Northern Counties (East) League

Founded: 1982

As part of the establishment of the national non-league pyramid, the Yorkshire League (founded 1920) and the Midland Counties League (founded 1889) agreed to merge to form a single feeder league to the Northern Premier League. Promotion to the NPL was not automatic initially, the NPL feeder league champions had to apply for election. The lack of automatic promotion and the amount of travelling involved caused a number of the more southerly clubs to defect to the Central Midlands League in the hope of establishing a new level of the pyramid on a par with the NPL. Eventually the CML joined the pyramid as a feeder league to the NCEL. Automatic promotion between the NCEL and NPL was finally agreed in 1987, but only after the NCEL lost six clubs to a new division of the NPL. A number of NCEL champions have since been promoted to the NPL, although it is rare for a clubs to have to make the reverse journey due to withdrawals further up the pyramid. In the late 80s the league gained a number of clubs from the Northern League who were seeking to progress up the pyramid. The influx ceased in the early 90s when the Northern League finally decided to join the pyramid as an NPL feeder league.

The Northern Counties (East) League boasts the two oldest football clubs in the country as members, Hallam FC formed in 1860 and Sheffield FC formed in 1857.

Founder Members

Premier Division

Midland Counties League Premier Division Alfreton Town, Appleby Frodingham Athletic, Arnold, Belper Town, Boston, Bridlington Trinity, Eastwood Town, Guisborough Town, Heanor Town, Ilkeston Town, Mexborough Town Athletic, Shepshed Charterhouse, Skegness Town, Spalding United, Sutton Town
Yorkshire League Division One Bentley Victoria Welfare, Emley, Guiseley, Thackley, Winterton Rangers

Division One (North)

Yorkshire League Division One Farsley Celtic, Leeds Ashley Road, Liversedge, North Ferriby United, Ossett Albion, Scarborough Reserves, York Railway Institute
Yorkshire League Division Two Bradley Rangers, Bridlington Town, Garford Miners, Hall Road Rangers, Harrogate Town, Hatfield Main, Ossett Town

Division One (South)

Midland Counties League Premier Division Brigg Town, Long Eaton United
Midland Counties League Division One Arnold Kingswell, Kimberley Town, Staveley Works
Yorkshire League Division One Frecheville CA, Hallam, Lincoln United, Sheffield
Yorkshire League Division Two BSC (Parkgate), Harworth CI, Maltby MW, Norton Woodseats
Yorkshire League Division Three Denaby United

Division Two (North)

Yorkshire League Division Two Fryston CW, Grimethorpe MW, Pilkington Recs, Yorkshire Amateur
Yorkshire League Division Three Brook Sports, Collingham, Harrogate Railway Athletic, Phoenix Park (Bradford), Pickering Town, Pontefract Colliery, Selby Town, Tadcaster Albion, Throne Colliery, Rowntree Mackintosh

Division Two (South)

Midland League Division One Blidworth MW (previously Folk House OB), Borrowash Victoria, Creswell Colliery, Graham St. Prims, Long Eaton Grange, Oakham United, Retford Rail, Rolls Royce (Hucknall)
Yorkshire League Division Two Kiveton Park
Yorkshire League Division Three Stocksbridge Works, Wombell SA, Woolley MW, Worsbrough Bridge MW

Area Covered

The Northern Counties (East) League covers the South Eastern part of the Northern Premier League area including Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, South East Derbyshire, North Lincolnshire and Humberside.


2 divisions, 36 clubs
Premier Division (20 clubs)
Division One (16 clubs)

In the early seasons the league consisted of a top division and a number of regional lower divisions. In 1986 the league was re-organised in four division, since then a gradual reduction in numbers has caused the lower two divisions to be abandoned.

Premier Division

Promotion: 1 club to the UniBond League (subject to meeting the League's entry criteria)

Relegation: 2 clubs to Division One

Composition 1999-2000

Alfreton Town, Armthorpe Welfare, Arnold Town, Brigg Town, Brodsworth Welfare, Buxton, Denaby United, Eccleshill United, Garforth Town, Glasshoughton Welfare, Hallam, Harrogate Railway Athletic, Liversedge, Maltby Main, North Ferriby United, Ossett Albion, Selby Town, Sheffield, Staveley MW, Thackley.


Relegated from the Unibond League Division One: Alfreton Town
Promoted from Division One: Harrogate Railway Athletic, Brodsworth Welfare


Promoted to Unibond League Division One: Osset Town (Champions Osset Albion's ground did not meet ground grading for promotion)
Relegated to Division One: Pontefract Collieries, Pickering Town

Recent Champions

1999 Ossett Albion
1998 Hucknall Town
1997 Denaby United
1996 Hatfield Main
1995 Lincoln United
1994 Stocksbridge Park Steels
1993 Spennymoor United
1992 North Shields
1991 Guiseley
1990 Bridlington Town

Division One

Promotion: 2 clubs to Division One

Re-election: bottom 2 clubs

Feeder Leagues: Redferns International Removers Central Midlands League, Powerleague Notts Football Alliance.

Composition 1999-2000

Borrowash Victoria, Bridlington Town, Glapwell, Goole AFC, Hall Road Rangers, Hatfield Main, Louth United, Mickleover Sports, Parkgate, Pickering Town, Pontefract Collieries, Rossington Main, Tadcaster Albion, Winterton Rangers, Worsbrough Bridge MW & Athletic, Yorkshire Amateur.


Relegated from Division One: Pontefract Collieries, Pickering Town
Elected from East Riding County League: Bridlington Town
Elected from Central Midlands League: Goole AFC, Mickleover Sports


Promoted to Division One: Harrogate Railway Athletic, Brodsworth Welfare

Recent Champions

1999 Harrogate Railway Athletic
1998 Garforth Town
1997 Eccleshill United
1996 Selby Town
1995 Hatfield Main
1994 Arnold Town
1993 Lincoln United
1992 Stocksbridge Park Steels
1991 Sheffield
1990 Rowntree Mackintosh
1989 Sheffield


UniBond League

About this document

Prepared and maintained by James M. Ross

Author: James M. Ross
Last updated: 20 Apr 2000

Copyright © 1997,2000 James M. Ross
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