8 September 1888, the founding of the English Football League and the first-ever set of professional matches to take place in England – this weekend the EFL celebrates its 130th birthday.
Twelve visionary Clubs, under the direction of pioneer and founder of the English Football League, William McGregor, embarked on what would become a memorable journey and the start of the first professional football league in England.
The EFL is now the largest single body of professional Clubs in European football, and home to the oldest association football team in the world playing at a professional level, with Notts County having been formed in 1862.
The twelve founder members of the Football League were Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke (as they were known at the time), West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers – but how did that very first season of English Football League action unfold?
From Kenny Davenport’s second minute opener for Bolton Wanderers, the first-ever goal scored in the league, to a suspected win bonus of 10S. per man for Burnley – we uncover the results over the historic first weekend of the English Football League.