Frank Le Sbirel
First Team Manager
Sevenoaks Town FC was originally formed in 1883 and they were founder members of the original Kent League, but they left after just one season and wouldn’t return for another 110 years. There are few existing records of the club during that era, but it is known that on 26 April 1893 they played Royal Arsenal, who were at the time the only professional team in the South of England, with over 1,000 spectators watching the game.
In 1906 the club, now known as Sevenoaks Town, became one of the founder members of the Sevenoaks League. In 1951 Town amalgamated with another local club, St. John’s United, and became members of the Kent Amateur League (Western Region), which they won on two occasions. In 1984 the Kent Amateur League was re-organised as the Kent County League and Sevenoaks were the first Premier Division champions, a feat they repeated in seasons 1995–96 and 2002–03.
After over a century playing in almost exclusively amateur leagues, Sevenoaks applied for promotion to the semi-professional Kent League after winning the 02-03 title.
Their first season in the county’s senior league ended with a respectable 11th place and included a memorable victory away to former Football League side Maidstone United, when they recovered from a 3-1 half-time deficit to win 4-3.
The move to senior level also meant Sevenoaks were eligible for FA competitions. Their first appearance in the FA Vase came in 2004-05, when they lost 2-1 at home to Deal Town.
Their longest run in the competition came in the final season they were eligible, 2017-18, when they made it to the third round proper before losing 3-1 away to Thatcham Town.
Since achieving promotion to the Isthmian League, Town have switched to the FA Trophy.
In their first ever match in the competition in 2018-19 they beat former Conference side Grays Athletic 4-2 before losing 2-1 away to Dorking Wanderers, who went on to win the Isthmian Premier Division, in the first qualifying round.
In the FA Cup Town’s best performance came in 2016-17 when they took Chesham to a replay in the second qualifying round and although they’ve yet to meet Football League opposition, one of their most memorable ties came in 2008-09 when they held Folkestone Invicta to a 4-4 draw at Greatness Park in the preliminary round.
Town led 2-0 and 3-2 but were trailing 4-3 in stoppage time when a free-kick from Dwayne Gibbons earned them a replay, which they eventually lost 4-1.
After a decade during which their highest league position was sixth in 2009-10, Town appointed the former Dartford and Tonbridge player Micky Collins as manager for the 2014-15 season. Having previously won the Kent League title with Erith & Belvedere, Collins oversaw four seasons of progress, which saw the club rise from 16th to eighth, fifth and third in 2016-17, a season which also saw then win the Premier Division Cup.
In 2017-18, having installed a 3G pitch, Collins led them to win the Southern Counties East League title and promotion to Step 4 football for the first time in the club's history.
A 10th place finish in their first season in Isthmian League South East proved an impressive start.
Two Covid interrupted campaigns followed - last season proved a difficult one - a poor run of results ending with the departure of Collins following a 4-0 defeat at Ashford United in mid February, after seven and a half seasons in charge.
Harry Hudson was appointed two weeks later - with 10 games left - a host of new players featuring in his first match in charge, earning a 1-1 draw at Corinthian.
A point was a good enough start with an almost completely new side, but nobody could have predicted the dramatic transformation in the team's fortunes - from relegation candidates to mid-table finishers - in the remaining two months of the season, completed with a 2-1 final day win at champions Hastings United.
A seventh successive victory clinched 13th place, winning 26 points out of a possible 30, putting them top of the form table, with Hudson named Manager of the Month for April.
The 2022/23 season saw the club record their best ever runs in the Emirates FA Cup and Isuzu FA Trophy.
The FA Cup highlight was the 1-0 win in the third qualifying round at National League South Bath City, before going out to eventual champions Ebbsfleet United - pushing them all the way, before losing 2-0.
The Trophy exit a week earlier followed a 1-0 defeat at Lewes.
Eighth place in Pitching In Isthmian South East was also the best finish as a Step 4 club.
The 140th anniversary season also provided some other impressive statistics.
A total of 1288 players represented the club - 1174 junior players and 114 seniors.
More than 200 volunteers supported the club, with more than 100 sponsors across all level.