Football League announce 125th anniversary fixture programme
The Football League will mark the 125th anniversary of its debut season with six specially selected fixtures to start the 2013-14 campaign.
It was announced on Tuesday, just under 24 hours before the full fixtures are released, that the anniversary fixture programme featuring many of the founder members will consist of two games apiece in the Championship, League One and League Two.
In the Championship, Burnley will entertain Lancashire rivals Bolton at Turf Moor, which is one of only three grounds used back in 1888-89 that is still in use.
Blackburn travel to Derby County on the opening day, with the duo having been crowned champions of England three times and twice respectively. All four of the Championship clubs picked are Football League founder members.
Two other founder members, Preston and Wolves, will meet at Deepdale in League One, a stadium that has staged more Football League matches (2,342) than any other. Notts County make the short journey north to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, the world’s oldest professional football ground.
Newport County begin life in League Two following promotion last season with a home clash against Accrington and Rochdale will play host to Hartlepool in what is the most-played match between clubs currently in the Football League.
In announcing the six special games, Football League chairman Greg Clarke hailed the progress the competition has made over the past century.
He said: "For 125 years, Football League clubs have delivered a compelling spectacle, week after week.
"In the process, attracting a total audience of more than 2.2 billion people and building indelible relationships with their local communities.
"Our clubs and their supporters are the heartbeat of the domestic game, giving English league football a breadth and popularity that is unrivalled anywhere in the world.
"We look forward to celebrating 125 years of incredible matches, unforgettable moments and intense footballing rivalry."