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History / Station Football

HISTORY OF THE RUC STATION FOOTBALL LEAGUE
1982 - 2001

The Station Football League was founded in February 1982 when two keen footballers attached to Dunmurry Police Station decided to introduce an "inter- station" league to other stations in the Belfast and Greater Belfast areas. Applications to enter were forwarded to various interested members of other stations who were responsible for the organizing of football within their particular station

In order not to compete with the well-established RUC Football Association (Divisional League), all Station League fixtures were played over the summer months each year commencing on the first week in June and finishing in the first week in September, with the annual Awards Dinner Dance being held at La Mon House Hotel in the second week of that month. In the Leagues inaugural year, the newly formed body attracted 8 stations from the Greater Belfast area to compete in a league format over the summer months. Mr & Mrs Allen Huddleson, who over the years became an important and integral part of the Station league, donated a League Championship trophy to the League. In that first season, Dunmurry station were crowned League Champions by defeating Lisburn station in an epic play-off final at New Grosvenor Stadium, Ballyskeagh by 4 goals to 2.

With the increase of new stations into the League, the 1983-84 season saw the introduction of the La Mon House Hotel Knockout Cup, kindly presented to the league by Isobel and Wesley Huddleson, proprietors of the Hotel at that time. In the first year of this competition, Springfield Parade or "The Oaks", as it was widely known by, won the trophy by defeating Hastings Street, a station that was earmarked for closure later that year, being replaced by the newly built Grosvenor Road Station. Members from outside the police organization had donated all the cups and trophies to the League. This was no exception when in 1984, John McClelland, captain of the Northern Ireland team, who went on to become a Vice President of the League, kindly donated the RUC Station Supplimentary Shield. This shield was used for those station teams knocked out in the 1st or preliminary round of the La Mon Cup competition. The annual Awards Dinner that year saw John attend as the League's "Guest of Honour", to officially present the shield to the winning team Oldpark in its inaugural year.

The Station Football League continued to go from strength to strength and during the mid 80's and early 90's membership increased to 28 station teams competing from every county in the province.

The Station Football League was extremely proud to be associated with various charities in which it supported since the inception of the Billy Forsythe Memorial Cup in 1987. Billy had been a serving Police Officer attached to Woodbourne Station when he was tragically killed in a road traffic accident on the 23rd October 1986. He had been a regular participant in both the Divisional and Station Football Leagues representing "B" Division in the RUC Divisional League, along with Springfield Parade with whom he won a Station League Cup winners medal back in 1983 for "The Oaks" station team.

Another trophy presented to the Station Football League was the "David Maxwell Memorial Cup". This was presented by the Maxwell family following the death of David in July 1999. Affectionately known as 'moocher' by all his friends and colleagues, David became a tremendous worker for the Station Football League committee. Attached to 'the blues' Operational Support Unit (OSU) at New Barnsley Police Station, David was elected chairman of the Station league in 1997, a position he held until his death in 1999. This annual match is played between a New Barnsley Police team were David was based and an Over 35's representative team from formerly the Station league and now the DCU Football League.

The Station Football League held their last Awards Dinner at Newforge on the 25th October 2001, just days before the creation of the new Police Service of Northern Ireland in November.

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