THE RUSTICS - THE REAL GREEN ARMY

THE RUSTICS - THE REAL GREEN ARMY
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Our Club was formed in the summer of 1899 following the amalgamation of the Cricket Club and the W.M.C. Institute’s teams to form one Club – “Rusthall Cricket and Football Club”.

We were first registered with the K.C.F.A. on June 12th 1899 when the Club joined the newly formed Tunbridge Wells League. Rusthall’s first football triumph was in 1905 when the league was won in convincing style.The twenties saw the Rustics were up with the best locally. The highlight was the Kent Junior Cup ‘A’ Division triumph in 1924. We were also Champions of the Tunbridge Wells League in 1923, 24, 25 and 26 and in 1930, we at last brought the much coveted Tunbridge Wells Senior Cup home.Further Cup triumphs followed in 1931, 35 and 38 combined with theTunbridge Wells League which we won five times in the thirties starting in 1930 followed by 1931, 35, 38 and 39. In 1934 the Kent Junior Cup Division ‘A’ was won.1935 was without doubt one of the most successful in our history, we retained the Kent Division ‘A’ Cup to add to the League and Cup double. Years 1938 and 39 were also very successful with two trophies and the Tonbridge Senior Cup was won for the first time. The Second World War obviously interrupted most football it wasn’t until 1945-46 that almost normal conditions returned and with the help of some great pre-war players the Club was soon back on its feet.Success came to the Minors, who won the League and Cup double in 1947-48.The start of the 1950’s saw the formation of the Premier Division in the Tonbridge League, This is one title to date we still have to aim for. We were, Champions of the Tunbridge Wells League in 1952 and won the Charity Cup in 1955.Our Minor section continued to flourish with the League and Cup double achieved in 1951 and 1955. We also won Division II twice in 1952 and 1953.The 60’s and 70’s were very lean times as far as trophies won were concerned. The Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup provided Silver in 1960 and 1967. The Minors won the Ticehurst Minor League in the 1964-65 season to go with the Tunbridge Wells Minor Cup. We won the Tonbridge Intermediate Cup in 1975 and the Kent Junior ‘C’ Division Cup in 1977 after dropping down to Division II, which we were promoted from as Champions in 1975.

The eighties saw a new influx of players and in 1982 we won the Tonbridge League Division I Championship. The Club now under the chairmanship of Derek Seal entered, the Kent Amateur League entering Division Two for the 1983-84 season, securing the top spot at the very first attempt. The following season we picked up several players from Dragons, and again won the title with Lordswood runners-up.

After several embarrassing incidents at our Southwood Road we obtained the use of a field at Jockey Farm. After a lot of hard work by the Committee the ground met the entire League’s grading criteria for Intermediate Football. The Reserves during this period had taken the 1st team’s place in the Tonbridge League while a newly created Third team, managed by Wally Histed took their previous slot in Division 2.

In 1987 we severed all links with the Tonbridge League and sought a fresh challenge for the Reserves in the East Sussex League Division 3. Managed by Kevin Watson, success was instant – winning and coming Runners Up in the League. The following year we won the Division 2 Championship but lost to Northiam in the same Cup Final. Dave Knight took over the first team for the 1989/90 season in which we beat Rock A Nore in the Robertsbridge Cup Final to remove the trophy from Sussex for the first time.The only League title for the Rustics in the 90’s came from the Reserve side.The Club entered the newly formed K.C.L. Reserve Section and after losing early games were undefeated in the last 18 games to pip Aylesford for the title in 1994. A Third team entered the Tonbridge League and won promotion as Champions the same year but the 1990’s saw us as main contenders for the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup winning our four appearances in 1993, 94, 95 and 97. The Reserves beat Pembury in the Tonbridge Senior Cup in 1993. Into the 2000 and under the managership of the two Robbie's (Brown and Forbes) the club has enjoyed its most success in recent times. Having attracted many new quality players the Club have retained the Tunbridge Wells Cup in 2001,2003 and 2004, They also won the prestigious West Kent Challange Shield in 2004. The reserves where also successful and under the managership of Michael Banfield won the Tonbridge Premier Division for the only time in our history in 2002/2003. The third team has been successful and have acheived successive promotions to now play in the Tonbridge League Division One, whilst the newly formed fourth team has also achieved promotion in the decade. When many clubs are struggling to field one side it is encouraging that the club can now field four senior teams.

AND NOW !

Having grown from strength to strength over the last few years we have found that we have more than 200 players signed on for the 2004-05 season.Our home ground, Jockey Farm, has undergone some major construction work and now has 4 pitches with car parking facilities and a fully licensed ClubHouse. We house both ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ changing/shower and bathroom facilities. We have also found the popularity of the Rustics has grown beyond belief and rather than just having our 4 main Senior Teams, we now have facilities and coaching for all children from the age of 6 years and over. We also have Junior sides that play their home games at Jockey Farm. This season we have announced the new and extremely successful “Mini-Soccer Academy”, Co-ordinated by John Ronaldson. This has proven so popular that we now have an Under 10’s, Under 9’s, Under 8’s and an Under 7 squad.

Update

Season 2004-05 saw the club achieve its greatest success to date when we were crowned Champions of the Kent County League Division 1 West, gaining us promotion to The Kent County Premier Division, the highest we have been in our 107 year history. An historic day and top performance at Bly Spartans saw us clinch the title with a convincing 3-0 win, a day which will live long in the memory of all who were there. 04/05 also saw us retain the Tunbridge Wells Senior Charity Cup, with the 4th team winning both the TW Junior Charity Cup and the Presidents Trophy. Season 2005-06 saw us take our place in the Premier Division and saw us finish a respectable but disappointing 9th. The reserves would have won the Tonbridge Premier Division, but for an administration mistake that cost them 3 points. However the unique event of this season revolved around the cup finals, where the club had a representative in each of the 5 local cup finals, a feat we believe has never been achieved before and is unlikely to be achieved again. The reserves lost in the Tunbridge Wells Charity Senior Final and the third team in the Chairman's Trophy final, Whilst they won the Tunbridge Wells Charity Intermediate Final. The fourth team succesful retained both the Tunbridge Wells Charity Junior Cup and the Presidents Trophy. The Junior side of the club also achieved success with Both the Under 15's and Under 12's winning their respective divisions.

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League Tables

KENT INVICTA LEAGUE

1 Hollands & Blair 5 15
2 Glebe 6 12
3 Seven Acre & Sidcup 5 12
4 Lydd Town 5 10
5 Eltham Palace 5 9
6 Sheppey United 5 9
7 Sutton Athletic 5 9
8 Bearsted 5 7
9 RUSTHALL 5 7
10 Crockenhill 5 7
11 Gravesham Borough 5 6
12 Meridian VP 5 4
13 Lewisham Borough 5 3
14 Orpington 5 2
15 Bridon Ropes 5 1
16 Kent Football United 5 1

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