South of Scotland Football League
The South of Scotland Football League (SoSFL) is a senior football competition based in south-west Scotland. The league sits at level 6 on the pyramid system, on par with the East of Scotland Football League and West of Scotland Football League, acting as a feeder to the Lowland Football League. It is currently composed of 14 member clubs in a single division.
|Number of teams||14|
|Level on pyramid||6|
|Promotion to||Lowland Football League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Scottish Cup (licensed clubs)|
South Region Challenge Cup
|League cup(s)||South of Scotland League Cup|
Southern Counties FA Challenge Cup
Cree Lodge Cup
Haig Gordon Cup
|Current champions||Stranraer reserves (16th title)|
|Most championships||16 titles|
|Current: 2020–21 South of Scotland Football League|
Since 2014–15, and subject to both clubs meeting the licensing criteria for promotion, the winners of the East of Scotland Football League and the South of Scotland Football League have taken part in an end of season play-off for a place in the Lowland Football League. This was extended in 2020–21 to include the West of Scotland Football League.
A league of the same name briefly existed during the early days of competitive football. The original South of Scotland Football League was created in 1892–93 and featured seven clubs:
- 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers
- Cronberry Eglinton
- Lugar Boswell
- Queen of the South Wanderers
The clubs preferred to play in cup competitions and traditional friendlies, so most of the league fixtures were not played. The competition was subsequently abandoned and no championship was awarded.
When league football was re-established in 1946, the Southern Counties League name could not be used because Ayr United 'A' and Kilmarnock 'A' were not members of the Southern Counties F.A.. Instead, the new competition was called the South of Scotland Football League. The first season saw the league played in two sections, East and West, but it has been played as a single league ever since.
Teams play each other on a home and away basis. In seasons where league membership has been low, clubs have played each other four times, instead of the usual twice. Recent changes in league membership have been:
- Stranraer Athletic withdrew from the league at the end of the 2007–08 season.
- The newly formed Gretna 2008, founded to replace the Gretna team that had been forced to dissolve following its meteoric rise to the Scottish Premier League between 2002 and 2007, applied to join the South of Scotland League, but then joined the East of Scotland Football League instead.
- Annan Athletic withdrew their reserve team from the league at the end of the 2008–09 season, so that they could concentrate on the SFL Under-19 League and the Reserve League West.
- Stranraer withdrew their reserve team from the league at the end of the 2011–12 season.
- Dalbeattie Star and Threave Rovers withdrew from the league at the end of the 2012–13 season to join the newly formed Lowland Football League, although Threave have since been relegated back to the league.
- After 44 Seasons in the Dumfries and District Amateur Football League, champions Lochar Thistle were elected to the league for the start of the 2013–14 season.
- Three new teams Dumfries YMCA, Edusport Academy and Upper Annandale were elected to the league for the 2014–15 Season.
- Fleet Star withdrew from the league in 2016. Crichton, who were saved from folding last season by a merger with Lochmaben Amateurs, have taken the Lochmaben name and moved to Lockerbie.
- Bonnyton Thistle joined the league in 2017 before moving to the newly-formed West of Scotland Football League in 2020.
|Abbey Vale||New Abbey||Maryfield Park||1,000||0||No|
|Caledonian Braves reserves||Motherwell||Alliance Park||500||100||Yes|
|Heston Rovers||Dumfries||Palmerston Park||8,690||3,377||Yes|
|Lochar Thistle||Dumfries||North West Community Campus||1,000||0||Yes|
|Mid-Annandale||Lockerbie||New King Edward Park||1,000||0||No|
|Newton Stewart||Newton Stewart||Blairmount Park||1,500||0||Yes|
|Nithsdale Wanderers||Sanquhar||Lorimer Park||1,000||0||Yes|
|St Cuthbert Wanderers||Kirkcudbright||St Mary's Park||2,000||0||Yes|
|Stranraer reserves||Stranraer||Stair Park||4,178||1,830||Yes|
|Threave Rovers||Castle Douglas||Meadow Park||1,500||Yes|
|Upper Annandale||Moffat||Moffat Academy||1,000||0||No|
|Wigtown & Bladnoch||Wigtown||Trammondford Park||888||0||No|
Bold indicates a current league member.
