1996–97 Football League

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The Football League
Season 1996–97
Champions Bolton Wanderers
Promoted Bolton Wanderers
Barnsley
Crystal Palace
Relegated Hereford United

The 19961997 season was the 97th completed season of The Football League.

Bolton Wanderers returned to the Premiership in superb fashion, hitting 100 goals and taking 98 points. Barnsley were promoted to the top flight for the first time in their history, while Crystal Palace returned after a two-year absence by winning the play-offs.

The decline of Oldham Athletic continued, falling into the third tier for the first time in 23 years, and just three years after being in the Premiership. Grimsby Town and Southend United joined them in relegation to the Second Division.

Bury won their second consecutive promotion, taking the Second Division title, Stockport County joined them in automatic promotion, and play-off winners Crewe Alexandra completed the trio moving up.

Going down were Peterborough United, Shrewsbury Town, Rotherham United and Notts County. County had been in the top division just five years earlier.

Wigan Athletic won the Third Division title on goals scored from Fulham. Carlisle United and play-off winners Northampton Town also won promotion to the Second Division.

Hereford United were the first club for four years to be relegated to the Conference after finishing bottom. Conference champions Macclesfield Town replaced Hereford (two years after Town had been denied entry to the Third Division). In December, Brighton & Hove Albion were 11 points adrift at the bottom of the Third Division, having had 2 points deducted for a pitch invasion. However a draw in their final game at Hereford kept Brighton in the league, and sent United down.

Final league tables and results[edit]

The tables 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. Play-off results are from the same website.

First Division[edit]

Football League, First Division
Season 1996–97
Champions Bolton Wanderers (3rd second tier title)
Direct promotion to FA Premier League Bolton Wanderers,
Barnsley
Promoted to FA Premier League through play-offs Crystal Palace
Relegated Grimsby Town,
Oldham Athletic,
Southend United
Matches played 552
Goals scored 1476 (2.67 per match)
Top goalscorer John McGinlay (Bolton Wanderers), 24 [2]
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Bolton Wanderers 46 18 4 1 60 20 10 10 3 40 33 100 53 +47 98
2 Barnsley 46 14 4 5 43 19 8 10 5 33 36 76 55 +21 80
3 Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 10 5 8 31 24 12 5 6 37 27 68 51 +17 76
4 Ipswich Town 46 13 7 3 44 23 7 7 9 24 27 68 50 +18 74
5 Sheffield United 46 13 5 5 46 23 7 8 8 29 29 75 52 +23 73
6 Crystal Palace 46 10 7 6 39 22 9 7 7 39 26 78 48 +30 71
7 Portsmouth 46 12 4 7 32 24 8 4 11 27 29 59 53 +6 68
8 Port Vale 46 9 9 5 36 28 8 7 8 22 27 58 55 +3 67
9 Queens Park Rangers 46 10 5 8 33 25 8 7 8 31 35 64 60 +4 66
10 Birmingham City 46 11 7 5 30 18 6 8 9 22 30 52 48 +4 66
11 Tranmere Rovers 46 10 9 4 41 27 7 5 11 21 29 63 56 +7 65
12 Stoke City 46 15 3 5 34 22 3 7 13 17 35 51 57 –6 64
13 Norwich City 46 9 10 4 28 18 8 2 13 35 50 63 68 –5 63
14 Manchester City 46 12 4 7 34 24 5 6 12 25 35 59 60 –1 61
15 Charlton Athletic 46 11 8 4 36 28 5 3 15 16 38 52 66 –14 59
16 West Bromwich Albion 46 7 7 9 37 33 7 8 8 31 39 68 72 –4 57
17 Oxford United 46 14 3 6 44 26 2 6 15 20 42 64 68 –4 57
18 Reading 46 13 7 3 37 24 2 5 16 21 43 58 67 –9 57
19 Swindon Town 46 11 6 6 36 27 4 3 16 16 44 52 71 –19 54
20 Huddersfield Town 46 10 7 6 28 20 3 8 12 20 41 48 61 –13 54
21 Bradford City 46 10 5 8 29 32 2 7 14 18 40 47 72 –25 48
22 Grimsby Town 46 7 7 9 31 34 4 6 13 28 47 60 81 –21 46
23 Oldham Athletic 46 6 8 9 30 30 4 5 14 21 36 51 66 –15 43
24 Southend United 46 7 9 7 32 32 1 6 16 10 53 42 86 –44 39
  • Pld = Matches ; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  • NB: In the Football League goals scored (F) takes precedence over goal difference (GD).
Key
Football League Champions, promoted to FA Premier League
Promoted to FA Premier League
Participated in play-offs
Promoted to Premier League through play-offs
Relegated


