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If you’re an avid football fan, you’ll know that when it comes to the North-West, there are not only world famous clubs, but a vast array of them spanning all divisions of the Football League.
Liverpool and Manchester, the most successful footballing cities in the country with forty-six league titles across four clubs, are both less than ninety minutes away from Lancaster. Alongside these two football powerhouses is Burnley, as well as Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool, and Bolton to name a few more. Even closer, barely twenty minutes from Lancaster City Centre, are League One Morecambe, and closer still is Lancaster City FC. It’s safe to say we’re not lacking in options for live football.
Since January, I’ve been writing match previews and reports for Lancaster City FC, travelling to away games on the coach with both staff and players as well as meeting several of Lancaster City’s dedicated volunteers who spend their free time building a platform on which the club can thrive.
Lancaster City FC, who are currently mid-table in the Northern Premier Division, are a world away from the Premier League but, in my opinion, that gives them a unique charm. The club has never been higher than the National League North which they played in from 2004-2007, before entering administration after an ill-fated takeover.
In 2017, they clawed themselves halfway back, to the Northern Premier League, where they sit today. Lancaster City FC are the current holders of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy, but that’s not to say they don’t still have a long way to go, especially in terms of popularity.
Despite being the largest one-club settlement in the division, Lancaster City FC currently record the third lowest attendance. However, with the evident passion for football within the student community, the club could soon see a new lease of life. I spoke with some of the club’s most valued voices, all of whom were incredibly enthusiastic about the potential engagement by students in the club’s future.
James Cummiskey, Commercial Director, said that “Lancaster University is the heart of our city, bringing bright, wonderful new people to it on a yearly basis. We run incentives for games such as student discounts on the gate and, in future, we plan on running discounts for students on all beer and food. We also want to make the students feel at home at Lancaster City FC and provide a great experience whilst also trying to include as many as possible within our team of off-field volunteers.”
Mark Fell, Lancaster City’s Manager, also commented that “the identity of the club and university are linked.” However, he continued that “there probably hasn’t been enough of a realisation of how we link so we’ve got a job to do in providing that for students to harness their energy and support.”
So, if you want to support a local club, why not come down to Lancaster City FC; I guarantee you won’t regret it.