13 February ~ Manchester United were to win their first title in seven seasons, on goal average ahead of newly promoted Leeds. Matt Busby’s side had moved into second place during a run of seven successive wins in March and April. The decisive round of fixtures was on April 26 when Arsenal were beaten 3-1 at Old Trafford while Leeds could only draw 3-3 at relegated Birmingham. Manchester United could then afford to lose their game in hand, two days later at Villa.
Bobby Charlton and centre-half Bill Foulkes were the playing connections to the pre-Munich air crash side, along with goalkeeper Harry Gregg who was injured for the entire season. The strike partnership of David Herd and Denis Law got 48 goals between them – Law scoring two in this win over Spurs in September while the 18-year-old George Best scored ten goals in 41 games.
Leeds’ second place was the best finish in their history – they were also to be runners-up in the FA Cup to Liverpool. Don Revie’s team attracted criticism for rough play but equal admiration for their skills. Both aspects were combined in the diminutive midfield trio of Bobby Collins, Johnny Giles and Billy Bremner. The team’s top scorer, Scotsman Jim Storrie, didn’t take part in their future successes, being sold to Aberdeen the following year.
Chelsea’s England strikers Barry Bridges and Bobby Tambling both scored in their 3-0 win at Wolves. They led the league for the majority of the season but were to lose five of their final seven away matches and finished third, five points behind Manchester United. Wolves, who had contentiously sacked their former League-winning manager Stan Cullis in September 1964, were in the bottom two for the entire season.
Fulham were 20th, four points ahead of Wolves. This was part of a sequence in which they finished in the bottom seven in Division One for eight seasons in a row, culminating in relegation in 1967-68. Twenty-year-old Rodney Marsh scored in their 4-1 win over Spurs, who Fulham didn’t beat again in the League until 2002.
Joint top scorers with 29 goals were Jimmy Greaves of Spurs and Blackburn’s Irish international Andy McEvoy who had been converted from wing-half to striker a couple of years earlier. McEvoy became disillusioned with professional football after Blackburn’s relegation in 1966 and returned home, aged 28, to play part-time for Limerick while working as a tram driver.