Your basket

Join The FSA

© PA Images

Exeter City v Northampton Town: The “friendly final”

At today’s League Two play-off final Exeter City will face Northampton Town and, while it will take place in front of near empty stands, it’s actually a fixture that has special significance for supporters.

Those of you familiar with the legacy of Brian Lomax will know that he formed the original supporters’ trust at Northampton Town in 1992 – a legacy that’s still alive today in the form of community-owned clubs such as Exeter City.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Exeter City fans banding together to set up their own supporters’ trust and current chair Nick Hawker paid tribute to Brian’s work.

“The late, great Brian Lomax provided motivation to the supporters of Exeter City to set-up its own trust, an action that contributed ultimately, to the saving of our Club.

“Since that time we have developed a firm friendship with Northampton Town Supporters’ Trust.

“We are indebted to Brian Lomax and hope sincerely that our ongoing friendship is, in some small way, a testament to his passion, but also to the possibilities that supporter ownership can create.

“This year, with the impact of COVID-19, many will feel we have seen some of the worst of football, but when you reflect on the huge efforts being made by supporters of all clubs to help communities and the clubs themselves, we are also seeing some of the very best.

“In our 20th year, it seems fitting that Northampton Town will play a huge part in our future and us in theirs.

“Whatever happens, I know that we will remain friends, remain supportive of one another, and remain a proud testament to Brian Lomax and his vision for football.”

“Friendly final”

Brian’s formation of the original Cobblers Trust in 1992 was held, coincidentally, in Northampton Town’s Exeter Rooms and eight years later he helped the Grecians set up their own trust.

Current Northampton Town Supporters Trust chair Andy Roberts remembers that time well.

“I can still vividly recall his rallying message of hope to the travelling Exeter City fans – one of whom carried a banner saying ‘Don’t Let Our City Die’ – at Sixfields on the final day of the 1994-95 season,” says Andy.

“We have followed Exeter’s journey with great interest ever since and we have the utmost respect and admiration for the hard work and commitment which has been invested in the club and its community at St James Park.

“Nick Hawker and Elaine Davis of Exeter’s trust have been very supportive in recent years as we at Northampton explore a way forward for a potential future community ownership model of our own.

“They have certainly strengthened our faith in the values of supporter kinship and friendship within the game and, win or lose in this ‘friendly final’, that kinship and friendship will certainly endure.”

The League Two play-off final between Exeter City and Northampton Town will be taking place tonight at Wembley, behind closed doors and kicks off at 7.30pm.

Related Articles

Northampton Town Supporters’ Trust mark 30 year anniversary

English football’s original supporters trust, Northampton Town Supporters Trust, are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and here they tell us about the trust’s pioneering journey since 1992…

Exeter City: Fan donations to club surpass £40,000

While some clubs have been heavily criticised by fans for their season ticket refund policy, there are examples of good practice which deserve a mention.

Exeter City repay loan to fans that saved club

Exeter City, the fan-owned club who were saved by their supporters when the club was in crisis in 2003, have repaid the long-term interest free loan provided by the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust (ECST).

Brian Lomax Cup: Enfield Town victors at fan-ownership showcase

The Brian Lomax Cup takes place every pre-season and celebrates the role of supporter-owned football clubs. The first winner was in 2002 when AFC Wimbledon beat Enfield Town 3-2. The cup is named after Brian Lomax – considered to be the founding father of the supporters’ trust movement. He sadly passed away in 2015. Richard Irving attended this year’s match, his report is below…

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe