Southern Amateur Football League

The Southern Amateur League (SAL) is an association football league in England affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance (AFA). It is based in and around Greater London and caters for 11–a–side men's adult teams. A feature of the league is 'multi-team football', common in AFA leagues, with clubs fielding an average of 5–6 teams each. For season 2017–18 the league has 38 member clubs running around 190 teams in 19 divisions. All clubs are strictly amateur.

Southern Amateur Football League
No. of teamsc.190 (19 divisions)
(3 senior divisions)
Most recent
Polytechnic (Division 1)
Actonians Association (Division 2)
Carshalton (Division 3)

Club set-up, sportsmanship and hospitality

As in other AFA leagues it is common for clubs to run several teams with some SAL clubs running up to 9 teams. This allows players of all abilities to play against teams from other clubs of a similar standard. The best players will be picked for the 1st team, the best of the remainder going into the 2nd team and so on down the club.

The SAL places emphasis on sportsmanship and hospitality, with all players expected to socialise with their opponents and the match officials after the game. Disciplinary problems and cases of violent conduct are generally perceived to be experienced less in SAL football – and AFA football in general – than in other types of football.

League set-up and Challenge Cups

The League is divided into four sections: Senior (restricted to 1st teams, 3 divisions), Intermediate (4 divisions), Junior North (5 divisions) and Junior South (6 divisions). Teams can be promoted between the Intermediate and Junior Sections but 1st teams wishing to move up to the Senior Section must do by application the League Management Committee (only 1st teams may play in the Senior Section).

In 2018 a Veterans Section was added, divided into north and south sections for league competitions. Clubs do not have to enter the open-age competitions in order to enter the veterans competition and do not have to play in the veterans league competition in order to enter the cup and shield competitions.

As well as league competitions the SAL runs seven cup competitions. These are:

  • Senior Cup (for teams in Senior Divisions 1, 2 and 3 as well as additional teams by invitation)
  • Intermediate Cup (for teams in Intermediate Divisions 1, 2 and 3)
  • Junior Cup (for teams in Intermediate Division 4, Junior Divisions 1 North and 1 South)
  • Minor Cup (Junior Division 2 North and Junior Division 2 South)
  • Senior Novets Cup (Junior Division 3 North and Junior Division 3 South)
  • Intermediate Novets Cup (Junior Division 4 North Junior Division 4 South and Junior Division 5 South)
  • Veterans Sunday Cup (straight knockout, open entries)
  • Veterans Saturday Shield (group stage and knock-out, open entries)

The Junior Cup and below were inaugurated for the 1995–96. The Senior and Intermediate Cups were introduced for season 2015–16. They were not previously considered necessary as 1st and 2nd teams were offered an extra 'county divisional' cup by the AFA (either the Middlesex/Essex Cup or the Surrey/Kent Cup, depending on location).

Current member clubs

Three of the current members (Alleyn Old Boys, Civil Service and Crouch End Vampires) are founder members of the League while 19 have been in membership since before World War II.

