The Rimmers

The following article was published in the match day programme during the 1986/87 season. It was written by Michael Braham. 

“The name Rimmer is synonymous with Southport yet it is almost thirty years since Southport Football Club last had a player of that name appearing in their first team. Gary Rimmer made a considerable contribution in Southport’s FA Cup second round replay win Over Emley after coming on as substitute and is the first “Rimmer” to appear for Southport Football Club since 1957/8 season when Ray Rimmer appeared three times in Southport’s Third Division North side. Ray Rimmer was one of the youngest players ever to represent Southport in the Football League making his debut against Rochdale on 24th September 1955 when he had only just turned 17. Another local player to appear for Southport during the 1950’s was Gilbert Henry Rimmer. Gil, a product of Leyland Road, in High Park made two league appearances in 1955/6 season after unexpectedly getting his chance to make his league debut at outside right when Bill Holmes had a pulled muscle. That game was against Tranmere on 27th September, 1955. In all he appeared in 8 different positions in the Reserve team including goal. 

The best known “Rimmer” to appear for Southport was almost certainly Ellis Rimmer who turned out once for Southport as a war time guest on the 8th March, 1941 against Everton who won 5-0. As a schoolboy he played with Dixie Dean at Birkenhead and later was with Tranmere Rovers before joining Sheffield Wednesday in 1928 to whom he gave eleven years outstanding service, playing for England on four occasions and winning the League Championship Medal and FA Cup winners’ Medal. In the 1934/5 season he scored 18 goals for Wednesday scoring in every round of the FA Cup. 

Another war time “Rimmer” was a 19 year old local amateur Richard Rimmer who was introduced into Southport‘s league attack during the ‘early part of the war after impressing Secretary/Manager Gordon Hunt With his thoughtful play having previously played for St. Paul‘s Minors and Hartwood Hosiery in the district league. 

Liverpool Echo – Thursday 19 September 1940
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD

Three Southport players achieved amateur international caps whilst with the club. one of them was John Woolfall (Jack) Rimmer who scored in England’s 7-2 win over Ireland on the 16th November 1929. The game incidentally was refereed by the late Stanley Rous. Jack Rimmer received international honours when only 19 and turned professional with Bolton Wanderers during the close season 1930. He then spent seven seasons at Burnden Park where he was understudy to Willie Cook the Wanderers Scottish international outside left. He then had two months at Burnley and a season with Reading before joining Macclesfield Town in the 1938/9 season. A useful cricketer, he played for Derby Road and Holy Trinity in the Southport and district league. 

Outside right in the eleven who secured that memorable draw at Newcastle in January 1932 was Albert Rimmer. A former Southport schoolboy wing, forward, he served the club far seven years and got many goals in the Lancashire Combination. As veteran supporters will recall Rimmer was dropped for the replay at Haig Avenue when Ralph Hills who clearly unfit Played.’ It has long been maintained that if Rimmer ha played then Southport would have won. Albert Rimmer played in almost every position on the field for the club and afterwards represented Lancaster Town, Fleetwood, Clapham Orient and Accrington Stanley. 

If Gary Rimmer can show the same ability of some of the other illustrious “Rimmers” then Southport should have no’ grounds for complaint. “