1972–73 in English football
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (May 2008)|
- 1 Overview
- 2 European Football
- 3 Star players
- 4 Star managers
- 5 Domestic Honours
- 6 League table
- 7 Diary of the season
- 8 References
The Football League announced that a three-up, three-down system would operate between the top two divisions from the following season, rather than the traditional two-up, two-down system. The four-up, four-down system between the Third and Fourth Divisions would continue, as would the re-election system between the league's bottom four clubs.
Manchester United sacked manager Frank O'Farrell after 18 months in charge. He had been unable to mount a title challenge. Tommy Docherty, the 44-year-old Scottish national coach and former Aston Villa manager, was appointed as his successor.
Burnley and Queens Park Rangers won promotion to the First Division. Huddersfield Town's decline continued as they slid into the Third Division, where they were joined by Brighton & Hove Albion.
Bolton Wanderers and Notts County occupied the two promotion places in the Third Division. Rotherham United, Brentford, Swansea City and Scunthorpe United were relegated to the Fourth Division.
Hereford United were promoted from the Fourth Division in their first season as a Football League club. They had been elected to the Football League a year earlier after finishing as runners-up to Chelmsford City in the Southern League and achieving a shock win over Newcastle United in the FA Cup. They were joined in the promotion zone by champions Southport, Cambridge United and Aldershot. Newport County missed promotion only on goal average. There were no arrivals or departures in the league for 1973.
An Ian Porterfield goal saw Sunderland achieve a famous 1–0 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup final. Sunderland, managed by Bob Stokoe, did not contain any full internationals, whereas Don Revie's Leeds side were all internationals. Sunderland goalkeeper Jim Montgomery also received plaudits after a good performance featuring a noted double-save from Peter Lorimer.
Tottenham Hotspur's Bill Nicholson guided his club to a League Cup triumph, beating Norwich City 1-0 in the final, and in the process added another trophy to the club's ever-growing list of honours.
Liverpool won the UEFA Cup beating Borussia Monchengladbach to add to their league championship win under Bill Shankly, the first time an English side had won the League and a European trophy in the same season. Leeds United lost a controversial European Cup Winners Cup Final against AC Milan.
- Tottenham goalkeeper Pat Jennings was voted FWA Footballer of the Year by the FWA to add to his League Cup winners medal.
- Bill Shankly guided Liverpool to another league championship triumph.
- Bob Stokoe helped Sunderland achieve a shock win against Leeds United in the FA Cup final.
- Bill Nicholson added the League Cup to his list of trophies won as Tottenham manager.
- Don Revie took Leeds to 3rd in the league and led them to the finals of the FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup.
- Brian Clough took his Derby County side to the semi-finals of European Cup, losing to Juventus
|6||West Ham United||42||17||12||13||67||53||1.264||46|
|22||West Bromwich Albion||42||9||10||23||38||62||0.613||28|
|2||Queens Park Rangers||42||24||13||5||81||37||2.189||61|
|19||Preston North End||42||11||12||19||37||64||0.578||34|
|22||Brighton & Hove Albion||42||8||13||21||46||83||0.554||29|
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points
Diary of the season
29 July 1972: The Watney Cup competition opens the season in England. Bristol Rovers beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 and Sheffield United win 3-0 against Notts County. Peterborough United beat Blackpool 7-6 on penalties but the losers contend that Don Heath, who had previously been substituted, was not eligible to take his kick.
31 July 1972: The Football League decides that the result of the Peterborough v Blackpool tie must stand...The International Board rules that, because of the political situation, Irish teams will not be invited to take part in the Texaco Cup. However, the sponsors will pay £5000 to each of the Irish leagues as in the past.
2 August 1972: Bristol Rovers win 2-0 at Burnley and will play Sheffield United in the Watney Cup final. The Yorkshire team beat Peterborough 4-0 away despite the loss of Tony Currie who is sent off in the 28th minute.
5 August 1972: Bristol Rovers win the Watney Cup 7-6 on penalties against Sheffield United. After 90 minutes goalless play, the Third Division club score seven consecutive penalties. Ted Hemsley misses for the visitors...Manchester City win the Charity Shield, beating Aston Villa 1-0 in Birmingham...English clubs do not fare too well in pre-season warm-up games against foreign opposition - Derby lose 2-1 at home to FC Den Haag, Leeds United draw 2-2 with Olympiakos in Greece and Chelsea have the same scoreline v Go Ahead Deventer in the Netherlands. The Fenerbahçe (Istanbul) v Luton Town match is abandoned in the 70th minute with the score 1-1 when fighting breaks out between the players...Arsenal manager Bertie Mee says that his team will play a different style of football more in line with the new continental 'total football' concept. Malcolm Allison also promises attacking football from Manchester City and names Leeds as the greatest danger to City's title aspirations.
6 August 1972: Alan Hardaker praises the Watney Cup: "What has happened to Bristol Rovers is absolutely marvellous. This competition has brought a taste of soccer success to an area that is crying out for it"...Brian Clough's eve of season forecast is that seven clubs have about equal chance of winning the title but Derby are the only ones yet to reach their peak..
12 August 1972: The new League season opens unhappily for Leeds: goalkeeper David Harvey is carried off with concussion in the 26th minute and Mick Jones leaves the field at the same time with a ricked ankle. Peter Lorimer goes into goal and Chelsea beat the 10-man Yorkshire side 4-0...At Liverpool, Larry Lloyd and Wyn Davies are sent off as Manchester City lose 2-0. Stan Horne of Fulham is also ordered off the field, in his case for dissent. Sheffield Wednesday beat the Londoners 3-0...Manchester United are beaten at home by Ipswich Town and promoted Birmingham City start with a home defeat by Sheffield United. Norwich City take a point against Everton...In the Second Division, Middlesbrough beat Sunderland 2-1 and Aston Villa get two points at Preston North End.
14 August 1972: Chelsea, strongly attacked in the press for the chaos before and during the Leeds game, decide to cut the standing capacity of Stamford Bridge by 7000. During the reconstruction period, the crowd limit will be set at 44,000...West Ham United beat Coventry City 1-0 with a disputed goal - four players' names are taken.
15 August 1972: Arsenal give an impressive demonstration of their version of 'total football', beating Wolves 5-2...Liverpool 2 Manchester United 0 - a flying four-points start for Bill Shankly's team.
16 August 1972: Another night of unpleasant incidents - four players sent off and 51 names taken...Tottenham join Liverpool and Arsenal as the only 100 per cent teams in Division One...In the League Cup, Aston Villa beat Hereford United 4-1 in front of 32,314 people.
17 August 1972: Larry Lloyd is to appeal against his sending off in the game with Manchester City. FA secretary Denis Follows asks players to show common sense and reason: "We have completely reorganised the disciplinary system in the game. The clubs wanted it and the players accepted it, if not cheerfully, then without too much protest. But if those very people are not going to accept it in the spirit in which it was conceived, we are in for a very difficult time".
