Best League Finish
Notts have twice finished 3rd in what would now be called the Premier League:- 1890/91 (This was only the 3rd season of League Football) and 1900/01.
The highest finish in living memory was 15th in the top flight for two seasons running, the better points tally came in 1982/83.
Top of the top flight
Notts were last seen at the very top of the English pyramid after two games of season 1983/84.
Longest spell in the top flight
County enjoyed 16 consecutive seasons in the top flight from 1897/98 to the end of 1912/13.
Since then, Notts have twice managed 3 season stints at the very top, 1923/24 to 1925/26 and 1981/82 to 1983/84. There was also an odd season at the highest level in 1991/92.
Longest spell in the top two tiers
Notts spent the first 38 seasons of the Football League in the top two tiers before relegation to the 3rd tier came in 1930. Since then, the club's longest spell in the top two divisions was 12 seasons (mostly under manager Jimmy Sirrel) from 1973/74 to 1984/85.
Notts have been promoted 13 times in all.....
From the 2nd tier
County have been crowned champions of the 2nd tier three times; 1896/97*, 1913/14 & 1922/23.
*Even though Notts won the league in 1896/97, they still had to take part in what were then called end of season "Test Matches" in which promotion and relegation issues were decided, Notts came top of a 4 team group to secure promotion to the top flight.
Notts finished runners-up to gain promotion to the top flight during Jimmy Sirrel's 2nd spell as Manager in 1980/81.
County won their 2nd successive Play Off final at Wembley Stadium in 1990/91 under manager Neil Warnock to earn an incredible double promotion to the Top Flight.
Notts were unsuccessful in an end of season "Test Match" in both 1893/94 and 1894/95, but - as mentioned earlier - County won promotion via a "Test Match" group in 1896/97. Test matches were abolished for 1898/99 and it was not until 1986/87 that the Play Offs were introduced.
From the 3rd tier
Notts were twice crowned champions of the 3rd Division South; 1930/31 & 1949/50, the latter being the highlight of the Tommy Lawton era with Meadow Lane crowds averaging over 35,000.
Jimmy Sirrel's first spell in charge at Notts saw the Magpies secure promotion on the final day of season 1972/73.
County won promotion in 1989/90 by winning their first ever Wembley final.
There have also been two unsuccessful play off campaigns at this level; Notts lost in a 3rd tier semi-final in 1987/88 and were losing 3rd tier finalists at Wembley in 1995/96.
From the 4th tier
Notts have been champions of the 4th tier on three occasions and all in record breaking style;
County were unbeaten at home and won 30 of their 46 matches under Jimmy Sirrel in 1970/71.
Notts won 10 consecutive league games (29 wins in 46 overall) during 1997/98 under Sam Allardyce.
The Magpies notched up a goal difference of +65 and kept 26 clean sheets with Kasper Schmeichel in goal in 2009/10.
Notts were promoted from the League's basement division in 1959/60 as runners up.
Notts have not been promoted via the play-offs from the 4th tier.
County have only once competed in the 4th tier play-offs, losing in the semi-finals to Coventry City in 2017/18.
The FA Cup
Notts County won the FA Cup in 1893/94, County were the first League club below the top flight to lift the trophy (having been relegated to the 2nd tier the previous season) and they won it by beating Bolton Wanderers 4-1 at Goodison Park, Jimmy Logan scored a hat-trick. This was also the first time the FA Cup had been won by a professional club outside of the North West or West Midlands.
Notts had also reached the final in 1890/91 but lost 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers.
County last reached the Semi-Finals in 1921/22, since then Notts have reached the Quarter-Finals three times; 1954/55, 1983/84 and 1990/91.
Notts last reached the 5th Round (last 16) in 2009/10.
For a list of all Notts' FA Cup results see here.
Notts have never got further than the Quarter Finals which have been reached three times; 1963/64, 1972/73 and 1975/76.
Click on the League Cup for a list of all of Notts' games played in this competition.
Other Cup Competitions
Notts lifted the Anglo-Italian Cup at Wembley after beating Ascoli 2-1 in season 1994/95 having been runners-up the previous season.
A list of all Notts' Anglo-Italian Cup results can be viewed here.
The Anglo-Scottish Cup final was reached
in 1980/81, this was a two leg home
and away affair in which Notts met Chesterfield, but County lost 2-1 on
A list of all Notts' Anglo-Scottish Cup results can be viewed here.
