.....to my blog dedicated to the history of Chelmsford City Football Club. I will be bloging regularly with request for information, updates on what progress has been made and other interesting tit bits relating to City's days gone by. This will be augmented by statistical and trivia postings. In this way I hope that the Blog can contribute to the compilation of a complete history of the Club. Look out too for the first issue of 'The Chelmsford City Historian' my quarterly newsletter for all those who have an interest in the history of our great Club. Finally, a plea. Please contribute if you can and help make both the Blog and the newsletter a resounding success.

Sunday, 3 October 2010



City’s clean sheet against Maidenhead United on 2nd October created a Club record with the 6th consecutive clean sheet at home in league games. Since Eastleigh scored 2 goals against City at Melbourne Park City have played 12 home league matches and conceded just 2 goals. Only Stephen Reed (yes our Stephen Reed), then playing for Weymouth, on 20th March and George Purcell for Braintree Town on 5th April have found the net for visitors since that Eastleigh game.

The five clean sheets that City have kept in their first five league games of the season at home is also the best record in the Club’s history. In 1965-1966 City ‘keeper Owen Medlock conceded a goal in the season opener against Yeovil Town and then kept 4 consecutive clean sheets giving City a record of just 1 league goal conceded in the first 5 home league games. Bryan King played in the 3rd game in this run, a 1-0 win over Cambridge City.

This record was equalled in the 1986-1987 season when Trevor Inch conceded just 1 goal in the opening 5 league games at home. He conceded a goal in the 2nd home league game against Dudley Town but kept clean sheets in the other 4 games.

So between them James Pullen and Ashley Harrison have set a new standard for the opening 5 home league games with no goals coceded. Both Medlock and Inch let in a goal in the 6th home league game.

Of course City also kept a clean sheet in the Chertsey Town home FA Cup tie, so City have now kept clean sheets in all 6 home games this season. Several supporters have asked me what the Club record is for consecutive clean sheets in all home games.

On Monday 12th December 1988 City lost 0-3 at home to Burnham in a Southern League Southern Division match but then didn’t concede a goal at home again until they beat Hounslow 2-1 on Saturday 18th February 1989, a run of 7 consecutive clean sheets. Goalkeeper Paul Casey did not concede a goal in any of the 7 games that followed the Burnham game.

Wednesday 14th December 1988 Beat Andover (Lge) 2-0
Friday 16th December 1988 Beat Wivenhoe Town(ESC) 1-0
Monday 2nd January 1989 Beat Gravesend and Northfleet (Lge) 3-0
Saturday 7th January 1989 Beat Witney Town (Lge) 1-0
Saturday 21st January 1989 Beat Trowbridge Town (Lge) 1-0
Saturday 4th February 1989 Beat Erith and Belvedere (Lge) 8-0
Monday 6th February 1989 Beat Southend United (ESC) 2-0


Sales figures for the first edition of the magazine have far exceeded my expectations with sales now well into 3 figures, so a big thank you to everyone who purchased a copy. Work now starts on issue 2 and I have some exciting plans that I am sure will make issue 2 even better than issue 1. Letters including feedback or items for inclusion should be e-mailed to me at: chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.

The next issue will be due out towards the end of December although much will depend on the deadlines set by my printer, so look out for announcements.


As I mentioned in my lost Blog Alec Wilson sadly passed away on July 28th 2010 after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The following tribute appeared in the Forres Gazette dated Wednesday 8th September 2010 –

“Altyre pensioner Alex Wilson, whose professional football career spanned almost two decades, has died aged 76. Mr. Wilson spent almost all of his career at Portsmouth FC and is best remembered by fans of the club for scoring the goal which saved them from relegation in 1965.

Born at Buckie in 1933, he was a keen football fan and played regularly for Buckie Thistle. It was whilst playing for the Jags that he was spotted by scouts from Portsmouth. He signed for the Fratton Park club after he left school in 1949 and moved to the Hampshire city. The club put him in lodgings with a fellow Scottish player and, as well as his football apprenticeship, also put him through training as a panel beater with a local car firm. He played mainly at left back but was also regarded as being a capable right back.

At the time, Portsmouth were the reigning First Division champions and they retained this title in the 1949-1950 season. Pompey continued to be a strong side in the early 1950’s and Mr. Wilson was part of the sides which finished fourth in 1952 and third in 1955. It was during this period that he won his first and only Scotland cap when he was part of a side which beat Finland 2-1 in Helsinki. He was named in the squad for the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland but, as a reserve player, did not travel to the tournament.

 Portsmouth’s fortunes changed in the late 1950’s. The club were relegated to the Second Division in 1959 and to the Third in 1961. He was a key member of the side which won the Third Division title in 1962. In 1965 he had what many Pompey fans consider to be his finest moment with the club. On the last day of the season Portsmouth were 1-0 down to Northampton and facing relegation when in the 86th minute Mr. Wilson scored the goal which drew the game and kept them in the Second Division.

He stayed at the club until 1967 when he left following testimonial games with Arsenal and Stoke City. In total he spent 18 years at Fratton Park, making 381 appearances.  However, his love of playing football remained. He spent one season at Essex club Chelmsford City, helping them to take the Southern League championship, and regularly made himself available for amateur and charity games.

After leaving professional football he went into the printing industry. It was through this work that he met his wife Doreen, a native of Gosport, whom he married in 1977. Mr. Wilson returned to the North in 1988 and settled in Altyre. He enjoyed life in the area and was a keen gardener, runner and member of Forres Accordion and Fiddle Club. He was also an animal lover and kept peacocks as well as a duck and a cat.

He died on July 28th after a long fight with Alzheimer’s Disease and his funeral was in Inverness on August 6th. He is survived by his wife and two children from a previous marriage.”

‘The Chelmsford City Historian’ would like to thank the Forres Gazette and their reporter Duncan Bick for permission to reproduce this obituary.

Alec Wilson, as he was known at City, was signed by City Manager Harry Ferrier, a former playing colleague of Wilson’s at Portsmouth, in the summer of 1967. He made 49 appearances in his only season at City, without scoring. Bobby Smith became the regular left back during the last couple of months of that season as City stormed towards the Southern League championship and Alec was released at the end of the season.

Recent correspondence with Paul Plowman, a Swindon Town Historian, has brought to light the fact that Jimmy Brennan died on 24th January 2009. Jimmy Brennan signed for City in the summer of 1956 having previously been with Birmingham City and Swindon Town. A full back he made 53 appearances for City under Frank Grice before being released in 1959 and joining Kidderminster Harriers. In 1960 he emigrated to South Africa where he played for Randfontein before moving back to the UK in the mid 1960’s. Trevor Smith tells me that later he was a salesman in the British Gas showroom in Maldon.


Fantastic progress has been made on this particular project with an amazing 16 players crossed off the list since my last Blog. This brings the total outstanding down to 157. John Morris has really gone into overdrive and has provided plenty of leads to supplement my own research.

Thanks to a lead from City supporter Dave Underwood I was able to track down Mick Newson, who as well as confirming his birth details also confirmed the spelling of his surname, which removed any doubt that it was Newsom or Newsome. Mick made 15 appearances for the Club in the 1977-1978 season and also appeared for Great Baddow Football Club.

Former City player and Manager Colin Norman gave me the ‘phone number for Tony Rowell and I was able to speak to the player who made 156 appearances for City between November 1975 and November 1980, scoring 11 goals.  Tony gave me a lead for a former playing colleague of mine Roy Little. Roy made 51 appearances for the Club scoring 12 goals and is now crossed off my list.

John Morris pointed out to me that there was a D. Tuttlebury in the ‘phone book living quite close to where I knew that Derek Tuttlebury was born in Barnston. I rang the number hoping that this Tuttlebury was a relation only to find out that it was the former City player himself! Derek pointed out that he signed for the Club at the same time as Tony Butcher. He made 10 appearances for the Club between April 1957 and January 1958 without finding the net.

Club President Ollie Hopkins tracked down a number for Grant Merry for me and I was able to speak to Grant who made a solitary substitute appearance for City in a 0-0 draw at Canterbury City on Easter Monday 27th March 1978.

Another player who made just one appearance was Barry French, who played in a 2-1 win at Nuneaton Borough on Monday 25th April 1960. John Morris pointed me in the direction of Barry who still resides in Chelmsford.

