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On This Day 1984 ! Saints Concede League Title To Liverpool On Final Weekend.
Thursday, 12th May 2022 16:31

It is hard to believe it, but on this day 38 years ago Saints went into the final weekend of the League season knowing that if Liverpool lost they could sneak up and win the title.

12th May 1984 was the final weekend of the old First Division season, and Saints travelled to Birmingham City playing for big stakes, a win for them over the Blues and defeat for Liverpool at Notts County could see Saints crowned as First Division Champions.

The only problem would be the swing in goal difference, Liverpool started the day some 17 goals better off than Saints, but the twist would be that we still had two games to play after the last weekend of the season.

So if Liverpool lost and Saints won that amount would reduce by at least two but potentially more, so not insurmountable.

Birmingham though were fighting for their lives, they were among a clutch of clubs that could also go down, Stoke & Coventry City were level with them on 47 points, but Birmingham had a far better goal difference than both.

That meant that they were fighting for tooth & nail whilst Notts County who were hosting Liverpool were already down.

At St Andrews it was stalemate and the game ended 0-0 as did Liverpool's trip to Notts County, the point was enough to give Liverpool the title whilst the point for Birmingham saw them relegated as both Coventry & Stoke had won their games.

But Saints still had a lot to play for, they had to visit West Brom on the Monday evening and then Notts County on the Thursday to complete the season.

As mentioned County had already been relegated and West Brom had only avoided it by 3 points and both sides would be on the beach and wanting to get the game out of the way so they could all go on holiday.

Saints started the week on 71 points in 6th place, one win out of two would mean 5th place, a win and a draw would give them the possibility of 3rd or 4th depending on goal difference and two wins guaranteed 2nd.

They won both in style 2 goals in a minute in the 70th minute at West brom set up the final game at Meadow Lane, Steve Moran scored after only 2 minutes but County were level after 9, just after the break Moran scored again and when David Armstrong scored on 67 minutes it was job done and second place confirmed.

So we finished 3 points behind Liverpool and 13 goals off them, so could we really have won the title ?

The answer is that it was improbable but not out of the question, if we would have won and Liverpool lost then there would still have been a minimum 17 goals to turn around, but in the run in we had hit 8 against Coventry and 5 against Spurs, if we truly had the League title to play for could we have turned that deficit over.

Being honest probably not, but if we had won at Birmingham by a few and Liverpool lost then I would have thought an 11 goal turnaround not impossible, but that did not happen.

Still it is nice to look back on what I was doing at this very moment 38 years ago as I type.

Photo: Action Images

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davenbennett added 17:27 - May 12
I went to the Notts County game. No chance of getting back by train. Asked around and got a lift back to Basingstoke, then hitch home to Aldershot. Didn't leave Nottingham until after pubs shut, and it was daylight when I got home.

SanMarco added 18:29 - May 12
You've missed out the game that Liverpool still had to play at home to Norwich (who knowing them were probably already relegated). I think it finished 1-1 but Liverpool would probably have won it if they needed to.

redwight added 18:50 - May 12
Notts Co away goes down as one of the best ever away games. I seem to recall the players coming over at the end and throwing their shirts into a very raucous away support. What a team we had back then. Happy days.

saintmark1976 added 07:07 - May 13
We would have won the league at a canter if we had a half decent keeper between the sticks. Katalinic cost us more points than I care to remember. On a more positive note, what a player Steve Moran was and at such a young age, great pity that his career was ruined by injury. As the expression goes “ If you are good enough then you are old enough”.

Happy days indeed redwight.

highfield49 added 08:01 - May 13
My memory, such as it is, saintmark is that we had signed Shilton to replace Katalinic by that time. Nevertheless, that was without doubts one of the greatest Saints teams I've had the pleasure to support. Not only some top class players but some real characters, Mark Dennis, Frank Worthington, Reuben Agboola spring to mind plus legends Nick Holmes, Stevie Williams, Danny Wallace, Steve Moran and David Armstrong. If we signed players of that quality for next season I'd be a very happy in my old age.

saintmark1976 added 20:54 - May 13
highfield49, you are quite correct which just proves that I am more senile than I originally thought. As they say, confession is good for the soul.

If that team played on the pitches of today who knows what they would achieve. The players of today are better athletes, but better footballers? Not a snowballs I’m afraid.


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