1953–54 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1953–54 season
Chairman Bill Allen[1]
Manager Ron Meades
(11 June to 15 June)
Jack Butler
(from 16 June)
Stadium Layer Road
Third Division South 23rd (re-elected)
FA Cup 1st round
(eliminated by
Millwall)
Top goalscorer League:
Bert Barlow (10)

All:
Bert Barlow (10)
Highest home attendance 10,316
v Ipswich Town, 19 December 1953[2]
Lowest home attendance 6,035
v Southend United, 29 April 1954[3]
Average home league attendance 7,797[4]
Biggest win 5–0
v Queens Park Rangers, 25 December 1953
Biggest defeat 0–4
v Millwall, 23 November 1953
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops)
Home colours

The 1953–54 season was Colchester United's twelfth season in their history and their fourth season in the Third Division South, the third tier of English football. Alongside competing in the Third Division South, the club also participated in the FA Cup. Colchester were knocked out in the first round of the cup by Millwall following a replay. The club struggled in the league for the second successive season, eventually finishing 23rd of 24 teams under new manager Jack Butler. The club had to apply for re-election at the end of the season for the first of three occasions in its history. All four clubs applying for re-election were successful, with Colchester receiving 45 votes, behind Chester by three votes but ahead of both Walsall (32 votes) and Halifax Town (28 votes).[5]

Season overview[edit]

Following Jimmy Allen's resignation at the end of the previous season, the Colchester United board shortlisted three names for the vacant managerial position, and in-line with their cost reduction policy, appointed Ron Meades as player-manager. Meades had claimed to have been with Cardiff City, and more recently manager of Western League side Wadebridge Town. Journalist Arthur Wood investigated Meades' background and revealed that Meades was a fraud, and after just four days in charge, Meades was asked to leave by the club.

Colchester hurriedly appointed a new manager, Jack Butler, a former player for Arsenal and England international. He had coached in Belgium, initially with Royal Daring Club Molenbeek and had been in charge of the Belgium national team between 1935 and 1940, leading them to the 1938 World Cup finals. More recently, he had managed Torquay United and Crystal Palace, but Butler had little time to prepare his side ahead of the new season, and a 13-game winless run in late 1953 saw Colchester slump to 23rd position in the league.

With the crowd average falling season-on-season to 7,797, the club were required to apply for re-election after finishing the campaign ten points adrift of safety. Colchester earned 45 votes, enough to ensure another season in the Football League, but having been prolific goalscorers earlier in their history, the club had scored only 50 league goals this season.[6]

Players[edit]

