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1967-68 – A Season to Remember / 1967-68 – A Season to Remember

1967-68 – A Season to Remember

By on 22 November 2017

For English football 1967-68 was a season to remember! The title race went right down to the wire with surprise winners Manchester City clinching the championship in their last game against Newcastle Utd and England had its first European Cup courtesy of Matt Busby’s Manchester Utd. And there was more as Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly was quick to acknowledge in this article from the July 1968 issue. Soccer Attic has republished the article below and, where we have appropriate team pictures from the magazine, you have the opportunity to buy mugs printed with some of the key teams of the era.

Other highlights included League Cup holders Queens Park Rangers gaining promotion for the second consecutive year alongside Ipswich Town who were Second Division champions. Leeds United beat Arsenal in the League Cup Final, all be it in not a very memorable game, and they also won the Inter-City Fairs Cup. It is also interesting to know that a whopping £350,000 had been spent on transfers that year when the deadline closed! The original page of the article is included here together with some additional pages from the same issue to zoom in and read as originally published. At the end of the article you’ll find some great team pictures and their associated mugs to buy.






THAT WAS THE SEASON. . . THAT WAS!

A SEASON to remember! That was the 1967-68 League and Cup campaign, one of the most momentous since the war, with a classic nerve-tingling climax on the last day.

Why so momentous? Well, it produced a breath-taking battle for the League title between the two Manchester clubs. And a rags-to-riches fairy tale come true for Queen’s Park Rangers.

Plus the agonies of a desperate struggle to dodge the drop from Division 1, more drawn out than for a long while. Plus (whisper it) a breath of scandal, too, with the compulsory relegation of Peterborough United, followed by the expulsion (if only temporary) of Sir Stanley Matthews’ club, Port Vale. Both for being caught breaking the regulations!

In this tough and often tense season there was a massive increase in attendances of nearly a million-and-a-quarter fans on 1966-67.  And Manchester United set a new club record with average home gates of 57,000. There was more money spent in the transfer market than ever before. A total of £5 million was paid out before the March 16 deadline. Spurs topped the big spenders with £125,000 for Martin Chivers from Southampton and on deadline day alone, £350,000 changed hands before midnight. Footballers were no better than they were twelve months earlier but demand continues greatly to exceed supply—at least for certain types of players—thus creating an artificial market.

In the international sphere, England remained supreme in Europe winning their way into the final stages of the European Championship as well as taking the home title. Sir Alf Ramsey’s men were most impressive away from home—especially in beating Spain in Madrid—but in the 2-2 Wembley draw with Russia we saw the finest international since the World Cup.

Manchester United — the glittering success club—lost the League title to neighbours Manchester City — the surprise team of the season—on the last day, but at last achieved European Cup glory by reaching the final, thanks to a dramatic semi-final win over one-time invincible Real Madrid.

In other European competitions, British clubs were again to the fore. Leeds United, once looking as though they would sweep the board, won only the League Cup at home but have reached the Fairs Cup final, to be played early next season.

Rangers and Dundee also showed bravely in Europe as Scotland’s representatives. But neither surpassed the almost unbelievable feat of Second Division Cardiff City who battled their way into the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup and should have reached the final. What a boost for Welsh Soccer, but more significantly, for the strength-in-depth of English League football.

In England, the great power of the North was once more paramount. The League title was a monopoly interest between the two Manchester clubs and Leeds and Liverpool; the F. A. Cup holders are those old cup fighters from the Midlands, West Bromwich Albion, with Everton the runners-up at Wembley. Of the southern First Division clubs, only Arsenal achieved anything by reaching the League Cup Final but Chelsea ousted Spurs as London’s top club.

Queen’s Park Rangers, not so long ago a Cinderella club, did what they said they would and went straight through the Second Division from the Third to equal Charlton’s record in the 1930s. No one outside West London really believed in Rangers but they confounded us all and led the Second Division for most of the season, giving way to Ipswich, the champions, only at the end.

The return of Ipswich to the top flight was a fine boost for East Anglian soccer—all credit to manager Bill McGarry, one of the shrewdest in the business. Credit, too, for Bury who bounced back from the Third Division at the first attempt and certainly to Oxford United who accompanied them after only six years in the Football League. There was a welcome revival at Luton where former player, Allan Brown, steered his club into the Third Division and gave a heartening lift to home gates.

In Scotland, the only surprise was that neither Rangers nor Celtic appeared in the Scottish Cup Final, won by Dunfermline. Celtic finished League champions for the third year running and ironically, won the title without playing for Rangers surprisingly lost their last home match. They could have won everything at one stage but finished with nothing.

The four-step ruling for goalkeepers, introduced to eliminate time-wasting, was an unqualified success and achieved its aim.

The one sour note was the continuing sordid story of crowd hooliganism, despite all appeals to good sense and the violent trends on the field by players who should have known better. Unwillingness to accept a referee’s decision, general bad temper and even fisticuffs did nothing to improve the image of the highly-paid professional footballer in 1967-68. The number ordered off easily topped the half-century for the second successive season.

Already, several clubs have announced admission charge increases for next season. It is to be hoped the football measures up to them.

[End of article]

1967-68 Commemorative Gifts From the SoccerAttic Giftshop

(Click on the mug image to buy)

Manchester City 1967-68

Manchester City – First Division Champions 1967-68

Manchester City Team Mug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 











Manchester United with the European Cup 1968

Man Utd European Champions 1968














 

 

 

 

 

 





QPR – League Cup Winners 1967

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leeds Utd – League Cup Winners 1968

Leeds 1968 team mug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ipswich – 2nd Division Champions 1967-68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arsenal – League Cup Runners-Up 1968