On this day in 1969, Aston Villa staved off relegation to the third tier of English football despite suffering defeat in their final Second Division game of the season. The Villans lost 1-0 to Hull City and finished 18th in Division Two with 37 points from 42 games, winning 12 games while losing 16.

Brian Beard’s ‘Aston Villa On This Day – History, Facts & Figures from Every Day of the Year’

Bury and Fulham failed to beat the drop, however, and were relegated to Division Three, but Villa would follow a year later. Tommy Docherty was in charge, having been appointed in December 1968, but he wouldn’t manage one full season at the club after leaving in January 1970 with a 28.26% win ratio.

Villa were eventually relegated the following campaign (1969/70) after finishing 21st in the table with 29 points from 42 games, however. The Midlands outfit were joined in the Third Division by 22nd-placed Preston North End who finished one place and one point worse off.

Vic Crowe replace Doherty midway through the relegation campaign and would go on to win the Third Division title in his second full season in charge (1971/72), winning the title with aplomb and being joined in the second tier by Brighton & Hove Albion.