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Football League First Division

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Title: Football League First Division  
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Subject: List of Chelsea F.C. records and statistics, List of Manchester United F.C. records and statistics, Nigel Gibbs, Jimmy Ross (footballer, born 1866), 1990–91 in English football
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Football League First Division

Football League First Division
Country England
Founded 1888
Folded 2004 (renamed as Football League Championship)
Number of teams 24
Level on pyramid 2 (1992–2004)
1 (1888–1992)
Promotion to Premier League (1992–2004)
Relegation to Second Division
Domestic cup(s) FA Cup
League Cup
Full Members Cup (1985–1992)
International cup(s) European Cup (1956–1985, 1991–1992)
European Cup Winners' Cup (1960–1985, 1990–1999)
UEFA Cup (1971–1985, 1990–2004)
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (1955–1971)
Last champions Norwich City
Most championships Liverpool
(18 titles)

The First Division was a division of the Football League between 1888 and 2004 and the highest tier in English football until the creation of the Premier League in 1992, when the highest division in the reduced Football League became the second tier in English football. Since a 2004 rebrand it has been known as the Football League Championship.


The Football League was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. It originally consisted of a single division of 12 clubs (Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Preston North End, Stoke (now Stoke City), West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers), known as The Football League. When the League admitted additional members from the rival Football Alliance in 1892, it was split into two divisions.

For the next 100 years, the First Division was the top professional league in English football. Then, in 1992 the 22 clubs making up the First Division elected to resign from the Football League and set up the English football league system.

The First Division was renamed as the Football League Championship prior to the start of the 2004–05 season, as part of a league-wide rebrand.


The First Division initially consisted of 12 founder clubs; since then it has undergone a series of expansions as football became more popular and the number of quality teams increased. There were also a series of contractions in the late 1980s, although they were soon reversed, as follows:

No. of teams From To
12 1888 1891
14 1891 1892
16 1892 1898
18 1898 1905
20 1905 1915
22 1919 1987
21 1987 1988
20 1988 1991
22 1991 1992
24† 1992 2004

† as the second tier of professional football in England from 1992

Player's medals

As of the 1947–48 season making 7 appearances for their club during the season was not enough for a player to qualify for a winners medal.[1]

As of the 1975–76 season players had to make 14 appearances for their club during the season in order to qualify for a winners medal.[2]

First Division champions

The trophy received by the winners of the First Division


See List of English football champions.


See List of winners of English Football League Championship and predecessors.


  1. ^ "Player profile: Bryn Jones". Arsenal player database. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Joey Jones: Profile". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
First tier of English football
Succeeded by
Premier League
Preceded by
Football League Second Division
Second tier of English football
Succeeded by
Football League Championship
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