1938–39 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1938–39 season
Chairman Maurice Pye[1]
Manager Ted Davis
Stadium Layer Road
Southern League Winners
Southern League
Mid-Week Section
Runners-up
FA Cup 1st round
(eliminated by Folkestone)
Southern League Cup Semi-final
(competition not
completed)
Top goalscorer League:
Arthur Pritchard (34)

All:
Arthur Pritchard (44)
Highest home attendance 13,000 (estimate)
v Guildford City, 7 April 1939[2]
Lowest home attendance 4,000 (estimate)
v Barry Town, 31 December 1938[3]
Average home league attendance 8,307[4]
Biggest win 8–0
v Dartford, 16 March 1939
Biggest defeat 0–3
v Cardiff City Reserves, 18 March 1939
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts;; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops).
Home colours

The 1938–39 season was Colchester United's second season in their history and their second in the Southern League. Alongside competing in the Southern League, the club also participated in the Southern League Mid-Week Section and Southern League Cup. Colchester won the Southern League title after beating local rivals Chelmsford City to the top of the league by one point. They also reached the 1st round of the FA Cup, where they were eliminated by Folkestone, and finished as runners-up to Tunbridge Wells Rangers in the Mid-Week Section. They reached the semi-final of the Southern League Cup, but the competition could not be completed due to fixture congestion.

Season overview[edit]

Manager Ted Davis began strengthening his squad ready for a push to reach the Football League over the summer period. The public responded by turning out in force for a game against Gillingham, with 8,142 in attendance, and a week later, a visit from Arsenal 'A' saw 10,129 watch Colchester beat their counterparts 2–0. However, Davis securing a number of high-profile players came at a cost. Many were still contracted to the Football League clubs that they were signed from, meaning that if Colchester were to gain election to the Football League, the club would have very few contracted players.

Colchester made their first FA Cup outing during the 1938–39 season. They saw off Ilford 4–1 at Layer Road, but were defeated in the first round proper by Folkestone, watched by 8,160.

In a very successful season for the club, Colchester claimed the Southern League title by one point over Guildford City, scoring 110 goals in 44 games. They finished second in the Mid-Week Section, and reached the semi-final of the Southern League Cup, although due to fixture congestion, the game could not be played during the regular season and was postponed until the 1939–40 campaign.

Overall, Colchester scored 161 goals, with Arthur Pritchard netting 44 goals, George Wallis 24, and Alec Cheyne and Len Astill scoring 21 apiece.

The case for Football League election was presented to Football League members on 23 May 1938 by club director Walter Clark. With high hopes for election following a successful season, Colchester United failed to secure a single vote from the members, put down to the fact that there were so many League-registered players on the books that Davis had signed for Colchester.

Despite the League setback, the ownership of the Layer Road ground was passed to Colchester Borough Council, with club chairman Maurice Pye declaring:

Players[edit]

