Northern Football League

1891-1920

 

See also

Main index

Club directory

Central Combination

Central League

Highland League

Scottish Alliance

Scottish Combination

The Northern League was formed in 1891 and was based initially around the counties of Forfarshire and Perthshire, and the city of Aberdeen. Later it would extend southwards into Fife. 1893-94 was one of three occasions the championship was not completed - the others were in 1911-12 and 1913-14 when the competition was very much debased. Although Arbroath were leading, the league was abandoned and not restarted until 1895 when it was reconstituted.  1908-09 was the last season that the league had a strong membership as the following season, six of its clubs helped to form the Central League. From then until 1920, the league became a secondary affair and an attempt at creating a new stronger, North Eastern League in 1912 with some Border clubs failed when the Eastern League was set up without the Forfarshire teams. The Northern League closed down for the war, although it was briefly revived for a season in 1919.

 

 

Champions

 

1891-92 Dundee East End & Dundee Our Boys

1892-93 Arbroath

1893-94    unfinished

1894-95    not held

1895-96 Forfar Athletic

1896-97 Orion

1897-98 Victoria United

1898-99 Orion

1899-00 Dundee Wanderers

1900-01 Dundee 'A'

1901-02 Raith Rovers

1902-03 Dundee 'A'

1903-04 Montrose

1904-05 Dundee 'A'

1905-06 Aberdeen 'A'

1906-07 Kirkcaldy United & Dundee 'A'

1907-08 Brechin City

1908-09 Dundee 'A'

1909-10 Dundee 'A'

1910-11 Aberdeen 'A'

1911-12    unfinished

1912-13 Brechin City

1913-14    unfinished

1914-15 Forfar Athletic

 

1919-20 Montrose

 

Membership

Seasons

Came from

Left for

Aberdeen [1]

Aberdeen [2]

Aberdeen [2] 'A'

 

Arbroath

 

 

Arbroath Amateurs

Brechin City

Cowdenbeath

Crieff Morrisonians

Dundee 'A'

Dundee East End

Dundee Harp

Dundee Hibernians

Dundee Hibernians 'A'

 

Dundee Our Boys

Dundee Wanderers

Dunfermline Athletic

East Fife

Fair City Athletic

Forfar Athletic

Hearts of Beath

Johnstone Wanderers

Kirkcaldy United

Lochee United

Lochgelly United

 

Montrose

 

Orion

Raith Rovers

St Johnstone

 

Stenhousemuir

Strathmore

Victoria United

1891-1903

1903-04

1904-1912,

1913-1915, 1919-20

1891-1909,

1910-11, 1912-1914,

1919-20

1912-1914, 1919-20

1906-1915, 1919-20

1901-1905

1913-14

1900-1915, 1919-20

1891-1993

1891-1994

1909-10

1910-1912, 1913-1915,

1919-20

1891-1893

1895-1910, 1911-12

1902-1909

1905-1909

1892-93, 1894-1896, 1900-01

1891-1915, 1919-20

1906-07, 1912-13

1892-1894

1904-1909

1895-1908

1902-1909,

1912-13

1891-1914,

1919-20

1894-1903

1901-02

1891-1894, 1901-1909

1913-14, 1919-20

1903-1905

1893-94

1892-1895, 1896-1903

 

merger

 

Highland League

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central League

 

 

 

 

 

 

Central Combination

 

 

merged

Scottish League

Highland League

Scottish Alliance

Central League

 

Scottish Alliance

 

 

Scottish League

 

Scottish Alliance

merged

 

Scottish League

 

 

 

merged

Central League

Central League

 

 

Central League

merged

Central League

 

Central League

Central League

Central League

 

merged

Scottish League

Central League

 

Scottish Combination

merged

merged

 

Note:

The following mergers took place

Dundee East End and Dundee Our Boys merged as Dundee in 1893.

Aberdeen [1], Orion and Victoria United merged as Aberdeen [2] in 1903.

Johnstone Wanderers and Strathmore merged as Dundee Wanderers in 1894.

