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
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
Slimbridge Association Football Club are an English football club representing the village of Slimbridge, near Dursley, Gloucestershire, currently playing in the Southern League. The club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA, in 1951 the club moved to their current ground at Wisloe Road after Evi Thornhill, a former player bequeathed the land to the club in his will. From then until the 1990s the club competed in the Stroud and District League. They won the league at the first attempt, and were promoted to the Gloucestershire County League where the club maintained back to back promotions by winning back to the Hellenic League. In 2013 they transferred to the Western League Premier Division, after securing a 3rd-place finish in the Western League Premier Division at the end of the 2014-15 season, it was confirmed that the club had earned promotion to the Southern League. The record attendance at Wisloe Road is 525 for a game against Shortwood United in 2003, slimbridges second highest ever attendance was in a pre season friendly with Forest Green Rovers in August 2011. It is situated not in Slimbridge but just over the A38 in nearby Cambridge, the ground also plays host to the home games of the ladies team at Forest Green Rovers. On 26 July 2016 the grounds name was changed to Thornhill Park, the change in name was to honour former chairman Evi Thornhill who gave the land to the club in 1960
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
Bishop Sutton A.F.C.
Bishop Sutton Association Football Club are a football club based in Bishop Sutton, Somerset, near Bristol, England. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Lakeview and they were officially established in 1977, although it is actually a reformed version of a club that dated from the early 1900s. Bishop Sutton joined the Western Football League in 1991 after playing in the Somerset County League and prior to that the Bristol, a title in the 1997–98 season in Division One earned the club a promotion to the Premier Division, where they have played ever since. They reached the 3rd round of the FA Vase in the 1995–96 season, the club is affiliated to the Somerset County FA. The club became champions of the Western League Premier Division for the first time in its winning the league by a six-point margin. The 2012–13 season saw the club become champions of the Western Football League, however, they were not promoted to the Southern Football League, as they never applied to be promoted. Bishop Sutton play their games at Lakeview, Wick Road, Bishop Sutton
Barnstaple Town F.C.
Barnstaple Town Football Club is a football club based in Barnstaple, Devon, England. They are currently members of Division One South & West of the Southern League, the club was established in 1904 as Pilton Yeo Vale, and were founder members of the North Devon League in the same year. They played in the leagues first match, hosting Ilfracombe on 1 October, however, that was to be the only defeat all season in the league and club went on to win the inaugural league title. At the end of the season they adopted their current name, after winning a second North Devon league title in 1908–09, they club switched to the Exeter & District League, where they remained until World War I. After the war returned to the North Devon League, before rejoining the Exeter & District League. They won the title in 1946–47 and were runners-up the following season. In 1949–50 Barnstaple won Division Two, earning promotion to Division One, in 1951–52 they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 5–2 to Folkestone in a replay. The club were champions in 1952–53, and reached the first round of the FA Cup again in 1954–55. They reached the first round of the FA Cup for a time in 1959–60. The league was reduced to a division in 1960. The league expanded back to two divisions in 1976, with Barnstaple placed in the Premier Division, in 1979–80 they won their second Western League title, and finished as runners-up in the following two seasons. After finishing second-from bottom in 1990–91, Barnstaple were relegated to Division One, three seasons later they won Division One, earning promotion back to the Premier Division. They remained in the Premier Division until being relegated again at the end of the 2012–13 season, however, they made an immediate return to the top division after winning Division One in 2014–15. The following season saw the finish as runners-up in the Premier Division. The club play their games at Mill Road in Barnstaple. It has a capacity of 5,000, of which 250 is seated and 1,000 covered. C, players Barnstaple Town F. C. managers Official website
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
Cribbs Football Club is an English football club founded in 1958 and based at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, England. They are currently members of Western League Premier Division and are affiliated to the Gloucestershire County FA, Cribbs Football Club was founded in London in 1958 as Sun Life Assurance. The Bristol team was established in 1976 when Sun Life first relocated to Bristol, initially, two teams were run, participating in the Bristol and Avon League, playing at Dundridge Farm. In the summer of 2011, the changed from AXA to its new name of Cribbs Friends Life FC ready for the 2011–12 season. As well as winning the double, the club earned promotion to the Western League Division One for the 2012–13 season as a result of being crowned champions. The season turned out to be a one for the club in general as the Reserve. In 2013, Cribbs Friends Life F. C. changed their name to Cribbs F. C. after losing the backing of their sponsors, Cribbs play their home matches at The Lawns, Station Road, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7TB. The grounds consist of 4 full size football pitches,2 tennis courts. The 1st team pitch and surrounding area is fully compliant with FA ground grading requirements for the Western League, hard standing surrounds the pitch in addition to a perimeter barrier. A50 seater stand with room for an additional 100 standing was built in 2013, the club are currently in the process of building an additional stand which will hold 100 seats. The Lawns is the current training base for Bristol Rovers