Steve Gibson at the front of the 2004 Carling Cup winning side - Photo-Getty Images

OFFICIAL HISTORY OF MIDDLESBROUGH FOOTBALL CLUB

1986:
Bruce Rioch takes over the helm as coach. A last day defeat at Shrewsbury sees Boro relegated to Division Three and the club goes into liquidation in July, suffering from massive debts. A consortium consisting of ICI, Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, Bulkhaul and Henry Moszkowicz saves the club and forms Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Company (1986) Ltd.

1987: Boro complete remarkable comeback by winning promotion at first attempt. Manager Bruce Rioch builds a side mainly consisting of local youngsters, including Tony Mowbray, Gary Pallister, Stuart Ripley and Colin Cooper.

1988: Amazing revival continues with a second successive promotion taking the club back to the First Division. Promotion is achieved with wins over Bradford City and Chelsea in the play-offs.

1989: Season ends in disappointing relegation. Gary Pallister is sold for British record fee of £2.3m to Manchester United.

1990: Rioch is sacked and assistant Colin Todd takes over. He leads Boro out in their first ever Wembley final, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the Zenith Data Systems Cup.

1991: Boro lose in play-off semi-finals. Todd resigns and Lennie Lawrence takes over.

1992: Another promotion season, with Lennie Lawrence leading the team into the inaugural Premier League. Run to the semi-finals of the League Cup ends in 2-1 aggregate defeat to Manchester United.

1993: One season after promotion, the club are again relegated.

1994: England and Manchester United legend Bryan Robson replaces Lennie Lawrence as manager. Aston Villa's Neil Cox is first £1m buy.

1995: Bryan Robson leads Boro to the Division One championship. Club moves to the new 30,000 capacity, all-seater Riverside Stadium, the largest football stadium built in the UK for 70 years. Club signs England international Nick Barmby for £5.25m, four times Boro's previous transfer record, together with Brazilian Footballer of the Year Juninho.

1996: Boro smash their transfer record when they sign Juventus and Italian international striker Fabrizio Ravanelli for £7m just two months after he had scored in the European Cup Final. In October, Nick Barmby joins Everton for a club record sale of £5.75m.

1997: April 6 sees Boro appear in their first ever major cup final against Leicester City. Boro lose the Coca-Cola Cup in replay at Hillsborough after 1-1 draw at Wembley. Boro also take on Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup final on May 17, losing 2-0. Boro are relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season. Juninho finishes second in the Football Writers' Player of the Year awards but then becomes record sale, joining Atletico Madrid for £12m. England international Paul Merson is signed from Arsenal for £5m.

1998: Boro sign England international Paul Gascoigne from Glasgow Rangers. Third consecutive cup final is reached as Boro take on Chelsea in Coca-Cola Cup Final but again taste defeat, losing 2-0 in extra-time. Season ends with promotion back to Premiership at first attempt. Stadium capacity increased to almost 35,000.

1999: Boro secure top 10 finish in Premier League, first time for almost 20 years. The club opens its state-of-the art, £7m training complex at Rockliffe Park, Hurworth, near Darlington, which is acknowledged to be one of the finest in Europe.

2000: Boro finish 12th in the Premiership. Boro become the first football club in the world to win an ISO 9002 management award for its Youth Academy. Record attendance of 34,800 v Leeds United February 26. MFC become the first British club to play in Libya for 15 years in an end-of-season friendly tournament. Defender Ugo Ehiogu becomes the club's £8m record signing. Former England manager Terry Venables is appointed head coach to assist manager Bryan Robson.

2001: Strong end to the season sees Boro finish 14th. Manchester United No.2 Steve McClaren replaces Bryan Robson as manager and makes Gareth Southgate his first signing at £6m from Aston Villa. Crowd of more than 23,000 at the Riverside watches England U-21s beat Albania U-21s 5-0 in European championship qualifier.

2001/2002: Promising first season for Steve McClaren - Boro finish 12th in the Premiership and reach the FA Cup semi-finals, only to lose to Arsenal at Old Trafford in an unforgettable game.

