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 (December 1910) 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 Everton and new Brighton and interestingly the Clubman of the Year Trophy now 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 Runners 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 and dugouts followed along with hard standing making it way round the barriers.
South won the Second Division title 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.
2013/14 saw South in the final of Liverpool County FA Challenge Cup but a late season dip saw us finish 4th in our first season in the First Division while the reserves finished 3rd in Divsion Three.
Shirt sponsors, Hill Dickinson Solicitors, showed tremendous support having their name on the club shirt for fifteen years. Our new home shirt sponsors are Coeus Insurance Management of Liverpool and our away strip is sponsored by the Big House (The Grapes) on Lime Street. The reserves finished third in divison three
2013/14 also saw us formally link up with South Liverpool Ladies who play at the North Field on a Sunday in the Liverpool County FA Womens League. The player manager is Helen Balmer assisted by Jo Dodsworth and Tracey Wooler
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 1984/5 in the NPL and has been Martin assistant since 2003.
South’s current team number long standing players with Kevin Martin over 300 and Gary Dunning over 200.
South Liverpool F.C. Club Badge
Our official club badge is of our city's liver bird and for our version it normally sits within a football.
The Liver Bird having been our emblem since the early 1960's. We can trace its definite use to 1968 when the Supporters Club used it on the dark red crest shaped metal badge which was brought out for the start of the Northern Premier League in August 1968. The liver bird being in gold underneath the motto "Advance".
Our other emblem is an S and L interwoven which was first used in 1970/71 programme by club director, Malcolm Bullock, which itslef harked back to the 1950's badge of the letters in two halves of a shield seprated by red diagonal band.
(see 1950's team picture page for example)
The Motto "Advance" was first used by the Football Club Chairman Hariold Arrowsmith in the late 1940's as South pushed to recruit fans from the develoeping South end area after the war years. The supporters club would then pick up its use in the dawning of the NPL in 1968. It is no longer used by the club.