Arthur Peat, who played in his 307th Football League game for Southport on January 17th, 1970, was the board’s surprise choice to inherit the job of attempting to save the club from relegation from the Third Division. Southport’s senior professional and captain, he was initially appointed trainer-coach but a fortnight later he became player-manager. Already acknowledged to be one of the best servants the club ever had, he had created a favourable impression when given charge of the reserves in September 1969.
His appointment inspired the team and morale improved so much that Southport appeared to have pulled clear of the danger area with five consecutive home wins; then, quite inexplicably, they cracked and took only seven points from their last eleven games. After monopolising the crucial encounter with fellow strugglers Gillingham, they allowed the Gills to equalise with a goal which, in the final analysis, kept them up and sent Southport down. This result ultimately spelt the end for Peat’s brief reign as manager; on April 28th he resigned, although he was retained as a player for a further two seasons. He went on to complete 401 League appearances for the club before joining Crewe Alexandra.
Profile reproduced with Permission from:
The Sandgrounders: The Complete League History of Southport F. C., by Michael Braham and Geoff Wilde (Palatine Books, 1995). ISBN 978-1-874181-14-9