After a season spent exiled on the cricket pitch at Clarence Park, St Albans City Football Club were back inside their proper home within the park for the start of their first season as members of the Athenian League. Although ranked second in strength to the Isthmian League, the top Athenians were more than a match for close rivals.

In preparation for the season, a practice match was held involving the tried and trusted players from the previous season plus a larger than usual number of potential additions to the squad. This was followed by a friendly at home to Amateur Cup finalists Tufnell Park that City won 6-1 and a final pre-season game with Luton side Frickers Athletic that was drawn 2-2.

City return home

City may have been back inside the football ground but conditions for spectators were far from ideal. The main stand was just 40 feet long, there was no terracing and even the players were some eight years away from having their own dressing rooms rather than using the ones in the cricket pavilion. The Hertfordshire News gave details as to the conditions.

‘It seemed to many like old times to find the club once more in possession of its pre-war pitch. The ground, although it cannot be said to have yet reached its former standard of condition, really looked well, and the care and attention which has been given to it has ensured a really good playing area which is free from ruts, and is conducive to fast play. About the accommodation for spectators there is quite a different tale to tell. The duck boards which were used around the ground for people to stand upon have yet to be replaced, while the value of the stand to the club will be greatly enhanced when a large number of chairs are provided.’

George Meagher was appointed captain with Harry Chipperfield, signed during the previous season from Luton Clarence, as his deputy. Goalkeeper ‘Micker’ Smith was coming to the end of his time at the Park. He had taken up employment in Dunstable and was expected to turn out for Waterlow’s. Micker did play in City’s Herts Charity Cup win over Leavesden (in which he kept his 74thclean sheet) but the last of his 181 games was a 4-0 defeat at home to a powerful Ilford side in the Amateur Cup.

City started the season with Cyril Mold, formerly of London Caledonians, in goal but Ted Barnes and G.Walker were each given a game between the sticks before City settled upon New Zealander, and noted singer, W. Innes Tennant. During the close season City had carried out a lot of recruiting from Luton Clarence with Arthur Webdale (back), George Plester (outside-left), Percy Bird (centre-half) and Harold Ford (centre-forward) all moving to Clarence Park.

Also new to the club were the St Albans Ex-Services Men’s Military Band and the St Albans City Silver Band, who would perform alternately at home games during the season.

City open with a defeat

Earlsmead, Wimbledon, played host to the start of City’s time in the Athenian League when St Albans lined up against Summerstown. City played well but lost 2-0 and could point to a number of mitigating factors. Harold Figg played despite having an injured ankle, Bertie Butcher was tied up at work, Tommy Field picked up an injury five minutes into the second half and took no further part in the game, while Harold Ford left his boots at home and turned out in a loaned pair that, clearly, were not comfortable. It would be another 19 months before City again failed to score in a league match.

Missed chances led to the downfall against Summerstown and the situation continued in the next game at Southall but a Phil Pierce goal did secure a point from Western Road. Southall played for 55 minutes with just ten men after back W.Harry suffered a strain.

City’s first win of the season came on 25thSeptember when West London Old Boys were seen off at the Park by a Bertie Butcher goal in front of almost 2,000 spectators in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. The Old Boys squared up to City again the following weekend and, at their Craven Cottage home in Fulham, provided City with more rich pickings as the Saints picked up their first win in the Athenian League. The Hertfordshire News now promoted City matches on its front page and went with the headline, ‘City’s Masterly Display At Fulham.’ The Hertfordshire News was a sister paper of the Herts Advertiser, both were printed in Upper Dagnall Street, and had a heavy bias towards sport. Its reports were in-depth and knowledgeable. Sadly, it ran for only three years.

FA Cup football was back on the agenda the following Saturday with City travelling to Woodside, Garston, to face Spartan League side Leavesden in the 1stRound Qualifying. Leavesden turned down an offer by St Albans to switch the tie to Clarence Park but a 1-1 draw did lead to the sides playing at the Park the following Thursday with a 3.30pm kick off. City made no mistake this time and went through 3-1.