First Division play-offs[edit]

  Semifinals
1st leg –May 10th; 2nd leg –May 14th, 1997
Final at Wembley
May 26th, 1997
                     
3rd  Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 2 3  
6th  Crystal Palace 3 1 4  
    5th  Sheffield United 0
  6th  Crystal Palace 1
4th  Ipswich Town 1 2 3
5th  Sheffield United (away goals) 1 2 3  

[1]

First Division Topscorers[edit]

Rank Player Club Goals
1 Scotland John McGinlay Bolton Wanderers 24
2 England Steve Bull Wolverhampton Wanderers 23
3 England Trevor Morley Reading 22
4 Wales Nathan Blake Bolton Wanderers 20
5 Republic of Ireland John Aldridge Tranmere Rovers 18
= England Nigel Jemson Oxford United 18
= England Mike Sheron Stoke City 18

First Division results[edit]

Home \ Away[1] BAR BIR BOL BRA CHA CPA GRI HUD IPS MNC NOR OLD OXF PVA POR QPR REA SHE STD STO SWI TRA WBA WOL
Barnsley 0–1 2–2 2–0 4–0 0–0 1–3 3–1 1–2 2–0 3–1 2–0 0–0 1–0 3–2 1–3 3–0 2–0 3–0 3–0 1–1 3–0 2–0 1–3
Birmingham City 0–0 3–1 3–0 0–0 1–0 0–0 1–0 1–0 2–0 2–3 0–0 2–0 1–2 0–3 0–0 4–1 1–1 2–1 3–1 1–0 0–0 2–3 1–2
Bolton Wanderers 2–2 2–1 2–1 4–1 2–2 6–1 2–0 1–2 1–0 3–1 3–1 4–0 4–2 2–0 2–1 2–1 2–2 3–1 1–1 7–0 1–0 1–0 3–0
Bradford City 2–2 0–2 2–4 1–0 0–4 3–4 1–1 2–1 1–3 0–2 0–3 2–0 1–0 3–1 3–0 0–0 1–2 0–0 1–0 2–1 1–0 1–1 2–1
Charlton Athletic 2–2 2–1 3–3 0–2 2–1 1–3 2–1 1–1 1–1 4–4 1–0 2–0 1–3 2–1 2–1 1–0 0–0 2–0 1–2 2–0 3–1 1–1 0–0
Crystal Palace 1–1 0–1 1–1 3–1 1–0 3–0 1–1 0–0 3–1 2–0 3–1 2–2 1–1 1–2 3–0 3–2 0–1 6–1 2–0 1–2 0–1 0–0 2–3
Grimsby Town 2–3 1–2 1–2 1–1 2–0 2–1 2–2 2–1 1–1 1–4 0–3 0–2 1–1 0–1 2–0 2–0 2–4 4–0 1–1 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–3
Huddersfield Town 0–0 3–0 1–2 3–3 2–0 1–1 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–0 3–2 1–0 0–1 1–3 1–2 1–0 2–1 0–0 2–1 0–0 0–1 0–0 0–2
Ipswich Town 1–1 1–1 0–1 3–2 2–1 3–1 1–1 1–3 1–0 2–0 4–0 2–1 2–1 1–1 2–0 5–2 3–1 1–1 1–1 3–2 0–2 5–0 0–0
