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Eastern Counties League

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The Eastern Counties League is a three-division league at Steps 5 and 6 in the National League system, feeding the Isthmian League and the Southern League. The catchment area covers East Anglia, mainly Norfolk, Suffolk and north Essex, with the occasional club from adjoining counties.

The league was formed in 1934 with a single division, and continued with that format until 1988 when the existing members formed a Premier Division and 14 new clubs formed Division One. Additional divisions are organised for reserve teams.

Among the founder members were Ipswich Town, who went on to win the Football League and the UEFA Cup. The current membership may not have that future ahead of them, but those with past Isthmian or Southern League experience include FC Clacton (as Clacton Town), Saffron Walden Town, Wisbech Town and Wivenhoe Town, while in recent years, Histon (2000), Maldon Town (2004), AFC Sudbury and Bury Town (both 2006), Soham Town Rangers (2008), Lowestoft Town (2009) and Needham Market (2010) have moved up from the Eastern Counties League to the either the Southern or Isthmian Leagues.

Eastern Counties League sides have quite often made the Rounds Proper of the F.A. Cup, most recently in 2008-09 when Leiston did so. The best performances date back to the 1950s when Cambridge United (1953-54) and Great Yarmouth Town (in successive seasons 1952-54) made the Second Round


Divisional Champions

Season Champions
1935-36 Shared between Harwich & Parkeston and Lowestoft Town
1936-37 Critall Athletic
1937-38 Lowestoft Town
1938-39 Colchester United reserves
1939-46 League suspended for World War II
1946-47 Chelmsford City reserves
1947-48 Chelmsford City reserves
1948-49 Chelmsford City reserves
1949-50 Tottenham Hotspur "A"
1950-51 Gillingham reserves
1951-52 Gillingham reserves
1952-53 Gorleston
1953-54 King's Lynn
1954-55 Arsenal "A"
1955-56 Peterborough United reserves
1956-57 Colchester United reserves
1957-58 Tottenham Hotspur "A"
1958-59 Colchester United reserves
1959-60 Tottenham Hotspur "A"
1960-61 Tottenham Hotspur "A"
1961-62 Tottenham Hotspur "A"
1962-63 Lowestoft Town
1963-64 Bury Town
1964-65 Lowestoft Town
1965-66 Lowestoft Town
1966-67 Lowestoft Town
1967-68 Lowestoft Town
1968-69 Great Yarmouth Town
1969-70 Lowestoft Town
1970-71 Lowestoft Town
1971-72 Wisbech Town
1972-73 Gorleston
1973-74 Sudbury Town
1974-75 Sudbury Town
1975-76 Sudbury Town
1976-77 Wisbech Town
1977-78 Lowestoft Town
1978-79 Haverhill Rovers
1979-80 Gorleston
1980-81 Gorleston
1981-82 Tiptree United
1982-83 Saffron Walden Town
1983-84 Braintree Town
1984-85 Braintree Town
1985-86 Sudbury Town
1986-87 Sudbury Town
1987-88 March Town United

The league expanded to two divisions in 1988.

Season Premier Division Division One
1988-89 Sudbury Town Wroxham
1989-90 Sudbury Town Cornard United
1990-91 Wisbech Town Norwich United
1991-92 Wroxham Diss Town
1992-93 Wroxham Sudbury Wanderers
1993-94 Wroxham Hadleigh United
1994-95 Halstead Town Clacton Town
1995-96 Halstead Town Gorleston
1996-97 Wroxham Ely City
1997-98 Wroxham Ipswich Wanderers
1998-99 Wroxham Clacton Town
1999-00 Histon Tiptree United
2000-01 AFC Sudbury Swaffham Town
2001-02 AFC Sudbury Norwich United
2002-03 AFC Sudbury Halstead Town
2003-04 AFC Sudbury Cambridge City reserves
2004-05 AFC Sudbury Ipswich Wanderers
2005-06 Lowestoft Town Stanway Rovers
2006-07 Wroxham Walsham-le-Willows
2007-08 Soham Town Rangers Tiptree United
2008-09 Lowestoft Town Newmarket Town
2009-10 Needham Market Great Yarmouth Town
2010-11 Leiston Gorleston
2011-12 Wroxham Godmanchester Rovers
2012-13 Dereham Town Cambridge University Press
2013-14 Hadleigh United Whitton United
2014-15 Norwich United Long Melford
2015-16 Norwich United Wivenhoe Town
2016-17 Mildenhall Town Stowmarket Town
2017-18 Coggeshall Town Woodbridge Town

Division One was split North/South in 2018.

Season Premier Division Division One North Division One South
2018-19 Histon Swaffham Town Hashtag United
2019-20 Season declared null and void
2020-21 Season declared null and void

The F.C.H.D. has the complete final table information for this league. Tables for 1935-1985 were originally taken from the history book of Lowestoft Town. Tables from 1978 to 1985 were then checked against tables published in the BNLF and Non-League Directories. Tables since 1985 were originally compiled from contemporary sources. A number of the tables held within the FCHD still contain errors, mainly among the goals for/against totals not balancing.

We're not aware of the full set of tables being published recently in book form.


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Please acknowledge the F.C.H.D. when using this information elsewhere