Southern Amateur Football League

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Southern Amateur Football League
Sport Football
Founded 1907
No. of teams c.200 (19 divisions)
(3 senior divisions)
Country England
Most recent
Polytechnic (Division 1)
NUFC Oilers (2014/15 Division 2)
HSBC (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. Its member clubs include former pupils' associations, banks and business houses as well as private clubs. For season 2015-16 the league has 36 member clubs running around 200 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.

Sponsorship (14Fourteen)[edit]

For the 2014-15 season the League announced that sportswear manufacturer 14Fourteen would become the League's principle sponsor while its cup competitions would be sponsored by the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Health (ISEH). 14Fourteen were already involved with SAL club Alexandra Park due to 14Fourteen Chief Executive Phillippe Wick having played for the club in the 1980s.

League set-up and Challenge Cups[edit]

The league is divided into four sections: Senior (1st teams only), Intermediate, Junior and Minor. The Senior and Intermediate divisions have three divisions each (1, 2 and 3) while the Junior Section has four. The Minor Section is divided into North (4 divisions) and South (5 divisions). Promotion and relegation takes place within each section and also between the Junior and Minor Sections. In the Minor Section 2 teams per club may play in the same division but only 1 is allowed in all other sections..

As well as league competitions the SAL runs five 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 Junior Divisions 1, 2 and 3)
  • Minor Cup (Junior Division 4, Minor Division 1 North and Minor Division 1 South)
  • Senior Novets Cup (Minor Divisions 2 North, 2 South and 3 South)
  • Intermediate Novets Cup (Minor Divisions 3 North and 5 South)
  • Junior Novets Cup (Minor Divisions 4 North and 5 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.

The current member clubs are:

Representative team[edit]

The League representative team has played a programme of friendly fixtures since the 1920s 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 a Rest of the League XI at the beginning of each season for the Stuart Hyde Trophy, named for the former SAL and Southgate Olympic team manager. Later in the Autumn the League face the Amateur Football Combination for the Steve Langley Cup in honour of the former SAL, AFA and Crouch End Vampires captain.

Beginning in 2007 the team was entered the FA Inter-League Cup (formerly the FA National League System 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. In a preliminary round hosted in Italy the team was unbeaten and did not concede a goal but missed out on qualifying on goal-difference. It played teams from Italy, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland (whence came the group winners). The team subsequently lost to eventual winners Guernsey in the 2009-10 competition and reached the semi-final, bowing out to the Isle of Man, in 2011-12 edition.

League champions, Senior Section[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
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
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 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 (†) Old Parkonians HSBC
  • 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. 

External links[edit]