United Counties League

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United Counties League
United Counties League logo.png
DivisionsPremier Division North
Premier Division South
Division One
Number of teams60
Level on pyramidLevels 9–10
Feeder toSouthern League Division One Central
Northern Premier League Division One East and Midlands
Domestic cup(s)United Counties League Cup
FA Vase
FA Cup
Current championsLong Eaton United (Premier Division North)
Harborough Town (Premier Division South)
Kimberley Miners Welfare (Division One)
Current: 2022–23 season

The United Counties League (also known after its sponsor as the Uhlsport United Counties League) is an English football league covering Northamptonshire, Rutland and Bedfordshire and most of Leicestershire as well as parts of Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands. It has a total of five divisions, three for first teams and two for reserve teams, but the reserves' divisions were merged into a single division for the 2013–14 season and remains so at present.

Clubs in the Premier Divisions are eligible to enter the FA Cup in the Preliminary Round stages. Those clubs in the league with floodlights are eligible for the FA Vase, and there are knockout cups for the Premier/Division One clubs and for the Reserve Divisions clubs.


The United Counties League was formed in 1895 as the Northamptonshire Junior League, dropping the 'Junior' one year later. It took its current name in 1934 as teams from other counties had long since been a part of the league. Over the years the UCL has 'united' teams from Northamptonshire, Rutland and Bedfordshire with those from parts of Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and even Norfolk. Northampton Town joined the league in 1897 and became champions in their second season before moving up to the Southern League. They would become the league's first former member to reach the Football League in 1920. In 1900 Bedford Queens became the first club from outside the county to join the league.

The Football Association announced on 12 April 2021 that United Counties League would administer a new Step 5 division since the 2021–22 season after the scheduled National League System restructure had a one-season postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic in England.[1]

Current members[edit]

Premier Division North[edit]

The Premier Division North is at level 9 (step 5) of the National League System (NLS), feeding into the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands and East. There are currently 18 clubs in this division. The member clubs take part in cup competitions organised by the county FA to which they are affiliated and other cup competitions.

Premier Division South[edit]

The Premier Division South is also at level 9 (step 5) of the NLS, feeding into the Southern Football League Division One Central. There are currently 21 clubs in this division. The member clubs take part in cup competitions organised by the county FA to which they are affiliated and other cup competitions.