Competition: First Division.
Predictions that Leeds would struggle on their return to the
First Division in 1964-65 were wide of the mark and after many titanic tussles
and wins over Liverpool at home Manchester United and Arsenal on their own
turf, to name but three famous victories, United stood on top of the League
ladder as they played their last game against bottom club Birmingham City at St
Andrew’s. United had gone into their Easter Saturday encounter with Manchester
United knowing, that if they won, it would have virtually clinched the title.
But it was not to be as
It had been a hectic period for United, who were due to play
Liverpool in the FA Cup Final at Wembley the following Saturday, and the game
was a re-arranged fixture which should have been played on 27th
March but had been postponed because of United’s FA Cup Semi-Final clash at Hillsborough.
United had played nine games in that time, but were still expected to beat the
Surprisingly, Birmingham kept the off-form United at bay and astonishingly built up a three goal cushion courtesy of goals from Malcolm Beard and Geoff Vowden and with ten minutes of the second half gone it seemed that United had thrown away an entire season’s labour in embarrassing fashion.
They did come back in the sixty-fifth minute when Johnny
Giles scored from the penalty spot and eleven minutes later Paul Reaney scored a rare goal when he capitalised on a
goalmouth scramble to further reduce the arrears. With four minutes left Jack
Charlton grabbed an equaliser, but
At Old Trafford, Manchester United won 3-1 over Arsenal and
only a Villa landslide could prevent them from lifting the Championship and,
although they subsequently lost to Villa, they won it on goal average.
Dennis Thwaites Malcolm Beard Geoff Vowden
Johnny Giles Paul Reaney Jack Charlton
John Schofield Stan Lynn Colin Green
Willie Bell and Jim Storrie both missed the game but were back for the FA
Cup Final the following Saturday.