Sport and Social

Crawley and District Bowling & Tennis Club
The bowling club had a green at the George Hotel. It moved to Three Bridges Road about 1920 where a Tennis Club had also been set up. The grounds were on land now occupied by Parkside and shops.


Crawley and Ifield British Legion Club - Spencers Road

Crawley Boxing Club
Crawley Boxing Club met at in the remaining part of the former Baptist Church building in Station Road, after the library moved to Northgate Avenue, until the Station Road buildings were demolished in 1985.

Crawley Boys' Club
Originally in Ifield Avenue the club moved to London Road in 1962; the new clubhouse was opened by the Duke of Richmond.

Crawley Comrades Football Club
Crawley Comrades were formed just after the First World War. Their ground in Malthouse Road, Southgate, was later taken over by Crawley Rangers.

Crawley Cricket Club
Crawley Cricket Club was formed in December 1886, at a meeting held in the Railway Hotel, to play cricket at the newly opened Recreation Ground. The first match was played in 1887. An older club, the Ifield and Crawley Cricket Club, was renamed the Ifield Cricket Club "as there was now another club in the town using the name Crawley". The old ground was compulsory purchased by the Crawley Development Corporation in 1953, and in 1954 a new 12 acre recreation ground in Goffs Park included a pitch for the use of the club. In less than a year two arson attacks destroyed the club's home and most of their equipment, and the club relocated to Maidenbower in 2001. The club moved again in 2007 to Southgate playing fields.


Crawley Foxhounds

Charles Bethune took over the stables of the The Rising Sun as the headquarters of Crawley Foxhounds


Crawley Rifle and Pistol Club
Crawley Rifle and Pistol Club has been meeting since 1907. They had a club range behind the George Hotel, and later used the smallbore range at the TAVR Centre in Kilnmead, Northgate.

Crawley Rugby Club
The inaugural meeting of the club was held on 30th March 1950 at the George Hotel with about seventy people attending. The first ground for the Club was behind Crawley Towns Minors pitch, and the club rented a building opposite the Swan Hotel which was converted into changing rooms and showers. The club later moved to a nearby site at West Green playing fields and by the early 1960s the club built its own Clubhouse here. In 1993 the club relocated to Willoughby Fields, where there is a new clubhouse and four pitches.

Crawley Town Football Club
Crawley Town was formed in 1896, and played in the West Sussex and Mid-Sussex leagues until joining the Sussex County League in 1951. The club then moved again into the Metropolitan League, turned professional in 1962, and joined the Southern League in 1963. They played in the First Division, with a season in the Premier Division in 1969-70, moved into the Premier Division in 1984 where they remained until moving up to the National Division in 2004.
After playing at the Town Mead ground for forty-eight seasons, in 1997 the ground was sold for redevelopment, and the club moved into the new Broadfield Stadium. The club went into administration for two months in 1999, emerged under new owner, John Duly, and was sold again to the SA Group in July 2005, turning full-time the following month. Inconsistent results and dwindling support resulted in financial problems, and in March 2006 the playing and management staff were only being paid 50% of their salary. June 2006 saw the club in administration for the second time. The administrators put the club up for sale at short notice, but a new deal between the owners and creditors was agreed in August. In April 2008 the club was bought by Prospect Estates Holdings Limited.
Crawley Town won the Sussex Professional Cup in 1970, the Gilbert Rice Floodlight Cup in 1980 and 1984, the Southern Counties Combination Floodlight Cup in 1986, and the Sussex Senior Cup in 1990 and 1991. The Sussex Floodlight Cup was won between 1991 and 1993, and in the 1991-1992 season Crawley reached the FA Cup Third Round, with a tie at Brighton & Hove Albion's Goldstone Ground in front of a crowd of 18,300. In 2003 they won the League Cup and Sussex Senior Cup, and the following year the Southern League championship and the league's Championship Match trophy. In 2004-05 they retained the Southern League Championship Trophy and the club reclaimed the Sussex Senior Cup. The high point of the season was their 2-1 victory over Morecambe at Broadfield Stadium, which was televised on Sky Sports. On 19th February 2011 the club reached the fifth round of the F.A. Cup, losing 1-0 against Manchester United at Old Trafford. But at the end of the season the club became The Blue Square Bet Premier Champions earning promotion into the Football League.

