Greater London Women's League Celebrates 50 Years
This year the Greater London Women's Football League celebrates 50 years! Find out how they started and have grown to become the league for females in London.
50 YEARS OF:
- Commitment from our Clubs, Players, Volunteers and Match Officials
- Creating Your Match Day Memories
- Supporting Our Clubs, Players & Volunteers
- Providing Affiliated Grassroots Women's Football across Greater London
A PAST TO BE PROUD OF: 1972 - 2022
Founded on the 17th September 1972 as the HOUNSLOW and DISTRICT LADIES FOOTBALL LEAGUE, the league kicked off with just 14 teams & 300 players registered. The divisions were split & named A&B.
Today, there are over 50 teams across six divisions & over 1800 registered players.
The original teams that kicked off on the 17th September 1972 were:
Kingston Grasshoppers, Kidde Rangers, Legs Utd, North Central, Wellington Ladies, Willesden Ladies, Milk Marketing Board, Gallaher Ladies, Hounslow Ladies, Beavers Farm, Molesey, Penge, Watford Bluebirds and Unity.
The Greater London Women's Football League was not the only female League around at this time. The South East of England Ladies Football League (SEELFC) saw the likes of Watford, Tottenham, Luton, Fulham and Charlton Clubs playing. Clubs that you recognize today, but had no connection with the likes of today's teams. These clubs would eventually come over into the Greater London Women's League.
It would also be over 10 years on before the League got the name that we know today. Through the 80s and 90s the name changed several times before we settled on what we call it today.
In 1983/84, the league was renamed from Hounslow & District ladies Football League to The Greater London Women's Football League. Six years later, in the mid-90s, an additional word was added and the league became known as the The Greater London Regional Women's Football League.
In 2005/06, it reverted back to The Greater London Women's Football League.
Also, in the mid-90s the league reached a numerical high of 83 teams registering.
Over the years, the league has operated three internal cup competitions and has the option for clubs to apply to enter into the Women’s FA Cup each season.
Two of the internal league cups pay respects and honour two very special and dedicated people who took on key roles as volunteers on the league committee, namely Sue Sharples and John Greenacre,
The league will always hold a strong memory for Sue and John due to their hard work, commitment and love of the women's game in the early years to make the league what it is today.
Over the 50 years, The League has witnessed:
- Players selected for the national England squad in the 70s
- A team winning the Women's FA Cup in the early 90s
- Famous Faces; one famous Spurs player was part of the league committee, Steve Perryman, was made president of the league in 1975 / 76
The league has played an important part in assisting with the growth of the women's game & we owe a huge thanks to everyone past and present. This includes Committee Members, Club Officials, Players, Match Officials & all the Volunteers who have put in many hours of service each week, month & season to help create the successful league we see today. We could not have done this without ALL OF YOU.
View the documents which show a complete visual history starting from 1972. Be warned, and tissues at the ready. It may bring a smile or a tear to your eye as you travel back to 1972 and then through the 80s, 90s, 00s to the present day. Don't forget the Hall of Fame too, which shows you players that have played in the league and gone on to play for the national squad.
It is truly amazing and jaw-dropping to read through the complete history of this remarkable league. The memories and the hard work that has been placed into the League over the past 50 years is outstanding.
We want to continue to celebrate, and ask our current and past clubs to get in contact with us to share their memories and stories.
Look back into that trophy cabinet (if you have one), or reconnect with old friends who may have introduced you to the club, finally check those old boxes in the loft and reach in for those embarrassing photos.
If you have images or memories of your team that date back across the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00, 10 and 20s, then please send them to the General Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's keep recording all this excellent work and celebrate another 50 years.
history of the Glwfl