The 1907-08 season saw Southport Central finish in sixth place. Jack Sinclair who had already wrenched a cartilage in his knee, twisted his knee in the third game of the season. At the club’s expense he visited a bone specialist, who announced that the knee was not strong enough to withstand the strain of football any longer and, on his advice, Sinclair never played again. A young wing-half, Eddie Holdsworth, a product of Southport Working Lads, thus gained a place in the side and played so consistently well during the season that he was transferred for a £100 fee to Preston North End where he rendered splendid service over ten years.
When Southport Central Reserves found themselves short of players to fulfil their Lancashire Alliance commitments, Blowick Wesleyans took over their fixtures and won five out of the next six games. One of their players, seventeen year old Billy Watson, made a great impression at left half and was soon promoted to Central’s first team. By March 1909 he had been transferred to Burnley for a record fee of £200. Watson went on to make 346 League appearances at Turf Moor and won England International honours. Another “Wesleyan” who was capped for England was Eddie Moscrop who joined Central some years later.
What proved to be a significant moment in the club’s history came on April 13 th, 1908 when Edwin Clayton was appointed Secretary of Southport Cental on the resignation of Tom Shipley. Clayton was highly ambitious for Central to progress in the football world and from the outset yearned for the day when they would be members of the Football League. Almost immediately an opportunity presented itself when Stoke resigned and a casual vacancy arose.
On June 21 st Central were one of five clubs to apply for the place in the Second Division, but Tottenham Hotspur were elected, while Central failed to attract a single vote: it was recorded that their representative at the meeting did not speak. Clearly Mr Clayton had much work to do if his ambition were to be realised.