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Saints: timeline

1966-67

AUGUST

Saints spend £55,000 to acquire Norwich City and Welsh international centre-forward Ron Davies.

20 AUGUST

Saints open their first season in Division One with a one-all home draw with Manchester City. Saints scorer: Terry Paine.  

13 MAY

Saints end the season with a 6-2 home win over Aston Villa. Ron Davies scores four and Martin Chivers a brace as Saints finish 19th, five points clear of relegation.

Davies is the League’s top striker, with 37 goals.

1968-69

Saints finish seventh in Division One and qualify for the European Fairs Cup (later known as the UEFA Cup)


Back then the rules insisted only one team per city qualified, making Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur ineligible.  

1969-70

17 SEPTEMBER

European Fairs Cup First Round, first leg: Saints lose 1-0 to Rosenburg BK (Norway).   

Saints win the second leg and are eventually eliminated in the Third Round by Newcastle United, on away goals.

1970-71

Saints finish seventh again and, once more, qualify for European competition. This time the UEFA Cup.

1971-72

29 SEPTEMBER

UEFA Cup First Round, second leg: Saints are eliminated after losing 2-0 to Athletic in Bilbao, having won the first leg 2-1 at The Dell.

1973

JUNE

Lawrie McMenemy, Grimsby’s manager, is appointed Saints’ “Team Manager Designate”.

15 NOVEMBER

With Saints placed ninth in Division One Lawrie McMenemy is promoted to Manager and Ted Bates becomes “Chief Executive”.  

27 APRIL

Despite a 3-0 win at Everton Saints become the first victims of the new three-up three-down rule and relegated for the second time in their history.

1976-77

16 MARCH

European Cup-winners’ Cup Third Round, second leg at The Dell v Anderlecht.

With the aggregate score at 2-2, Saints are beaten when, against the run of play, François Van der Elst scores in the 83rd minute.

1980-81

Saints finish the season sixth and qualify for the UEFA Cup

1977-78

29 APRIL

Southampton 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0. Saints return to Division One as runners-up to Bolton Wanderers. Spurs promoted in third place.

1978-79

17 MARCH

League Cup Final at Wembley: Nottingham Forest 3 Southampton 2.

1979-80

10 FEBRUARY

At a press conference called at the Potters Heron Hotel in Ampfield Lawrie McMenemy introduces European Footballer of the Year Kevin Keegan – of SV Hamburg and England – and announces he will be a Saint from the summer of 1980.

Media representatives there present pronounce themselves gobsmacked.

1981-82

Saints finish the season seventh and qualify for the UEFA Cup.

1982-83

AUGUST

Kevin Keegan “walks out” and joins Second Division Newcastle United.

1983-84

17 MAY

Notts County 1 Southampton 3 – Saints finish season as runners-up to Liverpool in Division One.

1984-85

14 MAY

Southampton 1 Liverpool 1

After a particularly disruptive season at The Dell, Saints complete the season placed fifth in Division One and, again, qualify for the UEFA Cup.

29 MAY

During the European Cup Final at the Stade du Heysel Brussels: 39 Juventus supporters are killed and several hundred injured when a retaining wall collapses as they are being attacked by Liverpool “fans”.

Following which English clubs – even Saints – are banned from European competition.  

1 JUNE

Lawrie McMenemy resigns – it transpires, to manage Sunderland.

1985-86 Saints’ Centenary Season.

1992-1993

The advent of the FA Premier League – it is eerily exactly  the same as Division One in all but branding.  

12 JULY

Chris Nicholl appointed Manager

30 NOVEMBER: Centenary Match

A crowd of 16,917 witness one of the most incompetently refereed League games in the Club’s history. Saints lose  3-2 to Everton.

5 MAY

Saints’ centenary season culminates with a 5-3 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, which followed a 6-1 defeat at Everton.  

Final placing: 14th in Division One.

1986-87

2 SEPTEMBER

Saints defeat Spurs 2-0 at The Dell. Matthew Le Tissier, making his first start for Saints, looks promising.

9 APRIL

A confident Arsenal side are beaten 4-2 at The Dell. Making his first start (after two appearances as a substitute) Alan Shearer leads the attack with aplomb and scores a hat-trick.

1987-88

26 SEPTEMBER

Rod Wallace makes his debut, coming on as a 61st minute sub for Glenn Cockerill at Newcastle United, joining big brother Danny in the fray. Not a great day for romantics, Saints lost 2-1

1988-89

22 OCTOBER

Ray Wallace lines up against Sheffield Wednesday at The Dell, alongside big brother Danny and twin Rod. Saints lose 2-1!

1989-90

With Matthew Le Tissier, Rod Wallace and Alan Shearer often scintillating, Saints have their best season since Lawrie McMenemy’s departure, finishing seventh.

1990-91

Saints finish the season 14th. Chris Nicholl is sacked after six seasons, to be replaced by Ian Branfoot.  

1991-92

Saints finish the season 16th in Division One.

THE FIRST DIVISION AT LAST & THE LAST OF DIVISION ONE 1966 TO 1992

1975-76

1 MAY

FA Cup Final at Wembley: Southampton 1 Manchester United 0

14 MAY

Southampton 0 Birmingham City 1 – Saints complete the season 12th in Division One

NEXT The Ted Bates Era Part Two 1966-1973