Cambridge United F.C.

Cambridge United F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Cambridge United

fullname = Cambridge United Football Club
nickname = United, The U's, The Plate
founded = 1912 (as Abbey United)
ground = Abbey Stadium
capacity = 8,696
chairman = Terry Baker
manager = Gary Brabin
Assistant manager = Paul Carden
league = Conference National
season = 2007–08
position = Conference National, 2nd
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rightarm1 = 000000
shorts1 = 000000
socks1 = 000000
pattern_la2 =
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leftarm2 = FFFFFF
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Cambridge United Football Club is a professional football club from Cambridge, England. They are currently playing in the Conference National, where they have competed since 2005 following their relegation from the Football League after 35 years.

Cambridge United, often referred to in footballing circles as simply Cambridge, ignoring their smaller neighbours Cambridge City, have been one of the more successful smaller clubs in English football, having had two spells in the league's second tier and reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup twice and Football League Cup once. The club has close links with Cambridge Regional College, a team formed in 2006 to effectively compete as United's reserve team to avoid FA rules which prohibit reserve teams playing at certain levels of the football pyramid. [cite news | url=,,10423~880385,00.html | title=Reserve Preview | publisher=Cambridge United | date=2007-08-10 | accessdate=2007-07-12]

The club is based at the Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road, Cambridge, which currently has a capacity of 8,696 made up of terracing and seated areas. Although the club has traditionally worn amber and black at home, it has experimented with a number of designs of shirts including plain amber with black trim, amber and black squares and, presently, striped shirts. [ Historical Kits - Cambridge United] ]


Formation and early years

The club was founded in 1912 as Abbey United (named after the Abbey district of Cambridge in which they play); although a club called Cambridge United existed in Cambridge from 1909, it was not linked to the club that exists today. [,,10423~61508,00.html Cambridge United Potted History] Retrieved 20 July 2007] The club played in local amateur leagues for many of its early years, moving from ground to ground around Cambridge (see Stadium below) before settling at the Abbey Stadium. In 1949 the club turned professional, and changed its name to Cambridge United in 1951. They played in the Eastern Counties League until finishing as runners-up in 1957–58, which saw them promoted to the Southern League. Three years later, Cambridge United reached the Premier Division of the Southern League.

League era

After election to the Football League in 1970, to replace Bradford (Park Avenue), the club enjoyed mixed success. Although it reached 10th place in the Second Division in 1981, the club was relegated in 1984 (setting a league record for most games without a win, 33Fact|date=January 2008) and 1985 (equalling the league record for most losses in a season, 26Fact|date=January 2008). These successive relegations placed the club back in the Fourth Division, the lowest professional league in English football at the time.

The early 1990s was the U's most successful period. Managed by John Beck the club won the first ever play-off final at Wembley Stadium, gaining promotion from the Fourth Division before reaching two successive FA Cup quarterfinals in 1990 and 1991 and winning the Third Division in 1991. United reached the play-offs in 1992, after finishing 5th in Division Two, but failed in their bid to become founder members of the Premier League. This was the club's highest final league placing to date. The following season the club sacked John Beck and were relegated from the new First Division. Further relegation followed two seasons later. United returned to Division Two but were relegated in 2002. In 2005, after 35 years in the Football League, Cambridge United were relegated into the Football Conference. This brought with it financial difficulties and the club filed for administration on 29 April. [cite web|url=
publisher=BBC Cambridgeshire|title=Cambridge United file for administration.. is this the end of the U's?|accessdate=2008-01-21
] On 22 July 2005 the club came out of administration with a deal being struck with HM Revenue and Customs at the eleventh hour after the intervention of then sports minister Richard Caborn. [cite web|url=,,10423~689291,00.html|title=Cambridge United - A Fresh Start|date=2005-07-22||accessdate=2008-01-21] [cite web|url=,,10423~687429,00.html|title=Cambridge United Clear Last Hurdle||date=2005-07-18|accessdate=2008-01-21] Cambridge had sold their Abbey Stadium home earlier in the season for £1.9 million in order to keep the club afloat.cite news | url= | title=Abbey sale keeps Cambridge afloat | publisher=BBC | date=2004-12-01 | accessdate=2007-06-08]

