Pike's Lane

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Pike's Lane
Pike's Lane.jpg
LocationBolton, England
Coordinates53°34′13″N 2°27′00″W / 53.5704°N 2.4499°W / 53.5704; -2.4499Coordinates: 53°34′13″N 2°27′00″W / 53.5704°N 2.4499°W / 53.5704; -2.4499
Record attendance20,000
Bolton Wanderers

Pike's Lane was a football ground in Bolton, England. It was the home ground of Bolton Wanderers between 1880 and 1895, and the venue of the first-ever goal scored in league football anywhere in the world.[1]


Pike's Lane opened in 1880, with the first match played against Great Lever on 10 September. The ground initially had embankments on both sides of the pitch, and later developments included a grandstand on the northern touchline and wooden terracing behind the eastern goal.[2]

Bolton were founder members of the Football League in 1888, the world's first association football league. The first League match was played at Pike's Lane on 8 September 1888, with Bolton losing 6–3 to Derby County in front of 5,000 spectators.[2] Bolton's Kenny Davenport scored the first goal after two minutes, the first-ever goal scored in the Football League.[1] The first-ever Football League hat-trick was also scored at Pike's Lane a week later by Burnley's William Tait in a match that Burnley won 4–3.[2]

The ground's record attendance of 20,000 was set for an FA Cup third round match against Liverpool on 24 February 1894.[2] The highest attendance for a League match was 14,000 for a game against Blackburn Rovers on 28 March 1891.[2] Pike's Lane hosted the first "inter-league" match between The Football League XI and the Scottish Football League XI, in April 1892.[3]

At the end of the 1894–95 season the club moved to Burnden Park. Pike's Lane was unpopular with players and supporters due to a poor pitch and inadequate spectator facilities.[2] The last match at the ground was played on 13 April 1895, as Bolton beat West Bromwich Albion 5–0 with 10,200 spectators in attendance.[2] The site was later used to build terraced housing.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Solving the mystery of the first goal in league football BBC Football, 29 July 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Paul Smith & Shirley Smith (2005) The Ultimate Directory of English & Scottish Football League Grounds Second Edition 1888–2005, Yore Publications, p101 ISBN 0-9547830-4-2
  3. ^ Bob Crampsey (1990)The First 100 Years. Scottish Football League, p245 ISBN 0-9516433-0-4