The History Of Our Club As It Happened

MFC...The Early Years

1876: Club formed by members of Middlesbrough Cricket Club at a meeting at the Albert Park Hotel.

1877: First recorded game against Teesside Wanderers ends in 1-1 draw. Home games played at Archery Ground in Albert Park, Middlesbrough. First recorded away game at Barnard Castle ends in 1-0 defeat.

1879: Middlesbrough play first game at new Linthorpe Road ground.

1889: Breakaway sect who want the club to turn professional form Middlesbrough Ironopolis. Their games are played at the Paradise Ground in Milton Street. The team plays in maroon and bright green stripes. Middlesbrough also turn professional.

1892: Middlesbrough revert to amateur status.

1893: Middlesbrough Ironopolis join the Football League and finish 11th out of 15 in the first season. Unfortunately, it is a financial disaster and the club folds at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough win the Northern League.

1895: Middlesbrough again win the Northern League and the Amateur Cup, beating Old Carthusians 2-1 in the final at Headingley.

Boro's Northern League and Amateur Cup winning squad of 1895

1897: Northern League won again.

1898: Amateur Cup won for a second time, with Uxbridge beaten 2-1 in the final at Crystal Palace.

1899: On May 19, Middlesbrough are elected to the Football League. Boro join Division Two, losing 3-0 at Lincoln in first league game. First home game ends in 3-1 defeat against Small Heath. First league win at home against Grimsby. Club colours are white shirts and blue shorts. Away colours are black shirts and white shorts.

1902: Promotion to Division One after conceding only 24 goals (a club record) throughout the season. First ever Division One game ends in 1-0 away win over Blackburn. Club play last game at the Linthorpe Road ground.

The Start Of The Ayresome Era...

1903: Boro move to Ayresome Park, with Celtic the first visitors for a pre-season friendly. First league game against Sunderland ends in a 3-2 defeat.

1905: Boro cause a sensation by paying £1,000 for centre forward Alf Common, the first ever four figure transfer fee. Goalkeeper Tim Williamson becomes Boro's first England international when capped against Ireland in a game played at Ayresome Park.

1906: Andy Aitken replaces Alex Mackie as manager.

1909: Andy Walker is new manager.

1911: Tom McIntosh starts nine-year spell as manager.

1914: Best ever league season with Boro finishing third in the First Division.

1923: Herbert Bamlett takes over as manager.

1924: Relegation to Division Two.

1927: Peter McWilliam replaces Bamlett as manager and sees Boro promoted to Division One as Division Two champions. George Camsell creates a Second Division record by scoring 59 league goals, while the team scored a total of 122 league goals.

Record-breaking goalscorer George Camsell (centre)

1928: Relegation after just one season in the top flight.

1929: Champions again - and another promotion to the First Division.

1934: Wilf Gillow is new manager.

1936: Boro reach sixth round of the FA Cup only to lose 3-1 to Grimsby.

The Post-War Years...

1947: FA Cup sixth round replay defeat to Burnley.

1949: Record home attendance of 53,596 achieved against Newcastle United on December 27. Boro's side includes England internationals Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick. Andy Donaldson becomes first five-figure transfer when signed from Newcastle.

Legendary striker Wilf Mannion

1952: Walter Rowley takes over as manager when David Jack resigns.

1954: Rowley departs as Boro are relegated to Division Two after 25 years of First Division football. Bob Dennison is the new manager.

1955: Boro lose 9-0 at Blackburn, the club's worst ever defeat.

1957: Ayresome Park hosts its first game under floodlights, a friendly against Sunderland.

1958: Brian Clough nets five goals in an opening day 9-0 win over Brighton, a club record win.

1963: Bob Dennison leaves the club to be replaced by Raich Carter.

1966: Ayresome Park hosts World Cup finals fixtures involving Russia, Italy, North Korea and Chile. Stan Anderson takes over as manager in April but it's too late to save Boro from relegation to Division Three for the first time in club history.

1967: Promotion from Division Three at first attempt, thanks to a final day 4-1 win over Oxford United.

1970: Another FA Cup run ends with defeat in the quarter-finals, 2-1 to Manchester United in a replay.

Big Jack Takes the Reins...

Jack Charlton led the club to success

1974: Former England international Jack Charlton ends his first season in management with Boro finishing the season as Second Division champions with a record number of points - 65.

