Southern Combination Football League

(Redirected from Sussex County League)

The Southern Combination Football League (named Premier Sports Southern Combination Football League) is a football league broadly covering the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey and South West London, England. The league consists of eight divisions – three for first teams (Premier Division, Division One and Division Two), two for Under 23 teams (East Division and West Division) and three for Under 18 teams (East Division, Central Division and West Division).

Southern Combination Football League
Founded1920 (as Sussex County League)
Number of teams50
Level on pyramidLevels 9–11
Feeder toIsthmian League South East Division
Relegation toEast Sussex Football League
Mid-Sussex Football League
West Sussex Football League
Domestic cup(s)FA Cup
FA Vase
Sussex Senior Challenge Cup
Sussex RUR Cup
League cup(s)The Peter Bentley League Cup
Division One Challenge Cup
Division Two Challenge Cup
The Reserve Section Challenge Cup
Current championsSteyning Town (Premier Division)
Roffey (Division One)
Storrington (Division Two)
Most championshipsHorsham
Peacehaven & Telscombe
and Worthing (8 titles)
Current: 2023–24 Southern Combination Football League


The area covered by the Sussex County League is coloured in dark blue.

Formed in 1920 as the Sussex County Football League,[1] started with just one league with 12 teams. By the end of the 1929–30 season, six of the original twelve teams remained, having played in every campaign since the competition began. The league saw regular changes in members between 1921 and 1928 and saw 23 clubs taking part. The league closed down during the Second World War and the league ran two competition sections in the 1945–46 season, an Eastern division with eight teams and a Western division with 9 teams. The winners of each competition played in a play-off for a champion. A normal single league practice resumed in 1946 with 14 clubs now playing.

A new division was created in 1952 when Division Two was instituted. Division One remained with 14 teams and Division Two with 12 teams. By 1958 the two leagues had 16 teams each. The 1962–63 season was abandoned due to the atrocious weather conditions, with some clubs playing over 20 games and others with only 13 or 14 games played; an emergency competition was played in a group stage style format with knock-out stages to the final. The 1970s saw the league membership decline.

In 1983 a third division was added for intermediate level teams looking for an easy entry into the football league pyramid system, and a 3-points-for-a-win system was introduced. Divisions One and Two remained at 16 teams each, Division Three started with 13 teams, increasing to 15 two seasons later. Some long term clubs experienced harder times and dropped into Division Two. A "Two Up Two Down" system of promotion and relegation was applied throughout the period but was occasionally affected by departures from the league itself. Division One increased to 18 teams for the 1988–89 season and 20 teams for the 1993–94 season, along with Division One increasing to 18 teams in the same season. Division Three increased to 16 teams in 2000.

The league changed its name to the Southern Combination Football League for the start of the 2015–16 season,[2] keeping the acronym SCFL also attracting teams just across the Sussex border when the Football Association (FA) moved teams across leagues. The divisions were renamed at this time to Premier Division, Division One and Division Two, with the last keeping its intermediate status. Also, for the 2015–16 season the league added two U21s divisions, one in the East, and one in the West, consisting of 7 teams each, which lasted until the end of the 2017–18 season and replaced by two Under–23 divisions (East and West), and three Under–18 divisions (East, Central and West).

The Sin Bin rule was introduced for the 2019–20 season to reduce dissent between the players,[3] also during the same season the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic halted all sporting events nationwide; the leagues and the Football Association agreed to end the season early and expunge all results, with no promotion or relegation between the leagues.[4]

The league season was abandoned for a third time after the FA Alliance and Leagues committees announced that the 2020–21 would be curtailed, subject to ratification by The FA Council, with immediate effect.[5]

The first team divisions – Premier, One and Two, sit at Steps 5 and 6, and level 11, formerly Step 7, of the English football league system, below the lower divisions of the Isthmian League and the Southern League. The reserve divisions are not part of the league system.



