The date of 13th April 1908 is probably familiar to St Albans City supporters as the date that the club was formed. Less familiar is Friday 21st May 1909. That is the date on which the Club held its first Annual General Meeting and an opportunity to reflect on the first year of our doings at Clarence Park. The event was held in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall and was attended by around 50 supporters of the club.
At that meeting the City Hon. Secretary, Bob Fox, read to those in attendance his report, or review if you prefer, of the events of the 1908-09 season. He detailed the playing record of the First team and the Reserve team for the season just ended and confirmed which competitions the club would compete in during the 1909-10 campaign. He also gave a detailed account of the financial position of the club. An election of the club officers also took place.
With his presentation that night Bob Fox (left) set the template that was used by his successors at least up until the early part of the 1970s. As can be seen below, there was a time when the A.G.M. was reported in extensive detail in the local press. This practice started with the original St Albans F.C., long before the birth of St Albans City. Holding the A.G.M. in public appears to have ended in 1973 when the then out-going Hon. Secretary, Dick East, took centre stage at the Peahen Hotel on the corner of Holywell Hill and London Road. The following year the meeting was held in the Clubhouse at Clarence Park, when Ron Mann presented the Secretary’s Report, with no members of the public present.
In addition to the two venues already mentioned, the A.G.M. has also been held at the Abbey Institute in Spicer Street and the Central Hall in Victoria Street.
A number of the Reports compiled by four Hon Secretary’s of the club have survived and are presented here. Other than for correcting a few typos the Reports are just as they were when presented to the committee of the club on the dates given at the end of each Report.
Click on the links at the top of the page to go straight to a certain report - But first, we kick off with the Report presented by Bob Fox at the Town Hall back in 1909 and reported so faithfully by The St Albans Post on 26th May 1909.
‘Some fifty supporters were present at the annual meeting of the St Albans City F.C., held in the Mayor’s Parlour of the Town Hall on Friday morning. Mr.J.Roe was voted to the chair.
At the outset the hon.secretary, Mr.R.W.Fox, gave a report upon the first year’s working of the club. On the whole, he said, the season had been a successful one. Immense difficulties had to be met which none, perhaps, only himself and the committee knew of, but they all worked shoulder to shoulder and overcame them.
There was a great difficulty in regard to players and he was sorry that it was necessary for them to go out of St Albans to get men to make up their team. Local players seemed to be very shy and held back, but he hoped it would be different this year. The players they had, however, were a good lot of fellows – no secretary had a better set to deal with.
In regard to the matches, the first team played 32 matches, won 15, lost 10, drew 7, with 75 goals for and 78 against. That did not show a very good goal record, but this was due to some mid-week matches at the end of the season. One at Luton, when they lost 11-2 and at Chelmsford 5-1, which rather spoiled a satisfactory record. In the whole of the thirty-two matches there was not one occasion upon which they played a man short and only on two occasions did the Reserves go short, once through illness and once through a misunderstanding. That, he thought, spoke well for the loyalty of the players. In the County League, of which the first team were divisional finalists and, unluckily, only by goal average, losers of the championship of the county, the record was: Played 14, won 9, lost 2, drawn 3, goals 30 for, 19 against. They were not so successful in the Spartan League, in which they played 8 matches, won 2, lost 4, drew 2, with 12 goals for and 28 against.
The Reserves altogether had a very successful season and they were very unlucky in being robbed of the Bingham-Cox Cup for which they were defeated in the final.
The club had been fairly well supported by the general public, a total of 12,536 people paying for admission at Clarence Park, 9,922 adults and 2,614 boys. He thought that was to the credit of the city and showed that the public wanted a good football team in the town. Representatives of the club had recently interviewed Mr. Councillor Slade, the chairman of the Clarence Park Committee of the Corporation and, as a result, Clarence Park would be let to them on somewhat more favourable terms than last season. The conditions were that the Corporation were to receive a quarter of the gate receipts and half the stand receipts, as last year, but now if the Corporation’s share came to more than £36 they would only expect one-eighth of the receipts after that. Also, instead of charging the club £4 4s. for the use of the dressing rooms for the season they would charge only £1. (Applause). That would be of considerable benefit to the club and it showed that the Corporation were considerate of the interests of the club. The Club’s committee meetings were held weekly and those who attended at the beginning did so regularly.
The Chairman thought that for a club in its first year the report was most satisfactory and said that no doubt much of the success was due to the attentive work of the committee and the indefatigable efforts of their hon.secretary. (Applause).
The report was received and adopted and Mr.Fox then presented the financial statement. This showed a deficit on the year of £5 18s. 11d. Gate receipts amounted to £137 7s. 10d., subscriptions £21 5s. 6d., cup tie shares £5 17s. 5d. And total receipts £193 0s. 1d. The expenditure showed £39 6s. 10d. Down to hire of grounds, match expenses, including railway fares, refreshments, etc., £55 8s., total expenditure £198 17s.
Mr Fox remarked that he was in a considerable difficulty at the end of the season as there was no money to carry the club on, but a supporter most generously gave them £10. With this he was able to pay all the debts before the end of April but, although they had money in hand now, they were £5 16s. 11d. in arrears.
Councillor Slade promised to refund £2 2s. of the price for the hire of the dressing rooms on condition that the remaining £3 odd was raised within a week. He confidently hoped to get this amount. The Chairman reduced this amount by 10s. 6d. And other subscriptions were given by those in the room.
The balance sheet was then adopted.
Mr.R.W.Fox was unanimously re-elected to the position of hon.secretary and treasurer.
As regards the assistant secretary, Mr.Fox said that last year Mr.E.Anderson was in position and he did splendid work at the beginning of the season, especially as regards obtaining players. He had, however, to give up and the speaker now wished to propose the name of Mr.H.H.Davis as assistant secretary.
The proposition was unanimously agreed to.
The following were elected as the committee:
Messrs. A.Welch, H.Paul, F.Gentle, L.G.Lloyd, P.F.Walker, J.Gray, H.Broadhurst, J.G.Slough, E.Little, T.Noel, W.G.Alderton jun., Halsey and A.Cricket.
This includes the secretary and two committee men of the Abbey United F.C. which, it is probable, will disband.
In regard to the competitions to be entered for it was agreed to enter for the same as last year viz., First XI., English Cup, Amateur Cup, Herts County League, Spartan League, Herts Senior Cup and Herts Charity Cup (if invited) ; 2ndXI, Herts Junior Cup, Bingham-Cox Cup and Mid-Herts League(Division I).
Mr.Fox said that last year the club was unable to play in the Senior Cup through not being able to raise a local team, but he hoped they would be able to do this next season.
In regard to the Spartan League, their division was a new one, the other teams in it being Luton Clarence, Hitchin Town, 3rdGrenadier Guards, East Ham and Old Newportonians. The last two teams had no home ground, so the City would get the benefit of all matches with them at Clarence Park and the furthest journey in the League would be to Chelsea as against to Chelmsford and Summerstown last year.
It was decided to record on the minutes that three of the City players had played for the county during the season – L.G.Hosier (who receives his county cap), C.C.Patrick (who receives a county badge) and G.Butcher.
Messrs H.H.Davis, G.Butcher and H.Kerrison were given silver medals as members of the “running-up” team of the County League.
The meeting closed with votes of thanks to the Chairman and to the Mayor for the use of the Mayor’s Parlour.’
SEASON 1958-59 was most disappointing. It opened with four successive. defeats which were followed by our brightest spell - four wins on the trot, including the F.A. Cup victory over Barnet at Underhill which was undoubtedly the season's highlight. But the optimism which that win engendered was short-lived, for then came that dismal display against Cheshunt, just when we had the best opportunity for years of winning our division of the competition. A storm which caused our first game with Cheshunt to be abandoned gave us a second chance, but that, too, was thrown away.
From that point our showing in cup-ties was poor. Excused until the fourth qualifying round of the F.A. Amateur Cup competition, we were drawn to visit Oxford City and suffered a six-one defeat, which was a big blow to our ego and even worse to our finances, for this early dismissal from the competition meant that we did not share in the Amateur Cup Pool for season 1958-59, a considerable loss, for the previous year we had £172 from the Pool.
We managed to reach the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup by a two-one win at Harpenden, after a somewhat lucky three-all draw with the South Midland League club at Clarence Park, but in the semi-final, Barnet had full measure of revenge for our success at Underhill earlier in the season, by trouncing us by six goals to nil at Clarence Park. Our hold on the Herts Charity Cup ended with a five-nil defeat in the semi-final at Hitchin.
In the second half of the season, we won only three competitive games, our last Isthmian League win being over Clapton on February 14th, but there were a couple of worthwhile mentioning reliefs to the monotony of defeat - very creditable drawn games with the Avenue at Walthamstow, and with Amateur Cup semi-finalists, Leytonstone, on the High Road ground.
We just escaped the necessity of having to apply for re-election to the Isthmian League, occupying the thirteenth place on the final table, as compared with eleventh at the end of the previous season. Of our 30 League games, we won 8, drew 6 and lost 16, scoring 53 goals against 89, and collecting 22 points. In all the first team played 42 games, winning 12, drawing seven and losing 22, while one was abandoned. They scored 75 goals and conceded 123.
Our goals were obtained by G.Greenwood 15, R.Wood 14, R.Figg 12, J.Roe 9, D.Atkins 7, B.Darvill 4, D.Hann 3, D.Hall 3, K.Evans, B.Harvey, J.Bates, N.Cook, A.Tompkins, A.McShane, L.McKendry and K.Rand one each.
Sixty-six players appeared in the Reserve Team in the course of the season. The team was unable to retain its hold on the Herts Intermediate Cup which it won the previous season, but improved slightly its final placing in the Isthmian League Reserve Section, finishing twelfth as compared with thirteenth in 1957-58, with 26 points from 30 games, of which 11 were won, 4 drawn and 17 lost. Altogether the second team played 35 games, of which 14 were won, four drawn and 17 lost. They scored 73 goals against 75, the leading marksmen being: J.Roe 22, C.Baldock 6, K.Rand 5, A.Cliff 4, K.Evans 4, F. Thornton 3.
Only one player gained a place in the County Team last season, Barry Payne, who played against Essex and Middlesex. Barrie King was selected as reserve for the Olympic Games trial at Cambridge, but had to cry off owing to injury. A.Oliff was chosen for the Isthmian League team in the Reserve Section representative match with the Spartan League which was played at Clarence Park.
Your Committee desires to offer its thanks to last season’s playing members for their whole-hearted efforts in face of adversity and the many times the ball would just not run for them: also to the trainers Mr. B. Butcher, first team who has been connected with the club for more than 40 years - and Mr. H. Simpkins, reserve team.
Once again, your Committee places on record its very sincere appreciation of the assistance received from the Officers and members of the Supporters Club, and particularly their financial help without which, as a glance at the statement of accounts will show, we should be very much more "in the red" - and, indeed, would find it very difficult to carry on.
Your Committee also desires to acknowledge the great help given by the President, Mr. A.B. Hobbs, and the support received from the vice-Presidents, whose numbers we hope wi1l grow. The Committee feels sure that the members will join with them in expressing thanks to Mr D. Rand, Chairman and Team Manager, Mr. W. Marriner, the Treasurer who keeps things going on a shoe-string, Mr. L. Anderson, First-team Secretary; Mr. A.R. East, Reserve Team Secretary, and Mr. H. Stacey, Assistant Secretary.
Thanks are also due to Messers Mercer and Hole, our Honorary Auditors, and to Mr. Tom Shepherd and his band of lady helpers for all their good work in the Club Room, where the social side of the game has been maintained in a way which has given much pleasure to both our own members end our visitors.
In the coming season, the first team will play in the F.A. Cup competition, the F.A. Amateur Cup competition, the Herts Senior Cup, the Herts Charity Cup and the Isthmian League. We have been drawn to visit Hoddesdon Town in the first round of the F.A. Cup competition on September 19th, and have been fortunate - and I really do mean fortunate - to again be excused until the fourth qualifying round of the F.A. Amateur Cup competition. At the time of the preparation of this report, the only other fixture to hand was that we play Letchworth Town, the newly-elected Corinthian League club, in the Herts Charity Cup competition at Clarence Park, on an evening, to be arranged, during the first two weeks of the new season.