 

 

 

1891-92

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Dundee East End

14

10

1

3

41

24

19

1

Dundee Our Boys

14

9

1

4

56

39

19

3

Montrose

14

5

4

5

49

45

14

4

Dundee Harp

14

5

3

6

43

53

13

5

Arbroath

14

5

2

7

43

44

12

6

Aberdeen

14

5

2

7

39

61

12

7

Forfar Athletic

14

4

2

8

35

47

10

8

St Johnstone

14

4

3

7

41

41

9

 

* Dundee East End and St Johnstone each had two points deducted for playing an ineligible player

 

 

 

1892-93

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Arbroath

18

14

1

3

70

40

29

2

Dundee East End

18

13

2

3

61

31

28

3

Montrose

18

10

2

6

80

48

22

 4

Forfar Athletic

18

9

2

7

66

60

20

 5

Dundee Harp

18

9

1

8

74

54

19

 6

Aberdeen

18

8

1

8

60

68

18

 7

Johnstone Wanderers

18

6

4

8

51

62

16

 8

Dundee Our Boys

18

7

1

10

61

72

15

 9

St Johnstone

18

5

2

11

52

69

12

 10

Fair City Athletic

18

0

1

17

24

95

1

 

 

 

1893-94

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Arbroath

Forfar Athletic

Montrose

Victoria United

Strathmore

Johnstone Wanderers

St Johnstone

Aberdeen

11

11

10

9

8

5

7

7

9

7

3

3

3

2

1

1

0

0

2

2

1

1

2

2

2

4

5

4

4

2

4

4

64

41

23

30

22

19

27

21

32

43

30

41

22

17

26

37

18

14

8

8

7

5

4

4


Table as on March 24 1894, the competition was not completed

Strathmore and Johnstone Wanderers merged as Dundee Wanderers, competing in the Scottish League in 1894-95

 

 

 

1894-95

 

The league wasn't played this season because of a dispute carrying on from the previous year.

             

 

1895-96

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Forfar Athletic

Arbroath

Dundee Wanderers

Aberdeen

Lochee United

Montrose

Orion

Fair City Athletic

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

10

9

7

6

6

4

4

3

1

2

1

2

2

3

2

1

3

3

6

6

6

7

8

10

62

50

34

40

36

30

42

19

31

26

42

34

31

41

45

63

21

20

15

14

14

11

10

7

 

Second result between Lochee United and Aberdeen not known, although Lochee were the winners.

 

 

1896-97

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Orion

Dundee Wanderers

Victoria United

Forfar Athletic

Arbroath

Montrose

Aberdeen

Lochee United

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

9

8

8

7

7

4

3

1

3

4

1

3

1

2

3

1

2

2

5

4

6

8

8

12

53

40

43

45

35

23

35

20

25

24

36

38

35

40

41

53

21

20

17

17

15

10

9

3

 

 

 

1897-98

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

 3

4

 5

 6

 7

8

Victoria United

Dundee Wanderers

Forfar Athletic

Arbroath

Orion

Montrose

Aberdeen

Lochee United

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

8

7

5

6

5

5

4

5

3

4

5

2

2

2

3

1

3

3

4

6

7

7

7

8

33

33

34

45

40

26

34

22

27

30

34

32

41

28

35

30

19

18

15

14

12

12

11

10



 

1898-99

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

 2

 5

 6

 7

8

Orion

Dundee Wanderers

Arbroath

Forfar Athletic

Aberdeen

Lochee United

Victoria United

Montrose

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

9

10

8

7

6

5

4

1

3

1

1

2

1

2

2

0

2

3

5

5

7

7

8

13

45

46

45

44

38

28

24

24

35

27

33

33

37

40

35

64

21

21

17

 16

 13

 12

 10

2

 

 Championship play-off – Orion 1-0 Dundee Wanderers

 

 

1899-1900

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Dundee Wanderers

Victoria United

Aberdeen

Arbroath

Forfar Athletic

Orion

Lochee United

Montrose

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

9

7

7

6

6

4

5

2

0

3

2

3

2

5

4

1

5

4

5

5

5

5

5

11

42

37

36

40

50

33

30

29

37

33

30

32

47

34

26

58

18

17

16

15

 14

 13

 10

5

 

Lochee United had a total of 4 points deducted. 2 for playing an unregistered playercalled Bunce in a friendly with Dundee Wanderers. Two points were also deducted for playing a league match against the Wanderers later in the season than scheduled.

