Manchester Road/Roe Lane

Southport Football Club’s first ground is recorded as being a large field next to the Alexandra Cricket Club in Manchester Road. It probably should be more accurately recorded as Roe Lane, as the only cricket ground in the vicinity was bounded by houses fronting Hartwood Road to the south west with the pavilion accessed via a track off Roe Lane, which extended then as now beyond Manchester Road towards Churchtown.

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland. OS 1894

The map also shows a tennis ground with pavilion, and a couple of fields adjoining either/both of which could have been the ‘large field’ referred to. At this time the ground was on the edge of the built-up area of the town.

The club’s 1879/80 ‘List of Matches’ records the ground as Roe Lane.

It is now covered by housing on Melling Road, Irton Road and Grange Avenue and there is no sign of the existence of any cricket, rugby, tennis or other sport having been played here, although the location can still be determined by Roe Lane and Hartwood Road. A well known large house adjoining, The Grange, which features on both maps has also been demolished and built over, but the railway bridge carrying Roe Lane over the Southport & Preston railway remains, although the line disappeared in the 1960s. However, one clue to the origins of land is the vicarage for Holy Trinity church which fronts Roe Lane where the sports field was. It appears to have been built at the same time as the houses on Melling and Irton Roads possibly as part as the deal when the land was sold for development.

All Grounds : Scarisbrick New Road