West Bromwich Albion escaped relegation from the Premiership after a rollercoaster final day of matches.
The Baggies beat Portsmouth 2-0 to stay up by a point and become the first team since the Premiership began to survive despite being bottom at Christmas.
Crystal Palace were eight minutes from safety but Charlton's equaliser sent them down, while Norwich surrendered meekly with a 6-0 thumping at Fulham.
Southampton's 27-year top-flight stay ended with a 2-1 defeat by Man Utd.
Jubilant West Brom fans poured on to the pitch at The Hawthorns at full-time to revel in the record-breaking achievement with the players and staff.
After being doused in champagne, beaming boss Bryan Robson said: "This is the best ever. It is a fantastic feeling. The lads have done me proud and worked their socks off. They deserve this."
Captain Kevin Campbell added: "A lot of people wrote us off but I'm very proud of this team which has made history."
The final 90 minutes of the Premiership campaign saw the four teams in danger of going down all enjoy moments where they were potentially safe.
HOW THE RELEGATION PLACES WERE RESOLVED
Kick-off: Kick-off with NORWICH in 17th and out of the bottom three
10 mins: SOUTHAMPTON safe as they score and Norwich concede
58 mins: WEST BROM safe as they take lead against Pompey
71 mins: CRYSTAL PALACE safe as they go 2-1 in front at Charlton
82 mins: WEST BROM safe as Charlton level against Palace
Full-time: WEST BROM confirmed safe as final whistle goes on 2-2 draw at The Valley
Norwich started the day in the coveted 17th spot, but never looked like reclaiming it once they started shipping goals at Craven Cottage.
Southampton were the beneficiaries initially, even when Man Utd cancelled out their early opener at St Mary's.
But Geoff Horsfield's goal early in the second half saw West Brom leapfrog their rivals.
They were further helped by Kieran Richardson's second, and United going on to beat Southampton.
However, celebrations at The Hawthorns had to be put on hold when Crystal Palace hauled themselves 2-1 in front at Charlton with an Andy Johnson penalty.
And the Eagles were within touching distance of survival until Jon Fortune's header pegged them back, and rocketed West Brom back out of the relegation zone.
That left Palace in 19th, behind Norwich on goal difference, and Southampton rock bottom at full-time.
Robson revealed afterwards: "I was thinking 'we're 2-0 up here yet the fans aren't singing' but I told the lads to concentrate for 90 minutes and that anything can happen. Thankfully, it did with Charlton scoring the goal that kept us up.
"I do feel sorry for the other managers though. I feel great now but I can understand how the others must feel."
One of those other managers, Saints boss Harry Redknapp, said in the wake of their relegation: "There's a lot of surgery that needs doing. I'll sit down with the chairman, see what he wants to do and where he wants to take the club."
His Crystal Palace counterpart Iain Dowie reflected: "It's not time for recriminations. It's a time to be proud of a group of players who have given me everything."
Norwich boss Nigel Worthington insisted: "We're down, but I wouldn't have done anything differently."
The other key issue to be resolved on the final day centred around who would clinch the final European qualifying place.
Middlesbrough, who were in pole position before visiting Manchester City, eventually held on to seventh spot with a 1-1 draw, but only thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
His late penalty save from Robbie Fowler prevented City stealing all three points and the win that would have seen them swap places with Boro.
"The whole season came down to one moment between two players and our player won," said Boro boss Steve McClaren.
Elsewhere on the final day, champions Chelsea drew at Newcastle but runners-up Arsenal lost at Birmingham.
Everton ended fourth and in the last Champions League place - despite a negative goal difference - after losing at Bolton, who finished sixth just behind Liverpool on goal difference after they beat Aston Villa.
Spurs also missed out on Europe after a goalless draw at home to Blackburn who, like Portsmouth and Fulham, already knew they were safe from the threat of the final-day trap door.