1938–39 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1938–39 season
Chairman Maurice Pye[1]
Manager England Ted Davis
Southern League 1st
Southern League Mid-Week Section 2nd
FA Cup 1st Round
Southern League Cup Semi-finalists (competition not completed)
Top goalscorer League:
Arthur Pritchard (34)
All:
Arthur Pritchard (44)
Highest home attendance 13,000 (Guildford City)
Lowest home attendance 4,000 (Barry)
Average home league attendance 7,298

The 1938–39 season was English club Colchester United's second season in the Southern Football League. Colchester were champions of the Southern League, finishing 1st ahead of local rivals Chelmsford City by 1 point. They also competed in and reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup and were semi-finalists in the Southern League Cup. The latter, however, could not be completed due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Season Review[edit]

Manager Ted Davis strengthened his squad with League football very much on the agenda. The public responded as the opening fixture of 1938-39 against Gillingham attracted 8,142 and a week later 10,129 watched the Southern League visit from Arsenal 'A'. In October 1938, Layer Road hosted the Southern League versus the Cheshire League representative match. Alec Cheyne and Len Astill were selected from Colchester and Cheyne scored as the southerners ran out 4-1 victors.

Another 4-1 success heralded United's first venture into the FA Cup. Defeating Ilford at Layer Road before 8,160 supporters they bowed out to Folkestone in the First Round Proper.

A number of United's players belonged to Football League clubs in terms of contract. Davis had snapped up a host of experienced players and while they could freely play non-League for Colchester most had a 'price on their head' owing to their contracted club should another League club wish to engage them. With this in mind, Davis urged caution when the Colchester Board began discussing applying for membership of the Football League. Had United made the step up then they too would have been liable for the transfer fees or face losing a large part of the squad.

United had had a very successful second season. They claimed the Southern League championship scoring 110 goals in 44 games, finished runners up in the Midweek section and reached the Southern League Cup semi-finals. Time ran out to play the semi-finals and it was agreed to play them the following campaign.

Once again goals were not a problem. Pritchard netted 43 times, while George Wallis scored 24 and Cheyne and Astill helped themselves to 21 apiece from United's 161 grand total.

With high hopes that United would be elected to the Football League, director Walter Clark presented United's case to the Football League members on May 23, 1938. Colchester did not receive a single vote in their favour and this was put down to the fact that they had so many League-registered players on their books of whom Davis had, in effect, poached to play for Colchester.

The ownership of Layer Road was passed to the Borough Council with Chairman Maurice Pye declaring: "Every lover of football, will I'm sure, welcome this as a move in the right direction, for whatever happens this fine open space will always belong to the town, and be for the benefit of Colcestrians and their love of football."[2]

Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
–– England GK Bill Light
–– England GK Don Youngs
–– Northern Ireland DF Cecil Allan
–– England DF Joe Birch
–– England DF Syd Fieldus
–– England DF Ian Haley
–– England DF George Leslie
–– England DF Robert Morris
–– England DF Alf Worton
No. Position Player
–– Wales MF George Crisp
–– England FW Len Astill
–– Scotland FW Alec Cheyne
–– England FW Jack Hodge
–– England FW George Merritt
–– Scotland FW Bob Murray
–– Wales FW Arthur Pritchard
–– England FW Ivan Thacker
–– England FW George Wallis

Player Info[edit]

Pos. Name Place of Birth Date of Birth Previous Club Date Joined Fee
GK England Bill Light England Woolston 11 June 1913 England West Bromwich Albion 27 August 1938 £1,500
GK England Don Youngs European Union Unknown Unknown England Royal Air Force 24 February 1938 Free
DF Northern Ireland Cecil Allan Northern Ireland Belfast 1 January 1915 England Chelsea 22 September 1938 £2,000
DF England Joe Birch England Hednesford 6 July 1904 England Fulham 27 August 1938 Free
DF England Syd Fieldus European Union Unknown 27 May 1909 England Brentford 9 October 1937 Free
DF England Ian Haley European Union Unknown Unknown England Colchester Town 1 January 1938 Free
DF England George Leslie England Slough 7 February 1914 England Guildford City 28 August 1937 Free
DF England Robert Morris England Hatton 11 March 1913 England Norwich City 27 August 1938 £500
DF England Alf Worton England Wolverhampton 4 April 1914 England Norwich City 27 August 1938 Free
MF Wales George Crisp Wales Pontypool 3 June 1911 Wales Newport County 28 August 1937 Undisclosed
FW England Len Astill England Wolverhampton 30 December 1916 England Ipswich Town 27 August 1938 Free
FW Scotland Alec Cheyne Scotland Glasgow 28 April 1907 England Chelsea 28 August 1937 £3,000
FW England Jack Hodge England Plymouth Unknown England Luton Town 28 August 1937 Free
FW England George Merritt European Union Unknown 1 January 1917 England Derby County 8 October 1938 Free
FW Scotland Bob Murray Scotland Newhaven 27 March 1915 England Baty City 2 February 1939 £800
FW Wales Arthur Pritchard European Union Unknown 22 October 1917 England Yeovil & Petters United 28 August 1937 Free
FW England Ivan Thacker England Lowestoft 1 January 1914 England Hoffman's Athletic 3 March 1938 Free
FW England George Wallis England Sawley 11 March 1910 England Bath City 3 March 1938 Free

