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© Ken Fitzpatrick

Non-League Away Day of the Year 2021/22 announced

Blyth Spartans have been named as the 2021-22 overall winners of the Best Away Day in non-league at the National Game Awards in association with Buildbase. It is the third time we’ve partnered with the Non-League Paper to recognise the clubs who are the best at welcoming fans from Steps 1 to 4 of the National League, and the first since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The winners at each level were:

  • Step 1 – Maidenhead United
  • Step 2 – Blyth Spartans
  • Step 3 – Merthyr Town
  • Step 4 – Clitheroe

We recognise that facilities and resources vary at the different levels of the game and categorise nominations at each of Steps 1 to 4 of the National League System. A judging panel sifted through the nominations we received before deciding the winning club at each level. The winners at each level were then assessed for the overall winner and Blyth Spartans were judged as overall winners.

Each of the winners at the different steps will be receiving an award from the FSA at the start of the new season.

We want all clubs to make away fans feel welcome and our award acknowledges those clubs who go that extra mile.

Travelling supporters are vital to the atmosphere at matches and away fans also bring additional revenue, improving the financial viability of our football clubs. Without away fans, grounds are far quieter, less vibrant places. A noisy and colourful away end can make even a mediocre game more memorable.

The cost of travel and tickets can be barriers to supporters, but that cost is worthwhile if you have a good day out helped by considerate stewarding and a welcome from the host club. The evidence from our annual survey of fans demonstrates that those clubs who make away fans feel welcome attract more supporters and reap a financial benefit from both home and away fans alike.

Our award acknowledges best practice, and we hope that it will encourage all clubs to look at how the matchday experience for away fans at their own club can be improved.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

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