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Orpington & Bromley Sunday League Official League

History Of The OBDSFL

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01 June 2006 | Anon

Established 1948

The Orpington and Bromley District Sunday Football League (OBDSFL) was founded in 1948 by the late Charlie Gibbons at a time when Sunday morning football was still its infancy and I believe, unrecognised by the FA.
The League really got into action in 1949/50 season and expanded in 1950/51 season to 3 divisions. The late Jack Standen of Petts Wood F.C. was heavily involved in the early years and was a Vice President of the OBDSFL.

The 1950s and 1960s saw the OBDSFL moving from strength to strength with the emphasis on good football and a strong Management Committee realising high standards for the clubs involved. This ethos is still present today.
Great teams of this era were Oakley Rovers, Bideford Rovers and Southborough (who won the old Premier Division for 7 consecutive seasons, which has still not been matched by the teams of today). The 1960s also saw the addition of Divisions Three, Four and Five. In the 1970s the League grew still further. Red Barrel, Billet Villa, Partridge and Spartak won the majority of the trophies.

The addition of a Senior Division in 1975/76 saw stronger sides attracted to the OBDSFL due to the new private facilities required. Billet Villa themselves set a record in the Presidents Charity Cup where they won it from 1968/69 to 1976/77 only losing to Partridge in the 1971/72 season. Yet another record still unsurpassed by current clubs with our current Chairman, Roger Pester being involved with Billet Villa at this time.

The 1980s saw the OBDSFL creating Divisions 5A and 5B for 2 seasons before settling with a 6th Division in the 1982/83 season. Eight divisions continued in the heyday of Sunday morning football in the 1980s until 1994/95 season when the League settled to its current format of seven Divisions Our clubs compete for several Cups.

The main trophy is the Presidents Charity Cup which is now open to all teams. The Smales Trophy has, taken over from the former Smales Combination Cup and is for those teams knocked out from the Presidents Charity Cup in the very early rounds. The Paul Picard Cup (named after a long and loyal member of the OBDSFL) is for teams in Divisions Premier, One and Two whilst the Jack Standen (previously Howard) Cup is for teams in Divisions Three, Four and Five. All in all this gives all sides a sufficient cup interest together with League involvement to have meaningful competitive football from mid September through to the 1st Sunday in May.

Several additional cups can also be arranged in case of particularly good weather in a season - the Senior, Intermediate and Junior League Cups and the Reg Logan Invitation Cup and Fairweather Trophy, the latter aptly named !! The League has been proud of its emphasis on good sportsmanship and excellent football to be available to all its member clubs. In recognition of efforts made by clubs in this field it awards a Sportsman Cup, the Jim Harris Sportsman Cup, to the team who attracts the highest sportsman marks each season.

The Referees Panel of the OBDSFL is also honoured in a similar way where the referee with the highest average marks from clubs is also given an annual trophy. Referees have always been highly involved with the running of our League. The current Referees Secretary, Ken Chappell, has been doing the job for nearly 25 The OBDSFL benefits from having a Management Committee that have many, many years of Sunday football experience each - from the Club angle or the Referees viewpoint. This unique blend of club/referee interaction ensures that with the best part of 300 man years experience the member clubs are all treated exactly the same and benefit from a knowledge pool second to none in local football. Moreover, the excellent football attracts a panel of referees that ensures that on most Sundays we are able to cover each match with a qualified referee.

The OBDSFL is always willing to hear from good and well organised new or existing clubs wanting to join the League. You must first

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Orpington & Bromley Sunday League information pages

OBDSFL Roll of Honours

OBDSFL Records

Official League Website