Football League Third Division South


Football League Third Division South

The Football League Third Division South was a level of English professional football which ran in parallel to Third Division North from 1921 to 1958.

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.

In 1958, the North and South sections were merged together, to form a single Third Division and a new Fourth Division.

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.

Past Champions

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

Source: Statto[1]

References

  1. ^ "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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