Having finished the previous season as runners up Everton made just one signing of note during the summer when William Campbell was brought from Bootle to fill the centre half role, which had remained unsettled sinceGeorge Farmer had been dropped the previous November. Robert Smalley's position in goal was also under threat from an emerging twenty year old Scot named Jack Angus while David Kirkwood having lost the battle to secure the inside right birth to Alec Brady, now shared the centre back duties with Charlie Parry
This settled look ensured that there were just two new faces in the opening day 4–1 victory at West Bromwich Albion, Campbell, who scored and Angus who kept goal in the side listed above as the most settled team used that season. The team remained unchanged through the first four games of the campaign, which were all won, before Latta missed the fifth game. Everton still won to take their winning start to five games before being held to a 2–2 draw at Aston Villa. Everton remained unbeaten for their first seven games but their first choice eleven did not play again as a run of three straight defeats saw the return of Robert Smalley for one game in place of Jack Angus, who died in 1891, becoming the only player ever to win a posthumous League champion's medal. It's not recorded whether Angus showed signs of an illness before being replaced in goal but Everton went out in November and signed David Jardine from Bootle as a replacement, being first choice keeper by the season's end.
Everton completed all bar one of their fixtures before the end of January and had to wait while the nearest challengers for the title, Preston played a series of games to close the gap at the top to two points. Everton's final game of the season was at Burnley on Saturday 14 March 1891 when almost half the 10,000 attendance was made up of visiting Everton fans. The team of Jardine, McLean, Doyle, Lochhead, Holt, Parry, Latta, Brady, Geary, Chadwick and Milward required only a draw but failed, losing 3–2. Preston would themselves have claimed a third consecutive title has they won their fixture at Sunderland but Evertonians, returning to Liverpool by train from Burnley were met with a delighted crowd at the station who informed them that Preston had lost 0–3 and that Everton had won the title for the first time.
There was no official honour for individual players for being crowned champions so the Everton directors had a medal minted for every player, including the now deceased Angus to mark the occasion. The Football League took up the idea the following year and medals have been presented to every championship winning side since.
Despite being crowned champions the 1890/91 team actually picked up fewer points than the side who missed out on the title the previous season. Their title triumph came despite a record losing and winless away run in the middle of the season. The 1891 title side also equalled or set the following club records.
English Football League Champions for the first time