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1889/90 Season Summary

Two important events occured during the summer of 1889. The Old Boys Football Club amalgamated with Southport Central and formed the nucleus of their reserve team, calling themselves Central Old Boys. Also, the club joined the newly formed Lancashire League. Following the success of the Football League it was hardly surprising that there would be a demand for a County Competition in Lancashire At a meeting organized by the Secretary of the Earlestown club the Lancashire League became a reality. lsaac Smith, Central’s Chairman, became the league’s first treasurer.

The team was strengthened with new players including Jimmy Gee (Churchtown), Dobson( Everton) Wilson( Stanley) McClaren( Vale of Leven),Fecitt Barton and Chew (Blackburn Rovers). Fecitt had helped Rovers to win the F.A. Cup in 1885 and 1886.

Travelling a arrangements were facilitated by the club committee reaching an agreement with the West Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company to obtain cheap rates for eight men coming from Blackburn.

Preston North End made a quick return the following season to open Central’s new ground at Scarisbrick New Road. The ground had previously been occupied by the Southport Olympic Rugby Club and the goal posts were directly opposite the Infirmary Clock. The Southport Visiter said that the field was “sufficiently extensive, thoroughly well laid out, capitally fenced and included two excellent pavillions and a covered grandstand.” lt was to be Southport Central’s home for the next sixteen years.

The Lancashire League programme was opened on 9th September with a visit from Rossendale, Central winning 3 -1. On 31st December when Central met Higher Walton at Scarisbrick New Road the ground was illuminated by the Wells patent limelight.

The clubs had met a short time earlier with the home team winning 3-1 but a greater part of the second half was played in semi-darkness and it was agreed to replay the match at Southport. A torchlight procession accompanied by the 3rd L.A.Y. Band headed the visitors to the ground. Although it was raining heavily such was the novelty of the match that 3,000 spectators assembled on the ground for the 7.30 kick-off. Higher Walton took the field shortly afterwards but it was quite half an hour before Central put in an appearance they had a reputation for lateness at that time. The visitors lodged an objection before the game actually got underway so a friendly was played instead with Walton winning 2-1. It was to be more than 70 years before floodlights were erected at Haig Avenue. Later that season, 3rd March, Southport visited Bootle in another floodlit match. The lights were under the managership of Central defender Frank Sugg, a former Everton and Derby County footballer and a County Cricketer. Central won 4-1 before a crowd of 5,000.

Pos Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Higher Walton 24 14 4 6 68 43 32
2 Bury 24 14 3 7 65 35 31
3 Heywood Central 24 14 2 8 64 38 30
4 FC Nelson 24 12 4 8 55 44 28
5 Blackpool 24 10 6 8 61 46 26
6 Southport Central 24 9 7 8 40 32 25
7 Heywood FC 24 10 5 9 54 49 25
8 Blackburn Park Road 24 8 6 10 44 47 22
9 West Manchester 24 9 4 11 44 70 22
10 Hyde 24 8 5 11 46 56 21
11 Oswaldtwistle Rovers 24 8 4 12 39 62 20
12 Fleetwood Rangers 24 7 5 12 35 51 19
13 Rossendale 24 4 3 17 37 79 11

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