BLOG: Paying and playing - Worksop Town stars putting club before cash

Worksop Town FC v Tadcaster Albion, Worksop celebrate Matt Booth's goal
Worksop Town FC v Tadcaster Albion, Worksop celebrate Matt Booth's goal

Footballers don’t have a great reputation when it comes to money.

They’re obsessed with it, flaunt it and blow it on material trappings – or so the stereotype goes.

Even at non league level, fans at every club could name a player or two who was a known ‘money grabber’ and they’ll have a list as long as their arm of players they believe left to chase pound signs.

Footballers are not all like that, obviously.

There are top professionals like Steven Naismith who are reknowned for their generosity and desire to use their wealth for the good of those less fortunate.

And at the world’s fourth oldest club, a group of part-time players are doing their bit to ‘buck the trend’ and show that football comes first.

A couple of weeks ago it emerged that Worksop Town forward Conor Higginson had, for the second season running, paid for a season ticket at the club.

Last week Worksop confirmed that manager Mark Shaw had raised over £1,800 for the club through his Three Peaks challenge.

And just yesterday, the first team squad decided to chip in to purchase a season ticket that can be used by members of the local community on a game-by-game basis.

A season ticket costs £200, it’s not a huge amount to ask a group of people to gather.

But to put some context on this, Worksop Town are not paying out the big bucks, as they look to win promotion from the NCEL Premier.

There will be players in the squad who barely cover their expenses.

The rest are certainly not plying their trade at Sandy Lane because of the money.

Worksop Town are supporter funded.

The Team500 season ticket scheme essentially paid for the 2014/15 season, and will do again this season.

Tigers just can’t afford to pay players the kind of money they shelled out when Jason Clark was ploughing in tens of thousands each season.

So it’s a grand gesture from the squad, to put their hands in their pockets for the good of the club. They didn’t have to.

Similarly, they don’t have to stick around.

It’s an established fact that other teams, promising much more money, have been circling a number of Mark Shaw’s team.

Most of us would leap at a payrise, doing the same job for another company, so you couldn’t blame a part-time footballer for doing the same.

Would most of us get the wallet out if our employer was desperate for funds?

The loyalty the Worksop players have shown should be commended.

They’re putting club before cash, and even giving a little of their own to support the cause.

Something special is being built by the officials, management, volunteers, supporters and footballers of Worksop Town FC.

The new era is still very much in its infancy, with just one season under the belt since Clark withdrew his resources.

There are very positive signs, however, that it might just work out.

Increased attendances, 525 season tickets sold in two seasons, a new academy, a women’s team and a first team squad who play attractive football and appear to be here for the right reasons.

If anything, the success of the past year makes it more important than ever that the ranks of the Team500 Club swell.

It could all go away very quickly, if the funding isn’t there.

So to join the players, the Worksop Guardian and the almost 200 2015/16 season ticket holders, visit or email and sign up