1889–90 in English football

Last updated

Football in England
Men's football
Football League Preston North End
FA Cup Blackburn Rovers
1888–89 Flag of England.svg 1890–91

The 1889–90 season was the 19th season of competitive football in England. Preston North End were Football League champions for the second successive season while The Wednesday finished top of the newly formed Football Alliance. Blackburn Rovers won the FA Cup.


Football League

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGRPtsQualification or relegation
1 Preston North End 22153471302.36733League Champions
2 Everton 22143565401.62531
3 Blackburn Rovers 22123778411.90227FA Cup Winners
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22105751381.34225
5 West Bromwich Albion 22113847500.94025
6 Accrington 2296753560.94624
7 Derby County 22931043550.78221
8 Aston Villa 22751043510.84319 [lower-alpha 1]
9 Bolton Wanderers 22911254650.83119 [lower-alpha 1]
10 Notts County 22651143510.84317Re-elected
11 Burnley 22451336650.55413
12 Stoke 22341527690.39110Failed re-election [lower-alpha 2]
Source: [ citation needed ]
  1. 1 2 Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers finished equal on 19 points and it was agreed that neither would need to face re-election.
  2. Not re-elected, joined Football Alliance. Sunderland elected in their place.

Football Alliance

A new competition, the Football Alliance, started this season. It was formed by 12 clubs as a rival to The Football League, which had begun in the 1888–89 season, also with 12 member clubs. The Alliance covered a similar area to the League, stretching from the Midlands to the North West, but also further east in Sheffield, Grimsby and Sunderland.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGDPtsQualification or relegation
1 The Wednesday 2215257039+3132Football Alliance Champions
2 Bootle 2213276639+2728
3 Sunderland Albion 2112276439+2528 [lower-alpha 1]
4 Grimsby Town 2212285847+1126
5 Crewe Alexandra 2211296859+924
6 Darwen 22102107075522
7 Birmingham St George's 219396249+1321 [lower-alpha 1]
8 Newton Heath LYR 2292114044420
9 Walsall Town Swifts 22831144591519
10 Small Heath 22651144672317
11 Nottingham Forest 22651131623117
12 Long Eaton Rangers [lower-alpha 2] 22421635733810Dropped out
Source: [1]
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
  1. 1 2 Sunderland Albion's point total includes two points awarded after Birmingham St George's refused to fulfil a fixture against them which had been ordered to be replayed by the management committee.
  2. Dropped out of the Football Alliance to join the Midland League.

FA Cup

The FA Cup was won by Blackburn Rovers, who beat The Wednesday 6–1 in the 1890 FA Cup Final to lift the trophy for the fourth time.

National team

In the 1889–90 British Home Championship, England played matches against Wales and Ireland on the same day, 15 March 1890, winning both comfortably. The team for the Wales match were mainly amateur players, whereas the team against Ireland were all professional players. The Irish goal was scored by Jack Reynolds, who later played for England.

In the deciding match against Scotland, the teams drew 1–1 and shared the trophy.

DateVenueOpponentsScore*CompetitionEngland scorersGoals and times
15 March 1890 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (A)Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 3–1 BHC Edmund Currey (Oxford University)
Tinsley Lindley (Nottingham Forest)
Soccerball shade.svgSoccerball shade.svg
Soccerball shade.svg
15 March 1890 Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast (A)Saint Patrick's Saltire.svg  Ireland 9–1 BHC Fred Geary (Everton)
William Townley (Blackburn Rovers)
Joe Lofthouse (Blackburn Rovers)
Kenny Davenport (Bolton Wanderers)
John Barton (Blackburn Rovers)
Soccerball shade.svg 15'Soccerball shade.svg 60'Soccerball shade.svg 80'
Soccerball shade.svg 16'Soccerball shade.svg 84'
Soccerball shade.svg 40'
Soccerball shade.svg 46'Soccerball shade.svg 75'
Soccerball shade.svg 88'
5 April 1890 (Second) Hampden Park, Glasgow (A)Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 1–1 BHC Harry Wood (Wolverhampton Wanderers)Soccerball shade.svg 17'

* England score given first


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  1. "1889–90". The Owl Football Historian. Andrew Drake. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012.