History of the W&DSFL

By Phil Kemble

A history including competing teams, Divisional winners, Divisional Cup winners and winners of the Magee, Dutchman and Capitol Cups.

History of W&DSFL How it all began - Compiled by Tom Potter

I realise most of you have already read this segment of time, but if you read through again you will find I have added bits and pieces to parts of this history and I hope I have helped to jog your mind and bring back some memories and of course bring a smile to your face?

Since I began putting together this brief history, more and more people have asked why such and such and so and so have not been included and I have to tell them that remembering everyone is really not an easy task, but every effort is made to make the history page as interesting as possible and cover as many names etc that is possible. So please bear with me during this memory ride?

The League actually began approximately two years before its inception, with players joining together to forms 'teams' that just played friendly games each week on the local parks. It was then agreed to officially register as a League and a Committee, who first met in the Black Horse, Wallasey Village was elected to oversee the formation and the League came into existence for the 1963/64 season and was affiliated to the Liverpool FA. George Crockford the local licensee was the first League Secretary of the oldest Sunday League on the Wirral.The following year the Birkenhead SFL followed suit and became officially affiliated as a league.

Twelve teams were formed for the first season, which ended with Primventus FC winning both the league and cup trophies, for a fantastic double in the inaugural season. Primventus finished 7 points clear of Black Horse to take the title and notched 103 goals in the process, with captain Charlie Mercer being the first to hold the Magee Cup aloft.

During the early years the first trophies on show were the Kenny Campbell Trophy, the Magee Cup and the William Egan Cup, with the last two still being in existence! The League progressed for many years and at one point had five divisions and boasted over 60 teams throughout the divisions.

In the late 1970's to early 1980's the Premier division was duly named, with promotion being by invitation initially, but then a promotion and relegation format became the norm for all divisions, but invites are still possible if the need arises?

The early years saw the Dale Inn as the all-conquering club, and they maintained this stature even when changing their name to St Josephs FC and running from the local parish church. Sides such as Borough Rovers, North West Tugs, Borough Surveyors, Empress Club, Rediffusion, Windsor Perch Rock, Great Float, Kings Arms, Transport Club, Seagulls and the Stanley Arms were the forerunners of the League and played their games at Central Park, Liscard and Wallacre Park in Wallasey Village. Lingham Park in Moreton then came into play, as did Coronation Park in Greasby, Arrowe Park, Harrison Park and Belvidere Road, with all cup finals being staged at the Tower Grounds in New Brighton, who then boasted a Cheshire League team.

Alot of games were officiated by 'stand-in' officers, but soon the likes of Syd Lomas (known as carry on Syd), Billy Hind (who at one stage used to travel from North Wales to officiate games), Bernie Masters and Brian Porter took centre stage as referee's. By the way you never attempted to mess with Bernie, unless you were totally daft? The likes of Les Watson, John Lawrenson, Frank Potter, Desi Roche, Norman Green, John Burke, Dougie Stewart, Dave Thompson, Dave Pugh (who reached the heights of the Premier League) and many others followed suit.

Many well known players and characters have graced this League with Kenny Baker, Ray Spearing, Dave Thompson (yes the referee), Kevin and Chris Coppell, the Davison brothers, Ray Wilkie and son Mark, George Graham, Frank Howell (+ his sons and grandsons?), George Cornah, Billy Parsons, The Bates boys, Alan and Arthur Molden, the Woan brothers, Larry Tynan, Russ Cooper and so many more who have helped to make this League the best on the Wirral. Obviously, lots more could be named as clubs like the Mona Castle, Oyster Catcher, Nelson Grove Road (ex-Labour Club) Mackenzie Villa, Arrowebrook, Ship Inn, Five Bars, The Tower, Black Horse Victoria, Bronze Social and Wallasey RAOB all produced their own brand of star but plenty more supported this League throughout the years.

Committee men such as Bob Nelson, George Stephens, Jimmy Boswell, Arthur Keen, Tony Fearon, Gerry Clinch and Rob Littler kept the League at the forefront of local soccer, with the likes of Brendan McQuillan, John O'Connor, Dave Edwards, Ken Harrison, Dave Passey and Ken Triggs continuing the traditions to this day. Even the likes of Jan Molby had been a registered member of the League and run the Lord Nelson team for a few years and Dave Lawson (ex-Everton keeper) used to coach the Ferries FC at one time. Derek Mountfield and Jason McAteer have also graced this League - but they had to start somewhere??

Other trophies are now in existence, with the Capitol Cup - played for by every team in the League, including the Youth division - the Boswell Cup, the Geoff Murphy Trophy, the Flying Dutchman Cup and the Brian Edge Trophy, which all add to the history of this League and remind us of those who have since passed away, but will never be forgotten.

One of the best inclusions to the League was the Youth division in 1999/2000, which has provided the League with an abundance of talent, plus the Cheshire FA Youth Cup and Wirral FA Youth Cup on a number of occasions. The division has become stronger year on year and clubs from as far afield as Chester, Liverpool, Ellesmere Port and Neston have vied for places within the League as its success has spread and we thank all the teams who have helped during the formative years. Some of the teams have also progressed into the open age divisions, with the likes of Liscard Bronze now resident in the Premier division? One of our Premier clubs - Poulton Royal - actually began in the now defunct 4th division and are the only side to have played in every open age division since entering from junior league soccer, but this has been due to the leadership of John Parr who is the only secretary to date (August 2011) to win the Secretary of the Year award for a record breaking third time. Another long serving member of the League was John Ashurst who has managed teams from the Youth division up to the Premier division and been a player, club secretary, club manager, a league committee member and treasurer. His two sons - Neil and Mark - have played in the League and have the same terrier qualities of their dad?? Many families have obviously passed through the League but some names come easily to mind like Peckham, Rutter, Parsons, Thompson, White (all brothers), Hawitt, Spearing, Walters, Howells, Jones, Bates and even Potter. All father, son, cousin, brother, uncle or nephew combinations, but all enjoyed their years in the still oldest Sunday League resident on the Wirral.

We have already celebrated our 40th Anniversary in 2003, with dignitaries such as Howard Kendall, Derek Mountfield, Maureen Dunford (Cheshire FA), Frank Robinson (Wirral FA) and secretaries from other leagues being in attendance. Although a very momentous occasion with special programmes, invited guests and players old and new present, there was a downside to the event as the electrical supply failed in the function room. This delayed food and alcohol consumption and practically wrecked the work of nearly two years of organisation, but most made the night a great collective evening with Howard Kendall providing a great insight to his footballing years. Plans are now being set in place for the 50th and it is hoped each and every club will help to make this an occasion to remember by winning as many trophies as possible across the board so we can have some more bragging rights and nostalgic moments to cherish from what I call The Wonderful Drug, which of course is local amateur soccer and this League in particular. In setting up the anniversary bash which took two years to organise, the likes of Billy Walker - who had much input in the running of the Rose & Crown team - and Brian Farrell worked tirelessly to support the occasion and to whom we are eternally grateful for their efforts.

On a personal note the first team I played for in this League was Mackenzie Villa, whose manager was John Trevitt (who sadly passed away in 2011), with players like Phil Roach, Peter Craven, Brian Symons, Billy Parsons, Paul Davey, Peter Boden and Tony Smith. The hair them days was somewhat longer, as some of the old photos prove, but the enthusiasm and commitment were always 100%. Funny aspect of our team was the centre back pairing of Peter Craven and myself, as he was 5' 8" and I was 5' 2", but we didn’t do too badly in the ariel duels? I know this because you often heard the opposition manager shouting to his forwards 'get a grip will you, those two dwarfs are winning everything' Those are the years I will never forget, along with the Black Horse Victoria times, plus the broken nose (3 times) the ruptured Achilles tendons, dislocated shoulder, broken leg and numerous cuts and gashes- oh what fun we had?

Clubs that have supported this League have been New Brighton, with the use of the Tower grounds, Moreton FC, Ashville FC, Newton FC, West Kirby FC and Poulton Vics FC who have all allowed use of their facilities for cup finals, but funnily enough never free of charge? At one stage the number of grounds available was plentiful - as you can imagine when we had up to 60 teams at one time - but over the years the likes of Central Park has lost the use of the Bandstand, Wallacre Park has been reduced from 5 pitches to three and the Tower ground is now a housing estate. The same can be said of Moreton FC's ground, which was known as Arrowbrook, and also Coronation Park and the Oval in Bebington (except for 2 teams), which we no longer have use of. None of the grounds mentioned have only ever had minimal improvements to the facilities and are still the same size and School Lane - which never had any changing facilities - has now been allowed to become a waste ground with foot high grass?. It's lucky we have the parent County FA and Wirral Borough Council looking after us? I wonder if the FA really know what grass roots soccer is??
When you consider the League has been in existence since 1963 and still the drainage at all these facilities and more has never been brought into the 21st century, despite a few efforts at improvement?

