North West Trains League

Founded: 1982

As part of the establishment of the national non-league pyramid, the two senior leagues in the North West, the Cheshire County League (founded 1919) and the Lancashire Combination (founded 1891) agreed to merge to form a single feeder league to the Northern Premier League. Allocation of clubs to the three divisions of the new league was by ground facilities and performances over the previous two seasons. Promotion to the NPL was not automatic initially, the NPL feeder league champions had to apply for election. This remained the situation until 1987 when the NPL, contrary to the wishes of its feeder leagues, formed a new division. This stripped the North West Counties league of many of its strongest clubs and it was forced to re-organise itself into its present two division structure. However automatic promotion to the NPL for the NWC champions was at last granted, subject to the usual ground criteria. Most NWC champions have been accepted for promotion since then.

Founder Members

Division One

From Cheshire County League Division 1 Accrington Stanley, Ashton United, Bootle, Burscough, Curzon Ashton, Darwen, Formby, Glossop, Horwich. RMI, Leek Town, Nantwich Town, Prescot Cables, St. Helens Town, Stalybridge Celtic, Winsford United
From Cheshire County League Division 2 Congleton Town, Leyland Motors
From Northern Premier League Lancaster City
From Northern League Penrith

Division Two

From Cheshire County League Division 1 Droylsden, Fleetwood Town, Rossendale United
From Cheshire County League Division 2 Atherton LR, Eastwood Hanley, Ellesmere Port & Neston, Ford Motors, Irlam Town, Kirkby Town, New Mills, Prescot BI, Radcliffe Borough, Salford, Skelmersdale United
From Lancashire Combination Caernarfon Town, Chadderton, Great Harwood Town, Lytham, Padiham, Wren Rovers

Division Three

From Cheshire County League Division 2 shton Town, Atherton Collieries, Maghull, Prestwich Heys, Warrington Town
From Lancashire Combination Ashton Athletic, Bacup Borough, Blackpool Mechanics, Bolton ST, Clitheroe, Colne Dynamoes, Daisy Hill, Nelson, Oldham Dew, Vulcan Newton, Whitworth Valley, Wigan Rovers
From Mid-Cheshire League Newton

Hyde United and Chorley who played in the Cheshire League in 1981-82 were elected to the Northern Premier League. Middlewich Athletic, also Cheshire League members in 1981-82, joined the Mid-Cheshire League.

Area Covered

The North West Counties League covers roughly the Western half of the Northern Premier League area, from the Scottish border in the North to North Staffordshire in the South. Its area encompasses Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and North West Derbyshire.


2 divisions, 40 clubs
Division One (22 clubs)
Division Two (18 clubs)

Initially the league had three division, Division Three was abandoned in 1987 when the league lost 14 clubs to the expanded Northern Premier League.

Division One

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

Relegation: 2 clubs to Division Two

Composition 1999-2000

Abbey Hey, Atherton Collieries, Atherton Laburnum Rovers, Bootle, Cheadle Town, Clitheroe, Fleetwood Freeport, Glossop North End, Great Harwood Town, Kidsgrove Athletic, Leek CSOB, Maine Road, Mossley, Nantwich Town, Newcastle Town, Prescot Cables AFC, Ramsbottom United, Rossendale United, St. Helens Town, Salford City, Skelmersdale United, Vauxhall GM.


Relegated from UniBond League Division One: Great Harwood Town
Promoted from Division Two: Fleetwood Freeport, Abbey Hey


Promoted to UniBond League Division One: Workington
Relegated to Division Two: Holker Old Boys

Recent Champions

1999 Workington
1998 Kidsgrove Athletic
1997 Trafford
1996 Flixton
1995 Bradford Park Avenue
1994 Atherton LR
1993 Atherton LR
1992 Ashton United
1991 Knowsley United
1990 Warrington Town

Full list of champions

Division Two

Promotion: 2 clubs to Division One

Re-election: bottom 2 clubs

Feeder Leagues: SGL Seat Cars West Lancashire League, Manchester League, Carlsberg West Cheshire Amateur Football League, Green Contract Services Mid-Cheshire League, Staffordshire Senior League, Frank Armitt Liverpool County Combination, Lancs & Cheshire League

Composition 1998-99

Alsager, Ashton Town, Bacup Borough, Blackpool Mechanics, Castleton Gabriels, Chadderton, Colne, Curzon Ashton, Daisy Hill, Darwen, Formby, Holker Old Boys, Nelson, Oldham Town, Squires Gate, Tetley Walker, Warrington Town, Woodley Sports.


Relegated from Division One: Holker Old Boys
Elected from Mid-Cheshire League: Alsager


Promoted to Division One: Fleetwood Freeport, Abbey Hey
Resigned: Maghull (joined West Cheshire League)

Recent Champions

1998 Oldham Town
1997 Ramsbottom United
1996 Vauxhall GM
1995 Flixton
1994 Haslingden
1993 Maghull
1992 Bamber Bridge
1991 Great Harwood Town
1990 Maine Road
1989 Vauxhall GM

Full list of winners


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
You are free to use the data within this document in whole or part for non-commercial use providing that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. Copying of the document itself or replication on any other web site is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.