1944–45 Brentford F.C. season

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Brentford
1944–45 season
Chairman Frank Davis
Manager Harry Curtis
Stadium Griffin Park
Football League South 3rd
Football League South War Cup Group stage
Top goalscorer League: Townsend (24)
All: Townsend (31)
Highest home attendance 23,207
Lowest home attendance 4,390

During the 1944–45 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 finished in a wartime-high of 3rd-place, scoring 100 goals in both the league and Football League War Cup, with forwards Len Townsend and Bob Thomas accounting for over half the team's total.

Season summary[edit]

Former Brentford forward Ralph Shields died on 21 November 1944, while a prisoner of war.

The familiar pattern of player unavailability prevailed as Brentford entered the 1944–45 Football League South season, with 60 players eventually being used over the course of the league, cup and friendly matches during the campaign.[1] A number of the club's amateur players were pressed into service during the regular season, as were 30 guests, many of whom made three appearances or less.[2]

Aided by prolific scoring from forwards Len Townsend and Bob Thomas, Brentford rocketed along in the first half of the season, losing just four of 22 matches and posting big wins by margins of four, five and six goals.[2] The Bees' form evaporated when the Football League War Cup campaign got underway in February 1945, losing four of six matches to crash out in the group stage.[2] Brentford lost four of the remaining six league matches of the season, with the final match away to Watford (which had been postponed in January 1945) taking place after VE Day, which marked the end of the Second World War in Europe.[2]

On 21 November 1944, Ralph Shields became the second and final Brentford player to die while on service in the Second World War.[3] A forward between 1921 and 1922,[4] Shields had emigrated to Australia in 1927 and was serving as a private in the Australian Army Service Corps when he died as a prisoner of war in Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp, North Borneo on 21 November 1944.[5][6]

Tables[edit]

Football League South[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A Pts
2 West Ham United 30 22 3 5 96 47 47
3 Brentford 30 17 4 9 87 57 38
4 Chelsea 30 16 5 9 100 55 37

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 26 August 1944 Brighton & Hove Albion H 6–2 6,000 Townsend (2), Boulter, Hunt (2, 1 pen), Soo
2 2 September 1944 Portsmouth A 4–2 9,500 Hunt, R. Thomas (2), Boulter
3 9 September 1944 Chelsea H 0–5 16,100
4 16 September 1944 Luton Town A 3–1 3,500 Manley, Boulter, R. Thomas
5 23 September 1944 Millwall H 4–1 8,750 Townsend (2), R. Thomas (2)
6 30 September 1944 Aldershot H 5–2 10,270 Smith (2, 1 pen), Hunt, R. Thomas (2)
7 7 October 1944 Charlton Athletic A 4–0 7,143 Boulter (2), Townsend (2)
8 14 October 1944 Watford H 4–1 5,387 Townsend (2), R. Thomas (2), Hopkins
9 21 October 1944 Queens Park Rangers H 3–1 15,000 Rose (og), R. Thomas, Townsend
10 28 October 1944 Tottenham Hotspur H 2–2 23,207 R. Thomas, Soo
11 4 November 1944 Fulham A 2–0 25,000 R. Thomas, Townsend
12 11 November 1944 Southampton H 0–1 11,080
13 18 November 1944 Crystal Palace H 1–2 11,100 Townsend
14 25 November 1944 Reading A 4–4 6,000 Hunt (2), Townsend (2)
15 2 December 1944 Brighton & Hove Albion A 7–2 5,000 Townsend (3), Smith, R. Thomas (2), Hunt
16 9 December 1944 Portsmouth H 7–1 9,550 C. Brown (2), Hunt (2, 1 pen), Townsend (2), Hopkins
17 16 December 1944 Chelsea A 2–0 24,500 Hunt, R. Thomas
18 23 December 1944 Arsenal A 2–5 18,527 R. Thomas (2)
19 30 December 1944 Luton Town H 6–0 6,500 Townsend (4), R. Thomas, Smith
20 6 January 1945 Millwall A 0–0 5,438
21 13 January 1945 Aldershot A 1–0 4,000 Smith
22 20 January 1945 Charlton Athletic H 3–1 6,850 Hunt, R. Thomas, Baynham
23 17 March 1945 Queens Park Rangers A 1–1 5,900 D. Thomas
24 24 March 1945 Tottenham Hotspur H 0–2 16,750
25 31 March 1945 Fulham H 2–3 8,780 Hopkins, Smith
26 2 April 1945 Arsenal H 3–1 n/a R. Thomas (2), D. Thomas
27 14 April 1945 Southampton A 2–4 7,549 Hunt, Townsend
28 21 April 1945 Crystal Palace A 1–6 6,492 D. Thomas
29 28 April 1945 Reading H 7–2 4,390 R. Thomas (2), D. Thomas (2), Smith, Baynham (2)
30 19 May 1945 Watford A 1–5 2,563 Cheetham

