The first Chichester Football Club was formed in 1873 and added the title 'City' to its name in 1948.
The club’s original home was Priory Park but it relocated to Oaklands Park in the early fifties.
The club was represented at the inaugural meeting of the Sussex County FA in 1882 and featured in the first ever Sussex Senior Cup competition in the same year losing 5-0 to Storrington. In 1896 Chichester became members of the newly formed West Sussex League and remained there until they joined the Sussex County League in 1920. The first major honour was achieved in 1926 when they won the Sussex Senior Cup but inter-war success was limited.
In 1960 Chichester clinched their first Sussex County League title and then retained it the following season, shared the Sussex RUR Cup with Brighton & Hove Albion after a 2-2 draw and reached the first round proper of the FA Cup, only to lose 11-0 to Bristol City. Chichester beat Eastbourne in the RUR Cup in 1964 and recaptured the league title in 1968.
In the 1970s Chichester’s fortunes were mixed; the high point being another league championship in 1973 and a good run in the FA Amateur Cup. At the end of the decade, City faced relegation for the first time. However, the appointment of ex-Plymouth and Portsmouth player, Richie Reynolds, as manager sparked an amazing revival which saw City claw their way to safety. The following season was one of City’s best ever as Reynolds masterminded a league championship win.
The club was relegated though in 1983 after a dismal season. Promotion and Division Two Cup success followed in 1985 but they returned to the Second Division for the 1987-88 campaign winning the Division Two Challenge Cup again in 1988.
Steve White took over as manager in 1990 and the side enjoyed another promotion campaign alongside Division Two Challenge Cup success. The club struggled for several seasons in the County League top flight before again being relegated to Division Two in 1994. In 1997, City returned to the top flight after finishing runners-up. Permission was finally granted for floodlights at Oaklands Park and they remained in the top flight of the Sussex County League in one guise or another for over twenty years.
Following a millennium merger with Portfield FC the club became known as Chichester City United FC and in 2004 Adie Girdler and his assistant Gary Brockway led Chichester to their first Sussex County League title since 1980. The club also won the Brighton Charity Cup in 2005 and 2006 and the RUR Cup for a third time in 2007. At the start of the 2009-2010 season, following discussions with Chichester District Council, it was agreed to revert back to the name of Chichester City FC as this more clearly reflected the club and the city.
The club faced challenges after this, both on and off the pitch, for a number of years. However, the management team of Miles Rutherford, Graeme Gee and first team coach Danny Potter has transformed things at Chi in all sorts of ways. A top five finish in the Southern Combination Football League premier division in 2015-16 was followed by a third place spot in 2016-17, a six month unbeaten run in the league and a record equaling 4th round appearance in the FA Vase. Chichester went one round better in the Vase the following season, losing 1-0 to 1874 Northwich in the last minute of the game.
Chi won the RUR Cup in the 2017-18 season, beating local rivals Pagham 4-0 in the final at Culver Road, and gained promotion to Step 4 of the non-league football pyramid for the first time ever in the club’s history after clinching the SCFL premier division title in 2018-19.
Darin Killpartrick joined the coaching staff at Chichester in the summer of 2019 and an exceptional start to life in the Isthmian League was complemented by an extraordinary FA Cup adventure as City progressed through six rounds of qualifying to make it to the first round proper of the competition – a run in which Chichester beat three Step 3 sides.
And in a unique FA Cup first round draw Chichester, the lowest ranked team left in the competition, were given the bye into the second round, only to lose 5-1 away at Tranmere Rovers in a match broadcast live on BT Sport.
That first league campaign was curtailed by COVID, as was the subsequent season, but in 2021-22 Chichester finished 11th in the table and 10th in 2022-23.