DID YOU KNOW..... 4
     
     
 

 

 

Football has a million and one stories and just as many facts and figures. Here are a few of them - the record-breaking, unusual and bizarre.

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CLUBS SCORING 10 OR MORE IN A LEAGUE MATCH......


The highest score in a Football League match is 13 and that has been achieved three times.

The first was on Saturday 6th January 1934  when Stockport County beat Halifax Town 13-0 in a Third Division (North) fixture. It proved to be a disastrous League debut for the Halifax goalkeeper Stanley Milton, although he did keep the score down to 2-0 at half-time! 

On Christmas Day 1935 Oldham Athletic beat Tranmere Rovers 4-1 in a Third Division (North) fixture. On Boxing Day the two met again in the return fixture at Prenton Park and this time Tranmere got the better of their rivals - they won 13-4! The 17 goals is still a record aggregate score for a League match and the 9 goals Robert 'Bunny' Bell scored for the home side - and he missed a penalty - was also a new record although that one only lasted a few months (Joe Payne scores 10).

On Saturday 5th October 1946 Newcastle United became the third and last side to score 13 in a League match when defeating Newport County 13-0 in a Second Division fixture. It proved a perfect debut for Len Shackleton, the 'Clown Prince of Soccer', following his £13,000 move from Bradford Park Avenue to St James' Park. He scored six of the goals, including a hat-trick in just two and a half minutes.

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'Bunny' Bell's record of scoring 9 League goals in a match lasted only until Monday April 13th 1936 when Luton Town's Joe Payne scored 10 in the Hatters' 12-0 victory over Bristol Rovers in a Third Division (South) match.

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Bill Nicholson took over as manager of struggling Tottenham - his first ever managerial job - just a few hours before he saw them let in 4 goals against Everton in a First Division match at White Hart Lane on Saturday 11th October 1958. Not the best of starts you might think but what made it memorable was that Spurs scored 10, the first coming after three minutes and the tenth a couple of minutes before the final whistle. Leaving the pitch to thunderous applause one of the Spurs goalscorers, Tommy Harmer, had to remind his new boss 'We don't score ten every week, you know.'

And it certainly wasn't downhill from then on with Nicholson leading Spurs in the most successful period in their history. A League and cup double in 1961, two more FA Cup victories plus two League Cup wins, a UEFA Cup victory, a European Cup semi and in 1963 they became the first English club to win a European competition - the European Cup Winners' Cup with a 5-1 final defeat of Atlético Madrid. The 10-4 victory over Everton didn't prove to be the top score by Spurs in his reign as manager, which lasted until August 1974. In 1960 they tonked Crewe Alexandra 13-2 in in an FA Cup 4th Round replay.

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Fulham played Ipswich Town twice over the Christmas period in 1963 - at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day with the return at Portman Road a couple of days later, on Saturday 28th December. The programme notes in the second match at Ipswich stated - 'I can only hope that Ipswich kept up the good work against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day. I am afraid that these notes had to be completed long before the result of that match was known so I can only keep my fingers crossed.' Nope, that didn't work, Fulham had won that first match 10-1 which was the last time that a club had scored double figures in the top flight.

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Burslem Port Vale became the first  - and still only - club to concede 10 goals at home in a League match when they lost 0-10 to Sheffield United in a Second Division ficture on Saturday December 3rd 1892. They must have had nightmares about playing their next match a week later - this time away to Sheffield United  - but they only lost that one 0-4.

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The record books show that Bournemouth's record League victory was 7-0 v Swindon Town on Saturday September 22nd 1956. However on Saturday September 2nd 1939 they did beat Northampton Town 10-0 in a Football League Third Division (South) fixture. However the next day war was declared on Germany and the few League matches that had been played in 1939/40 were declared void and expunged from the record books. Various reasons were offered for Northampton's heavy defeat. Unusually alcohol had been permitted on the rail journey, that 'ringers' had been fielded and simply that the Cobblers had not bothered because war was inevitable. The facts were though that on a quagmire of a pitch every Bournemouth shot seemed to result in a goal with the sixth goal being such a powerful shot not only did it burst through the net but injured a spectator behind the goal.

