1950 – 1980

1950: Portsmouth win the title for the second successive year, edging the previous seasons cup winners Wolves to the trophy on goal difference. Portsmouth side is largely helped by many post war ex-serviceman stationed in the town with the pick of the bunch joining the club. Only six points separating the top nine teams. Birmingham (bottom) and Manchester City are relegated to be replaced with Second Division Champions Tottenham and runners up Sheffield Wednesday for the following years campaign. Doncaster win Division Three North whilst Notts County, for the second time win the Third Division South title.

In the FA Cup Arsenal win the final over Liverpool 2-0 in a game made famous for the Gunners wearing tangerine coloured shirts. Reg Lewis scoring both the goals in front of a mammoth 127,000. England enter the World Cup for the first time and embarrassingly lose 1-0 to minnows USA in the Qualifying stages. The fourth competition held in Brazil is renamed the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark 25 years of his presidency.

Uruguay against all odds win the first and only tournament not to have an outright final. They beat hosts Brazil who only needed a draw in their final group match, Brazil ended as runners up with a better record than Sweden and Spain, finishing third and fourth respectively in the final group stage. The 1950/51 campaign sees the football league grow from 88 clubs to 92. Two each of the four extra sides playing in the North and South sections of Division Three.

1951: Tottenham Hotspur become only the third team to win the First Division Championship following promotion the season before, after winning the Second Division title. Spurs win there first Football League Trophy, four points over second placed Manchester United. Everton, the last team to match Spurs achievements are relegated along with Sheffield Wednesday. Preston and Manchester City are promoted in their place. Rotherham were winners of the Third Division North whilst Nottingham Forest won Division Three South. The FA Cup was won by Newcastle United who beat Blackpool 2-0. Jackie Milburn the hero with two second half goals.

1952: A role reversal to the year previous as Matt Busby’s Manchester United fend off Tottenham Hotspur to win the league by four points. Huddersfield and Fulham are relegated with Division Two champions Sheffield Wednesday and runners up Cardiff City gaining promotion. Lincoln City win their second Third Division North title scoring 121 goals. Plymouth Argyle win Division Three South also scoring over a ton. Newcastle United are the first side since 1891 to retain the FA Cup after Chilean striker George Robledo scores the only goal of the game against Arsenal.

1953: Arsenal win their second post war title finishing level on points with Preston North End but with a superior goal difference. Derby, finish bottom and are relegated along with neighbors Stoke City. Sheffield United are Second Division champions pipping Huddersfield Town by two points. Oldham win Division Three North and Bristol Rovers win the Southern Section. The 1953 FA Cup final is a tribute to Stanley Matthews who played in his first Wembley showpiece. Matthews was at his wizardry best but it was his England team-mate Stan Mortenson who scored a hat-trick in a thrilling 4-3 win over Bolton. Bill Perry with a last minute goal for the tangerines. In November England suffer their first defeat in a home international to foreign opposition. Hungary, the ‘Magic Magyars’ and previous years Olympic champions put six past the Wembley hosts with a side including Sandor Kocsis, Nandor Hidegkuti and Ferebc Puskas. England, who include Alf Ramsay, Billy Wright and Stanley Matthews in their side lose a record 6-3 in front of 100,000.

1954: UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is formed. Wolves, managed by Stan Cullis, are champions for the first ever time pipping hated local rivals West Bromwich Albion to the title by four points. Middlesbrough and bottom club Liverpool are relegated. Leicester edge Everton to the Second Division title despite finishing level on points. Port Vale are the winners of Division Three North, Ipswich Town are Southern Section winners. West Brom make up for missing out on the league championship by beating Preston North End in the FA Cup final 3-2. West Germany win the World Cup in Switzerland after beating huge favorites Hungary in the final 3-2. England had previously suffered their biggest ever defeat after losing to the Hungarians 7-1 in Budapest.

1955: Chelsea are Football League Champions for the first ever time. Wolves finish second with Leicester and bottom club Sheffield Wednesday (conceding 100 goals) both relegated. Birmingham and Luton are promoted with Rotherham missing out after all three top sides in the Second Division finish the season level on points. Barnlsey win Division Three North for the third time, Bristol City also win the Division Three South section for the third time. Newcastle United win the FA Cup for the third time in the decade, Jackie Milburn scoring after 45 seconds en route to a 3-1 win over Manchester City. After L’Eqiupe journalist Gabriel Hanot suggests a tournament for the winners of each major European League.

UEFA begin the European Cup with sixteen clubs from the continent entering the first competition with the final match played the following year. The Inter City Fairs Cup also gets under way with one city allowed to participate in the competition. A London XI made up of Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham and other capital club sides participates from England along with Birmingham City FC. The two legged final would be played in 1958. Floodlights are not only used for the first time in an England International against Spain at Wembley, they are also used between Brierly Hill and Kidderminster Harriers for the first time in the FA Cup.

