A complete record, by Tony Brown

‘Complete Record’ books provide the reader with results, scorers and line-ups of every game played by a club’s first team in League and Cup.  Many volumes also include details of friendly matches and data on the players.  This article looks at the story of these books for clubs in the English Football League and Premiership. 

                The first club to appear in print were Swindon Town.  Paul Plowman covered Swindon’s record in the Third Division South in a self-published slide-bound book in September 1982.  An earlier volume had provided Swindon’s record in the Southern League, and a hard-to-find third volume took the story to 1985. 

                1984 saw a well-produced book on Portsmouth by Messrs Neasom, Cooper and Robinson.  1984 was also notable for the first ‘complete record’ published by Breedon Books, on Derby County.  Breedon went on to set the pace for books of this type, covering 45 clubs (for the first time) over the next 14 years.  Gerald Mortimer’s book on Derby set the standard for Breedon’s complete records, with sections on players, matches to remember, a season-by-season narrative and war-time line-ups.  It is worth noting that many clubs were issued in several editions, so ‘completists’ need to collect each one!  Breedon also produced volumes on Scottish clubs Aberdeen, Celtic and Rangers.

                Dave Twydell of Yore Publications recognised there was a demand for statistics on the less-fashionable clubs.  Yore’s first books were Cardiff City and Peterborough in 1992 and the series continues to this day.  16 clubs were published for the first time and the Yore series includes new editions of club histories first published by Breedon and myself. 

                Discussions at the Association of Football Statisticians led to me starting a series of ‘definitive’ club histories to try and complete the series.  I have tackled 16 ‘new clubs’ in total, from Rochdale in 1995 to Workington in 2005.

                Independent publishers have produced works on another 24 clubs.  Of particular note are ‘Home of the Shouting Men’ on Gillingham, copies of which change hands for hundreds of pounds.  Also of interest is the Southport history, a 728 page effort by Geoff Wilde and Michael Braham which ranks as one of the most comprehensive ‘complete records’ ever published.

                There are of course a number of clubs with a short League record that do not have a complete record.  The results scorers and line-ups of all clubs prior to 1952/53 are included in the season-by-season annuals produced by the AFS and myself.  Clubs entering the League since 1970 are included in Rothmans of course.   That leaves just one club, not currently in the Football League; Newport County.

                It has to be acknowledged that most ‘complete records’ are long out of print and only to be found in secondhand bookshops and on auction sites on the internet.  Revised and updated editions by Dave Twydell and myself tend not to sell as well as ‘new clubs’, so the economics of a reprint are sometimes difficult to calculate.  Also, one day we can expect to see what I call ‘the ultimate database’ on the internet, which will contain the results, scorers and line-ups for every League and Cup game since 1888.

                The following table is 'work in progress' and more details will be added in time.


