Senior & Local Leagues

Southern League

Southern League logo

Founded 1884

Local Clubs to have played in this league are St Leonards United, Hastings & St Leonards United, Hastings United, Hastings Town/United and St Leonards. All teams from the region above county level are now entered into the Isthmian League, following a reshuffling of the non-league pyramid by the Football Association which saw Hastings United transfer from the Southern League in 2004, thus ending a long association between the league and senior clubs from the town.

Isthmian League

Isthmian League logo

Founded 1905

The only local club to have played in the Isthmian League are Hastings United. Throughout it's early history, the league had a fine reputation for being one of the strongest Amateur leagues in the country and with the majority of senior sides from the town opting to enter the professional Southern League, there was no Isthmian League football played in Hastings until 2004, when Hastings United were transferred from the Southern League following the FA's reshuffle of the non-league pyramid.

Southern Combination League

Southern Combination League logo

Founded 1920 (Sussex County League)

Starting with Rock-a-Nore becoming founder members of the league, there have been a healthy number of clubs from the Hastings and Rother area involved throughout the leagues history. The league was rebranded the Southern Combination Football League in 2015 and current local sides playing in the league are Bexhill United, Little Common and Westfield. Throughout the years we have seen Battle Rangers, Hastings Rangers, Hastings Town, Rye United, St Leonards and Sidley United compete in the county league.

East Sussex League

East Sussex League logo

Founded 1896

Was founded as the East Sussex Senior League, with winners of the league competing for the Royal Irish Rifles' Cup (Now the RUR Cup) against the winners of the West Sussex League. The league lost its senior status following the formation of the Sussex County League. Teams such as Hollington United, Rock-a-Nore and Hastings Rangers have a long association with the league.

Southern Amateur League

Southern Amateur League logo

Founded 1907

Hastings & St Leonards (Hastings Town) entered this league in 1927 and would remain members until 1946. Throughout their time in this league H&SL were the most senior club in the area and the only senior side to opt for the amateur game. They enjoyed a successful time in the league winning the top division league title many times. The club left the league in 1946, alongside Eastbourne, to join the Corinthian League.

Hastings League

1921 - 1971

Founded by the Hastings Football Association to replace to Carlisle, Hillier and Brassey Cup competitions. When founded the league contained three adult divisions, an 'Old Boys' division and 'Minor Division' for youth football. In 1971 the league merged with the Eastbourne League to form the Eastbourne & Hastings League.

Other local leagues

Battle District League

1934 - 1939

Founded in 1934 following the demise of the Sedlescombe League. Many former members of its predecessor joined to compete for the Francis Cup. The competition ran right up until the outbreak of World War Two, but would not reform following the war, despite proposals to revive the league. The Francis Cup is now held by the winners of the Robertsbridge Charity Cup.

Hastings, Eastbourne & District League

1896 - 1921

Founded in 1896 as the East Sussex Junior League, a change to it's more familiar name took place just weeks before the first game of the first season. Many sides entered for the Carlisle Cup would also enter a team into the league. By 1921 the league was made up of teams only from Hastings and Bexhill; and it would appear the formation of the Hastings FA League the previous season led to the death of the District League.

Southern Counties Combination

1972 - 1988

Details on this league generally seem to be a little hazy, all is known that it was an intermediate league, used as a stepping stone between the local leagues and the Sussex County League. Teams primarily come from Sussex, but also featured sides from Kent and Surrey. Local sides to have played in this league were STAMCO, Wadhurst United, Hastings United Reserves and Sidley United Reserves, playing against the likes of Hailsham, Tonbridge Reserves and Sussex University. It seems the formation of the Sussex County Division Three killed this league, with many teams switching leagues and evidence suggests the league disbanded in 1988.

Sedlescombe District League

1909 - 1934

Founded in 1909, entered sides competed for the 'Francis Cup', set up as a competitive league for clubs in the Battle area, there were rules put in place meaning players were forced to play for the village they resided in, with teams being punished for fielding players from outside of their village. Some present day teams such as Hooe, Mountfield and Robertsbridge United were ever present throught the leagues short history. However, by 1934 club membership was ever decreasing and with the Hastings FA increasing it's radius, plus the eligibility rules enforced by the league, it was likely more teams were set to leave and the decision was made to disband the competition.

Ticehurst District League

1903 - ????

Founded in 1903, some of the first clubs to enter the league were Burwash, Hawkhurst, Lamberhurst and Goudhurst. Other clubs to have entered the league were Mayfield, Punnetts Town and Wadhurst. It is currently unknown when the league disbanded, the latest record we have is a five team league in 1953.

Other local cup competitons

East Sussex Challenge Cup

Founded 1911

Currently known as the Premier Travel Challenge Cup, this competition was founded by the East Sussex League in 1911, who invited additional teams from outside league to enter. The competition in its modern day format is competed for by teams in the top two Divisions of the East Sussex League.

Hastings Senior Challenge Cup

1908 - 2014

Founded in 1908 by the Hastings Football Association, entered clubs played for the Du Cros Cup, named after the Hastings FA president Harvey Du Cros. Du Cros a wealthy businessman and brief conservative politician, serving as MP for two years, may have paid for the trophy, which would explain the trophy being named after him. The competition was later known simply as the Du Cros Cup, before reverting back to the Hastings Challenge Cup c1930.