Tony Armstrong, the former Chairman of Harwich and Parkeston, provided me with a couple of contact numbers and these led me to John Wallace and Malcolm Crissell. Wallace was an excellent centre forward who had forged an admirable reputation in East Anglian football. He was signed by Mick Loughton in December 1982 and although he spent less than 2 months at the Club he is fondly remembered by all those who saw him play in the Claret and White. He scored twice on his debut in a 4-0 win at Stourbridge on Saturday 11th December 1982 and scored 9 goals for the Club in total. Sadly he left the Club after a 3-1 win over Gloucester City citing problems with the amount of travelling involved in playing for City.

Another Mick Loughton signing was Malcolm Crissell, although he was another player who spent just 2 months at New Writtle Street. In that time he played 13 games scoring 1 goal.

Older fans may well remember Joe Ling, a full back who made 46 appearances for the Club between January 1964 and March 1965. Originally on West Ham’s books Joe signed for Romford in their final season as an amateur club when they were playing in the Isthmian League. He stayed with the Club when they turned professional and joined the Southern League and when Billy Frith signed him for City in August 1963 he had made 95 league appearances for the Brooklands club. However his last season with Romford saw him sustain a cartilage injury and he was still injured when Billy Frith invited him to train with City as part of his rehabilitation.  He made good progress and turned in some solid performances for City reserves before making his first team debut in a 5-1 win at Merthyr Tydfil on Saturday 25th January 1964. He signed for Brentwood Town after leaving City. Joe made 21 home appearances for the Club and the side won 18 of them, drawing the other 3, a quite remarkable record. Both his first and final home appearances were against his former club Romford!

The internet is a wonderful thing and after spotting that Romford Colts Football Club Chairman was Dave Spittle I tracked down the former City full back who made 102 appearances, scoring 5 goals, for the Club between September 1985 and February 1988. Dave enjoyed spells at manager at Aveley and Brentwood after his playing days were over.

Another former playing colleague of mine is Mervyn Waite. Originally on Blackburn’s books Mervyn made 4 appearances for the Club in January 1980, with City losing all 3 league games that he played in.

Former player John Devine tracked down Dave Mandell for me. The Hatfield Peveral based striker made 72 appearances for City between October 1977 and April 1979, scoring 31 goals, a quite respectable scoring ratio given City’s form at the time.

Bobby Broomfield played for West Ham and Leyton Orient, although never for the first team at either club, before embarking on what he described himself as a tour of all the East Anglian non league clubs. He played 10 times for City at the tail end of the 1979-1980 season, scoring twice. He had a long spell at Stowmarket Town and an e-mail to their Secretary  gave me the information that his son is playing in what is now the Ridgeon’s League allowing me to make contact with Bobby through his son.

John Morris tracked down a Tony Huckett who runs a driving school in Chelmsford. A quick exchange of e-mails confirmed that Tony played for City, making just a single appearance in a 2-0 defeat at Nuneaton Borough on Monday 19th April 1976. Originally with Galleywood Tony returned to Galleywood after his short stint with City. He started up the Vets section at Galleywood but retired when he reached the age of 47. He managed Galleywood for a while and still helps out at the club as well as being a qualified referee, taking charge of games in the Chelmsford Youth league and occasionally in the Essex Olympian League.

More ‘detective’ work by John Morris tracked down Matthew Schneider, who is now a policeman! Previously on the books of Southend United and Ipswich Town Matthew made 4 appearances for the club in September 1991. His older brother Danny also played for the club.

Finally Brian Dellar, yet another John Morris lead, joined Chelsea straight from school and when he was released towards  the end of the 1960-1961 season had a short spell with Southampton before joining City, making his debut in the final game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Wellington Town.  He had a full season with City in 1961-1962 making a further 10 first team appearances. Unfortunately his departure from City was acrimonious. He had arranged to meet Manager Harry Ferrier to sign a new contract but Ferrier didn’t show. He learned form a third party that he was no longer part of the Manager’s plans and was unhappy that he was not told this face to face. He signed for Ashford Town after leaving City but did not like the travelling to Kent so he moved to Clacton Town where he spent 3 years. He later played for Maldon Town and had a spell as Player/Manager at May and Baker in the Essex Business Houses League.


Following my ‘In Memoriam’ piece on Bobby Moss in my last Blog I received the following e-mail from former City player Kim Yates.

“Hi David , I am so upset about the news regarding Bobby Moss.  I was fortunate to train and play with him on many occasion   We all knew him as Mr Findus because of his job as a salesman   If you are in touch with his relatives please send them my regards. He was a true gent

Good stories about Stan Prince I always recount the pre match talks where Stan was told which opposition shirt number needed to be sorted out. And sure enough within 5 minutes the lad would be in row ‘F’ of the stand.  Top bloke. Thanks for the blog David it means so much to us old City boys.”

I was able to pass on Kim’s condolences to the family of Bobby Moss.

My piece on Jess Crook prompted the following response from Bill Brown, pointing out an error I had made regarding the school that Jess attended.

“Hi David, Yet again an excellent piece of history and good read for us dedicated City followers. (You don't know me, but I've been a follower for over 50 years now!). Just a very small point regarding Jess Crook; I believe he attended King Edward VI School, not K E V (he was one of the Princes in the Tower and only reigned for 4 months aged 12, before being murdered by his uncle Richard III (allegedly), so had no time to sponsor schools!!

Thanks, Bill”

David Topping a Director of AFC Telford has e-mailed me regarding the Chelmsford City v Telford United game played on 9th May 1977. He asked whether a programme was printed for this game or not, the game having originally been postponed on 7th February 1977. Trevor Smith was able to confirm to me that a programme was issued for each game but that the one for the latter game was a pretty basic affair. David is looking for a copy of this programme so if anyone has a copy they are willing to part with please let me know and I will put you in touch with David.


I am trying to compile a complete list of houses in Chelmsford that the Club owned.

I know that 4, Lewis Drive was at one time a Club house and that Frank Austin lived in it during his time at City. Also in my recent correspondence and chats with Colin Grant he confirmed that the house he lived in at 42, Longstomps Avenue was also a Club house.

Do you know of any others?

….that if you do not to want keep checking whether I have posted a new Blog then please e-mail me at the address below and I will add you to my distribution list. I will then e-mail you as soon as I have Blogged!
….whilst I am not going to claim the copyright of any information contained in this Blog it would be appreciated if the source of any information used could be quoted. Thanks!
…..don’t forget that if you want to contact me with any help, feedback or requests you can e-mail me at chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.

Sunday, 12 September 2010



Once again sincere apologies for the delay in the publication of the first issue of the ‘must have’ magazine for those who are interested in the history of our Club. I have now agreed a price with a printer and all that is needed is for the finishing touches to be done and the magazine will be up and running. I have set myself the target of having it out by our next scheduled home game on October 2nd at the very latest. The first issue will be 24 A5 pages and will sell for £2. If interest is high then I may well expand the size of issue 2 and several articles are already lined up.


Sadly since my last Blog I have learned of the death of two former City players, Bobby Moss and Alec Wilson.

Bobby Moss was born on 13th February 1952 in Chigwell and signed schoolboy forms for Leyton Orient in 1968 as a striker, signing professional forms 2 years later. He made his first team debut for the O’s in November 1970, scoring within 5 minutes with a terrific header.

In August 1972 he moved to Colchester United but left the U’s in January 1973 for what was to be a long career in non league football. He played for Dover, Folkestone Town, Barnet, Wimbledon and Wealdstone before joining City in the summer of 1980. He went on to make 211 appearances for the Club before being released early in 1985, scoring 41 goals during his time at New Writtle Street. He was signed by Colin Harper and made his debut in a 1-1 home draw with Waterlooville. His final appearance came in December 1984 when City beat Alvechurch 3-1.

He sadly passed away on 1st August 2010 after a two year long battle with pancreatic cancer.

(‘The Chelmsford City Historian’ would like to acknowledge the help given by Leyton Orient historian Neil Kaufmann in the compilation of this short tribute to Bobby.)

Alec Wilson was City’s first choice left full back for most of the 1967-1968 championship season. A full tribute to him will appear in my next Blog.


Well the new season is underway with 8 games having been played as I type. The Club stands in 5th place with 4 games having been played at home and away. Interestingly whilst we have still to concede a goal at home, 10 have been conceded in the same number of away games. City have now gone 5 games at home without conceding a goal, with just 2 goals conceded in the last 11 home league games. No side has scored 2 goals at Melbourne Park in a league game since Eastleigh on February 6th 2010, 12 games ago.

