Bristol City F.C.

Not to be confused with Bristol City W.F.C..
Bristol City F.C.
Full name Bristol City Football Club
Nickname(s) The Robins
Founded 1894 as Bristol South End
Ground Ashton Gate Stadium
Ground Capacity 27,000
Owner Stephen Lansdown
Head coach Lee Johnson
League Championship
2015–16 Championship, 18th
Website Club home page

Bristol City Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bristol, England. Their ground is Ashton Gate, located in the southwest of the city. They currently play in the Championship after winning League One during the 2014–15 season. In sealing the League One title, Bristol City became only the second team to win both the third-tier championship and Football League Trophy double during the same season.

Bristol City won the Welsh Cup – despite being an English club – in 1934. In 1907 they finished runners-up in Football League Division One, which is their highest ever final position. In 1909 they lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, their only final. Since relegation in 1911, however, they only returned to the top division from 1976 to 1980 and did not contend for any honours then. In 1982, Bristol City became the first English club to suffer three consecutive relegations. They were promoted to the Football League Championship in the 2006–07 season after finishing second in League One but failed to make a second consecutive promotion to the Premier League after they were defeated by Hull City in the 2008 Football League Championship play-off Final at Wembley Stadium. With victories in 1986, 2003 and 2015, Bristol City are now the most successful team in the Football League Trophy.[1]

The club's nickname is "The Robins", and a robin featured on the club's badge from 1976 to 1994. Official club merchandise, including replica kits, still has a label showing a robin. An attempt by the club to alter the badge was abandoned after it was criticised fiercely by fans.[2] The team's main rivals are Bristol Rovers in the Bristol derby and Cardiff City in the Severnside derby, along with other regional teams in the West Country derby.

Bristol City's current manager is Lee Johnson; a former Bristol City player who made 199 appearances for the club. Coincidentally, he is the son of former City manager Gary Johnson, who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost 0–1 to Hull City.[3]


Early years and early successes (1894–1911)

The club was founded in 1894 as Bristol South End and changed their name to Bristol City on adopting professionalism three years later when they were admitted into the Southern League. Finishing as runners-up in three of the first four seasons, in 1900 the club amalgamated with local Southern League rivals Bedminster, who had been founded as Southville in 1887. City joined the Football League in 1901 when they became only the third club south of Birmingham (following in the footsteps of Woolwich Arsenal and Luton Town) to perform in the competition. Their first game in the Football League was on 7 September 1901 at Bloomfield Road, when Blackpool were beaten 2–0.[4]

A scheme has been informally approved by the parties interested for the amalgamation of the Bristol City and Bedminster Association Football Clubs. The leading conditions are that the name and colours of Bristol City shall be retained, that matches shall be played alternately on the ground of each club for one season, and that five directors shall be nominated by each club. This should lead to Bristol securing one of the strongest teams in the south.

Gloucestershire Echo, 12 April 1900.[5] The announcement of the merger between Bristol City and Bedminster.

Winning the Second Division Championship with a record number of points when they became the first club in Football League history to win 30 games as well as equaling Manchester United's achievement of the previous season in winning 14 consecutive games (still a record today, which was also accomplished by Preston in 1950–51). Nicknamed the Bristol Babe at this time, they finished as runners-up in their inaugural First Division campaign (the only southern club to finish in the top two prior to World War 1). Three years later they won through to their only FA Cup Final, though they were somewhat fortunate that a last gasp spot-kick saved them from defeat in the semi-final versus Derby County at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately, there was no such similar award to help them in the Final at the Crystal Palace (now the National Sports Centre) as Manchester United took the honours 1–0. After a five-season stay in the top flight, despite winning 1–0 at Newcastle at the start of the 1910–11 campaign, failure to beat Everton in the season's finale brought City's first ever taste of relegation and it was to be 65 years before top flight status would be regained.[6]

The yo-yo era (1912–65)

Chart of yearly table positions of Bristol City in the Football League.

The 1920s were a rocky time as City bounced between the Second Division and the Southern Section of the Third Division. By the 1930s they had slumped into the lower division, and stayed that way until the Second World War. Harry Dolman became chairman in 1949, a post he would hold for over 30 years. An engineer who had bought out the firm he worked for, he designed the first set of floodlights installed at Ashton Gate in the early 1950s. The late 1950s were a better time for City, with a five-year stay in the Second Division, a league they returned to for a further spell in 1965.

Back among the elite (1966–80)

In 1967, Alan Dicks was appointed manager, and things gradually began to improve, with promotion to the First Division in 1976, ending a 65-year exile from the top flight.

