6 September ~ Glyn Hodges scored the goal at Watford that took Wimbledon two points clear at the top. They then slid into the bottom half after taking one point in six games, but finally came sixth which was to be their highest ever League placing.
Wimbledon’s average crowd of 7,810 was the lowest in the First Division since Stoke’s 5,605 in 1906-07. One of the other two promoted teams, Charlton, also drew under 10,000 on average, as tenants at Selhurst Park. Charlton stayed up on the final day by winning to home to QPR while rivals Leicester drew at Oxford.
Manchester United won their next match, 5-1 against Southampton, but they didn’t get out of the bottom half until February and finished 11th; Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson replaced Ron Atkinson in November with the team one place above the relegation zone.
Villa’s goal against Oxford was a Simon Stainrod penalty. He was to be their joint top scorer with six goals alongside centre-half Allan Evans, all of whose goals were from the spot. Villa sacked manager Graham Turner a week later after a 6-0 defeat at Forest. His replacement was Billy McNeill, from Manchester City, who also ended up going down (with Mel Machin in charge).
Newcastle’s 3-2 loss to Sheffield Wednesday was the first time they had begun a season with three successive home defeats. They were in the relegation places at Easter but finished five points clear of the drop thanks to a flurry of goals from Paul Goddard, who was signed from West Ham in November.
Following a slow start Everton won the title by nine points from Liverpool. After the two had swapped places a couple of times, March 28 proved to be a crucial day. Everton went top by winning 1-0 at Arsenal with a lobbed goal from Wayne Clarke while Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by Wimbledon at Anfield – it was the first time that Ian Rush had scored in a League game and been on a losing side.
Rush was second top scorer with 30 league goals, three behind Clive Allen of Spurs who also scored in the second minute of the FA Cup final, which Coventry won 3-2.