Southern Amateur Football League

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Southern Amateur Football League
SAL short.png
Sport Football
Founded 1907
No. of teams c.190 (19 divisions)
(3 senior divisions)
Country England
Most recent
Polytechnic (Division 1)
East Barnet Old Grammarians (Division 2)
Norsemen (Division 3)

The Southern Amateur League (SAL) is an association football league affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance (AFA). It is based in and around Greater London and caters for 11–a–side men's adult teams. A feature of the league is 'multi-team football', common in AFA leagues, with clubs fielding an average of 5-6 teams each. For season 2017-18 the league has 38 member clubs running around 190 teams in 19 divisions. All clubs are strictly amateur.

Club set-up, sportsmanship and hospitality[edit]

As in other AFA leagues it is common for clubs to run several teams with some SAL clubs running up to 9 teams. This allows players of all abilities to play against teams from other clubs of a similar standard. The best players will be picked for the 1st team, the best of the remainder going into the 2nd team and so on down the club.

The SAL places emphasis on sportsmanship and hospitality, with all players expected to socialise with their opponents and the match officials after the game. Disciplinary problems and cases of violent conduct are generally perceived to be experienced less in SAL football – and AFA football in general – than in other types of football.

League set-up and Challenge Cups[edit]

The League is divided into four sections: Senior (restricted to 1st teams, 3 divisions), Intermediate (4 divisions), Junior North (5 divisions) and Junior South (6 divisions). Teams can be promoted between the Intermediate and Junior Sections but 1st teams wishing to move up to the Senior Section must do by application the League Management Committee (only 1st teams may play in the Senior Section).

As well as league competitions the SAL runs seven cup competitions. These are:

  • Senior Cup (for teams in Senior Divisions 1, 2 and 3)
  • Intermediate Cup (for teams in Intermediate Divisions 1, 2 and 3)
  • Junior Cup (for teams in Intermediate Division 4, Junior Divisions 1 North and 1 South)
  • Minor Cup (Junior Division 2 North and Junior Division 2 South)
  • Senior Novets Cup (Junior Division 3 North and Junior Division 3 South)
  • Intermediate Novets Cup (Junior Division 4 North, Junior Division 4 South and Junior Division 5 South)
  • Junior Novets Cup (Junior Division 5 North and Junior Division 6 South)

The Junior Cup and below were inaugurated for the 1995–96. The Senior and Intermediate Cups were introduced for season 2015-16. They were not previously considered necessary as 1st and 2nd teams were offered an extra 'county divisional' cup by the AFA (either the Middlesex/Essex Cup or the Surrey/Kent Cup, depending on location).

Current member clubs[edit]

Three of the current members (Alleyn Old Boys, Civil Service and Crouch End Vampires) are founder members of the League while 19 have been in membership since before World War II.

Club Main Ground Founded Joined SAL
Actonians Association Gunnersbury Drive, Ealing, W5 4LL 1925 1977
AFC Oldsmiths Loring Hall, 8 Water Lane, London, DA14 5EJ 2009 2014
Alexandra Park Alexandra Park, London, N22 7BD 1898 1925, 1947
Alleyn Old Boys The Edward Alleyn Club, Rear Of 83-85 Burbage Road, London, SE24 9HD 1888 1907
Bank of England Bank Of England Sports Club, London, SW15 5JQ 1908 1920
Broomfield Hazelwood Sports Ground, Madeira Road, Off Hedge Lane, London, N13 5ST 1911 1958
Cambridge Heath Hackney Marshes, London, E9 5PF 2011 2017
Carshalton Carshalton Fooll Club, Church Road, Carshalton, SM6 7NN 1898 1912
City of London Rutland Walk Sport Ground, Rutland Walk, London, SE6 4LG 1931 2017
Civil Service Kings House Sports Ground, Riverside Drive, Chiswick, London, W4 2SH 1863 1907, 1928
Crouch End Vampires Muswell Hill Playing Fields, London, N101JP 1883 1907, 1928
East Barnet Old Grammarians Alan Drive, Off Mays Lane, Barnet, EN5 2PU 1948 1977
Hampstead Heathens Bellingham Recreation Ground, 5 Randlesdown Road, London, SE6 3BT 1975 2017
HSBC Hsbc Sports & Social Club, Lennard Road, New Beckenham, BR3 1QW 1900 1921
Ibis Eagles Chiswick Cricket Club, Riverside Drive, London, W4 2SP 2015 2015
Kew Association Ham Playing Fields, Riverside Drive, Ham, Richmond TW10 7QA 1906 1925
Merton Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, Martin Way, Merton, London, SW20 9BU 1910 1919
Norsemen Edmonton Sports & Social Club, Church Street, Edmonton, London, N9 9HL 1896 1908
Nottsborough Kingston University Sports Ground, Tolworth Court, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH 1988 2001
NUFC Oilers The Hive, Camrose Avenue, London, HA8 6AG 2012 2013
Old Blues Kew & Ham Sports Association, Riverside Drive, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7RX 2011 2011
Old Finchleians 12 Southover, Woodside Park, N12 7JE 1901 1998
Old Garchonians Chase Lodge Playing Fields, London, NW7 2ED 2011 2011
Old Lyonians South Vale, Harrow, HA1 3PN 1902 1924
Old Owens Old Owens Sports Ground, Coopers Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 4NE 1891 1996
Old Parkonians Old Parkonians Pavilion, Oakfield Playing Fields, Forest Road, Ilford, Essex, IG6 3HD 1902 1919
Old Salesians Old Tenisonians Sports Ground, New Malden, KT 3 6LX 1923 1983
Old Stationers Old Eliazabethans Memorial Ground, Gypsy Corner, Mays Lane, Barnet, EN5 2AG 1906 1932
Old Wilsonians Hayes Hill, Hayes, BR2 7HN 1888 1919, 2004
Polytechnic University Of Westminster Sports Ground, London, W4 3UH 1875 1954
South Bank Cuaco Turney Road, Dulwich, London, SE21 7JH 2001 2001
St. James' Old Boys Copthall Playing Fields, London, NW4 1RL 2014 2015
Tansley Old Owens Sports Ground, Northaw, Potters Bar, EN6 4NF 1887 2017
The Warren Club Langley, 2 Hawksbrook Lane, Beckenham, BR3 3SR 2015 2015
Tooting & Merton Wandsworth Raynes Park Vale Fc, Raynes Park, SW20 9DZ 2013 2017
Weirside Rangers Imber Court, Ember Lane, Thames Ditton, Thames Ditton, KT8 0BT 1919 1927
West Wickham West Wickham Cricket & Football Club, Corkscrew Hill, West Wickham, BR4 9BA 1901 1938
Winchmore Hill Winchmore Hill Sports Club, The Paulin Ground, Fords Grove, N21 3er, London, N21 3ER 1920 1928

