1974–75 Luton Town F.C. season
|Chairman||Robert Keens (until 21 December 1974)
Len Hawkins (from 21 December 1974)
|Football League First Division||20th (relegated)|
|FA Cup||Third Round|
|Football League Cup||Third Round|
|Texaco Cup||Group Stage|
Adrian Alston (7)
Adrian Alston (8)
|Highest home attendance||23,096 vs Chelsea (First Division, 11 January 1975)|
|Lowest home attendance||10,073 vs Bristol Rovers (Football League Cup, 11 September 1974)|
|Average home league attendance||17,396|
The 1974–75 season was the 89th season in the history of Luton Town Football Club. It was Luton Town's 55th consecutive season in the Football League, and their 58th overall. It was also the team's first season in the First Division since 1959–60, and their sixth overall. The season saw Luton narrowly relegated back to Division Two.
This article covers the period from 1 July 1974 to 30 June 1975.
Following promotion from the Fourth Division in 1966–67, Luton consolidated under first Allan Brown, then Alec Stock before rising another division following a successful 1969–70 campaign in which Malcolm Macdonald scored 28 goals. Macdonald scored 31 during 1970–71 as Luton finished sixth in the Second Division, and was sold to Newcastle United at the end of the season to ease the club's financial worries. Harry Haslam replaced Stock in 1972, and along with him came the ambition to return to Division One after a 12-year absence. Luton fans would have to wait two more years for Haslam to deliver the third promotion; in 1973–74 the team finished second in Division Two behind Middlesbrough, and ensured that for 1974–75 Luton would be a top division club once again.
After failing to progress past the group stage of the Texaco Cup, Luton began the campaign badly. The first victory came in the League Cup, as Luton beat Bristol Rovers on 11 September; in the league, a series of losses and draws prevailed. On the 28th, Luton finally won a league match, beating Carlisle United 3–1. This win lifted Luton out of the relegation places, and up to 17th in the division.
The team then went 11 matches without a victory, including a run of six straight defeats. Luton crashed out of the League Cup and by mid-December, they were bottom of the league and eight points away from safety. Starting with a 1–0 home win over Derby County, Luton suddenly won three successive matches and reduced the gap to five points.
A draw with Chelsea meant that Luton came off the foot of the table, but it was followed by defeat in the FA Cup to Birmingham City. A disappointing home loss at the hands of Burnley sent Luton straight back to the bottom of the league, and put them six points behind 19th placed Chelsea. A draw at Sheffield United, followed by a victory over Newcastle United and another draw with Stoke City, saw Luton come within four points of survival. A 3–1 defeat at Everton on 25 February resulted in no further ground being made up.
Two more straight defeats followed, and the gap remained four points. Luton then won three matches on the trot, against Carlisle, Leeds and Arsenal, to be only two points behind Chelsea. The team were brought back down to earth sharply towards the end of March by a 5–0 annihilation at Derby County and a 5–2 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers – these put Luton back down to 21st, though still only three points behind Leicester City in 19th.
Defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on 5 April sent Luton back to the bottom of the league and increased the gap to five points with only eight left to gain from Luton's final four matches. Luton managed a 2–1 home win over Everton, before beating Leicester 3–0 to be only one point away. A 4–1 victory at Birmingham put Luton level on points with Tottenham, with the North London team ahead on goal average. Manchester City would visit Luton on 26 April for their final match, while Tottenham would have to travel to Highbury to face their rivals Arsenal before entertaining Leeds United two days later. Luton could only draw with Manchester City, while Tottenham were defeated 1–0 at Arsenal; Luton therefore rose out of the relegation zone for the first time since October. However, Tottenham beat Leeds 4–2 on the 28th, and therefore leapfrogged Luton into 19th place. Thus, Luton were sentenced to Division Two football in 1975–76.
Luton Town results given first.
