1986–87 Football League

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The Football League
Season 1986–87
Champions Everton
Relegated Lincoln City

The 19861987 season was the 88th completed season of The Football League.

Play-offs to determine promotion places were introduced in 1987 so that more clubs remained eligible for promotion closer to the end of the season, and at the same time to aid in the reduction over two years of the number of clubs in the First Division from 22 to 20.

At the same time, automatic promotion and relegation between the Fourth Division and the Football Conference was introduced for one club, replacing the annual application for re-election to the League of the bottom four clubs and linking the League to the developing National League System pyramid.

Emblematic of the confusion that was beginning to envelop the game, the number of clubs at the top flight of English football would return to 22 for the 1991–92 season, before once more dropping to 20 for 1995–96.

Overview[edit]

The First Division[edit]

The First Division championship went to Everton in their final season under the management of Howard Kendall before his departure to Athletic Bilbao. His side overcame a spate of injuries to fight off competition from runners-up Liverpool and third-placed Tottenham. Fourth place went to George Graham’s emerging young Arsenal side who also won the League Cup in his first season in charge. Fifth place in the league went to newly promoted Norwich City, whose manager Ken Brown built a strong squad on a limited budget to achieve a finish which would have been enough to qualify for UEFA Cup had it not been for the ongoing ban on English clubs in European competitions.

Wimbledon finished sixth in the First Division in only their tenth season as a Football League club. Dave Bassett’s men had led the league for the first two weeks of September, but sixth place was still much higher than most pundits had tipped them for at the start of the season.

Aston Villa were relegated to the Second Division just five years after they won the European Cup. Chairman Doug Ellis had sensed from the start that 1986-87 would be a tough season for the club, so he axed manager Graham Turner in September and replaced him with Manchester City’s Billy McNeill. But McNeill was unable to stop the rot and Villa went down in bottom place. McNeill was subsequently sacked and replaced by Watford’s Graham Taylor.

Villa were joined on the way down by Manchester City and Leicester City. In the first season of the relegation/promotion play-offs, Charlton Athletic beat Second Division Leeds United to retain their top flight status.

Manchester United, whose blistering start to the previous season had ended in failure, started the 1986-87 season badly and entered November second from bottom in the league. Manager Ron Atkinson paid for these failings with his job and in came the Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson to replace him. Ferguson rejuvenated United and they climbed up the table to finish in a secure 11th place.

The Second Division[edit]

Just two clubs were promoted from the Second Division this season. Champions Derby County were promoted for a second successive season; 12 seasons after they were last crowned champions of the First Division. Under the management of Arthur Cox they arrested an alarming slide which had seen them spend their centenary season (1984–85) in the 3rd Division. Runners-up spot went to Portsmouth, who were also automatically promoted.

The three playoff places were occupied by Oldham Athletic, Leeds United and Ipswich Town. Oldham and Ipswich blew their chances in the semi-finals, while Leeds were defeated by Charlton in the final to miss out on promotion — an FA Cup semi-final defeat had ended their chances of success in the cup competitions.

The relegation/promotion play-offs which operated between the Second and Third Divisions saw Sunderland go down to the Third Division for the first time in their history after losing to Gillingham in the promotion-relegation play-offs. Gillingham were subsequently defeated in a play-off final replay that saw Swindon Town promoted to the second tier. Lawrie McMenemy was sacked by the Rokerites at the end of March and Bob Stokoe, manager of the 1973 FA Cup winning team, was brought in as his successor, but was unable to keep Sunderland clear of the drop. Brighton and Grimsby were automatically relegated to the Third Division.

The Third Division[edit]

The three promotion places in this division were gained by three clubs who were among the least fancied promotion contenders at the start of the season. Champions Bournemouth were promoted to the Second Division for the first time in their history thanks to the efforts of hard working manager Harry Redknapp. Runners-up spot went to Bruce Rioch’s Middlesbrough, who had begun the season on the verge of extinction and had been forced to play their first home game of the season at Hartlepool’s ground because the official receiver had locked them out of Ayresome Park.

The relegation/promotion play-offs between the Third and Fourth Divisions saw Bolton Wanderers go down to the bottom division for the first time. Carlisle, Darlington and Newport County were also relegated.

