News Archive

Eric Redrobe

Big RedThe following article was published in the Lancashire evening Post in March 2009.


The Big Interview: Southport FC goals legend Eric Redrobe

Published Date:
27 March 2009 By Tony Dewhurst Tony Dewhurst talks to Eric Redrobe, a scoring legend with Southport in the 1960s who is still in love with the club. Life is never dull in the company of Southport legend Eric Redrobe.

When we had a good laugh, like we did the other day, he trawled through a rip-roaring adventure with the Sandgrounders in the Swinging Sixties.

A bustling, barn-storming centre-forward, he joined Southport in 1966, a couple of weeks after England had won the World Cup.

When he left Haig Avenue for Hereford United six years later, 'Big Red' had carved his name into the Southport archives.

"We played Everton in the FA Cup at Haig Avenue, and I caught the 359 bus from Wigan to Southport," he recalled.

"I didn't have a car, and the bus stopped at the end of my road.

"I got on and the driver said, 'Blimey. You've got a tough one today, Eric. Have you got any spare tickets for the match?'

"Southport would get 5,000 for a home game, but when I got to the ground the place was jumping, with fans in trees and people stood on roof tops.

"It seemed like the whole of Everton had come to Southport that day."

An incredible 18,795 squeezed into Haig Avenue for that third round tie in January, 1968, and Joe Royle grabbed Everton's winner in a 1-0 victory en route to a Wembley final.

"The game started and there were a few naughty tackles flying in, and then I clattered Everton's goalkeeper, Gordon West.

"It wasn't malicious, but West was lying on the turf screaming and shouting – and the Everton supporters were baying for my blood.

"The referee, a nice guy called Jim Finney, called me over.

"Mr Redrobe, he said, I'm going to book you, because if I don't I will not get out of this ground alive and you will be lynched by those mad Evertonians.

"After the game, I decided to wait for a few hours for things to calm down, and caught the train home.

"I turned up at Southport station, nipped into the bar, and the place was full of Evertonians.

"I kept my head down, ordered a drink and sat down in the corner. Suddenly this huge Everton fan loomed over me and growled, 'Hey la'.

"Aren't you that Southport so-and-so who smashed up our goalkeeper.

"Quick as a flash, I told him I worked in a furniture shop on Lord Street and I was working late because of the January sales.

"Thankfully, he believed me, but was I glad to see the Wigan train pull in to the platform a few minutes later!"

The fact is that as well as representing Southport's past, Redrobe also stands for the future.

The 64-year-old is the proud president of Southport's Independent Supporters Trust, 'Trust in Yellow,' and is a regular at nearly every home game.

He is the most charming of company, easy-going with a ready sense of humour.

He added: "I could never have imagined that 43 years after I made my debut I'd still have this incredible affinity with Southport.

"Southport was my life for six years and it still is.

"It is not for me to say why I was popular with the supporters.

"I wasn't a flash person. I played from the heart, with a tremendous passion.

"I wasn't the most tactful on the pitch, but gave it absolutely everything.

"The supporters know when they see honesty on the pitch, and I can still hear that chant in my head, 'Redrobe ... Eric the Redrobe.

"I was on £27 a week, but I was in dreamland.

"I think our era was a more honest one, though.

"It was about players who gave their all for the cause, and I don't see that as much in the professional game now.

"I'm a very old-fashioned person, but when I look at the modern game I think – where's the honesty?"

Redrobe was a giant of a man who, after appearing for Lancashire Schoolboys playing rugby league, turned down the opportunity of signing for St Helens and Wigan, switching codes and joining Bolton Wanderers, where he was understudy to Welsh international Wyn Davies.

"My dad made the decision, and rightly or wrongly, that's the way it was then," he added.

Redrobe found opportunities limited at Burnden Park, and after making four appearances, he joined Colchester on trial.

"I was playing in a pre-season friendly in Ireland for Colchester and Billy Bingham, Southport's manager, signed me.

