1981 – 2011

1981: British dominance in Europe continues with Liverpool regaining the European Cup after two years of it in the hands of Nottingham Forest. Liverpool beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the Parc des Princes thanks to a late goal from Alan Kennedy. Liverpool also won the league cup (against West Ham 2-1) but finish a disappointing fifth place in the league, their lowest finishing position in ten years. Aston Villa are champions and are so with Manager Ron Saunders using only fourteen players all campaign. Those players were: Jimmy Rimmer, Eamonn Dacey, Ken McNaught, Colin Gibson, Kenny Swain, Allan Evans, Dennis Mortimer,

Gary Williams, Des Bremner, Gordan Cowans, Tony Morley, David Geddis, Peter Withe & PFA young player of the year Gary Shaw. Bobby Robson’s Ipswich capped another fine season finishing second in the league and winning the UEFA Cup final over two legs against AZ. Ipswich’s Anglian rivals Norwich City were relegated finishing third bottom above Leicester and Crystal Palace who started the Autumn in Division Two. West Ham, Jimmy Sirrells Notts County and Swansea City would be promoted. Rotherham won Division Three and Southend win Division Four. In the FA Cup, Spurs beat Manchester City in a replay at Wembley 3-2.

Argentine Ricky Villa scoring twice en route to victory, his winning goal a brilliant mazey dribble through the Citizens defence late on. Dinamo Tblisi won the European Cup Winners Cup for the first time. England, under Ron Greenwood win qualification to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1961.In 1966 they qualified as hosts, 1970 as holders and the following two tournaments they failed to qualify. The Football League introduce a three points for a win system to attract more attacking football. Queens Park Rangers become the first club to install an artificial surfaced pitch at their Loftus Road ground.

1982: Liverpool are back on top of the Football League beating Ipswich Town in to another runners up slot. Bob Paisley’s side also win the League Cup beating Spurs after extra time 3-1. Aston Villa finish eleventh but go on to win the European Cup. Ron Saunders had previously quit the club over a disagreement with the board over his contract. Tony Barton taking the reigns and eventually going on to Manage his side in becoming the fourth English winners thus keeping the prized trophy in England for a sixth consecutive year. Peter Withe scoring the only goal against Bayern Munich in the final. At the foot of the first division, Middlesbrough, Wolves and Leeds all suffer relegation. David Pleat’s Luton and Graham Taylors Watford are promoted with Norwich City who bounce back up in to Division One after a year in the second division.

Burnley pip Carlisle to the Division Three Championship, Sheffield United win Division Four scoring 96 points. Tottenham are FA Cup winners again. Keith Burkinshaw’s side become the first since Bill Nicholson’s ‘Lillywhites’ team 20 years previous to retain the trophy. A Glenn Hoddle penalty enough to win a replay over QPR. In the Cup Winners Cup, Barcelona beat Standard Liege to win their second trophy in four years. Hamburg beat Gothenburg to win the UEFA Cup final. The World Cup is hosted by Spain but they are shocked by Northern Ireland who beat them in the upset of the tournament. England don’t lose a game but are knocked out in the competition’s second group stage after failing to beat the hosts. West Germany face Italy in a good final which is won 3-1 by the ‘Azzuri’. The League Cup is sponsored by Milk in a five year deal. England end the year beating Luxembourg 9-0, their biggest victory at Wembley.

1983: Bob Paisley retires as Liverpool Manager but not before leading them to another championship success and League Cup win over Manchester United. Graham Taylor leads Watford, a side that were in the Fourth Division only five years earlier to second spot in the league. ‘The Hornets’ play a direct brand of football with wing wizardry from John Barnes and powerful presence with the likes of Luther Blissett and Ross Jenkins up front. Brighton reach the FA Cup final but are relegated from the First Division along with Swansea and Manchester City. Brighton lose in the final of the cup after a replay 4-0 against Ron Atkinson’s Manchester United.