 

1899-1900 Results grid

 

Aberdeen

Arbroath

Forfar

Lochee U

Montrose

Orion

Victoria U

Wanderers

Aberdeen

X

3-2

 

4-2

3-2

2-2

2-3

6-1

Arbroath

4-0

X

6-2

0-0

 

4-0

1-1

 

Forfar

1-3

 

X

2-1

 

5-5

6-1

5-1

Lochee U

 

1-3

1-1

X

 

 

3-0

3-2

Montrose

2-5

4-2

3-5

4-2

X

1-1

2-4

1-4

Orion

2-0

 

 2-2

5-0

 

X

3-3

2-3

Victoria

2-1

4-3

1-2

2-2

6-2

4-1

X

4-0

Wanderers

 

4-2

7-4

 

 

 

4-1

X

 

 

 

1900-01

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

 10

Dundee ‘A’

Orion

Aberdeen

Arbroath

Victoria United

Dundee Wanderers

Forfar Athletic

Lochee United

Fair City Athletic

Montrose

18

18

 17

18

17

17

17

17

14

17

12

13

10

10

6

6

5

4

5

 1

4

2

4

 4

3

3

0

2

0

4

2

3

3

 4

8

8

12

11

9

12

60

47

44

 54

43

38

41

34

31

20

14

22

29

 41

41

39

55

57

43

73

28

28

24

 24

 15

 15

 10

 10

 10

 6

 

Championship play-off – Dundee ‘A’ 3-0 Orion

 

 

1901-02

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Raith Rovers

Dundee ‘A’

Cowdenbeath

Aberdeen

St Johnstone

Forfar Athletic

Orion

Arbroath

Dundee Wanderers

Victoria United

Montrose

Lochee United

22

22

22

22

19

22

22

21

22

19

21

22

14

13

13

12

10

8

7

9

7

7

4

4

3

5

3

3

3

7

7

2

3

3

1

0

5

4

6

7

6

7

8

10

12

9

16

18

53

51

51

52

40

48

41

44

29

38

33

26

26

26

27

36

33

51

50

41

30

48

70

68

31

31

29

27

23

23

21

20

17

17

9

8

 

Raith Rovers beat Dundee ‘A’ in a play-off

 

 

 

1902-03

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

 10

 11

 12

13

Dundee ‘A’

Lochgelly United

Cowdenbeath

Orion

Arbroath

Dunfermline Athletic

St Johnstone

Victoria United

Montrose

Forfar Athletic

Dundee Wanderers

Aberdeen

Lochee United

24

24

23

24

24

23

21

23

23

24

22

23

24

17

12

10

10

9

8

8

9

9

7

7

4

4

4

8

8

6

8

6

6

4

3

5

3

7

6

3

4

5

8

7

9

7

10

11

12

12

12

14

58

52

41

47

47

32

37

34

38

47

28

24

32

27

30

25

40

43

33

42

44

41

63

37

42

52

38

32

28

26

 26

 22

 22

 22

 21

 19

 17

 15

14


Seven clubs failed to fulfill their fixtures in this season.

Aberdeen, Orion and Victoria United merged as the present Aberdeen.

 

 

1903-04

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Montrose

Arbroath

Aberdeen

Dundee Wanderers

Stenhousemuir

Dundee ‘A’

Cowdenbeath

St Johnstone

Lochgelly United

Dunfermline Athletic

Lochee United

Forfar Athletic

22

22

22

22

22

21

22

21

22

22

22

22

17

11

11

10

9

9

10

8

6

7

7

5

0

5

4

5

6

5

3

1

6

4

2

1

5

6

7

7

7

7

9

12

10

11

13

16

53

43

55

45

45

47

38

44

51

31

29

34

25

33

37

35

42

34

39

57

54

41

55

63

34

27

26

 25

 24

 23

 23

 19

 18

 18

16

11

 

Dundee ‘A’ v St Johnstone not played, with St Johnstone being awarded two points.

