Hailsham Town Football Club

 

Club Officials

Want to help behind the scenes at Hailsham Town FC? Contact any committee member at a home game, or email the club

President; Mervyn Walker

Life Vice Presidents; Sir Trevor Brooking, Phil Comber

Chairman; Rob Squires

Vice Chairman; Ian Fairweather

Treasurer; Lee Mewett

Club Secretary; Stuart Fairway

Match Secretary; Rob Squires

Ground Coordinator; Joe Stevens

Commercial Manager; Commercial Team

2001 Club Coordinator; Lee Mewett

Committee; Joe Stevens, John Baker, Kevin Roberts, Fraser Logan, Paul Turner, Paul Newman, Chris Weller and all Officers

Bar Manager; Kate Williams

Gateman; Alan Hook

Ground Staff; Joe Stevens, Percy Cox, Terry Evenden, Roger Hayler, Ian Fairweather, Dennis Stevens, Geoff Cox

Programme Editor; Stuart Fairway

Welfare Officer; Dominique Corbett

Webmaster; Stuart Fairway

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Club Website sponsored by Invisional Hosting

Launched in May 2005, was brought about to bring high quality, valuable web hosting to home users and small-to-medium businesses

The Beaconsfield

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The Beaconsfield has space for 2000, with Covered Seating for 100 and covered standing for a further 100. The Tea bar is open for all First & Reserve Team matches, serving teas, coffees, chocolate, crisps, Soup, Bovril and soft drinks, whilst the hot food bar serving burgers, hot dogs and chips is also open for First Team games.

The ground is located just off the Recreation Ground on Western Road, Hailsham, opposite the library. Nearby car parking is available within a couple of minutes walk of the ground, on Western Road, Summerheath Road, Diplocks Way Industrial Estate (footpath to ground signposted opposite SETYRES) and via the large free public car park on South Road.

Club History

Founded in 1885, the club joined the East Sussex League and picked up early honours, winning the Sussex Junior Cup in 1896 before reaching the final of the Sussex Senior Cup in 1902. In 1955/56 the club joined the Sussex County League, but left to join the Eastbourne League in 1963 before rejoining the East Sussex League three years later.

Hailsham Town won promotion to the Sussex County League from the Southern Counties Combination in the 1975/76 season, finishing in sixth place in their first season. Promotion to the top level of the County League came in 1980/81 as runners up to Whitehawk. The best finish came seven years later - managed by Trevor Wood, the club finished fourth in Division One, in a season which included a memorable run to the last 16 of the F A Vase, before bowing out to Hungerford Town in front of 1250 spectators at the Beaconsfield.

The early 1990s were a strong period for the club - the League Challenge Cup lifted in 1995/96 capping an era of entertaining football at the Beaconsfield. As the decade progressed however, the club fell away and were relegated to Division Two at the end of the 1998/99 season. This period out of the top flight lasted just two years as a third place finish was enough to see the club return to Division One. 2004/05 saw the club in danger of relegation early in 2005, but they rallied to finish in 12th place for the second season in succession. 2005/6 saw a 10th place finish, as well as as a 2-0 victory in the Royal Ulster Rifles Cup Final against Whitehawk. The same club would end our R.U.R dreams the following season at the semi-final stage, but at the end of the season the side finished sixth in Division One in a year which saw another memorable F A Vase run, this time to the Third Round where the club bowed out to Sherborne Town.

The following season would see the Stringers - a nickname adopted at the turn of the Millennium as a tribute to the traditional industry of the town - finish in sixth place. Season 2008/9 was one of transition - long term manager Kenny McCreadie leaving the club in the latter part of what proved a difficult season - with some fine performances, including a victory over eventual title winners Eastbourne United, rounding off the season with a 13th place finish. Hailsham Town started the 2009/10 season having appointed locally born Dave Shearing as First Team Manager, but after a disappointing run of results Dave departed in early November. Joe Stevens took temporary charge until former manager Kenny McCreadie rejoined the club in December for a second spell at the helm. Injuries and player unavailability made for a difficult run in, and the Stringers finished second bottom staring relegation in the face. A first division place was fortunately retained due to non- league pyramid reorganisation.

This reprieve proved to be only temporary however and despite finishing 5th from bottom at the end of season 2010/11 Hailsham Town were relegated as The Beaconsfield did not then meet the F A ground grading requirements for County League Division 1. The work required to bring the ground up to standard was duly completed during the 2011/12 season and the Stringers finished runners up to make a quick return to Division 1. A respectable mid-table position was achieved in season 2012/13, but at the end Kenny McCreadie left the Club to take over at Bexhill United. Andy Goodchild was appointed as manager for the 2013/14 season, but was handicapped by the fact that most of our front side had followed Kenny McCreadie to Bexhill United. Our first win came on the 1st October, but the team continued to struggle and it took a 5-0 final day victory over Worthing United to guarantee our survival in the 1st division. Following a poor run of results in season 2014/15 the club parted company with Andy Goodchild in November, replacing him with Ian Stevens who ran the youth team at Eastbourne United. A great run in the Peter Bentley League Cup ended in a 4-2 defeat against Arundel in the semi-final at Shoreham, but again we had to win on the last day of the season to stay in the top flight, culminating in a 4-0 victory over Selsey at the Beaconsfield.

Season 2015/16 was yet another struggle not helped by injury, unavailability and numerous postponements mainly due to the wet weather. A huge backlog of fixtures had to be completed in the last few weeks of the season and it proved to be a bridge too far as we finished 3rd bottom facing relegation. Our place in the Premier Division was maintained however due to ground grading issues with the team from division 1 coming up to replace us. Ian Stevens resigned as team manager at the end of the season to become general manager and former manager Dave Shearing was appointed. Only 2 wins and 2 draws were achieved in season 2016/17 and Hailsham Town were relegated to division 2 together with Wick. The highlight of the season however was the lifting of the Eastbourne Challenge Cup after our U21 side defeated favourites Eastbourne United 5-3 at the Saffrons in April. At the end of the season Dave Shearing left the club by mutual consent, and former player Jamie Salvidge was appointed manager for season 2017-18 with Ian Stevens as his assistant and Paul Turner as coach.

The 2017/18 season proved to be a step forward, with several locally born players returning to the club and an eighth placed finish achieved in Division One, which was followed by another eighth placed finish in 2018/19, a year which saw Paul Turner replace Jamie Salvidge as manager mid-way through the season.

For 2019/20, a new approach was taken, with The Stringers focusing on the future, with younger players being given the opportunity to be centre stage. With Kevin Roberts in charge, The Stringers picked up some useful results and were on target for a mid-table finish, before the season was brought to a premature end by the COVID-19 pandemic. This focus on youth remains our core intent for the future - bringing local players through the ranks with the hope that we will once again created a golden generation of committed, local players performing for their local team.