1994–95 in English football
The 1994-1995 season was the 115th season of competitive football in England.
Blackburn Rovers ended their 81-year wait for the league title thanks to the strike partnership of Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton which scored a total of more than 50 league goals. Manchester United would have made it three league titles in a row if they had been able to turn a 1-1 draw with West Ham United into a win on the final day of the season. Newly promoted Nottingham Forest finished third and qualified for the UEFA Cup along with fourth placed Liverpool (also League Cup winners) and fifth placed Leeds United.
After this season the Premier League would be reduced to 20 clubs, so there would be four relegation places this time round. They were occupied by Crystal Palace, Norwich City (who had finished third two seasons earlier), Leicester City and Ipswich Town.
The streamlining of the Premier League meant that just two clubs would be promoted from Division One in 1995. Middlesbrough won the Division One title in their first season under Bryan Robson, while Reading were the club that were to fail to win promotion despite finishing second in the table. Instead, they competed in the playoffs, losing to Bolton Wanderers in the final, who achieved their second promotion in three years under Bruce Rioch - as well as being League Cup runners-up.
1995 saw four clubs relegated from Division One - Swindon Town (relegated for the second straight season), Burnley, Bristol City and Notts County. Sunderland narrowly avoided the drop following the arrival of enthusiastic new manager Peter Reid, who over the next few years would bring dramatic improvements to the Wearsiders.
There would only be two promotion places in Division Two for 1994-95. They were occupied by champions Birmingham City and playoff winners Huddersfield Town, both enjoying success after seasons of disappointment. Birmingham City also won the Football League Trophy and completed the "lower-league Double".
Exeter City, who almost went out of business in mid-season, finished bottom of Division Three but kept their league status because Conference champions Macclesfield Town were unable to meet the league's stadium capacity requirements.
Alan Shearer was the English league's top scorer with 34 Premiership goals for champions Blackburn Rovers.
20-year-old Robbie Fowler collected a League Cup winner's medal with Liverpool as well as the PFA Young Player of the Year award, following another season of strong goalscoring, and team mate Steve McManaman capped the cup final with a man of the match display in a season where he charted 20 assists in the league.
Experienced Scottish striker John Hendrie was the driving force in Middlesbrough's return to the Premiership after a two-year absence.
Kenny Dalglish become only the third manager to win the English league title with different clubs after he guided Blackburn Rovers to their first league title since 1914.
Roy Evans won the League Cup in his first full season as Liverpool manager.
Frank Clark took newly promoted Nottingham Forest to third place in the Premiership to achieve UEFA Cup qualification and bring European football to the club for the first time since the early 1980s.
Bryan Robson made an excellent start to his management career by winning the Division One championship and gaining promotion to the Premiership with Middlesbrough.
The 1994–95 season was the first season in which clubs in the top two tiers were required to have all-seater stadia. A total of 26,150,028 attended matches in competitions organised by The Football Association and the Football League and hosted by league clubs. Of that number, 21,856,223 attended Premiership and Football League matches. This ensured that attendance at league matches had increased for the ninth consecutive season.
In the Premiership, 11,213,371 attended the 420 matches held in 1994-95, the highest attendance in the top division since the 1980-81 season. Meanwhile, Football League clubs attracted 10,583,498, a decline of half a million from the previous season.
The ten most supported teams in league matches this season were as follows:
|Rank||Team||Stadium||Average attendance||League division|
|1||Manchester United||Old Trafford||43,682||Premier League|
|3||Newcastle United||St James' Park||34,690||Premier League|
|5||Leeds United||Elland Road||32,925||Premier League|
|6||Everton||Goodison Park||31,294||Premier League|
|7||Aston Villa||Villa Park||29,280||Premier League|
|8||Tottenham Hotspur||White Hart Lane||27,259||Premier League|
|9||Sheffield Wednesday||Hillsborough Stadium||26,572||Premier League|
|10||Wolverhampton Wanderers||Molineux Stadium||25,940||Endsleigh League Division One|
Walker's title dream comes true for Blackburn
The five-year revival of Blackburn Rovers under the ownership of Jack Walker paid off as they were crowned Premiership champions and finished top of the English league for the first time in 81 years. A key force in the title glory was striker Alan Shearer, who scored 34 League goals and was named PFA Players' Player of the Year. His strike partner Chris Sutton also had a major influence on Blackburn's success, as did defenders Colin Hendry and Graeme Le Saux. Manager Kenny Dalglish, who had won three titles as a manager with Liverpool, became only the third manager in English football to win the league title with different clubs.
Everton's triumph leaves United with nothing
Everton had a terrible start to the 1994-95 season. Failure to win any of their first twelve Premiership games cost manager Mike Walker his job, but the appointment of Oldham Athletic's Joe Royle as his successor and the signing of controversial striker Duncan Ferguson helped to revive Everton's fortunes. Their Premiership survival was confirmed at the end of April and on 20 May they beat Manchester United 1–0 in the FA Cup final thanks to a Paul Rideout goal. Rideout's goal - and the brilliant goalkeeping of veteran Neville Southall - meant that Everton had won their first major honour in eight years, while United endured their first trophyless season in six years. To date, this remains Everton's last major trophy.
The Eric Cantona kung-fu incident
On 25 January 1995, Eric Cantona, the Manchester United and France forward, was sent off in a Premiership game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park for lashing out at Eagles defender Richard Shaw. Cantona then kicked Palace supporter Matthew Simmons, who taunted him from the stands.
His club fined him two weeks wages and banned him from playing for the rest of the season. The FA fined Cantona £10,000 and extended his ban from football to 30 September 1995, for a total of eight months - one of the longest suspensions ever handed out in English football. FIFA later confirmed that this ban was worldwide. A jury at Croydon Magistrates Court found him guilty of common assault and the judge sentenced him to fourteen days in prison, although he was immediately released on bail pending an appeal - which was successful in quashing his prison sentence. He received a 120-hour community service order instead, opting to coach children in the Greater Manchester area.
