1897–98 Western Football League
|Champions||Bristol City (Professional Section)
Bedminster (Amateur Division One)
Hanham (Amateur Division Two)
The 1897–98 season was the sixth in the history of the Western Football League.
For 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.
Bristol City were the champions of the new Professional Section, and also competed in the Southern League during this season, along with Swindon Town, Reading and Warmley. Division One of the Amateur Section was won by Bedminster, and the Division Two champions were newcomers Hanham. A large number of clubs left the Amateur Section at the end of the season, necessitating a merger of the two amateur divisions for the following season.
The three new clubs admitted to the league to play in this eight-club section were:
- Swindon Town
- Bristol South End changed their name to Bristol City
- St George changed their name to Bristol St George
|1||Bristol City||14||11||1||2||51||16||3.19||23||Left to concentrate on the Southern League|
|3||Reading||14||7||2||5||29||25||1.16||16||Left to concentrate on the Southern League|
|4||Bristol St George||14||6||3||5||25||27||0.93||15|
|7||Eastleigh||14||3||2||9||22||55||0.4||8||Joined Southern League at the end of the season|
Amateur Division One
This ten-club division was a continuation of the old Division One, with six new clubs:
- Barton Hill, promoted from the old Division Two
- Eastville Wanderers, promoted from the old Division Two
- Fishponds, promoted from the old Division Two
- Mangotsfield, promoted from the old Division Two
- Midsomer Norton, also playing in the Somerset Senior League
- Radstock, also playing in the Somerset Senior League
|1||Bedminster (P)||16||15||0||1||65||11||5.91||30||Promoted to Professional Section|
|6||Radstock||16||5||4||7||17||28||0.61||14||Left to concentrate on the Somerset Senior League|
|7||St Paul's||16||4||3||9||15||28||0.54||11||Left the league at the end of the season|
|8||Eastville Wanderers||16||4||1||11||15||16||0.94||9||Left the league at the end of the season|
|9||Mangotsfield||16||1||7||8||5||29||0.17||9||Left the league at the end of the season|
|10||Clifton||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Resigned, record expunged †|
† Clifton resigned early in the season, and their record was expunged.
Amateur Division Two
This eight-club division was a continuation of the old Division Two, with seven new clubs:
- Barton Hill Reserves
- Eastville Wanderers Reserves
- Fishponds Reserves
- Royal Artillery (Horfield) (not to be confused with Royal Artillery Portsmouth F.C.)
- St Paul's Reserves
|3||Barton Hill Reserves||10||4||2||4||20||14||1.43||10||Left the league at the end of the season|
|4||St Paul's Reserves||10||2||2||6||19||26||0.73||6||Left the league at the end of the season|
|5||Fishponds Reserves||10||1||1||8||10||25||0.4||3||Left the league at the end of the season|
|6||Bedminster Reserves||10||1||0||9||10||34||0.29||2||Left the league at the end of the season|
|7||Eastville Wanderers Reserves||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Resigned, record expunged †|
|8||Royal Artillery (Horfield)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Resigned, record expunged †|
† Eastville Wanderers Reserves and Royal Artillery (Horfield) resigned early in the season, and their records were expunged.
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