1903–04 Brentford F.C. season

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Brentford
1903–04 season
Chairman Charlie Dorey
Secretary Manager Dick Molyneux
(until March 1904)
William Lewis
(from March 1904)
Stadium York Road
Southern League First Division 13th
FA Cup Intermediate round
Top goalscorer League: Buchanan,
Underwood (6)

All: Buchanan,
Underwood (10)

During the 1903–04 English football season, Brentford competed in the Southern League First Division, despite leading the division in September 1903, disruption behind the scenes and the suspension of manager Dick Molyneux for the final month of the season led to a 13th-place finish.

Season summary[edit]

Wing half Jimmy Jay was signed from Bristol City during the 1903 off-season and would go on to make more Southern League appearances for Brentford than any other player.

Directly after the end of the dire 1902–03 season, the Brentford committee decided to act and appoint a first team manager.[1] Dick Molyneux became the first official manager in the club's history and arrived at York Road having served as manager at Everton for 12 years,[1] with a CV boasting one Football League First Division championship and two FA Cup runners-up medals.[2] One of the first major changes Molyneux enacted was to request that the board raise funds to pay adequate summer wages for the playing squad, which would put an end to the failures of previous seasons, when the board waited until almost before the beginning of the season to transfer players in, so as to cut down on off-season wages.[1] Due to the majority of clubs conducting their transfer business shortly after the end of the season, the tactic meant that Brentford were always short on transfer options, when conducting business close to the beginning of the following season,[1] the board raised £330 in donations (approximately £37,000 in 2017) and Molyneux set about building a 16-man all-professional squad which could compete in the Southern League First Division.[1] Of the previous season's squad, only goalkeeper Tommy Spicer, inside left Percy Turner and outside left Tosher Underwood were retained and by early June 1903, Molyneux had signed an almost entirely new XI.[1] Brentford's colours were changed for the first time since the mid-1890s, with the old claret and blue replaced by a kit consisting of gold shirts with blue stripes, white shorts and black socks.[1]

Dick Molyneux's team started season strongly, reaching top spot in the First Division after five matches,[1] the demands on the small squad led Brentford to fall back into mid-table and a goalkeeping crisis suffered in early 1904 exacerbated the problem.[1] Molyneux brought in former trialist John Bishop and paid him money to play, an illegal move as Bishop was a serving soldier with the Scots Guards and therefore an amateur player,[1] after his third appearance, Bishop returned late to barracks, was reported to his commanding officer and then made a statement in writing about his involvement with Brentford.[1] The statement was passed on to the FA, who fined Brentford £25 and suspended director Bill Dodge for two years and manager Molyneux for the final month of the season,[1] with secretary William Lewis in caretaker charge, the Bees took one point from the remaining five matches of the season to finish in 13th position.[3]

One club record was set during the season:

  • Most Southern League away draws in a season: 5[4]

League table[edit]

Pos Club P W D L GF GA GAv1 Pts2 Notes
1 Southampton 34 22 6 6 75 30 2.5 50
2 Tottenham Hotspur 34 16 11 7 54 37 1.46 43
3 Bristol Rovers 34 17 8 9 64 42 1.52 42
4 Portsmouth 34 17 8 9 41 38 1.08 42
5 Queens Park Rangers 34 15 11 8 53 37 1.43 41
6 Reading 34 14 13 7 48 35 1.37 41
7 Millwall 34 16 8 10 64 42 1.52 40
8 Luton Town 34 14 12 8 38 33 1.15 40
9 Plymouth Argyle 34 13 10 11 44 34 1.29 36
10 Swindon Town 34 10 11 13 30 42 0.71 31
11 Fulham 34 9 12 13 34 36 0.94 30
12 West Ham United 34 10 7 17 39 44 0.89 27
13 Brentford 34 9 9 16 34 48 0.71 27
14 Wellingborough 34 11 5 18 44 63 0.7 27
15 Northampton Town 34 10 7 17 36 60 0.6 27
16 New Brompton 34 6 13 15 26 43 0.6 25
17 Brighton & Hove Albion 34 6 12 16 46 69 0.66 24
18 Kettering 34 6 7 21 39 76 0.51 19 Left league at end of season

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.

Results[edit]

Brentford's goal tally listed first.

