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Northern Counties East League

Northern Counties East logo

The Northern Counties East League is a two-division league at Steps 5 and 6 in the National League system, feeding the Northern Premier League.

The league was formed in 1982 as a merger of the Midland League and the Yorkshire League. The league originally had five divisions (Premier, Division One North and South and Division Two North and South, but by 1991 this had reduced to two (Premier and One), which is the format that continues to this day. A new league, the East Midlands Counties League, was formed in 2008 to feed directly into the Northern Counties East League Premier Division. The only "official" feeder league for Division One is the Central Midlands League, but clubs have been accepted from other leagues, including in recent years the West Yorkshire League and the West Riding County Amateur League. The league also accepted Scarborough Athletic as members, newly formed after the demise of the previous ex-Football League club in the town.

Shepshed Charterhouse made the First Round Proper of the F.A. Cup in the very first season of the league, a record equalled by Spennymoor United in 1990-91 and Brigg Town in 2001-02, and then beaten by Harrogate Railway Athletic in 2002-03 when they reached the Second Round before losing to Bristol City.

Northern Counties East League teams have achieved success in the F.A. Vase. Brigg Town are one of a very few teams to have won the Vase twice (1995-96 and 2002-03), and Guiseley won the Vase after a replay in 1990-91. Other teams to reach the final are Emley (1987-88), Bridlington Town (1989-90) and North Ferriby United (1996-97). Several other members have made Semi-Final and Quarter Final appearences before bowing out.

In the early years of the Northern Counties East League, some of the clubs competed in the FA Trophy rather than the FA Vase, with Ilkeston Town recording the league's best performance in 1982-83 when they reached the Third Round Proper (last 16). They were asssisted in that run by being exempt to the first round proper, the only time a NCEL team has been accorded that honour. Three clubs made it to the First Round after progressing through the Qualifying Rounds - Arnold and Sutton Town (both 1983-84) and Spennymoor United (1992-93). Since 1993, no teams from the league have participated in the Trophy

As of 2010, no current members have previous NPL experience, while in recent years, Glapwell, Mickleover Sports and Rainworth Miners Welfare have moved up from the Northern Counties East to the Northern Premier League.

The league has a website, full of current league information and an extensive archive section is at http://www.ncel.org.uk


Divisional Champions

Season Premier Division Division One North Division One South Division Two North Division Two South
1982-83 Shepshed Charterhouse Scarborugh reserves Lincoln United Rowntree Mackintosh Woolley Miners Welfare
1983-84 Spalding United Pontefract Collieries Borrowash Victoria Harrogate Railway Athletic Long Eaton United

In 1984, the two Division Two sections were discontinued, with some clubs leaving and the remainder being added to Division One, where an extra "Central" section was introduced

Season Premier Division Division One Central Division One North Division One South
1984-85 Belper Town Armthorpe Welfare Farsley Celtic Long Eaton United

The structure was amended again in 1985. All the regional divisions were abandoned, and a simple four-tier structure was introduced

Season Premier Division Division One Division Two Division Three
1985-86 Arnold North Ferriby United Lincoln United Collingham

Division Three was abolished in 1986

Season Premier Division Division One Division Two
1986-87 Alfreton Town Ossett Albion Frecheville Community Association
1987-88 Emley York Railway Institute Pickering Town
1988-89 Emley Sheffield Ossett Town
1989-90 Bridlington Town Rowntree Mackintosh Winterton Rangers
1990-91 Guiseley Sheffield Hall Road Rangers

Division Two was abolished in 1991

Season Premier Division Division One
1991-92 North Shields Stocksbridge Park Steels
1992-93 Spennymoor United Lincoln United
1993-94 Stocksbridge Park Steels Arnold Town
1994-95 Lincoln United Hatfield Main
1995-96 Hatfield Main Selby Town
1996-97 Denaby United Eccleshill United
1997-98 Hucknall Town Garforth Town
1998-99 Ossett Albion Harrogate Railway Athletic
1999-00 North Ferriby United Goole
2000-01 Brigg Town Borrowash Victoria
2001-02 Alfreton Town Gedling Town
2002-03 Bridlington Town Mickelover Sports
2003-04 Ossett Albion Shirebrook Town
2004-05 Goole Sutton Town
2005-06 Buxton Carlton Town
2006-07 Retford United Parkgate
2007-08 Winterton Rangers Dinnington Town
2008-09 Mickleover Sports Scarborough Athletic
2009-10 Bridlington Town Tadcaster Albion
2010-11 Farsley Staveley Miners Welfare
2011-12 Retford United Handsworth
2012-13 Scarborough Athletic Albion Sports
2013-14 Brighouse Town Cleethorpes Town
2014-15 Shaw Lane Aquaforce Clipstone
2015-16 Tadcaster Albion Hemworth Miners Welfare
2016-17 Cleethorpes Town Hall Road Rangers
2017-18 Pontefract Collieries Knaresborough Town
2018-19 Worksop Town Grimsby Borough
2019-20 Season declared null and void

The F.C.H.D. has the complete final table information for this league. Tables for 1982-1985 were originally taken from an A.F.S. "Tables of..." publication of March 1986, and later checked against BNLF and Non-League Directories. Tables since 1985 were originally compiled from contemporary sources. A full set of tables was most recently published in the book "Non-League Tables 2006" published by Soccer Books Limited

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