1991–92 in English football
The 1991–92 season was the 112th season of competitive football in England.
- 1 Overview
- 2 League Tables
- 3 Events
- 3.1 Premier League gets go-ahead
- 3.2 Leeds grab title a decade after relegation
- 3.3 Dalglish makes comeback to deliver promised land to Blackburn
- 3.4 Aldershot go bust
- 3.5 League Cup win at last for United
- 3.6 Souness delivers Cup glory for Reds
- 3.7 Burnley enter the history books
- 3.8 The Owls make an impressive comeback
- 3.9 Euro final returns to Wembley
- 3.10 Keegan rescues Newcastle
- 4 Awards
- 5 Successful managers
- 6 Top goalscorers
- 7 Famous debutants
- 8 Notable retirements
- 9 Diary of the season
- 10 Deaths
- 11 References
The last league championship before the creation of the Premier League was won by Leeds United who overhauled Manchester United thanks to the efforts of, among others, Gordon Strachan, Lee Chapman, David Batty, Gary Speed and Gary McAllister. After runners-up Manchester United came newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday.
Defending champions Arsenal slipped to fourth place and were never a serious threat to retain their title. The previous season's runners-up Liverpool dropped to sixth, below Manchester City, in their first full season under the management of Graeme Souness. It was Liverpool's first finish outside the top two since 1981.
Newly promoted West Ham United were relegated in bottom place, with another newly promoted side – Notts County – following days later. The last day of the season saw Luton Town lose their top flight status after ten seasons.
John Lyall took Ipswich Town back to the First Division after a six-year absence. The Suffolk club were followed by runners-up Middlesbrough, but it was play-off winners Blackburn Rovers whose promotion made the biggest headlines. Bankrolled by millionaire chairman Jack Walker and managed by former Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, Rovers beat Leicester City 1–0 in the play-off final to end a 26-year absence from the top flight.
The Second Division relegation places were occupied by Port Vale, Plymouth Argyle and Brighton & Hove Albion. Brighton had been losing finalists in the play-offs just twelve months before going down, but their fortunes had been ruined by financial problems and the loss of striker Mike Small to West Ham United in the 1991 close season.
New manager Phil Holder guided Brentford to a surprise Third Division championship success, while Terry Cooper's Birmingham City occupied the runners-up spot. The play-offs were won by Chris Turner's Peterborough United.
Burnley won the Fourth Division title and became the second team, after Wolverhampton Wanderers, to have been the champions of all four divisions of the Football League. Also going up were Rotherham United, Mansfield Town and play-off winners Blackpool.
On 25 March 1992, Aldershot were declared bankrupt and obliged to resign from the Football League following a long battle to stay afloat – their record was expunged. Carlisle United finished bottom, but there was no relegation from the league in the 1991-92 season. Conference champions Colchester United returned to the league after a two-year absence.
This was the last season of the Football League First Division as the top division of English football before the creation of the FA Premier League.
Leeds United and Manchester United fought a fierce duel for the title, with the leadership changing several times, before Leeds finally clinched the title. A key factor in their success was the new year arrival of French forward Eric Cantona, while a key factor in United's downfall was a shortage of goals in the second half of the season where they dropped points against several teams they had been widely expected to beat. Consolation for the unsuccessful title challenge at Old Trafford came in the shape of Football League Cup glory. Sheffield Wednesday's third-place finish was their highest for decades, while defending champions Arsenal finished fourth and suffered an early exit in the European Cup as well as a shock first hurdle exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Wrexham. Manchester City finished fifth for the second season in a row. Liverpool finished sixth but compensated for a disappointing league season by winning the FA Cup in their first full season under the management of Graeme Souness.
FA Cup holders Tottenham Hotspur endured a disappointing season, finishing a lowly 15th in the league, their chances of further success not helped by the season-long absence of Paul Gascoigne through injury. Gascoigne's projected move to Lazio in Italy was finally confirmed at the season's end, when top scorer Gary Lineker followed Gascoigne out of the White Hart Lane exit door to finish his playing days in Japan.
Newly promoted West Ham United and Notts County went straight back down, joined by a Luton Town side who had enjoyed a memorable 10-year run in the top flight. Coventry City narrowly avoided relegation after a decline in form during the final four months of the season after Terry Butcher was controversially sacked as manager in favour of Don Howe, who himself left in the close season to be replaced by Bobby Gould.
Oldham Athletic survived in their first top flight season for nearly 70 years.
|1||Leeds United (C)||42||22||16||4||74||37||+37||82|
|11||Queens Park Rangers||42||12||18||12||48||47||+1||54|
|20||Luton Town (R)||42||10||12||20||39||71||–32||42|
|21||Notts County (R)||42||10||10||22||40||62||–22||40|
|22||West Ham United (R)||42||9||11||22||37||59||–22||38|
The Second Division promotion race was an exciting one throughout the season, with the promise of extra wealth for the promoted clubs after the creation of the lucrative new FA Premier League was confirmed. The first team to secure promotion were champions Ipswich Town, who ended their six-year exile from the top flight. The second team to go up were Middlesbrough, who clinched runners-up spot on the final day. The final promotion place went to Blackburn Rovers, who had thrived since the takeover of the club by local millionaire Jack Walker the previous season, his masterstroke coming in the autumn of 1991 when he appointed Kenny Dalglish as manager and allowed him to spend millions on building a promotion winning team. Blackburn had entered the new year looking all set to go up automatically, but a run of bad results meant that they had to win their final game of the season to qualify for the playoffs. They finally won promotion with a Wembley win over Leicester City, who had now played at the famous stadium five times and lost each time.
The Second Division promotion race had also seen a few unlikely contenders. Swindon Town, under the management of former England star Glenn Hoddle, had gone top of the table for the first time in their history in October, but an eighth-place finish was not enough for even a place in the playoffs. Southend United, playing at this level for the first time, briefly topped the table on Boxing Day, but eventually wallowed away to a mid table finish. Their brief lead of the table was at the expense of Cambridge United, another side hopeful of a unique third successive promotion, and unlike Southend the East Anglian side remained in the hunt right up to the end of the season, finishing fifth and qualifying for the playoffs, but a heavy defeat to Leicester City in the semi-finals ended their dreams of playing in the new Premier League.
|1||Ipswich Town (P)||46||24||12||10||70||50||+20||84|
|6||Blackburn Rovers (P)||46||21||11||14||70||53||+17||74|
|22||Plymouth Argyle (R)||46||13||9||24||42||64||–22||48|
|23||Brighton & Hove Albion (R)||46||12||11||23||56||77||–21||47|
|24||Port Vale (R)||46||10||15||21||42||59||–17||45|
Brentford, who had played in the Third and Fourth Divisions for most of the postwar era, clinched the Third Division title to secure a place in the new Division One. They were joined by runners-up Birmingham City, who finally escaped from this division at the third attempt, and playoff winners Peterborough United, who won a second successive promotion to secure second tier football for the very first time.
West Bromwich Albion, playing in the Third Division for the first time, were in the promotion race throughout the season but eventually finished seventh to miss out on the playoffs. Bolton Wanderers, who had only missed out on promotion on goal difference a year earlier, could only manage a mid table finish and sacked manager Phil Neal after nearly seven years in charge.
Newly promoted Darlington and Torquay United both suffered an instant relegation back to the league's basement division. They went down with Bury, who had been in the playoffs a year earlier, and a Shrewsbury Town side who had been in the Second Division three years earlier.
|2||Birmingham City (P)||46||23||12||11||69||52||+17||81|
|6||Peterborough United (P)||46||20||14||12||65||58||+13||74|
|7||West Bromwich Albion||46||19||13||14||64||49||+15||71|
|17||Preston North End||46||15||12||19||61||72||–11||57|
|22||Shrewsbury Town (R)||46||12||11||23||53||69||–15||47|
|23||Torquay United (R)||46||13||8||25||42||68||–26||47|
Key: P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
Burnley sealed the Fourth Division title to end their seven-year spell in the league's basement division and become only the second team to win all four divisions of the English league. They were joined by newly relegated Rotherham United, Mansfield Town and playoff winners Blackpool.
After spending several years struggling to stay afloat, Aldershot were declared bankrupt and obliged to resign from the league on 25 March 1992, having played 36 games in the Fourth Division - their record was expunged. Carlisle United finished bottom of the Fourth Division, but there was no relegation from the league this season due to the continued expansion of the Football League, although Colchester United's return to the league after two years would make them its 93rd member rather than its 94th due to the demise of Aldershot.
However, there were doubts about the future of Maidstone United, who were struggling with huge debts and low crowds, after they were refused planning permission to build a new stadium on land they had bought in Maidstone. There were also problems with their tenancy of the Watling Street stadium in Dartford, which left them with the threat of being without a stadium for the 1992-93 season.
|2||Rotherham United (P)||42||22||11||9||70||37||+34||77|
|3||Mansfield Town (P)||42||23||8||11||75||53||+22||77|
|23||Aldershot (R)||Folded during season, record expunged|
Premier League gets go-ahead
1991–92 was the last season of the four-division Football League. For 1992–93, the First Division would become the breakaway FA Premier League, and the Football League would contain just three divisions. The new league was seen as the last chance to maintain interest in a sport which had been blighted in recent years by numerous incidents of hooliganism and images of decay at football grounds which had contributed to the Bradford Fire Disaster and the Hillsborough Disaster.
Leeds grab title a decade after relegation
Leeds United won the last-ever league championship after a decade of relegation and before the creation of the F.A Premier League, two years after returning to the top flight. Driving force in the title triumph was experienced midfielder Gordon Strachan, who helped Leeds overtake Strachan's former club Manchester United in the title race.
Dalglish makes comeback to deliver promised land to Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers, managed by former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, won promotion to the new F.A Premier League to end a 26-year exile from the top flight of English football. Their triumph was sealed with a 1–0 win over Leicester City in the playoff final, thanks to a penalty from Mike Newell – a former Leicester striker.
Aldershot go bust
Aldershot, who had been plagued with financial problems for two years, finally went out of business on 25 March. Their Fourth Division record was expunged and their place in the Football League was taken over by Colchester United for the 1992–93 season. A new club Aldershot Town was formed almost immediately, and joined the Third Division of the Isthmian League for the following season.
League Cup win at last for United
Manchester United won the League Cup for the first time in their history after Brian McClair scored the only goal of the game in a 1–0 win over Nottingham Forest at Wembley. It was some consolation for their failed title challenge.
Souness delivers Cup glory for Reds
Liverpool won the FA Cup for the fifth time in their first full season under the management of Graeme Souness, beating Second Division underdogs Sunderland 2–0 in the final at Wembley. Ian Rush set a new record for scoring in FA Cup Finals at Wembley with his 5th goal.
Burnley enter the history books
Burnley won the last ever Fourth Division championship to join Wolves as only the second English team to have been champions of all four divisions of the English league. It was Burnley's first successful season after a period of misery which had almost seen them relegated to the Conference in 1987.
The Owls make an impressive comeback
Newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday finished third in the league and qualified for the UEFA Cup, confounding suggestions that 37-year-old player-manager Trevor Francis was too inexperienced to keep the Owls in the top flight.
Euro final returns to Wembley
Keegan rescues Newcastle
Newcastle United sacked manager Ossie Ardiles, just 36 hours after being told by chairman John Hall that his job was safe. Hall appointed former striker Kevin Keegan as manager in hope of staving off relegation from the Second Division – and he succeeded.
In his last season at Tottenham Hotspur before joining Nagoya Grampus Eight of Japan, Gary Lineker was voted FWA Footballer of the Year after scoring 28 goals in all competitions during the 1991–92 season.
The PFA voted Manchester United's 18-year-old winger Ryan Giggs as Young Player of the Year, ahead of Steve McManaman, Nick Barmby and Giggs' United team mate, Lee Sharpe. Like Pallister, Giggs also picked up a League Cup winner's medal, but just missed out on the league title.
Graeme Souness marked his first full season as Liverpool manager with an FA Cup triumph.
Trevor Francis had a successful first season as player-manager of Sheffield Wednesday, who finished third in the league and qualified for the UEFA Cup to end a 28-year absence from European competitions.
Phil Holder had a successful first season in management by winning the Third Division title with Brentford.
Chris Turner guided Peterborough United to a second successive promotion as they won the Third Division playoffs to claim a place in the second tier of the English league for the first time in their history.
Jimmy Mullen won the last-ever Fourth Division title with Burnley, who joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in the distinction of having been champions of all four divisions of the English league.
Roy McDonough steered Colchester United to title success in the Conference to return the club to the Football League after a two-year exile.
- Ian Wright (Crystal Palace/Arsenal) – 29 goals
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- John Bailey, left-back who was part of Everton's 1984 FA Cup winning team, retired in January while playing for Bristol City in the Second Division.
- Alan Devonshire, midfielder who was influential in West Ham United's successes between 1976 and 1990, retired at the end of the season after completing his career with a two-season spell at Watford.
- Brian Talbot, 38-year-old former Arsenal and England midfielder, played his final league game as player-manager of Aldershot in the autumn.
- Dave Bennett, FA Cup winner with Coventry City in 1987 and runner-up with Manchester City in 1981, retired from professional football after breaking his leg while on loan at Shrewsbury Town from Swindon Town, although he returned to playing at non-league with Nuneaton Borough.
Diary of the season
3 July 1991 - After a year in Spain with Real Sociedad, former Sheffield Wednesday striker Dalian Atkinson returns to England in a £1.6million move to Aston Villa. Mike Milligan ends his year-long spell at Everton and returns to Oldham Athletic for £600,000.
10 July 1991 - Lennie Lawrence ends nine years as manager of Charlton Athletic to become the new manager of Middlesbrough in place of Colin Todd. Charlton in turn announce that coaches Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt will replace Lawrence as a co-managerial team. Everton striker Graeme Sharp ends 11 years at the club to sign for Oldham Athletic in a £500,000 deal, with Paul Warhurst heading out of Boundary Park in a £750,000 move to Sheffield Wednesday.
12 July 1991 – Ron Atkinson looks to the future when he signs 18-year-old defender Ugo Ehiogu for Aston Villa from West Bromwich Albion for £40,000. Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Peter Shreeves leaves Watford to return to White Hart Lane as a coach, having worked at Vicarage Road on the coaching staff of former Tottenham player Steve Perryman.
19 July 1991 – Liverpool break the national transfer record by paying Derby County £2.9million for striker Dean Saunders.
23 July 1991 – Nottingham Forest pay a club record £2million for Millwall striker Teddy Sheringham, who was the Football League's top goalscorer last season. Amstrad computer tycoon Alan Sugar joins forces with Tottenham Hotspur manager Terry Venables to take the club over; Venables becomes chief executive and hands over management of the first team to Peter Shreeves, who only returned to the club as a coach eleven days ago.
25 July 1991 – 37-year-old midfielder Jimmy Case moves from Southampton on a free transfer to AFC Bournemouth, who sell defender Shaun Teale to Aston Villa for £300,000. Second Division Middlesbrough sign striker Paul Wilkinson from Watford for £500,000.
1 August 1991 – Liverpool sell Peter Beardsley to Everton for £1million. Tottenham Hotspur defender Mitchell Thomas moves to West Ham for £500,000, and announce that injured midfielder Paul Gascoigne is set to move to Italian club Lazio at the end of the season.
6 August 1991 – Keith Curle becomes the most expensive defender in Britain when he joins Manchester City from Wimbledon for £2.5million. Kevin Richardson becomes the third player to leave Real Sociedad for an English club this summer when he is sold to Aston Villa for £450,000.
9 August 1991 - Within 48 hours of leaving Exeter City, Terry Cooper is named as the new Birmingham City manager.
13 August 1991 – Mark Walters follows his former Rangers manager Graeme Souness to Liverpool in a £1.25million deal. Don Howe's brief return to Wimbledon's coaching staff ends when he announces his decision to leave the club with immediate effect, in response to manager Ray Harford's decision to resign from the club within the next six months. West Ham United prepare for their First Division comeback by signing striker Mike Small from Brighton & Hove Albion for £400,000.
15 August 1991 – Sheffield Wednesday pay a club record £1.2million for Rangers and England goalkeeper Chris Woods, while Liverpool sell defender Gary Gillespie to Celtic for £925,000 and Everton's Stuart McCall heads to Rangers for £1.2million. England winger Trevor Steven, formerly of Everton, becomes the most expensive English footballer in a £5million move to French league champions Marseille, where he will play alongside fellow England international Chris Waddle.
16 August 1991 – Tottenham Hotspur pay a club record £2.2million for Chelsea and Scotland striker Gordon Durie, while Coventry City pay a tiny fraction of that fee when signing Zimbabwean striker Peter Ndlovu from Highlanders for £10,000.
17 August 1991 – The Football League season begins. Arsenal begin their defence of the First Division title with a 1–1 home draw against Queens Park Rangers. Manchester United beat newly promoted Notts County 2–0 at Old Trafford. Barnet begin their Football League career with a 7-4 home defeat by Crewe Alexandra in the Fourth Division.
30 August 1991 – Former Tottenham Hotspur full-back Cyril Knowles dies of cancer aged 47. Three months ago he retired as manager of Hartlepool United shortly after taking them to promotion to the Third Division.
31 August 1991 – August draws to a close with Manchester United top of the First Division with 11 points from their first five games. Liverpool, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur occupy the next four places, while winless Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Luton Town occupy the bottom three places in the top flight. Ipswich Town lead the way in the Second Division, with Bristol City second. The playoff zone is occupied by Cambridge United, Tranmere Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City. Nottingham Forest sign winger Kingsley Black from Luton Town for £1.5million.
2 September 1991 – Don Mackay becomes the first managerial casualty of the season when he is sacked by Blackburn Rovers after more than four years in charge. Coach Tony Parkes is appointed caretaker manager. Within hours of his dismissal, Graham Carr resigns from Fourth Division side Maidstone United (deep in debt and reportedly at threat of closure in only their third season as a Football League club) after eight months at the helm, with the club's general manager, Bill Williams taking over as first-team manager for the third time in his career.
7 September 1991 – 17-year-old winger Ryan Giggs scores his first league goal of the season in Manchester United's 3–0 home win over Norwich City. A mere 3,231 fans watch Wimbledon's home game against Luton Town - the lowest postwar attendance at a First Division game.
