Ahead of Sunday’s reunion for the Conference North title-winning team of 2005, the Southport Champion featured part of our interview with manager Liam Watson.

Our souvenir programme for the reunion includes a feature-length piece with Watson across four pages, covering all topics from the night he brought his Runcorn FC Halton side to Southport, to the day the Sandgrounders won the league at Harrogate Town.

The piece from the Champion can be read HERE.

Thanks to Ron Ellis and the Champion for their promotion of the reunion and their continued support of the Trust.

The limited edition reunion programme features an in-depth look back at the 2005 season ad is available on the day for £3.

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There are four days to go until Southport’s legends from 2005 return as Trust in Yellow hosts a reunion for the Conference North title-winning team.

That season is still remembered by supporters as one of the best ever seen, but how do the players look back on it?

Here, Chris Price, the captain of the championship squad, gives his take on that unforgettable season with a question and answer piece.

Chris, who was one of the first signings made by manager Liam Watson following his appointment in October 2003, saw first-hand the rebuilding job which resulted in Southport becoming champions.

You were a player when we won the league in 2005 and part of the coaching staff when we did it again in 2010, how did the two seasons compare?

When you are a player and you win the league you are so elated to have played a massive part in the success. As captain, you feel immensely proud of yourself and the whole team. You have experienced the total involvement of being on the front line. All of your hard work in training has paid off!

When you’re on the management side of things, the journey to success is completely different. You just hope that your coaching and support has inspired the players and you want to win the league for them and the management. You want the players to do their best and try to shield them from any criticism. Ultimately, when things go right or wrong, the management team are held responsible so you want to win for different reasons than when you are a player. I feel privileged to have experienced both sides of the game.

You were one of the first signings made by Liam Watson when he became manager. What was it like being part of the team that was built to win the league?

It was interesting as many players had to be moved on and others were brought in, so it was a combination of being excited and anxious when I first joined Southport. It was such a big club and had a massive fan base for Non- League level. It was a challenge that I relished. I didn’t know many of the players who were there and I knew I had to prove myself to them.

Liam had a strong strategic plan and wanted me to become his captain and get players on side to have the belief that our team could be successful. It worked!

What moments stand out for you from the 2005 season when we won the league?

Beating Droylsden away 3-1, when Steve Daly scored late on, was a highlight. So too was winning 5-0 at leaders Kettering Town when Sid Pickford scored a rather special volley I seem to remember!

Southport were neck-and-neck with Droylsden for most of the season. What do you remember about the end-of-season run-in and winning the league on the final day at Harrogate?

There was a confident but nervous buzz about the players as each game and result developed. I remember Haydn Preece greeted me as I stepped onto the coach to travel to Harrogate that morning and said: “Chris, are the players ready for this?” I assured him that between Liam and I, we had spoken to every player the night before and I stated: “Today we will become champions. I have every faith in this team.”

Who do you remember as being the other key players and characters in that team?

Terry Fearns was a sensational goal scorer and Farrell Kilbane was solid at the back. In midfield, Sid Pickford and Dominic Morley were both Mr Consistent. The whole team was full of character and spirit.

You’ve played for Liam a couple of times and worked with him a lot. What was he like as a manager and how did he get the best out of the team?

Liam was a fantastic manager and is still a true friend. He could relate to the players firstly as a coach and second as a father figure. He had a firm but fair approach. He was well respected and got the best out of everyone. He knew the strengths of the players and had high expectations of the team, as well as being nicknamed Statto!, Donny Osmond and Ed Miliband hee!


Chris will return to the Merseyrail Community Stadium, along with his former team-mates, for the Class of ’05 reunion on Sunday - and Trust in Yellow wants you to be there.

The reunion, hosted by the Trust, starts on Sunday with a match between the squad from 2005 and a team of supporters, kick-off 2pm. Entry to the game is £2 at the turnstile and supporters are asked to turn out in their numbers to welcome back the heroes of ten years ago. The reunion continues after the match in the Grandstand Bar, although this second part of the event has sold out.

As part of the build-up to Sunday’s reunion, we’ll have a piece from another member of the 2005 championship-winning squad and crowd favourtie, Kevin Lynch, at the end of the week.

Looking back on that season ten years on, there are also features with other players - Farrell Kilbane, Earl Davis, Terry Fearns, Jimmy Williams, Neil Robinson, plus manager Liam Watson - in a special 32-page souvenir programme produced for the reunion which looks back at the title-winning campaign. The programme is on sale on Sunday for £3

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The AGM of Trust In Yellow will be held on WEDNESDAY, 9th SEPTEMBER at 7-30pm in the Grandstand Bar.

The agenda will include elections to the Trust Board for seven places.

Three members of the board, Martin Robinson, Andy Kelly and Alan Jones are due to stand for re-election and have put their names forward. Howard Birch was recently co-opted onto the board and will put his name forward for election by members.

As well as these four places on the board we also have THREE more vacancies and would welcome members to put their name forward. If you are interested please contact the Trust Treasurer, Colin Aindow by Saturday, 8th August. You can phone him or leave him a voicemail on 07861 416859, or e-mail him at Alternatively you can come into the Trust office on match days to express your interest or simply to find out what is involved in the role of a board member.

We hope there will be interest from members in joining the board in this exciting point in the Trust's history. Ballot papers will be sent out to members in August and the elections completed at the AGM.

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This Sunday, Trust in Yellow hosts the ten-year reunion for the Conference North championship squad of 2005.

Any title-winning season is special, but for Southport fans the way in which Liam Watson’s team achieved promotion back then is remembered with particular fondness.

A decade ago, the Sandgrounders triumphed as an epic title race reached a thrilling conclusion, winning the league at Harrogate Town on the final day of a memorable campaign.

This week’s reunion is in two parts. The first sees Watson’s squad from 2005 take on a team of supporters at the Merseyrail Community Stadium, kick-off 2pm.

The reunion then continues in the Grandstand Bar with a buffet, quiz and Q&A session with the players.

Event tickets for entry to both parts of the reunion have sold out. However, fans can still come along to the match only for an entry fee on the day of £2.

The level of interest in the event has been superb and with there being so many crowd favourites within that squad, the Trust is hoping for a large turnout at the match to give the legends a warm welcome.

The Trust has also produced a 32-page souvenir programme which, as well as being a memento of the day, is also intended to be a record of the 2005 title-winning season and features an in-depth lookback at that campaign.

The programme includes contributions from manager Liam Watson and a number of players from within the squad. In the build-up to the reunion during the week, interviews with two members of that squad, captain Chris Price and Kevin Lynch, will be available to read on our website.

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