Nowadays we take it for granted that the sports sections of newspapers and magazines will have photographs on virtually every page but it wasn’t always like this. Before photographs were an options illustrations were popular as shown in the examples below.
The Southport v Stockport illustration appeared in The Lancashire Daily Post and shows the Central League game played on the 6th of December 1920 at Ash Lane (now known as Haig Avenue) which Southport won 6-0.
The second illustration, which appeared in the Lancashire Evening Post, is from the Central League game played on the 12th of March 1921 which finished Southport 2 Port Vale Reserves 0. This game came shortly after the news that Southport had been admitted to the Football League for the following season which might explain the Directors wearing top hats and smoking cigars!
Finally, from the 1921/22 season (Southport’s first season in the Football League) comes the illustration below relating to the FA Cup 6th qualifying round game against Coventry City played on the 17th of December 1921. This was Southport’s second game in the competition following a 3-0 win over Altrincham and a 1-0 win over Coventry saw Southport travel to Division One (now the Premier League) side Blackburn where a very creditable 1-1 draw was achieved. The replay at Haig Avenue in front of a crowd of 12,448 saw Southport bow out of the competition 2-0. Incidentally, Coventry were known as the bantams until the Jimmy Hill era when the nickname was changed to the sky blues.