1975: Yet another FA Cup quarter-final defeat, a 1-0 loss to Birmingham.

1976: Boro win the Anglo-Scottish Cup and reach the semi-final of the League Cup, losing 4-1 to Manchester City over two legs.

1977: Liverpool defeat Boro 2-0 in the FA Cup quarter-final. Charlton resigns and is replaced by John Neal. Billy Ashcroft is first six-figure buy when signed from Wrexham.

1978: Yet again, the FA Cup quarter-final proves a major stumbling block. This time Boro lose 2-1 to Orient in a replay.

1979: David Mills is sold for a British record fee of £500,000 to West Brom.

1981: John Neal leaves and Bobby Murdoch takes over as manager.

1982: Boro are relegated to Division Two. Murdoch is dismissed and Malcolm Allison is brought in.

1984: Allison is replaced by Willie Maddren as Boro boss.

Saved At The 11th Hour...

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.

August 1986: With Boro locked out of Ayresome Park and a young, but loyal squad training in parks, a consortium consisting of ICI, Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, Bulkhaul and Henry Moszkowicz saves the club at the 11th hour and forms Middlesbrough Football and Athletic Company (1986) Ltd. The opening game of the season is played at Hartlepool's Victoria Park with Ayresome Park still padlocked.

Steve Gibson outside the Ayresome Park gates after Boro were allowed to return

1987: Boro complete remarkable comeback from being homeless and on the brink of oblivion by winning promotion from the third division 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: The 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 as Boro's youthful side, comprising of a number of homegrown players, marches onwards and upwards.

1989: The first season back in the top-flight ends in disappointing relegation. Gary Pallister is sold for British record fee of £2.3m to Manchester United.

Tony Mowbray leads the celebration after Boro book a first ever Wembley final appearance

1990: Rioch is sacked and assistant Colin Todd takes over but decides it is more appropriate that Tony Mowbray leads Boro out in their first ever Wembley final, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in the Zenith Data Systems Cup. Boro's league form is a struggle and security is only assured on the final afternoon when Newcastle are beaten at Ayresome Park, Ian Baird scoring twice in a 4-1 success.

1991: Boro's league form returns, and after a strong promotion challenge, Todd's men eventually lose in the 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.

The final goal celebrations at Ayresome Park against Luton Town in May 1995

The Riverside Revolution...

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 the club's transfer record when, signing 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.

April 1997: April 6 sees Boro appear in a first ever major cup final against Leicester City. Boro lose the Coca-Cola Cup in a replay at Hillsborough after 1-1 draw at Wembley.

May 1997: Boro take on Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup final on May 17, losing 2-0. We are also 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.

Middlesbrough and Chelsea players walk out at Wembley ahead of the 1997 FA Cup final

1998: Boro sign England international Paul Gascoigne from Glasgow Rangers. A 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. The Riverside stadium capacity is 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.  

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.


Steve Gibson holds aloft the Carling Cup

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 we 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.

Small Town In Europe...

Boro fans mark the club's first ever European campaign

2004/05: History is made once again as Boro play a first game in Europe, entertaining 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. 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. 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 a 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.

An amazing UEFA Cup semi-final night at the Riverside

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 the club's 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.

October 26 2010: Gordon Strachan is replaced by Tony Mowbray as manager.

July 2012: The Riverside hosts a unique Team GB double-header when the women’s team play Sweden and the men face Brazil in friendlies during the build-up to the London Olympics. Boro’s Jason Steele makes his Great Britain debut in goal.

April 2012: Boro finish one place outside the play-off zone in seventh position.

November 13 2013: Aitor Karanka replaces Tony Mowbray in charge of Boro. The new Spanish Head Coach is the first foreigner to take charge of team affairs, having arrived from Real Madrid, where he was assistant to former Bernabeu chief Jose Mourinho.

May 2014: Six wins from the last eight games of Aitor Karanka's first season saw Boro finish in 12th position, eight points away from a play-off place and 29 behind from second-placed Burnley.

May 2015: After a scintillating second season in charge at the Riverside, Aitor Karanka guides his side to a fourth placed finish in the Championship - the highest since relegation from the Premier League in 2009. Boro reach the play-off final after beating Brentford over a two-legged semi-final and faced Norwich at Wembley. However, Boro are defeated by two early goals in the final on May 25 at Wembley and Norwich were promoted.

October 2015: 10,000 travelling fans watch Boro gain a memorable victory against Manchester United, on penalties, to reach the Capital One Cup quarter finals. The away end is lit up in stunning fashion by Boro’s supporters in solidarity for steelworkers who had lost jobs following the closure of the SSI plant in Redcar.

Boro fans light up Old Trafford in October 2015

November 2015 - January 2016: Following a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Hull City, Boro rack up nine consecutive league clean sheets, smashing a 30-year club milestone, as the club cement their position as favourites to earn promotion from the division.

February 2016: The Riverside pays tribute to the late Ali Brownlee in the lead up, during and after Boro’s match against Cardiff City. An iconic and much-loved figure, there is an emotional outpouring on Teesside for commentator Ali, who had passed away a week earlier.

May 2016: After seven years away from England’s top division, a final day 1-1 draw against promotion rivals Brighton and Hove Albion is enough to send a packed-out Riverside into rapture, as the club secures passage to the Premier League by finishing the season in second place.

Boro players celebrate promotion after the Brighton game

August 2016: Premier League football returns to the Riverside Stadium for the first time since 2009, Alvaro Negredo scoring Boro’s goal in a 1-1 draw.

August 2016: Boro’s first win since returning to the top flight is secured courtesy of a 2-1 derby victory against North East neighbours Sunderland. Cristhian Stuani scores both Boro’s goals, including a fine long-range strike which would go on to win the Premier League’s Goal of the Month.

October 2016: Boro claimed a first home win of the season and a 250th at the Riverside Stadium with victory over Bournemouth – a match that was also Aitor Karanka's 150th match in charge of the Teessiders.

March 2017: Boro part company with Head Coach Aitor Karanka. Karanka’s assistant Steve Agnew takes charge of First Team affairs, appointing experienced coach Joe Jordan as his No.2.

May 2017: The club are relegated from the Premier League, following a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea.

June 2017: Garry Monk takes over as the club's new manager.

July 2017: Boro break our transfer record to sign striker Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest.

December 2017: Tony Pulis is named as new Boro manager on Boxing Day.

May 2018: Boro reach the Championship Play-Offs, but are beaten by Aston Villa by a single goal over two legs in the semi-finals. 

2018: Dimi Konstantopoulos and Nathan Wood enter the record books as Boro's oldest and youngest-ever first team players after representing the club in cup competitions.

May 2019: After five wins in our final six games of the season, The Teessiders miss out on the final Play-Off place by a single point to Derby County. The club part company with manager Tony Pulis as his contract comes to an end with the close of the campaign.

June 2019: Jonathan Woodgate is appointed head coach in a new-look senior coaching set-up at Boro. Robbie Keane also joins the staff, with Leo Percovich and Danny Coyne returning to the club in new roles.

September 2019: The 500th league game at the Riverside is marked with victory over Reading.

October 2019: The Lionesses play at the Riverside for the first time, attracting a sell-out crowd that breaks the record for an England women's international in the UK outside Wembley. Brazil win the game 2-1.

June 2020: Neil Warnock is appointed Boro boss, with long-term associates Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson joining his coaching staff. Four wins in the final eight games of an extended season secure Championship status. 

July 2020: Neil Warnock agrees to an extended stay as Boro manager.

October 2020: Boro beat Barnsley for a first Championship win at the Riverside since Boxing Day the previous year, a match which marks Neil Warnock's 1,500th in league management.

June 2021: The England men's national team prepare for the rescheduled Euro 2020 with a training camp at Rockliffe Park and two friendlies at the Riverside. The Three Lions, managed by former Boro captain and manager Gareth Southgate, beat Austria and Romania 1-0. They go on to reach the final of the summer tournament, a first for the country since 1966.

August 2021: For the first time in 530 days, the Riverside opens its doors to an unrestricted Boro crowd as the team host Bristol City. Buoyed by the support, the Teessiders win 2-1 thanks to first Boro goals from Uche Ikpeazu and Matt Crooks.

November 2021: A few days on from after a record-breaking 1602nd match as a manager in the English professional game, Neil Warnock and Boro part company. Another Sheffield native, Chris Wilder, comes in as his replacement.