Cantona was not the only player facing jail. Chelsea captain Dennis Wise was convicted of assaulting a taxi driver and jailed for three months, although a successful appeal saw both his conviction and his prison sentence quashed.
Arsenal caught up in bungs scandal and drugs controversy
Arsenal were another Premiership club to be hit by controversy in the 1994-95 season. In November 1994, winger Paul Merson admitted that he was addicted to alcohol, cocaine and gambling. He went on a three-month rehabilitation course before resuming his career. Just before Merson's return, it was revealed that manager George Graham had accepted £425,000 worth of illegal payments from a Scandinavian agent who had overseen the signings of Pål Lydersen and John Jensen three years earlier. Graham, one of the most successful managers in the club's history, was sacked after nine years at the helm.
Nayim ends Arsenal's Euro dream
Despite the controversy of George Graham's sacking and Paul Merson's personal problems, Arsenal reached the European Cup Winners' Cup final under caretaker manager Stewart Houston, where they faced Real Zaragoza of Spain. The scores were level at 1–1 after 90 minutes, but a freak goal from 40 yards out in the last minute of extra-time by Nayim - a former Tottenham Hotspur player - won the trophy for the Spaniards.
|FA Cup||Everton (5)|
|League Cup||Liverpool (5*)|
|FA Premier League||Blackburn Rovers (3/1)|
|Football League First Division||Middlesbrough|
|Football League Second Division||Birmingham City|
|Football League Third Division||Carlisle United|
Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour (First Division & Premier League). Number after slash is Premier League only. * indicates new record for competition
English national team
|7 September 1994||USA||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Won||2-0|
|12 October 1994||Romania||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Drew||1-1|
|16 November 1994||Nigeria||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Won||1-0|
|15 February 1995||Rep of Ireland||Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Ireland||Friendly||0-1 ab|
|29 March 1995||Uruguay||Wembley Stadium||Friendly||Drew||0-0|
|3 June 1995||Japan||Wembley Stadium||Umbro Cup||Won||2-1|
|8 June 1995||Sweden||Elland Road, Leeds||Umbro Cup||Drew||3-3|
|11 June 1995||Brazil||Wembley Stadium||Umbro Cup||Lost||1-3|
ab = Abandoned after 27 minutes because of crowd violence with the Republic leading 1-0 and no official result recorded, although caps were awarded.
FA Premier League
Blackburn Rovers were crowned champions of the English league for the first time since 1914 after four years of heavy spending on and off the pitch. Strikers Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton scored more than 60 goals between them during the course of the season, while centre half Colin Hendry and full back Graham Le Saux ensured that there was solidity and consistency away from the attack.
Manchester United narrowly missed out on a third successive league title, and were also on the losing side in the FA Cup final, although their fortunes were not helped by the loss of several players including Eric Cantona, Andrei Kanchelskis, Roy Keane and Paul Parker for considerable periods due to suspension or injury.
Newly promoted Nottingham Forest made a huge impact and finished third to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1984. Liverpool showed signs of a return to their former glory with a fourth-place finish and a Coca-Cola Cup triumph. The final European place went to Leeds United.
Ipswich Town and Leicester City were relegated by a wide margin, while Norwich City were the next to go down due to a terrible second half to the season, which dragged them out of the Premiership just two years after they had been challenging for the championship. Norwich had been seventh at Christmas and appeared capable of qualifying for Europe, but won only one of their final 20 league games.
The final relegation place went to Crystal Palace, who found it difficult to score goals all season long, although they did manage to reach the semi-finals of both domestic cups. Their relegation was confirmed of the final day of the season; despite a thrilling comeback against sixth-placed Newcastle United, they lost 3-2 and went down from the Premiership just 12 months after winning promotion.
||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Blackburn Rovers (C)||42||27||8||7||80||39||+41||89||1995–96 UEFA Champions League Group stage|
|2||Manchester United||42||26||10||6||77||28||+49||88||1995–96 UEFA Cup First round|
|8||Queens Park Rangers||42||17||9||16||61||59||+2||60|
|14||West Ham United||42||13||11||18||44||48||−4||50|
|15||Everton||42||11||17||14||44||51||−7||50||1995–96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup First round 1|
|19||Crystal Palace (R)||42||11||12||19||34||49||−15||45||Relegation to 1995–96 Football League First Division|
|20||Norwich City (R)||42||10||13||19||37||54||−17||43|
|21||Leicester City (R)||42||6||11||25||45||80||−35||29|
|22||Ipswich Town (R)||42||7||6||29||36||93||−57||27|
Updated to games played on 21 September 2012.
Source: Barclays Premier League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
1 Everton qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup as FA Cup winners.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
Leading goalscorer: Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) - 34
A dream start in management saw Bryan Robson guide Middlesbrough to the Division One title and regain the Premiership place that was lost two years ago. Reading finished second - the highest in their history - but the streamlining of the Premiership prevented them from winning promotion and they lost 4-3 to Bolton Wanderers after extra time in the playoff final, having led 2-0 at half time. Losing semi-finalists were Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers. who had made the Play-Offs this there 3rd time Division One semi-final lost
Barnsley and Watford were the unlucky sides to narrowly miss out on the playoffs, while an expensively-assembled Derby County side finished a disappointing ninth at the end of what many fans had hoped would be a promotion winning season.
Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland - three famous clubs which had seen better days - narrowly avoided relegation to Division Two, but managerial changes at each of these clubs gave fans hope that a return to the elite might not be far away.