The run of 5 home league games without conceding a goal is the best since a similar run of 5 games in March/April 1999 under Gary Bellamy and equals the Club record of 5. There have now been 5 occasions when this has been achieved. As well as the current run and the one mentioned above similar runs were achieved in January/February/March 1998 under Gary Bellamy and Colin Norman, in December1988/January/February 1999 under Chris Symes and in October/November/December/1955 under Frank Grice.  So a clean sheet against Maidenhead United on October 2nd will create a new Club record.

Sam Higgins’ brace against Dorchester Town after coming on as a substitute led several fans to ask me when this last happened and whether any City sub had ever scored a hat trick.  Answering the second question first, on Saturday 28th August 1971 Pat Ferry came on as a substitute in a Southern League game against Dartford at New Writtle Street and scored 3 in a 5-1 win. 2,198 saw Terry Price score City’s other 2 goals.

There have been 7 other occasions when a City sub has scored 2 goals, with the other scorers being, Gerry O’Rourke (1973), David Morrison (1993), Sean Campbell (1997), Ben Fuller (1999 and 2001), Stafford Browne (2005) and Chris Moore (2008).


Great progress has been made on this project and another 7 players details have been tracked down, bringing the outstanding total down to 173.

I spoke to Ray Murphy, the Secretary of Eastleigh Football Club, and he was able to track down the details of 2 players for me. Ray was previously the Secretary at Dagenham and fortunately for me keeps all his important papers. A quick visit up to his loft and he was able to give me the details for Clive Beauchamp (1979), and Colin Mitchell (1976-1977) who both played for Dagenham as well as for City.

Beauchamp made 2 appearances for City in March 1979, in fact his City career lasted just 3 days, playing as he did on a Saturday and then on the Monday. Both games were played at New Writtle Street. He had joined Dagenham in July 1977 from West Ham and moved to Hornchurch before joining City. He later played for Aveley, Barkingside and Basildon United.

Colin Mitchell made 4 appearances for the Club during the 1976-1977 relegation season, without finding the net. He joined Dagenham after being released by City and then played for Bowers United, Witham Town and Hornchurch.

The Ongar Town website gave me a telephone  number for Colin Polley, who is now the Manager of Ongar, and as well as getting Colin’s details he also gave me numbers for Steve Neal and Stan Prince, also associated with Ongar Town, which allowed me to cross off 3 more names in double quick time.

Steve Neal made 2 appearances for the Club, the first coming in April 1976 when City lost 2-0 at Nuneaton Borough whilst, strangely, his second and final appearance came almost 2 years later when a Frank Peterson goal saw City go down 2-1 at home to Taunton Town.
Stan Prince made 54 appearances for City between November 1977 and November 1979, without scoring. He made his debut in a 2-0 Essex Senior Cup defeat at Harwich and Parkeston under Mick Loughton whilst his final game was a 3-1 defeat at Addlestone. Probably the highlight of Stan’s time at City was the 5-0 win at Ashford Town in a Southern League First Division South game on Saturday 4th February 1978, when Mick Loughton, Colin Polley, Geoff Bailey, Dave Mandell and Frank Peterson got City’s goals.

Colin Polley made his debut for City on Saturday 17th December 1977 when City lost 3-2 at Dorchester Town and made 75 appearances for the Club, his final game coming in a 3-0 home defeat, ironically also against Dorchester Town on Saturday 8th December 1979. He scored 9 goals for City.

Funnily enough all 3 of these players, Neal, Prince and Polley, played in Neal’s final game whilst Polley and Prince appeared together 39 times.

I have for some time being trying to track down Mark Gribble who I know joined City from Leyton Orient in August 1988. A quick word with Neil Kaufmann the Leyton Orient historian and he tracked down a mobile ‘phone number for Mark from Eric Gallagher, the Chairman of Writtle Football Club! Gribble joined City from Orient, where he had suffered a broken leg, and made 7 appearances at the beginning of the 1988-1989 season, scoring 2 goals. He later played for Bishop’s Stortford, Baldock Town and Clacton Town and now works in the building trade.

A chance chat with the Club’s Vice Chairman Paul Hopkins led me to getting a phone number for Jess Crook who played for City between March and November 1978. Jess made 12 appearances for the Club scoring 1 goal. Jess, a former pupil at King Edward V Grammar School, had the honour of representing Cambridge University in the 100th Varsity match in 1984, the match ending in a 2-2 draw. The game was played at Wembley Stadium.


I hope that you are enjoying this new series in the Club’s 100 page match programme, excellent value by the way at just £2.50! My search for players for this series has led me to both Colin Grant and Vic Gomersall from the 1971-1972 championship side, courtesy of leads from Dave Clarke. So look out for articles on these two City Legends in future programmes.


Mike Bayly has just had a book published entitled ‘Changing Ends’ with the sub title ‘A Season In Non League Football’. It contains chapters on 19 non league matches he attended, including Chelmsford City v Oxford United, with 10 pages devoted to the story of that day back in January when City were knocked out of the FA Trophy by their illustrious visitors. The book is published by Blackline Press at £14.99 and full details can be obtained from www.blacklinepress.com.

I have received an e-mail from Alan Travers who tells me that whilst reviewing his wife’s family tree he came across the name of Fred Sargeant a former professional footballer with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelmsford City. Alan asked for information about Fred’s time at Chelmsford. Fred made his debut for City in June 1945 and played a total of 88 games for the Club scoring 22 goals. He made his final appearance in April 1948. He played in a practice match for Chelmsford in August 1948 but then died suddenly from gastric problems. He was aged just 36 when he died on 22nd August 1948. City arranged a friendly against Tottenham Hotspur in September of that year and a crowd of 7,659 saw ‘Spurs win the match 5-1. The match substantially boosted the fund that had been set up for Fred’s widow. Eventually Mrs. Sargeant was to receive £1,389 a not inconsiderable amount in those days.


….that if you do not to want keep checking whether I have posted a new Blog then please e-mail me at the address below and I will add you to my distribution list. I will then e-mail you as soon as I have Blogged!
….whilst I am not going to claim the copyright of any information contained in this Blog it would be appreciated if the source of any information used could be quoted. Thanks!


…..don’t forget that if you want to contact me with any help, feedback or requests you can e-mail me at chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Blog Number 7



As many of you know the Club played host to a Prince’s Trust Fun Day on Sunday 4th July and an integral part of the day was a game between an ex-City team and an Arsenal ex-Professionals and Celebrity team.

I was given the task of putting together the ex-City side and despite many many hours spent tracking down some players it was an enjoyable experience and I have added some ‘phone numbers to my database which will no doubt come in useful in the future.  I would especially like to thank Kevin Foster and Keith Goodwin who put in the extra effort of ‘volunteering’ some other players to play.

It was disappointing that both Ian Cambridge and Dennis Longhorn were forced to pull out the day beforehand due to family and work commitments but these things cannot be helped.  I tried to cover all eras going back to the fifties to try and ensure that everyone who came could see a player who came from their particular favourite period.

So my grateful thanks for the following players who all turned out on the day:

Peter Gillott (1959-1970), Mick Butcher (1963-1964), Ken Wigley (1977-1980), Terry O’Donnell (1977-1981), Keith Goodwin (1978-1991), Frank Bishop (1979-1985), Colin Johnson (1981-1992), Phil Thrift (1982-1991), Jon O’Brien (1983-1993), Kevin Foster (1983-1999), Adrian Owers (1985-1995), Dennis Greene (1990-1995), David Greene (1990-2000), Paul Goyette (1992), Tony Rogers (1992-1995), Barry O’Dea (1992-2000), Robbie Garvey (1993-1997), Barry Lakin (1997-2003), John Bishop (1999-2001), Steve Portway (2000-2001), Gareth Street (2002-2004), Simon Clarke (2003-2005).

Manager Mick Loughton (1970-1984) was assisted by Mick Tiffen (1977-1991) on the bench whilst Willie Carrick (1972-1984), John Devine (1977-1978) and Ian Templeton (1984-1991) where spotted amongst the crowd.

There were a host of players who could not make it on the day due to holiday or other commitments but hopefully, if the event is repeated, they will make an appearance in the future.


