Dave Gurney Memorial Tournament - Project

Project of the Year: Lancing Rangers

The FA and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards

We are delighted to announce that Lancing Rangers have won our Grassroots Project of the Year Award as part of The FA and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards.

The awards aim to recognise and reward volunteers, match officials, clubs and leagues across the county who have made a difference to grassroots football in their local community.

Founded in 1982 by Dave Gurney in his living room, Lancing Rangers have gone on to win numerous trophies and awards, hosting the largest youth football tournament in Sussex and becoming the first Charter Standard Development Club in the Lancing & Sompting area.

In 2019 the founder and Life President for Lancing Rangers, Dave Gurney, sadly passed away. Dave was a huge figure in the local community on and off the pitch. 

Matt, with the club, organised a memorial tournament (which was delayed by two years due to the COVID pandemic) for current and ex-players (young and old) of Lancing Rangers and other local teams to remember Dave and raise money for two charities close to his heart NSPCC and St Barnabas House. 

Over 200 spectators turned up to support the event and it raised over £2300, to be split between both charities! The event was so successful that the club are looking to make it an annual event getting even bigger and even better... maybe becoming the largest adult football tournament in Sussex - emulating the youth side - you never know!

Without Dave Gurney, Lancing Rangers would never have existed, and this project was a tribute to what a fantastic and dedicated football man he was. The day started with a minute’s applause by spectators, volunteers and players, in tribute to Dave. 

Then players young and old took to the field in an 11-a-side tournament, that brought together many generations of players that have played for the club, benefitting from all the joys football brings thanks to the club Dave created all those years ago! 

The tournament was eventually won by Lancing Rangers Veterans who took home the Dave Gurney Memorial Tournament 2022 Winners trophy which was touchingly presented by Dave's widow Pat Gurney to cap off a wonderful day and a fitting tribute to a true football man!

This year the club celebrates its 40th Anniversary! Dave regularly visited Ibrox, home to Rangers FC in Glasgow, for work trips, hence the name Rangers featuring in the club’s name. 

At the time Dave had the idea, there was only one other team in Lancing offering football to kids. The club was officially affiliated to Sussex FA in March 1982. 

Most teams in the area wore either blue or red kits, so it was decided that the club colours would be black and gold, which has remained the colours of the club’s home kit since. 

Much of the early stages of the club’s formation involved fundraising and donations, to ensure they could maintain their status. Dave’s links with Rangers saw the Scottish club donate training balls to help out. 

Trips to watch football matches, fun days and barbecues became regular events to raise money along with the support of volunteers. Events such as the annual Presentation Evening and squad reps have stood the test of time and remain in place today. 

Over 40 years they have organised tournaments for European youth clubs, they have held the FA Charter Standard Development status as a club for 15 years, and they have more than 200 children signed on across 15 squads. 

Dave had a huge impact on football in Worthing, Lancing and Sompting, managing Lancing Empire in the 80s and 90s, and ensuring youth football was available to all local children. His wife Pat has been on the Lancing NSPCC committee for 37 years and is their vice-chair.

To find out more about The FA and McDonald's Grassroots Football Awards please contact:

E: Awards@SussexFA.com

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