Swindon Town suffered a second consecutive relegation in a row, despite reaching the League Cup semi-finals on their best cup run for 15 years, joining Bristol City, Burnley and Notts County in Division Two.
|1||Middlesbrough (C, P)||46||23||13||10||67||40||+27||82|
|3||Bolton Wanderers (P)||46||21||14||11||67||45||+22||77|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||46||16||10||20||51||57||–6||58|
|21||Swindon Town (R)||46||12||12||22||54||73||–12||48|
|23||Bristol City (R)||46||11||12||23||42||63||–21||45|
|24||Notts County (R)||46||9||13||24||45||66||–21||40|
Leading goalscorer: John Aldridge (Tranmere Rovers) - 24
Birmingham City sealed an immediate return to Division One by lifting the Division Two championship trophy, joined by playoff winners Huddersfield Town. The unlucky sides in the playoffs were Brentford, Crewe Alexandra and Bristol Rovers. Wycombe Wanderers finished sixth and would have had a playoff place - and the chance of a unique third successive promotion - had it not been for the restructuring of the league. Their distant neighbours Oxford United fell away to finish seventh after topping the table at Christmas.
Leyton Orient, Chester City and Cardiff City were perhaps unsurprisingly relegated to Division Three. But the other two relegated teams were surprise candidates for the drop. Plymouth Argyle had almost won promotion to Division One a year earlier. Cambridge United had narrowly missed out on a place in the then-new Premier League three years earlier and poor form in the run in sealed their fate after Bournemouth avoided the drop in the final two games of the season after spending most of it in the bottom five. This sparked pitch invasion scenes and has been called the team's Great Escape season.
|1||Birmingham City (C, P)||46||25||14||7||84||37||+47||89|
|5||Huddersfield Town (P)||46||22||15||9||79||49||+30||81|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||46||14||17||15||54||53||+1||59|
|20||Cambridge United (R)||46||11||15||20||52||69||–17||48|
|21||Plymouth Argyle (R)||46||12||10||24||45||83||–38||46|
|22||Cardiff City (R)||46||9||11||26||46||74||–28||38|
|23||Chester City (R)||46||6||11||29||37||84||–47||29|
|24||Leyton Orient (R)||46||6||8||32||30||75||–45||26|
Leading goalscorer: Gary Bennett (Wrexham) - 29
Ambitious Carlisle United sealed the Division Three title to end eight years of basement division football, joined by runners-up Walsall and playoff winners Chesterfield.
Debt-ridden Exeter City finished joint bottom of the league with Scarborough, but retained their league status due to Conference champions Macclesfield Town lacking a stadium adequate for Football League capacity standards.
Fulham finished eighth under new manager Ian Branfoot in their first season in the fourth tier of English football.
|1||Carlisle United (C, P)||42||27||10||5||67||31||+36||91|
|5||Preston North End||42||19||10||13||58||41||+17||67|
Leading goalscorer: Dougie Freedman (Barnet) - 24
For subsequent transfer deals see 1995-96 in English football.
Diary of the season
6 July 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur's 12-point penalty is reduced to 6 points on appeal at a Football Association hearing, while the £600,000 fine is increased to £1.5 million and the FA Cup ban remains in place.
11 July 1994 - Graham Taylor prepares for a Division One promotion challenge with Wolverhampton Wanderers, signing defender Steve Froggatt from Aston Villa for £1 million, while Clayton Blackmore (Manchester United's longest-serving player) signs for Middlesbrough on a free transfer to join Bryan Robson's fellow promotion hopefuls.
19 July 1994 - Bryan Robson further bolsters Middlesbrough's squad with a £1 million move for Aston Villa defender Neil Cox.
2 August 1994 - Tottenham Hotspur sell winger Vinny Samways to Everton for £2.2 million.
20 August 1994 -
- - Huddersfield Town play their first game at the new Alfred McAlpine Stadium, a Division Two fixture with newly promoted Wycombe Wanderers which ends in a 1-0 defeat.
- - The FA Premier League season opens with Liverpool beating newly promoted Crystal Palace 6-1 at Selhurst Park. Steve McManaman and Ian Rush both find the net twice, while Jürgen Klinsmann and Bryan Roy score on their English league debuts: the former in a 4-3 away win for Tottenham Hotspur against Sheffield Wednesday; the latter getting the only goal as Nottingham Forest win away at Ipswich Town.
- - Huddersfield Town play their first game at the new Alfred McAlpine Stadium, a Division Two fixture with newly promoted Wycombe Wanderers which ends in a 1-0 defeat.
24 August 1994 - A late surge by Newcastle United in the final 15 minutes of their home clash with Coventry City in the Premier League sees them break the deadlock to win 4-0 after Coventry striker Micky Quinn (a former Newcastle player) was sent off.
27 August 1994 - National record signing Chris Sutton scores a hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers as they beat Coventry City 4-0. Andy Cole and Steve Watson are both on the scoresheet twice for Newcastle United in their 5-1 home win over Southampton, as are Uwe Rosler and Paul Walsh for Manchester City in a 4-0 home win over Everton.
31 August 1994 - Newcastle United finish the first month of the league season as Premier League leaders with four wins from their opening four games, with defending champions Manchester United and newly promoted Nottingham Forest bracketed together as their nearest rivals and Liverpool and Chelsea three points behind with a game in hand each. With four teams going down this season due to the reduction of the Premier League from 22 clubs to 20, the relegation places are occupied by Everton, Leicester City, West Ham United and Coventry City. In Division One, Bryan Robson has made a perfect start to his managerial career by guiding Middlesbrough to the top of Division One after winning their first four games of the season. Oldham Athletic occupy second place - but for the first time in 100 years of the Football League's second tier the runners-up of the division will not gain automatic promotion. Due to a reorganisation of the Premier League and Football League for next season, the second to fifth placed teams in Division One will go into the playoffs, which are also currently occupied by Portsmouth, Millwall and Reading. The number of relegation places from Division One are unchanged - they are occupied by Derby County, Southend United, and West Bromwich Albion.
5–6 September 1994 - Dean Holdsworth – dismayed by the departures of John Fashanu and John Scales over the past two months – submits a transfer request at Wimbledon, who strip him of the club captaincy, awarding it to Vinnie Jones.
10 September 1994 - Manchester United sell striker Dion Dublin to Coventry City for £2 million (a record buy for Phil Neal's team). Dublin's value doubled in two years at Old Trafford after signing from Cambridge United, but a broken leg in his first season - coupled with the arrival of Eric Cantona - saw his first team opportunities limited.
