Rambo tornado hits Selsey - next up, League Cup Semi Final v Three Bridges @ Crowboro'


The club crest is in fact the famous coat of arms of the Confederation of the Cinque Ports and is believed to date from the 13th century, possibly during the reign of King Edward I. (The Confederation provided for the maritime defence of the realm until the establishment of a permanent navy.)
It is thought that three golden lions were taken from the arms of the English kings from the end of the 12th century and joined to the hulls of three ships to mark the ship service provided by the Cinque Ports to the English Crown.
The blazon (official description) of the coat of arms reads: "Per pale gules and azure three lions passant guardant Or conjoined to as many ships' hulls Or".
Translated this means: "Halves of red and blue with three horizontal gold lions looking towards the observer, joined to the hulls of three gold ships".
The Rye & Iden United FC crest is not, as many people believe, the same as that used by Hastings United FC (previously Hastings Town FC). The latter club uses a variation of the Cinque Ports coat of arms, unique to the town Hastings itself.

Rye United FC was formed in 1938, and Iden FC in 1965. Rye United (an amalgamation of local clubs) joined the Sussex County League Division Two in 1952 and in their first three seasons finished third, second and third again before winning the championship and promotion to Division One in 1955/6.

The club finished as runners-up to Chichester City in 1959/60, and remained in the top flight until relegation in 1973/74. United duly bounced straight back, as runners-up to Burgess Hill the following season but struggled thereafter, finishing bottom in 1979/80 with just seven points. The club spent just three more seasons in the County League until moving into the wilderness of Intermediate football in the neighbouring Kent County League in 1983/84.

Rye United returned to the Sussex County League in 2000/01, winning Division Three at the first attempt before amalgamating with Iden for their return to senior football as Rye & Iden United FC.

Iden had been formed in 1965 for the youth of the village (a couple of miles north of Rye). The club steadily progressed through the ranks of junior football & competed in the East Sussex League and Kent County League at intermediate level, punching well above their weight for a village of that size.

The new club maintained the proud traditions of both predecessors - the first team strip including the red and black of Rye, whilst the reserves & thirds in the tangerine of Iden. Football was maintained at Iden with the presence of the third team (East Sussex League).

Rye & Iden United took Division Two by storm, taking the championship and divisional cup double in 2001/02. Unfortunately, the floodlights couldn't be raised in time for the league deadline, so the club couldn't take their place back in the top flight. The club finally took its deserved place in Division One after winning the League-Cup double again the following season, although once again they were almost denied entry once again. 

Rye came close to achieving a remarkable third successive double in 2003/04, although ultimately had to settle for runners-up spot behind Chichester City United in the League; and runners-up again, this time to Arundel, in the League Cup. Even had they won the cup however, Rye would have been disqualified for fielding defender Steve Sticky Willard, who was suspended at the time.

2004/05 saw Rye finish as runners-up for the second time in succession, albeit 15 points behind champions Horsham YMCA. Once again, they reached the Final of the John O'Hara League Cup and by an ironic quirk of fate given their infringement of the rules the previous season, were awarded the Trophy despite losing a tremendous game 3-4 to Whitehawk ... after the Hawks were found to have fielded an ineligible player!

The departure of the clubs major benefactor resulted in a wholesale loss of the playing staff and from being one of the leading sides in the Division, Rye were being strongly tipped as hot favourites for relegation in 2005/06. As is so often the case in County League football the pundits were absolutely correct as the club finished 14 points adrift in one of the relegation places. Ironically, given the clubs own problems with floodlights four years earlier, the failure of St. Francis Rangers to erect theirs in time to take promotion, ultimately spared Rye the drop.

The 2006 close season saw many changes at the club, most notably the reversion back to the previous name of Rye United, along with the old colours. There was also an unusual new nickname: The Quarterboys: a reference to the "boys" in the medieval church clock that chime every quarter. Meanwhile Iden FC teamed up with AFC Peasmarsh to form Peasmarsh & Iden FC, in the East Sussex League. With the nearest County League club, Westfield just over 10 miles away; and their Div One 'derby' game at Sidley a 17.5 mile journey, a move to the Kent League has been rumoured. But for now at least, Rye remain a Sussex County League club.

Despite the above changes, 2006/07 proved very much a case of deja-vu at The Salts. Rye once again finished in the relegation zone but were again spared the drop by virtue of Eastbourne Town gaining promotion to the Isthmian League, and only two of the three clubs in promotion places from Division Two having floodlights.

 2009/2010  saw a massive turnaround at the Salts with new players coming in to strengthen Scott Price and Andy Laskey's 1st team, however the reserve team folded midway through the season.

There was something to shout about at the Salts though, as Rye United topped the SCFL Division 2 and returned to their rightful place in the top flight for the 2010/2011 season also reaching the League cup Semi-final losing out to title contenders Loxwood.

With new seating and hard standing all in place for the new season expectations are high and the reserves are back in business with new manager Peter Ashby and coach Chip Winton.

Saturday 21st August 2010 was a black day for all at Rye United Football Club, as the Sydney Allnutt Pavillion (where we have been since 1957) was set of fire. What happens now is uncertain but we will carry on  and come back stronger than ever.

2010/11 ended up being a glorious season for United in a victory over adversity. The club equalled their best ever league finish with the runner's up spot in Sussex Div 1 - winning twice on the ground of champions Crawley Down (once in the Vase and once in the league). The club also finished as runner's up in the John O'Hara League Cup. The icing on the cake was a magnificent Vase run that took them to the Quarter Finals where they were edged out after extra time by sleeping giants, King Lynn Town.