HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 1993, club founder Dr. Des Murphy, who at the time ran Ryde Youth Club, identified a need within Ryde on the Isle of Wight to offer a football team that would provide young players the opportunity to break into adult football.
Several local teenagers, most of whom had spent their youth football playing for the weakest teams in their respective leagues, expressed an interest and Ryde Saints was born.
RYDE SAINTS ENTER THE LEAGUE
In 1995, entry to the Isle of Wight League Division 3 was confirmed. Perhaps predictably, the next several seasons saw weekly heavy defeats, but Des and the club continued to offer training free of charge while impressing the values of commitment and organisation.
RISE IN FORTUNES
It took ten years before the club were promoted from the bottom division of Island Football, but while progress was gradual the same values were retained and a reserve side, managed by Des, was added to the club and later went on the win Isle of Wight Combination League 2
PROMOTION TO DIV 1
Ten years on again and the first team were promoted to Isle of Wight League Division 1, having won several trophies along the way, including the Island Junior B (in 2004) and Hampshire Junior A Cups (in 2016) - being the first Isle of Wight side to do so in over twenty years.
There have been notable opponents on the journey, including UEFA Cup Side Barry Town FC at their Leckwith Stadium in 2006...
...and Matthew Le Tissier's last match for Vale Recreation FC.
Despite the club's growth, the original Ryde Saints principle of 100% effort, keeping commitments and being welcoming to all is resolutely unchanged and enshrined in the club’s constitution under the heading ‘Code of Conduct’.
To this day Ryde Saints adult training remains completely free of charge, while off the pitch is recognised as one of Hampshire's best run clubs. We have once again achieved 'FA Charter Standard' status, providing a recognised quality mark for the club but also the challenge of maintaining high standards.
IOW CLUB OF THE YEAR
Furthermore, in May 2017 the club was notified that it had won the prestigious ‘Isle of Wight Club of the Year Award’ as awarded by Hampshire FA. The judging criteria was specifically:
Outcomes from unannounced monitoring club visits (of which the club was unaware).
Inspection of annual Football Association ‘health checks’.
Effectiveness of club administration.
Disciplinary and complaints records.
In 2023/4 the club now runs two adult sides (one of which remains specifically designated to offer a supported step from youth to adult football overseen by youth coaches), thirteen youth sides (including boys and girls of all ages) and offers football to over 200 members.
INVESTING IN THE CLUB
2018 also saw significant investment in club grounds. Salters Park was relandscaped and three sets of new goalposts were purchased, giving the youth teams their first home. At Smallbrook a full new drainage system was installed.
In 2021, the club purchased a ride on mower and in 2022 contributed toward new floodlights as part of a groundshare with Newport FC. As always, the journey continues...
In 2019 and 2020 Ryde Saints invested heavily at Salters Park - new storage and car parking were added, making the site a true community asset.