1968–69 in English football

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The 1968–69 season was the 89th season of competitive football in England.


Football in England
Men's football
First Division Leeds United
Second Division Derby County
Third Division Watford
Fourth Division Doncaster Rovers
FA Cup Manchester City
League Cup Swindon Town
Charity Shield Manchester City
  1967–68 Flag of England.svg 1969–70  


First Division Leeds United (1) Liverpool
Second Division Derby County Crystal Palace
Third Division Watford Swindon Town
Fourth Division Doncaster Rovers Halifax Town
FA Cup Manchester City (4) Leicester City
League Cup Swindon Town (1) Arsenal
Charity Shield Manchester City West Bromwich Albion
Home Championship Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland

Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour.

FA Cup

Manchester City completed a disappointing season for relegated Leicester City by defeating them 1–0 in the FA Cup Final. Neil Young scored the only goal of the game, although Leicester's David Nish gained the record as the youngest captain of a cup finalist at the age of 21. [1]

The season's big giant-killers were Third Division Mansfield Town who accounted for Sheffield United in the Third Round and West Ham in the Fifth before going out to Leicester in the Sixth Round.[ citation needed ]

League Cup

In one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition Swindon Town won the final 3–1 against Arsenal. Swindon's non-top flight status saw them barred from competing in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup which led to the creation of the Anglo-Italian Cup the following season.[ citation needed ]

European football

Newcastle United won the first, and to date only, European trophy in their history by beating Újpest of Hungary 6–2 on aggregate to lift the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.[ citation needed ]

Football League

First Division

Leeds United won the League for the first time in their history, finishing six points ahead of Liverpool.

Manchester United's final season under the management of Sir Matt Busby before his retirement ended in an 11th-place finish, although their defence of the European Cup lasted until the semi-finals. Their cross city rivals finished 13th a year after being league champions, but had an FA Cup triumph as compensation for their failed defence of the league title and their failure to succeed in the European Cup.

Newly promoted Queens Park Rangers were relegated after finishing bottom, along with the FA Cup runners-up Leicester City.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGRPtsQualification or relegation
1 Leeds United 422713266262.53867Qualified for the European Cup
2 Liverpool 422511663242.62561Qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
3 Everton 422115677362.13957
4 Arsenal 422212856272.07456Qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup [lower-alpha 1]
5 Chelsea 4220101273531.37750
6 Tottenham Hotspur 4214171161511.19645
7 Southampton 4216131357481.18845Qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup [lower-alpha 2]
8 West Ham United 4213181166501.32044
9 Newcastle United 4215141361551.10944Qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup [lower-alpha 3]
10 West Bromwich Albion 4216111564670.95543
11 Manchester United 4215121557531.07542
12 Ipswich Town 4215111659600.98341
13 Manchester City 4215101764551.16440Qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup
14 Burnley 421591855820.67139
15 Sheffield Wednesday 4210161641540.75936
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4210151741580.70735
17 Sunderland 4211121943670.64234
18 Nottingham Forest 4210131945570.78933
19 Stoke City 429151840630.63533
20 Coventry City 4210112146640.71931
21 Leicester City 429122139680.57430Relegated to the Second Division
22 Queens Park Rangers 424102839950.41118
Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
  1. Arsenal qualified for Inter-Cities Fairs Cup ahead of Everton, who finished below Liverpool, due to the "only one club per city" rule.
  2. Southampton qualified for Inter-Cities Fairs Cup ahead of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, who finished below Arsenal, due to the "only one club per city" rule.
  3. Newcastle United qualified for Inter-Cities Fairs Cup as the trophy holders.

Second Division

Derby County were runaway winners of the Second Division and they were joined in being promoted by runners-up Crystal Palace. Despite still boasting the talents of Johnny Haynes and George Cohen, Fulham finished bottom and were relegated. They were joined in the Third Division by perennial strugglers Bury

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGRPtsPromotion or relegation
1 Derby County 422611565322.03163Promoted to the First Division
2 Crystal Palace 422212870471.48956
3 Charlton Athletic 4218141061521.17350
4 Middlesbrough 4219111258491.18449
5 Cardiff City 422071567541.24147
6 Huddersfield Town 4217121353461.15246
7 Birmingham City 421881673591.23744
8 Blackpool 4214151351411.24443
9 Sheffield United 4216111561501.22043
10 Millwall 421791657491.16343
11 Hull City 4213161359521.13542
12 Carlisle United 4216101646490.93942
13 Norwich City 4215101753560.94640
14 Preston North End 4212151538440.86439
15 Portsmouth 4212141658581.00038
16 Bristol City 4211161546530.86838
17 Bolton Wanderers 4211161555670.82138
18 Aston Villa 4212141637480.77138
19 Blackburn Rovers 4213111852630.82537
20 Oxford United 421292134550.61833
21 Bury 421182351800.63830Relegated to the Third Division
22 Fulham 427112440810.49425
Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Third Division

