1925–26 FA Cup

The FA Cup 1925–26 was the 51st staging of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. Bolton Wanderers won the competition for the second time, beating Manchester City 1–0 in the final at Wembley.

Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. Some matches, however, might be rescheduled for other days if there were clashes with games for other competitions or the weather was inclement. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played. This first edition of the competition with the modern naming convention of the FA cup First and Second Qualifying rounds became First and Second round proper and what was previously called First round proper became Third Round Proper.

1925–26 FA Cup
Country England
Defending championsSheffield United
ChampionsBolton Wanderers
(2nd title)
Runners-upManchester City


Round Date
Extra Preliminary Round Saturday 5 September 1925
Preliminary Round Saturday 19 September 1925
First Qualifying Round Saturday 3 October 1925
Second Qualifying Round Saturday 17 October 1925
Third Qualifying Round Saturday 31 October 1925
Fourth Qualifying Round Saturday 14 November 1925
First Round Proper Saturday 28 November 1925
Second Round Saturday 12 December 1925
Third Round Saturday 9 January 1926
Fourth Round Saturday 30 January 1926
Fifth Round Saturday 20 February 1926
Sixth Round Saturday 6 March 1926
Semi Finals Saturday 27 March 1926
Final Saturday 24 April 1926

First round proper

At this stage 40 clubs from the Football League Third Division North and South joined the 25 non-league clubs who came through the qualifying rounds. Millwall, Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Plymouth Argyle were given a bye to the Third Round. Four Second Division sides, Barnsley, Darlington, Oldham Athletic and Swansea Town were entered at this stage. To make the number of matches up, seven non-league sides were given byes to this round. These were:

38 matches were scheduled to be played on Saturday, 28 November 1925. Seven matches were drawn and went to replays in the following midweek fixture, of which four went to another replay, and one of these went to a third.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Clapton 3–1 Norwich City 28 November 1925
2 Bournemouth 3–0 Merthyr Town 28 November 1925
3 Rochdale 4–0 West Stanley 1 December 1925
4 South Bank 1–4 Stockton 3 December 1925
5 Weymouth 0–1 Newport County 28 November 1925
6 Walsall 0–1 Grimsby Town 28 November 1925
7 Gillingham 6–0 Southall 28 November 1925
8 Leyton 1–0 St Albans City 28 November 1925
9 Chatham 0–3 Sittingbourne 28 November 1925
10 Luton Town 3–0 Folkestone 28 November 1925
11 London Caledonians 1–2 Ilford 28 November 1925
12 Boston 5–2 Mansfield Town 28 November 1925
13 Doncaster Rovers 2–0 Wellington Town 28 November 1925
14 Tranmere Rovers 0–0 Crewe Alexandra 28 November 1925
Replay Crewe Alexandra 2–1 Tranmere Rovers 2 December 1925
15 Worksop Town 1–0 Coventry City 28 November 1925
16 Accrington Stanley 4–0 Wrexham 28 November 1925
17 Brentford 3–1 Barnet 28 November 1925
18 Northampton Town 3–1 Barnsley 28 November 1925
19 Wath Athletic 0–5 Chesterfield 28 November 1925
20 Brighton & Hove Albion 1–1 Watford 28 November 1925
Replay Watford 2–0 Brighton & Hove Albion 2 December 1925
21 Northfleet United 2–2 Queens Park Rangers 28 November 1925
Replay Queens Park Rangers 2–0 Northfleet United 2 December 1925
22 Carlisle United 0–2 Chilton Colliery Recreation 28 November 1925
23 Oldham Athletic 10–1 Lytham 28 November 1925
24 Worcester City 0–0 Kettering Town 28 November 1925
Replay Kettering Town 0–0 Worcester City 3 December 1925
Replay Kettering Town 2–0 Worcester City 7 December 1925
25 Southend United 5–1 Dulwich Hamlet 28 November 1925
26 Bradford Park Avenue 2–2 Lincoln City 28 November 1925
Replay Lincoln City 1–1 Bradford Park Avenue 2 December 1925
Replay Bradford Park Avenue 2–1 Lincoln City 7 December 1925
27 Exeter City 1–3 Swansea Town 28 November 1925
28 Horden Athletic 2–3 Darlington 28 November 1925
29 Blyth Spartans 2–2 Hartlepools United 28 November 1925
Replay Hartlepools United 1–1 Blyth Spartans 2 December 1925
Replay Hartlepools United 1–1 Blyth Spartans 7 December 1925
Replay Hartlepools United 1–2 Blyth Spartans 9 December 1925
30 Halifax Town 0–3 Rotherham United 28 November 1925
31 Charlton Athletic 4–2 Windsor & Eton 28 November 1925
32 Durham City 4–1 Ashington 2 December 1925
33 Southport 1–0 Mold 28 November 1925
34 Aberdare Athletic 4–1 Bristol Rovers 28 November 1925
35 New Brighton 2–0 Barrow 28 November 1925
36 Torquay United 1–1 Reading 28 November 1925
Replay Reading 1–1 Torquay United 2 December 1925
Replay Reading 2–0 Torquay United 7 December 1925
37 Farnham United Breweries 1–10 Swindon Town 28 November 1925
38 Wigan Borough 3–0 Nelson 2 December 1925

