The online British Newspaper Archive has proved to be a good resource for finding information on Southport F.C. and that’s where these four photographs were found.
The first photograph (below) was taken on August 1st 1939, three weeks before the start of the 1939/40 season.
Although storm clouds were gathering over Europe the players are seen preparing for life in Division Three (North), but it was a season cut short through terrible circumstances. Only three games were played, a defeat away to Darlington, a home draw with Tranmere and finally, on September the 2nd 1939, a home draw with Hull. The day after the Hull game, Sunday September the 3rd 1939, is a day that will live forever in the history books as Neville Chamberlain brought the news that Britain was at war with Germany. All competitive football was immediately suspended until, following a meeting of the Football League on the 20th of September 1939, it was agreed with the Home Office that regionalised Leagues could be formed. Southport’s next League game would be against Oldham in the newly formed Northern Wartime League.
The photographs below are rare photographs of the Reserves in a game played on October the 1st 1910 at The Giant Axe, Lancaster in the West Lancashire League. Southport Reserves started well and at half-time led 2-0 thanks to goals from Ainscough and W. Rimmer but a second-half fightback from Lancaster saw them draw level thanks to two penalties, Dixon scoring from both and the final score was 2-2. The photograph on the right shows the Southport goalkeeper Hurst dealing with a shot from Livesey of Lancaster.
At the end of the season Longridge were champions, Fleetwood were second and Leyland third. Southport Central Reserves finished sixth, one place below Southport Park Villa and one place above Horwich R.M.I. Morecambe finished second from bottom but as their official history shows they were only formed in 1920 this must have been a fore-runner to the current club.
The photographs above are from the Central League game between Burslem Port Vale (now known as Port Vale) and Southport Central played here at Haig Avenue on the 10th of February 1912. It was top versus bottom, Port Vale, seen here in the stripes, coming here as league leaders whilst Southport were at the foot of the table although they had beaten Port Vale on their own ground earlier in the season. This game finished 1-0 to Port Vale and they went on to finish the season as runners-up to Lincoln whilst Southport lifted themselves off the bottom, finishing one point above wooden-spoonists Stockport County at the end of the season.
The player lying flat out in the photograph on the right is Eddie Mosscrop, one of the first people to be inducted into the Southport F.C. Hall of Fame. Approximately five months after this photograph was taken he was snapped up by Football League Division One side Burnley and within two years had earned two England caps and won an FA Cup winners medal when Burnley beat Liverpool in the 1914 FA Cup Final. Following the end of the War, Eddie returned to Burnley and in 1920/21 made14 appearances in their title winning side, the first time Burnley had ever been champions of England.
The final photographs (below) are the oldest match photographs involving Southport I’ve seen and are from a Lancashire Combination Division 1 game at Turf Moor between Burnley Reserves and Southport Central on the 10th of October 1908. Played in front of 3,000 spectators the game finished 0-0 and on reading the match report it seems there were few incidents of note. When the season finished Everton Reserves were champions, Liverpool Reserves were runners-up, Burnley Reserves finished fifth and Southport finished fourteenth out of twenty teams, with Workington one place above them and Preston North End Reserves one place below.