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Middlesbrough F.C.

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Middlesbrough Football Club crest
Full nameMiddlesbrough Football Club
Nickname(s)Boro, The Smoggies
Short nameMFC, Boro
Founded18 February 1876; 148 years ago (18 February 1876)
GroundRiverside Stadium
OwnerSteve Gibson
ChairmanSteve Gibson
Head coachMichael Carrick
LeagueEFL Championship
2023–24EFL Championship, 8th of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Middlesbrough Football Club (/ˈmɪdəlzbrə/ MID-əlz-brə) is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They compete in the EFL Championship, the second level of the English football league system. Nicknamed the Boro, they were formed in 1876 and are the 12th oldest football league club in England and Wales. The club have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995,[1] having previously played at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995.

Middlesbrough were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992, and have spent all but two seasons of their entire history as a professional club competing within the top two tiers of English football.[2] Their highest league finish to date was third place in the top flight in the 1913–14 season. The outbreak of the First World War stunted their push for a first top division title, though the club pushed again during the inter-war years, finishing fourth in the 1938–39 season before the Second World War halted the English leagues and again prevented a push for a first title. The club came within minutes of folding in 1986 before they were saved by a consortium led by board member and later chairman Steve Gibson.[3] A remarkable recovery saw the club immediately earn back to back promotions to the top division in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. The club were runners-up in the FA Cup and League Cup in 1997[4][5] while also being relegated following a controversial 3-point deduction,[6] and losing another League Cup final the following season. Under Steve McClaren, the club won the League Cup in 2004, its first major silverware, and reached the 2006 UEFA Cup final. The club has played one Premier League season since relegation in 2009.

Middlesbrough is the only major professional football club in the greater Teesside area (the 14th biggest urban area in England), the Tees Valley, and the county of North Yorkshire (the largest county in England by land mass[7]). The club has regional rivalries with the two closest major clubs, Newcastle United (the Tyne–Tees derby) and Sunderland (the Tees–Wear derby).[8]

The club's traditional kit is red with white detailing, often in the form of a white chest band. The home shorts and sock colours have interchangeably been shifted between red and white, complementing the red shirt that was adopted in 1899.[9] The various crests throughout the club's history, the most recent of which was adopted in 2007,[10] incorporate a lion rampant.



Formation and early years (1876–1914)

Chart showing the progress of Middlesbrough's league finishes since the 1899–1900 season

Middlesbrough were formed in 1876, and won the FA Amateur Cup in 1895 and again in 1898. The club turned professional in 1889, but reverted to amateur status in 1892.[2] They turned professional permanently in 1899.[11] After three seasons, they won promotion to the First Division, where they would remain for the next 22 years.[2]

In 1903, the club moved to Ayresome Park, their home for the next 92 years. In 1905, the club sanctioned the transfer of Alf Common for £1,000, a record fee.[12] In the same year, Tim Williamson became the first Middlesbrough player to play international football.[13]

Over these early years in the top flight, their form fluctuated greatly, rising to sixth in 1907–08[14] before dropping to 17th two seasons later.[15] The club rose to their highest league finish to date, third, in 1913–14.[13] The First World War soon intervened, and football was suspended.

Ups and downs (1914–1966)


Before league football resumed, Middlesbrough won the Northern Victory League,[16] but the team were unable to maintain their previous form and finished the 1919–20 season in mid-table. They remained in the First Division for the next few seasons, but were relegated in 1923–24 after finishing bottom, 10 points adrift of their nearest rivals.[failed verification][17] Three seasons later, they won the Division Two title. During that season, debutant George Camsell, who had signed from Third Division North side Durham City the previous season, finished with a record 59 league goals, which included nine hat-tricks. He would continue as top scorer for each of the next 10 seasons.[18] Middlesbrough's tenure back in the top flight lasted only one season, and the club were relegated.[16] They were promoted at the first attempt in 1928–29, winning another Second Division title.[16] The club remained in the First Division until 1954.