11 September 1994 - Leeds United beat Manchester United for the first time in more than a decade, defeating them 2-1 in the league at Elland Road.
17 September 1994 - Dion Dublin scores on his Coventry City debut, a 2-1 home league win over Leeds United. Leicester City achieve their first Premier League win - 3-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur, with young striker Julian Joachim scoring twice.
21 September 1994 - Gary Lineker, England's second highest goalscorer of all time, announces his retirement from playing. Since leaving Tottenham in 1992, he has played for Nagoya Grampus Eight of Japan.
23 September 1994 - UEFA announces that the Summer Cup will be re-introduced next year and will now be known as the Intertoto Cup. It will feature 40 clubs and at least one Premier League team (the highest placed applicant or applicants who failed to qualify for one of the three major European competitions) will be able to compete.
25 September 1994 - Wigan Athletic sack manager Kenny Swain after an appalling start to the season, which has seen them lose 8 of their first 9 games and already left the side four points adrift at the bottom of Division Three with most of the teams above them having a game in hand. Former player Graham Barrow, who resigned as Chester City manager two months prior, is announced as Swain's successor.
30 September 1994 - September draws to a close with Newcastle United still top after winning six of their first seven games, while Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest have leapfrogged Manchester United into fourth place. Completing the top five are a Chelsea side who are showing some of their best form in years under the management of Glenn Hoddle. Manchester City are also giving the top five a run for their money after last season's close shave with relegation. Everton are bottom of the division with no wins from their first seven games, while Crystal Palace, Coventry City and West Ham United are all still in the bottom four as well. Graham Taylor is rebuilding his managerial career well at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have leapfrogged Middlesbrough on goals scored at the top of Division One. Swindon Town, Tranmere Rovers and Reading complete the top five. West Bromwich Albion still remain in the relegation zone, now sandwiched by Notts County and Burnley.
1 October 1994 - Everton manager Mike Walker looks to pull his side together by making a triple loan bid for Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson and midfielder Ian Durrant as well as Trevor Steven, who was sold from Everton to Rangers by Colin Harvey in 1989.
2 October 1994 - Duncan Ferguson and Ian Durrant complete their loan moves from Rangers to Everton, but Trevor Steven's move falls through, on the same day that Everton's winless start to the league season extends to eight matches as they lose 2-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
4 October 1994 - In the second legs of the second round League Cup ties, Mansfield Town of Division Three eliminate Premier League high-flyers Leeds United, while extra-time goals from Chris Armstrong and Bruce Dyer help top-flight Crystal Palace see off the challenge of Lincoln City, also of the fourth tier.
15 October 1994 - Division Three side Northampton Town move into the new Sixfields Stadium. Their first game is against Barnet, ending in a 1-1 draw with 19-year-old striker Martin Aldridge scoring the first goal at the new stadium.
31 October 1994 - October draws to a close with Newcastle United still top, with Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool and Leeds United their nearest contenders. Everton are still bottom of the league and it currently looks like something little short of a miracle will save their 41-year top flight tenure as they have yet to win a league game after their opening 12 games. Leicester City, Wimbledon and Ipswich Town have also joined Everton in the relegation zone. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Middlesbrough remain level at the top of Division One, with Tranmere Rovers, Reading and Swindon Town complete the top five. Millwall has taken Burnley's place in the Division One relegation zone, which is otherwise unchanged.
10 November 1994 - Ron Atkinson is sacked as manager of Aston Villa, while Tottenham Hotspur appoint Gerry Francis from Queens Park Rangers. Manchester United crush Manchester City 5-0 in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, with Andrei Kanchelskis scoring a hat-trick.
13 November 1994 - The third round of the FA Cup is highlighted by Division Two promotion chasers Oxford United's 2-0 defeat at non-league Marlow Town.
14 November 1994 - Ray Wilkins, 38, quits as Crystal Palace player-coach to return to Queens Park Rangers as their new player-manager, while Brian Little resigns as manager of Leicester City, sparking rumours that he will take over at Aston Villa.
21 November 1994 - Joe Royle has a dream start to his reign as Everton manager as they triumph 2-0 over Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
25 November 1994 - Brian Little is named as the new Aston Villa manager on his 41st birthday.
26 November 1994 - Alan Shearer scores a hat-trick and Chris Sutton nets once as Blackburn Rovers beat Queens Park Rangers 4-0 in the league at Ewood Park.
30 November 1994 - Blackburn Rovers are the new month-end Premier League leaders, ahead of second-placed Manchester United by a single point, while they are two points ahead of former leaders Newcastle United who have dipped to third place. Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United are continuing to put up a strong challenge, along with a Manchester City side who spent last season battling to avoid relegation. Everton's new manager Joe Royle has taken them off bottom place over the last month with their first three league wins of the season, with Ipswich Town and Leicester City now propping up the league. Also in the relegation zone are League Cup holders Aston Villa, who almost won the league title two seasons ago. Middlesbrough finish the month as outright leaders of Division One with a two-point lead over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tranmere Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Luton Town complete the top five, while Swindon Town's drastic loss of form over the last month has seen them slump from the playoff zone into 19th place and manager John Gorman sacked to be replaced by 33-year-old Manchester City midfielder Steve McMahon, who takes over as player-manager. Portsmouth, another side who were looking like promotion contenders not so long ago, have slumped even further towards the relegation zone, only ahead of Bristol City on goal difference. West Bromwich Albion and Notts County continue to struggle.
5 December 1994 - John Lyall resigns after four-and-a-half years in charge of Ipswich Town, who stand bottom of the Premier League. While Ipswich's struggle shows no sign of easing, Everton's revival continues as they crush Leeds United 3-0 at Goodison Park.
9 December 1994 - The Football Association quashes Tottenham's FA Cup ban and 6-point deduction.
11 December 1994 - Arsenal manager George Graham denies allegations that he received an illegal £285,000 payment as part of a transfer deal. Everton pay a club record fee of £4 million for Rangers striker Duncan Ferguson, who has been on loan at Goodison Park for two months.