QPR, with their plastic pitch, Wolves and Leicester (with goals from Alan Smith and Gary Lineker) all gain promotion. Portsmouth win Division Three with Dave Bassett’s Wimbledon scoring 98 points in winning Division Four. In Europe, Hamburg end a run of six English victories in the Champions Cup as they beat Juventus 1-0 in the final. Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen would beat Real Madrid in the Cup Winners Cup final 2-1. In the UEFA Cup Anderlecht would beat Benfica over two legs in the first trophyless year for English sides in Europe since 1975. Joe Fagan takes over in charge of Liverpool following Bob Paisley’s retirement. The Football League is to be sponsored for the first time by electrical company Canon. Tottenham Hotspur are the first club to float on the Stock Exchange.

1984: Liverpool swipe all before them underneath Joe Fagan during his first season in charge. Not only do the side win their third title in a row (the first club to do so since Arsenal in 1936) they also become the first side to win three League Cup’s in a row, beating neighbors Everton 1-0 in the replayed final at Maine Road and reclaim the European Cup, the fourth success in their history after edging AS Roma in their own backyard via a penalty shoot out. Liverpool’s Zimbabwean Keeper Bruce Grobelaar’s jelly legs impression enough to put off Roma’s Graziani who skied the final kick after a 1-1 draw in extra time. National team full back Phil Neal becoming the first Englishman to score in two separate European Cup finals. Southampton, Managed by Lawrie McMenemy finish second in the football league only three points behind Liverpool.

The Saint’s highest ever finish in Division One. Midlanders Birmingham, Notts County and Wolves all suffering relegation. Champions Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United who included Kevin Keegan, Terry McDermott, Chris Waddle and Peter Beardsley all gained promotion from the Second Division. Oxford United would win the Third Division ahead of Wimbledon and Sheffield United. York would be the first club in the football league to top 100 points (101) as they cruised to the Fourth Division title. Juventus, Platini, Rossi and Boniek included would win the European Cup Winners Cup over Porto.

Spurs beat Anderlecht who would be later found guilty of bribing the referee in a semi final against Nottingham Forest, to win the UEFA Cup on penalties. Spurs Keeper Tony Parks providing the heroics in the shootout after two 1-1 draws. In the FA Cup Everton beat Watford 2-0. Greame Sharp and Andy Gray netting to begin the tears of Musician and Watford Chairman Elton John. France hosted and won the European Nations Championships. A side containing the magical Platini (who scored nine tournament goals in five games (including two hat-tricks), Jean Tigana, Goalkeeper Joel Bats and Luis Fernandez amongst others beat Spain 2-0 in the final.

1985: Liverpool’s Mersyside rivals Everton are the side to end their same city neighbors dominance of three titles in a row. Howard Kendall manages a team including Welsh duo Kevin Ratcliffe and Neville Southall, Scottish front pair Andy Gray and Greame Sharp and English stars Peter Reid and Trevor Steven to a thirteen point winning margin over Joe Fagan’s outfit and Tottenham in third. Fagan would later deliver the shocking news before the European Cup final that he is to retire after the game against Juventus.

That news was nothing compared to the horrific scenes prior to kick off in the ground. 25th May 1985 in the Heysel Stadium, Brussels, an hour before kick off,  Liverpool’s supporters invaded a section of the ground which was holding Italian fans. Forcing a containing wall to collapse and under the panic and battlement of both supporters Thirty nine people in total (31 Italian fans) were trampled to death with many more also injured. With the extent of the injuries and deaths not known to any of the players, Juventus, through a Platini penalty would beat Liverpool 1-0. UEFA banning English teams with immediate effect following trouble some years of hooliganism. Domestically, Norwich beat Sunderland in the Milk Cup final 1-0 before both clubs eventually suffer relegation along with Stoke City.

In Division Two, Oxford, winners of the Third Division the year previous are champions. Birmingham and Manchester City also go up. Bradford win the Third Division but celebration turns to terror as weeks before the terrible events in Brussels a fire at Valley Parade during City’s last game of the season with Lincoln City would cause the loss of fifty six peoples lives with a further 200 injured. Chesterfield won the Fourth Division with Manchester United beating champions Everton 1-0 in extra time of the FA Cup at Wembley. United’s Kevin Moran becoming the first player in the cup final to be sent off. United the first team to win the cup with a fully international capped team of players.