Club Main Ground Founded Joined SAL
Actonians AssociationGunnersbury Drive, Ealing, W5 4LL19251977
AFC OldsmithsLoring Hall, 8 Water Lane, London, DA14 5EJ20092014
Alexandra ParkAlexandra Park, London, N22 7BD18981925, 1947
Alleyn Old BoysThe Edward Alleyn Club, Rear of 83–85 Burbage Road, London, SE24 9HD18881907
Bank of EnglandBank of England Sports Club, London, SW15 5JQ19081920
BroomfieldHazelwood Sports Ground, Madeira Road, Off Hedge Lane, London, N13 5ST19111958
Cambridge HeathHackney Marshes, London, E9 5PF20112017
CarshaltonCarshalton Football Club, Church Road, Carshalton, SM6 7NN18981912
City of LondonRutland Walk Sport Ground, Rutland Walk, London, SE6 4LG19312017
Civil ServiceKings House Sports Ground, Riverside Drive, Chiswick, London, W4 2SH18631907, 1928
Corinthian-CasualsVictoria Recreation Ground, Balaclava Road, Surbiton KT6 5JL19382017
Crouch End VampiresMuswell Hill Playing Fields, London, N101JP18831907, 1928
East Barnet Old GrammariansAlan Drive, Off Mays Lane, Barnet, EN5 2PU19481977
Hampstead HeathensBellingham Recreation Ground, 5 Randlesdown Road, London, SE6 3BT19752017
HSBCHSBC Sports & Social Club, Lennard Road, New Beckenham, BR3 1QW19001921
Ibis EaglesChiswick Cricket Club, Riverside Drive, London, W4 2SP20152015
Kew AssociationHam Playing Fields, Riverside Drive, Ham, Richmond TW10 7QA19061925
MertonJoseph Hood Recreation Ground, Martin Way, Merton, London, SW20 9BU19101919
NorsemenEdmonton Sports & Social Club, Church Street, Edmonton, London, N9 9HL18961908
NottsboroughKingston University Sports Ground, Tolworth Court, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH19882001
NUFC OilersThe Hive, Camrose Avenue, London, HA8 6AG20122013
Old BluesKew & Ham Sports Association, Riverside Drive, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7RX20112011
Old Finchleians12 Southover, Woodside Park, N12 7JE19011998
Old GarchoniansChase Lodge Playing Fields, London, NW7 2ED20112011
Old LyoniansSouth Vale, Harrow, HA1 3PN19021924
Old OwensOld Owens Sports Ground, Coopers Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 4NE18911996
Old ParkoniansOld Parkonians Pavilion, Oakfield Playing Fields, Forest Road, Ilford, Essex, IG6 3HD19021919
Old SalesiansOld Tenisonians Sports Ground, New Malden, KT 3 6LX19231983
Old StationersOld Elizabethans Memorial Ground, Gypsy Corner, Mays Lane, Barnet, EN5 2AG19061932
Old WilsoniansHayes Hill, Hayes, BR2 7HN18881919, 2004
PolytechnicUniversity of Westminster Sports Ground, London, W4 3UH18751954
South Bank CuacoTurney Road, Dulwich, London, SE21 7JH20012001
St. James' Old BoysCopthall Playing Fields, London, NW4 1RL20142015
TansleyOld Owens Sports Ground, Northaw, Potters Bar, EN6 4NF18872017
The WarrenClub Langley, 2 Hawksbrook Lane, Beckenham, BR3 3SR20152015
Weirside RangersUdney Park, Teddington, TW11 9BG19191927
West WickhamWest Wickham Cricket & Football Club, Corkscrew Hill, West Wickham, BR4 9BA19011938
Winchmore HillWinchmore Hill Sports Club, The Paulin Ground, Fords Grove, London, N21 3ER19201928

Representative team

The League representative team has played a programme of friendly fixtures since 1907 against other AFA affiliated leagues and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Two matches are played each season in memory of past servants to the League. The Champion Club plays against the Senior Cup winners at the beginning of each season for the Stuart Hyde Trophy, named for the former SAL and Southgate Olympic team manager. The League also plays the Amateur Football Combination for the Steve Langley Cup in honour of the former SAL, AFA and Crouch End Vampires captain. This match is part of the Argonaut Trophy competition which also involves the Arthurian League and the Hertfordshire Senior County League in which the four league representatives teams play a round-robin tournament. Since 2007 the team has played in the FA Inter-League Cup which it won at the first attempt in 2008. This earned the team the chance to represent England at the 2008 UEFA Regions Cup.

League champions and Cup winners

Season Section 'A' Section 'B'
1907–08 New Crusaders Reigate Priory (s)
1908–09 New Crusaders (a) Norsemen
1909–10 New Crusaders Tunbridge Wells
1910–11 New Crusaders Alleyn Old Boys
1911–12 Civil Service L.C.W. & Parr's Bank
1912–13 New Crusaders Crouch End Vampires
1913–14 Civil Service Carshalton
Season Division 1 Division 2 Division 3 Senior Cup
1919–20 Merton Aquarius
1920–21 Cambridge Town Cheshunt
1921–22 Ipswich Town L.J.C. & Midland Bank
1922–23 Eastbourne Old Parkonians (e)
1923–24 Westminster Bank Barclays Bank
1924–25 Midland Bank Old Lyonians
1925–26 Eastbourne Toc H.
1926–27 Ealing Association (a) Merton
1927–28 Cambridge Town Hastings & St Leonards
1928–29 Cambridge Town Kew Association (s) Britannic House
1929–30 Ipswich Town Merton (s) Civil Service (a)
1930–31 Cambridge Town (a) Civil Service Catford Wanderers
1931–32 Cambridge Town Catford Wanderers East Grinstead
1932–33 Ipswich Town Lloyds Bank Cuaco
1933–34 Ipswich Town Westminster Bank Alexandra Park
1934–35 Hastings & St Leonards Cuaco Thornycroft
1935–36 Hastings & St Leonards Aquarius Highgate (e)
1936–37 Hastings & St Leonards Highgate*