Record attendances at Clarence Park

Two days later City, wearing blue shirts, pulled back a three-goal half time deficit to take a point from reigning champions Luton Clarence at Dunstable. The game attracted a healthy attendance of around 1,500 but that number was doubled in the next match when Barnet were the visitors in the FA Cup. Due to another similarity to the kit of the opposition City again wore blue shirts.

The new record attendance for the Park of close on 3,000 witnessed an exciting encounter that saw City, with George Plester scoring twice, move through to the 3rdRound Qualifying. The unbeaten run was extended to an eighth game the following Saturday, 30thOctober, when Southall were swept aside 5-2 in the return fixture. It was City’s fifth Athenian League match but it was their debut in that competition on home soil. The game kicked off late due to Southall failing to arrive on time, but, after falling behind early on, the visitors led until late in the game. But, just as the light began to fade, City hit their best form and knocked in four quick goals. Due to an injury to Percy Bird, City experimented with Harold Figg taken out of the attack and placed at half-back. The move was a resounding success. Going into the game St Albans were just three points off the foot of the table and five points behind leaders Metrogas.

A new ground record attendance was set for the second time in a fortnight on 6thNovember when the visit of Hampstead Town in the FA Cup drew a crowd approaching 3,500, including an estimated 800 following the visitors. For once though, City froze on the big occasion and Hampstead Town, later known as Golders Green and then Hendon, won 2-1 in some comfort.

The possibility of St Albans mounting a challenge for the league title looked very remote after a visit to Chelmsford that resulted in a resounding 4-1 defeat. Figg was pushed into the front line again but did not shape up well at centre-forward. City responded superbly to the defeat at Chelmsford by taking a point off league leaders Wimbledon at Plough Lane on the 20thNovember. Spectators struggled to see much of the play during the second half as the pitch became shrouded in fog. Making a highly impressive debut in goal for the City in front of a crowd of 3,000 was Ted Barnes. The 22-year-old was previously with Watford where he made one first team appearance in an XI that included George Edmonds during a 1-0 defeat to Norwich City at The Nest.

Bertie Butcher’s performance at Wimbledon was possibly even more praiseworthy than the one of Barnes. Butcher was employed at Waterlow’s in Dunstable and for each game would be collected, on a motor bike, by City supporter Mr Ross. On the way to Wimbledon though, they suffered a mishap when the bike went into a skid on some tramlines at Golders Green. Bertie suffered cuts to his knees and ruined a pair of trousers but completed the journey by taxi.

City faced two successive weekends without a game following the Wimbledon match and played friendlies against Chiswick Town and Southend Corinthians of the London League and South Essex League respectively. A surprise reversal was inflicted by the undefeated Corinthians but the game against Chiswick was another significant moment in the building of a great City side. City had their first look at Herbert Edwin James ‘Ted’ Miller. He had featured for Watford Reserves the previous season but had also played for Watford Corinthians and was on the books of Hampstead Town early in 1920-21. Ted scored a hat trick against Chiswick and had two brothers, also of a good standard of footballing ability, and both would later join him at St Albans. The game was blighted by a strong wind and heavy rain that kept the crowd down to around 500.

A return to competitive football was made on 11thDecember with Leavesden Mental Hospital easily removed from the Herts Charity Cup. Although it was a 1stRound tie, it was also the semi-final, as only four sides competed. The game kicked off 20 minutes after the scheduled time due to the late arrival of the referee. The attendance was felt to be satisfactory but many people were turned away once the capacity for the main stand had been reached. Heavy snow during the game forced spectators to try to obtain a seat in the stand.

Athenian League champions Luton Clarence visited Clarence Park on the 18thDecember sitting one place and three points above the Saints who had a game in hand. A late goal by Butcher condemned Clarence to a 2-1 defeat after their former player George Plester had cancelled the visitors early opening goal scored by Riddell. City gave a debut to goalkeeper W.Innes Tennant. The original choice to go between the sticks, Ted Barnes, had to cry off through illness, as did the long serving Micker Smith, which led to Tennant getting his first run out in the home goal. A Kiwi, he moved to England during the early days of the war with the New Zealand forces and once demobbed he embarked upon a career as a singer. He was recommended to City by George Edmonds, the pair having played football together whilst in the Army, and prior to joining the Saints was understudy to England international Ernie Coleman at Dulwich Hamlet.