For a couple of seasons we had a representative team and Brian Yates helped to select and manage them, with games being played against the Birkenhead & Wirral League and the Wythenshawe League. When playing the latter away in a mid-week fixture a number of players became unavailable and so one of the travelling spectators - who was a registered member of the League, Keith Fletcher - filled the centre half berth and won the man of the match award for his efforts. Vauxhalls FC allowed the League use of their ground and facilities for home games and usually under floodlight, as the other local West Cheshire league clubs did not have them, but they do now. In fact some of those West Cheshire teams used to use the likes of Wallacre Park and Lingham Park before they moved to their more illustrious surroundings!

Many records of this League were lost when the former secretary Mr George Stephens died and unfortunately memorabilia and information relating to the League were discarded in error, but the memories can never be taken away from any individual and I am sure there are many ex-players and committee who could add some tails to this history page?

Some stories to be added are the likes of the goalposts at Wallacre Park being cut down and burned - supposedly by bonfire night idiots - but it did cause the postponement of a high profile fixture which some players were about to miss, but they did make it for the rematch???? We have also had anonymous phone calls informing teams not to attend games due to the games being cancelled for whatever reason and then the game being claimed because teams failed to attend the fixture?? Many games have started late due to the annual egg run organised by the biker’s club, but there are never any complaints because of the fantastic gesture these people make for children and the local hospitals and the charity work carried out by these good Samaritans. Only one occasion marred this special event when a team tried to use it as an excuse to cancel a cup tie, when in fact they had had a sportsman’s dinner the night before and were unable to field a team? They should have asked for free date and abided by the rules??

Teams have come and gone over the years, but Windsor are still resident after all these years and credit goes to Gary Laycock for continuing what others had started back in 1963. Many teams have changed their name or moved to other pubs for funding etc, with funny names like Gogglebox, Manville, Quids In, Little Nelly and URL (Unilever Research Laboratories) coming to mind. I was reminded that the Plough in Moreton also had a long association with the league, with the Williams family being major players throughout, but I have stated that you cannot remember every single team and player over the past 48 years, but will keep trying and adding to the role of honour.

But not only have names of teams come from public houses and clubs, but also street names and companies, but the best one ever was Reggies Ringers. Although not the correct name, it came about due to the number of players used by the manager even though they were not signed on?? Some of the older teams that were in the league ran from the likes of The Stanley in Borough Road, The Leasowe (next to Cadburys), The 20 Row on Leasowe Road, La Banque off Borough Road, The Plough, Kings Arms, Nags Head, Shepherds Rest, Pool Inn, Morton Arms and the Labour Club, but all are now either knocked down or boarded up.

Quotes from players and unforeseen occurrences usually bring a smile to faces, with one from my old mate - God rest his sole - big John Anderson who shouted out at one of his team mates 'you are running around like a chickenless head', instead of a headless chicken? Or the day the St Josephs trainer was called onto the pitch to attend to an injured player, but instead of picking up the first aid bag he picked up an identical bag that contained bacon and sausage butties and flasks of tea?? Kevin Houlihan always used to urge his team on - the Eagle Arms - by shouting 'bring home the bacon' as a referral to winning the match. The day the North West Tugs played a cup tie in Central Park and had a priest on the line - dog collar and all - which kept the language to a minimum, only for everyone to find out it was one of the supporters who had not been home after attending a fancy dress party the night before? Leasowe Rangers players once claimed that as the pitch was frozen on one side, they would only use the other half of the pitch so as no one could get hurt - What?? Or the player who forgot one of his boots and told his manager he could still play, as he would only kick the ball with the foot that had a boot on? Other events included a player replying to a sarcastic remark of 'why are you arguing - you haven't got half a brain' but the player replied, 'Oh yes I have'? The laughter was uncontrollable. Another incident at a St Joeys game heard Harry Cunningham shout 'let Phil Kemble take the free kick', but was told he couldn't, as Phil wasn't even a sub and was standing next to him on the line?? Also the day a manager substituted a player who he described as their man of the match and when asked why he had been substituted, he was told "you were the nearest player to me"??

Lots of players must remember having to carry the posts and cross bars to the pitch and erect them every week, with each team having their own set with their name on and all were made of wood. This ensured players did turn up on time and for a 10:30 kick off as well. On a couple of occasions, the posts and bars at Harrison Park could not be put up because of high winds and also at Harrison, match officials would not allow a game to start as the barrier rope was not of the required thickness for a Cheshire Cup game?

Paying subs has always been in problem with many teams, but some teams had a designated collector and if you failed to pay regularly, then you risked the wrath of the collector and even lost your place in the team for none payment? Cars were a luxury in the early years of the league, so public transport was a necessity, with players meeting in groups to ride to the grounds together. Those were the days of good public transport and reasonable prices. Other forms of transport were also used, like works vans or open back lorries, but the one I remember was the use of a furniture removal wagon to an away game in Bromborough, with all the players stood in the back in the dark. But the problem was when we had been travelling for about half an hour, we came to an extended stop and so we thought we had reached the ground and let the large tailgate of the truck down using the interior ropes. Only to find out we had stopped at traffic lights and had dropped the tailgate onto the bonnet of a car parked behind us in the queue?? A game in Central Park saw Dickie Rutter award a penalty, but as the defending keeper removed a dog from his goalmouth, the penalty taker ran up and slotted home the spot kick with the goalie nowhere in sight and Dickie gave the goal because he didn't see what the goalie was doing? What happened next is best left off the story.

Things that have always amazed me are the attacks on league officers by players and committee's for not getting the fixtures right, for failing to get the grass cut on park pitches, for allowing the goalposts to remain unpainted, for not getting the changing rooms cleaned and for the state of the pitches following bad weather. How we are supposed to control such things is beyond me, especially the weather conditions?? BUT BEING A SNIPER IS EASIER THAN BEING A TARGET!! That is why admiration should be extended to those people who actually take up the roles of administrators and organisers, because without them - there would be no leagues? Always remember that these people also conduct these duties on a voluntary basis and donate umpteen hours to the cause, just so others can have their own recreational fun of a weekend, which sadly includes torrents of abuse and bad language - WHICH IS SOMETHING WE COULD ALL DO WITHOUT!!

Over the years the league has lost many friends - both ex-players or referees - but all will be remembered for varying reasons, with the like of Desi Roach, Dickie Rutter, Cyril Baxter, Gary Hughes, John Anderson, John Hughes, Billy Parsons, Bobby Ingram, Tony Hibbs, Bernie Shaw, John Trevitt, Bert Ashburner, Frankie Lane, Brian Edge, Geoff Murphy, George Woodley, Fred and Billy Egan and unfortunately so many more, but as I have mentioned earlier - they have all helped to shape this league over its 50 years of existence and of course many more names will help to continue the success story started so long ago.

Well we have just began our 50th Anniversary season and held a celebration dinner at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, on 6th September 12013,with guests from the Cheshire County FA, Wirral FA and other leagues and they included Alf Roberts, Kevin Mighall, Frank Robinson, Dave Lea, John Davies, Derek Lansborough and Frank Walsh, The event was videoed and the main guest speaker was former Burnley player Steve Kindon, who was absolutely brilliant and had everyone laughing with his tales of his playing days etc.

Over 200 guests were present with many faces from the past and present, but those unable to attend or who had sine left this mortal coil were fondly remembered as the League Secretary paid tribute to many teams and players who had graced this fantastic league but made the point that this was only the first 50 years and hoped that the League would continue for a further 50 years and even beyond. Our master of Ceremonies - Mr Ken Triggs - ensured all present understood the reasons for the speeches given and thanked everyone for their valuable attendance throughout a thoroughly entertaining evening.

I hope you have had time to read the first instalment of our history called 'How it all began' which I started in 2008 and felt now was a good time to add another chapter to the history of this fabulous league that it now nearly 55 years old. We are now the oldest existing Sunday league within Cheshire, as many leagues have now become defunct. May I also say that this league is still providing good quality football in the Wirral area for hundreds of good quality players and supporters and I need to say how proud and privileged I feel to be part of this wonderful adventure and hope I will be for many more years to come.

Sadly, I have decided to begin by naming a number of people who provided many hours of service to this league in various capacities, but who have now left this mortal coil, and who I know will be sorely missed by many of you reading this article.
Not to be messed with referee Bernie Masters has now departed and the excellently gifted Paul Howell (Franks son) has also left us much too soon. The ever-mercurial Micky Dunn who played and managed for many years (mostly with St Josephs) and who provided us all with many puns (unprintable) that will never to be forgotten. St Josephs also had a life-long supporter in Brian Ellis and there was also Keith Lofthouse who played many years for the Dale Inn and also worked hard for Ashville FC on a Saturday. Battling centre forward Mike Robson, who had more teams than he had clubs in his golf bag! Dad of many good players was Richard Hawitt who supported all his sons during their careers and, also his grandson Steve junior, who carried on the family name. Many will also remember Billy Osbourne who was a no-nonsense midfield player in his day and whose loyalties were always on Merseyside because he not only supported Everton but also watched the Reds from across the park? Many will also remember Paddy Keegan who was an excellent goalkeeper and was involved in managing junior teams for many years. Obviously there are countless more who could be added to this list and I apologise for failing to name them all, but as stated many times they will remain within the history of this league and also with those they have left behind, because you will remember them.