As of match played 29 April 1954.[7]
Name Position Nationality Place of birth Date of birth Apps Goals Signed from Date signed Fee
Goalkeepers
Frank Coombs GK England East Ham (1925-04-24)24 April 1925 (aged 28) 31 0 England Southend United 8 March 1952[a] £450
George Wright GK England Plymouth (1919-10-10)10 October 1919 (aged 33) 164 0 England Plymouth Argyle May 1949 £1,000
John Wright GK England Aldershot (1933-08-13)13 August 1933 (aged 19) 0 0 England Colchester Casuals 23 May 1952 Free transfer
Defenders
Roy Bicknell CB England Doncaster (1926-02-19)19 February 1926 (aged 27) 8 0 England Gravesend & Northfleet June 1952 £1,000
George French FB England Colchester (1926-11-10)10 November 1926 (aged 26) 1 0 England West Ham United February 1949 Free transfer
John Harrison FB England Leicester (1927-09-27)27 September 1927 (aged 25) 128 0 England Aston Villa 30 September 1950[a] Nominal
Billy Hunt CB England Colchester (1934-11-25)25 November 1934 (aged 18) 0 0 Amateur August 1953 Free transfer
Digger Kettle FB England Colchester (1922-06-03)3 June 1922 (aged 30) 168 1 England Arclight Sports September 1946 Free transfer
Fred Lewis FB England Broughton Gifford (1923-07-26)26 July 1923 (aged 29) 0 0 England Chelsea Summer 1953 Free transfer
Reg Stewart CB England Sheffield (1925-10-30)30 October 1925 (aged 27) 191 0 England Sheffield Wednesday 20 August 1949[a] £1,000
Midfielders
Harry Bearryman WH England Wandsworth (1924-09-26)26 September 1924 (aged 28) 293 10 England Chelsea 4 July 1947 Free transfer
Bob Dale WH England Irlam (1931-10-31)31 October 1931 (aged 21) 0 0 England Bury 24 December 1953 £1,500
Austin Dunne WH Republic of Ireland Limerick (1934-07-31)31 July 1934 (aged 18) 0 0 Republic of Ireland Limerick October 1953 Free transfer
Jimmy Elder WH Scotland Scone (1928-03-05)5 March 1928 (aged 25) 143 10 England Portsmouth 19 August 1950[a] £1,000
Trevor Harris WH England Colchester (1936-02-06)6 February 1936 (aged 17) 0 0 Amateur July 1951 Free transfer
Bert Hill WH England West Ham (1930-03-08)8 March 1930 (aged 23) 1 0 England Chelsea September 1952 £300
Ron Hunt WH England Colchester (1933-09-26)26 September 1933 (aged 19) 3 0 Amateur October 1951 Free transfer
Doug Keene WH England Hendon (1928-08-30)30 August 1928 (aged 24) 0 0 England Brighton & Hove Albion 20 August 1953[a] £1,000
Forwards
Peter Aitchison WG England Harlow (1931-09-19)19 September 1931 (aged 21) 12 2 Amateur August 1950 Free transfer
John Church WG England Lowestoft (1919-09-17)17 September 1919 (aged 33) 122 22 England Norwich City 19 August 1950[a] £1,000
Mike Grice WG England Woking (1931-11-03)3 November 1931 (aged 21) 13 1 England Lowestoft Town Summer 1952 £25
Kevin McCurley CF England Consett (1926-04-02)2 April 1926 (aged 27) 58 25 England Liverpool June 1951 £750
Johnny McKim IF Scotland Greenock (1926-01-22)22 January 1926 (aged 27) 84 33 England Chelsea 19 August 1950[a] £1,000
Ken Plant CF England Nuneaton (1925-08-15)15 August 1925 (aged 27) 0 0 England Bury January 1954 Undisclosed
Peter Wright WG England Colchester (1934-01-26)26 January 1934 (aged 19) 21 2 Amateur November 1951 Free transfer
  1. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
Summer 1953 FB England Fred Lewis England Chelsea Free transfer [8]
June 1953 CF England Tommy Harris England Leyton Orient Part-exchange with Stan Edwards [9]
August 1953 CB England Billy Hunt Amateur Free transfer [10]
20 August 1953 WH England Doug Keene England Brighton & Hove Albion £1,000 [11][a]
October 1953 WH Republic of Ireland Austin Dunne Republic of Ireland Limerick Free transfer [12]
24 December 1953 WH England Bob Dale England Bury £1,500 [13]
January 1954 CF England Ken Plant England Bury Undisclosed [14]
  • Total spending: Decrease ~ £2,500
  1. ^ Date of signing refers to the date of the player's first game for the club

Out[edit]

Date Position Nationality Name To Fee Ref.
2 May 1953 FB England Phil Rookes England Chichester City Manager [15][a]
June 1953 CF England Stan Edwards England Leyton Orient Part-exchange with Tommy Harris [16]
22 August 1953 FB Wales Trevor Rowlands England Great Yarmouth Town Free transfer [17]
5 December 1953 CF England Tommy Harris England Tonbridge Free transfer [9][a]
23 January 1954 FW England Dick Cullum England Sittingbourne Free transfer [18][a]
13 March 1954 IF England Bert Barlow Retired Retired [19][a]
17 April 1954 IF England Augie Scott England Cheltenham Town Player-coach [20][a]
  1. ^ a b c d e Date of departure refers to the date of the player's final game for the club

Match details[edit]

Third Division South[edit]

Third Division South results round 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 43 44 45 46
Ground H A A H H A A H H A A H H A H A H A H A A H H H A A H H A H A H A H A H A H A H H A A A A H
Result W L W W L L L W L L L D L L L L D L D L L W L W D W D L L D W W L L L L L D L D W L D L D L
Position 2 15 9 6 8 13 14 10 13 16 18 20 20 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 22 23 23 23 23 22 22 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23

