C’mon Hare on the Hill! C’mon Luccombe Garage! C’mon Cotham Old Boys!

Amazing, the footballing riches one discovers with a few idle Wikipedia clicks. This week’s League Cup action in England—in which a few minnows managed upsets, and mighty Crewe Alexandra pushed Manchester United into extra time—led me to seek out an exhaustive inventory of England’s football Pyramid. Naturally, I scrolled to the very bottom, there to find…

The Bristol Downs League. The absolute lowest echelons of competitive football in England, with its lower divisions having the bottom-most tiers of the Pyramid all to themselves. The Downs League apparently plays all its matches at a local recrational ground, and is home to a collection of incredibly suh-weet sounding clubs. Sneyd Park! Retainers FC! Bristol Dynamos! Cliftons St Vincents! Sporting Greyhound, which may just possibly be the greatest football club name ever…

The best thing about this obviously totally awesome league is that the Bristol BBC site (click that link up there) devotes extensive coverage to its weekend fixtures. Colo(u)r pictures, full team profiles, hilarious and touching player blogs—in short, the kind of respect and bandwidth that we mere gentlemen-sportsmen rarely receive but so, oh so richly deserve. Were the Moscow stock market to crash; were Interpol to arrest half the chairmen in the Premiership; were the Italians to discover that every single Serie A match in the last 50 years was fixed—football would be in good hands with this bunch. They know what the game is really all about.

Now, wait ’til my teammates on Albina Going FC hear the details of my exciting Bristol relocation plan. I always did like Portishead.

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About zachdundas

Freelance journalist. Author of The Renegade Sportsman (Riverhead Books). Thank you.
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