11 September 1991 - A year into his reign as England manager, Graham Taylor sees the national side lose for the first time when they go down 1-0 to a reunified Germany side in a friendly at Wembley.
18 September 1991 – Dean Saunders becomes the first player to score four goals in a European game for Liverpool as they defeat Kuusysi Lahti 6–1 at Anfield in the UEFA Cup first round first leg. Alan Smith of Arsenal also scores four in a 6-1 European win - at home to Austria Vienna in the European Cup first round first leg. There is misery for Liverpool, however, as John Barnes suffers an achilles injury and is ruled out until the new year.
23 September 1991 – Arsenal pay a club record £2.5million for Crystal Palace striker Ian Wright. Palace manager Steve Coppell uses the windfall from the transfer to pay Palace's record fee of £1.8million for Sunderland striker Marco Gabbiadini.
30 September 1991 – Manchester United lead the First Division by six points from Leeds United at the end of September. Sheffield United are bottom of the table, with only one league win from eleven games. The Second Division is being led by a thriving Middlesbrough side in their first season under the management of Lennie Lawrence. Ipswich Town occupy second place. Swindon Town, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City and Cambridge United occupy the playoff zone.
1 October 1991 - Leeds United suffer their first league defeat of the season when they are beaten 1–0 at Selhurst Park by Crystal Palace.
8 October 1991 – John Impey, who won promotion to the Third Division with Torquay United just weeks after his appointment as manager last season, is sacked after six months in the job after his side lost seven out of eight games in the league. 28-year-old player Wes Saunders is appointed caretaker manager – making him the youngest manager in the Football League. Winger Jimmy Carter moves from Liverpool to Arsenal for £500,000.
12 October 1991 – Kenny Dalglish, who has recently returned to management with Second Division Blackburn Rovers, eight months after leaving Liverpool, has a dream start with his new team, who crush struggling Plymouth Argyle 5–2.
16 October 1991 – England beat Turkey 1–0 at Wembley in their penultimate 1992 European Championship qualifying game. Wales lose 4-1 to Germany in a game in which Dean Saunders is sent off and Ryan Giggs, still not 18 until the end of next month, becomes their youngest full international.
17 October 1991 – Everton buy 20-year-old defender Matthew Jackson from Luton Town for £600,000.
24 October 1991 – Justin Fashanu signs a trial contract with Newcastle United, who are battling against relegation from the Second Division. Kenny Dalglish makes his first signing for Blackburn Rovers, signing defender Alan Wright from Blackpool F.C. for £500,000 - a record fee for a Fourth Division player.
26 October 1991 – The last unbeaten start in the First Division ends when Manchester United lose their 13th game of the season 3–2 at Sheffield Wednesday. They also surrender their leadership of the First Division, which is taken by Leeds United after their 1-0 win over Oldham Athletic - the first time that Leeds have led the English league since they won the league title in Don Revie's last season as manager in 1974.
29 October 1991 - York City appoint John Ward as their new manager. The club had initially been set to appoint Billy McEwan as successor to John Bird, but a dispute over wages and the personal recommendation of England manager Graham Taylor resulted in outgoing City chairman Michael Sinclair appointing Ward in his last major decision before handing his own role over to Douglas Craig.
31 October 1991 – The Second Division promotion race is still led by Middlesbrough, but second place is now occupied by a Cambridge United side in the hunt for a unique third successive promotion. The play-off zone is occupied by Charlton Athletic, Swindon Town, Ipswich Town and Derby County.
2 November 1991 – Billy Bremner is sacked as manager of Fourth Division strugglers Doncaster Rovers, who are kept off the bottom of the Football League only by an Aldershot side in massive financial turmoil. The club's youth coach, Steve Beaglehole replaces Bremner as manager.
4 November 1991 - Bryan Robson announces his retirement from international football after 90 full caps for England.
8 November 1991 – Kenny Dalglish's spending spree at Blackburn Rovers begins with a £700,000 move to bring defender Colin Hendry back to the club from Manchester City.
9 November 1991 – Cambridge United move to the top of the Second Division for the first time in their history after beating Ipswich Town 2-1, putting themselves on course for a unique third successive promotion.
11 November 1991 - Aldershot manager Brian Talbot resigns with the club well adrift at the bottom of the Fourth Division. With the club in no position to pay for a new manager, team captain Ian McDonald is appointed as player-manager for the rest of the season.
12 November 1991 – First Division strugglers Notts County pay a club record £750,000 for Sheffield United striker Tony Agana.
14 November 1991 - Blackburn Rovers pay a club record £1.1million for Everton striker Mike Newell. The Football Association confirms that the Premier League will open next season with 22 clubs.
17 November 1991 – Gary Lineker announces that he will retire from international football after the European Championships. The first top flight Steel City derby for almost a quarter of a century sees Sheffield United beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at Bramall Lane.
23 November 1991 – Justin Fashanu signs for Torquay United as manager Wes Saunders looks to boost his side's hopes of Third Division survival.
28 November 1991 – Gordon Cowans leaves Aston Villa for the second time, this time signing for Blackburn Rovers in a £200,000 deal. His place in the Villa midfield is filled by Garry Parker from Nottingham Forest for £650,000.
30 November 1991 – Leeds United remain First Division leaders, with Manchester United still one point behind and with a game in hand. Third-placed Manchester City are eight points adrift of top place. Sheffield United, meanwhile, have climbed away from last place, and are now just one place and two points adrift of safety, ahead of Luton Town and Southampton. Cambridge United remain top of the Second Division, with Middlesbrough in second place. Derby County, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and Leicester City occupy the play-off places.
6 December 1991 – Chelsea sign striker Clive Allen from Manchester City for £250,000.
9 December 1991 - Bill Fox, president of the Football League and chairman of Blackburn Rovers, dies after a short illness at the age of 63. Former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Frank Stapleton moves into management as player-manager of Third Division side Bradford City.
11 December 1991 – Millwall receive the go-ahead to relocate to a new 20,000-seat stadium at Bermondsey. Construction work is expected to begin within the next few months and chairman Reg Burr is hoping to have his team playing in their new stadium for the 1993–94 season.
13 December 1991 - Liverpool pay Arsenal £1.5million for midfielder Michael Thomas, the player whose last minute goal deprived them of the league title in 1989.
14 December 1991 - Blackburn Rovers move to the top of the Second Division after beating Bristol Rovers.
21 December 1991 – Ian Wright scores all four of Arsenal's goals as they beat Everton 4–2 in the league at Highbury.
23 December 1991 – Manchester City pay Liverpool £900,000 for Steve McMahon.
26 December 1991 – Southend United take over at the top of the Second Division in their first season at this level, but within hours are displaced by Blackburn Rovers. In the First Division, Manchester United defeat Oldham Athletic 6–3 at Boundary Park, Leeds United are held 3–3 at home by Southampton, and Arsenal lose 1–0 at struggling Luton Town.
29 December 1991 – Manchester United remain top of the First Division with a 1–1 draw at home to their nearest rivals Leeds United, who have now drawn four league games in a row.
31 December 1991 – The year draws to a close with Manchester United top of the table by two points and with two games in hand over second-placed Leeds United. Their closest challengers, Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City, are nine points behind the leaders. The relegation zone is occupied by Southampton, West Ham United and Luton Town. In the Second Division, Cambridge United have restored their lead at the top, level on points with Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough. Southend United and Leicester City, just one point behind them, complete the top six.
1 January 1992 – Manchester United suffer a shock 4–1 home defeat by Queens Park Rangers, with Dennis Bailey scoring a hat-trick. Leeds United overtake them at the top of the First Division with a 3–1 away win over relegation-threatened West Ham United. Gary Lineker receives an OBE and Tom Finney an MBE in the New Year's Honours.
2 January 1992 - Maidstone United manager Bill Williams admits defeat in his attempt to revive the club's fortunes and reverts to his previous position as general manager. Williams' assistant Clive Walker is left with the task of turning things around for the club, who are kept off the foot of the table only by the shockingly awful seasons being experienced by Aldershot and Doncaster Rovers.
4 January 1992 – Arsenal, defending league champions, lose 2–1 at Wrexham, who finished bottom of the Fourth Division last season, in the FA Cup third round. Non-league Farnborough Town hold West Ham United to a 1-1 draw at Upton Park, while Crystal Palace are beaten 1-0 by Leicester City.
10 January 1992 – Notts County sell Paul Rideout to Rangers for £500,000.
14 January 1992 - Holders Tottenham Hotspur are knocked out of the FA Cup by Aston Villa in a third round replay. West Ham United struggle to a 1-0 win in their replay against Farnborough Town.
15 January 1992 - Manchester United defeat Leeds United 1-0 in the FA Cup third round showdown between the leading two teams in the First Division.
19 January 1992 – Wimbledon sack Peter Withe after three months as manager and replace him with reserve team manager Joe Kinnear.
30 January 1992 - Derby County pay a club record £1.2million for striker Marco Gabbiadini, just four months after he joined Crystal Palace.
31 January 1992 – Manchester United are still top of the First Division as January ends, with a two-point lead over Leeds United and a game in hand. After four straight league wins, Liverpool are third, but remain eight points off top place. Luton Town, Southampton and West Ham United occupy the bottom three places. The Second Division promotion race is being led by Blackburn Rovers, while Southend United's unlikely promotion challenge continues as they occupy second place. Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Cambridge United lie in the play-off zone. French striker Eric Cantona rejects the offer of a contract with Sheffield Wednesday after a trial period.
4 February 1992 - Wrexham's FA Cup run ends with a 1–0 defeat at home to West Ham United in their fourth round replay. Manchester United sell out-of-favour goalkeeper Jim Leighton, who has played for the first team just once in the last 18 months, to Dundee for £250,000.
5 February 1992 – Swansea City winger Alan Davies, 30, is found dead in his car near his home in South Wales. Davies played for Manchester United in the 1983 FA Cup final, and later played for Newcastle United and Bradford City. Southampton knock Manchester United out of the FA Cup on penalties in a fourth round replay. Teddy Sheringham scores a hat-trick for Nottingham Forest as they beat Crystal Palace 4–2 in the League Cup quarter-final at the City Ground.
6 February 1992 – Newcastle United, second from bottom in the Second Division, sack manager Ossie Ardiles after 11 months in charge and replace him with former striker Kevin Keegan. Eric Cantona signs for Leeds United from Nîmes Olympique in a £900,000 deal after turning down a contract with Sheffield Wednesday.
7 February 1992 – Former Liverpool and England midfielder Terry McDermott is appointed as Kevin Keegan's assistant. Liverpool legend Bob Paisley resigns from the club's board of directors, ending a 53-year association with the club.
8 February 1992 – Kevin Keegan starts his managerial career on a high note as Newcastle beat Bristol City 3–0 at home. Arsenal end a seven-match winless run in the league with a 1–0 win at Notts County, but Leeds United's title bid takes a blow when they suffer a 2–0 defeat at Oldham Athletic.
9 February 1992 – With the club slipping back into the relegation zone after an initial run of good form under caretaker manager Wes Saunders, Third Division strugglers Torquay United take the bold move of appointing Yugoslav manager Ivan Golac until the end of the season.
13 February 1992 – Second Division strugglers Plymouth Argyle sack manager David Kemp.
15 February 1992 – Nottingham Forest thrash Bristol City 4–1 at the City Ground in the FA Cup fifth round. Chelsea beat Sheffield United 1-0 in a match in which Vinnie Jones is booked inside the first ten seconds of play. In the league, Arsenal keep their fading title hopes alive with a 7–1 home win over fellow outsiders Sheffield Wednesday at Highbury.
21 February 1992 - Aston Villa pay a club record £1.7million for Oldham Athletic defender Earl Barrett.
26 February 1992 – In a set of high-scoring FA Cup fifth round replays, Southampton beat Bolton Wanderers 3–2 at The Dell, Sunderland beat West Ham United 3–2 at Upton Park, Liverpool beat Ipswich Town 3–2 at Anfield and Portsmouth beat Middlesbrough 4–2 at Ayresome Park.
28 February 1992 – 20-year-old Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich joins Aston Villa after seven months back in his homeland following his departure from Manchester United. He joins Les Sealey, who joined Villa from Old Trafford last summer, at Villa Park. After a loan spell, Norwich City midfielder Tim Sherwood makes his move to Blackburn Rovers permanent for £500,000.
29 February 1992 – February ends with Manchester United holding a two-point advantage over second placed Leeds United. Southampton, West Ham United and Luton Town remain in the bottom three. Blackburn Rovers still lead the race for a place in the new Premier League, while Ipswich Town are second . The play-off zone is occupied by Cambridge United, Southend United, Middlesbrough and Derby County. In the Third Division, referee Roger Wiseman is assaulted by a spectator during the Birmingham City–Stoke City promotion clash at St Andrew's.
2 March 1992 – Peter Shilton, at 42 the oldest player in the Football League, departs from Derby County after nearly five years to become player-manager of Plymouth Argyle. Birmingham City chairman Samesh Kumar vows to impose life bans on anyone convicted of taking part in the pitch invasion against Stoke City.
4 March 1992 - Welsh international midfielder Joey Jones, who plays for Wrexham at club level and turned out for Liverpool earlier in his career, announces his retirement as a player on his 37th birthday.
8 March 1992 - Liverpool's bid for a fifth FA Cup triumph remains on track as they beat Aston Villa 1–0 at Anfield.
9 March 1992 - Caretaker manager Joe Kinnear is placed in charge of Wimbledon on a permanent basis.
10 March 1992 - Sunderland hold Chelsea to a 1–1 draw at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup sixth round. In the top-flight, Arsenal beat Oldham 2–1 while Steve Cherry is Notts' hero at home to Villa: the County custodian saves Steve Staunton's penalty kick in a goalless draw that sees the Nottingham club pull out of the bottom three. In Second Division action, league leaders Blackburn Rovers draw 2–2 with play-off hopefuls Southend United, while Newcastle United win away at high-flying Cambridge United.
11 March 1992 – Queens Park Rangers inflict another 4–1 defeat on a title-chasing side, this time Leeds United at Loftus Road. Derby County spend £1.3million on Leicester City striker Paul Kitson, while Manchester City sign Dutch defender Michel Vonk from HVV for £500,000.
12 March 1992 – Derby County spend another £1.3million on another striker – Tommy Johnson from Notts County - while Arsenal sell 20-year-old striker Andy Cole to Bristol City for £500,000 after a loan spell.
14 March 1992 – Lee Chapman scores a hat-trick as Leeds United win 5–1 at home to Wimbledon, with Eric Cantona scoring twice. Manchester United beat Sheffield United 2–1 at Bramall Lane.
18 March 1992 – The FA Cup quarter-final replays see Norwich City beat Southampton 2–1 and Sunderland beat Chelsea 2–1. Bruce Rioch resigns after two years as Millwall manager to be replaced in the manager's seat by 35-year-old defender Mick McCarthy. In the Fourth Division, bottom club Aldershot are wound up in the High Court with debts in excess of £1million, but are given seven days to appeal against the verdict and have been allowed to continue in the Football League. Liverpool's UEFA Cup run ends in a 4–0 aggregate semi-final defeat by Genoa of Italy, who beat them 2–0 in both legs.
20 March 1992 - Derby County break their transfer record again by signing Notts County striker Tommy Johnson for £1.3million after a loan spell.
23 March 1992 - Kenny Dalglish takes his Blackburn Rovers spending to £5million in five months with a £750,000 move for Swindon Town striker Duncan Shearer.
25 March 1992 – Aldershot go out of business and are forced to resign from the Football League. Their resignation disrupts the League's plans to expand to 94 clubs for the following season, and it is announced that rather than promoting a second club from the Football Conference (or relegating the bottom-placed Fourth Division club to restore the League to 92 members), the following two seasons will proceed with a 93-club Football League, with further discussions on league reconstruction to take place for the 1994-95 season. Aldershot's resignation seemingly condemns Doncaster Rovers to the humiliation of finishing in bottom place, as they are now nine points adrift of second-bottom Carlisle United.
27 March 1992 – Clive Allen's three-month spell at Chelsea ends with a £275,000 move to relegation-threatened West Ham United.
29 March 1992 – Newcastle United's Second Division survival bid is given a major boost when they beat local rivals Sunderland 1–0 at home. In the last-ever Full Members Cup final, Nottingham Forest beat Southampton 3-2 after extra time at Wembley, but lose defender Stuart Pearce for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
31 March 1992 – The month ends with Manchester United still top of the league, now one point ahead of Leeds United and with a game in hand after two Paul Ince goals help them beat Norwich City 3–1 at Carrow Road. Luton Town and West Ham United remain in the relegation zone, and have been joined by Notts County. Four successive wins in March have seen Southampton move five points clear of danger. Ipswich Town have displaced Blackburn Rovers at the top of the Second Division, with the play-off zone occupied by Cambridge United, Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Charlton Athletic.
3 April 1992 - Northampton Town go into receivership with debts of £1million; the club's administrators sack manager Theo Foley.
5 April 1992 – Sunderland beat Norwich City 1–0 to reach their first FA Cup final since 1973, while Portsmouth draw 1–1 after extra time with Liverpool, whose manager Graeme Souness is rushed to hospital just hours after the game to undergo an emergency heart operation.
7 April 1992 – Ryan Giggs scores against Manchester City in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford for the second season running, but this time United fail to take all the points as their neighbours hold them to a 1–1 draw.
11 April 1992 – Paul Merson scores a hat-trick in Arsenal's 4–1 home win over Crystal Palace. Leeds United beat Chelsea 3–0.
12 April 1992 – Manchester United defeat Nottingham Forest 1–0 in the League Cup final thanks to a Brian McClair goal in the first half.
13 April 1992 – Liverpool defeat Portsmouth on penalties after their FA Cup semi-final replay ends in a goalless draw.
18 April 1992 – Liverpool hold Leeds United to a goalless draw at Anfield. Manchester United fail to take advantage as they can only manage a 1–1 draw at Luton Town, but remain two points clear at the top with a game in hand.
20 April 1992 – Ian Wright scores twice as Arsenal beat Liverpool 4–0 at Highbury. Leeds United are one point ahead of Manchester United, who have a game in hand, after a 2–0 home win over relegation threatened Coventry City, while Alex Ferguson's team lose 2–1 at home to Nottingham Forest. Sheffield Wednesday maintain their slim chance of snatching the title by recording a third straight victory, and are now just three points off top spot.
