Hastings & St Leonards United was founded in June 1906, following a meeting between the directors of Hastings & St Leonards FC and St Leonards United. Both clubs had been struggling with the financial demands of professional football and it was decided that the town could not sustain having two professional teams struggle and that having one team would be for the best interests of football in Hastings.
Hastings & St Leonards FC
Founded around 1890 as Hastings Athletic, the side was part of the Hastings Amatuer Athletic club who ran cricket, tennis, rugby and athletic teams and were based on the Central Ground. They changed their name to Hastings & St Leonards in 1895, before becoming founder members of the East Sussex League in 1896 and went on to win the competition four times before leaving to play in the South Eastern League for the 1904-05 season. This league contained reserve teams from professional clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers and Brighton & Hove Albion and first teams from the likes of Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells and Hitchin.
St Leonards United
Founded as St Leonards FC in 1898, the club played at The Green (later Silverhill) and were nicknamed the 'Greenbacks' due to the club colours of green and white. They entered the East Sussex League in 1899 and won the competition in 1903, with rivals Hastings finishing in second. In 1905, the club decided to turn professional and entered the Second Division of the Southern League and South Eastern League, to compete with the Hastings club entering a professional league a year earlier. In the process they changed their name to St Leonards United and moved into the newly laid out Sports Ground', groundsharing with Rock-a-Nore.
Hastings & St Leonards United
Throughout the 1905-06 season, it became apparent that Hastings could not support having two professional teams. Both clubs were unable to reguarly draw in decent crowds and were running at a loss and it was decided at a meeting between both board of directors to meager the two teams and name themselves Hastings & St Leonards United.
The newly formed club played on the Sports Ground and the club colours were red and green, a combination of Hastings' old red and blue and St Leonards' green and white. Hastings' place in the South Eastern League Division One and St Leonards' place in the Southern League Division Two were taken up, with a reserve team taking St Leonards' spot the South Eastern League Division Two.
The club spent four seasons playing in these leagues, playing against the likes of Southend, Clapton Orient (Leyton Orient) and Wycombe Wanderers in the Southern League and strong reserve sides from West Ham, Fulham, Chelsea and Norwich in the South Eastern League. However the club were unable to earn promotion from Division Two of the Southern League, this and a lack of support to sustain this level of football saw the club run into financial promblems and the club was wound up at the end on the 1909-10 season.