• Welcome to the ShrimperZone forums.
    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which only gives you limited access.

    Existing Users:.
    Please log-in using your existing username and password. If you have any problems, please see below.

    New Users:
    Join our free community now and gain access to post topics, communicate privately with other members, respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and free. Click here to join.

    Fans from other clubs
    We welcome and appreciate supporters from other clubs who wish to engage in sensible discussion. Please feel free to join as above but understand that this is a moderated site and those who cannot play nicely will be quickly removed.

    Assistance Required
    For help with the registration process or accessing your account, please send a note using the Contact us link in the footer, please include your account name. We can then provide you with a new password and verification to get you on the site.

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
Now I know that this is't everyone's cup of tea but to pass the long soccerless days here's my take on Blues history season by season:

SEASON 1919-20

FROM BANKRUPTCY TO SUCCESS
The first season after football had closed down for the First World War, and at the start of the season the only worry and priority had been to survive as a club, and this Southend certainly did. The ground had been the biggest obstacle, but the one year lease on the Kursaal had guaranteed the survival for the season. The cup game at Sheffield United and the sale of three players had balanced the books and United had ended the season in a quite healthy financial situation. The general opinion of the team was that they were an average side but with a good spirit, this good spirit had to be down to the manager Mr. Ned Liddell, but he had left and joined QPR a month before the end of the season, so there was a lot of uncertainty on the pitch for the future. Finishing eleventh out of twenty two clubs in the southern league was certainly satisfactory especially as at the end of the season they were elected to the third Division. Getting elected to the Football League sounds impressive, but it wasn’t in reality just a renaming of the Southern League to Division Three with 21 of the 22 Southern League Division One now in the Third Division, the exception was Cardiff City who despite only finishing fourth were elected to the second Division, much to the annoyance of Champions Portsmouth, their place being taken by Grimsby relegated from the second division.

Two other problems had manifested during the season, firstly the extension of the lease on the Kursaal and secondly the behaviour of the fans. It seems strange that the leasing arrangement which seemed so amicable at start of the season, was suddenly a matter of contention six months later. Perhaps it was a feeling that better gates would be obtained in a more central location or a ground which was not so bleak in winter conditions. Thankfully these problems were overcome, a further move would have been expensive and put the club back further.

The behaviour of the fans which got such a bad press, was probably a commonplace occurrence with the world and attitudes having changed with the traumas of the First World War. When Blues “Enthusiasts” were described as the worst in the country, I wonder how many grounds the writer had visited post war. The Upper classes were desperately trying to maintain standards, but the working masses expected more, and needed, then as now, the outlet to let their emotions (and language) out in the escapism of football. The attitude of "may the best team win" was being replaced by "may my team win".


THE RESERVES
The point of having a reserve side, then as now, is not to win the league or even to especially win games but to bring on young players, experiment and as a stepping stone for getting back to the first team. However while not winning may not have been a worry, to finish a humiliating bottom place having only won two of twenty eight games was frankly an embracement. Another consideration at this time was that the first team and reserve side would play at the same time, the general idea being that the first team would be at home one week the reserves the next and hopefully attract good crowds to both fixtures.

The South Eastern League before the war had had twenty ones sides, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham but had been greatly devalued when the London sides left to join the London League. Games against the big London sides would always attract good crowds, but the opposition in the South Eastern league were not especially attractive.

However the major consideration as always was finance, the club found running a side in the South Eastern League almost as expensive as competing in the Southern League but without the financial return and this was the major reason that it was decided not to run a reserve team the following season.


Hope you enjoy this write up Season 1920-21 to follow in a couple of days.

DoDtS
 

The Big Dady

Light & Bitter⭐
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
7,003
Location
Sarfend-on-Mud
Great read DoDtS, here is a pic of the 1919-20 Southend United team.

19191920.jpg


The behaviour of the fans which got such a bad press, was probably a commonplace occurrence with the world and attitudes having changed with the traumas of the First World War. When Blues & Enthusiasts were described as the worst in the country,

Worst supporters in the country? surely they mean the best! :winking:
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
Worst supporters in the country? surely they mean the best! :winking:

The behaviour of some supporters, they should have had banning orders!!!!!!!!!!!
(Great) Grandparents whowould have them.



Conduct of Certain Spectators
I notice that the Southend United Football Club are again asking the local public to take shares in the club. A special appeal was enclosed in the programme of last Saturdays match. I’m sure I’m voicing the opinion of many of the clubs supporters when I say that this appeal is a lot more likely to meet with success if the Directors of the club were to use their powers and refuse admittance to certain spectators whose behaviour shouldn’t grace any football ground. They now habitually take up their positions in or near the stand and their language and certain behaviour is so bad that the game is completely spoiled for others in their vicinity. The game on Saturday last was a well fought and clean one, yet right from the beginning these people started the usual torrent of abuse directed against the visiting team and the referee accompanied by language of the most foul nature. Several friends of mine have discontinued attending matches owing to this nuisance and others like myself have had to stand in the crowd on the further side of the ground. While anxious to support the club I shall certainly refuse to do so whilst the Directors are blind to this sort of thing. I have attended matches all over the kingdom from Aberdeen to Brighton but have never been on a ground where such conduct would be tolerated. The principle of “May the best team win” seems to be unknown to these people who never by any chance applaud any good play by the visiting team and are continually shouting their own team to descend to unfair antics. If you can by any chance use your influence to get this blot on local sportsmanship irradiated you will be conferring a great service on the club. I may add that many supporters of visiting teams have complained bitterly of the actions of these “enthusiasts”.
From the Southend Standard 11th March 1920
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1920-21

RIOT AT PALACE, ROUGH PLAY AND THE LAST 16 OF THE CUP
Southend’s first season in the Football League and it had been a season when the Blues hadn’t known what to expect, but as the season progressed it had turned into a big disappointment spending most of the season looking over their shoulders at re-election, but at the end of the day they had survived for another season. It had also been a season of trauma, with the crowd trouble at Crystal Palace, the “rough play” games against Portsmouth, and then the unfortunate sending off of Fairclough and his ultimate departure had been a baptism of fire into the Football League.

RIOT AT PALACE
Crystal Palace were unbeaten at home after seven games and had only conceded two goals in the process, while the Blues were still yet to score away from the Kursaal, with just one goalless draw to show from their travels. The South London spectators had the attitude that all they had to do was turn up to claim the points, but the Blues enthusiasts were surprisingly not down hearted and several hundred attended the mid week fixture. Despite a practical cessation of trains to Selhurst station from midday a large number still travelled by train having to disembark at Norwood Junction, while many made the journey to Croydon by Charabanc. Many of the followers had rattles and bells with which they kept up an infernal din. Against all the odds Southend won 3-2 and the Blues supporters were ecstatic and chaired Fairclough from the ground shoulder high, the Crystal Palace supporters reacted badly and a number of unsavoury incidents occurred. The referee was hit and knocked to the ground as he left the field, as was Bob Reid the Southend captain, several other players were subjected to similar treatment. Afterwards an unpleasant demonstration was staged outside the ground against the referee. The Southend charabancs were also subject to rough handling, and were stoned by a section of the crowd, one had a brick put clean through the wind screen. The referee stated that he had no option but to report the incidents and as a result Palace's ground (The Nest) was closed for two weeks.

ROUGH PLAY
Bad feeling from the win against Portsmouth the previous week was carried forward to the return match the following week played in front of 15,000 spectators, with what was described as “rough play”. Portsmouth had won the Southern League the previous season but had not been promoted, Portsmouth fans upset by this now found themselves struggling in division three in 17th place. The scene was set in the first five minutes when two horrific fouls by Portsmouth meant both offending players being cautioned by the referee, the game continued in the same mode but it must be admitted that Southend were not innocent in this matter. Fierce vindictive play intermingled with threats to the Southend players which could even be heard in the grandstands but were ignored by the referee who had lost control of the game. As a result the possession of the ball was of secondary importance and the result of the game of little consequence

1920-21 was a season of complete contrast between home and away form, at home they won 13 drew 2 and only lost 6 of the 21 home games, scoring 32 conceding 20, away only 1 win, six draws and 14 defeats scoring 12 conceding 41.

Of the 13 homes wins eight were by a one goal margin, three by two goals and two by three goals, Away we only managed to score in 9 of the 21 games and only the one solitary win at Palace.

THE CUP
Of course the season will be best remembered for the Cup Run reaching the last 16 but of course all the four cup games were at HOME. After beating Hednesford 3-1, Eccles United 5-1 and then a very creditable 1-0 win over Blackpool set Blues up for a Third round match against Tottenham. The game started at a hectic pace and Spurs were struggling to hold Southend, and Joe Walters scored what looked like a perfectly good goal but the referee disallowed the goal to the boos of the crowd. On fifteen minutes Nicholls put right that wrong and put the Blues one up. A good shout for a penalty was denied by the referee as Southend dominated, and the First Division outfit resorted to playing the one back game. After 39 minutes against the run off play Tottenham headed an equaliser. Southend pressed again and after a blatant push the referee finally had no choice but to give a penalty. Whalley placed the ball but the referee readjusted the ball, Whalley didn’t want the seam of the ball facing him and went to change it again, but the referee refused to allow him. This obviously unsettled Whalley and he put the penalty wide of the right post. From this point onwards the game totally changed and Tottenham took control and ended up 1-4 winners.


RESERVES
There was no reserve team in 1920-21, but an amateur side Southend Corinthian played at the Kursaal on alternative Saturdays in the South Essex League but it was not a great success.

THE CORINTHIANS
It is common practice with people who make a hash of things, whether in speech or otherwise to turn round and blame the Press. From long experience we know just the type of people to expect this from. Southend Corinthians who have made such an inglorious attempt to run a senior Amateur Club in the town, are the latest to attempt to excuse their failure by blaming the Press. The following announcement appeared in their official programme of last week: “Encouragement goes a long way with an amateur team but the local press have not been kind on even fair to some of the players. Honest criticism is a good thing but wholesale ‘slanging’ of players when playing below form or when a weak team is fielded (an event which cannot be avoided, especially in midweek fixtures) is in journalistic language farcical and ludicrous ”. The Southend Standard then disputed the complaints at great length.

The directors are pleased to report that in addition to the club retaining it’s position in the Third division of the football League, a second team will compete in the Southern League next season, which will not only enable the club to have a larger numbers of players at their disposal but will provide matches at home on practically every Saturday during the season.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1921-22

RE-ELECTION
Southend United finished bottom of the Third Division (South) by seven points, winning only eight games all season. At home they had won seven and drawn five of the twenty one games, breaking even on goals scoring and conceding with 23 goals. At this time most clubs were better at home than away, but our away form was appalling even for this time, won only once, drawing six and losing FOURTEEN scoring eleven goals conceding 51. Looking at some of the reports from the Southend Standard, they certainly didn’t hold back with their criticism, make it very clear on the local opinions of the performances

Clearly goal scoring was the problem, full-back Jimmy Evans had done more than could have been expecting of him finishing top scorer with ten penalties, but a host of other forwards couldn’t do their job. Harry Pidgeon and Billy Ruddock finished equal second league scorers with four goals apiece. Jimmy Evans was only 5 foot 6 and a half, but was capped by Wales and had an unusual style for penalties, his swooping run in and shot becoming something of a trademark.

The previous season had been relatively successful especially in the cup, but of that squad only five regular players remained, Tom Capper in goal, Blakey Martin, George Nicholls, Jimmy Evans and Henage Wileman. Wileman who had been at the club for ten years, was badly injured at Christmas and never played for the club again. Twenty two new players made their debut during the season trying unsuccessfully to fill the gaps, added to this a new manager coming mid season which especially in the 1920s was going to take time to settle was a recipe for disaster. Clearly with this amount of instability it was inevitable that performances on the pitch were going to suffer.