Crown Bowls Club

Gatwick Golf Course
The Golf course ran either side of the racecourse at Gatwick, crossing it in several places. Consequently, there was no golf on race days.


Gatwick Racecourse
Gatwick Racecourse opened in September 1891, replacing Croydon Racecourse, which had closed. The owner payed £5000 to the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway to build a station, which was connected by a covered way to the grandstand. The course consisted of a mile long straight, starting near Povey Cross and ending in front of the grandstand, and a steeplechase oval. During the First World War, between 1916 and 1918, a consolation Grand National was run at Gatwick, although Whitaker's Almanack listed the National as “no race-war” during those years. Gatwick grew in popularity, and by the late 1920s had 16 days of racing in its calendar, and the Grand National Trial was introduced in March 1930.
The last meeting before the racecourse was taken over for the duration of the war was held on 15th June 1940. The last event was a point-to-point in 1947. In the 1950's Gatwick was selected as the site of London's second airport, and the new airport was built on the site of the racecourse. The airport's terminal building stands on the site of the grandstand and paddock. The Gatwick Racecourse bandstand was dismantled and re-erected in Queens Square, Crawley.


Ifield Cricket Club
Ifield Cricket Club was formed about 1804 and played on Ifield Green.

Ifield Golf and Country Club

Leisure Centre and K2
A seventeen acre site to the south of Haslett Avenue was acquired by Crawley Urban District Council in March 1962, and development began with the construction of an indoor swimming pool. It was officially opened by the council chairman, Robert May, on 25th April 1964. During 1966 a 400 metre running track and a flood-lit outdoor games area was added. A multi-purpose sports hall, constructed by local company James Longley, was officially opened by the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, on 30th November 1974. Crawley Leisure Centre closed on 7th November 2005.
K2 was officially opened on 24th January 2006 by Lord Sebastian Coe.


Popes Mead Bowling Club
From 1918 the Crown Bowls Club had a green behind the Crown public house in Ifield Road. The club had to leave in 1945 and were loaned a site by John Penfold at Popes Mead Meadow for a rent of 1/-, with an option to purchase the site for £200 on his death. John Penfold died in May 1946 and the club purchased the Meadow in 1947 when the club was renamed Popes Mead Bowling Club. Sir Norman Longley opened a pavilion in June 1953. When the site was scheduled for redevelopment in 1997 the Club moved to Willoughby Fields.

The Southern Wheelers Cycling Club
The Southern Wheelers Cycling Club was formed on 27th August 1923 at a meeting, chaired by Harry Kirkman, held at the Northgate Café.

Three Bridges Football Club
Three Bridges and Worth Football Club was founded in 1901, playing in the Mid-Sussex league from the 1902-1903 season, then the East Grinstead league, the Redhill and District league from 1936, and the Sussex County Football League from 1952. They changed their name to Three Bridges United from the 1953-54 season, and to Three Bridges Football Club from the 1964-65 season. They were Mid-Sussex League Champions in 1907-08 and again in 1950-51, also winning the Mid-Sussex Charity Cup that season. They won the East Grinstead League title in 1924-25 and the Sussex Junior Cup in 1934-35. They were founder members of the Sussex County League Division Two in 1952-53 and won the Montgomery Cup and Senior Football status. They were Division Two Champions for 1954-55, earning promotion to the first division, but the following season were relegated, thereafter see-sawing between the two divisions several times.
The club's existence was threatened when fire destroyed the Clubhouse during the 1993 May Bank Holiday weekend, and it took two years to rebuild. In the summer of 2000 improvements were made to the Jubilee Field ground, including a terraced concrete surround on all four sides of the ground, upgraded floodlights, a pitch irrigation system, and in 2001 a new 100 seater stand was opened to coincide with the presentation of an illuminated scroll from the Football Association to celebrate the clubs centenary.