For Programme Editors

Eastbourne United Association FC began its existence on the 5th September 1894 as the 1st Sussex Royal Engineers Volunteers (Eastbourne) FC following success in a football tournament at Sheffield Park near East Grinstead as part of a training camp for Sussex Companies of the Regiment.
The new club adopted the Regimental colours of red and blue stripes, but with no home ground the first two matches were played on the field of South Lynn School in Tutts Barn Lane; and numerous other venues were used in those early years, although the new club also returned to Sheffield Park to play.
In 1920 the club name was changed to Eastbourne Royal Engineers Old Comrades and joined the Sussex County League the following year.
A name change occurred in 1924 after ties with the Royal Engineers were broken and became known as Eastbourne Old Comrades FC and started wearing the white and black stripes on their shirts.
In 1927 they broke away from the Sussex County League and joined the Spartan League shortening their name to Eastbourne Comrades FC.
They re-joined the Sussex County League in 1935, and re-joined a year after the end of WW2 for the 1946/47 season, when they moved to The Oval. The club’s achievements at that time were very mediocre and in 1951 the name was changed to Eastbourne United.
The club’s fortunes changed with the new name and a new coach, George Smith, and between 1953 and 1956 they were twice County League champions and runners-up once. That success saw them move into the Metropolitan & District League in 1956 and in 1964 United joined Division Two of the Athenian League, winning the championship in 1966/67.
Two seasons later, another promotion followed as runners-up and United were promoted to the Premier Division.
After just one season though, they were relegated back to Division One. However, in 1973/74 the League was re-organised and the Premier Division scrapped.
In 1975 United were relegated to Division Two, and when the Athenian League was disbanded in 1977, joined Division Two of the Isthmian League, and subsequently Division Two (South) following reorganisation in 1984. When further changes to the Isthmian structure were made in 1991, United found themselves in the new Division Three and after one season, opted to re-join the County League.
Placed in Division Two of the County League, they struggled initially and in 1996 came perilously close to dropping down into intermediate football after finishing bottom. They recovered however, and within two years had won promotion to Division One as runners-up to East Preston. In 2001/02 however, United were relegated once more. The decision was made to amalgamate with fellow Division Two club Shinewater Association FC at the end of the 2002/03 season and play at The Oval.
Under the leadership of former Shinewater manager Dave Shearing, the new club won promotion back to Division One at the first attempt after finishing third behind champions Littlehampton Town, and runners-up Worthing United.
That progression was maintained in 2004/05 with another excellent campaign and 5th place in the top flight of the County League.
With constant rumours of disquiet off the pitch in the local media, Shearing resigned at the end of the 2005/06 season with the Club in 14th position. He was succeeded by former Hailsham Town boss Brian Dennis.
Dennis brought success to Eastbourne United AFC at the end of the 2008/09 season when they lifted the RUR cup for the first time since 1956 and also reached the top of the table, but the Sussex FA had spotted that Chichester City had fielded a banned player in their squad and were deducted points, the Sussex FA had talks whether to award points to sides who have played against a team fielding an ineligible player, which would mean Horsham YMCA would be promoted. However the Sussex FA declared that no points were to be given back and United were the Sussex County League champions, for the first time since 1956, giving Eastbourne United AFC the league & cup double.
Due to FA ground grading requirements, in 2010 the committee took the decision to cut the first team playing budget and focus all monies into the long term aim of redeveloping The Oval. This resulted in nearly all of the first team squad leaving for pastures new and Dennis looking for new players.
A poor start to the season saw Dennis relieved of his duties in October 2010 with the club languishing at the bottom of Division One. United promoted Reserve Team manager Paul Daubeney to First Team Manager but he was unable to save United from relegation to Division Two for the first time since 2003 as the club picked up just 10 points from 38 games.
The 2011/12 season was one of hope at The Oval with the ground redevelopment starting to take shape, but a poor start left United in the bottom half of the Division Two table, but United turned a corner in September as new signings rejuvenated United and the club went 17 games undefeated to rise up the league table.
A 6th place finish proved to be the best United could wish for, despite doing the league double over local rivals Hailsham Town.
The 2012/13 season brought renewed optimism to The Oval, with the stadium officially reopened with the visit of Brighton & Hove Albion and a blistering start to the league season.
A 2-1 victory over Ryman Premier League side Lewes proved to be the highlight of the a season that ended in disappointment with Paul Daubeney failing to guide United to promotion despite occupying a place in the top three for the majority of the season.
Daubeney resigned in May 2013 due to work commitments and was replaced by current manager Simon Rowland.
Daubeney’s departure saw all bar two of the 2012/13 squad leave The Oval, leaving Rowland and Assistant Manager Scott Price with the task of assembling a brand new squad.
After a busy pre-season, United began their league campaign with a 6-1 victory over Rustington, quickly followed by a 7-0 victory over Saltdean United.
United took their place in the FA Cup for the first time in three seasons and defeated Lordswood (4-1) and Ryman South side Herne Bay (2-1) following a replay before ultimately losing out to Folkestone Invicta.
Rowland has also led EUAFC to their best ever performance in the FA Vase after reaching the semi-final of the prestigious non-league competition, claiming victory over higher league opposition in every round, scoring 28 goals in the process before going out to eventual winners Sholing.
Despite the heartbreak of the FA Vase defeat, United sealed a memorable season by securing the SCFL Division Two title on St Georges Day by defeating Oakwood 3-0.

Where next?

Affiliations

Club sponsors