A UEFA sanctioned 'national' league is only in operation since 1992/93; the Welsh members of the (English) professional league (Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham) refused to enter, preferring instead to keep playing in the English pyramid, and are therefore barred from entry in the European Cups (at least as representatives for Wales). Three non-league clubs (Merthyr Tydfil, Newport County and Colwyn Bay) have remained outside the Welsh league pyramid as well.
Before various leagues existed, generally resticted to parts of Wales;
the first of these, both established in 1890, were the South Wales League
and the Welsh Senior League (based in the
northeast of the country, but without some of the strongest clubs of the
area which played in the (mostly English) Combination League).
For most of the time since the Second World War, separate leagues were in operation in the South (known as Abacus League in 1992, and going under the name of 'National Division' after a restructuring in 1983), North (known as Welsh Alliance until 1990) and Centre ('Mid-Wales League' until 1990); in 1990 the latter two merged into the Cymru Alliance, which in turn merged with the Abacus League in 1992 to form the League of Wales.
It should be mentioned that apart from the well-known Welsh clubs in the English Football League (Cardiff City, Swansea Town (later City), Wrexham and the now defunct Newport County), various other Welsh clubs played in English 'Non League' football. At the time of the installation of the League of Wales, these were: Bangor City, Barry Town, Caernarfon Town, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport AFC, Newtown and Rhyl; in particular Bangor, Merthyr and Rhyl spent most of their existence in 'English' leagues, generally of a higher standard than those listed below. Most of these clubs fielded 'Reserves' or '2nd XI's in the relevant 'Welsh' league.
Season 'Southern Champions' 'Northern Champions' 'Mid-Wales Champions' 1945/46 Lovell's Athletic HMS Glendower 1946/47 Lovell's Athletic Caernarfon Town Llanidloes Town 1947/48 Lovell's Athletic Reserves Penrhyn Quarry 1948/49 Merthyr Tydfil Reserves Llandudno Junction Aberystwyth Town 1949/50 Merthyr Tydfil Reserves Holyhead Town Aberystwyth Town 1950/51 Swansea Town Reserves Pwllheli & District Llanidloes Town 1951/52 Merthyr Tydfil Reserves Pwllheli & District 55th R.A. Tonfannau 1952/53 Ebbw Vale & Cwm Holyhead Town 55th R.A. Tonfannau 1953/54 Pembroke Borough 55th R.A. Tonfannau 55th R.A. Tonfannau 1954/55 Newport County Reserves Fflint Town United Kington Town 1955/56 Pembroke Borough Fflint Town United 55th R.A. Tonfannau 1956/57 Haverfordwest County Fflint Town United 55th R.A. Tonfannau 1957/58 Ton Pentre Holyhead Town 55th R.A. Tonfannau 1958/59 Abergavenny Thursdays Borough United Aberystwyth Town 1959/60 Abergavenny Thursdays Nantlle Vale Caersws 1960/61 Ton Pentre Pwllheli & District Caersws 1961/62 Swansea Town Reserves Blaenau Ffestiniog Llandrindod Wells 1962/63 Swansea Town Reserves Borough United Caersws 1963/64 Swansea Town Reserves Holyhead Town Kington Town 1964/65 Swansea Town Reserves Colwyn Bay Berriew 1965/66 Lovell's Athletic Caernarfon Town Kington Town 1966/67 Cardiff City 'A' CPD Porthmadog Llandrindod Wells 1967/68 Cardiff City 'A' CPD Porthmadog Welshpool 1968/69 Bridgend Town CPD Porthmadog Welshpool 1969/70 Cardiff City 'A' Holyhead Town Barmouth & Dyffryn United 1970/71 Llanelli Bethesda Athletic Welshpool 1971/72 Cardiff City 'A' Blaenau Ffestiniog Llanidloes Town 1972/73 Bridgend Town Blaenau Ffestiniog Welshpool 1973/74 Ton Pentre Blaenau Ffestiniog Llanidloes Town 1974/75 Newport County Reserves CPD Porthmadog Welshpool 1975/76 Swansea Town Reserves CPD Porthmadog Newtown 1976/77 Llanelli Bethesda Athletic Welshpool 1977/78 Llanelli Caernarfon Town Caersws 1978/79 Pontllanfraith Caernarfon Town Newtown 1979/80 Newport County Reserves Blaenau Ffestiniog Welshpool 1980/81 Haverfordwest County Colwyn Bay Llanidloes Town 1981/82 Ton Pentre Courtaulds Greenfield Newtown 1982/83 Barry Town Colwyn Bay Caersws 1983/84 Barry Town Colwyn Bay Aberystwyth Town 1984/85 Barry Town Conwy United Aberystwyth Town 1985/86 Barry Town Conwy United Caersws 1986/87 Barry Town Bethesda Athletic Newtown 1987/88 Ebbw Vale Llanfairpwll Newtown 1988/89 Barry Town Fflint Town United Caersws 1989/90 Haverfordwest County CPD Porthmadog Caersws 1990/91 Abergavenny Thursdays Fflint Town United 1991/92 Abergavenny Thursdays Caersws
League of Wales 1992/93 Cwmbran Town 1993/94 Bangor City 1994/95 Bangor City 1995/96 Barry Town 1996/97 Barry Town 1997/98 Barry Town 1998/99 Barry Town 1999/00 Llansantffraid 2000/01 Barry Town 2001/02 Barry Town 2002/03 Barry Town 2003/04 Rhyl 2004/05 Llansantffraid 2005/06 Llansantffraid 2006/07 The New Saints 2007/08 Llanelli 2008/09 Rhyl 2009/10 The New Saints 2010/11 Bangor City 2011/12 The New Saints 2012/13 The New Saints 2013/14 The New Saints 2014/15 Number of Titles (22; since 1992/93) 8 The New Saints (includes Llansantffraid) 7 Barry Town 3 Bangor City 2 Rhyl 1 Cwmbran Town Llanelli
Sources: [TCD 91], [Gar 93], [Gra]
Prepared and maintained by Hans Schöggl and Karel Stokkermans for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Authors: Hans Schöggl
and Karel Stokkermans
Last updated: 26 Sep 2014
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