Club’s 120 years at heart of the town
ASOUTHPORT football club that has been home to thousands of amateur players has celebrated its 120th anniversary.
Southport Trinity, the town’s oldest football club, marked the occasion with a celebratory dinner at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and now has ambitious plans to keep growing.
The packed celebration dinner featured comedians Brendan Riley and Jamie Sutherland as well as guest speaker Dr Kevin Jones, with more than 100 people associated with the club in attendance.
The club was founded in 1898 and was formerly known as Holy Trinity Sunday School Athletics Club.
Its founder, Henry Pochin, wanted to provide football for the youth of Southport. He later donated the Rookery playing fields and was involved with the club for more than 30 years.
In 1906, the club changed its name to Southport Trinity and, having started life on a field bordered by Roe Lane, Melling Road and Hartwood Road, was moved during WWI when the pitch was turned over to a military hospital.
A ground known as The Fields was the home for a few seasons before a final move to the Rookery in 1924
Among those from Trinity to have moved into the professional game were ex-England international Tommy White, who played alongside Dixie Dean at Everton; former Plymouth Argyle, Sheffield Wednesday and Everton goalkeeper Martin Hodge; ex-Liverpool and Sunderland defender Stephen Wright; and Fleetwood Town first team coach Clint Hill, who made more than 500 career appearances.
Having grown from only running a men’s team, the club now has more than 300 players in its juniors section and this season, for the first time, has started running a girls U10s side.
Despite the exciting times on the pitch, the club endured difficulty off it when the clubhouse was burned down by vandals and, with answers still needed from insurers, it remains unclear when any repairs or rebuilding will commence.
Trinity may also leave the Rookery in the near future, with another site being considered as a possible ground to allow the club to better serve its many teams.
Whatever happens, the club will remain focused on continuing to offer a footballing home to those within the community.
It will also continue to try to give back and help those in need, an aim which is boosted by its recent link-up with the Community Link Foundation, a Southport-based charity which helps a wide variety of local causes. Last year, Trinty decided to sponsor CLF and adopted it as an official charity partner.
John Stansfield, Southport Trinity club president, said: “As a club, we like to support people or events in our local community, but in sponsoring CLF it has enabled us to reach wider good causes.”
John was among three Trinity officials to be recognised by the FA earlier this year when he was given a 50-year service to football award.
First team manager Tony Naylor was given a 30-year service award, and club secretary John Funnell was named Secretary of the Year in the Mid Lancashire League.