1975–76 in English football

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The 1975–76 season was the 96th season of competitive football in England.

Overview[edit]

First Division[edit]

Liverpool won their first major trophy under Bob Paisley by narrowly winning the league title after a strong challenge from Dave Sexton's Queens Park Rangers, who finished in their highest ever position of runners-up and qualified for the UEFA Cup. Following QPR into Europe were Tommy Docherty's promising young Manchester United side, Dave Mackay's defending champions Derby County and Jimmy Armfield's Leeds United.

Going down were Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and Sheffield United.

Bertie Mee, 57, retired after ten years as manager of Arsenal. The highlights of his career had been the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup triumph of 1970 and the Double win of 1971, but Arsenal had fallen behind the best in recent seasons and Mee handed over the reins to Terry Neill.

Second Division[edit]

Three years after winning the FA Cup, Bob Stokoe's Sunderland finally won promotion to the top flight as Second Division champions. Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion occupied the two other promotion places. Oxford United, York City and Portsmouth went down to the Third Division.

The division's biggest headline hitters were Southampton, who finished sixth in the league but surprised the footballing world by overcoming Manchester United to win the FA Cup.

Third Division[edit]

Hereford United won the Third Division title to reach the Second Division just four years after joining the league. Also going up to the Second Division were Cardiff City and Millwall. Aldershot, Colchester United, Southend United and Halifax Town were relegated to the Fourth Division. Narrowly avoiding the drop were Sheffield Wednesday, who during the interwar years had won the League championship and the FA Cup.

Fourth Division[edit]

32-year-old Graham Taylor achieved the first success of his managerial career by winning the Fourth Division title for Lincoln City. He was linked with several job vacancies in the First and Second Divisions but surprised everyone by taking over at Elton John's Watford, who were still in the Fourth Division. Joining Lincoln in the Third Division were Northampton Town, Reading and Tranmere Rovers.

The Football League voted in favour of the bottom four clubs remaining in the Fourth Division, and so there were no departures or arrivals in the league for 1976–77.

FA Cup[edit]

Southampton pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of FA Cup finals when a Bobby Stokes goal gave them victory over Manchester United at Wembley. It was the first major trophy in the club's history.

League Cup[edit]

Manchester City beat Newcastle to claim the League Cup, their first major trophy for six years. It would be 35 years before they would win another major trophy.

European football[edit]

Liverpool won the UEFA Cup for the second time after a 4–3 aggregate victory over Club Bruges in the final. The 1975 FA Cup winners West Ham United reached the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, where they lost 4–2 to another Belgian side, Anderlecht. League champions Derby County lost 6–5 on aggregate to Real Madrid in the second round of the European Cup.[1]

Star players[edit]

Star managers[edit]

Top goalscorers[edit]

First Division[edit]

Second Division[edit]

Third Division[edit]

Fourth Division[edit]

Diary of the season[edit]

16 August 1975: The First Division season begins with reigning champions Derby County held to a 1–1 draw by Sheffield United. Last season's Second Division champions Manchester United win 2–0 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Queens Park Rangers beat Liverpool 2–0.[2]

23 August 1975: Derby County are beaten 5–1 by Queens Park Rangers at the Baseball Ground in their first home League match of the season.[2]

31 August 1975: Manchester United lead the First Division by one point from West Ham United at the end of August.[2]

30 September 1975: Two London clubs, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United, lead the First Division table at the end of September, a point ahead of Manchester United. Sheffield United are bottom with just three points from ten matches.[2]

30 October 1975: England lose 2–1 to Czechoslovakia in Bratislava in a European Championship qualifier.[3]

31 October 1975: Seven clubs all lie within two points at the top of the First Division, with the table led by Queens Park Rangers, Manchester United and West Ham United. Sheffield United are already five points adrift of Wolverhampton Wanderers at the bottom, while Leicester City are still looking for their first win, having drawn nine of their fourteen games so far.[2]

8 November 1975: Manchester United fall from first place to third after the Red Devils were beaten by Liverpool. The new league leaders are West Ham United, with second-placed Derby level on points with the London club. Elsewhere, braces from Leeds United's Duncan McKenzie and Colin Bell of Manchester City help their clubs beat Newcastle United and Birmingham City respectively.[4]