Football League South War Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
Grp 3 February 1945 Brighton & Hove Albion H 3–5 10,110 Townsend (3)
Grp 10 February 1945 Millwall A 2–3 8,553 R. Thomas, Hunt
Grp 17 February 1945 Fulham A 0–1 15,000
Grp 24 February 1945 Brighton & Hove Albion A 4–2 10,000 Townsend (3), R. Thomas
Grp 3 March 1945 Millwall H 2–2 11,830 Baynham, R. Thomas
Grp 10 March 1945 Fulham H 2–5 10,380 Townsend, R. Thomas
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[2]

Playing squad[edit]

Players' ages are as of the opening day of the 1944–45 season.
Pos. Name Nat. Date of birth (age) Signed from Signed in Notes
Goalkeepers
GK Reg Saunders England August 1921 (aged 23) Uxbridge Town 1944 Amateur
Defenders
DF Buster Brown England (1910-09-06)6 September 1910 (aged 33) Huddersfield Town 1937
DF Bill Gorman Republic of Ireland (1911-01-13)13 January 1911 (aged 33) Bury 1938
DF George Poyser England (1910-02-06)6 February 1910 (aged 34) Port Vale 1934
Midfielders
HB Albert Ballard England August 1923 (aged 20–21) Youth 1944
HB Ted Ballard England (1920-06-16)16 June 1920 (aged 24) Hayes 1943 Amateur
HB Albert Hammond England (1924-02-05)5 February 1924 (aged 20) Youth 1944
HB Tom Manley England (1912-10-07)7 October 1912 (aged 31) Manchester United 1939
HB Ernest Muttitt England (1908-07-24)24 July 1908 (aged 36) Middlesbrough 1932 Guest for Chelsea
HB Billy Scott England (1907-12-06)6 December 1907 (aged 36) Middlesbrough 1932
Forwards
FW Johnny Baynham Wales (1918-04-21)21 April 1918 (aged 26) Youth 1939
FW Les Boulter Wales (1913-08-31)31 August 1913 (aged 30) Charlton Athletic 1939
FW Cyril Brown England (1918-05-25)25 May 1918 (aged 26) Felixstowe 1939
FW Tommy Cheetham England (1910-10-11)11 October 1910 (aged 33) Queens Park Rangers 1939 Guest for West Ham United
FW Idris Hopkins Wales (1910-10-11)11 October 1910 (aged 33) Crystal Palace 1932 Guest for West Ham United
FW Peter Sheldon England April 1927 (aged 17) Youth 1944
FW Les Smith England (1918-03-13)13 March 1918 (aged 26) Petersham 1934
FW Bob Thomas England (1919-08-02)2 August 1919 (aged 25) Golders Green 1939 Guest for West Ham United
FW Len Townsend England (1917-08-31)31 August 1917 (aged 26) Hayes 1937
Guest players
GK Johnny Boyd Scotland n/a Unattached 1945 Amateur, guest
GK Harry Brown England (1924-04-09)9 April 1924 (aged 20) Queens Park Rangers 1944 Guest from Queens Park Rangers
GK John Jackson Scotland (1906-11-29)29 November 1906 (aged 37) Chelsea 1944 Guest from Chelsea
GK John Jones Wales (1916-11-25)25 November 1916 (aged 27) Northampton Town 1944 Guest from Northampton Town
DF Arthur Banner England (1918-06-28)28 June 1918 (aged 26) West Ham United 1945 Guest from West Ham United
DF Ralph Cowan Scotland n/a Rangers 1944 Guest from Rangers
