Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Papa Johns Trophy

How many teams have done the EFL Trophy and promotion double?

14 April 2023

This year's Papa Johns Trophy winners Bolton Wanderers are looking to replicate what only a handful of teams before them have managed by following up a Wembley win with promotion.

But can you name the eight other Clubs who have completed the same double?

We take a look at the teams the Trotters could look to for inspiration...

Wolverhampton Wanderers (1987/88)

The competition was still in its infancy when two of the EFL's founding members, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley, met at Wembley for what was then referred to as the Sherpa Van Trophy. Over 48,000 fans made the trip to the famous Twin Towers, eight years on from Wolves' 1980 League Cup Final triumph.

Goals from Andy Mutch and Robbie Dennison earned Graham Turner's side victory on the day in a 2-0 win in the showpiece, and things were about to get even better for Wolves, who had found themselves in the bottom tier of English football for the first time in the Club's history the season prior.

Having fallen short of promotion in 1986/87 in the Play-Offs, the West Midlands team ended their short stay in the Fourth Division by going up as champions,


Birmingham City (1994/95)

Substitute Paul Tait was the hero for Birmingham City as they edged out Carlisle United in the 1995 Auto Windscreens Shields Final. The midfielder, who was brought on in the second period to find a way through with both teams stuck in a goalless stalemate, glanced in the first golden goal to decide a major English trophy in extra time to make Blues history.

The celebrations didn't end there. Two-time winners Birmingham bounced back to the top-flight at the first time of asking, taking pole position in Division Two, sealing promotion on the final day of the campaign against Huddersfield Town.


Carlisle United (1996/97)

With defeat in 1995 weighing on their minds, Carlisle United were looking to right those wrongs when they retuned to Wembley two years later to face Colchester United in the Final.

It finished goalless after 120 minutes, and it was the Cumbrians who were victorious in the shoot-out, seeing off Colchester 4-3 on spot-kicks. Carlisle keeper Tony Caig produced two stops before skipper Steve Hayward slotted home the decisive penalty to delight the travelling fans.

The following month, Carlisle clinched automatic promotion from the Third Division, finishiing third in the standings behind Wigan Athletic and Fulham.

Grimsby Town (1997/98)

It was a day of firsts for Grimsby Town when they made their debut at the National Stadium in the competition against AFC Bournemouth.

Mariners midfielder Wayne Burnett got that all-important golden goal 25 years ago as Grimsby fought back to win the game 2-1, having equalised through a mix-up in the Cherries defence with 15 minutes left on the watch.

But it was straight back to work for Alan Buckley's men who had a promotion push to turn their attention to. Grimsby missed out on a top two finish, placing third in the Second Division, meaning Play-Offs would decide their fate. Upon their return to Wembley, they narrowly overcame Northampton Town 1-0 to complete the double.

Auto Windscreen Shield Winners 1998.jpg

MK Dons (2007/08)

Under the new management of Paul Ince, MK Dons had a season to remember in 2007/08. After moving in to a place they could call their own in Stadium MK, the Buckinghamshire team went on a run to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, beating Grimsby Town 2-0 and it was only the beginning for Ince's rejuvenated Dons.

After the Mariners missed a penalty in the first half, MK Dons capitalised in the second period with Keith Andrews and Sean O'Hanlon rippling the net to put them in the driving seat.

And the Dons ascended from League Two, putting last season's Play-Off woes behind them to secure the title.


Bristol City (2014/15)

After enduring a 12-year wait to lift a trophy, Bristol City put a stop to their silverware drought in style. The Robins put their name to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for a record third time, having won the competition in 1986 and again in 2003.

Steve Cotterill's side struck either side of the break through Aden Flint and Mark Little to beat Sky Bet League One rivals Walsall 2-0 at the home of football in front of over 70,000 supporters.

And they used that momentum to get them over the line in the league, finishing the term 16 games unbeaten in the first place and eight points clear of runners-up MK Dons.


Barnsley (2015/16)

Barnsley were treated to a trip Wembley not once but twice in 2016 when the Reds reached both the EFL Trophy Final and the League One Play-Off Final. Forunately, they were on the right side of the score-line on both occasions.

In an entertaining match-up, the South Yorkshire side came out on top, beating Oxford United 3-2 to win the competition for the first time in their history.

Paul Heckingbottom's side turned their fortunes around in the league, too. It looked as though relegation could be on the cards for Barnsley around Christmastime but, after getting themselves into contention for the Play-Offs, they went on to overcome Millwall 3-1 in the Final on their return to the National Stadium.


Rotherham United (2021/22)

Only last season, Rotherham United achieved a Papa Johns Trophy and promotion double when they got their hands on the silverware, seeing off Sutton United 4-2 under the arch.

The Millers came from behind in dramatic fashion as Jordi Osei-Tutu grabbed a 96th minute equaliser to force the game to extra time, with the Final tied at 2-2. In the end, high-flying Rotherham were too strong for the South Londoners, rippling the net twice in the final 30 minutes of the game.

And Paul Warne's side went on to finish second in League One behind Wigan Athletic and book their place in the Sky Bet Championship for 2022/23.


Advertisement block