-------------------------------------THE AMBLESIDE CLUB WAS FORMED IN 1896 ------------------------------
The Club played in the 1st ever Senior Challenge Cup in 1898 losing to Windermere 5 - 1 and again in 1900 when we lost to Milnthorpe 4 - 1.
We made amends in 1908 beating beating Burneside 3 - 2 and in 1923 beat Netherfield 2 - 0 . This is a cup that has eluded us ever since but hopefully this can soon be rectified.
In the early years and up to the 2nd world war the the Westmorland League usually consisted of between 7 and 11 teams of which Ambleside was one of these teams.
When the League started again in 1946/47 11 teams competed with Ambleside finishing 7th and the following year 5th of 13.
In 1948/49 the YMCA formed a team and played in the 2nd division.
In the 1950/51 season the Ambleside Club were relegated into the 2nd division and stayed there until 1959 meanwhile the YMCA team had gained promotion.
Playing in this YMCA team 59 years ago was Ken Thornbarrow who was to become the Ambleside manager who helped start a revival of fortunes for the club in the late 70s and who still attends matches.
In 1957/58 a North West Combination League was formed and the YMCA first team joined this league.
1960 saw the Ambleside and Ambleside YMCA amalgamate. An article in the Westmorland Gazette dated 2/9/1960 reads "An interesting development has taken place in Ambleside with the amalgamation of the two soccer clubs of Ambleside and Ambleside YMCA. Several preliminary meetings between the two clubs have been held and a strong management committee has now been formed, although a few details have yet to be arranged. It is anticipated that the Club will soon be firmly established. There is plenty of enthusiasm amongst players and officials to make a success of the new venture and an appeal has been made to local sportsmen to become members and patrons. 3 teams will be fielded . The 1st team in the North West Combination and the other 2 in the 1st and 2nd division of the Westmorland League. Home matches will take place at Miller Field and Rothay Park. The new club will be known as Ambleside YMCA United ."
The hand written minutes of the meetings are available to be seen in the Clubhouse.
At the end of the 1961/1962 season the North West Combination finished and the Ist team rejoined the Westmorland League Division 1.
The Westmorland County Senior Cup Final was reached in 1960 and 1965 but on both occasions were beaten by Shap 5 - 0.
With many players retiring after this season the club entered a period in the doldrums but still were able to field a team . They were relegated in the 1966/67 season and remained in Division 2 until gaining promotion in the 1979/80 season . Two seasons earlier they did however win the Mason and Freeman cup beating Appleby Reserves 1 - 0.
1980 saw the Club buy the field . Hard work by Committee members and players raised the required amount of money in quick time. Donations and loans were given to the club and all loans were paid back on time.
As mentions earlier the revival of the fortunes of the Club began in the late 1970's . The Cub again able to field 2 teams and numerous very good young players emerged. The Club winning the High Sheriffs Cup in 1987/88 ,the Invitation Trophy in 1983 and the Benevolent Trophy in 1983 - 1990 - 1998 - and 2009.
The league proved difficult to win , but it was finally achieved in 1989/90 the title in the balance until the very last match of the season with fellow contenders Kendal County having to win their last match by a very high margin .
The 1990's saw the Clubhouse being built . This proved quite a difficult project , but it was finally achieved and was opened in 1995. The field also being renamed Hillard Park .
There was a slight blip in the mid 1990's when relegated but immediately bounced back being promoted the next season. After being difficult to win , the Westmorland League Division 1 title was then won in 3 consecutive seasons - 2007/08 - 2008/09 and 2009/10 .
In 2010 the Committee took the decision to apply for permission to join the prestigious West Lancs League with the Reserve team playing in the Westmorland Division 3. Permission was granted and along with Kendal County a new venture began .
Although winning their 1st game only 4 points were acheived from the 1st 6 matches. A settled team then began to find their stride and a highly creditable 3rd position was achieved . The opposition and playing facilities in this League being of a very good standard. The Reserve side also having an excellent season winning their league and winning the Peter Dawes Memorial Trophy.