1974–75 in English football
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The 1974–75 season was the 95th season of competitive football in England.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Star players
- 3 Star managers
- 4 Top goalscorers
- 5 Diary of the season
- 6 Honours
- 7 League table
- 8 References
Dave Mackay guided Derby County to their second league title in four seasons having overcome strong competition from Liverpool, Ipswich Town, Everton, Stoke City, Sheffield United and Middlesbrough in a title race which went right to the wire. Everton lost just eight games during the season, the fewest of any side in the league that season, but a poor run of form at the end of the season cost Billy Bingham's side league glory.
It was Liverpool's first season under the management of Bob Paisley, who had been promoted to the manager's seat from the coaching staff following Bill Shankly's retirement a month before the start of the season. During that season Liverpool Football Club only took 14 fans to Boleyn Ground stadium for a game against West Ham United (a game which ended 0-0). An article in the Liverpool Echo explained how Lawrenson's Coaches had to cancel coaches a few days before as they had received no bookings. 5 'specials' were put on by railway services, however only one left the station. When it arrived at London for the game only 14 fans left the train to meet the escort. There has often been a debate about why this happened, some blame it being a mid-week game, others talk about it being a protest against how the club were treating Bill Shankly and others claim that the fans were intimidated by the hooligans of West Ham United. 
Carlisle United, in the First Division for the first time, topped the league three games into the season but were unable to keep up their winning ways and were relegated in bottom place. Joining the Cumbrians in the drop zone were Luton Town and Chelsea.
Manchester United kept faith in manager Tommy Docherty after their relegation to the Second Division, and he rewarded them with the championship. They were joined in promotion by Aston Villa and Norwich City. FIFA finally lifted George Best's worldwide ban from football, but Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty was not prepared to give him another chance at Old Trafford, and he joined Stockport County F.C. on a free transfer.
Going down were Bournemouth, Tranmere Rovers, Watford and Huddersfield Town. This meant that Huddersfield would be playing Fourth Division football for the first time in their history (the first former English champions to do so) during the 1975–76 season, just three years after they had been in the First Division.
Mansfield Town, Shrewsbury Town, Rotherham United and Chester occupied the promotion places in the Fourth Division. Chester finally managed promotion after 44 years of league membership, narrowly edging out Lincoln on goal average.
Scunthorpe United, who had narrowly missed out on top division football during the 1960s, found themselves bottom of the league but retained their league status after being re-elected along with the three clubs placed above them.
John Lyall kicked off his management career in style by guiding West Ham United to FA Cup glory over Fulham at Wembley. A key player in West Ham's triumph was 19-year-old goalkeeper Mervyn Day, who was credited with the PFA Young Player of the Year award for his achievements. On the losing Fulham side was former West Ham captain Bobby Moore.
Fourth Division Chester reached the semi-finals after accounting for top-flight giants Leeds United and Newcastle United. They lost the semi-final to Aston Villa 5–4 on aggregate. Manchester United lost the other semi-final, so none of the semi-finalists were from the First Division.
1973–74 League champions Leeds United reached the European Cup final at the Parc des Princes in Paris, where they lost 2–0 to Bayern Munich. Leeds fans ran riot following the match, in which Peter Lorimer had a goal disallowed, and the club was banned from European competition for four years, later reduced to two on appeal.
- Colin Todd added the PFA Player of the Year award to the league championship medal he collected with Derby County.
- 19-year-old West Ham goalkeeper Mervyn Day collected the PFA Young Player of the Year award along with an FA Cup winners medal.
- Liverpool's experienced midfielder Ian Callaghan was voted Player of the Year by the FWA, despite failing to win any major honours with his club.
- Dave Mackay helped Derby County win the league championship in his first full season as manager.
- John Lyall had a fine first season as West Ham United manager by guiding them to FA Cup glory.
- Ron Saunders guided Aston Villa to promotion and League Cup glory.
- Tommy Docherty helped Manchester United regain their First Division status at the first time of asking.