1956: Manchester United win the title for the second time in five years, Blackpool are a long way back in second eleven points adrift of the Red Devils. Sheffield Wednesday take the place of relegated neighbors Sheffield United after finishing top of the Second Division. Runners up Leeds United are also promoted with their near rivals Huddersfield dropping down in to Division Two. Grimsby Town win Division Three North with Leyton Orient winners in the South. ITV televise a game for the first time between Bedford Town and Arsenal in the FA Cup. Manchester City eventually going on to win the trophy beating Birmingham 3-1. Real Madrid are winners of the first ever European club Cup beating French side Stade Reims 4-3 in the final. Portsmouth against Newcastle becomes the first league game to be played under floodlights. 

1957: The ‘Busby Babes’ of Manchester United win the championship for the second successive year. United also enter the European Cup for the first time but are beaten in the semi finals by Real Madrid who eventually go on to beat Fiorentina in the final. Tottenham finish as league runners up with both Cardiff and Charlton relegated. East Midlands rivals Leicester and Forest are promoted in their place, Another East Midland side Derby County win the Third Division North. Ipswich win the Southern Section Division Three. Aston Villa beat Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup final. Italian giants Juventus pay Leeds United a record £67,000 for ‘gentle giant’ Welshman John Charles. Chelsea become the first team to travel by aeroplane for a league match as they visit Newcastle. Jimmy Hill is elected as Chairman of the PFA (Professional Footballers Association).

1958: On Thursday 6th February 1958, following a European game in Belgrade, the airplane carrying the Manchester United team was attempting to take off for the third attempt following a re-fuel at Zemun Airport in Munich. In hazardous wintry conditions the aircraft slid of the runway and crashed into a fence, costing the lives of 23 of the 44 people on board. Manager Matt Busby survived, but the spine of his young title winning team didn’t, with eight players losing there lives, Roger Byrne, Geoff Bent, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones, Bill Whelan, Tommy Taylor, David Pegg and a remarkable giant of a 21 year old called Duncan Edwards, who as an England player since the age of seventeen already with 18 caps, was talked about as the best of his generation.

United’s depleted side eventually went on to reach the semi finals of the European Cup and lose an FA Cup final against Bolton Wanderers who had Nat Lofthouse scoring twice. United finished ninth in the football league way off the pace set by winners Wolverhampton Wanderers and Preston North End. West Ham and Blackburn gain promotion with Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday relegated. Scunthorpe top the Third Division North and Brighton take the South Section title. Barcelona become Inter City Fairs Cup winners beating a London XI over two legs. Fellow Spanish side Real Madrid are officially kings of Europe after winning the European Cup for the third successive year, they play an explosive brand of football to beat Milan in the final 3-2.

Kings of the World are Brazil who go on to win the FIFA World Cup after beating tournament host’s Sweden 5-2 in the final. A seventeen year old by the name of ‘Pele’ twice scoring for the first time winners. England are knocked out by USSR  in the Group Stage runners up playoffs. UEFA give the go ahead for a international continental championships with seventeen sides participating and the final four qualifying for a finals tournament in France in 1960. Everton become the first club to introduce under soil heating.

1959: Following disaster the year before, Matt Busby’s rejuvenated United side with their stylish brand of football finish second behind a strong Wolverhampton Wanderers team inspired by their captain Billy Wright (who also becomes the first player to gain 100 caps for England). Aston Villa are relegated along with Portsmouth who finish bottom of the first division. Division Two champions Sheffield Wednesday are promoted with West Londoners Fulham finishing second also.

In the first full season of four levels of leagues Plymouth are Division Three winners whilst Port Vale become the first side ever to win the Division Four championship. In the FA Cup, despite playing with ten men after goalscorer Reg Dwight had been stretchered off with a broken leg,  Nottingham Forest held on to beat Luton Town 2-1. In a repeat of the 1956 final, reigning European Champions Real Madrid beat Stade Reims 2-0 with Argentine playmaker Alfredo di Stefano scoring in his fourth consecutive final. Billy Wright plays his final and 105th game for England. The first player achieve this many games for his country.

1960: Burnley are Football League Champions for the second time, they pip Wolves by a point who make amends by winning the FA Cup 3-0 against Blackburn. Leeds and Luton are relegated with Aston Villa and Cardiff promoted in their place. Southampton are Division Three Champions, Walsall win Division Four. European super powers Real Madrid win their fifth successive title with an astonishing 7-3 final victory in front of 120,00 at Hampden Park in the European Champions Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt. Alfredo di Stefano scores a hat-trick, and nets for the fifth successive final. Ferenc Puskas hits four, Real play an attacking and entertaining game un matched by anybody on the continent.

