APPLICATION TO THE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION.
LEAGUE MEDALS PRESENTED.
Formby Times – Saturday 30th May 1903
The receipt of the news in Southport on Monday that Central had only gained four votes out of a possible 33 in the election for the Second division, was the signal for general regret. lt had been confidently hoped, the promises given by the whole of the Lancashire clubs to vote for Central would be fulfilled. Who were the four representatives who voted is not known locally; but the gall of the situation is found in the fact that the club brought up the rearguard with the exception of Wilkington Athletic. Central, having been denied the opportunity of entering the Second League, have now applied for admission to the Combination, of which the adjourned annual meeting will place on Friday night. lt is confidently anticipated that there will not be the least difficulty in entering the Combination.
The club was represented in London on Monday by Councillor Trounson, Councillor Isaac Smith, and Mr. T.G.Shipley (secretary.) The task of placing the claims of the organisation for promotion were effectively voiced by Councillor Trounson. He said that be appeared before them to support application of the Southport Central football club; who were seeking admission into the Second Division, and he felt confident they would give due request their favourable consideration. The special reasons he would urge on behalf of the club were principally the suitability of the ground, which was one of the best adapted for football purposes in the kingdom. No matter what the weather was like the Southport ground was always playable, and there was only one case on record when the match had to be postponed owing to inclemency. They had a grandstand with seating accommodation for 2000 and about 20,000 more could view the game with comfort. Them was no outstanding debt in connection with the stand or ground. Ample bath accommodation would be provided for visiting teams. The population which they reckoned to draw in and about Southport was 80,000. The club had a very able committee, and what was already a good team was being so improved as to guarantee a stiff fight to all comers. The nearest clubs of note were Preston North End and Liverpool, at a distance of twenty miles. They had a most orderly lot of spectators, made up all classes. Ministers of religion were frequently seen on the ground enjoying the game, and visiting teams invariably got a good reception. The town was easy of access from all parts of the country; the fares from towns forming the Division were not such as would tax the finances of visiting clubs unduly. Southport was beyond dispute one of the most beautiful towns in England, and was the source of pleasure to all who visited its salubrious climate, and served the good purpose of reinvigorating visiting teams, and sending them beck like lions refreshed. Personally, he thought the Southport club deserved to have the request granted. It had a good record, having been in existence for 15 years. It took an active part in forming the Lancashire League, and had always held a prominent position therein. It had been next to the top on more than one occasion, and only robbed of the championship by goal average. It finished up the past season by placing at the top; also winning the Rawcliffe Charity Cup; defeating the Rest of the League, and winning games from such teams as Bristol City and Everton, thereby showing themselves fit for better company. He considered Southport’s strongest claim, and one that would appeal to them as sportsmen, representing of the greatest of English sports, was, he took it, the object of those different grades of division to create and stimulate the laudable ambition of excelling in the art of science of football and to give all clubs an opportunity of mounting the ladder of fame and securing the highest honour in the football world, which was championship of the English League. It was only through their Division this maid could be accomplished, and their granting Centrals request would show that efforts nobly and pluckily made would ensure honourable recognition at their hands. As Deputy-Mayor of the town of Southport, he asked them in the name of its chief magistrate and people to grant the application.
Deputy Mayor on the Result
On Tuesday, at Hayes’ Restaurant, Southport, the medals won by Southport Central Football team, as champions of the Lancashire League, were presented by the Deputy-Mayor (Councillor E. Trounson). A very enjoyable dinner was held first to which about 30 sat down. Among those present were; W. Robinson (chairman of the club), Councillor Isaac Smith (vice-chairman), C. Highton (treasurer), T. G. Shipley (secretary), R. Highton, S. A. Saxon. F. Leach, T. Lord, W. Bibby, W. Blundell, R. Marshall, C. Myers, T. F. Shell, J. Gregson, W. R. Griffin, F. Dunkerley (members of the executive and commitee); the following members of the team, F. Spink (captain), J. Garvey. J. Nightingale, J. Sinclair, Tom Smith, F. Bell, F. Chorlton, J. Atherton, J. G. Chorlton, J. Shadbolt, J. Hulligan, F. B. Cooper, A. Kelly, J.R.Lang; and S. Rigby (trainer). The Chorley Charity Cup and the Lancashire League Cup were placed on the tables, and were greatly admired.
After dinner Mr. Robinson said the past year had been one of the most successful in the history of the club, as they had won the Chorley Charity Cup and the championship of the Lancashire League. Financially, also, the past year had been one of the best that they had bad. They had been trying to get a step higher, but they had not succeeded, and they were practically where they were last year. At the same time he must say their players were the finest set in the League, and could hold their own against any club in the League. The team were a credit to the club and the town.
