Corinthian F.C. (Kent)
Template:Infobox football club Corinthian Football Club is an English association football club formed in 1972 <ref name="GAS">Official website</ref> at Hartley, near Sevenoaks in Kent by a millionaire builder named Ron Billings, mainly to give his sons a club to play for. The club fielded an adult side which played at the Gay Dawn Farm sports complex and enjoyed a sudden short run of success in the 1980s. The club returned to the Kent League (now the Southern Counties East League) in 2009 after a lengthy absence.
Corinthian FC was founded in 1972 by Ron Billings to provide football in a safe environment, whilst teaching the players the principles that he believed to be important in sport.
The motto was simply “pro omnium beneficio”- for the benefit of all, but on the pitch the principles were simple; “Hard, but fair”. Losing wasn’t considered before the game, but if the result went against them then the team were taught to take it graciously.
For the first ten years of the club's existence they welcomed such teams as Tottenham Hotspur, Charlton Athletic and Norwich City amongst other league teams as well as county and district representative sides as opposition. On top of these games these were many regular visitors to Gay Dawn Farm from local clubs making up a fixture list of 60 games per season.
During the 1980s with the arrival of an experienced football manager, Tony Sitford, they progressed from youth football into competitive men’s football playing in the Southern League, at the time a level 7 league in the English football league system.<ref name="FCHD">Template:Fchd</ref> This level of football by a totally amateur club made them unique, but caused problems in the long run in attracting new players. In their first season in the league they finished a creditable fifth, but subsequent seasons saw them slide down the table until they finished bottom and were relegated to the Kent League in 1991. <ref name="FCHD" /> They subsequently slipped into the Kent League Division Two (renamed Division One in 1998).
Early in the new century they reviewed the whole football club and decided that they had lost their roots in youth football and this was having a detrimental effect on the senior side, so decided to withdraw temporarily from senior football, whilst rebuilding the lower levels of the club. In 2008 they had managed to create a club running five sides from 13 years old through to 18 years old and needed progression. They integrated a senior side within Welling United and developed a reserve side playing in the Kent League Division Two. This set up has moved on now to the Suburban league, but is still being run from Gay Dawn Farm.
thumb In 2009, following the withdrawal of Slade Green, the league amended its constitution to allow the club to return to the Premier Division under its own name.
Corinthian play their home games at Corinthian Sports Club, Gay Dawn Farm, Valley Road, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent, DA3 8LY.
Notable former players
Notable players to play for Corinthian include the former Watford and Gillingham star Andy Hessenthaler, who played at Gay Dawn as a teenager Jimmy Bullard, currently at Ipswich Town, also used to play for the Fawkham based side.
- Best league performance: 5th in Southern League Southern Division (level 7), 1985–86 <ref name="FCHD" />
- Best FA Cup performance: 2nd qualifying round, 1993–94 <ref name="FCHD" />
- Best FA Vase performance: 5th round, 1987–88 <ref name="FCHD" />