21 April 1992 - Businessman Max Griggs forms a new team, Rushden & Diamonds, from a merger of Rushden Town and Irthlingborough Diamonds, to play in the Midland Division of the Southern League next season.
22 April 1992 – Manchester United's title hopes are left hanging by a thread when they lose 1–0 to West Ham United at Upton Park. They remain one point behind leaders Leeds United with two games remaining.
25 April 1992 - Newly promoted clubs West Ham United and Notts County are both relegated from the First Division. Sheffield Wednesday miss the chance to join Leeds United at the top as they draw 1-1 with Crystal Palace.
26 April 1992 – Leeds United are confirmed as league champions for the first time in eighteen years, and just two years after winning promotion, thanks to a 3-2 win over Sheffield United and Manchester United's 2–0 defeat at Liverpool.
29 April 1992 - After guiding Sunderland to the FA Cup final, Malcolm Crosby receives the manager's job on a permanent basis.
30 April 1992 – Ipswich Town have sealed promotion to the new Premier League as Second Division champions, ending six years outside the top flight. Leicester City now occupy the second automatic promotion place, but face competition from Derby County and Middlesbrough. Cambridge United and Charlton Athletic complete the top six.
1 May 1992 – Dave Stringer resigns as manager of Norwich City.
2 May 1992 – Leeds United finish their title winning campaign with a 1–0 home win over Norwich City. Manchester United finish second after beating Tottenham Hotspur 3–1, with Gary Lineker scoring a consolation goal for the North London side to finish the season with 28 league goals. It is the last game to be played in front of the Stretford End terrace before it is replaced by an all-seater stand. Arsenal's Ian Wright leapfrogs Lineker as the First Division's top scorer, with 29 goals, by scoring a hat-trick against Southampton in a 5–1 win at Highbury, in the last game to be played in front of the existing North Bank. Luton Town's final game of the season ends in defeat by relegated Notts County, ending their 10-year stay in the top flight. Coventry City survive by two points despite losing to Aston Villa. In his final game for West Ham United, Frank McAvennie scores a hat-trick for the relegated East London side in their 3–0 home win over Nottingham Forest. Middlesbrough beat Derby County and Leicester City to the second automatic promotion place in the Second Division. Blackburn Rovers creep into the play-offs at the expense of Charlton Athletic, while Plymouth Argyle, Brighton and Port Vale are relegated. Brentford win the Third Division title, and Burnley finish top of the Fourth Division. At the foot of the Football League, Doncaster Rovers cap off a stunning run of results with a last-day victory over Maidstone United, dumping Carlisle United to the foot of the table, though there is no consequence for finishing bottom this season.
3 May 1992 - Gordon Strachan announces his retirement from international action with Scotland.
5 May 1992 - It is announced that England will host the 1996 UEFA European Football Championships. Bobby Gould is sacked as manager of West Bromwich Albion after they just missed out on the Third Division play-offs in their first season at this level.
8 May 1992 – Phil Neal, the former Liverpool captain, is sacked after more than six years as manager of Bolton Wanderers. Neal, 41, oversaw Bolton's relegation to the Fourth Division in 1987 but won them promotion after just one season, and last season he took them to the brink of promotion to the Second Division. However, he could only manage them to 13th place in this season's Third Division. Two more Third Division clubs make managerial appointments on the same day, as Ossie Ardiles returns to management with West Bromwich Albion, and Ivan Golac steps down as Torquay United manager after failing to keep them in the division. With Wes Saunders declining the chance to return to the Torquay manager's job on a permanent basis, the club appoint another senior player, Paul Compton as manager.
9 May 1992 – Liverpool lift the FA Cup for the fifth time in their history thanks to a 2–0 win over Sunderland at Wembley. The goals come from Michael Thomas and Ian Rush, who scores for a record fifth time in the final.
15 May 1992 – Rob Jones pulls out of contention for a place in England's European Championship squad due to a shin splints injury. Peter Shreeves is dismissed as team manager of Tottenham Hotspur after one disappointing season back at the helm.
18 May 1992 – Graham Taylor announces England's 20-man squad for the European Championships.
19 May 1992 – Portsmouth accept a £700,000 offer from Liverpool for defender John Beresford.
21 May 1992 – Having secured Newcastle's survival in the Second Division, Kevin Keegan signs a three-year contract to become manager on a permanent basis.
23 May 1992 – Aldershot Town are formed in place of the bankrupt Aldershot FC, and are applying for a place in next season's Isthmian League Third Division. Blackpool become the first team to win promotion on penalties when they defeat Scunthorpe United 4–3 on penalties after a 1–1 draw in the Fourth Division playoff final.
24 May 1992 – Peterborough United win the Third Division playoff final with a 2–1 win over Stockport County to become founder members of the new Division One and reach the second tier of the English league for the first time in their 32 years as a Football League side.
25 May 1992 – Blackburn Rovers return to the top flight of English football after a 26-year exile after beating Leicester City in the Second Division playoff final. The only goal of the game is a penalty by former Leicester striker Mike Newell. Lee Dixon becomes the second right-back to pull out of the England squad, causing Graham Taylor to call upon the Rangers defender Gary Stevens.
27 May 1992 – Bobby Gould is appointed joint manager of Coventry City alongside Don Howe, who was his assistant when he managed Wimbledon to FA Cup glory in 1988. Derby County, who missed out on a place in the new Premier League after defeat in the playoffs, prepare for another promotion push by signing midfielder Mark Pembridge from Luton Town for £1.25million. Tottenham Hotspur announce that Doug Livermore will be taking charge of the first team from next season with Ray Clemence as his assistant, while chief executive Terry Venables will be involved in the coaching side of the club again.
29 May 1992 – Bruce Rioch returns to football as manager of Bolton Wanderers.
1 June 1992 – Tottenham Hotspur sign 19-year-old winger Darren Anderton from Portsmouth for £1.7million. Mike Walker is promoted from reserve team manager to succeed Dave Stringer as manager of Norwich City.
