Southport v Darlington

Tuesday 16th August 2022, 7.45pm
Vanarama National League North

Southport FC
Merseyrail Community Stadium, Haig Avenue, Southport, Lancashire, PR8 6JZ
Tel: 01704 533422 Click for Streetmap

History: Founded in 1881 and were founder members of the Third Division North in 1921, and enjoyed a Football League history until they were demoted in 1978. Their high points had come a little earlier, with their only promotions out of the old Division Four under Billy Bingham and Jimmy Meadows. They had some wilderness years before careful rebuilding under long-serving chairman Charlie Clapham, leading to promotion from the Northern Premier in 1993 to the Conference. They stayed for 10 years before a period of relegation and promotion saw the Port earn return to the Conference again after winning the Conference North title in May 2011. Darlo played them last during our Conference season in 2012 but a few seasons of struggle - 11 managers in four years - ended in relegation in 2017 and the three seasons back in Conference North have been consolidation.
Capacity: 7,177 (seated 1,660)
Record attendance 20,010 v Newcastle Utd (FA Cup, 1932)
Last season: 11th
Record victory: 8-1 v Nelson (1931)
Defeat: 0-11 v Oldham Athletic (1962)
Honours: Conference North champions 2005 and 2010, Division Four champions 1973, and runners-up 1967, Northern Premier champions 1993, FA Trophy finalists 1998
Nicknames: The Sandgrounders, 'Port
Colours: Yellow and black
Manager: Liam Watson
Chairman: Ian Kyle

Random trivia: Southport became the first club to incorporate a sponsor into their name when they played as Southport Vulcan, for one season in 1918, with backing of a motor company.
Famous fans/players/connections: Arthur Peat, Alan Spence (players), Paul Futcher (manager, also Darlo), Billy Bingham, Jimmy Meadows, Mark Wright (managers)

Away fans may be given an uncovered terrace in the Blowich end behind the goal.

Admission prices for 2022/2023 have been frozen again. Adults 13.50 (terracing), concessions/ over 65, 10; ages 12-17, 5 and under 12s are free with a paying adult. The main stand is £15 adults, £11 concession and £5 junior (12 to 17). It's a cashless turnstile so you will need to buy a ticket online before to scan from your phone or print off - or buy on day from the ticket office.

From the North (123 miles from Darlington): A1 and A66/A685 across to join the M6 motorway. Exit the M6 at junction 28, sign-posted Chorley. Then take the B5248, which runs onto the A59/A565. On reaching Southport, take the second turning off the roundabout on to Preston New Road (Plough Hotel on left) Follow this road until you reach a set of traffic lights. Go straight across onto Cambridge Road. Continue down Lord Street into Southport town centre turning left into Eastbank Street and continue until you reach a roundabout. Go straight on into Scarisbrick New Road. Turn left into Haig Avenue at second set of traffic lights.

Parking: There is no parking for fans at the ground, so you rely on street parking. This isn't usually a problem but look out for restrictions in some streets

Darlington FC Supporters' Club
Coach 4pm, 23 adults and 11 juniors for members. Contact: Darlington FC Supporters Group, 07376 368 553 to book a seat.


Southport Taxis 01704 884455
Kwik Cars 0800 547000
Yellow Top Taxis 01704 531000
Central Cabs 0800 544414

Meols Cop (on the Manchester to Southport line) is a 10 minute walk up Norwood Road (just under a mile).

Southport station is in the town centre and is a 20-25 minute walk from the ground (1.5 miles). From the station entrance in Chapel Street, turn left into Tulketh Street and a right into Wesley Street. At the junction with the A570 Eastbank Street, following the main road left and it becomes Scarisbrick New Road. Past the Infirmary, you take a second left into Haig Avenue and find the ground along the road on the right after 200m.

Buses: The 300 bus (Liverpool) goes from near the railway station in Hoghton Street and stops near the junction with Haig Avenue. The 44 (Woodvale) runs from near the station (Hoghton St/Eastbank St, hourly on a bank holiday) and runs down Haig Avenue itself, close to the ground, as does the 42 (Walnut St). The 375/385 runs down the A570 past the Infirmary.

Arriva bus map

Train times

For more options, go to National Rail Planner

Baron's Bar, Scarisbrick Hotel, 239 Lord Street, on A565
This offers an extensive choice of real ales, regularly from micro breweries and occasional beer festivals. Serves barm cakes. A regular local CAMRA award-winner. Part of a three star hotel.

The Beer Inn, 657 Lord Street, Southport, PR9 0AW
Newly-opened craft ale bar and bottle shop, about 35 minutes walk from the ground.

Guest House, 16 Union Street, PR9 0QE
Pub Co pub with lots of original features, Cains, Courage and guest ales. The Southport Drinker blog praises its "fantastic" range of real ale, calling it "simply the best boozer in Southport".

Sir Henry Seagrave, 93-97 Lord Street (on A565), PR8 1RH
Wetherspoon's in late Victorian furniture store, named after local land speed record holder from the 1920s. The pub tries to serve local beers amongst the usual range.

Lakeside Inn, Marine Lake, The Promenade, PR9 0EA
For curiosity value, and a Good Beer Guide listing, this holds a record as England's smallest pub - at least from the outside - at 22ft by 16ft.

Near the ground:

The Thatch and Thistle, 147 Norwood Road Southport PR8 6EF
The pub's gone through a bit of a change of ownership and management in the last year or so after the collapse of Cains brewery. It serves a good range of lunches and also has Sky Sports. And it has a thatched roof, so easy to spot.

The Richmond, 234 Scarisbrick New Road, PR8 5HL
A chalet-style pub in the Joseph Holt chain that serves food; it's on the A570 past the turn off for Haig Avenue.

See also The Southport Drinker blog

Burgers, pies and hot dogs in the ground.


There's the very good Official website, while Port Online offers a history of the club, with regularly updated nostalgia - a nice touch. Trust In Yellow is the supporters' trust site.

Southport Visitor

Sefton Council

© Photos: Ted Blair

Things to Do:

Being a traditional and quite classy seaside town, there's plenty to do at the seafront and prom, and a good choice of restaurants and good shops around Lord Street. It's also something of a golfing haven, which explains the number of ex-footballers who live here, with Royal Birkdale the most famous course. There is also the British Lawnmower Museum but you might be cutting it fine to make the match.

Southport Tourist Information, 112 Lord Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1NY Tel: 01704 533333

Visit Southport has accommodation, but book early as it's Easter weekend. See also Visit Lancashire