Sussex Sports and Recreation Interest Group / Football in Sussex

Football in Sussex

Just like elsewhere in England, football is one of the most popular sports in Sussex as well. Most Sussex football clubs play in one of six divisions of the Sussex County Football League which was founded in 1920. The first three divisions – simply called One, Two and Three are classified as Levels 9, 10 and 11 of the English football league system, just below the Isthmian and Southern leagues which are also played by some Sussex football clubs.

Sussex may not be home to famous football clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea but it has many great football clubs as well. Some of the most prominent ones include:

Peacehaven & Telscombe F.C.. The club was founded with the merger of Peacehaven Rangers and Telscombe Tye in 1923. Until the early 1960s, the club didn’t achieve any major success as they managed to survive in the Senior Division only for two seasons. They were promoted to the Senior Division only in 1963-64 season and went on winning six Sussex County League champion titles until 1997-98 season when they were relegated to division Two. Two years later, the club was further relegated to division Three. However, as the champions of the latter in the first season, they earned promotion to division Two. In 2009-10 season, Peacehaven & Telscombe was back playing in division One and won the eight Sussex County League champion title in 2012-13 which also earned them promotion to the Isthmian League.

Horsham F.C.. One of the most successful Sussex football clubs was formed in 1871 and is a founder member of the West Sussex Football League which was created in 1896. Three years later, they won their first West Sussex League champion title and defended the title two seasons in a row. In 1900, Horsham also won the Royal Irish Rifles Cup. After winning their fourth West Sussex League championship in 1925-26, the club became a member of the Sussex County League and soon entered its golden age. In the 1930s, they won as many as six champion titles, six Sussex RUR Cups and two Sussex Senior Cups. The success continued in the post-war era and in the 1947-48 season, they were competing at the FA Cup but were defeated in the First Round Proper. Since 1973, Horsham has been playing in the Isthmian League but didn’t achieve any major success until the mid-1990s when they won division Three championship. Another major achievement was promotion to the Premier Division in season 2006-07 and the 2007-08 FA Cup when they reached the 2nd Round.

Burgess Hill Town F.C.. The third most successful Sussex County League’s football club was founded in 1882 and is a founding member of the Sussex County Football Association which was founded in the same year. From 1958-59 season until 2003 when they earned promotion to the Southern Football League, they played in the Sussex County League and won six championship titles. One season later, they moved to the Isthmian League and currently play in Division One South.