theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue

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Banner Hammers Logo theyflysohigh Pearson Cup 1959 1956-57 Pearson Charity Cup medal

West Ham United's five year involement with the Pearson Charity Cup came to an end with the 1960 contest. The record books don't reveal what happened in the following 1960-61 but a year later the 1961-62 contest was back to Colchester United versus Chelmsford City.

 

It seems the 1962-63 match was probably lost due to Colchester's fixture back-log and the last U's involvement was losing 3-0 at Chelmsford on May 24, 1964.

Pearson Charity Cup ...

by Kevin Drury

1956 Colchester United v. WHU Pearson Charity

The Colchester United and West Ham United connection as Football League clubs started back in the 1950s. Colchester United were founded in June 1937 as a Southern League side and were elected to the Football League (Third Division South) in the summer of 1950. In August of the same year West Ham's Board of Directors appointed their third-ever manager, Ted Fenton.

 

The Layer Road club had ended the 1953-54 and 54-55 campaigns below the dotted line in relegation positions and having to seek re-election to the Football League. Following the Essex club's successful 54-55 re-election they appointed Ted's younger brother, Benny, as their player / manager for the 1955–56 season.

 

At the end of campaign the two brothers opposed each other for the first time as managers of the teams in the Pearson Charity Cup.

Football in Colchester

Apart from the Essex Cup which was founded in 1883, competitive football in Colchester starts from 1893 with the formation of the Colchester Borough League (CBL), later the Colchester & District League and since 1911 the Essex & Suffolk Border League.  

 

Although involved in the initial meetings that set up the Colchester Borough League the town club, Colchester F.C., declined to enter as they had already filled their fixture list.  Many of their players though turned out for the Crusaders club and at the end of the season Colchester F.C. and Crusaders formally merged. In practice Colchester F.C. just absorbed Crusaders.  

Pearson Charity Cup Inaugurated

Weetman Dickinson Pearson

The Pearson Charity Cup was inaugurated in the Summer of 1894, on the back of the success of the first year of the CBL, by Sir Weetman Pearson, later Lord Cowdray, to raise funds for the Essex County Hospital. Pearson was then the Liberal candidate for Colchester and before the end of the season would be MP for the town, holding the seat for 15 years.  

 

The eight teams invited for the first season were Colchester FC, Excelsior, St Peter's Institute, Brantham, 20th Hussars, 2nd Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment, 2nd Battalionn Northants Regiment & Royal Artillery (7 Colchester teams plus Brantham).

 

The first game kicked-off on January 26, 1895 a crowd of about 300 watching the Artillery beat St Peter's 3-2. 2nd Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment won the first final beating 20th Hussars 2-1 at Colchester FC's Cambridge Road ground on March 23, 1895 with a reported gate of 4,000.

 

Thereafter the final was played on the Recreation Ground, usually held on Easter Monday, and became one of the big events in the local social calendar with its underlying fundraising purpose meaning many who would not otherwise attend a football match felt obligated to be seen to be supporting the worthy cause. Good four figure gates were the norm.  

The Pearson Charity Cup was always an invitation competition, primarily for the senior clubs in Colchester and often split into civilian and military sections for at least part.  From the early 1920s the split was usually right the way up to the Final. The location of the Garrison meant Colchester was uniquely placed in being able to support its own senior competitions with usually around half a dozen clubs of senior status. By contrast the equivalent clubs of neighbouring major towns, the likes of Chelmsford, Braintree, Ipswich etc, and indeed throughout East Anglia, had to combine over long distances to form leagues of sufficient strength.  

 

In the 20 years to World War One military teams led their civilian counterparts 11 wins to 9 with Colchester Town who by now were playing at Layer Road contributed 4 of those 9 wins. After the war Town dominated and when they beat 4th Divisional Signals 4-3 in the 1933-34 final it was their 10th win in 15 years.

Sir Weetman Pearson

Colchester United Old Badge4 Colchester United Old Badge4

When the new club Colchester United was formed in June 1937, like Town they also played their matches at Layer Road. The flegling 'United' club had joined the Southern League and crowds at Town matches quickly began to dwindle.

In December of 1937, United had formed a reserve team, signing many of the Town players. As a result of this and Town's financial problems the club were now £300 in debt, they folded in the same month.

 

The U's continued in the tradition of their predecessors by playing in blue and white striped shirts combined with white shorts, they also adopted the Colchester coat of arms for their club crest, which features the living cross of St Helena and the crowns of the Three Kings.

 

The coat of arms crest was used up until 1972. The emblem we see today is a shield shaped crest with golden eagle set against a blue and white striped background.

