We caught up with Alan Kershaw to ask him about his football career and his time at Haig Avenue. Alan played 24 games for the club between 1974 and 1975.
Can you tell us about how you ended up signing for Southport?
I started my football career at Preston North End as a school boy 13yrs old training on a Tuesday and Thursdays at PNE and playing for the A and B teams until I was 15yrs old. I then sign apprentice professional for 3 years and Professional at 18yrs old. Alan Ball snr was the manager with Arthur Cox and Mat Woods as assistants. Bobby Charlton took over as manager when Alan Ball left the club and I spent another 2 seasons at deepdale. I was released by Bobby Charlton and within a week I sign for Southport my home town team who I had supported as a young boy with my dad who would take me to the home games on a Friday night at Haig Ave. I always remember the great cup run Southport had and travelling to Hull City only to see them lose. My favourite players at the time where Alex Russell, Ronnie Smith, Eric Redrobe and Colin Alty. And when I signed for Southport it was Alan Ball and Mats Woods who where in charge and I got to play in the same team as one of my childhood heroes ‘Alex Russell
Can you remember your debut?
Yes, my debut was against Torquay Utd at home and Alex Russell scored from my cross from the right. I think we drew that game 1-1
What was your favourite moment in a Southport shirt?
As above making my debut at Haig Ave.
Who were your best friends in the dressing room?
There where many but I remember Jonny Martin who always made us laugh with his dressing room pranks.
What are you most proud of in football?
Playing for Southport in the Football League.
Gaining my UEFA ‘A’ coaching license and now watching my Grandson 7yrs old playing for Blackburn Rovers Academy.
Do you have any regrets from your time at the club?
None really it was just a shame that Alan Ball didn’t stay for long as I had great respect for him as a manager.
Tell us an interesting story about your time at the club, something people might not have heard before…
Playing against Doncaster Rovers away and we where 2-0 down at half time and Alan Ball gave us a right B*****ing and then picked up the tray on the table in the corner of the dressing room which had a pot of tea and cups on it which where all full and threw it across the room and smashed against the wall. All I could see was players diving on the floor to get out of the way.
What are you up to these days?
Since leaving Southport in 1976 I went to Dundee Utd for a short spell and played in the reserves. After Dundee Utd I went to Australia and was signed by Eastern Suburbs Hakoah (later to become Sydney City FC) to play in the new professional league in 1977. We were the first National Champions of Australia and also National cup winners. I played against Bobby Noble who was at Southport the same time as me. Bobby Played for Western Suburbs Soccer Club. After 3 seasons in Australia at Sydney City I had a offer to go to Sweden and play for IFK Malmo who played in the Swedish 2nd division. I signed for IFK Malmo and in my first season we were runners up in Div 2. I stayed for 3 seasons and returned home to Southport and played some Non-League and then started to take my FA coaching badges. Now, I’m coaching at Accrington Stanley Academy and enjoying working with young players who want to become professional football players.
It is great to hear from a local lad who made it good with his home town team, the side he supported as a boy.
Many thanks to Alan for taking the time to answer our questions.