On Boxing Day City made the short journey to Underhill to face a Barnet side lying, deceptively, just one place off the foot of the table. Barnet had lost three of their four games played but had eight games in hand on the side one place above them, West London Old Boys. The pitch was heavy and, although City played well, Barnet adapted to the conditions better and romped home 5-1. Tennant picked up a thigh injury whilst trying to stop Alfred Jennings scoring the first of his three goals and carried that knock for the remaining 74 minutes of the game. Jennings was Barnet’s leading scorer that season in spite of emigrating to Australia before the season had finished. The game at Underhill attracted a new ground record of close on 3,500 or 3,000 according to the St Albans and Barnet press respectively.

Tennant would have had to sit out City’s next game, a New Year’s Day Amateur Cup tie at home to Ilford, through injury but was also ineligible for the game. Micker Smith stepped in as his replacement for the final time but could do little to aid City’s cause as the Isthmian League side romped to a 4-0 win and a place in the 2ndRound. Ilford were in control of the game long before losing Willie Paul and then Percy Bird through injury. For the first time since April 1909 St Albans had slumped to two successive defeats by four or more goals. Ilford went on to win the Isthmian League title.

The game was played in rain throughout and not for the first time during the campaign the Hertfordshire News made the case for the football club to have either a larger, or an extra, stand. The newspaper claimed that 500 people crammed into the stand with up to three times that number forced to stand out in the open. On the 18thJanuary the Hertfordshire News reported that the football club had put a definite proposal to the council for the main stand to be enlarged. It had been strongly hinted that a pavilion looking across the cycle track that surrounded the cricket pitch in Clarence Park could be repositioned inside the football ground. However, upon inspection it was felt that it was not a healthy enough condition to be moved and the City Surveyor was invited to submit plans for a new structure for the football ground.

City returned to league action the following Saturday with the return fixture at Clarence Park against Chelmsford. The City XI continued to show small changes with George Plester having followed Harold Ford in leaving St Albans and returning to Luton Clarence. Ted Miller came in for his league debut as City returned to winning ways with early goals from Pierce and the impressive Miller.

Off the pitch the club was rocked by the resignation of Arthur Marshall as hon. secretary on a matter of principle. He had taken on the role during the summer after Frederick Martin had been forced to stand down due to business pressure. Marshall also stood down from the club’s committee but returned to the fold the following month and went on to serve the club for many more years. Harry Gray filled the position of hon. secretary vacated by Mr Marshall.

Throughout the season thus far City had struggled to find a centre forward of a reliable standard to do justice to the high number of chances that the team was creating. Steps were taken to eradicate the problem early in January with the signing of Wilfred Harry Minter, later known as Wilf or Billy, from Hatfield Road Old Boys.

R.C. Keeble acted as hon. secretary and sought to attract former pupils of the Hatfield Road School to create a football team for the start of the 1919-20 season. President of the club was J.Roe, who held the position of Chairman at St Albans at that time, and the treasurer was Bob Fox, the former City hon. secretary and a bowls player for the Townsend club.

Minter, then aged 19, was quick to join up with his old colleagues and had a highly productive 15 months with the club. Their first game appears to have been on 13thSeptember 1919 when they faced St Saviours on a pitch at St Stephens. Minter, who was the vice-captain of the side, scored twice during a 4-1 win for the Old Boys, he ended the season as the top scorer with 28 goals. Two of his goals came in the final of the Aubrey Cup when Harpenden St John’s were crushed 7-0 at Bylands Park, Redbourn, on 8thMay. The match attracted a remarkable crowd said to number 2,000. In the league, the Old Boys were runners up in Division One of the Mid Herts League. 

Hatfield Road Old Boys 1920

Above: Wilfred Minter, front row with football, pictured with the Hatfield Road Old Boys in 1920.

