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Quiz (Something to be proud of)

edited May 2019 in Football

As these things do a quick search led to more searches and a fact that I probably knew but hadn’t really appreciated and is probably worth repeating.

Since automatic promotion to the football league was introduced in 1986/87 we are the ONLY one of the former non-league clubs to have got promoted in the first 20 years and sustained our existence as a football league side.

That is some achievement and looking at the list of promoted clubs it actually made me proud of what we have done despite everything.

I’ve included the link for anyone interested but if anyone fancies testing their memory, as of next season we will be joined by 11 clubs (I think) who weren’t in the 92 when automatic promotion was introduced.

National League Wikipedia page



  • That's a great fact, @bookertease! It is pretty amazing to think that no-one else has been able to "make it stick" to that degree.

    Without looking, I am going to say:

    1 - Fleetwood
    2 - AFC Wimbledon
    3 - Cheltenham
    4 - Macclesfield
    5 - Salford
    6 - Accrington
    7 - Morecambe
    8 - Forest Green
    9 - Crawley
    10 - Burton

    I am stuck on 11 though (I am not looking at league tables either). I want to say Newport, as a phoenix club, but I can't remember if they are the same Newport as the original one or not.

    If I am right, Burton hold the distinction of being the only one to play in the second tier, though dearly-departed Yeovil did it too, which is rather surreal.

  • Just thought of #11: Stevenage. A funny one to forget, as I was a steward there one season back in their Conference days...

  • Much harder quiz perhaps is to name the 12 clubs that were there in 86 but no longer are. Have to confess I failed abjectly with a dismal seven (plus one wrong). How quickly they are forgotten.

  • If we include the original Wimbledon, then them, York, Orient (or Notts County depending which way round you're doing it), Chester, Darlington, Hartlepool, Hereford, Stockport, Wrexham, Aldershot, Torquay and (I think), Halifax?

    What flavour crisps do I win?

  • edited May 2019

    Impressive, @MindlessDrugHoover. What about Chesterfield though? I think the presence of MK Dons in place of Wimbledon messes with the number.

  • edited May 2019

    Massive thanks to Shev as I couldn't work out how 13 teams had left but only 12 had been promoted. But of course the old Wimbledon never left - they were just renamed MK.

    I agree , very impressive effort from Mindless - far better than me. Not living up to his name at all!

    Interesting stat - of the 12 clubs now in the league that were not in the first auto promotion season (86/7) - only one were even playing at conference level. the others were lower or didn't exist at all.

    On the other hand four of the teams in what was then the fourth division (and still is to old farts like me) have since played in the top division.

    you can name them both of them too if you wish.

  • is Burnley one of them?

  • yes eric finished 22nd staying up by one point

  • Wolves or Wigan?

  • I'm going for Swansea

  • Were Swindon down there back then? Possibly Swansea?

  • Yes to Wolves - finished fourth, made the playoffs but lost final over two legs to the mighty Aldershot.

    Not Wigan though - they lost in the 3rd division playoffs.

  • What about Swansea? And possibly Cardiff back then, thinking about it.

  • Bournemouth could be a possibility too.

  • Mindless either has an outstanding memory or very good access to Wiki

    Swansea were 12th Cardiff 13th.

    Bournemouth were champions of the third division that year.

    The only team to progress from nonleague and remain in the league who were in the conference that year were (surprisingly to me) Cheltenham. The other 11 were in various leagues further down.

    Five other members of the conference that year had spells in the league but have since gone back down. (although some may argue that number). you can have a go at that one too if you wish...............

  • Part memory but mostly educated guesswork.

  • I would guess Barnet and Kidderminster for starters.

  • Boston, Dagenham & Redbridge and Yeovil?

  • Barnet, Kidderminster and Boston are correct.
    Dagenham and Redbridge sort of - just Dagenham back then , the merger with Redbridge Forest came later . actually Leytonstone/Ilford hadn't ever merged with Walthamstow by then.
    Yeovil is a no I'm afraid

    Still one more (actually two as we haven't mentioned the champions that year)

  • Another question. In the first season of automatic promotion (where a club actually went up - so 86/87), what two teams then in Division 1 (Premier now) made it all the way down to non-league (no giggling at the back)

  • Luton and Oxford?

  • @DevC said:
    Barnet, Kidderminster and Boston are correct.
    Dagenham and Redbridge sort of - just Dagenham back then , the merger with Redbridge Forest came later . actually Leytonstone/Ilford hadn't ever merged with Walthamstow by then.
    Yeovil is a no I'm afraid

    Still one more (actually two as we haven't mentioned the champions that year)

    That’ll teach me not to read the question. Scarborough won the league, Maidstone the other?

  • Correct @Shev (probably gave it away by the giggling comment).

    Luton were 7th that season. Unbelievable to see how far they sunk

  • @bookertease - it really has been quite the fall - Luton and Oxford also both won the League Cup in the 1980s, back when everyone played their first teams all the way through (if I remember correctly). That makes it even more notable.

  • Yes Scarborough and Maidstone. Both of whom have since gone bust i believe.

    Maidstone was either my first or second away game (not counting Brentford in the face) depending on which of them or minehead came first. Peter spittle famously dived full length to turn an imdirect free kick into an own goal. 1-0 defeat. To be fair to him presumably the guy taking the free kick didn’t realise it was indirect either.

  • Aaah, indirect free kicks. I remember them well. But I didn’t know that the club I supported through the late ‘forties and early ‘fifties had “gone bust”. Are they indeed “no more” @DevC ? [Suppose I could do a quick google but more important things to attend to at present, like seeing if Kent managed to avoid defeat by Surrey.]

  • @micra - per the wonders of Wikipedia, "Maidstone United Football Club is a professional English football club based in Maidstone, Kent. They currently compete in the National League, the fifth tier of English football. The current club filled the void left by the old Maidstone United, which was a member of The Football League between 1989 and 1992. "

  • Yes, thanks @Shev. I had a peek at that. I don’t understand it. Maidstone United have, to the best of my knowledge, been in continuous existence since I was but a young lad. There have been moves (eg they shared a ground with Dartford at one stage) and their status and ownership have inevitably changed over the intervening decades but, to my simple mind, Maidstone United have remained my home club and I’ve been blissfully unaware of any going bust at any stage. Perhaps it is a case of ignorance being bliss.

  • @micra - I remembered them having issues back in the 1990s, but I always get them muddled with Aldershot, and also a little muddled as to whether the new club kept the history of the old one (Darlington have this effect too).

  • @Shev your memory is better than mine and @micra’s. You also have good reason to get muddled with Aldershot.

    Maidstone United did go into liquidation in 1992/93 (apparently the last FL club to do so) quickly reforming as maidstone invicta before reverting to their original name.

    Their club honours start at 1994–93_Football_League

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