1969–70 in English football

The 1969–70 season was the 90th season of competitive football in England.


First Division

Everton won their 7th title, finishing nine points clear of Leeds United with Chelsea in third and newly promoted Derby County in fourth. Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland were both relegated.

Second Division

Huddersfield Town claimed the divisional title and were promoted along with runners-up Blackpool. Aston Villa who would win the European Cup just 12 years later, endured the worst season in their history and were relegated to the Third Division for the first time, along with bottom club Preston North End, for whom it was also a first relegation to the third tier; it was the first time that two of the founding members of the Football League who had also won it would be competing in the Third Division.

Third Division

Orient won the title and were promoted along with Luton Town, who had finished third the previous season. As usual four teams were relegated, with Bournemouth, Southport, Barrow and Stockport County all making the drop.

Fourth Division

Chesterfield won the title and were promoted along with Wrexham, Swansea City and Port Vale. Bradford Park Avenue lost their application for re-election and were replaced by Cambridge United.

In February, Swansea Town were renamed Swansea City after Swansea received city status.[1]

FA Cup

Main article: 1969–70 FA Cup

Chelsea won the cup by beating Leeds United 2–1 in a replay at Old Trafford after a 2–2 draw at Wembley Stadium. In the replay Leeds took the lead through Mick Jones before an equaliser from Peter Osgood forced the replay to extra-time. David Webb then scored the winner in the 104th minute to give Chelsea a first ever FA Cup triumph.

Manchester United beat Watford 2–0 at Highbury in the first ever third-place playoff, held the day before the final.

A number of non-league clubs made it to the Third Round i.e. Brentwood, Hillingdon Borough and South Shields as well as Sutton United who reached the Fourth Round before losing 6–0 to Leeds.

George Best scored six goals for Manchester United in their 8–2 victory over Northampton Town in the Fifth Round. He received a match ball signed by all of the opposition players as a souvenir, and later donated it to the club's museum.

League Cup

Manchester City won the League Cup by beating West Bromwich Albion 2–1 after extra time. Second Division Carlisle United enjoyed a run to the Semi-finals of the competition but lost to Albion. In the other semi Manchester City beat local rivals Manchester United.

European football

Arsenal won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup final, beating R.S.C. Anderlecht 4–3 on aggregate. Manchester City won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, defeating Górnik Zabrze of Poland 2–1 at the Prater Stadium in Vienna to complete a double triumph. Leeds United reached the semi-final of the European Cup, but lost 3–1 on aggregate to Scottish champions Celtic.[2]

Star players

The Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year was awarded to Billy Bremner who was the outstanding player of the season despite the failure of Leeds to win any trophies. Jeff Astle of West Bromwich Albion finished the season as Division One top scorer by netting 25 goals. Albert Kinsey of Wrexham was overall league top-scorer, hitting 27 goals for the Fourth Division outfit.

Star Managers

National team

England took part in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, qualifying from their group after beating Romania and Czechoslovakia but losing to Brazil. The team then went out in the quarter finals after losing 3–2 (after extra time) to West Germany. Preparations had been damaged after star defender Bobby Moore was arrested in Bogotá over later disproven allegations of theft.


First DivisionEverton (7*)Leeds United
Second DivisionHuddersfield TownBlackpool
Third DivisionOrientLuton Town
Fourth DivisionChesterfieldWrexham
FA CupChelsea (1)Leeds United
League CupManchester City (1)West Bromwich Albion
Charity ShieldLeeds UnitedManchester City
Home Championship England,  Scotland &  Wales

Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour. * indicates new record for competition

League table

First Division

Everton, one of the English game's dominant forces during the 1960s, had a strong start to the 1970s as league champions by a nine-point margin ahead of runners-up Leeds United, who had gone into the final stages of the season in contention for three major trophies but had failed to win any of them. They were beaten in an FA Cup final replay by Chelsea, who lifted the trophy for the first time in a season where they finished third. Derby County's return to the First Division after many years away saw them finish an impressive fourth under the management of Brian Clough. Liverpool completed the top five, while Coventry City recorded their best finish yet by finishing sixth under the management of former Manchester United captain Noel Cantwell.

