Leyton Orient F.C.

From Academic Kids

Leyton Orient F.C. are an English football team currently playing in Football League Two. Their home stadium is the Matchroom Stadium on Brisbane Road, in east London, close to the Leyton tube station. Matchroom is the name of Barry Hearn's (the owner) sports promotion company. Previously the stadium was known as Leyton Stadium although many supporters continue to just call it Brisbane Road Stadium or just Brissie.

Originally formed by members of the Glyn Cricket Club and Homerton Hospital it was named after the Orient shipping line in 1881, though the club's name was changed to Clapton Orient representing the area of London in which they played. The name was later changed to Leyton Orient after it moved in 1937.

Orient's symbol is made up of two wyverns facing each other over a football. The wyvern symbol was introduced in 1976 and incorporates Orient's links with the City of London (symbolised by the dragon) and with the sea.

Orient's golden years were in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1962 Orient were promoted to Division One for the only time in their history. In 1978 Orient were defeated in the semi final of the F.A. Challenge Cup.

During the current season they were even top of their league for the first time in over a decade and there was optimism that they would achieve promotion at the end of the season. This improved position, might have been expected to lead to their being a greater number of specators than in recent years. However it is occurring at a time of the greatest ground developments, virtually since the club moved to Brisbane Road. Two sides of the ground were demolished during the summer of 2004 and rebuilding of a modern stand with offices and luxury facilities for some high paying spectators is underway. Currently the maximum capacity is only about 5,000 spectators and consequently several games have been "sold out".

As the season comes to an end, the football has reverted to the more usual competitive and they finished the season just in the top half of the league table. To compound the setbacks on the pitch the redevelopment ran out of money and an emergency general meeting of the company was held in April 2005. It was agreed that the club should relinquish control of much of the stadium buildings and sell the office space for 1,500,000 to a consortium lead by owner Barry Hearn. The additional funds generated are to be used to complete the building work of the West Stand which appears to be nearing external completion and looks magnificent in comparison to the stand it precedes. Some supporters are exceptionally concerned about these developments and anxious that their will still be a financial shortfall, which might result in further unconventional cash generating methods if the new North Stand is ever to be built as the planning consent for the building of the west stand requires.

Orient are currently managed by Martin Ling, a former Youth Team Manager and before that player with the club. The First Team Coach is now Dean Smith a recent popular club captain who rejoined Orient after a season and a half away playing for Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale.

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