1956–57 Colchester United F.C. season

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Colchester United
1956–57 season
Chairman Bill Allen[1]
Manager Benny Fenton
Stadium Layer Road
Third Division South 3rd
FA Cup 1st round
(eliminated by
Southend United)
Top goalscorer League:
Ken Plant (24)

All:
Ken Plant (24)
Highest home attendance 18,559
v Ipswich Town, 16 February 1957[2]
Lowest home attendance 5,899
v Northampton Town, 22 December 1956[3]
Average home league attendance 9,351[4]
Biggest win 6–0
v Shrewsbury Town, 29 September 1956
Biggest defeat 1–4
v Southend United, 17 November 1956;
1–4
v Swindon Town, 27 April 1957
Football kit (white jersey with blue, vertical stripes; white shorts;; and blue socks with white, horizontal hoops).
Home colours

The 1956–57 season was Colchester United's 15th season in their history and their seventh 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 in which the club were eliminated by Southend United in the first round in the first Essex derby in a cup competition. The season would be Colchester United's highest league finish for 50 years by ending their campaign in third position. It has only been bettered on three occasions; the 2005–06 season, 2006–07 season and the 2007–08 season.

Season overview[edit]

The 1956–57 season proved to be Colchester United's best finish in their history, ending the season in third position in the third tier with a result that was not bettered until 2006. For the majority of the season, Colchester were favourites for promotion, during which time they went 20 league games unbeaten between December 1956 and Easter 1957.

Colchester and rivals Ipswich Town vied for the top spot for much of the season. Colchester were seven-points ahead of their third-placed rivals when the two sides met at Layer Road on 16 February 1957. A record crowd of 18,559 witnessed the 0–0 draw, with over 4,000 fans turned away and over 100 spectators witnessing the action from the roof of the Popular Side stand. Player-manager Benny Fenton missed a 21st-minute penalty during the match, which was saved by Ipswich goalkeeper Roy Bailey.

A 2–1 win over second-placed Torquay United, who trailed by four points as a result, improved Colchester's title credentials. However, the loss of influential players to injury including Bob Dale and Chic Milligan damaged Colchester's hopes. Three consecutive draws in late March and early April allowed Torquay to close the gap to just one point, with Ipswich five points adrift. Over Easter 1957, Colchester lost three consecutive away games at Millwall, Walsall and Swindon Town, but won their final game of the season 2–0 against Watford to put them back at the top of the table, but both Ipswich and Torquay's final matches were 24 hours later. Both sides won their final games, with Colchester slipping to third position in the table and Ipswich were promoted as champions, level on points with Torquay but with a better goal average, while they finished one point ahead of Colchester. Colchester played the entire season unbeaten at Layer Road.[5]

Players[edit]

As of match played 29 April 1957.[6]
Name Position Nationality Place of birth Date of birth Apps Goals Signed from Date signed Fee
Goalkeepers
Percy Ames GK England Plymouth (1931-12-13)13 December 1931 (aged 24) 45 0 England Tottenham Hotspur 1 May 1955 Free transfer
John Wright GK England Aldershot (1933-08-13)13 August 1933 (aged 22) 4 0 England Colchester Casuals 23 May 1952 Free transfer
Defenders
Brian Dobson CB England Colchester (1934-03-01)1 March 1934 (aged 22) 6 0 Amateur January 1956 Free transfer
George Fisher FB England Bermondsey (1925-06-19)19 June 1925 (aged 30) 43 1 England Fulham 1 September 1955 £1,000
John Fowler FB Scotland Leith (1933-10-17)17 October 1933 (aged 22) 16 2 Scotland Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic 20 August 1955[a] Free transfer
Chic Milligan CB Scotland Ardrossan (1930-07-26)26 July 1930 (aged 25) 0 0 Scotland Ardrossan Winton Rovers 18 August 1956[a] £1,000
Reg Stewart CB England Sheffield (1925-10-30)30 October 1925 (aged 30) 307 2 England Sheffield Wednesday 20 August 1949[a] £1,000
Midfielders
Benny Fenton WH England West Ham (1918-10-10)10 October 1918 (aged 37) 44 4 England Charlton Athletic 5 March 1955[a] £500
Trevor Harris WH England Colchester (1936-02-06)6 February 1936 (aged 20) 3 0 Amateur July 1951 Free transfer
Bertie Hill WH England West Ham (1930-03-08)8 March 1930 (aged 26) 60 2 England Chelsea September 1952 £300
Ron Hunt WH England Colchester (1933-09-26)26 September 1933 (aged 22) 34 0 Amateur October 1951 Free transfer
Derek Parker WH England Wivenhoe (1926-06-23)23 June 1926 (aged 29) 0 0 England West Ham United March 1957 £2,500
Forwards
Les Barrell WG England Colchester (1932-08-30)30 August 1932 (aged 23) 0 0 England Lexden Wanderers Summer 1956 Free transfer
Russell Blake WG England Colchester (1935-07-24)24 July 1935 (aged 20) 5 0 England Dedham Old Boys 8 September 1955[a] Free transfer
Bobby Hill IF Scotland Edinburgh (1938-06-09)9 June 1938 (aged 17) 4 1 Scotland Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare 9 June 1955 Free transfer
Martyn King CF England Birmingham (1937-08-23)23 August 1937 (aged 18) 0 0 Amateur Summer 1955 Free transfer
Kevin McCurley CF England Consett (1926-04-02)2 April 1926 (aged 30) 157 64 England Liverpool June 1951 £750
Sammy McLeod IF Scotland Glasgow (1934-01-04)4 January 1934 (aged 22) 43 2 Scotland Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare 20 August 1955[a] Free transfer
Ken Plant CF England Nuneaton (1925-08-15)15 August 1925 (aged 30) 96 36 England Bury January 1954 Undisclosed
Eddie Smith IF England Marylebone (1939-03-23)23 March 1939 (aged 17) 0 0 England Northampton Town June 1956 Undisclosed
Tommy Williams WG England Battersea (1935-02-10)10 February 1935 (aged 21) 0 0 England Carshalton Athletic September 1956 Free transfer
Peter Wright WG England Colchester (1934-01-26)26 January 1934 (aged 22) 113 22 Amateur November 1951 Free transfer
  1. ^ a b c d e f 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 1956 WG England Les Barrell England Lexden Wanderers Free transfer [7]
June 1956 IF England Eddie Smith England Northampton Town Undisclosed [8]
18 August 1956 CB Scotland Chic Milligan Scotland Ardrossan Winton Rovers £1,000 [9][a]
September 1956 WG England Tommy Williams England Carshalton Athletic Free transfer [10]
March 1957 WH England Derek Parker England West Ham United £2,500 [11]
  • Total spending: Decrease ~ £3,500
  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.
End of season GK England George Wright England Sudbury Town Free transfer [12]
End of season IF England Alfred Noble England Leytonstone Free transfer [13]
Summer 1956 CB England Billy Hunt England Sudbury Town Released [14]
September 1956 FB England John Harrison Free agent Retired [15]
16 February 1957 WH England Bob Dale Free agent Retired [16][a]
March 1957 FB England George French Retired Retired [17]
  1. ^ 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 H A A H H A A H H A A H A H A H A H A H A H H A A A H
Result W W L D D L D W W W L W W L W L W D D W L L W D W D W W W W W W D D W D D W D D D W L L L W
Position 4 4 10 7 11 14 15 12 9 4 8 2 1 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 4 5 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 3

