1947–48 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1947–48 season
Chairman William Allen[1]
Manager England Ted Fenton
Until 31 May
Southern League 4th
FA Cup 5th Round
Southern League Cup Runners-up
Top goalscorer League:
Arthur Turner (25)
All:
Bob Curry (30)
Highest home attendance 11,419 (Gloucester City)
Lowest home attendance 4,665 (Bedford Town)
Average home league attendance 7,973
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts;; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops).
Home colours

The 1947–48 season was Colchester United's fifth consecutive full season in the Southern Football League. Colchester finished fourth in the league and progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup. They were runners-up in both the Southern League Cup, although the final wasn't held until April 1949 due to fixture congestion.

Season Review[edit]

Manager Ted Fenton's first squad had numbered 28 part-time professionals, but this was reduced to just 17 for the 1947-48 campaign. Quantity was replaced by quality with the likes of Bob Curry, Bob Allen, Arthur Turner, Harry Bearryman, Digger Kettle, Dennis Hillman and Len Cater to name a few. At this time, Colchester United were on the verge of being put on the football map via a truly magnificent run in the FA Cup.

The competition got off to a rather unspectacular start for United as they crept home 3-2 against neighbours Chelmsford in the Fourth Qualifying Round watched by a Layer Road crowd of 10,396. It was the second year running that The U's had reached the First Round Proper, they had been soundly beaten 5-0 by Reading twelve months earlier, and 8,574 fans held on nervously as Colchester edged out Banbury Spencer by a slim 2-1 margin.

Wrexham, of the Third Division North were the next visitors to Layer Road and they were duly dispatched by a Bob Curry goal with both sides missing penalties. Once again, over 10,000 fans crammed into Layer Road. Ironically it was First Division Huddersfield, the club that had inspired United's own team strip, who were next to be put to the sword. The national press were making big things of little old Colchester and Fenton courted the publicity. He watched Huddersfield a couple of times before the tie and declared to the media that he had come up with a plan to beat them. This became known countrywide as 'The F-plan'. Both teams changed colours, Huddersfield to red and The U's to blue. Huddersfield struggled to adapt to the cramped surroundings and on 70 minutes Allen's free-kick was only parried by the visiting keeper and U's captain Bob Curry stabbed home the rebound. It was the first time that a non-League side had beaten a First Division club. The 16,000 crowd that witnessed that famous victory could easily have been trebled for the Fourth Round tie with Second Division Bradford Park Avenue had Layer Road been able to accommodate them.

United didn't disappoint, although their opponents were more wary of Colchester's growing reputation. Indeed Bradford took the lead only for Curry to net twice before the visitors equalised on the stroke of half-time. Fred Cutting stroked in United's third to send the home crowd into delirium and Fenton was chaired off the pitch at the final whistle. The Fifth Round draw was awaited with bated breath.

Blackpool, Stanley Matthews et al., were drawn out to host Fenton's Cup heroes. The effects of War were still evident with fuel rationing and just 36 hours before 52 coaches were due to set off for the north-west coast the Ministry of Transport reinforced their restriction on fuel usage. Over 40 coaches had to be cancelled and as a result U's fans had to travel by train. This meant, however, that they would arrive in Blackpool in the early hours on the morning of the match. This did not deter the hardy band of fans and the West Lancashire Post reported:

"The peace of Blackpool was shattered at dawn today by thousands of Colchester fans, waving rattles, ringing bells, blowing trumpets and shouting 'Up The U's'. Not since pre-War Illumination weekends has there been such an invasion as stormed our streets from 4 o'clock this morning."

The support was good natured but the home side powered to a 5-0 victory in front of a 30,000 sell-out. Colchester United were now everybody's favourite non-League side. FA Cup success had an effect on League form and United finished fourth - nine points adrift of champions Merthyr Tydfil. They also reached the Southern League Cup Final but time ran out for the match to be played. It was inevitable after all the national publicity that Ted Fenton would be sought after. When the opportunity came to become assistant manager at West Ham in the summer of 1948, Fenton could not refuse.[2]

Squad[edit]

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 Ernest Setchell
–– England GK Harry Wright
–– England DF Harry Bearryman
–– Wales DF Bill Bower
–– England DF Ted Fenton
–– England DF Digger Kettle
–– England DF Frank Stamper
–– England MF Bob Allen
No. Position Player
–– England MF Dennis Hillman
–– Scotland FW Andy Brown
–– England FW Len Cater
–– England FW Bob Curry
–– England FW Fred Cutting
–– England FW Vic Keeble
–– England FW Ray Townrow
–– England FW Arthur Turner

Player Info[edit]

