1978–79 in English football

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The 1978–79 season was the 99th season of competitive football in England.

Overview[edit]

First Division[edit]

Bob Paisley won his third league title as his Liverpool side fought off competition from Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion to finish eight points clear at the top of the table. Their final points tally of 68 was a record under the two points for a win system, and Ray Clemence kept 28 clean sheets in a season that saw Liverpool concede only four goals at home. Reigning champions Forest finished second, a point ahead of West Brom, who were in their first season under the management of Ron Atkinson.

At the other end of the First Division table, the three relegation places went to Queens Park Rangers, Birmingham City and Chelsea. QPR had declined since the departure of Dave Sexton in 1977 and were relegated just three years after finishing second in the league. Chelsea's manager Danny Blanchflower paid for his team's shortcomings by losing his job.

Money dominated the headlines during the season: Trevor Francis became England's first million-pound footballer after joining Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City, and Liverpool became one of the first English clubs to have a shirt sponsor when they agreed a sponsorship deal with the Japanese hi-fi manufacturers Hitachi.

Second Division[edit]

Crystal Palace won the Second Division title, and were joined in promotion by Brighton & Hove Albion (going into the top division for the first time) and third-placed Stoke City. Going down were Sheffield United, Millwall and Blackburn Rovers.

Third Division[edit]

Shrewsbury Town were crowned champions of the Third Division. The other two promotion spots were occupied by Watford and Swansea City, who within a few seasons would make their mark on the First Division. Peterborough United, Walsall, Tranmere Rovers and Lincoln City were relegated to the Fourth Division.

Fourth Division[edit]

Reading, Grimsby Town, Wimbledon and Barnsley occupied the Fourth Division promotion places. The success came for Wimbledon in only their second season as a league club and within a decade they would be an established First Division club. The re-election system voted in favour of the league's bottom four clubs and there was no relegation from the Fourth Division this season.

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1978–79 FA Cup

Arsenal won the FA Cup after surviving a late fight-back from Manchester United in the final at Wembley. Manchester United scored twice in the last five minutes to make the score 2–2, but a last-minute goal from Alan Sunderland saw Arsenal claim the trophy with a 3–2 scoreline. It was their first trophy success since Terry Neill replaced Bertie Mee as manager.

League Cup[edit]

Nottingham Forest added the League Cup to their honours list, with a 3–2 victory over Southampton in the final.

European football[edit]

Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest added the European Cup to their League Cup victory with a 1–0 win over Malmo of Sweden in the final.

Star players[edit]

Star managers[edit]

Diary of the season[edit]

12 August 1978: League champions Nottingham Forest beat FA Cup holders Ipswich Town 5–0 in the Charity Shield at Wembley.[1]

19 August 1978: The First Division season begins with newly promoted Tottenham Hotspur holding Nottingham Forest to a 1–1 draw at the City Ground.[2]

31 August 1978: Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and Everton are level on points at the top of the League at the end of August with three wins from three matches. Wolverhampton Wanderers are bottom after three consecutive defeats.[2]

2 September 1978: Liverpool thrash Tottenham Hotspur 7–0 at Anfield to take their goal tally to sixteen in four League matches at the start of the season.[2]

20 September 1978: England start their qualifying campaign for the 1980 European Championships with a narrow 4–3 victory over Denmark in Copenhagen.[3]

27 September 1978: Nottingham Forest knock holders Liverpool out of the European Cup in the first round after completing a 2–0 aggregate success with a goalless draw at Anfield.[4]

30 September 1978: Liverpool hold a two-point advantage at the top of the First Division from Merseyside rivals Everton, having dropped just one point from their first eight League games. Nottingham Forest are still unbeaten, but are five points off the pace having drawn six matches already. Birmingham City are bottom, still looking for their first win of the season.[2]

21 October 1978: Liverpool continue their tremendous start to the season by beating Chelsea 2–0. The result puts them four points clear at the top of the table - they have taken 21 points from a possible 22, scoring 35 goals and conceding just four in eleven matches so far. West Bromwich Albion continue their good start to the season by thrashing Coventry City 7–1.[2]

28 October 1978: Everton beat Liverpool for the first time for nearly seven years when Andy King scores the winning goal in a 1–0 victory at Goodison Park.[5] The result cuts Liverpool's lead over the Toffeemen to two points. Like Everton, Nottingham Forest are still unbeaten, and are a further two points behind. At the bottom, Birmingham City remain without a win, and have just three points from twelve matches.[2]

