As the new season approaches, we highlight 10 remarkable EFL records that have defied time to stand proudly, but which one, if any, will be broken first? And could any of them stand forever?
Most consecutive wins from start of a season: 13, Reading (Third Division), 1985/86
Nothing much was expected of Ian Branfoot’s side, but from the day the season kicked off in August until mid-October, Reading won every league game they contested. Striker Trevor Senior was the inspiration, scoring 11 goals in the 13 victories, including hat-tricks against Cardiff City and Chesterfield. Unsurprisingly, the Royals won the title by seven points.
Most league goals scored in a season: 134, Peterborough United (Fourth Division), 1960/61
Not only did Peterborough score 134 goals in their debut season in the EFL, but they conceded 65 as well, meaning that Posh’s 46 league games contained a staggering 199 goals. They scored six goals on four occasions and seven goals twice. Terry Bly led the way, finding the net 52 times with seven of his side’s 12 hat-tricks in the campaign.
Most home league goals scored in a season: 87, Millwall (Third Division South), 1927/28
The old Den in Cold Blow Lane was a fearsome ground to visit at the best of times. It was especially inhospitable in the 1927/28 season when Millwall ran in 87 goals in just 21 games. The Lions scored five on three occasions, six on another three, beat Walsall 7-1 and even ran up a 9-1 scoreline twice, against Coventry City and Torquay United.
Most goals scored by a losing side: 6 by Huddersfield Town, losing 7-6 to Charlton Athletic (21 December 1957)
Huddersfield, managed that December day by Bill Shankly, played against 10 men for 73 minutes and were leading 5-1 with 27 minutes remaining at The Valley. Enter Johnny Summers, the Charlton forward, who added to his first-half strike by scoring four more and assisting two others as the home side pulled off a staggering comeback for the ages.
Most points in a season (3pts for a win – 46 matches): 106, Reading (Championship, 2005/06)
The remarkable thing about Reading’s record-breaking campaign was that they lost the first game of the season - at home to Plymouth Argyle. They would lose only one more. Steve Coppell’s team won 31 games in total, with an incredible goal difference of plus 67, and collected 60 from a possible 69 points at the Madejski Stadium. They finished 16 points clear of second-placed Sheffield United.
Most goals in a game: 10, Joe Payne (for Luton Town v Bristol Rovers, 13 April 1936)
Luton had already played on Good Friday and Easter Saturday and had no fit striker for their Easter Monday game. Payne was 22, a midfielder in the reserves and wasn’t even named in the matchday programme. He was virtually unknown – that is until he scored from every possible angle in a 12-0 win, including his final goal from a sitting down position after falling over.
Youngest goalscorer: Ronnie Dix, 15 years and 180 days (for Bristol Rovers v Norwich City, 3 March 1928)
Having made his EFL debut less than three weeks earlier, schoolboy Dix made his name in the men’s game when he scored in Rovers’ 3-0 win over Norwich. Eighty-three years later, Dix came within the width of a Middlesbrough crossbar of losing the record to Mason Bennett of Derby County, who struck the woodwork on his debut for the Rams aged just 15 years, 99 days.
Fastest goal on a League debut: 7 seconds, Freddy Eastwood (for Southend United v Swansea City, 16 October 2004)
Eastwood had scored 44 goals in just over a season of non-league football when Southend signed him. He was handed his Shrimpers debut and charged forward as the home side kicked off at Roots Hall, stooping to head home a cross in front of the Swansea defenders after just 7.7 seconds. Not content with his record, he completed a debut hat-trick in the second half.
Fastest hat-trick (time between first and third goals): 2 minutes 21 seconds, James Hayter (for Bournemouth v Wrexham, 23 February 2004)
With six minutes left and Bournemouth leading 3-0 on a Tuesday night, Hayter was still on the bench. His parents, thinking he wouldn’t come on, decided to leave early to catch a ferry home to the Isle of Wight. They were getting to their car when he scored with his first touch and listened to the radio, proud but horrified, as he made it three goals in 141 seconds.
Longest-serving manager at one club: Fred Everiss, 46 years (West Bromwich Albion 1902–1948)
If you want stability, look no further than Everiss, who joined West Brom as a 14-year-old office boy and became secretary-manager six years later, sitting on the team selection committee and controlling the club’s trainers. He oversaw Albion’s Football League title triumph in 1920 and the FA Cup win in 1931. During the Second World War, he even served as the club’s night-watchman.