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

Contents

Overview

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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.

Second 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 3-0[1] 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.

Star players

Star 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.

Honours

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Leeds United (2) Liverpool
Second Division Middlesbrough Luton Town
Third Division Oldham Athletic Bristol Rovers
Fourth Division Peterborough United Gillingham
FA Cup Liverpool (2) Newcastle United
League Cup Wolverhampton Wanderers (1) Manchester City
Charity Shield Burnley Manchester City
Home Championship Shared by  England and  Scotland

Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour. * indicates new record for competition

League table

First Division

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Leeds United 42 24 14 4 66 31 2.129 62
2 Liverpool 42 22 13 7 52 31 1.677 57
3 Derby County 42 17 14 11 52 42 1.238 48
4 Ipswich Town 42 18 11 13 67 58 1.155 47
5 Stoke City 42 15 16 11 54 42 1.286 46
6 Burnley 42 16 14 12 56 53 1.057 46
7 Everton 42 16 12 14 50 48 1.042 44
8 Queens Park Rangers 42 13 17 12 56 52 1.077 43
9 Leicester City 42 13 16 13 51 41 1.244 42
10 Arsenal 42 14 14 14 49 51 0.961 42
11 Tottenham Hotspur 42 14 14 14 45 50 0.900 42
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 13 15 14 49 49 1.000 41
13 Sheffield United 42 14 12 16 44 49 0.898 40
14 Manchester City 42 14 12 16 39 46 0.848 40
15 Newcastle United 42 13 12 17 49 48 1.021 38
16 Coventry City 42 14 10 18 43 54 0.796 38
17 Chelsea 42 12 13 17 56 60 0.933 37
18 West Ham United 42 11 15 16 55 60 0.917 37
19 Birmingham City 42 12 13 17 52 64 0.813 37
20 Southampton 42 11 14 17 47 68 0.691 36
21 Manchester United 42 10 12 20 38 48 0.792 32
22 Norwich City 42 7 15 20 37 62 0.597 29

Second Division

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Middlesbrough 42 27 11 4 77 30 2.567 65
2 Luton Town 42 19 12 11 64 51 1.255 50
3 Carlisle United 42 20 9 13 61 48 1.271 49
4 Orient 42 15 18 9 55 42 1.310 48
5 Blackpool 42 17 13 12 57 40 1.425 47
6 Sunderland 42 19 9 14 58 44 1.318 47
7 Nottingham Forest 42 15 15 12 57 43 1.326 45
8 West Bromwich Albion 42 14 16 12 48 45 1.067 44
9 Hull City 42 13 17 12 46 47 0.979 43
10 Notts County 42 15 13 14 55 60 0.917 43
11 Bolton Wanderers 42 15 12 15 44 40 1.100 42
12 Millwall 42 14 14 14 51 51 1.000 42
13 Fulham 42 16 10 16 39 43 0.907 42
14 Aston Villa 42 13 15 14 48 45 1.067 41
15 Portsmouth 42 14 12 16 45 62 0.726 40
16 Bristol City 42 14 10 18 47 54 0.870 38
17 Cardiff City 42 10 16 16 49 62 0.790 36
18 Oxford United 42 10 16 16 35 46 0.761 36
19 Sheffield Wednesday 42 12 11 19 51 63 0.810 35
20 Crystal Palace 42 11 12 19 43 56 0.768 34
21 Preston North End 42 9 14 19 40 62 0.645 31*
22 Swindon Town 42 7 11 24 36 72 0.500 25

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

Third Division

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Oldham Athletic 46 25 12 9 83 47 1.766 62
2 Bristol Rovers 46 22 17 7 65 33 1.970 61
3 York City 46 21 19 6 67 38 1.763 61
4 Wrexham 46 22 12 12 63 43 1.465 56
5 Chesterfield 46 21 14 11 55 42 1.310 56
6 Grimsby Town 46 18 15 13 67 50 1.340 51
7 Watford 46 19 12 15 64 56 1.143 50
8 Aldershot 46 19 11 16 65 52 1.250 49
9 Halifax Town 46 14 21 11 48 51 0.941 49
10 Huddersfield Town 46 17 13 16 56 55 1.018 47
11 Bournemouth 46 16 15 15 54 58 0.931 47
12 Southend United 46 16 14 16 62 62 1.000 46
13 Blackburn Rovers 46 18 10 18 62 64 0.969 46
14 Charlton Athletic 46 19 8 19 66 73 0.904 46
15 Walsall 46 16 13 17 57 48 1.188 45
16 Tranmere Rovers 46 15 15 16 50 44 1.136 45
17 Plymouth Argyle 46 17 10 19 59 54 1.093 44
18 Hereford United 46 14 15 17 53 57 0.930 43
19 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 16 11 19 52 58 0.897 43
20 Port Vale 46 14 14 18 52 58 0.897 42
21 Cambridge United 46 13 9 24 48 81 0.593 35
22 Shrewsbury Town 46 10 11 25 41 62 0.661 31
23 Southport 46 6 16 24 35 82 0.427 28
24 Rochdale 46 2 17 27 38 94 0.404 21

Fourth Division

P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Peterborough United 46 27 11 8 75 38 1.974 65
2 Gillingham 46 25 12 9 90 49 1.837 62
3 Colchester United 46 24 12 10 73 36 2.028 60
4 Bury 46 24 11 11 81 49 1.653 59
5 Northampton Town 46 20 13 13 63 48 1.313 53
6 Reading 46 16 19 11 58 37 1.568 51
7 Chester City 46 17 15 14 54 55 0.982 49
8 Bradford City 46 17 14 15 58 52 1.115 48
9 Newport County 46 16 14 16 56 65 0.862 45†
10 Exeter City 45 18 8 19 58 55 1.055 44*
11 Hartlepool 46 16 12 18 48 47 1.021 44
12 Lincoln City 46 16 12 18 63 67 0.940 44
13 Barnsley 46 17 10 19 58 64 0.906 44
14 Swansea City 46 16 11 19 45 46 0.978 43
15 Rotherham United 46 15 13 18 56 58 0.966 43
16 Torquay United 46 13 17 16 52 57 0.912 43
17 Mansfield Town 46 13 17 16 62 69 0.899 43
18 Scunthorpe United 45 14 12 19 47 64 0.734 42*
19 Brentford 46 12 16 18 48 50 0.960 40
20 Darlington 46 13 13 20 40 62 0.645 39
21 Crewe Alexandra 46 14 10 22 43 71 0.606 38
22 Doncaster Rovers 46 12 11 23 47 80 0.588 35
23 Workington 46 11 13 22 43 74 0.581 35
24 Stockport County 46 7 20 19 44 69 0.638 34

* 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

References

  1. ^ TheFA (2008). "Cup Final Statistics" (web). 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. The Football Association. http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/TheFACup/History/Postings/2003/11/FACupStatistics.htm. 

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