Rayleigh Boys Youth FC has been running since 1976 and is regarded by the Essex Football Association, as the largest youth football club in Essex.
All of our committee, managers, coaches and volunteers are unpaid and do not receive expenses.
In 2013 Brian Mitchell, one of the co-founders of the club, was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to youth football.
A few statistics:
- 43 teams of all youth ages
- 500 plus players
- 95 Managers
Rayleigh provides football for over 500 children from the Rochford District through a structure of FA trained managers and coaches. The Club is also accredited by the Football Association as a Charter Standard Community Club which is the highest level attainable. In addition, the Club is also accredited by Sport SX as a Charter Mark Club.
The club was founded in 1976. There were four Committee members; Bill Coventry, Brian Mitchell, Val Clark and Terry Jeacock. In the first season the club had two teams at U9 and U19 but by 1980 the club had 8 teams altogether. Initially, most players came from either Rayleigh Primary School or Grove Junior School and their respective pitches were used up to 1984. Trenders Avenue was also used in the early days and parents and managers used to help cut and mark pitches! In 1982 Rayleigh Boys started playing at Fairview Park and Grove Park. Club presentations used to be held a Grove Junior School switching to the Mill Hall in 1982 where Trevor Brooking OBE presented the trophies.
In 1995 Rayleigh FC was formed to give players an opportunity to play senior football. They had 3 teams playing at Fairview. In 1997, Mini Soccer was introduced and Rayleigh Boys were founder members of the South East Essex Primary Mini Soccer League. To date the club has had great success on the playing side and with players going on to represent professional clubs. Neil Harris, Dean Gerken and Matthew Lockwood have all gone on from the club to have a professional career in the game.
Presently, the club is involved with many schemes in the community, supporting Rayleigh Town Council in getting funding for the drainage of pitches at King George V Playing Field, supporting the outside gym equipment project in Rayleigh parks, working in partnership with Active Rochford in giving free training to children in the community and our ground breaking “Kits for African” campaign which has seen over 3 tons of recycled football kits and equipment sent to some of the most deprived areas of South Africa and Ghana. Rayleigh Boys have also raised over £6,000 for two local children for special equipment, £7,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and £18,000 for the charity CRY through our Adult Charity Tournament each year.
In 2010 the Club registered its first 2 adult teams and one veterans team under the name of Rayleigh FC and our first all-girls team played its opening match at Chichester fields under Rayleigh Girls Youth Football Club. The club badge was also re-designed to reflect this but without losing its distinctive windmill that is the icon of the great town we represent.
Rayleigh FC now has its home ground at Chichester fields, London Road, Rawreth which has in total 8 pitches that are managed and maintained by volunteers within the club. The site has full toilet facilities along with a small café and 450 parking spaces. The pitches are in a fenced off contained area for children to play football in a safe environment on good quality, well maintained and drained pitches. We are one of the only clubs in the country that has invested in heart defibrillators at all our grounds and have trained over 35 people in the use of these.
Rayleigh FC is committed to continue to offer the opportunity for boys and girls of all abilities to play organised football with the emphasis being on development, fun and enjoyment.