George Hardwick, a Middlesbrough and England player, later a manager and coach

The decade before the Second World War saw the emergence of Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick, both of whom would go on to become England internationals in the years ahead.[citation needed] Middlesbrough climbed to fourth in the last full season before the war, and were expected to challenge for the title the following season, but the war intervened.[2] After the war, the club was unable to recover the form of the previous seasons before the war, hovering around mid-table and exiting in the early rounds of the FA Cup. Soon after the war, the team began to falter, and were relegated in 1953–54. This was the start of a 20-year spell outside the top division, but this was the spell too that saw the emergence of one of the club's top goalscorers, Brian Clough, who scored 204 goals in 222 games, before he left for Sunderland.[19] On 6 May 1950 they were represented by a Black player for the first time, Jamaican-born Lindy Delapenha making his debut in an away game against Fulham on that date. In total he went on to make 270 appearances, scoring 92 goals, before he felt for Mansfield Town after the 1957/58 season.[20] Over that period, Middlesbrough maintained reasonable progress in the Second Division, but were never serious contenders for promotion. After a fourth-place finish in 1962–63, the club endured a steady decline and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time in their history in 1966.[16]

Resurgence, 'Charlton's Champions', and financial crisis (1966–1994)


New manager Stan Anderson returned the club to the second flight at the first attempt.[2] Middlesbrough would not finish below ninth during the next six seasons in the Second Division, finishing 4th (just outside the top three promotion winning places at the time) on three of those occasions.[2]

In 1973, Jack Charlton took over as manager and guided the team back to the top flight. A team led on the pitch by Willie Maddren and Bobby Murdoch, and including a young Graeme Souness, ensured promotion as early as 23 March 1974, and with eight games of the season left, they became runaway champions, finishing with a league record 65 points (based on the 2 points for a win format).[failed verification][2][21] After a very promising start to their first campaign back in the first division Bob Paisley, manager of eventual runners up Liverpool, tipped Middlesbrough as favourites to win the league, however they ultimately fell short finishing seventh. Middlesbrough won their first silverware as a professional side in the 1975–76 season, lifting the Anglo-Scottish Cup in its inaugural season after a two-legged final win over Fulham.[21][22]

In 1979, John Neal made the clubs first international signing, with Boško Janković arriving from Željezničar Sarajevo.[2]

The club experienced severe financial difficulties during the mid-1980s.[23] Middlesbrough were dropping down the table, and finished 19th in the 1984–85 season.[16] In April 1986, the club had to borrow £30,000 from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) to pay wages.[2] The final game of the season saw Middlesbrough relegated to the Third Division again.[2] That summer, the club called in the Provisional Liquidator, and, shortly afterwards, the club was wound up and the gates to Ayresome Park were padlocked.[2] Without the £350,000 capital required for Football League registration, a new rule, the club risked folding permanently.[24] Steve Gibson, however, a member of the board at the time, brought together a consortium, and with 10 minutes to spare before the deadline they completed their registration with the Football League for the 1986–87 season.[25] Following the registration came both a change of club crest and a change of the official company name to Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Club (1986) Ltd.[failed verification][26]

Over the next two seasons, Middlesbrough gained successive promotions into Division Two and then into Division One,[16] the latter being the first and only time a second-tier side directly relegated a first tier side through the English Football League play-offs. The next season however, they came straight back down to Division Two, and with it came the then British transfer record move of Gary Pallister to Manchester United for £2.3 million.[27] Following promotion again, Middlesbrough became one of the founding members of the FA Premier League when it was launched in the 1992–93 season.[3]

Bryan Robson years (1994–2001)


Player-manager Bryan Robson, from Manchester United, took charge in 1994.[28] Following promotion to the Premier League Middlesbrough made high-profile purchases like Brazilian international Juninho.[3] A difficult 1996–97 season, however, was compounded by a deduction of three points imposed just after Christmas as punishment for the club's failure to fulfil a fixture against Blackburn Rovers, which ultimately resulted in relegation.[29] Without the points deduction imposed by the FA Premier League despite the club having taken advice from the Premier League themselves prior to calling off the match, the club would have had enough points to avoid the drop.[citation needed] At the same time, the club reached both the League and FA Cup finals for the first time, but lost both games. Despite being in the second tier, they were again runners-up in the League Cup final the next year.[26]

