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The 1984-85 season was the 105th season of competitive football in England.

Contents

Overview

The 1984-85 season was dominated by two major disasters, at Bradford and at Heysel.

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Bradford City disaster

56 spectators died and more than 200 were injured when a fire ripped through the Main Stand at Valley Parade during Bradford City's Third Division fixture with Lincoln City on 11 May. This tragedy was seen by many as a wake-up call for English clubs to improve the state of their grounds and take more drastic safety measures to bring an end to problems which had been plaguing the game for years without any effective action being taken.

Heysel disaster

Less than three weeks after the Bradford fire, 39 spectators (mostly Italian) were trampled to death on the terraces of Heysel Stadium where Liverpool took on Juventus in the European Cup final. As a result, all English clubs were banned indefinitely from European competition with Liverpool ordered to serve an extra three years whenever the other English sides were re-admitted. Despite the tragedy, the match was played and Juventus beat Liverpool 1-0.

First Division

Howard Kendall's Everton side beat neighbours Liverpool to the league championship, while Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United followed closely behind. The blue half of Merseyside also collected the Cup Winners' Cup to complete a brilliant cup double, for the club. Despite winning the championship with a record breaking ninety points and completing the double, Everton were unfortunately denied entry into the following season's European Cup following the impending ban by UEFA on all English clubs following the Heysel tragedy. Stoke City finished bottom of the First Division with just three league wins all season and just 17 points - a record low under the 3 points for a win system in any division, which would stand for twenty-one years. Norwich City and Sunderland - the two League Cup finalists - occupied the two other relegation places.

Liverpool manager Joe Fagan retired after the season and striker Kenny Dalglish was appointed player-manager.

Second Division

Jim Smith's Oxford United side won a successive promotion as Second Division champions and reached the First Division after just 23 years as Football League members. Following them into the big time were Birmingham City and Manchester City.

Slipping out of the league's second tier were Cardiff City, joined by Notts County and Wolverhampton Wanderers - both relegated for the second season in succession. Veteran manager Tommy Docherty had tried his hand at reversing financially-troubled Wolves' rapid decline at the Molineux, but without success.

Third Division

Bradford City's Third Division championship glory was overshadowed on the final day of the season when a fire at their Valley Parade ground killed 56 spectators - including two followers of their opponents Lincoln City.

The other two promotion places in the Third Division were occupied by Millwall and Hull City.

Going down from the Third Division were Cambridge United (who won just four games all season), Orient, Burnley and Preston North End. Burnley and Preston were founder members of the Football League who had reached great heights in the past - just 25 years ago Burnley had been league champions. But those successes were now very much a distant memory as both clubs slid into the league's fourth tier for the first time.

Swansea City, who had finished sixth in the First Division just three years earlier, continued to suffer as a result of their financial problems as they narrowly avoided a third successive relegation.

Fourth Division

Chesterfield, Blackpool, Darlington and Bury were promoted to the Third Division after occupying the Fourth Division's top four places.

The bottom four clubs, Halifax Town, Stockport County, Northampton Town (who had spent a season in the First Division some 20 years earlier) and Torquay United, all retained their league status after a successful re-election campaign at the expense of Gola League champions Maidstone United.

FA Cup

Manchester United won their second FA Cup in three years after a Norman Whiteside goal gave them an extra-time 1-0 victory over Everton at Wembley. Defender Kevin Moran became the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final after he brought down Peter Reid in what he insisted was a misjudged tackle. United's triumph ended Everton's hopes of completing a treble of trophies - they had already lifted the league title and UEFA Cup Winners Cup. Millwall fans rioted in their 6th round match against Luton Town,causing Luton to ban away fans from their ground.

League Cup

Norwich became the first club to win a major trophy in a relegation season as they lifted the League Cup after beating Sunderland, who went down with them to the Second Division.

Star players

Star managers

  • Howard Kendall brought glory to Everton as they lifted the league championship trophy and the Cup Winners' Cup.
  • Ron Atkinson won his second FA Cup in three years with Manchester United.
  • Jim Smith brought First Division football to Oxford United less than a quarter of a century after they were elected to the league.
  • Ken Brown guided Norwich City to League Cup glory which compensated for their relegation to the Second Division.
  • Howard Wilkinson guided newly promoted Sheffield Wednesday to seventh place in the First Division in their first top division season for more than a decade.
  • Ron Saunders took Birmingham City back into the First Division at the first time of asking.
  • Trevor Cherry guided Bradford City to Third Division championship glory.
  • Former Arsenal player George Graham achieved managerial success with Millwall as they won promotion to the Second Division.
  • Brian Horton took Hull City to promotion in the Third Division.
  • Cyril Knowles (who played for Tottenham in the late 1960s and early 1970s), enjoyed success in management by getting Darlington promoted to the Third Division.

