1896–97 Western Football League
|Champions||Warmley (Division One)
Eastville Wanderers (Division Two)
The 1896–97 season was the fifth in the history of the Western Football League, which had been known as the Bristol & District league until 1895.
Warmley were the Division One champions for the fourth time in five years, and also began competing in the Southern League during this season. Eastville Wanderers won Division Two in only their second season in the league.
At the end of this season the league was restructured, with a new Professional Section being formed, taking five clubs from Division One and three new clubs joining. Division One and Division Two remained as the Amateur Section, with four clubs being promoted from Division Two to Division One, and several new clubs joining both divisions.
One new club joined Division One for this season, though the number of clubs was reduced from 12 to nine after Gloucester and Swindon Wanderers left, Cardiff were expelled and Mangotsfield were relegated to Division Two.
|1||Warmley||16||13||2||1||42||9||4.67||28||Moved to new Professional Section|
|2||Bristol South End||16||11||0||5||28||22||1.27||22||Moved to new Professional Section|
|4||St George||16||8||1||7||27||23||1.17||17||Moved to new Professional Section|
|5||Eastville Rovers||16||7||2||7||25||23||1.09||14*||Moved to new Professional Section|
|6||Trowbridge Town||16||5||3||8||21||30||0.7||13||Moved to new Professional Section|
* Eastville Rovers had two points deducted for fielding an ineligible player.
One new team joined Division Two this season, though the number of clubs was reduced from 11 to seven after Cumberland, Clifton Reserves, St George Reserves and Warmley Reserves left the league and Frenchay resigned.
- Mangotsfield, relegated from Division One
|1||Eastville Wanderers (P)||12||7||4||1||25||9||2.78||18||Promoted to Division One (Amateur)|
|2||Barton Hill (P)||12||7||3||2||28||7||4||17||Promoted to Division One (Amateur)|
|3||Mangotsfield (P)||12||6||3||3||23||14||1.44||15||Promoted to Division One (Amateur)|
|4||Fishponds (P)||12||4||5||3||17||16||1.06||13||Promoted to Division One (Amateur)|
|6||Eastville Rovers Reserves||12||1||3||8||7||33||0.21||5||Left the league at the end of the season|
|7||Staple Hill Reserves||12||1||1||10||8||34||0.23||3||Left the league at the end of the season|
1 The system of using goal average to separate two teams tied on points was used up to and including the 1976–77 season.
2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for losing.
3 The tables as published at the time contained errors, hence the totals do not balance in some columns.
- Robinson, Michael (ed.), Non-League Football Tables 1889–2006, Soccer Books, 2006