The desperation hit home that their spell in the football league could last only two seasons, but a campaign was launched with the slogan “Southend without its football would be as the sea without its salt” and this seemed to be received well as only eight of the first and second division clubs didn’t vote for the Southend and they were comfortably re-election to Division 3 (South), the voting was :

36 Votes....Southend United.......Re-elected to the league
32 Votes....Exeter City...............Re-elected to the league

21 votes.....Pontypridd...............Not elected to the League
..1 votes.....Bath City.................Not elected to the League
..0 votes.....Llanelly...................Not elected to the League


RESERVES
As if the league position hadn’t been bad enough, “to rub salt into the wound”, the Southend reserve team also finished bottom of the Southern League (English Division). The Southern League which had been hugely devalued since the formation of the Third Division South consisted of 19 clubs, sixteen of these were the reserve teams of Division Three South teams and the first teams of Boscombe, Bath and Guildford.

So this must go down as Southend’s worst season ever, first and second teams combined they had played 78 games, won only 17 lost 47 scored only 81 and conceding a massive 168 goals. I wonder if manager Ted Birnie knew what he had taken on.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,596
Location
London
SEASON 1921-22

RE-ELECTION
Southend United finished bottom of the Third Division (South) by seven points, winning only eight games all season. At home they had won seven and drawn five of the twenty one games, breaking even on goals scoring and conceding with 23 goals. At this time most clubs were better at home than away, but our away form was appalling even for this time, won only once, drawing six and losing FOURTEEN scoring eleven goals conceding 51. Looking at some of the reports from the Southend Standard, they certainly didn’t hold back with their criticism, make it very clear on the local opinions of the performances

Clearly goal scoring was the problem, full-back Jimmy Evans had done more than could have been expecting of him finishing top scorer with ten penalties, but a host of other forwards couldn’t do their job. Harry Pidgeon and Billy Ruddock finished equal second league scorers with four goals apiece. Jimmy Evans was only 5 foot 6 and a half, but was capped by Wales and had an unusual style for penalties, his swooping run in and shot becoming something of a trademark.

The previous season had been relatively successful especially in the cup, but of that squad only five regular players remained, Tom Capper in goal, Blakey Martin, George Nicholls, Jimmy Evans and Henage Wileman. Wileman who had been at the club for ten years, was badly injured at Christmas and never played for the club again. Twenty two new players made their debut during the season trying unsuccessfully to fill the gaps, added to this a new manager coming mid season which especially in the 1920s was going to take time to settle was a recipe for disaster. Clearly with this amount of instability it was inevitable that performances on the pitch were going to suffer.

The desperation hit home that their spell in the football league could last only two seasons, but a campaign was launched with the slogan “Southend without its football would be as the sea without its salt” and this seemed to be received well as only eight of the first and second division clubs didn’t vote for the Southend and they were comfortably re-election to Division 3 (South), the voting was :

36 Votes....Southend United.......Re-elected to the league
32 Votes....Exeter City...............Re-elected to the league

21 votes.....Pontypridd...............Not elected to the League
..1 votes.....Bath City.................Not elected to the League
..0 votes.....Llanelly...................Not elected to the League


RESERVES
As if the league position hadn’t been bad enough, “to rub salt into the wound”, the Southend reserve team also finished bottom of the Southern League (English Division). The Southern League which had been hugely devalued since the formation of the Third Division South consisted of 19 clubs, sixteen of these were the reserve teams of Division Three South teams and the first teams of Boscombe, Bath and Guildford.So this must go down as Southend’s worst season ever, first and second teams combined they had played 78 games, won only 17 lost 47 scored only 81 and conceding a massive 168 goals. I wonder if manager Ted Birnie knew what he had taken on.

DoDtS - do we know who these *******s who didn't vote for us were?
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
it was a secret ballot so that information would not have bben published. As Pontypridd got 21 votes, I suppose it would be fair to expect fellow Welsh side Cardiff would have voted for them, while you would have thought the London sides would have voted for us.

DoDtS
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1922-23

A SEASON OF PROMISE
Ted Birnie was given the impossible task of taking over as manager mid-way through the ill-fated 1921-22, taking over a totally demoralized team and despondent supporters. Managers of course were more administrators in those days and the selection of teams a recommendation to the directors to either approve or disapprove. For Season 1922-23 he had the opportunity to rebuild the side and few could fail to have been impressed with the results.

Miraculous can only be used to describe how he managed to persuade Manchester United centre-forward Billy Goodwin to join the bottom club in the Football League. He used an out with the old, in with the new campaign and the only regular players retained were Jimmy Evans, Harry Dobson, David Reid, Billy Evans, Stan Dellow, Henry White, Joe Hall and Harry Pidgeon. In return he signed thirteen new players. These included James Bissett from Ebbw Vale, Walter Jennings from Swansea., George Davies from Wellington, Wilf Lievesley from Manchester City, Joe Humphries from Aston Villa, Robert Booth from Birmingham, Robert Firth from Port Vale, and Jackie Slater from Swansea.

I suppose the supporters would have been happy with any improvement after the disastrous 1921-22 season, but in truth Ted Bernie had impressed with his rebuilding of the team, they could see the making of a good team, but somehow it just didn’t come together often enough. They started the season reasonably well after eight games they were in ninth place and the impressive Goodwin had scored seven goals this included a 4-0 defeat of Millwall, but by Christmas they had slumped to 19th place. The latter part of the season saw a little improvement and final finishing place of 15th. Other large home wins of 5-0 over Exeter and 4-0 against Aberdare, got the pulses racing, yet bad losses especially away ruined what was thought could have been a successful season. Clearly it was a side that could score goals, so unlike the previous term, and it was felt that perhaps the next season they could challenge for promotion?


RESERVES
The Southern League was much the same as the previous year, Charlton and Gillingham had left and Coventry Reserves, Torquay United and Yeovil & Petters United first teams had joined, but Southend had a much more successful season finishing ninth.

