Football League
1888-1915
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Contact Us Page Last Updated 13 October 2020
 
 
1895-96

Football League 1896-97

1897-98
  
Final League Table - Division One
Teams in a silver box denotes a player representing England in 1896-97
Teams denoted with ▼ were relegated to the second division for the following season a
fter finishing in the bottom two placings of the test matches
Team P Home Away
W D L F A W D L F A
Aston Villa 30 10 3 2 36 16 11 2 2 37 22 47
Sheffield United 30 6 4 5 22 16 7 6 2 20 13 36
Derby County 30 10 2 3 45 22 6 2 7 25 28 36
Preston North End 30 8 4 3 35 21 3 8 4 20 19 34
Liverpool 30 7 6 2 25 10 5 3 7 21 28 33
Wednesday 30 9 4 2 29 11 1 7 7 13 26 31
Everton 30 8 1 6 42 29 6 2 7 20 28 31
Bolton Wanderers 30 7 3 5 22 18 5 3 7 18 25 30
Bury 30 7 5 3 25 15 3 5 7 14 29 30
Wolverhampton Wanderers 30 6 4 5 26 14 5 2 8 19 27 28
Nottingham Forest 30 8 3 4 30 16 1 5 9 14 33 26
West Bromwich Albion 30 7 2 6 18 16 3 4 8 15 40 26
Stoke 30 8 3 4 30 18 3 0 12 18 41 25
Blackburn Rovers 30 8 1 6 27 25 3 2 10 8 37 25
Sunderland 30 4 6 5 21 21 3 3 9 13 26 23
Burnley 30 4 5 6 25 25 2 2 11 18 36 19

Everton recorded a six-match winning run from 19 December 1896:
Stoke (h) 4-2, Sunderland (h) 5-2, Sheffield U. (a) 2-1, Stoke (a) 3-2, Nottingham F. (h) 3-1, West Brom (a) 4-1,
before losing 4-3 at home to Preston on 6 February 1897. Aston Villa's biggest winning sequence was their last five matches. Sunderland's unbeaten home record of 37 league matches at Newcastle Road was ended by Bury in their first game of the season.


 
How The League Was Won 1896-97 Season
Timeline
21 consecutive Saturdays from 5 September 1896 to 23 January 1897, plus Good Friday, 16 April 1897
With no games allowed in August, there were four opening games on Tuesday, 1 September 1896 and a fifth on the following day. Two additional games were played on the first Monday in September, plus one on a Monday in October, two on Mondays and one on a Wednesday in November, four on Mondays in December (including three in the festive week), four on each of Christmas Day and New Year's Day and one on the Tuesday of the festive week (Boxing Day was a Saturday). There were no midweek games in January, but two on Mondays in February, three on a Tuesday and one each on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in March, and five on Mondays (including Easter), two on the day after Easter Monday and two on a Thursday in April. The remaining games were played on Saturdays between February and April, with the FA Cup taking precedence on five weekends from the first round on 30 January 1897 to the final on 10 April 1897 (a week earlier than the previous season to avoid Easter). There were two weeks between each round and three weeks before the semi-finals and final. The first test match was played on Easter Saturday, but another was postponed and rearranged for the following Wednesday, with the remainder played on consecutive Saturdays and Mondays. Last league game was on Monday 26 April (Preston 0-1 Aston V.), the same day as the test matches were concluded.
 

Monday, 5 April 1897
Burnley 2 Derby County 3
  
Turf Moor, Burnley (3,000)

Bowes, Morrison
~ Bloomer (2), McQueen

Almost a year to the day when Derby's draw at Burnley had ended their title hopes and presented the championship to Aston Villa, this win reduced Villa's lead to seven points, with four games left. Villa had three to play.

Top Two 5 April 1897
Team P
Aston Villa 27 41
Derby County 26 34

 
Saturday, 10 April 1897
Bury 1 Derby County 0
  
Gigg Lane, Bury (6,108)

Settle

In a unique occurrence, Aston Villa won both legs of the 'double' on the same day. For, whilst they were beating Everton 3-2 in the FA Cup Final at the Crystal Palace, Derby were relinquishing their last hope of catching them in the league title race. Villa went on to increase their winning margin to eleven points, with Sheffield United pipping Derby to become runners-up on goal average.

 
The Elite League 1896-97 Season (games between the top four)
Team P Home Away
W D L F A W D L F A
Aston Villa 6 2 1 0 7 4 2 1 0 4 1 10
Sheffield United 6 0 2 1 2 4 1 1 1 5 4 5
Preston North End 6 1 0 2 1 3 1 1 1 5 5 5
Derby County 6 0 1 2 4 8 1 1 1 5 4 4
Preston North End and Sheffield United replaced Bolton Wanderers and Everton from the previous season's top four

Games played between the top two:-
 
Saturday, 12 September 1896
 Aston Villa 2 Sheffield United 2
  
Wellington Road, Handsworth (5,000)

Burton, Wheldon
~ Henderson, Priest
Saturday, 3 October 1896
Sheffield United 0 Aston Villa 0
   Bramall Lane, Sheffield (12,000)

 
The Continuous League 1888-97 (first nine seasons)
Team P Wins
Aston Villa 242 134 306
Preston North End 242 127 294
Everton 242 128 289
Sunderland 198 113 260
After nine years at the top, Preston were finally overhauled, but this was the fifth season of thirty games each, following three of 22 and one of 26 games each, so comparisons with other seasons have little relevance. Sunderland still had the highest average points per game from their seven seasons.
The Continuous 'Thirty Games' League  1892-97 (last five seasons)
Team P Wins
Aston Villa 150 93 210
Sunderland 150 82 193
Everton 150 79 181
Derby County 150 65 161
Aston Villa also overhauled Sunderland's lead.
Aston Villa also overhauled Sunderland's lead.

 
Champions: Aston Villa
Manager: George Ramsay
1896-97 Most Appearances
by England Players
Name Played Goals
Charlie Athersmith 30 8
Fred Wheldon 30 18
Jack Devey 29 17
Howard Spencer 28  
Jimmy Crabtree 25  
Jack Reynolds 24 2
Steve Smith 15 3
Jimmy Crabtree, Jack Devey and Steve Smith did not play for England this season.
1896-97 Most Goals
by England Players
Name Played Goals
Fred Wheldon 30 18
Jack Devey 29 17
Derby's Steve Bloomer was top scorer with 24 goals.
Scottish international, George Allan of Liverpool was joint-third on the list with 17.

 
England and the Football League 1896-97 Season
England's impact on the Football League
Of the 33 playing positions used during the active 1896-97 season, Football League players provided 26 of them, and of the eleven goals scored, League players scored all of them.
Seven of the 16 first division clubs were represented.
Four Football League games had a direct impact on two of England's games, on 20 February and 3 April.
As a result, on 20 February, England took Sheffield United's Ernest Needham and The Wednesday's Tom Crawshaw. On 3 April, Everton were without Edgar Chadwick and Alf Milward, and England again took Crawshaw.
 
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