New exhibition to be marked by the Football League and National Football Museum

The Football League and the National Football Museum (NFM) are to mark the 125th Anniversary of the world’s original league football competition with a major new exhibition featuring some of professional football’s most iconic and historic items.

The exhibition, which will be free to all visitors, will run from September 2013 to April 2014, the same duration as The Football League’s inaugural season (1888/89) and fill a dedicated exhibition space in the museum’s stunning new Manchester home.

Manchester played a notable role in the formation of The Football League, with today (April 17) marking the 125th anniversary of the meeting of founder members at the city’s Royal Hotel – just 500m from where the National Football Museum is now located. 

At that meeting, clubs agreed to call their new competition ‘The Football League’ with the first season kicking-off on September 8, 1888.

Having begun sourcing items of historical interest from clubs, its own archives and those of the National Football Museum, The Football League is also asking supporters to play their part in telling the story of 125 years of football history. 

The Football League’s Head of Communications, John Nagle said: “Across the country there will be items of historical interest that have pride of place in supporters’ homes or are just gathering dust in their lofts. 

“If it’s part of our competition’s history we’d love to know about it, so that we can put it on display for football supporters everywhere to enjoy.”

Anyone that would like to put forward an item of historical significance for the exhibition are asked to email details to, including where possible an image and contact details.

The Football League 125th Anniversary Exhibition will be the museum’s fourth temporary exhibition since it opened in July 2012. 

David Pearson, Deputy Director of the National Football Museum said: “The Football League is at the heart of the game’s history and this is a wonderful opportunity to display some of the objects that have touched the lives of millions of football supporters.

It will provide an insight into the impact league football has had on society and feature some of the game’s famous figures, including a special section dedicated to George Best that celebrates 50 years since he made his Football League debut.”

The exhibition will also be an inspiration for an ambitious National Football Museum visual arts programme funded by the Arts Council England through its Renaissance strategic support fund.

For more information on The Football League’s 125th anniversary visit or search for #FL125 on Twitter.  For more information about the National Football Museum visit