As far as Southend United reserves are concerned, they have provided excellent entertainment in the Southern League and their doings have been watched with considerable interest by an increased following. Consequently there should not be the heavy loss incurred this season than there was in 1921-22 when it was claimed that the deficit for running of a second string of about £2,000.
From the Southend Standard 10th May 1923


Meanwhile the First F.A. Cup Final was played at Wembley Stadium with former Southend Schoolboy and future Southend manager David Jack scoring the first goal. Forget all the romance of the “White Horse" final the reality was not so pleasant.

The first Cup final at the new Wembley stadium had taken place between West Ham and Bolton on the 28th April 1923 and had created quite a bit of interest in Southend. The relationship between Southend and West Ham were good thanks to goodwill of waived transfers, memories of old Southern League derbies but mostly as West Ham were considered another Essex side (of course Colchester didn’t joined the football league for another 23 years). Many local people attended. “The lure of a new stadium and the fact that an Essex club was competing” being the general view. However the enthusiasm was short lived as the day ended in the mass invasion of the pitch by spectators and only the mounted police who saved the day.

The shocked reaction in Southend, saw local headlines as “An Ugly Situation”, or “Mob Law” and comments such as “ there was a good deal of hooliganism” and “much cowardly ruffianism” were being used to describe the crowd. There must have been some element of truth in this as the following extract explains “London battalions occupied all the unoccupied seats. They were an ugly determined lot, made up of some of the boys from Canning Town, Custom House, Tidal Basin etc and any remonstrance against them was met by abuse and vile threats. The situation looked extremely ugly at this point and many of us wishing ourselves back at the Kursaal. Estimates at the time said as many as 200,000 tried to gain access, many with tickets couldn’t reach their seats and gave up and went home, but when inside the mass of people trying to enter prevented any exit at all. Hundreds were treated for injuries, ninety taken to hospital, but in all honesty it’s surprising it wasn’t a lot worse, it could have been a massive disaster”. The accusations made against the crowd only try and hide the fact that an event had been put on which totally under estimated the attendance and were unable to control those who were there. On smaller scales virtually every ground in the country had similar problems, despite claiming the Kursaal could hold 23,000 what would have happened if 23,000 or more did turn up? The one lasting consequence of this day was that every Cup final after this has been all ticket.
 

DTS

The Business
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
16,173
Location
In a world of my own.
it was a secret ballot so that information would not have bben published. As Pontypridd got 21 votes, I suppose it would be fair to expect fellow Welsh side Cardiff would have voted for them, while you would have thought the London sides would have voted for us.

DoDtS

In fairness Pontypridd got what was coming to them.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1923-24

HORRENDOUS INJURY TO GOODWIN
The expectations of the season were probably too high, but then that is what watching football is all about, Southend were a club desperate for success, still enamoured by the goal scoring feats of 1906. Survival after the war, the disastrous 1921-22 season, then the hope of 1922-23, all seemed to be pointing towards a successful 1923-24 season, but then, as they say, “it all went horribly wrong”.

The season started in a comfortable mid-table position but then a disastrous period from December to March saw only one win and a drop to one place above the re-election zone. A 5-1 win over Northampton broke the sequence and a 3-0 success over Watford virtually saved the season for the Blues but were brought back to reality with a 0-8 defeat at Northampton and their final match of the season ended in a 1-7 defeat at Plymouth. The season had started optimistically with new signing Victor Whitam from Scunthorpe scoring five in the first three games but Billy Goodwin seemed to be played out of position and although finishing top scorer only scored eleven goals. However at Brighton on Good Friday there was a horrendous injury to Billy Goodwin which saw him writhing in agony. A Doctor saw to him and in a few minutes his leg was bound in splints and he was lifted to a stretcher. He said the pain was intense and it must have been. He bore it well and as he was carried from the field, he raised his head to say “tell the boys to play up”. The Doctor later confirmed that he had a compound fracture near the ankle and a dislocation that could well end Goodwin’s playing career..

Blame for an unsuccessful side, at this time, was not aimed at the Manager as is the case now. No one doubted Mr. Birnie’s ability, but the question arose was he picking the team? It was the directors who officially made the selection on the managers recommendation, but was his advice being taken or overruled? Certainly the team selections were often bewildering, how could the reserves be so good and the first team so bad? It was generally accepted that they had good players at the club, but the strange team selections seem to have lead to apathy on the pitch.

So the question was where were they going in the coming season, certainly not the same high expectations, Jimmy Evans had left the previous season and now the horrific injury to Billy Goodwin were massive blows to the club. Goodwin said he would be back but with such a bad injury he would be lucky to ever play again, and if so where were the goals going to come from? Then again the United had conceded eighty four goals in the league plus six in the cup, ninety in all, what were they going to do about the defence?


RESERVES
Breaking into the monopoly of the London Combination had been a major success in itself for the Blues with the eleven London sides and Southend competing in the 12 club League, and few expected much in the way off results against first and second division outfits. However they managed to beat 10 out of the 11 sides in the League, only Chelsea managed to avoid defeat. Impressive wins at Highbury and at Upton Park, plus beating Spurs at the Kursaal where probably the highlights, although the 6-1 win over QPR and 4-1 against Second Division Palace were perhaps just as memorable. They finished in fourth place behind West Ham, Tottenham and Chelsea, but above Arsenal and the seven other sides.

The success on the pitch was only half the benefit, gates of up to 6,000 were turning up and the reduced travelling costs made it a success financially. Perhaps they were a victim of their own success, as the fans saw the reserves success and compared it to the failings of the first team and they started asking “which team is the reserves?”
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1924-25

A NEW HERO FOUND THEN SOLD
After a disappointing season just gone the directors nevertheless carried out improvement work at the Kursaal :
When supporters assemble once more at the Kursaal ground they will find the facilities for seeing considerably enhanced, especially behind the Woodgrange Drive goalposts. There the banking has been built up to a considerable extent, with steps placed at the rear to reach it. This part of the ground should now accommodate quite 10,000 and the added height and make up should provide spectators with a better view than ever. At the Beresford Road end and also on the western side the banking has been improved. In fact there will be few provincial grounds in the Third Division that will rival that at the Kursaal.