The second team will play in the Herts Intermediate Cup competition, and the Reserves Section of the Isthmian League. Great efforts are being made to field stronger teams next season. Mr. Pat Welton has been engaged as coach, and your Committee feels that there is every reason to look forward to vastly improved displays in the days to come.
The time has come when, after thirteen years as Secretary and two as assistant to the late Mr. Syd Hopkins, that it has become necessary for me to stand aside and not seek re-election. In concluding this, my last annual report, I should like to express my personal thanks to the past and present Officers, members of the Committee and playing members for their support, understanding and forbearance. I wish Mr. Harry Stacey, who is to take over from me, all the joy and good fellowship I have experienced as Honorary Secretary of the club, and none of the headaches. I sincerely hope that the coming season will see the club well on the road back to achieving its rightful place among the leading amateur clubs of the land. And the best of luck to you all in your efforts to get there!
8 July 1959
The results achieved during Season 1959-60 again proved to be somewhat disappointing and whilst your Committee did not expect any really outstanding achievements they had hoped for a noticeable improvement over the previous season. Although there was a slight improvement in the League position it was not as great as expected when bearing in mind that 20 of the 26 league points obtained had been won by New Year’s Day. In fairness however it must be stated that the loss of both First team full-backs within a week did much to upset the balance of the team at a critical time and necessitated many positional experiments.
Again, as in Season 1958-59, our showing in cup-ties was far from convincing. After a 2-0 away defeat by Hoddesdon in the F.A. Cup we were quickly ousted from The Herts Charity Cup as the result of a 3-2 defeat by Letchworth Town.
Exempt until the Fourth Qualifying Round of the F.A. Amateur Cup we were drawn away to Grays Athletic where our team lost by the odd goal in three; a defeat which again precluded us from a participation in the Amateur Cup Pool.
The Semi-Final of the Herts Senior Cup was reached by defeating Stevenage 2-1 and Ware 3-1 in the 3rd and 4th Rounds respectively. Any hope we entertained of regaining the Senior Trophy were dashed by Bishop’s Stortford (the ultimate winner) who beat us 3-1 on their ground although it will be remembered that their goals were achieved via two penalties and an own goal.
As the result of our early departure from the cup competitions and the preoccupation of potential league opponents in their respective extra competitions we were faced with a number of open dates (in fact we had only one League fixture throughout April). For this reason more friendly fixtures than usual were undertaken. Of these we defeated Ulysses 5-4, Hitchin 4-2, and Walton & Hersham 1-0 whilst a 0-0 draw against Leyton Orient London Combination side was a really first class performance.
In the Isthmian League we occupied eleventh place in the final table, a position which could have been bettered with a little more consistency against some of the lower placed sides in the League. It should be borne in mind however that on average we fielded a very young side which was possibly the youngest in the league and to some degree the shortcomings were the result of inexperience. Had it been possible to repeat the form which resulted in the defeat of Wycombe Wanderers and achieved a 2-2 draw at Wimbledon the details of this report would read differently.
Of the 30 League matches played 10 were won, 6 were drawn and 14 lost, with 50 goals for and 65 against which produced 26 points. All told 42 matches were played in which we scored 74 goals for and 83 against, with 17 wins, 7 draws, and 18 losses.
The individual goal scorers were as follows: R.Wood 22, C.Greenwood 7 D.Falconer, G.Hopkins 5, J.Roe, H,Smith, M.Tomlinson 4, B.King, M.Walby 3, D.Desmond, B.Ridley, W.Southern, J.Stevenson 2, A.Carter, K.Edwards, A.Marshall, B.Payne, K.Rand, E.Rolfe 1 each.
Although the League position of the Reserve side (9th) was only slightly better than the previous year their performances and play showed a marked improvement over last season. After an early exit from the Herts Intermediate Cup, the Second XI reached the Final of the Aubrey Cup only to lose to Colney Heath by 2-1.
In the Isthmian League Reserves Section 30 games were played of which 14 were won, 4 drawn and 12 lost, goals for 67 goals against 57, total points 32. Altogether 36 games were played of which 18 were won, 4 drawn and 14 lost, Goals for 81 and goals against 73. The principal goalscorers were: R.Allen 16, K.Rand 12, K.Wilkins 8, M.Tomlinson, A.Marshall 7, C.Greenwood, H.Smith 5, E.Rolfe, W.Southern 3, M.Fleming 4, A.McShane, G.Hopkins, R.McCormack 2 each.
There was a marked increase in the representative honours gained during the year. Maurice Walby skippered Bedfordshire in all of their Senior matches and was accompanied on those occasions by Peter Clarke and John Kershaw. David Darby and Ron Wood were members of the Herts Senior XI against Bedfordshire. Herbie Smith, Bill Southern and John Stevenson gained selection for the Herts County Junior side and Brian Allen represented the County Youth side against Middlesex. Joe Fuentes was chosen for the Isthmian League in the Reserve Section match against the Spartan League.
Your Committee wishes to offer its thanks to the players for their efforts during the Season, to the Coach Pat Welton and the Trainers Bertie Butcher and Harry Simpkins. They also wish to record their appreciation of the voluntary assistance given by Mr Harry Welton. In addition to travelling every Saturday with the Reserves Mr Welton frequently travelled from South London to give assistance on training nights. We were most grateful for his help.
Once again the Committee wishes to express its grateful appreciation of the assistance afforded by the Officers and members of the Supporters Club.
During the last close season as the result of information obtained by some of our members our associates were able to introduce and develop a new scheme which will materially assist in effecting improvements at the ‘Ground' for the benefit of our members and supporters. At the same time they were able to offer much appreciated increased financial assistance, the extent and nature of which will no doubt be made known to you by the Hon Treasurer when presenting his Statement of Accounts.
Your Committee also wishes to acknowledge the assistance so readily given by the President Mr A.B. Hobbs and the continued support of the Vice-Presidents. Equally they feel sure you will join them in expressing thanks to Mr D. Rand the Chairman, Mr W.G. Marriner Hon. Treasurer Mr L. Anderson Vice Chairman and First Team Hon. Secretary, Mr A.R. East Hon. Asst. Secretary and Reserve Team Secretary. Mr R. Simpson Hon. Press Secretary, and Mr C. Hand Hon Asst. Treasurer.
Thanks are also due to our Auditors Messrs Mercer & Hole and to Tom Sheppard, Jim Line, Chas Eassom and Percy Ingram for their untiring efforts on the Social Committee. In this connection we would like to draw particular attention to the wonderful help afforded by the Ladies Section and the voluntary help in the Clubroom. It is felt that many people are unaware of the enormous amount of work carried out on a voluntary basis by these good folk and it is no exaggeration to say that without their presence there would be few of the facilities available for the benefit of members and visitors on match days and training nights. We are most grateful to them all.
It is however a matter of great regret that we have to record the passing of yet another original member of the Club namely Mr Eddie Anderson whose sad death occurred in August of last year. There are no doubt many people present tonight who knew Mr Anderson during the time he was active with the Club but of course there are those among us who were perhaps not so fortunate, but irrespective of whichever category we may belong there can be no doubt that we share equal feelings of respect and esteem for the steadily diminishing bend of members without whose efforts in the past the Club could never have achieved the standing and position it holds today.
This year the Club broke new ground when it undertook a tour in France during the Whitsun Holiday. The venture proved to be a great success both from a sporting and social point of view.
With the blessing of the Isthmian League and the F.A. we were able to accept an invitation to compete in a quadrilateral tournament at Vernelien-Sur-Avre in Normandy. Also competing in the competition were A.C. Le Havre (a professional club), Stade Vernelien, the hosts, and S.G. Welper a team from Westphalia in Germany.
After beating the Home side, Stade Vernelien, 5-0 in the First Round we met the German side in the Final. This proved to be a very hard match which resulted in a 1-1 draw after extra time and was decided by the number of corners gained which were 5-1 in our favour.
In many respects it was a pity that the match could not have been witnessed by our supporters because we feel sure they would have admired the play and behaviour of our lads as much as those who were fortunate enough to be present. They gave everything they had and certainly upheld the prestige of the club in every way.
In this respect tribute must be paid to Maurice Walby for the excellent manner in which he carried out his duty as Club Captain. His bearing and conduct both on and off the field reflected the highest credit upon himself and the Club.
Mention must also be made of the part played by the Coach Pat Welton, who by his efforts on the touch-line did much to sustain the lads during the extra time when the going was tough and many of the referee’s decisions (including a blatantly offside equalising goal) hard to understand. In addition to returning with the trophy which now stands before you there seemed little doubt that the undertaking proved a happy and successful venture for all who participated in it.
During next season the First XI will play in the F.A. Cup the F.A. Amateur Cup, the Herts Senior Cup and the Herts Charity Cup and the Isthmian League.
The Reserve team will compete in the Herts Intermediate Cup and the Isthmian League. It is also proposed to bring a Third XI into being for the start of next season. This venture will, it is thought, materially assist in developing young players and help to consolidate the Reserve XI. The new team will compete in the Herts County League and has been entered for the Herts Junior Cup.
Information has recently been received that we have been drawn at Home to Dunstable Town in the First Round Qualifying of the F.A. Cup. This match will be played on Saturday 16th September, 1950, kick-off 3-0 p.m.
Every effort is being made in preparation for next season. Your Committee is aware of the need to strengthen certain positions and will do everything possible to bring this about. The acquisition of the right type of players however is, as you no doubt realise, getting more and more difficult and to some extent it will be necessary to continue with our policy of local development. We have a number of promising youngsters coming along but of course the benefits from such a scheme do not materialise quickly and we hope members will bear with us during the transitional period.
However the experience gained during last season should prove valuable during the coming year and we are hopeful of improvement in our various competitions.
Club spirit and enthusiasm is good among the lads and it is pleasing to record that they are continuing training throughout the summer at Verulamium. These sessions are of course conducted by Pat Welton who continues as Club Coach.
In conclusion I would like to acknowledge the assistance afforded me during my first year as Secretary. From time to time I have had occasion to seek the counsel of many people including the County and League Officials and in all instances their help and advice was readily forthcoming for which I was most grateful. To my colleagues in Committee I would say thank you for your forbearance at times and material assistance on other occasions.
In particular however I would like to mention our old friend “Dock” Dockerill who could not have done more to help me settle down in the new job. He was always ready to assist me in any capacity at the ‘Ground’ and either by telephone or with a few quiet words steered me away from a number of pitfalls and kept me on track and I do thank him most sincerely for his unstinted Help.
8 July 1960
Although occupying our highest position in the Isthmian League since Season 1954-55 the results achieved did not come up to expectations. Peculiarly enough, whereas in the previous season the majority of our points were gathered during the first half of the season, this term the reverse was the case.
As in the past few season, our performances in the various cup competitions was disappointing. Once again we were quickly dismissed from the Herts Charity Cup by Hertford Town, who beat us 3-2 in the First Round. Our hopes were temporarily raised in the F.A. Cup Competition when we passed to the Third Round Qualifying by defeating Dunstable Town 2-1 and Stevenage Town 3-2 in the First and Second Rounds Qualifying respectively. The latter result being at the third attempt after previously drawing 1-1 and 2-2. Our meeting with Hitchin Town in the Third Round resulted in a convincing 4-0 win for our Hertfordshire neighbours.
Drawn away to Hertford Town in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the Amateur Cup, we again lost this vital tie by 4-2 after a week’s postponement due to the Hertford ground being under water.
Progression to the semi fina1 of the Herts Senior Cup was achieved by victories of 4-0 over Hemel Hempstead Town and 2-1 over Tring Town. Once again however we failed at the penultimate hurdle and were defeated by Letchworth Town by two goals to one in extra time.
In the Isthmian League table we occupied ninth position, a place which to some degree reflects the considerable improvement in performance during the second part of the season. Only eight points were gained up to Christmas but 3 or 4 more points from the first 14 games would have put us well into the top part of the League table.
Of the 30 league matches played 12 were won, 4 drawn, and 14 lost with 46 goals for and 78 against, which produced a total of 28 points. Altogether 40 games were played which produced 16 wins, 6 draws and 18 loses with 63 goals for and 88 goals against.