 

 

1904-05

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

Dundee ‘A’

Cowdenbeath

Arbroath

Dundee Wanderers

Aberdeen ‘A’

Montrose

Kirkcaldy United

Lochgelly United

Dunfermline Athletic

Stenhousemuir

Lochee United

St Johnstone

Forfar Athletic

24

23

24

23

24

23

24

22

24

22

24

24

23

15

11

12

12

11

10

8

8

5

8

6

7

4

6

8

5

5

5

5

5

3

9

3

6

4

6

2

4

7

6

8

8

11

11

10

11

12

13

13

55

42

41

45

37

30

33

47

31

35

32

34

27

16

28

34

41

29

27

31

44

40

49

48

53

49

36

30

29

29

27

25

21

19

19

19

18

18

14

 

 

 

1905-06

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Aberdeen ‘A’

Arbroath

Dunfermline Athletic

Dundee ‘A’

East Fife

Kirkcaldy United

Forfar Athletic

Montrose

St Johnstone

Lochee United

Lochgelly United

Dundee Wanderers

22

22

21

22

22

22

21

21

22

21

20

20

13

13

11

10

8

7

6

7

7

6

5

1

5

4

5

7

7

8

8

5

2

4

5

8

4

5

5

5

7

7

7

9

13

11

10

11

50

52

40

46

41

32

34

33

39

25

26

15

28

24

29

30

36

27

36

41

48

43

49

43

31

30

29

27

23

22

20

19

16

16

15

10

 

Dundee Wanderers v Montrose and Lochgelly Uniited were unplayed



 

1906-07

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1=

1=

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

Kirkcaldy United

Dundee ‘A’

Lochgelly United

St Johnstone

Dunfermline Athletic

Aberdeen ‘A’

Brechin City

Arbroath

East Fife

Lochee United

Dundee Wanderers

Forfar Athletic

Montrose

Hearts of Beath

26

25

26

25

26

25

26

25

26

25

25

26

26

24

15

16

14

11

11

11

11

9

10

10

9

7

7

1

6

3

5

7

5

5

4

7

4

4

5

7

6

4

5

6

7

7

10

9

11

9

12

11

11

12

13

19

62

47

52

43

50

43

47

43

41

42

31

37

31

22

28

25

33

47

38

36

52

33

40

44

44

48

61

62

36

35

33

29

27

27

26

25

24

24

23

21

20

6

 

* At the end of the season Dundee 'A' claimed that they had been unable to complete their fixtures due to Hearts of Beath failing to turn up at Dens Park. If, as seemed likely, Dundee 'A' had beaten Hearts of Beath then they would have won the Championship (as they won their other outstanding fixture to lie just one point behind Kirkcaldy). The league decided to deduct all points won by both clubs against Hearts of Beath, which meant that both clubs finished equal. A play off would then decide the championship but Kirkcaldy United objected to this solution. At a special meeting of the Northern League at Dundee on 13 July 1907 an appeal by Kirkcaldy United was heard and the League came to the decision that the championship be held jointly by the two clubs.

 

Unplayed games were

Hearts of Beath v Dundee’A’

Dundee Wanderers v St Johnstone

Hearts of Beath v Arbroath

Aberdeen ‘A’ v Lochee United

 

 

1907-08

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

Brechin City

Lochgelly United

Arbroath

St Johnstone

Dunfermline Athletic

Aberdeen ‘A’

Kirkcaldy United

Forfar Athletic

East Fife

Dundee ‘A’

Montrose

Lochee United

Dundee Wanderers

24

23

24

22

24

23

23

23

19

19

22

22

22

14

13

12

13

11

10

11

11

10

6

7

5

3

4

3

4

1

5

5

2

1

1

4

2

3

3

6

7

8

8

8

8

10

11

8

9

13

14

16

53

59

56

53

44

36

47

47

44

33

36

32

27

38

43

44

31

42

32

36

43

35

42

51

56

74

32

29

28

27

27

25

24

23

21

16

16

13

9

 