The Fourth Division[edit]

The stars of the Fourth Division during 1986-87 were Graham Carr’s runaway champions Northampton Town, with young midfielder Eddie McGoldrick being the key player in his side’s season of success. Also automatically promoted were Preston and Southend with Aldershot winning the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Down at the bottom end of the division, an injury time winner for Torquay United kept them in the Football League after a police dog had bitten one of their players. The introduction of automatic relegation to the Conference saw Lincoln City lose their league status in favour of Conference champions Scarborough.

1986-87 saw many famous clubs reach their lowest ebb throughout the league. In the Fourth Division it was Burnley — league champions 27 years earlier — who plummeted to new depths. They finished third from bottom in the league and only a win on the last day of the season prevented them from going down to the Conference.

Final league tables and results[edit]

The tables and results below are reproduced here in the exact form that they can be found at The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation website,[1] with home and away statistics separated.

As of this season, there were no more re-election procedures, but instead, the club finishing last in the Fourth Division was demoted to Conference. The first casualty of this new practice were Lincoln City.

First Division[edit]

Football League, First Division
Season 1986–87
Champions Everton (9th English title)
Relegated Aston Villa,
Leicester City
Manchester City
FA Cup winners Coventry City (1st FA Cup title)
European Cup 1987–88 No qualifications [2] [notes 1]
Matches played 462
Goals scored 1215 (2.63 per match)
Top goalscorer Clive Allen (Tottenham Hotspur), 33 [3]
Biggest home win Sheff WedQPR 7–1 (2 May 1987);
Nottingham ForestAston Villa 6–0 (20 Sept 1986)
Biggest away win ChelseaNottingham Forest 2–6 (20 Sep 1986);
Aston VillaArsenal 0–4 (29 Nov 1986);
ChelseaWimbledon 0–4 (6 Dec 1986);
NewcastleEverton 0–4 (26 Dec 1986);
SouthamptonArsenal 0–4 (15 Nov 1986)
Highest scoring Sheff WedQPR 7–1 (2 May 1987);
LiverpoolNorwich City 6–2 (1 Nov 1986);
West HamChelsea 5–3 (11 Oct 1986);
ChelseaNottingham Forest 2–6 (20 Sep 1986)
Longest winning run Everton (7 games)
Longest unbeaten run Arsenal (17 games)
Longest losing run Newcastle United (6 games)

No European qualification took place due to the Heysel Stadium disaster suspension in place.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Everton 42 16 4 1 49 11 10 4 7 27 20 76 31 +45 86 [notes 1]
2 Liverpool 42 15 3 3 43 16 8 5 8 29 26 72 42 +30 77 [notes 1]
3 Tottenham Hotspur 42 14 3 4 40 14 7 5 9 28 29 68 43 +25 71 [notes 1]
4 Arsenal 42 12 5 4 31 12 8 5 8 27 23 58 35 +23 70 [notes 1]
5 Norwich City 42 9 10 2 27 20 8 7 6 26 31 53 51 +2 68 [notes 1]
6 Wimbledon 42 11 5 5 32 22 8 4 9 25 28 57 50 +7 66
7 Luton Town 42 14 5 2 29 13 4 7 10 18 32 47 45 +2 66
8 Nottingham Forest 42 12 8 1 36 14 6 3 12 28 37 64 51 +13 65
9 Watford 42 12 5 4 38 20 6 4 11 29 34 67 54 +13 63
10 Coventry City 42 14 4 3 35 17 3 8 10 15 28 50 45 +5 63 [notes 1]
11 Manchester United 42 13 3 5 38 18 1 11 9 14 27 52 45 +7 56
12 Southampton 42 11 5 5 44 24 3 5 13 25 44 69 68 +1 52
13 Sheffield Wednesday 42 9 7 5 39 24 4 6 11 19 35 58 59 –1 52
14 Chelsea 42 8 6 7 30 30 5 7 9 23 34 53 64 –11 52
15 West Ham United 42 10 4 7 33 28 4 6 11 19 39 52 67 –15 52
16 Queens Park Rangers 42 9 7 5 31 27 4 4 13 17 37 48 64 –16 50
17 Newcastle United 42 10 4 7 33 29 2 7 12 14 36 47 65 –18 47
18 Oxford United 42 8 8 5 30 25 3 5 13 14 44 44 69 –25 46
19 Charlton Athletic 42 7 7 7 26 22 4 4 13 19 33 45 55 –10 44 [notes 2]
20 Leicester City 42 9 7 5 39 24 2 2 17 15 52 54 76 –22 42
21 Manchester City 42 8 6 7 28 24 0 9 12 8 33 36 57 –21 39
22 Aston Villa 42 7 7 7 25 25 1 5 15 20 54 45 79 –34 36
  • Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  1. ^ All English teams were banned by UEFA from its competitions from the season 1985–86 on until the season 1990–91 because of the Heysel Disaster in 1985
  2. ^ Charlton Athletic were able to retain their place in the 1st Division through play-offs.
Key
League Champions, excluded from the European Cup
FA Cup Winners, but excluded from the Cup Winners' Cup
UEFA Cup spot, but excluded
League Cup winners, excluded from UEFA Cup
Into play-offs
Relegated

