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History / County/District Football

HISTORY OF THE RUCFA - COUNTY / DISTRICT LEAGUE
1927 - 1970

Although it is correct to say that football was played following the formation of the Royal Ulster Constabulary on the 1st June 1922 from the Royal Irish Constabulary, some form of organized football structure within the Royal Ulster Constabulary can be traced back to 1927 when 'A' District won the Nesbitt Cup, a trophy which was played for between the Belfast Districts at that time. This trophy became part of the history of the association, and although not played for since the start of the Second World War, has been retained and is part of the display in the RUCAA museum at Newforge.

With the formation of the RUC Athletic Association a year later in 1928 by Captain T.D. Morrison, the RUC Football Association became a founding member of the Athletic Association with the objective to promote and organize the running of Police football throughout the RUC under the leadership of the then Inspector General, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Charles Wickham.

With the introduction of a further 2 cups being presented to the committee of RUCFA in 1928, namely a County Championship Trophy kindly presented by Hugh McAleavey, a Belfast City Councillor, and a Challenge Cup presented by McDowell Jeweller's of Belfast. The first administration arranged the competitions, which saw county teams compete for the McAleavey Cup and Belfast Districts, compete for the McDowell Cup. The first winners in the inaugural 1928-1929 season were Co. Down in the McAleavey Cup and "A" District in the McDowell Cup.

Another trophy that had been presented to the RUCFA during those early years, and became part of the history of the Association, namely the "Alhambra Cup", was played for a number of seasons only, before being donated to another organization.

Competitions continued to be played, if somewhat infrequently prior to, during and immediately after the Second World War years, but unfortunately all winners were never recorded anywhere. From their conception in 1927, the RUC entered teams into the Steel & Sons Cup, Irish Intermediate Cup, as well as playing international Police matches against England, Scotland and Wales. This continued until the formation of the RUC Football Club.

In 1956, the RUCAA purchased Newforge and resulting in this, the Belfast District League was taken over by a newly formed body, namely, the RUC Football Club, which using Newforge as their home ground, entered a team into the Northern Ireland Amateur League as well as taking over all representative football.

In 1959, the football club now established in the Amateur League went their seperate way to form their own administration and once again, the Belfast District & County Leagues amalgamated, regionalizing teams, until the new Divisional set-up replaced them in 1970, although they had been unable to compete during the last few years because of the increased intensity of the new troubles.

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