Dickie Felton

I write about music and football

To celebrate Non League Day 2015 I've selected 10 photos I've taken on the road with Marine AFC.

When I watch Marine I'm always with iPhone in hand. One minute tweeting the latest score, another minute taking a photo of an aspect of the occasion.

Every time a football fan is in a ground it is an occasion... Maybe I should invest in a proper camera to properly capture this wonderful world of non league?

10/Tea lady at Trafford FC 2015. It's the volunteers that keep non league clubs alive. 

Often the tea bar is at the heart of the club. I took this at half time once the initial rush for pies had gone down. A momentary breather. 

tea lady at Trafford January 2015

9/ For about 20 heady minutes we were two goals up at high flying FC United of Manchester. A second half goal-fest by the home side consigned us to a heavy defeat. You get a lot of shadows in non league football. There's seldom a huge stand to block out the sun's rays. In fact, you can get quite a tan watching football in the lower levels. Shades and suncream required. Even in January. On saying that, the sky turned black for five minutes at FC's temporary home at Curzon. 

FCUM V Marine

8/ Raining and resigned to relegation. Not a particularly stunning shot. But captures the despair at Marine in early January 2015. Losing at home again. The grim reaper circling College Road among the lashings of sleet. This fan could take no more. And as another attack broke down turned away. 

raining

7/ Marine fan Tony enjoys a cuppa at Salford City on the opening day of the 2015/16 season. A new colourful ground to visit. In the background Marine legend Jon Goulding. Injured Jon spending another day on the sidelines while desperate to get out on the pitch. His return will be soon. And what an ovation he will receive.

 tony foley

6/ Sun over Stamford. This photo taken on Marine's fabulous 12 game escape act. Where they avoided relegation. Stamford was the perfect away game for the Mariners. Another new ground, a warm welcome, a wonderful beer terrace. Brighter times ahead. 

sun over Stamford

5/ We've done it! No-one could believe Marine's out-of-this-world relegation escape on the last day of the 14/15 season. At one stage the Mariners were 12 points from safety but clawed their way back. On the final day of the season they needed to win at Blyth and wish for other results to go their way. They did. And at the end the Marine team ran, like crazed school kids, to embrace their loyal fans. A day which will go down in Marine history. We survived by 0.02 of a point. 

Blyth

5/ If there is a more beautiful backdrop in football then show me it. What a gorgeous flag. And the snowy rolling hills above Matlock ain't bad either.

Matlock

4/ Marine fans bus calling all stops to Macclesfield in 2012 for an FA Cup tie. A great away day aboard a double decker. We're all going to Wembley until a dubious penalty decision.

marine bus

3/A rare showbiz moment at Marine. At the end of 2012/13 season former Swansea legend Lee Trundle is sensationally signed. He responds with a wonderful goal and signs autographs for fans. He loved playing at Marine for a four week period. He wasn't so keen on the away games though...

Lee Trundle

2/ The lad's first Marine away game at Ilkeston. Wow - and a ticket stub to treasure too. Not many non league clubs do ticket stubs. We won 2-1 with a late Matty Devine goal.

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1/ Another from that final day of the season at Blyth. Marine left-back James Short hugs fans following that amazing survival. Look at the joy on the faces. 

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Dickie Felton is an author who has written two books about the legendary singer Morrissey and his fans.

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