Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Magpies’ Success Honoured

17 April 2014

The storied history of the World’s Oldest Football League Club, Notts County, has been recognised...

The Magpies can count the great Tommy Lawton among their former ranks and he has been voted as their greatest ever player for a four-year spell from 1947 that saw him shock the football world by moving from First Division Chelsea to the Third Division Magpies and netting 90 league goals in 151 games.

Lawton collected 57 per cent of the votes to come out on top ahead of Don Masson, who captained Notts County from the Fourth Division to the First in his two spells at the club during the Jimmy Sirrel years, and home-grown product Tommy Johnson.

Johnson was a star in the Magpies’ successive Play-Off promotions from the Third Division and the Second Division in 1990 and 1991 under Neil Warnock, with the latter campaign being voted the club’s greatest on 46 per cent, ahead of the 2009.10 League 2 championship (36 per cent) and their elevation from the bottom tier under Sam Allardyce in 1997.98.

The captain of that 1991 promotion-winning team, Phil Turner, took the vote as the club’s leading skipper on 51 per cent with Masson second on 37 per cent and Ian Richardson in third.

The managerial poll was something of a walkover with Jimmy Sirrel collecting 84 per cent of the votes having taken over for his first spell at Notts in 1969 and guiding them from the Fourth Division to the Second by the time of his departure in 1975. 

He was back at Meadow Lane two years later to finish the job by taking the Magpies to the First Division and keeping them there.

Sirrell, Turner and Lawton sit alongside legends of the game including Brian Clough, Sir Bobby Robson, Sir Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Sir Stanley Matthews, Trevor Francis, Billy Bremner and Herbert Chapman who have all been named in a list of the greatest contributors to clubs’ league history in a vote as part of The Football League’s 125th Anniversary celebrations.

The names feature in lists for each of the current 72 Football League clubs’ greatest in various categories including managers, players, captains, fan favourites, matches and seasons.  

The polls were run by The Football League to celebrate each club’s own contribution to the last 125 years of league football.  
...with three different eras being honoured in a poll conducted with the club’s fans as part of The Football League's 125th Anniversary celebrations.

The results have been announced on the anniversary of The Football League’s formation on 17 April 1888 to bring down the curtain on a year of activity celebrating the start of the world’s original league football competition.

Nearly 100,000 votes were cast in the polls after clubs were first invited to compile their own shortlist for each category based on fans’ nominations via social media.

A list of the winners in each category can be seen at, and a club-by-club breakdown for each vote with more detail on the winners can be seen at

Supporters can find out more about The Football League’s 125th Anniversary at  Fans also still have a chance to visit a special exhibition called ‘Game Changers’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester celebrating 125 years of The Football League, with contributions from every club.  

The exhibition is free to enter and open seven days a week – for more details visit

Advertisement block