Whitehawk have dropped plans to change their name to Brighton City FC.

The club announced late this afternoon they had withdrawn their application to change their name from next season following discussion with fans.

Pressure had grown on the club this week with more than 1,400 fans signing an online petition opposed to the move.

Brighton and Hove Albion were also in opposition to the plans, having stated they were admanant they did not want another team using the name Brighton.

A previous application to change their name had been turned down by the Football Association, amid objections from Albion.

It appeared earlier this week the club were determined to press on with a second attempt to push the move through with the FA.

However, there has now been been abrupt U-turn with chairman John Summers saying he has listened to fans.

Summers said: “I made a point of standing on the terraces with The Ultras yesterday at the Chelmsford match to engage with them first hand and they made it abundantly clear to me that, although they understood the need to embrace the city, they dismissed the name ‘Brighton City’ as their preferred choice out of hand.

“It was good to be amongst them and listen to their views personally and I thank them all for their input yesterday.

“Nobody should have had any doubts about the club’s aspirations. All of the investors and members had voted for it, however we have listened to the fans.

“They have made it very clear to us that if we are changing our name they prefer other options such as ‘Brighton Whitehawk’ or ‘Brighton East End’ so we will all have a beer together and work to build the club.”

Vice chairman Nigel Thornton added: “It was very brave of John to leave the boardroom and go down and speak to the fans man to man on the terraces. Not many people would have had the nerve to do that and I admire him for that.

“This is an exciting time for the club, we have grown very fast and we know that to continue this growth we have to make some difficult decisions. The proposed name change has injected a huge passion back into the club, now we all need to agree our next step and stick together to take the club forward.”