On 2 August 1974, the first publicity went out to invited teams to join to the newly established Down Area Winter Football League. The new league was a reaction to the lack of expansion of the North Down League which had been established in 1972.
The new venture was backed by the likes of Roy Bunting, Tom Kelly, Jim McAloon and William Bailie and the new body was ready for competition at the start of the 1974/75 season.
The founder members of the Down Area were:
- Ards Arena
- Ballycam Celtic
- Bangor Swifts II
- Berkshire International
- Burn Brae Rovers
- Cloughey Rangers
- Kircubbin United
- Marino Swifts
- Portavogie Rangers
The first annual General Meeting was held on 15 June 1975 and the first established governing council was as follows:
- President – Billy McCaw
- Chairman – Tom Kelly
- Vice Chairman – Alan Chambers
- Treasurer – Jim McAloon
- Secretary – Roy Bunting
- Council – Peter Vanucci, Hugh Cully and D George.
The second season (1975/76) began with 16 teams and the competition has grown in influence, stature and popularity ever since.