Second round proper

The matches were played on Saturday, 12 December 1925. Four matches were drawn, with replays taking place in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Clapton 1–0 Ilford 12 December 1925
2 Reading 6–0 Leyton 12 December 1925
3 Crewe Alexandra 2–2 Wigan Borough 12 December 1925
Replay Wigan Borough 2–1 Crewe Alexandra 16 December 1925
4 Swindon Town 7–0 Sittingbourne 12 December 1925
5 Boston Town 1–0 Bradford Park Avenue 12 December 1925
6 Stockton 4–6 Oldham Athletic 12 December 1925
7 Doncaster Rovers 0–2 Rotherham United 12 December 1925
8 Worksop Town 1–2 Chesterfield 12 December 1925
9 Queens Park Rangers 1–1 Charlton Athletic 12 December 1925
Replay Charlton Athletic 1–0 Queens Park Rangers 17 December 1925
10 Accrington Stanley 5–0 Blyth Spartans 12 December 1925
11 Brentford 1–2 Bournemouth 12 December 1925
12 Northampton Town 3–1 Newport County 12 December 1925
13 Southend United 1–0 Gillingham 12 December 1925
14 Swansea Town 3–2 Watford 12 December 1925
15 Durham City 0–3 Southport 12 December 1925
16 Aberdare Athletic 1–0 Luton Town 12 December 1925
17 New Brighton 2–0 Darlington 12 December 1925
18 Chilton Colliery Recreation 1–1 Rochdale 12 December 1925
Replay Rochdale 1–2 Chilton Colliery Recreation 17 December 1925
19 Kettering Town 1–1 Grimsby Town 12 December 1925
Replay Grimsby Town 3–1 Kettering Town 15 December 1925

Third round proper

40 of the 44 First and Second Division clubs entered the competition at this stage, along with Third Division South teams Millwall, Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Plymouth Argyle. Also given a bye to this round of the draw were amateur side Corinthian. The matches were scheduled for Saturday, 9 January 1926. Nine matches were drawn and went to replays in the following midweek fixture, of which one went to a second replay.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Birmingham 2–0 Grimsby Town 9 January 1926
2 Blackpool 0–2 Swansea Town 9 January 1926
3 Chesterfield 0–1 Clapton Orient 9 January 1926
4 Clapton 2–3 Swindon Town 9 January 1926
5 Bournemouth 2–0 Reading 9 January 1926
6 South Shields 3–0 Chilton Colliery Recreation 9 January 1926
7 Southampton 0–0 Liverpool 9 January 1926
Replay Liverpool 1–0 Southampton 13 January 1926
8 Notts County 2–0 Leicester City 9 January 1926
9 Nottingham Forest 1–0 Bradford City 9 January 1926
10 Blackburn Rovers 1–1 Preston North End 9 January 1926
Replay Preston North End 1–4 Blackburn Rovers 14 January 1926
11 Bolton Wanderers 1–0 Accrington Stanley 9 January 1926
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–1 Arsenal 9 January 1926
Replay Arsenal 1–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 January 1926
13 Middlesbrough 5–1 Leeds United 9 January 1926
14 West Bromwich Albion 4–1 Bristol City 9 January 1926
15 Sunderland 8–1 Boston 9 January 1926
16 Derby County 0–0 Portsmouth 9 January 1926
Replay Portsmouth 1–1 Derby County 13 January 1926
Replay Derby County 2–0 Portsmouth 18 January 1926
17 Everton 1–1 Fulham 9 January 1926
Replay Fulham 1–0 Everton 14 January 1926
18 Sheffield United 2–0 Stockport County 9 January 1926
19 Newcastle United 4–1 Aberdare Athletic 9 January 1926
20 Tottenham Hotspur 5–0 West Ham United 9 January 1926
21 Northampton Town 3–3 Crystal Palace 9 January 1926
Replay Crystal Palace 2–1 Northampton Town 13 January 1926
22 Plymouth Argyle 1–2 Chelsea 9 January 1926
23 Millwall 1–1 Oldham Athletic 9 January 1926
Replay Oldham Athletic 0–1 Millwall 12 January 1926
24 Hull City 0–3 Aston Villa 9 January 1926
25 Southend United 5–2 Southport 9 January 1926
26 Cardiff City 2–2 Burnley 9 January 1926
Replay Burnley 0–2 Cardiff City 13 January 1926
27 Port Vale 2–3 Manchester United 9 January 1926
28 Charlton Athletic 0–1 Huddersfield Town 9 January 1926
29 New Brighton 2–1 The Wednesday 9 January 1926
30 Wigan Borough 2–5 Stoke City 9 January 1926
31 Corinthian 3–3 Manchester City 9 January 1926
Replay Manchester City 4–0 Corinthian 13 January 1926
32 Rotherham United 2–3 Bury 9 January 1926

