1954–55 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1954–55 season
Chairman William Allen[1]
Manager Jack Butler
Until 31 January
Benny Fenton
From 1 February
Third Division South 24th
FA Cup 1st Round
Top goalscorer League:
Ken Plant (13)
All:
Ken Plant (13)
Highest home attendance 10,809 (Southend United)
Lowest home attendance 3,517 (Torquay United)
Average home league attendance 7,537
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 fifth consecutive season in the Football League Third Division South. They finished 24th and bottom of the football league and successfully re-applied to the league.

Season Review[edit]

Manager Jack Butler's squad for the new season numbered 28, 16 of whom were full-time professionals and the remainder involved in National Service or were part-timers. The Supporters Club had dwindled to just 5,065 members and attendances continued to plummet.

Another dreadful run of eight consecutive defeats saw United locked at the bottom of the League on Christmas Day 1954. However, a four-game turn about in form saw United rise out of the re-election places, but the U's plight was having a drastic effect on Butler's health. After falling ill in November he was given indefinite leave until the end of his contract in 1956. Suffering from a nervous breakdown Butler resigned in January 1955 with club secretary Claude Orrin heading a selection committee whilst a new manager was sought.

Despite United's poor recent form they were a sought-after proposition attracting 48 applications. The Board chose Benny Fenton to be player-manager, but the damage for the season was already done. The initial boost of Fenton's appointment tailed off and United picked up just one point from their last eight games.

Once again Colchester had to go to The Football League to retain their status, accompanied by Walsall for the second successive season. Both were successful and the manager announced that The U's needed a massive clear out.[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 John Wright
–– England DF Bob Dale
–– Scotland DF Jimmy Elder
–– England DF Benny Fenton
–– England DF Trevor Harris
–– England DF John Harrison
–– England DF Bertie Hill
–– England DF Ron Hunt
–– England DF Fred Lewis
No. Position Player
–– England DF Reg Stewart
–– Wales MF Cliff Birch
–– England MF Mike Grice
–– England MF Peter Wright
–– Republic of Ireland FW Paddy Leonard
–– England FW Kevin McCurley
–– Scotland FW Johnny McKim
–– England FW Ken Plant

Player Info[edit]

Pos. Name Place of Birth Date of Birth Previous Club Date Joined Fee
GK England John Wright England Aldershot 13 August 1933 England Youth Team 1 August 1954 Free
DF England Bob Dale England Irlam 31 October 1931 England Bury 2 January 1954 Free
DF Scotland Jimmy Elder Scotland Scone 5 March 1928 England Portsmouth 19 August 1950 £1,000
DF England Benny Fenton England West Ham 28 October 1918 England Charlton Athletic 1 February 1955 Free
DF England Trevor Harris England Colchester 6 February 1936 England Youth Team 1 August 1954 Free
DF England John Harrison England Leicester 27 September 1927 England Aston Villa 30 September 1950 Undisclosed
DF England Bertie Hill England West Ham 8 March 1930 England Chelsea 11 April 1953 Free
DF England Ron Hunt England Colchester 26 September 1933 England Youth Team 1 August 1951 Free
DF England Fred Lewis England Broughton Gifford 26 July 1923 England Chelsea 20 August 1953 Free
DF England Reg Stewart England Sheffield 30 October 1925 England Sheffield Wednesday 20 August 1949 £1,000
MF Wales Cliff Birch Wales Crumlin 1 September 1928 Wales Newport County 21 August 1954 Free
MF England Mike Grice England Woking 3 November 1931 England Lowestoft Town 11 September 1952 £50
MF England Peter Wright England Colchester 26 January 1934 England Youth Team 1 August 1951 Free
FW Republic of Ireland Paddy Leonard Republic of Ireland Dublin 25 July 1929 England Bristol Rovers 21 August 1954 Free
FW England Kevin McCurley England Consett 2 April 1926 England Liverpool 22 March 1952 £750
FW Scotland Johnny McKim Scotland Greenock 22 January 1926 England Chelsea 19 August 1950 £1,000
FW England Ken Plant England Nuneaton 15 August 1925 England Bury 6 February 1954 Free

Transfers[edit]

Transfers In[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name Previous Club Transfer Fee Notes
1 August 1954 GK England John Wright England Youth Team Free
1 August 1954 DF England Trevor Harris England Youth Team Free
21 August 1954 GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk England Bury Free
21 August 1954 DF Northern Ireland Frank McCourt England Manchester City Free
21 August 1954 MF Wales Cliff Birch Wales Newport County Free
21 August 1955 FW Republic of Ireland Paddy Leonard England Bristol Rovers Free
16 October 1954 DF England Ron George England Crystal Palace Free
1 February 1955 DF England Benny Fenton England Charlton Athletic Free Player-manager
9 April 1955 DF Republic of Ireland Austin Dunne Republic of Ireland Limerick Free

Transfers Out[edit]

