Those We Have Loved – Casualties and Catastrophes of the Football League, 1888-1988


Originally published across two volumes in 1987-1988, “Those We Have Loved” is the story of the thirty Football League sides voted, or otherwise removed, from the competition in the years before automatic promotion and relegation were introduced..

Colourful contemporary match reports, in-depth background detail and modern analysis combine to tell a thoroughly alternate history of English football; the story of lives lived for the most part at the lower end of the League, but every one tinged with glory and triumph alongside the final tragedies.

Fully revised and updated to note the rebirth of at least a few of the clubs featured, it is a reminder that many of those we have loved are still beloved today.

Featuring full Football League histories of Aberdare Athletic, Accrington, Accrington Stanley, Ashington, Barrow, Bootle, Bradford Park Avenue, Burton Swifts, Burton United, Burton Wanderers, Darwen, Durham City, Gainsborough Trinity, Gateshead, Glossop North End, Leeds City, Loughborough, Merthyr Town, Middlesbrough Ironopolis, Nelson, New Brighton, New Brighton Tower, Newport County, Northwich Victoria, South Shields, Southport, Stalybridge Celtic, Thames, Wigan Borough, Workington, plus wartime guests Aberaman, Bath City, Croydon Common and Lovell’s Athletic.

“a meticulously researched and lovingly crafted… history…” (The Independent, April 1988)

“Thompson’s pose is vigorous and he has an eye for colourful anecdotal detail in his exhaustive researches… [a] century-long soccer ‘soap’” (The Independent, December 1988)

“the well-researched contents… bring together a lot of information never before included in one book…” (Football Monthly, March 1988)

“a tremendous amount of work has gone into this publication and how difficult this book must have been to compile” (AFS Bulletin, March 1988)

“well-written and researched… it plugs a yawning gap in the football history market”  (Programme Monthly, November 1987)

“a hotch-potch of football history… impressive” (Progamme Monthly, February 1989)




The original editions 

Introduction to the 1987 edition

Excerpt – Accrington Reds

Excerpt – Bradford Park Avenue

Excerpt – Burton Swifts and Wanderers

Excerpt – Darwen

Excerpt – Gainsborough Trinity

Excerpt – Glossop North End

Excerpt – Leeds City

Excerpt – Loughborough

Excerpt – Merthyr Town

Excerpt – Middlesbrough Ironopolis

Excerpt – Northwich Victoria

Excerpt – South Shields

Excerpt – Southport

Excerpt – Thames

Excerpt – Workington

About the author –