Manchester City 1–2 1–0 1–2 3–2 2–1 1–1 3–1 0–0 1–0 2–1 1–0 2–3 0–1 1–1 0–3 3–2 0–0 3–0 2–0 3–0 1–2 3–2 0–1
Norwich City 1–1 0–1 0–1 2–0 1–2 1–1 2–1 2–0 3–1 0–0 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 2–0 1–1 2–4 1–0
Oldham Athletic 0–1 2–2 0–0 1–2 1–1 0–1 0–3 1–2 3–3 2–1 3–0 2–1 3–0 0–0 0–2 1–1 0–2 0–0 1–2 5–1 1–2 1–1 3–2
Oxford United 5–1 0–0 0–0 2–0 0–2 1–4 3–2 1–0 3–1 1–4 0–1 3–1 0–2 2–0 2–3 2–1 4–1 5–0 4–1 2–0 2–1 1–0 1–1
Port Vale 1–3 3–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 1–1 0–0 2–2 0–2 6–1 3–2 2–0 0–2 4–4 1–0 0–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 2–1 2–2 1–2
Portsmouth 4–2 1–1 0–3 3–1 2–0 2–2 1–0 3–1 0–1 2–1 0–1 1–0 2–1 1–1 1–2 1–0 1–1 1–0 1–0 0–1 1–3 4–0 0–2
Queens Park Rangers 3–1 1–1 1–2 1–0 1–2 0–1 3–0 2–0 0–1 2–2 3–2 0–1 2–1 1–2 2–1 0–2 1–0 4–0 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–2 2–2
Reading 1–2 0–0 3–2 0–0 2–2 1–6 1–1 4–1 1–0 2–0 2–1 2–0 2–0 0–1 0–0 2–1 1–0 3–2 2–2 2–0 2–0 2–2 2–1
Sheffield United 0–1 4–4 1–1 3–0 3–0 3–0 3–1 3–1 1–3 2–0 2–3 2–2 3–1 3–0 1–0 1–1 2–0 3–0 1–0 2–0 0–0 1–2 2–3
Southend United 1–2 1–1 5–2 1–1 0–2 2–1 1–0 1–2 0–0 2–3 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–0 2–1 0–1 2–1 3–2 2–1 1–3 1–1 2–3 1–1
Stoke City 1–0 1–0 1–2 1–0 1–0 2–2 3–1 3–2 0–1 2–1 1–2 2–1 2–1 2–0 3–1 0–0 1–1 0–4 1–2 2–0 2–0 2–1 1–0
Swindon Town 3–0 3–1 2–2 1–1 1–0 0–2 3–3 6–0 0–4 2–0 0–3 1–0 1–0 1–1 0–1 1–1 3–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 2–1 2–3 1–2
Tranmere Rovers 1–1 1–0 2–2 3–0 4–0 1–3 3–2 1–1 3–0 1–1 3–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 4–3 2–3 2–2 1–1 3–0 0–0 2–1 2–3 0–2
West Bromwich Albion 1–2 2–0 2–2 0–0 1–2 1–0 2–0 1–1 0–0 1–3 5–1 1–1 3–3 1–1 0–2 4–1 3–2 1–2 4–0 0–2 1–2 1–2 2–4
Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–3 1–2 1–2 1–0 1–0 0–3 1–1 0–0 0–0 3–0 3–2 0–1 3–1 0–1 0–1 1–1 0–1 1–2 4–1 2–0 1–0 3–2 2–0

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

Second Division[edit]