Pos. Name Place of Birth Date of Birth Previous Club Date Joined Fee
GK England Ernest Setchell European Union Unknown 9 March 1928 European Union Unknown 25 April 1948 Free
GK England Harry Wright England Tottenham 3 June 1909 England Chelmsford City 31 August 1946 Free
DF England Harry Bearryman England Wandsworth 26 September 1924 England Chelsea 30 August 1947 Free
DF Wales Bill Bower Wales Wrexham 17 November 1911 England Millwall 25 August 1945 Free
DF England Ted Fenton England Forest Gate 7 November 1914 England West Ham United 1 August 1946 Free
DF England Digger Kettle England Colchester 3 June 1922 England Arclight Sports 26 December 1946 Free
DF England Frank Stamper England Hartlepool 22 February 1926 England Army 19 April 1947 Free
MF England Bob Allen England Bromley-by-Bow 11 October 1916 England Northampton Town 30 August 1947 Free
MF England Dennis Hillman England Southend-on-Sea 27 November 1918 England Brighton & Hove Albion 28 September 1946 Free
FW Scotland Andy Brown Scotland Coatbridge 20 February 1915 England Torquay United 30 August 1947 Free
FW England Len Cater European Union Unknown 8 September 1920 England Colchester Town 31 August 1946 Free
FW England Bob Curry England Gateshead 2 November 1918 England Gainsborough Trinity 31 August 1946 Free
FW England Fred Cutting England North Walsham 4 December 1921 England Norwich City 6 December 1947 Free
FW England Vic Keeble England Colchester 25 June 1930 England King George Youth Club 30 August 1947 Free
FW England Ray Townrow European Union Unknown 20 December 1925 European Union Unknown 31 January 1948 Free
FW England Arthur Turner England Poplar 22 January 1922 England Charlton Athletic 19 September 1946 Free

Transfers[edit]

Transfers In[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name Previous Club Transfer Fee Notes
30 August 1947 DF England Harry Bearryman England Chelsea Free
30 August 1947 DF England Frank Rist England Charlton Athletic Free
30 August 1947 MF England Bob Allen England Northampton Town Free
30 August 1947 FW Scotland Andy Brown England Torquay United Free
30 August 1947 FW England Vic Keeble England King George Youth Club Free
27 September 1947 MF England Taffy Williams European Union Unknown Free
6 December 1947 GK England John Lamare European Union Unknown Free
6 December 1947 FW England Fred Cutting England Norwich City Free
31 January 1948 FW England Ray Townrow European Union Unknown Free
29 March 1948 DF Wales Aubrey Darmody England Norwich City Free
24 April 1948 GK England Ernest Setchell European Union Unknown Free

Transfers Out[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name New Club Transfer Fee Notes
10 May 1947 FW England Trevor Smith England Watford Free
25 May 1947 GK England Peter Chiswick European Union Released Free
7 June 1947 GK England John Jelly European Union Released Free
7 June 1947 FW England Bill Jeffries England Hull City Free
11 September 1947 FW England Ian Gillespie England Leiston Free
22 November 1947 DF England Alf Biggs European Union Released Free
27 December 1947 DF England John Leah European Union Released Free
27 December 1947 DF England Albert Page England Chingford Town Free
31 January 1948 GK England John Lamare European Union Released Free
17 March 1948 MF England Taffy Williams European Union Released Free
14 April 1948 DF Wales Aubrey Darmody England Great Yarmouth Town Free
21 April 1948 DF England Frank Rist England Tonbridge Free
24 April 1948 DF England Albert Walker European Union Released Free

Results[edit]

Southern League Results Summary[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 Worcester City 34 21 3 10 74 45 +29 45
4 Colchester United 34 17 10 7 88 41 +47 44
5 Hereford United 34 16 10 8 77 53 +24 42

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goals difference; Pts = Points

