1939–40 Stoke City F.C. season

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Stoke City
1939–40 season
Chairman Mr H. Booth
Manager Bob McGrory
Stadium Victoria Ground
War League West Regional Championship 1st
Football League War Cup Third Round
Top goalscorer League:
All: Tommy Sale (24)
Highest home attendance 16,268 vs Charlton Athletic (26 August 1939)
Lowest home attendance 714 vs Tranmere Rovers (6 January 1940)
Home colours

The 1939–40 season was Stoke City's fifth season in the non-competitive War League.[1] It would have been their 26th season in the Football League First Division but after just three matches the League was cancelled due to World War II.

In 1939 World War II was declared and the Football League was cancelled. In its place were formed War Leagues and cups, based on geographical lines rather than based on previous league placement. However, none of these were considered to be competitive football, and thus their records are not recognised by the Football League and thus not included in official records.

Season review[edit]

Stoke started the 1939–40 season with a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Football League Jubilee Fund losing 4–2, interestingly the Stoke players wore squad numbers for the first time in this match.[1] After just three First Division matches had been played the Football League was cancelled and although a regional war-league was set up attendances suffered alarmingly.[1] Stoke had looked a useful side with a lot of young, talented players before the hostilities came along and ruined the careers of many and from October 1939 to May 1946 the club missed out on what could have been a successful seven-year period.[1]

With the cancellation of the league action, the re-organised competitions started on 21 October 1939, with 82 of the 88 clubs participating.[1] Stoke drew their first match 4–4 with Everton with Tommy Sale scoring a fine hat-trick.[1] With players being called up for military duty and with travelling very difficult plus the fact that Stanley Matthews was in heavy demand for guest matches team selection was never easy for Bob McGrory.[1] Stoke brought in their own guest players to the Victoria Ground and they proved to be very successful as Stoke won the 1939–40 Western League finishing two points ahead of Liverpool.[1]

Final league table[edit]

West Regional Championship[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Stoke City 22 13 5 4 57 41 1.390 31
2 Liverpool 22 12 5 5 66 40 1.650 29
3 Everton 22 12 4 6 64 33 1.939 28
4 Manchester United 22 14 0 8 74 41 1.804 28
5 Manchester City 22 12 4 6 73 41 1.780 28
6 Wrexham 22 10 5 7 45 50 0.900 25
7 New Brighton 22 10 3 9 55 52 1.507 23
8 Port Vale 22 10 2 10 52 56 0.928 22
9 Chester 22 7 5 10 40 51 0.784 19
10 Crewe Alexandra 22 6 1 15 44 79 0.556 13
11 Stockport County 22 4 3 15 45 79 0.569 11
12 Tranmere Rovers 22 2 3 17 41 93 0.440 7

First Division[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Blackpool 3 3 0 0 5 2 2.500 6
2 Sheffield United 3 2 1 0 3 1 3.000 5
3 Arsenal 3 2 1 0 8 4 2.000 5
4 Liverpool 3 2 0 1 6 3 2.000 4
5 Everton 3 1 2 0 5 4 1.250 4
6 Bolton Wanderers 3 2 0 1 6 5 1.200 4
7 Derby County 3 2 0 1 3 3 1.000 4
8 Charlton Athletic 3 2 0 1 3 4 0.750 4
9 Stoke City 3 1 1 1 7 4 1.750 3
10 Manchester United 3 1 1 1 5 3 1.667 3
11 Chelsea 3 1 1 1 4 4 1.000 3
12 Brentford 3 1 1 1 3 3 1.000 3
13 Grimsby Town 3 1 1 1 2 4 0.500 3
14 Aston Villa 3 1 0 2 3 3 1.000 2
15 Sunderland 3 1 0 2 6 7 0.857 2
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 0 2 1 3 4 0.750 2
17 Huddersfield Town 3 1 0 2 2 3 0.667 2
18 Portsmouth 3 1 0 2 3 5 0.600 2
19 Preston North End 3 0 2 1 0 2 0.000 2
20 Blackburn Rovers 3 0 1 2 3 5 0.600 1
21 Middlesbrough 3 0 1 2 3 8 0.375 1
22 Leeds United 3 0 1 2 0 2 0.000 1

Results[edit]

Stoke's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Football League Jubilee Fund[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
19 August 1939 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 2 – 4 6,440 Sale (2)

Football League First Division[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 26 August 1939 Charlton Athletic H 4 – 0 16,268 Soo, Sale, Smith (2)
2 28 August 1939 Bolton Wanderers H 1 – 2 13,067 Gallacher
3 2 September 1939 Middlesbrough A 2 – 2 12,088 Sale (2)

West Regional Championship[edit]