In the past, Unijet, Rich City, Matthew Clark and Badger Ales sponsored the Sussex County Football League. But between 2006 and 2014 the league was without a sponsor. Macron Store (Hastings) signed a 4-year deal beginning in the 2014–15 season resulting in the official name being changed to The Macron Sussex County League and then to The Macron Southern Combination Football League a year later. On 20 June 2023 Premier Sports announced at the League Annual General Meeting that they would be sponsoring the league.[6]

Period Sponsor Brand
1990–2000 Unijet Unijet Sussex County League
2000–2002 Rich City Rich City Sussex County League
2002–2004 Matthew Clark Matthew Clark Sussex County League
2004–2006 Badger Ales Badger Ales Sussex County League
2006–2014 No Sponsor Sussex County League
2014–2015 Macron Macron Store Sussex County Football League
2015–2023 Macron Store Southern Combination Football League
2023–present Premier Sports Premier Sports Southern Combination Football League

Current clubs

As of 17 May 2024

Former clubs

As of 17 May 2024

Following former clubs are now playing in other leagues or levels.

Defunct clubs


Only clubs with articles are listed





The league originally consisted of a single section of 12 clubs, and had reached a stable membership of 14 clubs when it was abandoned on the outbreak of World War II. The fore-runner of the League Cup, known then as the Baldwin Cup (generically Invitation Cup) was introduced in 1938-39 with six teams invited. Lewes were the inaurgural final winners beating Littlehampton 5-0 at Newhaven on 6 May 1939.

Season Champions
1920–21 Worthing
1921–22 Worthing
1922–23 Vernon Athletic
1923–24 Corps of Signals
1924–25 Corps of Signals
1925–26 Southwick
1926–27 Worthing
1927–28 Southwick
1928–29 Worthing
1929–30 Southwick
1930–31 Worthing
1931–32 Horsham
1932–33 Horsham
1933–34 Worthing
1934–35 Horsham
1935–36 Horsham
1936–37 Horsham
1937–38 Horsham
1938–39 Worthing



During the Second World War an emergency competition was played. The league operated two region divisions, East and West, with the winners of each playing in a play-off

Season Eastern Western Play-off Winners Invitation league cup
1939–40 Hastings & St Leonards Worthing Worthing Lewes
1940–41 No league competitions played Bognor Regis Town



For the first post-War season, the league also operated two regional divisions, East and West, with the winners of each facing each other in a play-off.

Season Eastern Western Play-off Winners Invitation league cup
1945–46 Haywards Heath Worthing Haywards Heath Horsham



After a single split format, the league reverted to a single division for the next six seasons.

Season Champions Invitation League Cup
1946–47 Horsham Horsham
1947–48 Southwick Chichester
1948–49 Bognor Regis Newhaven
1949–50 Haywards Heath Bognor Regis
1950–51 Haywards Heath Eastbourne Comrades
1951–52 Shoreham East Grinstead



A second division was instituted in 1952. A two-division format continued for over 30 years, the only deviation being in the 1962–63 season when the unusually harsh winter weather made the league impossible to finish. The normal league competitions were abandoned and a set of emergency competitions were played for in the second half of the season.

Season Division One Division Two Invitation League Cup
1952–53 Shoreham Wigmore Athletic Littlehampton Town
1953–54 Newhaven Hove White Rovers Littlehampton Town
1954–55 Eastbourne United Three Bridges United Chichester City
1955–56 Eastbourne United Rye United Bexhill Town Athletic
1956–57 Bexhill Town Athletic A P V Athletic Chichester City
1957–58 Arundel Lancing Shoreham
1958–59 Arundel Sidley United Littlehampton Town & Shoreham (joint)
1959–60 Chichester City Old Varndeanians Wigmore Athletic
1960–61 Chichester City Hastings Rangers Whitehawk
1961–62 Whitehawk Shoreham Littlehampton Town
1962–63 Normal competitions abandoned - Emergency Competition played Bognor Regis Town
1963–64 Whitehawk Selsey Chichester City
1964–65 Lewes Sidley United Lancing
1965–66 Bexhill Town Athletic Horsham Y M C A Southwick
1966–67 Bexhill Town Athletic Wadhurst
1967–68 Chichester City Whitehawk Horsham Y M C A
1968–69 Southwick Ringmer
1969–70 Haywards Heath Lancing Whitehawk
1970–71 Ringmer Bognor Regis Town Three Bridges
1971–72 Bognor Regis Town Newhaven Bognor Regis Town
1972–73 Chichester City Portfield Haywards Heath
Season Division One Division Two John O'Hara League Cup Division Two Cup
1973–74 Newhaven Wigmore Athletic Burgess Hill Town Burgess Hill Town
1974–75 Southwick Burgess Hill Town Wigmore Athletic Shoreham
1975–76 Burgess Hill Town Selsey Littlehampton Town Peacehaven & Telscombe
1976–77 Eastbourne Town Shoreham Littlehampton Town Arundel
1977–78 Shoreham Steyning Southwick Crowborough Athletic
1978–79 Peacehaven & Telscombe Pagham Steyning Storrington
1979–80 Chichester City Hastings Town Burgess Hill Town Hastings Town
1980–81 Pagham Whitehawk Hastings Town Whitehawk
1981–82 Peacehaven & Telscombe Wick Horsham Y M C A Lancing
1982–83 Peacehaven & Telscombe Horsham Y M C A Whitehawk Shoreham