"Billy was a gentleman, a very private man."

In Redrobe's first season at Haig Avenue, Southport finished runners-up to Stockport County in the old Fourth Division.

"That was an incredible campaign, I loved every minute.

"We had a good team and I remember going up to Hartlepool, where Brian Clough, their manager at the time, said we were the best side they had played that season.

"The game that stands out, though, was Southport's last away fixture of that season at Tranmere, in April, 1967.

"There were 15,000 at Prenton Park, and Southport won 2-1.

"It was one of those special moments you savour and cherish.

"Jim Cumbes, who is Lancashire CCC's chief executive now, was Tranmere's goalkeeper.

"I remember him charging out of his goal to try and get the ball, and I headed it over him.

"It slowly trickled over the line for Southport's second goal, and I knew we were going to win promotion then.

"The journey back to Southport was incredible. It took us two hours to get through the Mersey Tunnel as there were so many Southport fans cheering us.

"It was a sea of yellow, a real magical moment.

"It meant we needed a win from our last home game to be sure of promotion.

"There was no score until the 80th minute, when Arthur Peat passed to me, and I sent George Andrews clean through on goal.

"He swept the ball into the net and at full-time the crowd stormed on to the pitch.

"We were carried shoulder high to the tunnel entrance, and it was such a fabulous memory.

"It was the first time Southport had won promotion – 45 years after coming into the Football League."

Redrobe was eventually sold to Hereford United for £6,000 in 1972.

"It broke my heart leaving Haig Avenue. It was a very sad day indeed.

"I was sold without my knowledge, just told I was going to Hereford.

"I can't say how sad I felt getting my kit together and leaving Southport for the last time.

"But I had some happy times at Hereford, and the manager there, Colin Addison, was a real character.

"He turned up at the house I was renting, took one look at the front lawn, and said, 'Eric, what's going on here? I want this lawn cut before you come to training tomorrow'.

"A few hours later he turned up with a Qualcast lawnmower, and told me to get it cut.

"I've still got that lawnmower in my garage!"

It is 30 years since Southport last played in the Football League, the Sandgrounders having been voted out in 1978, with Wigan Athletic taking their place.

"My dearest wish would be for Southport to get back in the league.

"And I still believe that will happen one day," said Redrobe.

"It was dreadful when they went out of the League, absolutely heartbreaking.

"They've a fine manager in Liam Watson, and the chairman, Charlie Clapham, loves the club.

"But there is nobody more committed to Southport than chief executive Haydn Preece.

"Haydn is Mr Southport, an inspirational character, and he makes the place tick.

"Haydn has created a great camaraderie within the club, and isn't that what it is all about?

"Southport's in my blood too, and I'm very proud of my association with them."

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Peter Rigby

The following article was published in the Southport Visiter on 30th June 2009.

Tributes flood in for ‘true Sandgrounder’ Peter Rigby

Peter RigbyEMOTIONAL tributes have been paid to a much-loved Southport man who died on Friday.

Peter Rigby, described as a “true Sandgrounder” and “a man of rare quality”, was found at his Kensington Road home on his 70th birthday.

Mr Rigby, chairman of Southport FC supporters’ group, Trust In Yellow, was due to attend his birthday celebrations at the Haig Avenue club’s ground that evening.

When he failed to attend, friends went to his house to discover him in his living room.

News of his sudden passing has left many Port fans in mourning, and players and fans will stand for a minute’s applause before the club’s FA Trophy match against Torquay United tomorrow.

Southport FC chief executive Haydn Preece said: “Peter was passionate about the club, travelling home and away to watch the side through thick and thin. Even his car was yellow and black.

“He was a supporter who wanted to put his expertise and professionalism into the club in any way he could.

“Peter had, with meticulous detail, organised his 70th birthday celebrations in the vice-presidents’ bar. The preparations had started some eight months ago and it is so sad that on the night he had looked forward to he did not make it. He will be sadly missed by everyone at Southport Football Club – he was a true supporter.”