Transfers[edit]

Transfers In[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name Previous Club Transfer Fee Notes
27 August 1938 GK England Bill Light England West Bromwich Albion £1,500
27 August 1938 DF England Joe Birch England Fulham Free
27 August 1938 DF England Robert Morris England Norwich City £500
27 August 1938 DF England Alf Worton England Norwich City Free
27 August 1938 FW England Len Astill England Ipswich Town Free
27 August 1938 FW England Ernie Matthews England Sheffield Wednesday £2,500
22 September 1938 DF Northern Ireland Cecil Allan England Chelsea £2,000
8 October 1938 FW England George Merritt England Derby County Free
2 February 1939 FW Scotland Bob Murray England Bath City £800

Transfers Out[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name New Club Transfer Fee Notes
7 May 1938 DF United States Alexander Wood England Chelmsford City Free
31 December 1938 FW England Ken Mayes England Chelmsford City Free
11 March 1939 DF Wales Jimmy Baker European Union Retired Free
22 March 1939 DF Wales George Smith England Clacton Town Free
25 March 1939 GK England Ronnie Dunn European Union Released for War Free
13 April 1939 DF Scotland George Ritchie European Union Retired Free
13 April 1939 FW England Ernie Matthews European Union Released for War Free

Results[edit]

Southern League Results Summary[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Colchester United (C) 44 31 5 8 110 37 +73 67
2 Chelmsford City 44 30 6 8 126 52 +74 66
3 Gillingham 44 29 6 9 104 57 +47 64

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goals difference; Pts = Points

Southern League Mid-Week Section Results Summary[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tunbridge Wells Rangers 16 8 7 1 37 18 +19 23
2 Colchester United 16 9 2 5 36 21 +15 20
3 Norwich City Reserves 16 7 4 5 40 26 +14 18

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goals difference; Pts = Points

Southern League Results[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
27/08/1938 Gillingham H 2-0 8,142 Wallis, Matthews
03/09/1938 Arsenal 'A' H 2-0 10,129 Cheyne, Morris
07/09/1938 Dartford A 1-0 –– Cheyne
10/09/1938 Yeovil & Petters United H 8-1 7,160 Pritchard (3), Morris, Wallis, Cheyne, O.G., Astill
15/09/1938 Dartford H 4-0 –– Astill (2) (pen.), Pritchard (2)
24/09/1938 Exeter City Reserves A 1-2 2,500 Pritchard
01/10/1938 Cardiff City Reserves H 3-2 7,247 Wallis, Pritchard
08/10/1938 Aldershot Reserves A 1-0 –– Crisp
13/10/1938 Folkestone Town H 1-0 –– Pritchard
22/10/1938 Cheltenham Town A 1-2 –– Pritchard
29/10/1938 Bristol Rovers Reserves H 3-1 6,000 Cheyne (3)
05/11/1938 Norwich City Reserves A 5-1 3,000 Pritchard (3), Crisp (2)
19/11/1938 Yeovil & Petters United A 1-2 –– Pritchard
03/12/1938 Cheltenham Town H 3-1 5,000 Cheyne, Hodge
10/12/1938 Bath City H 4-0 –– Hodge (2), Cheyne, Matthews
17/12/1938 Bristol Rovers Reserves A 3-0 –– Cheyne (3)
31/12/1938 Barry H 5-1 4,000 Wallis (3), Hodge, Pritchard
07/01/1939 Tunbridge Wells Rangers A 2-0 –– Pritchard (2)
14/01/1939 Gillingham A 3-1 3,748 O.G., Crisp, Pritchard
21/01/1939 Newport County Reserves H 7-0 –– Hodge, Pritchard (2), Astill (2), Wallis (2)
04/02/1939 Swindon Town Reserves H 3-1 –– Astill (2), Morris
11/02/1939 Torquay United Reserves A 2-0 –– Baker, Pritchard
18/02/1939 Aldershot Reserves H 2-0 –– Hodge, Murray
25/02/1939 Folkestone Town A 4-1 –– Astill, Pritchard (2), Wallis
02/03/1939 Exeter City Reserves H 6-1 –– Pritchard (3), Astill (2), Murray
04/03/1939 Plymouth Argyle Reserves A 3-0 –– Pritchard, Murray, Hodge
11/03/1939 Swindon Town Reserves A 1-2 5,000 Pritchard
18/03/1939 Cardiff City Reserves A 0-3 ––
25/03/1939 Newport County Reserves A 1-0 –– Cheyne
29/03/1939 Arsenal 'A' A 0-0 ––
30/03/1939 Tunbridge Wells Rangers H 1-1 –– Murray
01/04/1939 Torquay United Reserves H 5-1 –– Pritchard (3), Crisp, Cheyne
07/04/1939 Guildford City H 1-0 13,000 Pritchard
08/04/1939 Worcester City H 1-1 –– Pritchard
10/04/1939 Gillingham A 1-3 10,000 Crisp
11/04/1939 Norwich City Reserves H 5-1 –– Hodge (2), Wallis (2), Cheyne
15/04/1939 Barry A 2-0 –– Matthews, Crisp
20/04/1939 Bath City A 3-0 –– Hodge (2), Pritchard
22/04/1939 Plymouth Argyle Reserves H 2-3 –– Cheyne, Pritchard
24/04/1939 Chelmsford City A 0-0 7,000
27/04/1939 Worcester City A 0-1 ––
29/04/1939 Ipswich Town Reserves H 4-0 –– Hodge, Wallis, Astill, Birch (pen.)
01/05/1939 Chelmsford City H 2-2 5,000 Astill, Morris
06/05/1939 Ipswich Town Reserves A 3-2 12,000 Cheyne, Wallis, Astill

