The Football Combination

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The Football Combination
The Football Combination.png
Country  England
Founded 1915
Folded 2012

The Football Combination was a football competition for the reserve teams of English Football League clubs from Southern England, the Midlands and Wales; other clubs from the Midlands and those from the North playing in the Central League (it is not to be confused with the Combination, a league for teams from North West England which existed at the turn of the 20th century).

The Football Combination was founded in 1915 as the London Combination, originally as a regional league for London clubs after first-class competition had been suspended due to World War I. After hostilities ended, the Combination became a competition for reserve sides only, becoming the Football Combination for the 1939–40 season, which was abandoned due to the start of World War II, as teams from outside London started to join.

The Combination originally included reserve teams of top League clubs within the region, but in 1999 the FA Premier Reserve League was founded. The reserve teams of the FA Premier League clubs and some First Division clubs joined that competition, reducing the size of the Combination (however, in 2006, Premier League clubs voted that only the 20 top-tier teams would be able to play in this league, which meant several well-established reserve sides moving to the Combination).

The 2011–12 season was the last in the history of the Combination, with the introduction of the EPPP deeming the league surplus to requirements.


Season Ref
1915–16 Chelsea [1]
1916–17 West Ham United [2]
1917–18 Chelsea [2]
1918–19 Brentford [3]
1931–32 Brentford [4]
1932–33 Brentford [4]
1995–96 Queens Park Rangers
1996–97 Wimbledon
1997–98 Charlton Athletic
1998–99 Charlton Athletic
1999–00 Millwall
2000–01 Fulham
2001–02 Queens Park Rangers
2002–03 Crystal Palace
Season Central & East Division Wales & West Division
2003–04 Reading Cardiff City
2004–05 Luton Town Cardiff City
Season Central Division East Division Wales & West Division
2005–06 Reading Luton Town Cheltenham Town
2006–07 Brighton & Hove Albion Ipswich Town Cheltenham Town
2007–08 Southampton Ipswich Town Bristol City
2008–09 Reading Luton Town Plymouth Argyle
2009–10 Brighton & Hove Albion Watford Exeter City

Combination Challenge Cup[edit]

The Combination also operated a cup competition - The Combination Challenge Cup.


Season Winners
2008–09 Crystal Palace / Reading

See also[edit]


  1. ^ White 1989, p. 363.
  2. ^ a b White 1989, p. 364.
  3. ^ White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. p. 365. ISBN 0951526200. 
  4. ^ a b Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopedia. Harefield, Middlesex: Yore Publications. p. 83. ISBN 1 874427 57 7. 

External links[edit]