Unplayed games were

Dundee ‘A’ v Kirkcaldy United

Dundee ‘A’ v Lochgelly United

Dundee ‘A’ v Montrose

Dundee ‘A’ v East Fife

Dundee ‘A’ v Lochee United

Lochee United v East Fife

Forfar Athletic v East Fife

Montrose v East Fife

East Fife v St Johnstone

Dundee Wanderers v St Johnstone

Aberdeen ‘A’ v Dundee Wanderers

 

 

 

1908-09

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Dundee ‘A’

St Johnstone

Dunfermline Athletic

Brechin City

Kirkcaldy United

Lochgelly United

Aberden ‘A’

Arbroath

Dundee Wanderers

Forfar Athletic

East Fife

Montrose

21

21

21

19

20

18

20

20

21

11

16

20

13

12

13

7

8

8

7

7

3

5

3

5

5

4

1

8

5

4

5

3

10

5

5

1

3

5

7

4

7

6

8

10

8

11

8

14

51

37

31

26

41

31

26

38

31

25

19

20

21

24

26

19

34

28

35

43

39

42

25

40

31

28

27

22

21

20

19

17

16

15

11

11

 

 

 

1909-10

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Dundee ‘A’

Brechin City

Dundee Hibernian

Montrose

Forfar Athletic

Dundee Wanderers

Aberdeen ‘A’

8

11

11

10

12

9

7

7

6

4

3

3

1

2

0

1

3

3

3

5

1

1

4

4

4

6

3

4

25

21

19

14

18

9

12

7

18

19

15

27

15

17

14

13

11

9

9

7

5

 

 

 

1910-11

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Aberdeen ‘A’

Brechin City

Dundee ‘A’

Forfar Athletic

Montrose

Arbroath

Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

12

10

11

12

11

8

8

7

5

5

4

3

2

2

3

2

1

3

2

3

2

2

3

5

5

6

3

4

26

19

31

14

11

13

6

14

15

21

22

25

13

10

17

12

11

11

8

7

6

 

Unplayed games were

Arbroath v Brechin City

Arbroath v Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

Brechin City v Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

Dundee ‘A’ v Arbroath

Dundee Hibernian ‘A’ v Arbroath

Montrose v Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

 

 

 

1911-12

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Dundee ‘A’

Aberdeen ‘A’

Forfar Athletic

Montrose

Brechin City

Dundee Wanderers

Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

9

6

7

9

10

8

5

8

5

4

3

2

1

0

0

0

2

2

3

0

1

1

1

1

4

5

7

4

31

13

15

9

10

3

3

8

3

9

16

15

24

9

16

10

10

8

7

2

1

 

Competition incomplete

 

 

1912-13

Brechin City

Arbroath

Arbroath Amateurs

Dundee 'A'

Forfar Athletic

Hearts of Beath

Lochgelly United

Montrose

 

 

 

1913-14

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Dundee ‘A’

Aberdeen ‘A’

Montrose

Brechin City

Crieff Morrisonians

Forfar Athletic

Arbroath

Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

St Johnstone

Arbroath Amateurs

12

11

14

14

9

6

5

6

4

7

8

5

5

4

3

3

3

3

2

2

0

3

1

2

3

1

0

0

0

0

4

3

8

8

3

2

2

3

2

5

29

34

20

25

20

10

11

7

11

8

17

24

22

42

17

5

8

7

8

25

16

13

11

10

9

7

6

6

4

4

 

Competition incomplete

 

 

1914-15

 

1919-20

Forfar Athletic

Aberdeen ‘A’

Brechin City

Dundee 'A'

Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

 

 

Montrose

Aberdeen ‘A’

Arbroath

Arbroath Amateurs

Brechin City

Dundee 'A'

Dundee Hibernian ‘A’

Forfar Athletic

St Johnstone

 

 

 

Sources for tables : Stewart Davidson, Jim Corstorphine, Dave Beattie, Arbroath historical site, Scottish Football Historian magazine .

 

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