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1954/55 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

Although Southport, who switched to an old gold and black rayon strip, had the best defensive record in the tour divisions of the Football League, goals were in such short supply that, in fact, only three league clubs scored fewer. Southport recorded six goalless draws in their league programme, including three in consecutive games in April; inevitably the season was financially disastrous — almost £5,000 was lost — as support slumped to its lowest level since 1935-36. Attendance averaged 3,554 and the gate for the Chester match in March was a meagre 1,317 – one of the lowest then recorded.

The very settled defence, which regularly comprised Minshull, Taylor_ Reilly, Hunter, Barratt and Charlton, gave nothing away. The only newcomer included was the stylish Wilf Chariton a 20-year-old acquisition from Huddersfield Town.

Although six new forwards were signed during the close season only two made any impression —Bill Holmes, a former English amateur international, who arrived as part of an exchange deal that took Kevin Walsh to Bradford City, and Bill Beadnell, a burly inside forward from .Middlesborough.

One of the season’s few bright spots was the hat-trick Bill Holmes scored in a 4-1 win against Carlisle United on his wedding day I Jimmy Prescott, a product of .Lowton St. Mary’s, impressed with his fast raiding; he achieved a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over :Halifax Town, which completed the ‘Port’s second double. Previously they had recorded their first ever double over Bradford City. Prescott, along with the immaculate Ray Minshull, was chosen to represent Division ,111 (North) against their Southern counterparts in the match at Reading; but, with Southport desperately short of cash. he was transferred to York City in May for £2,000_ which at least helped to pay the summer wages.

The early cup dismissal at Bradford Park Avenue did little to help the financial situation and in order to reduce the wage bill the club also parted company with Ray ‘Taylor, a left winger from Huddersfield Town, who signed for ‘Chesterfield in March.

Amongst those not retained was hard-tackling dull-back Terry Reilly; this news came as a major shock particularly as he had just been granted a benefit match on the completion of his five years’ service which included 191 league appearances. The veteran Jack Billingham was ‘also released and retired from football, having fulfilled his ambition of playing until he reached forty. Four close season signings, all forwards, were freed. Verdi Godwin (Brentford) went to ‘Barrow. Tom Richardson (Middlesborough) to Aldershot, whilst wingers Jim Drury and Chris Anderson, ex-Carlisle United and Stockport County respectively, retired from league football.

Early in 1955 several old stalwarts passed on. In March Jimmy Commins, who had signed’ ten players without cost and created the famous cup-fighting squad of the early ‘thirties, died aged 76. After assembling the side he left to manage Barrow and later Shelbourne and Cork United before returning for a second spell at Haig Avenue. Subsequent), he spent much time scouting for his old :friend Major Buckley at Wolves.

In the same month Charlie Sinclair, one of the five Sinclair brothers, passed away and in May the death of Fred W. Hyde of Everard Road_ an original director of the club, was recorded.

During the course of the season an Extraordinary General Meeting was called to increase the share capital from £8,000 to £15,000 and Bob Howard, a prominent local builder was co-opted to the board to become the tenth director to guarantee an ever increasing bank overdraft.

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 Barnsley 46 30 5 11 86 46 1.870 65
2 Accrington Stanley 46 25 11 10 96 67 1.433 61
3 Scunthorpe & Lindsey United 46 23 12 11 81 53 1.528 58
4 York City 46 24 10 12 92 63 1.460 58
5 Hartlepools United 46 25 5 16 64 49 1.306 55
6 Chesterfield 46 24 6 16 81 70 1.157 54
7 Gateshead 46 20 12 14 65 69 0.942 52
8 Workington 46 18 14 14 68 55 1.236 50
9 Stockport County 46 18 12 16 84 70 1.200 48
10 Oldham Athletic 46 19 10 17 74 68 1.088 48
11 Southport 46 16 16 14 47 44 1.068 48
12 Rochdale 46 17 14 15 69 66 1.045 48
13 Mansfield Town 46 18 9 19 65 71 0.915 45
14 Halifax Town 46 15 13 18 63 67 0.940 43
15 Darlington 46 14 14 18 62 73 0.849 42
16 Bradford Park Avenue 46 15 11 20 56 70 0.800 41
17 Barrow 46 17 6 23 70 89 0.787 40
18 Wrexham 46 13 12 21 65 77 0.844 38
19 Tranmere Rovers 46 13 11 22 55 70 0.786 37
20 Carlisle United 46 15 6 25 78 89 0.876 36
21 Bradford City 46 13 10 23 47 55 0.855 36
22 Crewe Alexandra 46 10 14 22 68 91 0.747 34
23 Grimsby Town 46 13 8 25 47 78 0.603 34
24 Chester City 46 12 9 25 44 77 0.571 33

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '54-'55
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 1. Accrington Stanley II      42-68 (110-46)  29 10  3  Champions    
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 2. Rossendale United          42-54 (123-84)  24  6 12          
 3. Wigan Athletic             42-52  (93-56)  21 10 11          
 4. Burscough                  42-52  (75-49)  22  8 12          
 5. Oldham Athletic II         42-52  (98-74)  21 10 11  left  
 6. Blackpool 'B'              42-49 (101-59)  22  5 15  left  
 7. Fleetwood                  42-49  (73-69)  19 11 12          
 8. Horwich RMI                42-48  (81-62)  20  8 14          
 9. Morecambe                  42-44  (68-65)  18  8 16          
10. Marine Crosby              42-43  (91-84)  19  5 18          
11. Netherfield                42-43  (92-94)  20  3 19          
12. Darwen                     42-43  (64-79)  15 13 14          
13. Chorley                    42-41  (78-91)  17  7 18          
14. Lancaster City             42-41  (68-84)  16  9 17          
15. Barrow II                  42-37  (87-90)  14  9 19  left  
16. Nelson                     42-36  (82-84)  14  8 20          
17. Ashton United              42-35  (75-107) 13  9 20          
18. Southport II               42-33  (74-79)  12  9 21          
19. Bolton Wanderers 'B'       42-32  (62-68)  12  8 22  left  
20. South Liverpool            42-32  (67-105) 12  8 22          
21. Rochdale II                42-25  (58-92)   8  9 25  left  
22. New Brighton               42-15  (48-147)  6  3 33          

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

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