As of match played 6 May 1939.[6]
Name Position Nationality Place of birth Date of birth Apps Goals Signed from Date signed Fee
Goalkeepers
Ronnie Dunn GK England Southall (1908-11-24)24 November 1908 (aged 29) 51 0 England Crystal Palace 3 July 1937 Free transfer
Billy Light GK England Woolston (1913-06-11)11 June 1913 (aged 24) 0 0 England West Bromwich Albion 17 June 1938 £1,500
Don Youngs GK England 7 0 England Martlesham RAF 5 November 1937 Free transfer
Defenders
Cecil Allan LB Ireland Belfast (1914-08-01)1 August 1914 (aged 23) 0 0 England Chelsea 27 May 1938 £2,000
Jimmy Baker CB/RH Wales Trethomas (1904-05-05)5 May 1904 (aged 34) 31 2 England Bristol City 9 July 1937 Free transfer
Joe Birch LB/RB England Hednesford (1904-07-06)6 July 1904 (aged 33) 0 0 England Fulham 24 June 1938 £750
Syd Fieldus DF England Romford (1909-05-27)27 May 1909 (aged 29) 21 3 England Brentford 3 July 1937 Free transfer
Ian Haley RB England North Bierley 9 0 England Colchester Town 1 January 1938[a] Free transfer
George Leslie CB England Slough (1907-07-09)9 July 1907 (aged 30) 43 0 England Guildford City 9 July 1937 Free transfer
Alf Worton LB England Wolverhampton (1914-04-04)4 April 1914 (aged 24) 0 0 England Norwich City 3 June 1938 Free transfer
Midfielders
Robert Morris LH/RH England Hatton (1913-03-11)11 March 1913 (aged 25) 0 0 England Norwich City 22 July 1938 £500
George Ritchie LH Scotland Maryhill (1904-01-16)16 January 1904 (aged 34) 31 1 England Leicester City 12 August 1937 Free transfer
George Smith RH Wales Connah's Quay 24 2 England Bath City 27 October 1937 Free transfer
Forwards
Len Astill IL/OL England Wolverhampton (1916-12-30)30 December 1916 (aged 21) 0 0 England Ipswich Town 20 May 1938 Free transfer
Alec Cheyne IH Scotland Glasgow (1907-04-28)28 April 1907 (aged 31) 54 35 England Chelsea 13 August 1937 £3,000
George Crisp WG Wales Pontypool (1911-06-30)30 June 1911 (aged 26) 39 14 Wales Newport County 28 August 1937[a] Undisclosed
Jack Hodge OR England Plymouth 51 24 England Luton Town 13 July 1937 Free transfer
Ernie Matthews CF England Chester-le-Street (1912-11-08)8 November 1912 (aged 25) 0 0 England Sheffield Wednesday 26 May 1938 £2,500
George Merritt IF England Ormskirk 0 0 England Derby County 30 September 1938 Free transfer
Robert Murray IF Scotland Newhaven (1915-03-27)27 March 1915 (aged 23) 0 0 England Bath City 24 January 1939 £800
Arthur Pritchard CF Wales Newport (1917-10-22)22 October 1917 (aged 20) 37 29 England Yeovil & Petters United 28 August 1937[a] Free transfer
Ivan Thacker CF England Lowestoft 4 1 England Lowestoft Town 18 February 1938 Free transfer
George Wallis IF England Sawley 16 7 England Bath City 28 February 1938 Free transfer
George Williams IR/CF 4 0 England Ipswich Town 17 July 1937 Free transfer
  1. ^ a b c Date of signing refers to the date of the player's first game for the club

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

Date Position Nationality Name From Fee Ref.
20 May 1938 FW England Len Astill England Ipswich Town Free transfer [7]
26 May 1938 FW England Ernie Matthews England Sheffield Wednesday £2,500 [8]
27 May 1938 DF Ireland Cecil Allan England Chelsea £2,000 [9]
3 June 1938 DF England Alf Worton England Norwich City Free transfer [10]
17 June 1938 GK England Billy Light England West Bromwich Albion £1,500 [11]
24 June 1938 DF England Joe Birch England Fulham £750 [12]
22 July 1938 DF England Robert Morris England Norwich City £500 [13]
30 September 1938 FW England George Merritt England Derby County Free transfer [14]
24 January 1939 FW Scotland Robert Murray England Bath City £800 [15]
  • Total spending: Decrease ~ £8,050

Out[edit]

Date Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
End of season DF England Cliff Fairchild England Arsenal £500 [16]
14 May 1938 DF England Jimmy Collins Retired Released [17]
14 May 1938 FW England Bill Barraclough England Doncaster Rovers Free transfer [18]
31 May 1938 FW Wales Bill Pendergast England Chester Free transfer [19]
23 June 1938 DF United States Alexander Wood England Chelmsford City Free transfer [20]
September 1938 FW Albert Bennett Free agent Released [21][a]
12 January 1939 FW England Ken Mayes England Chelmsford City Free transfer [22]
  • Total incoming: Increase ~ £500
  1. ^ Date of departure refers to the date of the player's final game for the club

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
1 Colchester United (C) 44 31 5 8 110 37 2.97 67 Southern League champions, no promotion
2 Guildford City 44 30 6 8 126 52 2.42 66
3 Gillingham 44 29 6 9 104 57 1.82 64
4 Plymouth Argyle Reserves 44 26 5 13 128 63 2.03 57
5 Yeovil & Petters United 44 22 10 12 85 70 1.21 54

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 Tunbridge Wells Rangers (C) 16 8 7 1 37 18 2.06 23 Southern League Midweek Section champions
2 Colchester United 16 9 2 5 36 21 1.71 20
3 Norwich City Reserves 16 7 4 5 40 26 1.54 18
4 Millwall Reserves 16 7 4 5 33 23 1.43 18
5 Portsmouth 'A' 16 5 4 7 21 29 0.72 14

