Maidstone United FC was founded in 1897 then reformed in 1992 following the demise of the Football League side. The Stones started life again as Maidstone Invicta under the leadership of then Chairman Paul Bowden-Brown.
Maidstone United joined the Kent County League Division Four for the 1993/94 season and won the title at the first attempt. They also picked up the West Kent Challenge Shield and the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup. They were promoted to Division Two following a restructuring of the league and won the title again as well as lifting the Kent Junior Cup.
After three seasons in Division One the Stones finally earned promotion to the Kent County League Premier Division. Much of the credit for turning the club around on the field must go to the then manager Jason Lillis. Lillis has a place in Stones’ history as the only player to appear in Maidstone United’s first and last games in the Football League.
In their second season in the Kent County League Premier Division, during which Maidstone United were awarded Senior Status, The Stones finished the league season as runners-up to Bearsted to earn promotion.
The 2001/2002 season saw the club return to the Kent League playing their home games at Central Park in Sittingbourne and appearing in the FA Vase for the first time. There were several highlights during the club’s inaugural Kent League season. This included a first ever match in the FA Vase, in which The Stones defeated Hellenic League Carterton Town by 4-1.
The Stones finished the league season as champions on the very last day when they defeated Deal Town at the Charles Sports Ground. The following week The Stones completed the Kent League and Cup double after defeating Whitstable Town by 2-0 at Folkestone Invicta’s Cheriton Road.
The 2002/2003 season highlight was the return of Maidstone United to the FA Cup. With the added attraction of being the focus of the BBC’s “Road To Cardiff,” The Stones started their cup trail at Ramsgate and on the way defeated Tonbridge Angels and Newport (IoW) before succumbing to a defeat against Boreham Wood in the 2nd Qualifying Round in front of a home crowd of 937.
In the league, the club lead the table for almost the entire season. However following the late season resignation from the league of Faversham Town, the League Management Committee decreed that the title would be awarded to the club with the highest earned points per match average. So with Maidstone and Thamesmead Town both achieving 63 points from 30 games, the unusual situation arose that the championship was won by Cray Wanderers with 62 points (from 29 games.) The Stones lost the league title by 0.14 points!! Silverware was forthcoming though, as the club won the Kent Senior Trophy for the first time in its’ history with a 3-0 victory over Cray Wanderers at Chatham Town FC.
The Stones were crowned Kent League champions for the second time in 2006 and secured the league and cup double with the title being won on the last day of the season with a resounding 4-1 win away to Sevenoaks Town. The Kent League Cup was won again with a 4-1 hammering of VCD Athletic at Folkestone Invicta’s Cheriton Road ground. Promotion to Ryman League Division One South was confirmed at the end of the season.
The Stones repeated their championship success for a second successive season, when, yet again on the last day of the campaign, they travelled to Walton Casuals and they secured the Ryman League Division One South title with a 2-1 win.
Following another promotion the club spent five years in the Ryman League Premier Division with little in the way of playing success. An eight year ground share with Sittingbourne ended and for two seasons The Stones moved to The Homelands in Ashford. However, it soon became apparent that sharing at Homelands was counter-productive to the success of the club.
The Chairman of 19 years, Paul Bowden-Brown stepped down from the helm of the club having taken it as far as he could. The season ended in major disappointment as The Stones were relegated for the first time in their history to Ryman League Division One South.
Oliver Ash and Terry Casey replaced Paul Bowden-Brown as majority shareholders and co-owners and have subsequently returned Maidstone United to a position of relative health. The Stones missed out on the play-offs at the end of the 2011/12 season but the ultimate prize was happening off the pitch. The £2.6million Gallagher Stadium is nearing completion and will host its first match on Saturday 14 July between Maidstone and Brighton & Hove Albion.