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Central League

Central League logo

Formed in 1911, the Central League originally had a mixture of Football League club reserve teams and other clubs' first teams. When the Football League formed a Third Division North in 1921, all the first teams playing in the Central League were elected to that, and since then the Central League has consisted solely of reserve teams.


Divisional Champions

Season Champions
1911-12 Lincoln City
1912-13 Manchester United reseves
1913-14 Everton reserves
1914-15 Huddersfield Town reserves
1915-19 Comeptition suspended during World War I
1919-20 Blackpool reserves
1920-21 Manchester United reserves
1921-22 Sheffield United reserves
1922-23 West Bromwich Albion reserves
1923-24 West Bromwich Albion reserves
1924-25 Huddersfield Town reserves
1925-26 Huddersfield Town reserves
1926-27 West Bromwich Albion reserves
1927-28 Stoke City reserves
1928-29 Sheffield Wednesday reserves
1929-30 Aston Villa reserves
1930-31 Huddersfield Town reserves
1931-32 Wolverhampton Wanderers reserves
1932-33 West Bromwich Albion reserves
1933-34 West Bromwich Albion reserves
1934-35 West Bromwich Albion reserves
1935-36 Derby County reserves
1936-37 Leeds United reserves
1937-38 Everton reserves
1938-39 Manchester United reserves
1939-45 Comeptition suspended during World War I
1945-46 Sheffield Wednesday reserves
1946-47 Manchester United reserves
1947-48 Newcastle United reserves
1948-49 Burnley reserves
1949-50 Blackpool reserves
1950-51 Wolverhampton Wanderers reserves
1951-52 Wolverhampton Wanderers reserves
1952-53 Wolverhampton Wanderers reserves
1953-54 Everton reserves
1954-55 Bolton Wanderers reserves
1955-56 Manchester United reserves
1956-57 Liverpool reserves
1957-58 Wolverhampton Wanderers reserves
1958-59 Wolverhampton Wanderers reserves
1959-60 Manchester United reserves
1960-61 Sheffield Wednesday reserves
1961-62 Burnley reserves
1962-63 Burnley reserves
1963-64 Aston Villa reserves
1964-65 Blackburn Rovers reserves
1965-66 Sheffield United reserves
1966-67 Blackburn Rovers reserves
1967-68 Everton reserves
1968-69 Liverpool reserves
1969-70 Liverpool reserves
1970-71 Liverpool reserves
1971-72 Derby County reserves
1972-73 Liverpool reserves
1973-74 Liverpool reserves
1974-75 Liverpool reserves
1975-76 Liverpool reserves
1976-77 Liverpool reserves
1977-78 Manchester City reserves
1978-79 Liverpool reserves
1979-80 Liverpool reserves
1980-81 Liverpool reserves
1981-82 Liverpool reserves

The league split into two divisions in 1982

Season Division 1 Division 2
1982-83 West Bromwich Albion reserves Nottingham Forest reserves
1983-84 Liverpool reserves Bradford City reserves
1984-85 Liverpool reserves Leicester City reserves
1985-86 Derby County reserves Oldham Athletic reserves
1986-87 Manchester City reserves Huddersfield Town reserves
1987-88 Nottingham Forest reserves Blackburn Rovers reserves
1988-89 Nottingham Forest reserves Hull City reserves
1989-90 Liverpool reserves Sunderland reserves
1990-91 Sheffield Wednesday reserves West Bromwich Albion reserves
1991-92 Nottingham Forest reserves Stoke City reserves
1992-93 Aston Villa reserves Derby County reserves
1993-94 Manchester United reserves Tranmere Rovers reserves
1994-95 Bolton Wanderers reserves Newcastle United reserves

In 1995, he league expanded again by adding a third division

Season Division 1 Division 2 Division 3
1995-96 Manchester United reserves Middlesbrough reserves Wrexham reserves

After only one season with three divisions, a fourth section was added. The top division became the Premier Division, with Divisions 1/2/3 below

Season Premier Division Division 1 Division 2 Division 3
1996-97 Manchester United reserves Preston North End reserves Grimsby Town reserves Rochdale reserves
1997-98 Leeds United reserves Sunderland reserves Burnley reserves Scarborough reserves
1998-99 Sunderland reserves Coventry City reserves Newcastle United reserves Scunthorpe United reserves

In 1999, the Premier League created their own reserve league, and all reserve teams of Premier League clubs left the Central League. This led to Division Three being disbanded.

Season Premier Division Division 1 Division 2
1999-00 Manchester City reserves Rotherham United reserves Wigan Athletic reserves
2000-01 Tranmere Rovers reserves Sheffield United reserves Bury reserves
2001-02 Preston North End reserves Walsall reserves Macclesfield Town reserves

The lower divisions were re-organised and split East/West in 2002.

Season Premier Division Division 1 West Division 1 East
2002-03 Sheffield United reserves Stoke City reserves Hull City reserves
2003-04 Stoke City reserves Wigan Athletic reserves Hartlepool United reserves
2004-05 Hull City reserves Manchester United reserves Huddersfield Town reserves

In 2005, the league re-organised into three geographical divisions. For three seasons, a play-off series was organised to determine the overall Champions (involving the three divisional title winners and the best second-placed team), but after the overall winners had been the best second-placed team two years in a row, from 2008 the overall title was awarded to the divisional winner with the best points per game tally.

Season Central Division East Division West Division Overall Champions
2005-06 Sheffield Wednesday reserves Doncaster Rovers reserves Carlisle United reserves Doncaster Rovers reserves
2006-07 Birmingham City reserves Rotherham United reserves Oldham Athletic reserves Nottingham Forest reserves
2007-08 Nottingham Forest reserves Hartlepool United reserves Morecambe reserves Manchester City reserves
2008-09 Shrewsbury Town reserves Leeds United reserves Burnley reserves Shrewsbury Town reserves
2009-10 Derby County reserves Leeds United reserves Wrexham reserves Wrexham reserves
2010-11 Derby County reserves Middlesbrough reserves Preston North End reserves Preston North End reserves
2011-12 Sheffield United reserves Middlesbrough reserves Preston North End reserves Middlesbrough reserves

For 2012-13 the league played two different sets of fixtures, one split East and West as before, the other split Divisions One and Two. The overall champion was still the best East or West winner (on points per game) as before.

Season East Division West Division Division One Division Two Overall Champions
2012-13 Hull City reserves Walsall reserves Shrewsbury Town reserves Port Vale reserves Hull City reserves

That system was quickly dropped and for 13-14 it was back to just East and West sections, playing each other twice.

Season East Division West Division Overall Champions
2013-14 Hull City reserves Wigan Athletic reserves Hull City reserves

A South Division was added for 2014-15.

Season East Division South Division West Division
2014-15 Hull City reserves Luton Town reserves Port Vale reserves
2015-16 Notts County reserves AFC Bournemouth reserves Bradford City reserves

The divisions were re-organised into 4 regions for 2016-17. In addition, the SE and SW sections are also playing further fixtures in a Combined Section.

Season North East Division North West Division South East Division South West Division Combined Division
2016-17 Grimsby Town reserves Walsall reserves AFC Bournemouth reserves Exeter City reserves AFC Wimbledon reserves

In 2017, there was another re-organisation

Season Northern A Division Northern B Division South East Division South West Division
2017-18 Port Vale reserves Mansfield Town reserves AFC Wimbledon reserves Bristol Rovers reserves

And of course, another in 2018, this time to just two sections.

Season North Division South Division
2018-19 Wigan Athletic reserves Milton Keynes Dons reserves

Other related websites

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