Chart of Middlesbrough League Performances

Despite losing high-profile players Fabrizio Ravanelli and Juninho due to relegation, Middlesbrough were promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt, in 1998. The following season saw them settle well and they had a 12-game unbeaten run midway through 1998–99, including a 3–2 win at Old Trafford in January during which they took a 3–0 lead; it was Manchester United's only home defeat during their treble-winning season. Middlesbrough continued to stay secure in mid-table the following season, thanks mainly to the goals of Hamilton Ricard and the signings of prominent players such as Paul Ince and Christian Ziege. In 2000–01, they had a brief relegation scare that was solved with the arrival of Terry Venables as co-manager, and a 3–0 win away at Arsenal in April was the team's best result. The trend of buying European-based players continued with the acquisitions of Christian Karembeu and Alen Bokšić. Bryan Robson left the club before the start of 2001–02 season, having served as manager for seven years.[30]

Return to top flight and venture into Europe (2001–2009)

The 2004 League Cup final at the Millennium Stadium

After Venables decided not to take on the role of full time manager, in June 2001 Manchester United assistant coach Steve McClaren was appointed to replace Robson.[31]

In his first season, McClaren led Middlesbrough to a respectable 12th place league finish and an FA Cup semi final, narrowly losing 1–0 to Arsenal. A slight improvement in the league saw the club finish 11th the following season. The 2003–04 season saw the club again finish 11th in the league, but much more significantly win a first major trophy by beating Bolton Wanderers 2–1 in the League Cup final.[32] The League Cup win also ensured that Middlesbrough would qualify for Europe – the UEFA Cup – for the first time, where they reached the last 16 of the competition.[33][34] UEFA Cup qualification was achieved for the second consecutive year after a 1–1 away draw with Manchester City on the final game of the season. The match concluded with a dramatic last minute late penalty save by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer which saw Middlesbrough finish above City in 7th place and qualify for Europe again.[35]

Middlesbrough enjoyed one of its most successful cup campaigns to date in the 2005-2006 season. Domestically the club reached the League Cup quarter final and the FA Cup semi final, losing out to a late goal in a 1–0 loss to West Ham at Villa Park. The club also reached the 2006 UEFA Cup final following two miraculous last minute comebacks from 3–0 down on aggregate in the quarter and semi finals against FC Basel and Steaua Bucharest respectively,[36][37] however ultimately fell short losing 4–0 to Sevilla in the final in Eindhoven.[38] McClaren's teams featured local youth players such as Stewart Downing, Adam Johnson and James Morrison[39] as well as experienced international players such as forward trio Yakubu, Mark Viduka and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink,[40] and midfielder Gaizka Mendieta. Middlesbrough fielded the youngest starting 11 (average age 20) in the final Premier League game in the 2005–06 season, against Fulham. Nine players were teenagers – all English – and two more came on as substitutes.[41]

Following the European Cup final loss, McClaren left to manage the England national team, and captain Gareth Southgate took over as manager. Despite not having the coaching qualifications, he was allowed by the Premier League board to continue after receiving special dispensation.[42] Southgate led the club to a 12th-placed finish and an FA Cup quarter final in his first season as manager. In the subsequent 2007-2008 season, Middlesbrough again made the FA Cup quarter final, but despite being 2nd favourites to win the cup ahead of their quarter final home tie to Championship Cardiff City, Middlesbrough lost the tie and eventually finished 13th in the league, beating Manchester City 8–1 on the final day.

In January 2008, the club broke its record transfer fee, paying £13.6 million for Brazilian international striker Afonso Alves.[43] The club was relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2008–09 season[44] in 19th place.

Decline, brief revival and relegation (2009–2017)


Middlesbrough sacked Gareth Southgate as manager in October 2009, when Southgate's team were one point from leading the Championship, and replaced him with Gordon Strachan.[45] At the time of Southgate's dismissal, Boro were fourth in the Championship but their form under Strachan declined and they finished mid-table.[46][47] On 18 October 2010, Strachan resigned and was later replaced by Tony Mowbray.[48][49] Following a poor run of form at the start of the 2013–14 campaign, Mowbray left the club with immediate effect on 21 October.[50]

Aitor Karanka, a former assistant coach at Real Madrid to José Mourinho, became the new Middlesbrough manager.[51] He became the first non-British manager at the club,[51] and led Boro to a 12th-place finish.[52] In Karanka's first full season in charge, Middlesbrough finished fourth and thus qualified for the 2015 Football League play-offs.[citation needed] After defeating Brentford 5–1 on aggregate in the semi-final, the club lost 2–0 to Norwich City at Wembley Stadium in the final.[53][54] The next season, Middlesbrough were promoted back to the Premier League after finishing second in the Championship in 2015–16, drawing 1–1 with Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the season.[55]