DF Peter Croker England (1921-12-21)21 December 1921 (aged 22) Charlton Athletic 1945 Guest from Charlton Athletic
DF Fred Dawes England (1911-05-02)2 May 1911 (aged 33) Crystal Palace 1945 Guest from Crystal Palace
DF James Fullwood England (1911-02-17)17 February 1911 (aged 33) Reading 1944 Guest from Reading
DF Les Goldberg England (1918-01-03)3 January 1918 (aged 26) Leeds United 1944 Guest from Leeds United
DF Dick Jales England (1922-04-03)3 April 1922 (aged 22) Bradford City 1945 Guest from Bradford City
DF Cliff Lloyd England (1916-11-14)14 November 1916 (aged 27) Wrexham 1944 Guest from Wrexham
DF Reg Mountford England (1908-07-16)16 July 1908 (aged 36) Huddersfield Town 1945 Guest from Huddersfield Town
HB Sam Briddon England (1915-07-26)26 July 1915 (aged 29) Swansea Town 1944 Guest from Swansea Town
HB Matt Busby Scotland (1909-05-26)26 May 1909 (aged 35) Liverpool 1944 Guest from Liverpool
HB Ernie Collett England (1914-11-17)17 November 1914 (aged 29) Arsenal 1945 Guest from Arsenal
HB Harold Hobbis England (1913-03-09)9 March 1913 (aged 31) Charlton Athletic 1945 Guest from Charlton Athletic
HB Joe Jobling England (1906-07-29)29 July 1906 (aged 38) Charlton Athletic 1945 Guest from Charlton Athletic
HB Duncan McKenzie Scotland (1912-08-10)10 August 1912 (aged 32) Middlesbrough 1945 Guest from Middlesbrough
HB Jack Oakes England (1905-09-13)13 September 1905 (aged 38) Charlton Athletic 1945 Guest from Charlton Athletic
HB Taffy O'Callaghan Wales (1906-10-06)6 October 1906 (aged 37) Fulham 1945 Guest from Fulham
HB Bobby Russell Scotland (1919-12-27)27 December 1919 (aged 24) Chelsea 1945 Guest from Chelsea
HB Frank Soo England (1914-03-12)12 March 1914 (aged 30) Stoke City 1944 Guest from Stoke City
HB R. Tunnicliffe England n/a Unattached 1945 Guest
HB Bill F. Whittaker England (1911-04-18)18 April 1911 (aged 33) Kingstonian 1945 Guest from Kingstonian
HB Bill P. Whittaker England (1922-12-20)20 December 1922 (aged 21) Charlton Athletic 1944 Guest from Charlton Athletic
FW Maurice Edelston England (1918-04-27)27 April 1918 (aged 26) Reading 1944 Amateur, guest from Reading
FW Douglas Hunt England (1914-05-19)19 May 1914 (aged 30) Sheffield Wednesday 1944 Guest from Sheffield Wednesday
FW Archie Livingstone Scotland (1915-11-15)15 November 1915 (aged 28) Bury 1945 Guest from Bury
FW Bert Stephens England (1909-05-13)13 May 1909 (aged 35) Brighton & Hove Albion 1945 Guest from Brighton & Hove Albion
FW Maurice Tadman England (1921-06-28)28 June 1921 (aged 23) Charlton Athletic 1945 Guest from Charlton Athletic
FW Dave Thomas England (1917-07-06)6 July 1917 (aged 27) Plymouth Argyle 1944 Guest from Plymouth Argyle
  • Sources: Timeless Bees,[7] Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939,[8] 100 Years Of Brentford[2]