DEPUTY MAYOR AND THE SECOND LEAGUE
Councillor Trounson, before presenting the medals, said they would have in their minds what happened on Monday. It was very fresh in the minds of some of those who happened to be in London on the mission which they asked to undertake. He certainly was disappointed to a degree, but the disappointment was anticipated some time to entering the room by hearing certain statements made by representatives of different dubs throughout the country. The one personal regret that he had was that they did not send someone to plead their cause in a more able and efficient manner than he (“No.”) But he could say that whoever had gone in his place would not have gone with greater sympathy with the Central than he had (Hear, Hear.) He did not want to jeopardise the interests of the club in any future application they might make for admission into the Second League, but he would say that he thought those gentlemen who were responsible on Monday had created a dangerous precedent in admitting the Bradford club, which had not, in fact, become a club yet. He was sorry to learn that the question of finance superceded that of talent. There was not the slightest doubt that one of the features in connection with Bradford’s application was the enormous financial backing that they bed. It was a dangerous precedent, because he did not see very well how they were in future to refuse either Southport Central or any other club that can show a similar backing of finance, and that the Bradford club had done. He was quite aware that they would be well situated, but he said that they had not the same claims for the consideration of the committee that the Central had. (Hear, hear!) They had proved that they had merited promotion. The cups and medals were testimony to the efficiency and the standing of the Central.
MERIT BEFORE ALL
If he could have his way he would have all divisions of football so created and arranged that meruit should be the absolute quality that should be recognised in preference to any other qualification. (Hear, hear). He would have them worked on the same conditions as the Premier League, that was, that the bottom clubs should be relegated to the next inferior League, and not be entitled to re-election; and the top club in the inferior League should take the place of those that were displaced. That would removed every possibility of any committee or anyone else preventing merit being recognised. That was the trus spirit of sport, and he thought it was possible. So that when a team had gone through 15 years, good and bad, like Southport Central had done – and he was glad to say that they had more good than bad – and they proved their worth and respectability, and no exception could be taken to their personel, that nthey should secure the honourable position to which they are entitled. Ha felt that they had not received that recognition, and therein lay the disappointment. He was only speaking as a layman, but he was interested in sport. He thanked the four gentlemen who voted for Central on leaving the room on Monday, and he said then that hoped in future years that the Scriptures would be fulfilled, that the last would be the first. (Hear, hear.) He had been very much surprised since his return at the great amount of interest that was taken by Southport people in the application. They starting out in preparation for another season. He congratulated the club on its achievements during the past season. He had never seen a team play in a more gentlemenly fashion. With regard to the committee, as a public man he took that opportunity of saying that Southport owed a debt of gratitude to them for supplying the town with a team which was always interesting to watch. Last year the team had given general satisfaction throughout the town and district. He wished them so much success in the future as they had had in the past, and he hoped they would be successful in their next application. He also hoped that the drag which was now put upon merit would very soon be removed (Hear, hear.) He then presented to the players. All those above-mentioned received medals, but R.Tasker, who should also have been a recipient, was not present.
Councillor Isaac Smith proposed a vote of thanks to the Deputy-Mayor. He had had the interests of the club at heart for a good many years, and when he had the opportunity he had not failed to use it in the best interests of the club. They did not fail to get into the Second League became they had not put forward every effort to achieve that end. He had never personally been favourable to the idea, but he would tell them that what the majority of the committee decided, he, as a member, went with them. When the committee decided to apply for admission to the Second League he would not say that he would have nothing more to do with them. Instead, he said that he would do all be could, and if they did not get in it would not be his fault. He did not want to say anything hard, but be admitted that he was not disappointed when they were not successful in their application. But after the definite promises that they bad received from certain parties, he was disappointed that they only got four votes (Hear, hear.) Although the voting was by ballot, if he was a sporting man he would dare bet his bottom dollar that he could spot three of the voters, and two of those three were not Lancashire clubs. He would do his best that Central should lose no caste in the football world. He believed the committee would get together a team that would be no worse than last year. In any application that the club might make for admission to the Second League he hoped they would so act that it would be a moral impossibility for merit to be Ignored. In conclusion, he hoped that the club’s future would be as bright as in the past.
Mr. Shell seconded.
Mr. Griffin supported, and said be was sorry that the Deputy-Mayor had not gained success by the efforts he put forward. The representative of the Southport club was head and shoulders above the others, but the result was an eye-opener to those who were there. Councillor Trounson made a most impassioned speech, and how he came to get it into three minutes he did not know. From the number of those who promised support to Southport he thought their votes would have gone into two figures. But they were not disheartened at the result.
The vote was unanimously carried.
In replying. Councillor Trounson said be hoped that the team’s reputation next season would be more superior to what it was last season, so that they would place themselves in a good position when they next applied for admission to the Second League. He would do all be could to help the club, provided that, he had the time and opportunity.
Mr. Spink returned thanks, on behalf of the players, for the medals.
Mr. Shipley said he did his best on behalf of the club, but he was disappointed at the result of the voting after the promises they received.
Councillor Smith said he was glad that the team had won the championship, because Tom Smith had at last got the meal for which he had been waiting. (Applause)
The remainder of the meeting was spent in harmony, . .
DESCRIPTION OF THE MEDALS
In all, sixteen medals were presented to the following members of last season’s Central team:- Garvey, Spink, Smith, Nightingale, F.Chorlton, Tasker, Sinclair, G.Chorlton, Atherton, Shadbolt, Hulligan, Lang, Cooper, and Kelly, together with Sam Rigby, the popular trainer. The medals are very handsome, the front is enamelled in a pretty design, and on the reverse side is engraved the name of the player.
It may also be mentioned that Gilbert Chorlton (outside right) was signed last evening for Central.