1979–80 Football League Cup

The 1979–80 Football League Cup was the 20th season of the Football League Cup, a knockout competition for England's top 92 football clubs. The winners qualified for the 1980–81 UEFA Cup, if not already qualified for European competition.

Wolverhampton Wanderers won the competition by defeating the reigning holders and European champions Nottingham Forest 1–0 in the final on 15 March 1980. This was their second League Cup success, after winning in 1974.

1979–80 League Cup
Country England &  Wales
Teams 92
Champions Wolverhampton Wanderers
Runners-up Nottingham Forest

First round

The 56 Football League clubs who had comprised the Third and Fourth Divisions during the previous season, plus the bottom eight of the Second Division, all competed from the first round. Ties were two-legged affairs, with the away goals rule being applied after extra time where necessary. If teams could still not be divided, penalties were taken. Games were staged on 11/13 and 14–15 August 1979.

First Leg

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Blackpool1–1Rochdale11 August 1979
Bradford City0–2Darlington11 August 1979
Bury0–3Blackburn Rovers11 August 1979
Chester2–1Walsall11 August 1979
Chesterfield5–1Hartlepool United11 August 1979
Colchester United2–0Watford11 August 1979
Gillingham3–0Luton Town11 August 1979
Grimsby Town2–0Scunthorpe United11 August 1979
Halifax Town2–2Shrewsbury Town11 August 1979
Hereford United1–3Exeter City11 August 1979
Huddersfield Town2–1Crewe Alexandra11 August 1979
Leicester City1–2Rotherham United11 August 1979
Lincoln City2–1Barnsley11 August 1979
Mansfield Town1–0York City11 August 1979
Newport County1–0Plymouth Argyle11 August 1979
Northampton Town2–1Millwall13 August 1979
Oxford United1–5Reading11 August 1979
Peterborough United3–1Charlton Athletic11 August 1979
Portsmouth1–1Swindon Town11 August 1979
Port Vale1–2Tranmere Rovers11 August 1979
Sheffield United1–1Doncaster Rovers11 August 1979
Sheffield Wednesday1–1Hull City11 August 1979
Southend United2–1Brentford15 August 1979
Stockport County2–1Wigan Athletic11 August 1979
Swansea City4–1Bournemouth11 August 1979
Torquay United1–2Bristol Rovers11 August 1979
Wimbledon4–1Aldershot11 August 1979
Wrexham1–1Carlisle United11 August 1979

Second Leg

Home Team Score Away Team Date Agg
Aldershot1–2Wimbledon14 August 19792–6
Barnsley2–1[1][2]Lincoln City14 August 19793–3
Blackburn Rovers3–2Bury14 August 19796–2
Bournemouth0–0Swansea City14 August 19791–4
Brentford1–4Southend United21 August 19792–6
Bristol Rovers1–3[1]Torquay United14 August 19793–4
Carlisle United1–2Wrexham14 August 19792–3
Charlton Athletic1–1Peterborough United14 August 19792–4
Crewe Alexandra1–3Huddersfield Town15 August 19792–5
Darlington0–3Bradford City14 August 19792–3
Doncaster Rovers3–1Sheffield United14 August 19794–2
Exeter City2–1Hereford United15 August 19795–2
Hartlepool United2–1Chesterfield14 August 19793–6
Hull City1–2Sheffield Wednesday14 August 19792–3
Luton Town1–1Gillingham14 August 19791–4
Millwall2–2Northampton Town15 August 19793–4
Plymouth Argyle2–0Newport County14 August 19792–1
Reading2–1Oxford United15 August 19797–2
Rochdale0–1Blackpool14 August 19791–2
Rotherham United3–0Leicester City14 August 19795–1
Scunthorpe United0–0Grimsby Town14 August 19790–2
Shrewsbury Town1–0Halifax Town14 August 19793–2
Swindon Town2–0Portsmouth14 August 19793–1
Tranmere Rovers1–0Port Vale15 August 19793–1
Walsall0–0Chester14 August 19791–2
Watford2–1Colchester United14 August 19792–3
Wigan Athletic0–0Stockport County15 August 19791–2
York City3–2[1][3]Mansfield Town14 August 19793–3

Second round

The 28 first round winners were joined by the remaining clubs from the Second Division and all from the First Division. Ties for the first time in League Cup were two-legged affairs at this stage of the competition, with the away goals rule being applied after extra time where necessary. If teams could still not be divided, penalties were taken. Games were staged on 28–29 August and 3–5 September 1979.