His time with Hatfield Road Old Boys ended as it began, with him scoring twice against St Saviours, this time in a 5-1 win, on 15th January 1921. Two days earlier Minter scored twice for St Albans Post Office during a 3-0 win over Croydon Post Office in the Evanson Cup semi-final that was also staged at St Stephens. The other goal was scored by Welwyn’s Fred Dear who became another crucial signing for St Albans at the start of the 1923-24 season.

Minter had played at Clarence Park prior to signing for St Albans City and on Boxing Day 1919 scored for the Hatfield Road Old Boys in a Mid Herts League match against the City Reserves. He had his first run out in the City’s colours on 22nd January 1921 during a friendly against South Essex League side Limehouse Town. Minter did not score that day but he caught the eye of the local press, ‘Minter certainly shaped well as the leader of the line. He played in a most unselfish style and opened the game splendidly. He is certainly worth an extended run. His shooting is not very well directed, but what he lacked in that respect he atoned for by the excellent way he distributed the ball.’ Limehouse, even without Minter scoring, were comprehensively beaten 8-2 with Ted Miller scoring a hat trick.

City had a blank day on the final Saturday of January but returned in style on 5th February to hammer Bromley 4-1 in the first meeting between the clubs at the Park. Bromley were third in the table going into the game, two points behind leaders Wimbledon, but with George Meagher’s only brace on home soil, it was the home side that had moved to within a point of the summit by the end of the game. The game attracted a gate of 2,000.

Supporters Club Formed

St Albans City had experienced some wonderful days during its formative years before the war but now it was moving onto a new level. On 10th February, at a meeting held at the Abbey Institute and presided over by Bob Fox, it was agreed to form the first City Supporters Club. Mr T.W. Carr was appointed as hon. secretary with a provisionally chosen committee of Bob Fox, and Messrs H.Ross, J.Garment, H.Cordell and T.Thrale. Amongst the suggestions put forward as to how the Supporters Club could aid the football club, and the supporters, was to assist with transport to away games. By the end of the evening the Supporters Club had sixty members, each paying a subscription fee set at one shilling. By the weekend that figure had grown to over 100.

Saints lift Herts Charity Cup

St Albans good form continued with Barnet being vanquished in the final of the Herts Charity Cup the following weekend. Meagher, who later received the cup from the Mayor of St Albans, notched the first goal and the final goal saw Minter open his account. Minter, who Barnet claimed to be offside, finished off good work by J.Billington who had run two-thirds the length of the pitch with the ball.

City had to make one change from the Barnet game for the return fixture with Bromley on the 19th. Kenneth Payne, a former colleague of Minter’s with the Hatfield Road Old Boys, signed on at around the same time, replaced the injured Billington but the game at Hayes Lane was to be Payne’s only appearance in the City First team. Bertie Butcher scored twice and Minter recorded his first goal on opposition soil as City became serious title contenders. The St Albans press were critical of Bromley’s physical approach on the day but it was the Kent side who suffered a severe blow when, ten minutes from time, W.Brown challenged Harold Figg but, in a freak accident, sustained a broken leg. Figg, quite wrongly, was booed for the remainder of the game and, given the hostile nature of the home crowd, the City supporters were advised to lower their colours. As the visiting supporters headed for the bus home they were pelted by lumps of grass and stones thrown by around 200 Bromley followers. The City players were jeered but not attacked when they too headed for home. City later filed a letter of complaint to the league but all parties settled amicably in the end. Around 35 supporters travelled as part of the Supporters Club but owing to the late arrival of the bus, and a break down, they missed the opening 30 minutes of the game. The Football Association sanctioned the opening of subscriptions for Brown, St Albans forwarded ten guineas.

