Southport are struggling again last season despite making the transition from being part-time to full-time in the summer, although it must be difficult to make ends meet at that level on average crowds of just 1,097, that in itself down 147 fans from last season's average of 1,244, the Sandgrounders currently sitting in the relegation zone, in 22nd place, in the Nationwide Conference.
Hexham-born Dan has only ever seen first-team action once for the Blues, that coming in United's time at non-league level. Kirkup playing the whole 120 minutes, and missing a penalty in Carlisle's 3-1 shootout defeat, after a 0-0 draw in extra-time, at Morecambe in the GLS Cup Northern Section Fourth Round in February 2005. That game coming shortly after Dan had been an unused substitute for the games at Runcorn in the Third Round and the 4-1 win over Barnet, again played at Morecambe due to the floods, in the FA Trophy.
Kirkup had been in excellent form for the reserves this season after signing a one-year professional contract in the summer at the end of his three-year TYS deal, and he comes back to Brunton Park as cover at the centre-back spot with Peter Murphy struggling with a thigh problem and Simon Grand having moved to League Two side Grimsby Town earlier this week.