1943–44 Brentford F.C. season

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Brentford
1943–44 season
Chairman Frank Davis
Manager Harry Curtis
Stadium Griffin Park
Football League South 7th
Football League South War Cup Group stage
Top goalscorer League: Hunt (15)
All: Hunt (18)
Highest home attendance 20,270
Lowest home attendance 2,340

During the 1943–44 English football season, Brentford competed in the Football League South, due to the cessation of competitive football for the duration of the Second World War. The Bees marginally improved on the previous season's 9th-place finish, ending in 7th.

Season summary[edit]

Brentford returned for the 1943–44 Football League South season again with a shortage of first team players, with just 10 available who made a senior appearance for the club prior to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939.[1] The biggest boost for the squad came with the availability of goalkeeper Joe Crozier,[1] who had not appeared since 21 October 1939.[2] Reserve forwards Fred Durrant and Bob Thomas, signed before the war, would feature during the season, as would six junior and amateur players on the club's books.[1] A whopping 36 guest players would be used during the campaign.[1]

Despite an improved 7th-place finish in the Football League South,[3] 1943–44 proved to be as forgettable as the previous season, though there were a few memorable results – 7–2 versus Southampton on 18 December 1943, 4–1 versus Arsenal in front of 20,270 at Griffin Park on 4 February 1944 and 8–0 versus Brighton & Hove Albion a month later in the group stage of the Football League War Cup, from which Brentford failed to qualify for the knockout stages.[4] Three players won wartime international caps during the season – Les Smith for England,[5] Joe Crozier for Scotland and Idris Hopkins for Wales.[6][7] Though he finished the season as second-leading scorer behind guest Douglas Hunt,[4] Les Smith's 15 goals in 15 appearances led his case for a first international cap in over two years.[5]

The 1943–44 season ended with the retirements of two players who had contributed to Brentford's rise from the Third Division South to the First Division between 1932 and 1935. 34-year-old centre half Joe James elected to retire six months after failing to recover from a wrist injury suffered in the match versus Charlton Athletic on 26 February 1944.[8] He would return to football briefly with Colchester United in November 1945.[9] 35-year-old centre forward Jack Holliday, who moved to the half back line in his later years, retired at the end of the season, having scored 122 goals in 222 matches from his arrival in May 1932 to the outbreak of war in September 1939.[10] He remained on the club's books as assistant trainer of the reserve team.[10]

Tables[edit]

Football League South[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A Pts
6 Portsmouth 30 16 5 9 68 59 37
7 Brentford 30 14 7 9 71 51 35
8 Chelsea 30 16 2 12 79 55 34

Source: Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Results[edit]

Brentford's goal tally listed first.

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Football League South[edit]

No. Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
1 28 August 1943 Clapton Orient H 4–2 4,820 Hunt, Smith (2), Stewart
2 4 September 1943 Fulham A 3–4 7,737 Stewart, Hunt (2)
3 11 September 1943 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2–3 5,310 Hopkins, Hunt
4 18 September 1943 Chelsea H 3–1 6,400 Smith, Hunt, Stewart
5 25 September 1943 Crystal Palace A 1–1 5,131 W. Watson
6 2 October 1943 Watford H 4–1 6,720 Durrant, Hunt (pen), McKennan (2)
7 9 October 1943 West Ham United A 0–0 12,000
8 16 October 1943 Arsenal A 3–3 17,658 McKennan, Townsend, Hunt
9 23 October 1943 Aldershot H 2–4 9,940 McKennan (2)
10 30 October 1943 Luton Town A 2–2 5,000 Driver, McKennan
11 6 November 1943 Tottenham Hotspur H 0–2 9,650
12 13 November 1943 Portsmouth H 2–0 6,880 Smith, Hunt (pen)
13 27 November 1943 Clapton Orient A 4–1 1,000 Smith (2), Little, McKennan
14 4 December 1943 Fulham H 0–0 7,510
15 11 December 1943 Brighton & Hove Albion A 2–0 2,500 Thomas, Stewart
16 18 December 1943 Southampton H 7–2 3,000 Smith (2), Hunt (2), McKennan (2), Stewart
17 25 December 1943 Queens Park Rangers H 2–5 11,200 Thomas, McKennan
18 27 December 1943 Queens Park Rangers A 2–3 8,900 Smith, Stewart
19 1 January 1944 Chelsea A 3–0 12,000 McKennan (2), Hunt
20 8 January 1944 Tottenham Hotspur A 0–1 16,917
21 22 January 1944 Watford A 4–4 2,759 Hunt (2, 1 pen), W. Watson, McKennan
22 29 January 1944 West Ham United H 2–1 11,220 Townsend, Hunt
23 5 February 1944 Arsenal H 4–1 20,270 Soo, Westcott, Townsend (2)
24 12 February 1944 Aldershot A 2–4 4,000 McKennan, Smith
25 1 April 1944 Luton Town H 2–0 2,340 Hopkins, Baynham
26 10 April 1944 Crystal Palace H 2–0 4,440 Stewart, Holliday
27 15 April 1944 Reading H 1–0 6,040 Smith
28 22 April 1944 Southampton A 2–2 9,000 Townsend, Stewart
29 29 April 1944 Portsmouth A 2–3 8,000 Baynham, Townsend
30 6 May 1944 Reading A 3–0 3,500 Townsend (2), Hunt

