1930–31 Torquay United F.C. season

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Torquay United
1930–31 season
Chairman England Charles Dear
Manager England Frank Womack
Third Division South 11th
FA Cup Third Round
Top goalscorer League:
Jimmy Trotter (26)

All:
Jimmy Trotter (28)
Highest home attendance 6,944 v Brentford, 11 October 1930
(Third Division South)
Lowest home attendance 1,745 v Bournemouth &
Boscombe Athletic
, 21 January 1931
(Third Division South)
Average home league attendance 4,373
Home colours

The 1930–31 Torquay United F.C. season was Torquay United's fourth season in the Football League and their fourth consecutive season in Third Division South. The season runs from 1 July 1930 to 30 June 1931.

Overview[edit]

After finishing no higher than 18th in their first three Football League campaigns, Torquay manager Frank Womack was determined to build a team that would make a more competitive showing in the Third Division South. With that in mind, Womack made several impressive signings during the close season, among them Arsenal centre half Jack Butler and Leicester City keeper Joe Wright.[1] Finally it appeared that the Magpies had hit upon a winning formula and by early October they were second in the Third Division South table, just four points behind leaders Notts County. Much of the upturn in Torquay's fortunes was due to the scoring prowess of new centre forward Jimmy Trotter who had already scored thirteen goals before the end of October and would go on to score a total of 28 goals in all competitions by the end of the season. Trotter was ably assisted by two more new forwards in Billy Clayson and Albert Hutchinson, who contributed another 25 goals between them. Hutchinson was to eventually prove a very loyal servant to Torquay, remaining with the club up until the outbreak of World War II.[2]

However, despite their blistering start to the season, Torquay then hit upon a run of bad form towards the end of the year in which they lost six out of seven games and saw them drop to 12th position by Christmas Day. Results began to improve again in the New Year when the talented young outside right Ralph Birkett was re-introduced into the team.[1] However, despite Trotter, Clayson and Hutchinson appearing to be firing on all cylinders again, it would not be enough for the Magpies to make a challenge for promotion and they would have to settle for an 11th-place finish at the end of the season.

Perhaps Torquay's mid-season slump may have been due to the distractions of the FA Cup which saw the Magpies defeat Southend United and Accrington Stanley to reach the Third Round for the first time in their history. They were rewarded with a trip to Second Division side Bury and, far from being overawed by the occasion, Torquay came back from Gigg Lane with a 1–1 draw, earning a replay at Plainmoor. Unfortunately, despite a battling performance from United which forced the replay into extra time, it was Bury who were to make it through to the Fourth Round.[1]

It had been by far Torquay's most successful season to date and there was now a sense that the club was finally making progress in the Football League. Frank Womack now had to make sure the season was not to be just a one-off but the start of something bigger and better for Torquay United.

League statistics[edit]

Third Division South[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts Promotion or relegation
1 Notts County (C) (P) 42 24 11 7 97 46 2.109 59 Promotion to the Second Division
2 Crystal Palace 42 22 7 13 107 71 1.507 51
3 Brentford 42 22 6 14 90 64 1.406 50
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 42 17 15 10 68 53 1.283 49
5 Southend United 42 22 5 15 76 60 1.267 49
6 Northampton Town 42 18 12 12 77 59 1.305 48
7 Luton Town 42 19 8 15 76 51 1.490 46
8 Queens Park Rangers 42 20 3 19 82 75 1.093 43
9 Fulham 42 18 7 17 77 75 1.027 43
10 Bournemouth & Boscombe 42 15 13 14 72 73 0.986 43
11 Torquay United 42 17 9 16 80 84 0.952 43
12 Swindon Town 42 18 6 18 89 94 0.947 42
13 Exeter City 42 17 8 17 84 90 0.933 42
14 Coventry City 42 16 9 17 75 65 1.154 41
15 Bristol Rovers 42 16 8 18 75 92 0.815 40
16 Gillingham 42 14 10 18 61 76 0.803 38
17 Walsall 42 14 9 19 78 95 0.821 37
18 Watford 42 14 7 21 72 75 0.960 35
19 Clapton Orient 42 14 7 21 63 91 0.692 35
20 Thames 42 13 8 21 54 93 0.581 34
21 Newport County (R) 42 11 6 25 69 111 0.622 28 Failed re-election to the Third Division South
22 Norwich City 42 10 8 24 47 76 0.618 28 Re-elected to the Third Division South

