ALL POINTS NORTH
Third Division (Northern Section) of the Football League 1921-1958
By Graham Williams (author of “The Code War”)
Division Three (North) scarcely merits a mention in modern football histories.
When it does it is only in context of the crises and casualties that befell an
unfashionable provincial competition. Its name still lives on in the record
books, and also thanks mainly to the many connotations it still carries.
Unfortunately, many of those connotations are negative. The section has come to
stand for a rather poverty stricken competition, populated largely by
un-ambitious clubs that were reckoned to have settled for lower standards in all
respects. Much of that ‘bad press’ was due to journalists at the time who
were only too willing to belittle the section and describe the prospect of
relegation as being to the “dreaded Third Division – that nightmare of the
And yet, the Northern section’s history is more than just an ancient
tale of crises and hard times. It is in fact in many ways a very modern tale of
doughty survivors demonstrating real love and loyalty at the game’s roots. It
is a tale of often-beleaguered directors investing in the game they loved to
pass on clubs and stadia for future generations. It is a tale of supporters
staying loyal to their clubs despite an almost permanent absence of success and
money. It is also a tale of the pride felt by local communities when their team
triumphed against the odds. The life and times of the Northern section also
gives an insight into the economic realities and shifting sporting preferences,
and allegiances, of times long past in the north of England.
book is a mid-sized sized paperback book of 136 pages.
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