4 November 1978: Nottingham Forest and Everton draw 0–0 at the City Ground, leaving both teams still unbeaten in the League.[2]

11 November 1978: Birmingham City record their first League win of the season at the fourteenth attempt, 5–1 at home to Manchester United.[2]

29 November 1978: Viv Anderson, the 22-year-old Nottingham Forest defender, becomes England's first black full international when he appears in the 1–0 friendly win over Czechoslovakia at Wembley.[6]

30 November 1978: At the end of November, Liverpool still hold a two-point lead over Everton, with West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest a further four points adrift.[2]

9 December 1978: Nottingham Forest lose in the League for the first time for 13 months, a run covering 42 matches,[7] when they are beaten 2–0 by Liverpool at Anfield.[2]

23 December 1978: Everton lose their first League match of the season, 3–2 to Coventry City, after a sequence of 19 unbeaten games. Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 5–0 at White Hart Lane in the North London derby.[2]

31 December 1978: At the end of the year, Liverpool lead Everton on goal difference at the top of the First Division, with a game in hand. West Bromwich Albion remain in contention, just two points off the top. Birmingham City are bottom with just eight points so far, and Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers are also in the relegation zone.[2]

10 January 1979: High-fliers Everton are beaten 2–1 by Second Division Sunderland in the FA Cup third round. Tottenham Hotspur are held to a 1–1 draw by non-league Altrincham.[8]

22 January 1979: After four draws, the FA Cup third round tie between Arsenal and Third Division Sheffield Wednesday is finally resolved when the Gunners win the fourth replay 2–0.[9]

31 January 1979: At the end of a month in which only twelve First Division matches were played, West Bromwich Albion and Everton have moved above Liverpool at the top of the table, although the Reds have played fewer games.[2]

3 February 1979: Liverpool beat West Bromwich Albion 2–1 at Anfield to reclaim top spot in the First Division table as Everton suffer just their second League defeat of the season, 1–0 at relegation-threatened Wolverhampton Wanderers.[2]

7 February 1979: England move to the top of their European Championship qualifying group with an emphatic 4–0 win over Northern Ireland at Wembley.[3]

9 February 1979: Trevor Francis becomes Britain's first £1million footballer when he is transferred from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest.[10]

26 February 1979: Arsenal beat Nottingham Forest 1–0 at the City Ground in the FA Cup fifth round. Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, Manchester United and Ipswich Town are amongst the other First Division sides to progress.[9]

28 February 1979: Liverpool at now five points clear of Arsenal and Everton at the top of the First Division, with two games in hand. Birmingham City are eight points from safety at the bottom, and are joined in the relegation zone by Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers.[2]

10 March 1979: Liverpool win 1–0 away to Ipswich Town to reach the FA Cup semi-finals. The two other ties played today end in 1–1 draws.[9]

17 March 1979: Nottingham Forest retain the Football League Cup with a 3–2 win over Southampton in the final.[11]

21 March 1979: Arsenal beat Southampton 2–0 in their FA Cup sixth round replay to join Liverpool, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United in the semi-finals.[9]

31 March 1979: Arsenal beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–0 at Villa Park to reach the FA Cup final. In the other semi-final at Maine Road,.[9] In the league, Liverpool hold a comfortable four-point lead over Everton at the top at the end of the month. Chelsea have slipped behind Birmingham City on goal difference at the bottom, and Queens Park Rangers remain in the relegation zone.[2]

1 April 1979: Manchester United and Liverpool draw 2-2 at Maine Road in the FA Cup Semi-finals

4 April 1979: Manchester United beat Liverpool 1–0 at Goodison Park in the FA Cup semi-final replay to reach the Final.[9]

16 April 1979: Chelsea lose 5–2 away to Arsenal and are relegated to the Second Division.[2]

21 April 1979: Birmingham City become the second team to be relegated from the First Division when they lose 2–0 at home to Nottingham Forest.[2]

25 April 1979: Nottingham Forest reach the European Cup final at the first attempt when a 1–0 win away to West German side Cologne gives them a 4–3 aggregate victory.[12]

28 April 1979: Liverpool move to the brink of regaining the First Division title after they draw 0–0 away to Nottingham Forest. They are seven points ahead of Forest and West Bromwich Albion.[2]

