THE STORY SO FAR...


1993/94

The League was formed as a section of the Mid-Essex League following a suggestion from Mike Leary of AFC Cressing.

Seven sides competed in the first season with Herongate Athletic winning all 12 of their games to be crowned Champions. Hutton did break Herongate Athletic’s domination by winning the inaugural League Cup

 
 

1994/95

After the success of the first season two new sides joined the competition. However, Herongate Athletic continued in their winning ways by carrying off the title again.

Newcomers Hambros Bank made their mark on the competition by winning the League Cup in their only season in the League.

1995/96

The third season saw 14 teams competing so the decision was made to run the competition as two Divisions.

New entrants Brentwood became the first team to complete the League and Cup double. Sporting Club Henderson also had a successful first season by winning the Second Division title.

 
 

1996/97

18 teams lined up for the fourth season of Saturday Veterans football in Essex. Again it was two new teams who were successful in the League with Pools United winning the First Division and Bramston CML coming out on top in the second. Brentwood managed to retain the League Cup.

Sad news during the season was the death of Mike Leary. Without Mike’s idea the League would not have been formed.

1997/98

A change of name for Bramston CML to Victoria CML did not make a difference to their winning ways as they followed up their promotion by winning the Division One title. Old Chelmsfordians recovered from their relegation in 1996/97 by winning Division Two.

Pools United won the last League Cup competition which all the teams entered.

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1998/99

The 100th Year of the Mid-Essex League saw changes to the Veterans Cup competitions. For the first time the Essex County Football Association ran a Saturday Veterans Cup where Pools United did the League proud by becoming the first winners.

On the home front the League Cup was split into divisional competitions with Old Chelmsfordians (Division One) and Herongate Athletic (Division Two) being the winners.

A new name appeared on the Division One Championship trophy with South Woodham being victorious.

Southminster St Leonards became the first team to concede more than one hundred goals in a season (101).

1999/2000

The League’s seventh season saw a large jump in membership to 32 teams. This led to the competition being split into Division One, Division Two (A) and Division Two (B). This was the only time this format has been used.

Ford Basildon continued the trend of new teams doing well in the competition by winning the Division Two (A) League and Cup double.

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2000/01

A further increase in entries to 35 teams saw the competition split into four Divisions for the first time.

Ford Basildon continued their success of the previous season by completing the Division One League and Cup double. They also made history by being the first team ever to complete the season without losing a game in the competition. Their only defeat was in the County Cup.

Hope Green set the unenviable record of the lowest number of goals scored in a League season, with two.

2001/2002

37 teams contested the ninth season of the League, which was the last under the Mid-Essex League banner.

Ford Basildon continued their domination of the top Division but the County Cup still eluded them. Their new reserve side won Division Three.

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2002/03

The 10th season of the League saw a major change for the competition with the split from the Mid-Essex League to become an independent competition.

The name may have changed but the Division One winners didn’t, with Ford Basildon becoming the first team to win the top Division in three consecutive seasons.

2003/04

With the League now up to 42 teams, two further changes happened for the competition. First, Ridley’s Brewery sponsored the League, providing financial security. Secondly the League’s first website was launched, which provided a basic results and tables service that was updated each Sunday night.

On the field of play South Woodham broke Ford Basildon's winning streak by completing the Division One League and Cup double.

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2004/05

A season of consolidation for the League saw a new name on the Division One trophy and Benfleet finishing as League winners. This provided some consolation after reaching the previous season’s County Cup Final which was then cancelled.

The season also saw Ford Basildon relegated just two seasons after winning the League. This meant their reserves were automatically relegated under FA rules. This was the first time this had happened in the competition.

2005/06

In 2005, Greene King bought out Ridley’s, which saw a name change in our sponsor. There was also a change in name for the divisions with the top division now being called the Premier Division.  There were also changes to the handbook with a multi-coloured cover appearing for the first time.

For the first time since the inaugural season, one of our clubs (Thundersley) won the County Cup. White Notley became the first team to score one hundred goals in the season, but this achievement was still only good enough to see them finish as runners up to Old Parmiterians Reserves in Division Three.