- Bobby Robson continued to raise standards at Ipswich Town – and almost guided them to league championship glory.
Diary of the season
4 July 1974: Don Revie accepts the offer from The Football Association to become the new manager of the England national football team, ending 13 years as manager of Leeds United, the defending league champions.
30 July 1974: Leeds United's search for a new manager ends with the appointment of Brian Clough, who had managed Third Division side Brighton & Hove Albion since November after his controversial dismissal from Derby County, the side he managed to title glory in 1972. However, he is not joined at Elland Road by his long serving assistant Peter Taylor, who is promoted to the manager's seat at the Goldstone Ground.
10 August 1974: This year's FA Charity Shield is played at Wembley Stadium between league champions Leeds United and FA Cup holders Liverpool, both sides having appointed new managers for the first time in over a decade. The match ends in a 1–1 draw and Liverpool win 6–5 on penalties, but it is marred by the dismissal of Leeds captain Billy Bremner and Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan.
17 August 1974: The First Division season begins with Brian Clough's first League match in charge of Leeds United ending in a 3–0 defeat to Stoke City. Carlisle United, in the First Division for the first time in their history, win 2–0 at Chelsea, and Manchester City beat West Ham United 4–0. Manchester United play their first game outside the top flight since 1938, beating Orient 2–0 at Brisbane Road in the opening Second Division fixture. Football hooliganism was rife at the Orient match, with reports of clashes between United supporters, "smashed subway trains" and fighting in the ground.
24 August 1974: Carlisle United move to the top of the league after winning their opening three games of the season. In the Second Division, Old Trafford hosts its first Second Division game in 36 years as Manchester United beat Millwall 4–0, with Gerry Daly scoring a hat-trick and Stuart Pearson scoring the other goal.
31 August 1974: At the end of August 1973 champions Liverpool lead the First Division, one point ahead of Ipswich Town, Everton and Manchester City, whose 2–1 defeat of Leeds United leaves the champions just one point ahead off the bottom.
12 September 1974: Brian Clough is sacked after 44 days and six league matches in charge of Leeds United, who have won just once in the league and stand 19th of 22 clubs in the First Division. He receives a pay-off in the region of £98,000.
30 September 1974: With eight wins from their first ten games, Ipswich Town top the First Division table at the end of September. They lead Manchester City by two points. At the bottom, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Leeds United are level on points.
31 October 1974: Liverpool have regained top spot in the First Division at the end of the month, one point ahead of Manchester City. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur continue to struggle in the relegation zone, where they have been joined by Luton Town.
9 November 1974: Manchester City take over at the top of the First Division as Liverpool lose 3–1 at home to Arsenal.
30 November 1974: Stoke City beat Leicester City 1–0 to move to the top of the First Division, but just three points separate the top nine clubs. Carlisle United's early form has deserted them, and they now lie in the relegation zone with Luton Town and Chelsea.
7 December 1974: Manchester United come back from being 3–1 down against Sheffield Wednesday to draw 4–4. An eight-man on-pitch "brawl" breaks out in the match between Carlisle United and Arsenal.
11 December 1974: Derby County's UEFA Cup campaign is ended at the third round stage by Velež, leaving Leeds United as Britain's only club still in European football. Newcastle United retain the Texaco Cup after beating ten-man Southampton 3–1 on aggregate.
18 December 1974: Fourth Division Chester reach the semi-finals of the Football League Cup after beating Newcastle United 1–0 in a replay. Middlesbrough lose 3–0 to Manchester United, leaving no First Division clubs in the competition.
31 December 1974: At the end of the year, the race for the First Division title remains remarkably close, with five points separating the top thirteen teams. Ipswich Town lead the table, alongside last year's Second Division champions Middlesbrough. Chelsea have moved out of the relegation zone at the expense of Leicester City.
4 January 1975: Isthmian League Leatherhead reach the fourth round of the FA Cup by beating Brighton & Hove Albion 1–0. They are joined by Wimbledon, who win 1–0 away to First Division Burnley. Non-league Altrincham and Wycombe Wanderers hold First Division opponents, Everton and Middlesbrough respectively, to draws.
