Given that they’ve been able to spend the bulk of their history in the top league and in the top-flight, it’s a bit of a surprise to find out that Southampton FC only have one major honour to their credit – in 1976, they won the FA Cup. However, their vibrant history and the number of top players that wore their shirts have made Southampton an iconic name in English football. Southampton’s youth academy is recognized for consistently producing the best talent, and giving them the best chance to grow.
The club was established in the year 1885, by supporters of St. Mary’s Church. The church’s origins are an integral aspect of the club’s character as is evident by their most popular name”The Saints.” The Saints. After winning the Southern League in 1897, the club changed its name to Southampton Football Club. The following year they relocated into The Dell, a stadium that would become its home throughout the rest of the century.
Southampton completed their 1997 Southern League victory by claiming five additional title in the years 1898 and 1899 1901 1903, and 1904. In this time they also participated in 2 FA Cup finals; however, Bury and Sheffield United proved to be the better rivals. They finally joined into the Third Division of the Football League in 1920, and progress up to Second Division the very next season.
South American tour
The year 1904 saw Southampton was the first British FC to go on the South American tour. In the days of the 1904 tour there was a time when the British game was much more advanced than the game in South America. Southampton began with a game in Argentine in the first match and in the following matches, beating the team with a score of 29-4, before beating an Uruguayan mixed eleven 8-1.
Attending the top of the division
The club waited until Southampton until 1966 before they reached in the First Division, where they were for the following eight years. The league’s top division gave the club the first taste of European football, and some unsuccessful attempts in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the UEFA Cup. Their most memorable moment was in 1976 following their demotion. Two years later, they were exiled from the league; in the FA Cup final, Southampton shocked the overwhelming favourite Manchester United 1-0 to grab the first significant prize in the club’s history. They could have won a Football League Cup title as in the following year however, they lost to Nottingham Forest.
The second season of the top flight (1978-2005) could have longer duration. Although they finished in the runners-up position against Liverpool in 1984 which was the club’s best performance in their top division the majority of the time was spent fighting to prevent another drop. They were able to stay up thanks the efforts of Matt Le Tissier, a skilled forward whose technical abilities and dedication to the club made him the most adored as well as influential footballer in Southampton’s past. Le Tissier spent his entire professional career in Southampton and scored 170 goals in 456 games.
Markus Liebherr becoming the new owner
After the same FA Cup final loss in 2003, and then a demotion into League One in 2009, the club was in the midst of several financial issues. However, their fortunes took it was a change towards the positive when the club was purchased by a businessman Markus Liebherr in 2010. It took Southampton just two years to be back in their place in the Premier League.