Many changes have taken place within the league structure over the years, but this season 2017/18 sees the removal of the Premier division, as the introduction of just two open age divisions take centre stage and they are now titled the First and Second Divisions. We still have two youth divisions called the Dundee youth division and the Grove youth division and the reason for the two named divisions is because we could not have the 20 youth teams in one division. As we enter the 19th year of having a youth section, we hope that these young players will help to sustain our open age teams and keep their valued interest in football firmly continuing for years to come. As you know the youth section has produced teams who have travelled through the divisions and even made it through to the now defunct Premier division, thus proving that retention and progression can be achieved with the correct direction and management, which we believe we have provided throughout those years.

As we are now in our 54th year as a Sunday league and as stated before, the oldest existing Sunday league within Cheshire, we look forward to having a 60th celebration and I certainly hope I will still be around to help organise this auspicious occasion. Many teams and in fact many leagues throughout the North West have fallen by the wayside over the years but those numbers are increasing each & every year as administration fees from the powers that be are continually being increased. Much the same as the hire of council pitches, which we all know are poorly maintained with facilities that are still in the 1950's. When you hear that the Government and local councils are complaining about obesity and the need for people to make more effort to stay fit, you would think that they would ensure that such facilities required to keep people at a good fitness level would be affordable and they should entice all ages to remain active - with football being a prime example of how to burn the calories and inject some pride and passion back into the lives of those who would surely do so - if the cost was at an acceptable level?
What fills me with pride is the way certain teams continue to stay loyal to this league and encourage players to take part season after season, because they are the true lovers of sport and share the same passion that I and the league management committee have and hopefully will maintain for many more years.
Some teams change their name more than some players change their socks, but usually this is to gain sponsorship and backing to keep the team going and deserve praise for their efforts. Let’s be honest, without the 'die hards' there would not be any Sunday football and when you consider that there are now only two adult Sunday leagues on the Wirral, that becomes an even more worrying statistic. There is only one on a Saturday - the West Cheshire League - but many of the teams involved are from over the water because lots of local factories and clubs are no longer supporting local football or have been closed-down. A very sad indictment of today’s society.

But as stated on many occasions, this league will make every effort to provide football for youth and open age teams for as long as is possible, but the teams need to help support themselves and help to nurture the junior teams from junior leagues and offer them a future to sustain the retention needed for the longevity of this league. I have mentioned changes to this League, and some include the introduction of league jackets and ties for the LMC, so as they are easily recognisable when attending fixtures and marshalling cup finals. Teams have also benefitted, as they have all been provided with 'captains' armbands and when winning league trophies are able to keep the award (cup) whilst they remain in the league structure. However, if they decide to leave the league, they then have a choice of either returning the trophy (in pristine condition) or purchasing it to retain as a memento of their achievement. League fees have been capped for many years now - despite the recession - as we feel teams needs support whenever possible, but wish other organisations would think the same?? Other changes being the introduction of 'no replays' in cup games, as we never seem to have enough Sundays to play our fixtures, so its 90 minutes plus extra time and then penalties. This has now been adopted by the Wirral DFA, as has the sharing of referee fees in cup games. We now allow 5 subs to be named and used, but not multiple use of those players?

Local venues for cup finals have started to become very scarce, but we have begun a friendship with Cammell Laird 1907 FC, who have made us very welcome and enabled us to use a top class venue for such fixtures and we hope this can continue for many years. If some of the local teams with enclosed grounds wished to stage any of our finals, then of course we would always look at the situation on a game to game basis.

Some players have continued onto being a manager or a referee, but many more fail to put back into the game they so dearly loved whilst being a player and instead become DIY experts or golfers? What a waste of a good walk!! It is so easy calling refs 'fit to burn' but at least they have taken up the black kit and whistle and without them teams refuse to play? Let’s hope the current crop of players provide some sort of support mechanism when they hang up their boots because they are sorely needed to replace the aging dinosaurs who cannot go on forever?

Some recollections from the past include the amount of grounds that do not get used any more or have been removed from the usable list by the WB Council, such as the bandstand pitch at central park, pitches at school lane (that never had changing facilities), the loss of two pitches at Wallacre park (due to Mosslands school growing in size) and private grounds such as New Brighton FC Rakers ground, Moreton AFC and Heathbank which are now all housing estates. Even the four pitches that used to be at Cadbury's biscuit factory are now just unused fields. What a shame.

The amount of public houses and clubs that have closed has caused many teams to disappear and those that remain open do not seem to share the same passion to have a team promoting their name at local football level, but maybe prefer to screen the live professional games on their big TV's, which of course has an adverse effect on Sunday football as players prefer to have a pint instead of burning calories? Professional teams with academies also have an effect on amateur football as they do not allow players to experience school football or junior, youth and adult football on the local parks which does nothing for the National game. The loss of teams and leagues is not just on the Wirral or in Cheshire but all over the country and is not helped by some of the sub-standard pitches and facilities on offer at inflated prices that many teams just cannot afford!

This third instalment of our league’s history will divert from present day to the past and ramble through intertwining years but begins with the sad news of the Youth section has now been placed in abeyance for the past two seasons due to the lack of teams willing to step up to the higher age groups. It also seems that teams no longer have the drive to enter U-19 football after playing for many years at U-16 level, with many players actually stopping playing football at all. When the league introduced our youth section in season 2000 – 2001 there was much interest and as the years progressed, so did the youth section and as I have stated before we had over 20 youth teams divide into two divisions. Originally, the youth section was for U-18 teams and they could have two years at that level before moving on to open age football. The league management committee then decided to increase the age level to U-19, so as players could have an extra year in youth football before playing open age football and this was accepted by the youth section. But as already stated, interest from the junior leagues began to dwindle and so the youth section – with much regret – was suspended for the 2019-2020 season and remains mothballed until interest is re-established in the Wirral area.

Our open age section has now increased to three divisions (season 2020/21), but they are below the quota of ten teams per each division. This has not diminished the quality of teams, but the total number in the league is 24 teams with the divisions being split into 9, then 8 and also 7 teams. The first two divisions play each other home and away, but the Third division teams play each other three times. As in the past two seasons teams winning trophies will retain a replica of the trophy that is theirs to keep and a monetary gain also applies, as successful teams have reduced league fees for the following season. Due to the pandemic all league application fees were reduced to help all teams entering the league and £10 per team was set aside as donation to a worthy cause and after consultation with member teams it was decided to provide a £300 donation to the Wirral Hospice, but the opportunity to present the cheque has been hampered by the continuing pandemic, so this will take place once the social distancing rules are reduced.

Over the past two seasons we have had teams perform well in the Wirral District FA competitions with Nelson FC winning the WDFA Amateur cup and Halfway House (now Bromborough Town) winning the WDFA Junior cup. Nelson FC reached the final again only for the Covid-19 virus to bring a halt to the season and prevent them from retaining the trophy. Considering their success within the league and a WDFA competition in recent seasons, Nelson FC decided to call it a day this season (2020-21) after playing only one fixture, which reduced the First Division to nine teams. The season has been a stop-start event so far, but Poulton Vics have opened their account with six wins out of six in the First Division and Eastham Rangers Colts have done similar in the Second Division with a 100% record after five league fixtures. New team in the Third Division are Vale Athletic and they too are unbeaten after four games and head the table with four wins. Not only as Covid-19 caused disruption over the past two seasons, we have also suffered at the hands of storm Ciara and severe weather conditions decimating fixtures. This resulted in no divisions or cup competitions being completed, but both JASGA FC and Rockpoint FC did receive commemorative shields for their efforts in season 2019/20, as they were unable to complete their league programme.

The season has been a stop-start event so far, but Poulton Vics have opened their account with six wins out of six in the First Division and Eastham Rangers Colts have done similar in the Second Division with a 100% record after five league fixtures. New team in the Third Division are Vale Athletic and they too are unbeaten after four games and head the table with four wins. Not only has Covid-19 caused disruption over the past two seasons, we have also suffered at the hands of storm Ciara and severe weather conditions decimating fixtures. This resulted in no divisions or cup competitions being completed, but both JASGA FC and Rockpoint FC did receive commemorative shields for their efforts in season 2019/20, as they were unable to complete their league programme.

Any changes that have been made in the league have all been for improvement purposes and to highlight the standing of the league.
Since its inception in 1963 this league has enabled many great teams and players to participate in our National sport and promote our league throughout Cheshire, but sadly no matter how much effort is provided behind the scenes to keep this league at the forefront of local football, there seems to be an underlying current of discontent with unwarranted criticism raising its ugly head, mostly provided by those who do very little themselves to secure the future of the league. We all know times have changed and social media sources are a fantastic way to communicate, but far too often they are also used to make derogatory comments and provide miss-informed notions that can only damage the image of football. Until the powers that be act to eradicate these forms of ‘news’, I suppose we will have to put up with the vile intrusions.

