History

CHICHESTER CITY F.C.


The first Chichester Football Club was formed in October 1873 and added the title of City to it’s name in 1948. The club's original home was in Priory Park but established it's present head quarters in Oaklands Park in the early fifties.


The club was represented in the inaugural meeting of the Sussex County F.A. in September 1882 and competed in the first ever Sussex Senior Cup competition in the same year when they lost to Storrington 5-0 on 2nd November.


In 1896 Chichester became members of the newly formed West Sussex League and remained there until they became founder members of the Sussex County League in 1920.


The first major honour was achieved in 1926 when they won the Sussex Senior Cup for the only time. Inter-war success was limited and most of the club's achievements have been in the post-war era. However, during the 1945/46 season, the first-team competed in the West Sussex League (the County League was still very abbreviated at this time because of the war), and on 8th December 1945 they defeated Boxgrove Youth Club in a league game 21-1, which still stands as Chichester’s record score.


In 1960 Chichester clinched their first Sussex County League title and the following season proved even more successful. City retained the League championship, shared the Sussex R.U.R Cup with Brighton & Hove Albion after a 2-2 draw and reached the first round proper of the F.A. Cup before losing 11-0 away to Bristol City. See Report


Success returned to Oaklands Park in 1968 when City recaptured the league title and reached the 4th qualifying round of the F.A. Cup finally succumbing 3-0 to Guildford.


In the 1970's Chichester's fortunes were mixed; the high point being another League Championship in 1973 and a good run in the F.A. Amateur Cup which was finally halted by cup holders Hendon.


That success was only short lived though and after several seasons of struggle, City were facing relegation for the first ever time early in 1979. However, the appointment of ex-Plymouth and Portsmouth player, Ritchie Reynolds, as Club Manager sparked off an amazing revival which saw City claw their way to safety. The following season was one of City's best ever as Reynolds masterminded an outstanding League Championship win (City's fifth and last championship). A late run of nine successive victories left Chichester needing only a draw from their final match; a result that they duly achieved on a memorable May evening, with the home side missing a late penalty.


A spell of mid-table security followed but the club were eventually relegated for the first time in 1983 after a dismal season. City finished sixth in their first season in Division Two but promotion and a Division Two Cup success followed in 1985.


However, this time the stay in Division One was short lived and they returned to the Second Division for the 1987/88 campaign. Promotion proved elusive for two seasons despite being amongst the pacesetters each time although the Division Two Challenge Cup was won once again in 1988.


Then in the summer of 1990 Steve White took over as Club Manager and the side enjoyed another promotion campaign with a third Division Two Challenge Cup success after beating Stamco. The club struggled for several seasons in the County League top flight before again being relegated to Division Two in 1994.


In 1996, City finished in the promotion places behind Selsey and Saltdean United but were denied promotion by the absence of planning consent for floodlights. In the same year a financial crisis threatened the future of the club - but the club survived and Aidie Girdler was appointed club manager in July.


In 1997, City returned to the top flight after finishing runners up to Littlehampton Town and permission was finally granted for floodlights at Oakland Park and they have been in the top flight of the Sussex County League ever since.


Following a merger with local rivals Portfield FC in 2000 the club became known as Chichester City United FC, with the previous records of Chichester City FC being retained as the actual club's history. In 2004 Adie Girdler and his assistant Gary Brockway led Chichester to their first Sussex County League title since 1980 and the club also won the Brighton Charity Cup in 2005 and 2006 and the R.U.R Charity cup in 2007. At the start of the 2009/2010 season, following discussions with the Chichester District Council, it was agreed to revert back to the name of Chichester City FC as this more clearly reflected the club and the City.


When Chichester first merged with Portfield in 2000, the club's home matches were played at Church Road, Portfield's original ground, on the premise that the District Council would eventually sell the Church Road land for housing development and then invest some of the proceeds into the redevelopment of Oaklands Park. Chichester City FC eventually moved back to Oaklands Park at the start of the 2008/2009 season and a new 100 all-seated stand was erected on the east of the ground a few months later. Work on the £800,000 redevelopment who's main feature was a two storey clubhouse and changing facility situated on the west side of the ground began in September 2009 and was completed in July 2010. Other ground improvements included in this major redevelopment were hard standing extended on all four sides of the ground, new perimeter fencing on all 4 sides of the ground, a new twin turnstile block in the south west corner of the ground and a new ground maintenance shed located in the southern car park.


CLUB STATISTICS


- Chichester City FC statistics courtesy of the Football Club History Database (1948 to 2000 & 2009 onwards) http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/CHICHESC.HTM


- Chichester FC statistics courtesy of the Football Club History Database (1920 to 1948) http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/CHICHEST.HTM


- Chichester City United FC statistics courtesy of the Football Club History Database (2000 to 2009) http://www.fchd.btinternet.co.uk/CHICHESU.HTM


- Sussex County Football League archive website http://www.sussexcountyleague.com/

Where next?

History 2 SEASON BY SEASON HISTORY (Since 2000) Season 2000/2001: The club started their debut season in Su

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