The last six years have seen Non-League Day (NLD) grow from being an event on Facebook to an annual national campaign which has grabbed the attention of clubs, leagues, the media and most importantly the fans.
As NLD has grown we’ve received many requests to run a second event during the season to get even more people involved. Given the huge amount of time and effort and to preserve the uniqueness of NLD, we’ve never really been able to entertain this idea but have thought about other ways we could do things.
Our favourite alternative was to create an event where, rather than send football fans to a wide variety of grounds around the country, we would encourage them to head to just one ground, bringing as many members of the non-league community together in the same place at the same time. We just weren’t quite sure how to do this.
Last year The Football Association asked us to help promote the FA Trophy Final at Wembley providing us with arguably the perfect game and venue for such an event. This season we are working with them again in the build up to the first ever Non-League Finals Day where the FA Vase and FA Trophy will be played back-to-back on the same day at the national stadium.
With Hereford playing Morpeth Town in the former (k.o. 1215pm) and FC Halifax Town taking on Grimsby Town in the latter (k.o. 415pm) it promises to be a great day. With tickets at only £25 adults, £10 concessions and £1 kids it represents great value too. Not only this but for group bookings of 12 or more, the price of adult tickets halves to just £12.50.
Fans will be allowed to pass in and out of the stadium to see exhibitions, information and examples of The FA’s work in the wider game and Sport Relief will also be charity partner for the day.
The record attendance for an FA Trophy final is 53,262 and we believe we should be able to beat that if we, as a community, see the value of the day and come together. With American football and rugby teams able to sell out and set world record crowds at Wembley – why can’t we?
With thousands of tickets already sold and interest in the non-league game rising all the time, this is a great opportunity to celebrate what we have and enjoy a great day out. It could be a defining moment. Be part of it.