and reproduced by kind permission
In the last four practically all season, Southport were lucky to retain their league status after applying for re-election for the third successive year, Southport kept only a handful of the previous season's staff and completed eleven new signings. A 6,000 crowd saw them open by fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Rochdale. The team, which included seven newcomers, was: Richardson, Ashe, Rankin, Clayton, Darvell, Robinson, Taylor, Moss, Green, Reeson and Harris. Wally Fielding — sent off at Barrow the previous April -started the season under suspension and thereafter concentrated chiefly on coaching.
In September Southport signed goalkeeper Arthur Barnard from Stockport County; the out-of-form Jack Richardson was transferred to Wigan Athletic shortly afterwards. On September 19th the 'Port gained their 'first win in 27 games, defeating Barrow 1-0.
In a year of few acheivements the performances against 'Crystal Palace and Millwall were most notable. Southport defeated Palace 3-1 at home and drew 2-2 at Se!burst Park after leading 2-0 at half-time. They also drew 2-2 at Millwall whilst the "Lions" were second in the table and late in April defeated them 1-0 at Haig Avenue to shatter their promotion hopes. The highlight, however, had to be the 1-0 win at Oldham Athletic in March; an Eddie Moss goal brought Southport their first away win in two years (46 matches) and their only double of the season.
As in 1958-59, Southport had centre-forward problems. Brian Green, signed in March, 1959 from Rochdale, needed a cartilage operation - as also did wing-half Jackie Grant; Green, who later 'assisted Barrow, Bury, Exeter and Chesterfield, became Southport's trainer-coach in their 1972-73 championship season. Wing-half Johnny Clayton from Everton was experimented with at centre-forward but also suffered injury, and with reserve Alan Blakeman released — the ex-Workington leader could not combine his job in Oldham with football in Southport - Chester's Barry Jepson was signed for the game at Walsall in 'November. Walsall won 8-0, equalling Southport's then biggest post-war defeat.
Amongst those who scored against Southport in 1958-59 were Barry Hartle and Tony Hateley. Against Notts. County in January, reserve centre-half Bill Parker, also previously tried at centre-forward, missed :two penalties. County also 'missed a penalty but won 1-2, In the F.A. Cup Southport drew with Workington at Haig Avenue, Peter Harrison equalising twice, but lost the replay 3-0.
Of the new signings, Bill Rutherford, a defender from Darlington, rendered five years' invaluable service and the skilful and experienced outside-left Peter 'Harrison from Reading also contributed to the team's subsequent improvement. Eddie Moss (ex-Liverpool) and Tony Reeson (ex-Doncaster Rovers) occasionally showed neat touches, Moss finishing as leading marksman. Popular outside-right Jimmy "Tiger" Taylor, an ex-Bolton junior, started off promisingly but faded rater. The club captain was left-half Cyril Robinson, a member of Blackpool's Cup-winning team in 1953, who had also represented Bradford P.A. and Northwich Victoria.
The whole town was apprehensive as the Football League's A.G.M. approached. At long last Peterborough United seemed certain to be elected, with 'Southport favourites to drop out. Nevertheless. Southport secured eleven votes more than Gateshead, who were making only their second application for re-election. Supporters could thank Jack Clough, who had carefully canvassed his many contacts. for retaining Southport's position, Gateshead, with an impressive Third Division record over the years and gates no worse than Southport's, could justifiably feel aggrieved. The result showed Oldham 39, Peterborough United 35, Hartlepools United 34, Southport 29 and Gateshead 18.
The year's accounts revealed a loss of £1,683. It was only kept within bounds by donations totalling £8,832, which included £5,400 from the Helpers' Club (£4,000 the previous year), £1,397 from the General Improvements Fund Committee and £1,750 from the Survival Appeal. The board resolved to do better and put the c'ub's house in order and they did.
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