After the roaring success of last year it is time for another fantastic Non-League Day. If you don’t know what that is…shame on you. More information coming in a second. Since today was pay day there was simply no excuse to try and arrange a game to watch on Saturday, after a quick tweet I was inundated with offers.

@jacko2254 is going to Poole Town.@19danbrown is off to his new adopted side Kidderminster away to Wrexham. @twofootedtackle and the guys from @non_league_day and many others have chosen Dulwich Hamlet. Sheffield United fan @thefootysphere is going to the derby between Askern Villa and Rossington Main.

It’s great to see so many people going to different games. Where am I going? Ah that is the question.
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Now then you may have heard mentioning something about Northern Leagues United on twitter or thefootyblog.net from time to time over the last few months, it’s finally here, tomorrow is the big day! For the uninitiated, let me fill you in on the details.

Northern Leagues United is a charity event tomorrow at Birtley Sports Ground, kicking off around 11.30am, and you get to watch 3 games for 3 quid. Can’t argue with them prices in today’s world of modern football, and it’s all for charity, if you needed more convincing.

We’re doing this in aid of Onagawa, a small town in Japan wiped out by the recent tsunami. Like, pretty much completely wiped out. In the restoration efforts, those in the town have rallied around the local football team – Cobaltore Onagawa – you can read more about the inspiring story over on this very fine little website -http://northernleagueday.wordpress.com/ – so go and do it.

Ok, so get yourself there around 11.30am. The Birtley Sports Ground is one of the oldest grounds in the world, so you get to see a little bit of football history while you take in three fine matches.

Getting things underway will be Birtley will be a friendly between Birtley’s U17 and U18 sides. Some of the finest young footballers in the area. Chelsea’s Carl Magnay & Hartlepool’s Michael Mackay are both products of the Birtley youth team in the past.

At 1pm, a team of Northern League Fans will take on a team of Football Writers. Yours truly will be donning some shiny umbro boots and lining up for the Football Writers team alongside such luminaries as Nick Loughlin, Richard Mason & Paul Fraser from the Northern Echo. Iain Macintosh from The New Paper & Sports Illustrated. Simon Bird from The Mirror, Mark Douglas from The Journal & Simon Pryde off of the radio. Not to mention a host of your favourite bloggers such as Andy Hudson from Gannin Away, Simon Walsh from Roker Report, plus Jeff Livingstone & David Hartrick – The brains behind In Bed With Maradona and my good friends from Scotland: Scott Johnston (footyblog,net), Tom Hall (@ScotFootBlog) and Grant Russell from STV.

You’ll get to witness why we merely talk about football as opposed to play it to any level, as we no doubt get skinned by a fans team which includes Whitley Bay’s Wembley goalscorer and all-round Northern League legend, Paul Chow.

We’ll be doing battle over 90 minutes, and possibly penalties for the first ever Onagawa Cup.

Following that will be a friendly between two much more proper teams – Birtley’s first team will take on Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

As for yourself, there’ll be a bar open all day, and no doubt you’ll see me propping that up for an extended period after the games, and there’ll also be a raffle with some truly grade A prizes.

Sounds pretty damn good eh? Remember all this, ALL THIS will set you back a mere £3. What else you got planned? Not even the birth of your first child will be as memorable or as entertaining as this game. Get yourself along, and support the North East football scene, as they help out the North East of Japan.

For further reading on who’s playing in the Fans v Writers game head HERE.

And those topper raffle prizes come HERE.

And for more details on the day in general, and the story behind Onagawa, head HERE.

It’s a bit like Live Aid, but with football. No Phil Collins, and no Bob Geldof being a complete penis. The sentiment stands though – Give us your f***ing money! – Oh, and enjoy the game!

 

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Well everyone it has been nearly a month since the nominations were announced and my how time has flown by. Tomorrow night football bloggers from around the country will be joined together in a festival of food and drink to celebrate all the nights sat at their PC’s writing about the beautiful game.

It is set to be a momentous occasion, dignitaries such as Clive Tyldseley, the BBC’s Mihir Bose, the boys from The Football Ramble. Roy Meredith General manager of Championship Manager and of course don’t forget the high quality of nominated blogs: Michael Cox from Zonal Marking, Sid Lowe from The Guardian, Tim Vickery from BBC’s World Football Phone In.

Someone I have also managed to sneak a nomination for best podcast, I am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the best and brightest in the blogging world. European football Weekends, Swiss Ramble, Sound of Football, twofootedtackle the list goes on and on.

Now if I have wetted your appetite a little there is still time to pick up a ticket. £20 gets you entry to the event and food and drink is included, even if there wasn’t an awards ceremony, the price seems good enough for the booze and grub.

So far you’re paying to be feed and watered, talk football with some of the brightest minds (and me) but you are also helping a charity. All proceeds for the event are going to DSActive, a wonderful charity helping kids with Down’s Syndrome, so there’s no excuse, over 30 tickets still remain, if you can make it make sure you come down, it’s going to be a great night.

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