Who are Southwick?
The Wickers were founder members of the West Sussex Football League in 1896; having formed four years beforehand. They were the competition’s first-ever champions – and backed that up with a second straight title. Fast forward to 1920 and the club would again be founder members of a competition. This time it’d be the Sussex County League, which they would win on four individual occasions between 1923 and 1948. For the most part, things were pretty stable for the club. But it did hit some turbulence in the 1950s.
In 1952, the Wickers left the Sussex County League for an unsuccessful go at the Metropolitan and District League. So, it was back to the Sussex County League and they’d have the misfortune of relegation in 1960. To their credit, they came back and secured promotion in 1965. Just a few years later and they were top of the pops again; claiming their fifth and sixth county championship titles in 1969 and 1975. Nine years later, it was time to leave the Sussex County League again.
The club transferred to the Combined Counties League – but were immediately promoted to the Isthmian League. Not content with that, their first season in Division Two South ended in another promotion; taking them up into Division One. But two relegations on the bounce at the start of the 1990s saw them leave the Isthmian League. And, once again, the Wickers were members of the Sussex County League. They stayed here until 2020, at which point things get a little complicated.
Quite simply, the Wickers as we know them were no more. The local council ended the lease on their home ground due to safety concerns. In their view, the club’s owner did not fulfil obligations in relation to keeping things up to scratch. As a result, the club had nowhere to play. A new board of directors looked to keep the club afloat in summer 2020. But its debts stood at £500,000, while the new board weren’t permitted to use the Southwick name without taking on those debts. So, faced with little alternative, the club was wound up.
How to get to Southwick – Travel Information – Distance: 103 miles
This isn’t a place that we completely au fait with. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll find it on the south coast close to Brighton. For this, then, take a trip around the M25; our choice is the counter-clockwise direction. Only just, mind. In any case, you want the M23 south.
After the M23 comes to an end, continue onto the A23 for another 16 or so miles before bearing left onto the A27 towards Worthing. Continue for another 2.5 miles and take the A293 exit for Shoreham. Then, turn right for the A270.
Once you’ve gone nearly a mile, take a left for Hadrian Avenue and then the first exit at the roundabout for Manor Hall Road. Turn right onto Old Barn Way for the ground.
Tools: AA Route Planner | Highways Agency
The car park at the ground isn’t huge. But does it need to be? There’s local street parking opportunities too.
Services to: BRIGHTON (for LONDON ST PANCRAS), HOVE (for LONDON VICTORIA)
Come out of the station onto the approach road and turn left onto Manor Hall Road. Take the second left after that for Old Barn Way.
Tools: National Rail | TfL Journey Planner