The month ended with struggling Kingstonian visiting the Park and returning home beaten 3-0 as Billington, who had been signed from Luton Corinthians, celebrated his return from injury by scoring twice. Minter scored for the third successive game as an excellent attendance of 2,000 looked on. Kingstonian were bottom of the table but had played just six games, City, who had played 13 games, trailed leaders Hampstead Town on goal average only. Hampstead suffered a bad blow in retaining top spot with their goalkeeper, P.E.Bruty, a one-time resident in St Albans, sustained a fractured skull during the win over Barnet.

press clipping 1921St Albans had a free weekend before moving to the top of the Athenian League with a 4-2 win over Summerstown on 12thMarch. Minter’s importance to the future of the club came to the fore in this game as the Culver Road resident struck all four goals as City deposed Hampstead on goal average. Minter’s four goals included his first hat trick for the club, was City’s highest individual score to date in the Athenian League and surpassed anything that he’d achieved in junior football. The City line-up had an unusual look about it as included was the name of W.Hill. A player with Birmingham Tramways, he was in St Albans visiting his old friend, Fred Anderson, the assistant secretary at Clarence Park. The two men had served together in Serbia during the war. Hill stood in for the unavailable Arthur Webdale.

The prospect of enlarging the stand at Clarence Park remained a hot topic but the football club did their best to ensure that the cost would not fall upon taxpayers, and issued the following statement.

‘The club are in an excellent financial position, and they are also leaders of the strong Athenian League. The Committee are pressing the City Corporation for increased stand accommodation, the present being totally inadequate for the number of supporters wishing to see the football seated and protected from inclement weather. The club are anxious that this additional expense shall not fall on the rate payers, and pledge themselves, should the Council extend the present stand as per the plans submitted by the City Surveyor, to make every effort to meet this expenditure. They will, therefore, be very pleased to hear from you, with a subscription for this purpose.’ Subscriptions were set at 2s 6d.

At the same time of looking to assist in the construction of the larger stand, the Council also dealt the club a blow by confirming that it intends to hire out the football pitch for the playing of tennis during the close season. This was something that the club opposed strongly.

A big step towards securing the Athenian League title was taken on 19th March when Meagher scored the only goal of the game against fellow challengers Wimbledon who were unfortunate to leave the Park without so much as a single point. Minter may have seen his run of scoring in four consecutive games ended but it was he, when hauled down by H.Allwright, who won the decisive penalty.

The final weekend of March coincided with Easter and City facing games on the Saturday and Monday at home to Metrogas and Barnet respectively. Early season table-toppers Metrogas, although fortunate, became the first visiting team to collect a point from Clarence Park from a 1-1 draw. Minter got his name on the scoresheet at the start of a seven-match scoring run. Although not announced, the gate was said to be City’s largest so far for a league game played on a Saturday.

For the visit of Barnet on Easter Monday City were without goalkeeper Tennant who damaged a wrist during the win over Wimbledon. Earlier in the month G.H. Walker, a young ‘keeper with Sandridge, had been signed as cover due to Tennant likely to miss the final few games of the season through business commitments. Barnet, although badly hit by injuries, had already played and won two games over the holiday weekend and came close to extending that run at Clarence Park only to have a first half lead overturned by two more goals from rising star Minter.

City filled a free Saturday with a friendly at home to Leyton that was won 5-0 with Bertie Butcher scoring three times. Ted Miller was unable to play due to a foot injury but brought along his younger brother, Harold Sidney Miller, also known as ‘Babe.’ The crowd and the press took to the new Miller instantly and in the years to come he demonstrated that they were indeed good judges of a decent footballer.

MetrogasSt Albans strengthened their position at the top of the table with emphatic victories on 7th and 9th April. Metrogas had faded from the title race but the 3-1 defeat inflicted by them on Thursday 9thwas their first at home in the league. An excellent crowd of 2,000 lined up at Devonshire Grove, Old Kent Road, to see if Metrogas could slow City’s charge but with three first half goals the outcome was sorted out by the interval.

Two days later the hapless West London Old Boys, bottom of the table and without a hope, were on the receiving end of the highest score so far in the Athenian League season as City rattled in seven goals without reply, Minter notched his second hat trick. The visitors arrived with just nine players, of which just four were First team regulars. The remaining players were from the Reserve team. Accompanying the party was the club secretary and a committee member. Although it had been four years since his most recent appearance, the committee man donned some boots and did his bit to help the, admittedly hopeless, cause. City included Harold ‘Babe’ Miller for his competitive debut, it would be more than six months before his second appearance. City were now three points clear of Hampstead Town who had two games in hand and the north London club reduced the gap with a four-goal win over Metrogas.

