James Southworth

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James Southworth
James Southworth.jpg
Personal information
Place of birth Blackburn, England
Date of death 1940
Playing position Left-back
Youth career
Silver Star
Blackburn Olympic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Blackburn Olympic
1888–1890 Blackburn Rovers 21 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

James Southworth (born in Blackburn, died in 1940), was a footballer who played as a defender in the early days of professional football for Blackburn Rovers. He was the brother of famous England international Jack Southworth.

Playing career[edit]

He played alongside his brother for most of the early part of his career, joining him at Chester and Blackburn Olympic. At Chester he missed the 1885 Boxing Day fixture (a friendly against Chirk) as he was appearing in pantomime.[1] In his role as a conductor at the Royalty Theatre in Chester, he would have to be back in the city after away matches in time for 7.30pm performances, affecting the number of appearances he made for the club.[2] On the field, an early squad summary by the Chester Chronicle said he was captain and a "dashing and safe back".[2]

In 1888 he moved with his brother from Blackburn Olympic to their neighbours and fierce rivals Blackburn Rovers.

The first season of the Football League began in September 1888. James Southworth appeared fairly regularly at left-back making 19 appearances in the league as Rovers ended the inaugural League season in fourth place.

He missed most of the 1889-90 league season but was selected for the FA Cup final against Sheffield Wednesday (from the Football Alliance) at The Oval on 29 March 1890. Rovers were the odds-on favourites to win in view both of their record of three victories in the previous six seasons and their superior league placing. Blackburn fielded a team consisting of nine England or Scotland internationals. Rovers lived up to expectations as they romped away with the Cup defeating their Yorkshire opponents 6–1 with goals by Billy Townley (3), Nat Walton, Jack Southworth and Joe Lofthouse.

As Philip Gibbons points out in his book Association Football in Victorian England: "The Blackburn side had given one of the finest exhibitions of attacking football in an FA Cup Final, with England internationals, Walton, Townley, Lofthouse and John Southworth at the peak of their form."[3]

The F.A. Cup final was James Southworth's final appearance for Rovers. He made 21 league and 6 cup appearances.

Southworth died in 1940.


Blackburn Rovers


  1. ^ "Twenty Boxing Day crackers: 1885 - Chirk 4 Chester 4". www.chester-city.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Chas Sumner (1997). On the Borderline: The Official History of Chester City 1885-1997. Yore Publications. p. 9. ISBN 1-874427-52-6. 
  3. ^ Gibbons, Philip (2001). Association Football in Victorian England - A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900. Upfront Publishing. pp. 142–143. ISBN 1-84426-035-6.