Spanish winger Gento entertaining the crowds with his comical but effective style. Barcelona for the second successive tournament win the Inter Cities Fairs Cup after beating Birmingham City 4-1 over two legs. UEFA introduce a knockout continental competition for the winners of domestic cups called ‘The Cup Winners Cup. The UEFA European Nations Cup finals are played between Czechoslavakia, USSR, Yugoslavia and host’s France. In a straight knockout between the four sides USSR meet Yugoslavia in the final at Parc des Princes and beat them 2-1 after extra time to become first ever winners.

1961: Tottenham Hotspur become the first team since Aston Villa in 1897 to win the league and FA Cup double. Spurs, under Bill Nicolson’s stewardship and with the likes of Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay and Bobby Smith cruise home in the championship eight points ahead of Sheffield Wednesday in second. In the FA Cup final they beat Leicester City 2-0. Relegated from Division One are Newcastle and bottom side Preston. Alf Ramsay’s Ipswich are promoted pipping Sheffield United to the title. Bury are Division Three winners whilst Peterborough win Division Four.

Aston Villa take the first ever Football League Cup after beating Second Division Rotherham over two legs in the final. After five years of Madrid dominance the European Cup finally has a new champion with Portugese side Benfica beating Spanish Champions Barcelona 3-2 in the final. The Inter Cities Fairs Cup goes to Roma who beat Birmingham City on aggregate over two legs. The competition is compressed for the first time in to a season. Fiorentina beat Rangers in the first ever final of the European Cup Winners Cup over two legs.

1962: After beating Rochdale, Norwich City are the second League Cup winners in a good year for East Anglian football which see’s Ipswich Town, promoted the year before as Second Division Champions winning the First Division title for the first and only time in the clubs history. Manager Alf Ramsay guiding his side to a three point winning margin over runners up Burnley who also just miss out on the FA Cup after being beaten 3-1 by Tottenham. 1955 Champions Chelsea finish bottom and are relegated along with Cardiff City. Liverpool under the stewardship of Bill Shankly win the Second Division title with Leyton Orient also gaining promotion through a second placed finish.

In Division Three Portsmouth win the title, in the fourth division Millwall are champions. Founder members of the football league Accrington Stanley resign from the football league due to financial difficulties. Benfica are European Champions for the first time after a thrilling 5-3 win over Real Madrid. Valencia win the Fairs Cup against Spanish rivals Barcelona and in the Cup Winners Cup, Atletico Madrid beat Fiorentina 3-0. England went in to the World Cup in Chile much fancied but are beaten 3-1 by eventual winners Brazil in the Quarter Finals. Brazil going on to beat Czechoslavakia in the final by the same scoreline.

1963: Everton managed by Harry Catterick win their first league title since the war. Tottenham Hotspur finish second but become the first British team to win a European Tournament. Spurs win the European Cup Winners Cup beating Atletico Madrid 5-1 in the final. Jimmy Greaves amongst the goals with a brace. Manchester United are FA Cup winners with a 3-1 win over Leicester City. United’s rivals Manchester City are relegated from Division One despite finishing ten points above bottom club Leyton Orient in 21st. Stoke win the Second Division with Chelsea promoted after a season in out of top flight action. Northampton Town win the Third Division whilst Brentford are winners of Division Four. Birmingham City beat Aston Villa in the third Football League Cup over two legs. In Europe, AC Milan beat reigning champions Benfica in the European Cup final. Valencia win the Fairs Cup for the second time. Alf Ramsay is appointed England Manager.

1964: Promoted only two years before, Bill Shankly’s Liverpool win the First Division title fending off the challenge from runners up Manchester United and same city rivals Everton. Bolton and the bottom club, ‘Ramsayless’ Ipswich are relegated. Don Revie guides Leeds to promotion as Division Two Champions. Sunderland also go up as runners up. Coventry are Division Three winners with Gillingham winning Division Four. The FA Cup is won by West Ham United who beat Preston North End 3-2. Ronnie Boyce scoring a last minute winner. Leicester beat Stoke to win the League Cup for the first time. In Europe, Internazionale beat Real Madrid to become Champions Cup winners, emulating their same city rivals AC only a year previous. In the cup winners cup Sporting of Portugal win a replayed final against MTK. Real Zaragoza beat holders Valencia in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. Spanish joy in the European Nations Cup too as the hosts beat USSR 2-1 to record their first major competition win.

1965: Manchester United edge promoted Leeds United to the title on goal difference after a thrilling climax to the First Division season. Wolves and Birmingham are relegated in to the Second Division. Division Two winners Newcastle United and Northampton Town are promoted in to the First Division, Carlisle win Division Three, Brighton are Division Four Champions. Liverpool beat Leeds United 2-1 in extra time with strikers Roger Hunt and Ian St John scoring. In the League Cup Chelsea beat Leicester over two legs. Internazionale are Champions of Europe again, this time beating Benfica 1-0. West Ham win the Cup Winners Cup with Ferencvarosi of Hungary beating Juventus to clinch the Fairs Cup.