Ealing Association*

1937–38 Civil Service Norsemen*

Lensbury & Britannic House*

1938–39 Hastings & St Leonards National Provincial Bank*


1939–45 no competition no competition no competition no competition
1945–46 Merton Old Parkonians
1946–47 Ealing Association Westminster Bank*

Winchmore Hill*

1947–48 Winchmore Hill Barclays Bank*

Alexandra Park*

1948–49 Winchmore Hill Brentham National Provincial Bank
1949–50 Catford Wanderers Crouch End Vampires Old Latymerians
1950–51 Catford Wanderers Midland Bank Aquarius
1951–52 Winchmore Hill Civil Service Cuaco
1952–53 Catford Wanderers Pinner Old Stationers
1953–54 Alexandra Park Lensbury & Britannic House Old Lyonians
1954–55 Winchmore Hill Carshalton Aquarius
1955–56 Winchmore Hill Barclays Bank Polytechnic
1956–57 Cuaco Lensbury & Britannic House Ibis
1957–58 Old Westminster Citizens Old Stationers (o) Merton
1958–59 Cuaco (a) Polytechnic Broomfield
1959–60 Cuaco Broomfield Crouch End Vampires
1960–61 Broomfield Borough Polytechnic National Provincial Bank
1961–62 Cuaco (a) Polytechnic Kew Association
1963–64 Midland Bank West Wickham Old Parkonians
1964–65 Old Stationers Catford Wanderers Pearl Assurance
1965–66 Southgate Olympic Ibis Old Westminster Citizens
1966–67 Norsemen Winchmore Hill Barclays Bank
1967–68 Winchmore Hill Civil Service Old Bromleians
1968–69 Civil Service Barclays Bank Kew Association
1969–70 Midland Bank Kew Association Pearl Assurance
1970–71 Civil Service Ibis Old Bromleians (o)
1971–72 Southgate Olympic Barclays Bank Old Esthameians (o)
1972–73 Midland Bank Old Westminster Citizens Brentham
1973–74 Midland Bank Norsemen Carshalton
1974–75 Catford Wanderers Old Bromleians (o) Old Esthameians
1975–76 Midland Bank Barclays Bank Merton
1976–77 Kew Association Carshalton South Bank Polytechnic
1977–78 West Wickham Barclays Bank East Barnet Old Grammarians (m)
1978–79 Catford Wanderers East Barnet Old Grammarians (o) Old Westminster Citizens
1979–80 West Wickham Southgate Olympic Old Bromleians
1980–81 Old Esthameians (o) Old Bromleians Britannic House
1981–82 West Wickham Old Parkonians Old Stationers
1982–83 Crouch End Vampires Lensbury Barclays Bank
1983–84 Winchmore Hill Old Stationers Old Salesians
1984–85 West Wickham Old Salesians (a, o) Old Actonians Association
1985–86 National Westminster Bank Old Actonians Association (m) Ibis
1986–87 West Wickham Old Parkonians (e, o) Brentham
1987–88 West Wickham Old Actonians Association Merton
1988–89 West Wickham Midland Bank East Barnet Old Grammarians
1989–90 West Wickham Carshalton Southgate Olympic
1990–91 West Wickham Old Bromleians Alexandra Park
1991–92 Old Actonians Association Crouch End Vampires Lensbury
1992–93 National Westminster Bank Lensbury Old Latymerians
1993–94 South Bank Polytechnic East Barnet Old Grammarians Old Parmiterians
1994–95 South Bank AFC Carshalton Old Lyonians
1995–96 Old Actonians Association (a) Old Parmiterians Old Salesians
1996–97 Old Parmiterians Lloyds Bank Midland Bank
1997–98 Norsemen National Westminster Bank (s) Old Stationers
1998–99 Old Actonians Association (m) Old Bromleians Alleyn Old Boys
1999–00 Old Actonians Association (m) Alleyn Old Boys Broomfield
2000–01 Old Actonians Association Broomfield Old Lyonians
2001–02 Old Owens Old Salesians Nottsborough
2002–03 Old Salesians Winchmore Hill (a) Bank of England
2003–04 Old Esthameians Nottsborough Kew Association
2004–05 Broomfield (me) East Barnet Old Grammarians Old Wilsonians
2005–06 Old Owens (o) Alleyn Old Boys Merton
2006–07 Nottsborough Polytechnic (me) South Bank Cuaco
2007–08 West Wickham (sk) Old Esthameians Old Parkonians
2008–09 Nottsborough (a) Broomfield Lloyds TSB Bank
2009–10 Nottsborough East Barnet Old Grammarians Old Parkonians
2010–11 Nottsborough Norsemen Old Westminster Citizens
2011–12 Old Salesians Civil Service Alexandra Park
2012–13 Nottsborough Polytechnic Old Garchonians
2013–14 Old Owens (o) Old Garchonians NUFC Oilers
2014–15 Winchmore Hill NUFC Oilers Lloyds AFC
2015–16 Polytechnic (me)(†) Old Parkonians HSBC Polytechnic
2016–17 Polytechnic (a)(†) East Barnet Old Grammarians Norsemen Polytechnic
2017–18 Polytechnic Actonians Association (a) Carshalton Winchmore Hill
2018–19 West Wickham Norsemen Crouch End Vampires Polytechnic
2019–20 abandoned due to COVID-19 pandemic abandoned due to COVID-19 pandemic abandoned due to COVID-19 pandemic Actonians Association
  • Between 1936 and 1948 (not including the years of World War II and the transitional season of 1945–46) the league operated two Second Divisions divided apparently at random (certainly not geographically) and no Third Division.

