THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

D1 RESULTS 220450a22 April ~ Portsmouth kept up their two-point lead over Wolves with a victory over Liverpool in front of 46,927. But the title race went to the last match after Portsmouth lost their penultimate game, away to Arsenal, while Wolves were winning at Bolton. A 5-1 defeat of Villa ensured that the title came to Fratton Park for the second consecutive season.

Portsmouth had set a League record in having no capped players in their title-winning team of 1948-49 – partly an effect of international competition having only recently resumed after the war. But centre-forward Jack Froggatt, one of the two scorers against Liverpool, went on to play 13 times for England, while winger Peter Harris had the unwanted distinction of getting his two caps in landmark losses – the first at home to a non-British side, against the Republic of Ireland in 1949, then their worst ever defeat, 7-1 in Hungary five years later.

Wing-half Jimmy Dickinson also played in those games and went on to get 48 caps. Probably the most popular figure ever associated with the club, Dickinson played for Portsmouth until 1965 and later worked for them as both manager and club secretary.

Twenty-year-old Ronnie Allen scored West Brom's winner at Fulham. Newly signed from Port Vale, Allen went to play over 400 League games for Albion and scored both goals in their 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Preston in 1954. He later became the only person so far to manage both West Brom and Wolves.

Arsenal won the FA Cup, beating Liverpool 2-0 in the final. Neither side wore their first-choice strip with Liverpool in white shirts and their opponents in “old gold”. The Liverpool team included wing-half Phil Taylor who was to manage the club for three years before being replaced by Bill Shankly in 1959. Another future Liverpool manager, Bob Paisley, was left out of the team despite having scored the winning goal in their semi-final.  Liverpool's scorer in their defeat at Portsmouth was Albert Stubbins, who features on the cover of Sergeant Pepper. The Beatles weren't Liverpool fans – they just liked his name.

Manchester City and Birmingham both went down after failing to win either of their last two games. Goalkeeper and former POW Bert Trautmann made his City debut this season, replacing the veteran Frank Swift who became a journalist and was to die in the Munich air crash. Trautmann stayed with City for 14 years and was then manager of Stockport before becoming a coach with the German FA.

Everton's goalscorer against Burnley was Harry Catterick who managed them to League titles in 1963 and 1970. The last pre-war champions, Everton had struggled since the resumption and went down the following year. Their 7-0 thrashing by Portsmouth in this season was a club record, matched only by a game at Arsenal in 2005 when they had just clinched fourth place.

D1 TABLE 220450

Results & table from statto.com

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