THERE’S a saying at NLP Towers……. NLP Column
……………………..every day is Non-League Day!
Now, anyone reading this will no doubt be familiar with NLD but hopefully there are new fans too only just discovering what Non-League football is all about.
Conceived by QPR fan James Doe back in 2010, he wanted to spread the word after attending a Non-League game himself.
Since then, once a season on an international break, fans are encouraged to get out and watch their local club.
Within five minutes of many front doors in the country, there is a decent game of football being played every weekend.
Whether you are a fan of a club that has been relegated into Non-League or follow the team on your doorstep, we all have reasons for watching.
Often people are surprised at the quality of players – something that shouldn’t be so accepted with the big successes of recent years like Jamie Vardy.
And there are so many great tales to be told. How about Dave Diaper at Sholing who has just completed 1,000 games at the club he took over in the Hampshire Premier League and took to Wembley glory in the FA Vase?
As well as managing the team, he’s also helped run the club and led them up the Pyramid. Or what about The NLP’s current Fan of the Year, James Beardwell? A die-hard Witham Town fan, he entertains us every week with his videos from games and passion for his team.
Pop star Olly Murs even appeared in one of James’ vlogs recently when Witham took on Coggeshall Town, the Bostik club Murs is co-owner of.
NLD isn’t about dumping the top level of the game, but about realising the football fix can also be found further down.
Over the years we’ve seen all sorts of whacky ways to mark the occasion from fancy dress to ferret racing. Clubs will often offer free or reduced entry but Bungay Town even once handed out free mushrooms on the gate upon entry.
This year will be no different as new fans try a different experience and mix with those of us who already love Non-League football.
Part of the charm is the intimate atmosphere, the closeness to the players and, of course, the value for money. And this is a great chance for clubs to open their doors and show off.
Prostate Cancer UK are once again heavily involved, with National League sponsors Vanarama looking to raise a sizeable sum for the charity.
We’ll be promoting events in The NLP over the coming weeks but make sure you keep an eye out to see how clubs near you are planning to celebrate Non-League Day.
And if you have an idea yourself, why not let the club know? After all, getting involved is what makes Non-League so special. Just ask us at The NLP!