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The Iron Vault: Milestone League Games

15 April 2020


The Iron Vault: Milestone League Games

15 April 2020

At the time of writing, the Iron are 3,170 games into their league history having played their first game back in 1950 at the Old Show Ground.

Having not left the league since that season, Scunthorpe have played 58 complete seasons of 46 games, one of 45 (Exeter were unable to fulfill one back in 1973-74 so the Iron were awarded the points) and 10 seasons comprising of 42 games. As it stands, 37 of the 46 matches have been played in 2019-20 prior to COVID-19 halting proceedings.

That's given us a chance to look at the overview of our milestone games over the years, from our 100th Football League game, right up to our most recently milestone - our 3,000th match back at the start of the 2016-17 campaign

Below are some of the club's milestone fixtures in the league...

100 1952-53 Sep 17, 1952 Chester City A D1-1 Haigh
200 1954-55 Oct 23, 1954 Tranmere Rovers A W2-1 Brown, Haigh
250 1955-56 Nov 26, 1955 Tranmere Rovers A L1-2 Brown
300 1956-57 Dec 25, 1956 Derby County A L0-4  
400 1958-59 Mar 7, 1959 Brighton and Hove Albion A L1-2 Haigh
500 1961-62 Sep 5, 1961 Bristol Rovers H W2-1 Godfrey, Thomas
600 1963-64 Dec 28, 1963 Manchester City H L2-4 Brownsword, Kirkman
700 1965-66 Mar 29, 1966 Bristol Rovers A L0-2  
750 1966-67 Mar 28, 1967 Workington A L0-1  
800 1967-68 Apr 25, 1968 Torquay United A L1-2 Heath
900 1970-71 Sep 1, 1970 Oldham Athletic H L2-3 Lindsey, Heath
1000 1972-73 Oct 7, 1972 Brentford H W1-0 Welbourne
1250 1977-78 Mar 11, 1978 Reading A L0-1  
1500 1983-84 Sep 27, 1983 Plymouth Argyle A L0-4  
1750 1988-89 Feb 4, 1989 Carlisle United A W3-0 Lister, Taylor, Flounders
2000 1994-95 Oct 22, 1994 Exeter City A D2-2 Henderson, Juryeff
2250 1999-00 Mar 21, 2000 Brentford H D0-0  
2500 2005-06 Sep 27, 2005 Milton Keyns Dons A L0-1  
2750 2010-11 Feb 22, 2011 Sheffield United H W3-2 Garner (2), Miller
3000 2016-17 Aug 27, 2016 Port Vale A L1-3 Morris


We could have broke each milestone down into their 100s, but let's face it, no one really looks back at your 1800th game or your 2300th game. It's just like looking back at your 734th game or your 2829th.

So with all the milestones listed above, we'll take a look at the big three; the 1000th, 2000th and 3000th league games in our league history... and there's one of each result too.

United's 3000th game in 2016 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Port Vale beat the Iron 3-1 at Vale Park, manager Graham Alexander was sent off, defender Jordan Clarke was sent off and the side went home empty handed. That was despite the senior assistant referee giving Scunthorpe a lifeline on the stroke of half-time when he signalled that Josh Morris' free-kick had crossed the line to make it 1-1.

Rewind the best part of 22 years for the 2000th league game of Scunthorpe United's history and there were another four goals, this time equally shared. The Iron were again away from home, but this time drew 2-2 with Damian Henderson and Ian Juryeff both netting.

Probably the most significant milestone was the 1000th game. That came on October 7th, 1972 at the Old Show Ground and while it wasn't a classic, Don Welbourne came up with the only goal of the game to signal celebrations for the Iron.


The record is bleak, despite that 1000th league game victory.

Indeed the Iron have won just 25% of the presented milestones above - yes, that's just five of the 20 that we've listed. Of those victories, just one has been by more than a single goal (3-0 away at Carlisle; 1750th game), while the others have either been 1-0, 2-1 (twice) or 3-2.

Of the remaining 15 games, three have been draws, including the 100th fixture which came in 1952-53 when Jack Haigh netted in a 1-1 draw against Chester City. Other than the 2-2 draw which we've already mentioned, the other was scoreless.

That leaves 12 defeats. 12 times United have reached a milestone and gone home empty handed. It's a good job these milestones don't come around too often. Indeed, if we were to stick to 46 games a season (and 2019-20 is completed and doesn't get cancelled out due to COVID-19), the 4000th league game in our history is currently scheduled to be the 39th match in the 2036-37 season.

Not long to wait then! Set your reminders for sometime in late March or early April 2037 to enjoy that one; that's if they haven't rejigged the season by then too!


14 out of the 20 milestones we've presented above came away from home.

That's the fact, it wasn't fixed. The milestones could have fallen on different dates had it not been for various postponements and fixture changes over the years. It was a 50-50 chance that they'd take place either home or away, but in the Iron's history, fortune has favoured being away from home. Where will our 3,250th league game be? Probably at home, now we've raised that point!

At least the 1000th game was at home (and we won), eh?

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