Non-League Soc raise money for hospital

Quirks of non-league: Billingham Town’s east stand was an actual bus shelter complete with timetable. Image: Hannes ReadQuirks of non-league: Billingham Town’s east stand was an actual bus shelter complete with timetable. Image: Hannes Read

As the Easter break draws near, we look ahead to the Non-League Football Society’s adventures to Wembley and their fundraising social.

No-one knows what will happen at football games which, I suppose, is what attracts fans back game after game, season after season, generation after generation. Little did we know that one game at Whitley Bay would completely change our University experience.

A few friends and I had spent the day watching Whitley Bay valiantly go down 3-2 in a thrilling FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round game against Chorley. Whilst waiting for the metro back to Newcastle, we wondered why no other student had joined us on this thoroughly enjoyable day out. It was there, on that pleasant autumn day in Whitley Bay, that the seeds for the Non-League Football Society were sown.

From that moment, the society has had exponential success. Non-league football teams are generally run on a part time basis and have inherent local connections that are, sadly, often diluted at the higher levels of the game. Clubs have contacted us to go to their games, and it was palpably clear how grateful they were that we were making efforts to get local students along.

“We will be raising money for the young person’s cancer ward at the Freeman Hospital”

The passion showed by Whitley Bay’s secretary during a stadium tour, the ambition of South Shields to negotiate an £8 entry, food and drink deal and the astonishment of Hebburn Town’s gateman as we rocked up with our largest-ever group to add 36% to the overall attendance are especially memorable.

But we haven’t stopped there. In fact, we’re only just getting started! We’ve got big plans to get to Wembley for Non-League Finals Day which includes the two non-league FA Cup competitions: the FA Vase and FA Trophy. South Shields have got their FA Vase semi-final second leg on Saturday 18th March and (hopefully by the time this goes to press) they will be in the Final at Wembley!

We’re all hoping Shields get to Wembley and bring to Vase back to the North East for the 8th time in 9 years. We will also be meeting up with the UK’s only other Non-League Society at Oxford Brookes with what promises to be a fantastic day out.

£265 raised so far for Ward 34 in the Freeman Hospital

Talking of joint socials, we have teamed up with the Real Ale and Cider Society to organise a sponsored walk/pub crawl to Newcastle Benfield on Wednesday 22nd March. We will be raising money for the young person’s cancer ward at the Freeman Hospital in support of one of Benfield’s players who is undergoing treatment there.

No sponsored walk is complete without a fancy dress theme, so we will be dressing as famous sportspeople. We will meet at Luther’s (formerly Mensbar) from 2pm on Wednesday 22nd March so please feel free to join us!

If you are interested either in going to Wembley, joining the sponsored walk/pub crawl or just finding out more about the Non-League Football Society, do not hesitate to email Hannes Read at J.Read1@newcastle.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter @NonLeagueSoc.

Donate at: http://bit.ly/2nh0qFX

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