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The Football League goes back to the future

21 October 2015

21st October 2015, just another day? Most may think so, but the date is an iconic one - based on a certain film released 26 years ago.

Back To The Future 2 was released in 1989, and today marks the date that Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown plugged into their dashboard and subsequently time-travelled to.

It was 26th October 1985 when Marty and Dr. Brown set off in their DeLorean and ventured 30 years into the future, but the scriptwriters inexplicably overlooked The Football League, and therefore it's down to us to let them know what's happened in those three decades since.

On the date they left, current Football League clubs Portsmouth, Reading and Mansfield Town were top of Division Two, Three and Four respectively - 30 years on and those clubs are having good starts to the season.

Portsmouth and Mansfield are both going strong in Sky Bet League 2, sitting second and fourth after 14 games, while Reading are third in the Sky Bet Championship. Although the travelling twosome may have been left scratching their heads over the change to the English league system, which came into play in 1992.

They would have also stumbled across both the Play-Offs and relegation from The Football League - two major changes which were introduced to English football in 1987.

New stadiums galore...Burnden Park, Elm Park, Ayresome Park are just a handful of grounds to make way for modern stadia over the years.

Ahead of tonight's four fixtures, 60,930 matches have been played across the Premier League and Football League since October 26th 1985, with Peterborough United having played 1,380 of those games, which is more than any other club.

And finally 158,384 goals have been scored - Marty and Dr. Brown, here's a few that you missed.

Most successful clubs over the last 30 years

There have been a number of changes in league standings, with clubs like Fleetwood Town and Morecambe rising up to gain league status.

Based on the clubs that were in the top five tiers of English league football both in 1985 and 2015 however, Burnley have experienced the biggest rise in fortunes.

The Clarets have risen 59 places up the league ladder, closely followed by Preston North End and Swansea City who have both gained 51 places.

At the other end, Luton Town have experienced a drop of 67 places in the league ladder, with Grimsby Town (-59) and Oxford United (-55) also suffering a downturn in fortunes.

Had Marty McFly been a Huddersfield Town fan however, then he would have noticed little difference when he arrived in 2015. The Terriers are the only club in the top six tiers of the game that are in the same place in the overall league ladder today (33rd) as they were on the day McFly left in 1985!

Here’s a club by club summary of what Marty McFly missed out on during his time travel to the future:

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