Not only is it the first anniversary of this blog but it's the last edition before Non-League Day 2012 which I and a small group of very dedicated volunteers have been working towards all year. Consequently this entry will be completely dedicated to it.
If you've missed the previous two events, we schedule the day to coincide with an international break so that there are no Premier League or Championship matches. We then attempt to get fans of those clubs, and anyone else interested, to go and experience a match at their local non-league club instead.
The requests for interviews, press releases and general info about the day are starting to come in thick and fast and our Twitter account is really starting to buzz. Last year we managed to get #nonleagueday to the top of the site's trending chart on the morning and hopefully we'll repeat that this time given we have many more followers.
News of special offers and events from clubs all over the country are also finding their way to us and if you think we've missed any please let us know. Some of them have been really inventive with free admission for people in fancy dress and 5-a-side football tournaments which entitle the players to free entry.
|IT'S ALMOST HERE!!!|
There are also lots of charity events going on at games as clubs try to make the most of the day. Our official charity the 'Free Kicks Foundation' are being particularly active so give their site a look to find out what they're up to.
Ultimately Non-League Day is a fans' movement which has no budget so everything we achieve is purely down to word of mouth, the goodwill of influential individuals and hard work!
With only six days to go, and if you haven't already, we need you to get involved by helping to spread the word with the odd tweet, message on Facebook or just by telling your friends.
If you have time we'd also like you to contact media outlets, local or regional, if you think they might have missed it. The more noise we make as fans, the more likely they are to listen.
Lastly if you've got your own blog or website, we'd really appreciate it if you could add one of our banners to it. Thanks a lot if you can help in any way.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Despite there being no Premier League or Championship football all week, there's still the best part of 80 games in London over the next seven days. The vast majority are on Non-League Day but if you can't make a game then, there are also several to choose from during the week.
With all that in mind, here's this week's match map. If you've never used it before, please note that when there is more than one match at a specific ground you'll only be able to see individual match pins if you zoom right in. If you don't, the pins obscure each other and you might miss them. To avoid this, you can also scroll down the list of games on the left side of the page to make sure you get all the information.
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Yellow pin - Monday fixtures
Green pin - Tuesday fixtures
Turquoise pin - Wednesday fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday (Non-League Day) fixtures
Blue pin - Saturday (Non-League Day) fixtures
View London match map 8-14 October 2012 in a larger map
As always, please check with the host club whether a match is still taking place before you travel. Please also let me know if any of the details are wrong or missing.
Instead of doing the normal TLFG Top 10, I'm going to alphabetically list all those clubs in the London area who I'm aware are offering some kind of special deal to attract new spectators to their grounds. Others may materialise during the week or I may have missed them - if so I will add them so keep checking for updates.
NON-LEAGUE DAY SPECIAL DEALS
(ALL KICK-OFF AT 3PM ON 13/10/12 UNLESS STATED)
ASHFORD TOWN (MIDDLESEX)
We kick-off this section with one of the best deals on offer at any ground in the London area as Southern League club Ashford invite season-ticket holders at all Premier and Football League clubs to come and watch their game against Biggleswade Town FOR FREE. Just turn up at the turnstile with your season ticket and you're in for absolutely nothing. Located just to the south of Heathrow airport I hear nothing but praise for the way this club is run. If you're in the area I urge you to go and give them a cheer as they look to keep up with the pace in the race for a play-off spot. DEAL INFO
AVELEY & ROMFORD
Don't worry, these two neighbouring clubs haven't merged! They have, however, come together to arrange a mini ground hop over on the east side of the capital. The two Isthmian League Division One North sides currently play just down the road from each other meaning you can go to watch Aveley at 1pm and then nip across to Romford at 3pm. To mark Non-League Day the clubs are offering a special two-game ticket for just £10 in advance or £12 on the day. Romford are also raising funds for Great Ormond Street Childrens' Hospital and are giving away t-shirts. AVELEY INFO ROMFORD INFO
Conference South club Bromley are the highest ranked non-league side in the capital to be hosting a match on NLD and what a cracker it looks like being as Welling United visit for this south-east London derby. To mark the day, the club are offering half-price admission to ALL SUPPORTERS (Adults £6, Seniors £3, Students £2.50, U16s £1) if you arrive before 2pm. Not only that but inclusion and equality group 'Kick It Out' will be playing a big part in the proceedings. Supporters who do come early will also be able to enjoy cheap food and drink deals in the clubhouse. DEAL INFO
Isthmian League Premier Division club Carshalton are another club to be offering FREE ADMISSION to season-ticket holders of Premier and Football League clubs. They are also extending the deal to season-ticket holders of Conference National clubs. The Robins aren't having a great season but will fancy their chances of beating midtable Hastings United who provide the opposition on NLD. Located in south London, this is an ideal option for Crystal Palace fans and anyone in the Croydon area. DEAL INFO