2 June 1992 - Demolition work begins on Manchester United's famous Stretford End, to make way for an all-seater replacement which will cost £12million to build and be completed next year.
3 June 1992 – England lose a third right-back when Gary Stevens suffers a stress fracture in a 2–1 friendly win over Finland in Helsinki. Their left winger John Barnes ruptures his Achilles tendon and is also ruled out of the European Championships.
5 June 1992 – England are given special permission to make additions to their European Championship squad after the official deadline, selecting Manchester City defender Keith Curle and QPR winger Andy Sinton as late additions to his squad.
9 June 1992 - England midfielder David Platt leaves Bari after one year and agrees to join their Italian league rivals Juventus for £6.5million. Harry Redknapp ends eight years as manager of Bournemouth and is succeeded by Tony Pulis. Aston Villa assistant manager Andy Gray resigns from the position to become a full-time pundit for Sky Sports in their coverage of the new Premier League.
10 June 1992 - More than a year after first trying to sign him, Lazio finally sign Paul Gascoigne from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £6.5million - a record sale for an English club and the joint highest fee for an English player following David Platt's transfer between two Italian clubs yesterday.
12 June 1992 – England are refused permission to make a further addition to their European Championship squad, after Mark Wright was ruled out by injury and manager Graham Taylor had wanted to select Tony Adams in his place.
14 June 1992 – England draw 0–0 with France in their second European Championship group game.
16 June 1992 – Kevin Keegan continues to plot Newcastle United's revival bid by signing midfielder Paul Bracewell from Sunderland for £250,000.
17 June 1992 – Despite taking an early lead thanks to David Platt, England bow out of the European Championships after two second-half goals put them 2–1 down to Sweden in Stockholm.
24 June 1992 – Don Howe resigns as joint manager of Coventry City, leaving Bobby Gould in sole charge.
- 12 July 1991 - Joe Robinson, 72, kept goal for Blackpool in the 1948 FA Cup Final defeat by Manchester United.
- 15 August 1991 - Ken Gunn, 82, played at wing-half for Swansea Town, Port Vale and Northampton in the 1930s.
- 18 August 1991 - Les McDowall, 78, played 117 league games and scored eight goals at wing-half for Manchester City between 1937 and 1949, having started his career at Sunderland. His career was disrupted by World War II. He then managed City for 13 years from 1950 to 1963, guiding them to FA Cup glory in 1956.
- 30 August 1991 – Cyril Knowles, 47, who played at left back for Tottenham and England during the late 1960s and early 1970s, died of brain cancer. Achieved Fourth Division promotion success with Darlington in 1985 and Hartlepool United in 1991.
- 27 September 1991 – Joe Hulme, 87, was a right-winger for Arsenal in Herbert Chapman's great interwar team. After the war, he was the manager of Tottenham Hotspur for four years.
- 29 September 1991 - Gordon Clayton, 51, who kept goal for Manchester United twice in the late 1950s, had only been appointed assistant manager of GM Vauxhall Conference side Northwich Victoria a few weeks before his sudden death.
- 5 November 1991 – Robert Maxwell, 68, Former Chairman of Oxford United & Derby County & Media Proprietor. Died after presumably falling overboard his luxury Yacht Lady Ghislaine.
- 12 November 1991 - Billy Behan, 80, made a solitary appearance in goal for Manchester United in the Second Division in March 1934. He spent most of his playing career in his native Ireland, where he later spent many years working as a referee.
- 19 November 1991 - Jackie Stamps, 72, scored 100 league goals for Derby County between 1939 and 1950 and scored twice in their 1946 FA Cup Final triumph, being prevented from enjoying more success at the club due to World War II.
- 4 December 1991 – Cliff Bastin, 79, played centre-forward during Arsenal's hugely successful pre Second World War side and set a goalscoring record for the club which would be unbroken for some 60 years. Had played for Exeter City early in his career and a new stand at the club's St James Park ground was named after him.
- 1 January 1992 - Jack Badham, 72, played 175 league games as a left-back or left-half for Birmingham City between 1946 and 1957.
- 13 January 1992 – Mick Leach, 44, who died of cancer, played more than 300 games for Queens Park Rangers between 1965 and 1979. He helped them achieve their highest-ever league finish when they finished runners-up in the league title race at the end of the 1975–76 season, and continued at the club for the next three seasons before finishing his career with Cambridge United.
- 15 January 1992 - John Beattie, 79, played 278 games in the English and Scottish leagues, starting out in his native Scotland at Aberdeen in 1931 before turning out for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Huddersfield Town and Grimsby Town, his senior career being effectively ended by World War II.
- 4 February 1992 – Alan Davies, 30, who played on the left wing for Manchester United in their 1983 FA Cup triumph, was found dead in his car in South Wales. He had committed suicide. At the time of his death, Davies was employed by Swansea City and his other clubs had included Newcastle United and Bradford City.
- 29 February 1992 - Willie Fagan, 75, began his playing career in his native Scotland with Celtic before moving south of the border to Preston in 1936, moving to Liverpool a year later and making 158 league appearances as a forward, scoring 47 goals, before ending his senior career at Anfield in 1952. He collected a league title winner's medal with Liverpool in 1947 but was prevented from enjoying more success on Merseyside due to his career being disrupted by World War II.
- 2 March 1992 - Jackie Mudie, 61, was capped 17 times for Scotland in the 1950s, scoring nine goals from centre-forward, but spent his whole senior playing career in England, including a 14-year spell at Blackpool beginning in 1947 which yielded 144 league goals and an FA Cup winner's medal in 1953. On leaving Bloomfield Road in 1961, he signed for Stoke City and finally retired as a player at Port Vale in 1967, where he had been joint manager alongside Stanley Matthews for two years. He died after a two-year battle against cancer.
- 18 March 1992 – Jack Kelsey, 63, kept goal for Arsenal and Wales during the postwar years and played until his career was ended by a back injury suffered against Brazil in 1962.
- April 1992 – Tommy Wilson, 61, scored for Nottingham Forest in their second FA Cup victory – when they beat Luton Town in the 1959 final at Wembley.
- 25 May 1992 – Daniel Yorath, 15, son of Wales manager Terry, collapsed and died as a result of a rare heart condition, just after joining the Leeds United youth team.
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