4 May 1979: Queens Park Rangers take the last First Division relegation place when they are beaten 4–3 by Leeds United.[2]

8 May 1979: Liverpool beat Aston Villa 3–0 at Anfield to clinch the First Division title. They finish unbeaten at home this season, and have scored 51 and conceded just four goals in 19 wins and two draws.[2]

12 May 1979: Arsenal win the FA Cup to end an eight-year trophy drought, defeating Manchester United 3–2 in the final with a last-gasp goal by Alan Sunderland after United had scored two goals in the last five minutes.[13]

18 May 1979: Nottingham Forest pip West Bromwich Albion to second place in the League by beating them 1–0 at The Hawthorns. Forest finish eight points behind champions Liverpool and one ahead of Albion, who are themselves eight points ahead of fourth-placed Everton.[2]

26 May 1979: England beat Scotland 3–1 at Wembley to clinch the Home Championship.[3]

30 May 1979: Nottingham Forest's remarkable run of glory continues when they beat Malmo of Sweden 1–0 in the European Cup final. Trevor Francis scores the only goal of the game.[14]

1 June 1979: West Bromwich Albion sell winger Laurie Cunningham to Real Madrid of Spain for £995,000.

6 June 1979: England win 3–0 away to Bulgaria to move closer to next season's European Championship Finals.[3]

Famous debutants[edit]

28 April 1979 – Ian Rush, 17-year-old Welsh striker, makes his debut playing out of position (in midfield) for Chester in their 2–2 Third Division draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Sealand Road.[15] On the same day, Clive Allen, 17-year-old striker, scores a hat-trick on his debut for Queens Park Rangers in the 5–1 First Division win over Coventry City.[16]

30 April 1979 – Kevin Moran, Irish defender, makes his English league debut for Manchester United the day after his 23rd birthday in a 1–1 draw with Southampton in a First Division game at The Dell.[17]

Honours[edit]

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Liverpool (11*) Nottingham Forest
Second Division Crystal Palace Brighton & Hove Albion
Third Division Shrewsbury Town Watford
Fourth Division Reading Grimsby Town
FA Cup Arsenal (5) Manchester United
League Cup Nottingham Forest (2) Southampton
Charity Shield Nottingham Forest Ipswich Town
Home Championship  England  Wales

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

Football League[edit]

First Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 42 30 8 4 85 16 +69 68
2 Nottingham Forest 42 21 18 3 61 26 +35 60
3 West Bromwich Albion 42 24 11 7 72 35 +37 59
4 Everton 42 17 17 8 52 40 +12 51
5 Leeds United 42 18 14 10 70 52 +18 50
6 Ipswich Town 42 20 9 13 63 49 +14 49
7 Arsenal 42 17 14 11 61 48 +13 48
8 Aston Villa 42 15 16 11 59 49 +10 46
9 Manchester United 42 15 15 12 60 63 −3 45
10 Coventry City 42 14 16 12 58 68 −10 44
11 Tottenham Hotspur 42 13 15 14 48 61 −13 41
12 Middlesbrough 42 15 10 17 57 50 +7 40
13 Bristol City 42 15 10 17 47 51 −4 40
14 Southampton 42 12 16 14 47 53 −6 40
15 Manchester City 42 13 13 16 58 56 +2 39
16 Norwich City 42 7 23 12 51 57 −6 37
17 Bolton Wanderers 42 12 11 19 54 75 −21 35
18 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 13 8 21 44 68 −24 34
19 Derby County 42 10 11 21 44 71 −27 31
20 Queens Park Rangers 42 6 13 23 45 73 −28 25
21 Birmingham City 42 6 10 26 37 64 −27 22
22 Chelsea 42 5 10 27 44 92 −48 20