The individual goalscorers were: M.Tomlinson 12, D.Tucker 12, M.Walby 6, P.Smith 5, B.Figg 3, B.Payne 3, H.Smith, D.Desmond, B.King, E.Rolfe, E.Vibert 2 each, Hann, Griffiths, Clarke, McLean one each, own Goals 2.
The season was marked by a number of unfortunate and unusual accidents, by far the worst of which was the broken leg sustained by Stewart McLean in a motoring accident. Even more distressing is the fact that within a few weeks of having the plaster removed he had the misfortune of a recurrence of the fracture. As everyone connected with the club is aware “Mac” is a most enthusiastic member and I feel sure you will join with your committee in wishing him a quick and permanent recovery and an early return to the game.
The Reserve side showed a marked improvement throughout the season and in attaining second place in the Reserve Section table achieved their best performance for 13 seasons. Without doubt the existence of the “A” side had an effect insomuch that it was possible to maintain a reasonably stable side but it was nevertheless a most creditable performance.
In the Isthmian League Reserve section 30 games were played of which 17 were won, 7 drawn and 6 lost with 83 goals forward and 50 against giving a total of 41 points. The Semi-Final of the Herts Intermediate Cup was reached by beating Marconi Sports 4-1 and London Colney 5-0. A 4-0 defeat by Hitchin in the semi-final however put paid to any hopes we had of lifting the County Intermediate Trophy. In all 34 games were played resulting in 19 wins, 8 draws and 6 losses with 96 goals for and 56 against. Principal goalscorers were: D.Hann 30, D.Desmond 11, H.Smith 6, D.Hart 5, D.Peeke 4, M.Walby 4, K.Evans 4, D.Lloyd 3, F.Dowse 3 and 26 other goals.
The “A” side competed in the Second Division of the Herts County League and finished in 12thposition having played 30 games, winning 10, drawing 3 and losing 17 with 74 goals for and 94 against giving a points total of 23. In addition to the league the 3rd XI were entered for the Herts Junior Cup and the Aubrey Cup but in both competitions they were defeated in the first rounds.
13 July 1961
In presenting my first Annual Report, I am pleased to record that the club has enjoyed its best season for many years.
The 1st XI finished sixth in the Isthmian League with the second best defensive record of the twenty clubs competing. It also won the Mithras Cup at the first attempt and reached the final of the Herts Senior Cup.
Team work has been the key note of the success gained and credit goes to all concerned.
Once again the club’s performances in the F.A. Challenge and Amateur Cups were disappointing. If the Citizens had played in the Cup games with the same enthusiasm and skill which was shown in the Mithras and Herts Senior Cups then Wembley might have been reached in the Amateur Cup. In the first round, the 1st XI journeyed to Stowmarket where a single goal was sufficient to put us into the second round. Once again we were drawn away this time to the up-and-coming Croydon Amateurs side. Before a crowd which included more of our supporters than the home club's, our lads managed to win 2-1 after many moments of anguish.
A home draw in the 3rd Round brought northern visitors Whitley Bay to Clarence Park. Once again, however, a dismal showing cost the club a home draw against the eventual winners Hendon. A goal in the first half before they were reduced to ten men was sufficient to see Whitley Bay through.
The Challenge Cup followed its only too usual course when we made an early exit in the second qualifying round losing 4-0 to Hitchin away, Excuse can be made that Brian Nisbet was injured but this does not by any means tell the whole story. In the first round we defeated Letchworth 3-2.
Entering the Mithras Cup for the first time the Saints won the trophy, which is on display. A very fine performance which brought not only honour but financial reward to the club. Nearly £400 was gained from this competition which helped the club's finances considerably. Each game in the competition was played on a home and away basis. In every round we were drawn at home and each time we journeyed away with a lead. Victories were gained over Woking, Maidenhead, Erith and Belvedere before we met Dagenham in the final. A fine fight back in the first leg gave us a 3-1 lead and the second leg at Dagenham, although disappointing saw us gain the trophy by an overall 4-1 score.
The Herts Senior Cup final was reached for the first time for a number of years and resulted in two tough games against our old rivals Barnet in their last season as amateurs. After a 2-2 draw at St. Albans Barnet won the second leg 3-0 after we had been reduced in the first half to ten men when Don Francis sustained a fractured jaw. Congratulations are offered to the lads for a hard fight. In the previous rounds victories against Kings Langley, Bishop’s Stortford and Hoddesdon were achieved.
Many enjoyable games were played in the Isthmian League and in finishing sixth, the 1st XI showed a consistent standard of play throughout the season. Thirty-eight games were played of which 18 were won, 9 drawn and 11 lost. Goals for were 63 with 43 against.
Phil Wood played in every league game, a very fine effort. David Lawrence, the club utility man, played 34, David Bromley 33, Dick Last 33, Herbie Smith 32 and Roy Agar 31 were among the other “regulars.”
Goalscorers were:- D.Francis 11, B.Nisbet 10, H.Smith 8, R.Agar 6, A.McDonnell 6, J.Johnson 4, G.Legg 3, M.Hughes 3, J.Butterfield 3, D.Sumner 2, B.Johnson, D.Lawrence, W.Belger, D.Sills, R.Murphy, R.Humphrey and J.Whiting 1 each.
The Reserves did not enjoy as much success as the Senior side and had their worst season for a number of years, finishing sixteenth in the league. Although the number of players used during the season was reduced from 67 to 51 the lack of experienced players caused the poor standard of play.
Games played were 30, 8 won, 5 drawn and 17 lost. Goals for 47 and against 65.
Chief appearances were:- A.Hoare 29, G.Pidgeon 28, G,Gascoigne 27, M.Sweeney, B.George 26, J.Whiting 25, D.Sumner, M.Yallop and R.Murphy 22.
The Reserves performances in cup matches were also indifferent. Having won the Herts Intermediate Cup in the two previous seasons the Young Citizens made an early exit losing to Hemel Hempstead and then went on to lose in the semi-final of the Aubrey Cup this time to Leavesden Hospital.
Once again the enthusiasm and the skill of our coach Harry Gibson has contributed in no small measure to the success gained during the season. He enthused the players to greater efforts than they probably thought themselves capable. Harry has been re-engaged for the coming season and we are fortunate because his ability has been recognised by other clubs.
Our trainer Ray Cole had a very busy time with numerous injuries but he soon had the players back in action and his work was very much appreciated. Although he will not be with the club next season Peter McDonald, the Reserve team trainer, worked hard during the past campaign and our thanks and best wishes are due to him.
Although no player was recognised by the F.A. several were included in Herts County sides. H.Smith, R.Agar and B.Nisbet all played for the Seniors whilst J.Whiting did service with the juniors. Of the younger element of the club, J.Butterfield, M.Hughes, R.Humphrey and J.Bainbridge all represented the County Youth F.A. Congratulations are offered to all of them for bringing honour to the club.
The Social side of the club improved considerably during the past season and plans are in hand for big club-room improvements before the start of the new season. In this connection I am sure members will be pleased to know that a new bar is being installed which should increase the comfort as well as trade. The room is being re-decorated and various other alterations will be completed before August.
The Ladies who provided the meals after each home game did Valiant work and kept up the high standard which they have set themselves over the years and everyone’s thanks are due to them for the many hours which they put in on behalf of the club. Messrs. Eassom, Kennedy, Shepperd and Ingram formed a social Committee which worked very hard during the season.
The Supporters Club has again given invaluable assistance both financial and otherwise to the Parent Club during the past season. The fund raising scheme has continued to be the main source of revenue and in this connection the fine work of Messrs. Nicholson and Cannon should be noted.
The final payment has been made on the terraced stand and the floodlight debt has been lessened. This has been done by a depleted committee and Mr. Head and his colleagues are to be congratulated. It is to be hoped that a new influx of committee members will be forthcoming to aid the work of the few.
Over the week prior to Whitsun the club undertook another foreign tour this time to Italy. This proved very successful despite the weather being rather indifferent. The club played one match against Camin Padova and drew a hard fought game 2-2. I should like to place on record the thanks of all who went on the tour to Harry Stacey for the very able manner in which he organised matters.
The coming season could see our aims of winning the Amateur Cup achieved. We hope that most of last years players will be available and together with newcomers who are being sought, a good season should be forthcoming. Training has already started and pre-season friendly matches with Hillingdon Borough, Letchworth and Hemel Hempstead are being arranged.
The club has entered the F.A. Challenge Cup being drawn at home to Dunstable Town in the first qualifying round. The Amateur, Herts Senior and Mithras Cups, and the Isthmian League are also competitions in which we will compete.
The Young Citizens will compete in the Herts Intermediate and Aubrey Cups as well as the Isthmian League.
Thanks are due to our President and Vice-President for their continued support during the past season; also to Mr. D. Rand (Chairman), Mr. L. Anderson (Vice-Chairman), Mr. W.G. Marriner (Hon.Treasurer), Mr. R. Mann and Mr. J. Jarvis (Team Secretaries), Mr. C. Hand (Hon. Asst. Treasurer), and Mr. H. Welton (Football Chairman), together with all other members of the Committee who have during the season continued untiring in their efforts on behalf of the club.
Finally, may I offer my thanks to all who have given me assistance during my first season as Hon. Secretary, particularly Harry Stacey for all his help and advice.
16 July 1965
In submitting my Annual Report, I am pleased to be able to record a successful season on and off the field of play. Once again the Club promised so much in F.A. Challenge and Amateur Cups, but once again we failed to fulfil the early expectations.
In the 1st Qualifying Round of the Challenge Cup we met Dunstable Town, a professional side, and easily defeated them by three goals to nil. In the next round we overcame Hitchin Town 2-0 and were then drawn to meet Bletchley Town, our third game at home, The showing of the team on this occasion can only be described as disappointing as we lost by the only goal of the game to a side far less efficient than the sides beaten in the previous rounds.
The F.A. Amateur Cup resulted in five games being played although we only reached the Third Round proper as last season. Financially the games were successful after the first round trip to Fareham which was won by two goals to one, both scored by our then new signing Martin Gladwin. The expenses for this game were, incidentally, partly subsidised by a fund promoted by the “Herts Advertiser” which enabled the team to travel on the Friday evening and this did have a great bearing on the result.
In the Second Round, we were again drawn away, this time nearer home, to Witney Town. A very exciting game resulted in a 2-2 draw and the replay at Clarence Park proved to be just a formality when we won by four goals to one. Our luck in the draw continued to be unfavourable when we were drawn away to Wycombe Wanderers in the third round. A one-one draw before nearly 6,000 people brought Wycombe to Clarence Park where a crowd of over 5,000 assembled. An extremely poor performance by the team left Wycombe easy winners by three goals to nil and so once again we had failed at the crucial hurdle.
After our performances in F.A. Competitions, we can be pleased that we did regain the Herts Senior Cup after a lapse of ten years and this made up in some measure for the other disappointments. In the fourth round we met and easily defeated Hitchin Town by five goals to nil and this meant that we were through to the semi-final after only one game. Drawn away to Ware, we took an early lead only to allow the home site to draw level two minutes from time. On the replay a hard fought game resulted in a four goal to two victory and so we came to Hemel Hempstead in the two leg final.
Neither game produced much football and after establishing a two goal to one lead on Easter Monday, we were forced to defend stubbornly at home in a game which produced no goals and really was a pointer for the Herts. F.A. to re-consider reverting back to the old type final. This might then result in more keenness and enjoyment for both players and spectators.
We lost our grip of the Mithras Cup and although as holders we reached the semi-final, we failed to reproduce last seasons form. A win over Hertford Town in the second round followed by victory against Maidenhead United brought us to the semi-final in which we met Dagenham. In the first leg away, we fielded a weakened team and lost by two goals to nil and so when we scored early on in the second leg we felt that our chances were very good. Unfortunately, Dagenham had other ideas and ran out worthy winners by an aggregate of four goals to one. In the final Barking won the trophy beating Dagenham by the only goal of the two matches.
The 1st XI finished two places lower than last season in the Isthmian League and were finally eighth. Once again the defensive record far outweighed that of the attack when one realises that only fifty seven goals were scored in thirty eight games. Many players were included in the side and as a result weeks went by before we were able to get a settled side.
