.....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, 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?


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