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A milestone weekend for English league football

2 October 2020

This Saturday (3 October 2020) will see the 200,000th English league football fixture take place, in what is a notable landmark for the EFL.

At the time of writing, the total currently stands at 199,972 matches since the League’s inception in 1888, with the weekend’s games set to take the tally up to and beyond the milestone. 

The League has, of course, seen a number of significant changes throughout its 132-year history. In around 60 per cent of the league matches played to date, only two points were offered for a win, while 55 per cent of such games saw Clubs separated by goal average instead of goal difference. The 45th anniversary of the latter change is approaching in June 2021, while this December will mark 85 years since the highest-scoring league game, a 13-4 victory for Tranmere Rovers over Oldham Athletic.

Indeed, this year has also seen its share of memorable milestones. Not only was Preston North End’s Sky Bet Championship fixture against Derby County the first league match to be played in July, it also saw the Lilywhites – founding members of the League - become the first club to play 5,000 league games. 

When it comes to players, legendary goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s tally of 1,005 league appearances is unmatched, while former Grimsby Town man Tony Ford is the outfield player with the most appearances, with 931 to his name. As for goalscorers, Everton icon Dixie Dean found the net 60 times in the 1927/28 campaign, a record which stands to this day.

Commenting on the landmark, EFL Chief Executive, Dave Baldwin, said: “This is a significant milestone for both the League and English football as a whole, as well as an opportunity to celebrate our history as the world’s original league football competition.

“To reach 200,000 games is a timely reminder of the longevity and importance of the EFL during what remains a challenging period for our member Clubs and the communities they represent.

“While it is disappointing that this landmark won’t be shared with the hundreds of thousands of loyal supporters who pass through the turnstiles at League grounds each week, we are extremely proud of our history and welcome the chance to celebrate moments such as these which have helped shaped our work and values.”

We’ll be recapping some of the best facts and figures from the EFL record books on social media throughout the day. 

Don't miss a minute of the action on this historic weekend! Subscribe to the EFL's official streaming service, iFollow, here.


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