Football League South War Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
Grp 19 February 1944 Crystal Palace H 3–4 4,110 Townsend, Stevens
Grp 26 February 1944 Charlton Athletic A 3–5 5,023 Townsend, Hunt (2)
Grp 4 March 1944 Brighton & Hove Albion H 8–0 5,020 Westcott (4), Townsend (3), Hunt
Grp 11 March 1944 Crystal Palace A 2–1 8,659 Westcott, Shepherd
Grp 18 March 1944 Charlton Athletic H 2–2 10,000 Townsend, Smith
Grp 25 March 1944 Brighton & Hove Albion A 0–5 3,000
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[4]

Playing squad[edit]

Players' ages are as of the opening day of the 1943–44 season.
Pos. Name Nat. Date of birth (age) Signed from Signed in Notes
Goalkeepers
GK Joe Crozier Scotland (1914-12-02)2 December 1914 (aged 28) East Fife 1937
GK Reg Saunders England August 1921 (aged 21–22) Uxbridge Town 1944 Amateur
Defenders
DF Buster Brown England (1910-09-06)6 September 1910 (aged 32) Huddersfield Town 1937
DF Bernard Floodgate England (1922-07-22)22 July 1922 (aged 21) Youth 1943
DF George Poyser England (1910-02-06)6 February 1910 (aged 33) Port Vale 1934
Midfielders
HB Jack Holliday England (1908-12-19)19 December 1908 (aged 34) Middlesbrough 1932
HB Joe James England (1910-01-13)13 January 1910 (aged 33) Battersea Church 1929
HB Tom Manley England (1912-10-07)7 October 1912 (aged 30) Manchester United 1939
HB Ernest Muttitt England (1908-07-24)24 July 1908 (aged 35) Middlesbrough 1932 Guest for Chelsea, Watford, West Ham United
Forwards
FW Johnny Baynham Wales (1918-04-21)21 April 1918 (aged 25) Youth 1944
FW Fred Durrant England (1921-06-19)19 June 1921 (aged 22) Folkestone 1938
FW Idris Hopkins Wales (1910-10-11)11 October 1910 (aged 32) Crystal Palace 1932
FW Maurice Richfield England October 1921 (aged 21) Youth 1944
FW Les Smith England (1918-03-13)13 March 1918 (aged 25) Petersham 1934
FW Bob Thomas England (1919-08-02)2 August 1919 (aged 24) Golders Green 1939
FW Len Townsend England (1917-08-31)31 August 1917 (aged 25) Hayes 1937
Guest players
GK Gordon Bentley England October 1920 (aged 22) Burnley 1944 Guest from Burnley
GK Charlie Briggs England (1911-04-04)4 April 1911 (aged 32) Halifax Town 1943 Guest from Halifax Town
GK Harry Dukes England (1912-03-31)31 March 1912 (aged 31) Norwich City 1943 Guest from Norwich City
GK Freddie Houldsworth England (1911-05-29)29 May 1911 (aged 32) Reading 1944 Guest from Reading
GK John Jones Wales (1916-11-25)25 November 1916 (aged 26) Northampton Town 1943 Guest from Northampton Town
GK Bill Mason England (1908-10-31)31 October 1908 (aged 34) Queens Park Rangers 1944 Guest from Queens Park Rangers
GK Alec Roxburgh England (1910-09-19)19 September 1910 (aged 32) Blackpool 1944 Guest from Blackpool
DF Ralph Cowan Scotland n/a Rangers 1944 Guest from Rangers
DF Frank Jenner Scotland n/a St Mirren 1944 Guest from St Mirren