First Leg

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Birmingham City2–1Preston North End28 August 1979
Blackburn Rovers1–1Nottingham Forest29 August 1979
Bolton Wanderers1–2Southend United28 August 1979
Brighton and Hove Albion2–0Cambridge United28 August 1979
Bristol City1–0Rotherham United28 August 1979
Burnley1–1Wolverhampton Wanderers28 August 1979
Chesterfield3–0Shrewsbury Town28 August 1979
Colchester United0–2Aston Villa28 August 1979
Derby County0–1Middlesbrough29 August 1979
Doncaster Rovers3–1Exeter City28 August 1979
Everton2–0Cardiff City28 August 1979
Gillingham1–1Norwich City28 August 1979
Grimsby Town1–0Huddersfield Town28 August 1979
Ipswich Town0–1Coventry City29 August 1979
Leeds United1–1Arsenal29 August 1979
Orient2–2Wimbledon29 August 1979
Northampton Town3–0Oldham Athletic28 August 1979
Notts County0–0Torquay United28 August 1979
Peterborough United0–0Blackpool29 August 1979
Plymouth Argyle2–2Chelsea28 August 1979
Queens Park Rangers2–1Bradford City28 August 1979
Reading4–3Mansfield Town29 August 1979
Sheffield Wednesday1–1Manchester City28 August 1979
Southampton5–0Wrexham28 August 1979
Stockport County1–1Crystal Palace29 August 1979
Stoke City1–1Swansea City29 August 1979
Sunderland2–2Newcastle United29 August 1979
Swindon Town1–0Chester28 August 1979
Tottenham Hotspur2–1Manchester United29 August 1979
Tranmere Rovers0–0Liverpool29 August 1979
West Bromwich Albion1–1Fulham29 August 1979
West Ham United3–1Barnsley28 August 1979

Second Leg

Home Team Score Away Team Date Agg
Arsenal7–0Leeds United4 September 19798–1
Aston Villa0–2[1][4]Colchester United5 September 19792–2
Barnsley0–2West Ham United4 September 19791–5
Blackpool0–1Peterborough United5 September 19790–1
Bradford City0–2Queens Park Rangers5 September 19791–4
Cambridge United1–2Brighton and Hove Albion4 September 19791–4
Cardiff City1–0Everton5 September 19791–2
Chelsea1–2Plymouth Argyle4 September 19793–4
Chester1–1Swindon Town5 September 19791–2
Coventry City0–0Ipswich Town4 September 19791–0
Crystal Palace7–0Stockport County4 September 19798–1
Exeter City5–1[1]Doncaster Rovers5 September 19796–4
Fulham0–1West Bromwich Albion5 September 19791–2
Huddersfield Town1–4Grimsby Town4 September 19791–5
Liverpool4–0Tranmere Rovers4 September 19794–0
Manchester City2–1Sheffield Wednesday4 September 19793–2
Manchester United3–1Tottenham Hotspur5 September 19794–3
Mansfield Town4–2[1]Reading4 September 19797–6
Middlesbrough1–1[1]Derby County4 September 19792–1
Newcastle United2–2[1][5]Sunderland5 September 19794–4
Norwich City4–2Gillingham5 September 19795–3
Nottingham Forest6–1Blackburn Rovers5 September 19797–2
Oldham Athletic3–1Northampton Town4 September 19793–4
Preston North End0–1Birmingham City4 September 19791–3
Rotherham United1–1Bristol City4 September 19791–2
Shrewsbury Town0–0Chesterfield4 September 19790–3
Southend United0–0Bolton Wanderers3 September 19792–1
Swansea City1–3[1]Stoke City4 September 19792–4
Torquay United0–1Notts County5 September 19790–1
Wimbledon2–2[1][6]Orient4 September 19794–4
Wolverhampton Wanderers2–0Burnley4 September 19793–1
Wrexham0–3Southampton5 September 19790–8

Third round

Ties were straight knockout games, with additional replays if required. The original games were staged on 25–26 September 1979.

Home team Score Away team Date
Arsenal2–1Southampton25 September 1979
Aston Villa0–0Everton25 September 1979
Birmingham City1–2Exeter City 26 September 1979
Crystal Palace1–2Wolverhampton Wanderers25 September 1979
Grimsby Town3–1Notts County25 September 1979
Liverpool3–1Chesterfield25 September 1979
Manchester City1–1Sunderland26 September 1979
Mansfield Town0–3Queens Park Rangers25 September 1979
Middlesbrough1–3Nottingham Forest25 September 1979
Northampton Town0–1Brighton and Hove Albion25 September 1979
Norwich City4–1Manchester United26 September 1979
Peterborough United1–1Bristol City26 September 1979
Plymouth Argyle0–0Wimbledon25 September 1979
Stoke City2–2Swindon Town26 September 1979
West Bromwich Albion2–1Coventry City26 September 1979
West Ham United1–1Southend United25 September 1979


Home Team Score Away Team Date
Bristol City4–0Peterborough United2 October 1979
Everton4–1Aston Villa9 October 1979
Southend United0–0[1]West Ham United1 October 1979
Sunderland1–0Manchester City3 October 1979
Swindon Town2–1Stoke City3 October 1979
Wimbledon1–0[1]Plymouth Argyle2 October 1979

2nd Replay

Home Team Score Away Team Date
West Ham United5–1Southend United8 October 1979

Fourth round

Ties were straight knockout games, with additional replays if required. The original games were staged on 30–31 October 1979.


