The Second Division was formed in 1892 with 12 clubs, most of which had previously played in the Football Alliance (a rival organisation to the Football League).
The original members were: Ardwick (now Manchester City), Bootle, Burton Swifts, Crewe Alexandra, Darwen, Grimsby Town, Lincoln City, Northwich Victoria, Port Vale, Sheffield United, Small Heath (now Birmingham City), and Walsall.
In the early years, there was no automatic promotion to the First Division. The top teams in Division Two, including the winners, were required to play a series of “test matches” against the bottom teams in Division One, with the winner securing a place in the First Division.
Test matches were abolished in 1898 after Burnley and Stoke deliberately drew their test match 0-0, resulting in Burnley being promoted and Stoke being saved from relegation.
Grimsby Town, having finished bottom in 1919-20 were the first team to be relegated to the newly formed Third Division. For subsequent seasons, two clubs were relegated into either the Third Division North or Third Division South, depending on geographic location.
After the Third Division was reunified in 1958-59, the two clubs continued to be relegated until 1974 when three up / three down was introduced.
From 1987, the third promotion place began to be decided by a play-off involving the teams placed third to sixth.
|Football League Championship|
|2008/2009||West Bromwich Albion|
|Football League First Division|
|Football League Second Division|
|1982/1983||Queens Park Rangers|
|1980/1981||West Ham United|
|1957/1958||West Ham United|
|1950/1951||Preston North End|
|1912/1913||Preston North End|
|1910/1911||West Bromwich Albion|
|1903/1904||Preston North End|
|1901/1902||West Bromwich Albion|