Nuneaton & District Sunday League - History

Compiled by Alan Aucott

Nuneaton & District Sunday Football League - History
1966 - 2020

Nuneaton & District Sunday Football League 1966-2020

In 2020 the Nuneaton & District Sunday League affiliated to Birmingham County FA, celebrates its 54th year, providing football in the Nuneaton, Bedworth, North Warwickshire and Hinckley areas. 

The present Management Committee, comprises of nine members: Chairman: Andrew Baggott, Secretary: Glyn Watkins, Treasurer: Alan Aucott, Fixture Secretary: Paul Bliss, Referees Secretary: Steve Masters, Registration Secretary: Lee Hodgson and Committee Members, Ian Davis, Wayne Harbut, and Stephen Long.

BRIEF HISTORY

The Nuneaton & District Sunday Football League was founded on June 27th, 1966, when the founders:

Mr N. Peckett, Mr W. T. Tracey, Mr W. H. Pearson, Mr T. Boyd, Mr J. Sykes, Mr P. G. Barrett
Mr A . Blackmore and Mr K . Ridsdale

Formed the first Management Committee and the Nuneaton & District Sunday Football League was born.

Ten newly formed teams became the founder Members to create Division One which kicked off in September 1966. The Founder Members were

Ansley Common FC, Midland Amateurs FC, Attleborough Mills FC, Tribune FC,
Nuneaton Fire Brigade FC, Electricity Sports FC, Nuneaton Chasers FC, Nuneaton Observer FC, Pheasant FC
 & Camp Hill Youth Club FC.

In 1966 Nuneaton Sunday League was formed and the inaugural meeting being scheduled for the night England played Uruguay in their opening game in the World Cup of that year. Keith Allen played for, Nuneaton Amateurs FC, and when Secretary Alan Blackmore could not get a volunteer to be the mandatory representative of the Club to attend, he agreed to go, possibly only because there were no Villa players in the England team. At that meeting, in the upstairs room of The Chase Hotel, Keith at the tender age of 18, was approached by newly elected Chairman Harold Pearson giving him the task of compiling the League Rules. Keith, assisted by Roy Hill from the Pheasant FC completed the task in the snug of that Camp Hill hostelry, admittedly lifting most of them from the existing rules on Nuneaton Saturday League. The League kicked off on Sunday September 11th, 1966 when the ten teams commenced their fixtures in the first competitive Sunday football in Nuneaton and Bedworth. That Season also saw the Birth of the Nuneaton Tribune Cup sponsored by Mr Norman Peckett of the Nuneaton Tribune local newspaper together with the Silvercraft Cup donated by Morgan’s Trophy’s of Coventry. The Champions Trophy the “Brass Man” is still played for today and is highly prized.      
        

In that first season Ansley Common FC were League Champions, with Pheasant FC the Runners Up. In the Cup competitions Pheasant FC prevailed in the Nuneaton Tribune Cup with Ansley Common FC picking up the Silvercraft Cup for the first League and Cup double.

The League proved a great success and in 1967-68 a second division was formed, and ten new Clubs admitted bringing the League membership to 20 Clubs.

A third and fourth division quickly followed in 1969-70 bringing the Leagues Membership to 40 plus teams, with the Nuneaton Tribune Cup becoming what it is today the only completion open to all the Leagues first teams, with the Silvercraft Cup being competed for in Division One and new trophies including the Graham Roberts Cup were introduced.

Over the years the League have been sponsored by brands such as Mitchells & Butlers, Bass and Coors, Nuneaton Industrial Cleaners and Needham Insurance Services and Mirror Group Newspapers and many local Companies.

The Tribune Cup (now the Nuneaton Telegraph Cup) has only once in its 52 years failed to be completed, back in 1973-74, when a late decision from Birmingham County FA, meant there was no time to complete the competition. It all started through the lack of a match ball in a game that involved Tribune FC.  The committee, which included the Leagues Present Vice Chairman Alan Aucott, removed the Club from the competition.  

Tribune FC appealed the decision to BCFA, and were successful, but the time taken, did not allow enough time to complete, the outstanding rounds and the competition was declared null & void.

In 1973-74 the League introduced a cup competition for Clubs Reserve Teams and a new trophy the Alan Alton Memorial Trophy in memory of Bulkington footballer Alan Alton.

To the turn of the Century the League expanded culminating to a membership 86 teams in 2000-2001.

The NDSFL have also been successful in Birmingham County FA completions, the W.H.Harrison Shield being winners in 1983-84, 1986-87, 1987-88 and 1994-95 the last time the competition was held, and the Keegan Cup winners in 1973-74, 1975-76, 1978-79, 1984-85 and 1989-90.

Several Clubs have also been successful in Birmingham County FA Cups, Frank Parker FC Runners up in the Roger Wood Memorial Cup in 2000-2001.  In the Sunday Vase Manor FC winners in 1991-92, Frank Parker FC winners in 1999-00. In the Sunday Amateur Cup, Bulkington New Inn FC, winners in 2003-04.

In last few years there have been several changes with the coming of the digital age, the NDSFL has its own web site, www.ndsfl.com, together with an active Facebook presence. We have also seen one of our referees, Stuart Attwell progress to become a Premier League and FIFA match official.

In 2019  the Management Committee stepped in to cancel the League for the first time in its history, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  All games were declared “Null & Void” with no teams being relegated. The Management Committee put in place a financial package to support the Member Clubs for the 2020-2021 season.

The League is currently managed by a Committee of 9, under the control of Chairman Andrew Baggott, who is following the steps of his father Vernon who was Chairman from 1970-85. Andrew is only the fifth Chairman in the Leagues 54-year history.