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History

The 30-goal seasons

Ivan Toney joins select group

5 May 2021

Ivan Toney joined a very select group of Brentford players this weekend. The striker slotted home the second goal in Brentford’s 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday, 1 May, that not only secured The Bees in third place in the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship but enabled him to reach a personal milestone. The penalty converted by the 25-year-old was his 30th league goal of the season and Ivan became only the sixth Brentford player to hit that mark.

Ivan’s tally has come in 44 Sky Bet Championship appearances. He started 43 of those games and came on as a substitute in the other one. He has scored in 24 games this season and hit a hat-trick in a 7-2 win over Wycombe Wanderers. He has scored two goals on four more occasions, including in three successive games in October.

Nine of Ivan’s goals have come from the penalty spot and he has also scored in shoot-out wins in the Carabao Cup against Wycombe and West Bromwich Albion. He has scored 15 of his goals at our new stadium and 15 away from home. Six of his goals have been the match winner and another six earned The Bees a point in a drawn fixture. Brentford have only lost two of the 24 games he has scored in.

In Brentford’s 94 EFL seasons so far, only six players have ever scored more than 30 goals in a season. Before Ivan, only one player has ever done it in the top two tiers, and it had only been done once in the last 60 years. No-one has done it twice. Those landmark seasons are outlined below.

1929/30 – Bill Lane – 33 league goals – 33 in all competitions – Division Three (South)

This was Brentford’s tenth Football League season and their best to that point. The Bees won all 21 home games and finished second in the table, which wasn’t good enough for promotion as only the champions were promoted. Bill scored in 20 of Brentford’s 42 games, including four in a 6-0 win over Merthyr Town. He also hit hat-tricks against Torquay United and Queens Park Rangers.

Bill was one of Brentford’s first stars. He spent three years with The Bees in the 1920s and 30s and was top scorer in each of them. He hit 92 goals in all competitions for Brentford and 82 in the league. He left at the end of the 1931/32 season and was replaced as centre forward by the next man on the list.

1932/33 – Jack Holliday – 38 league goals – 39 in all competitions – Division Three (South)

Brentford’s best ever goal scoring season was in the year The Bees won promotion to the second tier for the first time. Jack scored in 19 of Brentford’s 42 games as The Bees won the title. He scored three hat-tricks and also scored four against Cardiff City and five against Luton Town in a game that ended 5-5.

Jack Holliday.jpg

Jack’s records in that season have never been beaten and he is one of the Club’s best-ever goal scorers. He was part of the Brentford team that won promotion to the top flight in 1935 and is one of the Club’s First Division players. Jack’s career came to an end when football stopped for World War II and he finished with 119 Brentford goals and 116 in league football.

1936/37 – Dave McCulloch – 31 league goals – 33 in all competitions – Division One

Dave was Brentford’s best goal scorer in the First Division era, and this was his best season. The Bees finished sixth in the top flight, a place lower than the year before, as Dave scored in 21 of Brentford’s 42 games. He scored hat-tricks against Middlesbrough and Liverpool and also found the net for Scotland during a memorable season.

Dave McCulloch.jpg

Dave spent under three years at Brentford but is known as one of the Club’s best-ever players. He was top scorer for three seasons in a row and scored 85 First Division goals for The Bees, dwarfing anyone else in the Club’s history. He hit 90 goals in total for Brentford.

1958/59 – Jim Towers – 32 league goals – 37 in all competitions – Third Division

By this stage, a league season was up to 46 games and Jim’s goals helped Brentford finish third in the table, again one place away from promotion back to the top two tiers. Jim scored in 23 games and hit four in a win at Southampton. He scored a hat-trick against Notts County and another in the FA Cup against King’s Lynn.

Jim is Brentford’s greatest ever goal scorer and is also renowned for his partnership with George Francis through the late 1950s and early 1960s. His 153 league goals and 163 in all competitions is a Club Record that stands to this day. His 37 goals in all competitions is third-best ever for The Bees as Dean Holdsworth scored 38 in 1991/92 but only 24 in the league.

1977/78 – Steve Phillips – 32 league goals – 36 in all competitions – Fourth Division

The last man, before Ivan, to score 30 league goals in one season for Brentford. Steve scored in 24 of Brentford’s 46 games as The Bees won promotion to the third tier. He scored a hat-trick against Huddersfield Town and combined with Andy McCulloch, who also scored 22 times that season to fire The Bees up the table.

Steve Phillips.jpg

Steve’s 30-goal season came in his first full campaign for The Bees. He was less prolific in the third tier but still ended as top scorer in his next two seasons with Brentford, before leaving in 1980. Steve scored 69 goals for The Bees overall, 65 in the league.


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