Representative team[edit]

The League representative team has played a programme of friendly fixtures since 1907 against other AFA affiliated leagues and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Two matches are played each season in memory of past servants to the League. The Champion Club plays against the Senior Cup winners at the beginning of each season for the Stuart Hyde Trophy, named for the former SAL and Southgate Olympic team manager. The League also player the Amateur Football Combination for the Steve Langley Cup in honour of the former SAL, AFA and Crouch End Vampires captain. This match is part of the Argonaut Trophy competition which also involves the Arthurian League and the Hertfordshire Senior County League in which the four league representatives teams play a round-robin tournament. Since 2007 the team has played in the FA Inter-League Cup which it won at the first attempt in 2008. This earned the team the chance to represent England at the 2008 UEFA Regions Cup.

League champions and Cup winners[edit]

Season Section 'A' Section 'B'
1907–08 New Crusaders Reigate Priory (s)
1908–09 New Crusaders (a) Norsemen
1909–10 New Crusaders Tunbridge Wells
1910–11 New Crusaders Alleyn Old Boys
1911–12 Civil Service L.C.W. & Parr's Bank
1912–13 New Crusaders Crouch End Vampires
1913–14 Civil Service Carshalton
Season Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 Senior Cup
1919–20 Merton Aquarius
1920–21 Cambridge Town Cheshunt
1921–22 Ipswich Town L.J.C. & Midland Bank
1922–23 Eastbourne Old Parkonians (e)
1923–24 Westminster Bank Barclays Bank
1924–25 Midland Bank Old Lyonians
1925–26 Eastbourne Toc H.
1926–27 Ealing Association (a) Merton
1927–28 Cambridge Town Hastings & St Leonards
1928–29 Cambridge Town Kew Association (s) Britannic House
1929–30 Ipswich Town Merton (s) Civil Service (a)
1930–31 Cambridge Town (a) Civil Service Catford Wanderers
1931–32 Cambridge Town Catford Wanderers East Grinstead
1932–33 Ipswich Town Lloyds Bank Cuaco
1933–34 Ipswich Town Westminster Bank Alexandra Park
1934–35 Hastings & St Leonards Cuaco Thornycroft
1935–36 Hastings & St Leonards Aquarius Highgate (e)
1936–37 Hastings & St Leonards Highgate*

Ealing Association*

1937–38 Civil Service Norsemen*

Lensbury & Britannic House*

1938–39 Hastings & St Leonards National Provincial Bank*


1939–45 no competition no competition no competition no competition
1945–46 Merton Old Parkonians
1946–47 Ealing Association Westminster Bank*

