The Lord Tom Pendry Stand, Bower Fold.

An Absolute Beginners Guide to Watching Non-League Football

Or: How I Ditched Premier League Football and Saved Thousands of Pounds a Season

Association Football is England’s National Sport. It brings billions to our economies, whether at the turnstile, public house or towards our broadcasters. The top clubs pay eye watering salaries to their players, and the fans pay equally eye watering amounts for the privilege of seeing City, United, Liverpool or the like. Historically, it has sold newspapers, satellite dishes and broadband packages.

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Bower Fold backdrop

Book Review: British Football’s Greatest Grounds

Not only a coffee table book for groundhoppers; a must for any football fan

  • Title: British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues;
  • Author: Mike Bayly;
  • Photography: various contributors including David Bauckman, Paul Paxford, Colin McPherson, Andy Nunn, Stuart Tree, Ben Webster,
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing Limited (2020);
  • Recommended Selling Price: £30.00 (hardback).

At this moment in time, you may be missing your football fix if you often go out to see your favourite team. Due to the lockdown, only Elite League football teams (National Leagues North and South upwards) can continue their season. In what is now known as The Trident Leagues (Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian leagues), league football has been suspended till further notice. Likewise with its regional feeder leagues.

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Denton Town social club and changing pavilion

Non League State of Mind: Denton Town v. Styal

Denton Town host Tameside’s first Saturday senior league game of the 2020 – 2021 season

For many clubs, the football season starts in a fortnight’s time. My usual team, Stalybridge Celtic, begin their Northern Premier League campaign that very same date (at home to Lancaster City). In a week’s time, they face Stocksbridge Park Steels in the F.A. Cup Preliminary Round – and a date with the BBC. The ‘Bridge’s cup tie will be televised on the Beeb’s Red Button service with a 12.30pm kick-off.

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Roughtown view (towards St. John's Church)

This Time 40 Years Ago… Mossley Goes to Wembley

A look back at Mossley AFC’s Wembley trail

With the lack of real football in our television schedules due to that pandemic, our broadcasters have had to fill the airtime with some of our greatest footballing moments. It has meant ITV rerunning Euro ’96; also trending topics that would have been relevant if Twitter existed in 2001.

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A Crowdfunding Cry from the Celts

Stalybridge Celtic’s crowdfunding appeal passes £1,700 Mark

In the last week, there has been much talk about footballing activities returning to the fore, following some relaxation of our COVID-19 lockdown. It has been stated that Barclays Premier League sides could finish off their season behind closed doors at neutral venues – giving us all several Game 39s. (Well, in Milton Keynes instead of Marbella).

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25 Years a Celt: Why I Would Still Want to See The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic in 2044

After six weeks without a home game, Stalybridge Celtic need your support more than ever

On Saturday 23 November 2019, Stalybridge Celtic will end a six-week gap without a home game. Since the 2019 – 2020 season began, the ‘Bridge have only played seven home games in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. Of those seven, four of which were on Tuesday nights. The four Saturday league fixtures were against teams from Lancashire, and an hour’s drive away from Bower Fold.

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Bower Fold backdrop

Tameside’s and Glossop’s Northern Premier League 2019 – 20 Fixtures

Ashton United welcome newly promoted Atherton Collieries whilst Mossley and Stalybridge Celtic travel away

Well, the wait is over. Today at 6pm, the Northern Premier League has announced its fixtures for the 2019 – 2020 season. This season will also see two significant developments for the 51-year-old league. First is the creation of a North West Division and a South East Division. The second one is a change of sponsor: this time as the BetVictor Northern Premier. A change from being sponsored by adhesive products.

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The Lord Tom Pendry Stand, Bower Fold.

(Still) A Grand Old Team to See: Fourteen Days Which Knackered The ‘Bridge

A relieved Stuart Vallantine looks back upon Stalybridge Celtic’s turbulent 2017 – 2018 season in his own inimitable way.

Two external forces have had an effect on my beloved team’s season in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. One has had a positive one; another one was a huge negative. The ‘R’ word featured in both of them; it is not the ‘R’ word you may be thinking of. Continue reading “(Still) A Grand Old Team to See: Fourteen Days Which Knackered The ‘Bridge”

Stalybridge Celtic: Your Local Club Needs You

Why Stalybridge Celtic Football Club, more than ever, needs your support

Spectators
Spectators: The More The Merrier: Stalybridge Celtic Football Club desperately need some more bums on seats and feet on terraces several times over. Image by Matthew Wilkinson, 2011 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

On the 22 April 2017, Stalybridge Celtic Football Club were relegated from the National League North Division of the National League. Their fall from the sixth tier of English football to the seventh tier came as no surprise to many fans. The ‘Bridge had had struggled in the lower reaches of National League North in the five years prior to their relegation. Away wins were rarer than UK Number One singles by an artiste other than Drake or Ed Sheeran. Continue reading “Stalybridge Celtic: Your Local Club Needs You”

Brinnington United Park The Bus With a Sponsorship Deal

Stagecoach Manchester unveils five new buses and sponsors Stockport District Sunday League side

Good old November, a pretty cold time of the year. Most importantly, it is close to the halfway point of the football season when things get exciting. Some teams prefer to climb the league table by playing free-flowing football. Others are happy with a “one-nil to the Arsenal…” mindset. They are the kind of teams who prefer to park the bus after getting a goal or two. Continue reading “Brinnington United Park The Bus With a Sponsorship Deal”