Source: 1938-39 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Southern League Mid-Week Section Results[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
22/09/1938 Norwich City Reserves A 2-0 –– Astill, O.G.
28/09/1938 Folkestone Town A 2-1 –– Hodge, Pritchard
06/10/1938 Tunbridge Wells Rangers H 2-2 –– Wallis, Astill
20/10/1938 Portsmouth 'A' H 4-1 –– Thacker, Cheyne (3)
27/10/1938 Aldershot Reserves H 1-3 –– Smith
14/12/1938 Aldershot Reserves A 2-1 –– Matthews, Hodge
09/01/1939 Millwall Reserves A 2-1 –– Crisp, Pritchard
02/02/1939 Folkestone Town H 3-1 –– Wallis (2), Astill
08/02/1939 Guildford City A 0-1 750
15/02/1939 Tunbridge Wells Rangers A 1-2 –– Pritchard
23/02/1939 Guildford City H 3-0 –– Morris, Cheyne, Astill
16/03/1939 Dartford H 8-0 –– Crisp (2), Hodge, Cheyne, Murray, Wallis, Pritchard (2)
22/03/1939 Portsmouth 'A' A 0-1 ––
23/03/1939 Millwall Reserves H 2-1 –– Astill (2)
02/05/1939 Dartford A 2-2 –– Pritchard, Wallis
04/05/1939 Norwich City Reserves H 2-4 –– Murray, Wallis

Source: 1938-39 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Southern League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
17/09/1938 R1 Ipswich Town Reserves H 5-0 15,700 Hodge, Cheyne, Pritchard, Astill (2)
28/01/1939 R2 Arsenal 'A' H 3-1 10,000 Wallis, Astill, Pritchard
13/04/1939 R3 Folkestone Town H 2-0 –– Cheyne, Pritchard

Source: 1938-39 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1938–39 FA Cup
Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
12/11/1938 4QR Ilford H 4-1 –– Pritchard, Wallis, Crisp, Hodge
26/11/1938 R1 Folkestone Town A 1-2 4,700 Leslie

Source: 1938-39 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Squad statistics[edit]

[3]

No. Nat. Pos. Name Total Southern League Southern League Mid-Week Section FA Cup Southern League Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
–– England GK Ronnie Dunn 3 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
–– England GK Bill Light 41 0 25 0 12 0 2 0 2 0
–– England GK Don Youngs 20 0 17 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
–– Northern Ireland DF Cecil Allan 3 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
–– Wales DF Jimmy Baker 22 1 15 1 5 0 2 0 0 0
–– England DF Joe Birch 62 1 44 1 13 0 2 0 3 0
–– England DF Syd Fieldus 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
–– England DF Ian Haley 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
–– England DF George Leslie 58 1 40 0 13 0 2 1 3 0
–– England DF Robert Morris 65 5 44 4 16 1 2 0 3 0
–– Scotland DF George Ritchie 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
–– Wales DF George Smith 36 1 21 0 13 1 0 0 2 0
–– England DF Alf Worton 63 0 44 0 15 0 2 0 2 0
–– England MF George Crisp 29 11 20 7 7 3 2 1 0 0
–– England FW Len Astill 42 22 27 13 12 6 0 0 3 3
–– Scotland FW Alec Cheyne 40 24 29 17 6 5 2 0 3 2
–– England FW Jack Hodge 60 17 41 12 14 3 2 1 3 1
–– England FW Ernie Matthews 8 4 7 3 1 1 0 0 0 0
–– England FW Ken Mayes 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
–– England FW George Merritt 4 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
–– Scotland FW Bob Murray 29 6 21 4 8 2 0 0 0 0
–– Wales FW Arthur Pritchard 59 44 40 34 14 6 2 1 3 3
–– England FW Ivan Thacker 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
–– England FW George Wallis 65 22 43 14 16 6 2 1 4 1

Scorers[edit]

[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitehead, Jeff; Drury, Kevin (2008). The Who's Who of Colchester United: The Layer Road Years. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-85983-629-3. 
  2. ^ "The U's History: The 30s & 40s". Colchester United F.C. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "1938–39 Season Appearance Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "1938–39 Season Goalscorers Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2011.