South Midlands League

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For the currently active league, see Spartan South Midlands Football League.

The South Midlands League was an English football league covering Bedfordshire and some adjoining counties.

The league was formed in 1922 as the Bedfordshire County League, changed its name to the Bedfordshire & District County League in 1924 before adopting the South Midlands League title in 1929. The league merged with the Spartan League to form the Spartan South Midlands League in 1997.

For the majority of the league's existence, it comprised two divisions, but for a period after World War II, and for the final four seasons, there were three divisions, with the peak membership of 48 clubs competing in 1995–96.

After the evolution of the National League System, the league became a feeder to the Isthmian League, with clubs such as Leighton Town, Oxford City and Bedford Town earning promotion.

Although clubs from the league played in the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup from the late 1920s onwards, none ever made the first round proper. The best performance came from Barton Rovers in 1976–77 when they reached the fourth qualifying round. South Midlands League clubs had more success in the FA VaseBarton Rovers reached the final in 1977–78, while Arlesey Town went one better in 1994–95 to become the first and only South Midlands League club to win the competition.

South Midlands League Divisional Champions (partial list)[edit]


Season Premier Division One
1980–81 Stotfold 61 F.C.
1981–82 Pirton Welwyn Garden
1982–83 Pirton Ashcroft Co-Op
1983–84 Shefford Town New Bradwell St Peter
1984–85 Eaton Bray United Milton Keynes Borough
1985–86 Selby Buckingham Athletic
1986–87 Selby Electrolux
1987–88 Shillington Pitstone & Ivinghoe
1988–89 Langford Welwyn Garden United
1989–90 Pitstone & Ivinghoe Harpenden Town
1990–91 Thame United Buckingham Athletic
1991–92 Leighton Town Ashcroft
1992–93 Oxford City Bedford Town


A third division was re-introduced in 1993. The divisions were named Premier, Senior and Division One. Promotion and relegation between the divisions was not automatic, but also based on facilities.

Season Premier Senior Division One
1993–94 Bedford Town Toddington Rovers Stony Stratford Town
1994–95 Arlesey Town London Colney Houghton Town
1995–96 Arlesey Town Holmer Green Mercedes-Benz
1996–97 Potters Bar Town Leverstock Green Biggleswade United