|Club||Years Active||Titles Won|
|Annan Athletic Reserves||1987–1991, 1992–2009, 2017–2019|
|Ayr United 'A'||1946–1948||2|
|Caledonian Braves Reserves||2019–|
|Dalbeattie Star||1946–1947, 1976–2001, 2009–2012||5|
|Dalbeattie Star Reserves||2001–2009|
|Dumfries High School Former Pupils||1994–2000|
|Maxwelltown High School Former Pupils||1990–2000||1|
|Nithsdale Wanderers (1)||1946–1947, 1948–1950|
|Nithsdale Wanderers (2)||2001–|
|Queen of the South Reserves||1972–1973, 1992–1993, 1996–1997, 2003–2004||1|
|RAF West Freugh||1948–1949|
|St Cuthbert Wanderers||1946–||8|
|Stranraer Reserves||1949–1988, 1990–1991, 2003–2004, 2007–2012, 2017–||16|
|Tarff Rovers||1946–1988, 1990–2003||8|
|Threave Rovers||1959–1998, 2004–2012, 2016–||13|
|Whithorn||1946–1959, 1962–1963, 1964–69|
|Wigtown & Bladnoch||1946–2017, 2018–||5|
- Crichton was known as Blackwood Dynamos until 1999. The club was to be called Crichton Royal, but the suffix has never been used.
- Dumfries was formed by the merger of Dumfries High School Former Pupils and Dumfries Amateurs.
- Heston Rovers Youth (formed in 1978) merged with Dumfries in 2008, retaining Heston Rovers as the name of the new club.
- Annan Athletic (1987–2008), Dalbeattie Star (2001–2009) and Threave Rovers (1998–2004) have all run teams in the East of Scotland League. From the 2008–09 season, Annan Athletic has played in the Scottish Football League. Dalbeattie Star and Threave Rovers joined the newly formed Scottish Lowland Football League for the 2013–14 season.
- The following clubs have resigned during the season:
- Creetown 1975–76
- Girvan 1978–79
- Gretna Community 1991–92
- RAF West Freugh 1948–49
- St Cuthbert Wanderers 1977-78
- Wigtown & Bladnoch 1962–63 and 1972–73
- Dumfries United resigned prior to the start of the 1987–88 season.
In 1950, the league's membership had been reduced to just seven clubs. To compensate for the lack of fixtures, the League Cup was introduced. The final is usually contested by the winners of two mini-leagues, but has also been played as a straight knock-out competition. There was no separate League Cup competition between 1962–1968 and 1973–1975. Instead the trophy was awarded to the runner-up in the League.
The Southern Counties Cup, also known as the Challenge Cup, is the league's main knockout competition. It has been played for since 1891, and the first winners were the 5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers.
2018–19 winners unless stated.