Between 1975 and 1981 City were regular participants in the Anglo-Scottish Cup, winning the trophy in 1977–78, beating Hibernian in the semi-finals, and winning 3–2 on aggregate in the final against St Mirren (managed at the time by a relatively new manager, Alex Ferguson). St Mirren had their revenge two seasons later, with an aggregate 5–1 victory over City to become the only Scottish team to win the trophy.

City's second stint in the top flight was less successful than the club's first, with thirteenth position in 1979 being their highest finish during this era. Stars of this era included Geoff Merrick, Tom Ritchie, Clive Whitehead, Gerry Gow, Trevor Tainton and Jimmy Mann.

Decline and financial ruin (1980–82)

In 1980, the City team went back to the Second Division in the first of three relegations, their debt mounted and their financial losses increased, with two successive relegations following. Thus, in 1982, they fell into the Fourth Division, and were declared bankrupt. BCFC (1982) Ltd acquired the club's player contracts, and the highly paid senior players Julian Marshall, Chris Garland, Jimmy Mann, Peter Aitken, Geoff Merrick, David Rodgers, Gerry Sweeney and Trevor Tainton, who became known as the 'Ashton Gate Eight', each accepted termination of his contract for half the amount due. The club failed to pay its debts to many local businesses which left the new formed club difficulty in obtaining credit because of bad feeling toward them.

Revival (1982–90)

City spent two seasons in the Fourth Division before winning promotion under Terry Cooper in 1984. They consolidated themselves in the Third Division during the latter part of the 1980s, and in 1990 Cooper's successor Joe Jordan achieved promotion as Third Division runners-up to local rivals Bristol Rovers.

There was a tragedy for the club, however, in that promotion campaign. In March 1990, two months before the club sealed promotion, striker Dean Horrix was killed in a car crash barely two weeks after joining the club, and having played three league games for them.[7]

Second tier (1990–95)

Jordan moved to Heart of Midlothian in September 1990, and his successor Jimmy Lumsden remained in charge for 18 months before making way for Denis Smith. Smith's first signing was the 20-year-old Arsenal striker Andy Cole, who was an instant hit with fans. He was sold to Newcastle United in February 1993 and later established himself as a world class goalscorer, most prominently with Manchester United, where he collected five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup.

Meanwhile, City remained in the new Division One (no longer the Second Division after the creation of the Premier League in 1992) and Smith moved to Oxford United in November 1993. His successor Russell Osman was sacked within a year, being an unpopular figure with fans. One of Osman's few successful moments with City came in January 1994 when he led them to a shock 1–0 victory over Liverpool at Anfield in a third round replay in the FA Cup, a result that would cause the Liverpool manager at the time, Graeme Souness, to resign.

Joe Jordan was brought back to Ashton Gate in September 1994, but was unable to prevent relegation to Division Two.

Promotion and relegation (1995–2000)

Jordan remained at the helm for two seasons after City's relegation, but left in March 1997 after failing to get them back into Division One. Former Bristol Rovers manager John Ward took over, and achieved promotion in 1998 as Division Two runners-up. But City struggled back in Division One, and Ward stepped down in October 1998 to be succeeded by Benny Lennartsson. City were relegated in bottom place and Lennartsson was dismissed in favour of Gillingham's Tony Pulis, who lasted six months before leaving to take over at Portsmouth. During his time at Ashton Gate he was manager of perhaps the worst City side since the one that completed a hat-trick of successive relegations almost 20 years earlier.

Coach Tony Fawthrop took over until the end of the season, when Danny Wilson was appointed. Wilson was arguably the most prominent manager to take charge of a City side since Denis Smith, as he had guided Barnsley to promotion to the Premier League in 1997 and Sheffield Wednesday to a 12th-place finish in 1999.

Danny Wilson era (2000–04)

City were regular Division Two playoff contenders during Wilson's spell as manager. City failed to reach them in 2002, although Wilson almost took them to automatic promotion, and winning the Football League Trophy in Cardiff in 2003. The taste of the play-offs was bitter though, losing to rivals Cardiff City 1–0 on aggregate in the semi-final. In his final year – 2004 – they reached the final, but lost to Brighton & Hove Albion. He was sacked within days and replaced by veteran player Brian Tinnion.

Disappointment under Brian Tinnion (2004–05)

City just failed to make the playoffs in Tinnion's first season as manager, finishing seventh, and he stepped down in September 2005 after a poor start to the season culminating in a 7–1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City. City's form had slumped despite the addition of high-profile players, including Marcus Stewart and Michael Bridges. Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson was recruited as his successor.

Revival and promotion under Gary Johnson (September 2005 – May 2007)

Pitch invasion at Ashton Gate after securing promotion

Johnson arrived in September 2005, making the move from Yeovil Town, with whom he had gained two promotions. His first game in charge (only hours after meeting the squad) saw City win away at Brentford 3–2. After a short spell of decent results, City were plunged into the relegation mire, enduring a club record of nine successive defeats, leaving them at the foot of League One. Much criticism was aimed at Gary Johnson at this time; the Chairman of Bristol City Supporters Club labelled him a 'Conference Manager' and contended that he was 'totally out of his depth'. The run was brought to an end with a 2–0 victory at home to Huddersfield on 10 December. City then lost just three of their next 16 games, and this fine run of form was capped with a 6–0 win over Gillingham, in which defender Louis Carey scored a brace. This was City's most emphatic league win since beating Charlton by the same score in September 1969, and was an encouraging sign of things to come, although they did not quite make playoffs in 2006.

Despite a slow start to the 2006–07 season, which saw a vocal minority of fans calling for Johnson to be sacked after a 4–2 home defeat by Blackpool (who were eventually also promoted), City were in the top six of League One by November and at the end of the month began an 11-match unbeaten run which drove them to the top of the division. They also hit the headlines with an impressive FA Cup run, being knocked out in the 4th round on penalties after a replay in which they held Premiership side Middlesbrough to a 2–2 draw in both ties. They knocked out Championship side Coventry City in the 3rd round. They also reached the Southern Area Final of the Football League Trophy, but were knocked out over two legs by local rivals Bristol Rovers after a 0–0 draw at Ashton Gate and a Rickie Lambert goal condemned the Robins to a 1–0 aggregate defeat in the second leg.

Promotion to the Championship was confirmed on the final day of the season with a 3–1 win against already relegated Rotherham United. David Noble scored two goals and Alex Russell scored once, securing the runners-up place in the division and resulting in automatic promotion and joyous scenes of celebration in the city and even more so on the pitch at the full-time whistle. 2007–08 was the first season in almost a decade that would see Bristol City playing at this level of English football.

Championship challenge (2007–09)

In the summer between City's promotion and the start of the Championship season, Gary Johnson made a number of signings. However their pre-season form did not start well, losing 4–2 to Forest Green Rovers. However, City got off to a good start going unbeaten for a number of matches and briefly topping the Championship after beating Coventry City 3–0. City then suffered a slight blip after losing 3–0 to Barnsley before beating a variety of big name teams including Sheffield United live on Sky Sports and Southampton. In November, City's form dipped and they endured a run of four games without a win, including a 6–0 thrashing at the hands of Ipswich Town. In December, City's form picked up again and went unbeaten all the way to Boxing Day when they lost to West Bromwich Albion 4–1.

After a stop start run of form including victories over Blackpool and Coventry City and losses to Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace, City went top of the Championship on 1 March, after a 2–1 home victory over Hull City. After some indifferent results City went back to the top after a last gasp winner from Steve Brooker, who was just returning from injury, in a 2–1 win over Norwich City. However, a poor run ended City's chances of an automatic promotion place. On 4 May 2008, a 3–0 home win against Preston North End on the final day of the league season ensured a play-off place and a semi-final fixture against Crystal Palace. On 13 May 2008, the second leg of a 4–2 aggregate win over Crystal Palace with goals from Lee Trundle and Michael McIndoe confirmed City's trip to Wembley, where they were beaten 1–0 by Hull City after Dean Windass' 18 yard strike beat Adriano Basso in the 38th minute.

After a poor start in the first half of the 2008–09 season, City recovered after Christmas. After winning 4–2 away at Watford on Boxing Day, they took 13 points from five games in early 2009 to reach eighth place in the league by early February. City had a memorable away victory against Reading which saw them jump up to their highest position of the season to fourth. After a lot of draws, the season eventually petered out and City finished the season in tenth place.

End of the Johnson era (2009–10)

The 2009–10 season saw some good results in the autumn, but heavy defeats by Cardiff City (0–6) and Doncaster Rovers (2–5) in early 2010 lead to much dissatisfaction amongst fans.[8] On 18 March 2010, the club issued a statement that Johnson had "left his post as manager of Bristol City by mutual consent".[9] Assistant manager Keith Millen took charge as caretaker manager, starting well with a draw against title favourites Newcastle United and a 5–3 win against Barnsley. After that, City beat Peterborough United 1–0, which was the first time they had gone three matches unbeaten in the league since the end of October.

Steve Coppell (2010)

In a brief press conference on 22 April 2010, it was announced that former Reading manager Steve Coppell would become the new City manager at the end of the 2009–10 campaign, when he would start a 12-month rolling contract, and that Keith Millen, who had guided the club to Championship safety in his brief spell as caretaker manager, would remain at the club as his assistant.[10] Coppell's first game in charge was a 1–1 friendly draw with Swedish side IFK Gothenburg. His first win as manager was an 11–1 win against Swedish fourth division side Vallens IF on the same pre-season tour.

