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1955/56 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

Curing one of their best seasons ever – Southport finished fifth with 57 points – six club records were created, four of which still stand.

After losing at Hartlepools on October 8th the Club went a record 19 games without defeat. winning 12 and drawing 7, before losing 2-1 away to Wrexham, whose winning goal came in the last minute. During this spell Southport wort seven successive away games equalling the Football League record Doncaster Rovers established in. 1946-47; Tottenham Hotspurs subsequently overtook this in 1960-61. A record 11 away wins brought 24 points on opponents’ grounds, which remained unequalled until the 1972-73 promotion- season. The ‘Port also created club records with 23 victories and 57 points, but both these totals have since been exceeded.

The great undefeated run coincided with the switching of Wally Taylor to centre-half, Following an injury to Alf Barratt in a Lancashire Senior Cup-tie in October. Taylor took over the captaincy and kept the pivotal position on merit.

Southport’s achievements were all the more impressive since they only had seven full-time professionals, eight part-time -professionals and three forces players and their wage bill and gates were amongst the league’s lowest. They were well served by the skill and speed of amateur international centre-forward George Bromilow a product of the Leyland Road club, who finished top goalscorer and by Bill Beadnell who combined well with Bromilow leading Southport’s attack. Little Bobby Mcllvenny, signed from Bury was the schemer whose clever dribbling and accurate passing added essential craft at inside-forward.

Other signings included the swift art tricky Jimmy McDermott from Cromptons Recs., winger Tommy Lawrenson experienced full-back, Willie Robertson from Preston and Dennis Miles, a 19-year-old outside-right from Bradford, signed with Andy McLaren in exchange for Terry Reilly.

Early on there were few indications that South-port would do so well particularly as they lost their first home match 5-2 against Derby County and shortly afterwards lost heavily at Carlisle and Chesterfield; but the team worked well together, planning their tactics communally while travelling to away games and developing their own early brand of 4-4-2 football.

Highlights of the season were the first ever league win at Bradford P.A. at the twelfth attempt, Bromilow scoring a 15 minute hat-trick in the first half, and the first win at Prenton Park since 1921-22. Late February and early March saw Southport topping the table, but they slipped back following the Wrexham defeat. The gates still averaged little more than 5,000 and the profit of £1,068 was largely due to Jimmy Prescott’s pre-season- transfer.

In the F.A. Cup Southport overwhelmed Lancashire Combination outfit Ashton United, Bromilow scored five in the 6-1 win. In the second round Grimsby Town drew at Haig Avenue, but in the replay Tony Beeson, later to join Southport, scored the winner after Southport had twice been ahead. So Grimsby, not Southport, qualified to visit Portsmouth.

In the close season Alf Barratt -and Trevor Hitchen — two ideal clubmen – were released, the latter joining Oldham Athletic. Willie Robertson was surprisingly freed and he joined Morecambe, whilst Bill Holmes, originally retained, requested his release and retired to concentrate on his teaching career in Liverpool; he had a B.Sc. -degree in ‘maths and physics. In April Alf Barratt Wally Taylor and Ray Minshull were awarded a benefit match against Coventry City after completing five years’ service. They were later presented with cheques amounting to £322 each.

Billy Watson, one of the finest footballers ever produced by Southport and latterly a town councillor, died in September_ 1955. Watson, an -England international, won every honour in the game and made 345 league appearances for Burnley after signing for them in March, 1909 for £200. In July, 1956 Mr. E. O’Mahoney, several years a South-port director and former Chairman of the Subscribers’ Club, died aged 60. Prior to the start of the season Jack Clough had become Southport F.C. Chairman in succession to Edgar Raynor, who had held the position for 24 years.

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 Grimsby Town 46 31 6 9 76 29 2.621 68
2 Derby County 46 28 7 11 110 55 2.000 63
3 Accrington Stanley 46 25 9 12 92 57 1.614 59
4 Hartlepools United 46 26 5 15 81 60 1.350 57
5 Southport 46 23 11 12 66 53 1.245 57
6 Chesterfield 46 25 4 17 94 66 1.424 54
7 Stockport County 46 21 9 16 90 61 1.475 51
8 Bradford City 46 18 13 15 78 64 1.219 49
9 Scunthorpe & Lindsey United 46 20 8 18 75 63 1.190 48
10 Workington 46 19 9 18 75 63 1.190 47
11 York City 46 19 9 18 85 72 1.181 47
12 Rochdale 46 17 13 16 66 84 0.786 47
13 Gateshead 46 17 11 18 77 84 0.917 45
14 Wrexham 46 16 10 20 66 73 0.904 42
15 Darlington 46 16 9 21 60 73 0.822 41
16 Tranmere Rovers 46 16 9 21 59 84 0.702 41
17 Chester City 46 13 14 19 52 82 0.634 40
18 Mansfield Town 46 14 11 21 84 81 1.037 39
19 Halifax Town 46 14 11 21 66 76 0.868 39
20 Oldham Athletic 46 10 18 18 76 86 0.884 38
21 Carlisle United 46 15 8 23 71 95 0.747 38
22 Barrow 46 12 9 25 61 83 0.735 33
23 Bradford Park Avenue 46 13 7 26 61 122 0.500 33
24 Crewe Alexandra 46 9 10 27 50 105 0.476 28

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '55-'56
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 1. Burscough                  38-59  (96-37)  26  7  5  Champions    
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 2. Horwich RMI                38-57 (104-49)  24  9  5          
 3. Accrington Stanley II      38-50  (87-56)  20 10  8          
 4. Netherfield                38-49  (95-55)  21  7 10          
 5. Lancaster City             38-49  (83-59)  19 11  8          
 6. Wigan Athletic             38-46  (80-56)  18 10 10          
 7. New Brighton               38-44  (78-57)  18  8 12          
 8. Prescot Cables             38-44 (104-92)  19  6 13          
 9. Chorley                    38-39  (78-68)  17  5 16          
10. Marine Crosby              38-36  (71-83)  14  8 16          
11. Southport II               38-35  (54-60)  13  9 16          
12. Ashton United              38-35  (62-75)  14  7 17          
13. Darwen                     38-34  (66-85)  13  8 17          
14. Fleetwood                  38-32  (65-79)  12  8 18          
15. Nelson                     38-32  (60-89)  12  8 18          
16. Morecambe                  38-29  (62-94)  12  5 21          
17. Bacup Borough              38-29  (58-76)  10  9 19          
18. South Liverpool            38-27  (69-98)  12  3 23          
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19. Rossendale United          38-25  (61-89)   8  9 21  Relegated    
20. St.Helens Town             38- 9  (34-110)  3  3 32  Relegated    

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

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