Horsham YMCA F.C.

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Horsham YMCA
Full name Horsham YMCA Football Club
Nickname(s) The YM
Founded 1898
Ground Gorings Mead, Horsham
Ground Capacity 1,500
Chairman Mick Browning
Manager Peter Buckland[1]
League Sussex County League Division One
2013–14 Sussex County League Division One, 4th

Horsham YMCA is a football club based in Horsham, West Sussex, England.

They were established in 1898 and joined the Sussex County League Division Two in 1959. In the 1999–00 season, they reached the 4th round of the FA Vase. They are currently members of the Sussex County League Division One.

Club history[edit]


Horsham YMCA Football Club was formed in 1898. During the first 31 years of the club's existence they played at Lyons Field, the name of which is derived from the Bowes-Lyon family who owned a substantial amount of land around Horsham at one time. In 1929 the club moved to its present ground at Gorings Mead for which they were able to secure the freehold at a later date. In the early years 'YM' played in the Horsham and District League before moving to the Crawley League and subsequently to the Mid Sussex League. Their rise through the later two leagues was swift and facilitated the club's entry into the Sussex County League in 1959.

First season[edit]

In that first season, YM finished twelfth out of fifteen and then began a gradual improvement. YM then spent seven years in Division 2 before gaining promotion in 1966 as Champion, two points ahead of Newhaven. During that season they dropped just four points from 34 matches, scoring 141 goals in the process. The club gained Division 1 status along with Newhaven and remained there for sixteen seasons until the end of the 1981–82 season when they were relegated. The best performances during that period were two consecutive third place finishes in 1977–78 and 1978–79.


Despite relegation the club bounced straight back as Division 2 champions in the following season. This time YM spent five seasons in the top division before being relegated for the second time in at the end of the season 1987–88. Promotion back to Division 1 for the third time was achieved by finishing third in 1994–95. The past six seasons have seen YM consolidate their Division 1 status by finishing twelfth, eighth, Thirteenth, a very creditable third in our Centenary Season and the last two seasons have seen them finish fifth.

During the last two seasons, all of YM's previous achievements were put into the shade and despite their league positions being disappointing fifth places, this was probably due to the enormous number of cup match splayed.


In the season 1999-00, YM had their best ever results in both the FA Cup and the FA Vase and it was only dubious decisions by Match Officials that halted progress in both competitions. In the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying round tie at home to Chelmsford City, the winning goal was scored by a player who was so far offside, the linesman probably did not notice him before it was too late, whilst in the FA Vase, a dubious penalty late in the second half ended YM's dreams of reaching Wembley, in the Fourth Round tie away at A.F.C. Totton.

During that season the club reached the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup, losing a close fought tie to Hastings Town, beating near neighbours, and 'friends over the fence' Horsham 4–0 in a Third round home tie in front of over 400 spectators.

In September 1999 the club's attendance record was smashed when a crowd of over 940 people crammed into 'The Mead' for the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup against Chelmsford City.


During the 2000–01 YM graciously bowed out of the FA Cup at Whyteleafe, and at Cowes Sports in the FA Vase, but reached the semi-finals of the Sussex Senior Cup before losing to Bognor Regis Town. despite these three cup defeats, YM did manage to add Silverware to the Trophy Cabinet by winning the Sussex RUR Cup with an emphatic 3–0 victory over Burgess Hill Town, whilst the Reserve Team achieved a League and Cup double.

2001–02 saw a mid table league finish but another piece of silverware was brought back to the "The Mead", courtesy of an excellent 2–0 Good Friday defeat of Ringmer in the John O'Hara Cup Final at Wick.


The 2002–03 season saw the establishment of a Youth side at YM, the aim being to 'grow' new players over the next few years to participate in the senior teams. YM cruised high in the league all season, recording a record 22–1 victory over Littlehampton Town before finally being pipped into 3rd position at the end of the season. The Reserves finished mid-table and the new Youth team finished second in the Arun & Chichester League – Division One, losing out only on goal difference, however, they beat the League Champions 1–0 in the League Cup.


The 2003–04 saw 'YM' finish a disappointing 13th in the league, however, they bounced back the following year to win the Division One title by 15 clear points! However, somewhat disappointingly the club was unable to be promoted to the Isthmian League due to ground improvements that were required. Coordinates: 51°03′27.60″N 0°19′26.08″W / 51.0576667°N 0.3239111°W / 51.0576667; -0.3239111

Champions & Promotion[edit]

Few were prepared for the improvement shown in 2004–05 that saw John Suter's side take the League championship to Goring's Mead for the first time. Having looked in an unassailable position for most of the campaign there were a few wobbles in the final months, but fortunately the team recovered to ultimately romp home 15 points clear of runners-up Rye & Iden United.

The season was tinged with disappointment when Goring's Mead grading requirements for entry into the Isthmian League were not met and many pundits wondered whether YM might have missed the boat.

With YM trailing Ringmer by 12 points as the 2005/6 season reached its climax, and struggling to find the money for the required work on the ground, it looked like that might have been that for YM in the 2005–06 season. Remarkably however, the players maintained their resolve as rivals buckled and YM not only over-turned over the deficit but romped home by 9 points to achieve back-to-back championship*

The ground was passed by FA inspectors to allow the club to take its place in the newly created Isthmian Division One South for 2006–07, completing a fantastic season for the town, with neighbours Horsham also winning promotion to the Premier Division.

However, after losing a number of key players to other clubs, the following 2007–08 season saw a string of bad results that relegated them back to the Sussex County League. As a result of this long serving manager John Suter left the club to be replaced in the 2008–09 season by Chris White, formerly of County League team, East Preston.

In White's first season, despite only retaining one player from the former regime, he was able to steer the club to within a whisker of the County Championship, nonetheless, gaining promotion for Horsham YMCA back into the Isthmian League Division One South for 2009–10.


Horsham YMCA play their home games at Gorings Mead Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 5BP.


Cup honours[edit]

Club Records[edit]

Best FA Cup Performance: Preliminary Round 2010–2011

Best FA Trophy Performance:Preliminary Round 2010–2011

Best League Performance: 11th Isthmian League Division One South, 2009–2010


  1. ^ "Statement re: New Manager for Horsham YMCA Football Club". Horsham YMCA. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "R.U.R. Cup Final Results – Sussex County Football Association". Sussexcountyleague.com. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 

External links[edit]