1966: Saturday 30th July 1966 saw England’s greatest ever football achievement, hosting the eighth FIFA World Cup tournament and winning the final 4-2 after extra time against West Germany. Manager Alf Ramsay, skipper Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Bobby Charlton and hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst along with seven other legends that day shone in the sun at Wembley Stadium, in front of her majesty the Queen, giving the country what they had wanted for so long and what they now crave for ever since. Whether the ball crossed the line or not for Hurst’s second goal was irrelevant.

England, are World Champions, legend can never take that away. The side from memory was: Gordon Banks, Ray Wilson, George Cohen, Nobby Stiles, Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Allan Ball, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, Roger Hunt. Remarkably the other members of the squad didn’t get a winners medal that day, but they were just as important for Alf Ramsay and his backroom staff. They were: Ron Springett, Peter Bonetti, Jimmy Armfield, Gerry Byrne, Ron Flowers, Norman Hunter, Terry Paine, Ian Callaghan, George Eastham, Jimmy Greaves, John Connelly.

Previous to England’s achievements that summer, In the League, Liverpool were top of the tree. They beat Leeds into second place. The Peacock’s finishing runners up for the second consecutive year. Plucky Northampton were relegated after just one year with Blackburn also, finishing bottom. Manchester City won promotion as champions of the Second Division. Southampton were second and also went up. Hull City were Division Three winners, Doncaster winning Division Four. West Brom won the last two legged League Cup final against West Ham 5-3 on aggregate. Everton won a thrilling FA Cup final 3-2 over Sheffield Wednesday. Real Madrid, after a six year absence won the European Cup 2-1 against Partizan Belgrade. Borussia Dortmund beat Liverpool in the Cup Winners Cup whilst Real Zaragoza beat Barcelona to win the Fairs Cup.

1967: Matt Busby’s Manchester United became Football League champions with a breathtaking forward trio including World Cup winner Bobby Charlton, Scot Denis Law and iconic superstar George Best. Nottingham Forest were United’s nearest league rivals finishing four points adrift of the Red Devils as runners up. Blackpool were relegated as the bottom club with Aston Villa also dropping in to Division Two which was won by Coventry who edged Midland rivals Wolves in to second spot.

QPR not content with the Third Division Championship would also go on to win the first Wembley League Cup final against West Brom. Stockport would win Division Four by five points. In the FA Cup Tottenham would beat Chelsea 2-1 in an all London affair, the first long since the football league had began. In Europe, Celtic would become Britain’s first ever European Cup winners with a side largely containing Glaswegians, they beat twice winners Internazionale in Lisbon 2-1.

After Italian legend Mazzola had earlier scored from a penalty. Goals from Tommy Gemmill and Chalmers giving Jock Stein’s side victory along with the unforgettable tag of ‘the Lisbon Lions’. Celtic’s city rivals Rangers went close in the Cup Winners Cup. Rangers lost to Bayern Munich after extra time. In a good year for Scottish Football, the National team became the first to beat World Champions England. After winning 3-2 at Wembley, joyfull scenes followed with the Scottish fans sitting on the crossbars before causing them to snap in celebration of the win. Leeds United went close to another competition after losing 2-0 on aggregate against Dinamo Zagreb in the Fairs Cup.

1968: Manchester City are Kings of England as they win their first title in 31 years. Bragging rights go to city neighbors though as United, runners up in the league end the season as Kings of Europe for the first time. Manchester United beat Benfica in the European Cup Final at Wembley after extra time. A rampant George Best giving his side the lead after Bobby Charlton’s goal had been cancelled out by Graca’s in normal time. Brian Kidd capped off a marvelous night which was also his birthday with a goal before Charlton wrapped things up. United the first English winners of the biggest prize in club football. At the other end of the scale, Sheffield United and Fulham would be relegated from Division One in to the Second tier. Ipswich win Division Two for the Second time in eight years.

QPR gain promotion for the second successive year in second place. Peterborough are relegated from Division Three after being deducted a mammoth 19 points after being caught for offering irregular bonuses to their players. Oxford win the Division. Port Vale suffer expulsion from Division Four but are immediately re-instated after allegedly making unauthorised payments. Luton are eventual champions gaining promotion to the Third Division. Leeds United take the Football League Cup with a 1-0 win against Arsenal at Wembley. In the FA Cup final a single Jeff Astle goal in extra time is enough for West Bromwich Albion to beat Everton. In Europe AC Milan are Cup Winners Cup winners, Leeds take the Fairs Cup over two legs over Ferencvarosi whilst Italy beat Yugoslavia in a replay to take the European Nations Cup.

1969: Leeds United cap a marvelous period in their history with the clubs first top flight title. Don Revie’s battling entertainers are graced with flair and physique and can mix up their style better than anyone around them. Liverpool are second finishing six points behind the champions. Relegated after a season is QPR who finish bottom. Leicester, who suffer a 1-0 FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City, also go down in to Division Two which is won by Brian Clough’s Derby County. Clough had joined the club two years earlier from Hartlepools United after having his playing career cut short due to injury.

Crystal Palace also gain promotion finishing runners up. In Division Three, Watford are champions on goal difference over Swindon Town who become shock winners of the League Cup after beating mighty Arsenal in the final 3-1 after extra time. Doncaster are winners of Division Four for the second time in four years. AC Milan are European Cup winners for the second time beating Ajax 4-1. Slovan Bratislava win the Cup Winners Cup beating Barcelona in the final. In the Fairs Cup Newcastle beat Upjesti of Hungary over two legs.

1970: Harry Catterick’s Everton are champions for the second time in eight years. A side including the likes of Ball, Kendall and Royle would win the title by a huge nine points over Leeds who’s rivalry with Chelsea in third place is fierce. They play each other in two entertaining tough encounters in the final of the FA Cup. For the first time in 58 years the final goes to a replay after a 2-2 draw at Wembley. Chelsea beat Leeds 2-1 at Old Trafford to win the cup for the first ever time. The two relegation places are filled by Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday. Huddersfield (as champions) and Blackpool are promoted from Division Two. Orient are Division Three winners with Chesterfield taking the Fourth Division title.

In the League Cup Manchester City beat West Brom in the final 3-2 after extra time and cap another good year by beating Polish side Gornik Zabrze 2-1 in the final of the Cup Winners Cup. Despite opening the scoring Celtic miss out on winning the European Cup after losing 2-1 against Dutch side Feyenoord in the final. In the Fairs Cup Arsenal beat Anderlecht 4-3 on aggregate after losing the first leg 3-1 in Brussels. Bobby Moore is controversially arrested for steeling a bracelet with no later charges before the 1970 tournament in which World Cup holders England are beaten by Brazil in Mexico but still reach the Quarter Finals of the globes biggest football competition before losing to West Germany 3-2 in extra time, after being at one stage 2-0 up.

Brazil are the team of the tournament though with flair and excellence in every attacking position. Rivelino, Tostao, Gerson, Jairzinho and of course Pele, are just a few names from arguably the greatest ever team. Italy end up on the receiving end of Brazil’s quality and style losing 4-1 in the final at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. Pele opening the scoring before Boninsegna equalised. Late goals from Gerson, Jairzinho (who scored in every game) before a Carlos Alberto screamer capped off a fantastic victory, Brazil’s third. The nation allowed to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy outright following their success. England’s world cup song ‘Back Home’ is the first football song to reach number one in the charts.

1971: Arsenal, Managed by Bertie Mee, become the first team to do the double since North London rivals Spurs ten years earlier. ‘The Gunners’ win the league by just a point above Leeds United. They win the FA Cup after beating Liverpool 2-1 after extra time in the final. Home grown Charlie George grabbing a famous long range winner before celebrating lying on the floor arms aloft. Burnley and Blackpool both suffer relegation with Leicester (champions) and Sheffield United both replacing them from Division Two. Preston win the Third Division whilst Notts County cruise to the fourh division title. In the league cup Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0.

In Europe Ajax begin their domination on Champions Cup football with a 2-0 win over Panathinaikos. Chelsea edge Real Madrid after a replay to win the Cup Winners Cup 2-1 and Leeds edge Juventus on away goals to pick up the UEFA Fairs Cup. Leeds however failed to keep the Inter Cities Fairs Cup following UEFA’s decision to rebrand the trophy. A game was played between them and Barcelona, the two clubs with the best records in the competition since it’s first match in 1955 with the Spanish giants winning 2-1 to take home the trophy permanently to the Nou Camp.

1972: Three years after Derby County are promoted, Brian Clough with his sidekick Peter Taylor leads ‘The Rams’ to the clubs first ever Football League Championship. Derby edge a whole host of clubs topped by Leeds to the title. Liverpool and Manchester City in fourth are only a point a drift of the champions. Relegated are Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield with Norwich City champions of Division Two gaining promotion along with Birmingham City. Aston Villa are Third Division Champions with Grimsby winning the Fourth Division for the fourth time.

In the League Cup, Stoke City beat Chelsea 2-1 in the final. Leeds beat Arsenal 1-0 to win the FA Cup. A Johann Cruyff inspired Ajax go on to lift the European Champions Cup 2-0. Cruyff netting both goals. The first UEFA Cup final is an all English affair for the first and only time with Tottenham Hotspur beating Wolverhampton Wanderers in the two legged final. More British joy in the Cup Winners Cup as Scottish side Rangers beat Dinamo Moscow 3-2 in the final. In the European Nations Cup held in Belgium, West Germany beat USSR 3-0.