12 November 1975: Manchester City thrash neighbours United 4–0 in the fourth round of the Football League Cup.[5]

19 November 1975: England draw 1–1 away to Portugal in their last European Championship qualifier, and must now hope that Czechoslovakia fail to beat Cyprus in order to qualify for the quarter-finals.[3]

23 November 1975: Czechoslovakia beat Cyprus 3–0 to confirm England's elimination from the European Championships.[6]

30 November 1975: The month ends with Derby County having recovered from their poor start to top the First Division table. They lead Queens Park Rangers and West Ham United by one point. Sheffield United have been joined by Birmingham City and Burnley in the relegation zone.[2]

20 December 1975: Liverpool avenge their opening day defeat to Queens Park Rangers by beating them 2–0 at Anfield in a top-of-the-table clash.[2]

31 December 1975: The year ends with Liverpool and Manchester United level on points at the top of the table, one point ahead of Leeds United and Derby County. Sheffield United are now eleven points from safety, and Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley complete the bottom three. Arsenal are struggling in seventeenth place.[2]

3 January 1976: FA Cup third round day throws up a set of interesting results: table toppers Liverpool eliminate reigning FA Cup winners West Ham, Manchester City hit Hartlepool United for six and two late goals for non-League Tooting & Mitcham United help them force a replay against Swindon Town.[7]

17 January 1976: Stoke City play a league game at Port Vale's Vale Park ground during repair work to the roof of the Butler Street Stand at the Victoria Ground, after it had been blown off during severe winds a fortnight earlier.

31 January 1976: Liverpool thrash West Ham United 4–0 at Upton Park but trail Manchester United by a point at the top of the table. Derby County, Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers also remain in contention.[2]

28 February 1976: Manchester City win the League Cup final 2–1 against Newcastle United.[5]

29 February 1976: The race for the title remains extremely close, with Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers and Manchester United tied on points at the top, and Derby County just one point behind. Leeds United trail by five points, but have at least two games in hand on each of their rivals. At the bottom, Sheffield United are ten points from safety, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and Birmingham City appear to be fighting to avoid the other two relegation places.[2]

6 March 1976: Third Division Crystal Palace reach the FA Cup semi-finals by beating Sunderland 1–0 at Roker Park. Fourth Division giant-killers Bradford City lose 1–0 at home to Southampton, and Derby County beat Newcastle United 4–2.[8]

27 March 1976: Sheffield United are beaten 5–0 by Tottenham Hotspur and are relegated to the Second Division.[2]

31 March 1976: Unbeaten in the League since January, Queens Park Rangers lead the First Division by a point from Manchester United and Derby County with five games remaining. Liverpool are two points behind the leaders, but they and United have a game in hand.[2]

3 April 1976: Manchester United and Southampton reach the FA Cup final after 2–0 victories over Derby County and Crystal Palace respectively.[8]

8 April 1976: Malcolm Macdonald's brace helps Newcastle United beat beleaguered Birmingham City 4–0.[9]

10 April 1976: Derby County's bid to retain their League title is effectively ended when they lose 4–3 to Manchester City. Queens Park Rangers beat Middlesbrough 4–2 and have now taken 23 points from the last 24 available. They are now in control of the championship race, as Manchester United lose 3–0 at Ipswich Town and Liverpool draw 0–0 against Aston Villa.[2]

17 April 1976: Liverpool move back to the top of the First Division after they beat Stoke City 5–3 and Queens Park Rangers suffer a 3–2 defeat to Norwich City.[2]

19 April 1976: Burnley are relegated to the Second Division with one match of the season remaining.[2]

21 April 1976: Manchester United's bid for the double is virtually ended by a 1–0 loss to Stoke City, their first home League defeat of the season.[2]

24 April 1976: Queens Park Rangers end the best League season in the club's history by beating Leeds United 2–0. They are a point ahead of Liverpool, and need the Reds to lose their last match of the season to win the championship.[2]

28 April 1976: Liverpool recover from 2–0 down to beat Club Bruges 3–2 in the first leg of the UEFA Cup final at Anfield.[1]

1 May 1976: Southampton cause a major shock by beating Manchester United 1–0 in the FA Cup final thanks to a second-half goal from Bobby Stokes.[10] They emulate Sunderland's 1973 feat of winning the Cup from the Second Division.[8]

