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Festive football draws in the fans for EFL Clubs

27 December 2018

Football supporters across the EFL continued to flood to matches over the 2018 festive period, as the traditional Boxing Day fixtures played host to record attendances and absorbing contests...

The footballing festivities remain an exciting period in the calendar for supporters up and down the country and from Carlisle United to Plymouth Argyle, the Christmas tradition of following your team in numbers on Boxing Day continues.

Over the past five years, over 2.5million supporters have made their way through the turnstiles of EFL Clubs on Boxing Day alone, and the yearning for festive football made this year no different.

Just under 450,000 fans of Clubs from the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two attended fixtures yesterday, compared to the seasonal average of 394,000 during the 2017/18 season, including over 46,000 supporters making their way to the Stadium of Light for Sunderland’s 1-0 victory against Bradford City.

Records tumbled on a fantastic day for the Black Cats. The crowd of 46,039, to be precise, was the highest-ever attendance in League One in its current guise, and was only bettered by two Clubs throughout the entirety of England – those being Manchester United and Liverpool – illustrious company to be alongside.

In fact, Sunderland’s attendance was higher than that at Wembley Stadium, as 45,154 watched Tottenham’s Premier League fixture against Bournemouth, as well as six other fixtures in England’s top flight.

Top ten attendances in England on Boxing Day

Manchester United v Huddersfield


Premier League

Liverpool v Newcastle United


Premier League

Sunderland v Bradford City


Sky Bet League One

Tottenham Hotspur v Bournemouth


Premier League

Leeds United v Blackburn Rovers


Sky Bet Championship

Leicester City v Manchester City


Premier League

Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal


Premier League

Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday


Sky Bet Championship

Sheffield United v Derby County


Sky Bet Championship

Norwich City v Nottingham Forest


Sky Bet Championship

Not to be outdone, the total attendance in the Sky Bet Championship rose by 16% compared to Boxing Day 2017/18, with over 270,000 fans across the twelve fixtures. Table toppers Leeds United welcomed the highest attendance in the division, with a total of 34,863 on hand to witness a thrilling five-goal spectacle, coupled with a later winner for Marcelo Bielsa’s side courtesy of forward Kemar Roofe.

In League Two, over 63,000 supporters made their way to fixtures, with Tranmere Rovers’ match against Morecambe at Prenton Park hosting 7,483 – a divisional high for the day.

But don’t panic, there is still plenty to come… the festive feast of EFL action continues over the coming week with a total of 72 fixtures taking place this weekend and on New Year’s Day to whet your appetite.

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