GREAT Wakering Rovers’ chairman is hoping free entry to the club’s match on non-league day will see hundreds turn out to support the club and the Kick It Out campaign.
Tony Butcher has long championed non-league day and the former Great Wakering Colts chairman, and now president, says it is a gesture that he wanted to make.
This year’s match sees Rovers host Cray Wanderers, who were relegated from the Ryman Premier last year, on Saturday, September 6 at 3pm.
“Kick It Out has been around for a long time now and it is something that people need to sit up and pay attention to,” said Butcher.
“We are a family club and want to encourage people to come here and see what we are all about.”
Non-League day is an annual celebration of semi-professional and grassroots football, beginning in 2010, and is held during a break in the Premier League and Championship season to encourage more people to support their side.
And Butcher said he was hopeful the people of Great Wakering would come to Burroughs Park to support the side, with entry to the ground free – although all donations will go towards Kick It Out, an anti-racism and discrimination organisation.
Rovers have only been averaging a total of 122 fans per game so far this year, although Butcher said he would like to see more than 300 turn out against Cray Wanderers.
“We don’t get the biggest crowds in the division, but on non-league day we would expect a lot more people to come down and watch us. We hope with the right exposure we will get more than 300 and that would be good for everyone at the club.
“I appreciate Great Wakering is not ideally situated for people coming to the area, but we want fans to come and we want to change mindsets as well.”
And former vice-chairman Butcher said he wants to see the club continue to grow, at all levels.
“We want to bring through the younger generation with the club. We have a good youth set-up with the Colts Youth team and the Alliance and it would be great to expand that further.”
Butcher added that Rovers are appealing for sponsorship as they bid to warm up on the day wearing Kick It Out T-shirts, which would cost roughly £300-350. All sponsors would have their names on the back of the shirt, once authorised by Kick It Out.
Any companies interested in taking part should contact Tony Butcher on 07710 900282