It was announced on 12 August 2010 that Coppell had resigned as manager with immediate effect saying that he would retire from football management altogether citing a lack of passion for the job.[11] This followed his only two competitive games at the club, a 0–3 home defeat by Millwall in the opening game of the 2010–11 Football League Championship and a 2–3 loss at League Two Southend United in the Football League Cup.[12]

Keith Millen (2010 – October 2011)

Keith Millen was announced as manager of Bristol City on a three-year deal after Coppell stepped down.[12][13]

Bristol City parted company with manager Keith Millen on 3 October 2011.[14] City struggled to find form at the start of the 2011–12 Championship season picking up just 6 points from 10 games. His sacking came after their 5–0 defeat by Blackpool on 1 October 2011.[15] Millen's last game in charge was his heaviest loss since his appointment the previous year. The club installed Steve Wigley as caretaker manager following Millen's exit and stated that they would take their time in finding a new manager.[16]

Derek McInnes (October 2011 – January 2013)

On Wednesday, 19 October 2011, Scotsman Derek McInnes was appointed Bristol City manager after Keith Millen's departure. The 40-year-old joined from Scottish Premier League side St Johnstone on a contract until the summer of 2014. McInnes was highly respected at St Johnstone after his 2008/09 season triumph when St Johnstone finished at the top of the First Division taking them up into the SPL; McInnes arrived at Ashton Gate with a 40 per cent win percentage, with 53 victories, 41 draws and 38 defeats in his 130 games in charge at McDiarmid Park.

On 29 November 2011, the club announced a loss of £11.45 million.[17]

After a promising start with only a single loss in seven games and a goalless draw at West Ham, City, between 3 December 2011 and 3 March 2012, managed only three wins, scored nine goals in total and lost eleven games including an FA Cup tie with then-League Two club Crawley Town; a 3–2 home win against Leicester City served only as a break in City's fall into the relegation zone. Punctuating the period was a David James own-goal from a botched punch during a home loss to Watford,[18] an action that served to be the final straw as he did not feature until City's last game of 2011–12 away at Burnley – a game he only played one quarter of due to injury.

The Watford loss, however, was the final one of the season as – partly due to Dean Gerken's return and the loan signings of Andre Amougou (Burnley) and Hogan Ephraim (QPR) – City resurged and came out of the Easter weekend with two victories over Nottingham Forest – City's first win at Forest's City Ground since 1956 – and Coventry City, putting themselves four points distant of the relegation zone. The second draw against West Ham of the season effectively ended the latter club's automatic promotion hopes, and losses by Coventry and Portsmouth put Bristol City further out of reach before a 2–0 home win against Barnsley on 21 April 2012 secured safety for City and relegation for their rivals.

After a poor start to the 2012/13 campaign, which included only three home wins, McInnes was sacked on 12 January 2013 after a 4–0 home defeat by Leicester City, which left them in bottom place in the Championship.

Sean O'Driscoll (14 January 2013 – 28 November 2013)

After the sacking of Derek McInnes on 12 January 2013, former Nottingham Forest manager Sean O'Driscoll was appointed head coach on a 12-month rolling contract.[19] On 16 April 2013, City were relegated to League One after suffering a 1–0 defeat to Ex-Premier League club Birmingham City who sealed the Robins' fate. For City it ended a six-year stay in the Championship, the second longest behind fellow relegation contenders Barnsley. Sean O'Driscoll left Ashton Gate with the team 22nd in the League One table, having managed only two wins in 18 matches this season – although he did oversee a Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over arch-local rivals Bristol Rovers.

Steve Cotterill (3 December 2013 –14 January 2016)

After the sacking of Sean O'Driscoll on 28 November 2013, former Nottingham Forest and Cheltenham Town manager Steve Cotterill was appointed on a three and a half year contract. When he joined the club were bottom of the table and 5 points away from safety with a −7 goal difference. Cotterill made a huge impact and guided the club to safety and finished the season 12th, 11 points from the relegation zone with a goal difference of +3. This was the first time the club managed a positive goal difference since the 2007–08 Football League Championship. Had the season started when Steve Cotterill joined the club, Bristol City would have finished 5th.

Bristol City were promoted back to Championship for 2015–16 season after securing a top spot in 2014–15 Football League One on 14 April 2015. They were crowned League One champions at home to Coventry City on Saturday 18 April, the club's first league title since 1955. In their last home game, against Walsall, they finished the season in style, winning 8–2 including a hat-trick by centre back Aden Flint. In the same season, they also won the 2015 Johnstone's Paint Trophy after a win over Walsall, which finished 2–0 and their third league trophy, a record held by the club for having the most wins in that competition.