Middlesbrough sacked Karanka in March 2017 following a poor run of form, and the team were relegated in 19th place, after just one season back in the top flight. The team won only 5 league games, and scored 27 goals, the lowest in the league.[additional citation(s) needed][failed verification][56]

Return to the Championship (2017–present)


The club appointed former Leeds United manager Garry Monk as manager in the off-season. Expectations at the club were high, having spent close to £50 million in the transfer window on player purchases, in order to mount an immediate promotion challenge back to the Premier League.[57] Monk left in December, with Middlesbrough ninth in the Championship,[58][59] and Tony Pulis was appointed as his replacement.[60] Pulis led the side to finish 5th in the table, however, they lost in the play-off semi-finals to Aston Villa.[61][52] In the following season, Pulis looked to secure the play-offs once again, but a poor finish to the season caused them to finish 7th and miss out on the play-offs by one point.[62]

When Pulis's contract was not extended,[63] he was replaced by former Middlesbrough defender and first team coach, Jonathan Woodgate on 14 June 2019 on a three-year contract.[64] Woodgate was sacked with the club only outside of the relegation zone on goal difference with eight games left of the 2019–20 season,[65] and Neil Warnock was appointed as his replacement on the same day.[66] Warnock ensured survival from relegation, securing safety on the final day of the season and a 17th-place finish.[52][67] On 6 November 2021, Middlesbrough parted company with Warnock, who was replaced by Chris Wilder the following day.[68][69] After 11 months in charge, Wilder was sacked with the club in 22nd position.[70]

Former Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick was appointed as his successor and led Boro to a fourth-place finish, but lost in the play-off semi-finals against Coventry City.[71][72][73] On 26 May 2023, the club officially became affiliated with the women's team.[74] In the 2023–24 season, Middlesbrough reached the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time since 2004.[75] Despite defeating Chelsea in the first leg, Middlesbrough would lose 6–2 on aggregate.[76]

Colours and crest

Early Middlesbrough F.C. kit[77]
Middlesbrough F.C. crest 1986–2007

Middlesbrough's original home kit upon election to the Football League in 1899 was a white home shirt with red shorts, and they did not adopt their colours of blue and white until later that season.[failed verification][78] Previous kits included a white shirt with a red and white polka dotted collar from around 1889.[failed verification][78] The Middlesbrough kit has remained broadly the same since 1899; a red shirt with white detailing, with shorts and socks of either red or white.[citation needed] The distinctive broad white stripe across the chest was introduced by Jack Charlton in 1973 (following an attempt to change the home shirt to a Leeds United-style white shirt), and brought back for a one-off in 1997–98, and, then again, for the 2000–01 and 2004–05 seasons due to popular demand.[failed verification][79] The club subsequently announced in December 2007 that the club would allow fans to decide via an online and text vote whether the white band should return for the following season.[additional citation(s) needed][79] On 8 January 2008, the club announced that, with 77.4% of voters voting in its favour, the white band would return to the home kit, and that fans would choose the final shirt appearance from a selection of three designs,[additional citation(s) needed][80] of which the winner was announced on 7 May 2008.[81]

The Middlesbrough crest has gone through four changes since the formation of the club. Initially, the badge was simply the town of Middlesbrough's crest with a red lion instead of a blue lion in order to fit in with the club's colours.[citation needed] Following the adoption of the white band on the shirts in 1973, only the red lion remained with the letters "M.F.C" underneath in red.[citation needed] This was further adapted following the reformation of the club in 1986 to a circular crest with the lion in the middle and the words "Middlesbrough Football Club 1986" around the circle in order to reflect this new era.[failed verification] In 2007, Middlesbrough changed their crest again, this time with the lion inside a shield and the words "Middlesbrough Football Club 1876" underneath.[failed verification][10] The club's chairman Steve Gibson stated that the intention was to reflect the club's long history and not just their post-liquidation status.[10]

Kit information

Middlesbrough shirts, 1994–2010

Middlesbrough's first sponsor in 1980 was Datsun Cleveland on a two-year deal. Further two-year deals continued until Dickens was the sponsor for the 1994–95 season only. From 1995 to 2002, the club was sponsored by mobile phone service Cellnet, followed by two years with mobile retailer Dial-a-Phone. Online casino 888.com (2004–07) and satellite navigation company Garmin (2007–10) followed. In 2010–11, the club had several temporary sponsors including pawnbrokers Ramsdens, who then became permanent sponsors and signed a five-year deal in 2013. At its end, 32Red became the sponsors.[failed verification][82] Early in Ramsdens' sponsorship in March 2011, the company ceded its advertising space to Marie Curie Cancer Care for two games.[83]

