The Southern Amateur Football League was founded in 1907 by the same movers and shakers who were responsible for the creation of the AFA. It has hosted some famous names in its time, Football League champions and UEFA Cup winners, Ipswich Town being the most prominent. Indeed, the Tractor Boys took just three years from departing the SAL to playing League football between 1935 and 1938.
The League history has been preserved in its annual handbooks which are much more than just an administrative tool for many, capturing glimpses into a world before the internet, where results were cribbed from colleagues who knew someone who played for someone's 5th team, and where the chance to play organised football on decent grounds was a joy that could not be overvalued. It was a time when players wore knickers and stockings and where colours included 'biscuit and blue' (no mention of what kind of biscuit, sadly) and where vast corporations laid on lavish facilities for their employees and gave their visitors top notch grub, even if they beat them.
Football is still a wonderful game, and playing it in the Southern Amateur League is the most wonderful thing of all, but how much more wonderful is it to know of the tradition on which it is built. Please enjoy your stroll down the many memory lanes in these archives and feel free to get in touch if you have anything to contribute or any questions to ask.
Web Officer and Archivist