The Southport F.C. Former Players Association extend our deepest sympathy to Steve Porter and his family on the passing of his father Joe, aged 84.
A High Park lad, Joe had many games with Southport “A” beginning in 1952-53 where he showed much promise and also played for Preston North End and Blackburn Rovers. He graduated into the Reserve team in 1955-56, making nearly twenty Lancashire Combination appearances, chiefly at inside-forward, before going into the Forces .
On being demobbed Joe played in the first Lancashire Combination game that I saw back in September 1958 and impressed at right-half. Many good judges felt that he should have been given a chance in the League team with regular right-half and skipper, Tommy Kinloch switching to inside-right but it was not to be. Subsequently Joe was moved to inside- right and March 1959 scored a brace against Chorley. All told Joe made twenty six Lancashire Combination appearances in 1958-59 scoring 6 goals. Only goalkeeper Jimmy Wood played more games for the Reserves that season.
In 1959-60 Joe was one of Ray Minshull’s many ex Southport signings at newly formed Wigan Rovers and playing centre-forward he scored twice in their very first Cheshire County League match – a 4-1 win over Congleton watched by 5,174 spectators. Joe later returned to Haig Avenue on a number of occasions playing with Skelmersdale United in the Lancashire Combination.
The Porter family’s connection with Southport F.C. goes back a long time. Joe’s father was on Southport’s books in 1928-29 season and grandson Dean has also turned out for Southport in the Football Conference. Joe’s son Steve has been a long time Director at Haig Avenue.
We send our sincere condolences to Joe’s wife Beryl, to sons Steve and Graham and to the rest of the family at this sad time.