1937–38 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1937–38 season
Chairman Maurice Pye[1]
Manager Ted Davis
Stadium Layer Road
Southern League 6th
Southern League
Mid-Week Section
2nd
Southern League Cup Winners
Top goalscorer League:
Alec Cheyne (19)

All:
Alec Cheyne (35)
Highest home attendance 11,000 (estimate)
v Ipswich Town, 4 September 1937[2]
Lowest home attendance 2,500 (estimate)
v Norwich City Reserves, 16 September 1937[3]
Average home league attendance 5,167[4]
Biggest win 8–0
v Newport County Reserves, 30 April 1938
Biggest defeat 2–5
v Norwich City Reserves, 23 April 1938
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts;; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops).
Home colours

The 1937–38 season was Colchester United's first ever season after the formation as a professional club from amateur predecessors Colchester Town. Alongside competing in the Southern League, the club also participated in the Southern League Mid-Week Section and Southern League Cup. The club did not enter the FA Cup, but did win the Southern League Cup at the first attempt. Colchester finished 6th position in the league, and finished as runners-up to Millwall Reserves in the Mid-Week Section.

Season overview[edit]

During a transitional period from the amateur organisation at Colchester Town to a professional club, twelve directors formed the board, appointing former Huddersfield Town goalkeeper and Bath City manager Ted Davis to take charge of team affairs. On 14 July 1937, the announcement was publicly made that the new club would be named Colchester United. A week after his appointment, Davis had already organised for the club to play in the same blue and white striped kit as his former club Huddersfield.

With trial matches taking place between 19 and 26 August 1937, Colchester United played their first ever professional match on 28 August 1937, travelling to The Huish to face Yeovil & Petters United. The game ended 3–0 to Yeovil, but Colchester made amends in their first game at Layer Road against Davis' old side Bath City on 2 September in the Mid-Week Section. The U's thrashed their counterparts 6–1, with Reg Smith registering the club's first hat-trick. Proficient bugle and cornet player Ronnie Dunn, Colchester's goalkeeper, welcomed the players of both sides to the pitch with a rendition of the post horn galop, a tradition which would remain throughout the club's years at Layer Road. The attendance was recorded as £250 instead of numbers of supporters, with the amount equating to an approximate attendance of 3,500. Two days later, an estimated 11,000 came to Layer Road to witness a 3–3 draw in the first meeting between Colchester United and nearby rivals Ipswich Town.

Reg Smith was sold to Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1937 for £250, and with a deal agreed for Cliff Fairchild to join Arsenal at the end of the season for £500, Davis used his entrepreneurial skills to arrange for both First Division clubs to contest the Colchester Challenge Cup at Layer Road. The friendly fixture proved to be a success, with 17,584 seeing Wolves beat Arsenal 1–0.

Following an excellent beginning to Colchester United's existence spelt a swift demise for Colchester Town. With the Oysters suffering financial difficulty, the amateur club folded in 1937, having joined the six-club Essex Senior League. The club re-emerged briefly in January 1938 to complete an Essex Senior Cup tie in order to avoid a fine, but the withdrawal of Town meant that United could enter a reserve side into the Eastern Counties League one month later, with the reserve squad boosted by many of those previously on the books with Colchester Town.

Layer Road suffered severe damage to the roof in January 1938 during a severe gale, with a recently erected corrugated iron roof and timber structure damaging nearby buildings, causing the ground to be closed for two days to clear the debris.

The return match with Ipswich saw 8,000 Colchester fans set a new Portman Road ground record attendance of 23,890, with United wearing a new orange and black away strip. They had worn these kits a week earlier in a friendly against Charlton Athletic to acclimatise themselves to the new strip.

