It's Wanderers not Town for Ed
ED Nicholls is not alone.Disillusioned with the professional game, Ed is chairman at Ipswich Wanderers in the Ridgeons League, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
ED Nicholls is not alone.
Disillusioned with the professional game, Ed is chairman at Ipswich Wanderers in the Ridgeons League, and he wouldn't have it any other way.
A non-league fan of many years, Ed also enjoyed watching Ipswich Town and for three seasons had a season ticket at Portman Road.
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But the rather common word in the pro game . . . money . . . reared its ugly head in Ed's mind and that was that.
It was non-league for him.
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“I enjoyed watching at Portman Road, even though I'd been to watch Ipswich Wanderers when they were known as Loadwell Transport, a few years before, so I was very used to non-league.
“But quite honestly I got a bit tired of my hard-earned money not being spent on what I would have liked it to have been at Ipswich Town. The finances, on and off the pitch, at Portman Road annoyed me. So I never renewed my season ticket.
“I've certainly never regretted it and I love the non-league scene.”
Ed took over the chairman's role at Humber Doucy Lane three seasons ago and he admits it was one of the best things he has done.
“I've never ever regretted being chairman,” he added.
“OK, so I go to the club with a �50 note in my pocket on a Saturday and often wonder where it all goes, buying a few drinks and all that, but the people are so nice.
“One thing I really love is that when I was a season ticket holder, if a player had a bad game, there was nothing I could say or do about it.
“But in non-league, if you think someone has had a bad game, you can go up to them in the bar and tell them! The access to the players and people to the game is what I love.”
Since taking over in the hot seat at Wanderers, Ed has already endured the highs and lows of running a non-league side.
Two seasons ago Wanderers got to the last 16 of the FA Vase during a superb run, where they lost to eventual finalists AFC Totton. And there was relegation from the Ridgeons Premier last season.
But the man who owns Gemini Travel, and still occasionally takes Ipswich Town fans to away clashes sums up his feelings for non-league.
“I sometimes have to work for Gemini, taking Ipswich fans to away games. And as a coach driver I usually get in to see the games too.
“But do you know what? These days, I'd always rather be watching Wanderers.”
(N) IF like Ed you have a story to tell about the non-league game. Let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org