1988–89 in English Football - Diary of The Season

Diary of The Season

15 June 1988 – Everton pay £850,000 for Bradford City and Scotland midfielder Stuart McCall.

17 June 1988 – Newcastle United buy Scottish striker John Hendrie from Bradford City for £500,000.

21 June 1988 – Tottenham Hotspur pay a club record £1.7 million for Manchester City striker Paul Stewart.

4 July 1988 – Uruguayan Danny Bergara, 46, becomes the first foreign manager in English football when he takes over at Fourth Division club Rochdale.

5 July 1988 – After three years in Italy with Bari, former Aston Villa striker Paul Rideout returns to England in a £430,000 move to Southampton.

7 July 1988 – Tottenham Hotspur complete a British transfer record £2 million deal for 21-year-old Newcastle United midfielder Paul Gascoigne. Gascoigne signs a contract at White Hart Lane until the end of the 1992–93 season.

12 July 1988 – The long hunt for a new Wales national football team manager ends when Swansea City manager Terry Yorath is appointed on a part-time basis.

13 July 1988 – Gordon Cowans ends his three-year spell at Bari to rejoin Aston Villa in a £250,000 deal, while Everton strengthen their midfield in a £925,000 move for Chelsea and Scotland midfielder Pat Nevin.

19 July 1988 – England defender Gary Stevens moves to Scotland in a £1 million move from Everton to Rangers in the costliest transfer involving a British defender. He is replaced at Goodison Park by Newcastle United's Neil McDonald.

20 July 1988 – After two seasons at Barcelona, Mark Hughes returns to Manchester United for a club record £1.8 million, breaking the previous record of £1.75million that the club paid for Bryan Robson seven years ago.

25 July 1988 – Less than three weeks after Tottenham broke the national transfer record, a new record is set when Everton complete the signing of West Ham United's 23-year-old striker Tony Cottee for £2.2 million.

28 July 1988 – Billy Bonds, the oldest player in the Football League at 41, announces his retirement as a player but will remain with West Ham United as youth team coach.

1 August 1988 – West Ham United sign striker David Kelly from Walsall for £600,000. Newcastle United sign defender Andy Thorn from FA Cup winners Wimbledon for a club record £850,000.

8 August 1988 – Graham Roberts returns to England in a £470,000 move to Chelsea from Rangers.

17 August 1988 – Nottingham Forest sign England midfielder Steve Hodge from Tottenham Hotspur for £550,000.

18 August 1988 – After an unhappy season at Juventus, Ian Rush returns to Liverpool for £2.8million. It is the third time in two months that the national transfer fee record has been broken.

20 August 1988 - Liverpool gain revenge for their FA Cup final defeat by Wimbledon in May by beating them 2-1 in the Charity Shield.

23 August 1988 – Kevin Moran leaves Manchester United on a free transfer after 10 years and joins Spanish side Sporting Gijón on a free transfer.

26 August 1988 – Alan Ball prepares Portsmouth's challenge for an immediate return to the First Division by paying Aston Villa £315,000 for striker Warren Aspinall.

27 August 1988 – Millwall F.C. begin their life as a First Division side by drawing 2–2 at Aston Villa. Arsenal move to top position by thrashing FA Cup holders Wimbledon 5–1, while Liverpool beat Charlton Athletic 3-0 and Everton thump Newcastle United 4-0.

31 August 1988 – Norwich City sign Irish midfielder Andy Townsend from Southampton for £300,000. Chelsea defender Steve Wicks retires from playing due to a back injury.

1 September 1988 – Brighton & Hove Albion, newly promoted back to the Second Division, sign Barnet defender Nicky Bissett for £115,000, a record fee for a non league player. Richard Thompson, 24, becomes the youngest chairman in the Football League when he takes over at Queens Park Rangers in place of David Bulstrode.

12 September 1988 – David Rocastle, Paul Gascoigne and Tony Cottee win their first international caps for England in a 1-0 friendly win over Denmark at Wembley. Nearly a decade after leaving them for Sunderland, goalkeeper Chris Turner returns to Sheffield Wednesday in a £175,000 move from Manchester United.

16 September 1988 – Andy Gray returns to his native Scotland after 13 years to sign for Rangers.

18 September 1988 – Southampton midfielder Glenn Cockerill suffers a broken jaw in a clash with Arsenal midfielder Paul Davis in a First Division match at Highbury which ends in a 2–2 draw. Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar is hospitalised with meningitis and is expected to be out of action until the new year.

28 September 1988 – Wimbledon sign Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Hans Segers for £150,000. Leeds United, fourth from bottom in the Second Division, sack manager Billy Bremner after three years at the helm.

