Western Football League

The Western Football League is a football league in South West England, covering Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, western Dorset, parts of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The league's current main sponsor is Toolstation, so it is also known as the Toolstation League for sponsorship reasons.

Western Football League
Founded1892; 132 years ago (1892)
Other club(s) fromWales
DivisionsPremier Division
Division One
Number of teams40
18 (Premier Division)
22 (Division One)
Level on pyramidLevels 9–10
Feeder toSouthern League Division One South
Relegation toDorset Premier League
Gloucestershire County League
Somerset County League
Wiltshire League
South West Peninsula League*
*Only relegated from &
promoted to Premier Division
Domestic cup(s)Les Phillips Cup
Current championsMousehole (Premier Division)
Brislington (Division One)
Current: 2023–24 season

Recent restructuring of the English football league system has placed the two divisions, known as the Premier Division and Division One (each a maximum of twenty-two clubs) at the ninth and tenth tiers overall, known as Step 5 and Step 6 of the National League System.

The champion club get promoted to a Step 4 league, which in practice will almost certainly be the Southern League Division One South. Below the Western League are four local leagues covering smaller areas, the Gloucestershire County League, the Somerset County League, the Dorset Premier League and the Wiltshire League.[1] The South West Peninsula League Premier Divisions East and West are also feeders to the Western League but due to having Step 6 status (the same level as the Western League Division One), they feed directly into the Western League Premier Division.

List of 2023–24 member clubs edit

Premier Division edit

Barnstaple Town
Bridgwater United
Buckland Athletic
Clevedon Town
Falmouth Town
Helston Athletic
Ilfracombe Town
Nailsea & Tickenham
Oldland Abbotonians
Saltash United
Shepton Mallet
St Blazey
Torpoint Athletic
Welton Rovers
Map showing the location of teams in Western Football League, Premier Division in 2023–24
Club Home ground
Barnstaple Town Mill Road
Bridgwater United Fairfax Park
Brixham Wall Park
Buckland Athletic Homers Heath
Clevedon Town Hand Stadium
Falmouth Town Bickland Park
Helston Athletic Kellaway Park
Ilfracombe Town Marlborough Park
Lymington Town The Sports Ground
Mangotsfield United Cossham Street
Millbrook Jenkins Park
Nailsea & Tickenham Fryth Way
Oldland Abbotonians Aitchison Playing Field
Saltash United Kimberley Stadium
Shepton Mallet The Playing Fields
St Blazey Blaise Park
Street The Tannery
Torpoint Athletic The Mill
Wellington The Playing Field
Welton Rovers West Clewes

Division One edit

Club Home ground
AEK Boco Greenbank Road Playing Fields
Bishop Sutton Lakeview
Bitton Recreation Ground
Bradford Town Trowbridge Road
Brislington Brislington Stadium
Bristol Telephones Stockwood Lane
Cadbury Heath Springfield
Cheddar Bowdens Park
Cribbs Reserves The Lawns
Gillingham Town Woodwater Lane
Hallen The Hallen Centre
Hengrove Athletic Norton Lane
Keynsham Town Crown Field
Longwell Green Sports Longwell Green Community Stadium
Middlezoy Rovers The Aerodrome
Odd Down Lew Hill Memorial Ground
Portishead Town Bristol Road
Radstock Town The Southfields Recreation Ground
Shirehampton Penpole Lane
Warminster Town Weymouth Street
Wells City The Athletic Ground
Wincanton Town Wincanton Sports Ground

History edit

The league was formed in 1892 as the Bristol & District League, and became the Western League in 1895.[2] Another Bristol & District League was later formed, which remains active at a much lower level than the Western League. In the years before World War II, many teams played in both the Southern and Western Leagues; the Western League was considered as secondary to the Southern League.

On four occasions, member clubs have lifted the FA Vase, Tiverton Town twice, Taunton Town once and most recently Truro City, who beat A.F.C. Totton in 2007[3] at the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium before a competition record crowd of 27,754. Truro City were the only one of the three to win the FA Vase while in Division One, while none are current members of the Western League, as all three have since progressed to the Southern League.