Another Isthmian Premier club to be getting fully involved are Enfield Town. Run by a supporters trust and in their new stadium for less than a year, they are offering half-price admission to ALL SUPPORTERS for the visit of Cray Wanderers. This means you can get in for just £5 as and adult, with accompanied kids getting in for FREE or £1 if not. The Towners have good links with Tottenham Hotspur, who sent a team to officially open their ground, so if you support Spurs this could be the game for you. DEAL INFO
Always big supporters of Non-League Day, the Fish are offering deals to entice new people to Champion Hill for their Kent League match against Corinthian. In recent years the club have built strong ties with near neighbours Millwall and are offering half-price admission to their season-ticket holders. The same deal is also being extended to members of any other supporters trust club (like Fisher) and Olympic and Paralympic Games Makers. DEAL INFO
HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH
Regularly mentioned as being one of the best non-league grounds in the country to visit, Hampton are backing the day by offering half-price admission to all Premier and Football League season-ticket holders. They are also offering FREE ENTRY to a number of local community groups. Apart from that they are also playing Whitehawk who, like Hampton, are one of five teams who currently top the Isthmian Premier so it looks like being a corker of a game too. DEAL INFO
The Greens are offering half-price admission to Premier/Football/Scottish League season-ticket holders, a deal they operate for every home league game. However, to mark Non-League Day they are also running a 5-a-side tournament at 11am at a sports centre next to their ground. If you enter, every player in your team will get FREE ENTRY to Hendon's Isthmian Premier game against Leiston later in the day. If you live in north-west London, Hendon could really do with your support as they are without a ground of their own (they share with Wembley FC) and are run by a hardworking supporters trust who are getting short of funds. DEAL INFO
Another Southern League side offering FREE ENTRY to Premier and Football League season-ticket holders are Northwood. Not far from Watford, this could be a great option for fans of the Hornets. They welcome Woodford United to Northwood Park and will be looking to win as they try and emulate last season's efforts which saw them just miss out on the play-offs. DEAL INFO
Located in south-east London not far from banks of the river Thames, this could be an ideal destination for Charlton Athletic season-ticket holders who find themselves at a loose end of Non-League Day. They and all other Premier and Football League season-ticket holders will get in for a reduced rate of £5 adults, £3 OAPs and FREE for accompanied U16s (£1 if not). The club welcome local rivals Redbridge from the other side of the river for an Isthmian League Division One North fixture. DEAL INFO
There's going to be quite a bit of competition for Premier League and Football League supporters on Saturday over on the west side of town as Uxbridge have decided to match near neighbours Ashford and Nrthwood in offering FREE ADMISSION to season-ticket holders from the big clubs. Both clubs play in the same division of the Southern League and are located either side of Heathrow airport so there's very little to choose between them. There will be a bit more of derby feel to this game though as Chertsey Town provide the opposition. I expect to see a few Chelsea and QPR fans at this one. DEAL INFO
The Stones are one of the few clubs around the country who have been lucky enough to have been at home on all three editions of Non-League Day. They definitely deserve it, having been big supporters of the event since the start and have always enjoyed good attendances as a result. This year they've come up trumps again with half-price admission for all Premier/Football League season-ticket holders and FREE ENTRY for U16s. The Ruislip club are also one of the best sides in the Isthmian Premier and are only two points off top spot meaning a win here against struggling Thurrock could put them right up among the front runners. DEAL INFO
WINGATE & FINCHLEY
Finally we have a unique 'PAY WHAT YOU WANT' deal being offered by this north London club. Concord Rangers provide the opposition for this Isthmian Premier game at Summers Lane. To clarify, this offer is open to ALL SUPPORTERS so you can give as little or as much as you want. Normal admission for adults is £10 so give generously and hopefully you'll be rewarded. This is a ground I've spent a lot of time at over the last year or so - it has an unusual art deco stand, are fine playing surface and some great views over the local area. DEAL INFO
As already mentioned, there are many other games on this weekend including several in the FA Vase. It is very hard, virtually impossible, for clubs who play in this to offer admission deals but don't despair as most of them don't charge more than a fiver to get in which is less than some of the clubs above. The same can be said for most clubs playing in leagues at Level 9 or 10 (Combined Counties, Essex Senior, Kent League, Spartan South Midlands etc) so don't be put off.
If you're still not sure where to go, here's a list of clubs that are nearest to the Premier League or Championship ground you might normally spend your Saturday afternoons at and are hosting on Non-League Day:
Arsenal - Haringey & Waltham Development
Chelsea - Fisher
Fulham - Raynes Park Vale
QPR - Hendon
Tottenham Hotspur - Haringey & Waltham Development
West Ham United - Clapton
Charlton Athletic - Meridian
Crystal Palace - Tooting & Mitcham United
Millwall - Bethnal Green United
Watford - Oxhey Jets
Please note, all these clubs are closest as the crow flies so some may in reality take longer to get to than some which the 'Non-League Day match finder' deems to be further away.