Inspired by the nationwide success of last September’s Non-League Day, the first ever Northern League Day will take place at the traditional kick-off time of 3 o’clock on Saturday 9th April 2011.
With Middlesbrough at Sheffield United and Newcastle United playing in the lunchtime televised fixture away at Aston Villa the following day, we hope as many fans as possible will turn out to support their local non-league football teams.
WHY THE NORTHERN LEAGUE?
Founded in 1889, the Northern League is the world’s second oldest surviving league after the Football League itself. Long a conveyor belt of talent to the professional game, countless Football League players have begun or ended their careers at Northern League clubs, including Bob Paisley (Bishop Auckland), Brian Clough (Billingham Synthonia), Gary Pallister (Billingham Town), Steve Carney and Alan Shoulder (Blyth Spartans), Chris Waddle (Tow Law Town), John Anderson (Dunston), Frank Clark (Crook Town), Jimmy Smith (Whitley Bay), Alan Foggon (Consett) and Steve Harper (Seaham Red Star). Newcastle East End (later Newcastle United), Middlesbrough Ironopolis and Sheffield United all took part in that first Northern League season. Bishop Auckland won three FA Amateur Cups and were the most famous non-league side in the country as a Northern League side in the mid-1950s. Blyth Spartans came within a minute of the FA Cup quarter final in 1978. More recently, Whitley Bay have won the FA Vase three times, twice at Wembley. The professional game would be immeasurably poorer without grassroots leagues such as this. Have a great day out, watch some football, and help keep the game alive.
We’ll be at Ryton (bottom of Division One at the time of writing with three points from thirty games and a goal difference of minus one hundred and three). After promised sponsorship money failed to materialise in the summer, Ryton had to sack their management team and every single player except one followed them out of the club. £5 of your money here would go a very long way. They play Billingham Synthonia, where Brian Clough started his career and perhaps the only club in world football to be named after an agricultural fertiliser. The nearest train station to Ryton is Wylam (15 minutes from Central Station), home of the famous Boathouse Inn. Remember when you could enjoy a Saturday afternoon out with your mates, watch a game of football and have a couple of beers for a tenner? You still can.
Other games taking place:
Billingham Town vs Jarrow Roofing
Consett vs Bishop Auckland
Dunston UTS vs Tow Law Town
Esh Winning vs Shildon
Penrith vs Sunderland RCA
South Shields vs Stokesley
Spennymoor Town vs Bedlington Terriers
West Allotment Celtic vs Newcastle Benfield
West Auckland Town vs Norton & Stockton Ancients
Whitley Bay vs Ashington
Birtley Town vs Horden Colliery Welfare
Brandon United vs Team Northumbria
Crook Town vs Guisborough Town
Gilford Park vs Darlington RA
Marske United vs Whitehaven
Morpeth Town vs North Shields
Northallerton Town vs Chester-le-Street Town
Thornaby vs Hebburn Town
Whickham vs Washington (11.30am)