Ratton Rangers Football Club was established in 1996 by breaking away from Ocklynge Youth Football Club to create its own identity. By the end of that first season, inaugural Chairman Richard Smith was presiding over five age groups playing in the Mid Sussex and Mid Sussex Gold League.
Over the years that followed the club continued to grow. There were more age groups and the club began playing in the Sussex Sunday Football Leagues and the Crowborough & District Junior Football Leagues.
Colin Chamberlain and Paul France took their turns at the helm of the club and were responsible for the birth of the successful Ratton Rangers tournaments to raise some club funds and further promote the emerging name of Ratton Rangers. The annual club tournament has continued to thrive whilst other local football tournaments have fallen by the wayside. It is a sell out every year which is testament to the fabulous organisation and dedicated volunteers who turn out every year. The funds raised by the tournament enable the club to keep the membership fees affordable for all.
The original ethic and sole aim of the club was to "promote the enjoyment of the game within the youngsters and to have the responsibility to encourage them to play by the rules". This simple sentiment very much remains at the core of the club all these years later.
This humble aim has not however prevented our players gaining national recognition. In the millennium year, Paul Wroe featured in national newspapers, dazzling people with his football skills, despite being registered as blind. When Paul played for Ratton Rangers, the matches were played with a luminous yellow football. Opposing teams were happy to switch from a white match football to allow Paul the opportunity to play.
More obvious recognition has been gained by former Brighton & Hove Albion professionals, Joel Lynch and Scott Chamberlain who started together in the same Ratton Rangers under 9 team, moving through to the Brighton & Hove Albion Youth Academy. Joel is now a firmly established Championship player. Both players have continued to involve themselves with the club and have acted as a great inspiration to the new young Ratton Rangers players, some of who are now treading a similar path.
A similar strong and long standing association with Ocklynge School, where the younger age groups play their matches, also still continues today whilst new relationships have been forged with other local organisations and projects, a particular one being Brighton & Hove Albion in the Community. Older age groups play matches at St Johns Meads, Ratton School and Eastbourne Sportspark.
The club continued to grow under the stewardships of Richard Horne, Barry Cheshire and Alan Harffey. Since 2012 Tobi Hutchinson has been the Chairman and has steered the club forward in new directions. Tobi is supported by a dedicated and supportive committee. 2016 is our 20th anniversary and what a journey it has been. We sadly lost 2 of our managers along the way: Neil Lonsdale who passed away in 2010 and Barry Cheshire who passed away in 2015.
Over the years we have been fortunate in having many dedicated managers and coaches run teams for Ratton Rangers, all volunteers. We thank them all for making Ratton Rangers one of the best youth football clubs in the South East.
The sole aim of the club is to promote the enjoyment of the game within the youngsters and to have the responsibility to encourage them to play by the rules.