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Oldest Sunday Leagues...

 



DonQuixote
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Aug 8, 2019, 12:43 PM

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Oldest Sunday Leagues... Can't Post or Reply Privately

The Sunday league I'm involved with - The Brentwood Sunday League -
saw its first ball kicked in anger 60 years ago next month.

Anyone aware of any older Sunday leagues around the country?

I'm sure there are some but cannot be that many.




FA Vase semi programme wanted: 2001 Taunton v Clitheroe.



pitch 63
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Aug 8, 2019, 3:22 PM

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Re: [DonQuixote] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Sunday football leagues were formed in the Birmingham/Coventry areas in the early 1950s, prime examples being the Festival and Coronation Leagues. But there was also some leagues elsewhere, eg. Watford.

However, I am sure that there were at least a couple Sunday leagues operating in the 1920s, one possibly in Manchester.


Tim
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Re: [pitch 63] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The Kidderminster & District Football League was established in 1894. I have no idea whether the League ran Sunday football from the start. I would think it goes back a very long way.


PaulC
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Aug 8, 2019, 6:08 PM

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Re: [DonQuixote] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Sunday football was not permitted by the FA until June 1955.

In the early 50s (perhaps earlier) County Sunday Football Associations were formed and there was a National Sunday Football Association. They were not recognised by the FA and anyone who participated was banned from FA football. In fact, even professional forms signed on a Sunday were invalid.

At the time of it being legalised there were said to be 60,000 Sunday footballers in the London area alone.


DonQuixote
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Aug 8, 2019, 8:21 PM

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Re: [PaulC] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Must get in quick before I'm banned....again.

Something along those lines sprang to mind when I originally posted
the question.

I knew it was in the 50s at some time.

So then, oldest Sunday League since 55-56??

Time to drag this one out again...Hackney marshes 50s/60s -108/109
pitches [ish] and if you were unlucky, a wash down in the cow shed!







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Oldeagle
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Aug 8, 2019, 10:59 PM

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Re: [DonQuixote] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The Edmonton and District Sunday league claims to be the oldest having started in 1925 (see http://www.edmontonsundayfootball.co.uk/). The Hackney and Leyton League claims to have started in 1946. Somewhere, but I can't now find it, I remember reading of a Jewish League in the London area where for obvious reasons players couldn't play on Saturdays, being closely involved in persuading the FA to recognise Sunday football so that all these leagues became "legit". The early 60s was when they began to be formed on a country wise basis.


simonsm
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Aug 9, 2019, 1:46 AM

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Re: [Oldeagle] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The Manchester Amateur Sunday Football League have just the following on the League History page on its Web site:

Established 1947
We are the OLDEST Sunday Football League in the country.


http://www.masfl.co.uk/LeagueHistory


(This post was edited by simonsm on Aug 9, 2019, 1:47 AM)


cope1
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Aug 9, 2019, 1:38 PM

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Re: [Oldeagle] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I have records of the MGBSFL (Maccabi GB Southern Football League) somewhere but I can't remember when it began. It's possibly pre-War. Still going, albeit down to three divisions these days but incredibly well covered by the Jewish Chronicle with photos and video clips galore.

The MJSL (Manchester Jewish Soccer League) was founded in 1948. I have a feeling the MGBSFL is older but will try and dig out records when I get home.


(This post was edited by cope1 on Aug 9, 2019, 1:47 PM)


Oldeagle
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Aug 13, 2019, 9:49 PM

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Re: [PaulC] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Sunday football was not permitted by the FA until June 1955.

In the early 50s (perhaps earlier) County Sunday Football Associations were formed and there was a National Sunday Football Association. They were not recognised by the FA and anyone who participated was banned from FA football. In fact, even professional forms signed on a Sunday were invalid.

At the time of it being legalised there were said to be 60,000 Sunday footballers in the London area alone.


I'm not sure about the 1955 date. Cox, Russell and Vamplew's Encyclopedia of British Football (2002) dates it to 1961, which certainly accords with my memories of when new Sunday Leagues started to mushroom around the country.


PaulC
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Aug 13, 2019, 10:44 PM

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Re: [Oldeagle] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The FA lifted the ban on Sunday football at their 1955 AGM. However, they stressed they would not “promote, organise or recognise Sunday football within the jurisdiction of the FA”.

