Richard Hatch

Succeeded Thomas Burnett as secretary of Southport Football Club in 1884/85 season.

Died: January 1930

Using the Cemetery Map.
Section 3

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GPS: 53.634770,-2.999613

Audio Notes:

Guide Notes:

The reason for this is that he was a member of the Southport Athletic Society and in the summer of 1884 the Football Club merged with the Athletic Society.

The Athletic Society could trace its origins back even further than the rugby club but led a fairly nomadic existence during its first decade moving from the Palace hotel ground in Weld Road in Birkdale where the first festival was held in 1870 to Manchester Road as neighbours to the Cricket clubs and then to here, a recreation ground off Cemetery Road in 1874.

The Athletic Society went on to play a very significant role in the formation of the Amateur Athletics Association and in 1885 Southport hosted the British Athletics Championships at their new home the Sports Ground on Sussex Road which had been built in 1882.

The Sussex Road ground was 8 acres in size with a ¼ mile cinder path around the pitch, and an open grandstand along the length of the running track which was 95 yards long. It cost £500, which was a considerable sum back then and seated 2,000 people. The festival was always really popular, and in 1884 attracted over 5,000 people taking £215 through the pay-gates.

As part of the merger between the football club and the athletic society Burnett joined the committee and Richard Hatch took on the football.

Richard Hatch was the oldest son of Alderman Hatch and a prominent Freemason. He married Sunday School teacher Annie Dewhurst in 1891, daughter of Mr Cornelius Dewhurst, the butcher, and owner of the Manor Farm on Southbank Road.

The tie up with the Athletic Society however was far from successful from a finance perspective. On the field the football club were still the best one in town, winning the Southport charity cup after it was formed in 1885 and 1886. Off the field, it was a bit of a disaster zone.

What we haven’t said explicitly so far is that the original club that started in 1881 the same one that Platt, Rylance, Connell and Burnett were all part of died in 1886. One of the last games played by the club was winning the charity cup final against Southport Wanderers. I have a medal from that Final. It was Southport Wanderers, the club that had sprag up out of Reginald slacks Southport Olympic who picked up where they had left off as arguably the most dominant local association club. They renamed themselves to Southport Football Club in September and moved back to Scarisbrick New Road. This could be seen as Southport Football Club Number Four. This club lasted until the summer of 1888, when a brand-new club was formed called Southport Central. So to tell the Central story we’re going to take another stop on our little tour.

Next: Dan Ashton