A graduate in physics, Mr Rigby held the post of secretary at Merseyside Chamber of Commerce until his retirement 10 years ago.

He was a great lover of Scotland and once harboured hopes to retire there, though the lure of Southport proved too strong.

Close friend Mike Billington said: “He couldn’t bear to be away from the town and especially the football club.

“He was a man of great humour and great intelligence.”

A man of huge Christian faith, Peter joined St George’s United Reformed Church, Lord Street, in 1999, following the closure of The Independent Methodist Church in Old Park Lane.

He quickly became an established member of the church community, taking on many varied roles including the task of pulpit supply secretary, responsible for finding leaders of worship for some 30 services a year.

He also became a member of the Committee of Management, concerned with the upkeep of the church, as well as acting as the parish publicity officer.

In earlier years he had also been the chair of the Southport Sunday School Union.

With a concern for people beyond the church, Peter was also responsible for promoting a programme of the United Reformed Church called ‘Commitment for Life’ which raises funds to support development projects in Jamaica, Palestine, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. He was regular in worship every Sunday, often helping to lead the service and, latterly, had also taken on the duties of finding readers.

St George’s minister, the Reverend Ken Summers, said: “Peter was a man of rare quality, a Christian gentleman in the best sense of both words, a man of faith who lived to serve others. We at St George’s are shocked at his sudden passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his many friends from all the varied spheres in which he had been involved.”

Aside from Southport FC, Peter had an ardent interest in railways and loved cats, having adopted several over the years.

He was a regular contributor of letters to the Southport Visiter, with a great concern for railway connections from the town to Manchester and Preston.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

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Join the Sandgrounder Goalden Lottery Draw with Trust In Yellow

For just £1.00 per week stake you will receive a four figure personal number that will be entered into a weekly draw to win up to £2000.
For every £1 you pay by Standing order, Trust In Yellow will receive a percentage, so not only are you in with a great chance of winning a great prize, but you are helping to raise money for the Supporters Trust and Southport FC ground developments at the same time.

Each week there will be a jackpot prize of £500 that will be paid to any member whose personal draw number matches all four numbers with the jackpot number. If the jackpot isn't won then an additional £100 is added on to the jackpot with the other £400 being paid out in prize money to anyone who matches up three numbers with the draw number.

In order to make collection of your stake money easy, you can pay by standing order and all you have to do is complete our simple standing order form and return it to Trust In Yellow by post or by handing it to Rob Urwin in the Club shop on a match day.

Results of every draw are published in the local press and on the clubs official every week.

Download Standing Order Form

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Constitution (Part Four)


86. Anything done in good faith by any meeting of the Board or by the Chief Executive shall be valid, notwithstanding that it is to be afterwards discovered that there was any defect in the appointment of any board member or board members or that any one or more of them were disqualified, as if every board member had been duly appointed and was duly qualified to serve.

87. Minutes of every general meeting and of every meeting of the Board and of every meeting of a committee appointed by the Board are to be kept. Minutes of meetings will be read at the next meeting and signed by the chairman of that meeting. The signed minutes will be conclusive evidence of the events of the meeting.

88. The Society’s registered office is at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London.

89. The Society is to keep at its registered office:

a) a register in which the Secretary is to enter the following particulars:

i. the names and addresses of the members;

ii. A statement of other property in the Society whether in loans or loan stock, held by each member;

iii. The date at which each person was entered in the register as a member, and the date at which any person ceased to be a member;

iv. details of any deputy appointed under Rule 10;v. the names and addresses of the members of the Board with the offices held by them and the dates on which they assumed office.b) a duplicate register in which the Secretary is to enter all the particulars in the original register of members other than those referred to in (a)(ii) above;c) a register of the holders of loan stock in which the Secretary is to enter such particulars as the Board direct and register all transfers of loan stock;d) a register in which the Secretary is to enter such particulars of all mortgages and charges on land of the Society as the Board directs.

90. Subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 the registers to be maintained by the Society may be kept in electronic form.

91. The inclusion or omission of the name of any person from the original register of members shall, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be conclusive that such person is or is not a member of the Society.

92. The Society is to keep proper books of account with respect to its transactions and to its assets and liabilities in accordance with Sections 1 and 2 of the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968 and any best practice guidelines issued by the Society.

93. Members are entitled to inspect: a) their own accountb) the duplicate registerc) minutes and other documents and information disclosed by the Board or the Chief Executive in accordance with the Principles and any guidance issued by the Society at the registered office at any reasonable time.

94. The Secretary is to deliver a copy of these Rules to every person on demand on payment of a sum not exceeding the statutory maximum laid down for this.

95. Notice of any change in the address of the registered office is to be sent by the Secretary to the Financial Services Authority on the form prescribed within fourteen days of the change.

96. The registered name of the Society is to be mentioned in legible characters in all: a) business letters, notices, advertisements and other official publications b) bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the Society c) bills, invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the Society.


97. A dispute which arises out of these Rules between the Society and: a) a member; orb) any former member who membership has ceased within the previous six months can be referred to mediation conducted by a mediator appointed by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution on application by either party. The costs of the mediation shall be borne as the mediator directs.
', ' RULES of Southport Football Club Supporters Society LIMITED



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Constitution (Part Three)


50. The Board is to meet at least 4 times in every calendar year at such times and places as they think fit. Seven clear days' notice of the date and place of each meeting is to be given in writing or by email by the Secretary to all members of the Board. A Board meeting may be called by shorter notice if it is so agreed by all the Board members entitled to attend and vote at the meeting. 50% of Board members or such higher number as the Board may determine will form a quorum.

51. The Board will elect a Chair and other officers from its members. The Chair shall be an elected member of the Board, or shall carry the support of a majority of elected members of the Board. Unless they are unwilling to do so, the Chair shall preside at every Board meeting at which they are present. But if there is no Board member holding the office or the Board member holding it is unwilling to preside or is not present within thirty minutes after the time appointed for the meeting, the Board members present may appoint one of their numbers to be chair of the meeting.

52. Unless the Board decides otherwise, the Chief Executive is to attend each meeting of the Board.

53. Meetings of the Board may be called either by the Secretary, or by a notice in writing or by email given to the Secretary by the Chair of the Board, or by two Board members, specifying the business to be discussed. The Secretary is to communicate every such notice to all Board members as soon as possible and the meeting is to be held at a venue decided by the Secretary not earlier than seven days and not later than fourteen days after the receipt by the Secretary of the notice. Should the Secretary fail to convene the meeting, the Chief Executive, Chair or the two Board members who have given the notice in writing may call the meeting. No business is to be done at the meeting other than the business specified in the notice.

54. The Board may agree that its members can participate in its meetings by telephone video or computer link. Participation in a meeting in this manner shall be deemed to constitute presence in person at the meeting.

55. The Board may appoint specialist advisors to advise on any issue and may invite them to attend and speak (but not vote) at meetings of the Board.

56. Questions arising at a Board meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes. In case of an equality of votes at a Board meeting the chairman is to have a casting vote.

57. A resolution in writing or by email agreed by members of the Board will have the same effect as a resolution passed at a meeting of the Board and may consist of several documents in the like form each signed by one or more Board members. Members may confirm assent to proposals by email or other electronic means. All such proposals must first be issued by the Secretary to all members

.58. Save for the exceptions referred to below, no Board member is to have any material financial interest personally or as a member of a firm or company or as a director or other officer of a business trading for profit or in any other way whatsoever in any contract or other transaction with the Society. For the purposes of this rule, an interest of a person who is connected with a Board member shall be treated as an interest of that Board member. The exceptions are that Board members may:

a) Be paid expenses including travelling expenses and, in the case of the Chief Executive, receive the remuneration due under his or her service contract;
b) Declare an interest in a particular contract or issue and:

i. not be present except with the permission of the Board at any discussion of the contract or issue
ii. Not vote on the contract or issue (and if by inadvertence they do remain and vote, their vote is to not be counted.

