Player Profile: Alf Barratt

A steady if unspectacular type of player, he rates among the best pivot and captains Southport had during their League history, being the epitome of the quiet and thoughtful defender. A former Royal Marine Commando involved in the D-Day Landings in Normandy, he attracted the attention of League scouts while with Stewart & Lloyds works team in Corby and Leicester signed him; but he got few opportunities at Filbert Street, making just 4 appearances in 4 seasons. Signed by Bill Shankly at Grimsby Town,all his 24 League games were at wing-half. He joined Southport along with Wally Taylor and was the regular first team centre-half and sheet anchor in the defence that conceded the fewest goals in the Football League in 1954—55. He was a model of consistency and reversed his Leicester form in that he only missed 4 League games in his first 4 seasons and had a spell of 74 consecutive League appearances. His ankle was injured in a Lancashire Senior Cup-tie v. Blackburn Rovers on 18 October 1955 and he lost his place to Wally Taylor. At the end of the season quietly slipped out of football and resumed his work as a bricklayer in Leicester where he and his family still live.