Unreliable History

The football club started out of the cricket club in the city and indeed played their home games at Sophia Gardens (now home to Glamorgan Cricket club) for some time.  While scores were fairly low, a few balls ended up in the river, because they were known as Riverside from 1899 until 1902 for their proximity to the nearby waters of the River Taff.  In 1902, they added Albion to the end of their name and by then had also strutted their stuff at Old Park, Fir Gardens and finally ended up at Ninian Park by 1920, when they turned professional.  The site was formerly a rubbish dump and for the first few years players were injured by glass and other debris rising up through the turf.  However, the biggest shock came when a bed-stead protruded out of one of the goal-mouths on a particularly muddy day.  The original name for the ground was to be Sloper Park, but luckily for the Blues, Lord Ninian (who kicked off their first game at the new ground and scored the winner against Aston Villa late on) gave his name as well as his money to the venture to develop the pride of Wales, with 10 Scotsmen and one native Welshman to take the field in the shirts of the new club. The club joined the League in 1920 and in 1924, they came second in Division One, failing to land the championship by 0.024 of a goal.  Len Davies was their frail, but successful forward at the time and he missed a penalty in that season, which could have secured the championship for the Welsh side.  The next season, the Bluebirds got to the FA Cup semi-final, but two years later reached Wembley for the Final itself. On the way Davies hit a 40 yard shot against Chelsea in the FA Cup and the referee had to ask a policeman behind the goal if it had gone in – everyone was so amazed the slight striker could hit the ball so far !!  In the Final they met Arsenal and started what was to be a long-running series of giant-killings for the London side.  One goal, which squirmed off the keeper’s new shiny jersey, settled the match and took the cup out of England for the only time.

In 1929, Cardiff conceded a then record low of 59 goals, but still got relegated and by 1934 they had plummeted to the bottom of the Third Division (South), having to be re-elected to stay in the League.  The ground suffered a tragedy in 1937, when thieves broke in and tried to blow up the safe, but only succeeded in setting the stand alight.   Their recovery took some time – winning 30 out of 42 games in 1947 to take the Third Division (South) title and they did return to the top flight in the 1950’s, before heading back down to the lower rungs of the League ladder.  During the Fifties, they were drawn away to Leeds United in 1955, ’56 and ’57 in the FA Cup and they won each game 2-1 in front of a crowd that was the same size for each tie !!

More recently, they have been trawling the lower end of the League, but in 1993 won the Division 3 championship and gaining promotion to Div. 2 again last season.  In European competition, for which they have qualified through winning the Welsh Cup on many occasions, they have had some notable successes – in 1970 beating Real Madrid in the home leg of a Cup-Winners Cup tie and even managing to overcome FC Blau-Weiss of East Germany, the city that Cardiff is twinned with !! For a long time their most famous headlines have been for crowd trouble and financial struggles, but now it looks like the club are on firm ground (which is more than could be said for their original pitch) and hope to move forward into the 21st Century with ambition.  This has received a knock-back as they were relegated from Division 2 at the end of the 1999-2000 season, being passed on their way down by their main rivals Swansea City.  Under the bizarre leadership of Chairman Sam Hammam, the Bluebirds have soared up the league and into Div. 2 for the 2001-2002 season, having gained automatic promotion, passing their main rivals Swansea City who were on the way down.

Having got planning permission for a new stadium, it looks like it is good times ahead for the Bluebirds if they can get out of the Championship (as it is now known) with a good push for promotion in 2006-07.  The only black cloud on the horizon is the arrival of Peter Ridsdale who has taken over from Hammam and his duties might include him wanting to “live the dream” as he did at Leeds United.  He didn’t get the chance, as Hammam sold out to Vincent Tan, who sold out the club’s history by making them wear red shirts and changing the club badge.

It wasn’t the only thing he changed, as he took the club into the Premier League under Malky Mackay’s management and then spent a lot of money on the new club, the new ground and the new team to try to make them a fixture in the top flight.  Tan appeared to become an increasingly erratic figure in his pronouncements and ended sacking Mackay for spending his money on the summer, before brining in former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who had no Premier League experience, before spending more of Tan’s money in the January sales of the 2014 winter transfer window.

