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A Students Guide to Lower League Football in London


If you have just moved to London to study or for a new job you may be missing your home football team. Fear not, there are plenty of London-based clubs for you to support on a Saturday afternoon. But the gate price for the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham may eat a bit too much into your student loan. The alternative is the wonderful world of lower league football. Here’s a few teams which aren’t too far away from your student accommodation in London. And if you want to find further information about your living options there is more here.

AFC Wimbledon

Born out the controversial decision by the Football League to allow Wimbledon be relocated to Milton Keyes. AFC Wimbledon were founded in 2002 and started plying their trade in the Combined Counties League. They enjoyed a stratospheric rise to the football league and now play in League Two. The campus of Kingston University is walking distance from their Kings Meadow home.

Barnet F.C.

Nicknamed ‘The Bees’ because of their black and yellow jerseys, Barnet host fellow Conference teams at The Hive Stadium. The North Londoners are in close proximity to Middlesex University. One of the lower leagues most colourful characters Martin ‘Mad Dog’ Allen currently manages the team as they hope to return to League Two after being relegated in 2013.

Brentford F.C.

Although their trophy cabinet is fairly empty and they have not trouble the top tier for many a year Brentford have a long history stretching back to 1889. Despite playing in Red and Black the West London club share their nickname with Barnet. The University of West London has two campuses universities near to Brentford’s Griffin Park. So there is scope for a sizeable student support for The Bees.

Charlton Athletic

South of the river but North in terms of lower league football, Charlton are a stone’s throw from the University of Greenwich and the University of East London. There are conflicting theories of where the clubs nickname ‘The Addicks’ comes from – some believe it originates in locals pronunciation of the words addict or athletic while another theory traces in to a fish and chip shop which used to reward the team with haddock and chips when they won.

Leyton Orient

The O’s started life as Eagle Cricket Club in 1881 and are another club who have deep roots in lower league football spending only one season in the top flight. Their Brisbane Road ground is a short Central Line ride from Queen Mary University.

The football may not be of the same standard as you’ll see in the Premiership but there’s the thrill of seeing an undiscovered superstar in waiting. Plus the pies are cheaper.

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