Home Team Score Away Team Date
Brighton & Hove Albion0–0Arsenal30 October 1979
Bristol City1–1Nottingham Forest30 October 1979
Grimsby Town2–1Everton30 October 1979
Liverpool2–0Exeter City30 October 1979
Queens Park Rangers1–1Wolverhampton Wanderers30 October 1979
Sunderland1–1West Ham United31 October 1979
West Bromwich Albion0–0Norwich City31 October 1979
Wimbledon1–2Swindon Town30 October 1979


Home Team Score Away Team Date
Arsenal4–0Brighton & Hove Albion13 November 1979
Norwich City3–0West Bromwich Albion7 November 1979
Nottingham Forest3–0Bristol City14 November 1979
West Ham United2–1Sunderland5 November 1979
Wolverhampton Wanderers1–0Queens Park Rangers6 November 1979

Fifth round

Ties were straight knockout games, with additional replays if required.

Arsenal 1–1 Swindon Town
Sunderland  (pen.)' Tucker
Highbury, London
Attendance: 38,024
Referee: J. Hunting
Grimsby Town 0–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Blundell Park, Cleethorpes
Attendance: 23,115
West Ham United 0–0 Nottingham Forest
Upton Park, London
Attendance: 35,856
Norwich City 1–3 Liverpool
Carrow Road, Norwich
Attendance: 23,000


Swindon Town 4 – 3 (a.e.t.) Arsenal
Walford  (og.)'
Hollins  (og.)'
Attendance: 21,795
Referee: A. Hamil
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 – 1 (a.e.t.) Grimsby Town
Molineux, Wolverhampton
Attendance: 28,455
Nottingham Forest 3 – 0 (a.e.t.) West Ham United
City Ground, Nottingham
Attendance: 25,462

2nd Replay

Grimsby Town 0–2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Hibbitt  (pen.)'
Attendance: 16,475


Ties were once again two-legged affairs with the winners advancing to the final. Extra time and then penalties would be used in the second leg if required.

First leg

Nottingham Forest 1–0 Liverpool
Robertson  89' (pen.)
City Ground, Nottingham
Attendance: 32,234
Swindon Town 2–1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Rowland  13'
Mayes  86'
Daniel  26'
Attendance: 26,000
Referee: A. Robinson

Second leg

Liverpool 1–1 Nottingham Forest
Fairclough  89' Robertson  (pen.)'
Anfield, Liverpool
Attendance: 50,880

Nottingham Forest won 2–1 on aggregate

Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–1 Swindon Town
Richards  53', 73'
Eves  59'
McHale  62' (pen.)
Molineux, Wolverhampton
Attendance: 41,031
Referee: N. Midgley

Wolverhampton Wanderers won 4–3 on aggregate


Nottingham Forest 0–1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Gray  67'
Attendance: 96,527
Referee: David Richardson (Great Harwood)
Nottingham Forest
Wolverhampton Wanderers
1Peter Shilton
2Viv Anderson
3Frank Gray
4John McGovern (c)
5David Needham
6Kenny Burns
7Martin O'Neill
8Ian Bowyer
9Garry Birtles
10Trevor Francis
11John Robertson
12John O'Hare
Brian Clough
1Paul Bradshaw
2Geoff Palmer
3Derek Parkin
4Peter Daniel
5Emlyn Hughes (c)
6George Berry
7Kenny Hibbitt
8Willie Carr
9Andy Gray
10John Richards
11Mel Eves
12Colin Brazier
John Barnwell


  • Assistant referees:
    • M.J.R. Barker (Oswestry)
    • B.A. Champion (Bristol)
  • Reserve referee: B.H. Daniels (Brentwood)


  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay (at Manchester United) if scores still level
  • One named substitute
  • Maximum of 1 substitution




  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 After Extra Time
  2. Barnsley won on 4–3 on penalties
  3. Mansfield Town won on the Away Goals Rule
  4. Aston Villa won on 9–8 on penalties
  5. Sunderland won on 7–6 on penalties
  6. Wimbleon won on 5–4 on penalties
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