After a two division format had proved sufficient for over 30 years, a third division was added in 1983. While the top two divisions were for clubs holding senior status with the Sussex FA, the new Division Three was for clubs of intermediate status.

Season Division One Division Two Division Three John O'Hara League Cup Division Two League Cup Division Three League Cup
1983–84 Whitehawk Portfield East Preston Steyning Town Haywards Heath Town Ferring
1984–85 Steyning Town Shoreham Oakwood Littlehampton Town Chichester City Bosham
1985–86 Steyning Town Wick Seaford Town Steyning Town Pagham Seaford Town
1986–87 Arundel Pagham Langney Sports Arundel Selsey Langney Sports
1987–88 Pagham Langney Sports Midway Wick Chichester City East Preston
1988–89 Pagham Seaford Town Saltdean United Pagham Midhurst & Easebourne Franklands Village
1989–90 Wick Bexhill Town Worthing United Langney Sports Oakwood Rottingdean
1990–91 Littlehampton Town Newhaven Ifield Littlehampton Town Chichester City Withdean
1991–92 Peacehaven & Telscombe Portfield Hassocks Peacehaven & Telscombe Redhill Sidlesham
1992–93 Peacehaven & Telscombe Crowborough Athletic Withdean Peacehaven & Telscombe Lancing Franklands Village
1993–94 Wick Shoreham Bosham Whitehawk Shoreham Ifield
1994–95 Peacehaven & Telscombe Mile Oak Midhurst & Easebourne Hailsham Town Horsham Y M C A East Preston
1995–96 Peacehaven & Telscombe Saltdean United Ifield Shoreham Selsey Shinewater Association
1996–97 Burgess Hill Town Littlehampton Town Sidlesham Wick Sidley United Buxted
1997–98 Burgess Hill Town East Preston Lingfield Burgess Hill Town Three Bridges Storrington
1998–99 Burgess Hill Town Sidley United Oving Social Club Burgess Hill Town Sidley United Franklands Village
1999–2000 Langney Sports Sidlesham Bosham Saltdean United Sidlesham Bexhill Town
2000–01 Sidley United Southwick Rye United Sidley United Peacehaven & Telscombe Haywards Heath Town
2001–02 Burgess Hill Town Rye & Iden United Pease Pottage Village Horsham Y M C A Rye & Iden United Crowborough Athletic
2002–03 Burgess Hill Town Rye & Iden United Midhurst & Easebourne Selsey Rye & Iden United Midhurst & Easebourne
2003–04 Chichester City United Littlehampton Town Crowborough Athletic Arundel Littlehampton Town Crowborough Athletic
2004–05 Horsham Y M C A Crowborough Athletic Storrington Rye & Iden United Wealden Rustington
2005–06 Horsham Y M C A Oakwood Peacehaven & Telscombe Shoreham Mile Oak Rustington
2006–07 Eastbourne Town Pagham Rustington Crowborough Athletic Wealden Pease Pottage Village
2007–08 Crowborough Athletic East Grinstead Town Loxwood Shoreham Peacehaven & Telscombe Bexhill United
2008–09 Eastbourne United Association Peacehaven & Telscombe Clymping Whitehawk Peacehaven & Telscombe Haywards Heath Town
2009–10 Whitehawk Rye United Bosham Peacehaven & Telscombe Littlehampton Town Bosham
2010–11 Crawley Down A.F.C. Uckfield Dorking Wanderers Three Bridges AFC Uckfield Saltdean United
2011–12 Three Bridges East Preston Newhaven Three Bridges East Preston Ifield
2012–13 Peacehaven & Telscombe Littlehampton Town Sidlesham Peacehaven & Telscombe Seaford Town Haywards Heath Town
2013–14 East Preston Eastbourne United Association Langney Wanderers East Preston Loxwood Roffey
2014–15 Littlehampton Town Worthing United Southwick Newhaven Worthing United Bosham



