What It Means: from Old English Hom-tun, the estate on a promontory between two rivers. South so you know it’s not Northampton.
Why It’s There: the port for England's old capital Winchester, and the port for transatlantic liners and cruise ships after the railway arrived.
Why They're There: founded in 1885 by St Mary’s Young Men’s Association, became Southampton St Mary’s when they joined the Southern League in 1895, winning it six times in eight years. Joined the Football League’s new Third Division in 1920. The only Premier League club run by an ex-pro - chairman. Ralph Krueger played and coached in the Bundesliga (and played and coached international ice-hockey).
First Footing: December 1924, Boro having been relegated for the first time and in the middle of what would remain until 1982 a record 15 games without a win.
Local Heroes: Bobby Stokes (1976 cup final scorer), Matt le Tissier, Terry Paine, Ron Davies, Alan Shearer, and Ted Bates (player, manager, director and president, 1936-73 ) with a statue outside, but not the original - that had to be replaced as, like Ronaldo’s it looked nothing like him, and far too much like Milan Mandaric, who at the time owned - Portsmouth.
Local Villains: Portsmouth, 18 miles away, Royal v Merchant Navy long before football; Monaco, much of whose original fortifications were financed by the sack of Southampton in 1338 by Charles Grimaldi, ancestor of Prince Albert, which would have been interesting had they met in this season’s Europa League; and recently Liverpool, who use them as a feeder club (Lambert, Lallana, Lovren, Clyne, Mané). When the St Mary’s groundsman won best pitch last year, the local joke was that Liverpool had already made an offer.
High Point: beating Manchester United in the 1976 FA Cup, after three losing finals, two as a non-league club; the 1979 League Cup final, losing to Forest; finishing second in 1984, three points behind Liverpool.
Low Point: somehow losing to Manchester United in this season’s EFL Cup final, finishing 14th in both Division Three South in 1956 and Division Three in 1959; dropping back there again for two years in 2009, and in administration with a 10 point deduction; being thumped 4-0 by Bury in their first FA Cup final in 1900. And most of this season’s home games.
Boro Highs: 5-0 (September 1960), 4-1 (December 1964), 3-0 (March 1926 and March 1999) 1-3 (January 1986) in the FA Cup.
Boro Lows: 1-3 (September 2001 and March 2005), and most of the last 53 years - just six home wins.
Hello to: Phil Cartwright (March 1926), Stephen Bell (January 1982).
Goodbye to: Jeff Peters (December 1979),Gary Walsh (January 1997), Alen Boksic (January 2003), Joseph Job (March 2005), Tony McMahon (April 2012).
Boro Hero: Owen Williams (March 1926), two goals in 3-0; Brain Clough (September 1960) two in 5-0, the only men to score twice against them; Gary Hamilton and Bernie Slaven (April 1989), dipping left-footers from distance in 3-3 - yes, Bernie Slaven from outside the six yard box; Merouanne Zemmama (April 2012) stunning free-kick winner.
Boro Villain: Danny Wallace (January 1986), hat -trick in 1-3 FA Cup defeat; Tony Mowbray (April 1989), backpass for Rod Wallace to score; Tony Vidmar (January 2003), perfectly weighted pass across his own box, into the path of James Beattie; Luis Boa Morte (September 1999) off for hauling down Hamilton Ricard.
Boro Bogeyman: Amazingly they never signed Emile Heskey, because all the others are here, with goals to match: James Beattie, Peter Crouch, Marian Pahars, Kevin Phillips. Beattie managed five goals in three games at the Riverside.
Boro Bad Boy: Willie Falconer (January 1993), off for fighting with Terry Hurlock, who went with him; Clayton Blackmore (January 1997), off for magnificent one-handed save from Jim Magilton, who scored from the spot, and the third red card in successive Saturdays at the Riverside.
Typical Boro: 3-3 (April 1989), Neil Ruddock, scores twice, one a deflected free-kick and the other off his neck. 0-1 (February 2001) Mark Draper’s only goal in 31/2 years at Southampton; 1-3 (March 2005), Southampton had won just four games, and only managed one more, they hadn’t won away for a year and had only scored three goals once
Typical Boro With Atonement: Gary Pallister (September 1999), Beckenbauer-isch sweep forward past three players for 20 yarder, the only goal of his second spell. Three minutes earlier he’d collided with Mark Schwarzer way out of the area, allowing Hassan Kachloul to score from somewhere near Brambles Farm.
Nearly Boro: one of the few Academies more successful than Boro’s, probably the most successful for caps and fees - 26 internationals like Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Wayne Bridge, plus Scott McDonald - and of course Calum Chambers
The History Boys: 0-0 (September 1995) the first team to keep a clean sheet and take a point at the new Riverside - in just its second game. Boro went 62 games without a penalty, from September 2001 to January 2003, a run that began and ended at home to Southampton. 0-1 (January 1982), Stephen Bell, the youngest-ever Boro player until Luke Williams, makes such an impression that England captain Kevin Keegan runs the length of the pitch to walk off with his arm round him at the end. Willie Maddren called him the best young player he ever saw. Four years later he sacked him; 16 years later both were dead, one aged 49, the other 36.
Nearly History: at the end of the 1996-7 season the Premier League made plans for a Boro v Southampton relegation Play Off, as they had almost identical records - but only because of the three point deduction. 1-3 (December 2001) the second and last 15 minutes in the Premier League for Saints' teenage Australian sub, Scott McDonald.
Cultural Contribution: the Saints squad in their 2001 win contained Dryden, Gray and Huxley, a physio called James Joyce and a president just one initial away from being HE Bates. And a good book is what many fans wished they’d brought as Saints ground out a 1-0 win for Terry Venables’ first defeat.
Your Boys Took One Hell of a Beating: Jane Austen, Benny Hill, Chris Packham, Craig David, Matt Cardle, John Evertt Millais, Ken Russell, and the last survivor of the Titanic, Milliva Dean. Manchester City fans used to call Alan Ball the Titanic, "because neither should have left Southampton."