Horley Football Club was first affiliated to Surrey County FA in 1896. In 1903 another local club by the name of Gatwick Rovers was formed and the two clubs merged in 1908 with Horley retaining its name. Both these original clubs played in the same colours of Red & Black and it was not until 1912 that Horley adopted the colours of Claret & Blue that they still wear to this very day.
Following WW2, Horley FC was faced with the prospect of losing it’s home at “The Kings Head” ground and set about finding a new home. A local landowner by the name of Major A.L.N. Jennings became the club’s benefactor (and President) following his generous decision to give the club 10.7 acres of land in Smallfield Road. The land has been held in trust since 1947 for the people of Horley in memory of those that died in the defence of their country, and the ground was appropriately named “The Defence”.
With the expansion of the village of Horley to a town the club changed it’s name in 1974 to become Horley Town FC, and it was during this spell in Senior football, that Horley Town enjoyed their most successful period culminating in the winning of The Surrey Senior League title and Surrey Senior League Challenge Cup in 1976/77. The club also reached the final of the Surrey Senior League Charity Cup in this season.
The club went on to compete in The London Spartan League and The Athenian League before returning to the Combined Counties League (formerly The Surrey Senior League).
In September 2003, Horley Town moved to their new ground, named “The New Defence” in deference to their old home, behind the Horley Adult Education Centre. And what a fine venue it is too, with a floodlit pitch, and dominated by an impressive Clubhouse building. There is a covered area immediately in front, with three rows of seats flanked on either side by the dugouts. In addition, bar and function facilities overlook the pitch from the upper floor of the building and provide an excellent elevated view through large double-glazed windows.
The remainder of the ground has hard standing and has floodlighting, with ample parking facilities.
From the main A23 take the turning into Horley Row at the Chequers Thistle Hotel on the roundabout (Sainsburys Local -Shell Garage). Carry on for half a mile until the signs for Horley Anderson Swimming pool turn into Court Lodge Road. The Football Ground is on the right hand side, through the college grounds to the rear.