Midland Counties Football Union

The Midland Counties Football Union was a governing body for rugby union in The Midlands, England from 1879-1920.

Midland Counties
Full nameMidland Counties Football Union
Founded1879; 142 years ago (1879)
Disbanded1920; 101 years ago (1920)
RegionThe Midlands


The organisation was formed as the Midland Counties Football Club and covered the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The Midland Counties representative team played in the County Championship from its inception in 1888 until 1920. The main club event was the Midland Counties Challenge Cup which continued to run until 1926.


Up until and following the disbandment in 1920, the union broke up and distributed its assets to the following unions:

The North Midlands was given responsibility for clubs sides based in Birmingham and the West Midlands, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, most of which were sub-members under the North Midlands umbrella (the Staffordshire RU would later achieve full RFU membership in 1962).[5] The Leicestershire and Warwickshire unions became full county constituents in their own right.

Club sides that had been based in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire would later join the Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire Rugby Football Union (created 1926).[6]


Midland Counties CupEdit

The Midland Counties Cup was inaugurated during the 1880-81 season and held for the first time the following season.[9]

Past WinnersEdit

Year Winners Runner-Up
1881-82 Moseley Leamington Rovers
1882-83 Burton-on-Trent Moseley
1883-84 Moseley Coventry
1884-85 Moseley South Warwickshire Rovers
1885-86 Moseley Rugby
1886-87 Moseley Rugby
1887-88 Burton-on-Trent Coventry
1888-89 Moseley Leicester Tigers
1889-90 Old Edwardians Burton-on-Trent
1890-91 Coventry Leicester Tigers
1891-92 Coventry Moseley
1892-93 Coventry Burton-on-Trent
1893-94 Coventry Leicester Tigers
1894-95 Moseley Coventry
1895-96 Coventry Moseley
1896-97 Moseley Old Edwardians
1897-98 Leicester Tigers Moseley
1898-99 Leicester Tigers Nuneaton
1899-1900 Leicester Tigers Moseley
1900-01 Leicester Tigers Moseley
1901-02 Leicester Tigers Moseley
1902-03 Leicester Tigers Rugby
1903-04 Leicester Tigers Moseley
1904-05 Leicester Tigers Nottingham
1905-06 Nottingham Moseley
1906-07 Coventry Stratford-on-Avon
1907-08 Stratford-on-Avon Nuneaton
1908-09 Leicester Tigers Coventry
1909-10 Leicester Tigers Coventry
1910-11 Coventry Moseley
1911-12 Leicester Tigers Coventry
1912-13 Leicester Tigers Belgrave Premier Works
1913-14 Coventry + Moseley +
1919-20 Coventry Newbold-on-Avon RFC
1921-22 Nuneaton Burton-on-Trent
1922-23 Coventry Moseley
1923-24 Nuneaton Coventry
1924-25 Moseley Birmingham
1925-26 Newbold-on-Avon Old Centrals

+ Result declared null and void.[10] The competition was discontinued after 1925-26.

Number of winsEdit


  1. ^ The Leicestershire RU was formed back in 1887, with the Leicestershire County Cup club competition running as early as 1890.[2] However, a Leicestershire county representative side did not actually feature in the County Championship until after 1920 when the RFU finally awarded them full constituent membership. Prior to this, Leicestershire had been a sub-member of the Midland Counties Union and contributed county championship players to a Midlands side.[3]
  2. ^ the Warwickshire RFU was formed 1914 from local clubs that had formerly been part of the Midland Counties Football Union.[4]
  3. ^ Coventry also won the 1914 competition but the result was later declared void, leaving them with 9 Midlands Cup titles instead of 10.


  1. ^ "History - the origins of North Midlands". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^ 'Van' Hopkins, SI (1986). "Cups and Cup Winners". Leicestershire Rugby Union 1887-1987. Leicestershire Rugby Union. pp. 416, 418.
  3. ^ "History - Early Days". Leicestershire Rugby Union. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ "History - the origins of North Midlands". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  5. ^ "STAFFORDSHIRE RUGBY HISTORY". Staffordshire RU. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  6. ^ "History". Newark RUFC (Pitchero). Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  7. ^ Jenkins, Vivian (1975–76). Rothmans Rugby Yearbook. Brickfield Publications Ltd. pp. 130–131. ISBN 0362-00221-5.
  8. ^ ""Rugby Football." Times, 30 Mar. 1914, p. 14". Times Digital Archives.
  9. ^ "Midland Counties Challenge Cup". Moseley Rugby Club.
  10. ^ "Midland Counties Cup Fiasco". Moseley Rugby Club.