I'm just a non-league fan - but I've been gripped by the Littlehampton Town fairytale

2021-22 will go down as a fairytale, a story that refuses to end and always ready for another page to be written. That’s Littlehampton Town FC in a nutshell over the past nine months.

Celebrations at the Sportsfield after Littlehampton win the Vase semi / Picture: Martin Denyer
Celebrations at the Sportsfield after Littlehampton win the Vase semi / Picture: Martin Denyer

As per most people I was so ready for a new season back in July, I even went to pre-season matches and those who know me really well I can’t stand the games because although I understand the importance for the players and managers it’s not the same for supporters with numerous changes slowing the game right down.

I saw Town twice in pre-season against Bognor Regis and Worthing, the first coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and then given a reminder of things as the Rebels notched five goals with only one in reply. But from that very first game the one thing I took from it was Town defending in two banks of four and I felt not many sides would break them down this season, little did I know then that was too be very few teams.

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When I look back in a few weeks’ time at the number of games I’ve watched this year it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that Littlehampton were the most watched team for me, not because I’m a fan at all, I follow closely quite a few clubs, at times I needed to stay local to watch and there was almost always a midweek game to be found.

Steve Bone, Sussex Newspapers sports editor, calls me the ‘go to man’ when it comes to the Golds this season for reporting purposes having seen so much of them, a nice accolade and it’s been a pleasure to have some reports published in the Gazette throughout the season and to have so many features as Wembley draws every closer.

My own focus comes with my non-league blog, www.footballwriting.co.uk - now three years old and turned into a subscription service just recently. Those formative years gave free coverage to any club I went to and managers I spoke to, readers across the world. I still offer free blogs within the site from time to time and hope it’s opened some eyes in that time to the honest football we see away from the moneybags of the Premier League.

Next Sunday those Littlehampton Town players will be gracing the pitch a week ago occupied by Chelsea and Liverpool, players whose dreams back in September were in among 600 odd teams - and Town have emerged in the final two, just Newport Pagnell Town standing in their way of the trophy heading back to West Sussex.

The season has bought me new friendships across the non-league pyramid, strengthened others and a whole host of new Twitter followers (@trevk37 if you want to find me on that platform) but like everyone I’m just a non-league football fan with the same passion and enjoyment for the game as the person standing or sitting next to me, I just choose to put pen to paper and this to me is the story of a club that dared to dream.