AFL LONDON HISTORY
ABOUT AFL LONDON
First formed in 1989, AFL London was formerly known as the British Australian Rules Football League (BARFL).
Eight clubs participated in the inaugural season in 1990, including the London Hawks, West London Wildcats, North London Lions, Earls Court Kangaroos, Lea Valley saints, Thames Valley Magpies, Wandsworth Demons and a club based in Leicester, the East Midland Eagles.
Of the foundation teams, four still survive in West London, North London, Wimbledon (formerly the London Hawks) and Wandsworth.
Between 1990 and 2001, the league existed as one competition for all clubs, with the number of teams fluctuating over the years from a high of 10 in 1991 and dropping to six in 1998.
In 2001 the League restructured to incorporate two levels of competition, known as the Premiership and Conference competitions. In 2007 a Social grade competition was also added to cater to growing numbers of players and teams.
BARFL restructured in 2008 to become AFL Britain which allowed it to focus more on growing the game around the country.
Out of the restructure came AFL London, the league we know and love today.
In 2014, women joined the league after the Wimbledon Hawks hosted an exhibition match.
Soon after plenty of clubs started putting up their hands up to join the women's league including, the North London Lions, South East London Giants, Wandsworth Demons and Wimbledon Hawks. Those teams competed in the inaugural AFL London Women’s League in 2015 which has now grown to seven teams.
AFL London has more 30 years of history, making it one of the oldest competitions outside Australia, with arguably the most players and highest quality of football.
This lead to women putting their hands up to start women’s teams at North London Lions, South East London Giants, Wandsworth Demons and Wimbledon Hawks, to compete in the inaugural AFL London Women’s League in 2015. The women’s league was very successful in it’s inaugural league and there are now eight teams with teams in AFL London.
With more than 30 years of history AFL London is one of the oldest competitions outside Australia, and arguably the strongest in terms of player numbers and quality of football.