Italian manufacturers Erreà made Middlesbrough's kits from 1994 to 2009, when the role was taken up by Adidas, who had previously made the kits from 1979 to 1983.[failed verification][84] Danish company Hummel, which had made the kits from 1984 to 1987 during the club's winding up and rebirth, secured the contract again in 2018.[85] Erreà returned in 2022.[86]

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
1976–1977 Bukta[failed verification] None
1977–1980 Adidas
1980–1982 Datsun Cleveland
1982–1984 McLean Homes
1984–1986 Hummel Camerons[clarification needed]
1986–1987 Dickens
1987–1988 Skill[failed verification]
1988–1990 Heritage Hampers
1990–1992 Evening Gazette
1992–1994 Admiral[failed verification] ICI
1994–1995 Erreà Dickens
1995–2002 BT Cellnet
2002–2004 Dial-a-Phone
2004–2007 888.com
2007–2009 Garmin
2009–2010 Adidas
2010–2017 Ramsdens
2017–2018 Ramsdens Currency
2018–2022 Hummel 32Red
2022– Erreà Unibet[87]


The Riverside Stadium in 2006, with the old gates to Ayresome Park in the foreground

After formation in 1876, and with the club still amateurs, Middlesbrough's first two years of football were played at Albert Park in Middlesbrough. After seeing the damage being caused by players and supporters,[vague] the Park Committee ordered the club to find an alternate venue. The club moved to Breckon Hill, behind the former Middlesbrough College longlands site, after agreeing to rent the land from its owner. However, two years later in 1880, the owner increased the rent and the club decided to move. They moved into the Linthorpe Road ground in 1882, home at the time of Middlesbrough Cricket Club. The cricket club departed in 1893–94 to move to the Breckon Hill field, and Middlesbrough Football Club became sole users of the ground.[88]

With the club's growing size, and entry to the Football League, they had to move to a new ground in 1903, Ayresome Park.[3] It was designed by Archibald Leitch and would be the club's home for the next 92 years, having also been chosen as one of the stadia for the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Following the Taylor Report in 1990, the ground either needed modernising or the club needed a new stadium.[failed verification] The club decided on the latter, and moved out at the end of the 1994–95 season. Ayresome Park was used as a training ground during 1995–96, before it was demolished in 1997 and a housing estate built in its place.[failed verification][88] Since the 1990s, the club trains at a £7 million complex at Rockliffe Park, in Hurworth, on the outskirts of Darlington.[89]

The Riverside Stadium, named by the supporters of the club after a vote, became the club's home in 1995. It was the first stadium to be built in line with the Taylor Report's recommendations on all-seater stadiums for clubs in the top two divisions of the English football league system.[90] It was originally a 30,000-seater stadium, constructed at a cost of £16 million,[1] before it was expanded in 1998 to a capacity of 35,100 for an extra £5 million.[failed verification][1]

Since then, several reorganisations of the Riverside Stadium have taken place. At the start of the 2013–14 season, away fans were moved from behind the goal in the South stand to the South East corner, while home fans were situated behind both goals to help create a better atmosphere inside the stadium. A giant TV screen was also installed at the back of the South-East corner, replacing the older style scoreboards attached to the North and South stand roofs.[failed verification][91] For the start of the 2016–17 season (and a return to the Premier League), the club had to improve the stadium's broadcasting facilities and floodlighting in order to meet Premier League requirements.[clarification needed] The club also took this opportunity to move the main camera gantry to the back of the East stand, so that it faced the main West stand.[failed verification] As of the 2017–18 season, the stadium capacity is 34,742.[failed verification][92]



Middlesbrough's average historic attendance is the 16th highest of all the clubs in England and Wales.[93]

