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1902/03 Season Summary

After being one of the original members of the Lancashire League, Southport Central won the Championship at their 14th attempt. Their success came in what proved to be the last season of the League. Southport suffered only three defeats and won the Championship with five points to spare. They also won the Chorley Rawcliffe Charity Cup, defeating Stalybridge Rovers 1-0 in the final. Southport showed complete superiority when they gained a 3-0 win in a Champions v The Rest match.

On Monday 26th January 1903, at a meeting of the Southport Central Football Club Committee, instructions were given for the issuing of a subjoined circular: – “It is the wish of the committee to make application for admission into the Second Division of the Football League, but as the question of securing enough support is the chief item, it was decided to circularise the members, supporters, and tradespeople generally as to what guarantee or promise they would give if such application was successful. It is calculated that an increase of £500 on the present income would be required to run a successful team” (Reported in Lancashire Evening Post on Wednesday 28th January 1903)

Edwin Trounson pleaded Southport Central’s case for admission to the Second Division He claimed that the ground was one of the best adapted for football in the country. The grandstand held 2000 and about 20,000 more could view the game in comfort. They could call on an 80,000 population and the town was easily accessible from all over the country. A circular sent to the league clubs stated that Southport had been in existence for a “lengthy and honourable period. “The pitch had been described by a prominent o Football league referee as the best in Lancashire The financial position was sound” being free from debt.” lt was stressed that the town was reputed to be the wealthiest in Lancashire and the population was only used to the association game but it was all in vain.

Southport were one of eight clubs to apply. Doncaste Rrovers, Stockport County and Burnley sought re-election. The voting went Bradford City 30, Stockport County 20, Burnley19, Doncaster Rovers 14, Crewe Alexandra 7, West Hartlepool 7, Southport Central 4 and Wellington 1 . The result made bitter reading for club officials.

On May 26th, 1903 the championship medals were presented at a dinner held at Hayes Restaurant Chapel Street . The dinner was marred by the seasons only disappointment which had taken place the previous day. Councillors lsaac Smith and Edwin Trounson went to London to put the club’s case in their second bid for membership of the Second Division of the football league with plenty of confidence. Despite many promises of support some clubs evidently changed their minds for they received only four votes. Only one other Lancashire Club supported their application.

The annual Balance Sheet of the Southport Central Football Club showed that the credit balance in May 1902 was £75 and that on May 20th 1903 it had falled by £13 to £62. The amount received in subscriptions was £124 , gate receipts realised £888 and the stand receipts £107 while from cup ties away the club received £84. The total income was £1357. The expenses included wages at £633 and £118 for railway fares and travelling expenses handed to visiting teams

Pos Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Southport Central 22 17 2 3 49 18 36
2 Darwen 22 15 1 6 68 21 31
3 Barrow 22 14 3 5 42 24 31
4 Stalybridge Rovers 22 12 4 6 40 25 28
5 St.Helens Recreation 22 13 1 8 51 41 27
6 Workington FC 22 11 3 8 57 47 25
7 Rochdale 22 9 3 10 54 52 21
8 St.Helens Town 22 8 2 12 31 42 18
9 Earlestown 22 8 0 14 43 48 16
10 Chorley 22 7 2 13 38 50 16
11 Bacup 22 3 4 15 25 77 10
12 Wigan United 22 1 3 18 18 74 5

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