This past week, I was privileged enough to receive one of the first copies of ‘Love Not Money – Non League Football Portraits’ – award-winning photographer David Bauckham’s new book.
The premise of the book features two season’s worth of portraits from the world of non-league football. The book focusses on the tireless voluntary work of those who keep football clubs running, often with little or no reward (hence the title), David interviews over 70 individuals who are the lifeblood of their respective clubs. Their words reflect the general views of ‘non-League people’: what football at this level means to them, why they do what they do, and just as importantly, the challenges they face, and continue to face on a weekly basis.
From Presidents and Secretaries to Programme Sellers and Turnstile Operators, ‘Love Not Money’ is a beautiful, insightful and sometimes romantic look at the world of lower league football. For football fans alike, Love Not Money re-affirms our passion for the beautiful game.
We are pleased to give you an exclusive taster of what you can expect from the book.
MYRA STEPHENS – Eastbourne Borough FC
Myra has been Secretary at all three of Eastbourne’s senior football clubs, over a period spanning getting on for 40 years. When her husband joined the Committee of Eastbourne Town she began looking after the tea hut and was later asked to take over as Match Secretary. She later defected to Eastbourne United after a proposed amalgamation fell through in 1975 and was Secretary there until 1992/93 before resigning and being approached to take over at the then Langney Sports in 1994. She remained Secretary at Priory Lane until quite recently, during the club’s meteoric rise from the Sussex County League to Football Conference, before stepping down but remaining very much involved at the club.
“I enjoyed being Secretary in the Conference Premier. It was a marvellous experience, and I feel I achieved something, but it was getting too much for me.” “I’m still here. I just do the fixture confirmations for the front side, other bits and pieces, and the Boardroom hospitality on match days. It’s not an easy thing to do; it takes time and concentration.” “What I like about this club is how everybody pulls together… but it’s not easy being a club these days; I don’t think it is for anyone really, even the big clubs. But you just get on with it and do the best you can.”
TONY BETTERIDGE – Ashford United FC
Tony first became involved as part-owner of the former Ashford Town FC with a joint venture partner, despite not having any previous football experience. Following a protracted legal dispute he finally achieved sole ownership of the club in 2010. Although money from his winning bid was used to pay off creditors, the club was dissolved a reformed as Ashford United FC. After a season in the football wilderness the new club returned as a founder member of the Kent Invicta League.
“I am the least ‘football person’ that you would probably speak to. I’ve never played football; I’ve never wanted to play football. I’ve never supported a football team, and had never seen quite what it was that motivated others to be become fanatical football supporters. But it’s now got under my skin without a shadow of a doubt. The thing that makes it special is that when you become involved you see how important it is to everyone, whether they are a volunteer, part of the squad, management team, or a supporter. Each individual brings something special to the whole mix and it’s quite a humbling situation. It’s also a situation which has helped to restore a lot of feelings I used to have as a younger man about who we are, and how we exist.”
What compliments this book so well is David’s photographic eye. Not only is it an insightful look into the lives of such dedicated people, but is fully accentuated with large full colour portraits spread across 84 glossy pages.
Love Not Money is available from Centre Circle Publishing’s website for £12 plus postage and handling.