1971–72 in English football

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The 1971–72 season was the 92nd season of competitive football in England.

Honours

Competition Winner Runner-up
First Division Derby County (1) Leeds United
Second Division Norwich City Birmingham City
Third Division Aston Villa Brighton & Hove Albion
Fourth Division Grimsby Town Southend United
FA Cup Leeds United (1) Arsenal
League Cup Stoke City (1) Chelsea
Charity Shield Leicester City Liverpool
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

FA Cup

Leeds United won the FA Cup for the first time in their history by beating the previous year's winners, Arsenal, 1–0 in the final at Wembley. Allan Clarke scored the winning goal.[1]

1971–72 marked the centenary of the FA Cup. Non-League Hereford United of the Southern League provided one of the shocks of the season by knocking out Newcastle United 2–1 after extra time in the 3rd Round Replay.

League Cup

Stoke City won the 1972 Football League Cup Final to claim the only major trophy in their history.

Football League

First Division

Brian Clough, 37, won the first major trophy of his managerial career by guiding Derby County to their first ever league championship. They overcame Leeds United, Liverpool and Manchester City to win a four-horse race, with only a single point separating them. It was so close that when Manchester City won their last game of the season—against Derby—they were top of the league by a point but had no chance of actually being champions, as Derby and Liverpool were still to play each other, and both had a superior goal average.

There were later bribery allegations from The Sun newspaper regarding Leeds manager Don Revie, who stood accused of attempting to bribe Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the season in an attempt to win the league title. Captain Billy Bremner won a high court battle to clear his name of the allegations, with evidence provided by Wolves striker Derek Dougan. Although Leeds failed to win the league, they did win the FA Cup for the first time of their history.

Stoke City finally got their hands on some silverware after a century of trying, by winning the League Cup.

Manchester United started the season well under new manager Frank O'Farrell and topped the league for a while, but then lost seven league games in a row and finished eighth in the final table. Troubled winger George Best was dropped from the team towards the end of the season after failing to turn up for training, the latest controversy to surround the hugely popular Northern Irish star, whose excellent early season form had fuelled United's title hopes.

Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town lost their First Division status. By the end of the decade, Forest had made an explosive comeback to the top flight under Brian Clough. 1971–72 was Huddersfield's last season in the Football League's top flight until 2017, and within a few seasons they would be in the Fourth Division – most of their existence from 1972 to 2017 was spent in the league's third tier, with seventeen seasons being spent in the second and six in the bottom.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GAvg
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Derby County 42 24 10 8 69 33 2.091 58 Qualified for the European Cup
2 Leeds United 42 24 9 9 73 31 2.355 57 Qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup
3 Liverpool 42 24 9 9 64 30 2.133 57 Qualified for the UEFA Cup
4 Manchester City 42 23 11 8 77 45 1.711 57
5 Arsenal 42 22 8 12 58 40 1.45 52
6 Tottenham Hotspur 42 19 13 10 63 42 1.5 51 Qualified for the UEFA Cup 1
7 Chelsea 42 18 12 12 58 49 1.184 48
8 Manchester United 42 19 10 13 69 61 1.131 48
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 18 11 13 65 57 1.14 47
10 Sheffield United 42 17 12 13 61 60 1.017 46
11 Newcastle United 42 15 11 16 49 52 0.942 41
12 Leicester City 42 13 13 16 41 46 0.891 39
13 Ipswich Town 42 11 16 15 39 53 0.736 38
14 West Ham United 42 12 12 18 47 51 0.922 36
15 Everton 42 9 18 15 37 48 0.771 36
16 West Bromwich Albion 42 12 11 19 42 54 0.778 35
17 Stoke City 42 10 15 17 39 56 0.696 35 Qualified for the UEFA Cup 2
18 Coventry City 42 9 15 18 44 67 0.657 33
19 Southampton 42 12 7 23 52 80 0.65 31
20 Crystal Palace 42 8 13 21 39 65 0.6 29
21 Nottingham Forest 42 8 9 25 47 81 0.58 25 Relegated to the Second Division
22 Huddersfield Town 42 6 13 23 27 59 0.458 25

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1 Tottenham Hotspur qualified for the UEFA Cup as the trophy holders.
2 Stoke City qualified for the UEFA Cup as the Football League Cup winners.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Second Division