From The Southend Standard 14th August 1924

THE SEASON: The loss of Billy Goodwin was sadly missed and the Blues started poorly with two defeats without scoring a goal and found themselves in the bottom two. The next seven games saw a slight improvement and they were in 16th place only scoring five goals in those nine games. The club badly needed a goalscorer and they had one in the Reserves and for the next game he was in the first team.

Bristol Rovers were second in the league and had only lost once. This game was somewhat of a turning point in Southend’s fortunes, a new centre forward was tried Jim McClelland the youngster who had signed from Raith Rovers in the previous season. The game started and within two minutes the Blues gained a penalty, McClelland took it and although he shot straight at the goalkeeper, the power plus goalkeeping error carried the ball over the line.. The Blues were two nil up at half time and although Rovers pulled one back, the result was never in doubt, it was a surprise that Southend didn’t score more. They had made a very good side look moderate, and the crowd of 7,500 were enthusiastic about what without doubt had been their best performance of the season so far

With McClelland scoring regularly Blues started to climb the league and by January they were second in the league, but failed to take the opportunity to go top when they lost to Newport. The Blues were still well placed in the top five until February often playing superb and exciting football McClelland having scored 21 goals in 22 games and the fans still had hopes of promotion but then came:

TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY:
Southend’s worst fears were realised. Jim McClelland, was transferred to Second Division Middlesbrough. The fee wasn’t disclosed, but two players were offered on a loan deal for the rest of the season PLUS all of the next season, the players being Billy Hick and Jack French.. The news which was largely seen as inevitable did not go down well, it was generally thought that “Mac” still only 24 could turn into one of the best Centre forwards in the Country

Inevitably performances suffered and the Blues finished in tenth place and although their highest placing since being in the Football League, a huge disappointment after the promise shown. The reality then as now, that real talent has to be sold is a bitter pill to swallow.

There was also a lot of criticism of the Kursaal crowd, for being unsporting, biased and for using bad language.


THE RESERVES
The excitement of playing in the London Combination had waned considerably and attendances had taken a drop. Nevertheless the standard of the opposition was still impressive with six home games against First Division opposition and eight against Second division teams. However the worrying statistic was that Reserves had finished bottom of their leagues twice in four years.

Last season the Reserves had been boosted by goals from McClelland with his promotion to the first team, it was inevitable that the Reserves would suffer.
 

Stats

aka Ian Poulter
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
5,029
Location
Parts Unknown
I've seen these before.

They've been taken from ''Shrimp When Your Winning'' by John Crickson, following the Shrimpers for over 100yrs.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1925-26

WHICH CENTRE FORWARD?
Billy Goodwin gone, Jim McClelland now also gone and frankly the loan replacements of Billy Hick and Jack French hadn’t impressed in the short period they had been at the club but perhaps they would improve during the coming season? The season started poorly with a 6-2 defeat at Plymouth and three weeks later an 8-1 loss at Millwall. Wins of 6-1 over Northampton and 4-0 over Brighton improved the situation and by Christmas Southend were in a solid top half position with one eye on the promotion race. The goals at this stage had been coming from Ernie Watkins with Billy Hick reduced to the reserves, but again there were complaints of players being played out of position particularly Watkins, the blame being pointed at the directors. Watkins had scored eleven goals in thirteen appearances but then the goals dried up and he had a spell in the reserves culminating in him scoring four goals at Chelsea in a 5-1 win, but on New Years Eve he committed a breach of club rules was suspended and a week later he was transferred to Brentford.

Billy Hick had taken a lot of stick for not being the sort of Centre forward required, he was no Billy Goodwin but it was suddenly being realised that his record as a goal getter was an impressive one. He was played in 6 League games and scored 6 goals. The regularity of his scoring in the Combination is remarkable. He has played in 13 games and scored 16 plus a further 8 in friendlies In all he had scored 22 goals in 19 games and only failed to score in three games. Now with Watkins gone he was a regular in the first team. Blues reached sixth place in the table but in a disappointing final run in only two wins in the last eight saw a final finish of eleventh. The leading goalscorer was Billy Shaw with 21 goals who had been consistent throughout the season, followed by Hick with 18 and Watkins with 13.


CUP GLORY
Season 1925-26 will be best remembered for the cup run where the Blues reached the fifth round of the cup all five ties being played at the Kursaal. In the first Round Dulwich Hamlet were disposed of 5-1, Gillingham 1-0 in the second and Southport 5-2 in the third round and then in the fourth round saw the visit of high flying Second Division side Derby County

The crowd of 15,800 included about a 1,000 derby fans who came down by three trains with the supporters bedecked in black & white colours, with rattles and walking sticks with favours on them, most of which were left behind for the journey home. After twenty six minutes Southend scored and then less than ten minutes later it was 2-0 and that was the score at the interval. Derby were having trouble in containing Southend in a lively start to the second half and resorted to playing the offside trap, but it did little to hold up the United onslaught. After 65 minutes Billy Hick found himself through on a one to one with the goalkeeper and made no mistake in slotting the ball home. The crowd went mad knowing that the match was now out of Derby’s reach. Six minutes later Hick scored again in almost an identical move. The score was Southend 4-0 Derby, and it was no fluke, apart from a small period of the game, Southend had outplayed, outwitted, and outfought Derby. With fourteen minutes still to go Derby finally scored their consolation.

The fifth round draw was against Nottingham Forest on paper an easier draw. Also in the second division but having a poor season. The first half was quite even and tense neither side wanting to commit too much too soon. The second half started in explosive manner within a couple of minutes a good Southend move resulted in the goalkeeper having trouble keeping the ball out of the net and the crowd behind the goal definitely thought that the ball had crossed the line, but the referee waved play on. The crowd was irate and the team seemed unsettled and during the next twenty minutes Forest took possession of the game and scored the all important goal. The Blues regained their composure and tried their hardest to gain the elusive equaliser, but in vain.