Watford won the title on goal average (Goal Ratio) from Swindon Town and both teams were duly promoted. At the bottom end Northampton Town, Hartlepool, Crewe Alexandra and Oldham Athletic were all relegated.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGRPtsPromotion or relegation
1 Watford 462710974342.17664Promoted to the Second Division
2 Swindon Town 462710971352.02964
3 Luton Town 4625111074381.94761
4 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 462191660451.33351
5 Plymouth Argyle 4617151453491.08249
6 Torquay United 4618121654461.17448
7 Tranmere Rovers 4619101770681.02948
8 Southport 4617131671641.10947
9 Stockport County 4616141667680.98546
10 Barnsley 4616141658630.92146
11 Rotherham United 4616131756501.12045
12 Brighton & Hove Albion 4616131772651.10845
13 Walsall 4614161650491.02044
14 Reading 4615131867661.01543
15 Mansfield Town 4616111958620.93543
16 Bristol Rovers 4616111963710.88743
17 Shrewsbury Town 4616111951670.76143
18 Orient 4614141851580.87942
19 Barrow 461782156750.74742
20 Gillingham 4613151854630.85741
21 Northampton Town 4614122054610.88540Relegated to the Fourth Division
22 Hartlepool 4610191740700.57139
23 Crewe Alexandra 461392452760.68435
24 Oldham Athletic 461392450830.60235
Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Fourth Division

The Division was won by Doncaster Rovers, who were promoted along with Halifax Town, Rochdale and Bradford City. No team failed re-election so no new members were admitted to the Football League.

PosTeamPldWDLGFGAGRPtsQualification or relegation
1 Doncaster Rovers 462117865381.71159Promoted to the Third Division
2 Halifax Town 462017953371.43257
3 Rochdale 461820868351.94356
4 Bradford City 461820865461.41356
5 Darlington 4617181162451.37852
6 Colchester United 4620121457531.07552
7 Southend United 4619131478611.27951
8 Lincoln City 4617171254521.03851
9 Wrexham 4618141461521.17350
10 Swansea Town 4619111658541.07449
11 Brentford 4618121664650.98548
12 Workington 4615171440430.93047
13 Port Vale 4616141646461.00046
14 Chester 4616131776661.15245
15 Aldershot 461972066661.00045
16 Scunthorpe United 461882061601.01744
17 Exeter City 4616111966651.01543
18 Peterborough United 4613161760571.05342
19 Notts County 4612181648570.84242
20 Chesterfield 4613151843500.86041
21 York City 4614112153750.70739Re-elected
22 Newport County 4611142149740.66236
23 Grimsby Town 469152247690.68133
24 Bradford Park Avenue 4651031321060.30220
Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Top goalscorers

First Division

Second Division

Third Division

Fourth Division

Events of the season

Star players

For the only time in its history the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year was shared by two players — Tony Book of Manchester City and Dave Mackay of Derby County. [12] For the sixth and final time in his illustrious career Tottenham Hotspur's Jimmy Greaves was Division One top-scorer with 27 goals. He was also top-scorer in the league overall with 22 goals taking the Second Division award for John Toshack of Cardiff City,

Star managers

National team

The England national football team enjoyed a successful year in the build-up to the 1970 FIFA World Cup, for which they had automatically qualified as holders of the trophy after the 1966 FIFA World Cup. They won the 1969 British Home Championship by beating all three opponents and only lost one game all year, to Brazil during an end of season tour to the Americas.

American tour

Mexico  Flag of Mexico.svg0–0Flag of England.svg  England


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The 1967–68 season was the 88th season of competitive football in England. Defending First Division champions, Manchester United, became the first English team to win the European Cup, while the First Division title went to their cross city rivals City. West Bromwich Albion lifted the FA Cup this season, for the fifth time in their history. Leeds United won their first two major trophies when they lifted the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and Football League Cup at the expense of an Arsenal side who had not played at Wembley for 16 years.

The 1969–70 season was the 71st completed season of The Football League.

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  1. "David Nish profile". Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2010.
  2. 1 2 "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  3. 1 2 "English League Leading Goalscorers". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  4. "Man City triumph in Charity Shield thriller". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
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  6. "Leeds only unbeaten first division club". The Gazette. Montreal. The Canadian Press. 19 August 1968. p. 29. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  7. "West Ham United 8 - 0 Sunderland" . Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  8. Tom German (23 December 1968). "Tottenham true to pattern". The Times (57441). London. p. 9.
  9. "1969: Matt Busby retires from Man United". BBC News. 14 January 1969.
  10. Archived 2010-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "The Forgotten Story Of ... Swindon's 1969 League Cup triumph". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  12. 1 2 "MACKAY AND BOOK SHARE AWARD". The Herald. Glasgow. 11 April 1969. p. 6. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 April 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. Geoffrey Green (29 April 1969). "Leeds survive pounding to clinch title". The Times (57557). London. p. 8.
  15. Geoffrey Green (16 May 1969). "Milan rearguard action balks United". The Times (57561). London. p. 11.
  16. Geoffrey Green (19 May 1969). "Too good a side for relegation". The Times (57563). London. p. 6.
  17. Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 44. ISBN   0-9529152-0-0.
  18. 1 2 3 Player death notices
  19. Eric Sweeney
  20. Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. Surrey: T.G Jones. p. 24. ISBN   0-9527458-0-1.