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

A Certain Romance: Banstead Athletic And Me

WORDS: DOMINIC BLISS

As a teenager with dreams of becoming a sports writer, I answered an advert in the local paper to cover Banstead Athletic matches and my love of non-league football was born. Even amid the ugliness and emptiness of a local sports ground on a cold midweek evening, there is beauty to be found in our game

Margate v Banstead

Wokingham ’88: Trains, Trophies and Telford

WORDS: NICK JUDD

PHOTOGRAPHY: VINCENT TAYLOR

It was spring 1988 and Wokingham Town were enjoying their greatest-ever season. Regulars to the club’s modest Finchampstead Road ground were daring to dream not just of Wembley but of a historic treble including the Berks and Bucks Cup and promotion to the Conference. They couldn’t, could they?

Finchampstead Road 1

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

Swan Songs: Matthäus at the MetroStars

WORDS: CHRIS NEE

After establishing himself as one of the all-time great playmakers with Bayern Munich, Inter and the German national team, Lothar Matthäus arrived in New York to much fanfare in 2000, but he departed under the radar a few months later after just 16 largely forgettable games for the MetroStars…

John Thorrington – The Road Less Travelled

WORDS: JOE WHITELEY

The career path of former Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen youngster John Thorrington took a few unexpected twists and turn, but while you may not have heard it before, his story is one of the more fascinating in the varied world of football. We caught up with the ex-Huddersfield Town midfielder as he settles into his new role within the MLS Players Union…

Swan Songs: Larsson At Manchester United

WORDS: WAYNE FARRY

It seemed as though Henrik Larsson’s big league days were over when he departed Barcelona and returned home to Sweden in 2006, but after two seasons with his hometown club Helsingborgs, he fancied one last crack at the big time and he got it with a three-month dream loan at Old Trafford…

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