Second Division play-offs[edit]

Both the semifinals and the finals were decided over two legs.
The full results can be found at: Football League Division Two play-offs 1987.

Semi-finals
1st leg –14 May; 2nd leg –17 May 1987
Finals
1st leg –23 May; 2nd leg –25 May 1987
 
19th  Charlton Athletic (Div 1) 0 2 2  
5th  Ipswich Town 0 1 1  
  19th  Charlton Athletic (Div 1) 1 0 1
  4th  Leeds United 0 1 1
3rd  Oldham Athletic 0 2 2
4th  Leeds United [notes2 1] 1 1 2  
  1. ^ Leeds United won on away goals.
Replay
29 May 1987
Leeds United 1 –2 (a.e.t.) Charlton Athletic (Div 1)
Report/Soccerbase [1]
St. Andrews, Birmingham
Attendance: 18,000

First Division results[edit]

Home ╲ Away[1] ARS AST CHA CHE COV EVE LEI LIV LUT MCI MUN NEW NOR NOT OXF QPR SHW SOU TOT WAT WHU WDN
Arsenal 2–1 2–1 3–1 0–0 0–1 4–1 0–1 3–0 3–0 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–0 0–0 3–1 2–0 1–0 0–0 3–1 0–0 3–1
Aston Villa 0–4 2–0 0–0 1–0 0–1 2–0 2–2 2–1 0–0 3–3 2–0 1–4 0–0 1–2 0–1 1–2 3–1 0–3 1–1 4–0 0–0
Charlton Athletic 0–2 3–0 0–0 1–1 3–2 2–0 0–0 0–1 5–0 0–0 1–1 1–2 0–1 0–0 2–1 1–1 1–3 0–2 4–3 2–1 0–1
Chelsea 1–0 4–1 0–1 0–0 1–2 3–1 3–3 1–3 2–1 1–1 1–3 0–0 2–6 4–0 3–1 2–0 1–1 0–2 0–0 1–0 0–4
Coventry City 2–1 0–1 2–1 3–0 1–1 1–0 1–0 0–1 2–2 1–1 3–0 2–1 1–0 3–0 4–1 1–0 1–1 4–3 1–0 1–3 1–0
Everton 0–1 3–0 2–1 2–2 3–1 5–1 0–0 3–1 0–0 3–1 3–0 4–0 2–0 3–1 0–0 2–0 3–0 1–0 3–2 4–0 3–0
Leicester City 1–1 1–1 1–0 2–2 1–1 0–2 2–1 1–1 4–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–0 4–1 6–1 2–3 1–2 1–2 2–0 3–1
Liverpool 2–1 3–3 2–0 3–0 2–0 3–1 4–3 2–0 0–0 0–1 2–0 6–2 3–0 4–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–0 1–0 1–2
Luton Town 0–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 2–0 1–0 1–0 4–1 1–0 2–1 0–0 0–0 4–2 2–3 1–0 0–0 2–1 3–1 0–2 2–1 0–0
Manchester City 3–0 3–1 2–1 1–2 0–1 1–3 1–2 0–1 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–2 1–0 1–0 0–0 1–0 2–4 1–1 1–2 3–1 3–1
Manchester United 2–0 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 1–0 1–0 2–0 4–1 0–1 2–0 3–2 1–0 3–1 5–1 3–3 3–1 2–3 0–1
Newcastle United 1–2 2–1 0–3 1–0 1–2 0–4 2–0 0–2 2–2 3–1 2–1 4–1 3–2 0–0 0–2 2–3 2–0 1–1 2–2 4–0 1–0
Norwich City 1–1 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 0–1 2–1 2–1 0–0 1–1 0–0 2–0 2–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 4–3 2–1 1–3 1–1 0–0
Nottingham Forest 1–0 6–0 4–0 0–1 0–0 1–0 2–1 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–0 3–2 0–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 3–2
Oxford United 0–0 2–2 3–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–0 1–3 4–2 0–0 2–0 1–1 0–1 2–1 0–1 2–1 3–1 2–4 1–3 0–0 3–1
Queens Park Rangers 1–4 1–0 0–0 1–1 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–3 2–2 1–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 3–1 1–1 2–2 2–1 2–0 3–2 2–3 2–1
Sheffield Wednesday 1–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–1 1–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 1–1 2–3 6–1 7–1 3–1 0–1 0–1 2–2 0–2
Southampton 0–4 5–0 2–2 1–2 2–0 0–2 4–0 2–1 3–0 1–1 1–1 4–1 1–2 1–3 3–0 5–1 1–1 2–0 3–1 1–0 2–2
Tottenham Hotspur 1–2 3–0 1–0 1–3 1–0 2–0 5–0 1–0 0–0 1–0 4–0 1–1 3–0 2–3 3–1 1–0 1–1 2–0 2–1 4–0 1–2
Watford 2–0 4–2 4–1 3–1 2–3 2–1 5–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 3–0 0–3 0–1 1–1 1–0 2–2 0–1
West Ham United 3–1 1–1 1–3 5–3 1–0 1–0 4–1 2–5 2–0 2–0 0–0 1–1 0–2 1–2 0–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–1 1–0 2–3
Wimbledon 1–2 3–2 2–0 2–1 2–1 1–2 1–0 1–3 0–1 0–0 1–0 3–1 2–0 2–1 1–1 1–1 3–0 2–2 2–2 2–1 0–1

