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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks


Supporters of Non League clubs are no less enthusiastic and committed than those of the bigger professional clubs. In many cases they have to be, particularly in areas where they are surrounded by larger more fashionable clubs. There will some who like to support a smaller club just to be different. Many will also follow or express some sort of allegiance to a professional club. Equally, there will be others, who having become disenchanted with the Premiership have discovered that they prefer to follow their local Non League side.

What adds a bit of extra spice to the Non League game is that, certainly at County League level, there are numerous local derbies to look forward to, each of which engenders just the sort of passion and rivalry associated with Arsenal v Spurs; Liverpool v Everton; or Man Utd v Man City ... not to mention Celtic v Rangers or Hibs v Hearts.

These derbies are made all the more interesting due to the fact that more often than not, many of the players on either side will have played for both clubs at some point. In addition, they may also be well known to the supporters watching from the touchline. Non League players are not dieties to be viewed with awe from a distance - they are the local postman or electrician to share a drink with in the bar after a game.

Photographs (L to R) Click to enlarge any image

Pagham vs AFC Wimbledon, FA Vase
The Wombles descend on Pagham on a Sunday afternoon in September.

Rattle Man
Neighbouring supporters run for cover when arch Sidley United fan Steve Lee (note personalised tracksuit top) gets excited and wields his rattle.

The Borough Band
Members of the infamous Eastbourne Borough ‘band’ at Chelmsford City FC. Earlier in the season they made the national news after having their drums confiscated at Cambridge for making too much noise!


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