In July of 1961, Southport manager Lem Newcomb signed the twenty year old Everton reserve defender Arthur Peat.
With the right-half berth still firmly in the possession of club captain Jack Hannaway, Arthur started in the reserves and in only his second game had his leg broken just above the ankle at New Brighton.
The fighting spirit for which he was to become renowned saw him back playing again before Christmas and making his League debut, at outside-right, in a game at Colchester United on February 10th. That was to be the first of 401 Football League appearances for the Sandgrounders, a record never to be surpassed.
In due course he went on to be an inspiring club captain and even, halfway through the troubled season of 1969-70, player-manager, as the Port battled – unsuccessfully as it turned out – to avoid the drop back to Division IV. He commanded tremendous respect from his players during this spell and brought the best out of all of them.
Replaced as manager by firstly Alex Parker and then Jimmy Meadows he loyally stayed on for two more seasons, though the arrival of John McPhee as captain and right-half dislodged him from his familiar position. Much to his chagrin he was released in the summer of 1972 and so just missed out on Southports one and only (to date) Football League Championship in 1972-73. What a fitting climax that would have been to a wonderful career at Haig Avenue .
Nobody has given such unwavering, wholehearted service at such a level of ability over so many years. It has been a privilege to view many of his fine performances, revel in his achievements for the club and admire his dedication. Not all clubs have had an Arthur Peat. Just for once, Southport have been lucky.
(Wilde & Braham)
In remembrance, Arthur Peat will be inducted into the Southport FC Hall of Fame on 16th November 2019.