Laurie sad to see his football club fold - after serving them for nearly 70 years

A founder member of Northbrook FC has expressed his disappointment that the club is folding and being swallowed up by Brighton Electricity.

Northbrook stalwart Laurie Claydon with FA service-to-football awards received in 2011

Laurie Claydon helped form the Worthing-based club in March 1952 and was secretary and treasurer for a remarkable 66 seasons, from 1954 until 2020.

Northbrook's players and manager are moving en bloc to Brighton Electricity as a means of achieving a higher standard of football, having won Division one of the Brighton & Worthing League for a second successive season and reached the unplayed semi-finals of the Sussex Junior Cup for the first time.

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Claydon said: “Northbrook originated from a group of Broadwater youngsters - many living in or near Northbrook Road - playing friendlies in the mid-1940s, who from 1948 to 1950 became Wigmore Minors in the Worthing League’s youth division then reformed after National Service to enter the Worthing League’s division three (west) for the 1952-53 season and win it at the first attempt.

“Northbrook’s first XI were divisional winners in eight seasons and cup winners ten times, and members of the Worthing League for 63 seasons and of the merged Brighton & Worthing League for five seasons from 2015.

“Season 1997-98 was their most successful when securing the ‘treble’ of the Premier Division title, the Charity Cup and the Mike Smith Trophy – and reaching the final of the BH&WFA’s Vernon-Wentworth Cup under joint managers Bob Culley and Kevin Williams.

“That side comprised several former senior players, of which skipper Alan Herbert played in all 40 matches that season.

“The club had a second XI for a total of 32 seasons in four spells from 1962 to 2013 and achieved a number of league and cup successes and four times won the Worthing League’s Sportsmanship Trophy. There was a Sunday XI playing friendlies for five seasons from 1968 until 1973.

“The first XI played 2,025 games, the second XI 915 and the Sunday XI 106, in all 3,046. A total of 886 players were used, 58 of them on 150 or more occasions, with Richard Simpson, a one-club man for no fewer than 30 seasons from 1971 to 2001, leading the way with 775 appearances, besides having spells as manager of both the first and second XIs and as club chairman.”