Cardiff City goalkeeper Tom Farquharson looks on as Jack Holliday nets one of his four goals on a record-breaking afternoon at Griffin Park back on April Fool’s Day 1933.
Under Harry Curtis, the 1932/33 season was shaping up to be another remarkable one in the rise of Brentford Football Club. A club record 16 game unbeaten run had got the Division Three South season off to a flying start and, despite a mid-season wobble, The Bees went into April with promotion to Division Two firmly in their sights.
The goals of new signing Jack Holliday, one of a trio of arrivals from Middlesbrough the previous May, had been key to this success. 26 goals in his opening 20 league games, which included four hat-tricks and a club-record five goals in a game against Luton Town, meant that Holliday went into the game against Cardiff City just two goals shy of the club’s all-time goal-scoring record. In a twist of fate, the man who had set the record three years earlier, Bill Lane, had been sold the previous summer to finance Holliday’s arrival.
Cardiff arrived at Griffin Park in need of points to stave off the threat of re-election but they have no answer to The Bees attacking threat. Holliday was, as ever, the star turn netting four, the third of which took him past Lane’s total of 33, and made him the highest league scorer in a single season for The Bees. Jim Henderson netted a hat-trick of his own in vain for the visitors but Holliday’s four, a double for Arthur Crompton and one for Ernie Muttitt completed the victory.
It was an afternoon where records were created that still stand to this day. The ten goals scored remains the joint most ever netted in a league game at Griffin Park while, aside from passing Lane’s goal-scoring record in a single season, Holliday also netted his fifth hat-trick of the campaign, which remains a club best.
Holliday would end the season with 39 goals to his name, 38 of them coming in the league as The Bees won the title by four points. Statistically the 1932/33 season is the second-best Brentford season on record, only behind the 1929/30 campaign; the club having acquired 2.10 points per game under the current ruling of three points awarded for a win.
A number of other Football League club records were also set during the season, including least away defeats (four), least defeats (six), most away goals scored (45) and most points (62 – two points for a win).
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