English National League

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For the current league see English National Ice Hockey League

The English National League was an early ice hockey league in England. It operated from 1935 to 1954, with an intermission due to World War II between 1940 and 1946.

History

It was founded in 1935 by four of the teams who had previously competed in the English League. Streatham, Wembley Lions, Wembley Canadians, and the Richmond Hawks of the English League were joined by three new sides, the Earl's Court Rangers, Brighton Tigers, and Kensington Corinthians, to form the English National League.

The league's membership rose to 11 teams the following year, as it admitted the Harringay Greyhounds, Harringay Racers, Earl's Court Royals (who had previously been the Kensington Corinthians), Manchester Rapids, and the Southampton Vikings. Manchester and Southampton began the season in France as the Rapides de Paris and Français Volants, respectively, but relocated to England in November 1936.

The spike in teams was short-lived, as three of the previous season's new members (Earl's Court, Manchester, and Southampton), along with founding member Richmond Hawks, did not return for the 1937-38 season. The league's membership further decreased over the next two seasons, leaving only five teams remaining for the final pre-war season in 1939-40.

It was suspended during the Second World War, but returned in 1946. The first post-war season consisted of seven teams, buoyed by the return of the Brighton Tigers and the addition of the Nottingham Panthers. The 1946-47 season also saw the introduction of end-of-year playoffs. The Harringay Greyhounds won the playoff championship in the only year they were held.

Membership fluctuated between five and eight teams for the entirety of the post-war period. In 1954 the league merged with the Scottish National League to form the British National League.

Champions

Regular season winners

1936: Wembley Lions
1937: Wembley Lions
1938: Harringay Racers
1939: Harringay Greyhounds
1940: Harringay Greyhounds
1947: Brighton Tigers
1948: Brighton Tigers
1949: Harringay Racers
1950: Streatham
1951: Nottingham Panthers
1952: Wembley Lions
1953: Streatham
1954: Nottingham Panthers

Playoff winners

1947: Harringay Greyhounds

References

See also


English National League seasons
1935–36 - 1936–37 - 1937–38 - 1938–39 - 1939–40 - 1946–47 - 1947–48 - 1948–49 - 1949–50 - 1950–51 - 1951–52 - 1952–53 - 1953–54
European Hockey Overview
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Czechoslovakia - Interliga

Junior Leagues
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