Athenian League

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Athenian League
First season1912–13
Country England
DivisionsOne (1912–1963, 1977–1984)
Two (1973–1977)
Three (1963–1973)
Number of teamsLowest: 10 (1912–1913)
Highest: 48 (1964–1972)
Feeder toIsthmian League
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup, FA Amateur Cup
FA Trophy, FA Vase
Most championshipsBarnet (7)

The Athenian League was an English amateur football league for clubs in and around London. The league was originally to be called the Corinthian League,[1] but this name was rejected by the Football Association. It was formed in 1912 with ten clubs, but had to close down in 1914 due to the onset of World War I. When it reformed in 1920, only three of the previous teams rejoined. Clubs left and joined the league at a rate of about one a year, with a number leaving to join the Isthmian League, the strongest amateur league in the London area. Total membership remained fairly stable at between twelve and sixteen clubs until 1963, when it absorbed most of the clubs from two rival leagues, the Corinthian League (most of whose former clubs formed Division One) and the Delphian League (most of whose former clubs formed Division Two). The existing division was renamed the Premier Division.

Over the following years it lost many clubs to stronger leagues, particularly the Isthmian League and Southern League, and successive waves of Isthmian League expansion in 1973, 1977 and 1984 finally forced the league to disband. The league was amongst the first in England to be sponsored by an external company when, in the late 1970s, it was billed as the Kingsmead Athenian League.[2]


The champion clubs were as follows:[3]

Season Champions
1912–13 Catford Southend
1913–14 Tufnell Park
1919–20 Luton Clarence
1920–21 St Albans City
1921–22 St Albans City
1922–23 Bromley
1923–24 Kingstonian
1924–25 Redhill
1925–26 Kingstonian
1926–27 Southall
1927–28 Sutton United
1928–29 Leyton
1929–30 Walthamstow Avenue
1930–31 Barnet
1931–32 Barnet
1932–33 Walthamstow Avenue
1933–34 Walthamstow Avenue
1934–35 Barking
1935–36 Romford
1936–37 Romford
1937–38 Walthamstow Avenue
1938–39 Walthamstow Avenue
1945–46 Sutton United
1946–47 Barnet
1947–48 Barnet
1948–49 Bromley
1949–50 Tooting & Mitcham
1950–51 Bromley
1951–52 Wealdstone
1952–53 Hendon
1953–54 Finchley
1954–55 Tooting & Mitcham
1955–56 Hendon
1956–57 Hayes
1957–58 Sutton United
1958–59 Barnet
1959–60 Hounslow Town
1960–61 Hendon
1961–62 Enfield
1962–63 Enfield

In 1963 the league expanded to three divisions

Season Premier Division Division One Division Two
1963–64 Barnet Leatherhead Tilbury
1964–65 Barnet Slough Town Harwich & Parkeston
1965–66 Leyton Bishop's Stortford Croydon Amateurs
1966–67 Leyton Hornchurch Eastbourne United
1967–68 Slough Town Cheshunt Lewes
1968–69 Walton & Hersham Tilbury Boreham Wood
1969–70 Bishop's Stortford Lewes Horsham
1970–71 Dagenham Aveley Herne Bay
1971–72 Slough Town Harlow Town Staines Town
1972–73 Slough Town Horsham Ruislip Manor

In 1973 the league was reduced to two divisions

Season Division One Division Two
1973–74 Boreham Wood Alton Town
1974–75 Letchworth Town Egham Town
1975–76 Cheshunt Epping Town
1976–77 Leyton-Wingate Farnborough Town

In 1977 the league was reduced to a single division

Season Champions
1977–78 Billericay Town
1978–79 Billericay Town
1979–80 Windsor & Eton
1980–81 Windsor & Eton
1981–82 Leyton-Wingate
1982–83 Newbury Town
1983–84 Redhill

Member clubs[edit]

The league had 115 member clubs during its existence:


  1. ^ Athenian Football League minutes 1912-1921 (National Football Museum, Preston).
  2. ^ Williams, Tony (1978). The FA Non-League Football Annual 1978–79. MacDonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd. p. 201.
  3. ^ Athenian League Champions RSSSF