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1947/48 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

In January 1948 Southport looked certainties for a place in the re-election zone; then, along with the returning Alan Ball, Arthur Turner was signed from Birmingham City. He was immediately appointed captain and inspired the side by words and example to such effect that the remaining 17 games produced 21 points and they finished well clear of danger in 15th place.

In fact, Turner was not on the losing side in his first thirteen matches four were won and nine drawn – a new club record. This run included another club record – six successive away draws. Southport have probably never had a better captain; he had the ability, personality and drive to pull the team together after the first twenty-five games had produced only eighteen points.

Having successfully applied for re-election the previous season, the directors straightway set about strengthening the team. They assembled the costliest staff to that date, paying out several £1,000 fees and others of £500 to secure new players. An almost entirely new team was fielded for the opening game of the season — Wyles and Birkett alone remaining from 1946-47. The side that lost 4-0 at home to Stockport County was: Birkett; Westby, Hodgkiss: Wyles, Hodgson, Batey; Tickell, Livingstone, Humble, Powell and Butler.

Only Ken Powell from Derby County of the costly forward signings came up to expectations. George Mutch, the former Scottish international, signed from Bury as player-coach and the experienced Archie Livingstone from Everton both disappointed. Wingers Roy Tickell and Stan Butler completely failed ;o impress while Duggie Humble from Sunderland twisted a knee and needed a cartilege operation. Also signed at Christmas were Les Owens and Jack Marriott from Doncaster Rovers for £2,250. Marriott had the misfortune to break his leg at Darlington on New Year’s Day after only three games.

In the Cup the ‘Port fought gallantly at Hull and, although outplayed for most of the match, staged a tremendous rally – with Wyles equalising late on – and kept their goal intact during extra time. (Because – of the industrial production drive extra time, where necessary, was played at the first meeting.) They lost the replay 3-2; Wyles scored both goals to add to the 25 he scored in the league,- which included nine in seven games in February and March. His total stood as the post-war record until Alan Spence scored 27 in 1963-64.

In spite of the team’s poor start, the gates averaged over 8,000 as Southport shared in the post-war football boom. The crowd of 12,629 for the visit of Rotherham United in April 1948, when the 13 game unbeaten run came to an end, created a then league record for the club.

‘The death of Jimmy “Todger” Tootle was recorded in November 1947 at the age of 48. Tootle, a popular performer in his Haig Avenue_ days, also assisted Derby County and Chester and latterly had been a Vice-President of Skelmersdale United F.C.

At the close of the season, during which a loss of £1,204 was recorded, the club reverted to their black and white striped shirts and black shorts. They had changed to green and white hooped shirts and white shorts during the war. This change, however, brought no improvement in the team’s fortunes.

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 Lincoln City 42 26 8 8 81 40 2.025 60
2 Rotherham United 42 25 9 8 95 49 1.939 59
3 Wrexham 42 21 8 13 74 54 1.370 50
4 Gateshead 42 19 11 12 75 57 1.316 49
5 Hull City 42 18 11 13 59 48 1.229 47
6 Accrington Stanley 42 20 6 16 62 59 1.051 46
7 Barrow 42 16 13 13 49 40 1.225 45
8 Mansfield Town 42 17 11 14 57 51 1.118 45
9 Carlisle United 42 18 7 17 88 77 1.143 43
10 Crewe Alexandra 42 18 7 17 61 63 0.968 43
11 Oldham Athletic 42 14 13 15 63 64 0.984 41
12 Rochdale 42 15 11 16 48 72 0.667 41
13 York City 42 13 14 15 65 60 1.083 40
14 Bradford City 42 15 10 17 65 66 0.985 40
15 Southport 42 14 11 17 60 63 0.952 39
16 Darlington 42 13 13 16 54 70 0.771 39
17 Stockport County 42 13 12 17 63 67 0.940 38
18 Tranmere Rovers 42 16 4 22 54 72 0.750 36
19 Hartlepools United 42 14 8 20 51 73 0.699 36
20 Chester City 42 13 9 20 64 67 0.955 35
21 Halifax Town 42 7 13 22 43 76 0.566 27
22 New Brighton 42 8 9 25 38 81 0.469 25

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '47-'48
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 1. Wigan Athletic             42-59  (72-37)  25  9  8  Champions    
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 2. Nelson                     42-57  (84-62)  24  9  9          
 3. Barrow II                  42-55  (88-55)  24  7 11          
 4. Morecambe                  42-54  (98-59)  24  6 12          
 5. Fleetwood                  42-53  (73-52)  23  7 12          
 6. Marine Crosby              42-52 (103-64)  23  6 13          
 7. Netherfield                42-52  (83-58)  23  6 13          
 8. Lancaster City             42-49  (80-69)  21  7 14          
 9. Bacup Borough              42-46  (96-67)  20  6 16          
10. Oldham Athletic II         42-46  (76-71)  19  8 15          
11. Chorley                    42-45  (89-74)  19  7 16          
12. Prescot Cables             42-44  (87-80)  19  6 17          
13. Rochdale II                42-36  (79-76)  14  8 20          
14. Bangor City                42-36  (62-77)  14  8 20          
15. Rossendale United          42-34  (80-90)  11 12 19          
16. Darwen                     42-33  (60-91)  12  9 21          
17. Accrington Stanley II      42-31  (71-106) 12  7 23          
18. Clitheroe                  42-31  (70-110) 13  5 24          
19. New Brighton II            42-30  (56-85)  11  8 23          
20. Leyland Motors             42-29  (73-115) 11  7 24          
21. Horwich RMI                42-27  (58-104) 10  7 25  Relegated    
22. Southport II               42-25  (57-93)   9  7 26          

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