They were: Gary Bailey, John Gidman, Bryan Robson and substitute Mike Duxberry (all England), Arthur Albiston & Gordon Strachan (Scotland), goalscorer Norman Whiteside (Northern Ireland), Eire stars Paul McGrath, Kevin Moran & Frank Stapleton, Welshman Mark Hughes and Danish International Jesper Olsen. Everton had days earlier won the European Cup Winners Cup 3-1 against Rapid Vienna. Real Madrid beat Videoton of Hungary to win the UEFA Cup over two legs. Kenny Dalglish becomes player / manager of Liverpool. The Full Members Cup is created following England expulsion from European Competition.

1986: With the European ban on English sides in place. Concentration was largely drawn to the World Cup in Mexico for any chance of success against foreign opposition. In the league, Liverpool would go on to win the championship by two points over Everton. Kenny Dalglish’s team would also go on to win the FA Cup final against their same city rivals becoming only the fourth side in history to win the domestic double. Liverpool beat The Toffees who have Gary Lineker opening the scoring 3-1 thanks to two goals for Ian Rush and one for Aussie Craig Johnstone.

The League Cup is a less fashionable affair as newly promoted Oxford beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 at Wembley. Chelsea win the first Full Members Cup 5-4 against Manchester City. Ipswich, Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion all suffering relegation to Division Two which is won by Norwich City followed by Charlton and Wimbledon. Reading are Division Three winners with Swindon Town notching up 102 points to take the Fourth Division title. A massive eighteen points above Chester. In a dire final Steaua Bucharest become the first ever Romanian winners of the European Cup after beating Barcelona 2-0 on penalties after a scoreless draw. Dinamo Kiev beat Atletico Madrid in the final of the Cup Winners Cup 3-0 while Cologne beat Real Madrid 5-3 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup.

The World Cup is won by a single player in an average Argentina side. Diego Maradona knocks out England in the quarter finals with a fisted goal that is the most controversial World Cup strike since Geoff Hurst’s second in the final of 66. Maradona runs of in celebration to the disgust of the England players, fans and officials before showing us his true genius with a magical run past five players that will be remembered as one of the greatest individual goals ever seen. Argentina go on to win an exciting final in the Azteca 3-2.

Maradona supplying the pass that won the cup as Burrachaga finished off late one. Playoffs would be introduced for the first time the following season with the winners either saving themselves from relegation or gaining promotion depending on where they finished the season. Two substitutes are used in FA Cup and League matches for the first time. Alex Ferguson joins Manchester United as Manager following a successful time at Aberdeen (winning three league titles and a European Cup Winners Cup amongst others), Ferguson also took charge of Scotlands World Cup squad in Mexico, unsuccessfully following the sudden death of Jock Stein.

1987: Everton make up for missing out on a close finish the year before by taking the title by nine points over Liverpool. Derby County and Portsmouth are promoted from Division Two with Manchester City and Aston Villa, European Champions only four years before relegated from the top flight. During the leagues first playoffs Fourth placed Leeds beat Third placed Oldham to have a pop shot against First Division Charlton (who beat Ipswich) with the winner securing First Division status for the following season. Charlton eventually winning (in a third match after extra time) after ending two legs on a level score. The following seasons First Division reduced to 21 teams.

Third Division Winners Bournemouth were joined in Division Two by Middlesbrough and Swindon who went up via the playoff system. Northampton won Division Four, Bolton swapped places with Aldershot after losing to them in the Playoffs, Aldershot eventually beating Wolves in the two legged final to go up. Scarborough are the first team promoted from non league football under the new one up one down system after winning the GM Vauxhall Conference. Scarborough Managed by Neil Warnock replace Lincoln City who finish bottom of the football league. In the FA Cup Coventry City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 after extra time to win the competition for the first time.

Arsenal beat Liverpool in the newly named Littlewoods League Cup 2-1 thanks to two Charlie Nicholas goals. In Europe Porto beat Bayern Munich to win the Champions Cup, Ajax beat East Germans Leipzig in the Cup Winners Cup whilst Gothenburg edged Dundee United over two legs to win the UEFA Cup. The Football League, celebrated its centenary with a match on August 9th 1987 at Wembley, watched by Pele and 61,000 others. The League XI Managed by Bobby Robson took on a Rest of the World XI Managed by Terry Venables and won 3-0 with two goals from Bryan Robson and one from his Manchester United team-mate Norman Whiteside.

