Harry Sinclair Obituary

The following obituary first appeared in the Sandgrounder matchday programme early in 1984.

Harry Sinclair is dead and with his passing is broken the final link with the original Southport eleven which took the field against Durham City on that memorable day in 1921 when the Sandgrounders made their first appearance in the Football League.

Harry was not a regular first-teamer, though at full-back he did total 31 League appearances over the years 1921-24, he was always very much in the shadow of elder brother Tommy who, with his 320 appearances, was Southport’s regular right-half through the ‘twenties. But Harry was a true Sandgrounder (born High Park at the turn of the century) and continued to support the club long after many of the ‘regulars’ had drifted away. He attended the home games until, well into his seventies, ill-health kept him housebound.

His final public appearance—and what a memorable one it was—took place at the Bold Hotel in September 1981 when he was rightly féted as the oldest present of the 125 former players who attended the Centenary Reunion. Though by then quite infirm he was still as mentally alert as ever and enjoyed the evening to the full.

Indeed his mind and memory were still as clear just six weeks before his death when Michael Braham and I called to see him at the Nursing Home by Hesketh Park where he spent his last few years. He was still able to put names to faces for us on some recently acquired team photographs from the early ‘twenties, all the more remarkable since some more recent players cannot supply names of players they took the field with only a dozen or so years ago!

His health began to fail a week or two back but, with characteristic determination, he managed to keep going through Christmas, finally passing away on the morning of Thursday, December 29th. So 1983 saw the departures of both Harry Sinclair and former club secretary/manager Gordon Hunt, two men with a lifetime of memories of Haig Avenue.

Harry was a dear man, always ready for a chat either of reminscence of the old days or to discuss current topics in football or his other great love, cricket—he was well-informed on all that was going on. As for his mischievous sense of humour, it cannot be better exemplified than in a quotation of something he said at the end of one of our visits; a sad, crippled figure he appeared until, just as we were leaving, his eyes twinkled as he asked ‘Am I in the team for Saturday?” We’ll miss you, Harry.