One Love

A Club Transformed: Supporting Reading FC

WORDS: ROB LANGHAM

After flirting with two northern giants as a young boy, a love affair with local side Reading changed a young man’s life. Since taking up his place on the South Bank at Elm Park, he has seen the team rise through the leagues, fill a purpose built new stadium and even dabble with top-flight football…

Reading FC fans (Pyro Rock Monster Petty, via Flickr)

Capturing The Character, That Special Ingredient

INTERVIEW: DOMINIC BLISS

David Bauckham has been photographing non-league football for several years now and there is no doubt that his images truly bring these local grounds to life. His work – a mixture of portrait and reportage shots – captures the action on the pitch, the people behind the scenes and the loyal fans

Melksham

Non League: Where Every Fan Matters

WORDS: STEVE WRIGHT

A growing dissatisfaction with the modern game, and the power of money to influence it both on and off the pitch, caused this Nottingham Forest supporter to look to non-league for a change of scene. He discovered a world of dedicated volunteer staff, imaginative publicity ploys and glorious chip cobs…

Torquay

Why Aren’t The Advertising Boards Electric, Dad?

WORDS: CARL JONES

Clutching his Barcelona water bottle and a blue foam finger from a previous trip to Wembley, my five-year-old son made his way into the grandiosely named Autoworld Arena to cheer on Matlock Town in one of Britain’s most picturesque football grounds last Friday evening. He came home beaming…

Matlock Town

Not Just A Real Ale Narnia

WORDS: PETER BROOKSBANK

Growing up as a Boston United supporter meant watching players of limited ability, but possessed of undimmed fury, locking horns in the mud and slime under heavy skies, chilled by winds sweeping off the Fens and The Wash, from a random blue seat in a stand full of yellow ones…but I loved it

Boston United changing room

In The Presence Of Angels

WORDS: ALAN FISHER

PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVID BAUCKHAM

The steward, the programme seller and the guy shaking the bucket with the Golden Goals tickets welcome us because they are happy being part of their local club, and they want us to enjoy ourselves too. When you truly embrace non-league football, you may well discover that it embraces you back…

Tonbridge Angels 3

A Return To Innocence: Supporting Forest

WORDS: STEVE WRIGHT

This summer a Nottingham Forest hero returned to the City Ground dugout, bringing out the sentimental side in many long-suffering Reds supporters, but can Stuart Pearce’s managerial tenure really restore the magic of the past, or has the game changed too much for the footballing romantics to prevail?

City Ground (Dave Rutt, via Flickr)

Falling for Football… Bloody Hell!

WORDS: EVAN BARTLETT

A collection of hazy reminiscences, euphoric moments and gritty tales of the game’s place in our lives, Falling for Football is a rose-tinted nostalgia-fest and it is all the better for it. This selection of stories from 44 well-loved football writers and bloggers will strike a chord with supporters everywhere…

Falling for Football

Why I Support The Irons

WORDS: TOM VICTOR

It hasn’t always been easy supporting West Ham over the past two decades, but amidst the ups and downs at Upton Park there have been more than enough memorable moments and dubious heroes to fill a questionable, claret-tinted version of Billy Joel’s ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’. No seriously…

PENTAX Image

Life On Ice Station Zebra

WORDS: MARK BIRAM

Boundary Park has been the scene of some iconic giant-killings down the years, but not too long ago, Oldham Athletic were more than just a lower-league David with an FA Cup slingshot. We asked one loyal Latic to describe his life at the place that club legend Joe Royle called “Ice Station Zebra”

Boundary Park by Diego's Sideburns (via Flickr)

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