League History

The Country's Oldest Amateur Football League

Welcome to the oldest Amateur Football League in England. I should first make you aware that the original name of the Competition was "The Bulwell & District League" founded in 1895, and re-formed for the 1950-51 season after a lapse of 14 years as reported in the Hucknall & Bulwell Dispatch published on the 26th May 1950 restarting as a Saturday League with a total of 24 Clubs 14 in the Senior Division and 10 in the Intermediate Division. Most prominent in this undertaking was George Tedds who in his day was a leading Football League referee who took on the role of Secretary a position he held until his death on the 29th March 1971, also Frank Fremantle (Chairman) and Joe Gibson (Treasurer) another Class 1 referee well respected in professional circles who later became Headmaster of the Whitemoor Junior and Infants School the very school I reluctantly attended (often frog marched there) from the age of 5 to 10 years . Also in at the rebirth were Messrs J. H. Robinson (Registrar) H. Chapman (Vice Chairman) and A. G. Parr.

Mr Percy Andrew, President from 1950 - 1958 presented his Cup to the league at a meeting on Tuesday 23rd May 1950 and also on display recovered from the archives was what is considered to be the one of the most valuable trophies in the game, the Sir Julian Cahn statuette commissioned of Regent Street, London Jewellers in 1922, also present was Mr V. G. Lee of the Notts F.A.

Mr Percy Andrew a well known Bulwell industrialist gave invaluable support allowing his factory Canteen and Social Club to become the leagues headquarters. His son Michael, later President, in 1962 donated the expensive Michael Andrew Cup (1970) which along with the W. L. P. Rowley Cup (1905) the Sir Julian Cahn Trophy (1922) the William Rigley Sheild (19--) the Percy Andrews Cup (1950) the Joe Gibson Cup (1970). In addition to these I was very pleased to be allowed by the Nottinghamshire Football Association Ltd to take into our safekeeping two of the most valuable silver trophies belonging to the now defunct Sutton & Skegby League, all these now forming part of a highly valuable collection to be seen in the leagues trophy cabinet.

To celebrate the success and completion of our first season since reforming a league dinner was held on Saturday 16th June 1951 in the Rock Street Church Hall, Bulwell and amongst the guests were the Chairman of the Notts F. A Mr R. H. Brough; the Association secretary Mr G. W. Ward, Canon G. Sprittles, Rector of Bulwell, Mr J. R. Toplis, vice chairman of Arnold U. D. C. and Mr Eric Houghton, Manager of Notts County Football Club. the President of the league Mr Percy Andrew presented the awards.

More on the name change, it was George Tedds who first suggested that the name be altered as he considered it to be a misnomer by giving the impression it was regionalized. In order to remove this misconception it was decided to adopt the long defunct "Nottinghamshire Football Combination" a league which was formed in the same year as our own 1895 so from the start of the 1965-66 season this is how we have been known.

Apart from understandable enforced breaks due to the first and second world wars we have continued to flourish in particularly since the Sunday Section was formed in 1980. This was at my instigation when I foresaw a declining interest in Saturday football. Sadly as I anticipated the Saturday Section did fall into decline to such an extent that some twelve years later on the 10th June 1992 it was decided to disband it due to insufficient interest. Although twelve Clubs had declared an interest only seven had paid the required fees for the oncoming season thereby making the sections future unsustainable.

The League Centenary celebrations were held at the City Ground home of Nottingham Forest Football Club on the 29th April 1995. Those present included the senior officials of the Nottinghamshire Football Association amongst them Mr. W.T.Annable the Secretary who also on the night represented the English Football Association and on their behalf presented to the league a magnificent engraved Stuart Crystal Decanter. Also present was the League President Dr. Mike Spurr, and the Notts F.A Chairman Don Ridyard who presented to the league on behalf of the Nottinghamshire Football Association an expensive gavel with an engraved mounted disc attached, all our distinguised guests were accompanied by their lady wives.

E. Varney


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