During the past few years, we have – as expected – experienced even more sad losses to the league and the community in general, as the likes of Alan Whelan, Eddie Eichelsheim and Peter Leay have sadly lost their lives. Alan was a great goalkeeper, a larger-than-life character (in more ways than one) and a truly nice guy who never seemed to let anything get him down. Eddie was – as we all know – a referee who brought his own method of officiating to every game. He supported the league by also introducing a trophy named after his home land – the Dutchman Cup – as Eddie was from the Netherlands and also had a store called the Flying Dutchman, with his other major passion being angling. As for Peter – what he did not know about the local football scene and the associated rules was not worth knowing. He was never a player, but had involvement with many teams and ensured all of them had success and a strong administration to support on field activities. Three other long-standing members of the league also passed away, but will always be remembered for their influence whilst giving their all as part of the league family. Paul Davey, fantastic player, admired referee and hard-working manager that gained respect in all his roles and I can proudly say I was his manager and also teammate for many years. John Burke – one of the original members of the league and part of the Primventus team that won the first league trophy and Magee Cup back in 1963 and who then became a well-respected referee for many years and gained many friends both on and off the pitch. Billy ‘Simmo’ Simpson will be remembered most for supporting all the teams from Seacombe, but mostly the ‘Joeys’ as he patrolled the touchline watching his favourite team win many trophies. Never short of a joke or quick quip, Billy will never be forgotten for his laid-back humour, but some with long memories might say he will be remembered for the goal that was punched into the net and caused consternation.? Something for you all to think about. Cliff Hallam also spent many years running teams in the league and was a complete gentleman that had a superb attitude with every one he met. Another loss was Kevin Walters who played for a few teams during his playing days as a goalkeeper before taking up the black kit and whistle to become an established referee and then moving into team management, which saw his teams gain decent success under his leadership with trophies going into their cabinets. Kevin even managed his son who is still playing in the league this season and who hopes to emulate his Dads winning ways. Other trophies besides the Dutchman Cup have been in the league, as we have had the Brian Edge trophy, the Kenny Campbell Cup (whereabouts still unknown) and the Jimmy Boswell Bowl, which has also disappeared? There could have been even more stalwarts who have passed away and so I apologise for any that I may have missed and leave it to you to remember the ‘old guard’ an have a chuckle about incidents from days gone by that included friends and opponents alike.

Delving deeper into the past, the thought of teams who have disbanded, but have left an indelible mark on the league are the likes of Somerville FC who won the 4th division, the 3rd division and the 2nd division in three successive seasons from 1987/88 to 1989/90 under the leadership of the founder Mark Whitfield, who had some excellent young players such as Mick McGovern, Chris Reavey, Michael Gates, Mike Speed, Fraser Hughes, Wayne Harold (who became an excellent referee), Steve Ord and Kenny Spalding. Mark was also an excellent player either in defence or in midfield and played Saturday football in the West Cheshire League first division. They also won the 2nd division cup in 1989/90 to complete the double. Subsequent years saw them managed by Billy Walker as they won division One in 1991-92 season and achieved another double when winning the cup in the same year, but never succeeded in their quest for the Dutchman cup, but did win the Magee cup once in season 1994/95. Other names from the past are Volclay (who originate from a nappy making firm), Communicare, Baniyas, Glass Barrel, Royal Swan and Swan Hotel (better known as the blazing stump) Woodchurch and Woodchurch Hotel and the Myrtle Inn, with most being teams from Birkenhead. Many more teams have resided within the league and although not mentioned will always be part of the history. To date I have been able recollect that at least 380 named teams have resided in the league between 1963 and 2021, but I have a feeling there could be even more and so I have collated them alphabetically and stored them all for future reference.

More venues can be added to the list of places that are now houses, flats or restaurants instead of public houses with teams and they include the Albion Hotel, the Nags Head, the Millhouse, Lord Raglan, Bird in Hand and the British Legion who all had their part to play in the history of the league. No doubt there will be many more unmentioned or not remembered and sadly even more that will close and have no association with the league any more, which is a sad indictment of today’s society for varying reasons!! We realise that we are not the only league suffering from these pitfalls, as many leagues (not just teams) have gone defunct over the past 25 years and we keep searching for the reasons behind this fall from grace, with many believing the cost implications in running a team being the main drawback. Pitch hire fees, County FA fees (especially fines and administration charges), insurance cover and competition fees being some of the main culprits that cause teams to fold. But just as much to blame is the lethargy of people being unwilling to take on the task of either running a team or even playing for a team. One would suspect that the County FA’s don’t help by promoting indoor football and failing to support the true grassroots football that was once so vibrant all over the country. To be fair about indoor football (5-aside and Futsal) it is good to have, but should be part of the bigger picture and used alongside 11-aside football – not as an alternative - with all CFA’s encouraging players to get out and about on a Sunday in the local parks and help swell the numbers in leagues instead of sitting on the sofa watching games on the telly!!

Since the likes of Poulton Royal, Millhouse, Great Float S&S, Liscard Bronze and Lord Nelson resigned from the league, along with many more, the likes of JASGA FC, Poulton Vics, PLCCFC and the blossoming Rockpoint FC have come to the fore and look to be the teams to provide stability to the league and provide what is hoped to be a strong future, along with some of the new teams who are just finding their way in Sunday football.

Times have also changed within the league management committee as Ken Harrison, Dave Passey and Ray Buckley have now resigned from active service for varying reasons, but Ken has retained the Presidency, which is good to have an MBE within the ranks. Wayne Kinnear has now become the referee’s representative and Dave Edwards has returned as a neutral rep and will always provide a concise and constructive view to all scenarios as he did when elected as chairman. Dave Beard took complete control of the registrar role following an attempted coup from the outgoing youth registrar, who failed in an underhand attempt to take over the league, but least said the better. It is great to inform everyone that in 2019 both Phil Kemble and myself were invited to a celebration evening after being nominated for a safeguarding award and certificate at a ceremony in Altrincham by the Cheshire County FA. We were honoured to actually win the award and be the only recipients in an open-age league, as they usually go to persons working in junior football. Yet another first for the league – let us hope it is not the last.

Rules and regulations have also changed in recent years with teams now being able to name five (5) substitutes and use them all in a roll-on-roll-off manner (multiple use) for tactical and injury requirements whilst playing in our league and cup competitions, but other rules apply in County and District competitions. Players can also be ‘sin binned’ by the referee for dissent instead of receiving a booking, but this does not prevent further action being taken once they reappear? Two things come out of these changes and they are – teams have to purchase more kits and ref’s have to use their notepads more than ever before!!

A look back at players in the league brought me to thinking about players with extraordinary surnames, but there is no intention of deriding or ridiculing anyone with names not usually heard or seen on the team sheet. First name that springs to mind is Peter Discastiglione (Kings Arms) who was best described as a fearless warrior that occasionally got into the referee’s notebook, but luckily for him not many refs knew how to spell his name, especially as most of his teammates and even opponents thought he was Peter Cass? Other unusual names were Richard Puddephatt and Ray Palombella (D A Ins), Paul Murgatroyd (Claughton Variety), Gary Chwalko (Black Horse Vics), Demetrio Stavros (Bird in Hand), Marlon Zelinski (Windsor), Rodolfo Navacchi (Albion), Darshan Sidhu (Poulton Eagle) and Krafimere Kalichevi (Nelson FC). Most of these names taken from the 1980’s and 1990’s and I am convinced there will be many more that I have overlooked. Family names that run through the league are Fitzsimmons, Parsons, Bates, Peckham, White, Williams, Coppell, Black, Dobson, Jones, Smith, Ashburner, Jackson, Pickthall, Dodd and Ashurst and many, many more, who have been part of the ongoing history of the league and I am sure many readers will have stories to relate regarding many players they played with and played against. Some players had association with professional teams by either going to or coming from such teams as the likes of Westlake, Mountfield Tranmere & Everton), Spearing (Liverpool & Tranmere), Koumas (Tranmere), Woan (Chester & now assistant at Burnley), Bowden (Doncaster), Lane (Liverpool), Walters (Stoke & Burnley) and Coomer (Man. City) come to mind. I have mentioned before that the likes of Jan Molby (Liverpool & Lord Nelson) and Dave Lawson (Everton & Ferries FC) being prominent names who have managed in the league. Dixie Dean also had a cameo role in the 1970’s as the president of Mackenzie Villa.

One ex-player now living in Canada is Mike ‘Sugar’ Shaw who had plenty of family members in the league, but even now he keeps in touch with the league by providing team photos from years gone by. He says he has also had success in his new homeland by gaining a few more trophies and completed his playing career in the vet’s league, so we wish him every success in all his ventures.

As per usual I will apologise for any names not being mentioned, but having taken over as secretary from the late George Stephens, I have been the secretary for 30 years and now in my 71st year of life, I hope you will allow a few errors? When George died whatever memorabilia he had disappeared, but his influence on the league will never be forgotten, because when he produced the fixtures he did so on a typewriter and used carbon paper to multiply the numbers and delivered nearly all of them by hand when visiting fixtures on a Sunday morning.

Cup finals have been played at many venues with the likes of West Cheshire League teams Ashville, Poulton Vics, West Kirby, Heswall, the now defunct Moreton FC and even pitches at the Cadbury biscuit site, plus the old Rakers ground in New Brighton, with the last three now being housing estates. So, for the last few years the league has struck up a good relationship with Cammell Laird 1907 FC and they have provided great support in staging our finals. Teams enjoy the excellent facilities at this enclosed venue and it is hoped this association will continue for many years and we thank their secretary Toddy Wood and their hard-working committee in supporting the league.

