The object of a football game is to score more goals than the other team. You do that, you win. Of course, if you want to be sure of a victory/rub salt in the wounds, it would behoove you to bang in as many strike as you possibly can to really eviscerate your opponent to the point that the club and its fans will rue the day they ever faced you.
Following on from Manchester City’s unnecessary 9-0 demolition job of League One Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup, we got to thinking about some of the biggest wins in men’s English professional football history.
Fans of the victors: Enjoy.
Fans of the vanquished: Sorry.
9. Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich (4 March, 1995)
The Red Devils‘ 9-0 hammering of Ipswich remains a record-winning margin in the Premier League era.
Andy Cole scored five – a joint Premier League record for goals by a single player in one match – whilst Roy Keane, Mark Hughes (two) and Paul Ince also got in on the fun.
What made this win even more shocking is the fact that Ipswich beat United 3-2 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.
8. West Ham United 10-0 Bury (25 October, 1983)
Another shellacking from the League Cup, the Hammers hit double figures in a senior competitive fixture for the first time in their history.
19-year-old Tony Cottee helped himself to four goals, whilst 36-year-old Trevor Brooking added two of his own to add to the famous victory over Bury, who were the League One leaders at the time and the heavy favourites to win the match.
7. Liverpool 10-0 Fulham (23 September, 1986)
A game from (slightly) recent memory that also took place in the League Cup – albeit in the second round – saw the Reds handsomely defeat the Cottagers.
A crowd of just 13,498 turned up to Anfield to watch Steve McMahon and Ian Rush demolish Fulham, with McMahon bagging four goals – despite missing a penalty! Liverpool would make the final of the League Cup, but would lose to Arsenal 2-1.
6. West Brom 12-0 Darwen (4 April, 1982)
Darwen FC was a team from Lancashire who, by all accounts, were an early pioneer of professional football in northern England.
But after West Brom took their souls in a 12-0 bloodbath in the old First Division, the club may have thought to themselves: ‘What’s the point?’
Still, the Salmoners survived until 2009, when they mercifully dissolved.
5. Nottingham Forest 12-0 Leicester City (21 April, 1909)
Sharing that particular record with West Brom is Nottingham Forest, who hammered the Foxes – then known as Leicester Fosse – by 12 goals. Forest legend and record goalscorer Grenville Morris bagged netted twice in the game.
Enough of a beating to warrant changing your club name, if ever there was one.
4. Newcastle United 13-0 Newport County (5 October, 1946)
Once upon a time, the Magpies scored for fun. Playing in the old Second Division – the second tier of English football prior to the creation of the Premier League – Newcastle took the sword to the Exiles, bagging seven goals in the first half alone.
New signing Len Shackleton (pictured), who had joined the club for £13,000 just days before, scored six goals – talk about making an instant impact! How Newcastle could use someone with his eye for goal now…
3. Stockport County 13-0 Halifax Town (6 January, 1934)
85 years ago the Hatters delivered a beatdown so fierce that it holds the record for the biggest winning margin in English football league history.
Stan Milton was making his debut for the Shaymen in the Third Division North contest, and things weren’t two awful at halftime, the score at 2-0. But then Milton promptly went on to concede 11 second half goals to unfortunately cement his place in football history.
2. Clapton 0-14 Nottingham Forest (17 January, 1891)
Forest again make the list, but believe it or not this isn’t the biggest win in English football. It’s not even the biggest win in FA Cup history.
The beating took place in the first round of the FA Cup at the Old Spotted Dog ground in Forest Gate, London, where the Tons have played since their creation in 1877.
1. Preston North End 26-0 Hyde FC (October 15, 1887)
Here it is. The largest margin of victory in English football, as best we can tell.
131 years ago, at the world’s oldest continuously used football stadium, Preston North End demolished Hyde FC 26-0 at Deepdale in the first round of the FA Cup.
North End set three English footballing records: scoring the most goals in a single game, achieving the highest home winning margin and securing the highest aggregate score – all of which still stand today.
The Lilywhites would go on to reach the final, but lost to West Brom 2-1.