The 12th season of the Southern Lent Term Independent Schools League begins in January and promises to again offer some compelling entertainment and outstanding competition. Last year, leagues were won by Harrow, Radley, Tonbridge, St John’s and St Paul’s, demonstrating the massively well contested nature of the different divisions.

The Charles Alcock Cup, which is awarded to the champion 1st XI team, has been won by four different schools over the past five years, and there is every chance of a fifth name being engraved on the trophy this time around.

Follow all of the action over the term, with the up to date standings in all seven leagues to be listed on this page.










The Southern Independent Schools Lent Term League has concluded with the trophies being shared around the eight competing schools. The Charles Alcock Cup for the 1st XI league winners has been won by Harrow for the fourth time, following their successes in 2009, 2010 and 2016. The Under 16 trophy has been won by Tonbridge for the first time, whilst the Under 15 league is headed by St John’s, again for the first time. Away from the A team leagues, Harrow have secured victory in the 2nd XI league, whilst Radley have won their first ever league championship at 3rd XI level. Harrow were again victorious in the Under 16B league, whilst St Paul’s finished at the top of the Under 15B league.

Congratulations to all the league winners and indeed to the 56 teams from the eight different schools who have all contributed to an exciting and well contested league season.


  1ST XI 2ND XI 3RD XI U16 XI U15 XI
2008 Haileybury Harrow   Haileybury Harrow
2009 Harrow Harrow   St. John's Harrow
2010 Harrow Harrow   Harrow Harrow
2011 St. John's Harrow   Harrow Haileybury
2012 Tonbridge Harrow   Harrow Harrow
2013 St. John's Tonbridge   Haileybury St. Paul's
2014 St. John's Tonbridge   Harrow Harrow
2015 St. Paul's Harrow   Harrow Haileybury
2016 Harrow Tonbridge Harrow Haileybury Harrow
2017 Tonbridge Tonbridge St. Paul's St. John's Tonbridge 
2018 Harrow Harrow Radley Tonbridge St John's



Charles Alcock, who had been a schoolboy at Harrow and a member of Druries House (of whom the current ISFA Chairman was housemaster for many years) was instrumental in the development of international football, the FA Cup, and indeed, the Football Association itself. He was an early committee member of the Football Association which was formed in 1863, joining it in 1866. He was elected, at the age of 28, to the position of FA secretary. In 1871 he proposed the FA Challenge Cup, the first 'knock-out' type tournament. Fifteen teams entered the inaugural competition and Wanderers (a now defunct London team) won it, captained by Charles Alcock who played at centre-forward and had a goal disallow for handball. The FA ‘Challenge’ Cup was so called at that time because Wanderers, as winners, automatically qualified for the final and all the teams played a knock out competition with the winners ‘challenging’ the holders in the final. 

Charles Alcock was also instrumental in the development of the first international fixture. He did this by writing an address through the Glasgow Herald, inviting representatives to a game at the Kennington Oval, which was then, as now, the home of Surrey Cricket Club (Alcock was Secretary of Surrey CCC). Because the game's basis was completely amateur at the time, financial considerations meant that the Scottish team ended up being composed entirely of Scots living in England, and England won 1-0. There were three further matches, all in England, before the first match to be held in Scotland. 

However all those early matches were considered unofficial, largely because the English FA were running everything, even the selection of the Scottish side. Both the English and Scottish Football Associations record the first Scottish-based match, at the West of Scotland Cricket Club at Partick on 30th November 1872, as the first ever official international match. Charles Alcock was down to captain the side, but was injured and had to be content with umpiring. The match ended at 0-0. 

In 1875 Charles Alcock captained England against Scotland in a match played at the Kennington Oval. It ended 2-2, with Alcock scoring England's second goal in the 65 minute. England had had to play without their goalkeeper initially as William Carr was 15 minutes late because of delays on the trains on his route from Sheffield. 

Charles Alcock remained as Secretary of the FA until 1896, instigating, amongst other things, the International Selection Committee in 1887. This committee selected England sides until Walter Winterbottom and then Alf Ramsey took over the duty. From 1896 until his death in 1907 Charles Alcock was Vice President of the FA. Unlike David Elleray who only refereed one FA Cup Final (Manchester United v Chelsea in 1994) Charles Alcock ‘umpired’ a number of finals.


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