Plymouth Argyle. Pafc.premiumtv.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  3. ^ Sit, See and Hear | Plymouth Argyle . Pafc.premiumtv.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Plymouth wins bid to host World Cup matches". This is Plymouth. 17 December 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  5. ^ BBC News | Plymouth Argyle Home Park stadium deal agreed Retrieved on 2 November 2011,
  6. ^ "Family Zone For All". Plymouth Argyle. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Board Statement - Stadium Development". Plymouth Argyle. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Plymouth Argyle to install thousands of new seats making Liverpool match biggest for nine years". The Plymouth Herald. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Plymouth Argyle explain why temporary seats at Home Park won't be used for Devon Derby". The Plymouth Herald. 9 February 2017. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Fanning, Evan (28 January 2008). "Portsmouth 2 Plymouth Argyle 1: James keeps Pompey's hopes afloat". The Independent (London). Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  11. ^ Fanning, Evan (11 February 2008). "Leicester City 0 Plymouth Argyle 1: Holloway mulls legal action over Plymouth comments". The Independent (London). Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  12. ^ Profile, Player. "Plymouth Argyle FC Player Profiles". www.pafc.co.uk. 
  13. ^ "Number 12". Plymouth Argyle. Retrieved 18 September 2010. Archived 28 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Reserve withdrawal". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2011.
  15. ^ Edwards, Leigh (1993). The Official Centenary History of the Southern League. Halesowen: Paper Plane Publishing. p. 54. ISBN 1-871872-08-1. 
  16. ^ "Peninsula League approve Plymouth Argyle reserve ground switch". Devon Live. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Argyle home SWPL games at Bickleigh Barracks". Plymouth Herald. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Plymouth Argyle reserves promotion hopes rest on finding new ground". 3 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Plymouth Argyle's Team of the Century". BBC. Archived from the original on 18 August 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2004. 
  20. ^ Achievements. Greensonscreen.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  21. ^ Adidas Agreement. Pafc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  22. ^ Perfect Partners. Pafc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  23. ^ Historical Kits. Historical Kits. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  24. ^ "Ginsters extend Plymouth Argyle sponsorship". Football Shirt Culture. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 

External linksEdit