It is with deep sadness that Southport FC reports the passing of Geoff Wilde at the age of 80.

Geoff passed away last night at Queenscourt Hospice following a short illness.

A fantastic person whose contribution to our club has been immeasurable, Geoff will be missed enormously by everyone at Haig Avenue.

Geoff, a Chartered Accountant, held the title of club statistician, though his work in bringing the history of the club to life and establishing the bond with former players went far beyond what anyone would expect.

In 1995 along with Michael Braham, Geoff published The Sandgrounders: The Complete League History of Southport FC – acclaimed as one of the most comprehensive books ever produced on a football club.

Geoff and Mike first worked together on a series featuring former players for the Southport Visiter and their book was the culmination of years of painstaking research, tracing players and visiting them in person across the country and overseas.

Geoff was a mainstay for the former players and it was through working on the book that he and Mike organised ten-yearly reunions, starting with the club’s centenary year. The huge turnout at these events was testament to their work and popularity among those who had represented the club in both the Football League days and Non-League era.

Geoff was selfless in offering access the information and contacts he gained, providing guidance on the club’s history to younger supporters and always available to assist in arranging events and contacting players.

It is thanks to Geoff’s work that current and future generations can properly appreciate the history of our club.

Having first visited Haig Avenue as a teenager with his father, Geoff cared passionately about the club and continued to keep meticulous records of games and players.

Geoff was the captain of the Southport FC quiz team and a keen sportsman, showing no sign of slowing down as he continued to play cricket and golf right through last summer, as well as going rock-climbing.

A member of the Association of Cricket Statisticians, he was named Statistician of the Year in 2002 and published books on a number of cricketers, including his hero, Brian Statham.

Geoff’s passing will be felt by supporters, staff and former players alike. As a club, it was our privilege to know Geoff. We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude and his lifetime’s work means he leaves a legacy that we will always cherish.