On This Day… #1983/84

On This Day… #1983/84

It is high time that I shared more background information relating to the 1983/84 football season.  To do this I have used the Milestones Diary from the Rothmans Football Yearbook 1984/85 with thanks and appreciation to the authors, who were edited by Peter Dunk.

I will be updating this milestone diary every month as season 1983/84 progresses.


August 1983

21 Osvaldo Ardiles injures the leg he broke earlier in the year while playing in the testimonial match for the former Spur’s manager Bill Nicholson. It is a 1-1 draw with West Ham.

22 Portsmouth complete transfer for Luton defender Richard Money for £55,000.

23 Ken McNaught, who has been with Aston Villa for six seasons, is transferred to West Bromwich Albion for £125,000.

24 In European Cup Winners’ Cup Swansea are held to a 1-1 draw by Magdeburg at the Vetch Field.  Attendance is less than 7,000.  In the Scottish League Cup second round, first leg Aberdeen slam Raith Rovers 9-0 with Eric Black getting four goals. Peter Bodak and Bobby McDonald are sacked by Manchester City for “breach of contract”. They were allegedly involved in an incident last Thursday.

25 Sheffield Wednesday complete the signing of Imre Varadi from Newcastle United for £150,000.  His wife is a former Miss Sheffield United.  Scottish F.A secretary Ernie Walker announces scheme to stage a three-country tournament at the end of the season between Scotland, England and one of the world’s top soccer nations.  This is to replace games with Northern Ireland and Wales.

27 Aggregate attendance for the big kick-off is the lowest ever recorded on the opening day, although first division gates are up. In beautiful summer weather only one of the 10 newly promoted teams managed to win.  They are Hull, who beat Barnsley 4-1 in the Third Division. Among the three sides promoted to the First Division, QPR are beaten 3-1 at Old Trafford, Leicester lose 4-0 at home to Notts County, and Wolves hold Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Molineux, where the home side’s skipper Geoff Palmer scores after 60 seconds from the penalty spot. Keith Edwards is off to a good start by scoring all Sheffield United’s goals in a 4-0 home win over Gillingham. Luton lose their opening match for the first time in nine seasons. – 2-1 at Highbury. In the Scottish League Cup St Johnstone beat East Fife 6-3 to win the tie 8-4 on aggregate.

31 In the Scottish League Cup, Celtic win 6-1 at Airdrie with six different players getting their goals. Swansea were knocked out of the Cup-Winners’ Cup when they lose 1-0 in Magdeburg – 2-1 on aggregate.



September 1983

3 Following Brighton’s 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea, there is a bad outbreak of crowd violence.  Seven policemen are injured as Chelsea’s fans go on the rampage. Six new players make their home debut for Coventry, who are held to a 1-1 draw by Everton. More complaints about QPR’s playing surface – this time from Aston Villa beaten 2-1.  Forest’s Dutch goalkeeper Hans Van Breukelen saves a penalty at Liverpool, but his side lose 1-0. Former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley receives his trophy as “Manager of the Year” for a record sixth time. QPR register their first Division One victory on their synthetic pitch, beating Aston Villa 2-1,  with the visitors’ top scorer Peter Withe, scoring for both sides.  In the Second Division reading striker Trevor Senior grabs a hat-trick in the space of only four minutes, as his side beat Stockport 6-2.

5 Neil Macfarlane, the Minister for Sport, calls for reports of the crowd violence at Brighton on 3 September.  The Scottish F.A decide to withdraw from the Home International Championship after this season’s matches.  Top clubs call for an extraordinary meeting of the Football League on 21 September, in order to reorganise the Management Committee and squeeze out Third and Fourth Division representatives.

6 There is a complete sell-out of Tottenham Hotspur’s 3.8 million £1 company shares, within minutes of coming on the market.  Leicester’s skipper and Northern Ireland international John O’Neill makes a written transfer request, after being left out of the game at West Ham. Gary Lineker scores Leicester’s first league goal since they lost 2-1 at Oldham last May.  They had played four games without even scoring.  Manchester United’s 3-2 win at Highbury, is their first victory in a run of 15 Division One games at the ground.

