1974–75 Luton Town F.C. season

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Luton Town
1974–75 season
Chairman Robert Keens (until 21 December 1974)[1]
Len Hawkins (from 21 December 1974)[1]
Manager Harry Haslam
Football League First Division 20th (relegated)
FA Cup Third Round
Football League Cup Third Round
Texaco Cup Group Stage
Top goalscorer League:
Adrian Alston (7)

All:
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[2]
Home colours
Away colours

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.

Background[edit]

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.

Review[edit]

July–September[edit]

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.

October–December[edit]

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.

January–March[edit]

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.

April–May[edit]

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.

Match results[edit]

Luton Town results given first.[3]

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Football League First Division[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers Notes
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 08,339 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

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers Notes
3rd Round 4 January 1975 Birmingham City Home 0–1 17,543

Football League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers Notes
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

Texaco Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Goalscorers Notes
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

League table[edit]

P
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GAvg
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Derby County (C) 42 21 11 10 67 49 1.367 53 European Cup 1975–76
First round
2 Liverpool 42 20 11 11 60 39 1.538 51 UEFA Cup 1975–76
First round
3 Ipswich Town 42 23 5 14 66 44 1.500 51
4 Everton 42 16 18 8 56 42 1.333 50
5 Stoke City 42 17 15 10 64 48 1.333 49
6 Sheffield United 42 18 13 11 58 51 1.137 49
7 Middlesbrough 42 18 12 12 54 40 1.350 48
8 Manchester City 42 18 10 14 54 54 1.000 46
9 Leeds United 42 16 13 13 57 49 1.163 45
10 Burnley 42 17 11 14 68 67 1.015 45
11 Queens Park Rangers 42 16 10 16 54 54 1.000 42
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 14 11 17 57 54 1.056 39
13 West Ham United 42 13 13 16 58 59 0.983 39 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1975–76
First round
14 Coventry City 42 12 15 15 51 62 0.823 39
15 Newcastle United 42 15 9 18 59 72 0.819 39
16 Arsenal 42 13 11 18 47 49 0.959 37
17 Birmingham City 42 14 9 19 53 61 0.869 37
18 Leicester City 42 12 12 18 46 60 0.767 36
19 Tottenham Hotspur 42 13 8 21 52 63 0.825 34
20 Luton Town 42 11 11 20 47 65 0.723 33 Relegation to
Second Division
21 Chelsea 42 9 15 18 42 72 0.583 33
22 Carlisle United 42 12 5 25 43 59 0.729 29

Player details[edit]

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.[3]
Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Texaco Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
MF England Alan West 42 1 1 0 2 0 3 0 48 1
MF England Peter Anderson 40 6 1 0 2 0 3 1 46 7
DF England John Ryan 38 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 42 1
FW England Jimmy Husband 33 3 1 0 2 0 3 2 39 5
MF Scotland Jimmy Ryan 30 (1) 7 1 0 1 0 3 0 35 (1) 7
FW England John Faulkner 34 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 35 1
MF England John Aston 32 5 1 0 0 0 0 (1) 0 33 (1) 5
GK England Keith Barber 26 0 0 0 2 0 0 (1) 0 28 (1) 0
DF England Steve Buckley 24 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 26 0
MF England Gordon Hindson 17 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 23 0
DF England Bobby Thomson 17 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 21 0
FW Australia Adrian Alston 18 (3) 7 0 0 2 1 0 0 20 (3) 8
DF England Paul Futcher 19 0 1 0 0 0 0 (1) 0 20 (1) 0
GK England Brian Horn 16 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 20 0
DF England Don Shanks 15 (1) 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 19 (1) 1
FW England Ron Futcher 16 (1) 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 17 (1) 7
DF England Steve Litt 12 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 16 0
DF England Alan Garner 9 1 0 0 1 (1) 0 3 0 13 (1) 1
FW England Barry Butlin 9 3 0 0 1 0 3 2 13 5
MF England Brian Chambers 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
FW England Peter Spiring 5 (2) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 (2) 1
FW England Rodney Fern 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
MF England John Seasman 1 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 (1) 0
MF England Lil Fuccillo 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0
MF England Andy King 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0
FW Scotland Maitland Pollock 0 0 0 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 (1) 0
own goal 1 0 0 0 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
  • 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. 
Specific
  1. ^ a b Collings (1985) p. 141.
  2. ^ Collings (1985) p. 350.
  3. ^ a b Bailey (1997) p. 62.