Norwich City won the Second Division and were promoted along with Birmingham City. This marked the first time that Norwich City reached the top flight in their history, less than 70 years after the club was founded. Charlton Athletic and Watford were relegated.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GAvg
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Norwich City 42 21 15 6 60 36 1.667 57 Promoted to the First Division
2 Birmingham City 42 19 18 5 60 31 1.935 56
3 Millwall 42 19 17 6 64 46 1.391 55
4 Queens Park Rangers 42 20 14 8 57 28 2.036 54
5 Sunderland 42 17 16 9 67 57 1.175 50
6 Blackpool 42 20 7 15 70 50 1.4 47
7 Burnley 42 20 6 16 70 55 1.273 46
8 Bristol City 42 18 10 14 61 49 1.245 46
9 Middlesbrough 42 19 8 15 50 48 1.042 46
10 Carlisle United 42 17 9 16 61 57 1.07 43
11 Swindon Town 42 15 12 15 47 47 1 42
12 Hull City 42 14 10 18 49 53 0.925 38
13 Luton Town 42 10 18 14 43 48 0.896 38
14 Sheffield Wednesday 42 13 12 17 51 58 0.879 38
15 Oxford United 42 12 14 16 43 55 0.782 38
16 Portsmouth 42 12 13 17 59 68 0.868 37
17 Orient 42 14 9 19 50 61 0.82 37
18 Preston North End 42 12 12 18 52 58 0.897 36
19 Cardiff City 42 10 14 18 56 69 0.812 34
20 Fulham 42 12 10 20 45 68 0.662 34
21 Charlton Athletic 42 12 9 21 55 77 0.714 33 Relegated to the Third Division
22 Watford 42 5 9 28 24 75 0.32 19

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Third Division

Aston Villa ended their two-year spell in the Third Division by gaining promotion as champions, and by the end of the decade would be firmly re-established as a First Division club. Brighton & Hove Albion followed Villa into the Second Division, but would not reach the heady heights that the midlanders would experience. Mansfield Town, Barnsley, Torquay United and Bradford City were relegated.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GAvg
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Aston Villa 46 32 6 8 85 32 2.656 70 Promoted to the Second Division
2 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 27 11 8 82 47 1.745 65
3 Bournemouth 46 23 16 7 73 37 1.973 62
4 Notts County 46 25 12 9 74 44 1.682 62
5 Rotherham United 46 20 15 11 69 52 1.327 55
6 Bristol Rovers 46 21 12 13 75 56 1.339 54
7 Bolton Wanderers 46 17 16 13 51 41 1.244 50
8 Plymouth Argyle 46 20 10 16 74 64 1.156 50
9 Walsall 46 15 18 13 62 57 1.088 48
10 Blackburn Rovers 46 19 9 18 54 57 0.947 47
11 Oldham Athletic 46 17 11 18 59 63 0.937 45
12 Shrewsbury Town 46 17 10 19 73 65 1.123 44
13 Chesterfield 46 18 8 20 57 57 1 44
14 Swansea City 46 17 10 19 46 59 0.78 44
15 Port Vale 46 13 15 18 43 59 0.729 41
16 Wrexham 46 16 8 22 59 63 0.937 40
17 Halifax Town 46 13 12 21 48 61 0.787 38
18 Rochdale 46 12 13 21 57 83 0.687 37
19 York City 46 12 12 22 57 66 0.864 36
20 Tranmere Rovers 46 10 16 20 50 71 0.704 36
21 Mansfield Town 46 8 20 18 41 63 0.651 36 Relegated to the Fourth Division
22 Barnsley 46 9 18 19 32 64 0.5 36
23 Torquay United 46 10 12 24 41 69 0.594 32
24 Bradford City 46 11 10 25 45 77 0.584 32

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Fourth Division

Grimsby Town, Southend United, Brentford and Scunthorpe United were promoted from the Fourth Division. Barrow were voted out of the Football League and replaced by Hereford United, who a short time earlier had achieved a shock FA Cup victory over Newcastle United.

Ernie Tagg sacked himself as manager of Crewe Alexandra because he felt that a younger manager should take charge of the club.

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GAvg
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Grimsby Town 46 28 7 11 88 56 1.571 63 Promoted to the Third Division
2 Southend United 46 24 12 10 81 55 1.473 60
3 Brentford 46 24 11 11 76 44 1.727 59
4 Scunthorpe United 46 22 13 11 56 37 1.514 57
5 Lincoln City 46 21 14 11 77 59 1.305 56
6 Workington 46 16 19 11 50 34 1.471 51
7 Southport 46 18 14 14 66 46 1.435 50
8 Peterborough United 46 17 16 13 82 64 1.281 50
9 Bury 46 19 12 15 73 59 1.237 50
10 Cambridge United 46 17 14 15 62 60 1.033 48
11 Colchester United 46 19 10 17 70 69 1.014 48
12 Doncaster Rovers 46 16 14 16 56 63 0.889 46
13 Gillingham 46 16 13 17 61 67 0.91 45
14 Newport County 46 18 8 20 60 72 0.833 44
15 Exeter City 46 16 11 19 61 68 0.897 43
16 Reading 46 17 8 21 56 76 0.737 42
17 Aldershot 46 9 22 15 48 54 0.889 40
18 Hartlepool 46 17 6 23 58 69 0.841 40
19 Darlington 46 14 11 21 64 82 0.78 39
20 Chester 46 10 18 18 47 56 0.839 38
21 Northampton Town 46 12 13 21 66 79 0.835 37 Re-elected
22 Barrow 46 13 11 22 40 71 0.563 37 Not re-elected
23 Stockport County 46 9 14 23 55 87 0.632 32 Re-elected
24 Crewe Alexandra 46 10 9 27 43 69 0.623 29

Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Top goalscorers

First Division

Second Division

Third Division

Fourth Division

European competitions

The 1972 UEFA Cup Final was the final of the first ever UEFA Cup and was contested by two English teams, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs won 2–1 in the first leg at the Molineux on 3 May. The second leg, played on 17 May at White Hart Lane, ended 1–1. The 3–2 aggregate win by Tottenham Hotspur gave them the second European trophy in their history [4]

Diary of the season

8 July 1971: Bill Shankly signs a three-year contract as Liverpool manager which will keep him in charge until the end of the 1973–74 season.[5]

7 August 1971: The 1971 FA Charity Shield is held, but without reigning League and Cup winners Arsenal, who are on a pre-season tour abroad. The Shield was won by Second Division champions Leicester City, who beat 1971 FA Cup Final runners-up Liverpool with a Steve Whitworth goal; Arsenal were beaten 1–0 by Feyenoord.[6]

20 August 1971: Manchester United beat Arsenal 3–1 in a "home" tie, played at Anfield in Liverpool as a result of a ban from hosting their first two home games in Manchester, the second would be held at the Victoria Ground in Stoke-on-Trent.[7]

6 November 1971: The Manchester derby at Maine Road ends in a 3–3 thriller, with debutant 17-year-old winger Sammy McIlroy on the scoresheet for United.[8]

27 November 1971: Alan Woodward scores four of the seven Sheffield United put past Ipswich Town without reply, while elsewhere, George Best is the hat-trick hero as Manchester United beat Southampton 5–2, and Wolverhampton Wanderers beat West Bromwich Albion 3–2 in the Black Country derby.[9]

15 December 1971: John Ritchie's goal and a penalty save from Gordon Banks gives Stoke City a replay in the Football League Cup semi-final against West Ham United.[10]

31 December 1971: At the end of the year, Manchester United are top of the First Division, three points ahead of Manchester City and four ahead of Leeds United. West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest occupy the relegation places.[11]

29 January 1972: In the second League Cup semi-final replay, at Old Trafford, Stoke overcome a West Ham side forced to make Bobby Moore their stand-in goalkeeper, putting them through to the League Cup Final for the first time.[12]

19 February 1972: Leeds United thrash Manchester United 5–1 at Elland Road and are two points behind Manchester City at the top of the table. Manchester United have now lost five League matches in a row.[11]

4 March 1972: Leeds United beat Southampton 7–0 and will overtake Manchester City at the top of the table if they win their two games in hand. Manchester United are beaten for the sixth consecutive match in the League when they lose 2–0 to Tottenham Hotspur.[11]

1 April 1972: Derby County beat Leeds United 2–0 and take over at the top of the First Division.[11]

26 April 1972: Derby County win the Texaco Cup by beating Airdrieonians 2–1 on aggregate.[13] Crystal Palace's 2–0 win over Stoke City relegates both Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town from the First Division.

1 May 1972: Derby County, in their last League game of the season, beat Liverpool 1–0. Leeds United beat Chelsea 2–0 and will win the title if they can beat Wolverhampton Wanderers in their final fixture.[11]

6 May 1972: Leeds United win the FA Cup for the first time in their history by beating Arsenal 1–0 in the final at Wembley, with Allan Clarke heading the only goal in the second half.

8 May 1972: Derby County win the League Championship as neither Leeds United nor Liverpool manage to win their final league games. Leeds would have overtaken Derby on goal average had they drawn with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, but lose 2-1, while Liverpool draw 0-0 with Arsenal at Highbury.[11]

11 May 1972: The First Division season ends when Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal 2–0 in the North London derby at Highbury.[11]

Star players

Star managers

National team

England were eliminated from the 1972 European Championships in the quarter-finals after losing 3–1 on aggregate over two legs (1–3 at Wembley and 0–0 in West Berlin) to West Germany, who went on to win the tournament.

References

  1. ^ "FA Cup Final 1972". Fa-cupfinals.co.uk. Archived from the original on 8 June 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  2. ^ a b "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2017-06-04. 
  3. ^ a b "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 2017-06-04. 
  4. ^ "1972 UEFA Cup Final". Spurs Memorabilia. Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Miller, Nick (4 August 2016). "The forgotten story of … Leicester City winning the 1971 Charity Shield". theguardian.com. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Roughley, Gregg (17 March 2010). "The forgotten story of ... When Anfield was Manchester United's home ground". theguardian.com. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 
  8. ^ Ley, John (10 November 2010). "Top 10: Manchester derbies". Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-04-09. 
  9. ^ "Best kicks three goals". The Sydney Morning Herald. 29 November 1971. p. 17. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "Stoke City earn Cup replay". The Age. Melbourne. Australian Associated Press; Reuters. 17 December 1971. p. 26. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Smailes, Gordon (2000). The Breedon Book of Football Records. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 1859832148. 
  12. ^ Edwards, Richard (26 January 2016). "The most mental semi-final ever: when Bobby Moore went in goal... and saved a penalty". fourfourtwo.com. Retrieved 15 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "Disputed penalty decision robs Airdrie of cup". The Herald. Glasgow. 27 April 1972. p. 9. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
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