|Full name||Leonard Francis Townsend|
|Date of birth||31 August 1917|
|Place of birth||Brentford, England|
|Date of death||August 1997 (aged 79–80)|
|Place of death||Seaford England|
|Playing position||Inside right|
|1940||→ Plymouth Argyle (guest)||7||(10)|
|1940–1941||→ Leeds United (guest)||11||(11)|
|→ Belfast Celtic (guest)|
|1946||→ Colchester United (guest)||1||(3)|
|1943||Irish League XI||1||(1)|
|1952||Ashford Town (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Leonard Francis "Len" Townsend (31 August 1917 – August 1997) was an English football inside right who made over 110 Football League appearances either side of the Second World War for Brentford, Bristol City and Millwall. After dropping into Non-League football he became a manager, serving Hayes, Slough Town and in two spells, Maidenhead United. Townsend's achievements with Maidenhead United saw him added to the club's Hall of Fame in 2005.
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Representative career
- 3 Managerial and coaching career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Honours
- 6 Career statistics
- 7 References
An inside right, Townsend joined Athenian League side Hayes from Isleworth Town as a 17-year-old in 1935. He had a prolific two seasons in front of goal for the club, scoring 64 goals in 52 appearances. He departed the club at the end of the 1936–37 season.
Townsend initially joined hometown club Brentford as an amateur in the second half of the 1936–37 season, before signing a professional contract at the end of the campaign. He spent the 1937–38 season in the club's reserve team, scoring 19 goals in his first 15 London Combination appearances. With the first team struggling in Division One during the first half of the 1938–39 season, manager Harry Curtis handed Townsend his professional debut for a match versus Huddersfield Town on Christmas Eve 1938. Townsend capped his debut with the winner in a 2–1 victory. He scored again in the following two games, netting in a 2–2 draw with Portsmouth and scoring both goals in a 2–0 victory over Everton. Townsend made two further appearances in January 1939 without scoring and lost his place in the team to new signing Tommy Cheetham. Townsend finished the 1938–39 season with four goals in five games.
The break-out of the Second World War in September 1939 saw competitive football suspended for the duration of the war. During the war, Townsend scored 102 goals in 120 appearances, a record which included four hattricks and one double hattrick. He returned to Football League action in the 1946–47 season, scoring 9 goals in 33 games in a disastrous campaign, which saw the Bees relegation to Division Two for the first time since 1935. Townsend departed Griffin Park at the end of the season, having made 41 competitive appearances and scored 14 goals.
Plymouth Argyle (guest)
Leeds United (guest)
Belfast Celtic (guest)
Colchester United (guest)
While stationed at Colchester Garrison in January 1946, Townsend took advantage of a rule which allowed soldiers of the garrison to appear for Colchester United as a guest. He made one appearance at Layer Road, scoring a hattrick in a 3–1 victory over Guildford City on 19 January.
Townsend and Brentford teammates Dai Hopkins and Frank Clack signed for Division Three South side Bristol City prior to the beginning of the 1947–48 season. He had a happy two seasons with the club, scoring 50 goals in 80 appearances and topping the Division Three South goalscoring charts in his first season. He formed a formidable goalscoring partnership with Don Clark, though the pair's exploits failed to bring any success in the league.
Townsend dropped into Non-League football and signed for Southern League side Guildford City in 1950, reuniting with former Bristol City manager Bob Hewison. He departed the club in 1952, after helping the Sweeney to two successive Southern League Cup finals.
While guesting for Belfast Celtic, Townsend appeared for the Irish League representative team in a match against their League of Ireland counterparts on 26 April 1943. He scored in the 2–2 draw.
Managerial and coaching career
Townsend returned to Hayes as manager in 1952, taking over from former Brentford teammate George Wilkins. He presided over a mediocre 1952–53 Athenian League campaign, before being replaced by Wilkins.
Townsend was appointed manager of Corinthian League side Maidenhead United in 1954. He presided over the first period of success in the club's history, winning two Berks & Bucks Senior Cups, the Corinthian League Memorial Shield and the league title in his final season with the club. Townsend departed the Magpies in 1958.
Townsend joined Corinthian League side Slough Town as manager in 1958. With a number of his former Maidenhead United players in his squad, Townsend had a frustrating time with the club, failing to challenge in the league and finishing as runners up in the Berks & Bucks Benevolent Cup in 1959–60, though he managed to win the Southern Combination Cup in 1958–59. After finishing bottom of the Corinthian League in the 1960–61 season, Townsend was released as manager.
Return to Maidenhead United
Townsend rejoined Maidenhead United as manager in 1964. Now managing at Athenian League Premier Division level, Townsend failed to manage the Magpies to success in the league, though he won his third Berks & Bucks Senior Cup with the club in 1966. He resigned in 1969 and was honoured with a place in the club's Hall of Fame in 2005. As of September 2014, Townsend's 473 matches in charge of Maidenhead is more than any other of the club's managers.
Townsend served for six years with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry during and after the Second World War. After retiring from football, Townsend was a London-based sales representative for both Carborundum and Tex Abrasives before retiring in May 1982. Townsend lived in Sleaford before his death in 1997.
As a manager
- Corinthian League (1): 1957–58
- Berks & Bucks Senior Cup (3): 1955–56, 1956–57, 1965–66
- Corinthian League Memorial Shield (1): 1956–57
- Southern Combination Cup (1): 1958–59
As an individual
|Colchester United (guest)||1945–46||Southern League||1||3||—||1||3|
|Millwall||1949–50||Third Division South||5||1||0||0||5||1|
- "Len Townsend". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Hayes & Yeading United FC: The Official Website". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 162. ISBN 978-0955294914.
- White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. pp. 375–379. ISBN 0951526200.
- Brentford Football Club Official Matchday Magazine versus Bournemouth 04/09/04. 2004. p. 47.
- "Greens on Screen Database". greensonscreen.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- "Leeds United F.C. History". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Len Townsend – Players – Colchester United". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Woods, David; Leigh Edwards (1997). Bristol City FC – The First 100 Years. Redcliffe Press. ISBN 1-900178-26-5.
- Woods, David (1994). Bristol Babe The First 100 years of Bristol City FC. Yore Publications. ISBN 1-874427-95-X.
- "Millwall Players S to Z". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z of Bees: Brentford Encyclopaedia. Yore Publications. p. 74. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.
- "NORTHERN IRELAND REG LG v LEAGUE OF IRELAND, 26 April 1943". 11v11.com. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "History – Abridged Club History 1870 – date – Maidenhead United". Pitchero. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "SloughTownFC.net – The Official Website of Slough Town FC – Club Honours". www.sloughtownfc.net. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Drax earns his place in Magpies hall of fame". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Epsom & Ewell Football Club". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "Millwall Season 49/50 Stats". www.millwall-history.org.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2017.