Thursday, 17 January 2013



Friday 19th April – Saturday 20th April 2013

The Notts Senior League will host the Annual Football Bonanza Groundhop in April, with fans flocking from all over the world.

Having been hosted by numerous leagues in the past, the Football Groundhop has a proud and famous history of providing non-league football fans from all over the globe with a unique and well-organised experience.

This year’s Groundhop will feature five games between clubs from the Precision Notts Senior League over two days from Friday the 19th of April to Saturday the 20th.

Rob Hornby, the man behind the event’s thorough organisation, knows only too well the prestige and history behind it: “Bonanzas, or as the fans sometimes like to call them, groundhops, began in the Northern League in 1990. Since then, the Devon League, the South West League and others all around the country have hosted their own event.

“It has gathered quite a bit of a following over the years. I have organised the past nine years for the Central Midlands Football League myself and it’s an extremely fulfilling experience.”

Perhaps the biggest aspect of participating for the clubs is the potential revenue. Advance tickets to see all five games and get all 5 programmes can be booked for £15, with proceeds being split between the clubs.

The event also has a far-reaching appeal, boosting a club’s publicity above and beyond the British Isles.

“Home clubs make quite a bit of money,” says Hornby. ”All clubs make a bit as well through Advanced Ticket sales.

“Through advertising the event, it is well-known worldwide. It puts clubs on the map and brings football fans to clubs that they wouldnt usually come and see. Already booked we have far from as far as Sweden & Germany as well as from all over te UK.

“Clubs will make money through food and refreshments and the ticket sales on the day. The money non-league clubs can generate benefit them massively in terms of helping to run the club as costs can often be more than expected.”

There will be a different choice of food at each ground, all costing under the £2.50 mark and each club will have its own stall with old shirts etc on sale.

On the Saturday, the coach has been fully booked to transport the fans to four separate games in a bid to cover as many grounds in the area as possible. First on the list will be Selston FC’s 10:10 game against Bilborough Town, while Underwood Villa entertain West Bridgford later on.

Next, Awsworth Villa host Cotgrave Welfare, with the bonanza coming to a close as Keyworth United visit Kimberley Miners Welfare.

The event will kick-off at 6:30 on the Friday evening however, with Attenborough FC playing host to Wollaton FC. For the latter, Hornby’s sentiment on the revenue generated through the Football Bonanza undeniably rings true.

Bill Fishwick, Wollaton FC chairman, will welcome the financial boost with open arms: “It’s a costly venture, running a football club. Any sort of extra money we can get into the club is more than welcome.

“This is where the Football Bonanza comes in. It represents both a short-term and long-term financial boost for the clubs involved. It’s a great experience for the fans as well. Rob has been running these kinds of events for years now and he ensures that everyone has a great time, no matter where they’ve come from.”

But where exactly do the fans come from? You’d certainly be forgiven for assuming that flocks of Nottinghamshire’s non-league supporters will provide the bulk of the attendance, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In fact, the term “worldwide” would be more than apt to describe the event, it seems.

So what’s the allure for the fans? Miles Crafton, a regular spectator at Football Bonanza events, believes it’s the offer of good entertainment at cheap prices.

“You can get tickets for all the games for £15,” says Crafton. “Factor in food prices and travel and it’s a fun-packed day for a relative pittance.”

“You won’t see the bigger clubs doing stuff like this, so to get really involved and immersed in the game it’s great to see clubs at the lower level taking part. It’s such a unique experience and I’d really recommend it.”

For more information or a booking form 
  please e-mail or
phone Rob Hornby on 01623 486678  / 07973517603.

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