Fourth round proper

The matches were scheduled for Saturday, 30 January 1926. Three games were drawn and went to replays in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Bournemouth 2–2 Bolton Wanderers 30 January 1926
Replay Bolton Wanderers 6–2 Bournemouth 3 February 1926
2 Bury 3–3 Millwall 30 January 1926
Replay Millwall 2–0 Bury 3 February 1926
3 South Shields 2–1 Birmingham 30 January 1926
4 Notts County 2–0 New Brighton 30 January 1926
5 Nottingham Forest 2–0 Swindon Town 30 January 1926
6 West Bromwich Albion 1–2 Aston Villa 30 January 1926
7 Sheffield United 1–2 Sunderland 30 January 1926
8 Tottenham Hotspur 2–2 Manchester United 30 January 1926
Replay Manchester United 2–0 Tottenham Hotspur 3 February 1926
9 Manchester City 4–0 Huddersfield Town 30 January 1926
10 Fulham 3–1 Liverpool 30 January 1926
11 Clapton Orient 4–2 Middlesbrough 30 January 1926
12 Crystal Palace 2–1 Chelsea 30 January 1926
13 Southend United 4–1 Derby County 30 January 1926
14 Cardiff City 0–2 Newcastle United 30 January 1926
15 Swansea Town 6–3 Stoke City 30 January 1926
16 Arsenal 3–1 Blackburn Rovers 30 January 1926

Fifth round proper

The matches were scheduled for Saturday, 20 February 1926. There were two replays, played in the next midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Notts County 0–1 Fulham 20 February 1926
2 Aston Villa 1–1 Arsenal 20 February 1926
Replay Arsenal 2–0 Aston Villa 24 February 1926
3 Bolton Wanderers 3–0 South Shields 20 February 1926
4 Sunderland 3–3 Manchester United 20 February 1926
Replay Manchester United 2–1 Sunderland 24 February 1926
5 Manchester City 11–4 Crystal Palace 20 February 1926
6 Millwall 0–1 Swansea Town 20 February 1926
7 Clapton Orient 2–0 Newcastle United 20 February 1926
8 Southend United 0–1 Nottingham Forest 20 February 1926

Sixth round proper

The four quarter-final ties were scheduled to be played on Saturday, 6 March 1926. There was one replay, between Nottingham Forest and Bolton Wanderers, played in the following midweek fixture. This then went to a second replay the week after.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Nottingham Forest 2–2 Bolton Wanderers 6 March 1926
Replay Bolton Wanderers 0–0 Nottingham Forest 10 March 1926
Replay Bolton Wanderers 1–0 Nottingham Forest 15 March 1926
2 Fulham 1–2 Manchester United 6 March 1926
3 Clapton Orient 1–6 Manchester City 6 March 1926
4 Swansea Town 2–1 Arsenal 6 March 1926


The semi-final matches were played on Saturday, 27 March 1926. Both matches ended in 3–0 victories for Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers, who went on to meet in the final at Wembley.