Recent history

On the eve of the 2006–07 season, it was announced that former Norwich City striker Lee Power would be the club's new chairman taking over from Brian Attmore's caretaking reign. Johnny Hon was also to rejoin the board as vice-chairman after

After signing several respected and experienced players at the non-league level in the following close season, including Danny Potter, Scott Rendell and Lee Boylan, Quinn led Cambridge to their longest ever unbeaten start to a season (2007–08), which stretched to twelve games. [cite news | They also have reached the FA Cup 3rd Round for the first time since the 1999/2000 Season, with a game against Championship high flyers Wolverhampton Wanderers. url= | title=Boylan Signs for Cambridge United | publisher=Chelmsford City F.C. | date=2007-05-16 | accessdate=2007-09-05] [cite news | url=,,10423~39660,00.html | title=Stevenage v. Cambridge United match report | | date=2007-09-22 | accessdate=2007-09-22] Off the field, United reported several major deals which seem to point towards increased financial security, including a new home sponsor in Haart, a renewed away shirt sponsorship deal with Kershaw (who become the club's longest serving sponsor) and a new sponsor for the Abbey Stadium's South Stand, Marston's Smooth, reported as one of the biggest deals in the club's commercial history. [cite news | url=,,10423~1089770,00.html | title=Ten Year Sponsorship Deal | | date=2007-08-11 | accessdate=2007-09-05] Halfway through the season the chairman, Lee Power, resigned. cite web|url=,,10423~1222532,00.html|title=Chairman Resigns||date=2008-01-22|accessdate=2008-01-23] He was replaced by Philip Law. [cite web|url=,,10423~1227375,00.html|title=New Cambridge United Chairman||date=2008-01-29|accessdate=2008-02-01] United finished the season in 2nd place, qualifying for the play-offs. They beat Burton Albion in the semi-final, 4-3 on aggregate, [cite web|url=|title= Cambridge 2-1 Burton (4-3 agg)|publisher=BBC Sport Online|date=2008-05-06|accessdate=2008-05-19] but lost 1-0 to Exeter City in the final, played at Wembley Stadium. [cite news|url=|title=Exeter City return to Football League|date=2008-05-16|accessdate=2008-05-18]

Following the play-off defeat many players left the club, culminating in the departure of manager Jimmy Quinn, [cite news | date=2008-06-15 | url=,,10423~1328688,00.html | title=Quinn Leaves Cambridge United | | accessdate=2008-06-15] apparently over issues concerning Quinn's relocation to Cambridge from his Cheshire home. [cite news|url=,,10423~1331835,00.html | title=Quinn: "U's Are The Best Supporters" | | date=2008-06-20 | accessdate=2008-06-23] Quinn's successor is former Southport manager Gary Brabin, who appointed Paul Carden as player-assistant manager. [cite news|url= | title=Brabin takes the reins | publisher=Cambridge News | date=2008-06-23 | accessdate=2008-06-23]

Colours and badge

Other notable players include Wilf Mannion, the only former Cambridge player to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, [ [ National Football Museum Hall of Fame] National Football Museum. Retrieved 19 July 2007] and Lindsey Smith, voted Cambridge United's all-time cult hero in a poll for BBC Sport's Football Focus in August 2004. [cite news | url= | title=Cambridge's cult heroes | publisher=BBC Sport | date=2004-08-17 | accessdate=2007-07-19]

Notable Managers

Since 1970, Cambridge United has had eighteen full-time managers and a host of caretakers and player-managers. The incumbent manager is Jimmy Quinn who took over from caretaker manager Lee Power on 15 September 2006, and whose first match in charge was a 2-1 loss away at Burton Albion. [ [,,10423~36117,00.html Match Report: Burton Albion v. Cambridge United] Retrieved 15 July 2007]


