Southport Football Club, nicknamed “The Sandgrounders,” is a non-league football club based in Southport, Lancashire.
Established in 1970, they currently compete in the Vanarama National League North, which is part of the sixth tier of English football. The team calls Haig Avenue their home ground.
At the time of writing, Jim Bentley is the current manager with experience at Rochdale AFC and AFC Fylde among his past roles.
Southport Football Club, initially a rugby team in the 1870s, shifted to association football in 1881. It merged with Southport Wanderers in 1886, leading to the formation of Southport Central in 1888. The club became a founding member of the Central League in 1911 and briefly played as Southport Vulcan in 1918, an early example of football sponsorship.
Joining the Football League in 1921, Southport had memorable FA Cup runs, reaching the sixth round in 1931. They achieved Football League promotions in 1966/67 and 1972/73, but subsequent struggles led to relegation from the league in 1978. The 1980s presented financial challenges, stabilized under Chairman Charlie Clapham’s tenure from 1984.
Successes included winning the Northern Premier League in 1992-93 and reaching the FA Trophy final in 1998. Despite fluctuating fortunes, including a relegation from the Conference in 2003, the club experienced revival under manager Liam Watson, winning the Nationwide North title in 2004/05. Recent years have seen focus on ground regeneration and club revitalization, with Watson returning for a third managerial stint. Southport has remained resilient through challenges and achievements, including recent successes in the Lancashire Challenge Trophy.
Current management and coaching staff
Former players and managers elsewhere in the non-league pyramid