Steve Cotterill was relieved of his duties on the 14th of January 2016 after a poor run of form which had seen Bristol City slip to 22nd in the Championship table with just 4 wins in 28 games.

Lee Johnson (6 February 2016 – present)

Lee Johnson was appointed as Bristol City's new head coach on 6 February 2016. Johnson's club at the time, Barnsley, released a statement via their website & social media accounts that they had given permission for Bristol City to make contact with him over their vacancy.[20] Later that day, Johnson's appointment was formally announced just before Bristol City's away match against Charlton Athletic.[21] He had been the bookies' favourite for a number of days leading up to his appointment.[22] Prior to joining the club as head coach, Johnson played 199 games for Bristol City as a midfielder between 2006 and 2012, scoring 11 goals. He is also the son of former Bristol City manager, Gary Johnson, whom he played under for 4 years at City and who took City to the Championship play-off final in 2008, where they eventually lost to Hull City.[3] Johnson successfully guided Bristol City to an 18th-place finish at the end of the 2015–16 season, meaning that City avoided relegation back to League One.

Despite star striker Jonathan Kodjia leaving to Aston Villa,[23] Bristol City started the 2016-17 season well, and after 11 games they were 5th in the league table.[24] This was in part due to loan star Tammy Abraham scoring 8 goals in 8 games.[25] City also appeared in the Last 16 of the League Cup for the first time since the 1988-89 season, however they were beaten 1-2 by Premier League side Hull City.[26]

League history


Football League Honours

Other Honours


Player of the season

Year Winner Position
1970–71England Gerry SharpeStriker
1971–72England Geoff MerrickDefender
1972–73Wales John EmanuelMidfielder
1973–74Scotland Gerry GowMidfielder
1974–75England Gary CollierDefender
1975–76England The Whole Squad
1976–77England Norman HunterDefender
1977–78England Norman HunterDefender
1978–79Scotland Gerry GowMidfielder
1979–80England Geoff MerrickDefender
1980–81England Kevin MabbuttStriker
1981–82England No award
1982–83England Glyn RileyStriker
1983–84Wales Howard PritchardMidfielder
1984–85England Alan WalshStriker
1985–86Scotland Bobby HutchinsonMidfielder
1986–87England Rob NewmanDefender
1987–88England Alan WalshStriker
1988–89England Keith WaughGoalkeeper
1989–90England Bob TaylorStriker
1990–91England Andy LlewellynDefender
1991–92England Martin ScottDefender
1992–93England Keith WelchGoalkeeper
1993–94England Wayne AllisonStriker
1994–95England Matt BryantDefender
1995–96England Martin KuhlMidfielder
1996–97England Shaun TaylorDefender
1997–98England Shaun TaylorDefender
1998–99Nigeria Ade AkinbiyiStriker
1999–00England Billy MercerGoalkeeper
2000–01England Brian TinnionMidfielder
2001–02England Matthew HillDefender
2002-03Scotland Scott MurrayMidfielder
2003–04Northern Ireland Tommy DohertyMidfielder
2004–05England Leroy LitaStriker
2005–06England Steve BrookerStriker
2006–07England Jamie McCombeDefender
2007–08Brazil Adriano BassoGoalkeeper
2008–09Nigeria Dele AdebolaStriker
2009–10England Cole SkuseMidfielder
2010–11Ghana Albert AdomahMidfielder
2011–12England Jon SteadStriker
2012–13England Tom HeatonGoalkeeper
2013–14England Sam BaldockStriker
2014–15England The Whole Squad
2015–16England Aden FlintDefender

Source for 1970s winners:[27]

Top league scorer

Year Winner Starts Sub Goals
2004–05England Leroy Lita42224
2005–06England Steve Brooker34316
2006–07England Phil Jevons311011
2007–08Jamaica Darren Byfield17168
2008–09England Nicky Maynard34911
2009–10England Nicky Maynard40220
2010–11Jersey Brett Pitman211813
2011–12England Nicky Maynard2618
2012–13England Steve Davies29813
2013–14England Sam Baldock44124
2014–15England Aaron Wilbraham33418
2015–16Ivory Coast Jonathan Kodjia42319

Colours, crest, mascot and anthem

Scrumpy, Bristol City FC mascot

Bristol City have played in red and white since the 1890s, occasionally also including black.[28]