Source:[citation needed]
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Purple = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

First Division maps[edit]

Locations of the Football League First Division London teams 1986–1987

Second Division[edit]

Football League, Second Division
Season 1986–87
Champions Derby County (4th title)
Promoted Portsmouth
Relegated Brighton & Hove Albion,
Grimsby Town,
Sunderland
Matches played 462
Goals scored 1131 (2.45 per match)
Top goalscorer Micky Quinn (Portsmouth), 22 [3]
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Derby County 42 14 6 1 42 18 11 3 7 22 20 64 38 +26 84
2 Portsmouth 42 17 2 2 37 11 6 7 8 16 17 53 28 +25 78
3 Oldham Athletic 42 13 6 2 36 16 9 3 9 29 28 65 44 +21 75
4 Leeds United 42 15 4 2 43 16 4 7 10 15 28 58 44 +14 68
5 Ipswich Town 42 12 6 3 29 10 5 7 9 30 33 59 43 +16 64
6 Crystal Palace 42 12 4 5 35 20 7 1 13 16 33 51 53 –2 62
7 Plymouth Argyle 42 12 6 3 40 23 4 7 10 22 34 62 57 +5 61
8 Stoke City 42 11 5 5 40 21 5 5 11 23 32 63 53 +10 58
9 Sheffield United 42 10 8 3 31 19 5 5 11 19 30 50 49 +1 58
10 Bradford City 42 10 5 6 36 27 5 5 11 26 35 62 62 ±0 55
11 Barnsley 42 8 7 6 26 23 6 6 9 23 29 49 52 –3 55
12 Blackburn Rovers 42 11 4 6 30 22 4 6 11 15 33 45 55 –10 55
13 Reading 42 11 4 6 33 23 3 7 11 19 36 52 59 –7 53
14 Hull City 42 10 6 5 25 22 3 8 10 16 33 41 55 –14 53
15 West Bromwich Albion 42 8 6 7 29 22 5 6 10 22 27 51 49 +2 51
16 Millwall 42 10 5 6 27 16 4 4 13 12 29 39 45 –6 51
17 Huddersfield Town 42 9 6 6 38 30 4 6 11 16 31 54 61 –7 51
18 Shrewsbury Town 42 11 3 7 24 14 4 3 14 17 39 41 53 –12 51
19 Birmingham City 42 8 9 4 27 21 3 8 10 20 38 47 59 –12 50
20 Sunderland 42 8 6 7 25 23 4 6 11 24 36 49 59 –10 48 [notes3 1]
21 Grimsby Town 42 5 8 8 18 21 5 6 10 21 38 39 59 –20 44
22 Brighton & Hove Albion 42 7 6 8 22 20 2 6 13 15 34 37 54 –17 39
  • Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  1. ^ Sunderland lost in the first round of the play-offs and were thus relegated.
Key
Division Champions, promoted
Promoted
Participated in play-offs
Promoted through play-offs
Relegated

Third Division play-offs[edit]

Both the semifinals and the finals were decided over two legs.
The full results can be found at: Football League Division Three play-offs 1987.

