1973–74 in English football

1973–74 in English football

The 1973-74 season was the 94th season of competitive football in England.


First Division

Don Revie marked his last season as Leeds United's manager by guiding them to league championship glory, before taking over from Sir Alf Ramsey as the England national football team manager, with England having surprisingly failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. Revie's conquering side had a two-horse race with Liverpool all season but won in the end, taking the title for the second time in their history by five points. Newly promoted Burnley adopted to life back in the top flight well, finishing in sixth place.

Manchester United were relegated from the First Division just six years after winning the European Cup at the end of a traumatic season which had seen goalkeeper Alex Stepney as joint top scorer with two goals at Christmas. Their 36-year stay at the top was finally ended with a 1-0 home defeat against Manchester City in the last game of the season - ironically, former United striker Denis Law scored City's winning goal. But Birmingham City's win on that same afternoon would have sent United down even if they had beaten City. Despite this the board kept faith in manager Tommy Docherty as the man to regain the club's top flight place.

Joining United in the Second Division were Norwich City and Southampton. This was the first season in which the League introduced three relegation places from the top division.

econd Division

Former Leeds player Jack Charlton had a fine debut in management by guiding Middlesbrough to the Second Division title and a place in the First Division. Second in the table were Luton Town, who finished 15 points behind the runaway champions. Third-placed Carlisle United, managed by Alan Ashman (who won the FA Cup with West Bromwich Albion in 1968), gained a place in the First Division for the first, and so far only, time in their history, completing a rapid rise from the Fourth Division to the First Division. Crystal Palace, Preston North End and Swindon Town were all relegated.

Third Division

Promotion was secured by champions Oldham Athletic, Bristol Rovers and York City, which at the time represented York's highest ever League finish. Cambridge United, Shrewsbury Town, Southport and Rochdale were all relegated.

Fourth Division

Peterborough United won Division Four and were promoted along with Gillingham, Colchester United and Bury. The league's re-election system voted in favour of the bottom four league clubs and there were no departures or arrivals in the league in 1974.

FA Cup

The FA Cup Final was won by Liverpool, who beat Newcastle United 3-0cite web
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work =Find out the result of every each and every Cup Final, as well as venue records, most wins and most appearances... Past FA Cup Finals
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] with two goals from future Magpies favourite Kevin Keegan and one from Steve Heighway. Burnley beat Leicester City 1-0 at Filbert Street in the fifth and final third-place playoff, held five days after the final.

Surprises in the earlier rounds included a First Round defeat for Exeter City by Alvechurch F.C. and a 4-0 Second Round replay win for a Walton & Hersham team that included Dave Bassett over a Brighton & Hove Albion side managed by Brian Clough.

League Cup

Bill McGarry's Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Manchester City 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium with Kenny Hibbitt and John Richards getting the Wolves goals and Colin Bell replying for City. It was a first-ever League Cup win for the Wolves, and their first major trophy since the Stan Cullis era more than a decade earlier.

The semi-finals included one surprise team as City overcame Plymouth Argyle of the Third Division.

European football

Tottenham Hotspur reached the UEFA Cup Final but lost 4-2 on aggregate to Feyenoord.

tar players

*Veteran Liverpool winger Ian Callaghan won the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year for his contribution to the club's successful season.
*This season also saw the inauguration of two new awards by the Professional Footballers Association, both of which were voted for by footballers. The PFA Players' Player of the Year was won by Norman Hunter of Leeds United, whilst the PFA Young Player of the Year was won by Kevin Beattie of Ipswich Town.
*The top scorer in Division One was Bryan 'Pop' Robson who hit 28 goals for West Ham. The overall league top scorer was Brian Yeo who hit 31 goals for Fourth Division Gillingham.

tar managers

*Don Revie led his Leeds side to their second title under his management. He left at the end of the season to take charge of the England team.
*Alan Ashman led his Carlisle side to a best ever finish.
*Legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly announced his retirement from the game, despite mounting pressure from the club's fans for him to stay on. He went out on a high by winning the FA Cup and handed over the reins to coach Bob Paisley.
*Jack Charlton kicked off his management career on a high note as he helped Middlesbrough win promotion to the First Division.
*David Mackay had a good start to his managerial career by helping Derby County finish third in the league and achieve UEFA Cup qualification. His appointment came after Brian Clough had walked out on the club only 18 months after leading them to championship glory.
*Bill Nicholson retired after 17 years as Tottenham manager. During that time he had taken them to some of the finest moments in their history, the most memorable being the double triumph of 1961 - which made Tottenham the first club of the 20th century to achieve the double. In 1963 he guided Tottenham to glory in the Cup Winners Cup, which made them the first English team to win a European trophy. He had developed some of the finest teams ever to play in the English league, which included players like Jimmy Greaves, Danny Blanchflower, Cyril Knowles, Patrick Jennings and John White. In his final season, Nicholson took Tottenham to the UEFA Cup final but they were defeated by Feyenoord.

National team

England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup and this failure cost Sir Alf Ramsey his job. The FA turned to Don Revie, manager of league champions Leeds United, to revitalise England's fortunes and help them make a fresh start for the Euro 76 qualifying campaign.


* Preston North End had one point deducted for fielding an ineligible player.

Third Division

Fourth Division

* Scunthorpe United v. Exeter was never played; Exeter failed to turn up and Scunthorpe were awarded the points.

† Newport had one point deducted for fielding an ineligible player.

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points


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