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Benny Fenton
Benny Fenton at West Ham United in 1937.jpg
Fenton at West Ham United in 1937
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Robert Vincent Fenton[1]
Date of birth (1918-10-28)28 October 1918[1]
Place of birth West Ham, England[1]
Date of death 29 July 2000(2000-07-29) (aged 81)
Place of death Poole, England[1]
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[2]
Playing position Inside forward, wing half
Youth career
1934–1935 Colchester Town
1935–1937 West Ham United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1937–1939 West Ham United 21 (9)
1939–1947 Millwall 20 (7)
1947–1955 Charlton Athletic 264 (22)
1955–1958 Colchester United 104 (15)
Total 409 (53)
Teams managed
1955–1963 Colchester United
1963–1964 Leyton Orient
1966–1974 Millwall
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Benjamin Robert Vincent Fenton (28 October 1918 – 29 July 2000) was an English professional football player and manager. He played for West Ham United, Millwall, Charlton Athletic and Colchester United, making over 400 appearances in the Football League for all four clubs. He managed Colchester United, Leyton Orient and spent eight years at Millwall, before holding various positions at Charlton Athletic.

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Playing career

Fenton represented West Ham, Essex and London as a schoolboy.[3] He signed for Colchester Town in 1934, moving to West Ham United a year later.[4] Fenton served in the same Territorial Army unit as his West Ham teammates and played mainly as outside-left with the east London club.[3]

He made his professional debut for West Ham United on 9 October 1937, playing alongside his older brother Ted, as an inside forward in a match against Fulham.[5] He played three times that season, and managed nine goals in his eighteen games in 1938-39. The two brothers played together in the same team on four occasions, the only brothers to do so at first team level for West Ham.[6] Fenton was not retained by the club and joined Millwall in March 1939,[7] where he was utilised as a wing half.[3]

Fenton joined the Essex Regiment during the Second World War.[8] He guested for former club West Ham United in November 1944,[7] and also played for Norwich City, Manchester City, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, York City,[2] and Cardiff City as a wartime guest.[4][9]

Fenton never gained full international honours, but toured South Africa with the FA in 1939, making three appearances, and also represented an FA Services XI team against Switzerland on 24 July 1945.[10]

Fenton joined Charlton Athletic of the First Division in January 1947.[10] He became club captain in the 1950–51 season, and made 264 League appearances at inside forward and wing half during his nine seasons with the club,[11][12] before leaving in February 1955.[10][13]

Coaching career

In 1955, Fenton joined Third Division South club Colchester United as player-manager and switched to defensive duties.[3] He played his first game for the club on 5 March 1955, a home match against Brentford that the U's won 3–2.[14] He narrowly missed out on success in the 1956–57 campaign, after finishing a single point behind both Ipswich Town and Torquay United.[15] He played on into the 1957-58 season, playing his final game for the club on 1 May 1958, a 4–2 home win against Southampton, aged 39 years, 185 days.[16] Colchester United finished 12th in the 1957–58 Third Division South campaign, thereby earning the right to compete in the newly merged Third Division the following season. After relegation in 1960–61, he led the team to promotion after finishing as Fourth Division runners-up in 1961–62.[9]

Fenton joined Leyton Orient as manager on 1 November 1963.[17] He was sacked after 56 games in charge in December 1964.[18]

He went on to take the manager role at Millwall on 1 May 1966, towards the end of the 1965–66 season.[19] The season saw the south London club win promotion to Division Two (the club's second promotion in succession), and the club would set a record of 59 home League games unbeaten in December 1966. Millwall spent the rest of Fenton's tenure in England's second tier; the closest the Lions came to promotion under Fenton was in 1972, with a point separating them from second-place Birmingham City. He left the club on 3 October 1974,[20][21] as the club's longest serving post-war manager.[22]

In January 1977, he rejoined Charlton as secretary.[23] He became assistant manager of the Addicks in March 1980 and progressed to the position of general manager in June 1981. He stayed in with the club until June 1982.[4][24]

Managerial statistics

Managerial record by team and tenure[20]
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Colchester United 1 February 1955 31 October 1963 425 164 107 154 038.6
Leyton Orient 1 November 1963 31 December 1964 56 17 14 25 030.4
Millwall 1 May 1966 3 October 1974 391 150 113 128 038.4
Total 872 331 234 307 038.0

Outside football

Fenton also played lawn bowls for Essex County.[3] He married wife Winnie on Christmas Day 1939, with whom he had one daughter, two grandchildren and one great grandchild. In later life, he lived in Dorset, where he died, aged 81.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "Benny Fenton". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b Windross, Dave; Jarred, Martin (1997). Citizens and Minstermen: A Who's Who of York City FC 1922–1997. Selby: Citizen Publications. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-9531005-0-7.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 77. ISBN 1 903135 50 8.
  4. ^ a b c "Football Obituaries". Association of Football Statisticians. Archived from the original on 13 May 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  5. ^ McDonald, Tony (2007). West Ham United: The Managers. Football World. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-9551176-9-5.
  6. ^ Northcutt, John. "The Letter "B"". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Benny Fenton". Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  8. ^ Simkin, John. "Benny Fenton". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Benny Fenton – Manager". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Benny Fenton". Association of Football Statisticians. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Former Addicks hero Fenton dies aged 81". ESPN. 3 August 2000. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Benny Fenton". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Glanville, Brian (16 August 2000). "Obituary: Benny Fenton". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Colchester United 3–2 Brentford". Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  15. ^ Ponder, Francis (2016). Step This Way... Mr Lynam: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Andrews UK Limited. pp. 69–. ISBN 978-1-911476-18-4.
  16. ^ "Benny Fenton". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Benny Fenton". League Managers Association. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  18. ^ Kaufman, Neilson. "O's Through the Years". Leyton Orient F.C. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  19. ^ "UK Soccer Roundup". The Ottawa Journal. 9 May 1966. p. 18 – via
  20. ^ a b Benny Fenton management career statistics at Soccerbase
  21. ^ "Millwall years 1960 – 1992". Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Who is Millwall's best ever manager?". Football League. 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  23. ^ Kerr, Ronnie, ed. (1978). Rothmans Football Yearbook 1978–79. London: Queen Anne Press. ISBN 0-354-09043-7. Archived from the original on 23 January 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  24. ^ Mullery, Alan (2016). The Autobiography. Headline. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-4722-4148-1.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 November 2019, at 10:49
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