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2006/07

An increase to 49 teams saw another change of format, with Division Three being split into two regions (East and West) being introduced. This resulted in five Cup Finals for the first time.

There was also a new name on the County Cup with White Notley of Division Two triumphing.

2007/08

An amazing increase of 11 teams on the previous season saw 60 teams playing in six Divisions. The success of the previous season’s regionalised format was expanded to Division Two. There was just one League Cup for Division Two sides, with the same format for the Division Three teams.

There were also changes to the website, with the League using the “League Website” service which enabled results and tables to be updated as soon as scores were telephoned to the Publicity Secretary. Team photos were also displayed on the website which caught at least one ineligible player.

There was another new name for the County Cup, with Ford Basildon beating Division Three (East) Vichouse Sports in the Final.

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2008/09

This season saw another increase in teams bringing the total number to 67.  There was also the addition of a third Division Three and the League Management Trophy was added to the list of competitions.  This season, the entrants were teams from Divisions Two and Three who lost in the first rounds of their League Cups.

An additional trophy was presented at the League AGM, which was the Sportsmanship Trophy in memory of Committee Member David Thrift who passed away the previous season. The first winners were Hullbridge Sports.

Vichouse Sports created League history by becoming the first team to win every single Veterans League game in both League and Cup competitions. Their sole defeat was in the County Cup.

Writtle also made history by being the first side to complete the League and Cup double as well as winning the County Cup

On a sad note the League President Derek Jones passed away in March.

2009/10

The 17th season of the League saw 72 teams take part. This was more than 10 times the number of teams in the first year.

A very bad winter meant that the League Management Trophy was not contested due to a lack of available dates.

Port of London Authority repeated Writtle’s feat of winning the League, the League Cup and the County Cup. This was PLA’s fifth County Cup victory (One as Newbury Park) but the first as members of the League.

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2010/11

After 14 seasons as Publicity Secretary, Andy Piercy switched to Registrations resulting in the need to find a different method of collecting results.  This saw a move to using the FA’s Full Time website as the League’s administration system.  This system required clubs to supply results via text message, which then automatically updated the League website.

The League Management Trophy was run as an Over 45s Competition which was won by Met Police Chigwell.

The League’s domination of the County Cup continued with Springfield as the winners.

2011/12

Port of London Authority became only the second team to win the top Division title three seasons on the trot. The Cup team of the season were Ockendon who won the County Cup for the first time and also became the first club to retain the Premier Division League Cup having won it as Great Berry Rangers the previous season.

The League also won recognition with the website being joint winner of the ECFA League Website of the Year for 2012.

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2012/13

The twentieth season of the League saw eighty seven teams take part which made the League the largest Saturday League in Essex. Hutton Old Boys became the fourth team to win three consecutive League titles but the first time with consecutive promotions finishing with the top Division. Little Thurrock Dynamos also made history by becoming the first team to win three consecutive League Cup Finals and all this done under three different names. The League was recognised by the Football Association as they became one of three National FA Referee Development Leagues in the County. A League Dinner was held to celebrate the twentieth Anniversary.

2013/14

The League run an Over 45 Division for the first time which meant the total number of teams in the competition reached the one hundred mark. The first winners of the Over 45 Division were Bealonians. Newcomers Valley Green set a League record as their first five victories as a member club were all Cup games which saw they lift the Division Four League Cup. The League won the ECFA League website of the Year for 2014

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2014/15

The number of Clubs in the Over 35 competition stayed quite static however the Over 45 competition expanded to two Divisions taking the total number of teams in the League to one hundred and five at the end of the season. Manford Way won the Premier Division title for the first time with Hutton Old Boys retaining the County Cup.

The reputation of the League continued to grow with both the League and member Clubs being asked by the Football Association to take part in user testing and pilots for new phases of the Whole Game System, the FA’s new administration tool.


2015/16

Hutton Old Boys became the third team to complete the treble of League, League Cup and County Cup winners in the same season. Hutton Old Boys County Cup win also made them only the second team to that competition in three consecutive years.

The Over 45 Competition increased in size again with a three Division format being tried. The season finished with a total of one hundred and five teams again, which indicated we may be seeing a shift from Over 35’s to Over 45’s.

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