- Football League Third Division South
The division was created in 1921 from the Third Division, formed one year earlier when the Football League absorbed the entire top division of the Southern League, effectively ending the ambitions of that league to rival the Football League. Before the creation of the Third Division, most of the Football League's clubs were from the industrial areas of the North and Midlands, with only 7 of its 44 members based in the South (Arsenal, Chelsea, Clapton Orient, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, all from London, and Bristol City).
The following season, a Northern section was created, and the original division was renamed Third Division South. The exceptions to this were Crystal Palace, who were promoted to the Second Division, Grimsby Town who transferred to the Third Division North and Aberdare Athletic and Charlton Athletic who joined for the first time. Several Midlands-based teams were included in the South division, even though most were geographically closer to their Northern division rivals, such as Nottingham Forest and Notts County being included in the Southern division even though nearby Derby County spent time in the Northern division.
The division originally had 22 teams, expanding to 24 in 1950. Only one promotion place was available to the Second Division, meaning that many clubs spent long periods of time stuck in the division, and several were never promoted in the division's 31 seasons. At the end of each season, the bottom two clubs were put up for re-election, alongside the bottom two in the Northern section, although most survived the re-election vote. Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest, and Portsmouth are the only Third Division South champions who became First Division Champions.
From 1934 to the war's outbreak there was a short-lived knockout Football League Third Division South Cup.
From 1954/55 season until 1957/58 season, there was a series of games between teams representing the Third Division North and the Third Division South. Football League Third Division North vs. South Representative Games.
Season Champions 1921–22 Southampton 1922–23 Bristol City 1923–24 Portsmouth 1924–25 Swansea Town 1925–26 Reading 1926–27 Bristol City 1927–28 Millwall 1928–29 Charlton Athletic 1929–30 Plymouth Argyle 1930–31 Notts County 1931–32 Fulham 1932–33 Brentford 1933–34 Norwich City 1934–35 Charlton Athletic 1935–36 Coventry City 1936–37 Luton Town 1937–38 Millwall 1938–39 Newport County 1939–40 League abandoned due to World War II 1940–46 League suspended due to World War II 1946–47 Cardiff City 1947–48 Queens Park Rangers 1948–49 Swansea Town 1949–50 Notts County 1950–51 Nottingham Forest 1951–52 Plymouth Argyle 1952–53 Bristol Rovers 1953–54 Ipswich Town 1954–55 Bristol City 1955–56 Leyton Orient 1956–57 Ipswich Town 1957–58 Brighton & Hove Albion
- ^ "English Division Three (South) 1957-1958 : Table". Links to final tables for all seasons. Statto. http://www.statto.com/football/stats/england/division-three-south. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
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