First established in 2010 as a social media experiment amongst friends, Non-League Day continues to grow from strength to strength, helping provide much-needed focus on the vast, rich tapestry that is non-league football in the UK.
James Doe, the man behind Non-League day’s creation, admits he had ‘no idea it would grow to what it has become’ when he started the event, having been inspired by a pre-season trip to watch QPR play at Tavistock, but his brilliant idea has been picked up and run with by supporters around the country, not to mention endorsed by Premier League and Championship clubs, charities, celebrities, supporter organisations like the Football Supporters’ Federation and even MPs.
The aim of Non-League Day, per the website, is “to encourage fans to watch their/a local non-league side play, providing a much needed boost to grass roots football and an alternative match day experience which many will be unfamiliar with.” Every year it runs on an international weekend, providing an excellent alternative for Premier League and Championship fans who find themselves without a live game to go to.
Non-League Day was held on 13th October this year, and many of those who took part and attended games across the country uploaded their pictures onto Instagram, the photo-sharing program / mobile phone-powered social network that has become a phenomenon of late and was recently acquired by Facebook for a cool $1billion.
As lovers of both grassroots football and photography at Just Football, we’ve selected the 11 best Non-League day pictures on Instagram and collated them in the gallery below. Personally I think these images really capture the atmosphere and camaraderie around what is an important and downright fun day in the football calendar, and they are of course all diverse and very well-taken.
Non-League Day is a truly wonderful initiative and a significant one at that. With financial resources squeezed ever tighter by the day lower down football’s food chain, the money spent on supporting local amateur teams like those included below has a real effect on the clubs and the communities that surround them.
What’s more, going to watch non-league football is a world away from what some consider the expensive, increasingly canned and monotonously-packaged atmosphere that is Premier League football. Certainly the opportunity to sit/stand with friends, watch a local team that truly values your support and drink what you like makes a refreshing change. Sadly I couldn’t make it to watch Haringey Borough this year (they played away from home), but I’ll be down at Coles Park very soon having been introduced to them in Non-League Day’s inaugural year in 2010.
If you have Instagram, be sure to add and follow all the talented takers of these excellent pictures – their Instagram usernames are included in the captions below the respective images. If you wish to check out more Instagram photos then look for the #nonleagueday hashtag on the app. And if you do have Instagram then don’t forget to follow us too on @JustFootball!
Enjoy the 11 images via our gallery here – and if you attended a non-league game this weekend feel free to let us know below.