1968–69 in English football

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The 1968–69 season was the 89th season of competitive football in England.

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Leeds United (1) Liverpool
Second Division Derby County Crystal Palace
Third Division Watford Swindon Town
Fourth Division Doncaster Rovers Halifax Town
FA Cup Manchester City (4) Leicester City
League Cup Swindon Town (1) Arsenal
Charity Shield Manchester City West Bromwich Albion
Home Championship  England  Scotland

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

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1968–69 FA Cup

Manchester City completed a disappointing season for relegated Leicester City by defeating them 1–0 in the FA Cup Final. Neil Young scored the only goal of the game, although Leicester's David Nish gained the record as the youngest captain of a cup finalist at the age of 21.[1]

The season's big giant-killers were Third Division Mansfield Town who accounted for Sheffield United in the Third Round and West Ham in the Fifth before going out to Leicester in the Sixth Round.

League Cup[edit]

In one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition Swindon Town won the final 3–1 against Arsenal. Swindon's non-top flight status saw them barred from competing in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup which led to the creation of the Anglo-Italian Cup the following season.

European football[edit]

Newcastle United won the first, and to date only, European trophy in their history by beating Újpest of Hungary 6–2 on aggregate to lift the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

Football League[edit]

First Division[edit]

Leeds United won the League for the first time in their history, finishing six points ahead of Liverpool. Newly promoted Queens Park Rangers were relegated after finishing bottom along with Leicester City.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Leeds United (C) 42 27 13 2 66 26 2.538 67 1969–70 European Cup
2 Liverpool 42 25 11 6 63 24 2.625 61 01968–69 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup0
3 Everton 42 21 15 6 77 36 2.139 57
4 Arsenal 42 22 12 8 56 27 2.074 56
5 Chelsea 42 20 10 12 73 53 1.377 50 01968–69 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup0
6 Tottenham Hotspur 42 14 17 11 61 51 1.196 45
7 Southampton 42 16 13 13 57 48 1.188 45
8 West Ham United 42 13 18 11 66 50 1.32 44
9 Newcastle United 42 15 14 13 61 55 1.109 44 01968–69 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup0
10 West Bromwich Albion 42 16 11 15 64 67 0.955 43
11 Manchester United 42 15 12 15 57 53 1.075 42
12 Ipswich Town 42 15 11 16 59 60 0.983 41
13 Manchester City 42 15 10 17 64 55 1.164 40 01969–70 European Cup Winners' Cup0
14 Burnley 42 15 9 18 55 82 0.671 39
15 Sheffield Wednesday 42 10 16 16 41 54 0.759 36
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 10 15 17 41 58 0.707 35
17 Sunderland 42 11 12 19 43 67 0.642 34
18 Nottingham Forest 42 10 13 19 45 57 0.789 33
19 Stoke City 42 9 15 18 40 63 0.635 33
20 Coventry City 42 10 11 21 46 64 0.719 31
21 Leicester City (R) 42 9 12 21 39 68 0.574 30 Relegation to 1969–70 Second Division
22 Queens Park Rangers (R) 42 4 10 28 39 95 0.411 18

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Second Division[edit]

Derby County were runaway winners of the Second Division and they were joined in being promoted by runners-up Crystal Palace. Despite still boasting the talents of Johnny Haynes and George Cohen, Fulham finished bottom and were relegated. They were joined in the Third Division by perennial strugglers Bury

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Derby County (C) 42 26 11 5 65 32 2.031 63 Promotion to 1969–70 First Division
2 Crystal Palace (P) 42 22 12 8 70 47 1.489 56
3 Charlton Athletic 42 18 14 10 61 52 1.173 50
4 Middlesbrough 42 19 11 12 58 49 1.184 49
5 Cardiff City 42 20 7 15 67 54 1.241 47 01969–70 European Cup Winners' Cup0
6 Huddersfield Town 42 17 12 13 53 46 1.152 46
7 Birmingham City 42 18 8 16 73 59 1.237 44
8 Blackpool 42 14 15 13 51 41 1.244 43
9 Sheffield United 42 16 11 15 61 50 1.22 43
10 Millwall 42 17 9 16 57 49 1.163 43
11 Hull City 42 13 16 13 59 52 1.135 42
12 Carlisle United 42 16 10 16 46 49 0.939 42
13 Norwich City 42 15 10 17 53 56 0.946 40
14 Preston North End 42 12 15 15 38 44 0.864 39
15 Portsmouth 42 12 14 16 58 58 1 38
16 Bristol City 42 11 16 15 46 53 0.868 38
17 Bolton Wanderers 42 11 16 15 55 67 0.821 38
18 Aston Villa 42 12 14 16 37 48 0.771 38
19 Blackburn Rovers 42 13 11 18 52 63 0.825 37
20 Oxford United 42 12 9 21 34 55 0.618 33
21 Bury (R) 42 11 8 23 51 80 0.638 30 Relegation to 1969–70 Third Division
22 Fulham (R) 42 7 11 24 40 81 0.494 25

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Third Division[edit]

