When Morecambe claimed Lancashire Junior Cup silverware at the third time of asking
With Morecambe having celebrated their centenary this year, we have told the story of the club’s origins, their move to Christie Park and their first trophy with the 1924/25 Lancashire Combination title.
This week, club historian Lawrence Bland takes up the story further with a look back at the following season which brought further success...
After winning the 1924/25 Lancashire Combination, great things were expected of Morecambe the following season.
However, their league form was not consistent enough, and they finished as runners-up, seven points behind champions Nelson Reserves.
One of the notable events that season was the change in the offside law which led to 103 league and 31 cup goals.
The side had been strengthened by the signings of outside-right Joe Young and former Barrow man Albert Edward Wilson, both from Lancaster Town, as well as ex-Sunderland player Tom Wagstaffe, who joined the club from Fleetwood.
Two youngsters also made their debuts that season; George Grass, who was later transferred to Blackburn Rovers and also had spells with Bury and Lancaster Town/City.
The other was Tommy Ross, who subsequently moved to Lancaster Town and Fleetwood and was known as non-league’s answer to Dixie Dean before returning to Morecambe in 1936.
Born in Preston in December 1905, Ross had joined Morecambe in February 1925.
He played the remainder of the 1924/25 season in the reserves before establishing himself in the first team during the following campaign.
Among his achievements included scoring a hat-trick to win the Lancashire Junior Cup in 1925/26, as well as scoring in the Combination Cup final win in 1926/27.
He then spent 1927-30 with Lancaster Town, mainly playing in the reserves but still scoring 56 goals in the West Lancashire League.
His next stop was Fleetwood Windsor Villa in 1930/31 before they became Fleetwood in 1931/32.
They then enjoyed a very successful period, winning the Lancashire Junior Cup in 1934/35, the Combination Cup in 1931/32, 1932/33 and 1933/34, as well as finishing Combination runners-up in 1933/34 and 1934/35.
It was at that time when he earned the ‘Dixie Dean’ label by way of scoring 300 goals in six seasons, including a record tally of 66 goals in the 1932/33 campaign.
He was lured back to Morecambe for the 1936/37 season, scoring a then record 50 goals, before heading back to Fleetwood between 1938 and 1940, when it was assumed he retired.
As mentioned earlier, it was the 1925/26 season which saw Morecambe’s first Lancashire Junior Cup win.
A bye in round one was followed by victory over Lancaster Town at Giant Axe, winning 2-1 in a replay after a goalless draw.
It continued with a 1-0 win at Bacup Borough before a record crowd saw another goalless draw at Fleetwood.
Morecambe then progressed with a 2-0 win in the replay.
The final took place at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground on February 20 with an attendance of 13,324 witnessing a 2-2 draw with Chorley.
The replay at Burnden Park, Bolton, on March 6 attracted another large crowd of 12,891, who saw the game end 1-1 after extra time.
That game saw another loyal servant, Dick Woodhouse, named in the Morecambe starting XI with a role at inside-right.
He played from 1920/21 until 1931/32 in the half-back line, but although his first-team appearances were somewhat limited, he captained the reserves and finished as the reserve team trainer until 1937/38.
It meant a second replay, again at Deepdale, on April 21, with a crowd of 10,069 seeing Morecambe win 3-1.
Ross, having scored 20 goals in 17 league games, was chosen and scored a hat-trick to give Morecambe the cup.