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Players from the most successful era in Southport’s history gathered at the Atkinson Theatre on Friday with Trust in Yellow to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s first promotion.
Half a century after the Sandgrounders won promotion from the old Fourth Division, manager Billy Bingham and his team were reunited to mark their achievements.
Players including crowd favourite Eric Redrobe, club record goalscorer Alan Spence, Alex Russell, Colin Alty and Ronnie Smith met with supporters to share their stories from a landmark season.
The evening also marked the opening of the Trust's six-week exhibition at the Atkinson with memorabilia from the club’s past, as well as a special edition real ale, Bingham's Brew, from Southport Brewery.
46 years after achieving Football League status, season 1966/67 marked the club’s first promotion to the old Third Division, finishing second behind champions Stockport County.
The campaign was part of a golden era for the club, which saw Bingham’s team reach the last 16 of the FA Cup a year earlier, before playing Everton in the third round a season later.
The full set of photographs by Julia Urwin are onine HERE.
The Trust has also produced a season summary from The Sandgrounders: The Complete League History of Southport FC, by Michael Braham and Geoff Wilde, which is available HERE.
As supporters know, members of the Board of Trust In Yellow last week met with Phil Hodgkinson to discuss his proposals for the running of the club if he gained control.
All members present were very impressed with the effort and expertise that had gone into his presentation and also with his vision. We believe his document deserves a wider audience and it can be viewed in the document accessed via the link at the end of this statement. Brief minutes of the meeting are also included.
We have written to Phil to thank him for his time in preparing his plans and meeting with us.
On Tuesday of this week Board members held a similar meeting with James Treadwell and Adrian Shandley to hear their ideas and ask detailed questions. A set of minutes from the meeting can also be seen in the link, along with a document they submitted outlining their plans for the club. Again we have thanked James and Adrian for meeting with us and for sending us the document to publicise.
A number of questions still remain to be answered after these meetings and Trust In Yellow will press for these especially at the club’s EGM/AGM which has been called for Monday, June 5.
Since our meetings you may have seen statements from Phil and Nigel Allen to the effect that although Phil’s offer is still on the table, the practicalities suggest that James and Adrian are in control of the club, which confirms what James and Adrian told us at their meeting.
Obviously Trust In Yellow is not able to decide on who has ownership of Southport Football Club but we will continue to follow our remit by asking questions on behalf of members and representing their views to whoever is running the club.
We know from our meeting with James and Adrian that they recognise that building bridges with supporters will be a major early challenge. We feel this is a particularly important time for supporters to present a united front and hope as many as possible will join the Trust to show this unity.
We urge supporters to read all the documents from the meetings and form their own opinions. We always welcome members and supporters giving us their ideas and opinions but especially now and as a first step we are calling an open meeting for all supporters to discuss developments and ask questions to the Trust Board. This will be held on:- TUESDAY, 23rd May at 7.00pm at the Railway Club, Sussex Road, Southport.
The bundle of documents can be accessed HERE.