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Huddersfield, Leeds, Villa and other EFL clubs that used to dominate football

first_img 8 8 8 Preston North End – When the Football League was created in 1888, Preston were already one of the best teams in England. They had lost the FA Cup final that year – winners West Brom aided by some questionable refereeing from one Major Francis Marindin – but made up for their heartbreak by doing the ‘Double’ the following season. They won the FA Cup without conceding a single goal in any one of their five games, and did not lose a match on the way to winning the inaugural Football League. They were the original ‘Invincibles’, and won a second league title the following year. The Lilywhites’ only major honour since then is the 1938 FA Cup, having been unable to turn their impressive performances in the 1950s into silverware. Aston Villa – Aston Villa have won more league titles than Chelsea. That is a statistic which remains true despite the Villans not claiming the First Division since 1981. They won six championships between 1893/84 and 1909/10, and also added the same number of FA Cups to their trophy haul between 1887 and 1920. A true powerhouse of Victorian football, Villa have never managed to replicate their wonder years – despite winning the First Division in 1981 and the European Cup in 1982. Their last FA Cup win came in 1957, while they won the League Cup in 1961, 1975, 1977, 1994 and 1996. 8 Huddersfield Town – click the right arrow to see which other EFL clubs have dominated English football – The Terriers are just one game from reaching the Premier League for the first time in their history. However, looking at football pre-1992, Huddersfield have experienced one of the most successful periods in English football. They were the first team to win three successive First Division titles (in 1923/24, ‘24/25 and ‘25/26), and kick-started that run of silverware with victory in the 1922 FA Cup. Legendary manager Herbert Chapman led them to the first three of those honours, and even though they clinched another league title in the year after he left, the Terriers started a slow decline and haven’t been in the top flight since 1972. Leeds United – Generally regarded as the biggest club outside the Premier League, Leeds missed out on a play-off place this season despite sitting in the top six for much of the campaign. Their glory years were the late 1960s and early 1970s, though they finished runners up in 12 major competitions, despite winning six trophies. The Whites won two First Division titles (1968/69 and 1973/74), one FA Cup (1971/72) and one League Cup (1967/68), plus two Fairs Cups (the forerunner of the modern Europa League). However, they were league runners up on five separate occasions, and lost in the FA Cup final three times. They also lost the 1975 European Cup final to Bayern Munich, the 1967 Fairs Cup final to Dinamo Zagreb, the 1973 Cup Winners’ Cup final to AC Milan, as well as a play-off final against Barcelona to keep the Fairs Cup. Leeds did manage another title in 1992, but 25 years on they would settle for a place among the elite once more. Blackburn Rovers – After Wanderers, who won five of the first seven FA Cups, Blackburn were the team to beat in the world’s oldest cup competition. They lost the 1882 final, then went on to become only the second club to date to win three in a row (1884, 1885 and 1886), following the Wanderers in achieving that feat. Rovers also won a further two FA Cups in 1890 and 1891, before claiming their first First Division title in 1911/12. They added a second in 1913/14, but have only enjoyed rare success since then; they won the 1928 FA Cup, the Premier League in 1994/95, and the 2002 League Cup. Having been relegated from the Championship this season, Rovers will play next season in League One. 8 Wolverhampton Wanderers – Wolves were such a powerful team in the 1950s that they can lay claim to being the reason we have the Champions League. It was their December 1954 match against highly rated Hungarian club side Honved, featuring Puskas and many of the Hungarian team considered to be the best in the world, which directly inspired the creation of the European Cup. Wolves beat Honved 3-2 and were declared by the British press to be ‘Champions of the World’, which led to the formation of the European Cup to formally decide Europe’s best team. Wolves won the First Division three times in the decade (1953/54, ’57/58 and ‘58/59), and bookended that success with two FA Cup wins (1949 and 1960). Stan Cullis’ side were the only team to seriously compete with the Busby Babes of Manchester United, prior to the tragedy of the Munich air disaster, but since the 1960s they have struggled to recapture their glory years. A solitary League Cup in 1980 is their only piece of major silverware since. 8 8 Portsmouth – Pompey won League Two this season as they plot their return to Premier League football having been relegated in 2010. Even if they get back to the top flight, the south coast club have a long way to go to emulate their glory days. Unfortunately for Portsmouth, those years coincided with World War II. They won the 1939 FA Cup – holding onto it for the longest period of any club, as the next final didn’t take place until seven years later – then picked up the First Division crown when football was reinstated after the war. The Pompey chimes rang out as they finished top of the pile in both 1948/49 and 1949/50. Sheffield Wednesday – Huddersfield beat Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship play-off semi-finals, meaning it is another year in the second division for the Owls. They were one of England’s dominant teams in pre-war football, but have claimed just one major honour since 1935 – the 1991 League Cup. In the years prior to World War II, the Owls won consecutive league titles on two occasions (1902/03, ‘03/04 and 1928/29, ‘29/30) and won the FA Cup three times (1896, 1907 and 1935). They were in the Premier League until 2000, but are still stuck on the journey trying to find their way back to the top flight. Huddersfield Town are just one game away from returning to the top division of English football for the first time since 1972.They beat Sheffield Wednesday on penalties in the Championship play-off semi-finals to set up a Wembley clash against Reading in the play-off final.That match will decide who joins Newcastle and Brighton in next season’s Premier League, and a win for the Terriers will take them back to the top table in English football.It was a table the Yorkshire club used to dominate.They were the first team to win three succesive First Division titles, doing so in the 1920s, and were one of the most dominant sides in pre-war football.Wednesday, who have now failed in the play-offs two years in a row, were also a powerful force in the English game pre-1939, and will be hoping to make it back to the first division in the near future.So, which other EFL clubs used to dominate English football in the way Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday once did? Click the right arrow, above, to find out… 8last_img read more

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