DF Fred Lester England (1911-02-20)20 February 1911 (aged 32) Sheffield Wednesday 1943 Guest from Sheffield Wednesday
DF George Taylor England (1909-04-23)23 April 1909 (aged 34) Bolton Wanderers 1943 Guest from Bolton Wanderers
HB Len Jones England (1913-06-09)9 June 1913 (aged 30) Plymouth Argyle 1943 Guest from Plymouth Argyle
HB Duncan McKenzie Scotland (1912-08-10)10 August 1912 (aged 31) Middlesbrough 1943 Guest from Middlesbrough
HB David Nelson Scotland (1918-02-03)3 February 1918 (aged 25) Arsenal 1943 Guest from Arsenal
HB Frank Soo England (1914-03-12)12 March 1914 (aged 29) Stoke City 1943 Guest from Stoke City
HB Jack Watson Scotland (1917-12-31)31 December 1917 (aged 25) Bury 1944 Guest from Bury
HB Jimmy Watson England (1914-01-01)1 January 1914 (aged 29) Bristol Rovers 1943 Guest from Bristol Rovers
HB Bill Whittaker England (1922-12-20)20 December 1922 (aged 20) Charlton Athletic 1943 Guest from Charlton Athletic
FW Dickie Davis England (1922-01-22)22 January 1922 (aged 21) Sunderland 1943 Guest from Sunderland
FW Johnny Deakin Scotland n/a St Mirren 1944 Guest from St Mirren
FW Allenby Driver England (1919-09-29)29 September 1919 (aged 23) Sheffield Wednesday 1943 Guest from Sheffield Wednesday
FW Bobby Flavell Scotland (1921-09-01)1 September 1921 (aged 21) Airdrieonians 1943 Guest from Airdrieonians
FW Dickie Girling England (1922-05-24)24 May 1922 (aged 21) Crystal Palace 1944 Guest from Crystal Palace
FW Douglas Hunt England (1914-05-19)19 May 1914 (aged 29) Sheffield Wednesday 1943 Guest from Sheffield Wednesday
FW Tommy Kiernan Scotland (1918-10-20)20 October 1918 (aged 24) Albion Rovers 1943 Guest from Albion Rovers
FW Charlie Leyfield England (1911-10-30)30 October 1911 (aged 31) Doncaster Rovers 1943 Guest from Doncaster Rovers
FW George Little England (1915-12-01)1 December 1915 (aged 27) Doncaster Rovers 1943 Guest from Doncaster Rovers
FW Peter McKennan Scotland (1918-07-16)16 July 1918 (aged 25) Partick Thistle 1943 Guest from Partick Thistle
FW Ernie Shepherd England (1919-08-14)14 August 1919 (aged 24) Fulham 1944 Guest from Fulham
FW Arthur Stevens England (1921-01-13)13 January 1921 (aged 22) Fulham 1944 Guest from Fulham
FW George Stewart Scotland (1920-10-18)18 October 1920 (aged 22) Hamilton Academical 1943 Guest from Hamilton Academical
FW Harry Thompson England (1915-04-29)29 April 1915 (aged 28) Sunderland 1943 Guest from Sunderland
FW Dennis Westcott England (1917-07-02)2 July 1917 (aged 26) Wolverhampton Wanderers 1944 Guest from Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • Sources: Timeless Bees,[11] Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939,[12] 100 Years Of Brentford[4]

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Role
England Harry Curtis Manager
Scotland Jimmy Bain Assistant Manager
England Bob Kane Trainer
England Jack Cartmell Assistant Trainer

Statistics[edit]

Appearances and goals[edit]