The sides were: Football League XI: Peter Shilton, Richard Gough, Kenny Sansom, John McLelland, Paul McGrath, Liam Brady, Bryan Robson, Neil Webb, Clive Allen, Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle. Subs: Steve Ogriziovic, Steve Clarke, Pat Nevin, Osvaldo Ardiles, Norman Whiteside, Alan Smith. Rest of the World XI: Rinat Dassaev, Josimar, Celso, Julio Alberto, Glenn Hysen, Salvatore Bagni, Thomas Berthold, Gary Lineker, Michel Platini, Maradona, Paulo Futre. Subs: Andoni Zubizarreta, Lajos Detari, Dragon Stojkovic, Igor Belanov, Preben Elkjaer, Peter Larssen, Lars Larssen, Alexandre Zavarov.

1988: Further competition’s would take place in 1988 to mark the leagues centenary, with Nottingham Forest winning a tournament of forty minute matches between sixteen clubs over two days at Wembley. A crowd of little over 17,000 however witnessing the finals day, won on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, Forest Manager Brian Clough not even bothering to attend that weekend. The Mercantile Credit sponsored Centenary Trophy feared little better a few months later with Arsenal winning a Villa Park final 2-1 against Manchester United in front of only 22,000. By then, Liverpool were champions again with a new look side that included Peter Beardsley, John Barnes and John Aldridge amongst others.

Kenny Dalglish’s side cruised to title victory nine points clear of Manchester United. Chelsea (through the playoffs) Portsmouth, Watford and Oxford all go down in to a Division Two that would be increased to 24 teams the following campaign. Millwall, Aston Villa and playoff winners Middlesbrough all going up. In Division Three Sunderland win the championship by nine points. Wolves win Division Four with striker Steve Bull scoring 52 goals in all competitions. Lincoln City regain football league status after a year in the Conference. They replace the Fourth Division’s bottom club Newport County. Luton Town win the Littlewoods Cup final against Arsenal 2-1. Andy Dibble becomes the first goalkeeper to save a penalty at a Wembley Final.

Month’s later Dave Beasant repeats the feat. In a match described as Culture Club verses Crazy Gang by one commentator. Huge favourites Liverpool are shocked in the FA Cup final by Bobby Gould’s Wimbledon as a Lawrie Sanchez header gives little known Wimbledon their first ever piece of major silverware. Hardmen Dennis Wise, Vinny Jones and John Fashanu all playing part in one of the biggest upsets in modern day football. In Europe, PSV Eindhoven beat Benfica on penalties to win the Champions Cup, KV Mechelen beat Ajax to win the Cup Winners Cup whilst Leverkusen beat Espanyol on penalties after two legs in the UEFA Cup.

Euro 88 is one to forget for Bobby Robson’s England. They lose all three group stage matches in West Germany as Holland eventually beat the USSR in the final. a Ruud Gullit header and spectacular Marco van Basten volley light up the Munich final to give the Dutch their first ever European Championships win. Ian Rush becomes Britains most expensive import as he signs for Juventus for £2.8m.

1989: On April 15th 1989, during an FA Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at Hillsborough. Ninety six Liverpool fans would die after severe crushing due to a mass influx of fans (many without tickets) all aiming to get in to the Leppings Lane end of the ground to watch their beloved team. The biggest, saddest and most sizeable tragedy in British football would spark immediate inquires by the government and following a report by Lord Justice Peter Taylor, declaring that all football grounds in England  needed to change for the better, all the top flight clubs with immediate effect were to take down safety barriers and caging at grounds, those erected to stop the possibility of hooliganism, to create a safer environment.

Future plans would be put in place to ensure all grounds in the country became all seater stadium by the end of the century. Liverpool would go on to feature heavily in one of the most thrilling season finale’s of all time. With a fixture chaos caused by the clubs postponements following weeks of tributes in April. Liverpool had already won a fitting FA Cup final 3-2 against Everton (Ian Rush twice scoring in extra time) before the final game of the campaign saw them take on second placed Arsenal, who were three points adrift with a worse goal difference. Liverpool could afford to lose 1-0 at Anfield, Arsenal needed to win by two clear goals to win an unexpected title.