18 January 1975: Everton, who have lost just three League games so far, take over leadership of the First Division with a 3–0 win over Birmingham City. Ipswich Town and Burnley are one point behind.
25 January 1975: Wimbledon hold Leeds United to a 0–0 draw at Elland Road in the FA Cup fourth round. Leatherhead's run comes to an end with a 3–2 defeat to Leicester City. FA Cup holders Liverpool are knocked out of this season's competition 1–0 by Ipswich Town.
10 February 1975: Wimbledon's fairytale FA Cup run finally ends with a 1–0 defeat to Leeds United in the fourth round replay.
28 February 1975: At the end of February, the destination of the League title is no clearer, as five points separate the top half of the First Division, which Everton lead by one point from Stoke City and Burnley. Carlisle United have dropped to last place, one point behind Luton Town and Leicester City.
15 March 1975: Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Chelsea 7–1 in the biggest win of the First Division season. Ipswich Town beat Newcastle United 5–4, but Everton now lead the table by three points from Burnley with a game in hand.
29 March 1975: Everton suffer a 3–0 defeat away to bottom-places Carlisle United, and relinquish top spot in the First Division to Liverpool.
31 March 1975: Everton beat Coventry City 1–0 to move back to the top of the table, as Liverpool lose 2–0 to Stoke City. They lead Liverpool and Stoke by one point with a game in hand, and have just five matches remaining, but Ipswich Town, Derby County and Middlesbrough also remain in contention. Tottenham Hotspur have slipped back into the relegation zone alongside Carlisle United and Luton Town.
5 April 1975: Both FA Cup semi-finals, Birmingham City versus Fulham and Ipswich Town versus West Ham United, require replays after ending in draws.
9 April 1975: Everton lose 2–1 to relegation-threatened Luton Town, and Derby County take advantage by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–0 to move two points clear at the top of the table with three matches left. West Ham United and Fulham reach the FA Cup final after narrow victories in their semi-final replays.
12 April 1975: Stoke City's title challenge ends with defeat to Sheffield United, leaving Derby County, Liverpool, Everton and Ipswich Town as the remaining contenders. Carlisle United are relegated after losing at Anfield.
19 April 1975: Liverpool, Everton and Ipswich Town all lose to hand the initiative in the title race to Derby County. Although the Rams can only draw with Leicester City, only Ipswich can now prevent them from winning their second title in four seasons. At the bottom, Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 2–0 in a vital relegation clash.
23 April 1975: Derby County win the title after Ipswich Town can only draw 1–1 with Manchester City.
26 April 1975: Derby County lie two points clear at the top at the end of the season after drawing their last match against Carlisle United. Liverpool finish ahead of Ipswich Town in second on goal average, with Everton fourth. Chelsea's 1–1 draw with Everton sees them relegated, and Tottenham Hotspur slip into the relegation zone after losing the North London derby to Arsenal. They must take a point from their final match to stay in the division.
28 April 1975: Tottenham Hotspur beat Leeds United 4–2 to survive in the First Division and relegate Luton Town one year after promotion.
11 May 1975: England beat Cyprus 1–0 to move three points clear at the top of their European Championship qualifying group.
28 May 1975: Leeds United are beaten 2–0 by West German side Bayern Munich in the final of the European Cup in Paris. Peter Lorimer has a goal disallowed, which sparks a furious pitch invasion and riot by a section of Leeds fans.
Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour. * indicates new record for competition
|11||Queens Park Rangers||42||16||10||16||54||54||1,000||42|
|13||West Ham United||42||13||13||16||58||59||0,983||39|
|6||West Bromwich Albion||42||18||9||15||54||42||1,286||45|
|9||Preston North End||46||19||11||16||63||56||1,125||49|
|19||Brighton & Hove Albion||46||16||10||20||56||64||0,875||42|
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points
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