In the Spring of 1962, sixteen (16) young men from the GraysGreen community decided that they wanted their own football team in the Antigua and Barbuda Football League. That was the beginning of the institution now known as the Empire Football Club.
Since then, the club has won a total of 13 Premier Division championships, beginning in 1969 to 1974 (6 championships), then in 1979 (1 championship), in 1988 (1 championship), in 1992 (1 championship) and then from 1997 to 2000 (4 championships). The 13th championship came in 2000 with the Four-Peat. During the last four straight championship titles, Empire only lost one match, 2:1 against SAP FC, in the final year to snap the Club’s winning streak. The club was relegated four (4) times during its existence and won the championship on two of the four occasions in the First Division.
In addition to the local Premier and 1st Division Championships, the Club has also won six (6) Knock-out titles, three (3) Soccerama titles, the inaugural All-Stars title and two (2) Leeward Island Club Championships.
At one point in 1977, the club boasts of the position of nine (9) players selected for the national team of which seven (7) were in the starting eleven, in a game against a team from one of the French islands, a feat that has never been equal or surpassed by any other club in Antigua and Barbuda.
Throughout its 53 years history, the Club has always been able to maintain a very high standard of play. Even during times of rebuilding, the Club has always been blessed with talented young men who are dedicated to the cause of taking and maintaining the Club to the highest position in the football in the country.
Empire, the envy of most clubs, has always provided the GraysGreen community and the entire nation by extension with brilliant moments of excitement and enthusiasm. The dedication to and support for the Club have been tremendous, both from within and outside the community. The fans are very proud of their squad and always had something to be boastful about. However, they would have shared in the disappointments whenever the Club did not perform or deliver the results which had grown to be its trademark…a win.
The main colours of the Club are Red, Green, Blue and Gold.
The Empire senior men’s football team participated in the 2014-15 ABFA 1st Division is sponsored by Cool & Smooth. A total of thirty-five (35) young and talented players, between the ages of 15 – 35 years, were registered to play. Most of the players were from the Grays Green Community and the remaining few from surrounding communities. The team was being coached by a former player, Mr. Steveroy “Deman” Anthony. Mr. Anthony was a player in the last Empire FC Team which won four straight championships.
In addition to the senior male team, the Club, for the first time in its history, fielded a female team in the 2012-2013 ABFA Female League. This team which was comprised of players between the ages of 15-29 years placed 3rd in their debut tournament but has since been crowned champions in two of the ABFA National Female Leagues. They have also won the CPTSA WINGS Female Football Tournament during those two years.
The Club also has a number of youth players who make up the Under 13, 15 and 17 teams. All have been very successful in their respective tournaments and competitions such as the All Saints Community Football League, the Swaling’s Competition and the Generation Next Competition.
The Supporters & Community
The GrayGreen community has always been, and continues to be, very proud and supportive of the Empire Football Club. Our fans are very knowledgeable of and passionate about the game and would demand the very best from the team at all times.
The area where the bottom of Christian Street meets Gray’s Farm Main Road, the area now called Knuckle Block, is the area for discussing the club’s performance or lack thereof. That is the area where the teams were selected, players were dropped, new players were selected, captains were disrobed and discussions on every matter pertaining to the club. There is no favouritism in that court and if a player failed to perform as expected by any other team member or fan, it will be known on that block. If a player or the team performed poorly, the block was very unforgiving.
It is not unusual to see about 500-600 supporters (on average) watching Empire Football games at King George V Ground and thousands more at the Antigua Recreation Ground (ARG) whenever the team is playing in the ABFA Premier League.