War League Records

The 1939-40 season was abandoned after only three games due to the outbreak of the Second World War. A number of replacement regional competitions were organised. Reading competed in the War League South, except in 1941-42 when they joined the rival London War League. On the cessation of the War, there was a partial return to normality in 1945-46. The Division 1 and 2 clubs continued to compete in regional leagues, but Divisions 3 South and North organised their own competitions. The Football League resumed in 1946-47 with the same fixtures as the abandoned 1939-40 season.

The champions and runners-up in each of the regional competitions were as follows. Several leagues had both a primary and a secondary tournament, which are denoted by the roman numerals I and II, respectively. Note the appearance of some unexpected teams, like Bath City and Lovells' Athletic - a works team from Newport (South Wales).

                         Champions                 Runners-up
    1939-40  South A     Arsenal                   West Ham United
             South B     Queen's Park Rangers      Bournemouth & BA
             South C     Tottenham Hotspur         West Ham United
             South D     Crystal Palace            Queen's Park Rangers
             South West  Plymouth Argyle           Torquay United
             West Mids   Wolverhampton Wand        West Bromwich Albion
             East Mids   Chesterfield              Barnsley
             West        Stoke City                Liverpool
             North West  Bury                      Preston North End
             North East  Huddersfield Town         Newcastle United
    1940-41  South I     Crystal Palace            West Ham United
             South II    Brighton & Hove Alb       Watford
             North       Preston North End         Chesterfield
    1941-42  London      Arsenal                   Portsmouth
             South       Leicester City            West Bromwich Albion
             North I     Blackpool                 Lincoln City
             North II    Manchester United         Blackpool
    1942-43  South       Arsenal                   Tottenham Hotspur
             West        Lovells' Athletic         Bath City
             North I     Blackpool                 Liverpool
             North II    Liverpool                 Lovells' Athletic
    1943-44  South       Tottenham Hotspur         West Ham United
             West        Lovells' Athletic         Cardiff City
             North I     Blackpool                 Manchester United
             North II    Bath City                 Wrexham
    1944-45  South       Tottenham Hotspur         West Ham United
             West        Cardiff City              Bristol City
             North I     Huddersfield Town         Derby County
             North II    Derby County              Everton
    1945-46  South       Birmingham City           Aston Villa
             North       Sheffield United          Everton
             D3S S       Crystal Palace            Cardiff City
             D3S N       Queen's Park Rangers      Norwich City
             D3N I W     Accrington Stanley        Rochdale
             D3N I E     Rotherham United          Darlington
             D3N II      Rotherham United          Rochdale

Reading's complete record in all War League games (1939-46) is as follows:

            PL     W    D    L    GF    GA    PTS    P3/PL
HOME       104    58   15   31   299   211    131    1.817
AWAY        99    27   23   49   197   237     77    1.050
TOTAL      203    85   38   80   496   448    208    1.443
(9 seasons)

This can be broken down by opponent as follows (for details see here).

                        PL  HW HD HL  HF  HA  AW AD AL  AF  AA  PTS    P3
 1. Brighton & HA       14   4  0  3  19  14   5  0  2  23  11   18    27
 2. Watford             10   5  0  0  25   9   2  2  1  12  10   16    23
 3. Leyton Orient       11   4  1  1  19   5   3  0  2  15   8   15    22
 4. Fulham              10   5  0  0  21   8   1  2  2  10  16   14    20
 5. Aldershot           15   3  1  4  27  24   2  4  1  12   9   15    20
 6. Luton Town           8   3  0  1  12   8   3  1  0  12   5   13    19
 7. Crystal Palace      12   3  0  3  20  14   2  2  2  13  13   12    17
 8. Millwall             7   3  1  0  11   4   1  1  1   6   6   10    14
 9. Southampton         10   2  0  3  18  18   2  2  1  15  15   10    14
10. Brentford           13   3  1  2  19  16   1  1  5  11  22   10    14
11. Portsmouth          10   2  2  1  11  10   1  1  3   5   8    9    12
12. Queens Park Rang    14   3  3  1  12   6   0  0  7   5  23    9    12
13. AFC Bournemouth      8   3  0  1  15  10   0  1  3   4  10    7    10
14. Charlton Ath         8   1  0  3   4   8   2  0  2  13  10    6     9
15. Chelsea              9   2  0  3  10  16   1  0  3   6   8    6     9
16. Cardiff City         4   2  0  0   5   1   0  1  1   3   4    5     7
17. West Ham Utd         5   2  1  0   7   5   0  0  2   1   3    5     7
18. Arsenal              6   1  0  2   8  10   1  0  2   4   7    4     6
19. Bristol City         2   1  0  0   6   2   0  1  0   3   3    3     4
20. Southend Utd         3   1  1  0   2   1   0  0  1   2   4    3     4
21. Tottenham H          8   0  2  2   5  10   0  2  2   7   9    4     4
22. West Bromwich A      1   1  0  0   6   3   0  0  0   0   0    2     3
23. Torquay Utd          2   1  0  0   4   1   0  0  1   3   4    2     3
24. Swansea City         2   1  0  0   4   0   0  0  1   1   4    2     3
25. Bristol Rovers       3   0  1  0   2   2   0  2  0   5   5    3     3
26. Norwich City         2   1  0  0   2   1   0  0  1   2   5    2     3
27. Coventry City        2   1  0  0   3   2   0  0  1   3   7    2     3
28. Exeter City          2   0  1  0   1   1   0  0  1   1   5    1     1
29. Swindon Town         2   0  0  1   1   2   0  0  1   0   3    0     0

For First World War records, see here. For Second World War cup records, see here.

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