Females have also had a part to play as team secretaries during the years, with the likes of Carole Paisey (Hilbre Court), Cath Barlow (Princes Villa), Lynn Morrison (AFC Liverpool), Lynn Kennedy (Ashville Youth), Louise Pearson (Woodchurch), Lisha McNamara (Lord Nelson), Lindsey Evans (Poulton Vics Youth), Donna Reid (Wallasey Wanderers), Jenny Caffery (Phoenix the Flames), Chrissie Hayes (Ellesmere Port), Kate Wire (Higher Beb JFC), Kay Abercrombie (Windsor) and we now have Jennie Woods (Vittoria Vaults). Debi Redgrift (AFC Tima) who was for period of nearly 10 years’ the female youth registrar, but after a failed attempt to take over the league (as mentioned earlier) she informed the LMC that she had shredded all the records of youth registrations, plus the league and cup competition results, scorers and appearance’s, which was a massive loss to the league for history purposes.

Some funny instances include the day one of the Mackenzie Villa players turned-up with only one boot. When informed he could not play with one boot his reply was “I’ll only kick the ball with that one”?? Another funny was when the referee informed the teams that due to the pavilion at Central Park casting a shadow over the pitch it would remain frozen and unplayable. The quick response from the Leasowe Youth team was “we will only play on the other side of the pitch”!! Another incident happened at Woodchurch recreation centre when the referee said the game could not start due to their being a dead seagull in one of the areas, but no mention that the pitch was waterlogged and really unplayable. The game did take place after Billy Hudson dragged the seagull of the pitch! Strangest postponement came at Harrison Park because it was so windy the goalposts could not be erected despite the valiant efforts of the home team during the gale force winds. That was during the days of when every team erected their own goalposts at every ground and dismantled them at the end to put them back in the changing pavilions. Most times this was conducted by the same few players and committee who actually turned up early enough? Before health and safety took a firm grip on everything, teams used tea cup hooks and nails to hang the goal nets on, but when they got outlawed the use of sticky tape and string was used to tie the nets onto the posts and bars. Hence the multi-coloured feature on most posts still to this day?? Proper wooded corner flags always seemed to be in short supply and so plastic ones with triangle flags started to appear. For some unknown reason similar flag poles from golf courses went missing?

Considering the amount of people and players I have been able to remind you all of, I am accepting that there are many more who could and probably should have been mentioned, but just having this history to look back on may evoke memories and stories of your own playing careers and family members who made their mark on the league and of course the teams who helped shape the league to be the oldest in existence on a Sunday within Cheshire. Long may we reign.

This now leaves me to highlight the ongoing Covid-19 Coronavirus which has blighted the league and all football over the past two seasons and caused mayhem with fixtures and the opportunity to enjoy our beloved sport of football. Until the government and health authority stop or even reduce the lockdown stranglehold on us all, we will have to conform with the protocols required to keep everyone safe and secure in the hope of regaining some form of normality in the near future. So please stay safe and keep well until we can all get back to the local parks and enjoying our favourite pastime.

The Story Goes On and it is now 2021.

I will attempt to remember some of the players who have graced the league over many years and although I have mentioned many before, I will apologise for any exclusions and for any repetitions, because being very honest – there are too many to actually recollect and I do not have the ability of hyperthymesia in being able to remember every event that has take place. If only I could??

I will also provide some names of team committee, secretaries, members and managers, plus some of our illustrious match officials.

At this point I have to say that I have endeavoured to provide the better times of the league, but there have also been some bad times (besides the death of members that is) and one such incident came a few years ago when the use of social media raised its ugly head. Playing members from within teams of our league decided to abuse myself by making scurrilous and unfounded accusations about my private and personal life and even opened an account in my name so as to place vile and untrue suggestions there. Those that did join in the ‘fun’ at my expense have never been man enough to speak to me face to face and can only be considered cowards and what I would deem as scum of the earth. The use of social media now still allows for the cowards to attack many people in sport, but in football in particular and their disgusting tirades should never see the light of day, but the management of such sites is so poor, I feel this disgraceful behaviour will remain with us all for many years to come.
Anyway, I will attempt to refresh your memories with names of players who have plied their trade in the league, with some still helping to support the league.

Goalkeepers.
Dave Radcliffe, Robin Johnson, Alan Whelan, Frankie Lane, Mike and Richard Cotton (father & son), Don Croman, Eddie Bethal, Darren Jenkins, , Stan Scotland, Harry McIvor, John Paul Beaman, Norman Callaghan, Richard Hawitt, Wayne Kinnear, Wayne Norris (Gary Bailey lookalike), Paddy Carroll, Wayne (Philip) Palethorpe, Mick Berry, Phil Hale, Phil Dyer, Neil (Nebba) Warren to name but a few who wore the green with excellence.

Defenders.
Rob Ashburner, Peter Craven, Phil Moseley, Alan Ingram, Kenny Baker (with his glasses taped to head), Brian Edge, Tony Saunders, Russ Jones, John Butterworth, Mike Maguire, Dave Upton, Alan Povey, Mike Walsh, John (Nonny) Graham – got that name off younger sister who said Nonny instead of Johnny). John was one of the many excellent players who came through the Mike Callaghan run Constellation junior section over many years. Tony Ingram, Peter Jones, Tony Holmberg, George Wootton, Keith Lofthouse, Paul Wycherley, Peter West, Keith (Nogsy) Norris, Kevin O’Reilly, Ian Blakemore, Gary Evason, John Mallion, Paul Howell, Peter (Atteo) Atherton, Robbie Weir, Ian (Spike) Astles, Mally Hartlebury, Jimmy Deakin, Brian Foo, Kenny Lynch, Ricky Comber, Bobby (Stingo) Ingram, Joey Dodd, Harry Wiggins, Keith Fletcher, John Anderson, Steve Griffiths, John McFerran who all defended with distinction.

Midfield.
Ray and Keith Spearing (brothers), Barry Dobson, Brian Symonds, Peter Bowden (once at Bradford City), Jimmy Rutherford, Phil Tyrer, Steve Crayford, Mally Clayton, Vinny Jones, Phil Roach, Peter Smith, Steve Daniels, Graham (Grammer) Jones, Micky Connor, Paul (Nico) McNicholas, Peter and John Wycherley (brothers), Darren (Dazza) McDowell, Billy Myles, John (Trouty) Thornton, Trevor Turley, Micky Connelly, John O’Hare, Simon Chew, Anthony Peckham, Billy Ellis, Phil Smith, Billy Ward, Mike (Sugar) Shaw, Alan Griffiths and Eddie Ashton who were all members of the creating department of many teams.

Forwards.
Peter Boden, Paul Davey, Wayne Cunningham, Bernie Smith, George Cornah, Barry (the pie man) Smith, Billy Parsons, Larry Tynan, Phil Roach, Peter Blood, Tommy Cooper, Peter Daley, Ken Hipkiss, Stewart Speed (an apt name for such a swift forward), Darren Woollam, Gary Laycock, Andy Leyland, Peter McDonough, Carl Howell, Steve Hawitt, Simon Bradley, Steve Pickles, Barry Ferns, John Skeggs, Steve Roberts, Tommy Carroll, Steve (Smidger) Smith, Robbie Leatherbarrow (who married a girl surnamed Barrow – some change of name?), Lee Hollywood, Mike Robson, Ray and Mark Wilkie (father and son), with Mark also being an excellent hockey player. Sorry if I have missed names you recall, but at least there is a few who stir the memory banks of days gone by.

Committee members/managers/secretaries. Dennis Rutter, Micky Dunn, Steve Docherty, Mike Lawton, Archie Highway, John Trevitt, Bert Ashburner, Jimmy Parsons (senior), Frank Hanratty, Jimmy Boswell, George Stephens, Bob Nelson, John Parr, Mike Starr, Eddie Atkins, Bobby Jones, Peter Briscoe, Peter Murphy, Steve Hollywood, Frank Doherty, Bob Barrow, Brian Yates, Simon Hoey, Roy Dempsey, Reg Hurst, Tommy Peckham, Lynn Morrison, Tony Fearon, John McFerran, Ray Buckley, Simon McDonnell, Mike Crisp, Rob Phillips, Cath Barlow, Alan Buckle, John O’Connor, Cliff Hallam, Barry Smith, Rob Littler, Ken Triggs, John Ashurst, Dave Beard, Phil Kemble, Ray Navarro, Russel Cooper, Peter Murphy, and Tony Hibbs. All have given years of service to teams and the league and without them, where would we be?