County were one step away from reaching the Associate
Members Cup* final at Wembley in seasons
Notts had also reached the semi-finals of the largely ignored 3rd Division South Cup in 1936/37 which required a replay not played until the following season and watched by a mere 500, which Notts lost 8-3!
The Magpies qualified for the pre-season Watney Cup in 1972. A list of all Notts' results in minor domestic Football League competitions can be viewed here.
*The Associate Members Cup is now referred to as The Football League Trophy but more commonly known by whoever happens to be sponsoring it.
For a list of results in the Nottinghamshire F.A.
County Cup see here.
Notts' Record Result
15-0 v Rotherham in a 1st Round FA Cup tie at Trent Bridge on 24th October 1885.
Notts record league victory is 11-1 v Newport County at Meadow Lane in a 3rd tier fixture on 15th January 1949 whilst the best away league win is 8-1 at Accrington on 12th October 1889.
The record victory in England is held by Preston North End who beat Hyde Utd 26-0 in an FA Cup tie in 1887, the record English League victory is 13-0 which has occurred twice, most recently in 1946 when Newcastle United beat Newport County. Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36-0 in a Scottish Cup match in 1885.
Notts biggest victory in a friendly match appears to be 17-0 against a Rolls Royce Leisure Select XI on 7th July 2018, prior to that Notts had recorded a 15-1 victory at Newquay on 26th July 2002.
Notts' Most Surprising Victories
Notts most startling win has to be the 1-0 victory at Aston Villa on the opening day of season 1981/82, Villa were the reigning English league champions who would go on to win the European Cup that season, whilst for Notts it was their first top flight fixture in 55 years. County also won the return match by the same score at Meadow Lane.
In the FA Cup. as a 2nd tier club in 1955 the Magpies knocked out Chelsea who went on to be top flight champions that season. As a 4th tier club Notts knocked out top flight Wigan Athletic in 2010 in an away replay.
In the League Cup, in the days when cup competitions were taken far more seriously, 3rd tier Notts knocked out the holders Stoke City in 1972/73 to reach the Quarter-finals (City's line-up included England's 1966 World Cup final hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst). 2nd tier County beat Leeds United, who had contested the most recent European Cup Final, at Elland Road in 1975/76.
Notts' Lowest League Finish
Notts finished in 5th place in the 5th tier for the 2nd successive season 2021/22, losing in the 'Eliminator Round' of the play offs having lost in the final and semi-final in the previous two campaigns.
Lowest ever league position on the night after a match
Notts were 23rd in the 5th tier under manager Neal Ardley after game 3 of season 2019/20.
Longest spell in the lower divisions (below the 2nd tier)
2022/23 will be Notts' 28th consecutive season out of the top two divisions, this being easily County's longest spell in lower league football which began with season 1995/96, dropping into non-league for season 2019/20.
Notts have been relegated 17 times in all.....
From the Top flight
County have surrendered their place amongst the elite on 6 occasions; 1892/93*, 1912/13, 1919/20, 1925/26, 1983/84 and 1991/92
*In 1892/93 (the first season in which clubs would be relegated to the newly created 2nd tier) Notts lost their top flight status after losing an end of season "Test Match".
Notts (and Bury) won a reprieve from relegation on 30/May/1905 in a vote after it was decided to increase the 1st and 2nd tiers from 18 to 20 clubs, Notts received 10 more votes than Manchester United who remained in tier 2.
From the 2nd tier
Notts have dropped into the lower leagues on 5 occasions; 1929/30, 1934/35, 1957/58, 1984/85 and 1994/95.
From the 3rd tier
Notts have been relegated to the basement division 5 times; 1958/59, 1963/64, 1996/97, 2003/04 and 2014/15.
From the 4th tier
Notts were relegated to the 5th tier (non-league) in season 2018/19.
Heaviest Notts defeat
Notts have lost 9-1 on three occasions:- At Aston Villa in only Notts' 3rd ever Football League fixture on 29th September 1888, then at Blackburn Rovers (also in a league match) on 16th November 1889 and at Portsmouth in the 2nd tier on 9th April 1927.
The worst ever home defeat is 7-0 to Preston North End in an early Football League fixture on 3rd November 1888.
