21 September ~ Manchester United topped the table throughout the season with an average crowd of 48,388, nearly 20,000 higher than the next best supported club, Sunderland. Striker Stuart Pearson, signed from Hull in the summer, was their top scorer with 17 goals, ahead of Irish midfielder Gerry Daly who converted five penalties in the first seven games. After their 4-0 defeat of Norwich, Fulham fell out of the promotion race, winning won only one of their next ten games.
One of the scorers against Norwich, Viv Busby, went to get six goals in Fulham’s run to the FA Cup final which ended in a 2-0 defeat to West Ham. Norwich, meanwhile, reached the League Cup final which they lost 1-0 to Ron Saunders’ Aston Villa. Ray Graydon, whose penalty rebound decided the final, scored all three goals in the victory over Millwall. None of the Villa players was still at the club when they won the League six years later.
Villa finished second, three points behind Man Utd, and helped Norwich’s promotion bid by beating their rivals Sunderland 2-0 on the final weekend of the season. Norwich clinched third place with a 3-0 win at Portsmouth on the same day.
Nottingham Forest had seven members of the 1977-78 title-winning team in their squad which finished 16th in Brian Clough’s first season in charge; one such player, Viv Anderson, made his League debut in the 3-2 win at Sheffield Wednesday, who fell into Division Three for the first time after finishing 11 points adrift at the bottom.
Millwall and Cardiff both went down after failing to win any of their last six matches. Millwall winger Gordon Hill made a big impact in only his second season and went to be capped by England after moving to Man Utd. Hill also became known for his impersonations of Norman Wisdom, which were foisted on TV viewers in the build-up the 1976 FA Cup final.
Blackpool’s scorer against York, Mickey Walsh, won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Season award for a long-range strike against Sunderland in February 1975. York finished 15th in their first ever season in Division Two but went down the following year.