Founder members edit

List of champions edit

Bristol & District League edit

Season Division One Division Two
1892–93 Warmley
1893–94 Warmley Warmley Reserves
1894–95 Hereford Thistle Warmley Reserves

Western Football League edit

Season Division One Division Two
1895–96 Warmley Barton Hill
1896–97 Warmley Eastville Wanderers
Season Professional Section Amateur Division One Amateur Division Two
1897–98 Bristol City Bedminster Hanham
Season Division One Division Two
1898–99 Swindon Town Staple Hill
1899–1900 Bristol Rovers Bristol East
1900–01 Portsmouth Bristol East
1901–02 Portsmouth Bristol East
1902–03 Portsmouth Bristol Rovers Reserves
1903–04 Tottenham Hotspur Bristol City Reserves
1904–05 Plymouth Argyle Bristol Rovers Reserves
1905–06 Queens Park Rangers Bristol Rovers Reserves
1906–07 West Ham United Staple Hill
1907–08 Millwall Bristol City Reserves
1908–09 Millwall Bristol City Reserves
Season Champions
1909–10 Treharris
1910–11 Bristol City Reserves
1911–12 Welton Rovers
1912–13 Bristol Rovers Reserves
1913–14 Cardiff City Reserves
Season Division One Division Two
1915–19 No competition due to World War I
1919–20 Douglas Frome Town
1920–21 Bristol City Reserves Peasedown St John
1921–22 Yeovil and Petters United Clandown
Season Champions
1922–23 Weymouth
1923–24 Lovells Athletic
1924–25 Yeovil and Petters United
Season Division One Division Two
1925–26 Bristol City Reserves Poole
1926–27 Bristol City Reserves Poole Reserves
1927–28 Plymouth Argyle Reserves Trowbridge Town
1928–29 Bristol Rovers Reserves Bath City Reserves
1929–30 Yeovil and Petters United Trowbridge Town
1930–31 Exeter City Reserves Portland United
1931–32 Plymouth Argyle Reserves Portland United
1932–33 Exeter City Reserves Swindon Town Reserves
1933–34 Bath City Weymouth
1934–35 Yeovil and Petters United Swindon Town Reserves
1935–36 Bristol Rovers Reserves Swindon Town Reserves
1936–37 Bristol Rovers Reserves Weymouth
1937–38 Bristol City Reserves Weymouth
1938–39 Lovells Athletic Trowbridge Town
Season Champions
1939–40 Trowbridge Town
1941–45 No competition due to World War II
1945–46 Bristol Rovers Reserves
Season Division One Division Two
1946–47 Trowbridge Town Clandown
1947–48 Trowbridge Town Salisbury
1948–49 Glastonbury Chippenham United
Season Division One Division Two Division Three
1949–50 Wells City Barnstaple Town Bideford Town
Season Division One Division Two
1950–51 Glastonbury Stonehouse
1951–52 Chippenham Town Bideford Town
1952–53 Barnstaple Town Chippenham Town Reserves
1953–54 Weymouth Reserves Bristol Rovers Colts
1954–55 Dorchester Town Yeovil Town Reserves
1955–56 Trowbridge Town Torquay United Reserves
1956–57 Poole Town Cinderford Town
1957–58 Salisbury Poole Town Reserves
1958–59 Yeovil Town Reserves Bath City Reserves
1959–60 Torquay United Reserves Welton Rovers
Season Champions
1960–61 Salisbury
1961–62 Bristol City Reserves
1962–63 Bristol City Reserves
1963–64 Bideford
1964–65 Welton Rovers
1965–66 Welton Rovers
1966–67 Welton Rovers
1967–68 Bridgwater Town
1968–69 Taunton Town
1969–70 Glastonbury
1970–71 Bideford
1971–72 Bideford
1972–73 Devizes Town
1973–74 Welton Rovers
1974–75 Falmouth Town
1975–76 Falmouth Town
Season Premier Division First Division
1976–77 Falmouth Town Saltash United
1977–78 Falmouth Town Keynsham Town
1978–79 Frome Town AFC Bournemouth Reserves
1979–80 Barnstaple Town Melksham Town
1980–81 Bridgwater Town Chippenham Town
1981–82 Bideford Shepton Mallet Town
1982–83 Bideford Bristol Manor Farm
1983–84 Exmouth Town Bristol City Reserves
1984–85 Saltash United Portway Bristol
1985–86 Exmouth Town Portway Bristol
1986–87 Saltash United Swanage Town & Herston
1987–88 Liskeard Athletic Welton Rovers
1988–89 Saltash United Larkhall Athletic
1989–90 Taunton Town Ottery St Mary
1990–91 Mangotsfield United Minehead
1991–92 Weston-super-Mare Westbury United
1992–93 Clevedon Town Odd Down
1993–94 Tiverton Town Barnstaple Town
1994–95 Tiverton Town Brislington
1995–96 Taunton Town Bridgwater Town
1996–97 Tiverton Town Melksham Town
1997–98 Tiverton Town Bishop Sutton
1998–99 Taunton Town Minehead Town
1999–2000 Taunton Town Devizes Town
2000–01 Taunton Town Team Bath
2001–02 Bideford Frome Town
2002–03 Team Bath Torrington
2003–04 Bideford Hallen
2004–05 Bideford Willand Rovers
2005–06 Bideford Dawlish Town
2006–07 Corsham Town Truro City
2007–08 Truro City Wellington
2008–09 Bitton Larkhall Athletic
2009–10 Bideford Wells City
2010–11 Larkhall Athletic Merthyr Town
2011–12 Merthyr Town Cadbury Heath
2012–13 Bishop Sutton Sherborne Town
2013–14 Larkhall Athletic Bradford Town
2014–15 Melksham Town Barnstaple Town
2015–16 Odd Down Chipping Sodbury Town
2016–17 Bristol Manor Farm Wellington
2017–18 Street Westbury United
2018–19 Willand Rovers Keynsham Town
2019–20 Season abandoned
2020–21 Season curtailed
2021–22 Tavistock Sherborne Town
2022–23 Mousehole Brislington