Semi-finals
1st leg –14 May; 2nd leg –17 May 1987
Finals
1st leg –22 May; 2nd leg –25 May 1987
 
20th  Sunderland (Div 2) 2 4 6  
5th  Gillingham [notes4 1] 3 3 6  
  3rd  Swindon Town [notes4 2] 0 2 2
  5th  Gillingham 1 1 2
3rd  Swindon Town 3 0 3
4th  Wigan Athletic 2 0 2  
Replay
29 May 1987
Swindon Town 2 –0 Gillingham
Report/Soccerbase [2]
Selhurst Park, South Norwood, London
Attendance: 18,491
  1. ^ After the second leg and an extra time the aggregate was 6–6, but Gillingham had scored 4 times at Sunderland, versus
    Sunderland 3 times at Gillingham, and thus Gillinham progressed to finals on away goals.
  2. ^ Swindon won the replay 2–0, and were thus promoted to Division 2.

Second Division results[edit]

Home ╲ Away[1] BAR BIR BLB BRA BHA CRY DER GRI HUD HUL IPS LEE MIL OLD PLY POR REA SHU SHR STK SUN WBA
Barnsley 2–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–3 0–1 1–0 0–1 1–1 2–1 0–1 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–0 2–2 2–1 0–2 1–0 2–2
Birmingham City 1–1 1–1 2–1 2–0 4–1 1–1 1–0 1–1 0–0 2–2 2–1 1–1 1–3 3–2 0–1 1–1 2–1 0–2 0–0 2–0 0–1
Blackburn Rovers 4–2 1–0 2–1 1–1 0–2 3–1 2–2 1–2 0–2 0–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–2 1–0 0–0 0–2 2–1 2–1 6–1 0–1
Bradford City 0–0 0–0 2–0 2–0 1–2 0–1 4–2 4–3 2–0 3–4 2–0 4–0 0–3 2–2 1–0 3–0 1–1 0–0 1–4 3–2 1–3
Brighton & Hove Albion 1–1 2–0 0–2 2–2 2–0 0–1 0–1 1–1 2–1 1–2 0–1 0–1 1–2 1–1 0–0 1–1 2–0 3–0 1–0 0–3 2–0
Crystal Palace 0–1 6–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 1–0 0–3 1–0 5–1 3–3 1–0 2–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–3 1–2 2–3 1–0 2–0 1–1
Derby County 3–2 2–2 3–2 1–0 4–1 1–0 4–0 2–0 1–1 2–1 2–1 1–1 0–1 4–2 0–0 3–0 2–0 3–1 0–0 3–2 1–1
Grimsby Town 0–1 0–1 1–0 0–0 1–2 0–1 0–1 0–1 2–2 1–1 0–0 1–0 2–2 1–1 0–2 3–2 1–0 0–1 1–1 1–1 3–1
Huddersfield Town 2–2 2–2 1–2 5–2 2–1 1–2 2–0 0–0 1–3 1–2 1–1 3–0 5–4 1–2 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–1 2–2 0–2 2–1
Hull City 3–4 3–2 0–0 2–1 1–0 3–0 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–1 0–0 2–1 1–0 0–3 0–2 0–2 0–0 3–0 0–4 1–0 2–0
Ipswich Town 1–0 3–0 3–1 1–0 1–0 3–0 0–2 1–1 3–0 0–0 2–0 0–0 0–1 3–0 0–1 1–1 2–2 1–0 2–0 1–1 1–0
Leeds United 2–2 4–0 0–0 1–0 3–1 3–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 3–0 3–2 2–0 0–2 4–0 3–1 3–2 0–1 1–0 2–1 1–1 3–2
Millwall 1–0 0–2 2–2 1–2 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–0 4–0 0–1 1–0 1–0 0–0 3–1 1–1 2–1 1–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 0–1
Oldham Athletic 2–0 2–2 3–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 1–4 1–1 2–0 0–0 2–1 0–1 2–1 2–1 0–0 4–0 3–1 3–0 2–0 1–1 2–1
Plymouth Argyle 2–0 0–0 1–1 3–2 2–2 3–1 1–1 5–0 1–1 4–0 2–0 1–1 1–0 3–2 2–3 1–0 1–0 3–2 1–3 2–4 1–0
Portsmouth 2–1 2–0 1–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 3–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 3–0 0–1 1–0 1–2 3–0 3–0 3–1 2–1
Reading 0–0 2–2 4–0 0–1 2–1 1–0 2–0 2–3 3–2 1–0 1–4 2–1 0–1 2–3 2–0 2–2 2–0 3–1 0–1 1–0 1–1
Sheffield United 1–0 1–1 4–1 2–2 0–1 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–0 4–2 0–0 0–0 2–1 2–0 2–1 1–0 3–3 1–1 3–1 2–1 1–1
Shrewsbury Town 1–0 1–0 0–1 0–1 1–0 0–0 0–1 4–1 1–2 3–0 2–1 0–2 1–2 2–0 1–1 1–0 0–0 1–0 4–1 0–1 1–0
Stoke City 1–2 0–2 1–0 2–3 1–1 3–1 0–2 5–1 2–0 1–1 0–0 7–2 2–0 0–2 1–0 1–1 3–0 5–2 1–0 3–0 1–1
Sunderland 2–3 2–0 3–0 2–3 1–1 1–0 1–2 0–1 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–2 1–1 2–0 0–3
West Bromwich Albion 0–1 3–2 0–1 2–2 0–0 1–2 2–0 1–1 1–0 1–1 3–4 3–0 0–1 2–0 0–0 1–0 1–2 1–0 1–2 4–1 2–2