12 December 1994 - Scarborough, who are bottom of Division Three, sack manager Billy Ayre, with former manager Ray McHale returning to the club for his second spell in charge. Though the vast majority of the clubs in the Football Conference still do not have grounds suitable for hosting League football, current Conference leaders Macclesfield Town's Moss Rose ground was used by Chester City from 1990 to 1992, making it seem likely that they will be promoted if they win the Conference.
17 December 1994 - Manchester United suffer their first home league defeat of the season when they go down 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest, who win the game with goals from Stuart Pearce and Stan Collymore, the latter of whom is reportedly a Manchester United transfer target. Tony Cottee scores a hat-trick for West Ham United in their 3-0 home league win over Manchester City.
18 December 1994 - John Lyall resigns after four-and-a-half years in charge of Ipswich Town, who are currently bottom of the Premier League.
19 December 1994 - Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness denies allegations that he received a £30,000 illegal payment in connection with a player transfer.
21 December 1994 - Brian Little's rebuilding of Aston Villa begins when he signs midfielder Ian Taylor from Sheffield Wednesday, with striker Guy Whittingham moving in the opposite direction in a deal worth £1 million.
28 December 1994 -
- - Ipswich Town appoint their former player George Burley as their new manager. Burley, 38, had recently quit Colchester United and without a proven track record he was perhaps a surprise candidate for the job.
- - Manchester United are held to a surprise 1-1 home draw by struggling Leicester City, preventing them from going top of the Premier League.
- - Ipswich Town appoint their former player George Burley as their new manager. Burley, 38, had recently quit Colchester United and without a proven track record he was perhaps a surprise candidate for the job.
31 December 1994 - 1994 draws to a close with Blackburn Rovers still top and now with a three-point lead over Manchester United as well as a game in hand. Liverpool and Nottingham Forest are still in distant contention while a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur are now putting pressure on the top five, while Leeds United and Manchester City's challenges are practically dead and buried as they have slid down the table considerably. Norwich City, meanwhile, finish 1994 in seventh place as manager John Deehan looks set to defy the critics who felt he could never successfully replace Mike Walker and mount a challenge for another European place. The month-end bottom four of Everton, Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and Leicester City remain unchanged from last month. Middlesbrough continue to lead the Division One promotion race, now five points ahead of their nearest rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tranmere Rovers, Reading and Sheffield United complete the top five, while the change of manager at Swindon Town has made little difference to their league form (though they continue to progress well in the League Cup) as they are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
2 January 1995 - Alan Shearer adds another hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers in their 4-2 home win over West Ham United in the league. Ipswich Town give their survival hopes a boost with a 4-1 home win over fellow strugglers Leicester City.
7 January 1995 - Division Three Walsall hold Premier League Leeds United to a 1-1 draw the Bescot Stadium in the FA Cup third round to force a replay. Enfield's hopes of achieving an upset against Leicester City are ended when they lose 2-0 to the home side at Filbert Street. Marlow's FA Cup dream ends in a 2-0 defeat at Swindon Town. Wrexham shock Ipswich Town 2-0, while Aylesbury United's dream ends in a 4-0 thrashing by Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Birmingham City hold Liverpool to a goalless draw.
8 January 1995 - Chester City sack manager Mike Pejic, with the club having lost 17 of their 24 games this season and being ten points adrift of safety. Physiotherapist Derek Mann is appointed as caretaker manager.
9 January 1995 - Manchester United meet Sheffield United in the FA Cup at Bramall Lane for the second season running, and triumph 2-0.
10 January 1995 - Manchester United break the English transfer fee record by signing Andy Cole from Newcastle United in a deal worth £7million; £6million cash plus £1million-rated winger Keith Gillespie, 19.
11 January 1995 - Everton are reported to be in the process of making a £2.5million bid for 31-year-old Manchester United striker Mark Hughes, whose future at Old Trafford has been threatened by the arrival of Andy Cole.
14 January 1995 - Ipswich Town collect three priceless points in a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield, in which 21-year-old winger Adam Tanner scores the only goal.
15 January 1995 - Mark Hughes suffers a knee injury as he scored Manchester United's goal in their 1-1 league draw at Newcastle United. It is feared that he has suffered cruciate ligament damage and will be out of action until next season, effectively ending Everton's hopes of signing him any time soon.
16 January 1995 - Tests show that the knee injury suffered by Mark Hughes yesterday is less serious than feared, and he is expected to return to action before the end of next month.
17 January 1995 - Walsall's FA Cup dream is ended in a 5-2 defeat by Leeds United at Elland Road in the third round replay.
22 January 1995 - Blackburn Rovers are now just one point ahead of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League after Alex Ferguson's men beat them 1-0 at Old Trafford with Eric Cantona's 12th league goal of the season.
25 January 1995 - After being sent off for kicking an opponent in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace, Eric Cantona leaps into the crowd and kicks spectator Matthew Simmons, who had allegedly been making racist remarks to the Frenchman.
26 January 1995 - Blackburn Rovers beat Ipswich Town 4-1 in the league at Ewood Park, with Alan Shearer scoring yet another hat-trick.
27 January 1995 - Eric Cantona is suspended by his employers for the rest of the season and fined £20,000 after being charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
28 January 1995 - In the first game after the Eric Cantona incident, Manchester United beat Wrexham 5-2 in the FA Cup fourth round at Old Trafford. Brian Flynn's Division Two underdogs gave United a scare after taking an early lead, but United soon blew them apart.
31 January 1995 - The month ends with Blackburn Rovers still leading the Premier League, while Manchester United have cut their lead to a single point Kenny Dalglish's men have a two-game advantage of their Old Trafford rivals. Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle United complete the top five. Ipswich Town and Leicester City continue to prop up the top flight, while Aston Villa and Everton have surged clear of the drop zone at the expense of Coventry City and West Ham United. Middlesbrough are now two points ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers (who are level with Bolton Wanderers) at the top of Division One, with Reading and Tranmere Rovers completing the top five.
