South Midlands League
|Promotion to||Isthmian League|
|Domestic cup(s)||FA Cup, FA Vase|
|Most championships||Barton Rovers (8)|
The South Midlands League was a football league covering Bedfordshire and some adjoining counties in England. It was founded in 1922 as the Bedfordshire County League and merged with the Spartan League in 1997 to form the Spartan South Midlands League.
The league was formed in 1922 as the Bedfordshire County League, beginning with eight clubs; Arlesey Town, Biggleswade & District Reserves, Leighton United, Letchworth Town, Luton Clarence Rserves, RAF Henlow, Stotfold Athletic and Waterlows Athletic. In 1924 the league was renamed the Bedfordshire & District County League. A second division was added in 1925, and in 1929 it was renamed the South Midlands League.
Division Two had only six clubs in 1930–31 and 1931–32, and was not played in 1932–33. However, it was reintroduced for the 1933–34 season with ninen clubs, all but two of which were reserve teams.
The league was abandoned in 1939 due to World War II, before returning for the 1946–47 season. In 1947 Division One was renamed the Premier Division and Division Two became Division One, with a new third division added, name Division Two. The league gained another division in 1949 when Division Two was split into Division Two A and B, with a play-off between the two division winners to determine the overall Division Two champions. The following season Division Two reverted to being a single division.
Division Two was abolished in 1955 after having shrunk to only eight clubs in 1954–55. The league then remained unchanged until 1993 when Division One was renamed the Senior Division and a new division (Division One) added as a third tier. In 1997 the league merged with the Spartan League to form the Spartan South Midlands League. The new league initially ran with two Premier Divisions (north and south), a Senior Division and two Division Ones (north and south).
Although clubs from the league played in the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup from the late 1920s onwards, none ever reached 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 Vase, with Barton Rovers reaching the final in 1977–78 and Arlesey Town winning the competition in 1994–95.
- Cranfield won the play-off, defeating Houghton Rangers 3–2 and 2–1 for a 5–3 aggregate win