Dorking Football Club spent one season in the Isthmian Premier Division in 1993/94 and then dropped down to the Third Division by 1997/98. The club moved to the Combined Counties League Premier Division for the 2006/07 season and were relegated to Division One in 2013. The club were forced to move from their Meadowbank home in October 2013 when it was closed for health and safety issues - they currently ground share with Horley Town.
Luckily the a group of local business people have taken over the club with a Community Interest Company being formed in 2014. Here courtesy of the club is their vision of the future for Dorking Football club.
Hopefully The Chicks can find stability and start to climb up the leagues. In the 1992/93 season they reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup losing 2-3 at home to Plymouth Argyle. Good luck to everyone involved.
Dorking FC is arguably the oldest senior club remaining in Surrey and
proud of its long history and association with its home town. Following
the club coming under new ownership in 2014, it has been established as
a Community Interest Company - operating in the interests of the local
area, football and sport at all levels.
The club's Board consists of successful local businessmen, committed
grassroots football administrators with a track record of fostering
inclusive community clubs that promote sport for all at senior and youth
levels, as well as legal and national broadcasting professionals.
The club is run as a social enterprise. Doing the right thing for the
town and the wider community is the driving ethos behind every decision
made by Dorking FC.
Football clubs were formed by their community – local players playing
local football. It wasn’t until the last two or three decades that this
dynamic changed so significantly. Transport and mobility have
contributed - but aspirations and egos have also taken over from social
enterprise, with match results taking precedence over local foundation,
identity and development.
We are building a truly representative team for Dorking – encouraging
and developing young local players to play for their town’s team. It
may take a little longer to bring success on the pitch, but Dorking FC
will be a team of primarily local players that local people watching can
relate to – and many will know and have seen grow up in the town, its
schools and nearby villages.
We have worn the Dorking Cockerel on our badge for 135 years – and don’t
do so lightly. We have earned it through history, and must continue to
do so. With a club of locally associated players, we will have a team
that wears the Cockerel and the Cockerel Colours with pride.
In an area of many thriving and successful youth football clubs, Dorking
FC will not have a youth section – as a matter of principle.
We are by far the longest-standing senior club in the town with
connections to all sections of the local community and area. As such,
rather than creating our own youth section (which could then be seen to
be favoured), we aim to work with and assist all the grassroots youth
Our Board has a long track record of working in local youth football and
recognises the huge voluntary contribution made by parents who give up
their time to provide valuable sport and recreation for our young
people. We want to foster and assist with that – through making our
coaching expertise and facilities available wherever possible,
encouraging young people to play the game in the right way and providing
a senior focal point for all grassroots youth football clubs.
Our Under 18s are made up of players from a range of local clubs,
offering a route for players in youth clubs to take a step into adult
football and ensure their youth passions for sport are not extinguished
As part of our commitment to helping local young people pursue their
football into adulthood, we provide free football coaching for Under
18s. It’s a vital link to our first team and our aim of creating a truly
representative team for Dorking. Already, in our first year, many local
under 18 players have been involved with and played in the first team.
And our senior players have relished helping them make their next step
as they continue to enjoy playing football into their adult lives.
A Blueprint for Local Grassroots Football
There are some excellent examples of grassroots football clubs, and
there are some terrible ones. What seems to set the best apart from the
rest is a balance of fiduciary organisation and social enterprise with a
realistic and sustainable plan. It has remarkably little to do with
Success can mean different things to different people, but success does
not necessarily translate to long term security or community benefit.
For a local, grassroots football club success has to be measured in
community association and value.
The successful clubs are run with pride and a common set of values that
flow from the boardroom to the changing room. Ego has no part to play.
We will know we have been successful when, ten years from now, we have
built a social club as much as a football club and restored Dorking FC
as the sporting pride of the town, regardless of the result on a
Consequently, our ten year plan builds a holistic football club that
balances football, business, community and social enterprise. We
passionately believe that Dorking FC can not only be seen as a blueprint
for how a grassroots football club should be run, but one that people
in the Football Association recognise as THE blueprint. We intend to
set Dorking FC as the standard against which all other grassroots
football clubs are measured.
We couldn’t end our vision without mentioning our beloved Meadowbank –
the ancestral home of Dorking FC since the 1950s and one of the jewels
in the crown of local grassroots football.
Dorking FC’s Meadowbank home ground is an iconic location in the heart
of a rural community. The backdrop of the Surrey Hills and the
occasional peel of the church bells that can be heard from St. Martin’s
set it apart, and it is one of the few football clubs in the country
still to be located in the very centre of a traditional market town.
When the Board took over the club in 2014, Meadowbank – its location,
history and everything it can contribute to Dorking’s town centre - was
one of the main factors that enthused the local people involved. The
ground had been closed in 2013 and was threatened with development for
retail or housing – but the Board pledged to secure the future of
football and return Dorking FC there as soon as possible.
When it opened in 1953, Meadowbank was the pride of the town and the
local community. We are delighted that ambitious Councillors and
Officers at Mole Valley District Council shared our vision to restore it
as a focal point of the town centre. The Council has committed to a
fantastic £4 million pound redevelopment with a brand new clubhouse and a
3G all-weather artificial pitch (consigning the famous ‘Dorking bobble’
to footballing history). It will not only be the home of Dorking FC,
but a sporting facility for use by schools, youth clubs and local
We are delighted that the revitalisation of Dorking FC has provided the
catalyst for a project that will once again make Meadowbank the pride of
the town, and provide a great sports legacy.
Dorking FC is expected to kick off the inaugural game at the new Meadowbank in July/August 2016.
The club are currently 12th of 16 teams in the Combined Counties League Division One. They travel to Eversley and California on Saturday 21st March before a midweek trip to Sandhurst Town and then go to AFC Croydon Athletic on Saturday 28th March. Their next "home" game comes on Tuesday 31st March when Banstead Athletic visit. Horley Town's ground known as The New Defence is roughly 13 miles from Meadowbank.