1903–04 Brentford F.C. season

During the 1903–04 English football season, Brentford competed in the Southern League First Division. Despite leading the division in September 1903, disruption behind the scenes and the suspension of manager Dick Molyneux for the final month of the season led to a 13th-place finish.

Brentford
1903–04 season
ChairmanCharlie Dorey
Secretary ManagerDick Molyneux
(until March 1904)
William Lewis
(from March 1904)
StadiumYork Road
Southern League First Division13th
FA CupIntermediate round
Top goalscorerLeague: Buchanan,
Underwood (6)

All: Buchanan,
Underwood (10)

Season summaryEdit

 
Wing half Jimmy Jay was signed from Bristol City during the 1903 off-season and would go on to make more Southern League appearances for Brentford than any other player.

Directly after the end of the dire 1902–03 season, the Brentford committee decided to act and appoint a first team manager.[1] Dick Molyneux became the first official manager in the club's history and arrived at York Road having served as manager at Everton for 12 years,[1] with a CV boasting one Football League First Division championship and two FA Cup runners-up medals.[2] One of the first major changes Molyneux enacted was to request that the board raise funds to pay adequate summer wages for the playing squad, which would put an end to the failures of previous seasons, when the board waited until almost before the beginning of the season to transfer players in, so as to cut down on off-season wages.[1] Due to the majority of clubs conducting their transfer business shortly after the end of the season, the tactic meant that Brentford were always short on transfer options, when conducting business close to the beginning of the following season.[1] The board raised £330 in donations (equivalent to £35,700 in 2021) and Molyneux set about building a 16-man all-professional squad which could compete in the Southern League First Division.[1] Of the previous season's squad, only goalkeeper Tommy Spicer, inside left Percy Turner and outside left Tosher Underwood were retained and by early June 1903, Molyneux had signed an almost entirely new XI.[1] Brentford's colours were changed for the first time since the mid-1890s, with the old claret and blue replaced by a kit consisting of gold shirts with blue stripes, white shorts and black socks.[1]

Dick Molyneux's team started season strongly, reaching top spot in the First Division after five matches.[1] The demands on the small squad led Brentford to fall back into mid-table and a goalkeeping crisis suffered in early 1904 exacerbated the problem.[1] Molyneux brought in former trialist John Bishop and paid him money to play, an illegal move as Bishop was a serving soldier with the Scots Guards and therefore an amateur player.[1] After his third appearance, Bishop returned late to barracks, was reported to his commanding officer and then made a statement in writing about his involvement with Brentford.[1] The statement was passed on to the FA, who fined Brentford £25 and suspended director Bill Dodge for two years and manager Molyneux for the final month of the season.[1] With secretary William Lewis in caretaker charge, the Bees took one point from the remaining five matches of the season to finish in 13th position.[3]

One club record was set during the season:

  • Most Southern League away draws in a season: 5[4]

League tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GR Pts
11 Fulham 34 9 12 13 34 36 0.944 30
12 West Ham United 34 10 7 17 39 44 0.886 27
13 Brentford 34 9 9 16 34 48 0.708 27
14 Wellingborough 34 11 5 18 44 63 0.698 27
15 Northampton Town 34 10 7 17 36 60 0.600 27
Source: rsssf.com
Rules for classification: The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used until the 1976-77 season. The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.

ResultsEdit

Brentford's goal tally listed first.

LegendEdit

Win Draw Loss

Southern League First DivisionEdit

No. Date Opponent Venue Result Scorer(s)
1 5 September 1903 Queens Park Rangers A 0–1
2 7 September 1903 Swindon Town H 2–1 Turner, Swarbrick
3 12 September 1903 Plymouth Argyle H 1–0 Leigh
4 14 September 1903 Tottenham Hotspur H 0–0
5 19 September 1903 Reading A 1–1 Underwood
6 26 September 1903 Wellingborough H 0–1
7 3 October 1903 Bristol Rovers A 1–5 Parsonage
8 10 October 1903 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–0 Leigh
9 17 October 1903 Portsmouth A 1–3 Atherton
10 24 October 1903 Northampton Town H 4–1 Buchanan, Bell (2), Durber (og)
11 7 November 1903 West Ham United A 1–0 Underwood
12 21 November 1903 Luton Town A 0–1
13 5 December 1903 Kettering A 0–1
14 26 December 1903 Fulham H 1–1 Leigh
15 28 December 1903 Millwall H 1–3 Bellingham
16 2 January 1904 Queens Park Rangers H 1–4 Buchanan
17 4 January 1904 Kettering H 4–2 Buchanan (3), Jay
18 9 January 1904 Plymouth Argyle A 2–2 Atherton, Davidson
19 16 January 1904 Reading H 0–0
20 23 January 1904 Wellingborough A 0–2
21 30 January 1904 Bristol Rovers H 1–2 Parsonage (pen)
22 1 February 1904 New Brompton H 1–1 Parsonage
23 6 February 1904 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–3 Underwood
24 13 February 1904 Portsmouth H 4–0 Underwood (2), Brett (pen), Jay
25 20 February 1904 Northampton Town A 0–3
26 27 February 1904 Swindon Town A 1–1 Barron
27 5 March 1904 West Ham United H 2–0 Underwood, Barron
28 12 March 1904 Tottenham Hotspur A 1–1 Buchanan
29 19 March 1904 Luton Town H 2–1 Bell (2)
30 26 March 1904 New Brompton A 0–3
31 2 April 1904 Southampton H 0–1
32 9 April 1904 Southampton A 0–1
33 16 April 1904 Fulham A 0–0
34 23 April 1904 Millwall A 0–2