Final League Table

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 21 October 1939 Everton A 4 – 4 3,998 Sale (3), Liddle
2 28 October 1939 Stockport County H 4 – 2 2,100 Sale, Soo, Ormston, Matthews
3 4 November 1939 Wrexham A 4 – 4 3,959 Peppitt (2), Smith, Ormston
4 11 November 1939 New Brighton H 4 – 1 2,401 Ormston (2), Sale (2)
5 18 November 1939 Manchester City A 1 – 1 8,038 Sale (pen)
6 25 November 1939 Chester H 2 – 0 1,425 Sale, Peppitt
7 2 December 1939 Crewe Alexandra A 2 – 4 3,403 Sale (2)
8 9 December 1939 Liverpool H 3 – 1 1,269 Sale, Liddle, Matthews
9 6 January 1940 Tranmere Rovers H 1 – 0 714 Peppitt
10 20 January 1940 Manchester United A 3 – 4 2,884 Peppitt, Sale, Bowyer
11 10 February 1940 Everton H 1 – 0 8,910 Sale
12 24 February 1940 Stockport County A 5 – 1 2,037 Peppitt (4), Soo
13 2 March 1940 Wrexham H 3 – 1 2,974 Ormston (2), Steele
14 9 March 1940 New Brighton A 1 – 3 1,357 Baker
15 16 March 1940 Manchester City H 2 – 1 3,520 Sale, Smith
16 23 March 1940 Chester A 3 – 3 4,116 Peppitt, Ormston
17 25 March 1940 Port Vale H 5 – 1 9,450 Ormston (2), Sale, Own Goal (2)
18 30 March 1940 Crewe Alexandra H 1 – 1 2,460 Sale
19 6 April 1940 Liverpool A 2 – 1 5,130 Steele, Peppitt
20 6 May 1940 Port Vale A 2 – 1 5,130 Steele, Sale
21 13 May 1940 Tranmere Rovers A 1 – 5 2,434 Mountford
22 25 May 1940 Manchester United H 3 – 2 3,227 Peppitt (2), Ormston

Football League War Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 1st Leg 20 April 1940 New Brighton A 4 – 1 5,289 Sale, Steele (3)
R1 2nd Leg 27 April 1940 New Brighton H 2 – 1 3,654 Sale, Steele
R2 1st Leg 4 May 1940 Barrow A 2 – 0 11,870 Steele (2)
R2 2nd Leg 11 May 1940 Barrow H 6 – 1 11,870 Steele, Sale (2), Ormston, Peppitt, Liddle
R3 18 May 1940 Everton A 0 – 1 3,557

Friendlies[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 16 September 1939 Coventry City H 3 – 1 4,647 Baker, Sale, Peppitt
2 23 September 1939 Port Vale H 3 – 2 4,512 Baker, Sale, Ormston
3 30 September 1939 West Bromwich Albion A 0 – 6 1,515
4 7 October 1939 Manchester United H 2 – 2 3,418 Antonio, Own Goal
5 14 October 1939 Birmingham City H 3 – 2 2,171 Smith, Westland (2)
6 16 December 1939 Sheffield Wednesday A 2 – 1 2,035 Sale, Liddle
7 25 December 1939 Bolton Wanderers A 0 – 3 1,707
8 25 December 1939 Bolton Wanderers A 1 – 5 2,932 Ormston
9 30 December 1939 Bury A 6 – 7 700 Sale (3), Baker, Peppitt, Matthews
10 13 January 1940 Preston North End A 1 – 2 956 Sale (pen)
11 22 March 1940 Chesterfield A 1 – 3 4,525 Peppitt
12 13 April 1940 Nottingham Forest A 3 – 2 2,224 Sale (3)

Squad statistics[edit]

Pos. Name Matches
Apps Goals
FW England George Antonio 1 0
FW England Frank Baker 7 1
FW England Frank Bowyer 1 0
GK England Pat Bridges 1 0
DF England Harold Brigham 30 0
DF England Neil Franklin 1 0
FW Scotland Patrick Gallacher 3 1
DF England Jack Griffiths 9 0
GK Wales Douglas Jones 19 0
MF Scotland Jock Kirton 8 0
MF England Robert Liddle 22 3
DF England John McCue 1 0
GK Scotland Pat McMahon 3 0
MF England Alfred Massey 13 0
MF England Stanley Matthews 19 2
DF England Billy Mould 29 0
DF England Frank Mountford 29 1
DF England Jimmy Oakes 4 0
FW England Alexander Ormston 26 11
FW England Syd Peppitt 25 15
FW England Tommy Sale 28 24
DF England Charlie Scrimshaw 10 0
FW England Clement Smith 10 4
FW England Frank Soo 28 3
FW England Freddie Steele 9 10
DF England John Tennant 5 0
MF England Arthur Tutin 5 0
GK Scotland Douglas Westland 3 0
MF Scotland James Westland 1 0
GK England Norman Wilkinson 4 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.