Metropolitan League

The Metropolitan League was a football league in the south-east of England between 1949 and 1971.[1]

Metropolitan League
Founded1949
First season1949–50
Folded1971
Country England
DivisionsOne (1949–1963, 1964–1971)
Two (1963–1964)
Number of teamsLowest: 9 (1949–50)
Highest: 22 (1964–65)
Feeder toSouthern League
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
League cup(s)League Cup
Professional Cup
Amateur Cup

HistoryEdit

The league was founded in 1949 after several clubs learnt plans for a second division of the Southern League would come to nothing shortly before the start of the season,[2] and was driven by Dagenham secretary Dave Thake, whose club were disappointed about being placed in the lower division of the London League.[1] It was initially named the Home Counties League, but the name was rejected by the Football Association as the name was already in use. By the end of the league's inaugural season it had become known as the Metropolitan & District League, before being renamed the Metropolitan League in 1959.[1] The league started with ten clubs and was largely composed of professional clubs or their reserve or youth teams, and was frequently described as an unofficial lower division of the Southern League.[2] The league added a second division in 1963, but it ran for only a single season, which saw Gillingham Reserves win the title.

However, with the league reduced to only 12 clubs in 1970–71 and several of those about to leave to join the Southern League at the end of the season, the league merged with the Greater London League to form the Metropolitan–London League. This league ceased to exist in 1975 when it merged with the Spartan League to form the London Spartan League,[3] which re-adopted the name Spartan League in 1987.

For three seasons an Amateur Cup was contested between the league's amateur teams; in 1951–52 and 1952–53 it was won by Windsor & Eton, whilst Vickers Armstrong won it in 1953–54. Thereafter it was awarded to the amateur team that finished highest in the league.[4]

ChampionsEdit

Season Champions League Cup winners[5] Professional Cup winners
1949–50 St Neots & District[6] St Neots & District Not held
1950–51 Dagenham Headington United reserves Not held
1951–52 Horsham Tottenham Hotspur 'A' Tonbridge
1952–53 Tonbridge reserves Windsor & Eton Tonbridge
1953–54 Headington United reserves Hastings United Guildford City reserves
1954–55 Chelsea 'A' Chelsea 'A' Chelsea 'A'
1955–56 Hastings United reserves Bedford Town reserves Hastings United reserves
1956–57 Chelsea 'A' Guildford City reserves Tonbridge reserves
1957–58 Chelsea 'A' West Ham United 'A'[7] Chelsea 'A'
1958–59 Arsenal 'A' Crawley Town Chelsea 'A'
1959–60 Luton Town 'A' Eastbourne United & Headington United reserves (joint) West Ham United 'A'
1960–61 Arsenal 'A' Arsenal 'A' Arsenal 'A'
1961–62 Dartford reserves Dartford reserves Arsenal 'A'
1962–63 Arsenal 'A' Bedford Town reserves Dartford reserves
1963–64 Charlton Athletic 'A' Tottenham Hotspur 'A' Hastings United reserves
1964–65 Gillingham reserves Tottenham Hotspur 'A' St Neots Town[8]
1965–66 Bury Town Arsenal 'A' Bury Town
1966–67 Tottenham Hotspur 'A' Brentwood Town West Ham United 'A'
1967–68 Chelmsford City reserves Bury Town Chelmsford City reserves
1968–69 Bury Town Metropolitan Police West Ham United 'A'
1969–70 Wellingborough Town Braintree & Crittall Athletic Stevenage Athletic[9]
1970–71 Epping Town[10] Cray Wanderers Bedford Town reserves

Member clubsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Metropolitan and District League 1949–1971 Non-League Matters
  2. ^ a b Cray Wanderers in the Metropolitan League Cray Wanderers FC
  3. ^ Bracknell Town at the Football Club History Database
  4. ^ Metropolitan League Handbook 1964/65
  5. ^ Metropolitan League Handbook 1968/69
  6. ^ St Neots & District at the Football Club History Database
  7. ^ Blakeman, M (2010) The Official History of the Eastern Counties Football League 1935–2010, Volume II ISBN 978-1-908037-02-2
  8. ^ Awards Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine St Neots Town FC
  9. ^ Barton, Bob (1983). Non League – A History of League and Cup Football. Bob Barton. p. 185. ISBN 0950894109.
  10. ^ Epping Town at the Football Club History Database