Football League announce six opening day fixtures to mark 125th anniversary

Championship sides Burnley, Bolton Derby and Blackburn are involved

The Football League has announced six special league fixtures to be played on the opening weekend of next season to mark its 125th anniversary.

The six matches - two in each division - will feature some of the founder members of the world's first league football competition.

In the Championship, four founder members will go head-to-head.

Lancashire rivals Burnley and Bolton will face each other at Turf Moor, one of only three grounds used in the 1888/89 league season that is still in use today, while Derby will take on Blackburn.

Another of the original grounds, Deepdale, will host the meeting of founder members Preston and Wolves in League One.

Also in League One, the oldest Football League club Notts County will be the visitors at the world's oldest professional football ground - Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United.

In League Two, Accrington Stanley will visit the Football League's newest ground and newest member - Rodney Parade the home of the re-formed Newport County. Hartlepool will visit Rochdale in the 137th encounter between the two clubs - the most played Football League match between current members.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke 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."

All other 2013/14 Football League and Premier League fixtures will be announced at 9am tomorrow.

PA

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