Ascot United History
The first record of Ascot United was in 1928 and it seems that over the years teams by that name formed and re-formed when until 1965 when a men’s team who played their games at Sunninghill, with “after match meetings” in The Wells public house in Cheapside village.
Soon after the club gained permission from Ascot Racecourse to convert the land west of coach park 10 into a football pitch where the club is still located today. A wooden clubhouse was built and around this time this team went on to win many prestigious trophies in the years that followed.
A small number of various youth teams represented Ascot United over the years up to 1988, but from 1989 there was an increase in demand for youth football. In 1992 there came a turning point when small-sided football was introduced for 7 and 8 year olds by Keith Wickes the club’s chairman who established The East Berks Youth League to enable local clubs to play competitive matches against each other.
From that point the ‘new’ Ascot United started to take shape;
|1990||A new club house was erected at the Racecourse Ground|
|1991||A new 11 a side pitch and a training area were constructed on what are now the 3G and Top mini pitch.|
|2003||A Partnership with Charters School was established and for the first time all our players could train in the evenings under floodlights on an ‘astro’ pitch. The first club website went live.|
|2004||Ascot United was awarded FA Charter Community club status, one of the first clubs in the UK to receive the award. By now the club had grown to 43 teams, including 3 girls teams, veterans and 4 adult mens teams.|
|2006||The first team became champions of the Reading Senior League gaining promotion to the Hellenic League 1st Division East and also won the Reading Evening Post Cup Final at the Madejeski Stadium in Reading|
|2010||By now the club had outgrown their facilities at the Racecourse and after a complex project a new clubhouse and other facilities were built with the help of funding from the Football Foundation and RBWM. The senior team were runners up in Hellenic 1st Division East and were promoted to the Hellenic Premier league.|
|2011||In August Ascot United made their first appearance in the FA Cup at home to Wembley FC. It was a night of many firsts as the trophy came to Ascot and the match was the first game to be screened live by Facebook. Unfortunately the result was a 1-2 defeat but the ground record of 1,150 still stands.|
|Recent||By now Ascot United teams were regularly winning leagues and cups. The girls led the way winning county cups in Surrey and Berks and Bucks. The boys soon followed with several county cup successes. The first team got in on the act winning the Hellenic League cup in 2016 and 2018.|
Meanwhile the pitches and facilities were struggling to keep up with the amount of football being played and a second major project was started to install a 3G pitch at the Racecourse ground. Eventually in October 2019 the new pitch was opened by Greg Clark, Chairman of the FA. Then after 6 fantastic months of the whole club using the 3G Covid-19 struck, affecting football throughout the country.
The first team were run away leaders in their first season in the Combined Counties league but the FA nulled all the non-league results and the promotion dream was not to be.
Ascot United in 2020
Covid-19 affected football as it affected everyone but in the months we were able to use the 3G it became clear that it would affect the way the club operates.
The Sunday Soccer School for the under 5s and 6s has been replaced by an Academy running mid week on the 3G. The 3G was used for a very successful daytime summer camp which previously was not possible on grass. The Vets joined a league for the first time. A new website was launched, social media played a more important role in communication, the catering and bar became a 7 day cashless operation but planning for Football with Covid has been a major headache.
We are all hoping for a successful season on and off the pitch.
The Club Today
The Club has grown to become one of the largest football clubs in the UK. Currently there are over 750 registered players, embracing all ages from age 5 and all levels of ability.
Ascot United fields more than 75 teams every weekend including 5 adult teams and 8 girls’ teams. It is supported by over 50 businesses who provide various forms of sponsorship, it is run by over 100 volunteers 80 of whom have formal FA coaching qualifications.
The club’s status was underlined in August 2004 when it became an FA Charter Community club, at the time only the second club in Berkshire to receive this award.
The Future / Club Aims
Despite all the changes Ascot United will always remain as a sustainable football club at the heart of the community proving everyone from age 4 to veterans, boys and girls and men and women with the opportunity to play and enjoy football in a fantastic location with modern facilities.