That probably explains the different dates.


tandmwfc
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Aug 15, 2019, 9:11 PM

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Re: [PaulC] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The Croydon Sunday League was formed in 1951.

I think it folded during the 90s


Oldeagle
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Aug 15, 2019, 9:22 PM

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Re: [PaulC] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
The FA lifted the ban on Sunday football at their 1955 AGM. However, they stressed they would not “promote, organise or recognise Sunday football within the jurisdiction of the FA”.

That probably explains the different dates.[/repl

y]
Thanks Paul. Having followed this up a bit more, in summer 1955 the FA removed the previous penalties for players who appeared in Sunday football, so that they were no longer banned from appearing for FA-registered clubs. That meant that such clubs could sign players from Sunday League clubs, but as you say, that was as far as it went and Sunday football was still outside the FA's jurisdiction, in particular registered clubs couldn't allow their grounds to be used for Sunday football and registered referees could not officiate in it. (There is a good article in the Liverpool Echo for 14 July 1955 on the BNA site which explains this).

The really big change didn't come until May 1960, when the FA decided that County FAs could invite Sunday competitions in their areas to affiliate themselves to the county FA. That opened the way to full recognition of the existing Sunday leagues and the formation of new ones. Again there is an article in the Liverpool Echo for 28 July 1960 which explains the details.


GRIFFON
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Aug 19, 2019, 3:55 PM

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Re: [Oldeagle] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Have been handed the following to add to the discussion =

The Birmingham Sports Argus Annual of 1951/52 lists the three Senior, four Intermediate and three Junior Division positions of the previous season for the Birmingham Monday League, Sunday section.


John Treleven
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Aug 20, 2019, 8:05 AM

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Re: [DonQuixote] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

This is what I posted in 2010 in the introduction to the F.A. Sunday Cup results


Background

Sunday leisure and entertainment activities had long been constrained by successive Sunday Observance Acts which also prohibited the charging for admission to such events. One consequence of this was the introduction of "admission by programme" in order to circumvent the law. So if finding a programme for a Sunday fixture with a cover price considerably higher than expected for its time
then this is the reason. It was also deemed in the religious areas of society unacceptable to partake in such activities on a Sunday, which was deemed a "day of rest". However amongst those that worked on Saturdays and supported their local teams later in the day Sundays became their day to play the game.

The Football Association long upheld the traditional view and did not officially recognise Sunday football, other than to place restrictions on it. Those that played or officiated in Sunday football were not allowed to participate in matches on other days of the week. Therefore many players and officials used false names when participating on a Sunday.

The F.A. gradually came around to reviewing the problems that this was causing , notably in the big cities where organised Sunday football was prevalent. In August 1939 it was proposed that they appoint a Sub-Committee to review the situation but war intervened and it was not until 24th September 1943 that the Committee members were actually appointed. One of these was Edward "Teddy" Eden, the F.A. Councillor for Birmingham, who was to spend the next 17 years persuading other F.A. Councillors to recognise Sunday football.

The majority opinion of the reviewing Committee was to ease the restrictions and allow Sunday play under certain conditions. These recommendations were put forward in October 1945 but those who opposed Sunday football had not been idle and had gathered sufficient support to have the initial proposals watered down and to be re-considered at the end of the season.

When re-considered in July 1946 these opponents won the day and so no changes were made, but resolutions continued to be made to the F.A. Council, without success, every year. The Council again shelved a decision in 1952 but Sunday football continued to grow and eventually in 1960 all restrictions were lifted. However the delay in reaching this decision had caused much bitterness
amongst the players and officials of Sunday football.

The F.A. therefore needed to adopt, through its County Associations, a policy of slow assimilation, with the intent that the Sunday Leagues and Clubs would see the benefit of joining the F.A. fold, but there were still hard cores of resistance. Nevertheless the lifting of restrictions led to the spread of Sunday football to counties where it was previously unknown.

In 1964, with Teddy Eden now Chairman of the Committee responsible, the F.A. introduced a national competition to further encourage the spread of Sunday football. Due to the varying conditions under which it was played in different parts of the country. The initial rules were based upon those of the F.A. County Youth Cup established 20 years before. County F.A.'s could enter a representative side drawn from their various clubs or nominate one of their clubs to represent them.