Manchester City3–0Manchester United
Bolton Wanderers3–0Swansea Town


The 1926 FA Cup Final was contested by Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City at Wembley. Bolton won by a single goal, scored by David Jack.

Match details

Bolton Wanderers1 – 0Manchester City
Jack Goal 76' (Report)
Bolton Wanderers
Manchester City

See also


1925–26 Birmingham F.C. season

The 1925–26 Football League season was Birmingham Football Club's 30th in the Football League and their 13th in the First Division. They finished in 14th position in the 22-team division. They also competed in the 1925–26 FA Cup, entering at the third round proper and losing to South Shields in the fourth.

Twenty players made at least one appearance in nationally organised first-team competition, and there were ten different goalscorers. Goalkeeper Dan Tremelling played in 43 of the 44 matches over the season; among outfield players, full-back Jack Jones and forward Johnny Crosbie played one fewer, and half-back George Liddell and forward Wally Harris each appeared in 41. Joe Bradford was leading scorer for the fifth successive year, with 27 goals, of which 26 were scored in the league.

1925–26 Southampton F.C. season

The 1925–26 season was the 31st season of competitive football by Southampton, and the club's fourth in the Second Division of the Football League. After finishing in the top half of the league table in their first three seasons in the division, Southampton had their worst year to date in the second flight when they finished in 14th place, ending just six points above the first relegation position. The club suffered a string of losses at the beginning of the campaign, leaving them with points to make up in later months. Former player Arthur Chadwick was brought in as Southampton's new manager in October, and the club subsequently secured their position in the Second Division with a run of wins over the Christmas period, despite continuing to lose points. The club finished in 14th place with 15 wins, eight draws and 19 losses.

In the 1925–26 FA Cup (the first in which all First and Second Division clubs entered at the third round), Southampton faced top-flight side Liverpool at The Dell for the third year running in the tournament. The game finished goalless, and the Saints were eliminated in the replay by a single goal. As usual, the club ended the season with two games against local rivals Portsmouth, for the Rowland Hospital Cup and the Hampshire Benevolent Cup, respectively. Pompey won both games, beating the Saints 4–2 at The Dell in the former and 5–1 at Fratton Park in the latter. The club also played five additional friendly games during the campaign, beating Portsmouth in September and Leicester City in March, drawing with Corinthian in January and Guildford United in April, and losing to Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic in April.

Southampton used 29 different players during the 1925–26 season and had 14 different goalscorers. The club's top scorer was centre-forward Bill Rawlings, who scored 20 goals in the Second Division and one in the Hampshire Benevolent Cup. Six new players were signed by the club during the campaign, with eight released and sold to other clubs. The average attendance at The Dell during the 1925–26 season was 9,806. The highest attendance was 18,391 for the FA Cup third round tie against Liverpool on 9 January 1926; the lowest was around 5,000 against Oldham Athletic in the league on 27 March 1926. The season was the club's last to feature long-time forward Arthur Dominy, who left on a free transfer to join First Division side Everton in the summer of 1926, having made almost 400 appearances for the Saints.

1926 FA Cup Final

The 1926 FA Cup Final was a football match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City on 24 April 1926 at Wembley Stadium in London. The showpiece match of English football's primary cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup (better known as the FA Cup), it was the 55th final, and the fourth at Wembley.

Each team progressed through five rounds to reach the final. Both teams were members of the Football League First Division, Bolton Wanderers occupying a position in upper-mid-table and Manchester City next to bottom. Consequently, Bolton entered the match as favourites and, as expected, went on to win, their single goal being scored by David Jack.

1927–28 Torquay United F.C. season

The 1927–28 Torquay United F.C. season was Torquay United's first season in the Football League and their first season in Third Division South. The season runs from 1 July 1927 to 30 June 1928.

Colne Town F.C.

Colne Town Football Club was an English association football club based in the town of Colne, Lancashire. They played in the Lancashire Combination between 1925 and 1927 and competed in the 1926–27 Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.

Football in Yorkshire

Football in Yorkshire refers to the sport of association football in relation to its participation and history within Yorkshire, England. The county is the largest in the United Kingdom and as thus has many football clubs professional and amateur.