Second Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Crystal Palace 42 19 19 4 51 24 +27 57
2 Brighton & Hove Albion 42 23 10 9 72 39 +33 56
3 Stoke City 42 20 16 6 58 31 +27 56
4 Sunderland 42 22 11 9 70 44 +26 55
5 West Ham United 42 18 14 10 70 39 +31 50
6 Notts County 42 14 16 12 48 60 −12 44
7 Preston North End 42 12 18 12 59 57 +2 42
8 Newcastle United 42 17 8 17 51 55 −4 42
9 Cardiff City 42 16 10 16 56 70 −14 42
10 Fulham 42 13 15 14 50 47 +3 41
11 Orient 42 15 10 17 51 51 +0 40
12 Cambridge United 42 12 16 14 44 52 −8 40
13 Burnley 42 14 12 16 51 62 −11 40
14 Oldham Athletic 42 13 13 16 52 61 −9 39
15 Wrexham 42 12 14 16 45 42 +3 38
16 Bristol Rovers 42 14 10 18 48 60 −12 38
17 Leicester City 42 10 17 15 43 52 −9 37
18 Luton Town 42 13 10 19 60 57 +3 36
19 Charlton Athletic 42 11 13 18 60 69 −9 35
20 Sheffield United 42 11 12 19 52 69 −17 34
21 Millwall 42 11 10 21 42 61 −19 32
22 Blackburn Rovers 42 10 10 22 41 72 −31 30

Third Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Shrewsbury Town 46 21 19 6 61 41 +20 61
2 Watford 46 24 12 10 83 52 +31 60
3 Swansea City 46 24 12 10 83 61 +22 60
4 Gillingham 46 21 17 8 65 42 +23 59
5 Swindon Town 46 25 7 14 74 52 +22 57
6 Carlisle United 46 15 22 9 53 42 +11 52
7 Colchester United 46 17 17 12 60 55 +5 51
8 Hull City 46 19 11 16 66 61 +5 49
9 Exeter City 46 17 15 14 61 56 +5 49
10 Brentford 46 19 9 18 53 49 +4 47
11 Oxford United 46 14 18 14 44 50 −6 46
12 Blackpool 46 18 9 19 61 59 +2 45
13 Southend United 46 15 15 16 51 49 +2 45
14 Sheffield Wednesday 46 13 19 14 53 53 +0 45
15 Plymouth Argyle 46 15 14 17 67 68 −1 44
16 Chester 46 14 16 16 57 61 −4 44
17 Rotherham United 46 17 10 19 49 55 −6 44
18 Mansfield Town 46 12 19 15 51 52 −1 43
19 Bury 46 11 20 15 59 65 −6 42
20 Chesterfield 46 13 14 19 51 65 −14 40
21 Peterborough United 46 11 14 21 44 63 −19 36
22 Walsall 46 10 12 24 56 71 −15 32
23 Tranmere Rovers 46 6 16 24 45 78 −33 28
24 Lincoln City 46 7 11 28 41 88 −47 25

Fourth Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Reading 46 26 13 7 76 35 +41 65
2 Grimsby Town 46 26 9 11 82 49 +33 61
3 Wimbledon 46 25 11 10 78 46 +32 61
4 Barnsley 46 24 13 9 73 42 +31 61
5 Aldershot 46 20 17 9 63 47 +16 57
6 Wigan Athletic 46 21 13 12 63 48 +15 55
7 Portsmouth 46 20 12 14 62 48 +14 52
8 Newport County 46 21 10 15 66 55 +11 52
9 Huddersfield Town 46 18 11 17 57 53 +4 47
10 York City 46 18 11 17 51 55 −4 47
11 Torquay United 46 19 8 19 58 65 −7 46
12 Scunthorpe United 46 17 11 18 54 60 −6 45
13 Hartlepool United 46 13 18 15 57 66 −9 44
14 Hereford United 46 15 13 18 53 53 +0 43
15 Bradford City 46 17 9 20 62 68 −6 43
16 Port Vale 46 14 14 18 57 70 −13 42
17 Stockport County 46 14 12 20 58 60 −2 40
18 Bournemouth 46 14 11 21 47 48 −1 39
19 Northampton Town 46 15 9 22 64 76 −12 39
20 Rochdale 46 15 9 22 47 64 −17 39
21 Darlington 46 11 15 20 49 66 −17 37
22 Doncaster Rovers 46 13 11 22 50 73 −23 37
23 Halifax Town 46 9 8 29 39 72 −33 26
24 Crewe Alexandra 46 6 14 26 43 90 −47 26

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

Deaths[edit]

