125 Years Of The Football League
The anniversary of Everton's first ever league fixture.
This Sunday marks 125 years to the day since Everton played its first ever Football League fixture.
On 8 September 1888, Everton – one of the 12 founder members – beat Accrington 2-1 in front of 12,000 fans at Anfield courtesy of a George Fleming brace.
The game kicked off at around 4.25pm after the visitors had arrived 20 minutes late.
The Everton team that afternoon was: Smalley, Ross, Holt, Dick, Jones, Dobson, Fleming, Waugh, Lewis, Chadwick, Farmer.
There were five matches played on the opening weekend with two clubs, Blackburn Rovers and Notts County, having to wait a further seven days to make their league debuts.
Derby County recorded a 6-3 win away at Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End beat Lancashire rivals Burnley 5-2, West Bromwich Albion won 2-0 away at Stoke and Wolves played out a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.
Despite Everton's encouraging form in the opening months of the campaign, it proved to be a disappointing season with the Blues recording an eighth place finish .
They won just three of their last 13 matches and the lack of a settled side meant that 35 different players were used in the 22 fixtures.
Preston's 'Invincibles' were the League's first champions going unbeaten for the entire season. The Lancashire club also won the FA Cup to become the first ever 'double' winners.
Later this month, The Football League and the National Football Museum will launch an exhibition entitled Game Changers: 125 Years of The Football League.
The Exhibition will tell the story of the origins of the professional game and its place at the heart of our nation’s sporting culture.
The exhibition brings to life the personalities and events that have shaped league football, both on and off the pitch, and features items contributed by all 72 Football League clubs.
To find out more about The Football League’s 125th Anniversary visit www.fl125.co.uk