Southport Central Football Club Annual Meeting on Wednesday July 5th 1905, as reported by the local press:
“The annual meeting of members of the Southport Central PC was held on Wednesday evening at the Temperance Institute. Sir Geo, Pilkington presided and there were also present Messrs W. Robinson (chairman of the club), F. Leach, J. Gregson, T’. G. Shipley (secretary), 11 A. Gardner, W. H. Griffin, 1.. Nutter; S. Ellidge, C. Myers, C. Highton, R. Marshall, W. Blundell, S. Gregson, J. Garside, J. H. Ball, W. Eckersley, W. Halsall, S. Pane, Bibby, H. A. Watchorn, A. Pugh, J. Lockett, .1. Ball, C. Halsall, W. Craig, J. Wilkinson, H. Buckley, 1′. E. Shell, E. Collinge, J. Southworth, ‘1’. Lord, M. Rimmer, J. Edgar and others.
Mr Robinson moved the adoption of the report and balance-sheet. He remarked that he had now done that for many years, and he thought the time had come when a younger member of the club should take the place which he had held for many years. The past season had been one of the most successful, if not the best, they had ever had. They had got into the First Division and proved his prediction that a good team would pay for itself: Members subscriptions had amounted to £43 more than last year, and the stand receipts amounted to £143 more. They had drawn more money this season than they had ever drawn before. Their expenses had been greater. Last year they had most of their players to pay during the close season, which ran away with a lot of their money. Not only had they drawn more money, but they had spent more. But a good team would draw more money, and people would come and watch good football in Southport. They started with a balance last season of about £37, and this season, but for the new ground, they should have finished up with a balance of about £138. They had spent on their new ground £136 19s. 10d., so they should have finished with over £100 in hand. With regard to the team for the coming season, it did not seem to be quite so good on paper, but the team they had got together would, he thought, prove to be as good if not better than last years. They had got what they thought was a very good man in goal, and the same with the two backs. Then almost certainly they would have Turner as centre-half. They know that if he played as he did at the commencement of the last season he would be bad to beat. They had a man from Blackpool, named Jolley, and Wareing. Jolley was a very good back as well as half. For centre forward they had their old friend Smith, who had proved to be one of the best men they had ever had, and they had Lawson of the old players, and of the new men they had Birch from Darwen as outside-right, and McGuigan as inside-right, which would prove to be one of the best wings they had ever had. They also had another man from Blackpool , Waddington. He (Mr Robinson) had often pleaded for subscriptions and better support, especially from townspeople and shopkeepers, for the reason that the football club did more good to Southport than all the other societies put together in the town. They should be advertised next year in 19 towns, and they attracted hundreds of visitors. They had had great difficulty in getting a new ground. An attempt had been made to drive them to the Sports Ground, but the committee thought that was not suitable. Sir George Pilkington tried to do all he could for the club, and worked very hard in trying to meet them so far as the rent was concerned, but at last it stood in their way, and they decided to have a ground “on their own.” When finished, the ground would be one of the fmest in Lancashire. The committee had worked well together for the benefit of the club, and live out of the seven were guarantors at the bank. He might mention also that Mr Gregson and Mr Rimmer and himself were responsible for the ground. They were getting a bit short of funds, and were about £18 to the bad, and they should require about another £20 to square up their ground. Mr C. Halsall seconded the motion.
Balance Sheet Criticised
Mr Watchorn thought items of cup ties and transfer fees ought to be separate. Instead of an overdraft at the bank they really had a balance 0f £118 163. 7d on the season’s working. He thought it would have been better if the committee had opened a special account for the ground expenses and shown an income for that, and the public could then have seen how the money was being spent. There could also have been a profit and loss account, which would have shown everything perfectly plain. As to five of the committee being guarantors at the bank, he thought that any gentlemen who were elected should be willing to guarantee £10 each. Proceeding, he said he did not think that it was fair that the second team should be ignored as it had been The majority of the matches were unattended by committee men, who only got second-hand reports of the players performances. They ought to have a stronger second team, and more use might be made of it as a nucleus of income for the club.
The resolution was then carried.
Thanks To The President
Mr W. Robinson moved a vote of thanks to Sir George Pilkington for his occupancy of the presidential chair during the past year, and also moved that he be re-elected for the coming year. Sir George had proved a good friend to the club. He had talked of resigning this year, but the committee would not hear of it and said that it would be like turning out a ship without a captain.
Mr W. H. Griffin seconded, and the resolution was carried unanimously.
