Lecce got off to an inauspicious start as a sporting club in 1908 but shortly after broke up and it wasn’t until a merger between local sides Juventus and Gladiator that Unione Sportiva Lecce was created in 1927. The black and white shirts soon gave way to the red and yellow stripes, but again club activity was suspended from 1932-36.

The club drifted between Serie C and semi-professional Leagues in the 1950s. Eighteen years in C gave way to Serie B football in 1977 and the first ever step up into the top flight came in 1985. It was a brief experience and to this day Lecce have never managed more than three consecutive years in Serie A.

Between 1994-99 the club from Puglia suffered two consecutive relegations into Serie C1, then three promotions in as many years to return to the top flight.