Littlehampton Town Football Club is a football club based in Littlehampton, England. It was established in 1896 and joined the Sussex County League in 1928. In the 1990–91 season, they reached the 1st round of the FA Cup. They are currently members of the Southern Combination Premier Division and play at the Marigolds.
Littlehampton F.C. was formed in 1896, adding the Town suffix in 1938. The club became founding members of the West Sussex Football League in 1896, joining the Junior Division. In 1928 the club joined the Sussex County League. Despite finishing as runners-up in Division One on six occasions, they had to wait until 1990–91 before lifting the championship – the only time they have done so, having finished as runners-up to Wick the previous season – clinching the title on the last day of the season, at nearest rivals Peacehaven & Telscombe.
That season was undoubtedly the finest in the Marigolds’ history. As well as finishing as Division One champions, the club also reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup where they were beaten 4–0 by Northampton Town in front of a crowd of 4,000 at The Sportsfield. A League & Cup ‘double’ was completed with a 3–0 win over Burgess Hill Town. If that wasn’t enough, Littlehampton also reached the semi-finals of the FA Vase, which remains the furthest that any Sussex club has ever progressed in the competition.
The following season, Littlehampton finished third behind Peacehaven & classic football shirt; Telscombe and Langney Sports (now Eastbourne Borough). However, fortunes declined to the extent that they were relegated at the end of the 1994–95 season.
Two seasons later Littlehampton returned to the top division as champions of Division Two, and finished runners-up to Division One champions Burgess Hill Town in 1997–98 beef tenderizer recipe. Once more however, the club suffered a sustained period of mediocrity, culminating in a miserable 2002–03 season, including a 22–1 defeat at Horsham YMCA; and relegation once again, ironically with Wick and Peacehaven & Telscombe… together, the three most dominant clubs in the early 1990s.
The club responded by investing heavily in the playing squad for 2003–04 and began the season as hot favourites to bounce back at the first attempt. This they duly did, finishing seven points clear of runners-up Worthing United. The two clubs also met in the League Cup final, with the Marigolds again coming out on top. Interestingly, there was no significant difference in the average attendance from the previous wretched season.
The club were the favourites of many to secure back-to-back championships, which was probably a little too ambitious. Nevertheless, they did well to finish in a creditable 4th place, a position they occupied once again at the end of 2005–06. Unfortunately, and as so often appears to be the case in West Sussex, the club lost manager Carl Stabler and most of the previous season’s squad during the close season (many to Wick) and from being amongst the championship favourites the previous season, were now hotly tipped as relegation fodder. That proved to be the case and the Marigolds were always struggling throughout 2006–07, under new manager Trevor Waller, with a largely young and inexperienced squad.
The 2012–13 season saw the club finish as champions of Division Two, gaining promotion to Division One.
Littlehampton won the 2014–15 Sussex County Football League, finishing 1st. They however were not promoted after not applying for the Isthmian League. Their Twitter account said that “we don’t want to”, although it is likely they couldn’t because their ground would not pass the grading test for Step 4 teams running pouch belt.
Littlehampton Town play their home games at The Sportsfield, St Floras Road, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 2BD.
1. Players that have played/Managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level (i.e. fully professional league).
Richard Tiltman – Brighton & Hove Albion 1986-1988
2. Players with full international caps.
3. Players that hold a club record or have captained the club.