1973: Liverpool win their eighth championship and third under Bill Shankly. His side with the formidable front pair of Keegan and Toshack end up three points clear of Arsenal who are runners up. Burnley win Division Two by a point from QPR. Both sides replacing relegated Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion. Bolton are Division Three Champions with Southport winning Division Four. In the FA Cup Second Division Sunderland cause one of the biggest upsets ever in the final as they beat Leeds United 1-0 at Wembley. Ian Porterfield’s first half goal was enough for Bob Stokoe’s side with Goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery in outstanding form to keep Leeds at bay.

Tottenham Hotspur become the first side to win the Football League Cup after beating Norwich City in the final 1-0. Ajax become the second side since Real Madrid to win three consecutive European Cup finals. The Dutch side play an attractive brand of attacking football to beat Juventus 1-0 in Belgrade. In the UEFA Cup Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach over two legs to take their first European Trophy. In the Cup Winners Cup AC Milan beat Leeds 1-0 in Salonica. Following a dispute with the board both Brian Clough and Peter Taylor walk out of Derby County. They are replaced by Dave Mackay. Bobby Moore wins his 108th and final cap for England.

1974: Leeds United lose the tag of under-achievers to win the First Division Championship by five points over Liverpool. For the first year the Football League agrees on a three up three down system between the top two Divisions. Southampton are the first side to finish third from bottom but be relegated. Manchester United and Norwich City also go down. Middlesborough gain promotion as Second Division champions. Luton and Carlisle United, who finish third, also gain promotion. In Division Three Oldham win the championship, their second ever. Peterborough win Division Four with three more sides underneath them also gaining promotion. Both Second Division Preston and Fourth Division Newport are deducted a point after fielding an ineligible player.

Also in Division Four, following Exeter City failing to turn up for a fixture at Scunthorpe. The home side were awarded two points and a win, the first and only occurrence of this kind in the league. Bishop Stortford win the last ever FA Amateur Cup final to be played. Wolves beat Manchester City 2-0 to win the League Cup for the first time. The FA Cup is won by Liverpool 3-0 over Newcastle but days later, Bill Shankly, the man who took Liverpool from the Second Division to three top flight titles a UEFA Cup and two FA Cups would retire from his position. Assistant Bob Paisley would take over. In Europe, Bayern Munich end Ajax’s reign with a 4-0 Champions Cup final win against Atletico Madrid. Feyenoord restore some Dutch pride by winning the UEFA Cup over two legs against Tottenham.

East Germans FC Madgeburg beat Italian giants AC Milan 2-0 in the final of the Cup Winners Cup. With England failing to qualify the year before, West Germany win the World Cup on their own turf as they beat the mesmerizing Dutch in the final at the Olimpiastadion. Holland play an attractive brand of ‘total football’ with Neeskens, Rep and the irrepressible Cruyff hugely influential on them reaching the final. The Germans however take the first ever modern FIFA World Cup trophy with ‘der kaiser’ Franz Beckenbauer and ‘der bomber’ Gerd Muller superb all tournament. Muller bundling home a winner in Munich to help the hosts win the final 2-1. Don Revie takes over as England Manager after 13 years in charge of Leeds. Brian Clough infamously was brought in as Revie’s predecessor but lasts just 44 days. He is replaced by former Blackpool and England legend Jimmy Armfield.

1975: Dave Mackay leads Derby County to the clubs second First Division Championship. Kevin Hector, Alan Hinton Roy McFarland and Colin Todd just a handful of stars in a great team which had been molded by Brian Clough, Clough. Liverpool finish as runners up in Bob Paisleys first full season in sole charge. Bobby Robson’s young Ipswich side are third level on points with Liverpool but with an inferior goal difference. Manchester United spend a season in the Second Division winning the league at the first attempt with Aston Villa (second) and Norwich City also promoted. Relegated and falling in the opposite direction are Luton, Chelsea and Carlisle . Blackburn are Third Division Champions with Mansfield Town Division Four winners for the first time. Aston Villa are League Cup winners for the second time whilst the FA Cup goes to West Ham who beat Second Division Fulham, Bobby Moore and all, thanks to two Alan Taylor goals. Bayern Munich beat Jimmy Armfield’s Leeds United in the final of the European Cup. Leeds are only the second English side ever to reach the European Cup final, losing by two goals to nil. In the UEFA Cup Monchengladbach beat FC Twente over two legs. Dynamo Kiev beat Ferencvarosi of Hungary in the Cup Winners Cup.

1976: Bob Paisley wins his first league championship with Liverpool. The Anfield side edge the exciting QPR to the title by a point. Liverpool also win the UEFA Cup for the second time beating Belgian side Club Brugge 4-3 on aggregate. In the Second Division, Sunderland (Champions), Bristol City and West Brom are all promoted. Wolves, Burnley and Sheffield United are relegated from Division One. Division Three winners are Hereford United, Lincoln City win Division Four. Second Division Southampton shock Manchester United to win the FA Cup 1-0 thanks to Bobby Stokes late goal. Manchester City win the League Cup beating Newcastle 2-1. Bayern Munich win the European Champions Cup for the third time in a row. They beat St Etienne of France 1-0. In the Cup Winners Cup West Ham are beaten by Anderlecht 4-2 in the final in Belgium. The European Championships is won for the first ever time via a penalty shootout. Czechoslovakia beating West Germany on penalties after a 2-2 draw in Belgrade. Yellow Cards are introduced for the first ever time.