Diary of the season

  • 3 August 1984: Arsenal sign full back Viv Anderson from Nottingham Forest for £250,000. [2]
  • 31 August 1984: Aston Villa, under their new manager Graham Turner, finish the first month of the season as First Division leaders. Newcastle United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers complete the top five. Stoke City, Everton and Nottingham Forest complete the bottom three. [3]
  • 30 September 1984: Tottenham Hotspur, in their first season under the management of Peter Shreeves, finish September as First Division leaders. Nottingham Forest and Arsenal are level with them on points, followed by Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday and Everton. Watford, yet to win a game this season, are bottom of the table, joined in the bottom three by Coventry City and Stoke City. [5] The Second Division promotion race is being dominated by leaders Birmingham City, who have collected seven wins from their first eight games. Oxford United stand second and are in the hunt for a second successive promotion which would give them top flight football for the first time in their history - just 23 years after joining the Football League. Blackburn Rovers complete the top three and are full of hope that this season will see them return to the First Division where they last played in 1966. Fallen giants Leeds United are giving the top three a run for their money, along with a Shrewsbury Town side who have yet to play in the First Division.[1]
  • 31 October 1984: Arsenal finish October as leaders of the First Division, with defending champions Liverpool third from bottom, while second place is occupied by Everton, third place by Tottenham and fourth place by a Sheffield Wednesday side who are playing their first top division campaign for 15 years. Liverpool are joind in the bottom three by Stoke City and Watford.[6] Oxford United's dream run continues as they top the Second Division. Birmingham City and Blackburn Rovers complete the top three, and there is stiff competition from the likes of Portsmouth, Barnsley and Grimsby Town. [7] Notts County's hope of an immediate return to the First Division are now looking like a practical impossibility, as they prop up the Second Division with 10 defeats from their opening 12 games which are making a second successive relegation look increasingly likely. [8]
  • 14 November 1984: Bryan Robson scores a hat-trick as England beat Turkey 8-0 in Istanbul in their second World Cup qualifying match.
  • 30 November 1984: Leading the First Division at the end of the month are Everton, while defending champions Liverpool have climbed from 20th to 7th in the league this month. Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal are Everton's nearest contenders (level on points) while West Ham United complete the top five. Stoke City, who have only won one game so far, prop up the First Division, and are joined in the relegation zone by Luton Town and Coventry City.[9] Oxford United continue to lead the way in the Second Division, followed by Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth. Birmingham City's promotion challenge is falling apart as they are now fifth in the table and five points adrift of the promotion places. Notts County's terrible form continues and they now look as though they need something little short of a miracle to avoid a second successive relegation. [10]
  • 18 December 1984: George Best's appeal against his 12-week prison sentence for drink-driving is rejected and he will spend Christmas behind bars. [12]
  • 31 December 1984: Tottenham enter 1985 as First Division leaders on goal difference ahead of second-placed Everton, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Nottingham Forest completing the top five. Stoke City, Coventry City and Ipswich Town occupy the bottom three places. [13] Blackburn Rovers now lead the Second Division, with Oxford United and a resurgent Birmingham City completing the top three. Leeds United have emerged as decent bets for promotion after overcoming their dismal start to the season and occupying seventh place in the table, while Notts County have enjoying something of a mini-revival this month to keep their hopes of avoiding a second successive relegation alive. They could be going down alongside Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have slipped into the Second Division drop zone a season after dropping out of the First Division. [14]
  • 12 January 1985: The final league fixtures are played in a month blighted by match cancellations, the result of bad weather, with Everton regaining their lead and defending champions Liverpool a lowly 10th. December's month-end leaders Tottenham Hotspur are now two points behind Everton in second place, while Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal complete the top five. Stoke City, Luton Town and Ipswich Town occupy the bottom three places. [15] Blackburn Rovers, Oxford United and Birmingham City continue to head the Second Division promotion race, with Portsmouth and Leeds United continuing to give them a run for their money along with a resurgent Manchester City. [16]
  • 26 January 1985: The surprise result of the FA Cup fourth round comes at Bootham Crescent, where Third Division underdogs York City defeat First Division title challengers Arsenal 1-0 thanks to a Keith Houchen penalty.
  • 30 January 1985: Brian Clough's latest quest to bring the FA Cup to Nottingham Forest is ended when they suffer a shock 1-0 defeat to Wimbledon in the fourth round replay. Wimbledon, who are mid table in their first season as a Second Division club, are only in their eighth season as Football League members.
  • 4 February 1985: Two FA Cup fourth round replays take place, both with shock results - Alliance Premier League side Telford United beat Fourth Division promotion challengers Darlington 3-0 at the Bucks Head, while First Division high flyers Chelsea suffer a 3-2 home defeat against a Millwall side who are in the Third Division.