19 August 1972: Arsenal beat Stoke City 2-0 with two Ray Kennedy goals and are the only team in the First Division with full points from three games. Chelsea (2-1 at Derby), Liverpool (1-1 at Crystal Palace), Everton (2-0 v Manchester United) and West Ham (5-2 v Leicester City) are all on five points. Manchester United are last with no points and West Bromwich Albion have yet to score a goal. Peter Wall breaks a leg in the Liverpool game...Hereford register their first ever Football League win - 3-0 v Reading.
22 August 1972: Sir Alf Ramsey and Helmut Schön will manage the two 'Common Market' teams in the match scheduled for January...Don Murray of Cardiff City is sent off in the League Cup replay v Bristol Rovers...Arsenal drop their first point of the season at Coventry.
23 August 1972: Liverpool win 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and go top of the table...Manchester United collect their first point of the season at home to Leicester. Frank Worthington scores on his debut for the visitors.
26 August 1972: Ralph Coates is taken off with a nose injury against Leeds and the game at White Hart Lane ends in a 0-0 draw...Liverpool remain top of the table with a 3-2 win over West Ham. Arsenal and Everton are the other unbeaten clubs in Division One...Sheffield Wednesday, Halifax Town and Mansfield Town top the other divisions.
28 August 1972: Fulham win 1-0 at Reading in the second replay of their League Cup tie.
29 August 1972: Only four goals are scored in five First Division matches...West Ham drop goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson, in dispute with the club over his contract. The Hammers lose 1-0 at Highbury where Alan Ball scores from a penalty after 50 seconds play...In other games, Crystal Palace beat Manchester City and Everton defeat Derby.
30 August 1972: First defeat for Liverpool - after leading 2-0 with two goals by John Toshack, Keith Weller's hat-trick gives home team Leicester a 3-2 victory...Billy Bremner, playing as a striker, gets a late winner for Leeds against Southampton...Manchester United are still without a win after six matches.
2 September 1972: Arsenal and Everton, still unbeaten after seven matches, lead the field with 11 points each. A David Webb own goal in the 79th minute gives the Gunners a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Highbury and Everton beat WBA with a Joe Royle goal - his sixth of the season...Other divisional leaders: Burnley, Wrexham and Mansfield.
3 September 1972: The press unanimously condemn Charlie George for his behaviour at Highbury against Chelsea. Arsenal chairman Mr Denis Hill-Wood says the player was "sinned against, sinned and was sinned against. He is on the transfer list but if we actually sold him it would break his little heart." Although Ron Harris, who suffered most from George's ill-treatment, said that as far as he is concerned the incident is forgotten, other Chelsea players warn George that if he persists in hurting 'other professionals' he will eventually be taken on by someone who is bigger and stronger...Derby manager Brian Clough makes a strong verbal attack on the home supporters: "They started chanting only near the end when we were a goal in front. I want to hear them when we are losing. They are a disgraceful lot."
4 September 1972: Derby chairman Sam Longson dissociates himself and the Board from his manager's remarks and apologises to the fans. An open confrontation between Clough and his employers seems imminent.
5 September 1972: In the League Cup, Stockport County beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park...Peter Marinello makes his first appearance for Arsenal this season and the Gunners beat Everton with a Peter Storey goal.
6 September 1972: Holders Stoke beat Sunderland 3-0 in the League Cup...Leeds defeat Burnley 4-0 and Manchester City win by the same score against Rochdale...A Bobby Charlton goal in the 87th minute gives Manchester United a 2-2 draw at Oxford United and a Chris Garland goal at Southend United puts Chelsea in round three where they'll meet Derby at the Baseball Ground.
9 September 1972: Cardiff manager Jimmy Scoular says after the 2-0 home defeat against Aston Villa that every player on the club's books is for sale...Everton are the only unbeaten team left in the First Division and head the table with 13 points. Tottenham are second with 12 but centre-forward Martin Chivers is unhappy. He feels that the fans don't give the team enough vocal encouragement and single him out for criticism...The two Manchester teams are propping up the table. Bob Latchford scores a hat-trick in Birmingham's 4-1 win over City while United lose 1-0 at home to Coventry and are still without a win.
12 September 1972: Liverpool beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the first round of the UEFA Cup - a good start in Europe for England...Manchester United beat Oxford 3-1 in a League Cup replay, their first win in a competitive game this season.
13 September 1972: Derby beat Željezničar 2-0 in their home match in the European Cup. In the other two international competitions, the English clubs start well - only Manchester City are in danger of elimination.
16 September 1972: Ex-Coventry manager and now TV commentator Jimmy Hill takes over from an injured linesman at Highbury. The game against Liverpool starts brightly but suffers from the hold-up and finishes in a disappointing 0-0 draw...Everton lose their unbeaten run at home to Southampton but lead the First Division with Ipswich and Leeds, all on 13 points. Geoff Hurst is sent off at Ipswich where Stoke lose 2-0...Aston Villa, Port Vale and Mansfield are the other divisional leaders...Referee Jim Finn collapses and dies from a heart attack at the Exeter City v Stockport game. Norman Burtenshaw, president of the Referees' Association, later says that all referees should have an immediate heart check in order to prevent similar tragedies.
17 September 1972: According to a Sunday newspaper article, several Wolves players were offered bribes to 'throw' the championship decider against Leeds last season. None of the players approached accepted the offer. Percy Woodward, who was the Leeds chairman at the time, says that his club had nothing to do with this attempt to 'buy' the game but there will be a full investigation. League president Len Shipman also promises an inquiry.
18 September 1972: 60,538 people, the largest ever crowd for a testimonial, attend the Manchester United v Celtic game. Bobby Charlton, who receives a great emotional ovation from the crowd, will collect £46,000 tax free.
19 September 1972: Another attempted bribery case breaks. Francis Lee reveals in a newspaper article that he was approached before a match against a team fighting relegation...Don Revie will not quiz his own players in connection with the Wolves allegations. "My players have nothing to hide. There is no need for me to speak to them on this matter. The issue will be discussed at our board meeting on Thursday. We shall decide then on the possibility of taking legal action"...Mike Flanagan scores four goals for Charlton Athletic against Notts County, the season's best so far.
21 September 1972: It is believed that there is a serious crisis at Derby where manager Clough refuses to sign a new contract. After a board meeting, neither Clough nor chairman Sam Longson would comment on the situation.
23 September 1972: Of the English clubs playing in Europe next week, three lose - Derby and Manchester City heavily, Leeds by the odd goal - and three win - Tottenham, Stoke and Liverpool who take over top spot after beating Sheffield United 5-0. They are level on points with Spurs who defeat West Ham 1-0 through a Frank Lampard own goal three minutes from time...On a day of high scoring (35 goals in Division One) and a record number of bookings (56), football hooliganism makes the headlines. 42 people are arrested at Nottingham where Forest are at home to Aston Villa and one youth is saved from drowning in the river Trent by a policeman.