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Another club to lose what would still be a record score is Manchester United. Back in the days when they were Newton Heath their Bank Street pitch was far from the bowling-green surface they now enjoy at the Theatre of Dreams. In fact is was usually no more than mud and sand with the occasional tuft of grass! When Walsall Town Swifts arrived for a Second Division fixture on Saturday March 9th 1895 they immediately objected to the state of the pitch. Another layer of sand was added before kick off and the match was played under protest - with Newton Heath winning 14-0. However Walsall's protest was upheld by the Football League and the match was declared void and ordered to be replayed so the 14-0 scoreline ended up in the history books rather than the record books. The re-arranged match was played on Wednesday April 3rd 1895...with the Heathens only managing a 9-0 win that time!

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Darwen hold the unfortunate record of conceding the most double-figure League defeats in a season. Back in 1896 they were good enough to score double-figures twice themselves (a 10 and a 12) but three years later they were at rock bottom and in the second half of the 1898/99 season lost three matches by a 0-10 scoreline. The Lancashire side set another unwanted record that season - the 141 Second Division goals they conceded (in just 34 matches) is still the worst goals against figure for a season in the Football League. Clubs conceding a century of League goals in a season.

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A Football League investigation into the reasons behind Leicester Fosse's (now Leicester City) poor showing in their 12-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest in April 1909 found that the Leicester players had been celebrating the marriage of a team-mate for 2 days prior to the match! Full story.

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Perhaps over-indulging the day before a match is more common than the Forest v Leicester incident above. Of the 60-odd times that a side has scored double-figures in a League match there is one date that sticks out far more than any other - Boxing Day, yep the day after Christmas Day! Five times December 26th has seen a club conceded 10 or more goals in a League match and perhaps the Wolves' hangovers were particularly bad in 1919 when they lost a Division 2 match 3-10 at Hull City, on December 27th!

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Another favourite day for conceding double figures is the first away League match of the season. Stoke, Burnley, Rotherham and Northampton have all let in 10 or more in their first away League match of the season and Torquay (twice) and Crystal Palace have suffered the same in their second away League match of the season.

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We are still waiting for the first club to score 10 goals in a Premier League match. The highest to date is 9 which has been recorded twice. On Saturday 4th March 1995 Manchester United beat Ipswich Town 9-0 and on Sunday 22nd November 2009 Tottenham beat Wigan Athletic 9-1. So dire was Wigan's defeat that the club immediately offered both an apology to their fans and a promise to refund the ticket price to the 500 or so fans who had bought tickets for the match at White Hart Lane.  Wigan captain Mario Melchiot said 'We are professionals. We will take it on the chin and move on but it's important that we do not take our supporters for granted.' Good for him!

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When Chesterfield visited Gillingham for a Division 3 fixture on Saturday 5th September 1987 they were hoping to maintain their excellent start to the season which had seen them not conceding a League goal in their first four matches. Gillingham, on the other hand, had recorded their second highest League score in their previous League match at the Priestfield Stadium, an 8-1 victory over Southend United. In the Gills Chat programme notes for the Chesterfield match they wrote....'you begin to wonder if the club has exhausted its quota of thrills for the season.' No, Gillingham beat Chesterfield 10-0.

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The last time that a club scored double figures in the League was on Saturday 7th November 1987 when Manchester City defeated Huddersfield Town 10-1 in a Second Division match. Paul Stewart, Tony Adcock and David White each scored hat-tricks for the home side. Former England international Malcolm Macdonald had only been appointed manager of Huddersfield the previous month. Things didn't get much better for him with Huddersfield finishing the season in a distant bottom place and Macdonald ending his managerial career at the same time.