BILLY GOODWIN’S BENEFIT
Brentford Reserves in the Combination was designated as his benefit match. A crowd of about 3,000 were in attendance but as 5,000 tickets had already been sold it showed the respect which Billy Goodwin commanded.

RESERVES
It was the third season the Reserves had been competing in the London combination and it was their most successful, at one stage they were serious contenders for the title but fell away towards the ends of the season finishing third. The title would have been an excellent achievement, but the more important factor was that they were attractive matches for the spectators. Although Chelsea had dropped to the second Division, Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham were still in the top flight and these were the games the fans wanted to see. The reserves were an important part of the set up in the twenties, a season ticket cost £1 2s 6d (£1.12½p) for which you gained admission to 21 first team matches which would cost 1s (5p) and 22 reserve games at 6d (2½p) admission, so if you only intended to watch the first team it would not be worth buying a season ticket. However the very existence of the Combination was under threat.

CENTRAL LEAGUE PROPOSALS
It was a relief to the management of the Southend Club that the proposal to extend the Central League to include eight of the London Combination Clubs was not proceeded with. The decision was arrived at by the Central League itself who expressed the opinion that the time was not right for such extension. With the London Combination extended to twenty two clubs, the Blues Reserves are assured of a full and attractive fixture list next season through travelling expenses are bound to be heavier. The following clubs have agreed to join the Combination next season, Brighton, Gillingham, Luton, Northampton, Norwich, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton, Swindon and Watford
.
From the Southend standard 6th May 1926

Quite where this would have left the Reserves, if the Central league had taken 8 out of 12 Combination clubs, does bare thinking about. As it was the London Combination now had another ten clubs, two second Division clubs Portsmouth and Southampton, and eight Third Division Clubs, but we lost four home and away fixtures against the big four clubs. Not ideal but it could have been a lot worse.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1926-27

UPS AND DOWNS AND A LEGEND RETURNS BRIEFLY
1926-27 was a disappointing season, it was felt even in the opening practice games that the team was strong enough to challenge for a top half position. Billy Hick and Jack French had both taken there time settling down but with their loan agreements finished they both signed permanent contracts and although ten new players had signed few of them made much impact. The Blues were also hampered by an epidemic of injuries especially in the busy month of September, but at most times they always seemed to have four or five men unavailable because of injury.

It was a season of good spells and bad spells. The season started with a 5-1 defeat at Swindon and then gaining just one point from the first four games but this was followed by three straight wins in a thirteen match spell which only saw just one defeat and saw Blues rise to sixth place. Only two wins in the next fifteen matches saw Southend drop to 14th and in freefall with re-election not that far away. Home wins over Gillingham, Crystal Palace and Northampton saved them from that indignity which was as well as they lost their last four games.

The end position of fourth from bottom was the lowest for three years, just when it was thought they were pulling away from the dark days of 1921-22 when the Blues finished bottom. "Clearly a stronger team needs to be in place from the first match of the season, replacements to enhance are one thing, but to rebuild a team mid way through a season is something entirely different". Note: Aberdare Athletic had to seek re-election but they were voted out their place being taken by Torquay.

Billy Hick had matured and although not always the most popular of players had scored 29 goals, but the legend Billy Goodwin made a surprise comeback after a couple of appearances for the Reserves on Boxing Day he made his first senior match for three years and scored twice in the 2-1 win over Brentford. However the injury had taken it’s toll, he was not the same player and he was soon back in the reserves but did end the season as leading scorer for the Junior Blues with ten goals in fourteen appearances.

A charity match was played, between Southend and West Ham at the Kursaal, unfortunately bad weather probably halved the gate but a crowd of between 4,000 to 5,000 were present. Before the start of the game “Community Singing” was tried as an experiment. Pairs of enormous “Amplion” speakers had a businesslike appearance and a conductor’s platform stood in front of the larger of the two stands. The arrival of the Grenadier Guards band was the signal for cheering and stamping of feet from the crowd and their march round the ground to the “British Grenadiers” was followed by such favourite jazz tunes as “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “The Red Red Robin” which set both feet and voices going in a kind of preliminary effort. There was an expectant buzz as Mr Ratcliff, the community singing leader mounted his platform. “Now then” came the accumulated concentrated shout of the twelve amplifiers, in a tone which obviously meant business. “Pack up your troubles and let it go” with songs such as “Tipperary”, “Frothblowers Anthem” and “Glory Glory Hallelujah”. “The King” made a triumphant finale and three cheers led by Mr Ratcliff gave one last chance for one glorious shout. Hoarse throats and lost voices were a small price for such an exhilarated three quarters of an hour and the spirits of some thousands.


RESERVES
The Reserves, like the first team had a disappointing season, and a lot of performances well short of what was required. This was the first season of the London Combination being extended to twenty two clubs, and as the season came to an end, it was just a relief to avoid re-election, finishing fourth from bottom.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1927-28

SEVENTH FINISH AND THE “DOGS”
A final finish of seventh place was the best placing Southend had managed in the Third Division and at the start of the season they even flirted with the idea of promotion, however the general feeling was that it could have been better still. The defeat by Gillingham in the second round of the cup had been a bitter blow, which meant for a second consecutive season there was no lucrative Cup money, and the directors made it clear that as home attendances had been disappointing the books had to be balanced. Inevitably Alf Horne went to Manchester City and Tommy Bell went to Portsmouth. No doubt these large fees helped the balance sheet but it didn’t appease the spectators.

The season went well though, eleven wins and seven losses from the first 18 games saw Blues in 6th place (this included winning 9 out of 10 at home), however the next eight games saw only three points gained and a drop to 12th place. The pendulum then swung in the Blues favour and seven wins in the next 10 games saw them rise to 7th place, and a mixed last six games saw them finish in 7th place. The final two games both ended with wins a 1-0 win at Swindon and a 5-1 home win over Newport at the Kursaal.

