It all started on a bright sunny afternoon in September 1888 with 12 Founder Clubs from the North-West and Midlands. Today, The Football League features 72 clubs in three divisions playing 1,656 matches every season.

As The League kicks off the celebrations of its 125th anniversary, we dusted down the record books to tell the story of 125 years in numbers.

Matches:
• There have been 177,164 matches played in The Football League since its inception in 1888
• The most played Football League fixtures are between:

- Aston Villa and Everton (154 times)
- Arsenal and Manchester United (146 times)
- Everton and Liverpool (146 times)

• The most played match amongst current members of The Football League is between Hartlepool United and Rochdale (136 times)

Results:
• 52% of games have been home wins (91,223 games)
• 23% have been away wins (41,470 games)
• 25% have been draws (44,471 games)
• The most common result has been 1-0 with 28,169 occurrences (16% of matches) - NB: this includes games finishing 1-0 and 0-1
• Other regular scores are:

- 2-1 (25,653 - 14%)
- 1-1 (20,415 - 12%)
- 2-0 (20, 407 - 12%)
- 0-0 (12,550) - 7%)

Goals:
• 514,333 goals have been scored
• The home club has scored 317,260 goals (62%), with 197,073 (38%) scored by the away club

Players:
• In total, 39,532 players have appeared in Football League matches
• 508 were called Smith, 384 Jones, 298 Brown, 266 Williams and 228 Taylor
• 3,316 players appeared only once (2,868 of which were 'starts' and 448 substitutes)

Grounds:
• League games have been played on 220 different grounds
• Most matches have been played at Preston North End's Deepdale (2,336), Burnley's Turf Moor (2,304) and Bury's Gigg Lane (2,281).
• There are three stadiums still in use today that were used in the first season. They are Deepdale, Turf Moor and…….Anfield (which was used by Everton)

Turf Moor 1905
- Turf Moor in 1905

Fans:
• The total number of spectators through Football League turnstiles is just under 2.2 billion (2,192,000,000)

Clubs:
• There have been 136 clubs that have played in The Football League. Although there are numerous examples of defunct clubs reforming under new names. In such cases it is often a moot point as to whether these are a continuation of the same club or constitute an entirely separate entity.

Analysis supplied by Tony Brown at www.enfa.co.uk

Following the formation of The Football League in 1888, the popularity of league football spread around the world with domestic leagues being formed in the following years:

1888: England.
1890: Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands.
1891: Argentina.
1895: Belgium.
1897: Switzerland.
1900: Uruguay.
1901: Hungary.
1906: Paraguay.
1909: Romania.
1911: Austria.
1912: Peru.
1921: USA, Ireland, Tunisia, Venezuela.
1924: Sweden, Bulgaria.
1925: Czechoslovakia (then 1993: Czech Republic & Slovakia).
1927: Greece.
1929: Spain, Italy, Denmark.
1932: France.
1933: Chile.
1936: USSR.
1937: Norway, Haiti.
1938: Portugal.
1943: Mexico.
1948: Colombia.
1956: Ghana.
1957: Ecuador.
1959: Brazil, Turkey.
1960: Ivory Coast.
1962: Algeria, Zambia.
1963: Germany.
1965: Japan.
1966: Mali, Nigeria.
1977: Australia, Bolivia.
1983: South Korea.
1988: Panama.
1992: Croatia, Ukraine.
2000: Bosnia.
2001: Russia.
2006: Montenegro, Serbia.

Information supplied by Nick Harris at www.sportingintelligence.com

125th anniversary of The Football League