Last updated: 17 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
1 Ipswich Town (C, P) 46 25 9 12 101 54 1.870 59 Promoted to Second Division
2 Torquay United 46 24 11 11 89 64 1.391 59
3 Colchester United 46 22 14 10 84 56 1.500 58
4 Southampton 46 22 10 14 76 52 1.462 54
5 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 46 19 14 13 88 62 1.419 52

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]

[6][18]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Third Division
South
FA Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Percy Ames 47 0 46 0 1 0
DF England George Fisher 46 2 45 2 1 0
DF Scotland John Fowler 44 1 43 1 1 0
DF Scotland Chic Milligan 35 1 34 1 1 0
DF England Reg Stewart 13 0 13 0 0 0
MF England Benny Fenton 39 8 38 8 1 0
MF England Bertie Hill 15 1 15 1 0 0
MF England Derek Parker 6 0 6 0 0 0
FW England Les Barrell 4 1 4 1 0 0
FW England Russell Blake 2 0 2 0 0 0
FW Scotland Bobby Hill 39 7 38 7 1 0
FW England Martyn King 3 1 3 1 0 0
FW England Kevin McCurley 32 10 31 9 1 1
FW Scotland Sammy McLeod 4 2 4 2 0 0
FW England Ken Plant 47 24 46 24 1 0
FW England Eddie Smith 36 13 35 13 1 0
FW England Tommy Williams 23 3 23 3 0 0
FW England Peter Wright 45 8 44 8 1 0
Players who appeared for Colchester who left during the season
DF England John Harrison 3 0 3 0 0 0
MF England Bob Dale 34 2 33 2 1 0

Goalscorers[edit]

[18]

Place Nationality Position Name Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 England CF Ken Plant 24 0 24
2 England IF Eddie Smith 13 0 13
3 England CF Kevin McCurley 9 1 10
4 England WH Benny Fenton 8 0 8
England WG Peter Wright 8 0 8
6 Scotland IF Bobby Hill 7 0 7
7 England WG Tommy Williams 3 0 3
8 England WH Bob Dale 2 0 2
England FB George Fisher 2 0 2
Scotland IF Sammy McLeod 2 0 2
11 Scotland FB John Fowler 1 0 1
England WH Bertie Hill 1 0 1
Scotland CB Chic Milligan 1 0 1
England WG Les Barrell 1 0 1
England CF Martyn King 1 0 1
Own goals 1 0 1
TOTALS 83 1 84

Clean sheets[edit]

Number of games goalkeepers kept a clean sheet.[19]

Place Nationality Player Third Division South FA Cup Total
1 England Percy Ames 13 0 13
TOTALS 13 0 13

Player debuts[edit]

Players making their first-team Colchester United debut in a fully competitive match.[20]

Position Nationality Player Date Opponent Ground Notes
CB Scotland Chic Milligan 18 August 1956 Southend United Layer Road
WG England Les Barrell 18 August 1956 Southend United Layer Road
IF England Eddie Smith 18 August 1956 Southend United Layer Road
CF England Martyn King 27 August 1956 Crystal Palace Layer Road
WG England Tommy Williams 24 November 1956 Brentford Layer Road
WH England Derek Parker 13 April 1957 Aldershot 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. 
  • 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 0–0 Ipswich Town". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Colchester Utd 1–2 Millwall". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Average Attendance Figures Per Season". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Hudson, Matt (11 July 2012). "The 1950s and 1960s". Colchester United FC. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Appearances". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Les Barrell". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Eddie Smith". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Chic Milligan". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Tommy Williams". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Derek Parker". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "George Wright". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  13. ^ "Alf Noble". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Billy Hunt". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  15. ^ "John Harrison". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "Bob Dale". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "George French". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "Goals". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "Clean sheets (1st team)". Coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Alltime- List of Debuts". Coludaybyday.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2016.