AN Oxford & District league season has been cancelled for the first time in almost 80 years.

Coronavirus shut down the country a month before the campaign was due to begin, but there had been hopes a competition could be held if pubs reopened by mid-July.

Despite a relaxation of the government guidelines which will allow venues to reopen this weekend, a committee meeting on Monday reluctantly decided to abandon their plans.

Since the league began in 1938, the only other time it has not been possible to play was during the Second World War – and even then they operated from 1942.

A statement from the league said: “After discussing the many options that were put forward to us, it was decided that it would be impossible to run any sort of league this season, mainly due to the problems some pubs would have to accommodate two teams of Aunt Sally safely.

“We don’t even know if all pubs will be opening again and if all players would be available or want to play.

“This would have been on our tenth week of the season by now, and the weather has been the best for many years.”

There are still hopes some form of competition not associated with the league could be held in August and September for those who are keen to play.

All entrance fees will be held for next season to cover all team and players costs, however teams can request their entrance fee to be returned.