Dacorum clubs urging football fans to show their support on Non League Day

Hemel Hempstead Town FC fans. Picture (c) Darren Kelly, www.hemelfc.com
Hemel Hempstead Town FC fans. Picture (c) Darren Kelly, www.hemelfc.com

Football fans across the country are being encouraged to get behind their local team on Saturday, September 7 as part of Non League Day 2012.

And there is plenty of choice in Dacorum, with Hemel Hempstead Town, Tring Athletic, Berkhamsted and Kings Langley all in action at home on the day.

Non-League Day was set up by James Doe in 2010 as a social media experiment, after being inspired by a pre-season trip to Devon to watch Queens Park Rangers play at Tavistock.

It has now grown to become an annual part of the football calendar, backed by Premier League and Football League clubs, MPs, celebrities, media organisations, charities and most importantly the non-league clubs themselves and the fans that decide to turn up on the day.

Always scheduled to coincide with an international break, Non-League Day gives fans across the country the chance to see what’s going on at a club that might be on their doorstep which they may be unfamiliar with.

Many non-league clubs are almost exclusively volunteer-run, with money taken at the turnstiles often funding thriving youth set-ups, projects and facilities which are of benefit to the whole community.

For many supporters of non-league football it’s the sense of belonging and preservation of traditional values that remains so appealing.

The vast majority of games still kick-off at 3pm, ticket prices are affordable, and you can often stand anywhere in the ground.

Former Lincoln City, Watford, Aston Villa, Wolves and England manager Graham Taylor has given his support to this year’s Non-League Day event.

Taylor, who now works as a pundit for BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “The importance of non-league and grassroots football should never be underestimated.

“We all start in the latter, and hundreds of us need the former, simply because it is such a small percentage of players who can attain and succeed at full-time professional level.”

Selected fixtures scheduled to take place on Non League Day include: Hemel Hempstead Town v St Neots Town, Tring Athletic v Eaton Manor, Berkhamsted v Hertford Town and Kings Langley v Colney Heath.

The Tudors tackle St Neots in the Calor League Southern Premier Division, while the other three fixtures are FA Vase ties.