At the end of the season, Colchester finished mid-table, but did reach the Southern League Cup final. They lost the first leg 2–1 at Yeovil, but triumphed 3–1 at Layer Road to win 4–3 on aggregate and secure the club's first ever trophy. The club then adopted the nickname "The U's" to differentiate themselves from "The Oysters" of Colchester Town. Across the season, Colchester found the back of the net 155 times in all competitions, with Alec Cheyne scoring 35 goals, Arthur Pritchard 29 goals and Jack Hodge 24 goals helping the U's to that total. With professional football proving to be a success, the same applied for Colchester's neighbours and rivals Ipswich Town, who were elected to the Football League for the 1938–39 season.[5]

Players[edit]

As of match played 7 May 1938.[6]

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 Ronnie Dunn
England GK Don Youngs
Wales DF Jimmy Baker
England DF Jimmy Collins
England DF Cliff Fairchild
England DF Syd Fieldus
England DF Ian Haley
England DF George Leslie
Scotland DF George Ritchie (captain)
Wales DF George Smith
United States DF Alexander Wood
England FW Bill Barraclough
No. Position Player
FW Albert Bennett
Scotland FW Alec Cheyne
Wales FW George Crisp
England FW Jack Hodge
England FW Ken Mayes
Wales FW Bill Pendergast
Wales FW Arthur Pritchard
England FW Sam Simnett
England FW Ivan Thacker
England FW George Wallis
FW George Williams

Match details[edit]

Friendlies[edit]

Southern League[edit]

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Promotion, qualification or relegation
4 Yeovil & Petters United 34 14 14 6 72 45 1.6 42
5 Norwich City Reserves 34 15 11 8 77 55 1.4 41
6 Colchester United 34 15 8 11 90 58 1.55 38
7 Bristol Rovers Reserves 34 14 8 12 63 62 1.02 36
8 Swindon Town Reserves 34 14 7 13 70 76 0.92 35

Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal average; 3) Number of goals scored

(C) Champion; (P) Promoted; (Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (R) Relegated.

Notes:

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976–77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Matches[edit]

Southern League Mid-Week Section[edit]

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Promotion, qualification or relegation
1 Millwall Reserves (C) 18 13 3 2 59 21 2.81 29 Southern League Midweek Section champions
2 Colchester United 18 13 1 4 42 23 1.83 27
3 Aldershot Reserves 18 11 3 4 38 29 1.31 25
4 Folkestone 18 7 6 5 32 36 0.89 20
5 Norwich City Reserves 18 9 1 8 45 39 1.15 19

Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal average; 3) Number of goals scored

(C) Champion; (P) Promoted; (Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (R) Relegated.

Notes:

1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up until the 1976–77 season.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

Matches[edit]

Southern League Cup[edit]

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

[6][7]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Southern League Southern League
Mid-Week Section
Southern League
Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Ronnie Dunn 51 0 31 0 15 0 5 0
GK England Don Youngs 7 0 3 0 3 0 1 0
DF Wales Jimmy Baker 31 2 17 1 10 1 4 0
DF England Jimmy Collins 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
DF England Cliff Fairchild 52 0 30 0 16 0 6 0
DF England Syd Fieldus 21 3 13 3 4 0 4 0
DF England Ian Haley 9 0 5 0 4 0 0 0
DF England George Leslie 43 0 24 0 16 0 3 0
DF Scotland George Ritchie 31 1 20 1 7 0 4 0
DF Wales George Smith 24 2 15 2 9 0 0 0
FW United States Alexander Wood 54 1 32 1 16 0 6 0
FW England Bill Barraclough 26 4 19 2 6 2 1 0
FW Albert Bennett 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland Alec Cheyne 54 35 32 19 16 9 6 7
FW Wales George Crisp 39 14 19 9 15 4 5 1
FW England Jack Hodge 51 24 30 12 15 7 6 5
FW England Ken Mayes 37 0 19 0 12 0 6 0
FW Wales Bill Pendergast 11 6 8 5 3 1 0 0
FW Wales Arthur Pritchard 37 29 22 17 11 8 4 4
FW England Sam Simnett 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
FW England Ivan Thacker 4 1 2 0 2 1 0 0
FW England George Wallis 16 7 10 5 6 2 0 0
FW George Williams 4 0 3 0 1 0 0 0
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
DF England John Ormesher 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW England Tully Day 15 15 7 9 4 2 4 4
FW England Reg Smith 14 10 8 3 5 5 1 2

