Eastleigh Athletic F.C.
|Full name||Eastleigh Athletic Football Club|
|Ground||Somewhere in Eastleigh|
Eastleigh Athletic became one of the eight founder members of the Hampshire League in 1896 and were league champions in 1897-98 as well as playing two seasons in the Southern League. In 1903 the league was divided into regional sections with Eastleigh in the South Division where they frequently struggled although they were the first club to lift the Southampton Senior Cup in its inaugural season 1908-09. Also during this time the club proudly lifted the Hampshire Senior Cup on three occasions, in 1898, 1909 and 1911.
The early Twenties saw Eastleigh yo-yo between the leagues two divisions, winning the West Division title in 1922-23 only to withdraw during the following season to join the less demanding Southampton League. Here the club started to find their feet again as they won the Junior 3 and Junior 2 titles in 1927 and 1928.
In 1930 the club returned to the Hampshire League Division 2 under the name of SR Eastleigh Athletic and the team soon re-established themselves as they pushed for promotion and after several near misses they won promotion as champions in 1938-39 only to have their progress halted by the outbreak of World War II.
In 1947 Eastleigh again returned to the Hampshire League when they were placed in Division 3 East where they became a steady mid-table outfit who amended their name to BR Eastleigh Athletic in 1950. After several steady years the clubs fortunes improved and in 1956-57 they won promotion as Division 3 runners-up. Eastleigh remained a steady Division 2 side for a number of years before relegation in 1961-62 and after several years of struggle Eastleigh Athletic finished bottom of Division 3 in 1964-65 and were relegated.
It is presumed that Eastleigh Athletic then rejoined the Southampton League where they played on for a few years before their eventual demise in the late Sixties.
Notable former players
Other clubs in the town
Over the years Eastleigh has been represented by a number of different amateur football clubs including Athletic's local rivals Eastleigh Spartans, who also played in Hampshire League from 1945 to 1954, then in the Southampton League until their demise in 1995. Other local sides of note include Eastleigh Imperial Boys Club Old Boys (now Capital), Eastleigh Comrades, Eastleigh Progressive Club and Eastleigh Town, all of whom have existed on and off for a number of years in both local Saturday and Sunday football. Until 1991 Eastleigh even boasted its own football league.
Although Eastleigh also hosted the two successful works sides Pirelli General and AC Delco, it was not until 1980 that the town's name re-appeared in the Hampshire League tables when local side Swaythling Athletic became known as Eastleigh and would go on to enjoy huge success.