Le Havre made its football debut in France's first-ever championship in 1899 and, on its debut, became the first French club outside of Paris to win the league. The club, subsequently, won the league the following season in 1900. Le Havre has yet to win the current first division of French football, Ligue 1, but has participated in the league 24 times; its last stint being during the 2008–09 season. The club's highest honour to date was winning the Coupe de France in 1959. Le Havre is managed by Thierry Goudet and captained by midfielderJulien François.
It was in 1872 that a group of British residents formed Le Havre Athletique. which played a hybrid form of football, a cross between rugby and association football, called "combination". Le Havre can therefore be said to be the origin of rugby union in France.
Association football began being played on a regular basis in 1894, so technically AS Strasbourg could be considered the first French football team being established in 1890, however, they were a German team at the time. Le Havre currently play in Ligue 2 of the French league and their home stadium is Stade Océane.
In 1899, Le Havre became the first club from outside Paris to become French football champions. At the time the championship was organised by the USFSA. After being awarded a win over Iris Club Lillois in the semi-final by walkover, they were awarded the title after also receiving a walkover in the final against Club Français. They would also win the following year, with the final being a "re-match" of the forfeited 1899 final.
Le Havre is known as 'les ciel et marine' in France, which translates as 'the sky and navy blues'. These colours were chosen by the club's English founders as they were those of their alma maters, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge.