Gone But Not Forgotten (Part 6)

Southport, possibly more famous in sporting terms as the home of the Royal Birkdale golf course, suffered the ignominy of becoming the last town to lose its Football League status in 1978. Southport fell victims to the Seaside Curse, which saw the likes Barrow, New Brighton and Workington lose their place amongst the lower reaches of English professional football before the introduction of automatic promotion and relegation with the Conference, but their continuing presence in senior non-league football is a testament to the hardiness of the club and the durability of non-league football. Formed in 1881, they played for forty years as a non-league club. They created an unwelcome first when they were bought out by a tyre company in 1918 who changed their name to Southport Vulcan after their company (the experiment only lasted a year before being quietly dropped – it did, however, leave them as possibly the first senior English club to adopt a sponsor’s name into their club name) before, in the great Football League expansion of 1921, being co-opted into the new Third Division North. Initially, whilst their League form was unimpressive, they did briefly gain a reputation in the FA Cup, becoming the first team from Division Three North to make the quarter-finals in 1931 (though they did contrive to lose 9-1 to Everton once they got there), but they remained a bottom...

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