Christchurch Football Club, nicknamed “The Church,” is a non-league football club based in Christchurch, Dorset.
Established in 1970, they currently compete in the Velocity Wessex Football League, which is part of the ninth tier of English football. The team calls Hurn Bridge their home ground.
Christchurch FC, founded in 1885, has a rich history in Hampshire football, being a founding member of the Hampshire Football Association in 1887. The club achieved its first major success by winning the Hampshire Junior Cup in 1893 and earned the nickname “Can’t Whack Ems.” They won this cup again in 1912 and 1921. Between the World Wars, Christchurch competed in the Bournemouth and Hampshire County Leagues, gaining promotion to Hants 1 in 1938 by winning the Hants 2 championship. The club has experienced both promotions and relegations, winning Hants 2 in 1948 and 1986, and Hants 3 in 1953. Notable achievements include winning the Bournemouth Senior Cup three times consecutively from 1970, the Bournemouth Pickford Cup in 1977, and the Hampshire Intermediate Cup in 1987. They joined the Wessex League in the 1987/88 season, maintaining their amateur status and attracting players to their Hurn Bridge ground, known for its excellent playing surface and floodlights.
The club moved from Barrack Road Recreation ground to Hurn Bridge in 1984, benefiting from significant investments in ground improvements and facilities. Christchurch Football Club Limited, separate from the playing side, took over the long-term lease of the Hurn Bridge site in 2003. The club is active in youth development, with teams across various age groups, a successful under-18 setup, and a thriving ladies team. Many youth players have advanced to regular positions in the first team, showing the success of the club’s youth policy.
Recent years have seen managerial changes and challenges. Graham Kemp left after the 2012/13 season, leading to new appointments in the first and reserve teams. The 2013/14 season was turbulent, but the first team managed a 16th place finish in the Sydenhams League. Adie Arnold took over as First Team manager in the 2014/15 season. After relegation, Ollie Cherrett and Chris Hart led the First Team to strong finishes in Division One in subsequent seasons. The club completed the ‘Marc Burrows Complex’ changing rooms in 2017, named after a former player, showcasing its commitment to development and infrastructure. Christchurch FC continues to focus on player development and aims for ongoing success both on and off the field.
Former players and managers elsewhere in the non-league pyramid