FAMOUS PLAYERS : – John Toshack,  Bob Stand, Fred Keenor, Phil Dwyer, Barry Swift, Don Clark.

FAMOUS FANS : – Super Furry Animals (Band), Mike Young (creator of SuperTed), Neil Kinnock (Euro MP), David Sullivan (Chairman – Birmingham City)


Club Records

Formed 1899

Turned Professional 1910

Became a Limited Company 1910

Former names Riverside  =  1899-1902
Riverside Albion  =  1902-1906

Previous grounds Riverside, Sophia Gardens
Old Park
Fir Gardens    until 1910
Ninian Park  =  1910-2009

Nickname “The BLUEBIRDS”

Club Colours HOME : AWAY :


Record Football League Win 9-2  v  Thames      Division 3 South          06.02.1932

Record Premier League Win 4-2  v  Fulham  (Home)       20.10.2018
3-1  v  Fulham  (Home)       08.03.2014

Record Football League Defeat 2-11  v  Sheffield United      Division 1        01.01.1926

Record Premier League Defeat 0-5  v  Manchester City   (Home)     22.09.2018

Record Cup Win 8-0  v  Enfield  FAC R1  28.11.1931

Record Fee Paid £15 million to Nantes (France) for Emiliano SALA  (January  2019)

Record Fee Received £10 million from Internazionale (Italy) for Gary MEDEL (August 2014)

Record Appearances 531  –  Phil Dwyer  (1972-1985)

Record Football League Appearances 471  –  Phil Dwyer  (1972-1985)

Record Premier League Appearances 51  –  Aron GUNNARSSON  (2013-2018)

Record goal-scorer in a season 35  –  Robert EARNSHAW      (Division 2)   2002-2003

Record goal-scorer in a Premier League season 7  –  Jordon MUTCH  (2013-2014) 

Record League goal-scorer  128  –  Len DAVIES  (1920-1931) 

Record Premier League goal-scorer  7  –  Jordon MUTCH  (2013-2014) 

Record all-time goal-scorer  181  –  Len DAVIES  (1920-1931) 

Most goals in a match 5  –  Hugh FERGUSON  v  Burnley  Division 1  01.09.1928
5  –  Walter ROBBINS  v  Thames  Division 3 (South)  06.02.1932
5  –  William HENDERSON  v  Northampton Town   Division 3 (South)  22.04.1933

Record Attendance (Ninian Park) 57,893  v  Arsenal  Division 1  22.04.1953

Record Attendance (Cardiff Stadium) 33,339  v  Manchester City      FA Cup Fourth Round  28.01.2018

Record total of goals in a League season 93  –  Division 3 (S) 1946-1947 

Record total of goals in a Premier League season 40   –  2013-2014

Record League points total 3 points for a win : 90  –  Championship     2017-20182 points for a win : 66  –  Division 3 (South) 1946-1947

Record Premier League points total 34  –  2018-2019

Most Capped player while at club Alf SHERWOOD  –  39  (Wales)

Youngest player Aaron RAMSEY  –  16 years and 123 days  v  Hull City  (Home)  (Championship)   28.04.2007

Oldest player George LATHAM  –  41 years and 1 day  v  Blackburn Rovers  (Away)  (Division 1)   02.01.1922


Stadium details 

Address :  Cardiff Stadium, Leckwith Road, Cardiff CF11 8AZ

Telephone :  033 3311 1927
Ticket Office :  033 3311 1920

Capacity :  26,828
Away Allocation : 1,800
Pitch size :  101m x 69m  (110 yards  x 75 yards)

Official website :  http://www.cardiffcityfc.co.uk 


Good directions and details of transport to the Cardiff City stadium can be found on the Cardiff City website.


