Worthing F.C.

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Worthing
Worthingfclogo.png
Full nameWorthing Football Club
Nickname(s)The Rebels, The Mackerel Men
Founded1886;135 years ago (1886) (as Worthing AFC)
GroundWoodside Road, Worthing
Capacity4,000
OwnerGeorge Dowell
ChairmanBarry Hunter
Manager Adam Hinshelwood
League Isthmian League Premier Division
2020–21 Isthmian League Premier Division (season curtailed)

Worthing Football Club are an English association football club based in Worthing, West Sussex, currently playing in the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club plays at Woodside Road.

Contents

History

The club was originally formed as Worthing Association Football Club (a name that lasted until 1899) in February 1886 and played friendlies and Sussex Senior Cup ties for the first few years of their existence.

In 1896 the club became founding members of the West Sussex Football League, joining the Senior Division. [1] During their time in the West Sussex league they were league champions on seven occasions. In May 1900 the club absorbed local rivals Worthing Athletic and a year later moved to its current home, then known simply as the Sports Ground, now as Woodside Road. In 1905 another rival team, Worthing Rovers, was also absorbed.

The club's intriguing nickname of "The Rebels" dates from when it resigned from the West Sussex League on a point of principle over a rule change, prior to becoming a founder member of the Sussex County League in 1920. Worthing are also known as "The Mackerel Men", a reference to the three fish prominent on the club crest.

In 1920 Worthing became founder members of the Sussex County League, where once again they won eight league titles, in fact in the twenty seasons prior to World War II they only finished outside the top four on two occasions.

In 1948–49 Worthing joined the Corinthian League but met with little success. In 1963 the Corinthian League disbanded and most of its clubs joined the newly created Athenian League Division One, where Worthing won promotion at the first attempt, although after three seasons in the Premier Division, two successive relegations saw them drop to Division 2.

After managing a return to the top division, Worthing joined the Isthmian League in 1977, initially in Division Two, but by 1983 they had reached the Premier Division under manager Barry Lloyd and in fact finished as runners-up in 1983–84 and 1984–85. After Lloyd's departure to Brighton & Hove Albion, however, the club soon slipped back down to Division Two, finishing bottom of Division One in the 1990–91 season with only 10 points and having conceded a huge 157 goals.

Former Northern Ireland international Gerry Armstrong was appointed manager in 1991 and in 1992–93 led the club to promotion back to Division One, which was followed two years later by a return to the Premier Division under John Robson, although Worthing finished bottom in their first season back in the Premier Division and were to remain in Division One until 2004 when the re-organisation of the English football league system saw them moved back to the Premier Division. They were relegated at the end of the 2006–07 season.

The club then reached the play-offs under manager Alan Pook two seasons in a row, losing both matches without scoring a goal. Unknown young manager, Simon Colbran then took the helm and soon became a fans' favourite as the Rebels topped the league for much of Autumn and Winter. Despite several budget cuts, the Rebels finished third and narrowly missed out in the play offs at home to Godalming.

Former Brighton & Hove Albion player Adam Hinshelwood was appointed Worthing manager in December 2013 and lost his first game away at Burgess Hill 4–1. [2] In January 2015 the playing budget at the club was completely cut and its debts revealed to be around £200,000. [3] The future of the club looked in serious doubt until March 2015 when local football enthusiast George Dowell became the majority shareholder in the club, with plans to invest in its slow growth. [4] On 10 June 2015, Hinshelwood resigned from the club to take up a full-time coaching post at Brighton & Hove Albion, and was replaced by assistant manager Jon Meeney and 29-year-old defender Gary Elphick.

In 2016, Worthing were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division via the play-offs, having finished the 2015-16 season in third place in the southern division. In late 2017, Adam Hinshelwood returned to the club as first team manager. In the 2019-20 season, Worthing led the Premier Division and were favourites for promotion when the season was terminated early due to the COVID-19 pandemic

League history

SeasonLeague contestedPlayedWonDrawnLostForAgainstPointsFinal league positionAverage attendance
2018–19 Isthmian League

