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About us - club history

The Chequer F.C. was formed in 1995 by a group of young friends that tended to socialise together in The Chequer Inn, Steyning. The team, originally known as Chequer Rovers F.C., was very young with an average age of just 21.

The Chequer began their first season - 1995/96 - in Division Three of The Worthing & Horsham District Sunday League. Despite their youth and the fact that many of the side had not played together before, the team performed strongly and gained promotion to Division Two. The 1996/97 season saw a subsequent promotion from Division Two to One. Unfortunately an exodus of players at the end of the season meant the squad was much weakened for the 1997/98 season. The team was unable to sustain itself in Division One and the season brought relegation back two Divisions at the club's request to Division Three. In 1999/2000, the team, severely lacking in experience and craft, just managed to avoid relegation to Division Four on goal difference, despite shipping a shocking 104 goals in 24 league matches.

A number of new faces were brought in for the 2000/01 season, notably from the disbanded local side The Norfolk Arms F.C. who had been playing in the Premier Division of the stronger Sussex Sunday League. The influx of new players and experience greatly improved the side who went on to win Division Three to gain promotion back up to Division Two.

In 2001/02 the team were runners up in Division Two, losing only twice in the league. We missed out on the title in our final game of the season to eventual winners Worthing Albion. A controversial offside decision and dubious penalty award earned Albion a precious point that effectively handed them the league. Promotion to Division One had however been secured. The team were run away leaders in the scoring stakes, scoring an impressive 83 league goals (23 more than anyone else in the Division).

The 2002/03 season again saw The Chequer finish in runners up spot and end the season as the First Division's leading scorers with 74 goals. But for a couple of defensive collapses, including throwing away a 4-1 half time lead to lose to The Yeoman, the team would surely have won the Division. However, the team can be proud of achieving a third successive promotion, this time to the premier league.

The 2003/04 season saw us start brightly with two pre-season five-a-side tournament victories. In the league we began strongly only losing once in our first eight games and recording six victories, and for the first half of the season we occupied first or second place. However in the second half of the season we fell apart winning only three games and losing seven, including a number of games we dominated. Injuries cost us dearly, but we still should have won three or four of these games which would have seen us claim second or third, as opposed to the fifth place we occupied at the end of the season. Too many goals, were leaked - 53 - 2 more than we scored all season, and we will need to shore up defensively for the forthcoming season.

Pre-season 2004/05 we retained the Handcross five-a-side trophy, with impressive turns from Si Price, Tom Pickford & George Trafford. Several players have left the squad this season - notably Christian Young, Simon Friend-James and Ben Garman, and several others have expressed a desire to play less often due to Saturday footballing commitments. Thus, we have had to make some new signings to ensure a sizeable squad, as a lack of players caught us out several times last year. Joining the fold this season are: Danny Gainsford, David Kennett, Phil Lewis, Adam Price and Mark Friend-James and we hope to make some more signings in the near future.



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