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 England Reg Saunders 3 0 3 0
DF England Buster Brown 29 0 6 0 35 0
DF Republic of Ireland Bill Gorman 2 0 4 0 6 0
DF England George Poyser 20 0 6 0 26 0
HB England Albert Ballard 1 0 1 0
HB England Ted Ballard 1 0 1 0
HB England Albert Hammond 1 0 1 0
HB England Tom Manley 13 1 13 1
HB England Ernest Muttitt 15 0 3 0 18 0
HB England Billy Scott 2 0 1 0 3 0
FW Wales Johnny Baynham 8 3 4 1 12 4
FW Wales Les Boulter 12 5 12 5
FW England Cyril Brown 2 2 2 0 4 2
FW England Tommy Cheetham 2 1 2 1
FW Wales Idris Hopkins 28 3 6 0 34 3
FW England Peter Sheldon 1 0 1 0
FW England Les Smith 20 7 1 0 21 7
FW England Bob Thomas 28 23 5 4 33 27
FW England Len Townsend 23 24 5 7 28 31
Players guested during the season
GK Scotland Johnny Boyd 1 0 1 0 2 0
GK England Harry Brown 1 0 1 0
GK Scotland John Jackson 16 0 2 0 18 0
GK Wales John Jones 9 0 3 0 12 0
DF England Arthur Banner 1 0 1 0 2 0
DF Scotland Ralph Cowan 3 0 3 0
DF England Peter Croker 1 0 1 0
DF England Fred Dawes 1 0 1 0
DF England James Fullwood 1 0 1 0
DF England Les Goldberg 1 0 1 0
DF England Dick Jales 1 0 1 0
DF England Cliff Lloyd 2 0 2 0
DF England Reg Mountford 1 0 1 0
HB England Sam Briddon 5 0 5 0
HB Scotland Matt Busby 1 0 1 0
HB England Ernie Collett 6 0 6 0
HB England Harold Hobbis 1 0 1 0
HB England Joe Jobling 1 0 1 0
HB Scotland Duncan McKenzie 4 0 4 0
HB England Jack Oakes 2 0 2 0
HB Wales Taffy O'Callaghan 1 0 1 0
HB Scotland Bobby Russell 1 0 1 0
HB England Frank Soo 9 2 1 0 10 2
HB England R. Tunnicliffe 1 0 1 0
HB England Bill F. Whittaker 1 0 1 0
HB England Bill P. Whittaker 18 0 4 0 24 0
FW England Maurice Edelston 1 0 1 0
FW England Douglas Hunt 21 12 5 1 26 13
FW Scotland Archie Livingstone 1 0 1 0
FW England Bert Stephens 1 0 1 0
FW England Maurice Tadman 1 0 1 0
FW England Dave Thomas 6 5 4 0 10 5
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[2]

Goalscorers[edit]

Pos. Nat Player FLS FLC Total
FW England Len Townsend 24 7 31
FW England Bob Thomas 23 4 27
FW England Douglas Hunt 12 1 13
FW England Les Smith 7 0 7
FW Wales Les Boulter 5 5
FW England Dave Thomas 5 0 5
FW Wales Johnny Baynham 3 1 4
FW Wales Idris Hopkins 3 0 3
FW England Cyril Brown 2 0 2
HB England Frank Soo 2 0 2
FW England Tommy Cheetham 1 1
HB England Tom Manley 1 1
Opponents 1 0 1
Total 87 13 100
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[2]

Wartime international caps[edit]

Pos. Nat Player Caps Goals Ref
FW England Les Smith 5 2 [9]

Management[edit]

Name Nat From To Record All Comps Record League
P W D L W % P W D L W %
Harry Curtis England 26 August 1944 19 May 1945 36 18 5 13 050.00 30 17 4 9 056.67

Summary[edit]

Games played 36 (30 Football League South, 6 Football League War Cup)
Games won 18 (17 Football League South, 1 Football League War Cup)
Games drawn 5 (4 Football League South, 1 Football League War Cup)
Games lost 13 (9 Football League South, 4 Football League War Cup)
Goals scored 100 (87 Football League South, 13 Football League War Cup)
Goals conceded 75 (57 Football League South, 18 Football League War Cup)
Clean sheets 7 (6 Football League South, 0 Football League War Cup)
Biggest league win 6–0 versus Luton Town, 30 December 1944; 7–1 versus Portsmouth, 9 December 1944
Worst league defeat 5–0 versus Chelsea, 9 September 1944; 6–1 versus Crystal Palace, 21 April 1945
Most appearances 35, Buster Brown (29 Football League South, 6 Football League War Cup)
Top scorer (league) 23, Len Townsend
Top scorer (all competitions) 30, Len Townsend