(†) indicates team also won SAL Senior Cup
(a) indicates team also won AFA Senior Cup
(e) indicates team also won AFA Essex Senior Cup
(m) indicates team also won AFA Middlesex Senior Cup
(s) indicates team also won AFA Surrey Senior Cup
(me) indicates team also won AFA Middlesex/Essex Senior Cup
(sk) indicates team also won AFA Surrey/Kent Senior Cup
(o) indicates team also won Old Boys Senior Cup

Senior Division 1 championships
10 - West Wickham
8 - Winchmore Hill
6 - HSBC
5 - Actonians Association, Cambridge Town, Catford Wanderers, Civil Service, New Crusaders, Nottsborough
4 - Cuaco, Hastings & St Leonards, Ipswich Town
3 - Old Owens, Polytechnic
2 - Broomfield, Ealing Association, Eastbourne, Merton, National Westminster Bank, Norsemen, Old Esthameians, Old Salesians, South Bank AFC, Southgate Olympic
1 - Alexandra Park, Crouch End Vampires, Kew Association, Old Parmiterians, Old Stationers, Old Westminster Citizens, Westminster Bank

Senior Division 2 championships
7 - Barclays Bank
5 - Carshalton, East Barnet Old Grammarians, Old Parkonians
4 - Civil Service, Old Bromleians, Polytechnic
3 - Alleyn Old Boys, Broomfield, Crouch End Vampires, HSBC, Lensbury & Britannic House, Westminster Bank, Winchmore Hill
2 - Catford Wanderers, Ibis, Kew Association, Lloyds Bank, Merton, Old Salesians, Old Stationers, Winchmore Hill
1 - Brentham, Cheshunt, Cuaco, Ealing Association, Eastbourne, Hastings & St Leonards, Highgate, National Provincial Bank, National Westminster Bank, Nottsborough, NUFC Oilers, Old Esthameians, Old Garchonians, Old Lyonians, Old Parmiterians, Old Westminster Citizens, Pinner, Reigate Priory, South Bank AFC, Southgate Olympic, Toc H., Tunbridge Wells, Winchmore Hill

Senior Division 3 championships
4 - Merton
3 - Alexandra Park, Kew Association, Old Bromleians, Old Lyonians, Old Parkonians, Old Stationers, Old Westminster Citizens
2 - Aquarius, Barclays Bank, Brentham, Britannic House, Broomfield, Carshalton, Crouch End Vampires, Cuaco, East Barnet Old Grammarians, HSBC, Ibis, Lloyds Bank, National Provincial Bank, Old Esthameians, Old Latymerians, Old Salesians, Pearl Assurance
1 - Actonians Association, Alleyn Old Boys, Bank of England, Catford Wanderers, Civil Service, East Grinstead, Highgate, Norsemen, Nottsborough, NUFC Oilers, Old Garchonians, Old Parmiterians, Old Wilsonians, Polytechnic, South Bank AFC, Southgate Olympic, Thornycroft, Weirside Rangers

Senior Cup victories
3 - Polytechnic
1 - Actonians Association, Winchmore Hill

Further reading

  • Morris, Terry (2015). In A Class of Their Own: A History of English Amateur Football. Chequered Flag Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9932152-4-7.