26 September 1972: Crystal Palace make a 'cash for goals' bid for Ted MacDougall of Bournemouth. They offer a £100,000 fee and two players plus an extra bonus if the striker scores at least 20 goals this season.
27 September 1972: Manchester United pay Bournemouth £200,000 for Ted MacDougall - a record fee for a Third Division player...British teams do well in the senior European competitions but four out of six fail in the UEFA Cup. Derby win their away tie in the Champions' Cup and Leeds are through to the second round in the Cup Winners' Cup.
30 September 1972: Liverpool beat Leeds at Elland Road to stay top of Division One, level on points with Arsenal who have played one match more...Three games are decided by late penalties: Manchester City (Lee) v WBA, Derby (Alan Hinton) v Tottenham and Sheffield United (Alan Woodward) v Manchester United...John Richards scores a hat-trick in Wolves' 5-3 win over Stoke and goes to the top of the League scoring chart with 10 goals.
1 October 1972: Referees are blamed for the ills of football in a series of attacks made by club officials. Orient chairman Arthur Page says that he walked out on the match against Fulham on Saturday in disgust because of a "disgraceful piece of refereeing by Trevor Spencer", Manchester United decide to lodge an official complaint against Norman Paget and Tony Book of Manchester City also criticises refereeing standards. Millwall chairman Mickey Purser states that the referees have blacklisted his club because of a fracas years ago that involved Norman Burtenshaw.
3 October 1972: Norman Burtenshaw refutes the accusations levelled at referees, stating that the fight against dirty play has been effective and football has improved a great deal because of it...Shock results in the League Cup: Bury beat Manchester City, Notts County defeat Southampton and Middlesbrough draw with Tottenham.
4 October 1972: Stockport beat West Ham in the League Cup and Leeds draw at Aston Villa.
7 October 1972: Alan Ball is sent off at Bramall Lane where Sheffield United beat Arsenal 1-0...Liverpool win the local derby against Everton 1-0 and go two points clear at the top of the table...Leeds thrash Derby 5-0 while Manchester United gain a point v WBA at the Hawthorns...Burnley, Walsall and Mansfield are the other divisional leaders.
9 October 1972: Chelsea earn a fourth round tie at Bury in the League Cup by beating Derby 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.
11 October 1972: In League Cup replays, Leeds beat Aston Villa, Bristol Rovers defeat Manchester United at Old Trafford and Tottenham draw with Middlesbrough. The second replay will be played at White Hart Lane but no date is fixed.
14 October 1972: Crystal Palace draw at Wolves but Mulligan is taken off with a serious injury and another new signing, Charlie Cooke, has his name taken...Leeds win 2-1 at Goodison Park but Liverpool only draw at Southampton. Top of the table positions are: Liverpool 19 pts, Arsenal 18 pts, Leeds 17 pts...Ted MacDougall scores the only goal of the match for Manchester United against Birmingham and Colin Stein is on the mark in Coventry's 3-2 win over Manchester City...Top scorer of the day is Stuart Pearson of Hull City who scores four against Portsmouth.
17 October 1972: 45,799 people pay tribute to Jimmy Greaves at Tottenham where Spurs beat Feyenoord 2-1 in a testimonial. True to his fantastic record, Greaves scores the first goal after three minutes play...Bob Wilson (Arsenal) and Ian Hutchinson (Chelsea) make first team appearances in testimonial matches after leg injuries...Queens Park Rangers beat Fulham 2-0 in a League match in which young Martyn Busby is carried off with a broken leg.
20 October 1972: Coventry wing-half Ernie Machin wins a test case at the High Court against the Disciplinary Committee of the FA. A judge rules that his 'trial' was "unfair and against the rules of natural justice." Mr Justice Bristow grants Machin, 28, a declaration that the Committee's decision to fine and suspend him is void. Machin will now have the £50 he has already paid for his fine and £43 costs refunded. "It would be hard to find a clearer example of a committee failing to conduct a hearing in accordance with the rules of natural justice," says the judge, ruling that that Machin was convicted of something for which his defence had never been heard. It is the first time a civil court has upset a decision by the FA Disciplinary Committee and is likely to have wide repercussions in the football world.
21 October 1972: A quiet Saturday in the Football League - of the teams playing in European competitions next week, only Liverpool win, beating Stoke with an injury time goal scored by Ian Callaghan...Chelsea leapfrog Leeds into third place after a hard-fought 1-0 win at White Hart Lane...QPR, Burnley and Aston Villa all win and seem set to stay in the promotion race for the rest of the season.
25 October 1972: Good results for British teams in European competitions. Derby beat Benfica 3-0 and Tottenham easily win their game with Olympiakos. Leeds play out a goalless draw in East Germany against Carl Zeiss Jena.
28 October 1972: Leeds win 2-0 at Wolves and go into third place...Liverpool draw at Norwich...Burnley are still unbeaten in the League and lead the Second Division two points ahead of QPR and Aston Villa...Martin Peters scores all four Tottenham goals in the away game at Old Trafford - the best individual haul in the First Division so far this season.
31 October 1972: Chelsea win 1-0 at Bury in the League Cup but pay heavily. Peter Bonetti sustains a serious injury in the first half requiring an operation which will put him out of the game for at least two months...Liverpool draw 2-2 with Leeds and Arsenal win 2-1 at Sheffield United...Shock result of the evening is Notts County's 3-1 win over Stoke.
3 November 1972: Alan Hardaker meets TV bosses to discuss the future of televised football in England. Slow-motion playbacks concerning referees' decisions is one of the topics on the agenda.
4 November 1972: Don Rogers scores the only goal of the match for Crystal Palace against Everton at Selhurst Park...With Arsenal losing at home to Coventry and Leeds dropping a point at Ipswich, Liverpool increase their lead to three points at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over Chelsea.
8 November 1972: Allegations of attempted bribery to 'sell' the Football League championship match between Wolves and Leeds last season have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions. Wolves won the game and so prevented Leeds from gaining the League and FA Cup double but Wolves defender Bernard Shaw said later that an approach had been made to him to 'sell' the match. The FA says today, "Statements by players furnished by the Sunday People and statements obtained by the Football Association relating to allegations of bribery in connection with the match Wolverhampton v Leeds played on 8 May 1972 have been considered by the Football Association. In view of the seriousness of the allegations, it has been decided to send the papers to the Director of Public Prosecutions with a request that the matter be investigated"...All English clubs are through to the next round in the European competitions.
9 November 1972: Liverpool defender Larry Lloyd makes disciplinary history. He becomes the first player to fight a three match ban before football's newly-formed independent disciplinary tribunal - and he wins. Lloyd, capped three times for England, was sent off in the opening game of the season by Amersham referee Gordon Kew for 'chopping and then kicking' Wyn Davies, then Manchester City's centre-forward. 75-year-old retired civil servant Sir John Lang, former football manager Stan Cullis and ex-referee Norman Hillier form the three man tribunal which sits for 2 hrs 10 mins. Neither the referee not his linesmen are summoned to give evidence but the tribunal do watch TV film of the incident in which Davies was also sent off. Sir John Lang issues a statement after the hearing that says, "The tribunal is satisfied that Lloyd is not free from blame. It does, however, regard his sending off as sufficient punishment and therefore quashes the sentence of a three match suspension imposed by the Football Association"...Brian Clough says that the Benfica match made him sick because his team played so much better than in the League: "We must close the gap between us and Liverpool."