There had been two schools of thought comparing the goalscorers of Billy Hick and Fred Baron, Hick had scored 26 goals in 33 games, while Baron had scored 11 goals in 12 appearances. Hick despite his goalscoring record had taken a lot of criticism for below par performances and for only scoring the easy goals. The controversy was finally settled when in mid May Hick was transferred to Bristol City (he only made 11 appearances and scored one goal for them before being transferred again to Exeter within a year). Billy Hick had scored 76 goals in 113 appearances, but standards and morality was important in the twenties, even more important than success. Southend had scored eighty League goals and generally it wasn’t thought that the forward line was the problem but that the half back line had let the forwards down and with better service they could have got more.

For the coming season it remained to be seen if suitable replacements were brought in to replace the departed starlets. Club captain and most consistent player of the season Bill Rosier remarked “I think the Southend followers are a sporting crowd and if you had only heard some of the other crowds you realise they are very fair”, kind words but he couldn’t agree terms and was another player destined to leave and he later joined Fulham.


GREYHOUND RACING
1927 saw the introduction of Greyhound racing at the Kursaal which was initially seen as an enjoyable diversion from Football with a chance to have a legal flutter, but it also was a big attraction for “trippers” many who would attend the worse the wear through drink and were known to cause problems. Greyhound meetings were often held four times a week and the Kursaal being a tight enclosure meant the pitch and the track overlapped and the playing surface suffered. As the novelty wore off a certain amount of resentment from the football spectators ensued as the good Kursaal pitch becoming a mud bath in places. “No one could argue that the pitch, which had been one of the best in the division had suffered badly especially in the edges and the corners.”

RESERVES
A final finish of 13th wasn’t seen as too bad, and certainly an improvement on the preceding season. The team was always subject to regular players being called up to the first team and for one match they had to supplement the team with six amateurs, but as Arsenal found out, Southend could certainly play football at times, when the Gunners needed to win at the Kursaal to be certain of winning the title they were beaten by the Junior Blues:

Blues with three amateurs in their ranks pulled off their performance of the season to win 1-0 thanks to a goal by Wadsworth. Arsenal still had a game to play and managed to gain the title in this last match.

Fred Baron was the leading goalscorer for the Reserves with 33 goals in 24 appearances this is in addition to the 11 goals in 12 appearances for the first team.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1928-29

EVICTION OF THE DOGS AND A NEW STAND.
Before the season even started Southend United found themselves in a quandary. The finances received from Greyhound Racing at the Kursaal were very profitable but the League were threatening to expel clubs that had both football and dogs at their grounds. In reality they had no choice.

Everything from the Electric Hare Racing Club Ltd. had been left in place from the previous nights racing, even a directors Saloon Motor Car had been left in the Car Park, it had been so closely kept secret that even the man who lived on the ground found himself locked in. When the employees of the Racing Club turned up they were refused admission and catering had to be taken into the occupiers locked inside. Later in the morning notices were painted and left on every entrance reading, “the tenancy of the Electric Hare Greyhound Ltd has ceased, no more racing will take place here. By order of the directors of Southend United Football Club”. No one had attempted to enter the enclosure but as afternoon came a small crowd gathered outside the Woodgrange Drive end probably through curiosity, while at the Beresford Road end there was a crowd of some 200 people, including bookmakers, bookmakers clerks, racing attendees etc, a demonstration ensued with people standing up and making speeches condemning the football club. A couple even climbed a fence and gained admission but they were soon caught and ejected. By nine the crowds had dispersed and the Football Club were in total possession, although the police stayed on sight for a day or two. A month later Greyhound Racing at the Kursaal was no more than a memory.

Despite this upheaval the Blues started the season well after four games they were in second place, they were level on points with Luton and by co-incidence that was their next game. The glorious feeling that if you win the next game you will be top of the table evaporated as they lost 4-2 at Luton. In the next month they dropped a little but with the Blues now in ninth place a surprise announcement was made.

UNITED’S NEW STAND
Ground Accommodation increased - Consideration for the “Shilling Supporters”
The Directors of Southend United Football Club have decided to erect a stand on the western side of the ground, immediately opposite the existing grandstand. The work will be proceeded with immediately and it is hoped it will be completed within a period of two months. The directors of the club are to be congratulated upon their enterprise, for the new stand will meet a long felt need on the Kursaal ground and will provide covered accommodation for an additional 3,500 people. The new stand will be 180 feet long and 40 feet wide with a maximum height of 25 feet. It will therefore be almost the same length as the east stand.


A bold move by the club especially as they were already carried the loss of the greyhound money but in truth with radios becoming more popular if they wanted supporters to attend they had to provide cover or they would stay at home. Unfortunately the attendances were disappointing throughout the season and showed a decrease on the previous year. However the season had been a very ordinary season, and not one to excite the imagination of the local residents, especially after exiting the cup in the first round in November. Indeed after this the Blues rotated between eleventh and fourteenth position right up to the end of the season and a final finishing of twelve summed up a mediocre season.

The important signing of the season had been the signature of Jimmy Shankly from Sheffield United in September. He took over the role of leading goalscorer scoring a total of 35 goals in all competitions and Fred Baron reduced to the Reserves again where he netted 29 goals.


