The club was formed in 1879 by 16 interested gentlemen meeting in the Town Hall. In the early years friendlies were played against local villages before becoming members of the North Essex League in 1894.Their first trophy of note was winning the Essex Junior Cup in 1902, beating Chingford 2-0 in the final at Chelmsford.
During the early years of the century they competed in the Halstead & District League and also the Haverhill & District League. They played at various grounds in the town including Three Gates, Ravens Meadow, King George playing field, Courtaulds Sports Ground and Coggeshall Pieces.
In 1947 they won the Essex Junior Cup again, beating Eton Manor 6-3 at Grays. In the following year they moved to their present ground at Rosemary Lane which had been developed from parts of three fields. In 1949, the clubhouse was opened and the 500-seater stand was added a year later.
Halstead then joined the Essex & Suffolk Border League, finishing joint runners-up to Sudbury in 1955. Three years later, under Bob Curry Snr, they landed the Championship as well as the League Cup, beating Lakenheath 11-4 on aggregate in the final.
Four Border League titles, six runners-up places and four League Cup victories were amongst the honours that followed before the club moved up to the Essex Senior League in 1980. In this league, two third places and League Cup runners-up spot were achieved.
In 1988 Town joined the newly formed Jewson League First Division, from where player-manager Dennis Longhorn led the club to promotion to the Premier Division and the final of the League Cup
In 1992 Keith Martin was appointed manager with Ian Phillips as coach, and the club went from strength to strength. They were pipped by a point for the title, but landed the Essex Senior Trophy, beating Canvey Island 2-0 at Braintree.
The following season 1994/95 they took the title by seven points from Wroxham, and followed up with the title again in 1995/96, this time with Ian Philips in charge. For good measure they took the League Cup as well, beating Fakenham 4-0 in the final at Diss.
Steve Parnell, who lifted the club to a promising seventh spot, ended a disappointing spell with Danny Greaves in charge and then Terry Benson was appointed manager. With only one win in the first 12 games, he then departed and Shaun Bailey took over the reins.
Due to work commitments, Shaun left and was replaced by the Paul Grimsey, formerly with Sudbury Town. Working with very limited finances and resources, his first season ended with the relegation to division one. One year later, Andy Clark joined as assistant manager, and together they were able to land the Division One League and Cup double. They also won the Uttlesford Charity Cup, overcoming Stansted at Leyton Orient's ground at Brisbane Road.
Season 2003-2004 proved to be a very satisfying one; Town ended up in seventh place and reached the Essex Senior Cup semi-final before being beaten by Aveley. Paul Grimsey then handed over the reins to Andy Clark, who added a professional touch to the proceedings. His second in command was Gary Harvey, with keeper Lloyd Pentney also playing an important part.
Season 2004-05 was another excellent season with Town finishing in third position in the league and winning the League Cup for the second time, beating Histon Reserves 3-1. They also reached the final of the Essex Senior Cup before going down 0-1 after extra time to a very good Thurrock side.
The next season was a very turbulent affair, with high hopes of success early in the season replaced with a battle against relegation by the end. Off field problems saw the break up of the complete first team squad, and also the departure of manager Andy Clark. Mitchell Springett took over in charge but was forced to leave due to ill health.
Under 18's manager Tony Kinsella was appointed early in 2006, and with a young and inexperienced side made continual improvements until safety was assured on the final game of the season. The following season, though, the club was unable to fend off relegation.
In 2007, Jody Brown, joined from Tiptree United, and using the experience he gained from working with Colchester United youth players, kept a youthful team in the promotion race until pipped for promotion Whitton United.
The following year, some new faces were brought in and promotion was on the horizon again. However, Lady Luck did not smile on Halstead and again we missed out on promotion, this time on goal difference to Debenham.
In 2010, Halstead reached the final of Division One KO Cup, losing 1-2 to Clacton and also suffered an extra-time defeat by Ryman league team, Tilbury, in the final of the East Anglian Trophy.
During season 2010/11, chairman and former player, Jimmy Holder again picked up the reins as manager and, with Andy Joslin as his coach, began forging an exciting young team with the nucleus of players from the recently formed soccer academy.