Non-league football impossible without volunteers says Glossop North End's Chris Haughton

Glossop North End and all other non-league clubs would be nothing without volunteers according to Hillmen's media league director Chris Haughton.
Glossop North End and all other non-league clubs would be nothing without volunteers according to Hillmen's media league director Chris Haughton.

By Tom Masters

Glossop North End media lead director Chris Haughton knows the non-league football pyramid would be nothing without volunteers.

Haughton, 45, began following The Hillmen in 2009 and quickly got involved behind the scenes, having fallen out of love with long-term club Manchester United.

Since then, he has put his professional skills as a videographer to use for Glossop, filming matches and contributing largely to their social media pages .

And Haughton, as one of the board members at Glossop North End, insists the club simply would not exist without the help of volunteers.

He said: “The volunteers at Glossop North End are literally the lifeblood of a football club.

“We cannot exist without volunteers, it’s just a non-starter, we have a board of seven, but obviously we work full-time jobs alongside being on the board.

“The seven of us could not do it without the help of volunteers, we cannot run a matchday without volunteers, and that is everyone from the ball boys to the turnstile staff, to the ground staff, to the bar staff and the pie hut staff.

“There are so many little jobs that people looking from the outside would probably never think of, we have people that come in after the game and come in just to make sure the dressing rooms are clean.

“No football club, certainly Glossop could not run without a bank of volunteers, and we thank them, in every way we can.”

Glossop face a familiar non-league battle of being in the same area as some of the game’s biggest and best clubs, with Manchester City and Manchester United in their catchment area and other large clubs such as Leeds, Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield in the vicinity.

But Haughton believes one thing that their relatively small stature compared to some of England’s giants allows them to do is become a real part of the community.

He said: “We used to find that people didn’t even know we were here, that sounds silly but for a long-time people would say ‘oh I didn’t know there was a football club here.’

“We are growing stronger and stronger links in the community, the two times we have been to Wembley, we have taken 6,000 fans.

“So we know that we have support in the community, our match day attendances don’t necessarily match that every week, we know where we are and that we have to compete with the big, big boys in Manchester United and Manchester City.

“I used to be a season ticket holder at Manchester United, until I fell out of love with them and started supporting Glossop North End from 2009, after moving to Glossop in 2007.

“We’re really trying to get strong community links; we do try and look at and try to support charities within Glossop.”

Glossop are always on the look-out for more volunteers and Haughton believes that if people give the club a try, they will be surprised how attached they can get.

“I couldn’t believe how easily I got hooked at Glossop,” he added.

“I can’t think of any of the volunteers in the ground that haven't been a supporter first.

“We find that most volunteers come from within the crowd, and they are all a part of the match day running of the club.

“In 2015 when we got promoted, we’d been in the lower level for 32 years and to see the faces of not only the fans but the pride of the volunteers to know that they were a part of that.

“Now we’re looking to make the next step up to step 3, and that will take a lot of work, but it is good to have ambition.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million-pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: