National League South Sat 10 February Sussex Transport Community Stadium
  • Fage (20')
  • Colbran (25')
  • Pearce (45+8', 51', 61', 71')
  • Wilkinson (45+11', 77')
  • Baptiste (45+16')
  • Hatcher (90+1')

The first football club in Dover played a few friendlies in the 1888-89 season – little is known about this club, however, as the Dover Express did not give much coverage to football. A second club was then formed in 1891. It was known as Dover Association Football Club, as there was already a Dover Football Club in existence – they are now known as the Rugby Club.

Various clubs have existed since then, all of which have been forced out of business due to financial problems. The most recent Dover Football Club was formed in 1934 as an amateur outfit, and it was re-formed in 1947 as a semi-professional club.

In 1946-47, the last season of the amateurs, the Dover side found itself rather out of its depth playing in the Kent League Division One. Despite the austerity of the immediate post-war years, it was decided to turn professional to try and compete on equal terms with the majority of clubs.

Dover played in the Kent League until 1959 when the club was admitted to the Southern League. Playing in the First Division, they eventually won promotion in 1967. They then played in the Premier Division until relegation in 1978.

Despite winning the First Division (South) title the following season, the Whites were not promoted and spent the next three seasons in the Southern Division. The last season of Dover F.C. was 1982-83, when they struggled in the Southern Division, with a very young and inexperienced side. This club existed until 1983 when it was forced to close by an Inland Revenue demand for unpaid tax. Dover Athletic was then born.

Dover Athletic’s highest finish in the English football league system was in the 2015–16 season, in which the team finished in fifth place in the National League, the highest level of non-league football and the fifth level overall.

The Whites have made 13 appearances in the final qualifying round of the FA Cup and have progressed to the first round proper three times. In the 2010–11 season, Dover reached the third round for the first time, defeating two Football League teams Gillingham and Aldershot Town in the first two rounds before losing to Huddersfield Town of League One. It was a feat they achieved a couple of seasons later when Premier League Crystal Palace visited Crabble in the third round of the FA Cup.

In the 1997–98 season, the Whites reached the semi-finals of the FA Trophy but missed out on an appearance at Wembley, losing to Cheltenham Town. The largest number of points the team has accrued is 104 in the 2008-09 season, and the highest total number of goals scored in a season is 89, scored in 40 matches in the 1985–86 season. The team’s biggest-ever win was an 8-0 defeat of East Preston in September 2009, and the heaviest defeat was by six goals when they lost 7-1 to Poole Town in April 1984 and 6–0 to Grimsby Town in October 2021.

The club were cruelly deducted points after failing to complete the 2020/21 season, following the return to action from Covid. The following season saw a 12-point deduction and a £40,000 fine, culminating in relegation from the National League at the end of 2021/22.

The record appearance holder for Dover Athletic is Jason Bartlett, who played in 539 matches, and the all-time top goal scorer is Lennie Lee, with 160 goals.

The club’s record signing is Dave Leworthy, who joined the club from Farnborough Town in 1993 for £50,000, which at the time was the highest transfer fee ever paid between non-league clubs. The highest confirmed fee received by the club was also £50,000, paid by Brentford in 1997 for Ricky Reina.



The Whites have had a difficult campaign in 2023/24 and are currently bottom of the league table with 21 points from 31 matches and sit 12 points from safety having won just three matches so far this term. No side has drawn more matches than Dover this season, with their 12 draws only being matched by Taunton Town.

They did however complete a league double over Slough Town recently, beating the Rebels 1-0 at the Crabble after their earlier win at Arbour Park back in August.

The Whites booked their place into the Quarter Final of the Kent Senior Cup earlier this week with a 4-0 win over Beckenham Town.

Last Six
6/2 – Beckenham Town (A) – Won 0-4
3/2 – Braintree Town (A) – Lost 3-0
27/1 – Slough Town (H) – Won 1-0
23/1 – Tonbridge Angels (H) – Lost 1-2
20/1 – Torquay United (A) – Lost 1-0
13/1 – Taunton Town (A) – Drew 1-1


The Gaffer

Jake Leberl rejoined the Whites as Assistant Manager back in November and took the reigns early in December following the departure of Mitch Brundle.

Jake Leberl was appointed as Dover boss on 5th December 2023.

Leberl, a utility man who featured in defence and midfield during his playing days, had returned to the club, having been Assistant Manager for five years between 2013 and 2018. He was Caretaker Manager of the Whites following the sacking of Chris Kinnear during the 18/19 season.

Leberl had two spells at The Crabble as a player, as well as featuring for Dagenham & Redbridge and AFC Wimbledon.


The Captain

Jacob Mensah has taken the armband over recent matches for the Whites, following the departure of James Dunne to Chatham Town.

Jacob Mensah signed for Dover back in September.

The former Ramsgate, Maidstone, and Torquay United defender joined the Whites earlier this campaign and has made 19 league appearances for the side this season.

In 2022/23, Mensah featured 11 times in the National League for Maidstone United before moving to Torquay United where he featured on three more occasions at the top flight of non-league football. It took his tally of National League appearances to 37 following the 2021/22 season where he ran out for Weymouth.


Key Player

Their very own Zizou, Zidan Sutherland leads the line for the Whites and has netted five times for Dover this season.

Sutherland joined the Whites in the summer from Bromsgrove Sporting and has featured more than any other Dover player in the National League South this season (30).

Explosive off the mark, Sutherland caught attention of former Whites boss Mitch Brundle during pre season and the young forward opened his account for Dover on the opening day in their 2-2 draw against Torquay United.