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Eastbourne United Association FC begain its existence on the 5th September 1894 as the 1st Sussex Royal Engineers Volunteers (Eastbourne) FC.
Following success in a football tournament at Sheffield Park near East Grinstead, as part of a training camp for Sussex Companies of the Regiment. The new club adopted the Regimental colours of red and blue stripes, but with no home ground the first two matches were played on the field of South Lynn School in Tutts Barn Lane; and numerous other venues were used in those early years, although the new club also returned to Sheffield Park to play.
In 1901 the club gained permission from Eastbourne Council to use Gildredge Park in the Old Town as their home ground. Like the other grounds, it was not enclosed and entrance was by voluntary donation of one penny. The playing surface was also very undulating and resulted in its nickname: the "Switchback Pitch".