|Full name||Croydon Football Club|
|Founded||1953 as Croydon Amateurs|
South Norwood, London
|League||Southern Counties East League|
|2013–14||Combined Counties League
Premier Division, 14th
|Website||Club home page|
Croydon Football Club is an English semi-professional football club based in Croydon, London. Until 2006, they played in the Isthmian League, but lost their place in that league as part of the 2006 re-structuring of non-league football, and now play in the Combined Counties League. They play at Croydon Sports Arena in South Norwood. The club was founded in 1953 as Croydon Amateurs.
The club was founded in 1953 as Croydon Amateurs FC and its original players came from some of the stronger clubs playing in local football. The club spent their first ten years in the Surrey Senior League but whilst failing to win the championship (thrice finishing runners-up), evolved into one of that competition's strongest outfits. In 1963–64, they joined the Spartan League, winning the league title at the first attempt in their only season in the competition. 1964 saw them join the Athenian League where they spent the next ten years, winning the Second Division title in 1965–66, suffering relegation four years later and then gaining two successive promotions to the Premier Division as runners-up to Herne Bay (1970–71) and Harlow Town (1971–72) under the manageship of Jimmy Rose. Rose's departure to Dulwich Hamlet saw a mass player exodus and a season of struggle ensued. 1973 saw the suffix Amateurs dropped due to the impending changes to the status of players and a year later, under the management of Ted Shepherd, election to the expanding Isthmian League.
Two seasons later, after an unbeaten 1975–76 campaign, the club gained promotion to the Isthmian's top division – initially titled Division One but then retitled the Premier Division where they spent twelve seasons before deserved relegation to the First Division in 1989. A further relegation followed in 1994, but following Ken Jarvie taking over as Chairman / Manager and internal reorganisation, they were promoted back to Division One within two seasons. The club's first Isthmian League title – champions of Division One followed in 2000, before relegation two years later.
The non-league scene was reorganised at the end of the 2005–06 season and this restructuring saw them placed in the Kent League where following a third place finish in 2006–07, the club finished in mid-table the second two seasons. 2008–09 culminated with success in the Kent League Cup after a penalty shootout win over Erith Town.
That turned out to be the club's final Kent League fixture as they shuffled sideways into the Combined Counties League (a competition which evolved from the Surrey Senior League) for the 2009–10 season. This is effectively back where they spent their first ten years and there is long-term rebuilding underway - the first three seasons in the CCFL saw them finish lower midway.
The club also runs a successful youth programme, with teams from Under 7 to Under 15, a midweek Under 18 team playing in Ryman Youth League and a very successful Sunday team who play in the Croydon Municipal league. In their first season the Sunday side were promoted and won the Leonard Vase Cup (2012–13) Recent players to have graduated from the youth programme include Danny Mills and Stefan Payne.
For the 2014–15 season, the club will be switched to the Southern Counties East League.
The club's nickname "The Trams" was adopted around 2000 when the Croydon Tramlink system was installed and runs round the back of the ground, Arena being the closest stop less than 2 minutes walk from the turnstiles.
Croydon play at Croydon Sports Arena, Albert Road, South Norwood, SE25 4QL. For the 2012-13 it was announced that Croydon have let newly formed phoenix club A.F.C. Croydon Athletic play at the ground.
As of August 2014 Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.