11 November 1972: Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-0 and the gap narrows at the top of Division One. 75 people were arrested when fans invaded the pitch before the game.
18 November 1972: Manchester City beat neighbours United 3-0 in a scandalous match - only two names are taken but according to reports several players should have been sent off...Derby register their first away League win of the season with a 2-1 triumph at West Ham...Leeds salvage a point against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park after being 2-0 down at half-time.
20 November 1972: The Leeds v Liverpool League Cup replay is postponed due to unfavourable ground conditions and will be played on the 22nd. It seems that the semi-final dates will have to be altered as both Liverpool and Tottenham (the winners' next opponents) are involved in the UEFA Cup.
22 November 1972: Chelsea reach the League Cup semi-final by beating Notts County 3-1 at Stamford Bridge...A last minute goal by Kevin Keegan beats Leeds at Elland Road. Liverpool will play Tottenham in the next round.
23 November 1972: A mystery bug has hit the Leicester playing and administrative staff and their League match against Newcastle is postponed.
25 November 1972: Bolton Wanderers beat Rotherham United 2-1 with the help of an extraordinary goal. The Rotherham 'keeper thinks the ball has gone out of play and places it for a goal kick - Garry Jones nips in and pushes the ball into the net. Play to the whistle, lads!...Liverpool and Leeds are drawing away from the rest of the field. Arsenal lose 5-0 at Derby with Bob Wilson back in goal.
29 November 1972: Tottenham beat Red Star Belgrade 2-0 in the UEFA Cup and Liverpool draw 0-0 with Dynamo in East Berlin...George Best faces another clash with manager O'Farrell for missing training earlier in the week. He is dropped from the team and according to rumours will be put on the transfer list.
30 November 1972: It has been suggested that Dutch club Feyenoord are interested in signing George Best.
2 December 1972: Arsenal beat Leeds 2-1 in an exceptionally hard fought game at Highbury. Two penalties (one for each side) and a John Radford centre palmed into goal by Harvey decide the issue. Referee Clive Thomas books five Leeds players plus Alan Ball of Arsenal...Liverpool increase their lead in Division One to three points with a 4-3 win over Birmingham...Burnley, Bolton and Mansfield are the other table-toppers in the Football League.
4 December 1972: Liverpool draw 1-1 with Tottenham in the League Cup and the fixtures are piling up for both clubs. Bill Shankly says, "Frankly, I wouldn't have minded if we'd lost - for the sake of the players. The more games they play, the more likely they are to get injured"...George Best leaves Manchester without permission and is seen in a London nightclub in the early hours of the morning.
5 December 1972: Best is put on the transfer list by Manchester United. Brian Clough of Manchester United is the only manager who declares interest and might bid for him.
6 December 1972: John Bond of Bournemouth is also interested in Best but the player says that he would like to join Chelsea...Tottenham reach the League Cup semi-final by beating Liverpool 3-1 at White Hart Lane.
7 December 1972: The latest enquiry for George Best comes from the USA. Clive Toye, general manager of the North American league champions Cosmos says, "We have talked to the other seven league clubs for the purpose of getting them to join in putting up the £350,000 transfer fee. There is no doubt that Best's appearances would boost attendances throughout the league."
9 December 1972: Ian Hutchinson makes a sensational comeback to first team football. He scores twice in Chelsea's 2-1 win over Norwich...Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1 away and narrow the gap at the top of the table as Liverpool drop a point at WBA. Peter Cormack is sent off, as is fellow international Francis Lee of Manchester City.
11 December 1972: Malcolm Allison expresses an interest in George Best. According to him, the Manchester City players would welcome the Irish international. Chairman Eric Alexander says that the club has no intention of bidding for Best and manager Allison was talking "out of turn."
13 December 1972: Liverpool beat Dynamo Berlin and join Tottenham in the last eight of the UEFA Cup...Norwich beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final...The 'Three' squad picked by Sir Alf Ramsey for Wembley against the 'Six' includes Bobby Charlton, Steve Heighway and Henning Jensen of Mönchengladbach.
14 December 1972: The George Best story takes an unexpected turn - Manchester United chairman Louis Edwards announces that Best will start training with the club and is presumably off the transfer list.
15 December 1972: Five League games are postponed due to a 'flu epidemic.
16 December 1972: A sad day for Manchester United. They lose 5-0 at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace - their heaviest defeat for four years. Newspaper speculation indicates that Frank O'Farrell might resign over the treatment of George Best...Tired Liverpool drop a point at Ipswich. Both Arsenal and Leeds are closing on them...'Pop' Robson is one of seven players to score twice in Division One and now leads the goalscoring list with 15.
19 December 1972: Sensational developments at Manchester United. The board of directors sacks manager Frank O'Farrell, coach Malcolm Musgrove and chief scout John Aston. On the same day, George Best announces his retirement from football in a letter to the club. O'Farrell says that when he asked about the reason for his dismissal, he was told that the team is at the bottom of the table.
20 December 1972: Tottenham beat Wolves 2-1 in the League Cup semi-final first leg at Molineux...The Norwich v Chelsea game is abandoned six minutes from the end due to thick fog with Norwich leading 5-2 on aggregate.
22 December 1972: Scotland manager Tommy Docherty gets the go-ahead from the Scottish FA, travels to Manchester and signs the contract as manager of United at a reputed salary of £15,000 per year. Docherty says, "Only one word can sum up my feelings - fantastic! My aim has always been to be the best manager in football and I know that at Old Trafford I will get the best possible chance of proving that I have what it takes."
23 December 1972: A dream start for the Docherty era at Manchester - almost. United lead with a Ted MacDougall goal until the last minute when Allan Clarke equalises for Leeds...Arsenal also drop a point and Liverpool lead the table by two points just before Christmas...In the Second Division, Burnley drop a home point v Oxford and Blackpool lose 4-0 at Nottingham Forest...John McMahon of Preston scores the quickest goal of the season - 12 seconds after the kick-off.
26 December 1972: An eventful Boxing Day programme - 50 players booked, four sent off...Kevin Tully is dismissed by referee Ted Jolly in his first League game for Blackpool and Terry Alcock follows him shortly afterwards - Burnley win 2-1 and have a three points lead in Division Two. QPR, 3-1 winners over Orient, are second - the visitors' striker Derrick Downing is sent off in this game...Leeds beat Newcastle 1-0 with the help of a twice-taken penalty. Iam McFaul saves Johnny Giles' first spot kick but referee Ralph Lee decides that the 'keeper moved too soon. Newcastle manager Joe Harvey complains, "How can refs sleep after decisions like this? Every time we come here we seem to get robbed by penalty decisions"...Cardiff manager Jimmy Scoular is booked by referee John Yates after calling Bristol City's 1-0 win over his team "the biggest robbery since the Crown Jewels were stolen"...Manchester United are back at the foot of the table after their 3-1 defeat at Derby...Crystal Palace beat Southampton 3-0 with two goals by Don Rogers and one from John Craven. Rogers has scored seven times since his transfer from Swindon Town last month.
