In November 1906 Southport Central recognised the services of two of their long-serving players, Fred Spink and Jack Sinclair. The latter was a product of the Southport Working Lads Club and the first of the famous footballing family to play for Southport. Both had been with the club for nine years and it was decided to give them a benefit match with the proceeds of the Lancashire Combination game with Barrow allocated to the Benefit Fund; as a result £60 was divided between the two players.
In need of a good F.A. Cup run to improve their ailing finances Southport were drawn at home to Carlisle United. Although Carlisle were only a Lancashire Combination Second Division outfit, they were much better supported than Southport and when they offered a £100 guarantee Central agreed to relinquish their home advantage. Carlisle also agreed to give them 50% of the gate receipts over 4500. Just as on the occasion seventy years later involving Newcastle United, many supporters complained bitterly about the switch but it proved a successful venture. On November 24th, 1906 a crowd of 4,550 saw the game and receipts totalled £122 – Southport’s share being £103.10s 0d- but, most important of all, Southport won the game 44-0. Over eighty supporters paid the 4s.9d. rail fare to Carlisle.
The Cup trail came to a close when Northampton Town from the Southern League won 2-1. The Southport team had left Lord Street station at 7.50am and endured a tedious five hour train journey. An unfortunate goalkeeping error after Gara had equalised cost Central any chance of a replay. A 5000 shilling fund was launched and the usual concerts and draws kept the season’s debt down to £70. At one concert at Southport’s Albert Hall shortly after the Carlisle United victory Fred Spink sang the Toreador’s song from Bizet’s Carmen He was greeted with a “furore of applause” and, commented the Southport Visiter, ‘he delivered it in a right rousing fashion too’. The side who finished ninth in the Combination included Billy Gate, a tricky outside-right from Blackburn Rovers who was just over 5 feet tall, and Tom Edmond, a versatile performer whose unconventional methods and agility earned him the tag of “India Rubber”
|3||Everton Liverpool II||38||24||5||9||90||47||53|
|6||Manchester United II||38||18||6||14||80||67||42|
|8||Bolton Wanderers II||38||17||7||14||66||52||41|
|12||Manchester City II||38||16||7||15||70||86||39|
|15||Preston North End II||38||15||3||20||81||86||33|
|17||Blackburn Rovers II||38||11||5||22||67||85||27|