Southern Football League
Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system. The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, the Premier Division is at step 3 of the National League System, and is a feeder division, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Division are two divisions, Division One South & West and Division One Central, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues, professional football developed more slowly in Southern England than in Northern England. Additionally, a league, the Southern Alliance was founded in 1892, with seven clubs from the region. Nonetheless, another attempt was made to form the Southern League, a competition for both professional and amateur clubs was founded in 1894 under the initiative of Millwall Athletic. Initially only one division was envisaged, but such was the enthusiasm, the sixteen founder members were, 2nd Scots Guards withdrew before the first season started and were replaced by Southampton St Marys. Woolwich Arsenal attempted to add their reserve side to the second division, the Southern League soon became the dominant competition below The Football League in Southern and Central England. By the turn of the century a few of the Southern League sides began to rival the Football League in the FA Cup, Two Southern League clubs, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final of the FA Cup around the turn of the century. Tottenham Hotspur are the club from below the 2nd level of English football to have won the FA Cup. The champions of the two leagues during this period met in the annual Charity Shield, in 1907, it accepted Bradford Park Avenue, a northern club, as a member, reflecting its senior position at the time. In 1920, virtually the top division of the Southern League was absorbed by the Football League to become that leagues new Third Division. A year later the Third Division was expanded and regionalised, the Third Division clubs from the previous season became the Third Division South, with the addition of the Third Division North. Of the original members, six – Gillingham, Luton Town, Millwall, Reading. For the next six decades, the Football League and Southern League would exchange a number of clubs as a result of the older leagues re-election process. From 1920 onward, the Southern Leagues status as a league was firmly established. In turn, the APL would eventually succeed in becoming a feeder to the Football League, the league lost more of its top clubs in 2004 when the Conference added two regional divisions below the existing National League, the Conference South and Conference North. The first sponsor of the Southern League was Beazer Homes who sponsored the league from 1987–96, the sponsors after Beazer Homes to the present day are, Dr Martens, British Gas, Zamaretto, Evo-Stik, Calor Gas, and Evo-Stik
English Football League
The English Football League is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football and it was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League. The league has 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division, the Football League has been associated with a title sponsor between 1983 and 2016. As this sponsor changed over the years the league too has been known by various names, the English Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The operations centre of the Football League is in Preston, while its commercial office is in London, the commercial office was formerly based in Lytham St Annes, after its original spell in Preston. The Football League consists of 70 professional association football clubs in England and 2 in Wales and it runs the oldest professional football league competition in the world. It also organises two knockout cup competitions, the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy, the Football League was founded in 1888 by then Aston Villa director William McGregor, originally with 12 member clubs. Steady growth and the addition of more divisions meant that by 1950 the League had 92 clubs, the Football League therefore no longer includes the top 20 clubs who belong to this group, although promotion and relegation between the Football League and the Premier League continues. In total,136 teams have played in the Football League up to 2013, the Football Leagues 72 member clubs are grouped into three divisions, the Football League Championship, Football League One, and Football League Two. Each division has 24 clubs, and in any season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium. This makes for a total of 46 games played each season, clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of the season, clubs at the top of their division may win promotion to the higher division. At the top end of the competition, three Championship clubs win promotion from the Football League to the Premier League, with the bottom three Premier League clubs taking their places, reserve teams of Football League clubs usually play in the Central League or the Football Combination. Since the 2004–05 season, penalties have existed for clubs entering financial administration during the season and it is also required that a club exiting administration agree a Creditors Voluntary Agreement, and pay in full any other footballing creditors. Failure to do either of these result in a second. The other main situation in which is a club may lose points is by fielding an improperly registered or otherwise ineligible player. If a club is found to have done this, then any points earned from any match that player participated in will be deducted, the EFL organises two knock-out cup competitions, the EFL Cup and the EFL Trophy. The EFL Cup was established in 1960 and is open to all EFL and Premier League clubs, the EFL Trophy is for clubs belonging to EFL League One and EFL League Two
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight
Thames Ironworks F.C.