2002/2003: McClaren splashes out almost £20m in the summer to strengthen the squad, with Italian Massimo Maccarone (£8.15m from Empoli), George Boateng (£5m from Aston Villa), Franck Queudrue (£2m from Lens) and Geremi (season loan from Real Madrid) joining the new Riverside Revolution. Mercurial Brazilian and one of the club's greatest all-time players, Juninho, also joins the club for a third time in a £3.8m deal from Atletico Madrid. The campaign begins brightly despite a serious injury for Juninho, but early hopes of a European place fade and the club finishes in mid-table once again. Michael Ricketts, Malcolm Christie and Chris Riggott are added to the squad in January.

2003/2004: £30m man Gaizka Mendieta joins the club from Lazio, along with Bolo Zenden and Danny Mills, on season-long loans from Chelsea and Leeds respectively. Steve McClaren also announces a radical new backroom set up, with Steve Round as attacking coach and Steve Harrison looking after defensive duties.  

February 29 2004: After 128 years of waiting, Boro finally lift their first ever trophy, the Carling Cup. Goals from Joseph Job and a Bolo Zenden penalty seal a 2-1 victory over Bolton at the Millennium Stadium. Hundreds of thousands of fans line the streets of Middlesbrough to acclaim the historic achievement.

May 2004: Boro finish the season a disappointing 11th in the league, but the 2003-04 campaign will now always be remembered as the year Boro first won a major piece of silverware.

Summer 2004: McClaren joins up with the England squad for the nation's Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal, but it doesn't stop the club from making several high-profile signings. Dutch international right-back Michael Reiziger is the first to sign in, joining on a free from Barcelona, then Mark Viduka makes a £4.5m switch from Leeds United. Fellow striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is next, joining from Chelsea on a free, then Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour joins the Riverside Revolution, also signing on a free transfer. Boro are also boosted by the free transfer signing of Bolo Zenden from Chelsea (he had spent the 2003-04 season loan from the Londoners), while skipper Gareth Southgate and striker Joseph-Desire Job both sign contract extensions. It's a busy and exciting period for the club - and Boro begin the 2004-05 campaign in prime condition.

2004/05: History is made once again as Boro play their first game in Europe when they entertain Czech Republic champions Banik Ostrava at the Riverside Stadium on September 16, running out 3-0 winners with Boro's first goal in Europe scored by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Click here for a match report from that historic occasion. The job is completed in Ostrava on Thursday September 30 as James Morrison becomes the first player to score a Boro goal away from home in Europe. The game is drawn 1-1 meaning Boro go through to the group stages 4-1 on aggregate. Click here to read a match report from that game. Boro go on to reach the last 16, beating the mighty Lazio 2-0 at the Riverside along the way.

May 2005: The season ends with Boro's highest ever Premiership finish - seventh place - and a second successive place in the UEFA Cup thanks to Mark Schwarzer's last-gasp penalty save in the 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Summer 2005: Nigeria striker Yakubu, a £7.5m signing from Portsmouth, and Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz join the club as Steve McClaren gears up for the campaign ahead.

2005/06: It's another rollercoaster season for Boro. In the league their form is disappointing, despite unforgettable wins over Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea at the Riverside. A 7-0 defeat at Arsenal and a 4-0 home reverse to Aston Villa are the low points. But in the cups it's a different story. Boro reach the FA Cup semi-final before a 1-0 defeat to West Ham at Villa Park. In the UEFA Cup there's drama all the way as Boro overcome opponents including Roma, Stuttgart and, in two stunning Riverside comebacks that earn worldwide attention, Basel and Steaua Bucharest, before losing the final in Eindhoven 4-0 to Sevilla.   

Summer 2006: Steve McClaren leaves the club to become Sven Goran Eriksson's successor as England coach. Captain Gareth Southgate follows McClaren into the Boro hotseat, signing a five-year contract.

January 2008: Boro smash their transfer record with the signing of Brazil international striker Afonso Alves from Dutch side Heerenveen.

October 2009: Shortly before midnight on Tuesday October 20 and just over a two hours after a home win over Derby County it was announced that Gareth Southgate had been relieved of his duties after 151 games, spanning three years and four months, in charge.

October 26 2009: Gordon Strachan is appointed the 28th manager of the Boro, signing a contract to stay with the club until the end of the 2013 season.