1939–40 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1939–40 season
Chairman Walter Clark[1]
Manager Ted Davis
(until September 1939)
Stadium Layer Road
Southern League League abandoned
Top goalscorer League:
Alec Cheyne (2)

All:
Len Astill
Joe Birch
Alec Cheyne
George Law (2)
Highest home attendance 4,200
v Plymouth Argyle Reserves, 26 August 1939[2]
Lowest home attendance 4,200
v Plymouth Argyle Reserves, 26 August 1939[2]
Average home league attendance 4,200[3]
Biggest win 5–1
v Norwich City Reserves, 28 August 1939
Biggest defeat 1–2
v Chelmsford City, 31 August 1939
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts;; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops).
Home colours

The 1939–40 season was Colchester United's third season in their history and their third in the Southern League. Alongside competing in the Southern League, the club were also due to participate in the Southern League Mid-Week Section, FA Cup and Southern League Cup. They were also due to play the Southern League Cup matches remaining from the previous season during the campaign, but only played the outstanding semi-final fixture against Norwich City Reserves. The season was to end prematurely, with competitive football abandoned with the outbreak of World War II. Colchester United played regular season fixtures until 2 September 1939, with the 0–0 draw at Layer Road with Ipswich Town Reserves the final competitive fixture to be played by the club for almost six years.

Season overview[edit]

War loomed over Europe during the beginning of the 1939–40 campaign. After kicking the season off with a win against Plymouth Argyle Reserves on 26 August 1939, Colchester played Norwich City Reserves in the first-leg of the delayed Southern League Cup semi-final, beating their opponents 5–1. After only three Southern League games, World War II was declared, and as with predecessors Colchester Town during World War I, the club closed down, denying the club a chance to earn League football after gaining considerable momentum over the previous two seasons.

Colchester United continued to play friendlies against local opposition until December 1939, when the Army Fire Fighting Corp took over Layer Road for drill practice. The ground itself did continued to host matches during hostilities, as a number of high-profile military encounters took place at the stadium. The influx of military personnel through Colchester Garrison ensured that Layer Road played host to a number of star players through the war years.[4]

Players[edit]

As of match played 2 September 1939.[5]
Name Position Nationality Place of birth Date of birth Apps Goals Signed from Date signed Fee
Goalkeepers
Billy Light GK England Woolston (1913-06-11)11 June 1913 (aged 25) 42 0 England West Bromwich Albion 17 June 1938 £1,500
Defenders
Jimmy Baker CB/RH Wales Trethomas (1904-05-05)5 May 1904 (aged 35) 52 3 England Bristol City 9 July 1937 Free transfer
Joe Birch LB/RB England Hednesford (1904-07-06)6 July 1904 (aged 34) 62 1 England Fulham 24 June 1938 £750
Syd Fieldus DF England Romford (1909-05-27)27 May 1909 (aged 30) 22 3 England Brentford 3 July 1937 Free transfer
George Leslie CB England Slough (1907-07-09)9 July 1907 (aged 31) 101 1 England Guildford City 9 July 1937 Free transfer
Alf Worton LB England Wolverhampton (1914-04-04)4 April 1914 (aged 25) 64 0 England Norwich City 3 June 1938 Free transfer
Midfielders
Bill Main WH Scotland St Monans 0 0 England Cardiff City 19 August 1939 Free transfer
Robert Morris LH/RH England Hatton (1913-03-11)11 March 1913 (aged 26) 65 5 England Norwich City 22 July 1938 £500
Forwards
Len Astill IL/OL England Wolverhampton (1916-12-30)30 December 1916 (aged 22) 41 21 England Ipswich Town 20 May 1938 Free transfer
Ken Burditt IF England Ibstock (1906-11-12)12 November 1906 (aged 32) 0 0 England Notts County 25 May 1939 £1,000
Alec Cheyne IH Scotland Glasgow (1907-04-28)28 April 1907 (aged 32) 94 56 England Chelsea 13 August 1937 £3,000
George Law CF England Wellingborough (1912-05-12)12 May 1912 (aged 27) 0 0 England Norwich City 18 June 1939 £100
Arthur Pritchard CF Wales Newport (1917-10-22)22 October 1917 (aged 21) 96 72 England Yeovil & Petters United 28 August 1937[a] Free transfer
Ivan Thacker CF England Lowestoft 5 2 England Lowestoft Town 18 February 1938 Free transfer
George Wallis IF England Sawley 79 31 England Bath City 28 February 1938 Free transfer
  1. ^ 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.
25 May 1939 IF England Ken Burditt England Notts County £1,000 [6]
18 June 1939 CF England George Law England Norwich City £100 [7]
19 August 1939 WH Scotland Bill Main England Cardiff City Free transfer [8]
  • Total spending: Decrease ~ £1,100

Out[edit]