In 2015, the Sussex County Football League was re-branded to the Southern Combination Football League, keeping the acronym SCFL. The divisions were renamed to Premier Division, Division One and Division Two, Division Two clubs still holding intermediate status.

Season Premier Division Division One Division Two Peter Bentley League Cup Division One League Cup Division Two League Cup
2015–16 Horsham Haywards Heath Town AFC Varndeanians Lancing Haywards Heath Town Bosham
2016–17 Shoreham Saltdean United Bosham Pagham Langney Wanderers Sidlesham
2017–18 Haywards Heath Town Little Common Rustington Haywards Heath Town Little Common Bosham
2018–19 Chichester City Alfold Rustington Saltdean United Steyning Town Rustington
2019–20 1 No champions. Season abandoned
2020–21 2
2021–22 Littlehampton Town Roffey Rustington Littlehampton Town Midhurst & Easebourne Charlwood
2022–23 Broadbridge Heath Shoreham Jarvis Brook Newhaven Godalming Town Storrington
2023–24 Steyning Town Roffey Storrington Steyning Town Copthorne Jarvis Brook

1 The 2019–20 season was terminated on 26 March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic
2 The 2020-21 was curtailed on 24 February 2021 and a Supplementary Shield was arranged.[7]


Since the league's formation, the following clubs have won promotion to higher levels of the English football league system. Crawley Town are currently the only English Football League team to play in the Sussex County League.

Season Club Position Promoted to
1955–56 Eastbourne United 1st Metropolitan League
Crawley 9th [a]
1964–65 Lewes 1st Athenian League Division Two
1971–72 Bognor Regis Town 1st Southern League Division One South
1984–85 Hastings Town 9th Southern League Southern Division
1995–96 Stamco 2nd
1999–2000 Langney Sports 1st Southern League Eastern Division
2002–03 Burgess Hill Town 1st
2005–06 Horsham YMCA 1st Isthmian League Division One South
2006–07 Eastbourne Town 1st
2007–08 Crowborough Athletic 1st
2008–09 Horsham YMCA 3rd
2009–10 Whitehawk 1st
2010–11 Crawley Down 1st
2011–12 Three Bridges 1st
2012–13 Peacehaven & Telscombe 1st
Redhill 2nd
2013–14 East Grinstead Town 2nd
2014–15 Dorking Wanderers 2nd
2015–16 Horsham 1st
2016–17 Shoreham 1st
2017–18 Haywards Heath Town 1st Isthmian League South Division
Three Bridges 2nd
2018–19 Chichester City 1st Isthmian League South East Division
2020–21 Lancing [b]
2021–22 Littlehampton Town 1st
2022–23 Broadbridge Heath 1st
2023–24 Steyning Town 1st
Eastbourne Town 2nd (P)

P = Via play-offs

  1. ^ Crawley were playing in Division Two before being promoted.
  2. ^ Lancing promoted via a points per game system based on 2019–20 and 2020–21 season results.

Most championship title wins


Premier Division (Division One 1952–2015)

