Legends of the game including Brian Clough, Bobby Robson, Sir Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Trevor Francis, Billy Bremner and Herbert Chapman have been named in a list of the greatest contributors to clubs’ league history in a vote as part of The Football League’s 125th Anniversary celebrations.
The names feature in lists for each of the current 72 Football League clubs greatest in various categories including managers, players, captains, fan favourites, matches and seasons. The polls were run by The Football League to celebrate each club’s own contribution to the last 125 years of league football, with the results announced on the anniversary of The Football League’s formation on 17th April 1888 to bring down the curtain on a year of activity celebrating the start of the world’s original league football competition.
Nearly 100,000 votes were cast in the polls after clubs were first invited to compile their own shortlist for each category based on fans’ nominations via social media.
Eddie Howe (AFC Bournemouth), Keith Hill (Rochdale), Paul Tisdale (Exeter City), Danny Wilson (Barnsley), Karl Robinson (Milton Keynes Dons) and Phil Parkinson (Bradford City) all make the list for the greatest managers for their current clubs. Parkinson also won the vote by Colchester United fans and is one of only four managers to make the list for two different clubs – alongside Alec Stock (Queens Park Rangers & Yeovil Town), Brian Clough (Derby County & Nottingham Forest), and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill (Leicester City & Wycombe Wanderers).
A further nine current club managers make the list for their achievements at past clubs, including Manchester United boss David Moyes who was voted Preston North End’s greatest ever manager by their supporters.
Steve Tilson is the only person to make it onto the list as both a greatest player and greatest manager (both for Southend United).
The biggest landslide vote was for Preston North End’s greatest ever player, with the late Sir Tom Finney getting the backing of 97% of those who voted. Not far behind was the poll for Reading’s greatest season, with 93% voting for 2005/06 campaign that saw The Royals set a Football League record points total of 106 in claiming the Championship title.
A list of the winners in each category and a club by club breakdown for each vote with more detail on the winners and nominees can be seen at www.FL125.co.uk/vote.
Supporters can find out more about The Football League’s 125th Anniversary at www.FL125.co.uk. Fans also still have a chance to visit a special exhibition called ‘Game Changers’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester celebrating 125 years of The Football League, with contributions from every club. The exhibition is free to enter and open 7 days a week – for more details visit http://po.st/GameChangers.