Winchmore Hill*

1947–48 Winchmore Hill Barclays Bank*

Alexandra Park*

1948–49 Winchmore Hill Brentham National Provincial Bank
1949–50 Catford Wanderers Crouch End Vampires Old Latymerians
1950–51 Catford Wanderers Midland Bank Aquarius
1951–52 Winchmore Hill Civil Service Cuaco
1952–53 Catford Wanderers Pinner Old Stationers
1953–54 Alexandra Park Lensbury & Britannic House Old Lyonians
1954–55 Winchmore Hill Carshalton Aquarius
1955–56 Winchmore Hill Barclays Bank Polytechnic
1956–57 Cuaco Lensbury & Britannic House Ibis
1957–58 Old Westminster Citizens Old Stationers (o) Merton
1958–59 Cuaco (a) Polytechnic Broomfield
1959–60 Cuaco Broomfield Crouch End Vampires
1960–61 Broomfield Borough Polytechnic National Provincial Bank
1961–62 Cuaco (a) Polytechnic Kew Association
1963–64 Midland Bank West Wickham Old Parkonians
1964–65 Old Stationers Catford Wanderers Pearl Assurance
1965–66 Southgate Olympic Ibis Old Westminster Citizens
1966–67 Norsemen Winchmore Hill Barclays Bank
1967–68 Winchmore Hill Civil Service Old Bromleians
1968–69 Civil Service Barclays Bank Kew Association
1969–70 Midland Bank Kew Association Pearl Assurance
1970–71 Civil Service Ibis Old Bromleians (o)
1971–72 Southgate Olympic Barclays Bank Old Esthameians (o)
1972–73 Midland Bank Old Westminster Citizens Brentham
1973–74 Midland Bank Norsemen Carshalton
1974–75 Catford Wanderers Old Bromleians (o) Old Esthameians
1975–76 Midland Bank Barclays Bank Merton
1976–77 Kew Association Carshalton South Bank Polytechnic
1977–78 West Wickham Barclays Bank East Barnet Old Grammarians (m)
1978–79 Catford Wanderers East Barnet Old Grammarians (o) Old Westminster Citizens
1979–80 West Wickham Southgate Olympic Old Bromleians
1980–81 Old Esthameians (o) Old Bromleians Britannic House
1981–82 West Wickham Old Parkonians Old Stationers
1982–83 Crouch End Vampires Lensbury Barclays Bank
1983–84 Winchmore Hill Old Stationers Old Salesians
1984–85 West Wickham Old Salesians (a, o) Old Actonians Association
1985–86 National Westminster Bank Old Actonians Association (m) Ibis
1986–87 West Wickham Old Parkonians (e, o) Brentham
1987–88 West Wickham Old Actonians Association Merton
1988–89 West Wickham Midland Bank East Barnet Old Grammarians
1989–90 West Wickham Carshalton Southgate Olympic
1990–91 West Wickham Old Bromleians Alexandra Park
1991–92 Old Actonians Association Crouch End Vampires Lensbury
1992–93 National Westminster Bank Lensbury Old Latymerians
1993–94 South Bank Polytechnic East Barnet Old Grammarians Old Parmiterians
1994–95 South Bank AFC Carshalton Old Lyonians
1995–96 Old Actonians Association (a) Old Parmiterians Old Salesians
1996–97 Old Parmiterians Lloyds Bank Midland Bank
1997–98 Norsemen National Westminster Bank (s) Old Stationers
1998–99 Old Actonians Association (m) Old Bromleians Alleyn Old Boys
1999–00 Old Actonians Association (m) Alleyn Old Boys Broomfield
2000–01 Old Actonians Association Broomfield Old Lyonians
2001–02 Old Owens Old Salesians Nottsborough
2002–03 Old Salesians Winchmore Hill (a) Bank of England
2003–04 Old Esthameians Nottsborough Kew Association
2004–05 Broomfield (me) East Barnet Old Grammarians Old Wilsonians
2005–06 Old Owens (o) Alleyn Old Boys Merton
2006–07 Nottsborough Polytechnic (me) South Bank Cuaco
2007–08 West Wickham (sk) Old Esthameians Old Parkonians
2008–09 Nottsborough (a) Broomfield Lloyds TSB Bank
2009–10 Nottsborough East Barnet Old Grammarians Old Parkonians
2010–11 Nottsborough Norsemen Old Westminster Citizens
2011-12 Old Salesians Civil Service Alexandra Park
2012-13 Nottsborough Polytechnic Old Garchonians
2013-14 Old Owens (o) Old Garchonians NUFC Oilers
2014-15 Winchmore Hill NUFC Oilers Lloyds AFC
2015-16 Polytechnic (me)(†) Old Parkonians HSBC Polytechnic
2016-17 Polytechnic (a)(†) East Barnet Old Grammarians Norsemen Polytechnic
  • Between 1936 and 1948 (not including the years of World War II and the transitional season of 1945-46) the league operated two Second Divisions divided apparently at random (certainly not geographically) and no Third Division.

(†) indicates team also won SAL Senior Cup
(a) indicates team also won AFA Senior Cup
(e) indicates team also won AFA Essex Senior Cup
(m) indicates team also won AFA Middlesex Senior Cup
(s) indicates team also won AFA Surrey Senior Cup
(me) indicates team also won AFA Middlesex/Essex Senior Cup
(sk) indicates team also won AFA Surrey/Kent Senior Cup
(o) indicates team also won Old Boys Senior Cup

Further reading[edit]

  • Morris, Terry (2015). In A Class of Their Own: A History of English Amateur Football. Chequered Flag Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9932152-4-7.