30 December 1972: In an exciting League Cup semi-final match, Tottenham draw with Wolves and reach their seventh final in a top competition since Bill Nicholson took over in 1958. Wolves cancel out their one goal deficit in normal time but Chivers scores the vital goal in the 111th minute...In the League, Liverpool stretch their winning sequence at home this season to 12 by beating Crystal Palace 1-0 with a Cormack goal...Arsenal draw 0-0 at Stoke and seven matches are cancelled due to a 'flu epidemic...Mick Channon of Southampton is sent off against Coventry at the Dell...Bremner, Heighway and Johan Cruyff pull out of the 'Common Market' game.
4 January 1973: According to his agent, George Best "is interested" in signing for New York Cosmos for their short summer season. 
5 January 1973: The League programme is once again hit by the 'flu epidemic - four games are cancelled.
6 January 1973: Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-1 in front of the biggest gate of the season - 56,194. As both Leeds and Liverpool also win, the positions at the top of the table are unchanged...Burnley beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Villa Park and look certain of promotion - they are still unbeaten away.
8 January 1973: Former Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who now manages Swansea City, wants George Best on loan...Peter Cormack of Liverpool wins his appeal and won't be suspended. Cormack was sent off in a League game against WBA.
13 January 1973: FA Cup third round day, with very few shock results. Bradford City beat Blackpool 2-1 and Swindon defeat Birmingham 2-0 but otherwise the results are as expected...Holders Leeds draw with Norwich and Arsenal are saved by an 87th minute George Armstrong equaliser against Leicester at Highbury...Preston manager Alan Ball gets involved in an argument with fans at Grimsby Town and, after a fight, is rescued by Preston officials...Four players are sent off including Ron Harris of Chelsea...Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Dick Sheppard sustains a serious head injury at Tranmere Rovers and is taken to hospital.
16 January 1973: Liverpool beat Burnley 3-0 in an FA Cup replay in front of a crowd of over 56,000 people.
17 January 1973: Arsenal beat Leicester 2-1 in the Cup and the bookmakers make them favourites to win the trophy.
18 January 1973: Tommy Docherty pays £200,000 for Lou Macari - a record for a Scottish League player. Manchester United also buy Bohemians and Republic of Ireland midfield star Mick Martin...Ron Greenwood accuses Port Vale of "diabolical intimidation" in the Cup tie v West Ham last Saturday: "For the first time in my life, I could relate violence on the field to violence on the terraces. People can say we were lucky. I agree - lucky to come away alive." Port Vale manager Gordon Lee answers, "I can only treat the remarks with the contempt they deserve."
19 January 1973: The Blackburn Rovers v Chesterfield match has to be replayed because, according to the Football League, Chesterfield used an ineligible player. Goalkeeper Jim Brown was transferred to them from Albion Rovers for £7000 on 22 December but the letter informing the League was delayed in the Christmas post. The match was played on Boxing Day but the letter didn't arrive until two days later.
20 January 1973: A spectator runs onto the pitch at Orient, picks up the ball and scores a 'goal' against Hull. The match ends 0-0...Arsenal win at Stamford Bridge with a Ray Kennedy goal - their 10th competitive match without defeat...Liverpool drop their first home point of the season (1-1 v Derby)...Lou Macari equalises for Manchester United against West Ham. Bobby Charlton gets the other goal from a penalty in a 2-2 draw...12 games are postponed or abandoned because of snow...Leeds win at Norwich whose manager Ron Saunders accuses them of "extreme professionalism."
21 January 1973: Don Revie refutes Saunders' accusations and says that Norwich are upset because they were beaten.
22 January 1973: Nottingham Forest draw 0-0 with WBA and this FA Cup tie will go to a second replay.
24 January 1973: At Manchester, United draw 0-0 with Everton in front of the season's highest League attendance, 58,960. Ted MacDougall is substituted by Brian Kidd and the ex-Bournemouth forward leaves the ground 10 minutes before the end of the match.
27 January 1973: Liverpool lose 2-1 to Wolves, their first defeat in the League since 11 November...Leeds beat Stoke 1-0 at Elland Road and the visitors' full back Mike Pejic is sent off for a foul on goalkeeper Harvey...Burnley lose 2-0 at QPR, their first away defeat of the season...Bryan Robson scores twice in West Ham's 3-1 win over Chelsea and is the first player to register 20 League goals this season.
29 January 1973: Leeds beat Norwich 5-0 in an FA Cup replay. Allan Clarke gets a hat-trick and expresses his hopes for a recall to the England squad.
3 February 1973: Only five First Division clubs facing opponents from a lower division manage to clinch a place in the fifth round of the Cup. Millwall win 2-0 at Everton, Luton beat Newcastle by the same score at St James' Park and Carlisle United and Hull knock out Sheffield United and West Ham respectively...Only 31 goals are scored in the 16 ties - not one team scores more than two...Warwick Rimmer (Bolton) and Gil Reece (Cardiff) are both sent off in the second half and the game ends in a 2-2 draw...Holders Leeds (2-1 v Plymouth Argyle) and last year's finalists Arsenal (2-0 v Bradford) are both through to the next round.
6 February 1973: Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday draw their Cup replay and will meet again at Villa Park...Plymouth striker Derek Rickard carries on playing with a broken leg and scores in his club's 3-0 home win over Scunthorpe United.
7 February 1973: The Anglo-Italian tournament is launched in Milan with the draw for the group matches...Derby beat Tottenham 5-3 with two extra time goals in a brilliant Cup tie at White Hart Lane. Tottenham are 3-1 up with 10 minutes to play but Roger Davies equalises and later completes a hat-trick...Manchester City beat Liverpool and Sunderland knock out Reading.
10 February 1973: Liverpool lose their first home League match since 1 January 1972 - conquerors Arsenal go top of the table...Leicester beat Leeds 2-0 and Crystal Palace win 4-0 at WBA...Manchester United defeat Wolves 2-1 with two Bobby Charlton goals - their first victory under Tommy Docherty...Millwall win 3-1 against Oxford but the visitors might ask for a replay. Harry Cripps wasn't on the original team sheet but played when substitute Derek Smethurst failed to turn up.
12 February 1973: Alan Ball is sacked by Preston when his contract still has two and a half years to run. Preston haven't collected a point this year and last Saturday were beaten 5-0 by Portsmouth at Deepdale...Bolton beat Cardiff 1-0 and are the only club from the Third Division left in the Cup.