Everything was in Liverpool’s favor and despite not playing their usual attacking flowing football, Kenny Dalglish’s side thought they had done enough although 1-0 down to an Alan Smith goal, they just had to keep the ball as the clock ticked in to injury time following a late knock to Kevin Richardson. John Barnes and Steve McMahon were seen to be driving their side on to another success but with 92 minutes on the clock, following a long punt by John Lukic, suddenly young midfielder Michael Thomas found himself latching on a ball by Smith and after getting a lucky bounce things opened up to run one on one and dink over Grobelaar in goal for Arsenal’s second and vitally needed goal, creating pandemonium and joy for the visiting side and their supporters.

George Graham’s men had snatched the title in the most dramatic style ever possible, Liverpool’s players, stunned after the Gunners late show. There first league title in seventeen years. At the foot of the twenty team First Division table was Newcastle United with Middlesbrough and West Ham also relegated to be replaced by Second Division Chelsea, runners up Manchester City and playoff winners Crystal Palace. In Division Three Wolves striker Steve Bull in helping his side to the league title also earned himself an England cap. Rotherham were winners of Division Four. Doncaster join the football league after winning the Conference, they replace Darlington who finish bottom.

Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest scored a Wembley double by beating Luton Town in the Littlewoods League Cup 3-1 and Everton in the Simod sponsored Full Members Cup. In Europe AC Milan comprehensively beat Steaua Bucharest in the Champions Cup final 4-0 with two goals for Ruud Gullit and two for Marco van Basten. The Milan side includes a famous back four of Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi and Maldini and are Managed by Arigo Sacchi. Spanish giants Barcelona beat Sampdoria to take the European Cup Winners Cup, Napoli, Maradona and Careca included see off Stuttgart over two legs to take the UEFA Cup trophy. Chris Waddle joins Marseille from Tottenham for a record fee of £4.25m.

1990: Liverpool are champions again fending off Graham Taylor’s Aston Villa into second place by nine points. Villa are accepted in to Europe after UEFA’s indefinite ban on English clubs participating in their competition’s is over, they take part in the following seasons UEFA Cup. Liverpool are still banned however with an extra year to serve before they are allowed to rejoin. Manchester United gain entry in to the European Cup Winners Cup after a thrilling FA Cup final win over Crystal Palace. United won 1-0 thanks to a Lee Martin goal after originally drawing the first Wembley final 3-3. The under pressure Alex Ferguson winning his first major trophy for United, his side finishing thirteenth in the league.

The First Divisions relegated clubs were Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton and Millwall. Leeds, under Howard Wilkinson’s stewardship were Division Two Champions with Sheffield United runners up and playoff winners Sunderland all gaining promotion. Bristol Rovers edged their city rivals Bristol City to win Division Three. Both gaining promotion. Exeter were winners of Division Four. Colchester are relegated with Maidstone United promoted as Conference Champions. In the League Cup Forest beat Oldham 1-0. The European Cup is won for the second succesive year by AC Milan. A Frank Rijkaard goal is enough to give them a 1-0 win over Benfica. In the UEFA Cup Juventus win an all Italian final against Fiorentina. In the Cup Winners Cup, Sampdoria make it a clean sweep for Italian Football as they beat Anderlecht in the final.

The World Cup is also played in Italy with the hosts much fancied, they enlighten the tournament with Roberto Baggio and Salvatore Schillatchi especially, but go out after losing to Argentina in the semi finals on penalties. That fate also happens to England as they grow stronger through out coming unstuck in the shootout against West Germany. Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle missing spot kicks with the Germans scoring all of theirs past Peter Shilton in his last and 125th game for the country. England finish their best tournament since 1966 already knowing that Manager Bobby Robson’s contract is not to be renewed. He goes Dutch and takes charge of PSV Eindhoven. England appoint Aston Villa and former Watford Manager Graham Taylor, Villa bringing in Czech Jozef Venglofs to replace him.

