Newhaven FC is one of the oldest clubs in Sussex, and was formed by the Towner family who were brewers in the town during the latter 19th century, plus some of their enthusiastic friends. A meeting took place at the Bridge Hotel in December 1887 when it decided to form the Club and 20 members signed up on the day.
Newhaven are one of the founding members of the Sussex County Football League, joining in 1920, but it was not until 1948/49 that any silverware of note found its way to the Dockers’ trophy cabinet, when the club won the Sussex County FA Invitation Cup.
In 1950/51 Newhaven finished in fourth place and in 1953/54 won the League, ahead of Rye United and Cuckfield. Although finishing fifth the following season, success eluded Newhaven, and the club was relegated to Division Two in 1964/65. Newhaven made an immediate return as runners-up to Horsham YMCA, only to be relegated again two years later.
Newhaven once again returned to the top division in 1971/72, and won the Division One championship in 1973/74, finishing two points ahead of Littlehampton Town. Just two years later though the club was relegated for a third time.
After fifteen years in Division Two, the club was promoted to Division One as champions in 1990/91, and in 1992/3 finished sixth. The following year Newhaven won the Sussex RUR Cup, only to be relegated in 1994/95. Further relegation to Division Three followed in 1998/99 and the club narrowly escaped dropping down to the East Sussex League the season afterwards.
In the 2004/05 Newhaven made it to the Final of the Vernon Wentworth Cup – losing to cup specialists Rustington.
Newhaven remained in Division Three until 2012, when they beat local rivals Saltdean United to the League Championship on ‘Goals Scored’. The Dockers also completed a league and cup double with victory over Saltdean in the Intermediate Cup Final.
2012/13 saw Newhaven finish as runners-up in Division Two meaning a second consecutive promotion and a first return to Division One since 1995.
The Dockers gained a top seven finish during the 2014/15 season, under new managers Sean Breach and Andy Cook, and picked up their first piece of senior silverware since 1994 when they beat Arundel 3-1 at Gorings Mead to win the inaugural Peter Bentley Challenge Cup.
That cup win was to breed more success over the following two seasons as the club won back-to-back RUR Charity Cups. A 4-2 final victory against Chichester City in 2015-16 was followed by a 5-0 hammering of Crawley Down Gatwick a year later.
Sussex County Football League Division One
Champions: 1953–54, 1973–74
Sussex County Football League Division Two
Champions: 1971–72, 1990–71
Runners-up: 1965–66, 2012-13
Sussex County Football League Division Three
The Peter Bentley Challenge Cup
The Sussex Royal Ulster Rifles Charity Cup
Winners: 1904–05, 1993–94, 2015-16, 2016-17
Runners Up: 1905–06, 1908–09, 1909–10, 1911–12
Sussex County Football League Division Three Challenge Cup
Runners up: 2006-07, 2011-12