Cheshire County League

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The Cheshire County League was a football league founded in the north west of England in 1919, drawing its teams largely from Cheshire, surrounding English counties and North Wales.

Initially the league was dominated by the reserve teams of Football League clubs, but as the Central League became established for these teams, the non-league clubs won every title after 1938.

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 led to the league being split into Eastern and Western sections, with the winners of each playing for the overall championship in 1939–40, with the league then closing down for the duration of the combat until restarting in 1945.

In 1968 the league lost several clubs to the newly formed Northern Premier League. Despite this the league expanded in 1978 by adding a Division Two, but in 1982 the league ceased to exist after it merged with the Lancashire Combination to form the North West Counties Football League.

Honours[edit]

League champions[edit]

Season Champions
1919–20 Runcorn
1920–21 Winsford United
1921–22 Chester
1922–23 Crewe Alexandra reserves
1923–24 Crewe Alexandra reserves
1924–25 Port Vale reserves
1925–26 Chester
1926–27 Chester
1927–28 Port Vale reserves
1928–29 Port Vale reserves
1929–30 Port Vale reserves
1930–31 Port Vale reserves
1931–32 Macclesfield
1932–33 Macclesfield
1933–34 Wigan Athletic
1934–35 Wigan Athletic
1935–36 Wigan Athletic
1936–37 Runcorn
1937–38 Tranmere Rovers reserves
1938–39 Runcorn
1939–40 Runcorn
1940–45 No competition due to World War II
1945–46 Wellington Town
1946–47 Wellington Town
1947–48 Rhyl
1948–49 Witton Albion
1949–50 Witton Albion
1950–51 Rhyl
1951–52 Wellington Town
1952–53 Macclesfield Town
1953–54 Witton Albion
1954–55 Hyde United
1955–56 Hyde United
1956–57 Northwich Victoria
1957–58 Ellesmere Port Town
1958–59 Ellesmere Port Town
1959–60 Ellesmere Port Town
1960–61 Macclesfield Town
1961–62 Ellesmere Port Town
1962–63 Runcorn
1963–64 Macclesfield Town
1964–65 Wigan Athletic
1965–66 Altrincham
1966–67 Altrincham
1967–68 Macclesfield Town
1968–69 Skelmersdale United
1969–70 Skelmersdale United
1970–71 Rossendale United
1971–72 Rhyl
1972–73 Buxton
1973–74 Marine
1974–75 Leek Town
1975–76 Marine
1976–77 Winsford United
1977–78 Marine
1978–79 Horwich RMI
1979–80 Stalybridge Celtic
1980–81 Nantwich Town
1981–82 Hyde United

Division Two Champions[edit]

Season Champions
1978–79 Bootle
1979–80 Prescot Town
1980–81 Accrington Stanley
1981–82 Congleton Town

Membership History[edit]

