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.

Continue reading “Non League State of Mind: Denton Town v. Styal”

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.

Continue reading “25 Years a Celt: Why I Would Still Want to See The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic in 2044”
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.

Continue reading “Tameside’s and Glossop’s Northern Premier League 2019 – 20 Fixtures”

Why My Heart Lies in Non League Football

Why there’s more to the beautiful game than telephone number sized transfer deals

Football. Britain’s national game. One of many things we brought to the world, yet fell hopelessly behind as other countries improved. See also the railways: once the most advanced in the world, though now behind its peers in France and Germany.

The railways are still popular today, and rising in popularity despite being overpriced for the masses. Yes, it sounds a bit like the cost of watching Barclays Premier League football. Without the railways, there would have been no Football League, fewer theatres and tourist attractions, and certainly no away days. How did Stalybridge Celtic fulfil their Southern League fixtures before the First World War? By train. How else would a smattering of ‘Bridge fans get to Rushall for an early afternoon? By road these days. The nearest station is at Walsall. Continue reading “Why My Heart Lies in Non League Football”

Greater Manchester Celebrates Non League Day

Real football in our area, with real fans

Salford City 2 Colwyn Bay 2 25 Aug 2015-349.jpg
“And the Best Supporting Role goes to…” the main stand at Moor Lane, Salford City’s home. Here’s James Boyes’ picture of the wonderful stand seen on the 25 August 2015. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Football, real football. The Association game that is played by 95% of footballing sides out the 92 English Football League and the English Premier League in England and parts of Wales. Whilst the English Premier League breaks up for international fixtures, the first Saturday in September is known as Non League Day. Continue reading “Greater Manchester Celebrates Non League Day”

It Was Twenty Years Today… Since I First Saw the Celtic Play

From passive fan to their Poet Laureate in two decades: a post of two halves

What were you doing on a typical Saturday in late 1994? There was a new fangled game known as The National Lottery. Noel’s House Party was ‘must-watch’ TV with 15 million viewers each teatime. Sleaze allegations continued to haunt John Major’s Conservative government. Bus Wars took a new dimension in Greater Manchester, with competition between GM Buses North and Merseybus, operating services in Greater Manchester as MTL Manchester. Continue reading “It Was Twenty Years Today… Since I First Saw the Celtic Play”

In Praise of the Aggborough Pie Hut

Supporters’ survey fails to do justice to Murdoch’s delectable dishes

Regular readers may be familiar with some of my ramblings on The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic®, whom I have followed home and away through thick, thin, thinner and thinnest of times. In nearly 20 years of supporting them, I have been to a fair number of grounds and tried several epicurean delights from Blyth to Weymouth.
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Non League State of Mind: Non League Day, 06 September 2014

The joys of Non League Football in Greater Manchester

It’s that time again, the greatest day in non-league football: Non League Day. Tomorrow sees the non-league sides of Greater Manchester enticing Premier League and Championship football fans with the joys of real football. Continue reading “Non League State of Mind: Non League Day, 06 September 2014”

Non League Day Comes to Bower Fold: Stalybridge Celtic v Leamington F.C.

Saturday 06 September 2014: Real football, plus mascots, live music and discounts 

New Windmill Ground covered end
Saturday’s opponents will be of significance to Keith Briggs, whose second match in the dugout was a 2-0 win at Bower Fold. Seen here is a view of the ‘Bridge’s travelling army at the previous away match. A late winner for the Brakes separated the sides and the heavens literally opened – a thunderstorm appeared seconds later.

Over the last five years, Non League Day has become an established part of the footballing calendar. It coincides with a point where English Premier League sides have a Saturday. This for international fixtures; this season, three days after England’s match against Norway. A friendly. With a nondescript starting XI. Continue reading “Non League Day Comes to Bower Fold: Stalybridge Celtic v Leamington F.C.”