In reflecting on the games played, one remembers the opening game of the season when Barry Butterfield scored all four goals against Dulwich, the exciting win at Leytonstone where we came from behind and defeated the League Champions, and the outstanding performance on Good Friday when a John Butterfield hat-trick demolished the Amateur Cup Winners, Wealdstone in a game which produced some of the most brilliant football the club has played for many years.
Congratulations are due to David Lawrence, Captain of the Club on being honoured by selection in the Isthmian League XI which played Hitchin Town. This is the first honour of its kind received by the club for over ten years and we are naturally very pleased.
It is pleasing to record the marked improvement of the Reserve XI and their League position of eighth was far better than for some years. Once again players varied from week to week and it is therefore even more gratifying that they should have done so well. Young players were included in the team and on the whole they acquitted themselves very well with performances which promise well for next season. In Cup matches the Reserves fared little better than the 1st XI and were beaten early in the Herts Intermediate Cup against Redbourn. After a number of matches in the Aubrey Cup the young Citizens failed badly in the semi final against North Mymms. Who were eventually beaten in the final by Marconi Instruments.
The results on the field of play have reflected the efforts in some small measure of coach Harry Gibson, who has again been retained by the club for next season. This retention creates a record of service for the coaches employed by the club since the war and acknowledges the confidence which the club has in Mr. Gibson. The Reserve XI this year have been in the capable hands of Mr. Duggie Beach and he has instilled enthusiasm and thought into their play. Ray Cole has again doctored the needs of the Players and Tom White has been an ever present in his job as Dressing Room Steward.
To all these gentlemen, I should like to record the thanks of the Club and at the same time combine with them the name of Dr. Thurston, the Club Doctor, who has done invaluable work during the season.
As in previous years the Club is indebted to the Supporters Club for their efforts on behalf of the Parent Club. Although an increase in Committee is being hoped for next season, the Supporters Club has had to rely on the efforts of the few during the past campaign and to these men we offer our thanks. In their Chairman, Harold Head, they are lucky to have a person with drive and initiative and Secretary Bill Callaghan has proved himself to be an asset not only to his own Committee but also to the Parent Committee by his help to myself in all matters. Bill Nicholson and Cyril Cannon have again borne the brunt of the Pools promotion and although the number of members has decreased, their own efforts have been as tireless as always. To all members of the Supporters Club Committee not mentioned by name, the Parent Club wish you well.
After the home matches, The Ladies Committee have again prepared meals for visitors and our own people in the Club-Room. In maintaining the standard set by themselves over the years much hard work has been undertaken by Mrs. Stacey and Mrs. Ralph. These two ladies have been helped by others during the season and a great debt is owed by the Club to all concerned.
More Social evenings have been held in the Club-Room during the past season than previously and our thanks are due to Mr. Keith Lawrence, his wife, Mr. & Mrs. Callaghan, Mrs. White, Mrs. Bromley, Mrs. Humphries and all who have worked to make them so successful. Let us hope that the high standard set this season and the enjoyment derived by all will continue for future years. Much credit for the success of the socials must go to Mr. G.K. Dickins one of our Vice Presidents who acted as M.C. on most occasions and did more than anyone to ensure that everyone present had a good time.
The Club was able to hold a dinner at Batchwood Hall last month, the first for many years. This proved to be most enjoyable and it was pleasing that the players were present in good numbers and that some of the Club’s Vice Presidents were also there, maintaining their interest of the Clubs activities. League Officers present were kind enough to compliment the Club on a fine evening.
In recording thanks to the Officers and Committee of the Club, I should like to thank our President, Mr. B. Hobbs, for his work on behalf of the Club during the past season. He has been very helpful both to the Club and to myself on various matters during the past months. Our Chairman Mr. David Rand and Vice Chairman Mr. Len Anderson have continued to direct the Committee work throughout the past season whilst Mr. Bill Marriner has kept a tight rein on the Clubs expenses in his capacity as Treasurer ably assisted by Mr. Charles Hand. Team Secretaries Ron Mann and Keith Lawrence have carried out many duties apart from their own specific jobs and have been controlled ably by the Chairman of the Football Committee, Mr. Harry Welton.
Messrs Derek Kennedy and Harry Sheperd have continued to meet the requirements of the Bar clientele, working extremely hard throughout the year. Thanks are also due to Mr. J. Statham in this work. The new bar has proved to be a great asset and together with the alterations carried out during the closed season, has given members better facilities to enjoy.
The Tea bar contingent of Harry Gibson, Cliff Duncombe and Harry Stacey have been equal to all demands not only on match days but also on training nights. Mr. Jack Fellows has helped in many capacities during the season, none less than Minute Secretary. To all I offer the thanks of the Club.
In recording thanks one must of course remember the Vice Presidents and the players without whom no club could function. To both for their work on and off the field our very grateful thanks.
My personal thanks are due to Derek Bing in his first season as Hon. Assistant Secretary. He has proved a great help in all matters and his initiative and understanding has lightened my duties enormously during the past year.
My report would not be complete if I didn’t pay tribute to Harvey "Doc" Dockerill who passed away last September. "Doc" was Hon. Secretary of the Club or many years and even when he did not seek re-election in this position, his interest in the Club was such that he was prepared to continue helping by serving as a Committee member. No task was too great or small for him to undertake and he is and will continue to be sadly missed by all who know him.
1st. XI Appearances: D.Bromley 55, D.Lawrence 53, H.Smith 53, P.Wood 52, W.Fow1er 51, B.Nisbet 37. R.Agar 35, A.Last 32, M.Gladwin 32, G.Legg 23, R.Wing 26, M.Hughes 26, W.Belger 23, B.Butterfield 20, D.Desmond 20, O.Roberts 17, J.Whiting 16, J.Butterfield 14, D.Sumner 10, R.Murphy 6, D.Smith 6, R.Humphrey 6, N.Goodchi1d 5, J.Harper 5, J.Smith 4, B.Haggerty 4, G.Gascoigne 2, D.Butterfie1d 2, M.Jackson 2, A Hoare, G.Marsden, S.McClean, L.Varney; W.Hussey.
Goalscorers:- B.Butterfield 16, M.Gladwin 13, H.Smith 13, C.Roberts 9, J.Butterfield 9, B.Nisbet 7 R.Agar 7, D.Desmond 7, R.Wing 3, J.Whiting 3, G.Legg 3, J.Harper 2, R.Murphy, W.Belger, A.Last, W.Hussey, Opponents 2.
Reserve XI Appearances: N.Goodchild 31, A.Hoare 30, J.Harper 27, B.Haggerty 24, J.Butterfield, 20, D.Sumner 20, M.Hughes 13, J.Whiting 17, W.Morris 15, D.Butterfield 15, J.Smith 13, T.Wing 13, R.Murphy 13, M.Yallop 12, R.Smith 12, V.Summers 9, G.Legg 7, G.Gascoigne 6, W.Brindle 6, A.Last 5, G.Marsden 5, S.McClean 5, R.Humphrey 5, R.Wing 5, B.Males 5, S.Pearce 4, J.Bonner 4, J.Woods 4, B.Butterfield 4, R.Venn 4, D.Clark 3, G.Bennett 3, W.Hussey 3, T.Pickett 2, D.Lawrence 2, B.Nisbet 2, M.Jackson 2, P.Robinson, K.Sneddon, R.Agar, W.Fowler, M.Bower, C.Roberts, D.Arkwright, D.Bromley, P.Wood, M.Lawrence.
Goalscorers: J.Harper 23, B.Butterfield 7, J.Butterfield 7, B.Haggerty 6, R.Murphy 5, J.Whiting 4, W.Morris 3, V.Summers 2, G.Legg 2, R.Venn 2, M.Jackson 2, M.Yallop, S.McLean, K.Sneddon, T.Wing, D.Bromley, A.Hoare.
RULES OF THE ST. ALBANS CITY
Proposed that the rules be deleted “en bloc” and replaced by the following:
(1) The Club shall be an entirely Amateur organisation whose object shall be to promote the Spirit of competition in Amateur Football and be known as “The St. Albans City Football Club”. It shall be affiliated to the Football Association, Hertfordshire Football Association, and such Associations and competitions as the Committee shall decide.
(2) The Club colours shall be Royal Blue and Gold.
(3) The Management of the Club shall be vested in the Committee, (five to form a quorum) consisting of the President, Hon.Secretary, Hon.Assistant Secretary and Hon. Treasurer (ex-officio members with power to vote) and sixteen other members.
The Committee shall elect a Chairman and make such appointments needed to carry out the business of the Club.
(4) The Committee shall meet at the Club Headquarters on alternate Monday evenings at the discretion of the Chairman and the Secretary but a meeting shall be held at least once a month.
(5) Such Books and Accounts as are prescribed by the Football Association and the Herts. Football Association shall be kept together with such others as the Committee may deem necessary. The receipts for all players expenses shall be given in the' form laid down by the Football Association.
At the first Committee Meeting in each month from October to May a statement of the total income and expenditure, to the end of the previous month, together with a Statement of the Accounts outstanding, shaft be presented to the Committee.
(5) The Annual subscription for members shall be not loss than 10s 6d. All members subscriptions shall be paid on or before the first day of September in each year or within one month of election. Card of membership shall not be issued to any person until the subscription shall have been paid. Vice Presidents may be elected on payment of a qualifying fee of not less than £l.l0s.0d per annum. Playing Members shall be regarded as Hon. Members unless they wish to have the power to vote when the subscription shall not be loss than 10S.6d.
(7) The Committee shall be empowered to elect Playing members, Members and Vice Presidents. No person shall be admitted to membership or be admitted as a candidate for membership or to any of the privileges of membership without an interval of at least two days between their nomination or application for membership and their admission. The Name and Address of any person proposed for election for membership shall, for not less than two days before the election, be prominently displayed in the Club premises in a part frequented by the members.
(8) The Annual General Meeting shall be hold not later than 31st., July each year. At the meeting the Hon. Secretary shall present a report upon the seasons workings. The Hon. Treasurer shall present an audited Statement of Accounts for the financial year.
The President, Vice Presidents, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Assistant Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and a Committee to the number of sixteen shall be elected for the ensuing year. Two Auditors shall be appointed.
The President, Vice Presidents and those members of the Club whose subscriptions are paid up shall be entitled to take part in the discussions and Vote at the Annual General Meeting or Special General Meetings that may be called.
(9) Nominations for Officers and Committee, duly proposed and seconded by Members of the Club, shall be forwarded in writing to the Hon. Secretary not later than 1stJune in each year. A summons to the Annual General Meeting, giving the Agenda, Audited Statement of Accounts, and the nominations for Officers and Committee, with the names of proposers and seconders shall be despatched to each and every Member of the Club eight clear days before the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting.
(10) A Special General Meeting shall be called at any time deemed desirable by the Committee or upon a written requisition signed by twenty members. Such requisitions shall state the purpose for which the meeting is to be called. Every Member of the Club shall receive a notice in writing of such Special General Meeting. Such notice shall be despatched not later than eight clear days before the Meeting and shall set out the business to be transacted. No matter shall be dealt with at a Special General Meeting unless it is set out on the Agenda sent to Members with the notice convening the Meeting.
(11) No additions or alterations to these Rules shall be made except at the Annual General Meeting. Any alterations or additions required must be proposed by a Member of the Club and must be received in writing by the Hon. Secretary not later than 1stJune. Such proposals shall be set forth on the notice of the Annual General Meeting, circulated to Members and shall not be carried except by a two-thirds majority of the Members present and voting at the Annual General Meeting.
(12) The Club may be opened for the sale of intoxicating liquor on weekdays (Saturdays excepted) from 11am. to 12 noon. and 3.30pm. to 10.30pm. Saturdays from 11am. to 12 noon and 2pm. to 9pm. and on Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday 1pm. to 3pm. and 6pm. to 9pm. or such later hour as be approved by the Local Licensing Authority.
(13) Guests:- Members may introduce guests at the discretion of the Committee to the Club Room.
