Non-League Founder James Doe waits for a train with a giant ticket outside Tolworth Station

South Western Railway kicks off its support of Non-League Day

South Western Railway (SWR) has announced its partnership with Non-League Day for 2024.

In a statement, SWR will be putting on travel towards 26 fixtures across its network on Saturday March 23, football’s official Non-League Day.

Matches that will be included on the network, as seen on the map below, are Corinthian Casuals vs Badshot Lea in Tolworth, Westside facing Bedfont near Raynes Park station and Molesey taking on Yateley United near Hampton Court.

Non-League Day Founder and SWR guard James Doe said: “It is fantastic to have South Western Railway backing the campaign this year as the message which will be spread across the communities via its network will be unparalleled.

“It is a huge moment for the campaign – it is important to support local football as it is the bedrock of our national game.”

SWR’s Customer and Commercial Director Peter Williams said: “We are very proud of James and his achievements around Non-League Day which coexists with our commitment to support the communities we serve.

“Our partnership with Non-League Day will hopefully help to continue the momentum built up by James and his team over 14 years whilst encouraging football fans to take the train to a nearby game, supporting affordable, volunteer-led community football.”

SWR have also introduced this week a QR code at their 190 stations which on Non-League Day passengers can scan for a map of where their local non-league matches are taking place along the network.

A map of the SWR Network Map with the stations where non-league matches will be held are located Credit: South Western Railway

Doe established the idea of Non-League Day in 2010 after watching his QPR team play against Devon side Tavistock Town in a pre-season friendly.

James Doe promotes Non League Day at Corinthian Casuals’ ground in Tolworth as a SWR Class 455 passes by. Credit: South Western Railway

The day takes place during one of the designated international breaks that occur throughout the season in which there are no Premier League or Championship matches taking place.

Attendances significantly increase, often by double or treble the usual number, as clubs increase their publicity through discounts and offers for season-ticket holders of Premier League and EFL Clubs as seen with Harrow Borough at last year’s event.

The money raised from going through the turnstiles often goes towards funding youth set-ups, projects and facilities with the aim of improving the local communities of each non-league club.

The success of the programme led to the introduction of Euskal Non-League Day in Spain with the support of Athletic Club involving its partner clubs within the Basque Region.

SWR will join Prostate Cancer UK and Kick It Out as official partners of the day.

Featured Image Credit and Image Credit: South Western Railway

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