Plaque To Be Unveiled In Honour Of Kenny Davenport
A plaque commemorating the first ever Football League goalscorer Kenny Davenport is to be unveiled in the Pikes Lane area of Bolton next Tuesday.
For over a century, it had been thought that an own goal by Aston Villa’s Gershom Cox, playing against Wolverhampton Wanderers, was the first Football League goal.
In 2013, however, research by football author Mark Metcalf and librarian Robert Boyling revealed that the kick off in that game had been delayed.
It meant that Davenport’s goal at 3.47pm on September 8, 1888 for Bolton Wanderers against Derby County was the first ever Football League goal.
Efforts to find a permanent home in the Pikes Lane area for a blue plaque dedicated to Davenport have now led a local business, the Lostock Electrical Projects Company, agreeing to have the plaque on their building on Backfield Street. Business owner Duncan Simm, 58, is a Wanderers fan.
Gordon Taylor OBE said: "For a Bolton Wanderers player, Kenny Davenport, to be discovered to have scored the very first goal in the oldest established professional football league in the World is rightfully worthy of a very special commemoration and this, thanks to Mark Metcalf, Kenny's family, the PFA and Bolton Wanderers F.C, has now been successfully achieved.”
Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive, said: “I am pleased to see that a plaque is to be unveiled in recognition of Kenny Davenport’s first goal in league football.
“While there has since been over half a million goals in English league football, there can only ever be one ‘first goal’ scored and it is it fitting that such a momentous moment is marked in this way.”
Phil Mason, Club Chaplain, added: “I am delighted that we are marking this significant milestone in our history as a club and rightly commemorating Kenny’s achievement. My thanks must go to all involved in discovering this fact of history and especially to Mark Metcalf. The Blue Plaque will act as a permanent reminder of the importance of our Club in the history of football”.
Mark Metcalf said: “Robert and myself are delighted that the efforts of many people to find a suitable venue to erect a plaque commemorating Kenny Davenport’s feat will be rewarded on 22 November. I am looking forward to the event.”
Duncan Simm added: “When myself and my business partner were asked if the plaque could be placed here then we had no problems in agreeing especially as I am a Wanderers season ticket holder. We are thinking about putting a letterhead on our documents stating that we are based where the first goal was scored.”
Mavis Callaghan, who is Kenny Davenport’s great niece, said: ““We have been searching for a venue since 2013 and so it will be great to see the plaque being unveiled on 22 November. Bolton scored the first League goal and also the first at Wembley in 1923. That’s a great record and it is only right that Kenny is remembered for having scored the goal on 8 September 1888. He was also the first Bolton player to play for England.”
The plaque is to be unveiled at 5.30pm on Tuesday 22 November by Gordon Taylor of the PFA, Mark Metcalf and the Mayor of Bolton, Lynda Byrne.
The ceremony is to be overseen by the Club Chaplain and Head of the Community Trust, Phil Mason and everyone is invited to attend.
For further information, please contact BWFC Head of Marketing and Communications Paul Holliday on 07866 562998