Ollie Pearce’s goal-scoring feats this season have generated a lot of interest in our scoring records, so here are some facts and some explanation of why facts are not always easy to come by…

My archives have been built from newspaper reports (Worthing Gazette, Sussex Daily News, Worthing Herald – and their successors), as well as from research done in the 1980s by our programme editors and from my own observations.

All goals scored in first-team matches are included, and I have set my own rules to define these. For instance, friendlies played before 1946 are in, those played since are not. More recently, friendlies have not carried the same importance as they did in the early days; also, details of friendlies are now hard to come by.

Matches that reached full-time (“90 minutes”) are included, even if they were later replayed (e.g. for a rule breach) or expunged from the records (the Covid years, for instance); matches abandoned before full-time are excluded. Some matches were not reported (or I have not found the report) and others lack sufficient details (line-ups, scorers) to be included in the records.

There is one occasion where I have included goals that were scored contrary to the rules of the competition – in 1903-04 we defeated Bognor 5-2 after extra-time in the FA Amateur Cup but extra-time should not have been played; I have included the three goals scored in the extra period.

I have relied on my own observations in matches that I have attended, rather than from the “official” report, to decide who scored. For instance, our first goal at Frome this season was officially attributed to Klass, but spectators behind the goal saw that it was Colbran who scored. There will always be disagreements; for instance, how much of a deflection off an opponent defines it as an own goal?

Published reports have been used for all other matches, although there are still issues. In the early days, because of the way football was played, goals are often described as being scored “in a scrimmage” or attributed to multiple players “in a rush”. And who should be credited when the goal-keeper was barged into the goal while holding the ball? An added complication is where different newspapers listed different scorers.

Having made some sense of all of this (I hope), here are some individual goalscoring facts.


Goals in a match

Eric Hanmore set the record for most goals in a match when he netted 10 against Littlehampton in the West Sussex Senior League on 6th April 1912, in what is our record victory (25-0).

Charlie Webb scored nine times in a friendly played against Fulham Amateurs on 27th December 1907.

Both of those matches were played at home: no-one has scored more than five in an away match.

It has been reported that H.E. “Joe” Taylor scored 12 in one match, but no evidence has been found to support this.

Since World War 2, the most goals scored by a player in a match is seven: Ron Sexton scored all of our goals in the 7-2 Sussex County League victory at home to Hove on 14th December 1946.

Mention should be made of our 24-0 West Sussex Senior League home win against Littlehampton on 4th April 1914, when all eleven of our players got on the score-sheet.

Three Worthing goal-keepers have scored in their careers: Wally Lawrence and Charlie Hobden both netted four and Len Steel scored once.


Goals in consecutive matches

This season (2023-24), Ollie Pearce has set a new post-World War 2 record by scoring in ten consecutive matches.

1938-39 was the year for all-time records, though, because Ron Sexton scored in 12 consecutive matches and 14 consecutive appearances (he missed a couple of matches), and Bill Wren scored in 15 consecutive appearances, although he was absent for seven matches during that spell.

Bill also scored in the opening eight matches, having netted in the last three of 1937-38, making eleven consecutive matches in total, which equals the achievement of Vic Humphreys during 1933-34.


Goals in a season

Bill Wren has the most goals in a season, scoring 64 (from 33 appearances) in 1938-39.

R. Mitchell scored 60 (from 35 apps) in 1930-31 and H.E. “Joe” Taylor scored 59 in 1908-09 (from 35 matches). Micky Edmonds has the post-War record, scoring 52 in 1983-84, from 51 matches.

H.E. “Joe” Taylor topped our season’s goal-scoring list eight times, consecutively from 1906 to 1914. Mick Streeter also did this eight times, the first time in 1963-64 and the last in 1973-74, although he shared that honour in two of the seasons.

Micky Edmonds was top for the seven seasons between 1980 and 1987.


Goals in a career

H.E. “Joe” Taylor has scored the most goals in a Worthing shirt, netting 366 in the years before World War I.

Ron Sexton scored 299 in a career that spanned World War II, and Micky Edmonds scored 276 in the 1980s.

The goals Ollie Pearce has scored during 2023-24 has moved him into the top ten, on 150 (at the time of writing).

W.L. Wilson scored 33 times in 18 appearances, which averages 1.83 goals per match, the highest for any player who has made more than one appearance. Five players have scored twice in their only appearance.

Of those players that have made more than 50 appearances, R. Mitchell has the highest goals per match ratio, scoring 106 from 64 matches (1.65 per match).


Overall goals

Up to and including 6th April 2024, we have scored 13,289 goals. Of these, 249 have been own goals and it has not been possible to attribute 241 of them to any player.