  • 16 February 1985: Telford United's FA Cup adventure ends in the fifth round when they lose 3-0 to Everton at Goodison Park, while Liverpool are held to a 1-1 draw by York City.
  • 20 February 1985: York City's dreams of overcoming another First Division club are quickly blown to pieces as Liverpool beat them 7-0 in the fifth round replay at Anfield.
  • 28 February 1985: February ends with Everton still top, with Tottenham Hotspur second and Manchester United third, but Liverpool are continuing to improve by climbing from 10th place to fourth this month and cutting their defecit behind the leaders to 10 points. The top five is completed by Nottingham Forest. Stoke City, Luton Town and Ipswich Town continue to occupy the bottom three places. [17] Blackburn Rovers remain top of the Second Division, while Manchester City have muscled into the top three to occupy second place, and Oxford United have dipped slightly to third. Birmingham City, Portsmouth and Leeds United are giving them a run for their money along with resurgent Fulham. Notts County and Wolverhampton Wanderers remain in the bottom three and in real danger of a second successive relegation. [18]
  • 4 March 1985: Southampton's FA Cup challenge is ended with a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Barnsley.
  • 13 March 1985: Luton Town's quest for a first-ever major trophy continues to progress as they defeat Millwall 1-0 at Kenilworth Road in the FA Cup quarter-final to book a place in the semi-finals, where they will face Everton. Manchester United and Liverpool will contest the other semi-final.
  • 28 March 1985: Southampton's 18-year-old midfielder Dennis Wise joins Wimbledon, performing well in their first season as a Second Division club, on a free transfer.
  • 31 March 1985: Everton remain leaders of the First Division for the third month-end running, three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and with a game in hand. Manchester United's title challenge and bid for the double is fading fast, while Arsenal's late-season push is now very much a UEFA Cup bid rather than a title bid, with a similar challenge now being fought by Liverpool, Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Southampton. [19] Manchester City are now top of the Second Division, joined in the promotion places by Oxford United and Birmingham City. Blackburn Rovers have fallen into fourth place, while a minor upturn in fortunes for struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers and Notts County keep hopes alive for these two clubs in their quest to avoid a second successive relegation. [20]
  • 13 April 1985: Manchester United and Liverpool draw 2-2 in the FA Cup semi-final at Goodison Park, while Everton end Luton Town's hopes of glory with a 2-1 win.
  • 17 April 1985: Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final replay at Maine Road.
  • 21 April 1985: Stoke City, who have only gained three wins and 17 points this season, are relegated from the First Division. [21]
  • 30 April 1985: Everton are now looking almost certain to win the league title with an 11-point lead over second placed Manchester United, with a game in hand, as April draws to a close. United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are the only sides now standing a mathematical chance of catching Everton, though the bid for a UEFA Cup place is still open wide with Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal, Southampton and Chelsea all in contention. [22] Oxford United have sealed promotion to the First Division for the first time ever, though Birmingham City (who only need two points from their final three games to ensure promotion) could still beat them to the Second Division title. Manchester City occupy third place, with Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United and Portsmouth still pushing Billy McNeill's men for the final promotion place. [23]
  • 1 May 1985: England draw 0-0 with Romania in Bucharest in their fourth World Cup qualifier.
  • 6 May 1985: Everton are confirmed league champions of England for the first time in 15 years with a 2-0 win over QPR at Goodison Park. [24]
  • 11 May 1985: 56 people are burnt to death and more than 200 others injured in a fire at Third Division champions Bradford City's final league game of the season against Lincoln City. 54 of the dead are Bradford City fans, the other two Lincoln City fans. Birmingham City's promotion from the Second Division is marred by a riot by Leeds United fans in which a 14-year-old spectator is crushed to death by a collapsing wall. Manchester City have sealed the final promotion place with a goal difference advantage over Portsmouth. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Notts County, who began the season with ambitions of an immediate return to the First Division, have been relegated for a second season in succession and will be playing Third Division football in 1985-86. [25]
  • 22 May 1985: England draw 1-1 with Finland in Helsinki in their fifth World Cup qualifier.
  • 31 May 1985: UEFA places an indefinite ban on all English clubs in European competitions, with a proposition that Liverpool have to serve an extra three years once the ban is lifted on all other English clubs. As well as Liverpool missing out on a place in next season's UEFA Cup, Everton will not be able to compete in the European Cup, Manchester United have lost their place in the European Cup Winners' Cup, while Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Norwich City have been forced out of the UEFA Cup. However, the five clubs other than Liverpool are intent on appealing against the blanket ban on English clubs, feeling that only Liverpool should be penalised as it was their fans who rioted at Heysel.
  • 6 June 1985: Lawrie McMenemy makes a swift return to football management with Sunderland, who have just been relegated from the First Division and have reputedly made him the highest-paid manager in English football.

