NLP Column w/e 23rd September 2017
NON-LEAGUE Day is fast-approaching – amazingly when it comes around on Saturday, October 7 it will be the eighth edition. It’s a mainstay of the football calendar.
Creator James Doe deserves a huge amount of credit for coming up with the idea in 2010 after a trip to a Non-League ground opened his eyes to football outside the bubble.
Since then, an army of volunteers have helped drive it each year and many clubs up and down the country have come up with wonderful ideas to capitalise on the celebration.
Pay what you want, fancy dress, even ferret racing – it never ceases to surprise what clubs put on to lure in the fans.
Of course, if you’re reading this there’s every chance we are preaching to the converted. You probably already know what makes Non-League so special.
And for fans of recently relegated Football League clubs still coming to terms with the level they’re at, hopefully you are finding at least some aspects of life outside the EFL refreshing.
But NLD is a great chance to bend the ear of a family member or a mate who hasn’t experienced football from the National League down.
For most of us the, the bug bites quickly. With escalating ticket, food and merchandise prices at the top end of the game, increasing subscription packages and a general apathy towards the amount of money being spent at the top end, it’s a real opportunity for people to rediscover their love for football.
Get them down, park outside the ground, have a decent pint before, enjoy a cup of tea in a real mug at a Step 5 ground, go home with change in the pocket. Show them they can get value for money. If everyone manages to bring someone new to a game on NLD then imagine what that could lead to.
More and more clubs seem to be slipping off the radar. More grounds are being bulldozed to make way for housing. The Non-League community needs to really shout about itself. The so-called mainstream media will hopefully point their spotlight on NLD. Let’s show them why we love this corner of the Pyramid so much.
Check out www.nonleagueday.co.uk to see what events are going on and keep your eyes peeled around your local club.