We have only recently learned of the death of Ian Warburton at the age of 68 who was Southport’s reserve centre-forward in 1974/75.
Born in Haslingden, Ian started with Haslingden St James in the Blackburn Combination as a sixteen year old while serving his time as a draughtsman. He moved to West Lancashire League side Haslingden and scored a hat-trick on his debut on 16th October 1971 and won a President’s Cup winners medal in 1972.
Invited for trials by Bury he burst onto the scene by scoring a hat-trick on his Central League debut at Huddersfield. After scoring six goals in six Central League appearances he made his first team bow for the Shakers against Bradford City at Gigg Lane on 24th October 1972.Although he was retained for the following season his only first team appearance was a League Cup tie against Oldham Athletic on 28th August 1973.
Ian, a tall fair haired centre-forward, joined Southport in July 1974 and made a scoring debut against Chester on 11th October 1974 but his first team opportunities were limited and he made just five Fourth Division League and two substitute appearances. His last full game was the FA Cup tie at his old Club, Bury.
Ian played for a number of non- League clubs in East Lancashire including Accrington Stanley for whom he won a Cheshire County League Second Division medal in 1980-81. Until his retirement in 2017 Ian was employed as a design engineer for various companies. He leaves a widow Ann, children Mark and Lauren and three grandchildren to whom we send our condolences.