In our early days, the Association operated under the guidance and influence of William Pickford, a former President of The Football Association and one of the individuals responsible for creating the Laws of Association Football. Pickford’s name is synonymous with football in Hampshire and the rest of the Country and his legacy in local football was commemorated in 1996 when the Hampshire FA named its new offices after the inspirational journalist from Bournemouth. A former Hampshire FA county player from Southampton, Charlie “Nipper” Miller emigrated with his family to Brazil in 1894 armed with only a football, a pump and a County Handbook and went on to be a Founder Member of the first ever Club, Corinthians (still playing to this day and recent Brazilian Champions) and League in the South American Country. Miller is considered the father of football in Brazil, even more famous than Pele and Ronaldo, and his statue can be found in Sao Paolo Square. It is quite amazing that two of the most extraordinary gentleman responsible for laying the foundations in World football, both have roots leading back to Hampshire FA.
Since breaking away from the South Hants & Dorset FA in 1887, Hampshire FA has grown from an Association with a very small number of clubs with a Honorary Secretary operating from his home, to a business with over half a million people involved in football every weekend during the season.
Nowadays, the Hampshire FA employs a professional team of 21 led by Chief Executive, Neil Cassar, underpinned by a volunteer workforce in excess of 250,000 enables the Association to undertake its duties and achieve its aims from its headquarters in Basingstoke.
We have a regional structure of six Divisional Football Associations, these being Aldershot, Bournemouth, Isle of Wight, North Hants, Portsmouth and Southampton who govern and regulate more local issues such as Leagues, Competitions and manage the election process of delegates to the Hampshire FA Council.
On 1 July 2000 the Association was incorporated and nine Directors were appointed with responsibility for business and financial matters, leaving the traditionally elected Council, through a number of Standing Committees, to retain full responsibility for all football related activities.
The Association runs over 30 County Cup Competitions, in addition to the Girls Challenge Cup and Beach Soccer Cup and holds responsibility for the operation of a number of representative sides, including a disability team.
Traditionally, the conventional side of the business, Governance, Competitions and Referees, used to be what County Football Association’s were about. Over the last few years, we have created a Football Development Department specialising in Education, Coaching and Football Development within the County. Through hard work and sheer dedication to the development of grassroots football, the Hampshire FA is extremely proud to be considered a lead County Football Association in Football Development.