Thames Ironworks Football Club, the club that later became West Ham United, was founded by Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Co. Ltd owner Arnold Hills and foreman Dave Taylor in 1895, Thames Ironworks took over the tenancy of The Old Castle Swifts Hermit Road ground in Canning Town until their eventual eviction in October 1896. They would briefly play at Browning Road in East Ham, before moving to the Memorial Grounds, the ground was built at Arnold Hills own expense, costing £20,000. Thames Ironworks were West Ham Charity Cup winners in 1895–96 and London League runners up and champions in 1896–97 and they were promoted to Southern League Division One in 1898–99 as Southern League Division Two Champions. They retained their Southern League status the following season by beating Fulham 5–1 in a Test Match, at the end of June 1900, Thames Ironworks F. C. resigned from the Southern League and were officially wound up. On 5 July 1900 they reformed under the new name of West Ham United F. C. there were platers and riveters in the Limited who had chased the big ball in the north country. There were men among them who had learned to give the subtle pass, no thought of professionalism, I may say, was ever contemplated by the founders. They meant to run their club on amateur lines and their first principal was to choose their team from men in the works, – Syd King, Thames Ironworks player and West Ham United manager 1902–1932. Thames Ironworks F. C. was founded by Dave Taylor, Taylor was a foreman at the Thames Iron Works and a local football referee. Fifty would-be players paid half-a-crown for a membership, and Taylor spent the summer arranging the fixtures for Thames Ironworks F. C. Before The Irons played their first game Taylor returned to refereeing, handing over duties to Ted Harsent. The birth of Thames Ironworks F. C. coincided with the demise of Old Castle Swifts, see also Old Castle Swifts F. C. The Ironworks played their first ever fixture against Royal Ordnance reserves on 7 September 1895, One of the players likely to have been involved in this first game was Iron Works employee Charlie Dove, who had played at full-back and centre forward during his time as a school player. Dove would be used as a right-half, but would play every position for The Irons during his time with them. In what would be their first competitive game, Thames Ironworks took on Chatham Town in a qualifying round of the FA Cup on 12 October. Their biggest defeat came on 14 December when they lost in a game away to Millwall Athletic 0–6. Millwall were also an Iron Works side, whose south London company competed with Thames Iron Works for contacts, the rivalry between the two clubs would continue into the present day. The Irons would soon bolster their strength, with the signing of Gainsborough Trinity inside forward George Gresham
Cowes Sports F.C.
Cowes Sports Football Club is a football club based in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England. They play in the Wessex League Premier Division, in 1896 they became founder members of the Hampshire League becoming its first ever champions and completing the double by winning the Hampshire Senior Cup. The club joined the Southern Football League Division Two in 1898, however, they finished as runners-up in the overall Division two play-off to Thames Ironworks. However, they were promoted to Division One after a test match against Royal Artillery Portsmouth F. C. the club was reformed in 1903, and joined the Hampshire League Division One. The club entered the FA Cup many times during its time in the Hampshire League, reaching the Fourth Qualifying Round in 1957–58, Cowes were relegated to Division Two in 1967, and won the league in 1975. The club was still a Division Two side by the 1980s when the merged with Whites Sports to form Cowes Sports. The club was promoted to Division One in 1988–89 after finishing third, the club reached the Fifth Round of the FA Vase in 1999–2000. They were placed in the Wessex League Division One upon reorganisation in 2005, Cowes Sports were relegated to Division One in 2010. In the 2014–15 season Cowes Sports gained promotion back to the Premier Division by finishing in place behind winners Team Solent. Cowes Sports play their games at Westwood Park, Reynolds Close, Cowes, the club moved to the ground in September 1912 after their old ground Brooklyn was sold for housing. The club purchased the ground in 1945 for a amount of £665.5 seconds, beating the previous record set by Ricardo Oliveira. A list of other former Players who meet the following criteria Players that have played/managed in the league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Managers/Coaches that have played/managed in the league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Jack Gregory Albie Roles Cowes Sports FC official website
The Old Den
