Furngate Youth FC was founded in 1983, previously known as Panda’s.
The Furngate name came about as most of the players were from Furnace Green and Tilgate.
The team entered into the Horley League (as the Crawley League only had five opponents) only to discover that unless playing in the Crawley league, we were not eligible for a council pitch.
In the space of three seasons we grew from one team to five and then to nine.
What started as a football team had grown into a football club, following the growth of the Club a “home base” was needed. We were fortunate to rent a field in Ifield Wood; this was large enough for three pitches and ample parking. Whilst things were somewhat rough and ready they did enable us to play from one home base and with back-to-back games it was not uncommon to have five or six teams playing at home on the same day.
As time moved on we converted one end of the porta-cabin into a kitchen serving teas and bacon butties! We had Floodlights and generators which allowed us to train there during the winter months.
Earliest Football Memory: Bobby Stokes scoring the only goal in the 1976 FA Cup final verses Man Utd. It was a major upset
Favourite Player: Paolo Di Canio
Favourite Football Team: West Ham United
Why did you choose to coach grassroots? Like a lot of coaches, I started coaching to help out in my sons team 7 years ago. I then took over the team when the head coach left. It’s very rewarding watching players grow in confidence both individually and as a team.
It’s all about developing technical knowledge and teamwork. I’ve been involved in football for 40 years and just love being involved.