Football League, Second Division
Season 1996–97
Champions Bury (2nd third tier title)
Direct promotion Bury,
Stockport County
Promoted through play-offs Crewe Alexandra
Relegated Notts County,
Peterborough United,
Rotherham United,
Shrewsbury Town
Matches played 552
Goals scored 1257 (2.28 per match)
Top goalscorer Tony Thorpe (Luton Town), 28 [2]
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Bury 46 18 5 0 39 7 6 7 10 23 31 62 38 +24 84
2 Stockport County 46 15 5 3 31 14 8 8 7 28 27 59 41 +18 82
3 Luton Town 46 13 7 3 38 14 8 8 7 33 31 59 41 +18 78
4 Brentford 46 8 11 4 26 22 12 3 8 30 21 56 43 +13 74
5 Bristol City 46 14 4 5 43 18 7 6 10 26 33 69 51 +18 73
6 Crewe Alexandra 46 15 4 4 38 15 7 3 13 18 32 56 47 +9 73
7 Blackpool 46 13 7 3 41 21 5 8 10 19 26 60 47 +13 69
8 Wrexham 46 11 9 3 38 28 6 9 8 17 22 54 50 +4 69
9 Burnley 46 14 3 6 48 27 5 8 10 23 28 71 55 +16 68
10 Chesterfield 46 10 9 4 25 18 8 5 10 17 21 42 39 +3 68
11 Gillingham 46 13 3 7 37 25 6 7 10 23 34 60 59 +1 67
12 Walsall 46 12 8 3 35 21 7 2 14 19 32 54 53 +1 67
13 Watford 46 10 8 5 24 14 6 11 6 21 24 45 38 +7 67
14 Millwall 46 12 4 7 27 22 4 9 10 23 33 50 55 –5 61
15 Preston North End 46 14 5 4 33 19 4 2 17 16 36 49 55 –6 61
16 Bournemouth 46 8 9 6 24 20 7 6 10 19 25 43 45 –2 60
17 Bristol Rovers 46 13 4 6 34 22 2 7 14 13 28 47 50 –3 56
18 Wycombe Wanderers 46 13 4 6 31 14 2 6 15 20 43 51 56 –5 55
19 Plymouth Argyle 46 7 11 5 19 18 5 7 11 28 40 47 58 –11 54
20 York City 46 8 6 9 27 31 5 7 11 20 37 47 68 –21 52
21 Peterborough United 46 7 7 9 38 34 4 7 12 17 39 55 73 –18 47
22 Shrewsbury Town 46 8 6 9 27 32 3 7 13 22 42 49 74 –25 46
23 Rotherham United 46 4 7 12 17 29 3 7 13 22 41 39 70 –31 35
24 Notts County 46 4 9 10 20 25 3 5 15 13 34 33 59 –26 35
  • Pld = Matches ; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  • NB: In the Football League goals scored (F) takes precedence over goal difference (GD).
Key
Division Champions, promoted
Promoted
Participated in play-offs
Promoted through play-offs
Relegated

Second Division play-offs[edit]

  Semifinals
1st leg –May 11th; 2nd leg –May 14th, 1997
Final at Wembley Stadium
May 5th, 1997
                     
3rd  Luton Town 1 2 3  
6th  Crewe Alexandra 2 2 4  
    4th  Brentford 0
  6th  Crewe Alexandra 1
4th  Brentford 2 2 4
5th  Bristol City 1 1 2  

[1]

Second Division Topscorers[edit]

Rank Player Club Goals
1 England Tony Thorpe Luton Town 28
2 England Paul Barnes Burnley 24
3 England Carl Asaba Brentford 23
= Bermuda Shaun Goater Bristol City 23
5 Scotland Iffy Onuora Gillingham 21
6 Bermuda Kyle Lightbourne Walsall 20

Second Division results[edit]