The ground opened in 1910 and was the home of Millwall for 83 years. It boasted an attendance of 48,672. Millwall moved to the Den from North Greenwich in 1910, the location of their fourth, tom Thorne, the director in charge, had sought the help of architect Archibald Leitch and builders Humphries of Knightsbridge. The estimated cost of the Den was £10,000, the first match was on Saturday 22 October 1910 against Brighton & Hove Albion, the Southern League Champions who spoiled the celebrations by winning 1-0. The price of the official Match Programme was one penny, unfortunately, the opening ceremony also suffered a slight hitch when it was discovered that Lord Kinnaird had inadvertently gone to the Canterbury Road end. He had to be hauled, pushed, and pulled over the wall into the ground. After rushing to the end the President of the FA performed a brief opening ritual. Before kick off, a brass lion inscribed We Will Never Turn Our Backs to the Enemy, was presented to the club, Millwalls first Football League match at the Den was on 28 August 1920. This victory over Rovers was the Lions seventh successive win against them since moving to the Den, the game was played in the Football League Division 3 South of which Millwall were founder members. In this year, Millwall scored 83 goals at the Den and this is still a Football League record. Being in close proximity to the Surrey Commercial Docks, the Den sustained severe damage during the Blitz. On 26 April, a fire destroyed the Main Stand, the club accepted offers from neighbours Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and West Ham United to stage games. On 24 February 1944 Millwall returned to the Den, to play in an all-standing stadium and this was achieved, in part, with considerable volunteer labour by the Lions fans. After the war, rationing in Great Britain continued and Millwall were refused permission by the Ministry of Works to construct a new two tier stand, despite having procured all the materials. They had to wait until 1948, when permission was granted to build a single tier stand two thirds the length of the pitch, with a forecourt terrace at the front. Archibald Leitchs trademark gables were never replaced, on 5 October 1953, Millwall played Manchester United to mark the opening of their floodlights. A crowd of 25,000 saw the Lions beat the Red Devils 2-1, Millwall established a record of 59 home games without defeat at the Den from,22 August 1964 to 14 January 1967. All the players were presented with a gold cigarette lighter by the Football Association
Portsmouth Football Club /ˈpɔərtsməθ/ is a professional football club in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, which plays in League Two, the fourth tier of English football. Home matches have been played at Fratton Park since the formation in 1898. Portsmouth have been champions of England twice, in 1949 and 1950, in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, Portsmouth played European heavyweights A. C. Milan. In this period, the club had international footballers including England players Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David James, financial problems, however, soon set in and Portsmouth were relegated to the Football League Championship in 2010. In 2012, they were relegated, to League One. They began the 2013–14 season in the tier of the English football league system for the first time since the late 1970s. Portsmouth became the largest fan-owned football club in England, after the Pompey Supporters Trust successfully gained possession of Fratton Park in April 2013, Portsmouth Football Club are nicknamed Pompey, a name which it shares with the city of Portsmouth and its historic naval base. Pompey is thought most likely to originate from the abbreviation of Portsmouth Point to the shorter Pom. The club was founded in 1898 with John Brickwood — owner of the local Brickwoods Brewery — as chairman, a blue plaque on the wall of 12 High Street Portsmouth commemorates the founding on 5 April. That first season was successful, with the club winning 20 out of 28 league matches, 1910–11 saw Portsmouth relegated, but with the recruitment of Robert Brown as manager, the team was promoted the following season. League football was suspended during First World War, but following the resumption of matches Portsmouth won the Southern League for the second time, continuing success saw them in the Third Division for the 1920–21 season. They finished 12th that year, but won the division in the 1923–24 season, the club continued to perform well in the Second Division, winning promotion by finishing second in the 1926–27 season, gaining a record 9–1 win over Notts County along the way. Portsmouths debut season in the First Division was a struggle, the next season they continued to falter, losing 10–0 to Leicester City, still a club record defeat. Despite their failings in the league, however, that also saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final for the first time. Portsmouth managed to survive relegation, and their fortunes began to change, the 1933–34 season saw Portsmouth again reach the FA Cup final, beating Manchester United, Bolton, Leicester and Birmingham City on the way. The club was defeated in the final, this time to Manchester City. Having established themselves in the top flight, the 1938–39 season saw Portsmouth reach the FA Cup final and this time, Portsmouth managed to convincingly defeat favourites Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1. Bert Barlow and Jock Anderson scored, whilst Cliff Parker scored twice to complete a famous victory, League football resumed for the 1946–47 campaign after five years and Portsmouth continued in the First Division