7 The start of the second half of WBA v Spurs game is delayed for 15 minutes, after partial failure of the floodlights. The game ends in a 1-1 draw. Former Charlton player Allan Simonsen stars in Denmark’s 3-1 win over France,watched by England manager Bobby Robson, who was sufficiently impressed to realise that his team’s crucial European Championship game with the Danes at Wembley won’t be easy.

9 Notts County report a loss or nearly £460,000 for the season 1982-83. Their debts exceed £1.1m.  Burnley manager John Bond flies to America to sign Steve Daley, the player he sold to Seattle Sounders while in charge at Maine Road.

10 Ipswich supporters give their team a standing ovation, after they beat Stoke 5-0.  Spurs gain their first win of the season 3-1 against luckless Leicester who have now lost five in a row.  In the Second Division Simon Garner scores five in Blackburn Rovers 5-1 beating of Derby, while Tony Caldwell scores the same number for Bolton in Division Three, as his side hammer Walsall 8-1.  It is the first time for nearly 18 years, that two players have each scored as many goals on the same day in the Football League.

11 The England Woman’s team finish top of their group in the UEFA competition, by beating Eire 6-0 at Reading.  They have won all six of their games, with a 24-1 goals tally. In Qualifying competition for the Olympics, Japan beat Philippines 10-1 away, to win 17-1 on aggregate.

12 Ardiles consults specialist over injury which has kept him out of the game since January.  Brighton sign former England goalkeeper Joe Corrigan on his return from America, where he has been playing for Seattle Sounders.  Brian Clough refuses to allow TV cameras into the ground for Forest’s UEFA Cup clash with Vorwaerts.  He declared himself unhappy with those clubs who let cameras in, despite having no previous agreement.  England and Northern Ireland announce their squads for the forthcoming European Championship games with Denmark ad Austria respectively.  Bobby Robson declares that he has a problem knowing which of so many available strikers to leave out.  Swansea, struggling at the bottom of the Second Division, put their top striker Bob Latchford, on the transfer list.  Former Sheffield United and Huddersfield wing-half Ernie Marshall, dies at 65.

13 Hard up Derby County put three on the transfer list – Brian Attley, John McAlle and Paul Futcher.  Nottingham Forest put a block on the free transfer of their former player Peter Ward to any other club, following the financial collapse of Seattle Sounders.  They say the Americans still owe £70,000 of the £100,000 transfer.  Kerry Dixon, Chelsea’s new £175,000 striker from Reading scores all his side’s goals in the 4-0 Milk Cup defeat of Gillingham (aggregate 6-1 win).  Brighton make their Second Division game with Portsmouth on 8 October, an all-ticket match in attempt to avoid further crowd trouble.  Crystal Palace reach new agreement with winger Vince Hilaire,whom they had previously transfer listed at £200,000. Popular Ipswich Town director and former chairman John Cobbold, dies at 55.

14 Watford, making their first appearance in European competition, are beaten 3-1 in Kaiserslautern in the UEFA Cup, while in the same competition Spurs can only manage a goalless draw away to Drogheda.  Liverpool win their European Cup tie 1-0 away to Odese, and Dundee United  win 3-0 away to Hamrun Spartans.  In the Cup-Winner’s Cup Manchester United are held to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford by Dulka Prague, with Ray Wilkins celebrating his birthday by scoring their equaliser with a last minute penalty.  Rangers win 8-0 in Valletta, with Dave McPherson netting four of their goals.

15 England manager Bobby Robson, is shocked by the news that Bryan Robson will be unfit for their crucial European Championship game against Denmark at Wembley.  Manchester United defender  Gordon McQueen, is banned for two matches after being sent off against Ajax.  Peter Bodak reports back to Maine Road, after winning his second appeal against his sacking by Manchester City for breaking a club curfew.  Crystal Palace manager Alan Mullery threatens to fine his entire team a week’s wages, ‘for not trying’ when knocked out of Milk Cup by Peterborough.  The decision to seed the Milk Cup Second Round raises hops of some giant-killing feats – Wimbledon v Nottingham Forest, Plymouth v Arsenal, Pot Vale v Manchester United , Lincoln v Spurs, Crewe v QPR and Brentford v Liverpool.

16 Manchester City defy the order to reinstate Bodak.  The Luton board reject a takeover offer from a group of local businessmen, who are against plans to move the club to Milton Keynes.  FIFA plan a new World 12-club tournament for 1985, in memory of UEFA president Artemio Franchi.  It may be held in England. 

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