Famous debutants

25 August 1984: Dale Gordon, 17-year-old winger, makes his debut for Norwich City in a 3-3 away draw with Liverpool in the First Division.

26 December 1984: Nigel Clough, 18-year-old striker and son of manager Brian Clough, makes his debut for Nottingham Forest in a 2-1 home win over Ipswich Town in the First Division.

23 March 1985: Martin Allen, 19-year-old midfielder, makes his debut for Queen's Park Rangers in a 2-0 away defeat against Luton Town in the First Division.

11 May 1985: Dennis Wise, 18-year-old winger, makes his debut for Wimbledon in 2-1 home win over Cardiff City in the Second Division.

Honours

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Everton (8) Liverpool
Second Division Oxford United Birmingham City
Third Division Bradford City Millwall
Fourth Division Chesterfield Blackpool
FA Cup Manchester United (6) Everton
League Cup Norwich City (2) Sunderland
Freight Rover Trophy Wigan Athletic Brentford
Charity Shield Everton Liverpool

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 GD Pts
1 Everton 42 28 6 8 88 43 +45 90
2 Liverpool 42 22 11 9 68 35 +33 77
3 Tottenham Hotspur 42 23 8 11 78 51 +27 77
4 Manchester United 42 22 10 10 77 47 +30 76
5 Southampton 42 19 11 12 56 47 +9 68
6 Chelsea 42 18 12 12 63 48 +15 66
7 Arsenal 42 19 9 14 61 49 +12 66
8 Sheffield Wednesday 42 17 14 11 58 45 +13 65
9 Nottingham Forest 42 19 7 16 56 48 +8 64
10 Aston Villa 42 15 11 16 60 60 +0 56
11 Watford 42 14 13 15 81 71 +10 55
12 West Bromwich Albion 42 16 7 19 58 62 -4 55
13 Luton Town 42 15 9 18 57 61 -4 54
14 Newcastle United 42 13 13 16 55 70 -15 52
15 Leicester City 42 15 6 21 65 73 -8 51
16 West Ham United 42 13 12 17 51 68 -17 51
17 Ipswich Town 42 13 11 18 46 57 -11 50
18 Coventry City 42 15 5 22 47 64 -17 50
19 Queens Park Rangers 42 13 11 18 53 72 -19 50
20 Norwich City 42 13 10 19 46 64 -18 49
21 Sunderland 42 10 10 22 40 62 -22 40
22 Stoke City 42 3 8 31 24 91 -67 17