Manchester United finished eighth under their new manager Wilf McGuinness, who had succeeded the retiring Sir Matt Busby in the close season.

Manchester City managed only a mid table finish but lifted the League Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup.

Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland finished the season relegated.

2Leeds United422115684491.71457
4Derby County422291164371.73053
6Coventry City4219111258481.20849
7Newcastle United4217131257351.62947
8Manchester United4214171166611.08245
9Stoke City4215151256521.07745
10Manchester City4216111555481.14643
11Tottenham Hotspur421791654550.98243
13Wolverhampton Wanderers4212161455570.96540
15Nottingham Forest4210181450710.70438
16West Bromwich Albion421491958660.87937
17West Ham United4212121851600.85036
18Ipswich Town4210112140630.63531
20Crystal Palace426152134680.50027
22Sheffield Wednesday42892540710.56325

Second Division

Huddersfield Town clinched the Second Division title by a comfortable margin to secure their return to the First Division, and were joined by Blackpool as runners-up. Leicester City just missed out on an immediate return to the First Division, while Middlesbrough's recent upturn in fortunes meant that they came just three points short of ending their lengthy absence from the top flight. Swindon Town, the previous season's surprise winners of the League Cup, recorded their best finish yet by finishing fifth in the Second Division.

Aston Villa and Preston North End, two clubs with illustrious histories and a host of major trophies between them, went down to the Third Division for the first time. Watford, a side with a much more modest history, won their battle against relegation but most impressively reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

1Huddersfield Town422412668371.83860
3Leicester City4219131064501.28051
5Swindon Town421716957471.21350
6Sheffield United422251573381.92149
7Cardiff City4218131161411.48849
8Blackburn Rovers422071554501.08047
9Queens Park Rangers4217111466571.15845
11Norwich City4216111549461.06543
12Carlisle United4214131558561.03641
13Hull City4215111672701.02941
14Bristol City4213131654501.08039
15Oxford United4212151535420.83339
16Bolton Wanderers4212121854610.88536
18Birmingham City4211112051780.65433
20Charlton Athletic427171835760.46131
21Aston Villa428132136620.58129
22Preston North End428122243630.68328

Third Division

Leyton Orient and Luton Town went up from the Third Division as champions and runners-up respectively.

Stockport County, Barrow, Southport and Bournemouth went down to the Fourth Division.

1Leyton Orient462512967361.86162
2Luton Town462314977431.79160
3Bristol Rovers4620161080591.35656
5Brighton & Hove Albion462391457431.32655
6Mansfield Town4621111470491.42953
10Bradford City4617121757501.14046
11Doncaster Rovers4617121752540.96346
13Torquay United4614171562591.05145
14Rotherham United4615141762541.14844
15Shrewsbury Town4613181562630.98444
16Tranmere Rovers4614161656720.77844
17Plymouth Argyle4616111956640.87543
18Halifax Town4614151747630.74643
21Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic4612151948710.67639
24Stockport County466112927710.38023

Fourth Division

Chesterfield climbed out of the Fourth Division as champions, and went up along with Wrexham, Swansea City and Port Vale.

Bradford Park Avenue were voted out of the Football League and replaced by Cambridge United.

3Swansea City462118766451.46760
4Port Vale462019761331.84859
7Notts County462281673621.17752
8Lincoln City4617161366521.26950
9Peterborough United4617141577691.11648
10Colchester United4617141564631.01648
12Scunthorpe United4618101867651.03146
13York City4616141655620.88746
14Northampton Town4616121864551.16444
15Crewe Alexandra4616121851511.00044
16Grimsby Town4614151754580.93143
17Southend United4615102159850.69440
18Exeter City4614112157590.96639
19Oldham Athletic4613132060650.92339
21Newport County4613112253740.71637
24Bradford Park Avenue466112941960.42723

P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Pts = Points


  1. "Season 1969-70". EUROPEAN CUP HISTORY.COM. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
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