4 May 1976: Liverpool come from a goal down to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–1 and win the League title.[11] They finish a point ahead of Queens Park Rangers and four ahead of Manchester United. The defeat condemns Wolves to relegation alongside Sheffield United and Burnley.[2]

5 May 1976: West Ham United lose 4–2 to Anderlecht in the European Cup Winners' Cup final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.[1]

15 May 1976: England lose 2–1 to Scotland at Hampden Park in their last Home Championship match. Kenny Dalglish scores the winning goal when his shot goes between the legs of England goalkeeper Ray Clemence.[3]

19 May 1976: Liverpool claim their second European trophy by drawing 1–1 with Club Bruges to complete a 4–3 aggregate victory in the UEFA Cup final.[1]

28 May 1976: England come from two goals down at half-time to beat Italy 3–2 in New York in a tournament organised to commemorate the bicentenary of the independence of the USA.[3]

13 June 1976: England beat Finland 4–1 in their first qualifying match for the 1978 World Cup.[3]

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Liverpool (9*) Queens Park Rangers
Second Division Sunderland Bristol City
Third Division Hereford United Cardiff City
Fourth Division Lincoln City Northampton Town
FA Cup Southampton (1) Manchester United
League Cup Manchester City (2*) Newcastle United
Charity Shield Derby County West Ham United
Home Championship  Scotland  England

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

League table[edit]

First Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 42 23 14 5 66 31 35 60
2 Queens Park Rangers 42 24 11 7 67 33 34 59
3 Manchester United 42 23 10 9 68 42 26 56
4 Derby County 42 21 11 10 75 58 17 53
5 Leeds United 42 21 9 12 65 46 19 51
6 Ipswich Town 42 16 14 12 54 48 6 46
7 Leicester City 42 13 19 10 48 51 −3 45
8 Manchester City 42 16 11 15 64 46 18 43
9 Tottenham Hotspur 42 14 15 13 63 63 0 43
10 Norwich City 42 16 10 16 58 58 0 42
11 Everton 42 15 12 15 60 66 −6 42
12 Stoke City 42 15 11 16 48 50 −2 41
13 Middlesbrough 42 15 10 17 46 45 1 40
14 Coventry City 42 13 14 15 47 57 −10 40
15 Newcastle United 42 15 9 18 71 62 9 39
16 Aston Villa 42 11 17 14 51 59 −6 39
17 Arsenal 42 13 10 19 47 53 −6 36
18 West Ham United 42 13 10 19 48 71 −23 36
19 Birmingham City 42 13 7 22 57 75 −18 33
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 10 10 22 51 68 −17 30
21 Burnley 42 9 10 23 43 66 −23 28
22 Sheffield United 42 6 10 26 33 82 −49 22

Second Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Sunderland 42 24 8 10 67 36 1.861 56
2 Bristol City 42 19 15 8 59 35 1.686 53
3 West Bromwich Albion 42 20 13 9 50 33 1.515 53
4 Bolton Wanderers 42 20 12 10 64 38 1.684 52
5 Notts County 42 19 11 12 60 41 1.463 49
6 Southampton 42 21 7 14 66 50 1.320 49
7 Luton Town 42 19 10 13 61 51 1.196 48
8 Nottingham Forest 42 17 12 13 55 40 1.375 46
9 Charlton Athletic 42 15 12 15 61 72 0.847 42
10 Blackpool 42 14 14 14 40 49 0.816 42
11 Chelsea 42 12 16 14 53 54 0.981 40
12 Fulham 42 13 14 15 45 47 0.957 40
13 Orient 42 13 14 15 37 39 0.949 40
14 Hull City 42 14 11 17 45 49 0.918 39
15 Blackburn Rovers 42 12 14 16 45 50 0.900 38
16 Plymouth Argyle 42 13 12 17 48 54 0.889 38
17 Oldham Athletic 42 13 12 17 57 68 0.838 38
18 Bristol Rovers 42 11 16 15 38 50 0.760 38
19 Carlisle United 42 12 13 17 45 59 0.763 37
20 Oxford United 42 11 11 20 39 59 0.661 33
21 York City 42 10 8 24 39 71 0.549 28
22 Portsmouth 42 9 7 26 32 61 0.525 25