Founder members of the League in 1919 were Altrincham, Chester, Crewe Alexandra reserves, Crichtons Athletic, Macclesfield, Monks Hall, Mossley, Nantwich, Northwich Vics, Runcorn, Winsford Utd & Witton Albion. Altrincham, Mossley, Northwich and Witton had been members of the Lancashire Combination the previous season.
1920 the League expanded by adding 6 clubs, Ashton National, Congleton Town, Connah's Quay & Shotton, Sandbach Ramblers, Stalybridge Celtic reserves and Tranmere Rovers reserves, the last 2 from the Lancashire Combination.
1921 Chrichton's Ath changed their name to Saltney Ath. The League extended by 2 clubs, adding Ellesmere Port Cement and Whitchurch. Stockport County reserves replaced Monk's Hall in mid-season.
1922 Middlewich replaced Connah's Quay and Shotton.
1923 Stalybridge Celtic, having resigned from the Football League, replaced their reserves, and Saltney Ath. also departed. The League extended to 22 clubs by admitting Hurst, Wallasey Utd and Port Vale reserves.
1924 Manchester North End and Ellesmere Port Town replaced Wallasey Utd and Stockport County reserves.
1925 Eccles Utd, from the Lancashire Combination, replaced Ellesmere Port Cement.
1927 Stockport County reserves returned, replacing Ellesmere Port Town.
1928 Stockport County reserves and Eccles Utd. left, reducing the League to 20 clubs.
1929 Connah's Quay & Shotton and Manchester Central joined, bringing membership back to 22.
1930 Hyde United, champions of the Manchester League elected to replace Middlewich.
1931 Chester were elected to the Football League, and were replaced by their reserves. Connah's Quay & Shotton folded in mid-season.
1932 Buxton from the Manchester League and Wigan Athletic, a newly formed club, joined, with Manchester Central leaving.
1933 Prescot Cables joined from the Lancashire Combination, and Stockport County reserves re-entered, while Whitchurch left, as did Port Vale reserves who joined the Birmingham League.
1934 Port Vale reserves returned, replacing Sandbach Ramblers.
1936 Prescot Cables returned to the Lancashire Combination, and were replaced by Rhyl from the Birmingham League.
1938 Wellington Town replaced Nantwich.
1939 Wartime football of two split half-seasons saw Tranmere, Crewe, Wellington, Congleton, Port Vale, Rhyl and Manchester North End fail to complete, with Droylsden joining from the Lancashire Combination to make numbers up to 16 (2 divisions of 8 (East/West)). The second half-season saw the arrival of South Liverpool, replacing Buxton and Stockport County. Macclesfield moved from West division to East, which ran with 7 clubs.
1945 When the League restarted after the war, the membership comprised the following 20 clubs: Buxton, Chester reserves, Crewe Alexandra reserves, Droylsden, Hurst (name changed to Ashton Utd.), Hyde United, Mossley, Northwich Vics., Oldham Ath reserves, Port Vale reserves, Rhyl, Runcorn, South Liverpool, Stalybridge Celtic, Stockport County reserves, Tranmere Rovers reserves, Wellington Town, Wigan Ath., Witton Alb., Wrexham reserves.
1946 The league returned to 22 clubs with the returns of Altrincham, Macclesfield and Congleton Town, and the departure of Oldham Athletic reserves.
1947 Winsford Utd. returned, replacing Wigan Ath., who joined the Lancashire Combination.
1948 Ashton Utd. joined the Lancashire Combination and were replaced by Ellesmere Port Town.
1950 Droylsden joined the Lancashire Combination and were replaced by Bangor City from the Lancashire Combination.
1952 Stafford Rangers from the Birmingham Combination replaced South Liverpool, who returned to the Lancashire Combination.
1958 Stockport County reserves left and Wellington Town joined the Southern League.
1959 Oswestry from the Birmingham League, and Wigan Rovers replaced Port Vale reserves and Crewe Alexandra reserves.
1960 Membership returned to 22 clubs with the admission of Frickley Colliery from the Midland League and Sankeys (Wellington).
1961 Wigan Rovers left and were replaced by Wigan Athletic from the Lancashire Combination.
1965 Stockport County reserves re-entered, and New Brighton (from the Lancashire Combination replaced Sankeys (Wellington) (to the Birmingham League), and Congleton Town (to the Manchester League).
1968 Seven Cheshire League clubs became founder members of the Northern Premier League. These were Macclesfield Town, Altrincham, Bangor City, Northwich Vics., Wigan Athletic, Hyde United, and Runcorn. Wrexham reserves and Stockport County reserves also left. Membership was brought up to 20 by admitting Skelmersdale United, Guinness Exports, Horwich RMI, Droylsden and Ashton Utd. all from the Lancashire Combination, Nantwich from the Manchester League and Sandbach Ramblers from the Mid-Cheshire League.
1969 Stafford Rangers join the NPL and Chester reserves resign, replaced by Marine from the Lancashire Combination, and Port Vale reserves.
1970 Guinness Exports change their name to Ormskirk. Hyde United return from the NPL, Burscough and Rossendale United join from the Lancashire Combination, along with Oldham Athletic reserves. Tranmere Rovers reserves leave and Frickley Colliery rejoin the Midland League.
1971 Port Vale reserves leave again, and both Skelmersdale United and Ellesmere Port Town join the NPL. The replacements are Formby, from the Liverpool Combination, and Prestwich Heys and Radcliffe Borough both from the Manchester League.
1972 Mossley joined the NPL, with Chorley moving in the opposite direction.
1973 Champions Buxton joined the NPL, and Leek Town joined from the Manchester League.
1974 Ormskirk folded, and were replaced by New Mills from the Manchester League.
1975 Sandbach Ramblers folded, Oldham Athletic reserves left and Oswestry Town joined the Southern League. They were replaced by Middlewich Athletic from the Mid-Cheshire League, and Darwen and St Helens Town, both from the Lancashire Combination.
1978 The League added a second division to which Prestwich Heys are immediately relegated, to be replaced by the newly formed Fleetwood Town. Kirkby was an original second-division team; it was promoted to Division 1 in 1980, but relegated the following season.

External links[edit]