A reference to "See MbM" means the line-ups are available in the Match by Match series.
A reference to "see AFS" means the line-ups are available in AFS annuals, until they are replaced by MbM editions
A reference to "see Rothmans" means the Rothmans (now Sky Sports) Yearbooks
"WW" is an abbreviation for "Who's Who"
Line-ups Who's Who
Aberdare Athletic (see MbM)
Accrington (see Accrington Stanley)
Accrington Stanley Complete Record, Breedon
Aldershot The Definitive Aldershot
Ardwick (see Manchester City)
Arsenal Complete Record, Breedon Arsenal WW, Harris (1996), Independent UK Sports, 1899429034
Ashington (See MbM)
Aston Villa Complete Record, Breedon Aston Villa WW, Matthews
Barnet (See Rothmans)
Barnsley The Official History, Yore
Barrow The Definitive Barrow AFC
Birmingham City Complete Record, Breedon WW of Birmingham City, Matthews/Baker (1991), Sports Leisure Concepts, 1873171048
Blackburn Rovers Complete Record, Breedon Official Encyclopaedia, Jackman (1994), Breedon
Blackpool Complete Record, Breedon
Bolton Wanderers The Official History, Marland, Yore
Bootle (see AFS)
Bournemouth The Definitive AFC Bournemouth
Boston United (see Rothmans)
Bradford City Complete Record, Breedon
Bradford Park Avenue All About Avenue - the Definitive Bradford PA
Brentford 100 Years of Brentford
Brighton & Hove Albion Seagulls! Carter/Harris (1993), Goldstone, 0952133709 Albion A-Z, Carter/Harris (1997), Goldstone, 0952133717
Bristol City The Bristol Babe, Woods, Yore The First 100 Years, Edwards/Woods (1997), Redcliffe, 1900178265
Bristol Rovers The Definitive History, Jay/Byrne, Tempus Pirates in Profile, Jay/Byrne (1994), Pottens, 0952483505
Burnley Complete Record, Breedon
Burton Swifts (see AFS)
Burton United (see AFS)
Burton Wanderers (see AFS)
Bury The Official History, Cullen, Yore
Cambridge United The League Era, DIB
Cardiff City The Definitive Cardiff City
Carlisle United Lads in Blue, Harrison, Yore
Charlton Athletic Home and Away with CA, Cameron The Valiant 500, Cameron (1991), 0951772902
Chelsea Complete Record, Cheshire/Hocking (1991) Breedon Chelsea Players WW, Cheshire/Hockings (1987), 0951271504
Cheltenham Town (See Rothmans)
Chester City On the Borderline, Sumner, Yore
Chesterfield The Official History, Basson, Yore Lucky Whites & Spireites, Basson (1998), Yore
Colchester United The Official History - The U, Yore
Coventry City Complete Record, Breedon Coventry City Footballers, O'Connor (1993), Yore, 1874427453
Crewe Alexandra Crewe Alexandra Match by Match
Crystal Palace Complete Record, Breedon
Darlington The Definitive Darlington
Darwen (see AFS)
Derby County Complete Record, Mortimer (2006), Breedon Derby County WW, Mortimer, Breedon
Doncaster Rovers Donny the Official History, Yore
Durham City (See MbM)
Everton Complete Record, Breedon
Exeter City Complete Record, Breedon
Fulham Fulham Facts & Figures, Taylor/White
Gainsborough Trinity (see AFS)
Gateshead Gateshead FC, Thompson, Yore
Gillingham The Definitive Gillingham FC, Brown, Soccerdata The Men who made Gillingham FC, Triggs (2001), Tempus, 075242243X
Glossop (see AFS)
Grimsby Town We Only Sing When We're Fishing, Wherry, Yore Grimsby Town - a WW, Lamming (1985)
Halifax Town The Definitive Halifax Town AFC, Meynell, Soccerdata
Hartlepool United The Definitive Hartlepool United, Soccerdata
Hereford United The League Era, DIB
Huddersfield Town Complete Record, Breedon
Hull City A Century of City, Peterson, Yore Tiger Tales, Peterson (2000), Yore 1874427682
Ipswich Town Suffolk Punch
Kidderminster Harriers (see Rothmans)
Leeds City (see Leeds United)
Leeds United Complete Record, Breedon
Leicester City Of Fossils and Foxes, Taylor/Smith Foxes Alphabet, Taylor/Smith (1995), Polar, 1899538062
Leyton Orient Complete Record, Kaufman (2006), Breedon Men who Made Leyton Orient, Kaufman (2002), Tempus 0752424122
Lincoln City Official History, Nannestad, Yore WW of Lincoln City, Nannestad (1994), Yore, 1874427909
Liverpool Complete Record, Breedon WW of Liverpool, Lamming (1989), Breedon, 0907969550