1991: George Graham leads his Arsenal side to their second title in three years. The Gunners hold off a threat from Liverpool who are now Managed by Greame Souness after Kenny Dalglish quit the club days after a thrilling 4-4 FA Cup draw with Everton  in February over health issues. Luton Town, Sunderland and Derby all suffer relegation. Joe Royle’s Oldham Athletic win the league with West Ham runners up and Notts County promoted via the playoffs. In Division Three, John Beck’s Cambridge win the league with Darlington winners of the Fourth Division.

Terry Venables Tottenham Hotspur beat Nottingham Forest to win the FA Cup, an entertaining match is marred by two horrendous early tackles by Spurs gifted playmaker Paul Gascoigne, the latter resulting in an injury to the Midfielder with Forest and England full back Stuart Pearce scoring from the resulting free kick. Spurs eventually go on to win the tie in extra time despite Gary Lineker having a penalty saved by Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley. Paul Stewart leveled in the second half before a Des Walker own goal meant the FA Cup would still be the only trophy to elude Manager Brian Clough. The League Cup final would be won by Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 over Manchester United.

United though became the first English team to win a post Heysel ban trophy in Europe as they beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Cup Winners Cup final. Mark Hughes twice scoring. In the European Cup Red Star Belgrade took Marseille to penalties in a dyer final in Bari. Red Star’s side including Sinisa Mihailovic, Robert Prosinecki and Dejan Savicevic to name but three eventually going on to win the shootout scoring all five of their goals. In the UEFA Cup Internazionale became the third Italian winners in as many years in the second successive all Italian final against Roma. David Platt joined Bari from Aston Villa for £5.5 million.

1992: On February 20th the FA Premier League is formed following the decision of the top football league clubs to break away and join a lucrative venture with TV and sponsorship revenue at the height of the ambitious plan. Leeds United are the last top flight Football League Champions. Howard Wilkinson’s team win the Championship by four points over Manchester United. Luton, Notts County and West Ham all miss out on appearing in the Premier Leagues debut season as they are relegated. Ipswich, Middlesbrough and playoff winners Blackburn all gain promotion.

Brentford win Division Three, Burnley are the last winners of the Fourth Division. Liverpool are winners of the FA Cup after beating Sunderland 2-0 in the final. Manchester United beat Forest in the League Cup Final sponsored by Rumbelows. In Europe Barcelona beat Sampdoria 1-0 at Wembley to win the Champions Cup. The competition would see a new format and rebranding for the following season. The Cup Winners Cup is won by Werder Bremen 2-0 over Monaco, the UEFA Cup is won by Ajax over two legs against Torino. Graham Taylor’s England fail to win a single match in Euro 1992. England draw their opening games against Denmark and France without scoring before losing to hosts Sweden 2-1. Gary Lineker is substituted in his last International appearance just one goal short of Bobby Charlton’s goalcsoring record.

Denmark, who were only invited to the tournament last minute after civil war broke out in Yugoslavia, go on to beat Germany in the final 2-0. Paul Gascoigne equaled David Platt’s record transfer involving a British club as he moved from Spurs to Lazio for £5.5m. After previously looking at Sheffield Wednesday’s David Hirst, Southampton’s Matt Le Tissier & Sheffield United’s Brian Deane, Manchester United sign Leeds United’s French striker Eric Cantona to bolster their attack.

1993: Manchester United became the first ever FA Premier League Champions, the clubs first top flight title for twenty six years. United, Managed by Alex Ferguson pick up silverware for the fourth year running after previous FA Cup, Cup Winners Cup and League Cup wins. United finish ten points above Aston Villa who are runners up. Norwich City qualify for the UEFA Cup after finishing third. At the other end Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough finish in the relegation zone with more surprisingly, Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest footing the table, a side that included the England Captain Stuart Pearce, Internationals Nigel Clough and Neil Webb as well as the young prodigies Roy Keane.

Forest had previously been labeled too good to go down but Brian Clough was not the man he once was, deciding weeks before relegation that he would retire at the end of the campaign. Clough’s last home match verses Sheffield United was the one that also sent the club down, although post match scenes were more like a party in celebration of the great Managers career. Arsenal went on to do a Cup double over Sheffield Wednesday, they beat the Owls in the League Cup wearing shirts containing of squad numbers, Steve Morrow, the winning goalscorer later broke his arm after being lifted and dropped by club captain Tony Adams. The Gunners, without Morrow also went on to win the FA Cup after a replay and extra time when Andy Linighan headered the winning goal at 10:15pm on a Wednesday night, the latest a Cup final goal had been scored. The Gunners winning 2-1.