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To the matches themselves. Sixty-three Football League matches have ended with one of the sides scoring 10 or more goals. Two of the those matches (marked * , see above for reasons) were declared void and so are no longer in the official record. The matches -

1889/90 Sat Sep 14 1889 Preston North End 10 - 0 Stoke Football League
1891/92 Sat Mar 12 1892 Aston Villa 12 - 2 Accrington Football League
  Mon Apr 4 1892 WBA 12 - 0 Darwen Football League
1892/93 Sat Oct 15 1892 Newton Heath 10 - 1 Wolves Division 1
  Sat Dec 10 1892 Burslem Port Vale  0 - 10 Sheffield United Division 2
  Sat Dec 17 1892 Small Heath 12 - 0 Walsall Town Swifts Division 2
1893/94 Sat Mar 17 1894 Small Heath 10 - 2 Ardwick Division 2
1894/95 Tue Feb 26 1895 Notts County 10 - 0 Burslem Port Vale Division 2
  Sat Mar 9 1895 Newton Heath 14 - 0 Walsall Town Swifts  Division 2*
  Sat Mar 23 1895 Ardwick 11 - 3 Lincoln City Division 2
1895/96 Mon Jan 13 1896 Darwen 10 - 2 Rotherham Town Division 2
  Tue Feb 18 1896 Liverpool 10 - 1 Rotherham Town Division 2
1896/97 Sat Dec 26 1896 Darwen 12 - 0 Walsall Division 2
1898/99 Sat Feb 18 1899 Manchester City 10 - 0 Darwen Division 2
  Sat Mar 4 1899 Walsall 10 - 0 Darwen Division 2
  Sat Apr 1 1899 Loughborough 10 - 0 Darwen Division 2
1899/00 Mon Mar 12 1900 Woolwich Arsenal 12 - 0 Loughborough Division 2
1900/01 Sat Mar 2 1901 Small Heath 10 - 1 Blackpool Division 2
1902/03 Sat Jan 17 1903 Chesterfield 10 - 0 Glossop Division 2
  Sat Apr 11 1903 Small Heath 12 - 0 Doncaster Rovers Division 2
1908/09 Wed Apr 21 1909 Nottingham Forest 12 - 0 Leicester Fosse Division 1
1912/13 Sat Oct 5 1912 Aston Villa 10 - 0 Sheffield Wed. Division 1
1914/15 Sat Jan 23 1915 Birmingham 11 - 1 Glossop Division 2
1919/20 Sat Dec 27 1919 Hull City 10 - 3 Wolves Division 2
1925/26 Sat Aug 29 1925 Aston Villa 10 - 0 Burnley Division 1
  Fri Jan 1 1926 Sheffield United 11 - 2 Cardiff City Division 1
1927/28 Sat Nov 5 1927 Northampton Town 10 - 0 Walsall Division 3 South
  Sat Jan 7 1928 Tranmere Rovers 11 - 1 Durham City Division 3 North
1928/29 Sat Aug 25 1928 Bradford City 11 - 1 Rotherham United Division 3 North
  Sat Oct 20 1928 Leicester City 10 - 0 Portsmouth Division 1
  Sat Jan 19 1929 Sheffield United 10 - 0 Burnley Division 1
  Sat Mar 16 1929 South Shields 10 - 1 Rotherham United Division 3 North
1929/30 Sat Mar 15 1930 Norwich City 10 - 2 Coventry City Division 3 South
  Thu Apr 10 1930 Newport County 10 - 0 Merthyr Town Division 3 South
1930/31 Sat Dec 13 1930 Huddersfield Town 10 - 1 Blackpool Division 1
  Fri Dec 26 1930 Hull City 10 - 0 Halifax Town Division 3 North
1931/32 Mon Sep 7 1931 Fulham 10 - 2 Torquay United Division 3 South
1933/34 Sat Sep 2 1933 Luton Town 10 - 2 Torquay United Division 3 South
  Sat Nov 18 1933 Middlesbrough 10 - 3 Sheffield United Division 1
  Sat Jan 6 1934 Stockport County 13 - 0 Halifax Town Division 3 North
  Sat May 5 1934 Barrow 12 - 1 Gateshead Division 3 North
1935/36 Thu Dec 26 1935 Tranmere Rovers 13 - 4 Oldham Athletic Division 3 North
  Sat Feb 1 1936 Chester 12 - 0 York City Division 3 North
  Mon Apr 13 1936 Luton Town 12 - 0 Bristol Rovers Division 3 South
1936/37 Thu Feb 4 1937 Stoke City 10 - 3 WBA Division 1
1937/38 Thu Jan 13 1938 Hull City 10 - 1 Southport Division 3 North
  Fri Apr 15 1938 Wolves 10 - 1 Leicester City Division 1
1938/39 Sat Jan 14 1939 Hull City 11 - 1 Carlisle United Division 3 North
1939/40 Sat Sep 2 1939 Bournemouth 10 - 0 Northampton Town Division 3 South*
1946/47 Wed Sep 4 1946 Reading 10 - 2 Crystal Palace Division 3 South
  Sat Oct 5 1946 Newcastle United 13 - 0 Newport County Division 2
1948/49 Sat Jan 15 1949 Notts County 11 - 1 Newport County Division 3 South
1951/52 Sat Sep 29 1951 Lincoln City 11 - 1 Crewe Alexandra Division 3 North
  Sat Jan 19 1952 Oldham Athletic 11 - 2 Chester Division 3 North
1958/59 Sat Oct 11 1958 Tottenham Hotspur 10 - 4 Everton Division 1
  Sat Apr 4 1959 Hartlepools United 10 - 1 Barrow Division 4
1959/60 Sat Nov 14 1959 Aston Villa 11 - 1 Charlton Athletic Division 2
1961/62 Sat Mar 3 1962 Wrexham 10 - 1 Hartlepools United Division 4
1962/63 Wed Dec 26 1962 Oldham Athletic 11 - 0 Southport Division 4
1963/64 Thu Dec 26 1963 Fulham 10 - 1 Ipswich Town Division 1
  Sat Jan 25 1964 Doncaster Rovers 10 - 0 Darlington Division 4
1987/88 Sat Sep 5 1987 Gillingham 10 - 0 Chesterfield Division 3
  Sat Nov 7 1987 Manchester City 10 - 1 Huddersfield Town Division 2
                     