Watford won the title on goal average from Swindon Town and both teams were duly promoted. At the bottom end Northampton Town, Hartlepool, Crewe Alexandra and Oldham Athletic were all relegated.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Watford (C) 46 27 10 9 74 34 2.176 64 Promotion to 1969–70 Second Division
2 Swindon Town (P) 46 27 10 9 71 35 2.029 64
3 Luton Town 46 25 11 10 74 38 1.947 61
4 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 46 21 9 16 60 45 1.333 51
5 Plymouth Argyle 46 17 15 14 53 49 1.082 49
6 Torquay United 46 18 12 16 54 46 1.174 48
7 Tranmere Rovers 46 19 10 17 70 68 1.029 48
8 Southport 46 17 13 16 71 64 1.109 47
9 Stockport County 46 16 14 16 67 68 0.985 46
10 Barnsley 46 16 14 16 58 63 0.921 46
11 Rotherham United 46 16 13 17 56 50 1.12 45
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 16 13 17 72 65 1.108 45
13 Walsall 46 14 16 16 50 49 1.02 44
14 Reading 46 15 13 18 67 66 1.015 43
15 Mansfield Town 46 16 11 19 58 62 0.935 43
16 Bristol Rovers 46 16 11 19 63 71 0.887 43
17 Shrewsbury Town 46 16 11 19 51 67 0.761 43
18 Orient 46 14 14 18 51 58 0.879 42
19 Barrow 46 17 8 21 56 75 0.747 42
20 Gillingham 46 13 15 18 54 63 0.857 41
21 Northampton Town (R) 46 14 12 20 54 61 0.885 40 Relegation to 1969–70 Fourth Division
22 Hartlepool United (R) 46 10 19 17 40 70 0.571 39
23 Crewe Alexandra (R) 46 13 9 24 52 76 0.684 35
24 Oldham Athletic (R) 46 13 9 24 50 83 0.602 35

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Fourth Division[edit]

The Division was won by Doncaster Rovers, who were promoted along with Halifax Town, Rochdale and Bradford City. No team failed re-election so no new members were admitted to the Football League.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Promotion or relegation
1 Doncaster Rovers (C) 46 21 17 8 65 38 1.711 59 Promotion to 1969–70 Third Division
2 Halifax Town (P) 46 20 17 9 53 37 1.432 57
3 Rochdale (P) 46 18 20 8 68 35 1.943 56
4 Bradford City (P) 46 18 20 8 65 46 1.413 56
5 Darlington 46 17 18 11 62 45 1.378 52
6 Colchester United 46 20 12 14 57 53 1.075 52
7 Southend United 46 19 13 14 78 61 1.279 51
8 Lincoln City 46 17 17 12 54 52 1.038 51
9 Wrexham 50 18 18 14 61 52 1.173 54
10 Swansea Town 46 19 11 16 58 54 1.074 49
11 Brentford 46 18 12 16 64 65 0.985 48
12 Workington 46 15 17 14 40 43 0.93 47
13 Port Vale 46 16 14 16 46 46 1 46
14 Chester 46 16 13 17 76 66 1.152 45
15 Aldershot 46 19 7 20 66 66 1 45
16 Scunthorpe United 46 18 8 20 61 60 1.017 44
17 Exeter City 46 16 11 19 66 65 1.015 43
18 Peterborough United 46 13 16 17 60 57 1.053 42
19 Notts County 46 12 18 16 48 57 0.842 42
20 Chesterfield 46 13 15 18 43 50 0.86 41
21 York City 46 14 11 21 53 75 0.707 39 Re-elected
22 Newport County 46 11 14 21 49 74 0.662 36
23 Grimsby Town 46 9 15 22 47 69 0.681 33
24 Bradford Park Avenue 46 5 10 31 32 106 0.302 20

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Events of the season[edit]

  • November–December 1968 - Tommy Docherty manages three clubs in six weeks. He resigned from Rotherham on 6 November to take over at Queen's Park Rangers, but walked out on them after a month, and became the manager at Aston Villa on 18 December.
  • 14 January 1969 – Sir Matt Busby announces that he will retire as manager of Manchester United at the end of this season.[2]

Star players[edit]

For the only time in its history the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year was shared by two players — Tony Book of Manchester City and Dave Mackay of Derby County. For the sixth and final time in his illustrious career Tottenham Hotspur's Jimmy Greaves was Division One top-scorer with 27 goals. He was also top-scorer in the league overall with 22 goals taking the Second Division award for John Toshack of Cardiff City,

Star managers[edit]

  • Don Revie led Leeds United to their first ever League win, with a record number of points, losing just two matches and set in place a team that was to become one of the most successful of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  • Already a club legend as a player, Joe Harvey became one of Newcastle United's most celebrated managers by leading the club to European glory.
  • Ken Furphy took Watford into the Second Division after a close race with Swindon Town. However Swindon's Danny Williams also won the League Cup to make his own name.

National team[edit]

The England national football team enjoyed a successful year in the build up to the 1970 FIFA World Cup, for which they had automatically qualified as holders of the trophy after the 1966 FIFA World Cup. They won the 1969 British Home Championship by beating all three opponents and only lost one game all year, to Brazil during an end of season tour to the Americas.

American tour[edit]

1 June 1969
Mexico  0–0  England
   


Deaths[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Nish profile
  2. ^ "1969: Matt Busby retires from Man United". BBC News. 14 January 1969. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 44. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  6. ^ a b c Player death notices
  7. ^ Eric Sweeney
  8. ^ Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. Surrey: T.G Jones. p. 24. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1.