Source: "Football Club History Database". 
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal average.
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted

Results summary[edit]

Overall Home Away
Pld W D L GF GA GAv Pts W D L GF GA Pts W D L GF GA Pts
42 17 9 16 80 84 0.952 43 13 5 3 56 26 31 4 4 13 24 58 12

Source: rsssf.com


Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
Ground A H H A A H H H A A H H A H A H A A H A A H H A H H A H H A A H A H A H A A H A H A
Result L W W L D W W D W W L W L W L L L L W L L D W W D D L L W D W W D W L W D L W L D L
Position 15 7 3 6 11 6 5 4 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 7 9 9 8 9 12 10 10 9 9 8 10 12 11 11 9 8 9 7 10 8 8 10 8 10 10 11

Source: [1]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Match of the season[edit]

BURY 1–1 TORQUAY UNITED
FA Cup Third Round
Gigg Lane, 10 January 1931

Soccer Field Transparant.svg

Wright
Hill
Waller
Keeling
Bell
BURY
TORQUAY UNITED
TORQUAY UNITED:
GK 1 England Joe Wright
RB 2 England Jim Wright
LB 3 England Dick Hill
RH 4 England Billy Clayson
CH 5 England Jack Butler
LH 6 England Bob Smith
OR 7 England Harry Waller
IR 8 England Albert Hutchinson
CF 9 England Jimmy Trotter Goal
IL 10 England Harry Keeling
OL 11 England William Bell

In keeping with a season which had perhaps exceeded many expectations, Torquay United found themselves in the Third Round of the FA Cup for the very first time in their history. Having first seen off Third Division South rivals Southend United and Accrington Stanley of the Third Division North in consecutive away 1–0 victories, the Magpies then had to make another long trip up north to face Second Division side Bury. With the Lancashire team currently lying in 7th place in Division Two, few would have expected Torquay to have gained any kind of result when they visited Gigg Lane.

The side chosen by Frank Womack reflected the changes he had brought to the team for this season with only Bob Smith, Harry Waller and Harry Keeling having played for the Magpies during the previous campaign. This was a notable match for Bob Smith as he was making his 100th appearance for the club, the first player to reach that landmark for Torquay United and he was, in fact, an ever-present for the Magpies this season appearing in all 46 games.[2] Protecting Joe Wright's goal was his namesake Jim Wright and Dick Hill while former Arsenal centre half Jack Butler was flanked in the midfield by Smith and Billy Clayson. Clayson was unusually playing in the right half position having been replaced in his more accustomed role of inside forward by Harry Keeling in the previous match, an away trip to Gillingham. Having scored two goals in that game, Keeling retained his position in the forward line forcing Clayson to make the switch into midfield, pushing Jim Wright into the right back position at the expense of Jack Fowler. Taking the outside forward positions were Harry Waller and William Bell with Albert Hutchinson and potent centre forward Jimmy Trotter completing the forward line. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Trotter who forced an unlikely replay by scoring his 18th goal of the season so far.[2]

With the replay taking place at Plainmoor four days later, Trotter scored once again to take the match into extra time. However, on this occasion the Shakers superiority prevailed and eventually won the tie 2–1 in extra time. Ironically, Bury were knocked out in the next round by Torquay's local rivals Exeter City.[1] As for Torquay, it would be another seventeen years before they would reach the Third Round of the FA Cup again.

