Club History

The club was formed in 1908 and was originally called Deal Cinque Ports before the name was changed to Deal Town in 1921. For the first 50 years of so of their existence the Hoops played at various times in the old Kent League or Kent Amateur League and in the 1950s they enjoyed one of their most successful periods, winning the Kent League title in 1954 and the Kent League Cup in 1958, when they beat Margate 3-0 in the final, before the KL was disbanded the following year.

Deal then become one of the founder members of the Aetolian League in 1959, where they finished runners-up in their first season, before leaving the AL to join the Southern League in 1963. But after enduring three torrid seasons in the SL Deal switched leagues again in 1966 when they joined the Greater London League.

Deal spent five seasons in the GLL, with the highlight coming in 1968 when they won the League Cup by beating East Ham Utd 2-1 after extra-time. But when the GLL merged with the Spartan League at the  end of the 1970–71 season Deal’s first team opted not to join the merged league and instead took over from their reserve side in the newly-reborn Kent League.

The club’s next trophy success came 11 years later when they won the Kent League Cup by defeating Erith & Belvedere in the 1982 final, but trophies again proved hard to come by in the ensuing years. That was all to change however after Roy Smith took over as chairman in 1997, and his ambitions both on and off the field quickly lifted the club. Smith appointed a full- time manager in Tommy Sampson for the beginning of the 1998-99 season, which ended with the club winning the Kent League Cup by beating VCD Athletic in the final, and the Hoops then enjoyed the greatest season in their history the following year. Deal became the first team from Kent to lift the FA Vase with their 1-0 victory at Wembley Stadium against Chippenham Town thanks to Roly Graham’s superb late volley, and for good measure they also won the Kent League title.

However, the Hoops’ fortunes quickly went downhill after Smith and Sampson left the Charles Ground before the start of the 2000-01 season. Dave Dadd took over as manager for that campaign and then became assistant manager when Simon Bryant took charge the following year. Bryant led the team to creditable third and fourth place finishes in his two seasons as manager before taking over at Herne Bay. With the majority of Bryant’s players also leaving it was again a case of having to rebuild and this time the task fell to Derek Hares, who had enjoyed two successful seasons as the Hoops reserve team manager. And, apart from a couple of years from 2013-15 when he became chairman, Hares has been in charge of the first team until the present day.

The 2018-19 campaign saw Deal again spend virtually all of the season in the top half of the table only to lose three of their last four games which meant the Hoops eventually finished in 11th place, and Hares and head coach Steve King will certainly be hoping to improve on that position this season.

Our main honours

FA Vase winners


Kent League winners

1953/54, 1999/2000

Kent League runner-up

1988/89. 1998/99

Kent League Cup winners

1957/58, 1981/82, 1998/99

Kent League Cup


Kent Senior Trophy

1994/95, 1999/2000

Kent Senior Trophy runners-up

1982/83, 1990/91