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1951/52 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

Although the club had another mediocre season, finishing 17th in the table, there were signs that an improvement was on the way.

In the 1951 close season Southport had completed one of the best deals in their history when they transferred the unsettled Bill Bellas to Grimsby Town. Belles, a promising centre-half, had been transfer listed at his own request since January; in return Southport received a £1,000 fee plus two players who were to become Haig Avenue stalwarts – All Barratt and Wally Taylor. These two were to bring considerable stability to the defence and Barratt was straightaway appointed captain.

A further notable signing was that of Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Minshull who thus rejoined the club he had briefly assisted as an amateur in 1939. Minshull, too, was to prove a grand servant to the club, but many of the other newcomers – particularly the forwards – failed to fulfil expectations.

Not untfl the eighth game of the season did Southport register their first home win, but the 2-1 victory over York City was secured at a cost – Ray Minshull ‘broke his arm and was out of the side until January. However, after losing to Stockport on September 15th, Southport were not beaten again at home until April 5th (when Mansfield also won 1-0), dropping only three points from the intervening thirteen home games.

In the Cup Southport were given quite a fright by non-league Bangor City. Despite trailing by two goals shortly after half-time, the Welshmen fought back to level the scores and incredibly had a third goal disallowed tor offside. The tie was particularly interesting since Bangor fielded no fewer than eight former Southport players. They comprised the entire defence: Anderson; Fazackerley, Boyle; R. Gaskell, Hodgson and Williams; and the left-wing pair, Wyles and Powell. The inside-left scored a typical Cec Wyles goal, pacing a free-kick just inside the near post.

Southport won the replay fairly comfortably, but the second round brought a tremendous cup battle with Reading which remafned unresolved until the third meeting at Villa Park, when Reading won 2-0. At Elm Fark Southport — with Ray Minshull in inspired form – stunned the 17,382 crowd by drawing 1-1, Jack Lindsay scorfng the equalising goal. In the replay Reading equalised two minutes from the end, after Livesey had put Southport ahead with a penalty in extra time. Jack Livesey, signed from Rochdale, gained quite a reputation as a penalty marksman; he was also one of the few professional footballers to play wearing contact lenses.

Away from the Cup, Jack Lindsay created a little bit of football history by scoring three goals in ‘three minutes (and four in all) in a 5-1 win against Scunthorpe United on February 9th. Surprisingly, Lindsay was allowed to depart during the close season and, in company with Livesey and Ken Banks, joined Wigan Athletic where he rendered good service. Meanwhile. Banks has now spent over twenty years at Springffeld Park as player and trainer.

The keenest competition for a place in the side centred on the goalkeeping spot. Ray Minshull and Witf Birkett were joined by an eighteen-year-old part-timer for whom great things were predicted -Bobby Jones junior, son of the former goalkeeper and first-team trainer. It was perhaps understandable that Birkett, a most popular, daring and agile ‘keeper, should move on to Shrewsbury Town after collecting his benefit at the end of the season.

The club’s lack of consistency meant support fell still further. It was reported that they were losing £-/5 a week and with little revenue from transfer fees it was hardly surprising that £3,631 was lost on the season, pushing the total deficit over the £10,000 mark.

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 46 30 9 7 121 52 2.327 69
2 Grimsby Town 46 29 8 9 96 45 2.133 66
3 Stockport County 46 23 13 10 74 40 1.850 59
4 Oldham Athletic 46 24 9 13 90 61 1.475 57
5 Gateshead 46 21 11 14 66 49 1.347 53
6 Mansfield Town 46 22 8 16 73 60 1.217 52
7 Carlisle United 46 19 13 14 62 57 1.088 51
8 Bradford Park Avenue 46 19 12 15 74 64 1.156 50
9 Hartlepools United 46 21 8 17 71 65 1.092 50
10 York City 46 18 13 15 73 52 1.404 49
11 Tranmere Rovers 46 21 6 19 76 71 1.070 48
12 Barrow 46 17 12 17 57 61 0.934 46
13 Chesterfield 46 17 11 18 65 66 0.985 45
14 Scunthorpe & Lindsey United 46 14 16 16 65 74 0.878 44
15 Bradford City 46 16 10 20 61 68 0.897 42
16 Crewe Alexandra 46 17 8 21 63 82 0.768 42
17 Southport 46 15 11 20 53 71 0.746 41
18 Wrexham 46 15 9 22 63 73 0.863 39
19 Chester City 46 15 9 22 72 85 0.847 39
20 Halifax Town 46 14 7 25 61 97 0.629 35
21 Rochdale 46 11 13 22 47 79 0.595 35
22 Accrington Stanley 46 10 12 24 61 92 0.663 32
23 Darlington 46 11 9 26 64 103 0.621 31
24 Workington 46 11 7 28 50 91 0.549 29

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '51-'52
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 1. Nelson                     42-63 (139-59)  30  3  9  Champions    
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 2. Lancaster City             42-55  (89-69)  24  7 11          
 3. Netherfield                42-54 (108-63)  22 10 10          
 4. Wigan Athletic             42-51  (73-57)  21  9 12          
 5. Morecambe                  42-49  (74-72)  21  7 14          
 6. Ashton United              42-48  (96-87)  21  6 15          
 7. Rochdale II                42-46 (104-79)  20  6 16          
 8. Barrow II                  42-46  (73-66)  19  8 15          
 9. Fleetwood                  42-45  (94-87)  20  5 17          
10. Bootle Athletic            42-42  (73-73)  17  8 17          
11. Chorley                    42-42  (66-72)  16 10 16          
12. Horwich RMI                42-41  (99-97)  17  7 18          
13. New Brighton               42-40  (73-85)  16  8 18          
14. Blackpool 'B'              42-40  (72-88)  18  4 20          
15. Marine Crosby              42-38  (77-85)  13 12 17          
16. Darwen                     42-37  (60-83)  16  5 21          
17. Oldham Athletic II         42-35  (87-91)  13  9 20          
18. Clitheroe                  42-35  (59-79)  13  9 20          
19. Southport II               42-34  (70-76)  12 10 20          
20. Rossendale United          42-31  (77-95)  13  5 24          
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21. St.Helens Town             42-29  (86-119) 12  5 25  Relegated    
22. Earlestown FC              42-23  (68-135)  6 11 25  Relegated    

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

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