Source:[citation needed]
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Purple = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Second Division maps[edit]

Locations of the Football League Second Division London teams 1986–1987

Third Division[edit]

Football League, Third Division
Season 1986–87
Champions Bournemouth (1st title)
Promoted Middlesbrough,
Swindon Town
Relegated Bolton Wanderers,
Carlisle United,
Darlington,
Newport County
Matches played 552
Goals scored 1471 (2.66 per match)
Top goalscorer Andy Jones (Port Vale), 29 [3]
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Bournemouth 46 19 3 1 44 14 10 7 6 32 26 76 40 +36 97
2 Middlesbrough 46 16 5 2 38 11 12 5 6 29 19 67 30 +37 94
3 Swindon Town 46 14 5 4 37 19 11 7 5 40 28 77 47 +30 87 [notes5 1]
4 Wigan Athletic 46 15 5 3 47 26 10 5 8 36 34 83 60 +23 85
5 Gillingham 46 16 5 2 42 14 7 4 12 23 34 65 48 +17 78
6 Bristol City 46 14 6 3 42 15 7 8 8 21 21 63 36 +27 77
7 Notts County 46 14 6 3 52 24 7 7 9 25 32 77 56 +21 76
8 Walsall 46 16 4 3 50 27 6 5 12 30 40 80 67 +13 75
9 Blackpool 46 11 7 5 35 20 5 9 9 39 39 74 59 +15 64
10 Mansfield Town 46 9 9 5 30 23 6 7 10 22 32 52 55 –3 61
11 Brentford 46 9 7 7 39 32 6 8 9 25 34 64 66 –2 60
12 Port Vale 46 8 6 9 43 36 7 6 10 33 34 76 70 +6 57
13 Doncaster Rovers 46 11 8 4 32 19 3 7 13 24 43 56 62 –6 57
14 Rotherham United 46 10 6 7 29 23 5 6 12 19 34 48 57 –9 57
15 Chester City 46 7 9 7 32 28 6 8 9 29 31 61 59 +2 56
16 Bury 46 9 7 7 30 26 5 6 12 24 34 54 60 –6 55
17 Chesterfield 46 11 5 7 36 33 2 10 11 20 36 56 69 –13 54
18 Fulham 46 8 8 7 35 41 4 9 10 24 36 59 77 –18 53
19 Bristol Rovers 46 7 8 8 26 29 6 4 13 23 46 49 75 –26 51
20 York City 46 11 8 4 34 29 1 5 17 21 50 55 79 –24 49
21 Bolton Wanderers 46 8 5 10 29 26 2 10 11 17 32 46 58 –12 45 [notes5 2]
22 Carlisle United 46 7 5 11 26 35 3 3 17 13 43 39 78 –39 38
23 Darlington 46 6 10 7 25 28 1 6 16 20 49 45 77 –32 37
24 Newport County 46 4 9 10 26 34 4 4 15 23 52 49 86 –37 37
  • Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  1. ^ Swindon Town were winners of the play-offs and were thus promoted.
  2. ^ Bolton Wanderers lost in the first round of the play-offs and were thus relegated.
Key
Division Champions, promoted
Promoted
Participated in play-offs
Promoted through play-offs
Relegated

Fourth Division play-offs[edit]

Both the semifinals and the finals were decided over two legs, and only the aggregates are given in the schemata below.
The full results can be found at: Football League Division Four play-offs 1987.

