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1920: A brief glance back to the beginnings of Cuckfield Football Club

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 31 August 1920

A football game in 1872


Some of the 'city fathers’ of Cuckfield were fond of recounting their experiences the good old days of local football, and it is a remarkable fact that the game was first played close on fifty years ago, and curiously enough the ground was Ockenden Park, where the present team play.

It was in 1872 that Mr. Wyndham Burrell and Mr. G. T. Bunting were Instrumental in starting the ball rolling, but in the seventies technicalities of the off side rule did not worry the players, it was a 'go-as-you-please' affair, with a mixture between rugby and association and plenty of bustle.

And what would the present day lady supporters say if they saw their favourites turn out In red and black hooped jerseys and cricket trousers as was the fashion then? Major J. J. Lister, J.P., of' Warninglid, assisted Cuckfield In those days, driving over in a carriage to take part in the matches, the Colleges of Sussex usually providing the opponents.

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 09 May 1933

In celebration of success in the 1932/33 season

The following is an extract recalling celebrations of a successful football season at the Talbot

The first games were played in 1873 and they were honoured in having with them that evening one of the first players in Mr W. E. Mitchell. (Applause). The only other member of those earliest teams alive today were Mr G. T. Bunting and Mr Rueben Harris.

Records also showed that in February 1881, a seven aside Match was played in Cuckfield Park under the auspices of the old Athletic Club, and a fortnight later Cuckfield played Brighton Rangers in Preston Park. In the local team appeared such well known Cuckfieldians as Mr C. H. Waugh, Mr Frank Webber, Mr R. Harris, Mr G. Elliott, the late Mr F. Hounsell and the late Mr Rubens Anscombe.

It could be claimed that Cuckfield had the oldest football club in Mid-Sussex, and it naturally followed that when the Mid-Sussex league was formed in 1900, Cuckfield should be one of the first clubs in it. The opening match in the league was played between Cuckfield and Haywards Heath on the latter's recreation ground on October 13 1900 and they were further honoured that evening in having with them Mr B. J.Burtenshaw – the Cuckfield team's goalkeeper in that match (applause). Others who played in that game were Mr Cyril White, Mr L. Askew, Major M. T. Turner, Mr F. R. Hounsell, and Mr C. J. D. Gregory, of Haywards Heath. The last named told the speaker a few weeks ago that he always followed the club's progress because of his old associations, and was very pleased with the team's recent successes. (Applause). Even before 1900 the Cuckfield eleven took part in the Sussex Junior Cup competition.

Mr Wynter pointed out that in their 60 years of football Cuckfield had only won four trophies, two of which have been secured in the last season. Next season the senior team would return to division one, and it would be a testing time.

They would not win all their matches, but he hoped they would keep together and be loyal to their club.

Thanks to 'Football makes history' for the image



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