By the late 1930s both the Pearson Charity Cup and the "opposition" Worthington Evans Charity were struggling to get their competitions completed as league and cup commitments grew. Colchester Town's poor performances in the Eastern Counties League had convinced their supporters that the club should turn professional like nearby neighbours Ipswich Town. However club officials were opposed to the idea.

The Begining of the End for Town

Colchester United's original club crest

Pearson Cup Ressurrected

In 1948 the Pearson Charity Cup was resurrected as an invitation challenge match with Colchester United and Chelmsford City the participants. The U's travelled to New Writtle Street on May 14, 1949 for the first post war renewal and won 4-3 in front of over 7,000.

 

Up to and including 1955 the two sides met annually at the end of the season, taking it in turn to stage the game. Chelmsford City were distinctly miffed when the organising committee decided to invite West Ham United to take their place for the 1955-56 encounter, even though the Chelmsford club was in dire straits at the time and had finished in the bottom four of the Southern League for the past three years. The U's versus the Hammers' became an annual in the Layer Road calendar for the next five years.  

 

Colchester United Old Badge4 Pearson Cup 1956

1955-56

Colchester United 1 - 2 West Ham United

Layer Road

Wednesday May 2, 1956

West Ham United:

Goalscorers unknown

 

Attendance: 4,664

West Ham United:

Gregory

Bond

Cooper

Parker

Brown

Lansdowne

Grice

Sexton

Dare

Matthews

Musgrove

Colchester United 3 - 4 West Ham United

Layer Road

Wednesday May 1, 1957

West Ham United:

Cantwell, Lewis, Musgrove, Neville

West Ham United:

Gregory

Bond

Cantwell

Pyke

Brown

Allison

Grice

Smith

Lewis

Dick

Musgrove

 

1956-57

Ernie Gregory's 1956 medal

Malcolm Pyke's 1957 medal

57_05_01 Colchester United v. WHU Pearson Charity Colchester United v. WHU Pearson Cup report

Colchester United 2 - 4 West Ham United (HT 1-2)

Layer Road

Tuesday May 6, 1958

West Ham United:

Newman 3, Keeble

 

Attendance: 5,000

West Ham United:

Rhodes

Wright

Cooper

Moore

Brown

Lansdowne

Grice

Lewis

Keeble

Newman

Musgrove

 

 

1957-58

58_05_06 Colchester Uited v. WHU Pearson Cup Back

Colchester United 2 - 2 West Ham United (HT 1-1)

Layer Road

Thursday April 23, 1959

West Ham United:

Bond, Cantwell

 

Attendance: 3,663

West Ham United:

Dwyer

Kirkup

Bond

Malcolm

Brown

Lansdowne

Grice

Smith

Cantwell

Nelson

Musgrove

 

1958-59

59_04_23 Colchester United v. WHU Pearson Cup

Colchester United 3 - 1 West Ham United (HT 0-1)

Layer Road

Wednesday May 4, 1960

West Ham United:

Dunmore

 

Attendance: 3,375

West Ham United:

Rhodes

Bond

Burkett

Malcolm

Brown

Moore

Grice

Cartwright

Dunmore

Smillie

Musgrove

 

 

1959-60

60_05_04 Colchester United v. WHU

Jack Burkett's 1960 Runners-up medal

1959 Final report

Colchester United:

Ames, Marshall, Fisher, Parker, Milligan, Hammond, Blake, McLeod, Langman, Evans, Johnstone

 

1959 Final with Cup

The match was a draw, so the cup was presented to both captains, George Fisher and Noel Cantwell.

The presentation was made by Colchester United chairman Mr. William Allen

1960 Final report

Colchester United:

Ames

Laidlaw

Fowler

Parker

Milligan

Hammond

Blake

Hill

Langman

King

Wright

 

 

Colchester United:

Evans, Langman

 

Colchester United:

Plant, McCurley

 

 

Colchester United:

McCurley, Williams, Parker

aet (90 mins 3-3)

Cup shared: Because of fading light extra time was restricted to five minutes each way with no further score.

Articles Victor Ludorum Farewell Boleyn

'theyflysohigh' would like to thank Colchester United historians Kevin Drury, Jeff Whitehead and Graeson Laitt

Colchester Gazettee: April 28th

Essex County Standard: May 9th 1958

Essex County Standard: May 3rd 1957

1958 Final

Colchester United:

Ames, Rumney, Fowler, Hains, Stewart, Parker, Williams, Plant, McCurley, Hill, Blake

 

Colchester United:

Ames

Marshall

Fisher

Evans

Dobson

Hunt

Blake

Plant

McCurley

McNeil

Fowler