Sixteen counties entered with only London using a nominated club - Summerstown Athletic, near Wimbledon, and it was they that went on to win the inaugural competition. Teddy Eden, having seen the competition get successfully underway, died midway through the following season on 26th January 1966, aged 86, only two days after presiding at what was to be his final Sunday Football
committee meeting.


Oldeagle
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Aug 20, 2019, 9:53 AM

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Re: [John Treleven] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thanks Griffon and John. There is a handbook on Ebay at the moment for another prewar league, the East London Sunday League, started in 1930 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HANDBOOK-1958-59-EAST-LONDON-SUNDAY-FOOTBALL-LEAGUE-late-STEPNEY-DISTRICT/372735864764?hash=item56c8c9efbc:g:YLMAAOSwr39dTwRO)

As late as the mid 50s I can remember the swings in my local park being chained up on Sundays and the putting green was also shut. Many of these old established Sunday clubs would have faced problems finding anywhere to play at that time.


taylov
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Aug 20, 2019, 1:42 PM

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Re: [Oldeagle] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The Stratford and District Sunday Football League was active in 1922 with 14 teams, all of which seemed to based on local pubs, many on the Isle of Dogs. I have a copy of a 4-page fold over programme produced by Kingsbridge Athletic FC - HQ the Kingsbridge Arms, West Ferry Road, Millwall. They played home games on the Locke Lancaster's ground, also in West Ferry Road.

The main trade in the area would have been the docks and the dockers etc worked on Saturdays, hence the need for Sunday morning games. KOs were at 11.30 am - after early church services to keep the local priest/vicar sweet.
Admission was 5 old pence, Boys half that. Programme 1 old penny.

The programme ran several adverts -

LV golden potato crisps.
Post match luncheons at the Kingsbridge Arms.
Herbert Bros coaches and lorries, and my favorite -
Piles?? use Allevo.


PaulC
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Aug 20, 2019, 3:49 PM

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Re: [Oldeagle] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Thanks Griffon and John. There is a handbook on Ebay at the moment for another prewar league, the East London Sunday League, started in 1930 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HANDBOOK-1958-59-EAST-LONDON-SUNDAY-FOOTBALL-LEAGUE-late-STEPNEY-DISTRICT/372735864764?hash=item56c8c9efbc:g:YLMAAOSwr39dTwRO)

As late as the mid 50s I can remember the swings in my local park being chained up on Sundays and the putting green was also shut. Many of these old established Sunday clubs would have faced problems finding anywhere to play at that time.


Wouldn't there be 100-or-so pitches at Hackney marshes avaiiable for Sunday football?


taylov
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Aug 20, 2019, 4:25 PM

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Re: [PaulC] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Not sure, but I've never seen any photographic evidence of the famous Marsh pitches until post WW2 when further drainage was put in. Pre WW2 the water table was a lot higher than it is today.


Ropemaker
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Aug 20, 2019, 5:15 PM

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Re: [taylov] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

See attached from Sporting Life 16 March 1909 about formation of a Sunday Football Association

Article lists the following active leagues:
Edmonton & District League
South West Ham League
Stratford & District League
Hackney & District League
Music Halls League
Old Ford & District League
Jewish FA



Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
Attachments: SunFA1909.pdf (143 KB)


Oldeagle
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Re: [PaulC] Oldest Sunday Leagues... [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

In Reply To
Thanks Griffon and John. There is a handbook on Ebay at the moment for another prewar league, the East London Sunday League, started in 1930 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HANDBOOK-1958-59-EAST-LONDON-SUNDAY-FOOTBALL-LEAGUE-late-STEPNEY-DISTRICT/372735864764?hash=item56c8c9efbc:g:YLMAAOSwr39dTwRO)

As late as the mid 50s I can remember the swings in my local park being chained up on Sundays and the putting green was also shut. Many of these old established Sunday clubs would have faced problems finding anywhere to play at that time.


Wouldn't there be 100-or-so pitches at Hackney marshes avaiiable for Sunday football?[/reply

Sorry for not making myself clearer. I meant that in areas where local councils were pro-Sunday observance it would have been hard to get a viable Sunday League going because of lack of pitches-not so, of course, in places with more tolerant policies. By the early 60s not only had the FA changed its stance but also there was more tolerance of Sunday leisure activities generally. The latter of course would have had influence on the former.

 
 


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