Home \ Away[1] BLP BOU BRE BRI BRO BUR BRY CHS CRE GIL LUT MIL NTC PET PLY PRE ROT SHR STP WAL WAT WRE WYC YOR
Blackpool 1–1 1–0 1–0 3–2 1–3 2–0 0–1 1–2 2–0 0–0 3–0 1–0 5–1 2–2 2–1 4–1 1–1 2–1 2–1 1–1 3–3 0–0 3–0
Bournemouth 0–0 2–1 0–2 1–0 0–0 1–1 3–0 0–1 2–2 3–2 1–1 0–1 1–2 1–0 2–0 1–1 0–0 0–0 0–1 1–2 2–1 2–1 1–1
Brentford 1–1 1–0 0–0 0–0 0–3 0–2 1–0 0–2 2–0 3–2 0–0 2–0 0–1 3–2 0–0 4–2 0–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 2–0 0–0 3–3
Bristol City 0–1 0–1 1–2 1–1 2–1 1–0 2–0 3–0 0–1 5–0 1–1 4–0 2–0 3–1 2–1 0–2 3–2 1–1 4–1 1–1 2–1 3–0 2–0
Bristol Rovers 0–0 3–2 2–1 1–2 1–2 4–3 2–0 2–0 0–0 3–2 1–0 1–0 1–0 2–0 1–0 1–2 2–0 1–1 0–1 0–1 2–0 3–4 1–1
Burnley 2–0 1–0 1–2 2–3 2–2 3–1 0–0 2–0 5–1 0–2 1–0 1–0 5–0 2–1 1–2 3–3 1–3 5–2 2–1 4–1 2–0 2–1 1–2
Bury 1–0 2–1 1–1 4–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 1–0 3–0 0–0 2–0 2–0 1–0 1–0 3–0 3–1 2–0 0–0 2–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 4–1
Chesterfield 0–0 1–1 0–2 1–1 1–0 0–0 1–2 1–0 2–2 1–1 1–0 1–0 2–1 1–2 2–1 1–1 2–1 0–1 1–0 0–0 0–0 4–2 2–0
Crewe Alexandra 3–2 2–0 2–0 1–2 1–0 1–1 2–0 1–2 3–2 0–0 0–0 3–0 1–1 3–0 1–0 1–0 5–1 1–0 1–0 0–2 3–1 3–0 0–1
Gillingham 2–3 1–1 1–2 3–2 1–0 1–0 2–2 0–1 2–1 1–2 2–3 1–0 2–1 4–1 1–1 3–1 2–0 1–0 2–0 3–1 1–2 1–0 0–1
Luton Town 1–0 2–0 1–0 2–2 2–1 1–2 0–0 0–1 6–0 2–1 0–2 2–0 3–0 2–2 5–1 1–0 2–0 1–1 3–1 0–0 0–0 0–0 2–0
Millwall 2–1 0–1 0–0 0–2 2–0 2–1 1–0 2–1 2–0 0–2 0–1 1–0 0–2 0–0 3–2 2–0 2–1 3–4 1–0 0–1 1–1 2–1 1–1
Notts County 1–1 0–2 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–1 0–1 0–0 0–1 1–1 1–2 1–2 0–0 2–1 2–1 0–0 1–2 1–2 2–0 2–3 0–0 1–2 0–1
Peterborough United 0–0 3–1 0–1 3–1 1–2 3–2 1–2 1–1 2–2 0–1 0–1 3–3 1–3 0–0 2–0 6–2 2–2 0–2 0–1 2–1 0–1 6–3 2–2
Plymouth Argyle 0–1 0–0 1–4 0–0 0–1 0–0 2–0 0–3 1–0 2–0 3–3 0–0 0–0 1–1 2–1 1–0 2–2 0–0 2–0 0–0 0–1 0–0 2–1
Preston North End 3–0 0–1 1–0 0–2 0–0 1–1 3–1 0–1 2–1 1–0 3–2 2–1 2–0 3–4 1–1 0–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 1–1 2–1 2–1 1–0
Rotherham United 1–2 1–0 0–1 2–2 0–0 1–0 1–1 0–1 1–4 1–2 0–3 0–0 2–2 2–0 1–2 0–1 1–2 0–1 1–2 0–0 0–0 2–1 0–2
Shrewsbury Town 1–3 1–1 0–3 1–0 2–0 2–1 1–1 2–0 0–1 1–2 0–3 1–1 2–1 2–2 2–3 0–2 0–2 3–2 2–2 1–0 0–1 1–1 2–0
Stockport County 1–0 0–1 1–2 1–1 1–0 1–0 2–1 1–0 1–0 2–1 1–1 5–1 0–0 0–0 3–1 1–0 0–0 3–1 2–0 1–0 0–2 2–1 2–1
Walsall 1–1 2–1 1–0 2–0 1–0 1–3 3–1 1–1 1–0 1–0 3–2 2–1 3–1 4–0 0–1 1–0 1–1 2–2 1–1 1–1 0–1 2–2 1–1
Watford 2–2 0–1 2–0 3–0 1–0 2–2 0–0 0–2 0–1 0–0 1–1 0–2 0–0 0–0 0–2 1–0 2–0 2–0 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–0 4–0
Wrexham 2–1 2–0 0–2 2–1 1–0 0–0 1–1 3–2 1–1 1–1 2–1 3–3 3–3 1–1 4–4 1–0 1–0 2–1 2–3 1–2 3–1 1–0 0–0
Wycombe Wanderers 1–0 1–1 0–1 2–0 2–0 5–0 0–1 1–0 2–0 1–1 0–1 1–0 1–0 2–0 2–1 0–1 4–2 3–0 0–2 0–2 0–0 0–0 3–1
York City 1–0 1–2 2–4 0–3 2–2 1–0 0–2 0–0 1–1 2–3 1–1 3–2 1–2 1–0 1–1 3–1 2–1 0–0 1–2 0–2 1–2 1–0 2–0