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.
26 August 1944 FW England Douglas Hunt England Sheffield Wednesday 28 April 1945 [2]
26 August 1944 HB England Frank Soo England Stoke City 10 February 1945 [2]
26 August 1944 HB England Bill P. Whittaker England Charlton Athletic 21 April 1945 [2]
2 September 1944 HB England Sam Briddon Wales Swansea Town 7 October 1944 [2]
16 September 1944 GK Wales John Jones England Northampton Town 17 February 1945 [2]
14 October 1944 GK England Harry Brown England Queens Park Rangers 14 October 1944 [2]
14 October 1944 DF England Cliff Lloyd Wales Wrexham 28 October 1944 [2]
21 October 1944 GK Scotland John Jackson England Chelsea End of season [2]
23 December 1944 HB Scotland Matt Busby England Liverpool 23 December 1944 [2]
23 December 1944 FW England Maurice Edelston England Reading 23 December 1944 [2]
23 December 1944 DF England James Fullwood England Reading 23 December 1944 [2]
23 December 1944 DF England Les Goldberg England Leeds United 23 December 1944 [2]
30 December 1944 DF Scotland Ralph Cowan Scotland Rangers 20 January 1945 [2]
13 January 1945 DF England Reg Mountford England Huddersfield Town 13 January 1945 [2]
17 February 1945 DF England Arthur Banner England West Ham United 24 March 1945 [2]
17 February 1945 FW England Dave Thomas England Plymouth Argyle End of season [2]
24 February 1945 DF England Fred Dawes England Crystal Palace 24 February 1945 [2]
10 March 1945 GK Scotland Johnny Boyd Unattached 28 April 1945 [2]
10 March 1945 DF England Dick Jales England Bradford City 10 March 1945 [2]
17 March 1945 DF England Peter Croker England Charlton Athletic 17 March 1945 [2]
17 March 1945 FW Scotland Archie Livingstone England Bury 17 March 1945 [2]
17 March 1945 HB England Jack Oakes England Charlton Athletic 2 April 1945 [2]
24 March 1945 HB Scotland Bobby Russell England Chelsea 24 March 1945 [2]
24 March 1945 HB England R. Tunnicliffe Unattached 28 April 1945 [2]
31 March 1945 HB England Harold Hobbis England Charlton Athletic 31 March 1945 [2]
2 April 1945 HB Scotland Duncan McKenzie England Middlesbrough 2 April 1945 [2]
14 April 1945 HB Wales Taffy O'Callaghan England Fulham End of season [2]
9 May 1945 HB England Joe Jobling England Charlton Athletic End of season [2]
9 May 1945 FW England Bert Stephens England Brighton & Hove Albion End of season [2]
9 May 1945 FW England Maurice Tadman England Charlton Athletic End of season [2]
9 May 1945 HB England Bill F. Whittaker England Kingstonian End of season [2]
Guest players out
Date from Pos. Name To Date to Ref.
26 August 1944 FW England Bob Thomas England West Ham United 26 August 1944 [10]
5 May 1945 FW Wales Idris Hopkins England West Ham United 5 May 1945 [11]
12 May 1945 FW England Tommy Cheetham England West Ham United 12 May 1945 [12]
n/a DF England Jimmy Anderson Scotland Hamilton Academical n/a [13]
n/a FW England Fred Durrant England Blackburn Rovers n/a [14]
n/a FW England Ernest Muttitt England Chelsea n/a [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b White 1989, p. 177.
  2. ^ 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. 378. ISBN 0951526200. 
  3. ^ Chapman, Mark; Briers, Paul. "BRENTFORD REMEMBERS WAR DEAD". www.brentfordfc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Haynes & Coumbe 2006, p. 144.
  5. ^ "NSW. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of NX57251 Private Ralph Shields, No. 2 Company, Australian Army Service Corps. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the ..." Retrieved 25 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Casualty". www.cwgc.org. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  7. ^ Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. ISBN 978-0955294914. 
  8. ^ Joyce, Michael (2012). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: Tony Brown. ISBN 190589161X. 
  9. ^ "Les Smith". 11v11.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Robert [ww 2] Thomas". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Idris [ww 2] Hopkins". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "Tom [ww 2] Cheetham". www.westhamstats.info. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Litster, John. Record of Pre-War Scottish League Players. Norwich: PM Publications. 
  14. ^ Haynes & Coumbe 2006, p. 51.