Club Wins Winning years
Horsham 8 1931–32, 1932–33, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1946–47, 2015–16
Peacehaven & Telscombe 1978–79, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2012–13
Worthing 1920–21, 1921–22, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1938–39, 1939–40
Chichester City 7 1959–60, 1960–61, 1967–68, 1972–73, 1979–80, 2003–04, 2018–19
Burgess Hill Town 6 1975–76, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02, 2002–03
Southwick 1925–26, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1948–48, 1968–69, 1974–75
Haywards Heath Town 5 1945–46, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1969–70, 2017–18
Shoreham 4 1951–52, 1952–53, 1977–78, 2016–17
Whitehawk 1961–62, 1963–64, 1983–84, 2009–10
Arundel 3 1957–58, 1958–59, 1986–87
Bexhill United 1956–57, 1965–66, 1966–67
Eastbourne United Association 1954–55, 1955–56, 2008–09
Littlehampton Town 1990–91, 2014–15, 2021–22
Pagham 1980–81, 1987–88, 1988–89
Steyning Town Community 1984–85, 1985–86, 2023–24
Bognor Regis Town 2 1948–49, 1971–72
Corps of Signals 1923–24, 1924–25
Eastbourne Town 1976–77, 2006–07
Newhaven 1953–54, 1973–74
Wick 1989–90, 1993–94
Horsham YMCA 2004–05, 2005–06
Broadbridge Heath 1 2022–23
Crawley Down Gatwick 2010–11
Crowborough Athletic 2007–08
East Preston 2013–14
Langney Sports 1999–2000
Lewes 1964–65
Ringmer 1970–71
Sidley United 2000–01
Three Bridges 2011–12
Vernon Athletic 1922–23

Division One (Division Two 1952–2015)

Club Wins Winning years
Shoreham 5 1961–63, 1976–77, 1984–85, 1993–94, 2022–23
Rye United 4 1955–56, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2009–10
Littlehampton Town 3 1996–97, 2003–04, 2012–13
Pagham 1978–79, 1986–87, 2006–07
Portfield 1972–73, 1983–84, 1991–92
Sidley United 1958–59, 1964–65, 1998–99
Crowborough Athletic 2 1992–93, 2004–05
East Preston 1997–98, 2011–12
Horsham YMCA 1965–66, 1982–83
Lancing 1957–58, 1969–70
Newhaven 1971–72, 1990–91
Roffey 2021–22, 2023–24
Saltdean United 1995–96, 2016–17
Selsey 1963–64, 1975–76
Whitehawk 1967–68, 1980–81
Wick 1981–82, 1985–86
Wigmore Athletic 1952–53, 1973–74
A P V Athletic 1 1956–57
A.F.C. Uckfield 2010–11
AFC Varndeanians 1959–60
Alfold 2018–19
Bexhill United 1989–90
Bognor Regis Town 1970–71
Burgess Hill Town 1974–75
East Grinstead Town 2007–08
Eastbourne United Association 2013–14
Hastings Rangers 1960–61
Hastings Town 1979–80
Haywards Heath Town 2015–16
Hove White Rovers 1953–54
Langney Sports 1987–88
Little Common 2017–18
Mile Oak 1994–95
Oakwood 2005–06
Peacehaven & Telscombe 2008–09
Ringmer 1968–69
Seaford Town 1988–89
Sidlesham 1999–2000
Southwick 2000–01
Steyning 1977–78
Three Bridges 1954–55
Wadhurst 1966–67
Worthing United 2014–15

Division Two (Division Three 1983–2015)

Club Wins Winning years
Bosham 4 1993–94, 1999–2000, 2009–10, 2016–17
Rustington 2006–07, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2021–22
Ifield 2 1990–91, 1995–96
Midhurst & Easebourne 1994–95, 2002–03
Sidlesham 1996–97, 2012–13
Storrington 2004–05, 2023–24
AFC Varndeanians 1 2015–16
Clymping 2008–09
Crowborough Athletic 2003–04
Dorking Wanderers 2010–11
East Preston 1983–84
Hassocks 1991–92
Jarvis Brook 2022–23
Langney Sports 1986–87
Langney Wanderers 2013–14
Lingfield 1997–98
Loxwood 2007–08
Midway 1987–88
Newhaven 2011–12
Oakwood 1984–85
Oving Social Club 1998–99
Peacehaven & Telscombe 2005–06
Pease Pottage Village 2001–02
Rye United 2000–01
Saltdean United 1988–89
Seaford Town 1985–86
Southwick 2014–15
Withdean 1992–93
Worthing United 1989–90


  1. ^ "About the Sussex County Football League". Sussex County Football League. Retrieved 12 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Sussex County Football League to Change Name". Haywards Heath Town FC. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Sin bins coming to grassroots football from this season". Sky News. 30 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Coronavirus: All football below National League to end". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  5. ^ "NLS Steps 3-6 update". Sussex County FA. 24 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Premier Sports Southern Combination Football League". Premier Sports. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Southern Combination Football League announces groups for cup competition". Eastbourne Herald. 18 March 2021.