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

Third Division[edit]

Football League, Third Division
Season 1996–97
Champions Wigan Athletic (1st fourth tier title)
Direct promotion Wigan Athletic,
Carlisle United,
Fulham
Promoted through play-offs Northampton
Relegated to Conference Hereford United
Matches played 552
Goals scored 1383 (2.51 per match)
Top goalscorer Graeme Jones (Wigan Athletic), 31 [2]
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A F A GD Pts Notes
1 Wigan Athletic 46 17 3 3 53 21 9 6 8 31 30 84 51 +33 87
2 Fulham 46 13 5 5 41 20 12 7 4 31 18 72 38 +34 87
3 Carlisle United 46 16 3 4 41 21 8 9 6 26 23 67 44 +23 84
4 Northampton 46 14 4 5 43 17 6 8 9 24 27 67 44 +23 72
5 Swansea City 46 13 5 5 37 20 8 3 12 25 38 62 58 +4 71
6 Chester 46 11 8 4 30 16 7 8 8 25 27 55 43 +12 70
7 Cardiff City 46 11 4 8 31 24 9 5 9 26 31 56 54 +2 69
8 Colchester United 46 11 9 3 36 23 6 8 9 26 28 62 51 +11 68
9 Lincoln City 46 10 8 5 35 25 8 4 11 35 44 70 69 +1 66
10 CambridgeUnited 46 11 5 7 30 27 7 6 10 23 32 53 59 –6 65
11 Mansfield Town 46 9 8 6 21 17 7 8 8 26 28 47 45 +2 64
12 Scarborough 46 9 9 5 36 31 7 6 10 30 38 65 68 –3 63
13 Scunthorpe United 46 11 3 9 36 33 7 6 10 23 29 59 62 –3 63
14 Rochdale 46 10 6 7 34 24 4 10 9 24 34 58 58 ±0 58
15 Barnet 46 9 9 5 32 23 5 7 11 14 28 46 51 –5 58
16 Leyton Orient 46 11 6 6 28 20 4 6 13 22 38 50 58 –8 57
17 Hull City 46 9 8 6 29 26 4 10 9 15 24 44 50 –6 57
18 Darlington 46 11 5 7 37 28 3 5 15 27 50 64 78 –14 52
19 Doncaster Rovers 46 9 7 7 29 23 5 3 15 23 43 52 66 –14 52
20 Hartlepool United 46 8 6 9 33 32 6 3 14 20 34 53 66 –13 51
21 Torquay United 46 9 4 10 24 24 4 7 12 22 38 46 62 –16 50
22 Exeter City 46 6 9 8 25 30 6 3 14 23 43 48 73 –25 48
23 Brighton & Hove 46 12 6 5 41 27 1 4 18 12 43 53 70 –17 47 [notes 1]
24 Hereford United 46 6 8 9 26 25 5 6 12 24 40 50 65 –15 47
  • Pld = Matches ; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
  • NB: In the Football League goals scored (F) takes precedence over goal difference (GD).
  1. ^ Brighton & Hove had two points deducted for failure to control spectators.
Key
Division Champions, promoted
Promoted
Participated in play-offs
Promoted through play-offs
New club in the league (none)
Relegated to Conference

Third Division play-offs[edit]

  Semifinals
1st leg –May 11th; 2nd leg –May 14th, 1997
Final at Wembley Stadium
May 24th, 1997
                     
4th  Northampton 1 3 4  
7th  Cardiff City 0 2 2  
    4th  Northampton 1
  5th  Swansea City 0
5th  Swansea City 0 3 3
6th  Chester 0 0 0  

[1]

Third Division Topscorers[edit]

Rank Player Club Goals
1 England Graeme Jones Wigan Athletic 31
2 England Gareth Ainsworth Lincoln City 22
3 Scotland Mike Conroy Fulham 21
4 Scotland Colin Cramb Doncaster Rovers 18
5 England Adrian Foster Hereford United 16
= England Darren Roberts Darlington 16

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "England 1996–97". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  2. ^ a b c "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2010-10-31.