Arsenal v Bristol City, 1976 – Match of the Month
In the record-breaking summer temperatures of 1976, the Football League resumed on 21 August. Arsenal v Bristol City was one of the most intriguing fixtures on the opening day of the 1976-77 season, the Bristol club’s first game in the top division for 65 years, with manager Alan Dicks having built a successful side around locally-born players (five started this game, plus two more from the youth system). They visited Arsenal, who had newly recruited 34-year-old manager Terry Neill from Tottenham, and had their star signing, England’s feared striker Malcolm MacDonald (‘Supermac’), making his debut. Bought from Newcastle for the unusual fee of £333,333.34, MacDonald went on to be the First Division’s joint-top scorer that season. Like many professional footballers of his era, he appeared on the popular TV show Superstars, where he demonstrated his speed, running the 100 metres in an impressive 10.9 seconds.
First Division results, 21 August 1976: Aston Villa 4 West Ham 0; Ipswich 3 Tottenham 1; Leeds 2 West Brom 2; Leicester 2 Man City 2; Liverpool 1 Norwich 0; Man Utd 2 Birmingham 2; Middlesbrough 1 Coventry 0; Newcastle 2 Derby 2; QPR 0 Everton 4; Stoke 0 Sunderland 0