South Liverpool FC History
The name of South Liverpool FC first came about in the late 19th century. But it was when African Royal changed its name in the early years of the twentieth century (1909) that South Liverpool FC first became a local name of importance. That club, which bears no connection, bar the name with the current club, enjoyed success in its Dingle Lane home before the First World War but saw its fortunes change and by 1921 it had ceased and its remnants merged with New Brighton F.C.
One of its leading lights Mr W J Sawyer went on to be involevd in both Evertona nd new Brighton and interestingly the Clubman of the Year Trophy awarded annually at South is the WJ Sawyer Trophy kindly donated by the Sawyer family.
The current club was founded in April 1935 to respond to the increasing South end population and began playing in the 1935/36 season in the Lancashire Combination at Holly Park. Success was immediate and by the outbreak of the Second World War the Lancashire Combination had been won three times in succession as had the Lancashire Challenge Trophy and most impressively South had defeated Cardiff City 2-1 in the Welsh Cup final at Wrexham in 1939. As that great conflict began South had moved in 1940 to link with the Cheshire Legaue before hostilities drew a close to fully organised league football.
The resumption after the war saw South in the Cheshire League, winning the league cup in 1948 but it was never to bear the fruit the pre war years had. In 1952 South went back home to the Lancashire Combination with the reserves operating in the Liverpool County Combination and winning the George Mahon Cup in 1958/59. The mid sixties saw success under manager Alan Hampson sufficient to qualify by right for the Northern Premier League. South would always struggle against the wealthier and well supported clubs at this standard such as the now Premier League Wigan Athletic.
In 1983/84 South enjoyed their best post war season under first John King and George Rooney then Brian Griffiths, they annexed the NPL League Cup, the Lancashire Challenge Trophy and the Liverpool Senior Cup. However South’s success was not built upon and while two more Liverpool Senior Cup wins followed along with the NPL Presidents Cup, Holly Park was lost in 1989 and a move to share with Bootle at Bucks Park before the limited company was sent into liquidation in 1991. Holly Park finally being converted to the impressive Liverpool South Parkway station. Unfortunately no trace of our home now exists on the site.
South supporters had already formed a committee to take over the football club but given its late demise they were unable to immediately play senior football, keeping its Youth arm operating as its senior side for one season and started in 1992 in the Liverpool County Combination, the Liverpool Junior Cup being won in 1997.
A nomadic home was South’s main issue moving from Cheshire Lines to Saint John Almond in Garston and on to Hale Bank and Pavilions in Runcorn before at the dawn of the Millennium securing its home at the North Field on Jericho Lane, Otterspool.
The club would regularly be in the top quadrant of the league and challenging for cup honours. The highest league placing was fourth in 2004/2005. A late season slip saw a 10th position finish in 2006 and South were placed in the First Division of the new County Premier League but immediately won the league that season. South finished fourth in the league in 2008/09 and fifth in 2009/10 and in 2010/11 finished 14th.
South’s reserve team won promotion from the second division of the County FA Premier League as Runers Up in the South section. The youth team won the West Cheshire League Youth Division in 2009/10 having won the Youth League Plate in 2008/09.
2011/12 was all change as Souths first team moved into the West Cheshire League third division and won the league title impressively winning every league away game (a club record). The reserves took the Second Divison Zingari Combination title and were elected to the West Cheshire League while the under 18 Youth team returned an impressive third place in the West Cheshire Leagues Youth division.
This was supported by the newly expanded youth set up where South put out ten teams in the Belle Vale and Merseyside & Halewood youth leagues. Mark Eyres leading the set up having previsouly led Burford FC .
They also look to finalise a secure tenure at the North Field allowing the club’s committee to continue its well organised development. Pitch barriers were installed for the start of 2011/12.
South won the Second Division titel of the West Cheshire League in May 2013, the youth team won the West Cheshire Youth Division title and the club retained the West Cheshire League George Law Club Award.
Shirt sponsors, Hill Dickinson Solicitors, showed tremendous support having their name on the club shirts for fifteen years. They were joined by Andersons Bar (Smithdown Road) whose name is on our red away strip and Mark Reynolds Solictors sponsor our new home kit
South Liverpool boasts a number of well known ex players including Jimmy Case and John Aldridge who both started their careers at South.
Manager Martin Ryman has been in charge since August 2001 and his assistant is Kenny Deakin who managed at Mossley Hill but his South connection is strong having played for South in the 1980’s in the NPL and been Martin assistant since 2003.
South’s current team numbers some long standing players none more so than keeper Stephen Ward who has passed his 400th first team appearance with Kevin Martin over 200 and Adam Rood over 150.