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1892/93 Season Summary

The close season saw Central make exertions that they would secure an “improved team” and that with Jimmy Gee in goal, Tom Smith and Bethel Robinson at Full Back they were never stronger in defence.

Full-back Tom Smith, signed from Aintree Church went on to give 10 seasons splendid service with the club. The star capture was inside-forward Kenny Davenport from Bolton Wanderers who had been capped twice for England in 1885 and 189O against Wales and Ireland respectively.

Central were also bolstered by the arrival of another former England international in Joe Lofthouse who arrived at the end of November. Lofthouse had played 7 times for England (1885–1887) and whilst with Blackburn Rovers won the FA Cup in 1890 and 1891. Lofthouse was also to coach the side and introduced himself to the Scarisbrick New Road crowd when he refereed the home win over Wrexham on 19th November.

Frank Sugg’s departure to West Manchester gave way to his formal resignation from the Central Executive Committee and by mid September whispers started in the press that the Central Executive were not working together as amicably as they might. The Lancashire Evening Post (7th September 1892) reports that “one or two of the members have evidently determined to make it as hot as possible for the hon. sec, in order that their own defeated candidate may have another chance.”

The way the season began couldn’t have been in more contrast to the previous campaign. Dubbed the “coming champions” the year before, they found themselves propping up the table after a few games this time around with gates dropping to half the average of the previous campaign. Their first win in the League did not arrive until 22nd October, when they defeated Heywood Central at Scarisbrick New Road.

Despite Central’s poor form Goalkeeper and now captain, Jimmy Gee was attracting the attention of Everton and they were rumoured to have offered him a large sum (£4 per week) to switch. Gee had left Southport once before to join Crewe but after a short spell was said to have been glad to return to Southport.

In their desperation to turn results around new players were arriving almost weekly. One of the most controversial in local circles was that of North Meols captain Johnny Watkinson, a half-back. Mr J G Emmison, chairman of the Central club had previously stated that he would not countenance the poaching on a local club and would resign if it occured. His silence on the whole affair left North Meols furious and claiming jealousy of their success whilst Central were struggling, particularly as half-back was not a position in which Central were considered short.

Of the players who had departed The brothers Lea were becoming fan favourites at Accrington, Harry being handed the captaincy by mid October. How the Central could have done with their talents still.

A record gate of 5000 was present as Central drew 2 a piece with Everton in a fundraiser for the Infirmary. £40 14s was taken on the gate with half going to the infirmary fund. The remainder went towards clearing some of the club’s debts.

By December it appeared that Central would be in a scrap for the wooden spoon. The LEP reported:
“Central’s ill-luck is making it hard for one or two of the Executive, notably Mr Emmison the esteemed Chairman, and Mr Dan Ashton his right hand man. Both have gone deep into their pockets, and will have to do if things don’t alter.
Some of the Central so called supporters remind me of rats skedaddling from a sinking ship, save and exept their action is not as justifiable as that of the rats. The gentlemen who talk so much about having a first class football team for Southport will have to pay for it. They can well afford to do so, and if the things fails they only have themselves to blame.”

During 1892-93 a Special Fund Committee was formed to liquidate the clubs debts. Their efforts raised £73, a Christmas Draw realised £53 and a number of members doubled their half guinea subscriptions, resulting in the club making a profit of £38 Early in February, many supporters took the opportunity to pay a shilling instead of 6d admittance. Central meanwhile shocked everybody by defeating Bury 2-1.

Pos Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Liverpool 22 17 2 3 66 19 36
2 Blackpool 22 17 2 3 82 31 36
3 Bury 22 17 1 4 83 24 35
4 Fleetwood Rangers 22 10 5 7 47 51 25
5 West Manchester 22 10 4 8 68 55 24
6 Heywood Central 22 11 1 10 54 60 23
7 Rossendale 22 8 2 12 46 55 18
8 Southport Central 22 7 2 13 33 44 16
9 South Shore 22 5 6 11 46 66 16
10 Fairfield 22 5 6 11 34 53 16
11 FC Nelson 22 4 2 16 54 73 10
12 Higher Walton 22 3 3 16 28 110 9

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