The Football League Trophy
The Football League Trophy is a cup competition for teams in the lower divisions of the English Football League. It was instituted in 1983 as a way of providing extra games (and therefore extra revenue) for lower-division clubs, and followed on from a variety of other competitions which had the same aim, such as the Texaco Cup, the Anglo-Scottish Cup and the Football League Group Trophy.
The competition was originally known as the "Associate Members' Cup", because in the days when the League had four divisions (prior to the secession of the Premiership in 1992) only the teams in the top two divisions were full members of the League, and the teams in the Third and Fourth Divisions were associate members. This distinction was abolished in 1992, and the official name of the competition was changed to the "Football League Trophy". However, due to sponsorship deals it has mainly been known by a number of other names. These names can be seen in the list of finals below, and on the page for each season.
This site contains historical information about the competition, dating back to its inception in 1983.
The characteristic feature of the competition's structure is that the competing teams are divided into two area groups, North and South. The two areas conduct parallel competitions to find area winners, who then meet in the national final. The precise format of the area competitions has varied over the years, and the format used in each season is given on the page for that season.
Over the years, the Trophy has been the proving ground for various rules which at the time were new to English football. An example of this is sudden-death or 'golden goal' extra time, which was introduced into the Trophy in 1994 and continued to be used until 2003.
I am indebted to Ray Stanton, Steve McGhee, Chris Sendall and Richard Rundle for their help in compiling these pages, and to Tony Kempster for putting me in touch with them via the Non-League Football mailing list.
Results of all finals
|Associate Members' Cup|
|1983/84||AFC Bournemouth||2||-||1||Hull City|
|Freight Rover Trophy|
|1985/86||Bristol City||3||-||0||Bolton Wanderers|
|1986/87||Mansfield Town||1||-||1||Bristol City||(aet)|
|(Mansfield won 5-4 on penalties)|
|Sherpa Van Trophy|
|1988/89||Bolton Wanderers||4||-||1||Torquay United|
|Leyland DAF Cup|
|1989/90||Tranmere Rovers||2||-||1||Bristol Rovers|
|1990/91||Birmingham City||3||-||2||Tranmere Rovers|
|1991/92||Stoke City||1||-||0||Stockport County|
|1992/93||Port Vale||2||-||1||Stockport County|
|1993/94||Swansea City||1||-||1||Huddersfield Town||(aet)|
|(Swansea won 3-1 on penalties)|
|Auto Windscreens Shield|
|1994/95||Birmingham City||1||-||0||Carlisle United||(aet)|
|1995/96||Rotherham United||2||-||1||Shrewsbury Town|
|1996/97||Carlisle United||0||-||0||Colchester United||(aet)|
|(Carlisle won 4-3 on penalties)|
|1997/98||Grimsby Town||2||-||1||AFC Bournemouth||(aet)|
|1999/2000||Stoke City||2||-||1||Bristol City|
|LDV Vans Trophy|
|2002/03||Bristol City||2||-||0||Carlisle United|
|Football League Trophy|
|2005/06||Swansea City||2||-||1||Carlisle United|
|Johnstone's Paint Trophy|
|2006/07||Doncaster Rovers||3||-||2||Bristol Rovers||(aet)|
|2007/08||Milton Keynes Dons||2||-||0||Grimsby Town|
|2008/09||Luton Town||3||-||2||Scunthorpe United||(aet)|