This is believed to be the oldest picture of a Worthing SC water polo team, which was taken in 1897.
The shield is the Sussex senior league trophy, still in existence today.
This team dominated Sussex water polo at that time and were runners up on three occasions (1901, 1906 and 1907) in the South of England championships.
They also went on to make the final of the 1901 English championships when they played Manchester Osborne SC at Westminster baths, eventually losing the game 2-6. Over 200 supporters traveled from Worthing on a special train that was organised by the club which is something we should look into for future national league weekends!
The stand-out player was local blacksmith Ernie Paine who played international water for England between 1897 and 1908 and never finished on the losing side. He was captain for the match against Ireland played at Swindon in 1903.
It only took the club 117 years to appear in another national championship final which was our win, ironically in Manchester, in the 2018 boys under 15 national age groups.
The club was founded in 1890 and we were hoping that the 130th anniversary would be memorable for other reasons!