EFL First division winner 1888-1889 season(first season)

English football First Division league winner 1889

The 1888-1889 season wasn't just another year in English football; it marked a seismic shift. From the ashes of regional competitions emerged a unified powerhouse: the Football League, the world's oldest professional association football league. This inaugural season witnessed not only the birth of the league but also the crowning of its first champions, Preston North End, etching their names in history with an unparalleled achievement. Let's delve into this historic campaign, dissecting the champions' dominance, acknowledging other contenders, and celebrating individual brilliance.


Imagine a season where a team remains unbeaten, a feat so rare it has only been replicated once in the league's illustrious history. That's the magic of the 1888-1889 EFL season, where Preston North End carved their names in football folklore with an unforgettable campaign. But their journey wasn't the only story. This inaugural season saw the rise and fall of other contenders, individual stars igniting the pitch, and the laying of the foundation for a footballing giant that would echo through generations.

The League Winner: Preston North End - Untouchable and Unmatched:

Preston North End didn't just win the league; they dominated it. Their statistics speak volumes:

Points: 42 (highest in the league)
Win-Draw-Loss: 18-4-0 (unbeaten throughout the season)
Goals Scored: 57 (highest in the league)
Goals Conceded: 16 (second-lowest in the league)
These figures paint a picture of a team that was simply unstoppable. Their 77% win rate remains the highest in league history, and their undefeated run stands as the longest, only matched by Arsenal's "Invincibles" in 2003-04.

Records made

This season was a factory for records for Preston. They set the bar high for future champions with:

Highest win percentage in a single season (81.82%)
Most consecutive wins to start a season (12)
Fewest defeats in a season (0)
Their dominance wasn't just about statistics; it was about moments that etched themselves into the fabric of football history. Their 5-0 thrashing of Stoke City showcased their attacking prowess, while their narrow 1-0 win against Aston Villa, considered their toughest test, cemented their defensive resolve.

Other Positions(Runner ups):

While Preston reigned supreme, the other teams fought their own battles, adding different shades to the narrative:

Aston Villa (Second Place): 

With 34 points and a -2 goal difference, Villa finished a respectable second. Their top scorer, John Goodall, with 21 goals, terrorized defenses, showcasing the attacking talent emerging in the league.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (Third Place):

 Boasting the season's third-highest goal tally (44), Wolves announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Their attacking flair laid the foundation for their long-standing rivalry with Preston, adding another layer to the league's intrigue.

Blackburn Rovers (Fourth Place): 

Despite their impressive 32 points, Rovers fell just short of the podium. Their strong defense, conceding only 18 goals, hinted at their future potential.

Accrington and Burnley (Relegated): 

The unforgiving nature of professional football was evident as these teams found themselves relegated. Their struggles served as a stark reminder of the competitive landscape.

Top Players of the Season:

The inaugural season also witnessed the rise of individual stars who would inspire future generations:

John Goodall (Aston Villa): 

The league's first-ever top scorer, Goodall's 21 goals showcased his pace and finishing ability, making him a nightmare for defenders.

Fred Freeman (Preston North End): 

With 13 clean sheets, Freeman's agility and command of the area solidified Preston's defensive resolve, playing a crucial role in their unbeaten run.

Fred Dewhurst Sudell (Preston North End):

 The team's captain and midfielder, Sudell embodied their spirit. His leadership, creativity, and 5 goals cemented his place as a football pioneer.

Previous Seasons:

Before the EFL, English football was fragmented, with regional competitions dictating the landscape. The five seasons leading up to 1888-1889 saw:

1883-84: Preston North End's dominance in the Lancashire League continued.
1884-85: Aston Villa emerged victorious in the Football Association


List of premier league winners

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