14 February 1973: Derby, with five reserves, lose 3-0 at home to Stoke. Crystal Palace manager Bert Head calls it "a farce" and says, "Our boys are wild about it. There is no action I can take. It is a ridiculous situation. When the European Cup gets more important than the Football League, it's time to pack up." The reason behind this outburst? Both Palace and Stoke are relegation candidates.
15 February 1973: Brian Clough refutes Bert Head's allegations: "Our best hope of qualifying for Europe next season lies in finishing in the top places of the First Division"...The Daily Express writes: "Stockport striker Ian Lawther had his prayers answered yesterday at an FA Disciplinary Commission meeting in Manchester. For Lawther, 30-year-old Northern Ireland international, had to thank Methodist minister John Bingham for saving him from a suspension. Lawther was sent off during the FA Cup tie against Hull on 13 January. He retaliated after being brought down from behind by Hull player-manager Terry Neill and Mr Bingham was an eye witness of the incident. After hearing his evidence, the commission decided to take no further action against Lawther. The minister, who is a former referee, said later, "It was only the third time I'd watched Stockport. I am no supporter of the club - in fact, Chesterfield is my team - but I was so incensed by what happened that I decided I had to do something to help in the interests of justice."
17 February 1973: Tommy Smith is sent off at Manchester City but Liverpool equalise through Phil Boersma with 10 men against an earlier Tommy Booth goal. Leeds also draw and, as Arsenal and Ipswich both win, the championship race is finely balanced between the four teams...Kenny Hibbitt scores for Wolves against Newcastle and his brother Terry equalises for the Magpies...WBA lose 2-1 at West Ham with a goal scored in the 96th minute - referee Mike Kerkhof adds seven minutes for timewasting.
19 February 1973: A Brian Joicey hat-trick puts Crystal Palace out of the Cup - Sheffield Wednesday win 3-2 in extra time after 330 minutes football...Ted MacDougall is for sale. Manchester United put the unsettled player, who says that his wife isn't happy living in the North, on the transfer list.
24 February 1973: Three players are sent off in the eight FA Cup ties. John Holsgrove (Sheffield Wednesday), Bill Garner (Chelsea) and Tony Towers (Manchester City) are the culprits in a round which runs mainly to expectation. Only Sunderland manage to get a draw against First Division opposition (City) and Luton beat Bolton, becoming the only lower division club to be certain of a place in the last eight...Kevin Hector gets a first half hat-trick against QPR in Derby's 4-2 victory...In the League, Liverpool beat Ipswich and take over the lead on goal average...West Ham sign Ted MacDougall for a club record fee of £150,000.
26 February 1973: A tremendous FA Cup quarter-final draw pairs Derby with Leeds and Chelsea with Arsenal. Luton are away once again and their manager Harry Haslam says, "I think we'll sell the ground and buy a train!"
27 February 1973: Chelsea and Arsenal appeal to the FA, asking to sanction a closed-circuit TV showing of their Cup tie in North London cinemas...Sunderland beat Manchester City 3-1 in a Cup replay and, as they are paired with Luton in the quarter-finals, it is certain that there will be a Second Division club in the last four.
2 March 1973: Crystal Palace are beaten at Coventry and West Ham lose 1-0 to Ipswich. Ted MacDougall is not eligible to play because his registration didn't arrive at the League's office on time due to the railway strike. The club fail to confirm the signing by sending a telegram to the League.
3 March 1973: Tottenham are the League Cup winners. In a disappointingly flat final, they beat Norwich 1-0 with a goal by sub Ralph Coates who comes on for the injured John Pratt in the middle of the first half...All three title contenders win, Leeds with the help of a controversial penalty at Derby, Liverpool at Goodison where two Emlyn Hughes goals settle the local derby and Arsenal at home to Sheffield United. After this game, Bertie Mee reveals that they wanted to postpone the game because of injuries and illness but the League refused. "I am not unhappy about the decision," he says, "as long as other clubs are treated the same way"...Alex Stepney breaks two fingers in the dying minutes of the game against WBA and will be out of action for at least a fortnight.
6 March 1972: Charlton have their smallest post-war crowd for a League match - they beat Halifax 1-0.
7 March 1973: Derby are the only British team to lose in a European competition. Leeds, Liverpool and Tottenham all win.
8 March 1973: The Chelsea v Arsenal Cup tie will be televised on a special closed-circuit channel to several cinemas in North London. With the permission of the FA, about 15,000 people will see the game live on giant screens.
9 March 1973: Malcolm Allison writes, "My row with Manchester City directors this week has gone right to the heart of football's greatest problem. It has been about money - the need for it, the balancing of it against such assets as young, First Division class players. My directors insisted that we sold Ian Mellor. a player of striking potential. They are responsible for the club and I'm not going to resign."
10 March 1973: The neck-and-neck race continues at the top of the table - all three leading teams win...Liverpool's new £60,000 stand is officially opened by the Duke of Kent and Shankly's team beat Southampton 3-2 with a late Kevin Keegan winner...Arsenal win at Ipswich but Radford is injured and doubtful for the Cup...Joe Mercer receives a great ovation at Maine Road before the match and his Coventry team beat Manchester City 2-1. Lee misses a penalty. After the game, Mercer says, "I'm really pleased but I don't regard it as putting one over on City. How can I when I know these lads so well?" Malcolm Allison: "Gordon Milne has done a very good job at Coventry"...Trevor Cherry becomes the second Leeds player to be booked eight times in a season...The entire Wolves half-back line is booked at Selhurst Park along with the Palace player Bobby Bell...Peter Osgood plays in the back four for Chelsea and wins universal praise. He says, "I fancy playing in the defence - when I am 40!"
12 March 1973: Pelé plays his first - and probably last - game in London when his club Santos meet Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Londoners win 2-1 with goals by Alan Pinkney and Steve Earle. Pelé scores from a penalty. Edu is the star of the match and the Brazilians' silky football delights Fulham's best crowd of the season - 21,464.
14 March 1973: The Evening Standard reports that the Football Association will probe the apparent defiance by Chelsea of a two match disciplinary ban on defender Ron Harris. Harris played for a makeshift Chelsea in a friendly match against the British Police at Hartley Wintney, Hampshire. Vernon Stokes, chairman of the Commission which barred Harris, is convinced that Chelsea have defied the ban and says, "This is the worst contravention of the rules I have ever experienced. Never before have I known a League club to break an official suspension." Chelsea manager Dave Sexton vigorously denies that his club had defied the ban: "Yes, Harris did play incognito. It was a private match on a private ground and was purely a training exercise for two of my players." Ron Harris comments, "There were only police there so it must have been within the law. It was a private match and, as far as were concerned, just a training day. The only reason why people are upset is because I scored our goal. It was a great goal too!"
15 March 1973: Santos are accused of blackmail as they prepare to fly home to Brazil after their annual world tour. Plymouth, who beat Pelé's team 3-2 in a friendly at Home Park last night, claim they were blackmailed into paying the club an additional £2000. The storm grows when Fulham allege that the Brazilians accused them of 'fiddling' the gate receipts for their friendly at Craven Cottage on Monday. Plymouth and Fulham are making reports to the Football Association and, if FIFA decide to investigate the complaints and find against Santos, they could be banned from playing in England again.
