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This week's NLP Programme Column

This week's NLP Programme Column

By Jeff Barnes
10th September
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By Hugo Varley


Last week while frantically working towards yet another print deadline, I came across a story which certainly made me smile.

As they jubilantly travelled back from their FA Vase victory at Bacup Borough two weekends ago, the players and staff at Grimsby Borough found themselves in a scenario fit for a Hollywood thriller as their coach ended up perched on the edge of a 45 foot ravine!

They had only just set off on the journey from The Borough’s West View home when their coach driver suddenly took a rather perilous wrong turn.

“When it crashed we started singing ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning!’ to the driver,’” said Grimsby boss Daniel Barrett.

“Then the bus tilted and we started to realise that things may be a bit more serious!

”We had stayed in the bar after the match for a little bit and were still very much at the beginning of the trip home.”

Nevertheless the group was determined to make the best of the situation and set out in search of a pub.

However, in deepest rural Lancashire, this proved more difficult than expected.

Barrett continued: “We ended up walking about five miles!

“We stopped off at a petrol station and bought some drinks. We had our portable speakers and were singing all the way, I don’t really know what the local residents were thinking.

“When we eventually found a pub the people running it were so helpful and said that we could stay there for the night.

“It was a pretty surreal evening but we certainly made sure that we made the most of the situation.

“Thankfully we are at home in the next round so there won’t be a repeat!”

While this represents a rather funny tale which will certainly be remembered by those involved for a long time, I think it also demonstrates one of the best things about playing football at this level.

In an age of over protected and out of touch professionals, this kind of story would never have happened in the higher divisions.

A huge part of Non-League football is about enjoyment and about getting away from the rigours of another working week to play the game for the love of it with people that you get along with.

Of course, everyone wants success and to move up the pyramid but Non-League football also has that lovely human element of regular people enjoying their weekends while also trying to fulfil their dreams in the game.

It is for these quirky tales why people like myself have come to love Non-League football and everything that it represents.

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