Referees
Bernie Masters, Billy Hind, Norman (the book) Green, Les Watson, Kenny Bruffell, Dave Pugh (became secretary of the Liverpool FA & now the secretary of the Birkenhead SFL), Tony Wilson, Peter (Morfett) Offland, John Burke, Syd (carry on – it’s a blue ball) Lomas, Desi Roche, Jack Blakemore (bearer of the Olympic torch), Frank Potter, Bernie Shaw, Ken Harrison (MBE), Brendan McQuillan, Brian (I officiated at Wembley) Porter, Dicky Rutter, Kenny Hurley, Phil Smith, Ken Noble, Dave Edwards, Roy Griffiths, Gary Byrne, Ray Lasnier, Ian Hawes, Kevin Walters, John Lawrenson, Eddie Reilly, Brian Robinson, Tom Owens (who was an embalmer and went to the Falklands war for obvious reasons), Nigel Case, John Shearon, Micky Birks, Ronnie Robinson, Cyril Baxter, Joe Rooney and Mally Davies. Many of these men in black played in the league and even ran teams in the league, so continued their association for many years. History was also made when Georgia Lyons became the first female referee to officiate a cup final as she took full control of the Magee Cup Final and was highly praised by everyone concerned for a superb performance on such a big occasion.

Many brothers have played in the league and some are already mentioned, but here are names to remember – Carl and Paul Howell, Steve, Richard and Colin Hawitt, Dave and Steve Cringle, Vinny, Carl and Peter Jones, Lenny and Eric Hardman, Andy and Charlie Triggs, Laurence and Simon Hoey, Paul, Peter and John Wycherley, Carl, Kevin and Martin Donnelly, Steve and Gary Renshaw, David and Martin Reid, Gary and Roy Crellin, Tony, Ian and Eddie Fitzsimmons, Howard and Myles Farrall, Lee and Paul Redgrift, Steve and Gary Booth, Dave and Joe Cosgrove, John and Steve Kennedy, Brendon and Mike Fortune, Alan, Graham and John Pickthall, Steve and Kevin Daniels, Andrew and Steve Bromilow, Gary and Neil Burdett, Roy and Sean McBride, Alan and Brian Black, Mark and Michael Byrne, John and Gerry Cotter, Brian, Gary and Steve Laycock, Frank and Tommy Potter, Billy, Dave and Steve Parsons, John and Robbie Ashburner, Alan and Arthur Maldon, Steve and Dave Wignall, Laurie and Terry Howells, Phil and Mally Evans, Josh, Abe and Zaq Dobson, Liam and Sean Kelly, Jason and Justin Broadbent, Paddy and Steven Cleary, Ray and John Madden, Alan and Tony Farrell, Jonathon, Barry and Anthony White, Mike and Lee Pickles, Jimmy, Dave and John Kelly, Neil and Colin Warren, Alan and Ian Woan (now assistant at Burnley FC), Steve and Tony Bolton, Brian and John Westlake and no doubt many more that I have filed to mention.

Many of the names mentioned above have not only been players but also secretaries, managers and referees and have provided great service to the league and helped it continue from 1963 to present day. Some names you will recognise and others you won’t, but all have been an integral part of the league and all will have had a tale or two to talk about during their time in this fantastic league that has endeavoured to provide football to 1000’s of local players, of which many were talented and had much pride in the teams they played for. Some of those named above have also had sons, nephews and cousins playing in this league, which has helped the league to thrive for all these years. Sadly, some have also passed away for varying reasons, with the most recent being Dave Radcliffe – a great goalie and someone who had a view on every subject possible, but always kind, funny and sociable with a wit great to listen to.

Although the number of teams has diminished over the years, much effort is made every year to ensure the league remains part of the local football scene and provide opposition for our counterparts across the six bridges, which of course are the Poulton (Penny) bridge (due to a charge of one penny to cross), Duke Street bridge and the four bridges. These I believe all had individual names, but I can only remember the Egerton bridge which was part of the connection between the great float, Alfred dock and Wallasey dock. The nearest pitches to these bridges would be Central Park, Rycroft (or Seacombe stadium as some know it) and Wallacre park, with Birkenhead Park being nearest once over the bridges. Rivalry has always been there against teams from Birkenhead and will remain for as long as these leagues exist, but with Sunday amateur football on a steady decline, only time will tell how long this will last!

The 2020-21 season has now been completed despite the ongoing pandemic, and was only finalised on 13th June with the Dutchman Cup Final, and was the latest the league has ever run to due to the lockdowns etc imposed by government. Every team and referee were thanked for their sterling efforts at getting the season completed, with the LMC deserving many plaudits for their behind-the-scenes work. We now look forward to the next campaign and hope much success comes the way of all our teams and hopefully we will all be able to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the league in 2023, which will be a remarkable landmark for those who began the journey and for those producing much effort to continue the journey.

Many thanks to all of you – past and present – for helping to provide so many talking points and creating so many friendships during these turbulent yet memorable years, that we should all remember with pride.

July 2021.

Teams who have been associated with the league

20 Row Inn
27 Club

ACA Sports
AC Hoylake
AFC Bebington
AFC Kings
AFC Liverpool
AFC Telegraph
AFC Tima
Alan Paul FC
Albion
Albion Hotel
Alexandra FC
Alexandra Rage
Allport Hawks
AM Plant Hire
Apollo Social
Armchair FC
Armchair Rangers
Arrowebrook
Arthur FC
Ashville ‘B’
Ashville Youth
Atlantis Gym FC
Autumn FC

Baniyas
Barnston PV
Bee Hotel
Beechwood Falcons
Bernards
Belgravia
Bird Darts
Bird in Hand
Birkenhead RAOB
Birkenhead St Annes
Birkenhead Youth
Birkenhead Vale
Black FC
Black Horse
Black Horse Victoria
Black Horse West Kirby
Blu FC
Borough Rovers
Borough Surveyors
Boot Inn
Brackenwood
Brighton Hotel
Bromborough Town
Bronze Social

Capenhurst Princes Villa
Cammell Laird 1907 Youth
Cavendish FC
Float FC
Cetco Europe
Champions Bar
Chelsea Reach
Cheshire Cheese
Chester Arms
Chester Nomads
Christleton Youth
Clarence Hotel
Claughton Hotel
Claughton Variety
Clifton FC
Clipper FC
Coach & Horses
Colourvision
Commercial Hotel
Commercial Rangers
Communicare
Communicare 11
Criterion
Crown & Cushion

DA Insurance
Dale Farm
Dale Inn
Dale Inn Bar
Dale Inn FC
Delta Colts Parkfield
Development
Dukes FC

Eagle Arms
Eagle K-V
Eastham Rangers
Eastham Rangers Colts
Eastham Rangers Jets
Eastway
Egremont Ferry
Ellesmere Port FC
Ellesmere Port Rangers
Ellesmere Port Red Lions
Embassy Club
Empress Club

Farmers Arms (Greasby)
Farmers Arms (Moreton)
FC Bluebell
FC Boot
FC Leasowe
FC Transport
FC Transport ‘B’
FC Victoria

Fender Youth
Ferrybird
Ferries Club
Five Bars Rest
Free Library

Gayton FC
Genesis
Glass Barrel
Glenavon Youth
Glyder FC
Gogglebox
Gorsedale
Grange FC
Grange Hearts
Great Float Hotel
Great Float S&S
Greenleas Celtic

Groves FC
Groves Rovers
Greenleas Youth
Halfway House
Harvest Grange
Harvest Rangers
Hearts FC
Helmsley’s
Heswall (Sunday)
Heswall Youth
Heatherbrow
Heather Vics
Higher Beb JFC Youth
Hilbre Court
Hollywoods
Horizon FC

Ice-Tech
Imperial
Irby FC
Irby Youth

JASGA FC (Jimmy Armstrong's Super Green Army)
JB Leasing

Kings Arms

La Banque
Labour Social FC
Lacey’s
Lancing FC
Landon Joinery
Leasowe Alliance
Leasowe Athletic
Leasowe Brambles
Leasowe Castle
Leasowe Castle Hotel
Leasowe Hotel
Leasowe Rangers
Leasowe Reeds Lane
Leasowe Youth
Leasowe Villa
Lennons
Letters
Lighthouse
Lions FC
Liscard
Liscard Bronze
Liscard Panthers OA
Little Brighton
Little Wellington
Liver View
Lord Exmouth
Lord Nelson
Lord Raglan

Mackenzie Villa
Mackenzies
Magazines
Malvern FC
Manor Reds
Manor Youth
Manville FC
Market Argyle
Matrix FC
Meols FC
Metz
Millhouse FC
Molly Malones
Mona Castle
Morton Arms
Mount Royal
Myrtle Inn

Nags Head
Nelson FC
Nelson United
Nelson Grove Road
Nelson Trafalgar Road
Nelson Victoria
Neston Athletic Youth
Neston Nomads
New Brighton Saints
New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Youth
New Ferry Rangers
Newburn
Newton Athletic
Newton Park
Noctorum Athletic
North Star
North Star Dynamos
Northern Dairies
North West Harriers
North West Tugs
North Wirral Saints
Northwood
NSD
NW Tech College

Oakdale
Old Bank
Old English Gent
Old House
Old Market
Oldershaw Athletic
Olympic Rangers
Our Ladies
Oxton Celtic
Oxton Villa
Oyster Catcher