Sheffield in South Yorkshire is recognised by FIFA and UEFA as the birthplace of club football, because Sheffield F.C. are the oldest association football club in the world.Hallam F.C. also from Sheffield are the second oldest. With its origins in the Sheffield Rules code, the game eventually spread to other parts of the county after Hull local Ebenezer Cobb Morley wrote The Football Association's Laws of the Game, which are still used worldwide today.

Jack Andrews (footballer)

John Henry Andrews (26 May 1898 – 12 May 1974) was an English footballer who made 78 appearances in the Football League playing at left half or left back for Darlington and Southend United in the 1920s. He was on the books of Durham City and Grimsby Town, without representing either in the League, played non-league football for Shildon, and returned for a second spell with Darlington ahead of the 1929–30 season, but without playing league football for them.Andrews headed the opening goal when Third Division Southend beat Second Division leaders Derby County by four goals to one in the fourth round of the 1925–26 FA Cup.

Leonard Thompson (footballer)

Leonard Thompson (18 February 1901 – 26 August 1968) was an English professional footballer. He was born in Sheffield as the next to youngest child of Arthur William Thompson and Annie Willy. Too young to go to war, Thompson was encouraged to play for Sheffield school.

List of Birmingham City F.C. seasons

Birmingham City Football Club, an association football club based in Birmingham, England, was founded in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance. For the first thirteen years of their existence, there was no league football, so matches were arranged on an ad hoc basis, supplemented by cup competitions organised at local and national level. Small Heath first entered the FA Cup in the 1881–82 season, and won their first trophy, the Walsall Cup, the following season. During the 1880s, they played between 20 and 30 matches each season.In 1888, the club became a limited company under the name of Small Heath F.C. Ltd, and joined the Combination, a league set up to provide organised football for those clubs not invited to join the Football League which was to start the same year. However, the Combination was not well organised and folded in April 1889 with many fixtures still outstanding. Small Heath were founder members of the Football Alliance in 1889–90, and three years later were elected to the newly formed Second Division of the Football League. They topped the table in their first season, failing to win promotion via the test match system then in operation, but reached the top flight for the first time in 1894. They were renamed Birmingham in 1905, finally becoming Birmingham City in 1943.The club's official history rated 1955–56 as their best season to date. The newly promoted club achieved their highest ever finishing position of sixth in the First Division, reached the 1956 FA Cup Final, and became the first English club side to participate in European competition when they played their opening game in the group stages of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Their only major trophy is the League Cup, which they won in 1963 and 2011; they reached the FA Cup final twice and the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice. During the 1990s, they twice won the Associate Members Cup, a competition open to clubs in the third and fourth tiers of English football.

As at the end of the 2017-18 season, the club's first team had spent 57 seasons in the top division of English football, 54 in the second, and 4 in the third. The table details their achievements in first-team competitions, and records their top goalscorer and average home league attendance, for each completed season since their first appearance in the Birmingham Senior Cup in 1878–79.

