Hitchin Town: Why you should support the Canaries as crunch FA Cup date looms at Top Field

PUBLISHED: 10:29 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:30 19 October 2018

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Picture @laythy29 Twitter and Instagram

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Picture @laythy29 Twitter and Instagram

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Support your local team say Patrick Sloan and Louis Condon, Hitchin Town season ticket holders. Ahead of the Canaries biggest game in years read on to learn why.

HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29

In the context of modern football £25 doesn’t buy you much. Neymar cost £8 million times this amount. £25 is only enough to buy your a pie, a drink and a programme at an England game at Wembley.

Yet, £25 is the price of a season ticket at Top Field for those aged 13 to 18 to watch all 21 Hitchin Town home league games this season.

You might think it’s cheap because the quality of football is poor – but that’s where you’re wrong. More players than ever before are following in the footsteps of non-league trailblazers such as Ian Wright and Jamie Vardy.

The 2014 Save Top Field campaign attracted support including a march through the town centre when the club was threatened by a property developer and plans emerged to sell off the land and move the club to the outskirts of the town.

Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Credit @laythy29Top Field, home of Hitchin Town FC. Credit @laythy29

The episode illustrated the affection that the club is held in by so many. However, unlike the avalanche of money at the top of the professional game, finances are eternally tight at non-league level. Boss Mark Burke and his team do a remarkable job keeping the club afloat.

With Hitchin hosting Leatherhead at Fishponds Road on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round hopes are high they can make it through to the first round proper where they could be pitted against fallen Premier League giants Sunderland, or 2008 winners Portsmouth or 1987 victors Coventry City.

Why attend on Saturday? Well, there’s no reserved seating. No binoculars to follow the action. You can stand with your mates and even switch ends at half-time. Why support a team from elsewhere when you can have pride in your hometown? Ticket prices for teenagers on the gate are just £2.

You can also talk to the manager and players who are normal people rather than superstars. They’re friendly and also engage with fans on social media.

HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29HItchin Town's Top Field. Credit @laythy29

In a survey of people at Hitchin Boys’ School we found more than 80 per cent supported a Premier League team but only 12 per cent had watched a live game in the past month – a sad but unsurprising statistic. Don’t let football be a TV programme – support Hitchin Town FC.

*Reproduced by kind permission from the authors.

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