Copyright Historical Football Kits
and reproduced by kind permission

Ten records broken, four of them still unbeaten, must make 1930-31 the most successful
season ever In that memorable year the club’s match, individual player and total
scoring records were established
and the ‘Port reached the sixth round of the F.A. Cup. Away from home, the most
goals scored (36)
and least defeats (eight) were recorded. In addition, the most points, highest
attendances and receipts
for matches at Haig Avenue and a record profit of £1,370 were achieved-these,
however, have been beaten.

Yet the season began in mediocre fashion; towards the end of October only eight
points had been collected from twelve games. The turning point was the arrival
of Archie Waterston. Being without a club, he applied for a trial and was signed
on. His skill and scoring power inspired the team. Southport lost at Wigan, but
the next ten games yielded 18 points and they fairly raced up the table; but the
F.A. Cup success surpassed all else.

After easily accounting for Darlington and Gainsborough Trinity, Second Division
Millwall were drawn at Haig Avenue. Millwall, for whom Lem Newcomb appeared, were
well beaten 3-1 before 10,125 fans,
with Baker saving a penalty. Seaside rivals First Division Blackpool were the
next to fall; a crowd of
13,524 saw the home side fight back to win after losing 0-1 at half-time. Southport’s
luck held with
Second Division Bradford Park Avenue the next visitors. A then record 17,508 crowd
were present as
Southport created football history by being the first Third Division North team
to reach the last eight. Cowen scored the vital goal, and the whole town went
wild with delight—Cup lever had hit Southport.

Came the sixth round, and the ‘Port travelled to nearby Goodison Park. Accustomed
to a light, sandy pitch, they found ground conditions atrocious with snow covering
the corners and the rest inches deep in mud. It is said that the referee had to
spin the coin three times before it landed even. Poor goalkeepr Billy Baker, who
had done so well in previous rounds and enjoyed great success since taking over
from Billy Halsall, completely lost his nerve right from the start when, distracted
by the inrushing Dixie Dean, he let in a Jimmy Stein cross. He eventually picked
the ball out of the net nine times-seven times in the first 42 minutes. The occasion
was too much for Southport, and they lost 9-1. The team that day was: Baker; Little,
Robinson; Seagrave (deputising for George Wyness, who had broken his leg at Rotherham),
Vincent, Holmes; Hills, McConnell, Waterston, Cowen and Roberts. The game had
its financial compensations as the 45,647 crowd paid £3,971.
In the League. Southport clicked into top gear and finished fifth with 53 points.
Eighty-eight goals
were scored in the 42 League games – 31 of them by Waterston in only 29 matches.
The highlight of the League programme was the 8-1 thrashing of Nelson on New Year’s
Day. After Ralsbeck had given the visitors the lead, Waterston scored five. This
record League win was only equalled last season. The team-which didn’t cost a
penny-included six North-Eastern lads. Team spirit and honest endeavour were key
factors in their success.

1931 was also the end of an era; “Salty” Halsall retired after twelve
illustrious years and over 450 first-team games between the posts. Only Arthur
Peat has played in more League matches. Another great loss was the death, in May,
1931, of George Moore-Club Chairman since 1922.

On the managerial side, Jimmy Commins, who got the team together, did not stay
to see its triumphs. He became manager at Barrow and the ever-willing Edwin Clayton
filled the breach until Bert Pelham was appointed. Further success awaited him
the following season.

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