- South Region Challenge Cup: East Kilbride
- Alba Cup: Mid-Annandale (2019–20)
- South & East of Scotland Cup-Winners Shield: Musselburgh Athletic (2019–20)
- South of Scotland League Cup: Upper Annandale
- Southern Counties FA Challenge Cup: Bonnyton Thistle
- J Haig Gordon Memorial Trophy: Edusport Academy
- SCFA Potts Cup: No competition
- WDFA Cree Lodge Cup: Mid-Annandale
- WDFA Tweedie Cup: No competition
|1892–93||5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers|
|1894–95||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1895–96||St Cuthbert Wanderers (2)|
|1913–14||Newton Stewart (2)|
|1920–21||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1923–24||Newton Stewart (3)|
|1927–28||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1928–29||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1934–35||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1935–36||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1936–37||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|No league championship for the duration of the Second World War|
|1946–47||Ayr United 'A'|
|1947–48||Ayr United 'A'|
|1950–51||Newton Stewart (4)|
|1951–52||Wigtown & Bladnoch|
|1952–53||Tarff Rovers (2)|
|1953–54||Wigtown & Bladnoch (2)|
|1954–55||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1955–56||Newton Stewart (5)|
|1956–57||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1958–59||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1962–63||Tarff Rovers (3)|
|1963–64||Tarff Rovers (4)|
|1968–69||Threave Rovers (2)|
|1970–71||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1971–72||Threave Rovers (3)|
|1973–74||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1978–79||Threave Rovers (4)|
|1980–81||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1985–86||Dalbeattie Star (2)|
|1986–87||Annan Athletic (2)|
|1987–88||Newton Stewart (6)|
|1988–89||Dalbeattie Star (3)|
|1990–91||Maxwelltown High School|
|1991–92||Wigtown & Bladnoch (3)|
|1992–93||Threave Rovers (5)|
|1993–94||Threave Rovers (6)|
|1994–95||Threave Rovers (7)|
|1995–96||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|1996–97||Queen of the South Reserves|
|1997–98||Tarff Rovers (5)|
|1998–99||Tarff Rovers (6)|
|1999–00||Tarff Rovers (7)|
|2000–01||No competition due to the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak|
|2001–02||Tarff Rovers (8)|
|2003–04||Stranraer Athletic (2)|
|2004–05||Stranraer Athletic (3)|
|2005–06||Threave Rovers (8)|
|2006–07||Threave Rovers (9)|
|2008–09||Threave Rovers (10)|
|2009–10||Threave Rovers (11)|
|2010–11||Threave Rovers (12)|
|2011–12||Dalbeattie Star (4)|
|2012–13||Dalbeattie Star (5)|
|2013–14||Wigtown & Bladnoch (4)|
|2014–15||Wigtown & Bladnoch (5)|
|2015–16||St Cuthbert Wanderers|
|2016–17||Edusport Academy *|
|2017–18||Threave Rovers (13)|
|2019–20||League null and void due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020–21||Null and void|
* Team promoted to the Lowland League
Total titles wonEdit
Clubs currently playing in the league are shown in bold.
|Rank||Club||Pre-war league||Current league||Total|
|1=||St Cuthbert Wanderers||8||8||16|
|7||Wigtown & Bladnoch||0||5||5|
|10=||Ayr United 'A'||0||2||2|
|12=||5th Kirkcudbrightshire Rifle Volunteers||1||0||1|
|12=||Maxwelltown High School||0||1||1|
|12=||Queen of the South Reserves||0||1||1|
- "Stranraer bow out of South league". The Galloway Gazette. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Lowland League clubs confirmed by Scottish FA". BBC. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "South Champions Start With a Home Game". DG News-Sport. Dumfries & Galloway News. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Gillespie, Stuart (5 June 2016). "Threave Rovers' South of Scotland League return confirmed after three years in the Lowland League". Daily Record. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- McNaught, John (30 July 2016). "South football kicks off again this weekend". Galloway Gazette. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Abbey Vale, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Edusport Academy reserves, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- Creetown, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Heston Rovers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Lochar Thistle, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- "Lochmaben". nonleaguescotland.org.uk. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
- Mid-Annandale, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Newton Stewart, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Nithsdale Wanderers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- St Cuthbert Wanderers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Stranraer reserves, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Threave Rovers, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Upper Annandale, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- Wigtown & Bladnoch, nonleaguescotland.org.uk, Retrieved 5 July 2017.
- "SOUTH OF SCOTLAND LEAGUE CHAMPIONS". South of Scotland Football League. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
- "South football season ends without a champion side". dgnews-sport.co.uk. Retrieved 5 May 2020.