Pos Nat Name League FL War Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK Scotland Joe Crozier 15 0 1 0 16 0
GK England Reg Saunders 3 0 1 0 4 0
DF England Buster Brown 30 0 5 0 35 0
DF England Bernard Floodgate 1 0 1 0
DF England George Poyser 24 0 6 0 30 0
HB England Jack Holliday 3 1 3 1
HB England Joe James 22 0 1 0 23 0
HB England Tom Manley 2 0 2 0 4 0
HB England Ernest Muttitt 8 0 3 0 11 0
FW Wales Johnny Baynham 2 2 2 2
FW England Fred Durrant 1 1 1 1
FW Wales Idris Hopkins 12 2 2 0 14 2
FW England Maurice Richfield 1 0 1 0
FW England Les Smith 21 12 4 1 25 13
FW England Bob Thomas 8 2 8 2
FW England Len Townsend 10 8 5 7 15 15
Players guested during the season
GK England Gordon Bentley 5 0 2 0 7 0
GK England Charlie Briggs 1 0 1 0
GK England Harry Dukes 4 0 4 0
GK England Freddie Houldsworth 1 0 1 0
GK Wales John Jones 2 0 2 0
GK England Bill Mason 1 0 1 0
GK England Alec Roxburgh 1 0 1 0
DF Scotland Ralph Cowan 1 0 1 0
DF Scotland Frank Jenner 1 0 1 0
DF England Fred Lester 1 0 1 0
DF England George Taylor 1 0 1 0
HB England Len Jones 1 0 1 0
HB Scotland Duncan McKenzie 18 0 18 0
HB Scotland David Nelson 5 0 5 0
HB England Frank Soo 12 1 3 0 15 1
HB England Jimmy Watson 14 2 6 0 20 2
HB Scotland Jack Watson 1 0 1 0
HB England Bill Whittaker 20 0 4 0 24 0
FW England Dickie Davis 2 0 2 0
FW Scotland Johnny Deakin 1 0 1 0
FW England Allenby Driver 1 1 1 1
FW Scotland Bobby Flavell 1 0 1 0
FW England Dickie Girling 1 0 1 0
FW England Douglas Hunt 26 15 4 3 30 18
FW Scotland Tommy Kiernan 4 0 4 0
FW England Charlie Leyfield 1 0 1 0
FW England George Little 2 1 2 1
FW Scotland Peter McKennan 18 14 2 0 20 14
FW England Ernie Shepherd 1 0 1 1 2 1
FW England Arthur Stevens 1 1 1 1
FW Scotland George Stewart 22 8 6 0 28 8
FW England Harry Thompson 1 0 1 0
FW England Dennis Westcott 1 1 4 5 5 6
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[4]

Goalscorers[edit]

Pos. Nat Player FLS FLC Total
FW England Douglas Hunt 15 3 18
FW England Len Townsend 8 7 15
FW Scotland Peter McKennan 14 0 14
FW England Les Smith 12 1 13
FW Scotland George Stewart 8 0 8
FW England Dennis Westcott 1 5 6
FW Wales Johnny Baynham 2 2
FW England Bob Thomas 2 2
FW Wales Idris Hopkins 2 0 2
HB England Jimmy Watson 2 0 2
FW England Allenby Driver 1 1
FW England Fred Durrant 1 1
HB England Jack Holliday 1 1
FW England George Little 1 1
HB England Frank Soo 1 0 1
FW England Ernie Shepherd 0 1 1
FW England Arthur Stevens 0 1 1
Total 71 18 89
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[4]

Wartime international caps[edit]

Pos. Nat Player Caps Goals Ref
GK Scotland Joe Crozier 3 0 [6]
FW Wales Idris Hopkins 1 0 [7]
FW England Les Smith 3 1 [5]

Management[edit]

Name Nat From To Record All Comps Record League
P W D L W % P W D L W %
Harry Curtis England 28 August 1943 6 May 1944 36 16 8 12 044.44| 30 14 7 9 046.67

Summary[edit]

Games played 36 (30 Football League South, 6 Football League War Cup)
Games won 16 (14 Football League South, 2 Football League War Cup)
Games drawn 8 (7 Football League South, 1 Football League War Cup)
Games lost 12 (9 Football League South, 3 Football League War Cup)
Goals scored 89 (71 Football League South, 18 Football League War Cup)
Goals conceded 68 (51 Football League South, 17 Football League War Cup)
Clean sheets 10 (9 Football League South, 1 Football League War Cup)
Biggest league win 7–2 versus Southampton, 18 December 1943
Worst league defeat 5–2 versus Queens Park Rangers, 25 December 1943
Most appearances 35, Buster Brown (30 Football League South, 5 Football League War Cup)
Top scorer (league) 15, Douglas Hunt
Top scorer (all competitions) 18, Douglas Hunt

Transfers & loans[edit]

