1888–89 Football League

The Football League
Season1888–89
Champions Preston North End
(1st English title)
Failed re-electionNone
Matches played132
Goals scored586 (4.44 per match)
Top goalscorerJohn Goodall (Preston North End), 21[1]
Biggest home winAston VillaNotts County 9–1 (29 Sept 1888)
Biggest away winNotts CountyPreston 0–7 (3 Nov 1888)
Highest scoring10: Aston VillaNotts County 9–1 (29 Sept 1888)
Bolton WanderersNotts County 7–3 (9 Mar 1889)
Blackburn RoversAccrington 5–5 (15 Sept 1888)
Longest winning run6 – Preston North End (8 Sep – 13 Oct 1888)
Longest unbeaten run22 – Preston North End (8 Sep 1888 – 9 Feb 1889), the entire season
Longest losing run8 – Derby County (29 Sep – 8 Dec 1888)

Founded in 1888, the Football League is the oldest such competition in world football. The 1888–89 Football League was the first edition of the Football League, which ran from the autumn of 1888 until the spring of 1889. The Football League was formally created and named in Manchester during a meeting on 17 April 1888.

The season began on 8 September 1888 with 12 member clubs from the Midlands and North of England: Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Each club played the other twice, once at home and once away, and two points were awarded for a win and one for a draw. This point system was not agreed upon until after the season had started; the alternate proposal was one point for a win only.

Final league table

The league rules stated that the bottom four clubs were obliged to retire and seek re-election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) along with any other clubs wishing to become League members. Stoke, Burnley, Derby County, and Notts County were all re-elected for the 1889–90 season.[2]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GR Pts Qualification or relegation
1 Preston North End 22 18 4 0 74 15 4.933 40 League Champions
2 Aston Villa 22 12 5 5 61 43 1.419 29
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 12 4 6 51 37 1.378 28
4 Blackburn Rovers 22 10 6 6 66 45 1.467 26
5 Bolton Wanderers 22 10 2 10 63 59 1.068 22
6 West Bromwich Albion 22 10 2 10 40 46 0.870 22
7 Accrington 22 6 8 8 48 48 1.000 20
8 Everton 22 9 2 11 35 47 0.745 20
9 Burnley 22 7 3 12 42 62 0.677 17 Re-elected
10 Derby County 22 7 2 13 41 61 0.672 16
11 Notts County 22 5 2 15 40 73 0.548 12
12 Stoke 22 4 4 14 26 51 0.510 12
Source: [3][4]
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