16 March 1973: Bill Garner (Chelsea) and John Radford (Arsenal) are both declared unfit for the big London cup tie between the two teams.
17 March 1973: Chelsea and Arsenal draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge - all the goals are scored in the first half-hour of an exciting match...Leeds beat Derby 1-0 with a disputed goal and Sunderland are in the semi-finals for the first time since 1956...Before the Wolves v Coventry tie, Derek Dougan is knocked out by a ball and needs treatment. He plays extremely well in his team's 2-0 win. He says, "I was still dazed for a long time afterwards. I don't know how I headed on to Richards for our first goal. I saw two balls coming and I must have just picked the right one"...Manchester United confirm that former manager Frank O'Farrell has 'issued a writ claiming due wages for breach of contract'...Liverpool win 1-0 at Stoke and are now two points clear at the top of Division One...Ted MacDougall scores his first goal for West Ham against Manchester City and the England international Tony Currie is sent off at Everton.
20 March 1973: Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup replay with the help of a controversial penalty...Frank O'Farrell is suing Manchester United for £78,000, a sum which represents his salary for 3½ years of contract plus loss of income from bonuses and newspaper articles...Bert Head is promoted to general manager at Palace. Chairman Ray Bloye says, "Mr Head will be running the whole complex here. There has always been a gap between the board and the team manager and this is a bid to fill it. Within the next few weeks, it is our intention to appoint a first-class team manager who will set about planning for the 1973-74 season."
22 March 1973: Sir Alf Ramsey picks Gordon Banks to play for an FA XI in Gibraltar...The FA officially intervenes in the Santos row. A spokesman says, "We have written to the Brazilian FA to give them the opportunity of refunding the money to Plymouth. If we don't get any satisfaction, we will refer the matter to FIFA".
24 March 1973: Mike Doyle misses a penalty at Maine Road and Arsenal go on to win 2-1, thus keeping up their challenge for the championship...Liverpool beat Norwich but Leeds drop a point at home against Wolves...The promotion issue seems to be settled in the Second Division as both Burnley and QPR win. Eamon Dunphy is sent off at Burnley for arguing with the referee.
26 March 1973: George Best says that he is willing to play football again - but only for Northern Ireland and not for Manchester United. The Irish selectors are interested but Tommy Docherty states that Best's suspension is registered with FIFA and he cannot play for anybody without the club's permission...Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 1-0 and join Liverpool on top of the table with 52 points...Stoke ease their relegation problem by beating Coventry.
30 March 1973: 'No rush for a new chief at Palace', say the morning papers, but by lunchtime it is announced that Malcolm Allison will take over as manager. He arrives in London at 2 pm and signs the contract an hour later. His salary is reputed to be £13,000 plus bonuses and ties him to the ambitious London club for five years. At a press conference, Allison says, "I am back home after spending eight years in the provinces. I had some happy times at Manchester but recently my relationship with the players has soured - I couldn't motivate them. Palace is a club with a vast potential and I am looking forward to the challenge"...Special security precautions are made for the Israeli national team at Heathrow - they'll play West Ham on Wednesday.
31 March 1973: Crystal Palace beat a London club in a League match for the first time in 32 attempts. They defeat Chelsea 2-0 - a good start for Malcolm Allison who receives a tremendous ovation from the crowd...Pat Jennings saves two penalties at Liverpool and his world-class display costs the League leaders a valuable point...Both Arsenal and Leeds lose, the latter having collected only two points in their last three matches...Seven players are sent off - a record for a Saturday. The total is now 78 for the season.
2 April 1973: Leeds beat Coventry 1-0 in the League...Manchester United ease the way back into football for George Best. Contrary to previous pronouncements, Tommy Docherty says that if a reasonable offer comes in for him Best won't have to train with United first.
4 April 1973: Of the eight Anglo-Italian matches played, seven are won by the English clubs and Fulham draw with Torino in Turin...West Ham beat the Israeli national team 3-2 in a benefit match for Paul Heffer who has to quit the game at the age of 25.
5 April 1973: Charlton are approached by a progressive Midlands borough to move the club 'lock, stock and barrel' to the north. Charlton's plans, which include rebuilding the ground and making it into a sports complex, have been rejected by Greenwich Council.
7 April 1973: Sunderland beat Arsenal 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final and will be the first Second Division team since 1964 to play at Wembley in this competition. They'll meet Leeds, 1-0 winners over Wolves...Liverpool are beaten 2-1 in the League at Birmingham and Emlyn Hughes is sent off minutes before the end...Hereford, the League's youngest club, are poised for promotion. They beat Newport County 2-0 in front of a record crowd of 14,849...The first relegation-promotion issue is definitely settled - Scunthorpe will return to the Fourth Division after just one season in the Third.
10 April 1973: Roger Davies is doubtful for the Juventus tie but Brian Clough is very optimistic that Derby will reach the final of the European Cup: "The postponement of last Saturday's League game with Wolves was a magnificent piece of luck. No English club enjoyed such a rest before an important European match." A special smallpox vaccination unit at Castle Donington Airport deals with hundreds of fans flying out to Turin for the match...Liverpool beat Tottenham 1-0 in the UEFA Cup with a goal by Alec Lindsay.
11 April 1973: Derby are beaten 3-1 by Juventus in the Champions' Cup and Leeds beat Hajduk Split 1-0 at Elland Road in the Cup Winners' Cup. Allan Clarke is sent off in the second half and will receive an automatic two match suspension from UEFA...Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-0...WBA defeat Everton 4-1, thus going up two places from the bottom of the table...Crystal Palace make a bid for George Best.
12 April 1972: Harry Catterick is kept on the Everton staff as general manager but the club is advertising for a 'tracksuit' team manager. Several well-known names are mentioned but in the meantime Tom Eggleston will be in charge...The FA announce that, after advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions, they consider no useful purpose would be served by holding an inquiry into allegations of bribery in the match between Wolves and Leeds on 8 May 1972.
14 April 1973: West Ham goalkeeper Bobby Ferguson is taken to hospital after an accidental collision with his own full-back. Allan Clarke heads a goal past sub goalie Clyde Best but Pat Holland equalises and West Ham draw 1-1 with Leeds. The game marks the last appearance of Norman Burtenshaw in London. The FIFA referee will retire at the end of the season...Liverpool win at home but Arsenal drop a point and the Merseysiders are now 4-1 on favourites to win the League title...Norwich beat Chelsea 1-0 - their first League win since November.
16 April 1973: Bobby Charlton is to retire at the end of the season but hopes to stay in the game as a manager. His record speaks for itself: 1956 - League debut against Charlton at Old Trafford. 1958 - Munich air crash and first cap against Scotland. 1957, 1965 & 1967 - League Championship medals. 1963 - FA Cup winners' medal. 1966 - World Cup winners' medal. 1968 - European Cup winners' medal. 1970 - Last cap against West Germany in the Mexico World Cup, establishing a new record of 106 international appearances. 1973 - Captains 'The Three' in the Common Market match at Wembley...Burnley beat Sunderland 2-0 and clinch promotion to the First Division.