1977: Liverpool dominate the 1977 season although losing the FA Cup final 2-1 against Manchester United, they win their second league title under Bob Paisley and become only the second English side to win the European Cup. Liverpool beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 in the final in Rome, Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and a Phil Neal penalty with Liverpool’s goals. Manchester City finish as runners up in the Second Division. Sunderland, Stoke and Tottenham all relegated with Wolves promoted as Second Division Champions along with Chelsea and Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest. Mansfield top the football league third division whilst Cambridge win Division Four. Aston Villa win the league cup after two replays over Everton. The final match ending 3-2  was played at Hillsborough after original ties at Wembley then Old Trafford. In the UEFA Cup Juventus beat Athletic Bilbao over two legs and in the Cup Winners Cup Hamburg beat the previous years winners Anderlecht.

1978: Brian Clough and Peter Taylor who led Derby to promotion and the first division championship less than ten years previous were up to their tricks again with another unfashionable midlands club. They led Nottingham Forest to their first ever championship a year after gaining promotion as the Third best team in Division Two. Clough’s solid dependable side also won the league cup after beating Liverpool in a replayed final 1-0. Liverpool got more than little consolation however as they not only finished second, but won their second successive European Cup, the first English side to retain the trophy after beating Club Brugge in a repeat of the 1976 UEFA Cup final 1-0 at Wembley. Kenny Dalglish scoring the winning goal. West Ham, Leicester and Newcastle all suffered relegation with Bolton, champions of the second division gaining promotion alongside Southampton & Tottenham. Wrexham won the Third Division whilst Watford marched on to win Division Four. In the FA Cup a Roger Osbourne goal won Ipswich Town their first major trophy under the Management of Bobby Robson. In the UEFA Cup PSV Eindhoven beat Bastia, Anderlecht (in their third final in a row) beat Austria Vienna 4-0  in the Cup Winners Cup. In the summer the English FA lift their ban on overseas players. Promoted Tottenham Hotspur immediately sign two world cup winning Argentinians in Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa. Liverpool faced Nottingham Forest in the first round of the 1978/79 European Cup, Forest would win a two legged tie, the first all English encounter in Europe’s top club competition. In November, Forest’s Viv Anderson becomes the first black player to play for England. Leeds United end a record run of 42 league games unbeaten by Nottingham Forest.

1979: Things get better and better for Nottingham Forest and their Management duo of Clough and Taylor. They smash the British Transfer record by becoming the first club ever to sign a player for over £1,000,000. Trevor Francis joins from Birmingham City before playing a pivotal role in the final of the European Cup against Malmo. Forest two years after being a second division side end the decade as European Champions. Francis heading home the winning goal.

Forest, who win the League Cup for the second successive year (beating Southampton 3-2) are convincingly beaten to the league title by Liverpool, they win their fifth title of the decade by eight points over their new rivals from the City Ground. QPR, Birmingham & Chelsea would all suffer relegation. Division Two champions Crystal Palace, Brighton and Stoke City all gain promotion. Shrewsbury win Division Three whilst Reading win Division Four.

In the FA Cup Arsenal win a thrilling final against Manchester United 3-2. Brian Talbot and Frank Stapleton’s goals had been cancelled out by United’s Gordon McQueen and Sammy Mcllroy both netting in the last five minutes. With extra time looming Alan Sunderland grabbed a famous winner for the Gunners in front of 99,219 at Wembley.

In the UEFA Cup Monchengladbach beat Red Star Belgrade whilst Barcelona beat Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-3 after extra time in the Cup Winners Cup final. With England again missing out. World Cup hosts Argentina went on to win a thrilling tournament in the final against the Netherlands. Argentina’s first ever success the Dutch for the second successive time were beaten in the final which was won in extra time by three goals to one. Liverpool become the first English side to wear a shirt sponsor as they brandish the Hitachi logo across their shirts chest.

1980: Nottingham Forest start the eighties as they ended the seventies as European Champions. They beat a Hamburg side that included England Captain Kevin Keegan in the final 1-0. Scottish Winger John Robertson scoring the all important goal in the first half. Goalkeeper Peter Shilton keeps the Germans out with a fine display. Liverpool also continue their domination with another league win. They pip Manchester United to the title by two points. Bristol City, Derby and Bolton all suffer relegation.