Bounce around the ground

About halfway through the 2007–08 season Bristol City manager Gary Johnson said in an interview that he hoped the team could get the whole ground bouncing.[31][32] City supporters took this rallying cry on board and began to sing "Johnson says bounce around the ground" to the tune of Yellow Submarine, while continually bouncing up and down. The first game at which it was sung was in an away match against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium, and it was also sung at away at Queen's Park Rangers in February. When Bristol City fans travelled to London to play Charlton Athletic on 4 March 2008, the visiting fans, using the rail network to return home, adapted the song to "Bounce Around the Train". Since then, it has become an often used chant at Ashton Gate stadium by the fans, and City manager Gary Johnson has even joined in with the bouncing himself.[33] It was also sometimes used by supporters of Gary Johnson's former side Northampton Town, primarily at away matches. When Gary Johnson's son, Lee Johnson returned to his former club in 2016 as their new manager, he stated that he wished to inherit the chant and keep the fans singing it.[34]


Bristol City's traditional rivals are Bristol Rovers. The clubs have met 105 times, with the first meeting in 1897. Bristol City have the most wins on 43. However, the clubs have not been in the same league for a number of years; they were last in the same division in the 2000–01 Season. Since then, they have only met three times; in the two-legged southern final of the 2006–07 Football League Trophy, which Rovers won 1–0 on aggregate, and in the first round of the 2013–14 Johnstone's Paint Trophy, which City won 2–1 at Ashton Gate.

City's other main rivals are Cardiff City, who play in nearby Cardiff. Despite being a local derby, it crosses the Wales-England border, making it one of the few international derbies in the United Kingdom. Both clubs have been at similar levels over the past 10 years, except between 2003 and 2007 when Cardiff were a division above, in the 2013/14 season the clubs were two divisions apart however, following Cardiff's promotion to the Premiership and subsequent relegation in the same season to the Championship they are just one division apart. This has meant frequent meetings in the league including in the semi-finals of the 2003 Second Division play-offs. Cardiff City won the most recent encounter 2–1 on 16 February 2013. However Bristol City won the corresponding Fixture 4–2 Martyn Woolford hitting a brace

Other clubs have been seen as 'third rivals' by the fans and media. Swindon Town are seen by many as rivals, being nicknamed 'Swindle' by City fans. Plymouth Argyle have also been considered rivals despite a distance of over 100 miles. The rivalry has developed in recent years as the two clubs were the highest ranking West Country clubs for a number of years, and meetings were seen as a decider of the 'Best in the west'. Swansea City and even Yeovil Town have previously been mentioned as rivals, but very rarely.

Shirt sponsors

Period Kit supplier Kit sponsor
1976–1981 Umbro None
1981–1982 Coffer Sports Park Furnishers
Feb 1982 Hire-Rite
1982–1983 Lynx
Aug–Dec 1983 Umbro
Dec 1983–1990 Bukta
1990–1992 Thorn Security
1992–1993 Nibor
1993–1994 Dry Blackthorn Cider
1994–1996 Auto Windscreens
1996–1998 Lotto Sanderson
1998–1999 Uhlsport
1999–2000 DAS
2000–2002 Admiral
2002–2005 TFG Sports
2005–2006 Bristol Trade Centre
2006–2008 Puma
2008–2010 DAS
2010–2011 Adidas
2011–2012 RSG (Home)
Bristol City Community Trust (Away)
2012–2014 Blackthorn
2014–2016 Bristol Sport RSG
2016 – Lancer Scott


Position Name Nationality
Head Coach: Lee JohnsonEngland English
First team coach: John PembertonEngland English
Under-21 manager: Jamie McAllisterScotland Scottish
Fitness Coach: Rhys CarrWales Welsh
Head of Performance Analysis: Sam StantonEngland English
Goalkeeping Coach: David ColesEngland English
Head Physiotherapist: Steve AllenEngland English


First-team squad

As of 2 September 2016[35]

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

No. Position Player
1 England GK Frank Fielding
2 England DF Mark Little
3 England MF Joe Bryan
4 England DF Aden Flint
5 Sweden DF Joel Ekstrand
6 England MF Gary O'Neil
7 England MF Korey Smith (Vice-captain)
8 England MF Josh Brownhill
9 England FW Tammy Abraham (on loan from Chelsea)
10 England FW Lee Tomlin
11 Republic of Ireland MF Callum O'Dowda
12 England GK Richard O'Donnell
13 England DF Scott Golbourne
No. Position Player
14 England MF Bobby Reid
15 England MF Luke Freeman
16 Sweden FW Gustav Engvall
17 England DF Taylor Moore
18 England FW Aaron Wilbraham (Captain)
20 England FW Jamie Paterson
21 England MF Marlon Pack
23 Iceland DF Hörður Björgvin Magnússon
25 England DF Lloyd Kelly
27 Wales DF Adam Matthews (on loan from Sunderland)
29 Austria GK Ivan Lučić
30 Italy FW Diego De Girolamo

