Crest of Winchester City Football Club

Winchester City

The Citizens

Winchester City Football Club, nicknamed “The Citizens,” is a non-league football club based in Winchester, Hampshire.

Established in 1884, they currently compete in the Pitching In Southern Football League Premier South, which is part of the seventh tier of English football. The team calls City Ground their home ground.

Originally formed as Winchester Swallows FC, the club underwent several name changes before settling on Winchester City F.C. in 1907. They initially joined the Hampshire League for the 1898–99 season and transitioned to the Southern League in 1971–72, but returned to the Hampshire League after two seasons due to sustainability issues. The club saw success in the 1990s, winning the Hampshire League Division Two in 1991–92 and securing the Trophyman League Cup in 1993–94. Following financial difficulties in the late 1990s, Winchester reorganized and won the Division One title and the Inter League Shield in 2000–01, and completed a treble in 2002–03 with the Hampshire League title, Trophyman Cup, and Southampton Senior Cup.

The club’s peak came in the 2003–04 season when they won the league, the Wessex League Cup, and the FA Vase, although their promotion was denied due to ground criteria. They continued their success by winning the Hampshire Senior Cup the following season and another league title in 2005–06, which led to their admission to the Southern League Division One South & West. However, the club faced relegation in 2008–09 due to a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player. Despite managerial changes, including the brief tenures of Shaun Brooks, Stu Hussey, Glenn Cockerill, and Guy Butters, they struggled in subsequent seasons.

In 2012, Winchester City earned promotion back to the Southern League but faced relegation again in 2013–14. Despite reaching the third qualifying round of the FA Cup in 2014 for the first time in nearly six decades, they were defeated by Concord Rangers. The following season, they finished second in the Wessex League Premier Division and were promoted to the Southern League Division One South & West. In 2018, the club gained unusual fame when French footballer Ousmane Dembélé played Football Manager using Winchester City.