South Liverpool F.C.

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For the predecessor club, see South Liverpool F.C. (1890s).
South Liverpool F.C.
Full name South Liverpool Football Club
Founded 1935
1991 (re-founded)
Ground Jericho Lane, Otterspool

South Liverpool F.C. is a football club from Liverpool, England, founded as a phoenix club of a team of the same name. The club is currently in the West Cheshire Amateur Football League Division One and plays its home matches at Jericho Lane, Otterspool. The club's colours are white shirts, black shorts and red socks.

History

Predecessor

It has long been accepted that the first South Liverpool FC was founded in the late-1890s when a club called African Royal (or, in some sources, Africa Royal) changed its name, under the influence of W.J. Sawyer, and relocated to Dingle, just south of the city centre.

The club relocated and became New Brighton A.F.C. in 1921.

Foundation and Early years

The second South Liverpool FC was formed in 1935, playing at Holly Park, Garston. The club joined the Lancashire Combination with immediate impact, winning it three years running, in 1937, 1938 and 1939. Given that the original South Liverpool continued playing until 1983 under the name of New Brighton, the second South Liverpool had no connection other than the same name. Indeed, South Liverpool played New Brighton reserves on a number of occasions in the Lancashire Combination and New Brighton's first team in the Liverpool Senior Cup.

During the 1930s, South Liverpool applied regularly for election to the Football League. The idea was to have another leading club in the Liverpool area. Even in 1939, however, after South Liverpool won four trophies, the club only attracted 5 votes at the Football League AGM election - way behind the two re-elected Third Division North clubs, Accrington Stanley (29) and Hartlepools (38). Incidentally, even farther behind South Liverpool in that election were Wigan Athletic, who garnered zero votes.[1] In all, South Liverpool applied to join the Football League on ten occasions, always without success.

The club was more successful in the Welsh Cup, and they won it at their first attempt, in 1939, defeating Cardiff City 2-1 in the final. "Many thousands were in the ground when we went back to Holly Park at two o'clock in the morning," Jack Roscoe said in 1989 about the aftermath of the 1939 Welsh Cup final victory. "We couldn't believe it. We were expecting the streets to be deserted but in the end we couldn't even get into the ground ourselves."[2]

After World War II started, the club joined the Western Section of the Cheshire County League and one season was played before war stopped the game.

Post-War Golden Era

After the war, the club remained in the Cheshire County League until 1951, when they rejoined the Lancashire Combination, going into the Second Division. In September 1949, Holly Park hosted the first match in the UK to be played under "permanent" floodlights, a friendly against a Nigerian XI (the first Nigerian side to tour the UK). The match was covered for BBC Overseas Service (now World Service) by Kenneth Wolstenholme, who would later earn fame for his commentary on the World Cup final of 1966.[3] The final score was 2-2, with the official attendance 13,007. After a season in the second division of the Lancashire Combination, South Liverpool were promoted to the first division at the first attempt, but were relegated back to the second division in 1960 after finishing bottom. South Liverpool gained promotion in 1962 and won the Lancashire Combination first division championship in 1966.

The club had also been relatively successful in the FA Cup, reaching the first round eight times and the second round twice, though the only time they achieved a "giant-killing" feat was when they defeated Halifax Town in 1964-65.

In 1967, the 40-year-old Hungarian born football legend Ferenc Puskás guested for the club in a fundraising friendly match at Holly Park which attracted a sell-out crowd of 10,000.[4]

As one of the more successful non-League clubs in northern England, South Liverpool were invited to join the newly formed Northern Premier League in 1968. Notable players during the club's first ten years in the NPL were Jimmy Case and later John Aldridge, who both went on to achieve fame with Liverpool, Joe Hinnigan who became a stalwart at Sunderland, and Peter Houghton who moved on to Wigan Athletic and Preston North End. John Aldridge wrote about his South Liverpool career in his autobiography: "It was autumn 1978 before I won a regular place in the South Liverpool first team and the turn of the year before I started to score regularly. At the beginning of the season, the club’s official pen-pictures described me as 'a local youngster who shows great potential with his flair for attack'. By the middle of the season, the pen-pictures described me as 'an exciting goalscorer'. It was exciting to be regarded as 'exciting'." [5]

Before the 1987-88 season South Liverpool became the first non-league team to offer a Youth Training Scheme to players. Only professional clubs did this at that time. There were approximately 8 players who were involved with this.