The first, First Division Champions to be promoted to the Premier League was Newcastle United. Under Kevin Keegan and the goalscoring form of Andy Cole they cruised to the Championship with 96 points. West Ham were promoted as runners up with Swindon Town also promoted after a playoff final win over Leicester City. In the Second Division Stoke City topped the league with Cardiff winning Division Three. Conference winners Wycombe Wanderers replaced the football leagues bottom team Halifax. In Europe, the new look ‘Champions League’ was won by Marseille 1-0 over AC Milan.

Marseille were banned from the following years competition though after being accused of match fixing in a domestic match, the club were also relegated from the French Ligue 1. In the UEFA Cup, Juventus beat Borussia Dortmund 6-1 over two legs, Parma beat Royal Antwerp at Wembley to win the Cup Winners Cup. In the Summer Roy Keane transferred between Nottingham Forest and Manchester United for a record fee between English clubs of £3.75m. Tim Flowers became England’s most expensive goalkeeper as he signed for from Southampton to Blackburn Rovers for £2.5m.

1994: Manchester United won the second FA Premier League and their second successive title under Manager Alex Ferguson. The Red Devils finished the campaign eight points clear of Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn Rovers, who thanks to Chairman Jack Walker’s millions, would boast a side including England internationals Alan Shearer, Greame Le Saux & David Batty. Newcastle United, only promoted the year before would finish third with their striker Andy Cole topping the goalscoring charts. Manchester United would also win the FA Cup after annihilating Chelsea 4-0 at Wembley, the biggest margin win in a final in eleven years, since they beat Brighton by the same scoreline.

United also reached the Coca Cola League Cup final but were beaten by Aston Villa 3-1. In the First Division Crystal Palace were worthy winners. A new look Nottingham Forest with Frank Clark at the helm joined Palace in gaining Premier League promotion. After two previous playoff final defeats Leicester City would make it third time lucky by joining the top two in the top flight. Reading would win the Second Division with Shrewsbury winning Division Three.

Bottom club Northampton Town survived relegation from the Football League after Conference Champions Kidderminster Harriers ground ‘Aggborough’ didn’t meet League requirements. AC Milan overwhelmed Barcelona 4-0 to win the Champions League final, Danielle Massaro twice scoring for Fabio Capello’s side with Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly rounding things off. An Alan Smith goal would win the European Cup Winners Cup for Arsenal who beat Parma in Denmark 1-0. In the UEFA Cup, Internazionale would beat Austria Salzburg in the final over two legs.

With the World Cup held in the United States for the first time, the competition didn’t seem to miss England as an Irish side including many Premier League players would beat eventual runners up Italy 1-0 in the group stages. In a poor goalless  final Italy would eventually lose on penalties to Brazil after star player Roberto Baggio had skied his all important spot kick. Many foreign stars would join the Premier League off the back of the competition with the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann (Tottenham Hotspur), Bryan Roy (Nottingham Forest), Phillipe Albert (Newcastle United) and Stefen Schwarz (Arsenal) amongst many more top internationals playing in England the following campaign. Chris Sutton would break the British transfer record after joining Blackburn Rovers from Norwich City for £5 million.

1995: Blackburn Rovers became Premier League Champions for the first time after pipping Manchester United to the title. Blackburn Manager Kenny Dalglish becoming only the third Manager in history to win the league with two different clubs. Nottingham Forest repeat Newcastle United’s feat a year before by finishing third a year after promotion from the First Division. With the top flight decreasing it’s numbers due to a larger demand on European Football, four sides are relegated, Crystal Palace, Norwich, Leicester and Ipswich Town.