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When you think of ‘dodgy’ results in European Leagues I would guess that your mind doesn’t immediately spring to the German Bundesliga but back in 1978 there was indeed a dodgy result in Germany.

Going into the final day of League matches – Saturday April 29th 1978 - only two clubs were in with a chance of the Bundesliga title – defending champions Borussia Mönchengladbach and Cologne. The clubs were equal on points and both were expected to win their last match of the season meaning that goal difference would decide the destination of the title – and there Cologne had a ten-goal advantage. You just weren’t going to put your life savings on Mönchengladbach retaining their title! But in front of 38,000 fans Mönchengladbach took the lead against opponents Borussia Dortmund in the first minute, by half time they were 6-0 up against their lacklustre opponents and the score at full time was 12-0.

That victory might have won Mönchengladbach the title but Cologne beat bottom club St Pauli 5-0 to become champions thanks to a better goal difference of 3 goals. For Dortmund though the result saw the manager sacked, the players fined and the German FA investigating the club for possible match-fixing. No charges were made although they were critical of the unsporting behaviour shown by the Dortmund players. The 12-0 result is still a record score in the Bundesliga.

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The last match of the regular League season in the 2013/14 Scottish Championship came lose to seeing another potentially ‘impossible’ turn-around in fortunes. Chasing the one automatic promotion spot to the Scottish Premier League the last Saturday – May 3rd 2014 – saw Dundee start the favourites with a two-point and an 8 goal goal-difference advantage over second-placed Hamilton Academical with both clubs expected to win their home matches. This Hamilton duly did, defeating Morton 10-2 to record the first double-figure in the Scottish League since Rangers beat Raith Rovers 10-2 on December 16th 1967. Dundee spoilt things though by beating Dumbarton 2-1 and so maintained their two point lead over the Accies. Hamilton did get their promotion place though that season with victory in the play-offs.

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Remaing north of the border Dundee only played two Scottish League matches in March 1947 - winning 10-0 away to Alloa Athletic on Saturday March 8th 1947 and in their next match they beat Dunfermline Athletic 10-0 at home on Saturday March 22nd.

 

   


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"For those of you watching in black and white, 
Spurs are in the all-yellow strip"

John Motson with a golden oldie.

For dozens more hilarious 'foot-in-mouth' quotes click on Colemanballs