Preston North End FC, England's first league champions
Despite being a team unknown to many football fans, Preston North End were the first English League champions.
Preston North End FC is an English team that currently plays in the EFL Championship, the English second division. Although the club has 142 years of history since the 1960-61 season they have not been able to return to the Premier League. In addition, it is also not common to see him compete in tournaments like the FA Cup, not even the English Football League Cup.
Despite being a club unknown to many fans, Preston North End FC is a historic team in English football. Not only was he the first champion of the English league, but he was also the first two-time champion. And even, though it was the first English team to win a league title without losing a game. In the 2003/2004 season, Arsenal FC (The Invincibles of Thierry Henry), managed to match that sporting feat.
The original rules of the league stated that the teams' positions were to be calculated "from wins, draws, and losses", without further details. It was not until the end of November that a points system was decided upon, with teams receiving two points for a win and one point for a draw. Goal average was used to separate teams tied on points.
In the first season of the English Football League (1888/89), The Lilywhites (nickname for Preston North End) took part in a tournament of just 12 teams, alongside famous teams such as Aston Villa, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton and Stoke City. They obtained a total of 40 points, thanks to 18 wins, 4 draws, and 0 losses (they scored 75 goals and only conceded 15), 11 points more than Aston Villa. The top scorer that season was John Goodall, with 21 goals in 22 games played. Obviously, it was a different league, with a smaller number of matches, which made it a little easier to win the title without losing a single match. However, it is still a very important achievement in the history of English football. In addition, the team was champion of the FA Cup with 5 wins in 5 rounds, also adding the remarkable condition of not having conceded goals.
The following season (1889/90) was a bit more difficult for Preston North End. In total, they played 22 games, won 15 games, tied 3 and lost 4. Despite these numbers, the team won the league title again thanks to the 33 points they got, 2 more than the runner-up Everton. In this way, Preston North End was not only the first English team to achieve the double (League + FA Cup), but they were also the first two-time English champion (2 consecutive leagues). In the 1890/1891 season, Preston North End came very close to a three-time championship but finished the season in second place. The champion that year was Everton with 29 points, 2 more than "PNE."
Sadly, Preston North End never won the English league again. Its last title was in the 1937-1938 season when they won the FA Cup for the second time in its history. Today, Preston North End continues to play in its original stadium, Deepdale Stadium, located in the city of Preston. In fact, one of its stands is called "The Invincible Pavilion". 5,600 seats in memory of that historic squad that has the first unbeaten league title in English football history.