List of Bury F.C. seasons

Bury Football Club is an English association football club based in the town of Bury, which was in Lancashire until 1974 when it was absorbed into Greater Manchester. Founded in 1885, Bury first entered the FA Cup in 1887–88. Drawn to play Blackburn Rovers away from home, they travelled to Ewood Park but scratched before the game; the two teams played a friendly match instead, which Bury lost heavily. The team first contested an FA Cup match in 1891–92: they beat Witton and Heywood Central before losing to Blackpool after a replay in the third qualifying round.Bury were founder members of and runners-up in the Lancashire League in 1889–90, and won the championship in their second and third seasons. They were elected to the Football League ahead of the 1893–94 season, won the Second Division title that same season by a nine-point margin, and beat Liverpool, the First Division's bottom club, in the test match to gain promotion. They retained their top-flight status for 17 seasons. During that period Bury twice won the FA Cup. In the 1900 final, they beat Southern League team Southampton by four goals to nil. Three years later, they did not concede a goal in any round as they went on to beat Derby County 6–0, which remains the widest winning margin in an FA Cup final; the ball used in that match is on display at the National Football Museum.They returned to the First Division for a five-season spell in the mid-1920s, and achieved their highest ever finish, of fourth place, in 1925–26. Relegated back to the Second in 1929, Bury have not played in the top flight since; the closest they came was a third place in 1936–37. They flirted with relegation all through the 1950s, finally dropping into the Third Division North for the first time in the club's history in that league's last season before the regional sections were amalgamated into national Third and Fourth Divisions in 1958. Returning to the Second Division as Third Division champions in 1961, Bury spent seven of the next eight seasons at that level. In 1962–63, they reached the semi-final of the Football League Cup, losing 4–3 on aggregate to eventual winners Birmingham City. By 1971 Bury were in the Fourth Division, only for a three-season spell, but they were to spend the first half of the 1980s at that level.Further spells in the third and fourth tiers preceded two successive promotions in the mid-1990s: third place in Division Three – after the Premier League broke away from the Football League in 1992, the divisions were renumbered upwards – followed by the Division Two title in 1996–96 brought Bury to the second tier for the first time in forty years. After two seasons they were relegated, and by 2002, financial problems brought the club into administration and to the brink of folding. A supporters' campaign raised enough money to keep the club afloat, and in recognition of his role within that process, UEFA presented club press officer Gordon Sorfleet with their Best Supporter award for 2002. Bury were relegated at the end of that season, and since then have yo-yoed between the third and fourth tiers.As of the end of the 2017–18 season, Bury have spent 22 seasons in the top tier of the English football league system, 39 in the second, 29 in the third and 23 in the fourth. The table details the team's achievements and the top goalscorer in senior first-team competitions from their first season in the FA Cup in 1887–88 to the end of the most recently completed season.

List of Port Vale F.C. seasons

Port Vale F.C. is an English professional association football club based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, playing in EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system, as of the 2019–20 season. After becoming one of the more prominent football clubs in Staffordshire, Burslem Port Vale were invited to become founder members of the Football League Second Division in 1892. They spent 13 non-consecutive seasons in the division, punctuated by two seasons in the Midland League, before they resigned due to financial difficulties and entered liquidation in 1907. The name of Port Vale continued in the North Staffordshire Federation League, and this new club were successful enough to be reinstated into the Football League in October 1919. They spent 16 non-consecutive seasons in the Second Division, punctuated by them winning the Third Division North title in 1929–30, before dropping back into the third tier for a much longer stay at the end of the 1935–36 campaign. The 1953–54 season saw manager Freddie Steele's "Iron Curtain" defence win both a Third Division North title and a semi-final place in the FA Cup. They failed to build on this success however, though went on to finish as champions of the first ever Fourth Division season under Norman Low's stewardship in 1958–59.

The club had little success throughout the 1960s and 1970s, despite being briefly managed by Stanley Matthews, and in fact were forced to apply for re-election after breaking FA rules on illegal payments in 1968. Gordon Lee guided the club to promotion back to the Third Division the following season, where they would remain until relegation at the end of the 1977–78 campaign. John McGrath steered the club to promotion in 1982–83, though he departed after relegation became inevitable the following season. His assistant, John Rudge, stepped up to become the club's longest-serving and most successful manager, leading the club from 1983 to 1999. Under his leadership Port Vale won promotions in 1985–86, 1988–89 and 1993–94, lifted the League Trophy in 1993 and reached a post-war record finish of eighth in the second tier in the 1996–97 season. After Rudge's reign ended the club entered a decline, slipping into the fourth tier whilst twice entering administration in 2003 and 2012. The decline was arrested when Norman Smurthwaite brought the club out of administration in 2012 and manager Micky Adams achieved automatic promotion from League Two in the 2012–13 season, though they were relegated back into League Two at the end of the 2016–17 season after a failed experiment with a continental staff and playing style.

First team matches were recorded for the first time in 1882, meaning records go back over 125 years, friendlies are not included in this data (including goal tallies). As of the 2019–20 season, Port Vale have never played top-flight football, they have spent 41 seasons in the second tier, 46 seasons in the third tier, 21 seasons in the fourth tier of the Football League, as well as 16 seasons in non-league football. No team has played more second tier seasons or Football League seasons in total (108) without ever reaching the top-flight.

Sam Wadsworth

Samuel John Wadsworth (13 September 1896 – 1 September 1961) was an English professional footballer who played as a left back for Darwen, Blackburn Rovers, Nelson, Huddersfield Town, Burnley and Lytham. He won 9 England caps between April 1922 and October 1926 and was captain for his final four appearances. He later had a long career in management in the Netherlands.

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