Parkfield
Parkfield FC
Parkfield Youth FC
Parkgate FC
Park Rangers FC
Park Royal
Parkview
Parkview 96
Peggy Gadflys
Pelican-Metz
Perch Rock
Phoenix Club
Phoenix the Flames
Pilot Boat
PLCCFC
Pool Inn
Poulton Athletic Fc
Poulton Eagle FC
Poulton Rangers FC
Poulton Roya FC
Poulton Royal Dale
Poulton Vics
Poulton Vics Social
Premier Brands
Premier Social
Primrose
Primventus
Prince Alfred
Princes Villa
Pru Pool
Prudential
Punch Bowl

Queens Liscard
Queens PV
Queens Tower
Queens Tranmere
Quids Inn

Railway Inn
R S C A
Railway NB
Railway Vics
Rediffusion
Ridgewood
Rockpark FC
Rockpoint FC
Rose & Crown Delta
Rose & Crown
R&C Dukes
Ross DIY
Rossway United
Royal Oak
Royal Standard
Royal Swan
Runcorn Select
Rycroft Rovers

S V P
Saddle FC
Saints FC
Sandbank
Sandbrook FC
Sandringham
Saughall Hotel
Seabank ‘A’
Seabank Auto’s
Seacombe Ferry Hotel
Seacombe Globe Trotters
Seagulls
Seaview
Shaftesbury YC
Shedz FC
Shell Travellers Rest
Shell Villa
Shepheard Rest
Sheridans FC
Ship Hotel
Ship Inn
Ship Inn (Hoylake)
Shippons
Shore Villa
Somerville
Spartans FC
St Josephs
St Andrews United
St Mary’s
Stanleys Arms
Stanleys Cask
Star Ozzy’s
Stonegate
Stork Hotel
Stork Youth
Swan Hotel

Tavern Social
Telegraph
The 12th Man
The Big House
The Black FC
The Boot
The Brighton
The Cheese
The Clipper
The Ginney
The Joeys
The Oak
The Office
The Plough
The Queens FC
The Rakers
The Railway
The Royal
The Saddle
The Ship
The Willows
Tower Athletic
Towers FC
Transport Club
Travellers Rest
Trident
Turnberry's

U C D (united Co-op Dairies)
URL (Unilever Research Labs)
Upton FC
Upton Town
Upton Youth

Vale Athletic
Vanser Club
Vauxhall Colts
Vicky Lodge
Victoria Colts
Victoria Laird FC
Villa Park
Vineyard
Vittoria Vaults
Volclay FC

Wallasey Athletic
Wallasey British Legion
Wallasey Mens
Wallasey Oval
Wallasey RAOB
Wallasey RBL
Wallasey Town
Wallasey Wanderers
Wallasey Wolves
Warren Golf Shop
Wheatland
Willaston Wanderrers FC
Wellington FC
Wellington PA
West Kirby United
West Kirby United Panthers
West Kirby United Whites
West Kirby Wasps
Willows FC
Windsor PR
Wirral Panthers FC
Wirral SB FC
Wirral Scorpions
Woodchurch Com Care
Woodchurch FC

Young Lions (380)

Although incomplete the Roll of Honour covers league and cup winners.

Premier Champions

1963-75 N/A
1975-76 Nelson Utd
1976-77 Windsor
1977-78 Wallasey Labour Club
1978-79 Windsor
1979-80 Wallasey Labour Club
1980-81 Mona Castle
1981-82 Nelson Grove Road
1982-83 Nelson Grove Road
1983-84 Mona Castle
1984-85 Eagle Arms
1985-86 Mona Castle
1986-87 Nelson Grove Road
1987-88 The Oak
1988-89 The Oak
1989-90 St Josephs
1990-91 The Oak
1991-92 Wallasey Oval
1992-93 The Oak
1993-94 St Josephs
1994-95 St Josephs
1995-96 Nelson Vics
1996-97 Nelson Vics
1997-98 St Josephs
1998-99 St Josephs
1999-00 Poulton Royal
2000-01 Millhouse
2001-02 Millhouse
2002-03 Poulton Royal
2003-04 Poulton Royal
2004-05 The Plough
2005-06 The Tower
2006-07 The Tower
2007-08 The Lighthouse
2008-09 The Tower
2009-10 Liscard Bronze
2010-11 Oyster Catcher
2011-12 Poulton Royal
2012-13 Millhouse FC
2013-14 Liscard Bronze FC
2014-15 Liscard Bronze FC
2015-16 Millhouse
2016-17 Great Float Sports and Social Club
2017-22 N/A

DIVISION 1 Champions

1963-64 Primventus
1964-65 Queens Arms
1965-66 Primventus
1966-67 Queens Arms
1967-68 Farmers Arms
1968-69 British Legion
1969-70 Stanley Arms
1970-74 N/A
1974-75 Mackenzie Villa
1975-80 N/A
1980-81 Ferries
1981-82 Leasowe FC
1982-83 Leasowe Rangers
1983-84 Birkenhead RAOB
1984-85 N/A
1985-86 Windsor PR
1986-87 Oyster Catcher
1987-88 Armchair FC
1988-89 Meols FC
1989-90 Arrowebrook FC
1990-91 Rose & Crown FC
1991-92 Somerville FC
1992-93 Bird in Hand FC
1993-94 Little Brighton
1994-95 Wallasey Oval
1995-96 Millhouse FC
1996-97 Gorsedale FC
1997-98 Old Bank
1998-99 Oyster Catcher
1999-00 The Saddle FC
2000-01 The Plough FC
2001-02 Sandbank FC
2002-03 Queens Nelson FC
2003-04 Bronze Social FC
2004-05 Black Horse FC
2005-06 The Office
2006-07 Grange FC
2007-08 Oyster Catcher
2008-09 Liscard Bronze
2009-10 Leasowe Youth
2010-11 Seacombe Ferry FC
2011-12 Great Float Sports and Social Club
2012-13 Rose & Crown Dukes FC
2013-14 Black FC
2014-15 Clarence FC
2015-16 FC Victoria
2016-17 Lord Nelson FC
2017-18 JASGA FC (Jimmy Armstrongs Super Green Army)
2018-19 Poulton Vics FC
2019-20 COVID 19
2020-21

DIVISION 2 Champions

1963-66 N/A
1966-67 Egerton Club FC
1967-68 Borough Surveyors FC
1968-69 Great Float
1969-70 Oakdale FC
1970-86 N/A
1987-88 Bird in Hand FC
1988-89 Telegraph FC
1989-90 Somerville FC
1990-91 Dale Inn
1991-92 Myrtle Inn
1992-94 N/A
1994-95 The Telegraph
1995-96 The Armchair FC
1996-97 The Harvest
1997-98 The Oyster Catcher
1998-99 The Moreton Arms
1999-00 N/A
2000-01 The Sandbank FC
2001-02 The Nelson FC
2002-03 Birkenhead Youth FC
2003-04 Black Horse FC
2004-05 Upton FC
2005-06 Townfield FC
2006-07 The Oyster Catcher
2007-08 Liscard Bronze FC
2008-09 Leasowe Alliance FC
2009-10 The Grange FC
2010-11 Great Float S&SC FC
2011-12 Dukes FC
2012-13 Rockpark FC
2013-14 Ship Wallasey FC
2014-15 Parkview FC
2015-16 Wallasey Oval FC
2016-17 Poulton Vics FC
2017-18 PLCC FC
2018-19 Halfway House FC
2019-20 COVID-19
2020-21

DIVISION 3 Champions

1987-88 Bronze FC
1988-89 Somerville FC
1989-90 Old Bank FC
1990-91 Commercial Hotel FC
1991-92 Leasowe Youth FC
1992-93 NA
1993-94 NA
1994-95 Gorsedale FC
1995-96 Old Bank FC
1996-97 Volclay FC

Division 4 Champions

1987-88 Somerville FC
1988-89 Belgravia Hotel
1989-90 Woodchurch FC
1990-91 Poulton Royal FC
1991-92 Gorsedale FC

Youth Division

2000-01 Arthur FC
2001-02 Arthur FC
2002-03 Newton Athletic FC
2003-04 G'Leas Celtic FC
2004-05 Shore Villa Colts FC
2005-06 Princess Villa FC
2006-07 Shore Villa FC
2007-08 Chrisleton Youth FC
2008-09 Neston Nomads FC
2009-10 Princess Villa FC
2010-11 Northwood FC
2011-12 Christleton FC
2012-13 Ridgewood FC
2013-14 West Kirby Whites FC

Grove Youth Division

2014-15 West Kirby W
2015-16 Shaftesbury
2016-17 Higher Bebington FC
2017-18 Irby Youth Fc
2018-19 Glenavon Athletic FC

Dundee Youth Division

2014-15 Christleton FC
2015-16 AFC Liverpool
2016-17 Neston Nomads FC
2017-18 Manor Youth FC
2018-19 ACA Sports FC

Divisional Cup Winners

Premier Division Cup

1987-88 The Oak FC
1988-89 St Josephs FC
1989-90 Oyster Catcher
1990-91 St Josephs FC
2000-01 Poulton Royal FC
2001-02 The Queens FC
2002-03 Millhouse FC
2003-04 St Josephs FC
2004-05 The Plough FC
2005-06 The Tower FC
2006-07 The Tower FC
2007-08 The Lighthouse FC
2008-09 The Tower FC
2009-10 Oyster Catcher FC
2010-11 Poulton Royal FC
2011-12 Poulton Royal FC
2012-13 Millhouse FC
2013-14 Cetco Europe
2014-15 Liscard Bronze FC
2015-16 Millhouse FC
2016-17 Great Float Sports & Social Club FC