  • 13 July 1978 - George Reader, 81, scored in his only appearance for Exeter City in their last season before joining the Football League in 1920, and then signed for Southampton, playing three league leagues before dropping into non-league football to concentrate on his career as a school teacher before becoming a linesman in 1936 and being promoted to a referee in 1939. He refereed the decisive final group match of the 1950 World Cup between Uruguay and Brazil.
  • 23 July 1978 – Tommy McLaren, 29, former Port Vale midfielder; committed suicide.
  • 15 August 1978 - Dan Tremelling, 80, kept goal in 382 league games for Birmingham City between 1919 and 1932, then playing a further 57 league games for Bury before retiring in 1936. He won one England cap in 1927.
  • 18 September 1978 - Bobby Finch, 30, who died of meningitis, played six league games for QPR in the late 1960s before moving to South Africa.
  • 13 October 1978 - Bill Yates, 75, kept goal six times in the league for Bolton Wanderers and 47 times for Watford during the interwar years.
  • 23 October 1978 - Vic Woodley, 68, kept goal in 252 league games for Chelsea during the 1930s, signing for Derby County in 1946 and completed his senior career with a further 30 league games for the East Midlanders. He was England's regular goalkeeper in the immediate pre-war era, being capped 19 times from 1937 to 1939.
  • November 1978 – Hugh Neil, 42, former Carlisle United defender; died in a car accident.
  • 8 November 1978 - Geoff Marlow, 63, was a left-winger for Lincoln City between 1937 and 1949, with the war restricting him to just 80 league appearances for the Sincil Bank side, scoring 26 goals.
  • 14 November 1978 - Charlie Flood, 82, scored 68 league goals as a forward during the 1920s for Hull City, Bolton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, York City and Swindon Town.
  • 18 December 1978 - Cuthbert Coundon, 73, played 39 league games as a right-winger for Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1920s.
  • 24 December 1978 - Stan Seymour, 83, served Newcastle United as a player, manager, vice-chairman and life president from 1920 until his death. He played in their FA Cup winning side of 1924 and league title winning side of 1927, and managed them to FA Cup glory in 1951 and 1952. As a player, he could play as a winger or striker, and managed 73 goals in 242 league games between 1920 and 1929.
  • 20 January 1979 - Johnny Paul, 74, Scottish born winger, played 206 league games and scored 49 goals for Bristol City from 1922 until a knee injury ended his career in 1930.
  • 21 March 1979 - Leslie Allman, 76, made his 15 Football League appearances as a goalkeeper for Norwich City in the late 1920s, spending the rest of his career at non-league level.
  • 13 April 1979 - Fred Worrall, 68, was capped twice by England as a right-winger in the 1930s and was an FA Cup runner-up in 1934 and a winner in 1939 with Portsmouth.
  • 31 May 1979 - Ernest Perry, 87, was with Port Vale as a centre-half when they joined the Football League during 1919-20 on taking over the fixtures of Leeds City, playing 44 league games for the Valiants, later playing 62 times in the league for Crewe Alexandra.
  • 17 June 1979 - Sir Hubert Ashton, 81, was a full-back during the interwar years for West Bromwich Albion, Corinthian, Bristol Rovers and Orient. He was more famous as a cricketer and after retiring for sport he entered politics, serving Chelmsford in Essex as a Conservative MP from 1950 to 1964. He was knighted in 1959.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.statto.com/football/stats/england/charity-shield/1978-1979
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 142. ISBN 1859832148. 
  3. ^ a b c d Payne, Mike (1993). England: The Complete Post-War Record'. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1873626398. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://www.dixies60.com/2012/04/10/60-games-that-shook-goodison-22-the-andy-king-derby
  6. ^ West Bromwich Albion's Laurie Cunningham was the first black player to wear an England shirt at any level[2], in England under-21's friendly against Scotland at Bramall Lane on 27 April 1977 England Players – Viv Anderson. Englandfootballonline.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  7. ^ Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2011-2012. London: Headline. 2011. p. 1025. ISBN 9780755362318. 
  8. ^ Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 233. ISBN 1859832148. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 234. ISBN 1859832148. 
  10. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/nottingham-forest/4560618/The-day-Trevor-Francis-broke-footballs-1m-mark.html
  11. ^ Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 258. ISBN 1859832148. 
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2005/04/28/1979_facup_memories_feature.shtml
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ English Division Three (old) 1978–1979 Results, Saturday 28th April 1979. statto.com (28 April 1979). Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  16. ^ QPR REPORT MESSAGEBOARD – Clive Allen's Debut Hatrick – Synopsis/Report. Qprreport.proboards.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.
  17. ^ Kevin Moran – Manchester United FC – Football-Heroes.net. Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved on 2011-03-23.