A total of 22 players made their league debuts for City last season bringing the number of players to have played a league game for City up to 1,096. For those who like to know these things the 250th player to play for City in a league game was either Ken Birch, Alec Eisentrager, Peter Gillott, Terry Hayward, George Longridge, Jim Mason, or Len Phillips. They all made their league debuts for City on Saturday 22nd August 1959 when City drew with Worcester City 2-2 at New Writtle Street and 244 players had previously played for the Club. Similarly the 500th player is either Frank Bishop, Geoff Harrop, Gerry Sullivan or Steve Williamson who collectively brought the number up to the magic 500 when making their league debuts on 25th August 1979. Martin Hayden was the 750th player to make his league debut for the club when he came on as a substitute at Burton Albion on 30th January 1993. When City travelled to Bromley on Saturday August 20th 2005 998 players had played for City in the league. On that day Richard Halle, Alex Lawler, Greg Lincoln, Jamie Moralee, Tobi Ositola, Peter Smith, and Jerrome Sobers were making their debut. You may remember that game as Jamie Moralee scored in the 6th minute of injury time to grab a point for City.

Speaking of Bromley, when Steve Ward played his final league game of the season there on Saturday 3rd April 2010 he was 38 years 11 months and 7 days old making him the 10th oldest player ever to play in a league game for City. The 9 older players are – Peter Taylor,  Mervyn Cawston,  Ben Burley, Harry Lane, Len Phillips, John Taylor, Rob Newman, Bob Glozier and Jimmy Jones. Bear in mind though that John Taylor, Newman and Glozier made only one emergency league appearance for City.

City met just two new clubs in league matches last season, Lewes and Woking, which brings the total number of clubs that City have met in league games to 186. City’s best record is against Slough Town, having won all 6 league games against them, whilst the worst is against Bromsgrove Rovers against whom only a solitary win has been achieved in 10 games.

Milestones achieved last season were – 50th league goal against Dorchester Town, 100th league goal against Weymouth, 50th league draw in November and 600th league goal in March whilst Bath City scored their 100th league goal against us.

City should be looking forward to December as the last 10 league games played in that month have all been won.  In fact City have not lost a competitive game in December since 2007 when they went down 4-2 at Boreham Wood in a league game. That’s a run of 14 games without defeat. At home it’s even better as City have not lost at home in December since 2005 when Fisher Athletic won 2-0 at New Lodge. Consequently City have never lost a game at Melbourne Park in December!

Last season John Martin became the 6th City player to appear in a league game and have the same name as a previous City player. The first time this had happened was in 1948 when Irishman George Sergeant made his only league appearance for the Club, namesake George Sergeant, a full back, having played for the Clun in 1938-1939. Then in 1976 City signed winger Peter Martin from Cambridge City, his namesake, a forward from Galleywood, having appeared for City in a solitary game in 1938-1939. In November 1973 Mike Collins, a South African who had previously been with Wolves and Swindon Town, had a short spell with the Club. Former Luton Town defender Mike Collins had played for the Club in the 1962-1963 season.  In 1992 Michael Cole played for the Club thereby emulating the efforts of his namesake, the former Norwich City full back, who played for City in the 1958-1959 season. Most recently goalkeeper Steve Oliver played for the Club, in March and April 1994 to be precise, when the defender of the same name had played from 1985-1987. Which brings us back to John Martin, the original of this name having appeared for City for a month in 1969.


John Perry has written to me again having read my last Blog.

“Hello David - thanks for your latest blog. Apart from the answer to my own query, I was particularly interested in the piece on Roy Woolcott, a player who I felt never received the credit he deserved during his time with us. Perhaps that was because he sometimes looking a little ungainly on the ground (certainly in comparison with Frank Peterson, who was his strike partner for much of the 1972/73 season) but he more than made up for this with his aerial power. I don't think I've seen a more effective City striker in the air than Woolcott. This was borne out by his performances in the FA Cup that season that your article highlighted, where 7 of his 8 goals were headers, including all three against Telford in the 2nd round.

One thing I hadn't appreciated until browsing the records was that, during that 72/73 season, he scored in nine consecutive league matches. So David, has this scoring run been equalled or even bettered by any other City player I wonder? Regards, John.”

John has highlighted a run that began on Boxing Day 1972 when Woolcott scored City’s consolation in an unexpected 3-1 home defeat against Romford. City recovered to win their next 5 league games with Woolcott scoring a single goal in each game and he then scored both City goals in a 3-2 defeat at Dartford on February 17th. Goals in the next 2 City league games brought his run to 9 league games in a row before he failed to score in a 3-1 defeat at Weymouth on February 28th.

John has asked whether this run has ever been equalled or bettered. It hasn’t so it remains as the longest streak ever put together by a City striker. There have been some notable efforts and the nearest anybody has ever gone is Steve Portway’s run of scoring in 8 consecutive league games in the 2000-2001 season. Steve went into the last league game against Newport IOW needing to score to equal Woolcott’s record but City lost the game 1-0 with Steve missing, by his own admission, a sitter.

Other notable runs have been:
7 games  - Syd Plunkett (1950-1951), Tony Butcher (1963-1964), Ian Cambridge (1998-1999).
6 games – Syd Plunkett (1949-1950 twice), Wes Maughan (1963-1964).

Anyone got any contact details for Roy Woolcott??

Simon Brewster has also dropped me a line:

“David, Perhaps on your next blog you can tell us in which competitive games, City fielded the Team with the least appearances for the club (I guess this would have been a fairly recent occurrence, possible the opening game of the Jeff King era?) and also the most? One would imagine in the modern era we had City teams on the opening day of the season that have struggled to have made more than 100 appearances between the lot of them. Where as in the golden era a city team with a cumulative appearance of well over 1000 must have occurred a few times?”

Unfortunately Simon I can’t answer that query at the present time. I guess the answer to the question regarding the least number of cumulative appearances would have occurred on the opening day of a season, when of course the answer would be 0 if all 11 players were new signings.
What I can tell you is that at the end of the 1968-1969 season the City squad , that is each player who had appeared in the first team that season, had accumulated a total of 2,825 games for the Club which was certainly a record at the time.


In the early part of the 1966-1967 season this 18 years old full back made 3 appearances for City. His debut came on Monday 22nd August 1966 when he played at left back in a 2-1 home defeat against Cambridge United in the Eastern Floodlight Competition. He followed this up with two substitute appearances, at Nuneaton Borough on Saturday 24th September, a 3-3 draw in the league, and at Barnet on Tuesday 14th February 1967, a 4-0 defeat in the EFC.

Hinton had originally been at Arsenal and I have received an e-mail from John Longman,

I was wondering if you could possibly help me. I'm trying to locate an ex Arsenal player who also played for Chelmsford City FC in the late 60's by the name of Billy Hinton. The reason is I am an Arsenal supporter and collect autographs of ex Arsenal players for my own personal collection and I was just wondering if you could try and help me locate him so I could obtain his autograph for my own personal collection. Also would you know of an ex Spurs player by the name of Stuart Skeet at all. If you could help me in any way I would be very grateful. Hope to hear from you soon. Yours faithfully, John Longman”

Unfortunately I do not have any contact details for Hinton but please let me know if you do so that I can pass these on to John. Also has anyone heard of Stuart Skeet?


….that if you do not to want keep checking whether I have posted a new Blog then please e-mail me at the address below and I will add you to my distribution list. I will then e-mail you as soon as I have Blogged!

….whilst I am not going to claim the copyright of any information contained in this Blog it would be appreciated if the source of any information used could be quoted. Thanks!


…..don’t forget that if you want to contact me with any help, feedback or requests you can e-mail me at chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

BLOG Dated 13th June 2010


Included in this latest Blog are statistics for the Reserve team for last season along with updates on several accumulated statistical records for the Club.


Those who follow the Club’s fortunes closely enough will know that the Reserve Team’s fixture schedule became somewhat unbalanced with only four league matches having been completed by the end of February. Despite this the side managed to complete it’s fixtures and it was only sterling work by Club Secretary Alan Brown that saw the final fourteen matches squeezed into March, April and a final game in May.

I trust that the Club will realise next season that if you are going to run a Reserve team, which is not and inexpensive venture, then a balanced fixture list is of paramount importance if value for money for the Club is to be realised.

Listed below is the full list of appearances and goalscorers for last season.