Teams promoted to Southern League (since 1946) edit

The area covered by the Western League is coloured in dark green.
Year Team Position
1949 Weymouth 3rd
1957 Poole Town 1st
1958 Trowbridge Town 5th
1968 Salisbury 2nd
1971 Andover 2nd
1972 Bideford 1st
1972 Minehead 2nd
1972 Dorchester Town 7th
1977 Taunton Town 9th
1982 Bridgwater Town 3rd
1992 Weston-super-Mare 1st
1993 Clevedon Town 1st
1999 Tiverton Town 2nd
2000 Mangotsfield United 2nd
2001 Chippenham Town 2nd
2002 Taunton Town 2nd
2003 Team Bath 1st
2004 Paulton Rovers 2nd
2007 Bridgwater Town 2nd
2008 Truro City 1st
2009 Frome Town 2nd
2010 Bideford 1st
2012 Merthyr Town 1st
2014 Larkhall Athletic 1st
2015 Slimbridge 3rd
2016 Barnstaple Town 2nd
2017 Bristol Manor Farm 1st
2018 Street 1st
2018 Melksham Town 2nd
2019 Willand Rovers 1st
2021 Plymouth Parkway 1st
2022 Tavistock 1st
2022 Exmouth Town 2nd
2023 Mousehole 1st

References edit

  1. ^ "FOOTBALL: Chippenham Park to join Toolstation League". Gazette and Herald. Wiltshire. 24 May 2013. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. ^ Bristol and District Football League (1892). Bristol & District Football League, Established 1892. [Rules, with Fixtures and List of Clubs.].
  3. ^ "Truro storm back to lift FA Vase". 13 May 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2022.

External links edit