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Southern League First Division[edit]

No. Date Opponent Venue Result Scorer(s)
1 5 September 1903 Queens Park Rangers A 0–1
2 7 September 1903 Swindon Town H 2–1 Turner, Swarbrick
3 12 September 1903 Plymouth Argyle H 1–0 Leigh
4 14 September 1903 Tottenham Hotspur H 0–0
5 19 September 1903 Reading A 1–1 Underwood
6 26 September 1903 Wellingborough H 0–1
7 3 October 1903 Bristol Rovers A 1–5 Parsonage
8 10 October 1903 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–0 Leigh
9 17 October 1903 Portsmouth A 1–3 Atherton
10 24 October 1903 Northampton Town H 4–1 Buchanan, Bell (2), Durber (og)
11 7 November 1903 West Ham United A 1–0 Underwood
12 21 November 1903 Luton Town A 0–1
13 5 December 1903 Kettering A 0–1
14 26 December 1903 Fulham H 1–1 Leigh
15 28 December 1903 Millwall H 1–3 Bellingham
16 2 January 1904 Queens Park Rangers H 1–4 Buchanan
17 4 January 1904 Kettering H 4–2 Buchanan (3), Jay
18 9 January 1904 Plymouth Argyle A 2–2 Atherton, Davidson
19 16 January 1904 Reading H 0–0
20 23 January 1904 Wellingborough A 0–2
21 30 January 1904 Bristol Rovers H 1–2 Parsonage (pen)
22 1 February 1904 New Brompton H 1–1 Parsonage
23 6 February 1904 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–3 Underwood
24 13 February 1904 Portsmouth H 4–0 Underwood (2), Brett (pen), Jay
25 20 February 1904 Northampton Town A 0–3
26 27 February 1904 Swindon Town A 1–1 Barron
27 5 March 1904 West Ham United H 2–0 Underwood, Barron
28 12 March 1904 Tottenham Hotspur A 1–1 Buchanan
29 19 March 1904 Luton Town H 2–1 Bell (2)
30 26 March 1904 New Brompton A 0–3
31 2 April 1904 Southampton H 0–1
32 9 April 1904 Southampton A 0–1
33 16 April 1904 Fulham A 0–0
34 23 April 1904 Millwall A 0–2

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Scorer(s)
3QR 31 October 1903 Uxbridge H 8–0 Bell (2), Leigh, Parsonage, Buchanan (2), Underwood (2)
4QR 14 November 1903 Oxford City A 3–1 Underwood, Leigh, Parsonage
5QR 28 November 1903 Wycombe Wanderers A 4–1 Leigh (2), Bell, Buchanan
IR 12 December 1903 Plymouth Argyle H 1–1 Underwood
IR (replay) 16 December 1903 Plymouth Argyle A 1–4 Buchanan
  • Source: 100 Years of Brentford[3]

Playing 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
Scotland GK John Bishop
GK Bill Howarth
England GK Tommy Spicer
GK Bob Watson
Scotland DF Tommy Davidson (c)
England DF Thomas Howarth
Scotland DF Jock Watson
Scotland MF James Bellingham
Scotland MF Alex Caie
Scotland MF Jimmy Jay
England MF George Parsonage
No. Position Player
England FW Tommy Atherton
Scotland FW John Barron
Scotland FW Laurence Bell
England FW Ralph Brett
Scotland FW Dave Buchanan
England FW Charles Lanham
England FW Tommy Leigh
England FW James Swarbrick
England FW Percy Turner
England FW Tosher Underwood

Left club during season[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 Joe Frail (to Stalybridge Rovers)
  • Source: 100 Years of Brentford[3]

Coaching staff[edit]

Dick Molyneux (5 September 1903 – March 1904)[edit]

Name Role
England Dick Molyneux Secretary Manager
Ireland Bob Crone Trainer

William Lewis (March – 23 April 1904)[edit]

Name Role
England William Lewis Caretaker Manager
Ireland Bob Crone Trainer

Statistics[edit]

Management[edit]

Name Nat From To Record All Comps Record League
P W D L W % P W D L W %
Dick Molyneux England 5 September 1903 19 March 1904 34 12 9 13 035.29 29 9 8 12 031.03
William Lewis (caretaker) England 26 March 1904 23 April 1904 5 0 1 4 000.00 5 0 1 4 000.00

Summary[edit]

Games played 39 (34 Southern League First Division, 5 FA Cup)
Games won 12 (9 Southern League First Division, 3 FA Cup)
Games drawn 10 (9 Southern League First Division, 1 FA Cup)
Games lost 20 (16 Southern League First Division, 4 FA Cup)
Goals scored 51 (34 Southern League First Division, 17 FA Cup)
Goals conceded 55 (48 Southern League First Division, 7 FA Cup)
Clean sheets 9 (8 Southern League First Division, 1 FA Cup)
Biggest league win 4–0 versus Portsmouth, 13 February 1904
Worst league defeat 5–1 versus Bristol Rovers, 3 October 1903
Most appearances 39, George Parsonage, Jock Watson (34 Southern League First Division, 5 FA Cup)
Top scorer (league) 6, Dave Buchanan, Tosher Underwood
Top scorer (all competitions) 10, Dave Buchanan, Tosher Underwood

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l White, p. 81-82.
  2. ^ "Honours | Everton Football Club". www.evertonfc.com. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. p. 357. ISBN 0951526200. 
  4. ^ Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopedia. Yore Publications. pp. 117–120. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.