Division One Cup

1963-64 Primventus FC
1964-65 Queens Arms FC
1965-66 Primventus FC
1966-67 Queens Arms FC
1967-68 Stanley Arms FC
1968-69 British Legion FC
1969-70 Stanley Arms FC
1970-71 Dale Inn FC
1971-72 Dale Inn FC
1972-73 Great Float Social FC
1973-74 NA
1974-75 McKenzie Villa FC
1979-80 Five Bars Rest FC
1980-81 NA
1981-82 NA
1982-83 Eagle Arms FC
1983-84 Lord Raglan FC
1984-85 Genesis FC
1985-86 Windsor PR
1986-87 Oyster Catcher FC
1987-88 Wallasey Oval FC
1988-89 Lighthouse FC
1989-90 Arrowebrook FC
1990-91 Windsor PR
1991-92 Somerville FC
1992-93 Hilbre Court FC
1993-94 Millhouse FC
1994-95 Millhouse FC
1995-96 Premier Social FC
1996-97 Gorsedale FC
1997-98 Kings Arms FC
1998-99 NA
1999-00 Parkfield Cricket Club FC
2000-01 The Plough FC
2001-02 NA
2002-03 Quids Liscard FC
2003-04 Old Market FC
2004-05 Balck Horse FC
2005-06 The Office FC
2006-07 Grange FC
2007-08 Oyster Catcher FC
2008-09 Great Float FC
2009-10 Leasowe Youth FC
2010-11 Irby Village FC
2011-12 Great Float Sports & Social Club FC
2012-13 Irby FC
2013-14 Rockpark FC
2014-15 Clarence FC
2015-16 Wallasey Oval FC
2016-17 Liverview FC
2017-18 Poulton Vics FC
2018-19 JASGA PV FC (Jimmy Armstrong Super Green Army)
2019-20 COVID-19

Division Two Cup

1968-69 Great Float FC
1969-70 Oakdale FC
1987-88 Communicare FC
1988-89 Royal Swan FC
1989-90 Somerville FC
1990-91 Bronze FC
2000-01 Sandridge FC
2001-02 NA
2002-03 Bronze Social FC
2003-04 Grange FC
2004-05 Grange FC
2005-06 Townfield FC
2006-07 Oyster Catcher FC
2007-08 Liscard Bronze FC
2008-09 Stanleys Cask FC
2009-10 The Brighton FC
2010-11 Millhouse FC
2011-12 Dukes FC
2012-13 Ship Wallasey FC
2013-14 Sheridans FC
2014-15 Wallasey Oval FC
2015-16 JASGA PV FC (Jimmy Armstrong Super Green Army)
2016-17 Poulton Vics FC
2017-18 St Andrews FC
2018-19 Halfway House FC
2019-20 COVID-19

Division Three Cup

1979-80 Sandridge FC
1980-81 Wheatland FC
1981-82 Birkenhead St Annes FC
1982-83 Genesisi FC
1983-84 Prince Alfred FC
1984-85 Communicare FC
1985-86 Ross DIY FC
1986-87 Glass Barrel FC
1987-88 FC Transport FC
1988-89 Old Market FC
1989-90 Old Bank FC
1990-91 Commercial FC
1991-92 Leasowe Youth FC
1992-93 Magazine FC
1993-94 Chester Arms FC
1994-95 Gorsedale FC
1995-96 Old Bank FC
1996-97 Volclay FC

Division Four Cup

1979-80 Little Wellington FC
1980-81 Apollo Social FC
1981-82 Five Bars Rest FC
1982-83 Wallasey RBL FC
1983-84 Plough Inn
1984-85 Plough Inn
1985-86 NA
1986-87 Wallasey RAOB FC
1987-88 Baniyas FC
1988-89 Parkfield FC
1989-90 Leasowe Youth FC (Rep)
1990-91 St Mary's FC

Youth Cup

2000-01 Arthur FC
2001-02 Arthur FC
2002-03 Greenleas Youth FC
2003-04 Greenleas Celtic FC
2004-05 Shore Villa FC
2005-06 Princess Villa FC
2006-07 Shore Villa FC
2007-08 Ellesmere Port Town FC
2008-09 Princess Villa FC
2009-10 Neston Nomads FC
2010-11 Christleton Youth FC
2011-12 Christleton Youth FC
2012-13 Ridgewood Rangers FC
2013-14 West Kirby Wasps FC
2014-15 West Kirby Wasps FC
2015-16 Poulton Vics Youth FC
2016-17 Wirral SB FC
2017-18 Manor Youth FC
2018-19 Groves FC

Magee Cup Winners

1963-64 Primventus FC
1964-65 Dale Inn FC
1965-66 Primventus FC
1966-67 Dale Inn FC
1967-68 Dale Inn FC
1968-69 Dale Inn FC
1969-70 Dale Inn FC
1970-71 Dale Inn FC
1971-72 Dale Inn FC
1972-73 Great Float FC
1973-74 Nelson United FC
1974-75 Tavern Social FC
1975-76 Windsor PR FC
1976-77 Windsor PR FC
1977-78 NA
1978-79 Mona Castle FC
1979-80 Mona Castle FC
1980-81 Carnarvon Castle FC
1981-82 Mona Castle FC
1982-83 Nelson Grove Road FC
1983-84 NA
1984-85 NA
1985-86 NA
1986-87 Mona Castle FC
1987-88 Eagle Arms FC
1988-89 Wallasey Oval FC
1989-90 St Josephs FC
1990-91 The Oak FC
1991-92 Oyster Catcher FC
1992-93 The Oak FC
1993-94 St Josephs FC
1994-95 Somerville FC
1995-96 St Josephs FC
1996-97 St Josephs FC
1997-98 Millhouse FC
1998-99 St Josephs FC
1999-00 Great Float Social FC
2000-01 NA
2001-02 NA
2002-03 St Josephs FC
2003-04 The Queens Tower FC
2004-05 The Plough FC
2005-06 The Tower FC
2006-07 The Tower FC
2007-08 The Tower FC
2008-09 Poulton Royal FC
2009-10 Poulton Royal FC
2010-11 Big House FC
2011-12 Poulton Royal FC
2012-13 Millhouse FC
2013-14 Millhouse FC
2014-15 Great Float S&S FC
2015-16 Great Float S&S FC
2016-17 Woodchurch United FC
2017-18 JASGA FC (Jimmy Armstrong Super Green Army)
2018-19 Poulton Vics FC
2019-20 COVID 19
2020-21

Dutchman Cup Winners

1983-84 Borough Rovers FC
1984-85 Glyder FC
1985-86 Wallasey RAOB
1986-87 20 Row Inn
1987-88 Grange FC
1988-89 Old Market FC
1989-90 Rose & Crown FC
1990-91 Old Bank FC
1991-92 NA
1992-93 NA
1993-94 Poulton Royal FC
1994-95 Telegraph Inn FC
1995-96 Armchair FC
1996-97 Harvest Grange FC
1997-98 Old Bank FC
1998-99 NA
1999-00 NA
2000-01 NA
2001-02 NA
2002-03 Birkenhead Youth FC
2003-04 Grange FC
2004-05 Windsor FC
2005-06 The Tower FC
2006-07 Oyster Catcher FC
2007-08 Oyster Catcher FC
2008-09 Leasowe Alliance FC
2009-10 Oyster Catcher FC
2010-11 Great Float S&S FC
2011-12 Great Float S&S FC
2012-13 PLCC FC
2013-14 AM Plant Hire FC
2014-15 Parkview FC
2015-16 Competition not completed
2016-17 JASGA PV FC (Jimmy Armstrong Super Green Army)
2017-18 Halfway House FC
2018-19 Eastham Rangers Colts FC
2019-20 COVID-19

Capitol Cup Winners

1997-98 St Josephs FC
1998-99 St Josephs FC
1999-00 NA
2000-01 NA
2001-02 NA
2002-03 The Queens FC
2003-04 St Josephs FC
2004-05 The Plough FC
2005-06 The Tower FC
2006-07 Oyster Catcher FC
2007-08 Oyster Catcher FC
2008-09 Poulton Royal FC
2009-10 Poulton Royal FC
2010-11 Oyster Catcher FC
2011-12 Great Float S&S FC
2012-13 Millhouse FC
2013-14 Millhouse FC
2014-15 Millhouse FC
2015-16 Great Float S&S FC
2016-17 Millhouse FC
2017-18 Nelson FC
2018-19 Poulton Vics FC
2019-20 COVID-19

Where next?

Weekly Review 1st and 4th April 2021 Weekly review 1st and 4th April 2021
League Restart - Important information from Wirral Borough Council to all clubs Message from Ally Noonan Events & Lettings Officer Wirral Council

Latest photos

17th October 2021
18 photos
17th October 2021
Sunday 10th October
34 photos
Sunday 10th October
October 3rd League & Wirral Comps
40 photos

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