This evening we continue our look back to the 1980/81 football season with the thirteenth of September 1980 and two of the matches that featured in the weekend’s television schedules. The first match is from the First Division of the Football League, between Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion. Whilst Liverpool had ended the previous season as the champions, West Bromwich Albion had finished in mid-table, something of a disappointment considering that they had finished in third place in the league and qualified for the UEFA Cup the year before that. They went into this match in seventh place in the table but it turned out to be a comfortable afternoon’s work for Liverpool. The result saw West Bromwich Albion drop to tenth place in the table, whilst Liverpool jumped from fifth to third place in the table behind the early season pace-setters, Ipswich Town and Southampton.
Meanwhile in the Second Division, the cameras of Match of The Day were at Loftus Road for the match between Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United. Newcastle were starting their third consecutive season at this level following relegation in 1978 and following a dismal start to the season, which saw them fail to win any of their first three league matches, manager Bill McGarry was sacked after losing to Bury in the League Cup. Under caretaker manager Joe Harvey, who had previously played more than two hundred games for the club and managed it for thirteen years from 1962 until 1975 (he remains the last Newcastle United manager to take a major trophy back to St James Park, in the form of the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup), the team revived its fortunes almost immediately, winning two and draw one of their next three matches. Stewart, however, was keen to ditance from taking the job on again on a permanent basis and he was replaced by the pugnacious former Chesterfield manager, Arthur Cox. This match was Cox’s first game in charge of the club, and it ended in a narrow victory for Newcastle United which lifted them to eighth place in the table, whilst QPR continued to labour just above its relegation places.
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