The Cork Business League is an adult male junior soccer league which currently operates in the Autumn – Spring football season. Founded in 1952, still affectionately referred to as the ‘shipping league’, has provided junior football for teams representing their places of work for over half a century and this year it is celebrating its 65th anniversary of its affiliation to the Munster Football Association as a fully-fledged Junior League.
The foundations of the present League were laid way back in the late 40’s when a number of companies engaged in trading through the Port of Cork (hence the use of shipping in the title) organised a knock-out competition to run between February and April. Like the present day Inter-House league, they were allowed dual registration by the MFA.
The League was granted full junior status in the 1952-53 season. Eight teams competed in the first league championship which was won by Cork Harbour Commissioners. The League trophy donated by Cork Steam Packet Company is still in use today, most recently won by Doolans Cow Bar FC during the 2018 / 2019 season.
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From humble beginnings the league has grown and in its modern form had it’s highest numbers of thirty teams and three divisions over the last 2 decades. A total of eight trophies are competed for each year. While in the early days the membership of the league was dominated by shipping companies and traditional industries, such as Ford’s, Denny’s and Dunlop’s, today teams representing the computer and pharmaceutical companies are more common: Dell EMC, Voxpro. In fact the change in the membership down through the decades has reflected the broad trends in the economic life of the Cork region. Over the years as company’s prominence waned their team’s departure from the league often predicted the eventual fate of the company in Cork.