Division One Runner-up  (Top tier) 1923-1924

Championship Champions  (Second tier) 2012-2013

Championship Runners-up  (Second tier) 2017-2018

Division Two Runners-up  (Second tier) 1920-1921, 1951-1952, 1959-1960

Division Three (South) Champions  (Third tier) 1946-1947

Division Three Runners-up  (Third tier) 1975-1976, 1982-1983

Division Three Champions  (Fourth tier) 1992-1993

Division Three Runners-up  (Fourth tier) 2000-2001

Division Four Runners-up  (Fourth tier) 1987-1988

FA Cup Winners 1927

FA Cup Finalists 1925, 2008

League Cup Finalists 2012

Welsh Cup Winners 1912, 1920, 1922, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1956, 1959, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1988, 1992, 1993

FA Charity Shield Winners 1927



Davy McDOUGALL 1910-1911

Fred STEWART 1911-1933

Bartley WILSON 1933-1934

B WATTS-JONES 1934-1937

Bill JENNINGS 1937-1939

Cyril SPIERS 1939-1946

Billy McCANDLESS 1946-1948

Cyril SPIERS 1948-1954

Trevor MORRIS 1954-1958

Bill JONES 1958-1962

George SWINDIN 1962-1964

Jimmy SCOULAR 1964-1973

Frank O’FARRELL 1973-1974

Jimmy ANDREWS 1974-1978

Richie MORGAN 1978-1982

Len ASHURST 1982-1984


Alan DURBAN 1984-1986

Frank BURROWS 1986-1989

Len ASHURST 1989-1991

Eddie MAY 1991-1994

Terry YORATH 1994- March 1995

Eddie MAY 1995

Kenny HIBBITT 1995

Phil NEAL 1996

Russell OSMAN 1996

Kenny HIBBITT 1996-1998

Frank BURROWS 1998-2000

Billy AYRE 2000 – August 2000

Bobby GOULD August 2000 – July 2001

Alan CORK July 2001 – February 2002

Lennie LAWRENCE February 2002 – May 2005

Dave JONES May 2005 – 2011

Malky MACKAY 2011-2013

David KERSLAKE (Caretaker) 2013-2014

Ole Gunnar SOLSKJAER 2014

Scott YOUNG/Daniel GABBIDON (Caretakers) 2014

Russell SLADE 2014-2016

Paul TROLLOPE 2016

Neil WARNOCK 2016-2019

Neil HARRIS 2019-2021

Mick McCARTHY 2021-


League Record

The Football League structure has historically been as follows …

1888-1892 1892-1920 1920-1921 1921-1958 1958-1992 1992-2004 2004 to date
First tier Football League Division One Division One Division One Division One Premiership Premier League
Second tier Division Two Division Two Division Two Division Two Division One Championship
Third tier Division Three Division Three
(North) and (South)
Division Three Division Two  League One
Fourth tier Division Four Division Three League Two


Elected to Division Two  (Second tier) 1920

Division Two  (Second tier) 1920-1921

Division One  (Top tier) 1921-1929

Division Two  (Second tier) 1929-1931

Division Three (South)  (Third tier) 1931-1947

Division Two  (Second tier) 1947-1952

Division One  (Top tier) 1952-1957

Division Two  (Second tier) 1957-1960

Division One  (Top tier) 1960-1962

Division Two  (Second tier) 1962-1975

Division Three  (Third tier) 1975-1976

Division Two  (Second tier) 1976-1982

Division Three  (Third tier) 1982-1983

Division Two  (Second tier) 1983-1985

Division Three  (Third tier) 1985-1986

Division Four  (Fourth tier) 1986-1988

Division Three  (Third tier) 1988-1990

Division Four  (Fourth tier) 1990-1992

Division Three  (Fourth tier) 1992-1993

Division Two  (Third tier) 1993-1995

Division Three  (Fourth tier) 1995-1999

Division Two  (Third tier) 1999-2000

Division Three  (Fourth tier) 2000-2001

Division Two  (Third tier) 2001-2003

Division One  (Second tier) 2003-2004

The Championship  (Second tier) 2004-2013

Premier League  (Top tier) 2013-2014

The Championship  (Second tier) 2014-2018

Premier League  (Top tier) 2018-2019

The Championship  (Second tier) 2019-