Most Embarrassing Defeat
Notts have been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league clubs on more occasions than anybody should care to remember. The most embarrassing of these would have to be the 3-1 home defeat to Cheshire County League outfit Rhyl on 5th January 1957 as Notts were a 2nd tier club at the time. Manager George Poyser, who'd taken County all the way to the Quarter-finals two years earlier, was sacked a few days later.
In the league on 17th September 2022, Notts lost 3-1 at part-time Dorking Wanderers who had just been promoted to tier 5 having only previously spent two seasons in tier 6 following their formation 23 years earlier.
Notts were the first club ever to be deducted a league point on 4th December 1889 after fielding an unregistered player borrowed from non-league Nottingham Forest - Tinsley Lindley - when Notts were a man short for the visit of Aston Villa at Trent Bridge on 9th November 1889. Ironically Lindley had studied law and was to become a barrister and he took charge of the appeal heard on 27th December, the deduction was wiped out but the fine was increased from £5 to £25.
Notts' Record Goal Scorers
Les Bradd scored 124 league goals (or 125 depending on which book you choose to refer to!) and a further 12 Cup goals for Notts having joined from Rotherham United in October 1967. Bradd eventually left for Stockport County in the summer of 1978.
Tom Keetley is Notts'
highest league scorer in a single season scoring 39 league goals in 1930/31.
In terms of appearances, Keetley is also Notts most prolific scorer averaging
0.91 goals a game and holds the Notts record for the most hat-tricks, 10.
Season 2009/10 saw
Hughes become the first Notts player to score
30 league goals in one league campaign since Tommy
Lawton bagged 31 in season 1949/50.
The all time record number of goals in a season is 60 set by Dixie Dean for Everton in 1927/28, Dean later had a short spell at Notts.
Harry Cursham notched up 48 (or is it 49?!) FA Cup goals in the 1880s, an all time record for any player regardless of club. He scored 6 times in the 11-1 replay at Wednesbury Strollers on 10th December 1881.
Three different players have managed to score 5 goals for Notts in a single league match, but this hasn't happened since 1927 when Bertie Mills netted 5 times in a 9-0 victory over Barnsley. The most recent player to score 4 goals for Notts in a competitive match was Paul Heffernan on 21st February 2004 in a 4-1 win over Stockport County.
Special mentions for Barrie
Jones who scored the fastest
Notts goal on record; just 6 seconds after
kick-off in a 2-0 win at home to Torquay United on March 31st 1962....
Scanlon who scored a hat-trick in the space
of 2 minutes and 45 seconds at home to Sheffield Wednesday in a 3-3 draw
on 16th November 1974 (the first
goal was a penalty scored on 57 minutes 15 seconds, followed by the 2nd
on 59 minutes 10 seconds, whilst the 3rd was scored on exactly 60 minutes)
.... and Tommy Johnson
who scored in both of Notts' successful Wembley play off finals on 27th
May 1990 and 2nd June 1991, Johnson
netted twice in the latter to become the hero of a double promotion to
the top flight.
At Meadow Lane, 47,310 saw Notts lose 1-0 to York City in an FA Cup Quarter Final on 12th March 1955.
The highest league crowd at the Lane was 46,000 for the visit of Nottingham Forest on April 22nd 1950 - Jackie Sewell and Tommy Lawton were the scorers in a 2-0 win for Notts that secured promotion to the 2nd tier.
The best ever home average attendance is 35,176 for the 3rd tier championship season of 1949/50.
The biggest crowd Notts have played in front of is 61,003 at Liverpool in an FA Cup 4th Round tie on 29th January 1949, County lost 1-0. The biggest crowd for a regular Notts league fixture is 49,604 at Everton on 20th October 1951, which County won 5-1. The 2nd tier Play Off final at Wembley on 2nd June 1991 was watched by 59,940.
At Trent Bridge twice there was an estimated attendance of 25,000:- on 23rd February 1907 n the FA Cup 3rd Round v Tottenham Hotspur and for a 1st tier league clash v Everton on 26th December 1908.
The lowest Meadow Lane league crowd is 1,927 for Notts v Chesterfield in the 4th tier on Saturday 2nd April 1966 (this was due to heavy snow which caused many other games in the Football League to be called off that day)*.
In cup competitions at Meadow Lane just 900 witnessed a FL Trophy cup tie at home to Leyton Orient on 3rd September 2007.