Guest players' arrival and departure dates correspond to their first and last appearances of the season.
Guest players in
Date from Pos. Name Previous Club Date to Ref.
28 August 1943 FW England Douglas Hunt England Sheffield Wednesday End of season [4]
28 August 1943 HB England Len Jones England Plymouth Argyle 28 August 1943 [4]
28 August 1943 HB Scotland Duncan McKenzie England Middlesbrough 22 January 1944 [4]
28 August 1943 FW Scotland George Stewart Scotland Hamilton Academical End of season [4]
28 August 1943 HB England Jimmy Watson England Bristol Rovers 22 April 1944 [4]
4 September 1943 GK Wales John Jones England Northampton Town 11 September 1943 [4]
4 September 1943 HB England Bill Whittaker England Charlton Athletic End of season [4]
11 September 1943 FW England Harry Thompson England Sunderland 11 September 1943 [4]
18 September 1943 FW Scotland Peter McKennan Scotland Partick Thistle 10 April 1944 [4]
18 September 1943 HB England Frank Soo England Stoke City 18 March 1944 [4]
16 October 1943 GK England Charlie Briggs England Halifax Town 19 December 1942 [4]
23 October 1943 DF England Fred Lester England Sheffield Wednesday 23 October 1943 [4]
23 October 1943 FW England Charlie Leyfield England Doncaster Rovers 23 October 1943 [4]
30 October 1943 FW England Allenby Driver England Sheffield Wednesday 30 October 1943 [4]
6 November 1943 FW England Dickie Davis England Sunderland 13 November 1943 [4]
6 November 1943 GK England Harry Dukes England Norwich City 27 December 1943 [4]
6 November 1943 FW Scotland Bobby Flavell Scotland Airdrieonians 6 November 1943 [4]
6 November 1943 FW England George Little England Doncaster Rovers 27 November 1943 [4]
13 November 1943 HB Scotland David Nelson England Arsenal 8 January 1944 [4]
4 December 1943 FW Scotland Tommy Kiernan Scotland Albion Rovers 22 January 1944 [4]
27 December 1943 DF England George Taylor England Bolton Wanderers 27 December 1943 [4]
1 January 1944 GK England Gordon Bentley England Burnley 11 March 1944 [4]
22 January 1944 FW England Ernie Shepherd England Fulham 11 March 1944 [4]
29 January 1944 FW Scotland Johnny Deakin Scotland St Mirren 29 January 1944 [4]
5 February 1944 FW England Dennis Westcott England Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 March 1944 [4]
19 February 1944 GK England Freddie Houldsworth England Reading 19 February 1944 [4]
19 February 1944 FW England Arthur Stevens England Fulham 19 February 1944 [4]
26 February 1944 GK England Alec Roxburgh England Blackpool 27 March 1943 [4]
4 March 1944 DF Scotland Ralph Cowan Scotland Rangers 4 March 1944 [4]
1 April 1944 GK England Bill Mason England Queens Park Rangers 1 April 1944 [4]
1 April 1944 HB Scotland Jack Watson England Bury 1 April 1944 [4]
10 April 1944 HB Scotland Frank Jenner Scotland St Mirren 10 April 1944 [4]
6 May 1944 FW England Dickie Girling England Crystal Palace End of season [4]
Guest players out
Date from Pos. Name To Date to Ref.
4 December 1943 HB England Ernest Muttitt England Chelsea 4 December 1943 [13]
5 February 1944 HB England Ernest Muttitt England West Ham United 5 February 1944 [14]
n/a DF England Jimmy Anderson Scotland Hamilton Academical n/a [15]
n/a HB England Ernest Muttitt England Watford n/a [16]
Players released
Date Pos. Name Subsequent club Join date Ref.
May 1944 FW England Jack Holliday Retired [10]
May 1944 HB England Joe James Retired [8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d White 1989, p. 175-176.
  2. ^ White 1989, p. 375.
  3. ^ "England 1943/44". www.rsssf.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. p. 377. ISBN 0951526200. 
  5. ^ a b c "Les Smith". 11v11.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Joe Crozier". 11v11.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "Dai Hopkins". 11v11.com. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Haynes & Coumbe 2006, p. 86.
  9. ^ "Joe James – Players – Colchester United". coludata.co.uk. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c Haynes & Coumbe 2006, p. 79.
  11. ^ Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  12. ^ Joyce, Michael (2012). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. ISBN 190589161X. 
  13. ^ "Chelsea 0–1 Brighton & Hove Albion (1943–44 League South) – TheChels.info – The Chelsea Football Club Wiki". thechels.info. Retrieved 11 January 2018. 
  14. ^ "Ernie [ww 2] Muttitt". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  15. ^ Litster, John. Record of Pre-War Scottish League Players. Norwich: PM Publications. 
  16. ^ "Watford Football Club archive 1881–2017 » Seasons – 1940–41 to 1949–50" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 11 January 2018.