A match with a potentially crucial bearing on the destiny of the championship took place at Cricklewood Lane on 23rdApril when second met first. A crowd of 4,000 greeted the two teams, it was estimated that comfortably over 500 of the spectators were from St Albans. City captain George Meagher lost the toss for the first time in 15 games and inside ten minutes Hampstead opened the scoring through S,Briscoe. It took City until ten minutes from time to equalise when Minter converted a pass from Butcher.

Membership of the Supporters Club now stood at over 300 and 236 members attended a Whist Drive at the Town Hall on Monday 18thApril. Three days later City goalkeeper W.Innes Tennant was the star attraction as he gave a singing concert in the city. The Herts Advertiser afforded him a glowing review, “’Ere the notes of his first song had died away he was greeted with a storm of applause, his rich baritone voice, with its depth of feeling and expression having quite won the hearts of his audience.” Following the good reception that he received from this concert Tennant was invited to perform as part of a quartet in the summer on the Isle of Man.

Having secured the draw with Hampstead, St Albans were now well placed to take the championship and their position was boosted when Hampstead were soundly beaten at Wimbledon. At the same time that Wimbledon were doing City a favour, the Albanians were winning with some ease at Kingston as Kingstonian succumbed with little struggle at Richmond Road. City captain George Meagher opened the scoring and Wilf Minter, already the club’s leading goalscorer, added the second, and final, goal. Ted Miller could have made the victory more convincing with an early penalty but he became the sixth City player to miss from the penalty spot this season. He followed in the unsuccessful footsteps of Willie Paul, H.Warner, Percy Bird, Arthur Webdale, and Meagher. Just three spot kicks were converted during the campaign; Webdale, Meagher and Bird doing the necessary.

By remarkably good fortune, due to the game having been postponed on a couple of previous occasions, St Albans City entertained Hampstead Town at Clarence Park on Thursday 5thMay in the title decider. City needed no more than a draw to be crowned champions, Hampstead had to win both this match and their last remaining fixture. The attendance was close on that witnessed earlier in the month at Cricklewood Lane with around 4,000 spectators setting a new record at the home of the Saints. The game did not disappoint. A thrilling encounter ensued but with goals from Minter and Ted Miller City ended Hampstead’s title bid and added the Athenian League to the Spartan League success of 1912. At the final whistle Mr Styles, the Hampstead hon. secretary, went into the home dressing room to congratulate the City team.

st albans city fc general meeting 1921After the game a large crowd gathered in front of the pavilion in the park waiting for the players to take their bow. Once the crowd had dispersed the players were treated to a hearty meal, arranged by Mr S.G. Hannaford of the White House Hotel, inside the pavilion. Speeches were given by the club chairman Frederick Martin and hon. secretary Harry Gray.

To complete the season City played friendlies at the Park against Leavesden Mental Hospital (won, 1-0) and the Mid Herts League (won 5-1, Minter 3). Another Miller brother was given a run out against Leavesden, inside-left Redvers Miller of Watford Corinthians being the latest member of that family to pull on a City shirt. Phil Pierce and Minter both missed the Leavesden game due to appearing for the Athenian League in a representative match against Arsenal at Highbury. Harold Figg was also absent as he had been invited for a trial with Tottenham Hotspur Reserves with Charlton Athletic at Woolwich. Unfortunately, he arrived too late to make the journey, so paid a visit to Arthur Grimsdell and then watched him in action for Spurs during a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane.

After the Leavesden game the players and officials were the guests of Mr & Mrs G.Auckland, the proprietors of the Great Northern Inn. At the completion of the meal various speeches were made followed by a musical programme that included contributions from W.Innes Tennant, Jock Hamilton, Frank Collins and the City trainer Herbert Jones.