Financial Difficulty and Re-establishment

At the end of the 1987-88 season the Reserve team and Youth team were scrapped due to financial reasons. The profitable club house was also burnt down and funds were very tight.

The club remained in the NPL until financial problems forced the limited company, South Liverpool Athletic & Association Football Club Co.Ltd., to fold after the 1990-91 season. A committee formed itself in the summer of 1991 and took over the name "South Liverpool A.F.C."

The club committee carried on the club from the defunct Limited Company in 1991/92 with only a junior team operating in the West Derby Junior league. For 1992/93 the senior side merged with local side Cheshire Lines whilst the Junior Team carried on under the clubs own name. The new team, Cheshire Lines South Liverpool, played in the Second Division of the Liverpool County Combination, gaining promotion in their first season. After a successful first season in the First Division, the clubs took the decision to split.

Back under its own sole name South Liverpool although having been the football club had to join the Second Division of the Liverpool County Combination in 1995 and gained promotion at the first attempt. Until the end of the 2005/6 season, the club remained in the County Combination. Winning the Liverpool Junior Cup in 1997 and the George Mahon league Cup in 2002. Their highest league placing being 4th in 2005. In the summer of 2006, the County Combination merged with the I Zingari League to create the Liverpool County Premier League due to their low finish in 2005/6 (11th out of 15), the club was placed in Division One.

In 2006, the site of Holly Park had been redeveloped and was opened as Liverpool South Parkway railway station.

During their time in amateur football the goalscoring record of Jack Roscoe (1935–39) was beaten by Keith Jones scoring 236 goals (1992–2006) and keeper Stephen Ward currently has 132 clean sheets beating the South legend Peter Eales 74 (1966–1989).

South also have a reserve team in the I Zingari Combination having won the third division in 2005 and the second division title in 2006. They produce programmes for all first, reserve and youth home games

In 2007/08 South's youth team (under 18-s) played in the West Cheshire League, finishing 2nd in their first season and 3rd in 2008-09 and winning the West Cheshire Youth Plate. 2009/10 South's youth team finished first in the West Chesire League under captain Ellis Jones

South won the George Mahon Cup at Goodison Park in 2009 and in 2011 beat Waterloo Dock to lift the I Zingari Cup.

2011 saw South move to the West Cheshire League and in accordance with league rules joined the third division. They won the league and recorded a win in every league away game. Promotion to the second division saw South gain promotion as Champions and maintained an unbeaten away record in the league. Souths reserves joined the West Cheshire third division in 2012/13 and South's Under 18's secured the West Cheshire Youth Division title. South's first team will play in the first division of the West Cheshire League under manager Martin Ryman who has held the post for 12 years.

2011 saw South expand its number or teams into a youth section under the guidance of Mark Eyres. In 2013 South had 11 youth teams ranging from ages 7 to 16 and largely play in the Belle Vale Junior League based at Caldway Drive Netherley.

For 2013/14 season South are taking on board South Liverpool Ladies who will play in the Liverpool County FA Women's League.

Honours

Former players

1. Players that have played/managed in the Football League or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Players that hold a club record.

John Aldridge

Further reading

  • Jawad, Hyder (April 2013). Rest In Pieces: South Liverpool Football Club 1894-1994. Flict Enterprises. 
  • Jawad, Hyder (July 1991). Holly Park. Eldorado Communications. 

References

  1. Jawad, Hyder (1991); Holly Park - The Lost Years (Eldorado Communications), p46
  2. Jawad (1991), p44
  3. Jawad, Hyder (2012); BackPass Magazine, Issue 22, Spring 2012, pp38-39
  4. Rich, Tim (19 May 2009). "Seven deadly sins of football: The heavenly virtues - 10 kind footballers". The Guardian. London. 
  5. Aldridge, John; with Jawad, Hyder (1998); John Aldridge: My Story (Hodder & Stoughton), p16

External Links

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