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1937/38 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

The improvement of the previous season was maintained. Although finishing in 16th position – two places below that achieved in 1936-37-Southport actually obtained 38 points, one more than twelve months earlier, despite managing only one victory by the end of September.

Dave Hill, a dominating centre-half, was signed from Plymouth. He took over the captaincy from Bobby Crawford, who completed his 500 League appearances in December, providing probably the only instance of anyone reaching this target whilst playing for Southport. Joe Rutherford made the goalkeeping position his own with some spectacular displays, although he was beaten ten times at Hull in a then record 10-1 defeat. The following side took the field: Rutherford; Royston, Grainger; Wass, Hill, Salmon; Baker, Atkinson, Patrick, Hampson and Ovenstone. This match proved the unfortunate ending to a club record run of six successive draws.

Billy Wardle. an 18-year-old outside-left from Houghton Colliery Welfare introduced the previous season, made such an impact that he was transferred to Manchester City for £2,000 in October after only 14 League games. Wardle got few opportunities at Maine Road owing to Eric Brook’s consistency, but after the war gained considerable football experience with Birmingham City, Grimsby Town, Blackpool and Barnsley.

Roy Royston also made his mark in the team and linked up with Jack Grainger to form as good a pair of full-backs as any in the section. Joe Patrick remained top scorer (with twenty goals) and was also the only ever-present in the side. Late on, two promising players—Reuben Scott and Albert Stapleton-were signed from Manchester United and immediately established themselves at left-half and outside-right respectively. Clearly the tide was now turning Southport’s way.

Southport won the Divisional Cup for the first time in six attempts after having been beaten finalists the previous year. They defeated Carlisle United 3-2 (after drawing at Haig Avenue), Hartlepools United 6-0, Oldham Athletic 3-0 (after a 1-1 draw at Boundary Park), Tranmere Rovers 1-0, and finally Bradford City 4-1 at Haig Avenue.

Further glory came Southport’s way in the Lancashire Senior Cup. After overcoming Preston and Bolton Wanderers (both after replays) and Burnley, Manchester United visited Haig Avenue. A crowd of 7,931 saw United win by a lone goal-Southport played gallantly, but could not overcome the handicap of losing goalkeeper Joe Rutherford through injury; Harry Hampson deputised.

In the close season. Hampson was transferred to Sheffield United for £2,250. A talented inside-forward who contributed greatly to United’s successful promotion bid in 1939. he seemed destined for a brilliant career but, tragically, he died after taking ill whilst on leave in the town in 1942.

Average attendances-at 5,054– were higher than for several years and a record 12,546 crowd paid £676 to see the League game against Tranmere Rovers on Good Friday, 1938. A profit of £1,196 was announced at the A.G.M. Clearly the worst was over and supporters could look forward to better things.

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

Pos Team P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Tranmere Rovers 42 23 10 9 81 41 1.976 56
2 Doncaster Rovers 42 21 12 9 74 49 1.510 54
3 Hull City 42 20 13 9 80 43 1.860 53
4 Oldham Athletic 42 19 13 10 67 46 1.457 51
5 Gateshead 42 20 11 11 84 59 1.424 51
6 Rotherham United 42 20 10 12 68 56 1.214 50
7 Lincoln City 42 19 8 15 66 50 1.320 46
8 Crewe Alexandra 42 18 9 15 71 53 1.340 45
9 Chester City 42 16 12 14 77 72 1.069 44
10 Wrexham 42 16 11 15 58 63 0.921 43
11 York City 42 16 10 16 70 68 1.029 42
12 Carlisle United 42 15 9 18 57 67 0.851 39
13 New Brighton 42 15 8 19 60 61 0.984 38
14 Bradford City 42 14 10 18 66 69 0.957 38
15 Port Vale 42 12 14 16 65 73 0.890 38
16 Southport 42 12 14 16 53 82 0.646 38
17 Rochdale 42 13 11 18 67 78 0.859 37
18 Halifax Town 42 12 12 18 44 66 0.667 36
19 Darlington 42 11 10 21 54 79 0.684 32
20 Hartlepools United 42 10 12 20 53 80 0.662 32
21 Barrow 42 11 10 21 41 71 0.577 32
22 Accrington Stanley 42 11 7 24 45 75 0.600 29

Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia and reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION '37-'38
==========================================

 1. South Liverpool            42-69 (177-53)  33  3  6  Champions    
-------------------------------------------------------
 2. Clitheroe                  42-59 (139-82)  25  9  8          
 3. Oldham Athletic II         42-58 (131-62)  26  6 10          
 4. Accrington Stanley II      42-53 (103-63)  23  7 12          
 5. Lancaster City             42-53  (93-72)  21 11 10          
 6. Morecambe                  42-52  (90-70)  21 10 11          
 7. Darwen                     42-47 (103-85)  19  9 14          
 8. Prescot Cables             42-45  (82-72)  17 11 14          
 9. Rossendale United          42-43  (74-73)  18  7 17          
10. Leyland Motors             42-42  (82-99)  16 10 16          
11. Bacup Borough              42-41  (82-88)  15 11 16          
12. New Brighton II            42-41  (78-89)  16  9 17          
13. Chorley                    42-40  (93-104) 18  4 20          
14. Droylsden                  42-39  (91-98)  13 13 16          
15. Southport II               42-39  (80-96)  16  7 19          
16. Marine Crosby              42-37  (80-105) 15  7 20          
17. Fleetwood                  42-34  (91-94)  13  8 21          
18. Horwich RMI                42-33  (92-123) 14  5 23          
19. Barrow II                  42-31  (66-99)  13  5 24          
20. Great Harwood              42-28  (66-89)  10  8 24          
21. Rochdale II                42-23  (62-128)  9  5 28          
22. Northern Nomads            42-17  (42-153)  8  1 33  left  

Source: The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.Author Dinant Abbink

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