With players attending representing every decade since the 1950s, we even had a special message from the new Chief Executive of the Professional Football Association, Maheta Molango, to add to what was a very special night for the club on it’s 140th Birthday weekend.
We’re very grateful to Dave Barron at Barron Financial Solutions for their generous donation which enabled the evening to go ahead.
During the day, representatives from the Former Players Association set up a memorabilia display in the Fan Zone at Haig Avenue where items including Archie Waterston’s original player contracts, and winners medals from the 2004/05 and 2009/10 season’s were on display, alongside a large number of programmes which were available for supporters to take away, donations being collected towards the work of the FPA.
Liam Watson’s current squad then set the tone for the day with a fabulous 4-1 win in front of a number of Former Players who had chosen to make a day of it, some of whom who spent the day in the Fan Zone chatting with supporters. We hope to be able to use the Fan Zone for such displays and activities much more in the future.
The evening began with a poignant tribute by Michael Braham to club statistician Geoff Wilde who sadly passed away in February 2020. Without Geoff’s dedication and hard work over many years, events such as this, starting with the first player reunion in 1981, would never have taken place.
The inductions were kicked off with non-league Club statistician Rob Urwin leading the tributes to Steve Dickinson. Although Dicko was unable to attend in person having unfortunately contracted Covid-19 during the past week, we will be inviting him down to a game at Haig Avenue in the very near future in order to present him with his well earned trophy on the pitch at half-time.
Michael Braham then led tributes to our second inductee James ‘Jimmy’ Fay, whose role in the foundation of the Professional Footballers Association was then confirmed by PFA Chief Exec Maheta Molango.
Dan Hayes introduced our third Inductee, two time supporters Player of the Year Paul Evans, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame by former team mate and current manager of Northwich Victoria Steve Wilkes. Cheered on by a number of his former team mates in the room, as the first of our inductees attending in person Paul then spoke of the affection he still holds for the club today, with FPA committee member and Chairman of the SouthportFC Community Team section Noel Warham.
The induction of one of the club’s longest servants Billy Semple followed with Mike Braham leading the tributes and the award being collected on behalf of the Semple family by Director Steve Porter.
Colin Alty’s induction into the Hall of Fame was one of the most warmly received of the evening. As a member of Billy Bingham’s legendary 1960’s side, tributes were led by Vice President and long time friend Keith Mitchell before Colin himself spoke with Noel about “that” goal against Ipswich.
Dan Hayes led the induction for our sixth inductee, Southport’s Olympic hero, George Bromilow. George was represented on the evening by son Craig, and Grandson Harry. Both Craig and Harry keep George’s links with the club alive through dedicated volunteer work and participation in the Club’s Community Teams each weekend.
After a short break, Archie Waterston’s induction followed with Mike Braham recounting Archie’s journey from his signing from a newspaper Situations Vacant column, to his record breaking goalscoring season. Although we had been unable to trace any of Archie’s family for the event, despite our best effort, it is hoped we can reunite them with this award in the near future.
Club Director Steve Porter led the tributes to an emotional Northern Premier League title winning captain Kevin Mooney. Kevin was inducted by Mark Brennan and supported by his wife with Noel once again leading the Q&A.
When Eric Jones is in town, you know you’re always going to be in for a treat, and he didn’t disappoint when he inducted goalscoring legend Reg Blore, following a fitting introduction and tribute from Mike Braham.
Our final induction of the evening was 2009/10 title winner Kevin Lee with his induction being made by Liam Watson.
Congratulations to all 10 of this year’s inductees, and we look forward to being able to hold more Hall of Fame events in the future.