and reproduced by kind permission
For the first time in almost 34 years Southport resumed their Cup giant-killers role, reaching the fifth round. Interest revived and league attendances up 30,000 contributed to a record profit of £5,825.
Billy Bingham, former Everton and Irish International winger, was Southport's inspiration and brought the best out of his players. A fitness fanatic, he created a team spirit and professional approach long absent. Not all his signings succeeded; Charlie McDonnell failed to recapture his Tranmere scoring form and Terry Morrall, ex-Wrexham and Shrewsbury centre-half, was released in October -but not before registering seven goals for the Reserves in an 8-1 win over Leyland Motors.
Brian Reeves proved the club's best goalkeeper since Ray Minshull, displaying
reflexes and keen anticipation. Experienced outside-left Ron Smith from Port Vale
was a dangerous
raider with a devastating turn of speed. Late in August Bingham signed Liverpool
Fred Molyneux, bringing immediate solidity to the defence. The most sensational
acquisition was full
back Alex Parker, signed in September from Everton. As club captain, his experience
The development of wing-halves Peat and Beanland greatly strengthened the side; in midfield Alex Russell, now a full-time professional, grew in stature and constantly attracted the scouts. Although nominally No. 10 Colin Alty could become an extra defender, if occasion demanded.
Southport changed to a new all gold strip in the third league game of the season and celebrated by defeating Doncaster Rovers 2-1 — their first .victory in 20 matches. They remained undefeated at home until March when Aldershot won 2-0 Bingham, later appointed Team Manager on a three-year contract, introduced "method" football to the Fourth Division; although not popular with spectators it certainly acheived results.
The 'Port never admitted defeat. Down 3-0 at Barrow with 18 minutes left, they drew 3-3; four days later, two goals in the last eight minutes beat Bradford P.A. who had led almost throughout; against promotion-bound Torquay United Southport trailed 3-0 after 37 minutes yet, despite losing full¬back Terry McDonald, recovered to draw 3-3. Other highlights were the 2-0 win at Tranmere, a scintillating 4-1 win over an outplayed Hartlepools United and, the 5-1 Easter Monday rout of Lincoln City, Yet it was the F.A. Cup which brought Southport national prominence. The early rounds saw them beat Halifax Town somewhat unconvincingly and avenge cup defeats by Stockport County in 1928, 1946 and 1961; at Haig Avenue Southport rallied splendidly after trailing 2-0 to lead 3-2, before County's late equaliser. In the replay some 15,000 saw Southport withstand attack after attack; then debutant left-half Les Barratt scored and, after 86 minutes, Alan ISpence's shot clinched victory.
In the third round only Ipswich Town goalkeeper Hancock defied a luckless Southport. In the Portman Road replay Southport, trailing 2-1 with eight minutes remaining, looked a beaten side; then Spence equalised and - with 15 seconds left - Alty headed the winner !
Cardiff City, another Second Division club, attracted 14,230 (rectipts £3,517) to Haig Avenue and lost 2-0 — Spence netting Alty's parried shot and (Ron Smith heading home Russell's free-kick. The Cup trail ended at Hull City, the Third Division giant killers. 38,811 (receipts £10,850) watched incredulously as Southport's defence, with Reeves outstanding, absorbed continuous pressure. The "Tigers'', despite missing a penalty, triumphed through two second-half goals.
Just before the transfer deadline Southport paid a record £4,000 for Bradford P.A. centre-forward Jim Fryatt and transferred 22-year-old Tony Beanland, formerly the youngest ever club captain, to Southend United for £5,000. Four seasons at Haig Avenue had converted Beanland from full-back to a constructive, hard-tackling left-half.
The record profit resulted from the cup-tie revenue and donations of over £8,000 — the Development Association raised £6,820. The club could now look forward to promotion after almost folding up 12 months earlier.
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