Date Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
End of season LH Scotland George Ritchie England Ipswich Town Reserves assistant coach Free transfer [9]
End of season RH Wales George Smith Free agent Released [10]
End of season IF England George Merritt Free agent Released [11]
4 May 1939 RB England Ian Haley Free agent Released [12][a]
31 May 1939 GK England Ronnie Dunn Free agent Released [13]
31 May 1939 LB Ireland Cecil Allan England Colchester Casuals Free transfer [14]
31 May 1939 OR England Jack Hodge England Hereford United Free transfer [15]
31 May 1939 CF England Ernie Matthews England Ashington Free transfer [16]
31 May 1939 IR/CF George Williams Free agent Released [17]
1 July 1939 GK England Don Youngs Free agent Released [18]
21 July 1939 WG Wales George Crisp England Nottingham Forest Undisclosed [19]
31 August 1939 IF Scotland Robert Murray Free agent Released [20][a]
2 September 1939 LB/RB England Joe Birch Free agent Released [21][a]
2 September 1939 CB England George Leslie Free agent Released [22][a]
2 September 1939 WH Scotland Bill Main Free agent Released [8][a]
2 September 1939 LH/RH England Robert Morris Free agent Released [23][a]
2 September 1939 LB England Alf Worton Free agent Released [24][a]
2 September 1939 IL England Len Astill Free agent Released [25][a]
2 September 1939 IF England Ken Burditt Free agent Released [6][a]
2 September 1939 CF England George Law Free agent Released [7][a]
2 September 1939 IF England George Wallis Free agent Released [26][a]
7 September 1939 CB/RH Wales Jimmy Baker Retired Retired [27]
7 September 1939 CF Wales Arthur Pritchard Free agent Released [28]
5 January 1940 IH Scotland Alec Cheyne England Chelmsford City Released [29]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Date of departure refers to the date of the player's final game for the club

Match details[edit]

Friendlies[edit]

Southern League[edit]

Southern League Cup[edit]

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

[5][30]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Southern League Southern League
Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Billy Light 4 0 3 0 1 0
DF England Joe Birch 4 2 3 1 1 1
DF England Syd Fieldus 1 0 1 0 0 0
DF England George Leslie 1 0 1 0 0 0
DF England Alf Worton 4 0 3 0 1 0
MF Scotland Bill Main 3 0 2 0 1 0
MF England Robert Morris 4 0 3 0 1 0
FW England Len Astill 4 2 3 0 1 2
FW England Ken Burditt 3 0 2 0 1 0
FW Scotland Alec Cheyne 3 2 3 2 0 0
FW England George Law 4 2 3 1 1 1
FW Wales Arthur Pritchard 2 1 1 0 1 1
FW England George Wallis 4 0 3 0 1 0
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
FW Scotland Robert Murray 3 0 2 0 1 0

Goalscorers[edit]

[30]

Place Nationality Position Name Southern League Southern League Cup Total
1 England IL Len Astill 0 2 2
England LB/RB Joe Birch 1 1 2
Scotland IH Alec Cheyne 2 0 2
England CF George Law 1 1 2
5 Wales CF Arthur Pritchard 0 1 1
Own goals 0 0 0
TOTALS 4 5 9

Disciplinary record[edit]

[31]

Nationality Position Name Southern League Southern League Cup Total
YC Red card YC Red card YC Red card
England IF George Wallis 0 1 0 0 0 1
TOTALS 0 1 0 0 0 1

Captains[edit]

Number of games played as team captain.[32]

Place Nationality Position Player Southern League Southern League Cup Total
1 Scotland IH Alec Cheyne 1 0 1
England CB George Leslie 1 0 1
Not recorded
1 1 2
TOTALS 3 1 4

Clean sheets[edit]

Number of games goalkeepers kept a clean sheet.[33]

Place Nationality Player Southern League Southern League Cup Total
1 England Billy Light 1 0 1
TOTALS 1 0 1

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[34]

Position Nationality Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
WH Scotland Bill Main 26 August 1939 Plymouth Argyle Reserves Layer Road
IF England Ken Burditt 26 August 1939 Plymouth Argyle Reserves Layer Road
CF England George Law 26 August 1939 Plymouth Argyle Reserves 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. ^ a b "Colchester Utd 3–1 Plymouth Argyle Reserves". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Average Attendance Figures Per Season". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Hudson, Matt (11 August 2013). "The 1930s and 1940s". Colchester United FC. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Appearances". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 July 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Ken Burditt". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "George Law". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Bill Main". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "George Ritchie". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "George Smith". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "George Merritt". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ian Haley". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ronnie Dunn". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Cecil Allan". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Jack Hodge". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Ernie Matthews". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "George Williams". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Don Youngs". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "George Crisp". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "Bob Murray". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Joe Birch". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "George Leslie". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Robert Morris". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Alf Worton". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Len Astill". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "Geo Wallis". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "James Baker". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "Arthur Pritchard". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  29. ^ "Alec Cheyne". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "Goals". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  31. ^ "Discipline". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "All matches". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  33. ^ "Clean sheets (1st team)". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  34. ^ "Alltime- List of Debuts". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.