Premier Division

421811137263659th of 22908
2017–18 Isthmian League
Premier Division
4615121971845716th of 24601 (*)
2016–17 Isthmian League
Premier Division
461682273855614th of 24661
2015–16 Isthmian League
Division One South
46277129656883rd of 24*499
2014–15 Isthmian League
Division One South
462210149265766th of 24250
2013–14 Isthmian League
Division One South
461782180985915th of 24204
2012–13 Isthmian League
Division One South
421691777745710th of 22200
2011–12 Isthmian League
Division One South
401810126945647th of 21276
2010–11 Isthmian League
Division One South
4212131776734914th of 22239
2009–10 Isthmian League
Division One South
42255128353803rd of 22278
2008–09 Isthmian League
Division One South
42211387748765th of 22288
2007–08 Isthmian League
Division One South
42227137749735th of 22321
2006–07 Isthmian League
Premier Division
428112357823520th of 22408
2005–06 Isthmian League
Premier Division
421910137160678th of 22530
2004–05 Isthmian League
Premier Division
4216111550455910th of 22360

notes: * Won promotion to Isthmian League Premier Division via play-offs

(*) Includes 5 games played at Bognor, average at Woodside Road was 708

Ground

Bibby Financial Services Stadium, 2018 Bibby Financial Services Stadium geograph-5870739-by-Martin-Addison.jpg
Bibby Financial Services Stadium, 2018

A sports ground opened on the Woodside Road site as early as 1892 [5] when the site was part of the parish of West Tarring, which at the time was not yet part of the borough of Worthing. Known as the Pavilion Road Sports Ground, it occupied a 13-acre site, with a Queen Anne style pavilion giving its name to Pavilion Road along the south of the site. [5] Worthing FC moved to the ground in 1903. [5] In 1937 the Sports Ground closed and it is the site's northern portion which developed into the existing stadium. The southern portion of the Sports Ground became tennis courts and then in 1948 became home to Worthing Pavilion Bowls Club. [5] Floodlights were installed in 1977. [5] At the end of 1984–85 Woodside Road's main stand burnt down. [6]

The ground has also been home to Horsham (during the 2008–09 season) and Brighton & Hove Albion's reserve team after the closure of the Goldstone Ground in 1997.

In June 2015, Worthing's new owner George Dowell released plans to improve the stadium. The plans saw an artificial 3G pitch installed to replace the turf surface, a refurbished bar open seven days a week and a refurbished main stand including new seats and rails and new paint across the whole of the stand.

In May 2020, further plans to improve the stadium were announced. The £150,000 development will see new floodlights, refurbished changing rooms, and a new block of toilets and a bar in the north east corner of the ground. The club reached its £43,000 crowdfunding target to assist the financing of these projects. They also mentioned that any extra money raised will all go into the stadium for future additions like a new scoreboard and improving accessibility in the main stand.

Continuing technical problems with the 3G artificial pitch led to the playing surface being completely renewed in November 2020, with a new base and drainage being laid, causing the club to temporarily play home matches at Horsham F.C.

Honours

League honours

Cup honours

Records

Managerial history

DatesName
1981–1985 Flag of England.svg Barry Lloyd
1985–1987 Flag of England.svg Keith Rowley
1987–1988 Flag of England.svg Alan Pook
1988–1989 Flag of England.svg J.Rains
1989–1991 Flag of England.svg Keith Rowley
1991–1995 Ulster Banner.svg Gerry Armstrong
1995–1996 Flag of England.svg John Robson
1996–1997 Flag of England.svg Mark Falco
1997–2001 Flag of England.svg Brian Donnelly
2001–2003 Flag of England.svg Barry Lloyd
2003–2009 Flag of England.svg Alan Pook
2009–2010 Flag of England.svg Simon Colbran
2010–2012 Flag of England.svg Chris White
2012–2013 Flag of England.svg Lee Brace
2013–2015 Flag of England.svg Adam Hinshelwood
2015–2017 Flag of England.svg Gary Elphick
2017– Flag of England.svg Adam Hinshelwood

Notable players

Sources

See also

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References

  1. "Shoreham F.C. – Early football in Shoreham and the 'Glory Years". Shoreham History Portal. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  2. "Hinshelwood takes over as Rebels boss". Worthing Herald. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  3. "Playing Budget is Cut Completely at Rebels". Worthing Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  4. "Inspirational George begins new Rebel era". Worthing Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Elleray, D. Robert (1998). A Millennium Encyclopaedia of Worthing History. Worthing: Optimus Books. ISBN   0-9533132-0-4.
  6. "A History of Worthing Football Club". Archived from the original on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  7. "R.U.R. Cup Final Results – Sussex County Football Association". Sussexcountyleague.com. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2020) Non-League Club Directory 2021, p546 ISBN   978-1869833848

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Worthing F.C. at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 50°49′13.285″N0°23′5.554″W / 50.82035694°N 0.38487611°W / 50.82035694; -0.38487611