The English Football League is the oldest football association in the world, having started in 1888. It was the highest level of English football until the point that twenty-two teams broke away to form the Premier League in 1992. You’d recognize plenty of the Premier League teams that still inhabit London such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, and Tottenham. Of course, they’re not the only clubs within the city, and there are plenty of EFL teams remaining. We’ve identified seven English Football League teams that operate within London and shared where they play and a bit of their history.
Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers started in 1886 as a merger of two older clubs: Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute. They can be found in the White City Estate in Shepherd’s Bush, with their home ground being Loftus Road (aka Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium). They’re part of the EFL Championship league, which is the highest league in the EFL and just one down from being in the Premier League for the FA.
Another EFL Championship member, Fulham FC is not only the oldest professional London team for the EFL—they’re the oldest London team, period. The club started in 1879 when it was formed as “Fulham St. Andrew’s Church Sunday School FC” and shortened to its current name in 1888 before becoming a professional club in 1898. The club’s home ground is Craven Cottage and has been since 1896.
Leyton Orient FC is one of the oldest London clubs in the EFL, but unlike more well-known teams such as those mentioned above, LO plays in the fourth tier of EFL League Two. The O’s, as the team is known, formed in 1881 and achieved a measure of success over their history until a series of bad seasons resulted in the club being booted from the EFL altogether, then accepted back into the league back in 2019. Their home ground is Brisbane Road, also known as The Breyer Group Stadium, which has seen O’s matches since 1937.
Millwall started as the Millwall Rovers in 1885 and is another member of the EFL Championship league. Millwall plays in a stadium called “The Den” (their mascot is a lion), which can be found in Bermondsey and used to be known as “The New Den” after it replaced “The Old Den” in 1993. Millwall has perhaps the most colorful reputation of any London team, as their club’s fans are often associated with hooliganism and even have a chant that goes, “No one like us. We don’t care.”
Not to be confused with the Premier League Wimbledon club, AFC Wimbledon is the youngest team on this list, having formed in 2002. The club started with the London and Surrey Football Associations and quickly rose through the ranks (six promotions in thirteen years) up to EFL League One. The club’s ground is also the youngest on this list as the current Plough Lane Stadium has been AFC Wimbledon’s home since 2020. Prior to this, they played in Kingsmeadow since formation but always sought to return to Merton, which the club considers it’s spiritual home.
Charlton Athletic is part of EFL League One and was founded in 1905. Charlton has one of the most interesting histories of the club’s on this list, having achieved great success prior to World War II, though they started falling further and further down the club rankings until they went into administration in the 1980s. The team came back and, through the 1990s, rose all the way up to the Premier League but fell out again in the 2000s, being part of the EFL ever since. They play their matches at “The Valley” and have done since the 1920s.
Sutton United have been around since 1898 after a merger of Sutton Guild Rovers FC and Sutton Association FC. Sutton has spent the decades working their way up to EFL League Two and the National League, earning a reputation as “giant killers” for their underdog victories against higher-ranked clubs such as Coventry City, AFC Wimbledon, and Leeds United. Sutton’s home ground is Gander Green Lane, which has been the club’s pitch since it was founded.