FA CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Scorer(s)
3QR 31 October 1903 Uxbridge H 8–0 Bell (2), Leigh, Parsonage, Buchanan (2), Underwood (2)
4QR 14 November 1903 Oxford City A 3–1 Underwood, Leigh, Parsonage
5QR 28 November 1903 Wycombe Wanderers A 4–1 Leigh (2), Bell, Buchanan
IR 12 December 1903 Plymouth Argyle H 1–1 Underwood
IR (replay) 16 December 1903 Plymouth Argyle A 1–4 Buchanan
  • Source: 100 Years of Brentford[3]

Playing squadEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   ENG George Bishop
GK   ENG Bill Howarth
GK   ENG Tommy Spicer
GK   SCO Bob Watson
DF   SCO Tommy Davidson (c)
DF   ENG Thomas Howarth
DF   SCO Jock Watson
MF   SCO James Bellingham
MF   SCO Alex Caie
MF   ENG Jimmy Jay
MF   ENG George Parsonage
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   ENG Tommy Atherton (on loan from Grimsby Town)
FW   SCO John Barron
FW   SCO Lawrence Bell
FW   ENG Ralph Brett
FW   SCO Dave Buchanan
FW   ENG Charles Lanham
FW   ENG Tommy Leigh
FW   ENG James Swarbrick
FW   ENG Percy Turner
FW   ENG Tosher Underwood

Left club during seasonEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   ENG Joe Frail (to Stalybridge Rovers)
  • Source: 100 Years of Brentford[3]

Coaching staffEdit

Dick Molyneux (5 September 1903 – March 1904)Edit

Name Role
  Dick Molyneux Secretary Manager
  Bob Crone Trainer

William Lewis (March – 23 April 1904)Edit

Name Role
  William Lewis Caretaker Manager
  Bob Crone Trainer

StatisticsEdit

AppearancesEdit

Brentford's highest appearance-makers in each position during the Southern League season.

GoalscorersEdit

Pos. Nat Player SL1 FAC Total
FW   Dave Buchanan 6 4 10
FW   Tosher Underwood 6 4 10
FW   Tommy Leigh 4 4 8
FW   Lawrence Bell 4 3 7
HB   George Parsonage 3 2 5
FW   John Barron 2 2
FW   Tommy Atherton 2 0 2
HB   James Bellingham 1 0 1
FW   Ralph Brett 1 0 1
DF   Tommy Davidson 1 0 1
HB   Jimmy Jay 1 0 1
FW   Percy Turner 1 0 1
FW   James Swarbrick 1 0 1
Opponents 1 0 1
Total 34 17 51
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years Of Brentford[3]

ManagementEdit

Name Nat From To Record All Comps Record League
P W D L W % P W D L W %
Dick Molyneux   5 September 1903 19 March 1904 34 12 9 13 035.29 29 9 8 12 031.03
William Lewis (caretaker)   26 March 1904 23 April 1904 5 0 1 4 000.00 5 0 1 4 000.00

SummaryEdit

Games played 39 (34 Southern League First Division, 5 FA Cup)
Games won 12 (9 Southern League First Division, 3 FA Cup)
Games drawn 10 (9 Southern League First Division, 1 FA Cup)
Games lost 17 (16 Southern League First Division, 1 FA Cup)
Goals scored 51 (34 Southern League First Division, 17 FA Cup)
Goals conceded 55 (48 Southern League First Division, 7 FA Cup)
Clean sheets 9 (8 Southern League First Division, 1 FA Cup)
Biggest league win 4–0 versus Portsmouth, 13 February 1904
Worst league defeat 5–1 versus Bristol Rovers, 3 October 1903
Most appearances 39, George Parsonage, Jock Watson (34 Southern League First Division, 5 FA Cup)
Top scorer (league) 6, Dave Buchanan, Tosher Underwood
Top scorer (all competitions) 10, Dave Buchanan, Tosher Underwood

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l White, p. 81-82.
  2. ^ "Honours | Everton Football Club". www.evertonfc.com. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. p. 357. ISBN 0951526200.
  4. ^ Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopedia. Yore Publications. pp. 117–120. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.