From humble beginnings with 12 clubs in membership, today the Devon Junior & Minor League boasts more than 300 teams of boys and girls playing in 24 divisions in league and cup competitions and Mini-Soccer. The league has overcome many obstacles, the demise of the Plymouth Youth League, competing internationally and growing in size and stature to become one of the largest youth football leagues in the country.
Youth facilities have been improved thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers, past and present league officers and executive committee, who have given generously of their time and effort. Many others have also played their part in building the Devon Junior & Minor League into what it is today, with parents and grandparents fundraising while dozens of supporters helped to secure vital sponsorship, organize competitions and transport the players across Devon & Cornwall.
During its eventful history, the league has seen phenomenal achievements by its young footballers, who have gone on to represent their town, city, county and country. Many DJM players have progressed to play for Football League and Football Association Premier League clubs including Plymouth Argyle players Paul Wotton, Steve Adams, Luke Young, Tyler Harvey and Micky Evans while others have made names for themselves elsewhere in the country, like famous Bolton Wanderers player David Jack, Andy Morrison, who played for Blackburn and Manchester City and Jon Beswetherick, who played for Sheffield Wednesday.
100 Year Anniversary
On Friday 9th September 1904, one hundred years ago, a meeting was held at Kent Unity Hall. Stonehouse with the aim of setting up a minor competition to promote Association Football amongst junior players. That meeting was the birth of the Devon Junior & Minor League, and today the league celebrates its 100th anniversary, a century of youth football, which has benefited the players, their families and local communities alike.
A meeting was held at Kent Unity Hall Stonehouse Devon on Friday 9th September 1904,
In order to promote association football amongst junior players, the Council of Devon County Football Association resolved to form a minor competition and with that object a meeting was held
Last evening in the Kent Unity Hall Stonehouse. Mr George Jones presided and was supported by Mr T Pawley, who has been delegated by the Association to take charge of the competition. There was a large attendance and the following clubs were represented:- Triumph Reserves; Saltash ‘CU’; Saltash YMCA; St Michael’s; Melville; Victoria; St Georges; Maker Guild; Plymouth YMCA; Alton; Clifton; Westwell; Haddington Road; Devonport YMCA and St Chadds. Mr Jones sais the object in forming the competition was to encourage the game amongst the juniors. There were a large number of small clubs who could not afford to pay a high fee to belong to a competition such as the Devon Leagues, they had, therefore fixed the annual subscription at 2s 6d which was within reach of all. The scheme had been tried in other counties and proved very successful and he did not see why it should not be so in Devon. Mr Pawley sais he was very pleased to do what he could to promote junior football. They had to thank Mr Jones that such a competition was started, for he was mainly responsible for its inception. On the motion of Mr Jacobs (Plymouth YMCA0 seconded by Mr Collings (St Chadd’s) the competition was formally inaugurated. The opening matches were arranged to be played on the 17th inst.