and reproduced by kind permission
In January 1948 Southport looked certainties for a place in the re-election zone; then, along with the returning Alan Ball, Arthur Turner was signed from Birmingham City. He was immediately appointed captain and inspired the side by words and example to such effect that the remaining 17 games produced 21 points and they finished well clear of danger in 15th place.
In fact, Turner was not on the losing side in his first thirteen matches four were won and nine drawn - a new club record. This run included another club record - six successive away draws. Southport have probably never had a better captain; he had the ability, personality and drive to pull the team together after the first twenty-five games had produced only eighteen points.
Having successfully applied for re-election the previous season, the directors straightway set about strengthening the team. They assembled the costliest staff to that date, paying out several £1,000 fees and others of £500 to secure new players. An almost entirely new team was fielded for the opening game of the season — Wyles and Birkett alone remaining from 1946-47. The side that lost 4-0 at home to Stockport County was: Birkett; Westby, Hodgkiss: Wyles, Hodgson, Batey; Tickell, Livingstone, Humble, Powell and Butler.
Only Ken Powell from Derby County of the costly forward signings came up to expectations. George Mutch, the former Scottish international, signed from Bury as player-coach and the experienced Archie Livingstone from Everton both disappointed. Wingers Roy Tickell and Stan Butler completely failed ;o impress while Duggie Humble from Sunderland twisted a knee and needed a cartilege operation. Also signed at Christmas were Les Owens and Jack Marriott from Doncaster Rovers for £2,250. Marriott had the misfortune to break his leg at Darlington on New Year's Day after only three games.
In the Cup the 'Port fought gallantly at Hull and, although outplayed for most of the match, staged a tremendous rally - with Wyles equalising late on - and kept their goal intact during extra time. (Because - of the industrial production drive extra time, where necessary, was played at the first meeting.) They lost the replay 3-2; Wyles scored both goals to add to the 25 he scored in the league,- which included nine in seven games in February and March. His total stood as the post-war record until Alan Spence scored 27 in 1963-64.
In spite of the team's poor start, the gates averaged over 8,000 as Southport shared in the post-war football boom. The crowd of 12,629 for the visit of Rotherham United in April 1948, when the 13 game unbeaten run came to an end, created a then league record for the club.
'The death of Jimmy "Todger" Tootle was recorded in November 1947 at the age of 48. Tootle, a popular performer in his Haig Avenue_ days, also assisted Derby County and Chester and latterly had been a Vice-President of Skelmersdale United F.C.
At the close of the season, during which a loss of £1,204 was recorded, the club reverted to their black and white striped shirts and black shorts. They had changed to green and white hooped shirts and white shorts during the war. This change, however, brought no improvement in the team's fortunes.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 If you can provide any further information please contact me