“Lead” Not “Drive”
Sir George said that he was much obliged for this further mark of confidence and appreciation of his past services. He could not help thinking that it was about time they got a younger and a better man to fill the position, but as the members of the committee said he had been so long associated with the club that they did not like to see his name removed from the top of the club paper he was willing to continue in office. (Applause. ) He had not been as much in touch with the club as he might have been, but he had a great multiplicity of engagements, and was already president of 12 or 15 clubs in the town besides having numerous other duties. He had watched the club with profound interest, and he was pleased to be associated with a club that had very properly placed itself in the front rank of football clubs, and undoubtedly held the lead of sporting clubs in the town. The Chairman had spoken of the difficulty of obtaining a new site, and said that attempts had been made to drive them on to the Athletic Society’s ground, but he (Sir George), as president of the Athletic Society, thought the word ought to be changed to “lead.” (Hear, hear.) He might say that he had earnestly hoped that the negotiations would have resulted in the two societies holding their sports on the same ground: indeed he would like to see all the leading athletic contests of the town centred on one ground. He pointed out that it was quite impossible for the Athletic Society to part with their ground, because the committee only represented a large number of guarantors who found money and had lost a very considerable amount in the interests of the old society, and they could not give up possession of the ground as long as those guarantors were not paid off. He congratulated them on having obtained a good ground and on having erected a very fine stand. The new ground had cost a considerable amount of money, and but for that their balance-sheet would have presented a very different aspect, but he hoped their tenancy would be a record of years of prosperity and success, even greater than any they had achieved in the past. He alluded to the absence of Councillor Isaac Smith, a man who had stood by the club through good and evil times. He would be missed by the club as well as in the Town Council. He hoped that Councillor Smith, in his new sphere, would find as many good, honest, and admiring friends as he had in Southport. Proceeding, Sir George said he noticed in looking through the names of the team that there were men from Accrington, Darwen, Brynn, Middlesbro’, Liverpool, Blackpool, Chorley and Oldham. He did not see any Southport names. He knew that they must have good men if they wanted support, but he did hope they would try to do something for the promising youngsters of Southport. (Applause. ) There were many football clubs in Southport. Lads came to him constantly to see if he would give them a shilling to start a football club. (Laughter.) Their name seemed, in fact, to be legion. A number of the clubs were going strongly, and he hoped the committee would make it a part of their duty to watch the lads to see if they could not get hold of promising Southport amateurs and train them for the first team. (Applause. ) They wanted Southport to be to the fore, and he would like to see the team composed solely of Southport men. If they then headed a League he would feel prouder of them than if they had won the English Cup with a team of players from outside the town. He wished them all success and prosperity, and hoped the expenditure they had incurred would be justified by next year’s working results (Applause. )
Election Of Officers
Mr James Halsall proposed that Mr W. Robinson be re-elected as chairman of the club for the ensuing year. He had held the position manfully for the past five years. Mr C. Myers seconded and the resolution was passed.
The committee were elected as follow:Messrs. F. Dunkerley, J. Gregson, W. H. Griffin, F. Leach, H. Rimmer and G. Forshaw.
On the motion of Mr Gregson, seconded by Mr Leach, the hon. Auditor, Mr W. Platt, was re-elected for the ensuing year, and a vote of thanks went to him and to the hon. Surgeon, Dr W. Hall, for their past services.
It was moved by Mr W. Blundell and seconded by Mr Highton, that the committee should consist of twelve members instead of six.
Mr Collinge said he would like to see twelve members elected in addition to the six who formed the committee last year.
The proposition was defeated, and the following committee elected: Messrs. J. Gregson, F. Leach, H. Rymer, W. H. Griflin, F. Dunkerley, and W. Forshaw. The only other name before the meeting was that of Mr S. Atkinson, who was a member of the committee last year. His place is taken by Mr Forshaw: otherwise the committee is the same.
To The Helpers
Mr Griffin moved a vote of thanks to all the helpers who had volunteered to do work on the old and new ground. The club were much indebted to them for their services.
Mr Gregson seconded and the resolution was carried.
Sir George said that this was new to him, but it was a very pleasant phase of club life. He was glad to see so many willing to give their services and while they did that he had no fear for the future prosperity of the club (Applause. )
Mr J. Edgar moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman for presiding. He referred to the Interest which Sir George Pilkington took in the club.
Mr Watchorn seconded and it was carried.
Sir George Pilkington, in reply, said it was not only his duty but a great pleasure to be amongst them that night. If he had been in any way a help to them he had been more than amply repaid. (Applause.)
It was afterwards announced that Sir George had given £10 towards the expenses of the new ground.”