ACKIM Ben 14 0 0 0 14 0
APPIAH Phillip 1 0 0 0 1 0
ARTHUR Chris 0 0 1 0 1 0
BATCHFORD Lewis 15 0 1 0 16 0
BATCHFORD Ryan 17 3 3 0 20 3
BRANSON Lee 5 0 0 0 5 0
BROWN Carl 8 0 1 0 9 0
BROWN Josh 10 0 1 0 11 0
BROWN Jake 6 0 0 0 6 0
CLARKE Pearce 10 0 3 0 13 0
COOPER Grant 1 0 0 0 1 0
COOPER Ryan 3 0 0 0 3 0
CRICK Mark 5 0 0 0 5 0
EDMANS Robert 1 0 2 5 3 5
ELAD Chris 0 0 1 0 1 0
ELGAR Andrew 7 1 2 0 9 1
ELSEY Dan 6 1 1 0 7 1
FATAI-SOMUNYIWA Junior 1 1 3 0 4 1
FOLKES James 0 0 1 0 1 0
GAGE Jamie 1 0 0 0 1 0
GLOVER Simon 3 0 1 0 4 0
HAINES Mark 1 0 0 0 1 0
HARRISON Ashley 0 0 1 0 1 0
HAXELL Peter 2 0 0 0 2 0
HORWOOD Paul 1 0 0 1 1 1
HUNTER Brad 12 3 2 1 14 4
HUSSEY Dave 1 0 0 0 1 0
JACKSON Sean 5 1 0 0 5 1
JOHNSON Max 15 0 1 0 16 0
KIRBY Christopher 5 1 0 0 5 1
LAMB Ross 10 3 0 0 10 3
LATIMER Stuart 9 0 3 0 12 0
LEVETT Albert 4 0 0 0 4 0
MARTIN B Ben 0 0 1 0 1 0
MARTIN J John 1 0 0 0 1 0
MASON Ben 2 0 2 0 4 0
MAYER Joe 14 6 1 0 15 6
MODESTE Ricky 6 4 1 0 7 4
MONK Lee 1 0 0 0 1 0
MUIR Nicholas 2 1 0 0 2 1
O'SULLIVAN Louis 5 2 0 0 5 2
PATTERSON Marlon 1 0 1 0 2 0
PAVETT Jordan 1 0 0 0 1 0
PAYNE Luke 5 1 0 0 5 1
PROTHEROE Lee 0 0 1 0 1 0
REAKES Adam 2 0 3 0 5 0
SAUNDERS Liam 5 0 1 0 6 0
SCARLETT Tyrone 10 3 1 0 11 3
SCOTT Bradley 1 0 0 0 1 0
SHIELDS Sean 1 0 0 0 1 0
SINFIELD Taylor 4 1 0 0 4 1
TIFFEN Paul 3 1 1 0 4 1
VYSE Adam 3 1 1 0 4 1
WHITE Jordan 2 1 0 0 2 1
WILLIAMS Brad 1 1 0 0 1 1

Congratulations to Joe Mayer who ended the season as top goalscorer with six goals and to skipper Ryan Batchford who missed just one game during the season.


So Glenn Pennyfather’s first season in charge of the Club came to a disappointing end with defeat in the Play Offs. However I have to say that after a moderate start to the season it was to Glenn’s credit that he managed to turn things around and get the Club into the Play Offs with a realistic chance of getting into the Football Conference National for the first time ever.

So after one season where does Glenn rank amongst his predecessors? Obviously it was a fairly successful season so it will come as no surprise to learn that only seven of City’s former Managers have a better record in league games than Glenn, one, of course, being Jeff King. Also I must mention that top of the pile is Aidan Boxall, who had just two games in charge. Of those who managed for a substantial number of games Gary Bellamy ranks first, if you discount his period as joint Manager with Colin Norman, with Jeff King next in line.

Here is the full list of City Managers and their league records whilst in charge:


AIDAN BOXALL 2 2 0 0 3 1 100.00 1.50 0.50 2.00
ALAN SLIMAN 19 13 0 6 38 24 68.42 2.00 1.26 3.26
GARY BELLAMY 126 71 29 26 267 134 67.86 2.12 1.06 3.18
JEFF KING 126 72 25 29 252 142 67.06 2.00 1.13 3.13
BILLY FRITH 80 45 15 20 175 121 65.63 2.19 1.51 3.70
ARTHUR ROWE 125 73 18 34 333 206 65.60 2.66 1.65 4.31
DAVE BUMPSTEAD 160 88 32 40 302 159 65.00 1.89 0.99 2.88
GLENN PENNYFATHER 42 22 9 11 62 48 63.10 1.48 1.14 2.62
PETER HARBURN 50 24 15 11 86 63 63.00 1.72 1.26 2.98
JACK TRESADERN 64 32 15 17 149 88 61.72 2.33 1.38 3.70
JOHN NEWMAN 32 15 9 8 48 44 60.94 1.50 1.38 2.88
HARRY FERRIER 270 127 62 81 496 386 58.52 1.84 1.43 3.27
GARY BELLAMY & COLIN NORMAN 71 33 17 21 117 81 58.45 1.65 1.14 2.79
MICK LOUGHTON 166 75 43 48 258 193 58.13 1.55 1.16 2.72
CRAIG EDWARDS 62 28 15 19 85 84 57.26 1.37 1.35 2.73
GEOFF WALKER 60 25 17 18 100 79 55.83 1.67 1.32 2.98
BILL LEIVERS 35 15 9 11 53 46 55.71 1.51 1.31 2.83
FRANK GRICE 168 71 38 59 316 288 53.57 1.88 1.71 3.60
CHRIS SYMES 85 39 13 33 161 124 53.53 1.89 1.46 3.35
JOE O'SULLIVAN 258 106 64 88 366 336 53.49 1.42 1.30 2.72
HARRY WARREN 21 9 4 8 51 31 52.38 2.43 1.48 3.90
DON STEWART 7 3 1 3 12 12 50.00 1.71 1.71 3.43
OLLIE HOPKINS 9 4 1 4 18 14 50.00 2.00 1.56 3.56
BILLY WALSH 30 11 7 12 44 54 48.33 1.47 1.80 3.27
ROBBIE GARVEY & PAUL WATTS 18 4 9 5 18 22 47.22 1.00 1.22 2.22
PAUL PARKER 84 28 23 33 128 138 47.02 1.52 1.64 3.17
SID PROSSER 32 9 11 12 37 41 45.31 1.16 1.28 2.44
GEORGE BORG 37 12 9 16 48 59 44.59 1.30 1.59 2.89
STEVE MOSELY 62 16 22 24 78 88 43.55 1.26 1.42 2.68
DANNY O'LEARY 74 20 24 30 96 109 43.24 1.30 1.47 2.77
COLIN HARPER 49 14 13 22 59 83 41.84 1.20 1.69 2.90
PAUL DELEA 6 2 1 3 9 10 41.67 1.50 1.67 3.17
DON WALKER 50 12 17 21 51 73 41.00 1.02 1.46 2.48
BEN BURLEY 105 30 21 54 155 219 38.57 1.48 2.09 3.56
BOBBY KELLARD 61 14 19 28 80 94 38.52 1.31 1.54 2.85
ROY McDONOUGH 13 2 5 6 18 28 34.62 1.38 2.15 3.54
BILLY WALKER 11 1 4 6 14 27 27.27 1.27 2.45 3.73
BRIAN HONEYWOOD 1 0 0 1 0 5 0.00 0.00 5.00 5.00
DIRECTORS 49 28 10 11 115 70 67.35 2.35 1.43 3.78

TOTALS 2720 1195 646 879 4698 3824 55.81 1.73 1.41 3.13

Gary Bellamy's overall record 197 104 46 47 384 215 64.47 1.95 1.09 3.04


S/R - Success rate expressed as a percentage of points won against points available based
on 2 points for a win.
F/GM - Average number of goal scored per game.
A/GM - Average number of goals conceded per game.
G/GM - Average number of goals, in total, per game.


John Perry, a City supporter since 1962, has e-mailed me with a question relating to Saturday home games. “Can you tell me in which season we've played the fewest number of competitive Saturday home matches? This query is prompted by our experience last season when we were eliminated from the FA Cup and FA Trophy in our opening matches, both of which were away from home, and we also played a number of home league games on a Monday evening or a bank holiday. I think we were left with something like 13 home games on a Saturday, which seems very low in a season that covers a minimum of 21 home matches.

