The popularity of the Football League continues to soar as attendances across the EFL have reached their highest levels for 60 years.

Over 18.3m fans have made their way to fixtures in England's second, third and fourth tiers during the 2018/19 season - the highest figure since 1959.

The latest stats released by the ​EFL highlight the appeal of the Championship, League One and League Two, with combined attendances breaking the 18m barrier for a third consecutive year, and the average gate across all three divisions at over 11,000.

Ronan Curtis

Some fans across the leagues will now be dreaming of a triumphant day out as Wembley as the nerve-wrenching lottery of the playoffs kicked off on Thursday night.

In addition to the three leagues, the Carabao Cup, won by Manchester City and the EFL Trophy claimed by Portsmouth, meant that the total spectators across all competitions came to nearly 20m.

A record 85,021 watched Portsmouth’s EFL Trophy dramatic penalty shootout victory against Sunderland, whilst the average attendance increased by 32% compared to last year. The sides meet again in the League One playoffs this month, with Sunderland at home in the first leg on Saturday.

The Black Cats Boxing Day crowd of 46,039 also set a new League One record against relegated Bradford City.

In the Championship, the average attendance at Leeds was 37,004, whilst Aston Villa averaged 36,026 and Derby's figure was 32,055.

Albert Adomah,Pontus Jansson

The biggest crowd in League Two was on the final day of the season when 20,718 watched Milton Keynes seal promotion against Mansfield.

EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, said on the EFL website: “It is a significant achievement by all 72 EFL Clubs to continue the trend of increasing attendances across the EFL and achieve a 60-year high. 

"It is clear from this analysis that EFL Clubs are finding new, innovative ways to attract new supporters while also improving the matchday experience for those fans who regularly attend week in, week out."