10 months ago By Jack Moore

On Saturday 7th October Hitchin Town will host Stratford Town on what is designated as Non-League Day 2017.

This a national initiative to encourage people to visit their local non-league football clubs. Hitchin are keen to fully embrace Non-League Day and to this end have decided to make it a ‘pay what you want’ game to encourage as many supporters as possible to attend on the day.

Club secretary Roy Izzard said “the ‘pay what you want’ model was extremely successful for us on Non-League Day last year when our attendance was three times higher than our average. We are delighted to make the Stratford game ‘pay what you want’ and aim to target 1,000 supporters through the turnstiles.The passion which the local residents of Hitchin showed when they helped to save our wonderful Top Field home was magical to see, so we would be delighted to see as many of them as possible at the home of Hitchin football on this special day.”

The fixture also sees Hitchin Town FC support Stevenage Haven, the local charity which in 2014 took on the day to day running of the homeless shelter in Nightingale Road, Hitchin.

The Haven provides support and shelter for up to 17 single homeless men from Hitchin and the surrounding areas in North Hertfordshire. A percentage of the match day takings will be donated to the charity and will go to the running costs of the Hitchin shelter. We will be delighted to welcome representatives from Stevenage Haven to join us for what we are sure will be a wonderful occasion.

At the heart of the town’s sporting community, it is extremely important that we are seen as a genuine community club. We want to lead from the front in encouraging equality and inclusion in our club and to show we are being serious we recently appointed Beatrice Thirkettle as our Diversity Officer. To this end we are using the Non-League Day fixture to promote Kick It Out, an organisation that works with football authorities, clubs, players and supporters to tackle all forms of discrimination.

As well as ‘pay what you want’ for adults, under 16’s will receive free entry as they do for all our home games. Also special Hitchin Town sports bottles will be given to the to the first 200 youngsters to enter the historic ground on the day. There will also be free face painting and other activities to get involved with on the day.

So please do not let youngsters think football is just a TV programme and bring them along to the real thing on Saturday 7th October at 3pm, as we welcome Stratford Town FC to our iconic Top Field home.

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