On This Day In History - 12th May 1984 The Day We Lost The League Title
Tuesday, 12th May 2020 13:33
The final Saturday of the Division One season for 1983/84 started with Saints travelling to Birmingham City still in with a chance of winning the title, the only day in our history we can actually say that.
St Andrews was going to be a red hot place to be on this day, not only were we still in with a shout of the title, but Birmingham themselves were in danger of dropping into the second division and for the second successive year their fate was in our hands.
Although this was the final day of the season for most, for both leaders Liverpool and ourselves it was not our final game they had a mid week game and we had two, if we were to win the title then we would win it on the following Thursday, not at St Andrews.
But it was an uphill battle to overhaul Liverpool, they started the day on 78 points with two games left and we were on 70 points with three to play.
The maximum total we could get would be 79 points, in effect a draw at already relegated Notts County would be enough to see them home on goal difference as we were 17 goals worse off.
Given the high stakes it was a poor crowd at St Andrews, only 16,445, around 2,000 were Saints supporters, they saw a 0-0 draw that did nothing for either side, for us it meant our hopes of the title were now over and the news that Liverpool had drawn at Notts Count only reinforced that, but for Birmingham they were down, they had fought for their lives but it was not enough, Coventry and Stoke who started the day below them on equal points but far worse goal difference had both won and leapfrogged them, Coventry and would now both stay up, a goal for the Blues against Saints would have kept them up.
The realisation at the end that they had gone down was too much for the home fans who scaled the fences and invaded the pitch, at first fairly good natured but then with a little more menace and they headed for the Saints fans still in the visitors section, a line of police keeping both sets of fans apart with the inevitable missile throwing the only consequence.
For many Saints fans it meant they would be able to leave the ground and get back to the coach park without any real harassment, Birmingham was noted as being a difficult trek back to the visiting fans car park, a half mile walk to an industrial estate, no police escorts or anything, but the majority of Blues supporters were too busy on the pitch.
So it was second time unlucky for Birmingham to rely on a win against Saints on the final day to keep them up.
But if the disappointment of losing out on the league troubled most Saints fans it was not for long, after all it was a long shot that Liverpool would lose to both Notts County and also Norwich at home.
We now looked to our two away games in the next 5 days, we were 5th but 3 points out of the last two games would guarantee us 4th, apart from that both Nottingham Forest and Manchester United were above us with far better goal differences for anything more than 4th we were relying on them to drop points in their final match.
Photo: Action Images
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