1954–55 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1954–55 season
Chairman Bill Allen[1]
Manager Jack Butler
(until 14 January)
Alf Miller & Claude Orrin
(January to March)
Benny Fenton
(from March)
Stadium Layer Road
Third Division South 24th
FA Cup 1st round
(eliminated by
Reading)
Top goalscorer League:
Ken Plant (13)

All:
Ken Plant (13)
Highest home attendance 10,809
v Southend United, 8 April 1955[2]
Lowest home attendance 3,517
v Torquay United, 31 March 1955[3]
Average home league attendance 7,284[4]
Biggest win 4–1
v Northampton Town, 4 September 1954
Biggest defeat 1–6
v Northampton Town, 18 April 1955
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts;; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops).
Home colours

The 1954–55 season was Colchester United's 13th season in their history and their fifth 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. Following a replay, Colchester were knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round by Reading. Meanwhile, in the league, Colchester's poor run of form had Jack Butler allowed indefinite leave following a bout of ill health. After resigning in January 1955, Colchester appointed Benny Fenton as his replacement, and despite an upturn in form, a run of defeats at the end of the season meant Colchester needed to apply for re-election for the second successive season. Once more, all clubs applying for re-election were successful, with Colchester receiving 44 votes, behind Third Division North clubs Grimsby Town (49 votes) and Chester City (47 votes), but eleven votes ahead of division rivals Walsall.[5]

Season overview[edit]

Eight successive league defeats from October to December saw Colchester bottom of the league for Christmas Day, and the plight of the club had begun to have an effect on the health of manager Jack Butler. After falling ill in November, Butler was handed indefinite leave until by the club until the end of his contract in 1956. Suffering from a mental breakdown, Butler eventually resigned on 14 January 1955, while club secretary Claude Orrin was charged with finding a new manager.

During this transitional period, Orrin and Alf Miller took charge of the first-team, before appointing Benny Fenton as manager after attracting 48 applications for the vacancy. Despite a brief boost in on-field fortunes in March and early April, performances tailed off as Colchester picked up just one point in the final eight games of the campaign. The club finished bottom of the Football League and were again required to seek re-election, in which they were successful.[6]

Players[edit]

As of match played 4 May 1955.[7]

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 John Wright
England DF Roy Bicknell
England DF Bob Dale
Republic of Ireland DF Austin Dunne
Scotland DF Jimmy Elder
England DF Benny Fenton
England DF George French
England DF Trevor Harris
England DF John Harrison
England DF Bertie Hill
England DF Billy Hunt
No. Position Player
England DF Ron Hunt
England DF Fred Lewis
Northern Ireland DF Frank McCourt
England DF Reg Stewart
Wales FW Cliff Birch
England FW Mike Grice
Republic of Ireland FW Paddy Leonard
England FW Kevin McCurley
Scotland FW Johnny McKim
England FW Ken Plant
England FW Peter Wright

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 H A A H H A A H H A H A H A A H A A H H A H A H A A H A H A H H H A A H A A H H A
Result D D D L W L L L D W L W W L L L L L L L L D D D W W L L W D D W D D L L D W L L L L L D L L
Position 14 13 15 19 11 16 19 20 20 18 22 19 14 18 19 21 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 23 21 22 23 23 23 22 21 21 22 23 23 23 22 23 23 23 23 24 24 24 24

Last updated: 10 March 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 Crystal Palace 46 11 16 19 52 80 0.650 38
21 Swindon Town 46 11 15 20 46 64 0.719 37
22 Exeter City 46 11 15 20 47 73 0.644 37
23 Walsall 46 10 14 22 75 86 0.872 34 Re-elected to Third Division South
24 Colchester United 46 9 13 24 53 91 0.582 31

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]

Main article: 1954–55 FA Cup

Squad statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

[7][8]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Third Division
South
FA Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England John Wright 2 0 2 0 0 0
DF England Bob Dale 34 4 34 4 0 0
DF Republic of Ireland Austin Dunne 1 0 1 0 0 0
DF Scotland Jimmy Elder 30 3 28 2 2 1
DF England Benny Fenton 11 2 11 2 0 0
DF England Trevor Harris 1 0 1 0 0 0
DF England John Harrison 35 0 35 0 0 0
DF England Bertie Hill 21 0 19 0 2 0
DF England Ron Hunt 26 0 26 0 0 0
DF England Fred Lewis 41 0 39 0 2 0
DF Northern Ireland Frank McCourt 12 0 12 0 0 0
DF England Reg Stewart 47 1 45 1 2 0
FW Wales Cliff Birch 14 4 12 3 2 1
FW England Mike Grice 40 7 38 6 2 1
FW Republic of Ireland Paddy Leonard 34 5 34 5 0 0
FW England Kevin McCurley 18 1 16 1 2 0
FW Scotland Johnny McKim 34 8 32 7 2 1
FW England Ken Plant 42 13 40 13 2 0
FW England Peter Wright 23 9 23 9 0 0
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk 32 0 32 0 0 0
GK England George Wright 14 0 12 0 2 0
DF England Ron George 8 0 6 0 2 0
DF England Digger Kettle 2 0 2 0 0 0
FW England Peter Aitchison 6 0 6 0 0 0

