Conference League Cup
|Number of teams||68 (2008–09)|
|Last champions||A.F.C. Telford United (2008–09)|
|Most successful club(s)||Bromsgrove Rovers, Doncaster Rovers, Northwich Victoria
(2 wins each)
The Conference League Cup (formerly known as the Setanta Shield for sponsorship reasons, and before that the Bob Lord Trophy) was an English men's football competition open to clubs playing in levels 5 or 6 of the English football league system (steps 1 and 2 of the National League System), which covers the three Football Conference divisions.
The Conference League Cup was formed for the inaugural season of the Football Conference, in 1979–80 and existed for twenty-two seasons before being axed at the end of the 2000–01 season. It was briefly reformed for the 2004–05 season, in the form of the Conference Challenge Cup,1 but following a poor response it was again agreed not to renew the competition for the next season. With the transfer of sponsorship of the Conference to Blue Square for the start of the 2007–08 season two seasons later, the re-introduction of the competition was announced, scheduled to commence that very year.2 On 23 June 2009 the Conference League Cup's sponsor, Setanta's GB division went into administration3 and ceased broadcasting.4
The competition was a knockout tournament with pairings drawn at random – like the FA Cup there is a minimal form of seeding, in that members of the (higher-level) Conference National enter together at a later stage in the tournament, and the draw for each round takes place after the completion of the round before.
|Bob Lord Challenge Trophy|
|1989–90||Yeovil Town||Kidderminster Harriers|
|1992–93||Northwich Victoria||Wycombe Wanderers|
|1993–94||Macclesfield Town||Yeovil Town|
|1994–95||Bromsgrove Rovers||Kettering Town|
|1995–96||Bromsgrove Rovers||Macclesfield Town|
|1996–97||Kidderminster Harriers||Macclesfield Town|
|1998–99||Doncaster Rovers||Farnborough Town|
|2007–08||Aldershot Town||Rushden & Diamonds|
|2008–09||AFC Telford United||Forest Green Rovers|
Source:5 (note: source does not list finals for 1986–87 to 1988–89)
- "Conference cup is restored". BBC Sport. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "Setanta Shield announced with league match draw date". BBC Sport. 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
- Ziegler, Martin (23 June 2009). "Setanta enters administration". The Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- James Robinson; Leigh Holmwood (23 June 2009). "Setanta goes off air with loss of more than 200 jobs". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- "History". Football Conference. Retrieved 19 August 2012.