The lowest average home attendance recorded since accurate figures were required from 1925 onwards is 4,258 for season 1996/97 (this being a calamitous relegation to the 4th tier in which Notts finished rock bottom and set a club record of 20 league games without a win). In season 2020/21 Notts played all but one league home game behind closed doors due to Government lockdown restrictions.
The lowest away attendance in a league match (since accurate figures were recorded from 1925) was away to Dover Athletic in the 5th tier on 26th April 2022, no official figure was published but the gate was said to be '600 odd'. The lowest in the Football League is 1,215 away to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday 23rd February 2016, Stanley occupied a 4th tier play-off place at the time. The lowest FA Cup attendance for a Notts match since the 1880's is 1,026, also at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday 18th November 2014 (Scotland v England was broadcast live on ITV that same night).
*An all-time low attendance for any normal scheduled League match at Trent Bridge was estimated as 200-300 for Notts County v. Crewe Alexandra in the 2nd tier on 17th February 1894, this being the only time a Trent Bridge fixture was believed to have been watched by less than 1,000 (a typical Saturday attendance that season was watched by 5,000-6,000), such a pitiful turn out was due to extremely bad weather (It snowed heavily that weekend and the River Trent rose by 5 feet). Bad weather would also account for the low turn out for the top flight fixture v Preston NE on Wednesday 27th March 1901 which was estimated at 1,500.
Since the re-building of Meadow Lane
A list of the top 50 and lowest 50 gates at Notts since August 1994 can be viewed here.
6ft 5in goalkeeping legend Albert Iremonger made 564 League and 37 FA Cup appearances for Notts. Born in Yorkshire in June 1884, Iremonger made his Notts debut at Sheffield Wednesday on April fools day in 1905 having signed from local side Notts Jardines, he spent 21 years with Notts setting an all time record of consecutive League appearances (211) before making his last appearance at home to Huddersfield Town at the age of 41, he then joined Lincoln City.
David Needham made 429 League and 42 Cup appearances (including those as substitute) in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Oldest & Youngest
The oldest player to turn out for the Maggies was Albert Iremonger who was 41 years and 320 days v Huddersfield Town on 1st May 1926. Next oldest is Bill Corkhill - 41 years and 142 days v Barnsley on 12th September 1951.
The Youngest player to play competitive first-team action for Notts is Jermaine Pennant who was still 13 days short of his 16th birthday when he came on as a substitute in the FA Cup tie at Sheffield United on 2nd January 1999, Pennant had earlier come on as a sub in a FL Trophy cup tie at home to Hull City on 22nd December 1998, sadly he was snapped up by Arsenal before he could make his League debut.
Next youngest is Tony Bircumshaw who made his debut v Brentford on April 3rd 1961 at 16 years and 54 days.
Notts were first involved in a penalty shoot out as early as 1st May 1975 in the local County Cup semi-final, winning 5-4 v Mansfield Town, this being before shoot outs had been introduced to the World Cup. The first competitive match to involve Notts in a penalty competition was on 21st February 1990 away to Hereford United in the Associate Members Cup, Notts winning 4-3.
In the FA Cup, 2nd or multiple replays were scrapped for season 1991/92 and Notts played their first shoot out in that competition seven years later at Wigan Athletic on 15th December 1998, winning 4-2.
Notts also won their first League Cup shoot out on 12th August 2003 at Preston and reached two successive Anglo-Italian Cup finals in 1994 and 1995 via shoot outs deciding drawn semi-finals.
For a full list of all competitive Notts matches that were decided by shoot outs, click here.
01/Oct/2016 Notts County v Morecambe [League], 10 mins (Rain) - drawing 0-0
05/Feb/2011 Tranmere Rovers v Notts County [League], 53 mins (Rain) - Notts winning 1-0 (Gow)
02/Nov/2010 Hartlepool United v Notts County [League], 3 mins (Rain) - drawing 0-0
02/Nov/2002 Bristol City v Notts County [League], 49 mins (Rain) - winning 1-0 (Heffernan)
25/Apr/2001 Notts County v Wycombe Wanderers, 6 mins (Rain) - drawing 0-0
17/Jan/2001 Notts County v Wimbledon [FA Cup], 51 mins (Fog) - drawing 1-1 (Liburd)
11/Dec/1976 Notts County v Burnley [League], 45 mins (Frost) - drawing 0-0
28/Dec/1965 Notts County v Tranmere Rovers [League], 14 mins (Fog) - drawing 0-0
25/Mar/1965 Notts County v Millwall [League], 45 mins (Rain) - losing 1-2 (Pace)
03/Dec/1960 Notts County v Halifax Town [League], 45 mins (Rain) - losing 0-2
25/Dec/1937 Gillingham v Notts County [League], 37 mins (Fog) - losing 0-1, a Christmas Day wasted.
