However, efforts from residents have been made to attract people to the small hamlet, including an annual festival and other community-based local events.
Tucked away at the end of a residential road is the village’s football club, Wick F.C. Their home is Crabtree Park – likely named after the numerous crab apple trees that adorn the area. It’s a modest arena with two stands on opposite sides providing the only cover. Southern Railway’s West Coastway Line passes behind the ground. Notably, the clubhouse appears to be a converted house as its style is in keeping with the rest of the dwellings in the street.
Wick F.C. is an old establishment, having been formed in the 19th century. They were founding members of the West Sussex Junior League in 1896. It would be some 70 years later in which they’d join the Sussex County League, for which they’ve remained ever since.
In more recent years, Wick merged with another local side, Barnham to become ‘Wick & Barnham F.C.’ but the marriage only lasted three years, with Wick retaining the ground and most of the players in the divorce. Barnham faded into obscurity having only been around for a few years prior.
The Wickers also features in the title of Andy Ollerenshaw’s book ‘From Wick to Wembley’, following the winners of each round in the FA Cup up to the final. Wick didn’t make it past the first tie.
Since then, the Wickers appointed former North American Soccer League winner Carmelo D’Anzi following a move from Texas to East Preston! The former Tulsa Roughnecks manager is an inductee of the New England Soccer Hall of Fame (yes, there’s such a thing).
Sadly, D’Anzi had long since departed upon this visit in April 2019. A dead rubber Bank Holiday Monday morning fixture between Wick and local rivals Littlehampton did nothing to whet the appetite for the locals, nor the players; Wick could only muster 10 starters and that included the Manager. Suffice to say, it was a little one sided with the visitors racking up a 7-1 victory. Whilst Wick have a youth system in place, they weren’t fairing much better, though surely this was a chance to blood the youngsters in a meaningless fixture.