May 22, 2010

England, Non-League Football: the 50 highest drawing clubs in the 2009-10 season (all clubs averaging over 500 per game).

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:36 pm


On the map, club crests are sized to reflect each club’s average attendance from home league matches in the 2009-10 season. At the far left on the map page is the list of all the clubs in English Non-League football that drew over 500 per game. The club’s level is then listed, with any promotion or relegation this season noted; then the average attendance this season, then the percent increase or decrease versus the club’s 2008-09 average attendance.
Below is a list I put together from data I found on Mike Avery’s Non-League Football Page. The list here shows the highest numerical increase in average attendance for Non-League clubs [the list on lists all clubs, League and Non-League, combined].
Note: in the column named ’2009-10 Level with Promotions/Relegations’, an up or down arrow preceding the Level number denotes league movement for that club after the 2008-09 season; and an up arrow after the Level number denotes a promotion for that club after the 2009-10 season.
It is worth noting that only one club on this list did not have any league movement in the past two seasons, York City. Also, unlike most situations where a club is relegated and then sees an attendance drop the following season, Luton Town and Mansfield Town saw attendance increases. Mansfield’s higher average attendance was pushed up by their pay-what-you-want promotion in February {see this}, which drew 7,261 to Field Mill in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.


The cut-off on this map was 500 per game home attendance in league matches, and this meant there ended up being 50 clubs on this map. The map I made in October, 2009 had a cut-off at 600, but I lowered the bar by 100 because I couldn’t resist cramming a few more clubs into this end-of-season attendance map. The extra clubs happened to include 3 clubs from South London, so to the map page I added the Greater London map you see at the top of this post. Bromley and Welling United are both in the Conference South, which is a 6th Level league. Sutton United are a 7th Level club, and play in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Other clubs which made it onto this map, and not onto my 3 other previous Non-League attendance maps are…Eastleigh (of the Conference-South), who are from Hampshire, just north of Southampton; Dorchester Town (also of the Conference South), who are from Dorset; and Hayes and Yeading United, who are from Hayes, Hillingdon, West London, about 3 km. (2 miles) north of Heathrow Airport. Hayes and Yeading won promotion to the Conference (aka Blue Square Premier League) in 2008-09, and drew 334 per game. This season in the Conference the club drew 664 per game, an 84% increase. Hayes and Yeading survived the drop by 3 points, finishing in 17th place.
Hayes & Yeading were the Conference club which had the highest percentage increase in average attendance (+84%)…

English Football Attendances, Average Attendances 2009-10 by % Change (

The Conference club with the highest numerical increase in average attendance was Oxford United, whose turnstile count went up 1,125 per game, to 6,004 per game. Oxford won the Conference play-off, and will play in League Two in 2010-11, thus returning to the League after a 4 season absence. Leading scorer for Oxford was James Constable, who scored 28 league goals (Conference top scorers, here {ESPN Soccernet}), and scored 3 times in 3 matches in the club’s successful playoff campaign.
The 6th Level club with the highest average attendance percentage increase and the highest numerical increase was the Welsh club Newport County AFC, who won automatic promotion to the Conference by winning the Conference South, and drew over 900 more per game than in 2008-09. The Exiles drew 1,840 per game, a 116% increase from 08/09, to their not-exactly fan-friendly, running track-scarred municipal stadium, the Newport Stadium. Newport County is a club with a pretty long League history (61 seasons, including two seasons in the 2nd Level), and are finally having a resurgence. They will make their debut in the Conference, as they were relegated multiple levels when they were relegated out of the old Fourth Division in 1988.
The 7th Level club with the highest percent increase was Aveley FC, an Isthmian League Premier Division club located in Aveley, Essex, near the Dartford Crossing. Aveley did not make this map (and in fact, their ground only has a 1,100-capacity). The Millers drew 212 per game, a 47% increase from the 144 per game they drew in 08/09, when they won promotion the Isthmian League-D1 North. Aveley page at .

The 7th Level club with the highest numerical increase in average attendance was Boston United, of Lincolshire. Boston United won promotion this season to the Conference North, drawing 224 more per game than in 08/09. Boston United drew 1,343 per game this season, and it looks like the Pilgrims are finally starting to recover from the the financial mess/grounds problem that resulted in a protracted time in administration and which plunged them from League Two (the 4th Level) to the Unibond Premier League (in the 8th Level) in the space of 2 years. York Street, home of Boston United, below…
The 8th Level club with the highest numerical increase in average attendance was the phoenix-club FC Halifax Town, of Halifax, West Yorkshire. The Shaymen saw their gates go up 286 per game to 1,452 per game, which is a figure that dwarfs other clubs at this level. Sure enough Halifax won promotion and are on the path back to regaining the position of their predecessor club, Halifax Town AFC, who had League and Conference history, but were forced to dissolve due to tax debts in 2008. The photo below shows the Shay, FC Halifax’s home. The stadium is owned by the Calderdale Metopolitan Council. Calderdale is a metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, and is made up of 6 former local government districts within the towns of (from east to west) Brighouse, Elland, Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, and Todmorden. Todmorden is right up against the Pennine Chain, and this is pretty much where Yorkshire ends. At the other, western, side of the Pennine Chain (which is a low-rising mountain chain which is often called the backbone of England), is Lancashire.

Seen below is the new East Stand, from a satellite photo taken while that stand was still under construction [the view is towards the south]. The East Stand was opened in March, 2010. You can pretty much see how ambitious FC Halifax Town are, by the size of the stand. The stadium now has a capacity of just over 10,000, and that is a Football League-sized ground for sure.

The 8th Level club with the second-highest numerical increase at the turnstiles was Bury Town, of Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk. Bury Town saw their gates increase 172 per game, from 273 to 445 per game, as they won the Southern Football League Division One Midlands. Bury Town’s Ram Meadow @ Extreme Groundhopping site.

The 8th Level club with the third-highest numerical increase in average attendance was Lowestoft Town, of Lowestoft, Suffolk. The Trawler Boys won the Isthmian League Division One North by 15 points and drew 733 per game to their Crown Meadow ground, a 30% increase and 170 more per game higher than in 2008-09. And in 2007-08, Lowestoft Town were drawing just 310 per game, so the club’s fan base has more than doubled in two years.


Thanks to, Hayes & Yeading United FC, Church Road ground (Bird’s Eye view). Thanks to Stephen Harris at, Stephen Harris @

Thanks to Sam Mason at,Oxford United FC – Kassam Stadium. Thanks to Jim 2000 at, Photos by jim 2000 @ Thanks to Oxford United FC- OxKits, Thanks to Oxford United official site/ Gallery, Thanks to The Amber Terrace at, The Amber Terrace’s photostream @

Thanks to the Pride of Anglia – Ipswich Town Football Club, Pride of Anglia (Ipswich Town).

Thanks to Extreme Groundhopping, Exreme Groundhopping – Crown Meadow, Lowestoft Town FC.

Thanks to Mike Avery for his excellent site.

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