10/Mar/1934 Notts County v Bradford Park Avenue [League], 16 mins (Rain) - drawing 0-0
12/Oct/1912 Tottenham Hotspur v Notts County [League], 82 mins (Fog) - winning 3-1 (Cantrell, Cantrell, Waterall)
06/Jan/1906 Bolton Wanderers v Notts County [League], 45 mins (Rain) - losing 0-2
30/Mar/1903 Aston Villa v Notts County [League], 45 mins (Rain) - losing 0-1
12/Jan/1901 Bolton Wanderers v Notts County [League], 26 mins (Fog), drawing 0-0
19/Jan/1895 Grimsby Town v Notts County [League], 44 mins (Rain), losing 2-3 (Allan, Logan)
13/Dec/1890 Notts County v Sunderland [League], 62 mins (Fog), drawing 1-1 (own goal),. It was agreed to replay the match two days later to save Sunderland another long journey.
23/Nov/1889 Stoke v Notts County [League], ?? mins (Fog), drawing 2-2 (Daft, Walkerdine), this was called off in the 2nd half and originally the result stood but on 07/Dec it was decided it would have to be replayed.
Prior to floodlights being installed at Meadow Lane in 1953, Notts had to play their midweek fixtures in the afternoon. 'Half-day closing' - with shops and businesses being shut from 1pm - was on a Thursday in the Nottingham area and Notts naturally staged their midweek games on that day so that working age supporters could attend. The midweek crowds however did tend to be below average and were particularly poor towards the end of the season if the team had nothing to play for. Post floodlights, County were able to move the kick-off time to the evening, although they persisited with Thursdays for another twelve years before it must have occurred to them that it would be more practical to switch to Wednesday nights to aid player recovery time. The last of the regular Thursday fixtures was at home to Colchester United on 7th October 1965. Since 1973/74 the club has favoured Tuesday nights with the standard Meadow Lane evening kick-off time of 7:30pm being changed to 7:45pm in 1990.
Up until the 1980s Sunday was still recognised as a day of rest and worship with strict trading laws preventing professional football from being staged. An exception was made during the 1973/74 season due to an energy crisis and Notts played their first ever Sunday fixture at home to Crystal Palace on 20th January 1974. With attitudes changing, two further Sunday home games in 1981 and 1984 attracted decent crowds and Notts then took the decision to re-schedule three of their 1984/85 home league Saturday fixtures to Sunday afternoon - Following the first of these three matches the star player Justin Fashanu, a practising Christian, refused to play on Sundays and made it his chief ambition to get Sunday football abolished. By this time however ITV had begun broadcasting regular live top flight matches on Sundays and Notts would, thereafter, often play at least a couple of Sunday fixtures each season, a home switch usually being a result of cup draws scheduling both County and Forest at home on the same weekend with the police no longer willing to co-ordinate operations for both clubs on the same day.*
*The last occasion both Notts and Forest played first-team fixtures in front of home crowds at the same time was on 7th March 1981.
New Football League ground locations
that Notts have yet to visit
As of May 2022.....
Arsenal - Moved to Ashburton Grove in 2006
Bolton Wanderers - Moved to Burnden Way, Horwich in 1997
Brentford - Moved to Lionel Road in 2020
Brighton & Hove Albion - Moved to Falmer Stadium in 2011
Cardiff City - Moved to Stadiwm Dinas Caerdydd in 2009
Derby County - Moved to Pride Park in 1997
Hull City - Moved to The Circle in 2002
Leicester City ** - Moved to Filbert Way in 2002
West Ham United - Moved to London Stadium (formerly Olympic Stadium) in 2016
*Many of these grounds are currently re-named under sponsorship deals
**Notts did play a friendly at Leicester's new ground in 2007
***Notts have visited the former league ground of all the above teams who have played at a different venue whilst members of The Football League.
For league sequences, season
records and a results chart . . .