(14). Each and every Member of the Club shall be provided free of charge with a copy of the Rules. The Acceptance of election to membership shall be an undertaking on the part of the Member to comply with the Rules and a recognition of the right of the Committee to deal as it may deem just and proper with any Member who may be deemed to be guilty of misconduct or who may infringe the Rules of the Club.
Any Member may resign membership of the Club by transmitting to this Committee in writing an intention to do so, together with the membership card issued to him or her for cancellation.
(15) The Committee shall be empowered to deal with any matter that may arise and is not provided for in the Rules and their decision thereon shall be final.
27 June 1966
I have pleasure in submitting my Annual report for your approval. Whilst not trying to be despondent, I have on reflection only to record a satisfactory season without being a brilliant one for the Club.
Exit from both the Amateur and Challenge Cups in the first matches certainly did not lend to success on the field of play, let alone in the bank. The defeat in the Herts Senior Cup by Boreham Wood made it hard for any layman to understand the performances of our players who had already defeated Amateur Cup Winners, Enfield, twice in the league.
The F.A. Challenge Cup coming on the third Saturday of the season leaves little time for building a team and as has happened too many times in the past, we made an early exit. The game at Hounslow produced one of our poorest displays of the season and we were fortunate to escape with only a 2-0 defeat.
Walthamstow Avenue, away, was the draw in the Amateur Cup and as we had only lost in the last five minutes of our league game at their ground, we went to the game full of confidence. A penalty after five minutes, followed by another goal ten minutes later, resulted in us gliding to defeat before we had a chance to make our presence felt in the competition.
Financially both the defeat in the Challenge and Amateur Cup left us about £1,000 down on the previous season and so it is easy to realise how much a good cup run can mean to an Amateur club.
The climax of our cup performances for the season 1966/67 came in March when we were defeated in the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup by Boreham Wood with a score of 4-3. Previous to this we had defeated Leggatts Way Old Boys by 5 goals to nil and so the retention of the trophy appeared to be a good possibility. Boreham Wood played well and for once it was our defence which let us down. Boreham Wood lost in the final to Hertford Town and so their glory was short lived. Next season the final reverts to one game, (as I suggested in my report last season) and let us hope that this will mean more entertaining matches in the future.
Our best cup run came in the Mithras Cup where we played seven games before being eliminated by the professionals, Brentwood Town. Three games were necessary before we defeated Cheshunt in the first round and we then played “The Coppers,” Met Police in the next. These games produced some entertaining football and our victory aggregate of 4-3 proved how close the contest was between the two sides. Missed chances in the home leg against Brentwood meant that we went away with only a single goal advantage and this proved to be too slender against a side of professionals who won by the odd goal.
This season we entered a new venture, namely, the Herts Border Floodlight League, and this has as far as we are concerned proved to be a very uninteresting competition. With only six clubs in the league, including ourselves, we found that we were playing teams who we were already meeting either in the Isthmian League or Mithras Cup. For example, during the season we played Cheshunt six times and so our players found that they could rouse little enthusiasm. We finished wooden spoonists and in order to prevent a repetition of this lack of enjoyment for all concerned, we have made application for the Premier Floodlight League. In this league there are clubs like Wimbledon, Hillingdon and Finchley and so the meeting with new clubs should bring about a revival in midweek football for our club.
The 1st XI did win a trophy this season and this was the Herts Charity Cup, after a victory over Ware, we visited Cheshunt in the semi final where we won by 2-0. The final against Hemel Hempstead produced some of our best football of the season and although there was only one goal during the match we felt well pleased with our performance.
The season’s league performance went from brilliant to pathetic, with wins over Enfield, Hendon and Leytonstone to defeats by Tooting, Wycombe and Bromley. To defeat Enfield, the Amateur Cup winners, home and away were performances which are not easily gained by any club. Unfortunately during the season we drew twelve games which helped to bring our final position down to eighth, the same as the previous season.
The Reserves had one of their best seasons for many years and after a brilliant start to the season with eight victories, they finally completed their league commitments by finishing fourth. It is certainly unfortunate that next season we are having to dispense with the Reserve team for at least one season. Many promising youngsters will be lost to the club because of this move which was forced on us by our financial position.
In the cups the Reserves brought back the Intermediate Cup for the first time for a few years. In the semi final of this cup they met and defeated the favourites, Byng Road Old Boys, before winning the final against Cheshunt by three goals to one. The Aubrey Cup proved to be a farce as far as we were concerned. Having won two early rounds, we visited Buntingford, and after defeating them by 3-2, we were subjected to a protest and two appeals before having to replay the game. With an extremely weakened side we lost 1-0, but went out of the competition with honour.
Once again the efforts of the coaching and training staff must be applauded. Without their efforts both on and off the field we would not have achieved the results which we did gain. Harry Gibson, who resigned just before the close of the season, worked hard for the betterment of the club and for all his efforts we offer our sincere thanks and best wishes to him in his new job with Hitchin Town. Duggie Beach, who will not be with us next season, worked wonders with the Reserves and built up a fine team spirit. Best wishes to him at Harrow. Brain Francis, in his first season as trainer finished up with a broken leg. This was the result of playing against the Cricket Club in an end of the season friendly. Brian carried out his duties with the club extremely efficiently and gained the confidence of all who came in contact with him. Tom White was in the dressing-rooms and, as ever, he worked extremely hard in many other directions. He is obviously in this job for life.
Although we had to dispense with the after match meals early in February the Ladies of the Tea Bar were on duty for training sessions apart from match days. The excellent fare which they prepared was enjoyed by all players and for all their help during the season the club offers its thanks. Thanks are also due to those who helped when the club’s Monthly socials were held.
The Supporters Club continued their efforts on behalf of the club and although the bulk of their work fell on the few, they gave invaluable help to the parent Committee. With the reorganisation of their Pools, it is hoped that there will be an improvement in the financial support which they are able to give. Their President, Harry Simms, was going to resign, owing to his moving away from the district, but he has decided to continue in office which has been well received in all quarters.
An unusual happening in the club was the dinner held at Batchwood Hall in May. This I would think was a unique affair because the players treated the Committee. Owing to the proposed tour having to be cancelled, the Players took the opportunity of using the money they had raised through raffles etc., to entertain not only themselves but also the officials of the Supporters and Parent Club.
As an ending to one’s report, it is usual to thank the Officers and Committee of the Club who have worked during the season without thought to the time spent or the effort given to the Club. This year, I must first draw your attention to the President, A.B. Hobbs, who has now resigned. Alf has worked for the Club for over twenty years in the capacity of President, Chairman and Committeeman. He has helped in matters not only within the Club but also with Council matters which have aided the Club. We would thank him for all his efforts over the years.
Chairman Dave Rand and Vice Chairman Len Anderson together with Treasurer Bill Marriner, have continued to direct the affairs of the Club, together with all the other members of the Committee.
The Vice Presidents have continued to support the Club not only with their donations but with their interest in the club’s affairs. I hope that they will continue this interest and perhaps increase their numbers by bringing along friends.
Thanks are of course due to the players for all their work during the season and we sincerely hope that they will remain with the Club in the season to come. The new Coach, Sid Prosser, has already spoken to all of them and he is hopeful of a good season ahead. Congratulations are due to Phil Wood on his selection for the Isthmian League XI at the commencement of the season. Let us hope that there will be more honours to come for other players of the Club.
Finally, to my Assistant Secretary, Derek Bing, I offer my own thanks for the able way which he has carried out his duties. Life is so much easier with Derek around as he just gets on with the job without any direction at all and so my job is made far more enjoyable.
1stXI Appearances:(65 Possible) W.Fowler 63, D.Lawrence 61, P.Wood 61, M.Hughes 60, J.Butterfield 54, D.Bromley 54, H.Smith 45, D.Sumner 43, M.Gladwin 41, T.Waldock 37, R.Ridhards 27, R.Pottle 20, D.Gibbs 20, G.Taylor 19, A Roe 17, R.Eaton 15, B.Haggerty 10, M.Harman 10, D.Desmond 9, W.Brindle 8, B.Butterfield 3 G.Legg 5, R.Birch 4, B.Bentley 4, W.Newman 3, F.Deanus 2, B.Taylor 2, K.Pickard, B.Picton D.Morrison, J.Harper, W.Hussey, K.Gooch, D.Sills, G.Gascoigne J.Whiting, B.Francis P.Adams, K.Woolnough.
Goalscorers:J.Butterfield 19, T.Waldock 17, M.Gladwin 9, H.Smith 8, R.Richards 7, R.Eaton 6, G.Taylor 6, B.Butterfield 5, A.Roe 5, D.Sumner 4, P.Wood 4, M.Hughes 4, R.Pottle 2, B.Bentley, B.Haggerty, D.Lawrence, P.Adams, D.Bromley, W.Newman, G.Legg, Opponents 4.
Reserve XI Appearances:(38 Possible) M.Harman 30, K.Woolnough 30, R.Birch 29, B.Brindle 26, B.Bentley 25, K.Pickard 23, K.Gooch 23, F.Deanus 18, R.Pottle 18, R.Eaton 13, W.Newman 17, W.Hussey 17, G.Taylor 17, B.Haggerty 15, A.Roe 15, D.Morrison 11, B.Butterfield 10, B.Picton 3, B.Taylor 6, D.Sumner 4, G.Legg 3, R.Richards 3, J.Harper 2, D.Slack 2, R.Percival 2, D.Bromley 2, T.Swinhoe, M.Jackson, M.Robbins, M.Hyatt, H.Smith, R.Patmore, M.Hughes.
Goalscorers:League & Cup: G.Taylor 16, W.Newman 14, R.Pottle 12, R.Eaton 12, B.Bentley 9, B.Butterfield 9, A.Roe 9, W.Hussey 7, B.Taylor 3, K.Woolnough 3, M.Jackson 2, K.Gooch 2, B.Haggerty 2, G.Legg, R.Richards, D.Bromley, M.Harman 1, Own Goals 4.
29 June 1967
I have pleasure in submitting my Annual Report for your approval.
Once again, the Club made early exits from the F.A. Challenge and Amateur Cups. This early exit, which happens most seasons, makes one wonder why St. Albans are not a cup team. Is there something in the make-up which leaves the Club lacking? This season we had a new manager and some new players; most unfortunately, they fared no better than their predecessors.
In the F.A. Challenge Cup, which comes early in each season, we were drawn at home to our County rivals, Hitchin Town. On normal form we would have had little difficulty in disposing of them, but after a goal-less draw at St. Albans, we went to Hitchin and lost by three goals to one. The player who did the damage for Hitchin was Barry Butterfield, one of our ex-players.
Five minutes from the end of our F.A. Amateur Cup game against Oxford City, it looked as though the Cup hoodoo was broken, as we were leading by one goal to nil. Suddenly we panicked and Oxford scored two goals in three minutes to give them an undeserved victory. The price of this defeat can be added up be hundreds of pounds, as Oxford then proceeded to have three home draws, all of which I think we were capable of winning. It doesn't need a great team to reach the Amateur Cup Final, as was proved by Chesham this year, all you need is the luck, plenty of spirit and concentration on your task until the final whistle is blown. Let us hope that in the coming season we will have all this, as we most certainly have the potential.
The Herts Senior Cup did see a change of luck when we regained the trophy which we last won in 1965-66. After victories over Harpenden Town and Letchworth Town, we met Boreham Wood in the semi-final at Clarence Park. Two goals up, with twenty minutes to play we relaxed and the Wood drew level, forcing a replay. Victory came by two goals to nil at Boreham Wood when for once we displayed the superiority expected when an Isthmian League side plays an Athenian team.
The Final at Watford was one game only, instead of the two-leg games of recent years. The standard of play never reached any great heights, mainly I think, due to the ground condition which made good football difficult, but we defeated Hertford Town by one goal to nil.
At last, after many years of trying, we were accepted into the London Senior Cup Competition - the next most important Cup to the Amateur Cup. As this was our first season, we were forced to play the preliminary rounds and eventually reached the quarter finals before losing to our old friends, Walthamstow Avenue.
In this Cup, victories were recorded over West Wickham, Kingsbury Town, Civil Service, Erith & Belvedere and Cray Wanderers. The last game mentioned was undoubtedly our best victory, when we travelled to Cray, who play in the Metropolitan League, and defeated them by seven goals to nil. It is expected that, in the coming season, we will be exempt until the first round proper.
