As of today, The Bees have faced 113 different teams since joining the EFL in the summer of 1920, playing a total of 4043 games and winning 1561 of them. Our very first win coming against tomorrow’s opponents Millwall nearly a century ago.
As one of the foremost London sides of the war years, winning the London Combination in 1919, Brentford were one of 22 new clubs elected into the Football League from the Southern League, First Division, on 29 May 1920 at the Football League’s AGM. Any celebration of the achievement was short-lived as a 3-0 opening day defeat at Exeter City on 28 August showed the size of the task facing The Bees hastily assembled squad.
One of the few players to remain from the club’s Southern League days was Leeds born, New Zealand raised, striker Reginald Boyne. After spending his junior career in Auckland, Reg signed for Aston Villa in 1913 with guest appearances for Notts County, Leicester Fosse, and Loughborough Brush during the First World War. When peace returned, he moved to Fred Halliday’s Bees in August 1919.
Reg was one of the consistents in an inconsistent Brentford team that season. He led The Bees scoring charts with 13 goals in 27 games as the team finished well down the league in 15th place. Despite his goals the previous season Reg was left out for The Bees Football League opener against The Grecians, instead scoring a hat-trick for the reserves against Clapton Orient, but he returned for the visit of Millwall on Monday 30 August to write his name into Brentford history.
His goal at Griffin Park that day was the first of approaching 6,000 to be scored by a Brentford player in the league and wrapped up The Bees first-ever Football League win. Little did the 11,000 crowd on the day know it but that win would be one of the highpoints of a dire Brentford season that resulted in just nine victories and the need to reply for re-election the following summer.
Reg would end the season with ten league goals in 21 games, second behind only Harry King, but he was released at the end of the campaign. After leaving The Bees, Reg returned to New Zealand where he lived out his days until he died on the 10 March 1963 in Auckland, aged 71.
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