4 February 1995 - Andy Cole scores his first goal for Manchester United in a 1-0 home win over Aston Villa in the Premier League.
11 February 1995 - Aston Villa match the record for a Premier League victory when they beat Wimbledon 7-1 at Villa Park. Recently signed striker Tommy Johnson scores a hat-trick. The Manchester derby at Maine Road is won 3-0 by United.
13 February 1995 - Less than six months after leaving them to return to West Ham United, Tony Cottee scores twice against Everton in a 2-2 league draw at Upton Park.
14 February 1995 - George Graham, whose job as Arsenal manager is reportedly under threat due to sub-standard Premier League form as well as allegations of illegal payments, pays Vitesse Arnhem £2million for the Netherlands winger Glenn Helder.
15 February 1995 - England's friendly international against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin is cancelled, with the Republic 1-0 in the lead thanks to Wolverhampton Wanderers striker David Kelly, due to rioting by England hooligans believed to be member of the Combat 18 organisation.
21 February 1995 - George Graham is sacked as Arsenal manager after he admits to receiving an illegal payment of £425,000 from Norwegian agent Rune Hauge when Arsenal signed Pal Lydersen in 1991 and John Jensen in 1992. Assistant manager Stewart Houston will take over as manager until the end of the season before Arsenal find a permanent manager to succeed Graham, who had been in charge at Highbury since May 1986 and had won six major trophies.
22 February 1995 - In Brian Little's first game against old club Leicester City since leaving them for Aston Villa, the two sides draw 4-4 in the league at Villa Park.
24 February 1995 - The Football Association extends Eric Cantona's suspension until 30 September and he is fined a further £10,000.
25 February 1995 - Manchester United's hopes of a third successive league title win are damaged by a 1-0 defeat to a resurgent Everton, with Duncan Ferguson scoring the only goal.
26 February 1995 - Peter Taylor resigns as manager of Southend United, who were considered one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, but have fallen to being just one place outside the relegation zone after a disastrous run of losses. Former Lincoln City manager Steve Thompson is announced as caretaker manager until the end of the season.
28 February 1995 - Blackburn Rovers remain month-end leaders of the Premier League, but failed to take maximum advantages of the two games they had in hand and are still only three points ahead of second-placed Manchester United. The challenge from the remainder of the top five - Newcastle United, Liverpool and particularly Nottingham Forest - is becoming more and more distant, while Norwich City's challenge for a UEFA Cup place has collapsed into a battle to avoid relegation in the space of a few weeks. The bottom four remain unchanged apart from West Ham United climbing out of the drop zone at the expense of a goal-shy Crystal Palace. Tranmere Rovers have stormed to the top of Division One at the expense of Middlesbrough, with the top five being completed by Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
4 March 1995 - Andy Cole becomes the first player to score five goals in a Premier League game in Manchester United's 9-0 home win over Ipswich Town - which is also the biggest win yet in the Premier League.
10 March 1993 - Aston Villa sign defender Alan Wright from Blackburn Rovers for £1million.
11 March 1995 - Liverpool's faint hopes of a unique domestic treble are ended when they lose 2-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup quarter-final.
12 March 1995 - Everton's season which began with a 12-match winless start in the league is showing signs of turning into a success after they beat Newcastle United 1-0 at Goodison Park in the FA Cup quarter-final. Manchester United reach the semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, managed by former United player Ray Wilkins and ending his hopes of beginning his managerial career with FA Cup glory.
13 March 1995 - Chelsea captain Dennis Wise (28) is sentenced to three months in prison for assault and criminal damage, but is released on bail pending an appeal against his conviction and sentence. The court case follows an alleged attack on a taxi driver in London.
14 March 1995 - Liverpool's hopes of making a late run to the title are virtually ended when they lose 3-2 at home to Coventry City, with Peter Ndlovu scoring a hat-trick for the Sky Blues.
17 March 1995 - Southampton pay a club record £1.2million for Sheffield Wednesday striker Gordon Watson.
23 March 1995 - A judge at Croydon Crown Court sentences Eric Cantona to 14 days in prison for his attack on Matthew Simmons. He is released on bail, pending an appeal against the sentence. Meanwhile, Cantona's team-mate Paul Ince faces charges relating to the incident, while Matthew Simmons will also face prosecution.
31 March 1995 - Eric Cantona's prison sentence is quashed on appeal and he is sentenced to 120 hours of community service. Meanwhile, his Manchester United side are still second in the league to a Blackburn Rovers team who have a three-point lead and a game in hand. The threat from Liverpool, Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest is now even more distant to the point that it could be mathematically ended within a couple of weeks. At the other end of the table, Ipswich Town and Leicester City continue to prop up the rest of the Premier League and will now need a practical miracle to beat the drop. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are sinking deeper and deeper into hot water, while Southampton have fallen into the bottom four. A first win of 1995 has helped ease Norwich City's worries as they stand 12th, but they are just six points ahead of 19th-placed Southampton who have two games in hand. Arsenal, still reeling from the George Graham and Paul Merson scandals, are suddenly under surprise threat of relegation from a division they traditionally compete at the top end of. Middlesbrough have regained their lead of Division One, where Bolton Wanderers, Tranmere Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Reading complete the top five.
1 April 1995 - Nottingham Forest achieve a record Premier League away win when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 7-1 at Hillsborough. Meanwhile, Ipswich Town and Leicester City's survival hopes are virtually ended by home defeats.
2 April 1995 - Liverpool beat Bolton to win the League Cup with a brace from man of the match, Steve McManaman. A thrilling game at The Dell sees Southampton move closer to safety with a 4-3 win over Tottenham, with Matt Le Tissier scoring twice for the hosts and Teddy Sheringham scoring twice for the visitors.
3 April 1995 - Howard Kendall is sacked as Notts County manager. While results briefly improved following his appointment, it's clear by now that the club have no hope of avoiding relegation. Previous caretaker Russell Slade is also dismissed, and veteran player Steve Nicol, who was signed by Kendall shortly into his brief reign, is handed control of the team for the remainder of the season.