Traditionally, supporters come from Middlesbrough itself and towns in the immediate area.[citation needed] As of May 2001, Middlesbrough had one of the highest proportions in Britain of locally-born season ticket holders at 80%, and one of the highest proportions of female fans at 20%.[failed verification][94] A survey at the start of the 2007–08 season found Middlesbrough supporters were the seventh-loudest set of fans in the Premier League.[95] Middlesbrough Official Supporters Club, which features its own team in the local football league,[failed verification][96] has links with supporters' clubs across the globe. The largest supporters' clubs include the Official Supporters' Club, the Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters' Association, Yarm Reds, Red Faction and Middlesbrough Supporters South.[failed verification][96]

For Middlesbrough supporters, their main rivals are Newcastle United (with whom they contest the Tyne–Tees derby), followed by Sunderland (with whom they contest the Tees–Wear derby), and also, according to a planetfootball.com's 2004 survey, Leeds United.[8]

The nickname Smoggies was first used as a derogatory term by opposing supporters;[improper synthesis?][97] it relates to the industrial air pollution – smog – that used to hang over the town, but it was later used by Middlesbrough fans in a somewhat self-deprecating manner, before finally being adopted as a badge of pride by supporters of the club.[vague][citation needed] An example of this can be seen on the banners carried to away games stating "Smoggies on Tour".[failed verification][98] Middlesbrough fans received praise from UEFA Chief Executive Lars-Christer Olsson after their behaviour during the 2005–06 UEFA Cup campaign.[99] He commented that:

You have the satisfaction of knowing that, although your team did not win the game, your supporters present in Eindhoven proved to the world that football fans can turn a match into a friendly, violence-free celebration.

Middlesbrough fans also received praise from Cleveland Police for their behaviour in previous rounds, particularly in the light of aggravation prior to and during the match at Roma.[100]

Media relations


Middlesbrough was the first football club in the world to launch its own TV channel – Boro TV. The first broadcasts were tied to the club's first ever major cup final appearance in 1997, a full year ahead of Manchester United's MUTV, which still claims to be the first in the world.[clarification needed] The channel was the brainchild of then NTL marketing director, Peter Wilcock.[failed verification] The programme became synonymous with former Middlesbrough player Bernie Slaven and radio commentator Alastair Brownlee, who proved to be as popular on TV as they were on radio.[improper synthesis?][101] Its programmes were not live initially but were pre-recorded and hosted by local radio/TV broadcaster & Boro fan, Dave Roberts.[citation needed] In August 2001, Boro TV claimed another first when it became the first English football club to broadcast time-delayed full-match footage of their league games on its own channel.[clarification needed][102] Boro TV ran through NTL cable television until July 2005.[103] The club then began to show match highlights through a subscription-based scheme on its official website.[104]

Middlesbrough's official matchday programme, Redsquare, was Programme Monthly's 2006–07 Programme of the Year.[105] There are numerous other fanzines available, most notably Fly Me to the Moon, formed in September 1988 following Bruce Rioch's quote to Tony Mowbray, stating "If I had to go to the moon I'd want him by my side".[citation needed]



Middlesbrough Football Club in the Community (MFCIC) was founded in 1996 by club chairman Steve Gibson[failed verification][106] and is one of the largest community-based football schemes in the United Kingdom.[non-primary source needed][107] It is run separately from the football club, but receives support from both the club in terms of providing players, staff, stadium facilities and PR for articles in the matchday programme and other publications, as well as support from other local organisations.[108] In 2012, MFCIC was relaunched as MFC Foundation.[citation needed] The Foundation aims to use the club's profile to deliver sport, health, education and inclusion projects in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities across Teesside.[citation needed] Since 1996, the Foundation has delivered 20,000 qualifications, engaged over 500,000 people and invested £25 million in local communities to tackle inequality and disadvantage.

Since 2002, the club and MFCIC have also run the Middlesbrough Enterprise Academy, a scheme which helps local children improve their entrepreneurial skills and increase their awareness of business planning and finance.[close paraphrasing] In March 2008, plans were announced by the Premier League to roll out the scheme nationally amongst all Premier League clubs.[109]

It was announced in December 2007 that Middlesbrough football club had carried out more community work during 2006–07 than any other Premier League club, rising from second place the previous year, with the club making 318 appearances – almost twice the Premier League average of 162.[failed verification][close paraphrasing][110] They were in the top two for community appearances again in 2007–08, with 374 – a 17% increase on the previous season.[111]

Middlesbrough's mascot is Roary the Lion. The club runs Roary's Children's Charity Fund, which purchases items for local children's charities.[close paraphrasing][112]