* Football League Division Three:
** Winners (1): 1990–91
** Runners-up (1): 1977–78

* Football League Division Three "(new format)":
** Runners-up (1): 1998–99

* Football League Division Four:
** Winners (1): 1976–77
** Other promotions: 1972–73 (3rd), 1989–90 (play off winners)

*Conference Premier:
** Runners-up/Play Off finalists (1): 2007–08

* Southern League Premier Division:
** Winners (2): 1968–69, 1969–70

* Highest Football League Placing:
** 5th Football League Division Two: 1991–92

* FA Cup:
** Best: Quarter-finals (2): 1990, 1991

* League Cup:
** Best: Quarter-finals (1): 1993

* Southern League Cup:
** Winners (1): 1969



*Biggest League Win: 7 - 0 (v Weymouth, Conference National, March 2007) [ [,,10423~35980,00.html Match Report: Cambridge United v. Weymouth] Retrieved 15 July 2007]
*Biggest Cup Win: 5 - 1 (v Bristol City, FA Cup 5th Round Second Replay, 1990) [,,10423,00.html Cambridge United History] Retrieved 15 July 2007]
*Biggest League Defeat:
** 0 - 6 (v Aldershot Town, Division Three, 1974)
** 0 - 6 (v Darlington, Division Four, 1974)
** 0 - 6 (v Chelsea, Division Two, 1983)
*Biggest Cup Defeat: 0 - 7 (v Sunderland, League Cup Second Round, 2002)


*Most Goals in One Game: 5 - Steve Butler (v Exeter City, April 1994)
*Most League Appearances: 416 - Steve Spriggs (1975 - 1987)
*Youngest Player: Andy Sinton - 16 years and 228 days (v Wolverhampton Wanderers, November 1982)
*Oldest Player: John Taylor - 39 years (during 2003–04 season)
*Highest Transfer Fee Paid: £190,000 - Steve Claridge (from Luton Town, November 1992)
*Highest Transfer Fee Received:
**£1,000,000 - Dion Dublin (to Manchester United, August 1992)
**£1,500,000 - Trevor Benjamin (to Leicester City, July 2000)


*Most League Points in a Season: 86 (Conference National), (2007-2008) in English football
*Most League Goals in a Season: 87 (Division Four, 1976–77)
*Record Attendance: 14,000 (v Chelsea, May 1970 [,,10423~1073294,00.html Club Records and Honours] Retrieved 19 July 2007]
*Record Gate Receipts: £86,308 (League Cup Second Round Second Leg, October 1992)



*cite book | author=Attmore, Brian | title=Cambridge United FC (100 Greats)| publisher=NPI Media Group| year=2002| id=ISBN 0-7524272-4-5
*cite book | author=Attmore, Brian and Nurse, Graham | title=Cambridge United FC - Images of Sport | publisher=NPI Media Group| year=2001| id=ISBN 0-7524225-6-1
*cite book | author=Daw, Paul | title=United in Endeavour: History of Abbey United/Cambridge United Football Club, 1912-88| publisher=Dawn Publications| year=1988| id=ISBN 0-9514108-0-6
*cite book | author=Palmer, Kevin | title=Cambridge United: The League Era - A Complete Record| publisher=Desert Island Books| year=2000| id=ISBN 1-8742873-2-5

ee also

* List of Fan Owned Teams

External links

* [ The Cambridge United Website] : official website of the club
* [ Cambridge Fans United] : website of Cambridge Fans United, the main fans' group associated with Cambridge United and a significant shareholder in the club
* [ Amber And Black] : unofficial fansite including match previews, reviews and an extensive statistics section
* [ Amber Army] : unofficial fansite including a popular and very active messageboard
* [ United In Endeavour] : Homepage of the club's only fanzine - United In Endeavour

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