Club goes back a decade on Saturday
With the Football League celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, Huddersfield Town will wind back the clock 10 years when QPR visit in the first home game of the 2013/14 Championship season on Saturday.
In the summer of 2003, Peter Jackson returned to the Club for a second spell as manager as the Terriers exited Administration. His first season famously ended with Town winning the Division Three Play-Offs, beating Mansfield at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium with Jackson at the helm.
This weekend Peter will return to the Stadium as guest for the big game against Harry Redknapp’s QPR side, which marks 10 years since his first game back in charge – a 2-2 with Cambridge United, with none other than Jon Stead scoring both goals!
He will take to the pitch at half time tomorrow and will subsequently be at the home clash with Doncaster Rovers on 14 September to sign copies of his new book, ‘Living with Jacko’
In 2013 The Football League celebrates 125 years since its inception as the world’s original league football competition.
It all began in March 1888 when League founder William McGregor, the club secretary of Aston Villa, sent his famous letter to clubs suggesting "that ten or twelve of the most prominent clubs in England combine to arrange home-and-away fixtures each season." McGregor’s letter was the catalyst for the beginning of league football, which 125 years later still dominates the sporting landscape in countries across the globe.
Following the Football Association’s decision to permit professionalism in 1885, the game’s development had become stifled by the lack of a coherent and organised fixture list. The predominance of cup football meant that clubs could easily lose fixtures at relatively short notice and it was even common for clubs to cancel matches (or alternatively field scratch teams) because they had been offered more lucrative fixtures elsewhere.
Three weeks later, clubs met at Anderton’s Hotel on Fleet Street in London to consider the contents of McGregor’s letter. The minutes of the first meeting, which included representatives of Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers, record that “a strong feeling was evinced that something should be done to improve the present unsatisfactory state of club fixtures and to render them more certain in their fulfilment and interesting in character”.
The first season of The Football League kicked-off on 8 September 1888 with 12 founder members and the first champions were Preston's ‘Invincibles’ who won 18 and drew four of their 22 league matches.
The Football League was a huge hit with supporters from the off and by 1892 it would have a Second Division with automatic relegation and promotion introduced six years later to replace the unsatisfactory system of ‘test matches’ between clubs.
Across 125 years, more than two billion people have watched 177,000 matches, including many of the most iconic moments in sport.
Today, its 72 clubs form the largest body of professional clubs in European football and no other country has a league system below its top tier to match its breadth, popularity and economic pulling power. League clubs employ more than 2,000 professional players and have 8,000 schoolboy and apprentice players on their books. Every weekend around 350,000 spectators attend matches, helping clubs generate more than £650 million of income every year. Clubs also engage with one and a half million people through their community programmes, extending football’s impact beyond the 90 minutes.
It is an epic story, with epic characters and an anniversary celebration for everyone that loves the game to share.
As part of the celebrations for its 125th Anniversary, The Football League has premiered a new short-film entitled ‘125 Years Young’ which documents the history of the world’s original league football competition since its formation in 1888. Click HERE
to watch it on Town’s YouTube channel now!
Celebrations of The Football League's 125th Anniversary will continue into the new season with the opening of a special exhibition at the National Football Museum in September.
To find out more about the 125th anniversary of The Football League visit FL125.co.uk
for feature articles, stats and photo galleries, or search for #FL125 on Twitter.
Get your ticket for Saturday’s game against QPR now – click HERE for admission info!