• Football League

Football League marks 125th anniversary

ESPN staff
June 18, 2013
Turf Moor is one of only three grounds still in use today from the first season © PA Photos

The Football League will mark the start of its 125th anniversary season with six landmark matches on the opening weekend of the campaign.

Two matches have been selected from each division that will feature some of the founding members of the Football League from 1888-89, and fixtures of historical significance. The games will be played on the weekend of August 3.

The rest of the Football League fixture list, and the full Premier League calendar, will be released at 9am BST on Wednesday morning.

Founder members meet as Derby County host Blackburn Rovers while local rivals Burnley and Bolton Wanderers will lock horns at Turf Moor - one of only three grounds still in use today from that first season - in the Championship.

Deepdale, home of Preston North End, is another of those original stadiums and it will welcome newly relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers. It will be the 2,343rd Football League game at the ground - more than any other venue. The second League One game sees the oldest professional club, Notts County, visit the oldest professional ground, Sheffield United's Bramall Lane.

Finally in League Two, Newport County - the side promoted to the League most recently through the Conference play-offs - will entertain Accrington Stanley. And the most-played match in the history of the Football League will take place for the 137th time - with Rochdale at home to Hartlepool United.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke said: "For 125 years, Football League clubs have delivered a compelling spectacle, week after week. In the process, attracting a total audience of more than 2.2 billion people and building indelible relationships with their local communities.

"Our clubs and their supporters are the heartbeat of the domestic game, giving English league football a breadth and popularity that is unrivalled anywhere in the world.

"We look forward to celebrating 125 years of incredible matches, unforgettable moments and intense footballing rivalry."

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