Loughborough See AFS, but also see The Luffs, Kirkby (1995), Echo Press, 0951574922
Luton Town The Definitive Luton Town, Soccerdata
Macclesfield Town (see Rothmans)
Maidstone United (see Rothmans)
Manchester City Complete Record, (2006), Breedon
Manchester United Complete Record, Breedon United Alphabet, Dykes (1994), Polar, 0951486268
Mansfield Town MT The First 100 Years, Retter/Taylor (1997), 0953069419 WW of the Stags
Merthyr Town (See MbM)
Middlesbrough The Boro Bible Boro Alphabet
Middlesbro' Ironopolis (see AFS)
Millwall Complete Record, Breedon
Milton Keynes Dons (see Rothmans)
Nelson (See MbM)
New Brighton Tower (see AFS)
New Brighton Complete Record, Breedon
Newcastle United Complete Record, Breedon Black & White Alphabet, Joannou (1996), Polar, 1899538038
Newport County None, but see Amber in the Blood, Ambrosen, Yore Ironsides - a Lifetime in the League, Ambrosen (1989), Yore, 0951332171
Newton Heath The Definitive Newton Heath, Soccerdata
Northampton Town NT FC, Grande, Yore The Cobblers, Grande
Northwich Victoria (see AFS).  Also, A Team for All Seasons (1992), RR Edwards, Cheshire Country Publishing, 0949001082
Norwich City Canary Citizens, Davage Glorious Canaries, Davage (1994), NCFC, 0952385708
Nottingham Forest Forest - the First 125 Years, Smales
Notts County The Official History, Brown (1995), Yore Meadow Lane Men, Dykes (2005), Yore, 0954783069
Oldham Athletic Complete Record, Breedon Latics Lads, Dykes (2002), Yore, 1874427496
Oxford United Complete Record, Breedon
Peterborough United The Posh, Yore Peterborough WW, Hill, DIB
Plymouth Argyle Complete Record, Breedon
Port Vale The PV Record, Kent (1993), Witan Books, 0950898198 Port Vale Personalities, Kent
Portsmouth The Definitive Portsmouth, Soccerdata Pompey People, Cooper (2000), Yore, 1874427585
Preston North End Proud Preston
Queen's Park Rangers Official History of QPR, Heroes in Hoops, Marks (2003), Yore, 1874427844
Reading Heavon on Earth, Yore Royals Remembered, Sedunary (2001), Yore, 1874427046
Rochdale Rochdale AFC - The Official History (2001)
Rotherham County (see Rotherham United)
Rotherham Town (see AFS)
Rotherham United Now we are United, Somerton, Yore
Rushden & Diamonds (see Rothmans)
Scarborough The Official History, Yore
Scunthorpe United The Official Centenary History
Sheffield United Complete Record of SU, Clarebrough/Kirkman
Sheffield Wednesday Complete Record, Breedon The Wednesday Boys
Shrewsbury Town Breath on 'em Salop
South Shields SS FC, Thompson, Yore
Southampton Complete Record, Breedon.  See also In That Number Aphabet of the Saints, Holley/Chalk (1992), Polar, 0951486233
Southend United SU, Mason, Yore
Southport The Sandgrounders
Stalybridge Celtic (see MbM)
Stockport County Complete Record, Breedon
Stoke City The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City, Matthews The WW, Matthews, Breedon
Sunderland Complete Record, Breedon, 2005 All the Lads, Dykes/Lamming (1999), Polar, 1899538143
Swansea Town/City The Official Biography of the Swans The First Complete Player A-Y, Jones
Swindon Town No single volume, but see
Thames (see MbM)
Torquay United TU, Edwards, Yore
Tottenham Hotspur Complete Record, Breedon Spurs Alphabet, Goodwin (1992), Polar, 0951486284
Tranmere Rovers A Complete Record, Upton/Wilson
Walsall The Saddlers, Matthews, Breedon
Watford Watford Season by Season, Jones Watford Illustrated WW, Jones (1996), 0952745801
West Bromwich Albion Complete Record, Breedon WW of WBA, Matthews (1989), 090558567
West Ham United The Definitive West Ham United WHU WW, Hogg/McDonald
Wigan Athletic The Latics, Hayes, Yore
Wigan Borough (see MbM)
Wimbledon From Southern League to Premiership, DIB
Wolverhampton Wanderers Complete Record, Breedon A-Z of Wolves
Workington The Definitive Workington AFC
Wrexham Complete Record, Breedon The Racecourse Robins
Wycombe Wanderers The Official History, Yore
York City Complete Record, Breedon Citizens & Minstermen, Yore
Yeovil Town See Rothmans, but also see