5 April 1995 - On-loan Ghanaian striker Tony Yeboah scores a hat-trick for Leeds United in a 4-0 home win over Ipswich Town - a result which relegates the visitors. Leicester City cling onto their Premier League status with a 1-0 home win over a Norwich City who are heading towards the relegation zone just three months after being in close contention for a UEFA Cup place.
6 April 1995 - It is announced that Eric Cantona's community service order will take place in the form of coaching football to young boys in the Manchester area.
8 April 1995 - Norwich City fall closer to the relegation zone in a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United. Leicester City's relegation is confirmed by a 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Chester City become the first Football League side to be relegated this season, due to their failure to defeat Bristol Rovers.
9 April 1995 - 35-year-old Crystal Palace supporter Paul Nixon is crushed to death by a coach outside a Walsall public house before the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park between Crystal Palace and Manchester United. Mr Nixon had been trying to escape a brawl between supporters of the two teams, after being stabbed and seriously injured by a brick. The semi-final ended in a 2-2 draw, while Everton crush Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in the other semi-final.
10 April 1995 - Derek Mann resigns as Chester City manager after failing to save the club from relegation, and reverts to his previous role as club physio. Everton veteran Kevin Ratcliffe takes over as player-manager of the club, who are now looking almost certain to finish bottom of Division Two.
12 April 1995 - Manchester United reach the FA Cup final after beating Crystal Palace 2-0 in the semi-final replay. Their opponents will be Everton, who crushed Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 in the other semi-final.
15 April 1995 - Ian Wright keeps up his strong record of goals against Ipswich Town by scoring in a 4-1 league win for Arsenal at Highbury. Manchester United keep their title hopes alive with a 4-0 win at relegated Leicester City, while Southampton continue their surge up the table with a 2-1 home win over Queen's Park Rangers.
17 April 1995 - Manchester United's title bid is made harder when Chelsea hold them to a goalless draw at Old Trafford. However, their neighbour's City do them a favour by beating leaders Blackburn Rovers 3-2 at Ewood Park, a result which boosts their own battle against relegation.
23 April 1995 - The day after being confirmed as Football Conference champions, Macclesfield Town's celebrations are dashed in devastating fashion when the Football League announces that they will not be promoted into Division Three due to their Moss Rose ground not meeting safety requirements. While Chester City and Crewe Alexandra both offer the use of their respective Deva Stadium and Gresty Road grounds, the League refuse to waive their rule that new clubs must own their own ground (introduced to avoid a repeat of the situation which led to the demise of Maidstone United three years prior). This announcement also means that Scarborough and Exeter City, who had been battling to avoid bottom spot (with Northampton Town also having been not entirely out of danger), are guaranteed safety regardless of where they finish.
30 April 1995 - Middlesbrough clinch the Division One championship - and the only automatic promotion place to the Premier League for this season - by beating Luton Town in the final game at 93-year-old Ayresome Park and at the end of Bryan Robson's first season in management. Middlesbrough will relocate to the new 30,000-seat Riverside Stadium in August. Meanwhile, up in the Premier League, the final full month of the season ends with Manchester United still pushing Blackburn Rovers hard, with the margin now five points wide with four games to go, as Blackburn blew a chance to extend their lead today as they lost 2-0 at West Ham. Liverpool are the only other team now in with a mathematical chance of winning the title, and all minds at Anfield are focused on the final day of the season when they welcome former manager Kenny Dalglish and his Blackburn Rovers side for what could very well be the title decider. At the other end of the table, Ipswich Town and Leicester City both had their relegation confirmed earlier in the month, while Norwich City have sunk into the relegation zone and Crystal Palace are still in it - but only on goal difference, and they have a game in hand over 18th-placed West Ham United.
1 May 1995 - Manchester United cut Blackburn's Premier League lead to two points with a 3-2 away win over relegation threatened Coventry City, with Andy Cole scoring twice - taking his tally for United to 11 goals in 15 league games.
6 May 1995 - Norwich City's relegation is confirmed as they lose 2-1 at Leeds United.
7 May 1995 - Manchester United continue to put the pressure on Blackburn Rovers as a David May goal gives them a 1-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday.
8 May 1995 - Blackburn Rovers maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League when Alan Shearer scores the only goal of a 1-0 win against his hometown club Newcastle United.
9 May 1995 - Everton confirm their survival with a 1-0 away win over doomed Ipswich Town at Portman Road. Coventry City are virtually safe thanks to a 3-1 away win over Tottenham, as are West Ham United after a 3-0 home win over Liverpool.
14 May 1995 - Blackburn Rovers are crowned league champions for the first time in 81 years, despite losing 2-1 at Liverpool on the final day of the season. Blackburn's title status was confirmed after their nearest contenders Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw with West Ham United. The final Premier League relegation place goes to Crystal Palace, despite their dynamic fightback from being 3-0 down at Newcastle United they still lose 3-2. Aston Villa's safety is confirmed by a 1-1 draw with already-relegated Norwich at Carrow Road.
19 May 1995 - Trevor Francis is sacked after four years as manager of Sheffield Wednesday.
20 May 1995 - Everton win the FA Cup thanks to a Paul Rideout goal in the final, which leaves Manchester United (who narrowly missed out on repeating the double) without a major trophy for the first time since 1989. Rideout's goal came in the 30th minute, and United made a few late attempts to equalise (including two extremely close attempts by Paul Scholes in the dying minutes of the game) but all shots were foiled by a courageous Neville Southall.
24 May 1995 - Paul Ince is cleared of assaulting a Crystal Palace supporter in the skirmish that followed Eric Cantona's attack on Matthew Simmons four months ago. It was already known that the spectator who accused Ince of assault had a history of football-related violence dating back to the early 1970s.
5 June 1995 - Niall Quinn's transfer to Sporting Lisbon falls through after he fails to agree a contract.
6 June 1995 - Relegated Notts County appoint Colin Murphy as their new manager. Steve Thompson resigns as Southend United manager to become Murphy's assistant at Meadow Lane, and Southend in turn appoint Ronnie Whelan as player-manager.
26 June 1995 - Aston Villa play a club record £3.5million for Partisan Belgrade's 22-year-old Serbian striker Savo Milošević, taking the place of Dean Saunders, who had linked up with his former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness at Turkish side Galatasaray along with Newcastle United's Barry Venison and Coventry City's Mike Marsh.
21 September 1994: Paul Scholes, 19-year-old midfielder, scores twice on his debut for Manchester United in their 2-1 win over Port Vale in the Football League Cup second round first leg at Vale Park.
21 September 1994: Gary Lineker, 33-year-old former England striker, announces his retirement from playing after two years in Japan with Grampus Eight, having previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barcelona, Everton and Leicester City. He is also England's second highest scorer of all time, having scored 48 times before his international retirement in 1992.
14 May 1995: Glenn Hoddle, 37-year-old Chelsea player-manager and former England midfielder, retires from playing.
- Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers) - 34 goals
- John Aldridge (Tranmere Rovers) - 27 goals
- Gary Bennett (Wrexham) - 29 goals
- Dougie Freedman (Barnet) - 24 goals
- 5 August 1994 – Terry Hibbitt, 46, who died of cancer, started his career at Leeds United under Don Revie in 1963 and made 63 league appearances, scoring 11 goals, before his transfer to Newcastle United in 1971, being in their midfield for the 1974 FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool. Signed for Birmingham City in 1975 before returning to Newcastle in 1978 and staying on Tyneside until 1981, when he ended a professional career which had spanned 18 years and 401 league games. Remained active at non-league level with Gateshead until 1986, briefly managing the club.
- 23 August 1994 – Joe Loughran, 79, played 268 league games at centre-half between 1933 and 1953 for Birmingham City, Luton Town, Burnley and finally Southend United, his career being disrupted by World War II.
- 3 September 1994 – Billy Wright, 70, captain of Wolverhampton Wanderers and England during the 1950s. At club level won three league championships and one F.A Cup. Was Arsenal manager from 1962 to 1966 but had little success. Made history as England's (and the world's) first 100-cap player.
- 23 September 1994 – Johnny Berry, 68, Manchester United winger from the 1950s who was forced to retire after being severely injured in the Munich Air Disaster. After retiring as a player, he ran a sports shop in Aldershot with his brother Peter.
- 9 October 1994 –
- - Raich Carter, 80, was capped 13 times for England and score seven times before and after the Second World War as an inside-forward. He was also an FA Cup winner with Sunderland in 1937 and Derby County in 1946. He later managed Hull City, Cork Athletic, Leeds United, Mansfield Town and finally Middlesbrough before he retired from football in 1966.
- - Idris Hopkins, 83, was capped 12 times on the right wing for Wales in the 1930s and played 272 league games for the Brentford side of the 1930s and 1940s which played in the First Division. Died in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, two days before what would have been his 84th birthday.
- 2 November 1994 – Harold Pearson, 86, kept goal for West Bromwich Albion when they won the F.A Cup in 1931 and played once for England.
- 30 December 1994 – Geoff Bradford, 67, centre-forward for Bristol Rovers for his entire career, scored 242 league goals for the West Country club and became the club's only ever full England international when he won his solitary cap against Denmark in 1955.
- 2 January 1995 – Ian Frodsham, 19, who died of cancer, was a Liverpool midfielder who had turned professional some 18 months before his death after playing in the Anfield club's youth side, although he never played a first-team game for them.
- 26 January 1995 – Vic Buckingham, 79, played 204 league games at wing-half for Tottenham Hotspur between 1935 and 1949. Moved into management in 1950 and over the next 30 years managed clubs including Bradford Park Avenue, West Bromwich Albion, Ajax Amsterdam (twice), Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday and FC Barcelona.
- 30 January 1995 – George Poyser, 84, was manager of Notts County from 1953 and 1957 before joining Manchester City as assistant manager, becoming manager in place of Les McDowall on the club's relegation to the Second Division in 1963. He was sacked two years later with promotion still yet to be achieved.
- 8 February 1995 – Jimmy Allen, 85, was a centre-half for Portsmouth and Aston Villa in the 1930s and was capped twice by England. Managed Colchester United from 1948 to 1953, during which time they were elected to the Football League.
- 11 March 1995 – Sonny Feehan, 68, who was born in Dublin, played 12 league games in goal for Manchester United during the early Matt Busby era, later playing for Northampton Town and Brentford.
- 1 April 1995 – Johnny Nicholls, 63, was a forward in West Bromwich Albion's FA Cup winning side of 1954, the same year that he won two England caps. Remained at the Black Country club until 1957, by which time he had played 131 league games and scored 58 goals, and signed for Cardiff City and then played his last league game at 28 for Exeter City before finishing his playing career in non-league football.
- 6 May 1995 – Noel Brotherston, 38, who died of a heart attack, was a striker for Northern Ireland who played for clubs including Blackburn Rovers and Bury. He retired from playing in 1988.
- 20 May 1995 – Leslie Smith, 77, started his playing career with Brentford in their First Division days of the late 1930s and won his only England senior cap in 1939. Signed for Aston Villa after World War II and played 181 games for the midlands club, before returning to Brentford for the 1952-53 season and then finishing his career at non-league level with Kidderminster Harriers as player-manager. Later scouted for Wolverhampton Wanderers.
- 23 May 1995 – Joe Walter, 99, inside-forward who played for Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers. Won a league championship with Huddersfield in 1924. At the time of his death, he was believed to be the oldest former professional footballer in England.
- 30 May 1995 – Ted Drake, 82, played as a centre forward for Arsenal before the Second World War and managed Chelsea to league championship glory in 1955.
- 30 May 1995 – Bobby Stokes, 44, former Southampton striker who scored the winning goal in the 1976 FA Cup Final when Southampton defeated Manchester United 1–0.
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