|17 August 1974||Liverpool||Home||1–2||21,216||Butlin|
|19 August 1974||West Ham United||Away||0–2||23,182||—|
|24 August 1974||Middlesbrough||Away||1–1||21,478||Butlin|
|28 August 1974||West Ham United||Home||0–0||16,931||—|
|31 August 1974||Queens Park Rangers||Home||1–1||18,535||John Ryan|
|7 September 1974||Leeds United||Away||1–1||26,516||Butlin|
|14 September 1974||Ipswich Town||Home||1–4||17,577||Alston|
|21 September 1974||Arsenal||Away||2–2||21,649||Alston, Shanks|
|24 September 1974||Coventry City||Away||1–2||15,643||Jimmy Ryan (pen)|
|28 September 1974||Carlisle United||Home||3–1||12,987||Anderson, Alston, Jimmy Ryan (pen)|
|5 October 1974||Leicester City||Away||0–0||19,024||—|
|12 October 1974||Birmingham City||Home||1–3||15,097||Hindson|
|16 October 1974||Middlesbrough||Home||0–1||10,464||—|
|19 October 1974||Manchester City||Away||0–1||30,649||—|
|26 October 1974||Tottenham Hotspur||Home||1–1||22,420||Aston|
|2 November 1974||Newcastle United||Away||0–1||30,141||—|
|9 November 1974||Sheffield United||Home||0–1||12,670||—|
|16 November 1974||Stoke City||Away||2–4||20,646||Anderson, Garner|
|30 November 1974||Burnley||Home||2–3||11,816||Faulkner, Spiring|
|7 December 1974||Chelsea||Away||0–2||19,009||—|
|14 December 1974||Liverpool||Away||0–2||35,151||—|
|21 December 1974||Derby County||Home||1–0||12,862||Jimmy Ryan (pen)|
|26 December 1974||Ipswich Town||Away||1–0||23,406||R. Futcher|
|28 December 1974||Wolverhampton Wanderers||Home||3–2||19,642||R. Futcher (3)|
|11 January 1975||Chelsea||Home||1–1||23,096||Husband|
|18 January 1975||Burnley||Away||0–1||17,237||—|
|1 February 1975||Sheffield United||Away||1–1||17,270||Anderson|
|8 February 1975||Newcastle United||Home||1–0||18,019||R. Futcher|
|22 February 1975||Stoke City||Home||0–0||19,894||—|
|25 February 1975||Everton||Away||1–3||35,714||Aston|
|1 March 1975||Queens Park Rangers||Away||1–2||19,583||Alston|
|8 March 1975||Coventry City||Home||1–3||14,423||Aston|
|15 March 1975||Carlisle United||Away||2–1||8,339||Aston, R. Futcher|
|22 March 1975||Leeds United||Home||2–1||23,048||Aston, Anderson|
|25 March 1975||Arsenal||Home||2–1||22,120||Jimmy Ryan (pen), R. Futcher|
|29 March 1975||Derby County||Away||0–5||24,619||—|
|31 March 1975||Wolverhampton Wanderers||Away||2–5||22,689||Seasman, Jimmy Ryan|
|5 April 1975||Tottenham Hotspur||Away||1–2||25,796||Alan West|
|9 April 1975||Everton||Home||2–1||13,437||Anderson (2)|
|12 April 1975||Leicester City||Home||3–0||18,298||Alston, own goal, Husband|
|19 April 1975||Birmingham City||Away||4–1||28,755||Jimmy Ryan, Alston (2), Husband|
|26 April 1975||Manchester City||Home||1–1||20,768||Jimmy Ryan|
|3rd Round||4 January 1975||Birmingham City||Home||0–1||17,543||—|
|2nd Round||11 September 1974||Bristol Rovers||Home||1–0||10,073||Alston|
|3rd Round||8 October 1974||Sheffield United||Away||0–2||14,150||—|
|Group stage||3 August 1974||Southampton||Home||1–1||unknown||Butlin|
|Group stage||7 August 1974||West Ham United||Away||2–1||unknown||Anderson, Husband|
|Group stage||10 August 1974||Orient||Away||2–2||unknown||Butlin, Husband|
||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Derby County (C)||42||21||11||10||67||49||1.367||53||European Cup 1975–76
|2||Liverpool||42||20||11||11||60||39||1.538||51||UEFA Cup 1975–76
|11||Queens Park Rangers||42||16||10||16||54||54||1.000||42|
|13||West Ham United||42||13||13||16||58||59||0.983||39||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1975–76
|20||Luton Town||42||11||11||20||47||65||0.723||33||Relegation to
- Last match played on 26 April 1975.
- Players arranged in order of starts (in all competitions), with the greater number of substitute appearances taking precedence in case of an equal number of started matches.
|Pos.||Name||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Texaco Cup||Total|
|MF||Jimmy Ryan||30 (1)||7||1||0||1||0||3||0||35 (1)||7|
|MF||John Aston||32||5||1||0||0||0||0 (1)||0||33 (1)||5|
|GK||Keith Barber||26||0||0||0||2||0||0 (1)||0||28 (1)||0|
|FW||Adrian Alston||18 (3)||7||0||0||2||1||0||0||20 (3)||8|
|DF||Paul Futcher||19||0||1||0||0||0||0 (1)||0||20 (1)||0|
|DF||Don Shanks||15 (1)||1||0||0||2||0||2||0||19 (1)||1|
|FW||Ron Futcher||16 (1)||7||1||0||0||0||0||0||17 (1)||7|
|DF||Alan Garner||9||1||0||0||1 (1)||0||3||0||13 (1)||1|
|FW||Peter Spiring||5 (2)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||5 (2)||1|
|MF||John Seasman||1 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1 (1)||0|
|MF||Lil Fuccillo||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0 (1)||0|
|MF||Andy King||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0 (1)||0|
|FW||Maitland Pollock||0||0||0 (1)||0||0||0||0||0||0 (1)||0|
- Player and match statistics and league table sourced from: Bailey, Steve (December 1997). The Definitive Luton Town F.C. Soccerdata. ISBN 1-899468-10-2.
- Match statistics sourced from: "Luton Town 1974-1975 : Results". Statto. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- Background sourced from: Collings, Timothy (1985). The Luton Town Story 1885–1985. Luton Town F.C. ISBN 0-9510679-0-7.
- Collings (1985) p. 141.
- Collings (1985) p. 350.
- Bailey (1997) p. 62.