Burgess Hill Football Club was founded in 1882 and was a founder member of the Sussex County Football Association.
The club attained the unique achievement of winning the Sussex Senior Cup three years running thus retaining it permanently in the process. The cup is on display in the trophy cabinet in the club boardroom. The current trophy was presented to the S.C.F.A. by Burgess Hill Town Football Club. In 1998 the club reached the Senior Cup final for the first time in 110 years but were narrowly beaten 2–1 by Hastings Town.
In the club’s formative years they were also founder members of the Mid-Sussex Football League, and won the League Championship in its inaugural season.
Following several successful seasons the club joined the Sussex County League for the 1958–59 season, and stayed until attaining promotion to the Southern Football League in 2003. In 1969 the club amalgamated with Worlds End F.C. and with the help of Burgess Hill Town Council were able to move to Leylands Park, the club’s current home.
In 1971, the club gained promotion to Division One, only to be relegated two seasons later. 1974 saw the ‘Hillians’ reach another landmark achievement by becoming the only club ever to have won both the League Challenge Cup and the Division Two Cup in the same season.
In 1976 a hat trick of achievements were completed by winning the Division One Championship by six points, having secured the Division Two title the previous season.
During the ensuing twenty years in the top flight of the County League success was modest. In 1980 the League Challenge Cup was secured and in 1992 the RUR Cup was added.
However, all this changed in season 96–97 under the guidance of club manager, Alan Pook. The club became Division One champions by twelve points, won the Floodlight Cup, and were runners up in the League Challenge Cup. The 2nd XI finished runners up in the Reserve Premier and won the Mid-Sussex Charity Cup, while the Youth XI won their overall championship.
In 1997–98, the club 1st XI attained even more success by again winning the League Championship and the League Challenge Cup, also reaching the last sixteen in the F.A. Vase. Additionally they reached the Sussex Senior Cup Final and were top of
the county’s merit table. The Youth XI also finished as ‘Double Champions’ in the sector.
1998–99 season saw the Hillians achieve a unique treble in winning the Championship for a post war record third time and again securing a league and cup double, back to back. The 2nd XI won their cup and were runners up in the league, missing out by a single point. Not to be out done, the Youth XI won their league and only missed out on a double by goal difference. All in all an historic season.
The club then welcomed new manager, Gary Croydon for season 1999–2000. He led the Hillians to take runners’ up spot in the league and to a record fourth qualifying round FA Cup tie against Hereford United. Again, a last 16 place was achieved in the FA Vase as well as winning the RUR Cup and the Floodlit Cup.
The new millennium season saw Hillians take the league championship with the team remaining unbeaten in the league until April; the Club also had its best ever run in the FA Vase only being beaten after extra time by eventual finalists Tiptree United in the last eight, before a then club record attendance of 1598. With plans being laid for Southern League football, club directors, Gary Croydon and Eddie Benson appointed Danny Bloor as manager for season 2002–2003. The club was rewarded with yet another championship crown, the fifth in seven seasons.
Gary Croydon took over the Hillians again as the club entered the Southern League for the first ever time. After just missing out on the play offs, Burgess Hill Town moved over to the Isthmian League due to the restructuring of the non-league pyramid.
For the next few years the Club established itself as a Ryman League club with a few mid table finishes and twice just avoiding relegation.
In 2012/2013 there was an upturn in the Hillans fortunes. The Club returned to their original green and black colours. Former Brighton & Hove Albion player and coach Ian Chapman was appointed as Manager and he guided the Hillians to eighth place in the table. 2013/14 saw the Hillians achieve their highest ever finish in the Football pyramid, finishing sixth in the table and just missing out on the play offs by one point. The newly formed Under 21 side finished third in the Ryman U21 League whilst the Youth Team, under former favourite Ashley Carr, had their most successful season ever. They won the Ryman Youth League and the Ryman Youth Champion of Champions whilst also lifting the Sussex County Youth Cup. Two Ladies teams were also introduced as part of Burgess Hill Town FC and they enjoyed mid table finishes in their
2014/15 saw the Club enjoy the greatest season in the Club’s History. Ian Chapman’s side were unbeaten in the league until mid March and went on to win Ryman League Division One South title by 11 points and gain promotion to the Ryman Premier League for the first ever time. They also equaled their best – ever FA Cup run, eventually losing away to Dartford in the 4th qualifying round but having gaining a memorable 3-1 victory at Sutton United in the previous round. In the FA Trophy, the club reached the 2nd round, finally losing at home to Dartford FC. In the previous round the team had beaten Aldershot Town of the National League 1-0 away.
A confident start to the Hillians first season in the Isthmian Premier Division before Christmas saw the team 8th in the league, but a disappointing second half saw them finish in 20th position. The club avoided relegation due to Farnborough FC being relegated for financial irregularities.
The following two seasons saw the Hillians avoid relegation on the last day of the season to keep its Isthmian Premier status although the next season the Club were relegated and returned to the Isthmian League Division One South where after a few covid hit years have remained since.
This season there is a feeling of optimism around the Club. Former Brighton & Hove Albion and Leyton Orient fan favourite Dean Cox was appointed as the Club’s new manager as the Hillians look to improve on recent seasons. Off the pitch Vince Alfiei has taken over as Chairman and improvements all over the ground can be seen already as the Club looks to adopt a more community feel about it.
Burgess Hill Town FC Facts
Ground: Leylands Park
Record Attendance: 2005 v AFC Wimbledon – 30th April 2005
Nickname: The Hillians
Best FA Cup Performance: 4th Qualifying Round 1999/00, 2006/07,2014/15 & 2016/17, 2017/18
Best FA Trophy Performance: 2nd Round proper 2003/04, 2004/05 & 2014/15
Record Club appearances: Paul Williams 499
Record Club goals: Steve Harper 200, Ashley Carr 179
Biggest win: 12-0 v Saltdean United 2001/02 Sussex County League
Burgess Hill Town FC Honours
● Isthmian Division One South Champions – 2015
● Sussex County League – Division 1 champions 1976, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003
● Sussex County League – Division 2 Champions: 1975
● Floodlit Cup winners: 1997, 2000
● The Sussex Royal Ulster Rifles Charity Cup winners: 1992, 2000
● John O’Hara League Challenge Cup winners: 1974, 1980, 1998, 1999
● Sussex Senior Cup winners: 1884, 1885, 1886
● Roy Hayden Trophy 2003
● Norman Wingate Trophy 2002
● Isthmian Under 23’s Central Division Winners 2018
● Suburban League Winners 2007
● Sussex County Reserve Section champions: 1978, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1992
● Sussex County Reserve Section Cup winners: 1983, 1990, 1993, 1999, 2003
● Sussex Intermediate Cup Winners 1977
● Sussex Junior Cup Winners 1890
● Isthmian Youth League Winners: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
● Isthmian League Youth Champion of Champion Winners 2014
● Sussex County Youth League champions: 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2013
● Sussex County Youth League Cup winners: 1992, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005
● Sussex Youth County Cup winners: 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014
● Mid Sussex League Champions 1901, 1904, 1940, 1947, 1957
● Montgomery Cup Winners 1940, 1957
● Mowatt Cup Winners 1946