Western Football League
The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The leagues current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is known as the Toolstation League. The champion club may apply for promotion to a Step 4 league, below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League. The South West Peninsula League Premier Division is also a feeder to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status, Premier Division, Division One, The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues, the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League. On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, totton in 2007 at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League. Bedminster | Clevedon | Clifton Association | Eastville Rovers | Mangotsfield | St. George | Trowbridge Town | Warmley | Wells Official Site Western League -Fixtures, Results and Tables
Clevedon Town F.C.
Clevedon Town Football Club are an English semi-professional football club based in the village of Kenn outside of Clevedon, Somerset. The club is affiliated to the Somerset County Football Association and is an FA chartered Standard club They are currently members of the Western League Premier Division, Clevedon FC was formed in 1880, making the club one of the oldest clubs in the West Country. They were founder members of the Western League in 1892 although their stay only lasted three seasons, after dropping back into local football they re-joined the Western League in the 1910–11 season. They initially played at Dial Hill, still the home of the cricket club, but they moved to a new site at Old Street in 1895. After the War the club returned to the Western League. However the club became known for their runs in the FA Amateur Cup. This cup success, however, was not matched in the league and Clevedon spent several years in Division 2 before resigning, for financial reasons, the clubs name was later changed to Clevedon Town to reflect their new status. Clevedon joined the ranks in 1974 when Ray Mabbutt, father of future Spurs star Gary Mabbutt became their first paid player. The 1980s also saw the club pick up their first Somerset Premier Cup in the 1986–87 season, the protest was upheld and the tie ordered to be replayed. In their first season at their new home in 1992–93, the gained promotion to the Southern League for the first time. Promotion to the Premier Division followed in 1998 and, although Town were relegated again in 2000–01, in 2006 they reached the first round proper of the FA Cup but went down 4–1 to Football League opposition Chester City. The club at the end of the 2009–10 season suffered relegation, Clevedon Town have a fierce rivalry with neighbours Weston-super-Mare, who are situated in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. However, the rivalry has been put on the back-burner as of late since Weston-super-Mare was promoted to the Southern League Premier Division in 2002–03 after winning promotion at Clevedon Town 1–0, the two have not played in the same league since. Clevedon Town play their games at The Hand Stadium, Davis Lane, the Hand Stadium took its name from the Hand family, successive generations of which were involved in running the club for nearly 100 years. The facility includes a pitch, training facilities, a 300-seater stand, tiered terracing around the whole ground. The complex also includes function/conference facilities as well as Vibe, Clevedons only nightclub, the record attendance of the Hand Stadium is 2,261, when the club played Chester City in a First Round FA Cup tie on 11 November 2006. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. Players that have achieved success in other sports
Odd Down A.F.C.
Odd Down Football Club are a football club based in Bath, England. They are currently members of the Western League Premier Division and play at the Lew Hill Memorial Ground, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. As far as can be traced the club was founded in 1901 by Fred Weaver and brothers Walt, Odd Down, then a self-contained village on the outskirts of Bath in Somerset, played in the Bath and District Football League. In 1920 Odd Down won the Bath City Knockout Cup, Odd Down FC spent their formative years on pitches at Stirtingale Farm and at the Quarr Ground, before moving to Combe Hay Lane in the 1930s. Re-grouping after the war, Odd Down started off again in the Somerset Senior League and they also won the Mid-Somerset Football League that season, a league formed to make up for the shortage of Somerset Senior League fixtures at that time. Following a bad report into the facilities at Odd Down the club were expelled from the Somerset Senior League, a few years later the Wiltshire League voiced disapproval of Somerset-based teams competing in their league and Odd Down found themselves re-admitted to the Somerset Senior League. From 1967 to 1972 the club formed a committee which worked hard to provide a social club. The hard work paid off as Odd Down gained admittance to the Western Football League for the start of the 1977–78 season. In their centenary year of 2001 Odd Down reached the final of the Somerset Premier Cup for the first time, the feat was repeated in 2004, this time going down 5–0 to Yeovil Town at the club’s Huish Park home. They remained in the Premier Division until relegation to Division One in 2008, but were promoted back to the Premier Division in 2010, where they remain to this day. Odd Down play their games at Lew Hill Memorial Ground, Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, Bath, Somerset
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
