Same as last year - it's Bolton at home first game

18 June 2013 03:56
Burnley's 2013/14 season will kick off with exactly the same fixture as did the 2012/13 season with Bolton Wanderers visiting Turf Moor on Saturday 3rd August. Bolton players warming up at Turf Moor ahead of last season's opening game

It was the least likely of games I expected us to start the season with given that it is very rare these days for the Football League to repeat an opening fixture. The last time they did with Burnley was in 1988/89 and 1989/90 when we played Rochdale, but on that occasion the first one was at home and the second one away.

Twice we've played Arsenal on successive opening days, in the early 1950s and again in the early 1960s. They were both a home/away pairing and the seasons either side of World War II were kicked off against Coventry but again one at home and one away.

Just prior to World War I we played Glossop North End on the first day, but like Arsenal and Coventry there was one at home and one away.

Incredibly in the four seasons 1905/06 to 1908/09 we played West Brom in the first game but we alternated home and away which means away games against Accrington in 1890/91 and 1891/92 seasons are the only occasion we've started the season with the identical fixture with both of these games played at Thorneyholme Road, now the home of Accrington Cricket Club.

The reason for this season's game against Bolton is to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Football League and ahead of the fixture release tomorrow they've confirmed six opening day games, two in each of the three divisions.

Founder members of the Football League will face each other in three of those games. Alongside Burnley v Bolton in the Championship is Derby v Blackpool and one division down Deepdale hosts the Preston v Wolves fixture.

Notts County, another former member, will play Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, the oldest football ground in England, in the other League One game whilst in League Two Accrington, that's the modern day Stanley and not the long gone original club, will play Newport away.

To complete the list comes Rochdale v Hartlepool, selected because it is the most often played fixture in league history.

The four remaining founder members of the Football League are Aston Villa, Everton, Stoke and West Brom who are all currently in the Premier League.

It's appropriate that both Burnley and Preston are at home given that they are the only grounds still staging Football League games from those used in the first ever Football League season, although current Premier League ground Anfield, then the home of Everton, was one of the other ten grounds used.

The remaining fixtures for the 2013/14 season will be revealed tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.

Source: Clarets Mad


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