Second Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Oxford United 42 25 9 8 84 36 +48 84
2 Birmingham City 42 25 7 10 59 33 +26 82
3 Manchester City 42 21 11 10 66 40 +26 74
4 Portsmouth 42 20 14 8 69 50 +19 74
5 Blackburn Rovers 42 21 10 11 66 41 +25 73
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 42 20 12 10 54 34 +20 72
7 Leeds United 42 19 12 11 66 43 +23 69
8 Shrewsbury Town 42 18 11 13 66 53 +13 65
9 Fulham 42 19 8 15 68 64 +4 65
10 Grimsby Town 42 18 8 16 72 64 +8 62
11 Barnsley 42 14 16 12 42 42 +0 58
12 Wimbledon 42 16 10 16 71 75 -4 58
13 Huddersfield Town 42 15 10 17 52 64 -12 55
14 Oldham Athletic 42 15 8 19 49 67 -18 53
15 Crystal Palace 42 12 12 18 46 65 -19 48
16 Carlisle United 42 13 8 21 50 67 -17 47
17 Charlton Athletic 42 11 12 19 51 63 -12 45
18 Sheffield United 42 10 14 18 54 66 -12 44
19 Middlesbrough 42 10 10 22 41 57 -16 40
20 Notts County 42 10 7 25 45 73 -28 37
21 Cardiff City 42 9 8 25 47 79 -32 35
22 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 8 9 25 37 79 -42 33

Third Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bradford City 46 28 10 8 77 45 +32 94
2 Millwall 46 26 12 8 73 42 +31 90
3 Hull City 46 25 12 9 78 49 +29 87
4 Gillingham 46 25 8 13 80 62 +18 83
5 Bristol City 46 24 9 13 74 47 +27 81
6 Bristol Rovers 46 21 12 13 66 48 +18 75
7 Derby County 46 19 13 14 65 54 +11 70
8 York City 46 20 9 17 70 57 +13 69
9 Reading 46 19 12 15 68 62 +6 69
10 Bournemouth 46 19 11 16 57 46 +11 68
11 Walsall 46 18 13 15 58 52 +6 67
12 Rotherham United 46 18 11 17 55 55 +0 65
13 Brentford 46 16 14 16 62 64 -2 62
14 Doncaster Rovers 46 17 8 21 72 74 -2 59
15 Plymouth Argyle 46 15 14 17 62 65 -3 59
16 Wigan Athletic 46 15 14 17 60 64 -4 59
17 Bolton Wanderers 46 16 6 24 69 75 -6 54
18 Newport County 46 13 13 20 55 67 -12 52
19 Lincoln City 46 11 18 17 50 51 -1 51
20 Swansea City 46 12 11 23 53 80 -27 47
21 Burnley 46 11 13 22 60 73 -13 46
22 Orient 46 11 13 22 51 76 -25 46
23 Preston North End 46 13 7 26 51 100 -49 46
24 Cambridge United 46 4 9 33 37 95 -58 21

Fourth Division

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chesterfield 46 26 13 7 64 35 +29 91
2 Blackpool 46 24 14 8 73 39 +34 86
3 Darlington 46 24 13 9 66 49 +17 85
4 Bury 46 24 12 10 76 50 +26 84
5 Hereford United 46 22 11 13 65 47 +18 77
6 Tranmere Rovers 46 24 3 19 83 66 +17 75
7 Colchester United 46 20 14 12 87 65 +22 74
8 Swindon Town 46 21 9 16 62 58 +4 72
9 Scunthorpe United 46 19 14 13 83 62 +21 71
10 Crewe Alexandra 46 18 12 16 65 69 -4 66
11 Peterborough United 46 16 14 16 54 53 +1 62
12 Port Vale 46 14 18 14 61 59 +2 60
13 Aldershot 46 17 8 21 56 63 -7 59
14 Mansfield Town 46 13 18 15 41 38 +3 57
15 Wrexham 46 15 9 22 67 70 -3 54
16 Chester City 46 15 9 22 60 72 -12 54
17 Rochdale 46 13 14 19 55 69 -14 53
18 Exeter City 46 13 14 19 57 79 -22 53
19 Hartlepool United 46 14 10 22 54 67 -13 52
20 Southend United 46 13 11 22 58 83 -25 50
21 Halifax Town 46 15 5 26 42 69 -27 50
22 Stockport County 46 13 8 25 58 79 -21 47
23 Northampton Town 46 14 5 27 53 74 -21 47
24 Torquay United 46 9 14 23 38 63 -25 41

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

Deaths

References

  1. ^ Entertainment & Sports Agency Limited. "Oxford United FC News - U's MAD". Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. http://www.webcitation.org/5gvDtlAPw. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 

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