Goalscorers[edit]

[7]

Place Nation Position Name Southern League Southern League Mid-Week Section Southern League Cup Total
1 Scotland FW Alec Cheyne 19 9 7 35
2 Wales FW Arthur Pritchard 17 8 4 29
3 England FW Jack Hodge 12 7 5 24
4 England FW Tully Day 9 2 4 15
5 Wales FW George Crisp 9 4 1 14
6 England FW Reg Smith 3 5 2 10
7 England FW George Wallis 5 2 0 7
8 Wales FW Bill Pendergast 5 1 0 6
9 England FW Bill Barraclough 2 2 0 4
10 England DF Syd Fieldus 3 0 0 3
11 Wales DF Jimmy Baker 1 1 0 2
Wales DF George Smith 2 0 0 2
13 Scotland DF George Ritchie 1 0 0 1
England FW Ivan Thacker 0 1 0 1
United States DF Alexander Wood 1 0 0 1
Own goals 1 0 0 1
TOTALS 0 0 0 155

Disciplinary record[edit]

[8]

Nationality Position Player Southern League Southern League Mid-Week Section Southern League Cup Total
Booked Red card Booked Red card Booked Red card Booked Red card
England FW Bill Barraclough 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2
Wales FW George Crisp 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
TOTALS 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 2

Captains[edit]

Number of games played as team captain.[9]

Place Nation Position Player Southern League Southern League Mid-Week Section Southern League Cup Total
1 Scotland DF George Ritchie 17 7 4 28
2 Wales DF Jimmy Baker 3 4 1 8
Not recorded
14 7 1 22

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[10]

Position Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
GK England Ronnie Dunn 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
DF England Jimmy Collins 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
DF England Cliff Fairchild 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
DF England George Leslie 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
DF Scotland George Ritchie 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
DF United States Alexander Wood 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
FW Scotland Alec Cheyne 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
FW Wales George Crisp 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
FW England Jack Hodge 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
FW Wales Arthur Pritchard 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
FW England Reg Smith 28 August 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Huish Athletic Ground
FW England Ken Mayes 2 September 1937 Bath City Layer Road
FW England Bill Barraclough 11 September 1937 Yeovil & Petters United Layer Road
DF Wales Jimmy Baker 23 September 1937 Folkestone Layer Road
DF England John Ormesher 7 October 1937 Tunbridge Wells Rangers Layer Road
DF England Syd Fieldus 9 October 1937 Plymouth Argyle Reserves Home Park
DF Wales George Smith 30 October 1937 Dartford Watling Street
FW England Tully Day 17 November 1937 Aldershot Reserves Recreation Ground
FW Albert Bennett 25 November 1937 Norwich City Reserves Carrow Road
FW Wales Bill Pendergast 11 December 1937 Aldershot Reserves Layer Road
DF England Ian Haley 1 January 1938 Barry Town Layer Road
FW George Williams 31 January 1938 Millwall Reserves The Den
GK England Don Youngs 24 February 1938 Tunbridge Wells Rangers Layer Road
FW England Ivan Thacker 3 March 1938 Dartford Layer Road
FW England George Wallis 3 March 1938 Dartford Layer Road
FW England Sam Simnett 23 April 1938 Tunbridge Wells Rangers Down Farm

Transfers and contracts[edit]

In[edit]