Middlesbrough gain promotion as champions and Bolton win the playoffs to enter the following campaigns twenty team premiership. In Division  Two Birmingham won the title with Carlisle winning the Third Division. Liverpool beat Bolton to win the League Cup Final 2-1. Everton end a trophy-less year for Machester United by beating them in the FA Cup final 1-0. In the European Cup Ajax beat Milan in the final by a single Kluivert goal, in the UEFA Cup Parma beat Juventus over two legs, whilst Real Zaragoza beat Arsenal in the Cup Winners Cup, an extra time lob by ex-Spurs player Nayim helping his side to a 2-1 win.

The Football League

1980/81Aston VillaIpswich TownArsenalCrystal Palace
1981/82LiverpoolIpswich TownManchester UnitedMiddlesbrough
1982/83LiverpoolWatfordManchester UnitedBrighton & Hove Albion
1983/84LiverpoolSouthamptonNottingham ForestWolverhampton Wanderers
1984/85EvertonLiverpoolTottenham HotspurStoke City
1985/86LiverpoolEvertonWest Ham UnitedWest Bromwich Albion
1986/87EvertonLiverpoolTottenham HotspurAston Villa
1987/88LiverpoolManchester UnitedNottingham ForestOxford United
1988/89ArsenalLiverpoolNottingham ForestNewcastle United
1989/90LiverpoolAston VillaTottenham HotspurMillwall
1990/91ArsenalLiverpoolCrystal PalaceDerby County
1991/92Leeds UnitedManchester UnitedSheffield WednesdayWest Ham United

The Premier League

1992/93Manchester UnitedAston VillaNorwich CityNottingham Forest
1993/94Manchester UnitedBlackburn RoversNewcastle UnitedSwindon Town
1994/95Blackburn RoversManchester UnitedNottingham ForestIpswich Town
1995/96Manchester UnitedNewcastle UnitedLiverpoolBolton Wanderers
1996/97Manchester UnitedNewcastle UnitedArsenalNottingham Forest
1997/98ArsenalManchester UnitedLiverpoolCrystal Palace
1998/99Manchester UnitedArsenalChelseaNottingham Forest
1999/2000Manchester UnitedArsenalLeeds UnitedWatford
2000/01Manchester UnitedArsenalLiverpoolBradford City
2001/02ArsenalLiverpoolManchester UnitedLeicester City
2002/03Manchester UnitedArsenalNewcastle UnitedSunderland
2003/04ArsenalChelseaManchester UnitedWolverhampton Wanderers
2004/05ChelseaArsenalManchester UnitedSouthampton
2005/06ChelseaManchester UnitedLiverpoolSunderland
2006/07Manchester UnitedChelseaLiverpoolWatford
2007/08Manchester UnitedChelseaArsenalDerby County

The FA Cup

1980/81Tottenham HotspurManchester City3-2 (1-1)Wembley
1981/82Tottenham HotspurQueens Park Rangers1-0 (1-1)Wembley
1982/83Manchester UnitedBrighton & Hove Albion4-0 (2-2)Wembley
1984/85Manchester UnitedEverton1-0 aetWembley
1986/87Coventry CityTottenham Hotspur3-2 aetWembley
1988/89LiverpoolEverton3-2 aetWembley
1989/90Manchester UnitedCrystal Palace1-0 (3-3)Wembley
1990/91Tottenham HotspurNottingham Forest2-1 aetWembley
1992/93ArsenalSheffield Wednesday2-1 aet (1-1)Wembley
1993/94Manchester UnitedChelsea4-0Wembley
1994/95EvertonManchester United1-0Wembley
1995/96Manchester UnitedLiverpool1-0Wembley
1997/98ArsenalNewcastle United2-0Wembley
1998/99Manchester UnitedNewcastle United2-0Wembley
1999/2000ChelseaAston Villa1-0Wembley
2000/01LiverpoolArsenal2-1Millennium Stadium
2001/02ArsenalChelsea2-0Millennium Stadium
2002/03ArsenalSouthampton1-0Millennium Stadium
2003/04Manchester UnitedMillwall3-0Millennium Stadium
2004/05ArsenalManchester United0-0 (5-4 p)Millennium Stadium
2005/06LiverpoolWest Ham United3-3 (3-1p)Millennium Stadium
2006/07ChelseaManchester United1-0Wembley
2007/08PortsmouthCardiff City1-0Wembley