Book Review: The Town’s Game

Until a few years ago, I’d always assumed that Southport FC was founded in 1881, probably when a handful of keen footballers had got together over a few pints at a local pub. Then I read Geoff Wilde and Michael Braham’s history of the club, and a seed was planted in my mind, that the origins of the club were slightly more complex and I queried whether even 1881 was the correct date of foundation.

Now I have all my queries answered.

In this book, through a collection of newspaper articles, maps, fixture lists, teamsheets, results, and even mini-biographies of the major participants, we learn how the current Southport FC, and the current Southport RUFC, emerged from a collection of brief start-up clubs, amalgamations, mergers, name changes, ground moves and some dissolutions, throughout the 1870s and 1880s to form the two clubs we have today.

For those people raised on Sky Sports News, who like a quick soundbite, then there is a chapter (Lineage and Formation Dates) near the end where Dan neatly summarises the whole evolution of the two codes in half a dozen pages. But if like me, you prefer to wallow in detail and actual facts, to uncover the truth and history of what really happened, and have the proof presented to you, then this book will keep you happy and amused for hours.I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of the game in Southport.

Make yourself a brew, open a packet of your favourite biscuits, and enjoy the journey …………

Nick Catterall (usually to be found holding a burger, and looking forlorn on the Brick End)