The 1952–53 season was the 73rd season of competitive football in England.

Overview

This was the closest championship win in English league history at the time, with Arsenal claiming the title by just 0.099 of a goal. Both Arsenal and Preston had identical records aside from their goal averages.

Had goal difference been the deciding factor as it was from 1977 onwards, Arsenal would still have won with +33 to Preston's +25, unlike in 1989 when they would have finished second on goal average. Preston had last been champions in 1890, the second season of the Football League.

The FA Cup was won by Blackpool, beating Bolton Wanderers 4–3 in what became known as the 'Matthews Final', due to the masterly contribution of 38-year-old winger Stanley Matthews, who helped his side win after going 3-1 down, although three of Blackpool's goals were scored by prolific forward Stan Mortensen.

Honours

CompetitionWinnerRunner-up
First DivisionArsenal (7*)Preston North End
Second DivisionSheffield UnitedHuddersfield Town
Third Division NorthOldham AthleticPort Vale
Third Division SouthBristol RoversMillwall
FA CupBlackpool (1)Bolton Wanderers
Charity ShieldManchester UnitedNewcastle United
Home ChampionshipShared by  England and  Scotland

Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour. * indicates new record for competition

Football League

First Division

PosClubPWDLFAGAPts
1Arsenal422112997641.51654
2Preston North End422112985601.41754
3Wolverhampton Wanderers4219131086631.36551
4West Bromwich Albion422181366601.10050
5Charlton Athletic4219111277631.22249
6Burnley4218121267521.28848
7Blackpool421991471701.01447
8Manchester United4218101469720.95846
9Sunderland4215131468820.82943
10Tottenham Hotspur4215111678691.13041
11Aston Villa4214131563611.03341
12Cardiff City4214121654461.17440
13Middlesbrough4214111770770.90939
14Bolton Wanderers421591861690.88439
15Portsmouth4214101874830.89238
16Newcastle United421491959700.84337
17Liverpool421482061820.74436
18Sheffield Wednesday4212111962720.86135
19Chelsea4212111956660.84835
20Manchester City421472172870.82835
21Stoke City4212102053660.80334
22Derby County4211102159740.79732

Second Division

PosClubPWDLFAGAPts
1Sheffield United422510797551.76460
2Huddersfield Town422410884332.54558
3Luton Town422281284491.71452
4Plymouth Argyle422091365601.08349
5Leicester City4218121289741.20348
6Birmingham City4219101371661.07648
7Nottingham Forest421881677671.14944
8Fulham4217101581711.14144
9Blackburn Rovers421881668651.04644
10Leeds United4214151371631.12743
11Swansea Town4215121578810.96342
12Rotherham United421691775741.01441
13Doncaster Rovers4212161458640.90640
14West Ham United4213131658600.96739
15Lincoln City4211171464710.90139
16Everton4212141671750.94738
17Brentford4213111859760.77637
18Hull City421482057690.82636
19Notts County421482060880.68236
20Bury421392053810.65435
21Southampton4210131968850.80033
22Barnsley425829471080.43518

Third Division North

PosClubPWDLFAGAPts
1Oldham Athletic462215977451.71159
2Port Vale462018867351.91458
3Wrexham462481486661.30356
4York City4620131360451.33353
5Grimsby Town4621101575591.27152
6Southport4620111563601.05051
7Bradford Park Avenue4619121575611.23050
8Gateshead4617151476601.26749
9Carlisle United4618131582681.20649
10Crewe Alexandra462081870681.02948
11Stockport County4617131682691.18847
12Chesterfield4618111765631.03247
13Tranmere Rovers462152065631.03247
14Halifax Town4616151568681.00047
15Scunthorpe & Lindsey United4616141662561.10746
16Bradford City4614181475800.93846
17Hartlepools United4616141657610.93446
18Mansfield Town4616141655620.88746
19Barrow4616121866710.93044
20Chester City4611152064850.75337
21Darlington461462658960.60434
22Rochdale461452762830.74733
23Workington4611102555910.60432
24Accrington Stanley468112739890.43827

Third Division South

PosClubPWDLFAGAPts
1Bristol Rovers462612892462.00064
2Millwall462414882441.86462
3Northampton Town46261010109701.55762
4Norwich City4625101199551.80060
5Bristol City462215995611.55759
6Coventry City4619121577621.24250
7Brighton & Hove Albion4619121581751.08050
8Southend United4618131569740.93249
9Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic461991874691.07247
10Watford4615171462630.98447
11Reading461981969641.07846
12Torquay United461891987880.98945
13Crystal Palace4615131866820.80543
14Leyton Orient4616102068730.93242
15Newport County4616102070820.85442
16Ipswich Town4613151860690.87041
17Exeter City4613141961710.85940
18Swindon Town4614122064790.81040
19Aldershot4612151961770.79239
20Queens Park Rangers4612151961820.74439
21Gillingham4612151955740.74339
22Colchester United4612142059760.77638
23Shrewsbury Town4612122268910.74736
24Walsall4671029561180.47524

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points

National team

The England national football team were joint winners in the 1953 British Home Championship with Scotland. In the May following the conclusion of the season the England team embarked on their first tour of the Americas, following the experience in Brazil of the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

American tour

Abandoned after 21 minutes due to torrential rain