Date Pos Player From Fee Ref
23 June 1937 FW Scotland Reg Smith England Bristol City Free transfer [11]
3 July 1937 DF England Jimmy Collins England West Ham United Free transfer [12]
3 July 1937 GK England Ronnie Dunn England Crystal Palace Free transfer [13]
3 July 1937 DF England Syd Fieldus England Brentford Free transfer [14]
3 July 1937 FW England Ken Mayes England Fulham £500 [15]
9 July 1937 DF Wales Jimmy Baker England Bristol City Free transfer [16]
9 July 1937 DF England George Leslie England Guildford City Free transfer [17]
13 July 1937 FW England Jack Hodge England Luton Town Free transfer [18]
16 July 1937 DF United States Alexander Wood England Nottingham Forest Free transfer [19]
17 July 1937 FW George Williams England Ipswich Town Free transfer [20]
7 August 1937 FW England Bill Barraclough England Chelsea Free transfer [21]
12 August 1937 DF Scotland George Ritchie England Leicester City Free transfer [22]
13 August 1937 FW Scotland Alec Cheyne England Chelsea £3,000 [23]
28 August 1937 GK England Ted Platt None Free transfer [24]
28 August 1937 DF England Cliff Fairchild England Northfleet United Free transfer [25]
28 August 1937 FW Wales George Crisp Wales Newport County Undisclosed [26]
28 August 1937 FW Wales Arthur Pritchard England Yeovil & Petters United Free transfer [27]
7 October 1937 DF England John Ormesher England Colchester Town Free transfer [28]
27 October 1937 DF Wales George Smith England Bath City Free transfer [29]
5 November 1937 GK England Don Youngs England Martlesham RAF Free transfer [30]
17 November 1937 FW England Tully Day England Harwich & Parkeston Free transfer [31]
25 November 1937 FW Albert Bennett England Colchester Town Free transfer [32]
9 December 1937 FW Wales Bill Pendergast England Bristol Rovers Free transfer [33]
1 January 1938 DF England Ian Haley England Colchester Town Free transfer [34]
22 January 1938 FW England Sam Simnett England Ipswich Town Free transfer [35]
18 February 1938 FW England Ivan Thacker England Hoffman Athletic (Chelmsford) Free transfer [36]
28 February 1938 FW England George Wallis England Bath City Free transfer [37]

Out[edit]

Date Pos Player To Fee Ref
25 October 1937 FW Scotland Reg Smith England Wolverhampton Wanderers £500 [37]
15 January 1938 DF England John Ormesher Free agent Released [28]
1 April 1938 GK England Ted Platt England Arsenal Free transfer [24]
19 April 1938 FW England Tully Day England Harwich & Parkeston Free transfer [31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General[edit]

Whitehead, Jeff; Drury, Kevin (2008). The Who's Who of Colchester United: The Layer Road Years. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 978-1-85983-629-3. 

Specific[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. ^ "Colchester Utd 3–3 Ipswich Town". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Colchester Utd 7–3 Norwich City Reserves". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Average Attendance Figures Per Season". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Hudson, Matt (11 August 2013). "The 1930s and 1940s". Colchester United FC. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Appearances". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Goals". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Discipline". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "All matches". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Alltime- List of Debuts". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Kenny Mayes". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Jimmy Collins". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ronnie Dunn". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Syd Fieldus". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Kenny Mayes". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "James Baker". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "George Leslie". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Jack Hodge". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Alex Wood". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "George Williams". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Bill Barraclough". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "George Ritchie". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "Alec Cheyne". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  24. ^ a b Whitehead, Jeff; Drury, Kevin (2008). The Who's Who of Colchester United: The Layer Road Years. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-85983-629-3. 
  25. ^ "Cliff Fairchild". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "George Crisp". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "Arthur Pritchard". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "John Ormesher". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  29. ^ "George Smith". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Don Youngs". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  31. ^ a b "Tully Day". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  32. ^ "Albert Bennett". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Will Pendergast". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  34. ^ "Ian Haley". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  35. ^ "Sam Simnett". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  36. ^ "Ivan Thacker". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  37. ^ a b "Geo Wallis". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015.