RESERVES
The reserves had a good start to the season and for a time were top of the Combination but injuries and the departure of players meant that Mr. E.L. Birnie had trouble putting out a reserve team and was forced to rely on a number of amateur players. Nearly fifty players were used but even without the continuity of the team they still finished a creditable eighth place.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1929-30

NEAR PERFECT START and the SUPPORTERS CLUB
What a start to the season, a home win over Newport 2-1, another home win over Crystal Palace 3-2, then a 3-0 win at Luton and another away win at Crystal Place 2-1 and then a 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the Kursaal five straight wins. The first defeat followed at home to Northampton 1-2 but was followed by wins at Walsall 3-1 and a 1-0 home win over QPR. Seven wins and one defeat from eight games a near perfect start but they couldn’t maintain this high standard and by November had dropped and fluctuated between fifth and seventh until they lost five of their last six games to finish a disappointing eleventh. The season started so well and finished so badly. As always it was the amount of spectators that paid for admission that was all important, and that was disappointing for the directors but they always seemed to have unrealistic ideas. Perhaps what was needed was a Cup run and the Cup defeat at York was a big disappointment and must have put off many a paying spectator.

Perhaps the encouraging fact was that Mr. Birnie, the manager, was starting to show his ability, in pre-war days (and probably now) managers needed to be at a club a long while for their plans to start to mature. Mr. Birnie undoubtedly a dedicated man, had taken over the club at its lowest ebb, since then he had steadily being building the club up and the first eight games were a clear indication of the improvement.

Perhaps season 1929-30 will be best remembered as the year the Supporters Club was re-formed, as they certainly started in a very positive fashion and suddenly the Football club had dances, whist drives, saloon coach trips etc organised by the Supporters club and with a strong ladies section often the “power behind the throne”. Their finest moment probably being the generosity to the Merthyr team.


Poor Merthyr Town are in a bad way, but they are determined to carry out their obligations to the end of the season. On Saturday morning it was announced that they could not pay wages and later in the day a subsequent statement was made that to endeavour to help the Club through the players had decided to accept half wages. To meet the United they started their journey at 6 a.m. on Saturday and owing to a delay in London did not reach Southend until 2.30 not having tasted food in the meantime. This was their predicament when they arrived and at Southend L.M.S. station, the Southend United Supporters Club at once justified their existence. Mr G. Moss who met the team on behalf of the club took them over to Garon’s Restaurant provided them with a light lunch and took them to and from the ground in taxi cabs, in order that they would be in time for the game and also catch the 5.30 back again arriving at Merthyr at about 1 a.m. Sunday. Tea was also provided before they left. The supporters Club defrayed the expenses and I am told that the gratitude was almost touching. “Never before had the Merthyr team experienced such kindness” said a director, apart from thematch which Blues won 6-0.
From the Southend Standard 6th March 1930

RESERVES
Early in the season the Southend Standard said of the Reserves that they were “too bad to be true”, but the trouble was that they were. After losing the first four games of the season they never recovered and spent the whole season struggling at the bottom of the table, their one distinction was that they conceding 134 goals more than anyone else in the Combination. However there were one or two outstanding performances when they shocked their First Division rivals with their quality. In all forty seven players were used during the season including several amateurs.
 

DoDTS

The PL League Boss⭐
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
9,198
Location
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
SEASON 1930-31

FIFTH PLACE and INTERNATIONAL MATCH
Ted Birnie had demonstrated the previous season with their excellent start that the team was improving and hopes were high. Up until October the results were mixed but then nine wins out of ten took them to second place (although four points behind the leaders) at Christmas. The highlight being;

Southend United 2-1 Notts County
Notts County newly relegated from the Second Division, were the outstanding side of the Division having played eighteen, won twelve drawn six lost none The game had been postponed because Notts County were still in the Cup, and the performance of Southend can only be described as brilliant as they became the first team this season to humble the first class opposition. In the first half Southend deserved to be three goals up but the sides changed over on level terms, goalless. The Lacemen (Notts.) opened the scoring and then followed a desperate struggle by the Southend forwards trying to get on level terms. Eventually Dixon beat the goalkeeper from close range to bring the scores level and raise the enthusiasm to fever pitch, which continued till the end of the game. Notts County had deteriorated to time wasting but this goal changed all that. The final goal came when the goalkeeper luckily saved from Shankly but Nichol was at hand to fire home and Southend recorded a famous victory.


After Christmas results were a little more unpredictable but Blues still maintained a top five place and again reached second place when they played top placed Notts County. County were eleven points clear and were presented with the trophy and medals but still they could not defeat the Blues the match finished 1-1. Defeat on the last match of the season against Brighton saw Southend finish the table in fifth place.

Despite finishing fifth in the table their best showing since having been in the league, Southend’s gates were depressingly low. Some uninspiring football, an early exit from the Cup (lost 0-1 to Torquay at the Kursaal) were undoubtedly factors but probably the biggest reason was unemployment and the industrial depression, a lot of people simply could not afford to go.

The effect of this was the Club would find it increasingly difficult to hold on to players when tempting offers came in. On the playing front finished fifth although an excellent achievement was disappointing but it showed a massive improvement from nine years ago when they had finished bottom. Leading goalscorer was Jimmy Shankly with 28 goals in 42 appearances.

The other “bone of contention” had been the style of play with the “W” formation taking torrents of criticism, yet despite this alleged “negative” style Southend had been more successful than any other previous season since the war.

Other major events had been a testimonial game for Jack French and Billy Moore against second division champions Everton in front of 8,000 spectators, which Everton won 6-2 and a match in Holland:


HOLLAND “B” 1-3 SOUTHEND UNITED.
The match in Amsterdam turned out to be against what was in effect the National sides second team. The game was played in front of a large crowd but Southend found the opposition poor, in fact the Dutch admitted that the score rather flattered the home side. After half an hour Shankly sent in a shot which the goalkeeper couldn’t hold and the Blues went in at half time a goal up. In the second half Southend played at their best, Barnett scored a second, the Dutch replied, from then on it was all Southend. Shankly added a third and after that it was only a matter of, could the Dutch hold out till the end of the game


RESERVES
The Junior Blues finished in twelfth place which certainly was worthy of credit, for they are a side continually changing without any chance to settle to any pattern or consistency and always supported by amateur players. Nevertheless they did remarkably well to top the division in September and a mid table finish against many clubs from higher Divisions was a good return. Fred Baron was the leading goalscorer with 31 goals in 40 appearances.
 
Top