59. Any member of the Board who has a financial interest as described in Rule 57 must vacate their office either for a period or permanently if requested so to do by a majority of the remaining members of the Board. Any member of the Board who fails to disclose any interest required to be disclosed under Rule 57 must permanently vacate their office if required to do so by a majority of the remaining Board members


60. The Board may delegate any of its powers to committees of the Board.

61. The Board will:

a) Decide the membership of each committee;
b) Appoint the chairman of each committee;
c) Lay down the procedure to be adopted by each committee (including the quorum);
d) Produce a written record of the scope and authority of each committee.


62. The Society Board will in respect of each year of account ending on 31st January:

a) Cause to be prepared a revenue account or revenue accounts which:
i. standard adopted or issued by the Society singly or together deal with the affairs of the Society and any subsidiary or holding company or society as a whole for that year; and
ii. Give a true and fair view of the income and expenditure of the Society and any subsidiary or holding company or society for that year; and
iii. Comply with the Act, any other relevant statutes or regulations and the relevant accounting
b) Cause to be prepared a balance sheet giving at that date a true and fair view of the state of the affairs of the Society and any subsidiary or holding company or society and complying with the Act, any other relevant statutes or regulations and the relevant accounting standard adopted or issued by the Society.

63. Every balance sheet presented to a meeting of members is to be accompanied by a report of the Board, signed by the chairman of the meeting of Board adopting the report, on the state of the Society any subsidiary or holding company or society

64. The Board is to lay a revenue account and balance sheet duly audited and signed by the auditor and incorporating the report of the auditor thereon before each annual general meeting, accompanied by a report by the Board on the position of the affairs of the Society and any subsidiary or holding company or society signed by the chairman of the Board meeting at which the report is adopted.

65. The Board is not to cause to be published any balance sheet unless it has previously been audited by the auditor and it incorporates a report by the auditor that it gives a true and air view of the income and expenditure, or the state of the affairs of the Society, as the case may be. Every revenue account and balance sheet published is to be signed by the Secretary and by two Board members acting on behalf of the Board

66. A qualified auditor must be appointed to audit the Society's accounts and a balance sheet for each financial year. In this rule "qualified auditor" means a person who is a qualified auditor under Section 7 of the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act1968 and Section 25 of the Companies Act 1989.

67. The auditor shall, in accordance with Section 9 of the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968, make a report to the Society on the accounts examined by them and on the revenue account or accounts and the balance sheet of the Society for the year in question.

68. None of the following persons is to be appointed as auditor of the Society:

a) An officer or servant of the Society; or
b) A person who is a partner or close relative of or in the employment of or who employs an officer or servant of the Society.

69. Save as provided in this Rule every appointment of an auditor is to be made by resolution of a general meeting of the Society. The exceptions are:

a) the first appointment of an auditor is to be made within three months of the registration of the Society and is to be made by the Board if no general meeting of the Society is held within that time;
b) The Board may appoint an auditor to fill any casual vacancy occurring between general meetings of the Society.

70. An auditor appointed to audit the accounts and balance sheet of the Society for the preceding year of account (whether by a general meeting or by the Board) is to be reappointed as auditor of the Society for the current year of account (whether or not any resolution expressly re-appointing them has been passed) unless:

a) A resolution has been passed at a general meeting of the Society appointing somebody instead of them or providing expressly that they are not be reappointed; or
b) They have given to the Society notice in writing of their unwillingness to be reappointed; or
c) They are not permitted by these Rules to be the auditor; or
d) They have ceased to act as auditor of the Society by reason of incapacity; ore) proper notice of an intended resolution to appoint another person in their place has been given but the resolution cannot be proceeded with because of the death or incapacity of that other person.

