The 53 years that Charles Gordon Hunt was associated with Southport Football Club began when he was recruited straight from school as a junior clerk by Edwin Clayton in 1923. At that time the club administration was carried out in premises in London Street; only later was accommodation provided at the Haig Avenue ground. He was appointed Assistant Secretary to Bert Pelham in July 1931 and succeeded Jimmy Commins to become the youngest Secretary in the Football League in May 1936.
He then held the post of Secretary-Manager from 1937 to 1958, excluding only the period from 194o to 1945 when he served in the R.A.F. From 1958 until his retirement in 1976 he was regarded as one of the most respected and knowledgeable Secretaries in the game. It is arguably no coincidence that within two years of his retirement Southport had ceased to be members of the Football League.
A loyal and dedicated servant, he could have gone to Queen’s Park Rangers in the early 1930s but preferred to remain at Southport. The tight control he constantly exerted over the club’s meagre finances was in itself a major contributory factor to Southport’s continued existence. Stories of his economies are legion: not simply to conserve electricity would he forgo switching on his office light, his parsimony would mislead visiting creditors into believing there was nobody inside to harangue! Players of all ages bear testimony to the way he would announce their retention for the following season, but on reduced terms. The lucky ones might, after lengthy bargaining, get him to concede their reinstatement to the previous season’s wage level and would emerge triumphant from his office, convinced they had achieved a substantial victory!
Shy and unassuming, Gordon Hunt remained a bachelor, a Haig Avenue resident and a Southport fan right up to his death on August 29th, 1983. This came as the result of a heart attack suffered at the wheel of his car; fortunately no other person was injured in the accident.
Profile reproduced with Permission from:
The Sandgrounders: The Complete League History of Southport F. C., by Michael Braham and Geoff Wilde (Palatine Books, 1995). ISBN 978-1-874181-14-9