Weston-super-Mare Association Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England. Nicknamed The Seagulls, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County Football Association and currently competes in the National League South, the club was founded in 1887 but disbanded twice, the current club was established in 1948. Their claim to fame is that they have never relegated in their history. The teams best performance in the FA Cup came in 2003–04 when they reached the round of the competition. Weston-super-Mare has a modest fan base and a rivalry with fellow Somerset club Clevedon Town. However, the two clubs have not played in the league since Weston-super-Mare gained promotion to the Southern League Premier Division in 2003. Weston-super-Mare A. F. C. was formed in 1887, the teams first record of a competitive match being against near-neighbours Clevedon Town in a Medal Competition organised by the Somerset FA. In 1900 they joined Division two of the Western Football League but left two years. In 1910 they rejoined this league and played there until World War I, between the wars, the club played in the local Bristol and District Football League and then the Somerset County League but the club disbanded upon the outbreak of hostilities in 1939. The club reformed in 1948 and immediately rejoined the Western League, at this time the team played at the Great Ground in Locking Road, where initially there was no cover for spectators and the players had to change in a marquee. A season after the club joined rejoined the Western league they made their debut in the FA Cup in the 1949–50 season losing to Gloucester City in the qualifying round. The team remained in the Second Division until the league consolidated to a division in 1960. During this time moved to the Langford Road Ground. In 1989 John Ellener was appointed manager and led the club to the Western League championship in 1991–92, in their first Premier Division season they finished in 10th place, enough to clinch a place in the newly formed Conference South. The clubs most successful cup run came in the 2003–04 season, after defeating Dorchester Town, Chesham United and Welling United in the qualifying rounds, Weston secured a 1–0 away win against Farnborough Town to progress from the first round. They were awarded with a tie against Third Division side. In the same season, Weston would equal their best performance in the FA Trophy, in the 2006–07 season of the conference south the club looked they finished in 20th position and looked seemingly relegated. The 2007–08 season ended in similar fashion for Weston, a 20th-place finish meant the club was eligible for relegation, only to be spared by the enforced demotion of Cambridge City, who failed a ground inspection
Torquay United F.C.
Torquay United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Torquay, Devon, England. The club participates in the National League, the tier of English football. They are based at Plainmoor and are managed by player-manager. The original Torquay United was formed in 1899 by a group of school-leavers under the guidance of Sergeant-Major Edward Tomney, relations between the two Torquay clubs were poor, but in 1921 matters finally came to a head. From 1923 onwards the league was split into Eastern and Western halves, in 1925, the club battled through five qualifying rounds to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in the clubs history. Captain Percy Mackrill lead the team through two 1–1 draws before a strong Reading side won the second replay 2–0 at Plainmoor. The club then went on to lose the Southern League Championship final against the Eastern Champions Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves 4–0, finally the town of Torquay had a professional league team and had joined Plymouth and Exeter in the football league at last. The side for that first game was, Millsom, Cook, Smith, Wellock, Wragge, Conner, Mackey, Turner, Jones, McGovern, a crowd of 11,625 watched a 1–1 draw with Torquays goal coming from Bert Turner. Throughout the 1930s Torquay struggled against financial problems, such as having to replace the roof when it was blown off in 1930. They also failed to finish higher than 10th in twelve seasons, in the last few seasons before league football was suspended during the Second World War, Torquay struggled in Division Three South, finishing 20th, 20th and 19th out of 22 teams. In 1939, Torquay qualified for the final of the Third Division South Cup, however, the 1939 final was never played due to the outbreak of the Second World War. When league football was resumed in 1946, United continued to struggle, with the change of colours came a change in fortunes starting with the clubs greatest ever FA Cup moment that very season. After defeating Cambridge United 4–0 at home and Blyth Spartans 1–3 away, Torquay were drawn against Leeds United, away, in the third round of the Cup. The Torquay United versus Huddersfield Town fourth round FA Cup game at Plainmoor will always live on in the memory of those who attended the match on 29 January 1955. Torquay lost 1–0 to the higher-placed Division One club, but the attendance of 21,908 remains a Club record. Following their FA Cup heroics, in the 1956–57 season Torquay just missed out on promotion to Division Two on goal average, the season had begun well – and by April, the possibility of a first promotion to Division Two was the talk of the town. A trip to Crystal Palace for the team and over 1,500 Torquay fans travelling on the last day of the season beckoned. However, after two seasons in the Third Division they were again relegated on the last day of the campaign, with a 4–2 away defeat at Barnsley