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
19 Cameroon FW Paul Garita (at Plymouth Argyle until January 2017)
24 England GK Max O'Leary (at Bath City until January 2017)
No. Position Player
England DF Zak Vyner (at Accrington Stanley until January 2017)
Wales FW Wes Burns (at Aberdeen until the end of the 2016–17 season)

Development squad

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

No. Position Player
England GK Jojo Wollacott
England DF Aden Baldwin
England DF Cameron Pring
England DF Jack Challis
England DF Kodi Lyons-Foster
England DF Ashley Harper
No. Position Player
England MF Jake Andrews
England MF Joseph McNulty
England MF Shabazz Omofe
Wales FW Connor Lemonheigh-Evans
28 England FW Shawn McCoulsky

Out on loan

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

No. Position Player
England DF Charlie Harris (at Frome Town)
England MF George Dowling (at Weston-super-Mare)
Wales MF Joe Morrell (at Sutton United)
No. Position Player
England MF Harvey Moss (at Frome Town)
England MF Jonny Smith (at Cheltenham Town until January 2017)
England FW James Difford (at Frome Town)

List of Bristol City players from 1890s to date

For a list of all Bristol City players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Bristol City F.C. players. Bedminster merged with Bristol City in 1900 for a further list of all Bedminster players with articles see Category:Bedminster F.C. players

Notable former players

For a list of notable Bristol City players in sortable-list format where the criteria for inclusion is set out as 100 appearances for the club see List of Bristol City F.C. players.

Managerial history

Name Period
England Sam Hollis 1897–1899
England Robert Campbell 1899–1901
England Sam Hollis 1901–1905
England Harry Thickett 1905–1910
England Frank Bacon 1910–1911
England Sam Hollis 1911–1913
England George Hedley 1913–1917
Scotland Jock Hamilton 1917–1919
England Joe Palmer 1919–1921
Scotland Alex Raisbeck 1921–1929
England Joe Bradshaw 1929–1932
England Bob Hewison 1932–1949
England Bob Wright 1949–1950
England Pat Beasley 1950–1958
Northern Ireland Peter Doherty 1958–1960
England Fred Ford 1960–1967
England Alan Dicks 1967–1980
England Bobby Houghton 1980–1982
England Roy Hodgson 1982
England Terry Cooper 1982–1988
Scotland Joe Jordan 1988–1990
Scotland Jimmy Lumsden 1990–1992
England Denis Smith 1992–1993
England Russell Osman 1993–1994
Scotland Joe Jordan 1994–1997
England John Ward 1997–1998
Sweden Benny Lennartsson 1998–1999
Wales Tony Pulis 1999
England Tony Fawthrop & David Burnside 2000
Northern Ireland Danny Wilson 2000–2004
England Brian Tinnion 2004–2005
England Gary Johnson 2005–2010
England Steve Coppell 2010
England Keith Millen 2010–2011
Scotland Derek McInnes 2011–2013
Republic of Ireland Sean O'Driscoll 2013
England Steve Cotterill 2013–2016
England Lee Johnson 2016–Present


Main article: Ashton Gate stadium

Bristol City have played at Ashton Gate in the south-west of Bristol, just south of the River Avon, since moving from St John's Lane in 1904. The ground currently has an all-seated capacity of 27,000. It was the home of Bedminster until the 1900 merger, and the merged team played some games there the following season, but it did not become the permanent home of Bristol City until 1904.

In the past plans were considered for expansion work to be carried out at Ashton Gate. There were also proposals to build a new 36,000-seat stadium at Hengrove Park. This was turned down in a local referendum in December 2000.[36] In 2002, the local council was looking at possible sites for a new 40,000-seat stadium which would house both City, Rovers and Bristol Rugby, but these plans were scrapped and it is widely accepted that this would not have been welcomed by the majority of supporters from all clubs.[37] Ashton Gate's current capacity is an average size for Championship grounds, however in November 2007 the club announced plans to relocate to a new 30,000 capacity stadium in Ashton Vale plans were also in place to increase capacity to 42,000 had the England 2018 World Cup bid been successful.[38][39]

The South stand opened for the 2015/16 season, with the existing Williams stand being demolished and replaced by the Lansdown stand in 2016. A new partly-artificial Desso pitch was laid and the current Dolman stand refurbished. There is still no decision on the club's request to provide a "safe standing" area, similar to those used in Germany.


Bristol City Women's F.C.