In 2009, steel producer Corus Group announced the possibility that it would mothball its Teesside plant, with up to 4,000 employees and contractors facing redundancy, after a consortium of steel magnates walked away from a 10-year deal.[close paraphrasing] Middlesbrough Football Club helped with the "Save Our Steel" campaign by hosting dozens of steel workers and their families as they marched around the ground, promoted the campaign via the stadium's PA system, scoreboards and in matchday programmes, while players wore T-shirts during warm-ups promoting the campaign.[close paraphrasing][113] Chairman Steve Gibson said:

"Middlesbrough Football Club exists for the community, for the people of Teesside—and the closure of the steel plants threatens to rip the heart out of our community. We cannot stand by and allow that to happen. We want the steelworkers and their families to know that we are behind them and will help their campaign in any way we can ... We like to think that the football club is the flagship of Teesside. Well this is our town and these are our people and we have to do what we can to help them."[113]

European Football

Middlesbrough in Europe
Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
2004–05 UEFA Cup First round Czech Republic Baník Ostrava 3–0 1–1 4–1
Group E Greece Egaleo 0–1 1st
Italy Lazio 2–0
Spain Villarreal 0–2
Serbia Partizan Belgrade 3–0
Round of 32 Austria Graz 2–1 2–2 4–3
Round of 16 Portugal Sporting Lisbon 2–3 0–1 2–4
2005–06 UEFA Cup First round Greece Skoda Xanthi 2–0 0–0 2–0
Group D Switzerland Grasshoppers Zürich 0–1 1st
Ukraine Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 3–0
Netherlands AZ Alkmaar 0–0
Bulgaria Litex Lovech 2–0
Round of 32 Germany Stuttgart 0–1 2–1 2–2a
Round of 16 Italy Roma 1–0 1–2 2–2a
Quarter-final Switzerland Basel 4–1 0–2 4–3
Semi-final Romania Steaua Bucharest 4–2 0–1 4–3
Final Spain Sevilla 0–4

Non-playing staff

As of 24 October 2022[114]

Corporate hierarchy

Position Name
Chairman Steve Gibson
Chief Executive Neil Bausor
Head of Football Kieran Scott
Club Secretary Karen Nelson

Coaching staff

Position Name
Head Coach Michael Carrick
Assistant Head Coach Jonathan Woodgate
First-Team Coach Graeme Carrick
Goalkeeping Coach Alan Fettis
Fitness Coach Nick Allamby
Performance Analyst Phill Hudson
Head Physio Chris Moseley
Chief Medical Officer Rob Tatham
Physician Dr. Bryan English
Sports Scientist Frankie Hunter
Kit Man Peter Darke

Academy coaching staff

Position Name
Academy Manager Craig Liddle
Head of Player Pathway and Development Leo Percovich
Professional Development Phase Coach (U21s) Mark Tinkler
Professional Development Phase Coach (U18s) James Marwood[115]
Academy Goalkeeping Coach Chris Pennock
Head of Academy Recruitment Martin Carter
Head of Education and Welfare Barry Dawson

Managerial history


The following are all the full-time Middlesbrough managers since the club turned professional in 1899.[failed verification][116][117]

Dates Manager(s)
1900–1905 Jack Robson
1905–1906 Alex Mackie
1906–1909 Andy Aitken
1909–1910 John Gunter
1910–1911 Andy Walker
1911–1919 Tom McIntosh
1920–1923 Jimmy Howie
1923–1926 Herbert Bamlett
1927–1934 Peter McWilliam
1934–1944 Wilf Gillow
1944–1952 David Jack
1952–1954 Walter Rowley
1954–1963 Bob Dennison
1963–1966 Raich Carter
1966–1973 Stan Anderson
1973–1977 Jack Charlton
1977–1981 John Neal
1981–1982 Bobby Murdoch
Dates Manager(s)
1982–1984 Malcolm Allison
1984 Jack Charlton
1984–1986 Willie Maddren
1986–1990 Bruce Rioch
1990–1991 Colin Todd
1991–1994 Lennie Lawrence
1994–2001 Bryan Robson
2000–2001 Terry Venables
2001–2006 Steve McClaren
2006–2009 Gareth Southgate
2009–2010 Gordon Strachan
2010–2013 Tony Mowbray
2013–2017 Aitor Karanka
2017 Garry Monk
2017–2019 Tony Pulis
2019–2020 Jonathan Woodgate
2020–2021 Neil Warnock
2021–2022 Chris Wilder
2022– Michael Carrick