Date Pos. Player Name New Club Transfer Fee Notes
1 May 1954 DF England Harry Bearryman England Metropolitan Police Free
6 November 1954 MF England Peter Aitchison England Sittingbourne Free
5 February 1955 DF England Ron George England Sudbury Town Free
19 February 1955 DF England Digger Kettle England Sudbury Town Free
19 February 1955 DF Northern Ireland Frank McCourt England Poole Town Free
9 April 1955 DF Republic of Ireland Austin Dunne England Tonbridge Angels Free
11 April 1955 GK England George Wright European Union Retired Free
28 April 1955 GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk England Torquay United Free

Results[edit]

Third Division South Results Summary[edit]

Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA Av Pts
22 Exeter City 46 11 15 20 47 73 0.644 37
23 Walsall 46 10 14 22 75 86 0.872 34
24 Colchester United 46 9 13 24 53 91 0.582 31

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GAv = Goal average; Pts = Points

Third Division South Results[edit]

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
21/08/1954 Swindon Town H 0-0 9,767
25/08/1954 Exeter City A 2-2 11,500 Grice, Leonard
28/08/1954 Crystal Palace A 0-0 14,348
02/09/1954 Exeter City H 1-2 7,963 Plant
04/09/1954 Northampton Town H 4-1 7,467 Birch, Plant (3)
09/09/1954 Bristol City H 0-2 8,522
11/09/1954 Watford A 0-2 13,794
14/09/1954 Bristol City A 0-4 18,455
18/09/1954 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic H 3-3 7,801 Dale, Grice, Plant
23/09/1954 Norwich City H 1-0 8,506 Dale
25/09/1954 Queens Park Rangers A 1-4 11,738 Birch
29/09/1954 Norwich City A 2-0 15,672 Dale, Plant
02/10/1954 Newport County H 1-0 8,691 McKim
09/10/1954 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2-4 9,334 McKim, Plant (pen.)
16/10/1954 Brentford A 2-3 10,200 Grice, McKim
23/10/1954 Coventry City H 0-1 8,124
30/10/1954 Walsall A 1-3 11,117 McKim
06/11/1954 Millwall H 0-2 7,551
13/11/1954 Leyton Orient A 0-2 16,782
27/11/1954 Reading A 0-4 6,512
05/12/1954 Shrewsbury Town H 2-4 5,168 Plant, P.Wright
18/12/1954 Swindon Town A 1-1 5,254 Plant
25/12/1954 Aldershot A 2-2 5,123 McKim, P.Wright
27/12/1954 Aldershot H 1-1 7,967 P.Wright
01/01/1955 Crystal Palace H 2-0 5,806 Plant, P.Wright
08/01/1955 Southampton A 1-0 12,449 Grice
22/01/1955 Watford H 1-3 6,700 Grice
05/02/1955 Bournemouth & Boscome Athletic A 0-2 7,417
12/02/1955 Queens Park Rangers H 1-0 4,903 Leonard
19/02/1955 Newport County A 0-0 5,000
26/02/1955 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1-1 11,074 Dale
05/03/1955 Brentford H 3-2 8,251 Elder (pen.), Leonard, Plant
12/03/1955 Coventry City A 0-0 10,058
19/03/1955 Walsall H 2-2 7,361 Grice, P.Wright
26/03/1955 Millwall A 2-5 8,349 Leonard, P.Wright
31/03/1955 Torquay United H 0-2 3,517
02/04/1955 Leyton Orient H 2-2 9,448 Fenton, Plant
08/04/1955 Southend United H 2-0 10,809 Fenton, Stewart
09/04/1955 Gillingham A 1-2 11,002 Elder (pen.)
11/04/1955 Southend United A 2-4 14,000 Leonard, McKim
16/04/1955 Reading H 0-2 8,000
18/04/1955 Northampton Town A 1-6 3,198 McKim
23/04/1955 Shrewsbury Town A 0-2 6,735
28/04/1955 Gillingham H 2-2 5,300 P.Wright (2)
30/04/1955 Southampton H 3-5 6,386 McCurley, Plant, P.Wright
04/05/1955 Torquay United A 1-2 2,907 Birch

Source: 1954-55 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1954–55 FA Cup
Date Round Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
20/11/1954 R1 Reading A 3-3 12,800 Birch, Grice, McKim
25/11/1954 R1 (R) Reading H 1-2 4,636 Elder (pen.)

Source: 1954-55 Season Colchester United Results - coludata.co.uk

Squad statistics[edit]

[3]

No. Nat. Pos. Name Total Third Division South FA Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
–– GK Scotland Jimmy Kirk 32 0 32 0 0 0
–– GK England George Wright 14 0 12 0 2 0
–– 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 Ron George 8 0 6 0 2 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 Digger Kettle 2 0 2 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
–– MF England Peter Aitchison 6 0 6 0 0 0
–– MF Wales Cliff Birch 14 4 12 3 2 1
–– MF England Mike Grice 40 7 38 6 2 1
–– MF England Peter Wright 23 9 23 9 0 0
–– 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

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 50s". Colchester United F.C. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "1954–55 Season Appearance Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "1954–55 Season Goalscorers Data". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 May 2011.