Worthing Association FC was founded in February 1886 and played home matches mostly in the People's (now Homefield) Park until the Club moved to Beach House Park in 1889.
The early years were spent playing friendlies and competing in the Sussex Senior Cup, in which our first tie on November 27th 1886 resulted in a 1-0 home win over Brighton Hornets.
Worthing reached their 1st Senior Cup final in 1891-92 (losing 5-3 to Brighton Hornets) before winning the 1892-93 final 2-1 against Eastbourne at the County Ground, Hove. This was the first of a record 21 Senior Cup wins, the most recent being in 1999.
Worthing were founder members of the West Sussex Senior League in 1896, along with their local rivals Worthing Athletic (founded 1891). The first of 7 championships was won in 1898-99, qualifying Worthing to play the East Sussex League champions Brighton Athletic in the Sussex Charity Cup donated by the Royal Irish Rifles. This match was lost 2-1, but we went on to win the RUR Cup (as it became known) 13 times (including twice jointly with Horsham).
In 1899-00 the name “Association” was dropped and we entered the FA Cup and FA Amateur Cup for the first time.
In May 1900 Worthing and Worthing Athletic merged and in 1901 the Club moved to its current home, then known as the Sports Ground, now as Woodside Road.
The team of 1903-04 contained 3 players who would become full internationals; S.S. Harris and E.G.D. Wright for England and Charlie Webb for Ireland. Harris played for England while still a player for Worthing.
Worthing withdrew from the West Sussex League for the 1904-05 season, so as not to be in competition with the newly promoted Worthing Rovers (founded 1901). We rejoined the League in 1905 after merging with Rovers during the summer.
In 1907-08 Worthing reached the quarter-finals of the FA Amateur Cup, where we drew 1-1 away to the eventual winners Depot Battalion Royal Engineers, before losing the replay 1-0 before a then record crowd of over 3,100.