and reproduced by kind permission
Despite the lack of a successful Cup run-Southport lost after replays to a highly
competent Chesterfield in the F.A. Cup and Manchester City in the Lancashire Senior
Cup—the club still managed to make a small profit, thanks to the inevitable
transfers and a policy of strict economy with a reduced wage bill.
In the League the ‘Port finished ninth with 43 points—their fourth highest
total since joining. The
figure would have been higher had not 15 points been dropped at home, although
16 were collected from away games.
Meanwhile, Manager Jimmy Cummins was building the team which was to do so well
in the following two seasons. Jimmy Cowen was signed from Northampton Town and
bagged 24 goals. Tommy Holmes challenged “Topping” Sinclair for the
left-half position, eventually taking over when the latter was injured at Wigan
on Boxing Day, while Billy Baker vied with the other veteran “Salty” Halsall for the goalkeeper’s jersey. Ralph Hills, signed from Huddersfield Town,
appeared regularly on the right wing, and Jack tittle, acquired the previous season
from Newcastle United, forced his way into the team and was ever-present at right-back.
Little’s partner at full-back was Harry Lowe, whose clean and calculating play
had made him a great favourite with the crowd. Lowea cousin of “lodger” Tootle-had originally joined the club from Skelmersdale in 1926 as an amateur;
in June, 1930, he was transferred to Everton for a substantial sum and later
found fame at Preston North End.
There was also Bobby Jones, who was transferred to Bolton Wanderers for a four-figure
splendid ‘keeper whose opportunities were restricted by Halsall’s continued brilliance,
Jones was particularly noted for his clean handling and powerful kicking; he became
a regular at Bolton and later ,Cardiff City before returning to Haig Avenue as
assistant trainer in 1939. Bolton also snapped up amateur international outside-left
Jack Rimmer, who subsequently turned professional there. Rimmer had originally
assisted Birkdale South End.
The majority of the goals were shared between Jimmy Cowen and diminutive centre-forward
Ben Twell. who was signed from Grimsby Town. Twell’s scoring exploits included
all five goals against Wrexham on Good Friday, as well as three goals in a match
or three other occasions. His meteoric rise to fame was halted by the arrival
of Waterston in 1930-31, and he was eventually transferred to New Brighton.
At the end of the season, Halsall and Sinclair were awarded a second benefit Match
in which a Southport “Present- XI prevailed 8-5 against a “Past” XI comprising: Jones (Bolton); Tootle (Chester), W. Little (Skelmersdale); Dickie
(Wrexham), T. Sinclair (Southport), Bimson (Ashton Nat.); Hamilton,
Parsons (Accrington S.), Roberts, Ball (Manchester U.) and Laws (Macclesfield). “Topping” was at
last released by Southport—later to join Nelson. A half-back of outstanding
constructive ability, he
appeared in no less than 410 first team games.
In September, 1929, business pressure brought about the resignations of Mr. Torn
Bolton, who was succeeded as Vice-Chairman by Mr. J. H. Alexander, and Mr. Pariser,
only recently appointed to the board. The same month, Fred Spink, full-back and
captain of the club when they were Southport Central, passed away. A cool player,
very reliable in his kicking, Spink refused many offers to leave “Central” and was a real stalwart of the pre-League days.
Season Summary reproduced with Permission from:
The Sandgrounder (Southport FC Matchday Programme) Article Series. Southport through the seasons. The League History of Southport FC, Compiled by Michael p. Braham and Geoffrey S. Wilde