Until not so long ago, Notts County had the honour of being the oldest Football League club in the world. That’s now changed; the club relegated to the Conference in 2019. Like other so-called bigger boys before them, returning isn’t quite as easy at it might have first seemed. If at first you don’t succeed, however, just ask Luton. And they’ve forever surrendered that almighty title in the process. Mind you, it still needs someone to overtake them.
The Magpies first came up against us during the 2011-2 League One campaign, before joining us down in League Two; their 2015 relegation from League One coming one season after ours. Our head-to-head record has ebbed and flowed over the years too; drifting in our favour, before the tide turned in theirs. You can normally be sure of a keenly-fought contest against Notts County, however. And it’s something we started to become starved of.
The oldest league club in the world came to life during the late 13th or early 14th century. After being given no end of grief by Robin sHrood, the Sheriff of Nottingham got this thing for kicking things in frustration – often heard bellowing ‘NOT IN MY COUNTY’. The locals saw this and things snowballed from then. It wasn’t until 1862, however, that a clever lad wrote a few things down that made it all official and was then able to take the plaudits.
Some or, more likely, none of the above is true.
What is scientific fact (shotgun, no returns) is that Notts County were one of the first sides to form the Football League in 1888. Six years later, the FA Cup was sitting proudly in the trophy cabinet at Trent Bridge. Third in the top flight was as good as it gets in the league – but there have been several second, third and fourth tier titles; their 1997-8 Third Division title being the first time since WWII that anyone had secured promotion in mid-March.
Don’t forget the 1995 Anglo-Italian Cup either.
Why do we know Notts County?
After winning the 2009-10 League Two title, the Magpies took up their position in League One. It’s standard practice, to be fair. Just two seasons later, little old us rocked up in the same division. And that’s how we know ’em. The fourth-newest Football League team up against the oldest – Crawley, AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood pushing us down the list of newbies inside just two years. Gawd, you could even call us League veterans by then…
How to get to Notts County – Travel Information – Distance: 103 miles
The journey to Nottingham isn’t too arduous and can be completed in a little more than two hours. Travel north on the A1 until you get to Grantham, at which point you will need to join the westbound A52. Continue for more than 18 miles and you will reach the outskirts of Nottingham.
At a roundabout, take the second exit for the Radcliffe Road/A6011 for nearly two miles, passing Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on the left. Turn left onto Meadow Lane after crossing the River Trent and the ground should now be appearing on the right.
You can find parking at three sites quite close to the stadium; each of which will be subject to what the club calls a “small fee”. Last time we looked properly, Cattle Market car park (opposite the away end) cost £2. There’s also the club’s own car park (opposite the club offices in Meadow Lane) at a cost of £2.50. But we’ll do a better check next time we need to.
Don’t park on local streets, however. Parking restrictions could land you with a hefty fine.
Services to: PETERBOROUGH
It’s a fairly easy walk from Nottingham railway station to Meadow Lane. Exit the station and head west on Carrington Street, and continue onto Arkwright Street North. Turn left onto Crocus Street for a third of a mile, before turning right onto London Road.
Cross to the other side of London Road and turn left onto Cattle Market Rd/A6011. This will be followed by a right turn onto County Rd/A6011. By now you would be coming alongside the ground. The walk will take 15-20 minutes.
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