I sent John a spreadsheet detailing the breakdown of Saturday games season by season together with the following text – “John, attached is a spreadsheet showing the number of home games played on a Saturday for each season since 1938-1939. You will see from this that both 1997-1998 and 1999-2000 had the least games with 11, discounting 1939-1940 that is. In the case of 1997-1998 we played 4 home games on a Sunday whilst in 1999-2000 it was just the 1, although we did enter the FA Cup at the Preliminary Round stage and played 6 games that season, of which 5 were away from home. Interesting to note also that in the season just finished we played 21 such games, the second highest total ever after 1953-1954 when we played 22, 4 of which were FA Cup games.”

If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet then please e-mail at the address at the end of this Blog.

John was also able to correct the days on which a couple of games were played in the 1971-1972 season having read a piece I did about Sunday games. Many thanks John for pointing this out to me. It just emphasises the fact that there is a lot of checking to be done with regards to the Club’s history.


P. W. D. L. F. A. %

EAC 5 1 0 4 4 13 20.00 EAST ANGLIAN CUP
EFC 310 151 64 95 581 420 59.03 EASTERN FLOODLIGHT COMPETITION
EPC 49 20 5 24 102 93 45.92 ESSEX PROFESSIONAL CUP
ESC 84 50 6 28 188 119 63.10 ESSEX SENIOR CUP
ETT 35 19 5 11 62 55 61.43 ESSEX THAMES-SIDE TROPHY
FAC 225 111 47 67 412 290 59.78 F.A. CUP
FAT 93 39 13 41 161 156 48.92 F.A. TROPHY
LCP 284 138 54 92 580 403 58.10 LEAGUE CUP
LGE 2720 1195 646 879 4698 3824 55.81 LEAGUE
MCP 4 1 1 2 4 7 37.50 MITHRAS CUP
POF 6 0 2 4 2 8 16.67 PLAY OFFS

TOTALS 3844 1732 852 1260 6840 5458 56.14


Includes both Essex Senior Cup games against Braintree Town in 2003-2004
Does not include the game v Braintree Town in 2005-2006 which was abandoned and not replayed.

Interesting to note that with the exception of the Essex Professional Cup and the FA Trophy the Club have a success rate of over 50% in competitions where they have played a reasonable number of games. Whilst with the exception of the Non League Championship match and the Inter Zone Competition they have a losing record in competitions where only a nominal number of games have been played, including, and I’m sorry to keep harping on about this, the Play Offs!


In response to my earlier piece on City’s tune Kevin McCarthy has been undertaking some research, particularly focusing on my statement that it was released on the album ‘Presenting Frank Chacksfield’ in 1951. Kevin has unearthed the fact that the tune was written by one Ray Martin but it would appear that Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra first released the tune in 1953, although this would seem to be a cover version of the original Ray Martin and his Orchestra release, which again was in 1953.

Kevin’s research has indicated that the album ‘Presenting Frank Chacksfield’ was released by the London Label, number LL1041, in 1953 and that the 7” single (for those of us old enough to remember these vinyl releases), backed with ‘Ebb Tide’, was also released in 1953, catalogue number 45-1538.

I think that we can safely assume therefore that the 1951 release date that I quoted was wrong and that 1953 is the correct date. Accordingly we can also say that 1953-1954 was the first season that it was used by City. It would be interesting to know who selected the tune and why. If I was to guess I would say that someone had it in their collection and brought it down to play and it went from there.

Of course this all leads to another question. When did City first use a PA system, and how were team changes and the like communicated to the crowd before they had one? Anyone got any answers to that one?


Whilst working on my Club records recently I came across City’s 1972-1973 FA Cup run and in particular Roy Woolcott’s contribution. In that season City started off in the Fourth Qualifying round beating Crawley Town 2-0 away. This earned them a First Round Proper tie with Hillingdon Borough, which City again won 2-0, the game being played at New Writtle Street. City were again drawn at home in the Second Round sailing through courtesy of a 5-0 win over Telford United. As luck would have it not only did City get another home tie in the Third round but they were drawn against First Division Ipswich Town, managed at the time by Bobby Robson. City went down 3-1 in front of 15,557 fans with Woolcott scoring City’s goal.

Originally with Tottenham Hotspur Woolcott had a superb season with City scoring 39 goals although injury brought a rapid end to his City career and he was to make just 18 appearances the following season before the curtain came down on his time at New Writtle Street.

He made his mark in the 1972-1973 season’s FA Cup though because not only did he score City’s consolation against Ipswich Town but he scored twice at Crawley, twice in the home win over Hillingdon and a hat trick against Telford United. That brought his season’s total to 8 goals in just 4 appearances, scoring in every game, remembering of course that City did not play any ‘minnows’ in the early Qualifying Rounds.

Those 8 goals equalled the efforts of Tony Butcher in 1967-1968 and Roy Stroud in 1957-1958 but fell short of Jack Palethorpe’s Club record of 12 FA Cup goals set in 1938-1939.


Whilst I touched on this last time here are the average League attendances for every season going back to 1957-1958.


57-8 21 55,036 2,621
58-9 16 36,401 2,275
59-0 21 62,908 2,996
60-1 21 93,191 4,438
61-2 21 84,695 4,033
62-3 20 74,628 3,731
63-4 21 81,218 3,868
64-5 21 64,102 3,052
65-6 21 59,041 2,811
66-7 21 52,281 2,490
67-8 21 59,650 2,840
68-9 21 48,303 2,300
69-0 21 44,072 2,099
70-1 21 50,181 2,390
71-2 21 66,315 3,158
72-3 21 59,383 2,828
73-4 21 44,774 2,132
74-5 21 35,918 1,710
75-6 21 21,241 1,011
76-7 21 21,605 1,029
77-8 19 13,246 697
78-9 20 11,272 564
79-0 23 8,345 363
80-1 23 11,042 480
81-2 23 10,618 462
82-3 19 8,903 469
83-4 19 11,729 617
84-5 19 11,091 584
85-6 19 12,911 680
86-7 21 13,876 661
87-8 21 11,902 567
88-9 21 20,311 967
89-0 21 19,886 947
90-1 21 15,994 762
91-2 21 13,501 643
92-3 20 13,111 656
93-4 21 12,138 578
94-5 21 20,416 972
95-6 21 17,018 810
96-7 21 15,971 761
97-8 21 11,472 546
98-9 21 8,429 401
99-0 21 8,721 415
00-01 21 11,775 561
01-2 21 11,816 563
02-3 21 10,503 500
03-4 21 8,845 421
04-5 21 9,546 455
05-6 21 17,552 836
06-7 21 21,018 1,001
07-8 21 28,476 1,356
08-9 21 27,808 1,324
09-10 21 22,629 1,078


….that if you do not to want keep checking whether I have posted a new Blog then please e-mail me at the address below and I will add you to my distribution list. I will then e-mail you as soon as I have Blogged!


…..don’t forget that if you want to contact me with any help, feedback or requests you can e-mail me at chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.

Monday, 3 May 2010

BLOG Dated 3rd May 2010


Apologies for the delay since my last Blog, but as I have said before I am not going to settle on a regular publishing schedule, I will just Blog when there is sufficient material to make it worthwhile.

There are some outstanding matters from previous Blogs and these will be picked up again in my next Blog.

Included below is part one of my review of the season. As well as the usual stuff my summer Blogs will be looking back at the season just finished and we start by looking at appearances and goalscorers and home league attendances.


It had been my intention to publish the first issue of this quarterly magazine before the end of the season, but unfortunately this has proved impossible. Rest assured though that the launch issue of the magazine is almost finished and I now intend to publish when the pre season friendlies come around. Just to whet your appetite the first issue will include in interview with former Chairman and current Director Trevor Wright looking at some of the things that happened between 1994 and 1997, a statistical focus on the 1938-1939 season, including the full line ups, a look back on how the Essex Chronicle reported the Club’s first ever AGM and putting some historical context on a significant game in the Club’s history, as well as an extract from former Chronicle man Martin Rogers’ autobiography, and of course much much more.


Being away in the Middle East on holiday did mean that I missed the home playoff games against Bath City, but it has given me the time and an early opportunity to audit my statistics for the season just finished and to get this Blog written up. Below is the list of appearances and goal scorers, including the players career records for the Club. In the interests of completeness I have included players who were named as substitute but did not get any playing time.