Southern League Results[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
30/08/1947 Bedford Town A 5-1 –– Cater (2), Keeble (3)
06/09/1947 Gloucester City H 8-0 11,419 Biggs, Cater, Curry, Hillman (3), Turner (2)
13/09/1947 Hereford United A 0-0 ––
27/09/1947 Yeovil Town A 0-2 ––
11/10/1947 Bath City H 4-2 –– O.G., Hillman, Turner (2)
18/10/1947 Worcester City H 1-3 –– Turner
01/11/1947 Torquay United Reserves H 5-0 6,330 Curry, Fenton, Turner (3)
08/11/1947 Gravesend & Northfleet A 2-1 –– Cater, Fenton
22/11/1947 Merthyr Tydfil H 1-1 –– Turner (pen.)
06/12/1947 Barry A 5-2 –– Curry (3), Cutting, Keeble
20/12/1947 Bedford Town H 3-0 4,665 Curry (2), Turner
25/12/1947 Gillingham H 3-0 –– Turner (2), Curry
26/12/1947 Gillingham A 2-2 –– Curry, Turner
27/12/1947 Cheltenham Town A 2-5 –– Curry, Keeble
03/01/1948 Cheltenham Town H 1-2 –– Fenton
31/01/1948 Torquay United Reserves A 1-1 4,221 Cutting
14/02/1948 Exeter City Reserves H 6-0 –– O.G., Curry (2), Cutting (2), Turner
21/02/1948 Merthyr Tydfil A 1-1 –– Cutting
28/02/1948 Lovells Athletic A 2-2 7,000 Townrow
06/03/1948 Worcester City A 4-2 –– O.G., Cater, Cutting, Hillman
13/03/1948 Bath City A 1-1 –– Brown
17/03/1948 Dartford A 1-1 5,000 Bearryman
20/03/1948 Chelmsford City H 2-0 –– Cutting (2)
26/03/1948 Guildford City H 1-1 10,440 Bearryman
27/03/1948 Gravesend & Northfleet H 6-1 –– Cutting (2), Turner, Curry (2), Keeble
29/03/1948 Guildford City H 2-1 8,400 Turner, Cutting
01/04/1948 Dartford H 6-1 –– Keeble (2), Turner (4)
03/04/1948 Barry H 4-0 –– Curry, Turner (3)
10/04/1948 Hereford United H 1-1 –– Fenton
14/04/1948 Exeter City Reserves A 1-2 –– Townrow
17/04/1948 Gloucester City A 3-1 2,250 Cater, Cutting, Turner
21/04/1948 Chelmsford City A 1-2 –– Curry
24/04/1948 Yeovil Town H 3-0 –– Brown, Curry, Turner
01/05/1948 Lovells Athletic H 0-2 6,582

Source: 1947-48 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Friendly[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
30/04/1948 Arsenal A 0-3 35,000

Source: 1947-48 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Southern League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
11/09/1947 R1 (L1) Chelmsford City H 3-0 11,419 Cater, Gillespie, Hillman
24/09/1947 R1 (L2) Chelmsford City A 2-1 8,000 Biggs, Cater
16/10/1947 R2 (L1) Bedford Town A 3-3 –– Fenton, Rist (pen.), Curry
17/01/1948 R2 (L2) Bedford Town H 4-0 –– Keeble, Bearryman, Cutting, Cater
04/02/1948 R3 (L1) Cheltenham Town H 7-1 –– Bearryman, Cater (2), Curry (3), Cutting
10/02/1948 R3 (L2) Cheltenham Town A 4-0 –– Turner, Cater (2), Townrow
19/04/1948 SF Gravesend & Northfleet A 1-1 –– Bearryman
26/04/1948 SF (R) Gravesend & Northfleet H 3-1 –– Curry (2), Townrow

Source: 1947-48 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1947–48 FA Cup
Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
15/11/1947 4QR Chelmsford City H 3-1 10,396 Curry (2), Turner
29/11/1947 R1 Banbury Spencer H 2-1 8,574 Brown, Curry
13/12/1947 R2 Wrexham H 1-0 10,642 Curry
10/01/1948 R3 Huddersfield Town H 1-0 16,005 Curry
24/01/1948 R4 Bradford Park Avenue H 3-2 17,000 Curry (2), Cutting
07/02/1948 R5 Blackpool A 0-5 29,500

Source: 1947-48 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Squad statistics[edit]

[3]

No. Nat. Pos. Name Total Southern League FA Cup Southern League Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
–– GK England John Lamare 5 0 4 0 0 0 1 0
–– GK England Ernest Setchell 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
–– GK England Harry Wright 41 0 28 0 6 0 7 0
–– DF England Harry Bearryman 46 5 32 2 6 0 8 3
–– DF England Alf Biggs 10 2 8 1 1 0 1 1
–– DF Wales Bill Bower 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
–– DF Wales Aubrey Darmody 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
–– DF England Ted Fenton 30 5 20 4 6 0 4 1
–– DF England Digger Kettle 45 0 32 0 6 0 7 0
–– DF England John Leah 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
–– DF England Albert Page 8 0 6 0 0 0 2 0
–– DF England Frank Rist 13 1 10 0 0 0 3 1
–– DF England Frank Stamper 6 0 4 0 0 0 2 0
–– DF England Albert Walker 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
–– MF England Bob Allen 44 0 31 0 6 0 7 0
–– MF England Dennis Hillman 38 6 27 5 5 0 6 1
–– MF England Taffy Williams 6 0 4 0 1 0 1 0
–– FW Scotland Andy Brown 42 3 28 2 6 1 8 0
–– FW England Len Cater 37 13 26 6 6 0 5 7
–– FW England Bob Curry 44 30 31 17 6 7 7 6
–– FW England Fred Cutting 31 15 23 12 5 1 3 2
–– FW England Ian Gillespie 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
–– FW England Vic Keeble 15 9 12 8 0 0 3 1
–– FW England Ray Townrow 11 5 8 3 0 0 3 2
–– FW England Arthur Turner 43 27 30 25 6 1 7 1

Scorers[edit]

[4]

References[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. ^ "The U's History: The 30s & 40s". Colchester United F.C. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "1947–48 Season Appearance Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "1947–48 Season Goalscorers Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2011.