If you’re a football fan who has never been to watch any of our local non-League sides, this weekend is the perfect time to do it.
With no Premier League or Championship matches scheduled due to the international break, and England playing on Friday night, fans who would normally go to a top-flight game are being urged to support their local team instead.
Non-League Day was launched in 2010 by QPR fan James Doe and has proved a huge success, receiving widespread national press coverage and increasing crowds at grounds across the country.
James, who follows the fortunes of Harrow Borough when not at Loftus Road, said the idea was inspired by the warm welcome he and his fellow Rangers fans got on a pre-season trip to Tavistock.
When he heard about Harrow’s fundraising campaign for new floodlights, it dawned on him how tight finances were at non-League level, and how much hard work goes in to keep the clubs afloat.
He hopes NLD will encourage those who normally go to watch big teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool to take in a game at a nearby club, such as Raynes Park Vale, Curzon Ashton or Prescot Cables.
To help promote the day, and themselves, a lot of non-League clubs are offering discounted entry to their matches this Saturday to those with season tickets for their bigger neighbours.
Locally, Burgess Hill Town are away but there is a game at St. Francis Rangers, who will hope to avoid a third consecutive 11-0 defeat when they entertain Wick & Barnham United.
Hassocks and Haywards Heath Town are also on the road, with visits to Arundel and Oakwood.
For more information on Non-League Day, visit www.nonleagueday.co.uk.
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