29 September 1988 – Paul Davis is fined a record £3,000 and banned for nine matches.

30 September 1988 – The month ends with Norwich City as surprise leaders of the First Division, two points ahead of Liverpool and newly promoted Millwall. FA Cup holders Wimbledon occupy bottom place. The Second Division promotion race is headed by Blackburn Rovers and Watford. Ipswich Town, Portsmouth, Bradford City and Oldham Athletic occupy the promotion play-off places, while pre-season promotion favourites Leeds United occupy a lowly 18th place.

1 October 1988 – Millwall go top of the league for the first time in their history with a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers.

2 October 1988 – Aston Villa sell defender Neale Cooper to Rangers for £300,000.

7 October 1988 – Derby County manager Arthur Cox dismisses speculation that he will take over at Leeds United.

9 October 1988 – Former Newcastle United striker Jackie Milburn dies of cancer aged 64.

10 October 1988 – Howard Wilkinson ends six years as Sheffield Wednesday manager by agreeing to drop down a division to join Leeds United, while Willie McFaul ends his 22-year association with Newcastle United when he is sacked as manager. Reserve team coach Colin Suggett is put in charge, with the club's board saying that he will stay in the role until the end of the season.

13 October 1988 – Ron Atkinson steps down as West Bromwich Albion manager for the second time, taking over at Atlético Madrid in Spain, in a contract worth £250,000 per year.

17 October 1988 – Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby is found guilty of reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol, and is sentenced to three months in prison.

19 October 1988 – England begin their World Cup qualifying campaign with a goalless draw against Sweden at Wembley.

20 October 1988 – Liverpool sign 20-year-old defender David Burrows from West Bromwich Albion for £550,000.

21 October 1988 – Wimbledon pay a club record £500,000 for Reading defender Keith Curle.

22 October 1988 – Southampton make history by fielding three brothers in the same team in their 2-1 league defeat to Sheffield Wednesday: 24-year-old Danny Wallace lines up alongside twin brothers Rod and Ray.

27 October 1988 – Manchester United pay Luton Town £650,000 for 31-year-old full-back Mal Donaghy.

28 October 1988 – Derby County pay a club record £1million for Oxford United and Wales striker Dean Saunders.

29 October 1988 – Mark Lawrenson is sacked as Oxford United manager after a dispute with the club's board over the sale Dean Saunders. His assistant Brian Horton, the former Hull City manager, is appointed as his successor.

31 October 1988 – Norwich City are back at the top of the First Division table at the end of the month, now with a six-point lead over nearest rivals Arsenal, who have a game in hand, while Millwall are still third. The bottom three places are occupied by Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Middlesbrough, who two seasons ago were in the Third Division and threatened with closure due to financial problems, finish the month in a creditable seventh place. Watford lead the Second Division by five points over Blackburn Rovers. The playoff zone is occupied by West Bromwich Albion, Portsmouth, Chelsea and Manchester City. Leeds United continue to struggle, only being out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

1 November 1988 – Out-of-favour Manchester United striker Peter Davenport becomes Middlesbrough's record signing in a £750,000 deal. Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Keith Burkinshaw takes over as manager of Third Division strugglers Gillingham.

15 November 1988 – Everton midfielder Adrian Heath is sold to Espanyol of Spain for £600,000.

16 November 1988 – England draw 1-1 with Saudi Arabia in a friendly in Riyadh, with goalkeeper David Seaman making his international debut. Manchester United sell winger Jesper Olsen to Bordeaux of France for £400,000, where he links up with former Tottenham Hotspur striker Clive Allen.

18 November 1988 – Oxford United captain Tommy Caton returns to the First Division in a £100,000 move to Charlton Athletic.

25 November 1988 – Wimbledon defender Terry Phelan is omitted from tomorrow's squad for the First Division fixture against Liverpool due to a court appearance he faces on a charge of cannabis possession.

30 November 1988 – The month ends with Norwich City still top of the First Division, with Arsenal, Millwall, Liverpool, Coventry City and Southampton all in close contention. Newcastle United and West Ham United are level on points at the bottom. Watford and Blackburn Rovers lead the way in the Second Division, level on 33 points. Manchester City, Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion occupy the play-off zone.

1 December 1988 – Jan Molby is released from prison after serving 45 days of his three-month prison sentence for motoring offences.

4 December 1988 – Newcastle United's search for a manager ends when they recruit Jim Smith from Queens Park Rangers, who put coach Peter Shreeves in temporary charge of the first team.

7 December 1988 – Striker John Robertson returns to his native Scotland to rejoin Hearts in a £750,000 deal after just seven months at Newcastle United.

14 December 1988 – Luton Town sign 23-year-old Northern Irish striker Iain Dowie from Isthmian League side Hendon for £30,000. Queens Park Rangers appoint their 34-year-old former England striker Trevor Francis as player-manager.

22 December 1988 – Kenny Sansom ends 10 years at Arsenal by making a £300,000 move to Newcastle United.

24 December 1988 – Aston Villa sell striker Garry Thompson to Watford for £325,000.

27 December 1988 – Walsall, bottom of the Second Division, sack manager Tommy Coakley, their manager for two-and-a-half years, after an 11th successive league defeat.

31 December 1988 – Arsenal move to the top the First Division on goal difference from Norwich City after beating Aston Villa 3-0. West Ham United are now bottom, and Newcastle United and Charlton Athletic are also in the relegation zone. Chelsea have climbed to the top of the Second Division, level on 40 points with West Bromwich Albion. The play-off zone is now occupied by Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Portsmouth, while AFC Bournemouth are just one point short of the playoff zone.

1 January 1988 - Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 at Old Trafford to leave the Merseysiders nine points behind leaders Arsenal.

2 January 1988 - Luton Town thrash Southampton 6-1 in the biggest win of the First Division season.

5 January 1989 – Neil Warnock leaves Scarborough to become manager of Notts County, to replace John Barnwell, sacked a month ago.

6 January 1989 – Manchester City boost their Second Division promotion push with a £250,000 move for Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Gary Megson.

7 January 1989 – Sutton United, of the GM Vauxhall Conference, knock Coventry City out of the FA Cup with a shock 2–1 win in the third round. Middlesbrough lose 2-1 at home to Fourth Division Grimsby Town.

11 January 1989 – Struggling West Ham United surprisingly beat Arsenal 1-0 in an FA Cup third round replay at Highbury.

12 January 1989 – After just seven months at Newcastle United, goalkeeper Dave Beasant signs for Second Division leaders Chelsea in a £725,000 deal which contracts him to the Stamford Bridge club until 1994.

28 January 1989 – Sutton United's FA Cup adventure ends in the Fourth Round when they are hammered 8–0 by Norwich City. Brentford beat Manchester City 3-1.

31 January 1989 – Arsenal remain top of the First Division, three points ahead of Norwich City. Coventry City are third, but Millwall have slipped to seventh. Newcastle United are back in bottom place after failing to gain a single league point this month, and are level on points with West Ham United. Chelsea continue to lead the way in the Second Division, while Watford now stand second, level on points with third placed Manchester City. West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland complete the top six.

2 February 1989 – Liverpool sell midfielder Nigel Spackman to Queens Park Rangers for £500,000.

8 February 1989 – Midfielder Peter Reid moves from Everton to Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer. Watford boost their Second Division promotion challenge with a £125,000 move for Halifax Town's 19-year-old winger Lee Richardson.

9 February 1989 – Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough is fined £5,000 and banned from the touchline for the rest of the season for punching supporters who invaded the pitch in the recent Football League Cup quarter-final victory over Queens Park Rangers.

14 February 1989 – Just three months after quitting West Bromwich Albion to take over at Spanish side Atlético Madrid, Ron Atkinson returns to England to succeed Peter Eustace as manager of First Division strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.

18 February 1989 – Liverpool come from behind to beat Hull City 3-2 in the FA Cup fifth round. Everton win 1-0 at Barnsley, and Third Division Brentford continue their good run by beating Blackburn Rovers.

23 February 1989 – Midfielder Carlton Palmer follows Ron Atkinson to Sheffield Wednesday from West Bromwich Albion for a club record fee of £750,000.

24 February 1989 – Roy Hattersley, deputy Labour Party leader, warns that the Conservative government's proposed ID card scheme will increase violence outside football grounds.

27 February 1989 – Newport County, relegated from the Football League last season, are wound up in the High Court with huge debts.

28 February 1989 – Arsenal remain top of the First Division as February ends, with Norwich City still second, and Millwall back up to third. Liverpool are eighth, 19 points behind Arsenal, but with four games in hand. West Ham United are now bottom of the division, and Newcastle United and Sheffield Wednesday complete the relegation zone. Manchester City have overtaken Chelsea as Second Division leaders. The play-off zone is occupied by Blackburn Rovers, Watford, West Bromwich Albion and AFC Bournemouth.

2 March 1989 – Chelsea sign Dutch defender Ken Monkou from Feyenoord for £100,000.

3 March 1989 – Rangers sign defender Mel Sterland from Sheffield Wednesday for £800,000.

8 March 1989 – England achieve their first win of the World Cup qualifying series with a 2–0 win over Albania in Tirana.

9 March 1989 – Queens Park Rangers set a club record transfer by paying Southampton £800,000 for striker Colin Clarke.

14 March 1989 – Manchester City, pushing for promotion from the Second Division, pay £600,000 for Luton Town midfielder David Oldfield.

15 March 1989 – Southampton sign 18-year-old defender Jason Dodd from GM Vauxhall Conference side Bath City for £50,000.

18 March 1989 – Brentford's FA Cup dream ends in the quarter-finals when they lose 4–0 to Liverpool at Anfield. Nottingham Forest defeat Manchester United 1–0 at Old Trafford. West Ham United and Norwich City draw 0–0 at Upton Park.

19 March 1989 – Wimbledon's defence of the FA Cup ends in a 1–0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park.

21 March 1989 – Fourth Division strugglers Stockport County sack player-manager Asa Hartford and replace him with Rochdale manager Danny Bergera.

22 March 1989 – Norwich City move closer to their first-ever FA Cup final by defeating West Ham United 3–1 in the quarter-final replay at Carrow Road. while Southampton pay a club record £700,000 for Portsmouth midfielder Barry Horne. West Ham United also break their transfer fee record by paying £1.1million to bring striker Frank McAvennie back to the club after 18 months at Celtic.

23 March 1989 – Gordon Strachan leaves Manchester United after nearly five years to join Leeds United for £300,000. Trevor Francis bolsters the Queens Park Rangers midfield with a £350,000 move for Brentford's Andy Sinton.

27 March 1989 – Referee Kelvin Morton awards five penalties in just 27 minutes during the Crystal Palace versus Brighton & Hove Albion match. Crystal Palace miss three of their four penalties, while Brighton and Hove Albion score from their only penalty. Palace eventually won the match 2-1.

31 March 1989 – Arsenal remain top of the league, three points ahead of Norwich City, while Liverpool, who won six League games this month, have moved into third place with a game in hand and a five-point deficit behind the leaders. West Ham United occupy bottom place with 22 points from 27 games, but Newcastle United are now just one point adrift of safety. Southampton have slipped into the bottom three. Chelsea have returned to the top of the Second Division, exchanging places with Manchester City, while the play-off zone is occupied by West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and AFC Bournemouth.

5 April 1989 – Newport County lose a final appeal against their closure in the High Court more than a month ago; they are expelled from the GM Vauxhall Conference and their record for the season is expunged.

9 April 1989 – Nottingham Forest win the League Cup with a 3-1 win over holders Luton Town in the final at Wembley.

10 April 1989 – Walsall announce the sale of Fellows Park, their home since 1903, and will relocate to a new stadium at Bescot from the start of the 1990-91 season.

15 April 1989 – English football endures its greatest ever tragedy with the death of 93 Liverpool supporters, and injury of an estimated 300 others, at the FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. Some of the injured are in a serious condition and there are fears that the death toll could rise even higher. The match is abandoned, while the other semi-final sees Everton beat Norwich City 1–0 at Villa Park.

17 April 1989 – Within 48 hours of the tragedy at Hillsborough, Home Secretary Douglas Hurd promises to pass new legislation which will force all Football League teams to remove standing accommodation from their stadiums. The Football Association gives the go-ahead for the FA Cup to continue, with the re-staged match to take place at Old Trafford on 7 May.

18 April 1989 – The Hillsborough disaster death toll reaches 95 when 14-year-old Lee Nichol dies in hospital from his injuries. Many more of the injured are still in hospital, and there are fears that six spectators who had to be resuscitated have suffered brain damage.

19 April 1989 – The Sun newspaper sparks controversy over an article about the Hillsborough disaster, that carries the front page headline "The Truth". It contains allegations, supported by sources including Conservative MP Irvine Patnick, that Liverpool fans robbed the injured and dead, and assaulted and urinated on police officers who were attending to injured fans.

26 April 1989 – England beat Albania 5–0 at Wembley in their third World Cup qualifying game. Substitute Paul Gascoigne scores his first international goal.

28 April 1989 – 14 of the 25 Liverpool fans charged with manslaughter in connection with the Heysel disaster of May 1985, in which 39 spectators died at the European Cup final, and are sentenced to up to three years in prison.

30 April 1989 – Arsenal remain top of the league as April draws to a close, but are now just three points ahead of a Liverpool side who have superior goal difference and a game in hand. Norwich City are now eight points behind the leaders. At the other end of the table West Ham United are ten points from safety, and occupy the relegation zone with Newcastle United and Luton Town. Chelsea have sealed an immediate return to the First Division as Second Division champions, while Manchester City are just five points away from returning as runners-up after a two-year exile. Watford and Crystal Palace are now the only other teams who can go up automatically, while Blackburn Rovers and Swindon Town complete the top six. Nottingham Forest beat Everton 4-3 in the Full Members Cup final at Wembley to become the first club in English football to win two domestic cups in the same season.