BATCHFORD Lewis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BATCHFORD Ryan 0 0 3 0 3 0 3 0
BERQUEZ Oliver 22 1 11 1 33 2 237 70
BRAYLEY Bertie 1 0 0 0 1 0 96 30
BROWN Josh 2 0 3 0 5 0 7 0
BUNCE Danny 8 0 0 0 8 0 8 0
CAROLAN Ryan 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
CLARK Steve 24 0 9 0 33 0 44 0
CLARKE Pearce 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
COOK Anthony 37 7 13 4 50 11 50 11
COOPER Grant 2 0 2 0 4 0 4 0
EDMANS Robert 35 8 12 6 47 14 47 14
ELAD Chris 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
EYRE Nick 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FATAI-SOMUNYIWA Junior 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
FINN Anthony 8 0 0 0 8 0 8 0
GLOVER Simon 10 0 4 2 14 2 14 2
HAINES Mark 26 0 7 0 33 0 33 0
HALLETT Jason 5 2 0 0 5 2 95 29
HAND Jamie 7 1 0 0 7 1 18 2
HARRISON Ashley 26 0 11 0 37 0 73 0
HASWELL Michael 16 0 11 0 27 0 86 0
HOCKTON Danny 14 5 2 0 16 5 57 20
HOLLOWAY Craig 17 0 4 0 21 0 21 0
HOLMES Ricky 40 15 15 6 55 21 215 66
HORWOOD Paul 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
JOHNSON Max 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
LATIMER Stuart 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
LOCK Matthew 38 2 13 1 51 3 51 3
MARTIN Ben 22 1 8 0 30 1 30 1
MARTIN John 31 1 11 0 42 1 42 1
MAYER Joe 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
McBEAN Warren 6 4 2 0 8 4 8 4
MODESTE Ricky 28 2 14 3 42 5 46 5
MURRAY Antonio 14 3 7 3 21 6 21 6
NUNN Ben 5 0 1 0 6 0 6 0
OKAY Erkan 4 0 0 0 4 0 10 0
PATTERSON Marlon 19 1 3 3 22 4 22 4
PAVETT Jason 3 0 0 0 3 0 3 0
RAINFORD David 35 7 11 6 46 13 98 34
SCARLETT Tyrone 1 0 1 0 2 0 2 0
SINFIELD Taylor 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
SMITH Lewis 3 1 0 0 3 1 3 1
THOMAS Simon 3 0 1 0 4 0 4 0
WARD Steve 30 0 12 0 42 0 165 0
Own Goals 0 1

Congratulations to top scorer Ricky Holmes who netted 21 times, although it could be argued that during the season City missed an out and out striker who could score 20 goals and would have complimented Ricky’s goals, scored predominantly from a deeper position. Ricky also topped the appearances chart playing in 55 of the Club’s 57 games, missing only the trips to Newport County and Havant and Waterlooville.


Below is a chart showing the breakdown of home league attendances for this season.


Date Opps No Att Cum TotalAve. Up or Down
08-Aug Bath City 1 1,216 1,216 1,216 -10.57
17-Aug Dover Athletic 2 1,578 2,794 1,397 3.02
29-Aug Bromley 3 1,070 3,864 1,288 -5.01
05-Sep St. Albans City 4 1,122 4,986 1,247 -8.08
07-Sep Lewes 5 1,137 6,123 1,225 -9.69
03-Oct Woking 6 1,282 7,405 1,234 -8.98
17-Oct Welling United 7 1,048 8,453 1,208 -10.95
31-Oct Havant & Waterlooville 8 1,053 9,506 1,188 -12.37
07-Nov Maidenhead United 9 1,015 10,521 1,169 -13.79
28-Nov Weston Super Mare 10 1,072 11,593 1,159 -14.51
26-Dec Thurrock 11 1,077 12,670 1,152 -15.06
23-Jan Basingstoke Town 12 1,109 13,779 1,148 -15.32
25-Jan Staines Town 13 844 14,623 1,125 -17.05
06-Feb Eastleigh 14 994 15,617 1,116 -17.74
08-Feb Dorchester Town 15 554 16,171 1,078 -20.50
13-Feb Newport County 16 931 17,102 1,069 -21.17
06-Mar Bishop's Stortford 17 982 18,084 1,064 -21.55
20-Mar Weymouth 18 877 18,961 1,053 -22.32
27-Mar Hampton & Richmond B. 19 1,020 19,981 1,052 -22.45
05-Apr Braintree Town 20 1,685 21,666 1,083 -20.11
16-Apr Worcester City 21 963 22,629 1,078 -20.53

You can see from this chart that the average attendance this season of 1,078 was 20.53% down on last season’s figure of 1,324. Much has been written this season about the way the Club calculates its attendance figures and I am not going to comment on that here. However the figures quoted above are based on official figures released by the Club.

The numbers of people passing through the turnstiles in all competitions is also down on last season. Here are the seasonal totals for past five seasons:

2009-2010 29,932
2008-2009 31,793
2007-2008 30,108
2006-2007 29,293
2005-2006 20,875

Interestingly the Club failed to win any of the six games that attracted the highest crowds to Melbourne Park. Games against Stevenage Borough, 1,762, Braintree Town, 1,685, Bath City, 1,650, Dover Athletic, 1,578, Oxford United, 1,347 and Woking, 1,282, were all either lost or drawn. The opening game of the season, when City beat Bath 4-3, was the home game where City won and attracted the largest crowd, 1,216.

By contrast City won both of the away games that attracted the largest crowds. They won 4-1 at Dartford in October in front of a crowd of 1,830 and also won 2-1 at Woking in August when 1,508 watched the game.

It was in front of small crowds that the Club really excelled away from home though, winning nine of the ten games that attracted the lowest crowds. The exception was a 4-3 defeat at AFC Hornchurch played in front of just 370 people.


Not surprisingly the 2009-2010 was the first season where City started and ended the season by playing the same team at the same venue! Having beaten Bath City 4-3 at home in the opening game of the season on Saturday August 8th they ended the season by losing 1-0 at home to the same team in the second leg of the Play Off semi final.

City’s atrocious form in the Play Offs continues and it is now six games without a win, and just two goals scored. The Club’s complete record is:

3rd May 2004 A Tiverton Town L 0-1
30th April 2007 H Billericay Town D 1-1, Billericay Town progressed on penalties
28th April 2009 H Hampton and Richmond Borough L 1-3
2nd May 2009 A Hampton and Richmond Borough D 0-0
27th April 2010 A Bath City L 0-2
1st May 2010 H Bath City L 0-1

The eagle eyed amongst you will also notice that in three away Play Off games we have yet to score our first goal!

The complete playing record for the season was

Overall - p57 w30 d11 l16 f97 a72
Home – p29 w13 d9 l7 f46 a34
Away – p28 w17 d2 l9 f51 a38

Amazingly, therefore, the team scored more goals away from home, in one less game, than it did in matches at Melbourne Park. It was a season that delivered so much more than it promised at the beginning and it was such a shame that the season ended with four defeats in the last five games.

The 97 goals scored was the lowest total since just 77 goals were scored in the 2005-2006 season under Craig Edwards. Similarly the 72 goals conceded was the highest since 2005-2006 when 73 were let in.

Thanks to the excellent cup runs the 57 competitive games played was the highest since 2003-2004 when the same number were played. That season City also competed in the Eastern Floodlight Competition, East Anglian Cup and the Essex Thames-side Trophy which helped augment the figures. The Club has not played more games since 1996-1997 when 59 competitive games were played.


St Margaret’s, the local club founded by long time City scribe Martin Rogers in 1960, will stage their 50th anniversary reunion at RHP Sports and Social Club on August 28th. Current Chronicle wordsmith David Ward is a notable former player. Sometime City names who played for the Saints (some briefly, others for longer periods of time) include Tony Butcher, Tommy Coakley, Johnny Carter and Colin Polley.

“It started out as a junior team for schoolboys, and within a few years had become a four-team club with the 1970-71 Sunday League side probably the best we ever had,” said Martin, who is coming over from Australia for the occasion.

Distance obviously is no object as he also made the round-the-world trip to be present at City’s ‘coming home’ first match at Melbourne Park Stadium.

….that if you do not to want keep checking whether I have posted a new Blog then please e-mail me at the address below and I will add you to my distribution list. I will then e-mail you as soon as I have Blogged!

