5 November ~ Howard Wilkinson’s Sheffield Wednesday kept their four-point lead with goals from defenders Mark Smith and Mel Sterland beating Barnsley. Wednesday were top for almost the entire season but points dropped in two of their last three games meant they missed out on the title to Chelsea. Strikers Imre Varadi and Gary Bannister contributed half of the team’s 62 goals, Varadi scoring both in this 2-1 win at Maine Road a month later.
Chelsea’s goal in their draw at Oldham was scored by midfielder John Bumstead. Kerry Dixon scored 28 of their 90 goals which made him the division’s top scorer, one ahead of Kevin Keegan. Dixon was one of three ever-presents in the side alongside keeper Eddie Niedzwiecki and centre-half Colin Pates.
In his final season as a player, Keegan scored Newcastle’s first goal in their 3-2 defeat of Fulham. His side clinched the third promotion spot with a 4-0 win over Derby in the 40th fixture while rivals Man City were losing their third game in succession, 2-0 at home to Chelsea.
A week earlier, Newcastle had been the first team beaten by already-relegated Cambridge for 32 games – a League record. Cambridge finished 23 points behind fourth-bottom Oldham. The team beaten at home by Derby included centre-back David Moyes, playing in his second match after signing from Celtic and winger Andy Sinton, later capped by England while with QPR. Derby won only one other away game and were also relegated.
Swansea went down for a second successive season. The 0-0 draw with Carlisle was the first match since the resignation of manager John Toshack who had taken the club from the fourth level to Division One in five seasons. Toshack returned two months later and even played three matches before leaving again in March.
Mark Hateley scored a hat-trick in Portsmouth’s 4-0 defeat of Grimsby. Signed from Coventry in 1983, he spent just the one season at Fratton Park before leaving for AC Milan. Yes, that’s an English player from a second-level club moving to Serie A. Things were different then.