Non-League Day founder astounded by event success
One week on from Non-League Day 2015 and the event’s founder James Doe has reflected on the most successful day yet by saying that it has gone “beyond my wildest dreams”
The 2015 instalment of Non-League Day attracted nationwide media coverage with the likes of Sky News, BBC Sport and most of the major national newspapers getting on board.
Doe himself was interviewed on Sky News, something that left him in a rather disbelieving manner.
“If you had said to me five years ago when we set up Non-League Day that I would have been interviewed live on Sky News I wouldn’t have believed you. And getting the Premier League involved has been great, it’s really beyond my wildest dreams and we hope to keep improving and growing further over the coming years”
The fifth Non-League Day has shown Doe just how far his idea has come.
Started as a social media experiment in 2010 the event has grown in popularity and notoriety. Something that Doe can sense in the amount of social media interaction it created over the past month leading up to the big day.
“When I started off I would have to sit on Twitter and keep churning things out to keep up the interest. Now it looks after itself and I can put a tweet out, go out for a run and when I come back there are lots of people talking about it. That side of things is great”
“On the day I went to Clacton and their Ultras created a great atmosphere. It was special, it’s a welcoming environment and they quadroupled their normal crowd I think”
And successes were nationwide with many clubs getting into the mood with some interesting ideas, and many were rewarded with big attendances.
“Halesham Town did a collection for a food bank and got several hundred items and Trafford did lots of different things and were rewarded with a big crowd and then there was a fancy dress at Bishops Stortford, which I am not sure how it went but I would have loved to have seen it”
“We have a number of eye-catching successes that people will have seen. Bromley put on about a 1,000 to their normal attendances, in the North East there was South Shields breaking through the 1,000 barrier at step six. Every game in the FA Cup got big crowds and they’re just off the top of my head”
Non-League Day 2015 may be only just over and done with but the planning for next year’s event is already underway and Doe confirmed that there was an interest in getting involving with the historic joint FA Vase and FA Trophy finals day at the end of the current season.
“Next year is underway and we know it won’t be October again as England play. It depends on the FA with their scheduling of their competitions but it is likely we will revert to September or maybe November.
We have that planning underway but we are also looking at supporting the FA Trophy and FA Vase joint day, we would love to be involved but it is down to the FA, it is their day but we would love to help”
Interview: Mark Carruthers
Image: Simon Cook