Semi-finals
1st leg –14 May; 2nd leg –17 May 1987
Finals
1st leg –23 May; 2nd leg –25 May 1987
 
21st  Bolton Wanderers (Div 3) 0 2 2  
6th  Aldershot 1 2 3  
  6th  Aldershot 2 1 3
  4th  Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0
4th  Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 0 2
5th  Colchester United 0 0 0  

Third Division maps[edit]

Locations of the Football League Third Division London teams 1986–1987

Fourth Division[edit]

Football League, Fourth Division
Season 1986–87
Champions Northampton Town (1st title)
Promoted Aldershot,
Preston North End,
Southend United
Failed re-election Lincoln City
Matches played 552
Goals scored 1456 (2.64 per match)
Top goalscorer Richard Hill (Northampton Town), 28 [3]
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Northampton Town 46 20 2 1 56 20 10 7 6 47 33 103 53 +50 99
2 Preston North End 46 16 4 3 36 18 10 8 5 36 29 72 47 +25 90
3 Southend United 46 14 4 5 43 27 11 1 11 25 28 68 55 +13 80
4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 12 3 8 36 24 12 4 7 33 26 69 50 +19 79
5 Colchester United 46 15 3 5 41 20 6 4 13 23 36 64 56 +8 70
6 Aldershot 46 13 5 5 40 22 7 5 11 24 35 64 57 +7 70 [notes6 1]
7 Orient 46 15 2 6 40 25 5 7 11 24 36 64 61 +3 69
8 Scunthorpe United 46 15 3 5 52 27 3 9 11 21 30 73 57 +16 66
9 Wrexham 46 8 13 2 38 24 7 7 9 32 27 70 51 +19 65
10 Peterborough United 46 10 7 6 29 21 7 7 9 28 29 57 50 +7 65
11 Cambridge United 46 12 6 5 37 23 5 5 13 23 39 60 62 –2 62
12 Swansea City 46 13 3 7 31 21 4 8 11 25 40 56 61 –5 62
13 Cardiff City 46 6 12 5 24 18 9 4 10 24 32 48 50 –2 61
14 Exeter City 46 11 10 2 37 17 0 13 10 16 32 53 49 +4 56
15 Halifax Town 46 10 5 8 32 32 5 5 13 27 42 59 74 –15 55
16 Hereford United 46 10 6 7 33 23 4 5 14 27 38 60 61 –1 53
17 Crewe Alexandra 46 8 9 6 38 35 5 5 13 32 37 70 72 –2 53
18 Hartlepool United 46 6 11 6 24 30 5 7 11 20 35 44 65 –21 51
19 Stockport County 46 9 6 8 25 27 4 6 13 15 42 40 69 –29 51
20 Tranmere Rovers 46 6 10 7 32 37 5 7 11 22 35 54 72 –18 50
21 Rochdale 46 8 8 7 31 30 3 9 11 23 43 54 73 –19 50
22 Burnley 46 9 7 7 31 35 3 6 14 22 39 53 74 –21 49
23 Torquay United 46 8 8 7 28 29 2 10 11 28 43 56 72 –16 48
24 Lincoln City 46 8 7 8 30 27 4 5 14 15 38 45 65 –20 48
  • Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  1. ^ Aldershot were winners of the play-offs and were thus promoted.
Key
Division Champions, promoted
Promoted
Participated in play-offs
Promoted through play-offs
New club in the league (none)
Relegated to Conference

Fourth Division maps[edit]

Locations of the Football League Fourth Division London teams 1986–1987

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "England 1986–87". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 27 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  2. ^ All English teams were banned by UEFA from its competitions from the season 1985–86 on until the season 1990–91 because of the Heysel Disaster in 1985
  3. ^ a b c d "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  • Ian Laschke: Rothmans Book of Football League Records 1888–89 to 1978–79. Macdonald and Jane’s, London & Sydney, 1980.