.....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.