With the Euros just around the corner, it's the perfect time to dive into Lancashire’s amazing football heritage. Here in Lancashire, football isn’t just a game—it’s a beloved tradition that brings people together, creating a sense of community and joy. Our region is famous for its football clubs, not only for their on-field successes and challenges but also for their historic contributions to the sport.

The founding members of the English Football League

The English Football League (EFL) started in 1888, thanks to 12 teams, many from the north. Lancashire proudly contributed Accrington Stanley, Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, and Preston North End—along with historic Lancashire’s Bolton Wanderers. This league wasn’t just a first for England; it was the first national league system in the world!

Preston North End made history by winning the first EFL in 1889. They continued to make their mark by playing in the first-ever televised cup match, the 1938 FA Cup Final at Wembley, where they won against Huddersfield Town. Deepdale Stadium in Preston is the world’s oldest football ground still used by a league team, and the city remains the home of the EFL. Preston was also home to the Dick, Kerr Ladies FC, one of the first women’s football teams in England.

Blackburn Rovers, along with Accrington, Bolton Wanderers, and Turton FC (Lancashire’s oldest club), helped form the Lancashire Football Association in 1878. Burnley FC, with its historic Turf Moor ground—the second oldest in continuous use by a professional team—played a key role in pushing for player payments, helping to professionalise the sport.

Celebrate Football in Lancashire

As the Euros kick off, there are so many fun places in Lancashire to catch a match and join in the excitement! Whether you take to the Blackpool Winter Gardens for Lancashire’s largest indoor fan zone, Preston’s Festival of Football, or get involved in the action at Viva Blackpool’s Family Fan Zone where you can enjoy half time penalty shootouts. There are also viewing areas at Escape Entertainment in Chorley and a Euro hub at Pleasure Beach Resort which are perfect if some of the family are more interested in the action than others as there is plenty of other activities to do.

If you want to explore more about Preston’s football legends, don’t miss the Pride of the Pitch Exhibition at the Lancashire Archives this summer and autumn. This exhibition features stars like Sir Tom Finney, one of Preston North End’s most famous players; Arthur Wharton, the first black professional footballer; and Joan Whalley, who was considered one of the greatest right wingers in the world.

You can also get up close and personal with some of the top teams by taking a stadium tour at Blackburn Rovers’ Ewood Park or Burnley’s Turf Moor. These tours give you a behind-the-scenes look at these historic clubs.

Lancashire’s football story is rich and ongoing, and we’d love for you to be a part of it. Come celebrate with us and enjoy the vibrant football culture that makes Lancashire so special!




  1. Boobo
    Lancashire’s rich football history is a fantastic read. As a football enthusiast, I find it inspiring to see how deeply rooted the sport is in Lancashire's culture. For students who are passionate about football but find themselves overwhelmed with academic responsibilities, I recommend using https://academized.com/pay-for-college-papers service to pay for college papers. This service can help manage your workload, giving you more time to enjoy football matches.

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