The women's team was formed in 1990 supported by the club's community officer, Shaun Parker. Their greatest achievement was reaching the semi-finals of the FA Women's Cup in 1994 and winning promotion to the Premier League under Manager Jack Edgar in 2004. Following the decision by the FA to fund only one centre of excellence in Bristol, the two senior teams were disbanded in June 2008 and the girls' youth side merged with the Bristol Academy W.F.C..[40] The majority of the senior players, with coach Will Roberts, moved to the University of Bath in summer 2008 and now play as AFC TeamBath Ladies in the South West Combination Women's Football League.[41]



Most appearances

# Name Career Appearances
1 England Louis Carey 1995–2004; 2005–2014 646
2 England John Atyeo 1951–1966 645
3 England Trevor Tainton 1967–1982 581
4 England Brian Tinnion 1993–2005 551
5 Scotland Tom Ritchie 1972–1981; 1983–1985 504
6 Scotland Gerry Sweeney 1971–1981 490
7 England Rob Newman 1981–1991 483
8 Scotland Gerry Gow 1969–1981 445
9 England Geoff Merrick 1967–1982 433
10 Scotland Scott Murray 1997–2003; 2004–2009 427

Most club appearances including substitute appearances in all competitions (excluding Gloucestershire Cup). Updated 29 December 2013. Note: On 29 December 2013, Louis Carey broke Bristol City's appearance record when he came on as a substitute in the 4–1 win over Stevenage. He has now overtaken John Atyeo after 47 years and is now the club's all-time top appearance maker.


  1. Chapman, Caroline (22 March 2015). "Bristol City 2–0 Walsall". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  2. "City Fans are Crest-Fallen!". BCFC. 1 March 2005. Archived from the original on 23 January 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  3. 1 2 Perrow, Mark. "City return is like coming home - Johnson".
  4. Calley, Roy (1992). Blackpool: A Complete Record 1887–1992, Breedon Books Sport
  5. "Sporting Gossip". Gloucestershire Echo. 12 April 1900. Retrieved 15 December 2015 via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)).
  6. Bristol City The Early Years 1894–1915 by David Woods published by Desert Island Books 2004; The Bristol Babe by David Woods published by Yore Publications 1994; Bristol City The Complete Record 1894–1987 by David Woods with Andrew Crabtree published by Breedon Books 1987; David Woods the Official Bristol City Club Historian.
  7. "Hob Nob Anyone? - Reading FC - The Royals - Articles".
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  9. "Gary Johnson Leaves City". Bristol City F.C. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  10. "Coppell New City Boss". Bristol City FC. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  11. "Steve Coppell quits as Bristol City manager". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  12. 1 2 Staff (12 August 2010). "Steve Coppell quits as Bristol City manager". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  13. "Keith Millen Appointed City Boss". Bristol City Football Club. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  14. "Keith Millen axed as Bristol City manager". BBC Football. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  15. "Blackpool 5 – 0 Bristol City". BBC Football. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
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  17. "Bristol City announce £11m losses". BBC News. 29 November 2011.
  18. "Hornets rock ropey Robins". Sky Sports. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  19. Staff (14 January 2013). "Sean O'Driscoll: Bristol City appoint ex-Nottingham Forest boss". BBC News. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  20. "Barnsley FC Club Statement: Lee Johnson".
  21. " Lee Johnson Appointed New Head Coach".
  22. " - Barnsley boss Lee Johnson looks set to land Robins head coach role.".
  27. Woods, David M. (1994). The Bristol Babe: The First 100 Years of Bristol City F.C. Harefield, Middlesex: Yore Publications. ISBN 1-874427-95-X.
  28. "Bristol City". Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  29. "Bristol City mascot". flikr. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
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  31. Haylett, Trevor (21 February 2009). "Bristol City bounce up to fourth". Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  32. Staff writer (18 February 2009). "I want Bristol City fans to shakefoundations of Madejski says Johnson". Bristol Evening Post. Bristol News and Media. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  33. Dillon, Andrew (22 February 2009). "Reading 0 Bristol C 2". The Sun. News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  34. Baker, Adam. "Let's get the Gate bouncing - Johnson".
  35. "Profiles". Bristol City F.C. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  36. "Hengrove Park- Football Stadium Referendum December 2000" (PDF). Bristol City Council. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  37. "Bristol super-stadium plan collapses". BBC. 27 November 2002. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  38. "Bristol City Announce New Stadium". 29 November 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  39. "New Stadium at Ashton Vale". 29 November 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  40. "WOMEN'S TEAM TO FOLD". BCFC. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  41. "Bristol City Ladies to get new lease of life at TeamBath". Team Bath. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  42. All-time leading goalscorers – official site

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