Athenian League Presentations

Minter’s impact on the team had been immense. In just a dozen league game he scored 16 goals, and added one more in the final of the Herts Charity Cup. Two players were joint second in the list of goal scorers with George Meagher and Bertie Butcher bagging eight apiece. Meagher and Phil Pierce were the only ever-present players in 22 league games and eight cup ties.

harry graySomewhat bizarrely, only those who played in the final four league games were presented with medals, in fact they received an engraved silver mini-replica of the championship trophy. Those who received such mementoes, which were presented by Sir Henry Norris during the Athenian League Dinner at the Monica Café, Piccadilly Circus, on 28th May were (League appearances/goals); Percy Bird (20/2), Bertie Butcher (18/5), H.Chipperfield (9), Tommy Field (21), Harold Figg (21/3), A.Furness (4/2), W.Innes Tennant (14), George Meagher (22/7), Ted Miller (11/3), Wilfred Minter (12/16), Phil Pierce (22/4) and Arthur Webdale (21). Hon. secretary Harry Gray (pictured left) and trainer Herbert Jones were similarly rewarded. The curious way of handing out the medals meant that despite scoring five times in nine league matches George Plester went unrewarded. Plester had the consolation of playing in a South v North match at Luton Town in September. Perhaps the player with most cause for celebration was the club captain Meagher as he was the only player to add an Athenian League championship success to that of the Spartan League nine years earlier. Amongst the numerous speeches made during League’s Dinner was one by George Wagstaffe Simmons.

Bertie Butcher was selected as reserve for two Amateur England trial matches. Butcher featured in all three games that Hertfordshire played in the Southern Counties Amateur Championship and was joined in the county side by Harold Figg (2 games), George Meagher (2), Tommy Field (1) and Ted Miller (1). On Thursday 28thApril Hertfordshire also played a friendly against Watford who made the surprising announcement that they would field their First team. In the end eight of the Watford XI had lined up for a 3-0 League Division Three win at Brighton & Hove Albion the previous Saturday. The game attracted a gate to Clarence Park of almost 4,000 and the Herts team included City players Field, Figg, Meagher, Butcher and Minter who scored the second Herts goal.

Three players also gained representative honours in three drawn games for the Athenian League. Arthur Webdale, who also turned out for Bedfordshire, played in the representative matches against the Sussex County League and Middlesex League at Lewes and Wimbledon respectively while Wilf Minter and Phil Pierce took part in a draw with Arsenal Reserves at Highbury on 7thMay. At the League’s presentation dinner Webdale was one of players presented with an Athenian League cap after representing the League in five games.

Aggregate attendances at Clarence Park rose to a new record high of 47,921 and the club’s books were in credit by £424 12s. Such was the interest in the football club that Fisk’s new furniture store in the High Street displayed both the Athenian League championship trophy and the Herts Charity Cup in June. They also, on a green cloth, laid out the 11 small replica cups in the formation of the team.

st albans city fc 192021

H.Higgins*, C.Fearn*, Harold Chipperfield, Tommy Field, W.Innes Tennant, Arthur Webdale, Eddie Anderson*, C.Crawley*, F.Cooper*, T.Ashby*

Harry Gray (Hon. Secretary), Harold Figg, Percy Bird, George Meagher (Captain), T.Thrale, William J. Green*

Herbert Jones (Trainer), Phil Pierce, Bertie Butcher, Wilfred Minter, J.Billington, Ted Miller

st albans city fc reserves 192021


St Albans City Reserves 1920-21

E.Butterfield, P.Chipp, B.Tearle, Leslie Hosier, H.Clark, Ken O’Brien, Fred Anderson, C.Spicer, S.Pickford*

W.Gray, W.Seabrook, C.Dennis, H.Fassnidge, W.Bennett.

* - committee member

Final Standings 1920-21

      P W D L F A Pts
1 St Albans City   22 14 5 3 53 29 33
2 Wimbledon   22 14 3 5 41 22 31
3 Hampstead Town   22 12 4 6 46 41 28
4 Metrogas   22 11 4 7 46 31 26
5 Luton Clarence   22 11 2 9 57 40 24
6 Barnet   22 11 2 9 49 35 24
7 Bromley   22 8 4 10 38 41 20
8 Summerstown   22 9 2 11 38 42 20
9 Chelmsford   22 8 3 11 39 42 19
10 Southall   22 6 6 10 31 48 18
11 Kingstonian   22 6 4 12 30 49 16
12 West London OB   22 1 3 18 14 61 5