Leicester are champions of Division Two, they gain promotion with Sunderland and Birmingham City, Grimsby are third division champions for the third time in their history whilst Huddersfield win Division Four for the first time. In the League Cup Wolves end Forest’s domination with a 1-0 final win thanks to Andy Gray, West Ham beat Arsenal in the FA Cup thanks to Trevor Brooking. Eintracht Frankfurt win an all German UEFA Cup against Monchengladbach. Valencia beat Arsenal on penalties to win the Cup Winners Cup. In the European Nations Cup, West Germany make up for final defeat four years earlier by beating Belgium 2-1 in Italy. Their second success since the competition start in 1960.

The Football League

1949/50PortsmouthWolverhampton WanderersSunderlandBirmingham City
1950/51Tottenham HotspurManchester UnitedBlackpoolEverton
1951/52Manchester UnitedTottenham HotspurArsenalFulham
1952/53ArsenalPreston North EndWolverhampton WanderersDerby County
1953/54Wolverhampton WanderersWest Bromwich AlbionHuddersfield TownLiverpool
1954/55ChelseaWolverhampton WanderersPortsmouthSheffield Wednesday
1955/56Manchester UnitedBlackpoolWolverhampton WanderersSheffield United
1956/57Manchester UnitedTottenham HotspurPreston North EndCharlton Athletic
1957/58Wolverhampton WanderersPreston North EndTottenham HotspurSheffield Wednesday
1958/59Wolverhampton WanderersManchester UnitedArsenalPortsmouth
1959/60BurnleyWolverhampton WanderersTottenham HotspurLuton Town
1960/61Tottenham HotspurSheffield WednesdayWolverhampton WanderersPreston North End
1961/62Ipswich TownBurnleyTottenham HotspurChelsea
1962/63EvertonTottenham HotspurBurnleyLeyton Orient
1963/64LiverpoolManchester UnitedEvertonIpswich Town
1964/65Manchester UnitedLeeds UnitedChelseaBirmingham City
1965/66LiverpoolLeeds UnitedBurnleyBlackburn Rovers
1966/67Manchester UnitedNottingham ForestTottenham HotspurBlackpool
1967/68Manchester CityManchester UnitedLiverpoolFulham
1968/69Leeds UnitedLiverpoolEvertonQueens Park Rangers
1969/70EvertonLeeds UnitedChelseaSheffield Wednesday
1970/71ArsenalLeeds UnitedTottenham HotspurBlackpool
1971/72Derby CountyLeeds UnitedLiverpoolHuddersfield Town
1972/73LiverpoolArsenalLeeds UnitedWest Bromwich Albion
1973/74Leeds UnitedLiverpoolDerby CountyNorwich City
1974/75Derby CountyLiverpoolIpswich TownCarlisle United
1975/76LiverpoolQueens Park RangersManchester UnitedSheffield United
1976/77LiverpoolManchester CityIpswich TownTottenham Hotspur
1977/78Nottingham ForestLiverpoolEvertonLeicester City
1978/79LiverpoolNottingham ForestWest Bromwich AlbionChelsea
1979/80LiverpoolManchester UnitedIpswich TownBolton Wanderers

The FA Cup

1949/50ArsenalLiverpool2-0Wembley
1950/51Newcastle UnitedBlackpool2-0Wembley
1951/52Newcastle UnitedArsenal1-0Wembley
1952/53BlackpoolBolton Wanderers4-3Wembley
1953/54West Bromwich AlbionPreston North End3-2Wembley
1954/55Newcastle UnitedManchester City3-1Wembley
1955/56Manchester CityBirmingham City3-1Wembley
1956/57Aston VillaManchester United2-1Wembley
1957/58Bolton WanderersManchester United2-0Wembley
1958/59Nottingham ForestLuton Town2-1Wembley
1959/60Wolverhampton WanderersBlackburn Rovers3-0Wembley
1960/61Tottenham HotspurLeicester City2-0Wembley
1961/62Tottenham HotspurBurnley3-1Wembley
1962/63Manchester UnitedLeicester City3-1Wembley
1963/64West Ham UnitedPreston North End3-2Wembley
1964/65LiverpoolLeeds United2-1 aetWembley
1965/66EvertonSheffield Wednesday3-2Wembley
1966/67Tottenham HotspurChelsea2-1Wembley
1967/68West Bromwich AlbionEverton1-0Wembley
1968/69Manchester CityLeicester City1-0Wembley
1969/70ChelseaLeeds United2-1 (2-2)Old Trafford (Wembley)
1970/71ArsenalLiverpool2-1 aetWembley
1971/72Leeds UnitedArsenal1-0Wembley
1972/73SunderlandLeeds United1-0Wembley
1973/74LiverpoolNewcastle United3-0Wembley
1974/75West Ham UnitedFulham2-0Wembley
1975/76SouthamptonManchester United1-0Wembley
1976/77Manchester UnitedLiverpool2-1Wembley
1977/78Ipswich TownArsenal1-0Wembley
1978/79ArsenalManchester United3-2Wembley
1979/80West Ham UnitedArsenal1-0Wembley