Last updated: 29 February 2016.
Source: [1]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

  Win   Draw   Loss

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Promotion, qualification or relegation
20 Swindon Town 46 15 10 21 67 70 0.957 40
21 Shrewsbury Town 46 14 12 20 65 76 0.855 40
22 Crystal Palace 46 14 12 20 60 86 0.698 40
23 Colchester United 46 10 10 26 50 78 0.641 30 Re-elected to Third Division South
24 Walsall 46 9 8 29 40 87 0.460 26

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]

FA Cup[edit]

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

[7][21]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Third Division
South
FA Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Frank Coombs 7 0 7 0 0 0
GK England George Wright 41 0 39 0 2 0
DF England Roy Bicknell 21 0 19 0 2 0
DF England George French 2 0 2 0 0 0
DF England John Harrison 42 0 41 0 1 0
DF England Digger Kettle 4 0 3 0 1 0
DF England Fred Lewis 48 0 46 0 2 0
DF England Reg Stewart 27 0 27 0 0 0
MF England Harry Bearryman 39 2 37 2 2 0
MF England Bob Dale 21 4 21 4 0 0
MF Scotland Jimmy Elder 39 4 37 4 2 0
MF England Bert Hill 16 1 16 1 0 0
MF England Ron Hunt 2 0 2 0 0 0
MF England Doug Keene 24 1 22 1 2 0
FW England John Church 7 0 6 0 1 0
FW England Mike Grice 18 2 18 2 0 0
FW England Kevin McCurley 34 9 32 8 2 1
FW Scotland Johnny McKim 19 6 19 6 0 0
FW England Ken Plant 17 6 17 6 0 0
FW England Peter Wright 23 2 22 2 1 0
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
FW England Bert Barlow 34 10 32 10 2 0
FW England Dick Cullum 1 0 1 0 0 0
FW England Tommy Harris 3 0 3 0 0 0
FW England Augie Scott 39 4 37 4 2 0

Goalscorers[edit]

[21]

Place Nationality Position Name Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 England IF Bert Barlow 10 0 10
2 England CF Kevin McCurley 8 1 9
3 Scotland IF Johnny McKim 6 0 6
England CF Ken Plant 6 0 6
5 England WH Bob Dale 4 0 4
Scotland WH Jimmy Elder 4 0 4
England IF Augie Scott 4 0 4
8 England WH Harry Bearryman 2 0 2
England WG Mike Grice 2 0 2
England WG Peter Wright 2 0 2
11 England WH Bert Hill 1 0 1
England WH Doug Keene 1 0 1
Own goals 0 0 0
TOTALS 51 1 52

Clean sheets[edit]

Number of games goalkeepers kept a clean sheet.[22]

Place Nationality Player Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 England George Wright 7 0 7
TOTALS 7 0 7

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[23]

Position Nationality Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
WH England Doug Keene 20 August 1953 Torquay United Layer Road
FB England Fred Lewis 20 August 1953 Torquay United Layer Road
CF England Tommy Harris 10 October 1953 Coventry City Layer Road
WH England Bob Dale 2 January 1954 Crystal Palace Selhurst Park
CF England Ken Plant 6 February 1954 Swindon Town Layer Road

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General[edit]

Books

  • 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. 
  • Ambrosen, Tony (1993). Amber in the Blood: A History Of Newport County. Uxbridge: Yore Publications. ISBN 978-1-874427-40-7. 

Websites

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 1–2 Ipswich Town". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Colchester Utd 0–1 Southend United". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Average Attendance Figures Per Season". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "A history of admission to the Football League". Nonleaguematters.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  6. ^ Hudson, Matt (11 July 2012). "The 1950s and 1960s". Colchester United FC. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Appearances". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "Fred Lewis". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "Tommy Harris". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Billy Hunt". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Doug Keene". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Austin Dunne". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Bob Dale". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "Ken Plant". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  15. ^ "Phil Rookes". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Stan Edwards". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  17. ^ "Trevor Rowlands". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "Dick Cullum". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "Bert Barlow". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  20. ^ "Augie Scott". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "Goals". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Clean sheets (1st team)". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  23. ^ "Alltime- List of Debuts". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 29 February 2016.