by Jack Donnelly
A plaque has been unveiled to celebrate Bolton Wanderers’ Kenny Davenport as the first ever goalscorer in the football league.
The goal, originally thought to have been an own goal by Aston Villa’s Gershom Cox, was revealed in 2013 when football researchers Mark Metcalf and Robert Boyling discovered that the kick-off in the Aston Villa game had been delayed.
It was found that Davenport’s goal at 3:47pm on September 8, 1888, for Bolton Wanderers against Derby County signified the first ever football league goal.
The plaque, which was placed in the same area as Wanderers’ former ground, Pikes Lane, was unveiled yesterday evening with the football researchers, the Mayor of Bolton, and Mr Davenport’s family in attendance.
Mark Metcalf said:
When I was writing my book I didn’t quite buy that Gershom Cox was the first ever goalscorer in the football league.
Mr Metcalf and Mr Boyling were also welcomed onto the pitch at half-time last night during Bolton’s 1-0 victory against Coventry City.
Phil Mason, Bolton Wanderers Chaplain, said:
This is such a significant occasion as we gather to celebrate a key moment in Bolton Wanderers football club.
Kenny Davenport holds a special place in Wanderers’ history: he was the first Bolton player to play for England, was part of the first group of footballers to become professionals in 1885.
The blue plaque is visible on the Lostock Electrical Projects Company building on Bankfield Street.
Watch Paul Crone's report from the scene.