The only other Cup which we entered was the Herts Charity and the least said about this one the better. We lost in the first round to Hertford by four goals to two.
League results during the season went fairly well to form and we finished in fifth position compared with eighth in the one previous. The season started with a seven goal victory over Maidstone and all looked set for a fine season but, with the squad system operating for the first time throughout the season, Sid Prosser was not able to field his strongest team for every game. In fairness to all concerned, he had to put the players on a rota system to give everybody a game. This meant that, on some games which we might have won, he was at a disadvantage by not being able to pick the team as he might have wanted. Nevertheless, good victories were gained during the season and one which comes to mind is the 7 - 2 defeat away of Kingstonian. If only the ball had run throughout the season as in this game, we would have been challenging for the title. We did however finish the season by scoring nineteen more goals than in 1966 - 67.
Apart from the London Senior Cup, we ventured into one other new field, namely the Premier Floodlight League, where we met old and new friends from the other Clubs. We performed fairly well in this Competition and eventually finished third in our section. One advantage gained was that of playing against good professional opposition such as Wimbledon and Hillingdon which I am sure helped improve our game.
To complete a season by playing sixty-nine games reflects well on the work done, for which the coaching and training staff must have been responsible. Sid Prosser, in his first season as Manager with the Club, brought a new approach to the game which we had not previously experienced. He approached the game in a professional manner and gained respect, not only from the players, but also from the Officials of the Club. It is to be expected that, with any luck, he will bring honours to the Club in the future. If not, it will not be for lack of trying.
Brian Francis continued to deal with the players' injuries and had a very busy season, as at times we seemed to be plagued with them. Tom (Taffy) White was, as usual, on duty in the dressing rooms and continues to work harder than most for the success of the Club. To all these three gentlemen I would record our thanks for their work during the season.
Next to them, thanks are due to the Ladies who have worked in the Club room during the season to provide the tea and refreshments for matches and training sessions. Considering the number of matches played, which includes local games besides our own, we are fortunate to have such a good band of workers in the Club.
It seems a pity that the Supporters Club is not blessed in a similar way within its ranks. The Supporters Club is the main source of revenue for the Parent Club and yet the work appears to be put on the shoulders of the few, to whom we offer our thanks. The Pools Promotion is carried on in spare time by a number of members and they devote many hours to this venture. May I respectfully suggest that, to be successful in a Senior Amateur Club, a fulltime pools promoter is essential. This would then release the workers of the Supporters Club to use their efforts in other directions.
To the Players, we offer the thanks of the Club for all their efforts on, and off, the field of play. New players have come to the Club during the season and have brought a new look, which augers well for the future. Several players gained County Honours during the season and re-established us as the leading Senior Amateur Club in the County. May I single out one player by name - Matt Hughes - who during the season, played five times for the F.A. and three times for the County. Alas, we must say goodbye to Matt, as he has now signed pro forms for Stoke City. We all wish him well in his new career.
The Vice-Presidents have continued to aid the Club with financial donations and have also taken a keen interest in the Clubs' activities. It is to be hoped that they will continue their support.
To finalise a seasons' report, one must mention the work of the Officers and Committee of the Club. Unfortunately, the season closed on a sad note, as our new President, Jack Kellard, had to leave the district after only one season in office. We thank him for his efforts on behalf of the Club. To all the other Officers and Committeemen, may I, on your behalf, offer thanks for the seasons work.
APPEARANCES — 69 Possible.
D.Lawrence 62, W.Broomfield 60, P.Wood 60, M.Hughes 57 R.Childs. 54, A.McDonnell 53, M.Doyle 50, W.Fowler 49, D.Sumner 45, J.Butterfield 42, M.Harman 41, D.Bromley 40, D.Neville 24, K.Somers 23, F.McCoy 21, P.Spittle 20, G.Hurst 18, G.Swaffield 14, D.Bassett 8, R.Quinton 5, A.Wyatt 4, G.Gascoigne 1, B.Taylor 1, R.Murphy 1, B.Bentley 1, J.Draper 1, J.Whiting 1, D.Darby 1, B.Haggerty 1, B.Smith 1.
W.Broomfield 40, R.Childs 30, J.Butterfield 12, A.McDonnell 11, F.McCoy 9, K.Somers 7, D.Sumner 6, G.Swaffield 5, G.Hurst 5, M.Doyle 4, D.Neville 3, D.Lawrence 3, M.Hughes 2, P.Wood, 1, D.Bromley 1, A.Wyatt 1, D.Bassett 1, Opponents 5.
5 July 1968
I have pleasure in submitting my Annual Report for your approval.
Success at last in a major Cup Competition! The glory and finance which we knew could come from the F.A. Challenge Cup certainly made this a memorable season for all connected with the Club, when we reached the Second Round Proper for the first time for thirty years.
In all, nine games were played in this Cup and the finance so derived has put the Club on a sound footing for the first time in many years.
Victories were recorded over Wycombe Wanderers - after a replay; Erith and Belvedere, Hitchin Town and Corby Town in the preliminary rounds. In the first round proper, we met Isthmian League rivals Wealdstone and, after a 1 - 1 draw away, we gained victory at home, by the only goal of the game, before a crowd of over 5,000.
This victory gave us a home tie against Third Division Walsall. Although the crowd was just less than 5,000, the interest which the game aroused was tremendous. We commenced in great style with a Bill Ratty goal after only ten minutes and this lead was held until late in the game when, with victory in our grasp, Walsall equalised five minutes from time. Before the replay at Walsall, the Third Round draw was made, giving the winners a home game against Tottenham Hotspur. What a thought - our Club to play the mighty Spurs - but alas, after a wonderful fight, the lads lost 3-1 at Walsall before a crowd of nearly 11,000.
After the success gained against better opposition in the F.A. Challenge Cup, our F.A. Amateur Cup run was rather disappointing and brief. Many clubs feared us and it is not untrue to say that a number of clubs made us favourites early on to win the coveted trophy.
After victories over Maidenhead and Bishop’s Stortford, we were drawn at home to Hendon in the second round and, unfortunately, lost 2-0. Much of the blame for this defeat I still feel lay with the ground conditions.
The Herts Senior Cup was retained from the previous season when we defeated Cheshunt in the final at Bishop’s Stortford after being in arrears at the interval. Victories in the previous rounds were recorded over Boreham Wood, Admult and Letchworth Town.
The other County Trophy which we entered, the Charity Cup, was also won with a good victory over Bishop’s Stortford at Clarence Park by two goals to nil. We defeated Letchworth Town and Cheshunt (after a replay) before reaching the final.
After several postponements, due to the weather conditions, we eventually made a start in the London Senior Cup by defeating Barkingside in the first round. Victory over Wembley in the next round gave us hope of reaching the last four, so qualifying for the London Challenge Cup next season. Once again, however, Hendon proved to be a bogey side, when we lost, on our own ground, by three goals to nil.
Our other success in Cup competitions this season was gained in the Wycombe Floodlight Cup. Although the two games against Maidenhead and Addlestone were two legs, the final against Chesham was only one game and, although we won by the only goal of the game, the match itself was disappointing. The most memorable game in this competition was the away leg with Addlestone, which we won by five goals to nil after having lost at home,
In the Isthmian League, we finished two places lower than last season, namely seventh. In general, our performances were equal to those of last season, but we unfortunately wasted several points by drawing 13 of the 38 games played. We always seemed to play better against better opposition and, in this respect, the memory of the 7-0 win over Hitchin Town will long remain, whilst the defeats at home by Barking and Tooting and Mitcham are best forgotten.
Despite our withdrawal from the Premier Floodlight League next season, we enjoyed success during the past campaign, finishing runners-up in our section to Hillingdon. Unfortunately, on occasion we had to field depleted sides due to the overwhelming number of fixtures, otherwise we would probably have figured in the play-off for the championship.
During the course of the season, the playing staff figured in eighty League and Cup matches, eleven games more than last season. To have completed this enormous number of games is a credit to all concerned, none more than Sid Prosser, our Manager. Having completed his second season with the Club and looking forward to his third, Sid continued to prove his ability and understanding of the game. His tireless work, both on and off the field, is greatly appreciated by all connected with the Club.
Brian Francis, our trainer, parted company with the Club a few weeks before the close of the season when, with his family, he emigrated to Canada. Brian worked very hard for the Club and his successor, Brian Simpson, will need to work hard to maintain the standard set.
Tom White has been with the Club so long now that he is taken to be part of the furniture, but, without his continued efforts, the Club would be a poorer place.
To our players, we offer our sincere thanks for all their efforts on the field of play. To have completed over eighty games reflects their dedication to football. The standard of play during the season reached great heights and all credit is due to everyone. Many of the players gained County Honours during the season, but the honour gained by Phil Wood by being selected to tour the Far East with Middlesex Wanderers gave everybody the greatest pleasure. This is reward indeed for wonderful service to the Club. To the players who have been with the Club for a number of years and to the new players — we hope that you will remain with the Club and continue the success gained during the past season.
Once again, the duties in the Club Room have been carried out by voluntary labour and this year we had added help from the ladies behind the bar as well as at the tea bar. The hard work of providing liquid and solid refreshments for matches, training and outside activities was carried out as efficiently as ever and again our thanks are due to all concerned.
The Supporters Club continue to aid the parent Club, but unfortunately for the hard working committee men, they have received no assistance during the past season. Instead of gaining strength in numbers with the success achieved by the Club, they had to carry on as before. Unless there is a determined effort to increase the numbers of active workers the time cannot be far off when the few become discouraged. Let us hope that they are soon given the help they so richly deserve.
This Report would not possibly be complete without a special reference to our new President, Willis Hall. In his first season with the Club, he has given us a new outlook which, in no small way, has helped with the success gained. Besides adding considerably to the social side of the Club, Willis aided the Club financially, both directly and by the organisation of two Charity Matches. He is certainly an active President and we hope that he will continue to enjoy his office.
The Vice Presidents continue to assist the Club and show the keenest interest in its activities. We thank them for their continued support.
After twenty years with the Club and previous service with the Supporters' Club, Bill Marriner, our Hon. Treasurer, has decided to relinquish his office because of business commitments. I should like to place on record our sincere thanks for all his hard work over the years and, I am sure, that he will continue to follow the Club's activities as a Life Member.
To the other Officers and Committee members who have worked so hard during the season I would offer your thanks for their efforts. All, except Bill Marriner, are going to serve next season with, I am sure, renewed effort to continue and surpass the success gained during the year past.
4 July 1969
I have pleasure in submitting my Annual Report for your approval.
The Cup success of last season was repeated, this time in the Amateur Cup, not in the F.A. Challenge Cup. The Club reached the semi-final of the Cup for the first time since 1926 and only lost, after a replay, to Dagenham.
In the first round we played Wembley and it took three matches before we managed to reach the second round. In this, we visited Harwich and Parkeston, where we were victorious by three goals to one. The third round found us entertaining Tow Law from the Northern League, a match we won easily by four goals to nil. Our visit to Wycombe in the fourth round was the occasion of a very competent display, which brought us victory by two goals to nil.
The semi-final at Millwall resulted in a 1-1 draw, after a disappointing display against a physical Dagenham side. With everyone saying we could not possibly play as badly in the replay at Luton, our first half display should have won us the game, but we missed our chances and eventually lost 1-Nil.
Our F.A. Challenge Cup performance of the previous season certainly did not materialise and we went out meekly, in the first qualifying round, to Erith & Belvedere.
We reached the Final of the London Senior Cup for the first time. At this point we were unfortunate to be deprived of the services of John Butterfield and Tony Turley, due to their being on holiday, and lost to Hitchin Town 4-2. In our progress to the final, we were victorious against Finchley, Sutton, Leytonstone and Ilford.
In the Hertfordshire County Cup Competitions we were defeated in the quarter-finals of the Senior Cup by Hertford Town, but managed to win the Charity Cup with victories over Boreham Wood, Bishop’s Stortford and, in the Final, Hitchin Town.
The Wycombe Floodlight Competition was not completed, although we reached the Final, which has now been left over to the next season. We played Wokingham in the first round and drew byes against Wycombe and Southall, which was most unsatisfactory.
The Mithras Cup was a disappointment when, after victory over Hemel Hempstead in an early round, we collapsed against Barking and went out of the Competition.
Re-entry into the Hitchin Centenary Cup was celebrated with a victory over Biggleswade Town, but in the next round we lost to Hitchin Town at home with one of our worst performances of the season.
In the Isthmian League we rose one position from the previous season when we finished sixth. Our performance varied according to the opposition, although it should be recorded that we only lost three League games at home.
Although the number of fixtures was reduced from the previous season, one can say that a successful season was enjoyed by the Club. Once again, this must reflect great credit upon Sid Prosser, the manager, who has now been given a three year contract. Despite various offers from other Clubs, Sid has decided to stay and we look forward to continued success. We thank him for his efforts on behalf of the Club.
Brian Simpson as our trainer did valuable work during the season, but will not be available in the next, due to business commitments. We offer him our thanks.
Mick Humphrey, who has deputised for Brian on several occasions, will continue to be available when required.
Tom White has now completed twenty years with the Club. What would we do without him? His service over the years must be rewarded with our sincere thanks and the hopes of many more seasons to come.
The Players worked hard throughout the season on our behalf and, although they failed to reach the ultimate - the Amateur Cup Final - they did extremely well.
David Lawrence and Phil Wood played for the Isthmian League and, as David will not be with us next season, I would like to thank him for seven years of good service.
Several players played for the County, whilst Phil Wood played a number of games for the F.A. Congratulations to all concerned.
The Supporters Club continues to aid the Club with financial assistance, without which we would cease to function. As for the past few years the main burden of the work has fallen on the few, to them we would offer our sincere thanks.
The Club Room, having been altered during the close season by the Committee, is still being manned by voluntary labour. The Ladies work extremely hard behind the tea counter and their assistance is greatly appreciated.
The President and Vice-Presidents have continued to take an interest in the Club and we hope that this will continue in the months to come.
The Committee and Officers of the Club have carried out their duties on behalf of the Club and many hours have been put in to both maintain and improve the Clubs' image.
Certain members of the Committee have intimated that they may not be standing next year and to them, should they not continue, I would offer on your behalf our thanks for their past services.
It is definitely known that Harry Stacey will not be seeking re-election. After his service as Hon. Secretary, Hon. Assistant Secretary &. Hon. Press Secretary over the years, his record speaks for itself.
ST. ALBANS CITY F.C.
APPEARANCES - Maximum 64.
D.Lawrence 60, A.Turley 54, V.Lucas 21, L.Burgess 60, D.Neville 52, T.Howard 12, P.Wood 59, A.Mackie 51, S.Prosser 1, W.Ratty 58, D.Gibbs 49, J.Horgan 1, R.Childs 58, P.White 44, W.Smith 1, J.Butterfield 55, W.Broomfield 39, P.Spittle 1, J.Oxley 28,
J.Butterfield 29, L.Burgess 9, D.Lawrence 3, R.Childs 28, W.Broomfield 8, V.Lucas 2, A.Turley 19, J.Oxley 5, P.White 1, W.Ratty 13, D.Neville 3, Opponents 3.
17 July 1970
In presenting my Annual Report, I am pleased to record that the Club has at last gained success in a major trophy – namely, the London Senior Cup, Having been Runners-up last season, the Club finished this season in fine style by bringing this fine trophy back to Clarence Park.
Generally, throughout the season, the performances on the field of play were very entertaining, with plenty of goals for and few against. Indeed, our Isthmian League goal average record was the best in the League. Not only did the forwards score goals, but also the mid-field players, where David Neville and John Oxley scored thirty-six goals between them.
In the London Senior Cup, we defeated Hayes, after a drawn game followed by Hounslow and then Wembley before entertaining the Amateur Cup finalists, Dagenham, in the semi-final. This game proved to be highly entertaining with St. Albans victorious by the odd goal of five. In the Final we met our Isthmian League rivals Enfield and, after a rather quiet game, extra time brought victory with a Bobby Childs goal five minutes from the close.
The F.A. Challenge Cup brought financial reward to the Club but little glory, when we failed to reach the first round proper after everything had been in our favour. In the earlier rounds victories were achieved over Marlow, Bedford Town and Leighton Town; the win over Bedford being particularly noteworthy, as we defeated them in the away replay, having drawn at home.
After a drawn game at Hendon in the fourth round, we failed against our bogey side, losing the home replay 2-1. This match brought trouble to the Club when, at the close of the game, Hendon players were attacked. The resulting F.A. enquiry meant that the Club had to post warning notices for a month, a very black mark indeed.
With the consistent performances in the League, everyone looked forward to a good run in the Amateur Cup, especially after our efforts of the previous season, Once again, we proved to be too optimistic and, after two games with Bromley in the first round, we lost to our near neighbours Boreham Wood in the second round. Much could be said about the performance that day, but little benefit would be derived from such a late inquest.
As the season came to a close, our general performances became a little less professional than had been seen earlier and this was no more apparent than in the Final of the Herts Senior Cup. This Final proved to be an absolute lowering of the standard of our football and, having drawn the first game against Bishop’s Stortford, we lost the replay by the only goal of the game. Victories had been gained over Cheshunt, Hoddesdon and Ware on route to the Final.
In the Herts Charity Cup we reached the Final, which has been left over until next season. We defeated Letchworth Town and Hitchin Town to reach what may be our last Charity Cup Final, as we are applying to be allowed to withdraw from this Competition next season.
The Mithras and Hitchin Centenary Cups provided extra midweek matches for the Club and we finished up in the semi-final of both Competitions, the Hitchin Centenary match being left over until next season.
Our entry into the London Challenge Cup was short lived when we were defeated by Wimbledon in the first round tie. Our entry for next season has been refused, it appears unlikely that we will be allowed to compete again in what was, to us, an attractive opening competition to the season.
With thirty-eight League games played this season and two more to come next year with an increased entry, we proved to be consistent and were, at one time, fancied to win the title. Our performances were better against the better clubs and poorer against some of the bottom clubs. As already stated, our goal average was the best in the League. This was also our highest League position since the early nineteen-fifties.
I am sure that everyone connected with the Club realises the part played by our manager, Sid Prosser, in the results achieved during the season. Sid tries to get results and generally achieves this aim. He has now brought the Club from the obscurity of later years to absolute prominence during his reign as manager of the Club. Our thanks to him are due in no small measure.
Mick Humphrey as Trainer and Tom White as Dressing Room Steward have acted as the backroom boys in the success and have both worked extremely hard.
Socially, the Club still lags behind most of our rival Clubs, mainly because we are unable to have premises which would allow both a better social side and also bring in more revenue. To those on the social side of the Club, I would however, say thank you for all the effort put in during the season. The bar staff have worked under difficulties, but have done well, whilst the Ladies of the Tearoom have, as ever, provided everything that was required. When one realises that all the labour is voluntary, one can also realise the tremendous amount of time that is given for the benefit of the Club.
The Supporters Club this season have done a tremendous job of organising coaches to our away matches and the support given at these games has played no small part in the success gained on the field of play. The old and the young who have travelled to give the lads their support have helped immensely.
The continued efforts of the few on the Supporters Club Committee in both running the Pools and the various fund-raising competitions is very much appreciated. Let us hope that their efforts will be further rewarded by an increase in active Committee members.
The Players have contributed much to the successful season and it is pleasing to note that they have been on an end of the season tour in Spain. The Captaincy of David Neville continues to set an example to all and his conduct, both on and off the field, is exemplary. It has pleased everyone connected with the Club that at last the efforts of John Butterfield have been rewarded. John, apart from playing for the F.A., has been selected to tour Japan with the Middlesex Wanderers.
To all the Players who have played in representative matches, etc., congratulations from the Club and to all, thanks for all your work, on and off the field.
The Committee, which increased this season, has as usual, carried out the voluntary duties which arise with the same enthusiasm as always and our thanks are again due to everyone for the work completed, Obviously, it is everyone’s wish that the Club continues to be successful and so I am sure that all concerned will look to the future and increase the effort needed to maintain our high status.
Incidentally, it is very pleasing to everyone to see our Chairman, David Rand, fully recovered and, although Len Anderson held the reins in a most successful manner during his absence, I am sure that he is pleased to hand over again now that our Chairman is fit to resume.
As to the future of the Club, who can tell. With each season, everyone connected with the Club realises that an increase of effort in needed to keep functioning and, with the cost of living steadily increasing, new ways will have to be found to maintain the standards set.
Let us hope that 1971-72 sees the realisation of everyone’s dream.
16 July 1971
In presenting my Annual Deport, I do so with the knowledge that yet another season has been completed and that the amount of work involved and time taken is ever-increasing, due to the extended length of the season.
The number of persons available to carry out the voluntary duties continues to decrease and the time is fast approaching when Officials and Committee will have to be paid.
The start of the season looked so promising, with the 3-0 victory over a full Fulham team in the pre-season game, that it came as an early shock when we were eliminated in the preliminary round of the F.A. Challenge Cup against Romford. In connection with this, I would voice a personal opinion that Manager Sid Prosser made several bad decisions as a result of this game when he sacked several players.
The F.A. Amateur Cup provided the Club with a talking point for many years to come when, during the second round game at Slough, Bill Ratty had his jaw broken and a court case resulted, in which the Slough player was charged with assault. The game was lost 3-2.
Prior to this match, we had visited Harwich & P., where we drew 1-1 and easily won the replay 4-0 at home.
Our fight to retain the London Senior Cup, which we won the previous season, went well until the quarter-finals, when we suffered one of our heaviest defeats of the season, losing 4-0 at Hendon. In the previous rounds we had accounted for Ruislip Manor, 3-0. and Southall 5-0, having drawn away 2-2.
The County Senior Cup was another sorry story because, having drawn away at Hitchin we gave a dismal performance, losing the replay at home by the only goal of the match. We did however, win three trophies during the season, one of which was the Hertfordshire Charity Cup. A fine performance against Boreham Wood in the Final followed on from victories over Hertford Town 5-0, and the narrow defeat of Cheshunt, 3-2. Incidentally, the 1970-71 Final was also played this season, when in August, we defeated Cheshunt 1-0 at Clarence Park. This means that we have won the Trophy for the past four years.
For the first time since 1964-65 we were successful in reaching the Final of the Mithras Cup and, I am pleased to report, we defeated Tilbury 4-2 on aggregate after a 4-0 victory at home in the first leg.
Hemel Hempstead 8-0, Hertford Town 5-2, Bletchley 5-2 and Ilford 2-1 were the other Clubs played on route to the Final.
The third trophy gained this season was the Hitchin Centenary Cup, the Final of which had been held over from the previous season. This competition always seems to drag on and, after defeating Banbury in the semi-final, we had the pleasure of playing Baldock in the Final. The two legs resulted in a 4-1 score. Incidentally, we were given a bye to the semi-final to the 1972-73 competition and still await a match.
With the increase of the Isthmian League to twenty-one Clubs, the League programme was successfully concluded, our final position being that of seventh. Once again we played better against better opposition and poorly against some of the lesser Clubs. Losing to Dulwich Hamlet but defeating Wycombe and Hendon are just examples of our inconsistency during the season.
The further increase next season to twenty-two clubs in the League puts more pressure on the players and, if in 1973-74, the Isthmian League “new look” materialises, promotion and relegation will bring further problems.
In April of this year we regretfully accepted the resignation of our manager, Sid Prosser, who decided to enter the professional “hot seat” at Wealdstone. During the five years that Sid was with us, he changed the outlook and status of the Club from being an also ran to one which is now respected in Amateur Football. Our thanks are due to him for all his efforts and we wish him well in his new venture.
We have been fortunate in securing the services of John Drabwell from Ilford and I am sure he will prove an able successor.
Mick Humphrey and Tom White have again provided the backroom work in the dressing rooms and on the field. Tom was presented with a watch for twenty years of service with the club early in the season. We all hope that both of these gentlemen will continue to help the club for many years to come.
The players have again had a hard season of some sixty-nine games and as part timers it always amuses me when professional clubs complain of having to play so many matches in a season. Our players do it every season and do not complain.
