Saturday, August 30, 2008

Club Focus - Lewes FC

Today's visitors to Burton are Lewes FC, and the Rooks, as they are known, must be suffering from a nose bleed as the Conference National is the highest league they have ever been in.

Lewes were formed in 1885 and prior to 1920 they played in the West Sussex League before being promoted to the Sussex League where they stayed until 1965 when they were promoted to the Athenian League Division 2. In 1968 they won promotion to Division 1. In 1977 they were again promoted, this time to the Isthmian League division 2 and 3 years later made it to division 1 where they remained until 1991 when a rot set in. Two years later they found themselves in division 3 of the Isthmian.

In 1998 the former Northern Ireland International, Jimmy Quinn, took charge of the club and steered them to 2 consecutive promotions up to the Isthmian League Division 1 South.

In 2003-2004 Lewes won promotion to the Conference South and at the end of last season finally managed to get into non-league's promised land of the Conference National.

The Rooks play at the strangely named 'Dripping Pan' ground, which was used for sport even before the football club was formed in 1885. Nobody knows the origins of the name of the ground, although it has been suggested that it was the name of the pub.

The club originally wore a green strip, but settled on black and red stripes in 1893.

The locals are not known for their open-mindedness and tolerance, their traditional bonfire celebrations include burning an effigy of the Pope, and although this has an historical background, (17 protestant martyrs were put to death by Pope Paul 5th in the early 17th Century) in 2001 they burned an effigy of Osama Bin Laden and in 2003 a gypsy caravan. So not the most pleasent of folk it might be deduced.

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