Third Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Hereford United 46 26 11 9 86 55 1.564 63
2 Cardiff City 46 22 13 11 69 48 1.438 57
3 Millwall 46 20 16 10 54 43 1.256 56
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 22 9 15 78 53 1.472 53
5 Crystal Palace 46 18 17 11 61 46 1.326 53
6 Wrexham 46 20 12 14 66 55 1.200 52
7 Walsall 46 18 14 14 74 61 1.213 50
8 Preston North End 46 19 10 17 62 57 1.088 48
9 Shrewsbury Town 46 19 10 17 61 59 1.034 48
10 Peterborough United 46 15 18 13 63 63 1.000 48
11 Mansfield Town 46 16 15 15 58 52 1.115 47
12 Port Vale 46 15 16 15 55 54 1.019 46
13 Bury 46 14 16 16 51 46 1.109 44
14 Chesterfield 46 17 9 20 69 69 1.000 43
15 Gillingham 46 12 19 15 58 68 0.853 43
16 Rotherham United 46 15 12 19 54 65 0.831 42
17 Chester 46 15 12 19 43 62 0.694 42
18 Grimsby Town 46 15 10 21 62 74 0.838 40
19 Swindon Town 46 16 8 22 62 75 0.827 40
20 Sheffield Wednesday 46 12 16 18 48 59 0.814 40
21 Aldershot 46 13 13 20 59 75 0.787 39
22 Colchester United 46 12 14 20 41 65 0.631 38
23 Southend United 46 12 13 21 65 75 0.867 37
24 Halifax Town 46 11 13 22 41 61 0.672 35

Fourth Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Lincoln City 46 32 10 4 111 39 2.846 74
2 Northampton Town 46 29 10 7 87 40 2.175 68
3 Reading 46 24 12 10 70 51 1.373 60
4 Tranmere Rovers 46 24 10 12 89 55 1.618 58
5 Huddersfield Town 46 21 14 11 56 41 1.366 56
6 A.F.C. Bournemouth 46 20 12 14 57 48 1.188 52
7 Exeter City 46 18 14 14 56 47 1.191 50
8 Watford 46 22 6 18 62 62 1.000 50
9 Torquay United 46 18 14 14 55 63 0.873 50
10 Doncaster Rovers 46 19 11 16 75 69 1.087 49
11 Swansea City 46 16 15 15 66 57 1.158 47
12 Barnsley 46 14 16 16 52 48 1.083 44
13 Cambridge United 46 14 15 17 58 62 0.935 43
14 Hartlepool 46 16 10 20 62 78 0.795 42
15 Rochdale 46 12 18 16 40 54 0.741 42
16 Crewe Alexandra 46 13 15 18 58 57 1.018 41
17 Bradford City 46 12 17 17 63 65 0.969 41
18 Brentford 46 14 13 19 56 60 0.933 41
19 Scunthorpe United 46 14 10 22 50 59 0.847 38
20 Darlington 46 14 10 22 48 57 0.842 38
21 Stockport County 46 13 12 21 43 76 0.566 38
22 Newport County 46 13 9 24 57 90 0.633 35
23 Southport 46 8 10 28 41 77 0.532 26
24 Workington 46 7 7 32 30 87 0.345 21

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d http://www.rsssf.com/ec/ec197576.html
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 136. ISBN 1859832148. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Payne, Mike (1993). England: The Complete Post-War Record'. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1873626398. 
  4. ^ "Manchester United deposed". The Gazette (Montreal). The Canadian Press. 10 November 1975. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 256. ISBN 1859832148. 
  6. ^ Ionescu, Romeo (2008). The Complete Results & Line-ups of the European Football Championships 1958-2008. Cleethorpes: Soccer Books Ltd. ISBN 9781862231726. 
  7. ^ "Exit West Ham - in one round". The Age (Melbourne). 5 January 1976. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 232. ISBN 1859832148. 
  9. ^ "Birmingham's hopes get a jolt". The Age (Melbourne). Australian Associated Press; Reuters. 9 April 1976. p. 23. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.thefa.com/Competitions/FACompetitions/TheFACup/History/historyofthefacup/1976southamptonmanunited
  11. ^ http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/features/wolves-classic-match-may-1976