Phil Wood stands out this season as the player of the year, when first he received the Herts Advertiser Trophy for the Sportsman of the Year, then a silver salver from the Club for having completed five hundred and fifty appearances for them. He was selected to play for the Isthmian League and Middlesex Wanderers.
Geoff Anthony became the Club's first International since Barrie King, playing three times for Wales and also being selected for Middlesex Wanderers.
I must mention John Butterfield in referring to International selection, John, as everyone knows, left the club early in the season to join Enfield. He fully deserved a cap whilst with us, but gained it only when he joined another club. This certainly caused the club to feel very concerned.
David Neville deserves special mention for his captaincy during the season and for his conduct both on and off the field. He also did extremely well as caretaker manager before the appointment of John Drabwell.
Our thanks are due to all the players and we hope to see them all again next season.
The Supporters' Club have, during the season, raised money on behalf of the Club, without which we would find it hard to continue. Socials and other fund-raising ventures have been organised and the efforts of all concerned are appreciated. The support at away matches continues to flourish and one hopes that the efforts of the few will be rewarded by the success of the Club.
The Ladies' Committee have once again spent many voluntary hours providing refreshments, not only at our own games, but also at other games played at Clarence Park. We are indeed fortunate that this Committee functions so well and help in no small way to provide added income to the finances of the Club.
The Bar Committee, under Fred Davies, has worked hard and provided a fine source of income for the Club. As with everything else that is done within the Club, the bar is manned by voluntary labour and is greatly overworked at times.
The Committee of the Club has striven, as always, to keep things running smoothly and, with a smaller Committee, obviously the workload becomes heavier. It is to be hoped that, next season, more new people will be willing to help, as it seems probable that some of the present committee members will not stand for re-election.
In connection with the Committee, I feel that I should pay tribute to Harry Shepherd, who died during the match at Tooting. Harry, although he had not been well, insisted on travelling and was, unfortunately, taken ill during the game. His work for the Club will be sadly missed.
Before concluding this Report, I would like to mention that for the first time, we organised a Penalty Competition for local schools. This provided a very successful scheme in which over six hundred boys took part. The semi-finals and finals were played at Clarence Park, providing fine entertainment. We hope to make this event an annual one.
In conclusion, I hope that the Club has been a success both on and off the field, and that the new season will bring further rewards.
27 July 1972
In presenting my last report as Club Secretary, I have, unfortunately, to record the worst season experienced by the Club for many, many years.
During the course of the season, we engaged three managers and the transit of players to and from the Club was quite astounding. The results achieved were absolutely disastrous and the enthusiasm of the crowds dwindled so that only the hard core were left.
I can only hope that my successor, in his report next season, can record a much more enjoyable picture.
We commenced the season with promising displays in the F.A. Challenge Cup, when we drew away to Gravesend and Northfleet in the first qualifying round and defeated them at home 1-0.
In the next round, we played away to Addlestone and again won by the only goal of the match.
Before the third qualifying round, players began to leave the Club, due to the attitude of manager John Drabwell and his inability to understand the situation. When, therefore, we came to play Barking in the following round, we had only eleven players left on the books and, after a good performance, conceded two goals late in the game, losing 3-2.
The progress in the Amateur Cup was also limited, although we did reach the third round before losing to the eventual winners, Walton and Hersham.
The first round was against our old friends from Finchley and, after only drawing at home, we managed to succeed away by two goals to one. An unexpected victory came in the second round over Harlow Town having scored early, we then defended for the most part of the game before scoring again five minutes from the close.
And so to Walton and Harshen and a good first half effort, with ourselves having more chances but no score before half time. The second half was one way traffic and our 5-0 defeat left manager Mickey Hunter in no doubt as to the short-comings of the side.
The County Senior Cups followed the pattern already set when, after a home defeat in the London Senior by Enfield, another defeat at home by Hitchin Town in the Herts. Senior Cup quickly followed. Trouble after trouble.
Our hold on the Herts. Charity Cup, after three seasons as holders, was also broken when we failed miserably against Cheshunt by 2-1.
To conclude the Cup misfortunes, we lost to Hertford in the Mithras Cup and, after a series of games against Hitchin, we completed our Cup failures by losing to Loughborough Colleges in the Final of the Hitchin Centenary Cup.
The Isthmian League results are the worst for many years, when we finished seventeenth instead of our recent top half position.
Only five games were won during the whole season and the goals “for” were very few, causing some very indifferent results.
The players tried hard over the season but, with the comings and goings, the team were never really able to settle down for any length of time. Over forty players played in the team during the season. This, for only one eleven shows the turnover in players which took place.
David Hogwood as Club Captain tried hard to keep matters straight, but we can only hope that the team fielded next season will have better fortune.
One of the players, David Webb, won three Youth International Caps for England and was the first player in the Club to win a Youth Cap. Congratulations, David.
Three managers had control over the players during the season. John Drabwell started as if he was going to set the world on fire and finished by nearly setting the Club on fire. He was undoubtedly a good coach, but not a good manager and resigned in early November, immediately taking over as manager of Cheshunt.
Micky Hunter replaced Drabwell and proved to be one of the worst mistakes that the Club has made in its history. Not only did he fail to win more than five matches during his spell with the Club, but he also failed to take training, to notify players of selection and he never measured up to the standards of an Isthmian League Club. When told that he would not be retained for the next season at the end of March he walked out.
Then the press slammed the Club, and in particular the Chairman and the Secretary for his leaving. There are many facts which will never be told to the public but which, if revealed, would present a different light on the subject.
In mid-April, we were fortunate in gaining the services of Tommy Coleman, ex-Barnet F.C. manager. In the few matches that he controlled, he soon gave the players a new outlook and a new hope. Let us hope that all this will be continued in the season to come.
Mick Humphrey and Tom White again so ably controlled the back room scene that, without them, matters would have been quite unthinkable. Our thanks are due to them both for the many hours which they gave for the benefit of the Club.
The Supporters Club have, in my opinion, worked harder this season than for many years and their efforts have been quite outstanding. Discos, jumble sales and other functions have been held during season at short intervals and much financial reward has resulted from their hard work. They organised Coach Parties, even when the results were not so good. All credit to all concerned for their efforts.
The Ladies Committee, as in the past, organised all the catering arrangements of the Club and, as usual, did an excellent job. The hours and effort they put in are not always recognised by people outside the Club, but it can be stated that, without their work, the Club would not function.
The various Committees within the Club worked hard with few numbers and with little reward. All concerned are to be congratulated on their efforts. Let us again hope that the results give everybody some encouragement for next season.
Chairman David Rand is resigning after approximately thirty-seven years of service to the Club, first as a player and lastly as Chairman. All connected with the Club are sad at his decision, on medical grounds, to have to relinquish the position from which he has directed the fortunes of the Club over so many years. Successes have been plenty during his time in office and it is most unfortunate that his last season should have brought such poor results. Nevertheless, the efforts and attention he has always given to Club matters stand predominant and everyone connected with the Club wishes him well in the future.
To Ron Mann, my successor, I wish every success and assure him that I will help in any way that I can to ensure that he enjoys his term of office.
To the new Committee, my best wishes for the new season and every hope for the future.
20 July 1973
The prospects for Isthmian League football at the beginning of the season were most encouraging, the announcement that the league had obtained a sponsorship from Rothmans, with all its subsequent benefits and that a decision to introduce a second division, at last confirmed the proposal the club had submitted to the league some five years previously. This progress encouraged one to feel that the stage was set for a season of highly competitive, entertaining soccer. Tommy Coleman had been engaged as Manager and his previous successes with Barnet F.C. and Walthamstow Avenue, together with his professional approach to the game, installed confidence to the playing staff although the previous seasons shocking record of only 5 league wins from 42 matches played and in consequence the managerial difficulties which arose from these failures had a sobering effect on club officials.
Difficulties commenced even before the season opened officially when all our pre-season match arrangements against professional opposition had to be cancelled due to unforeseen differences in Isthmian League and F.A. rules; this resulted in a hasty re-arrangement of fixtures which generally were considered to be below the standard necessary for our pre-season build-up. It was therefore no surprise that most of these games resulted favourably for us, although the game against Wingate was rather a sorry affair and as we have since learnt, a pointer for things to come.
Our league programme started on the 18th August with a home game against Corinthian Casuals which resulted in a 1-0 victory, this, apart from a win over Bromley a month later, in which we gained our only £40 bonus, was the last win we recorded until we again played Corinthian Casuals on the 9th March 1974. This represented a period of 25 league games without a victory and must rate as one of the most disastrous seasons in the club’s recent history. Although during this period our manager evolved various schemes to break this deadlock all plans and preparations disappeared completely a game commenced. Obviously no manager could be satisfied with a failure record such as this and indications suggested that a situation was developing whereby the club could be in a position similar to the previous season, when John Drabwell left the club. With this unpleasant experience still clear in the minds of the Committee they felt justified in controlling their own destiny rather than stand-by and see a prewarned situation descend upon the club.
A change in managership was instituted at the New Year with a subsequent change of players and although no immediate improvements were apparent, nine (9) points were obtained from the last fourteen games which was considerably better than our previous dismal record of ten (10) points from twenty-eight games. Unfortunately, this was not good enough to prevent us from being relegated to Division 2.
Our existence in the various cup competitions was brief to say the least, the F.A. Challenge Cup draw against Dartford was undoubtedly the hardest draw of the round but we were no match for our Southern League hosts, losing the game by 4 goals to 1. The Amateur and London Senior Cups were equally disastrous the former was lost by 2 goals to nil after a drawn game at Clarence Park and the latter we lost by 5 goals to 2 against Hitchin Town. We survived in the Hertfordshire Charity Cup by winning at Hoddesdon by 3 goals to 1 but could proceed no further in the competition due to a congested fixture list brought about by the power crisis which lasted for the latter part of the winter. Qualification difficulties did not assist our progress in the County Senior Cup, the qualifying period of 28 days left us with a bare minimum of eleven eligible players and as two of these failed to arrive for our match with Berkhamsted, we were forced to field two unqualified players after twenty minutes of the first half. The decision was taken mainly in the interests of the paying public when it was realised that due to the heavy state of the ground the efforts required from the nine players would be too great and would ultimately result in a one-sided spectacle. The Herts F.A. were informed of the decisions taken and they had no alternative but to eliminate us from the competition; we incidentally won this game by 3 goals to 1. One glimmer of hope did emerge from the cup competitions and that was the creditable performances of the two Carlton youth players who were literally 'thrown in at the deep end' against Brockenhurst in the Amateur Cup. Michael King, who played in both games, performed with great composure at full back and must be regarded as a good prospect for the future.
One of the more pleasant happenings during the season was the very successful visit of the TuS Hochheim football club from our twin town of Worms in Germany. The visit, which lasted for five days, took place during the Easter recess and was highlighted by a match between the clubs which ended in a 2-2 draw. This was a very suitable result as we were totally unaware of their playing strength and we were forced to include a number of guest players because of an important league match with Hendon the following evening. We are most grateful to the St. Albans District Council for their assistance in making this tour a memorable one for our visitors.
Once again we have to thank Mick Humphrey and Tom White for their work behind the scenes. For the past few seasons now Mick has attended to the players aches and pains and his hard work has saved the club considerable expense. Tom White is now in his twenty-third year as dressing room steward, and has rendered the Club great service.
The Supporters Club have worked very hard this season and apart from their noble efforts in fund raising, organising discos, jumble sales etc. they have been of great assistance in helping the ladies with the catering arrangements. It is most gratifying to see the younger element now taking an active part in the Supporters Club; this speaks well for the future.
The various Committees within the Club have worked hard with little reward from the playing field. The many long hours travelling to and from away games in inclement weather has had to be undertaken with little reward and in most cases using their own transport to save the Club expense. All concerned are to be congratulated on their efforts.
Our main objective now must be to aim for an early return to the First Division, this will not be easy for after maintaining a respectable position in the Isthmian league for the past 52 years the club has earned a reputation of being one of the top clubs in amateur soccer it is therefore anticipated that our forthcoming fixtures, in the new division, will be hard fought encounters as most of our new opponents have been seeking admission to the league for a number of years and will therefore endeavour to prove their superiority.
26 July 1974