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]

FA Cup[edit]

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

[6][23]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Southern League FA Cup Southern League
Mid-Week Section
Southern League
Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Ronnie Dunn 3 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
GK England Billy Light 42 0 26 0 2 0 12 0 2 0
GK England Don Youngs 20 0 17 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
DF Northern Ireland Cecil Allan 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0
DF Wales Jimmy Baker 21 1 14 1 2 0 5 0 0 0
DF England Joe Birch 62 1 44 1 2 0 13 0 3 0
DF England Syd Fieldus 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
DF England Ian Haley 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
DF England George Leslie 58 1 40 0 2 1 13 0 3 0
DF England Robert Morris 65 5 44 4 2 0 16 1 3 0
DF Scotland George Ritchie 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
DF England Alf Worton 64 0 44 0 2 0 15 0 3 0
FW England Len Astill 41 21 27 12 0 0 12 6 2 3
FW Scotland Alec Cheyne 40 21 29 14 2 0 6 5 3 2
FW Wales George Crisp 31 11 20 7 2 1 8 3 1 0
FW England Jack Hodge 60 17 42 12 2 1 13 3 3 1
FW England Ernie Matthews 7 4 6 3 0 0 1 1 0 0
FW England George Merritt 4 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland Robert Murray 29 6 21 4 0 0 8 2 0 0
FW Wales Arthur Pritchard 59 44 40 34 2 1 14 6 3 3
FW England Ivan Thacker 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
FW England George Wallis 63 24 43 16 2 1 15 6 3 1
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
DF Wales George Smith 36 1 21 0 0 0 13 1 2 0
FW England Ken Mayes 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Goalscorers[edit]

[23]

Place Nation Position Name Southern League FA Cup Southern League Mid-Week Section Southern League Cup Total
1 Wales FW Arthur Pritchard 34 1 6 3 44
2 England FW George Wallis 16 1 6 1 24
3 England FW Len Astill 12 0 6 3 21
Scotland FW Alec Cheyne 14 0 5 2 21
5 England FW Jack Hodge 12 1 3 1 17
6 England FW George Crisp 7 1 3 0 11
7 Scotland FW Robert Murray 4 0 2 0 6
8 England DF Robert Morris 4 0 1 0 5
9 England FW Ernie Matthews 3 0 1 0 4
10 Wales DF Jimmy Baker 1 0 0 0 1
England DF Joe Birch 1 0 0 0 1
England DF George Leslie 0 1 0 0 1
Wales DF George Smith 0 0 1 0 1
England FW Ivan Thacker 0 0 1 0 1
Own goals 2 0 1 0 3
TOTALS 110 5 36 10 161

Disciplinary record[edit]

[24]

Nationality Position Player Southern League FA Cup Southern League Mid-Week Section Southern League Cup Total
YC Red card YC Red card YC Red card YC Red card YC Red card
TOTALS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Captains[edit]

Number of games played as team captain.[25]

Place Nation Position Player Southern League FA Cup Southern League
Mid-Week Section
Southern League Cup Total
1 England DF George Leslie 38 2 12 2 54
Not recorded
6 0 4 1 11

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[26]

Position Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
GK England Billy Light 28 August 1938 Gillingham Layer Road
DF England Joe Birch 28 August 1938 Gillingham Layer Road
DF England Robert Morris 28 August 1938 Gillingham Layer Road
DF England Alf Worton 28 August 1938 Gillingham Layer Road
FW England Len Astill 28 August 1938 Gillingham Layer Road
FW England Ernie Matthews 28 August 1938 Gillingham Layer Road
DF Ireland Cecil Allan 22 September 1938 Norwich City Reserves Carrow Road
FW England George Merritt 8 October 1938 Aldershot Reserves Recreation Ground
FW Scotland Robert Murray 2 February 1939 Folkestone Layer Road

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 1–0 Guildford City". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Colchester Utd 5–1 Barry". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Average Attendance Figures Per Season". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 25 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 25 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Len Astill". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ernie Matthews". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Cecil Allan". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Alf Worton". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Bill Light". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Joe Birch". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Robert Morris". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "George Merritt". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Bob Murray". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Cliff Fairchild". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Jimmy Collins". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Bill Barraclough". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "Will Pendergast". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Alex Wood". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Albert Bennett". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Kenny Mayes". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Goals". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Discipline". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "All matches". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "Alltime- List of Debuts". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2015.