Goalscorers[edit]

[8]

Place Nation Position Name Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 England FW Ken Plant 13 0 13
2 England FW Peter Wright 9 0 9
3 Scotland FW Johnny McKim 7 1 8
4 England FW Mike Grice 6 1 7
5 Republic of Ireland FW Paddy Leonard 5 0 5
6 Wales FW Cliff Birch 3 1 4
England DF Bob Dale 4 0 4
8 Scotland DF Jimmy Elder 2 1 3
9 England DF Benny Fenton 2 0 2
10 England FW Kevin McCurley 1 0 1
England DF Reg Stewart 1 0 1
Own goals 0 0 0
TOTALS 53 4 57

Disciplinary record[edit]

[9]

Nationality Position Player Third Division South FA Cup Total
YC Red card YC Red card YC Red card
TOTALS 0 0 0 0 0 0

Captains[edit]

Number of games played as team captain.[10]

Place Nation Position Player Third Division South FA Cup Total
Not recorded
46 2 48

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[11]

Position Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk 21 August 1954 Swindon Town Layer Road
DF Northern Ireland Frank McCourt 21 August 1954 Swindon Town Layer Road
FW Wales Cliff Birch 21 August 1954 Swindon Town Layer Road
FW Republic of Ireland Paddy Leonard 21 August 1954 Swindon Town Layer Road
DF England Ron George 16 October 1954 Brentford Griffin Park
DF England Benny Fenton 5 March 1955 Brentford Layer Road
DF Republic of Ireland Austin Dunne 9 April 1955 Gillingham Priestfield
DF England Trevor Harris 18 April 1955 Northampton Town County Ground
GK England John Wright 30 April 1955 Southampton Layer Road

Transfers and contracts[edit]

In[edit]

Date Pos Player From Fee Ref
June 1954 FW Wales Cliff Birch England Newport County £1,000 [12]
1 June 1954 DF Northern Ireland Frank McCourt England Manchester City Nominal [13]
1 July 1954 DF England Ron George England Crystal Palace Free transfer [14]
1 July 1954 FW Republic of Ireland Paddy Leonard England Bristol Rovers Free transfer [15]
21 August 1954 GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk England Bury Free transfer [16]
5 March 1955 DF England Benny Fenton England Charlton Athletic £500 [17]

Out[edit]

Date Pos Player To Fee Ref
Summer 1954 GK England Frank Coombs England Gravesend & Northfleet Released [18]
Summer 1954 FW England John Church England Crittall Athletic Released [19]
31 May 1954 DF England Harry Bearryman England Metropolitan Police Free transfer [20]
31 May 1954 DF England Doug Keene England Dartford Released [21]
6 November 1954 FW England Peter Aitchison England Sittingbourne Free transfer [22][a]
5 February 1955 DF England Ron George England Sudbury Town Free transfer [14]
19 February 1955 DF England Digger Kettle England Sudbury Town Free transfer [23]
11 April 1955 GK England George Wright England Sudbury Town Free transfer [24]
28 April 1955 GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk England Torquay United Free transfer [16]
  1. ^ Date of departure refers to the date of the player's final game for the club

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. 
  • White, Eric (1989). 100 Years of Brentford. Redditch: Oldfield Press. ISBN 0951526200. 

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 2–0 Southend United". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Colchester Utd 0–2 Torquay United". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Average Attendance Figures Per Season". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "A history of admission to the Football League". Nonleaguematters.co.uk. Retrieved 1 March 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 2 March 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "Goals". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Discipline". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "All matches". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Alltime- List of Debuts". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Cliff Birch". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Frank McCourt". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  14. ^ a b "Ron George". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  15. ^ "Paddy Leonard". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "Jimmy Kirk". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Benny Fenton". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Frank Coombs". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "John Church". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "Harry Bearryman". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Doug Keene". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "Peter Aitchison". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "Digger Kettle". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  24. ^ "George Wright". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016.