“Big Red” was a cult figure at Haig Avenue. He was a giant of a man who, after appearing for Lancashire Schoolboys at Rugby League, turned down the opportunity of signing for St Helens and Wigan Rugby League teams to join Bolton Wanderers.
After gaining two Youth International caps he became understudy to Wyn Davies at Burnden Park. On being freed, he joined Colchester on trial and impressed Billy Bingham when playing for the Essex side in a pre-season friendly against Southport over in Ireland.
At Haig Avenue his bustling, threatening style and never-say-die spirit immediately ingratiated him with the fans; his name (intoned as ‘Red-robe’ or ‘Eric-the-Redrobe’) became a rallying cry for Southport supporters at grounds up and down the country. Yet, despite his size, he was still capable of surprisingly intricate ball-play at times.
He formed successful striking partnerships with Terry Harkin and George Andrews, although he rarely hit it off with Jim Fryatt.
After disclocating his shoulder playing cricket, he was transferred to Hereford United early in the 1972-73 championship campaign and helped the League newcomers to the runners-up spot.
After settling in Hereford for several years, Eric is now back living in the Wigan area and has been a regular back at Haig Avenue.
In his own words Eric said “It is not for me to say why I was popular with the supporters. I wasn’t a flash person. I played from the heart, with a tremendous passion. I wasn’t the most tactful on the pitch, but gave it absolutely everything and at that time it was about players who gave their all for the cause.”
As President of the Independent Supporters Trust, Trust In Yellow, he has been previously voted as Southport’s greatest ever player by supporters. We are proud to announce that Eric Redrobe will be inducted into the Southport FC Hall of Fame on 16th November 2019.