1 May 1989 – Arsenal thrash Norwich City 5-0 at Highbury to effectively end the Canaries' title challenge. Maidstone United clinch the GM Vauxhall Conference title and are promoted to the Football League, giving them a clash next season with fellow Kent club Gillingham, who are relegated to the Fourth Division on the same day.

2 May 1989 – Manchester United beat Wimbledon 1-0 in a league game at Old Trafford which is watched by 23,2368 - the club's lowest home crowd in the league since August 1971.

3 May 1989 – Liverpool play their first match since the Hillsborough tragedy, a 0-0 draw with Everton. Newcastle United are relegated from the First Division after losing 2-1 to West Ham United, whose victory keeps their own slim survival hopes alive.

6 May 1989 – Darlington are relegated from the Football League after 68 years when they lose 5-1 to Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

7 May 1989 – Three weeks after the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest is replayed at Old Trafford. Liverpool win 3–1 to keep their dream of a second double alive.

10 May 1989 – England striker Gary Lineker collects a European Cup Winners' Cup medal as Barcelona beat Sampdoria 2-0 in the final.

13 May 1989 – Middlesbrough join Newcastle United in being relegated from the First Division after they lose a relegation showdown 1-0 away to Sheffield Wednesday and Luton Town beat Norwich City 1-0. The result ensures Wednesday's survival, and West Ham United must now win their last two games to stay up at the expense of Aston Villa. At the top, Arsenal suffer a 2-1 defeat at home to Derby County, while Liverpool beat Wimbledon 2-1 to move within two points of the Gunners with a game in hand.

16 May 1989 - Liverpool move to the top of the First Division for the first time this season after beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0.

17 May 1989 - Arsenal draw 2-2 with Wimbledon in their last home League game of the season. They are level on points with Liverpool having played one game more.

20 May 1989 – Liverpool lift the FA Cup with a 3–2 win over Everton after extra time. Ian Rush scores twice for Liverpool while John Aldridge scores the other goal, and Stuart McCall scores twice for Everton.

23 May 1989 – West Ham United are relegated after eight successive seasons of First Division football as they lose 5-1 to Liverpool at Anfield. The result moves Liverpool three points clear of Arsenal at the top of the table with one game remaining.

26 May 1989 – Arsenal win the league title in the final moments of the season thanks to a late goal from Michael Thomas against Liverpool which gives them a 2–0 away win. First Division top scorer Alan Smith had put Arsenal ahead earlier in the second half. Their triumph gives them their first league championship trophy for 18 years, having scored more goals than their rivals, their points tallies and goal differences being identical. Former Leeds United and England manager Don Revie dies of Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 61.

27 May 1989 – Steve Bull, who scored 52 goals in all competitions for Third Division Wolverhampton Wanderers this season, scores on his debut for England against Scotland at Hampden Park. England win 2-0 to take the Rous Cup.

28 May 1989 – Bolton Wanderers claim their first major trophy since the 1958 FA Cup by beating Torquay United 4–1 in the Associate Members Cup final.

1 June 1989 – Trevor Steven, the Everton winger, becomes the latest Englishman to sign for Rangers when he agrees terms for a £1.5million transfer. Kenny Sansom leaves Newcastle United to return to London in an exchange deal to Queens Park Rangers, with Wayne Fereday moving in the opposite direction.

3 June 1989 – England make it three wins from their opening four World Cup qualifying games with a 3–0 win over Poland at Wembley. The domestic season draws to a close when Crystal Palace overhaul a 3–1 deficit to defeat Blackburn Rovers 4–3 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division after an eight-year exile.

5 June 1989 – John Lyall, the longest-serving manager currently employed in the Football League, is sacked after 15 years in charge of relegated West Ham United. He had been with the club for 34 years, since joining them as an apprentice on leaving school in 1955 at the age of 15.

7 June 1989 – Sheffield Wednesday sign 20-year-old striker Dalian Atkinson from Ipswich Town for £400,000.

20 June 1989 – Leeds United sign midfielder Vinnie Jones from Wimbledon for £650,000.

21 June 1989 – Gary Lineker ends three years in Spain with Barcelona to return to England in a £1.1million move to Tottenham Hotspur.

30 June 1989 – Billy Bremner is appointed manager of Doncaster Rovers for the second time following the dismissal of Joe Kinnear.

Read more about this topic:  1988–89 In English Football

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