Results[edit]

Third Division South[edit]

FA Cup[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

First team appearances[edit]

Nat Pos Player Total Third Division South FA Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England GK Joe Wright 45 0 41 0 4 0
England GK Laurie Millsom 1 0 1 0 0 0
England DF Jack Fowler 38 1 37 1 1 0
England DF Dick Hill 32 1 28 1 4 0
England DF Jim Wright 30 1 26 1 4 0
England MF Bob Smith 46 1 42 1 4 0
England MF Jack Butler 35 2 32 2 3 0
England MF Arthur Phoenix 18 0 18 0 0 0
England MF Stan High 16 1 16 0 0 0
England MF Wilf Freer 4 0 3 0 1 0
England MF Arthur Weightman 4 0 4 0 0 0
England MF Don Hewitt 2 0 2 0 0 0
England FW Albert Hutchinson 46 11 42 11 4 0
England FW Jimmy Trotter 42 28 38 26 4 2
England FW Billy Clayson 39 14 35 14 4 0
England FW Harry Waller 34 7 30 7 4 0
England FW William Bell 32 7 28 6 4 1
England FW Ralph Birkett 20 3 20 3 0 0
England FW Fred Fisher 7 1 7 1 0 0
England FW Harry Keeling 6 3 4 3 2 0
Scotland FW Robert Mackie 6 2 6 2 0 0
England FW Leslie Burrows 3 1 2 0 1 1

Source:[2]

Top Scorers[edit]

Place Position Nation Name Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 FW England Jimmy Trotter 26 2 28
2 FW England Billy Clayson 14 0 14
3 FW England Albert Hutchinson 11 0 11
4 FW England William Bell 6 1 7
= FW England Harry Waller 7 0 7
6 FW England Ralph Birkett 3 0 3
= FW England Harry Keeling 3 0 3
8 MF England Jack Butler 2 0 2
= FW Scotland Robert Mackie 2 0 2
10 FW England Leslie Burrows 0 1 1
= FW England Fred Fisher 1 0 1
= DF England Jack Fowler 1 0 1
= MF England Stan High 1 0 1
= DF England Dick Hill 1 0 1
= MF England Bob Smith 1 0 1
= DF England Jim Wright 1 0 1
Own goals 0 0 0
TOTAL 80 4 84

Source:[2]

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

First appearance Nat. Pos. Name From
30 August 1930 England FW William Bell Leicester City
30 August 1930 England MF Jack Butler Arsenal
30 August 1930 England FW Fred Fisher Notts County
30 August 1930 England DF Dick Hill Millwall
30 August 1930 England FW Albert Hutchinson Luton Town
30 August 1930 Scotland FW Robert Mackie Coleraine
30 August 1930 England FW Jimmy Trotter Sheffield Wednesday
30 August 1930 England GK Joe Wright Leicester City
13 September 1930 England FW Billy Clayson Scarborough
27 September 1930 England DF Jim Wright Okehampton F.C.
18 October 1930 England MF Don Hewitt Coventry City
15 November 1930 England MF Arthur Weightman Newark Town
23 November 1930 England FW Les Burrows Bristol City
17 December 1930 England MF Wilf Freer Birmingham City
25 December 1930 England MF Arthur Phoenix Bath City

Out[edit]

Last appearance Nat. Pos. Name To
31 January 1931 England FW Les Burrows Released
7 March 1931 England FW Harry Keeling Swindon Town
28 March 1931 England MF Stan High Accrington Stanley
6 April 1931 England DF Dick Hill Newark Town
25 April 1931 England FW William Bell Released
2 May 1931 England FW Fred Fisher Mansfield Town
2 May 1931 Scotland FW Robert Mackie Released
2 May 1931 England MF Arthur Phoenix Mansfield Town
2 May 1931 England MF Arthur Weightman Mansfield Town

Source:[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Edwards, Leigh; Gibbes, Jon; Lovis, John (1999). Torquay United, The Official Centenary History, 1899-1999. Yore Publications. ISBN 1-874427-38-0
  2. ^ a b c d e f Edwards, Leigh (1997). The Definitive Torquay United F.C.. The Association of Football Statisticians. ISBN 978-1-899468-09-6.

External links[edit]