…..don’t forget that if you want to contact me with any help, feedback or requests you can e-mail me at chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

BLOG 4 - 21st March 2010


The tune that City run out to has been the subject of a thread on the unofficial City message board recently. Dave Clarke has passed on to me a cutting from the Essex Chronicle dated January 1954 when the tune was the subject of a letter from a City supporter.

The letter appeared in a column by the Chronicle’s City man at the time J. C. Chaplin. The letter went - “Can you tell me if Chelmsford City are the only football club in the country to take the field at home matches to a regular tune played over the loudspeaker? The City tune “The Bugler’s Waltz” is certainly a rousing one and should encourage a loud supporting cheer.” – Ardent Supporter.

Chaplin’s reply was – “I should say that seventy five per cent of the pro clubs have got signature tunes – and many amateur clubs too. But “The Bugler’s Waltz” is certainly a great choice. I wish it would bring equally stirring results.”

So City were certainly using the tune in January 1954, even if they didn’t know its correct title. Anyone got any evidence that it was used even earlier? The track appears on Frank’s debut album ‘Presenting Frank Chacksfield’ which was released by the London label in 1951. I’m not sure who composed the tune and when it was originally written, but it appears that its earliest incarnation was in 1951 so it couldn’t have been used by City before that date.


3 more successes this month bringing the number of players to have played a league game for City where I do not have their birth details down to 180.

I spoke to former City player Mitchell Springett to obtain the details for his father Alan, who played for City three times, twice in the league and once in a league cup tie, in November and December 1959.

I caught up with former City Manager Chris Symes at Don Walker’s funeral during the summer. His first game in charge of the club on Wednesday December 16th 1987 saw City arrive at Leicester United shorthanded and they were forced to use centre forward Paul Wilkins in goal and Stuart Pettican at number 9. Stuart was a friend of Chris’ son and at Don’s funeral he promised to track down Pettican’s details for me. A couple of weeks ago I reminded him of this and Chris has come up trumps and got the details for me. Stuart was 16 years 11 months and 16 days old when he played for City making him one of the youngest players ever to play for the Club, but more of that later. Stuart made one further appearance for the Club, a 5-0 defeat at Grays Athletic in the Essex Thames-side Trophy played 13 days after his debut, when he came on as a substitute.

John Morris pointed out to me that Jamie Reeves details are available on Wikipedia. Jamie played 5 games for the Club, 3 being league games, in September 1979 during John Newman’s spell as Manager. One of the games was the infamous 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Parson Drove United. Jamie now lives and works in Singapore and I have e-mailed him asking for a chat about his time with the Club, but as yet have had no response.


I have been corresponding with former Essex Chronicle scribe Martin Rogers, who now lives in Australia, seeking permission to include an extract from his autobiography in the first edition of ‘The Chelmsford City Historian’. Martin has been happy to give me the necessary permission and I am hoping that he will contribute regularly to the magazine with some of his reminisces of his time covering City for the Chronicle.

Martin’s latest e-mail includes some feedback on my previous Blogs.

“David. A few disconnected thoughts after reading through your posts.

Mention of Jack Parry prompts the memory that he was the goalkeeper when I first watched City in 1957 and Bill Parry (no relation) was the trainer – and father of John Parry who was in the same class when I went to the Grammar School. Even the trainer was considered a celebrity, a real life connection with the gods of New Writtle Street.

John Docherty was a great guy, a super genuine player and personality. He was unfailingly polite and considerate ‘contact’ for the up and coming Essex Chronicle football writer of the day. One terrific memory is of travelling back on the team coach from some distant away match and listening (along with a spellbound audience of players and officials) to Doc rendering ‘The Road To Dundee’ in the most brilliant singing voice. He could have been the Susan Boyle of the 1960’s!

Len Phillips was one of the finest players to wear a City shirt, even if his great days were some time past. His ability to read a situation and deliver searching and beautifully weighted passes were still something special. Another of my ‘duties’ when I was covering City in the 1960’s and 1970’s was to have a weekly audience with the Manager of the day and Harry Ferrier was a treasure trove of information about that First Division back-to-back title-winning side at Portsmouth in which he and Len played.

I’m not surprised that Tony Butcher is such an accurate source of who did what – many have represented the Club with passion and pride but probably none more so than Tony, the local boy made good. There were odd periods in his career when he seemed to miss more than he scored (which is saying something) but the fact is he was an everywhere man who could sniff out those goal-scoring opportunities with uncanny perception. And the record book shows he had a strike rate which few have matched in any tier of professional football.

Martin Rogers”


Claret Kim has asked on the Message board who is the youngest and oldest player to play for the Club. By necessity I have to keep this one down to league matches only, remember also that there are 180 players that I do not have the information for.

The youngest player to play a league game for the Club is George Lay who was 16 years, 5 months and 17 days old when he made his league debut on Saturday December 14th 2002, in 4-0 home defeat by Tamworth. George had already made his competitive debut in a League Cup tie at Welling United 18 days earlier, so it is highly likely that he also holds the record of youngest ever player in competitive games.

George is closely followed by David Hawes, Reg Folkard, Craig Newman, Stuart Pettican and Gareth Street.

The oldest player to play for City in a league game is Peter Taylor who was 42 years, 3 months and 7 days old when he played his final league game for City on Monday April 10th 1995. That was a 3-2 home win over VS Rugby with Lee Hunter, Tony Rogers and Mark Bellingham getting City’s goals.

Peter is followed by Mervyn Cawston, Ben Burley, Harry Lane, Len Phillips and John Taylor.

The oldest player to make his debut for City is Harry Lane who, following his transfer from Southend United, who was 40 years, 5 months and 3 days old when he made his debut in a 2-1 home win over Barry Town on Wednesday August 24th 1949.

Harry is followed by John Taylor, Rob Newman, Bob Glozier, Wally Gould and Tom Brolly.


Peter Foster, again on the Message Board, asked for the Club record in terms of consecutive clean sheets. This was prompted by Ashley Harrison’s run of 6 consecutive clean sheets, including 5 league games.

Well Peter, the previous Club record in terms of competitive games was 6, and this was achieved by Paul Casey who did not concede a goal between December 14th 1988 and January 7th 1989, a run that included 5 league games and an Essex Senior Cup tie. City won all 6 games, 4 of which were at home and 2 away.

Therefore Ashley equalled this record by not conceding a goal between February 8th 2010 and March 6th 2010. These 6 games consisted of 5 league games and an Essex Senior Cup tie, with 4 games at home and 2 away, with City again winning all 6 games, a record that is identical to Paul Casey.

Ashley also equalled the record for consecutive clean sheets in league games with 5, something that had been achieved on 5 previous occasions. The record was originally set by Laurie Taylor in March 1972. This was equalled by Nicky Penn in January/February 1978, and again by Willie Carrick in March 1982. Paul Casey equalled the feat in 1989, as mentioned above, with Paul Catley again keeping 5 consecutive clean sheets in February/March 2000.


Sadly former City player and Manager Peter Harburn passed away on March 13th. Born in Shoreditch on June 18th 1931 Harburn originally joined Portsmouth as an amateur before embarking on a Football League career with Brighton and Hove Albion, Everton, Scunthorpe United and Workington before signing for City in the summer of 1961. He made just 37 appearances for City scoring 12 goals, originally as a centre forward but latterly as a defender. He took over as trainer during Bill Frith’s spell as City Manager being appointed as Caretaker Manager when Frith left the Club in April 1965. He was officially appointed Manager in February 1966. He was sacked in September 1966 as the side started the season badly. He moved on to Wisbech Town and Stevenage Town before taking over as licensee of the Bird In hand public house, which was opposite City’s New Writtle Street ground.

He claimed wrongful dismissal when he left City and successfully sued the Club winning £601 in damages.


David Williams, a Bedford Town historian whom I mentioned in my last blog, has come up trumps after his visit to the National Newspaper Library in Colindale. He has sent me a report of the Bedford v City game played on Wednesday April 14th 1948. This mentions full back Don Walker so that is another blank filled in. To complete this line up, which now has only one name missing; I am inserting Tom Shalcross into the number 6 shirt as he played in the 2 games before and the 5 games afterwards, although with an asterisk that it needs checking. Only 3 more line ups to go!


….that if you do not to want keep checking whether I have posted a new Blog then please e-mail me at the address below and I will add you to my distribution list. I will then e-mail you as soon as I have Blogged!


…..don’t forget that if you want to contact me with any help, feedback or requests you can e-mail me at chelmsfordcityhistory@googlemail.com.