Current squad

As of 27 June 2024[118]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Senegal SEN Seny Dieng
2 DF England ENG Tommy Smith
3 DF Netherlands NED Rav van den Berg
4 MF England ENG Daniel Barlaser
5 DF England ENG Matt Clarke
6 DF England ENG Dael Fry (3rd captain)
7 MF England ENG Hayden Hackney
8 MF Australia AUS Riley McGree
9 FW Ivory Coast CIV Emmanuel Latte Lath
10 FW Netherlands NED Delano Burgzorg
11 MF England ENG Isaiah Jones
12 DF England ENG Luke Ayling
13 FW United States USA Matthew Hoppe
14 FW Republic of Ireland IRL Alex Gilbert
15 DF Suriname SUR Anfernee Dijksteel
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 MF England ENG Jonny Howson (captain)
18 MF United States USA Aidan Morris
19 FW England ENG Josh Coburn
20 MF Republic of Ireland IRL Finn Azaz
21 FW Finland FIN Marcus Forss
23 GK Australia AUS Tom Glover
24 DF Sierra Leone SLE Alex Bangura
26 DF Republic of Ireland IRL Darragh Lenihan (vice-captain)
27 DF Denmark DEN Lukas Engel
33 GK England ENG Zach Hemming
39 FW England ENG Sonny Finch
49 MF England ENG Law McCabe
GK England ENG Sol Brynn

Out on loan


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

No. Pos. Nation Player

Reserves and Academy


Notable players


Middlesbrough Legends


These 10 players were voted for by fans as part of a campaign with the Evening Gazette.[119]

Top appearances


These players made more than 430 appearances during their time at the club. The number in brackets indicates the number of appearances in all competitions.[120]

Top goalscorers


These players scored more than 140 goals during their time with the club. The number in brackets indicates the number of goals scored in all competitions.[120]

Player of the Year award winners


Year Winner
1966 England Gordon Jones
1968 England Dickie Rooks
1969 England Dickie Rooks
1970 England George Smith
1971 England Gordon Jones
1972 Northern Ireland Jim Platt and England Stuart Boam
1973 England Willie Maddren
1974 Scotland Graeme Souness
1978 England Stan Cummins
1979 England Stuart Boam
1980 England David Armstrong
1981 Northern Ireland Jim Platt
Year Winner
1985 England Tony Mowbray
1986 England Tony Mowbray
1991 England Ian Baird
1997 Brazil Juninho
1999 Colombia Hámilton Ricard
2001 Croatia Alen Bokšić
2002 England Gareth Southgate
2004 Netherlands George Boateng
2005 England Stewart Downing
2006 Nigeria Yakubu
2007 England Jonathan Woodgate
2008 England David Wheater
Year Winner
2009 Turkey Tuncay Şanlı
2010 Scotland Barry Robson
2011 England Joe Bennett
2012 Scotland Barry Robson
2013 England Jason Steele
2014 England George Friend
2015 England George Friend
2016 England Adam Clayton
2017 England Ben Gibson
2018 Spain Adama Traoré
2019 Republic of Ireland Darren Randolph
2020 England Jonny Howson
Year Winner
2021 Northern Ireland Paddy McNair
2022 England Jonny Howson
2023 England Chuba Akpom
2024 Netherlands Rav van den Berg

Football League 100 Legends


The Football League 100 Legends is a list of 100 legendary football players produced by The Football League in 1998, to celebrate the 100th season of League football.[121]

Alf Common, the first player to command a £1000 transfer fee

English Football Hall of Fame


The English Football Hall of Fame is housed at The National Football Museum in Manchester, England. The Hall aims to celebrate and highlight the achievements of top English footballers and footballers who have played in England. These players appeared for or managed Middlesbrough at some point in their careers.[122]

Scottish Football Hall of Fame


The following former Middlesbrough players and managers have been inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.






Middlesbrough Women


Middlesbrough Women is the women's football club affiliated to Middlesbrough. Founded as Cleveland Spartans in 1976, they became officially affiliated with the men's team in 2023,[74] and currently play in the FA Women's National League Division One North, the fourth level of English women's football.

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Official websites

News sites