17 April 1973: Liverpool beat Coventry 2-1 with a couple of goals by Phil Boersma and are within sight of the Championship.
18 April 1973: QPR make sure of promotion with a 0-0 draw at Cardiff...Southport are also certain to play in a higher grade after a 2-0 away win at Crewe.
20 April 1973: Bryan Robson scores his first hat-trick of the season and now leads the League's goalscoring list with 28...Crystal Palace lose at home to Leicester and are in deep relegation trouble.
21 April 1973: Newcastle beat Liverpool 2-1 with goals by John Tudor, Leeds win 4-0 against Palace and Arsenal draw at Everton...Norwich win 1-0 at WBA - their first away win since last October...Colin Viljoen and Frank Munro are sent off at Ipswich by referee Gordon Kew who himself creates a new record by dismissing seven Football League players in a season...Chelsea win at home at last and score two goals in a League match for the first time since 10 February...At Old Trafford, 61,500 people see the local derby which ends 0-0...Bolton win the Third Division championship.
23 April 1973: Liverpool virtually win the championship by beating Leeds 2-0 at Anfield in front of 55,738 people. Bill Shankly says, "I think we can call ourselves champions now. I'm delighted for the players, for the club and especially for the fans who have again proved themselves the greatest in the world"...Bobby Charlton's last home appearance is witnessed by a crowd of 57,280 but Manchester United lose 2-1 to Sheffield United. Despite the disappointing results, crowd figures for the 21 League matches at Old Trafford were 1,027,525...Brentford are relegated to the Fourth Division.
24 April 1973: Norwich beat Crystal Palace 2-1 with an injury time goal by Dave Stringer. The London club are certain to be relegated after four difficult seasons in the top division...Both leading teams win in Division Two and Burnley's championship is assured. For the first time in history, one county - Lancashire - provides all four divisional champions.
25 April 1973: WBA are relegated after 25 years in the First Division. They lose 2-1 at home to Manchester City...Derby are out of the European Cup following a 0-0 draw at home to Juventus. Alan Hinton misses a penalty in the second half and Roger Davies is sent off...Leeds draw in Split and will meet AC Milan in the Cup Winners' Cup final on 16 May...Liverpool lose 2-1 at White Hart Lane but win the tie on the away goals ruling. Martin Peters scores both Spurs goals in a magnificent match and Steve Heighway gets the vital goal for the visitors. After-match quotes - Bill Shankly: "For both teams to give that sort of display after each playing more than 60 games this season was unbelievable. It was a fantastic game and so close but we are obviously glad to be in the final and will now go for the double." Bill Nicholson: "We had a good start but it didn't last. We wish Liverpool all the luck in the final."
26 April 1973: Boxing manager Bobby Thomas offers a new career to Derby centre-forward Roger Davies. He wants to train him as a heavyweight boxer and will approach Brian Clough for permission to talk to the player.
27 April 1973: George Best resumes training - four months after he announced his retirement.
28 April 1973: Bobby Charlton says goodbye to competitive domestic football in front of a capacity crowd at Stamford Bridge...Most of the issues are settled in the League - both Cambridge United and Hereford are going up to the Third Division and Notts County are promoted to the Second. County linkman Willie Carlin has played in three other promotion teams before - Halifax, Derby and Leicester - and was twice associated with relegated clubs - Halifax and Sheffield United...Len Shipman presents the championship trophy to Liverpool after their match against Leicester at Anfield.
3 May 1973: Pat Jennings, who is presented with the Player of the Year award at the Football Writers' Association dinner, says in his speech, "How could I avoid being Player of the Year playing behind our defence?"
7 May 1973: 34,963 attend Jack Charlton's testimonial match - Celtic beat Leeds 4-3. Charlton officially announces that he is taking over as manager at Middlesbrough...Ipswich complete a double over Norwich and win the Texaco Cup.
9 May 1973: The Liverpool v Mönchengladbach UEFA Cup final is abandoned by Austrian referee Erich Linemayr because of the waterlogged state of the pitch...The season's last two League games provide some shocks - Leeds beat Arsenal 6-1 and QPR win 3-0 at Roker Park against Cup winners Sunderland. Micky Horswill is sent off in this game and ref Peter Reeves calls off the players for seven minutes because of crowd misbehaviour. Manager Bob Stokoe broadcasts an appeal to the fans and the referee resumes play.
11 May 1973: Two Keegan goals and a Lloyd header give Liverpool an impressive 3-0 win over Mönchengladbach. Both sides miss a penalty and the Germans also hit the post. After match comments - Bill Shankly: "It was an international-class game. Really tremendous. I am not making predictions about the second leg but we have a distinct advantage because we did not give away a goal." 'Gladbach manager Hennes Weisweiler: "I think our chances of winning the trophy have disappeared, for we wasted them tonight." Ray Clemence: "I watched Jupp Heynckes take a penalty in the semi-final on television and decided to dive the same way. The save was a reward for my homework."
15 May 1973: Everton want Don Revie to join them as team manager. The Leeds boss will announce his decision after the Cup Winners' Cup final.
16 May 1973: AC Milan win the European Cup Winners' Cup in Salonika, beating Leeds 1-0. The goal is scored by Luciano Chiarugi in the 4th minute and four players - two from each side - are booked in a disappointing match. Shortly before the end, Norman Hunter and Riccardo Sogliano are sent off by the Greek referee Christos Michas who is severely criticised by the Leeds management.
22 May 1973: The Leeds directors decide that a counter-offer will be made to Don Revie which is near the figure offered to him by Everton. Revie will telephone his answer from Greece where he is on holiday.
23 May 1973: Liverpool lose 2-0 at Mönchengladbach but still win the UEFA Cup on a 3-2 aggregate. They are the first English club to win the championship and a major European trophy in the same season.
24 May 1973: The Government's Pay Board is to launch a probe into the alleged financial offer made by Everton to Don Revie. According to 'Phase Two' regulations, a newcomer must not be paid a higher salary than his predecessor in the same job.
25 May 1973: Don Revie decides to stay with Leeds.
1 June 1973: The Football League Annual General Meeting agrees to operate a 'three up, three down' promotion and relegation system between the first three divisions while the present system of four each way between the Third and Fourth will remain. All other proposals were defeated.
4 June 1973: Don Revie refuses an offer from the Greek national team and is now definitely staying with Leeds.
- The FA (2008). "Cup Final Statistics". Find out the result of every each and every Cup Final, as well as venue records, most wins and most appearances... Past FA Cup Finals. The Football Association. Archived from the original (web) on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2008.
- Rothmans Football Yearbook 1973-74. London N1: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0362001421.
- Rothmans Football Yearbook 1974-75. London EC2: The Queen Anne Press Ltd. ISBN 0362001715.