Non-League Day

Brownhill brothers on importance of non-league game

26 Mar 2022

Burnley's Josh Brownhill speaks to brother Joel who plays for nearby Padiham about value of supporting grassroots football

Related Articles
League to increase funding for non-league and women's clubs
Wrexham owners see Premier League funding make 'huge difference'
League investment supporting football pyramid

Saturday 26 March is Non-League Day, with fans encouraged to attend a non-league match in their area, and we are highlighting non-league clubs who have benefitted from the support of the Premier League.

Padiham FC

Growing up in a football-mad family, Josh Brownhill learnt a great deal from kickabouts in the back garden with his older brothers, particularly Joel.

"That's what got me to where I am now," the Burnley midfielder says while chatting with Joel. "With all the battling and my older brothers kicking me around and winding me up, making me see red as always."

The football bond formed when they were younger remains strong and Josh regularly goes to watch Joel play at nearby Padiham FC.

"Non-league is like the foundation of football," he says. "Some great players have come out of non-league and made a career for themselves.

"For every area and for every kid growing up, there's always an opportunity to play football."

Volunteers the unsung heroes

Joel combines his football with a job as a mechanic, which can involve getting up for work at 6am, then a full day in the garage before a match in the evening that leaves him "buzzing" to midnight.

But, he says that effort pales in comparison with the hard work done by the volunteers at non-league clubs. 

"The people behind all these small little clubs you don't hear about and [who] keep it running is what it's about, for me," Joel says. "I get there, play football and everything is done, but you don't see what they're doing beyond to make sure that game is on."

And Joel calls on fans to take time out this weekend to see a non-league match as that can make a big difference.

"It's massive revenue for for the club," he says. "It's getting people to look at these little clubs and realise that, 'You know what, if I just go there on that day, it's going to give them a better changing room, or hot water in the showers.'

"You just going up to the game of football and having a couple of drinks and something to eat means that I get a hot shower after the game."

PL support for Padiham

Padiham play in the North West Counties League Premier Division, level nine of the football pyramid, and have been supported by the Premier League over the past 20 years to help them maintain their stadium, with funding for floodlights and ground improvements. 

More recently, Padiham was supported by the Premier League's various funds when the pandemic seriously affected non-league clubs' futures, with grants from the Club Preparation Fund and the Matchday Support Fund providing vital money. 

How to support Non-League Day

You can show support for the hundreds of semi-professional and amateur clubs around England by going to a non-league match on the weekend of 26/27 March.

To find your nearest non-league match, visit

Latest Videos

More Videos