71. A resolution at a general meeting of the Society: a) appointing another person as auditor in place of a retiring auditor; orb) providing expressly that a retiring auditor is to not be re-appointed will not be effective unless notice of the intention to move it has been given to the Society not less than twenty-eight days before the meeting at which it is to be moved. If such a notice is given the following procedure will be adopted.

i. The Society will send a copy of the notice to the retiring auditor.
ii. If it is practicable to do so the Society will give notice of the intended resolution to its members with the notice of the meeting.
iii. If that is not practicable, the Society will publish details for the notice by advertisement not less than seven days before the meeting in a newspaper circulating in the area in which the Society conducts its business.
iv. If the retiring auditor makes any representations in writing to the Society in response to the notice or notifies the Society that they intend to make such representations, the Society will notify the members as required by Section 6of the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968.


72. The Society will make an annual return to the Registrar as required by the Act.73. The Society will supply a copy of the last annual return with all supporting documents to any member on request and without charge.


74. Unless these Rules say otherwise any Rule may be altered or rescinded, or any new rule may be made, by resolution of at least two thirds of the members who attend and vote at a general meeting. No change to these Rules shall be valid until registered.75. The following Rules may only be changed by a majority of at least three quarters of the members present and voting at a general meeting:-i. Rule 2 (Objects)ii. Rule 5 (Application of Profits)iii. Rule 6 (Principles)iv. This Rulev. Rule 75 (Changes to the Constitution)vi. Rule 82 (Transfer of property on dissolution)


76. The Act provides that the Society may by special resolution: a) amalgamate with another society or a company registered under the Companies Acts b) transfer its engagements to another society or a company registered under the Companies Acts c) convert itself into a company registered under the Companies Acts The quorum at any general meeting called to consider such a resolution shall be 50% of the members entitled to attend and vote at the meeting unless the resolution proposes an amalgamation with or transfer of engagements to a member of the Society.


77. The funds of the Society may, to the extent permitted by the law for the time being in force and with the authority of the Board, be invested: a) in the shares of any subsidiary company or society;b) in any manner expressly authorised by the Act; but are to not be invested otherwise.

78. The Society has power to borrow money to achieve its objects provided that, at thetime of borrowing, the sum of the amount remaining undischarged of monies borrowedand the amount of the proposed borrowing is not to exceed the turnover of the Society in the last financial year for which audited accounts are available as disclosed by the audited accounts.

79. Subject to these Rules and any existing loan arrangements the Board is to have power to determine from time to time the terms and conditions upon which money is borrowed or loan stock is issued and to vary such terms and conditions.

80. Deposits are not to be taken either from members or non-members.

81. A receiver appointed by a mortgagee may assume such powers of the Board or the Chief Executive as he or she considers necessary to carry out the receiver's duties.


82. The Society may be dissolved by the consent of three-quarters of the members who sign an instrument of dissolution in the form provided by Treasury Regulations or by winding up in the manner provided by the Act.

83. If on the winding up or dissolution of the Society there remains, after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same is to be transferred to

a) one or more other societies that are members of the Society or failing that
b) one or more societies established for the benefit of the community in each case as determined by the members at a meeting called to decide the issue. Nothing belonging to the Society shall be transferred to any other society unless that society has in its rules a rule substantially in the terms of this Rule.


84. Officers will be indemnified by the Society against all costs, losses and expenses which they may reasonably incur in the discharge of their duties, including travelling expenses, and the amount for which such indemnity is provided will immediately attach as a charge on the property of the Society.85. No officer is to be liable for any loss happening to the Society through the execution of the duties of their office, unless the loss be the consequence of their own dishonesty or gross negligence. Subject to the provisions of the Act every officer is to be indemnified out of the assets of the Society against any liability incurred by him in defending any proceedings, whether civil or criminal, in which judgment is given in his favour or in which he is acquitted or in connection with any application in which relief is granted to him by the Court from liability for negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust in relation to the affairs of the Society.

Part Four

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