The London Football Association is the regional Football Association for Greater London. The London FA was established in 1882 and is affiliated to The Football Association. The London FA administers all levels of men's, women's and junior football within its area, a circle 12 miles in radius with Charing Cross at the centre.
The London Football Association (LFA) is unique for the reason that it is the only one founded by The Football Association. While others were founded to organise football locally around the country, Charles Alcock and Lord Kinnaird, then Secretary and Chairman of The FA, created the London FA to deal with local clubs and competitions while the main body focused on the Laws of the Game and international football matters.
According to the Memorandum on Areas and Overlapping of Associations the London FA covers the area 12 miles from Charing Cross. The Association is ‘overlapped’ by a number of its colleague County FA ’s: Essex FA, Kent FA, Middlesex FA, Surrey FA and the Amateur Football Alliance.
The first Secretary was N.L. ‘Pa’ Jackson who was also serving on the FA Council. He was famous for founding the great Corinthians Football Club and is said to be the inventor of the international cap.
The London FA’s other claim to fame is that its representative team was the first ever English team to play in a European final, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final in 1958 where they lost over two legs to Barcelona.
It has had many headquarters since its foundation in 1882, including Paternoster Row, St. Mark’s College Chelsea, Finsbury Barracks, Leytonstone, Manor Park, Barking, and Lewisham. It even stayed temporarily at Upton Park and Highbury during the Second World War, having been bombed out of its previous homes. The current headquarters in Fulham were moved into in August 2004.
The London Football Association is one of the biggest in the country with over 2,000 clubs, about 1,000 referees and over 50 Leagues/Competitions.
The Association has a history of long serving, dedicated officials. For example, Tommy Kirkup served as Secretary for 44 years between 1903 and 1947. Basil Stallard is by far the longest serving Treasurer having been in that position since 1973. There have been only nine Presidents since 1882, Lionel Seymour being the current incumbent.
In 1922 the London Minor Football Association was founded for youth football. It became the London Youth Football Association and continues to administer youth football in the capital to this day. It did, however, come under the London FA Limited when it incorporated in 2001.
Both the Inner London County Schools Football Association and London Football Coaches Association work in collaboration with the London FA for the mutual benefit of its members. This provides participants in the capital with a complete range of opportunities in football.
The LFA runs high quality coaching courses throughout the year with one of the countries senior coach education tutors as Head Coach in John Drabwell. As a result of the Football Association’s National Game Strategy 2008–2012, the LFA has recruited a young and energetic development team under the leadership of Josie Clifford.
Leagues that were affiliated to the London FA (or FA) but have disbanded or amalgamated with other leagues include:Aetolian League
Greater London League (formed by a merger of the Aetolian and London Leagues)
Metropolitan–London League (formed by a merger of the Metropolitan and Greater London Leagues)
Spartan League (known as the London Spartan League for a few season following a merger with the Metropolitan–London League)
It is difficult to provide a comprehensive list of those notable clubs that are (or at one time were) affiliated to the London FA. However, by identifying those clubs that have competed in the London Senior Cup along with those clubs that are (or were) located in the Greater London area it is possible to establish the following list:
Clubs in the Premier League and The Football League that have competed in the London FA's London Charity Cup or are located in the Greater London area include:
Today the London Football Association runs 9 different County Cup Competitions: