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1961/62 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

Southport began disastrously, losing 4-1 at home to Darlington, but soon settled down and their 2-1 victory at Darlington in mid-December (their sixth successfve league game without defeat) left them in sixth place with 27 points at the halfway stage. Their most notable success was the 3-0 victory over Colchester United, then undefeated league leaders, on September 23rd, although Peter ‘Harrison and the Colchester outside-left were both ordered off.

Unfortunately five successive league defeats followed the Darlington win, including the 5-0 drubbing by Oldham Athletic at snowbound Haig Avenue. Debutant Paddy Daly, signed from Blackburn Rovers to halt the slide, made the goal for Johnny Fielding which beat Chester and ended the sequence.

Southport confirmed the previous season’s promise and played some delightful football. The inside-forward trio of Blain, Blore and Fielding continually attracted the scouts and in December Reg Blore’s ability was recognised when he represented Wales Under-23s against Scotland. Southport began the season with just six forwards; of these free-scoring Bill Bradbury from Workington was unable to recapture his flair but acted as deputy in all five positions. In February he was transfer-listed together with Alan Bentham. The greatest need was a big centre-forward; Lem Newcomb attempted to secure Frank Lord from Rochdale but could not match Crewe Alexandra’s £1,500 bid.

In October Southport were savagely hit when centre-half Roger Darvell, perennially consistent with 147 appearances from the previous 155 successive league matches, had the misfortune to break a leg at Bradford City. In the same game Jimmy Blain was concussed and goalkeeper Willie Mclnnes, from Accrington Stanley, broke a finger. Jim Appleby was promptly signed from Blackburn Rovers as Darvell’s replacement, but after his sending-off at Tranmere in January, young Bill McCarthy took over at Number 5.

Southport’s Easter programme was reduced to one game by Accrington Stanley’s resignation in March. Stanley had long been popular visitors and four times in the mid-fifties almost gained Second Division status. Southport finished 17th with 43 points. Their achievements included the ‘double’ over -promoted Wrexham, fighting back from 0-2 down at home to win 4-2.

Round 3 of the F.A. Cup was reached. The highlight was the second round 4-2 defeat of Mansfield Town – a stirring encounter with Southport, in their old black and white stripes, recovering after conceding a second minute goal to gain their first Cup success against league opposition since Carlisle United succumbed in November 1953. The third round was significant since the postponed tie with 3rd Division Shrewsbury Town saw the switching-on of Southport’s floodlights.

The General Improvements Fund Committee had spent months planning and raising the £6,000 to erect the eight 40 ft. pylons; Southport lost 3-1, but the game was witnessed by 10,610 – the largest gate for four years.

Another floodlit match was the thrilling Lancashire Senior Cup encounter with Manchester United who won 4-3, Southport having earlier beaten Barrow, also 4-3. February 16th saw Southport’s first Friday night home game; to add more punch Hannaway was tried at centre-forward with Blore outside-right, but the experiment failed.

Amongst the 1961 pre-season signings were two wing-halves. Arthur Peat, from Everton, broke a leg in his second Reserve game, but late on his enthusiastic displays won him a first-team place. John Calver (ex-Burnley) seldom appeared owing to Rutherford’s consistency and was one of ten players not retained when the season finished. Experienced wingers Harrison and Jones went to Macclesfield Town and Lancaster City respectively; Lancaster also signed Hannaway, whilst Runcorn recruited Bentham, Daly and full-back Fred Leeder, signed two years earlier from Darlington. Jim Appleby joined Chester in an exchange which brought Jimmy Cooper to Haig Avenue.

Another profit was made, this time £1,124. Attractive football was certainly yielding rewards.

Two former directors passed away during the year — Gilbert Hamilton-Smith and thee oft-criticised but loyal and perservering Edgar Raynor.

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 Millwall 44 23 10 11 87 62 1.403 56
2 Colchester United 44 23 9 12 104 71 1.465 55
3 Wrexham 44 22 9 13 96 56 1.714 53
4 Carlisle United 44 22 8 14 64 63 1.016 52
5 Bradford City 44 21 9 14 94 86 1.093 51
6 York City 44 20 10 14 84 53 1.585 50
7 Aldershot 44 22 5 17 81 60 1.350 49
8 Workington 44 19 11 14 69 70 0.986 49
9 Barrow 44 17 14 13 74 58 1.276 48
10 Crewe Alexandra 44 20 6 18 79 70 1.129 46
11 Oldham Athletic 44 17 12 15 77 70 1.100 46
12 Rochdale 44 19 7 18 71 71 1.000 45
13 Darlington 44 18 9 17 61 73 0.836 45
14 Mansfield Town 44 19 6 19 77 66 1.167 44
15 Tranmere Rovers 44 20 4 20 70 81 0.864 44
16 Stockport County 44 17 9 18 70 69 1.014 43
17 Southport 44 17 9 18 61 71 0.859 43
18 Exeter City 44 13 11 20 62 77 0.805 37
19 Chesterfield 44 14 9 21 70 87 0.805 37
20 Gillingham 44 13 11 20 73 94 0.777 37
21 Doncaster Rovers 44 11 7 26 60 85 0.706 29
22 Hartlepools United 44 8 11 25 52 101 0.515 27
23 Chester City 44 7 12 25 54 96 0.563 26

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '61-'62
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 1. Morecambe                  42-70 (143-51)  32  6  4  Champions    
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 2. Netherfield                42-64 (143-67)  27 10  5          
 3. Horwich RMI                42-61 (110-48)  26  9  7          
 4. Burscough                  42-60 (122-68)  26  8  8          
 5. Chorley                    42-57 (107-71)  24  9  9          
 6. Rossendale United          42-50 (114-89)  22  6 14          
 7. Oldham Athletic II         42-50  (89-71)  21  8 13  left  
 8. New Brighton               42-49 (105-57)  23  3 16          
 9. Lancaster City             42-48  (75-65)  18 12 12          
10. Southport II               42-45 (102-77)  18  9 15          
11. Nelson                     42-45  (86-71)  20  5 17          
12. Clitheroe                  42-45  (85-83)  18  9 15          
13. Earlestown FC              42-40  (89-102) 17  6 19          
14. Marine Crosby              42-37  (94-99)  15  7 20          
15. Prescot Cables             42-37  (66-83)  14  9 19          
16. Fleetwood                  42-33  (84-89)  11 11 20          
17. Skelmersdale United        42-31  (62-103) 12  7 23          
18. Lytham                     42-25  (67-127)  9  7 26          
19. Darwen                     42-25  (56-119)  8  9 25          
20. Leyland Motors             42-20  (67-126)  6  8 28          
21. Bacup Borough              42-16  (52-149)  6  4 32          
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22. Padiham                    42-16  (51-154)  4  8 30  Relegated    

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

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