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fans singing and waving scarves before a game at Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

November 2, 2023

Bayer is a solid if unspectacular Bundesliga club with a beautiful stadium in a not very interesting city. But it sits in a nest of German Fußball, one of several clubs that offer an easy day out from the beautiful city of Cologne. LOCATION: Leverkusen is in the North Rhine-Westphalia region, 15 minutes by train…

Bradford City

September 2, 2023

A very traditional club best known for a past tragedy, some remarkable cup runs, and a massive fanbase for a club this size. LOCATION: Bradford is about an hour north of Manchester by train. CONTACT: bradfordcityafc.com, 01274 770012, #BCAFC NICKNAMES: The Bantams, which officially is a small breed of chicken but certainly looks more ferocious…

Wrexham

August 27, 2023

Until recently an ordinary, if very historic, non-league club, Wrexham has been swept up into the worlds of big money, television, marketing and celebrity. LOCATION: Wrexham is in North Wales, about two hours from Manchester (with a change on the way) by train. It's 3.5 hours and two changes from London. CONTACT: wrexhamafc.co.uk, 01978 89…

Accrington Stanley

August 18, 2023

A League Two club with a nicer stadium than most, an interesting history in three stages, and also the subject of one of the more famous questions in all of English football. LOCATION: One hour north of Manchester by train CONTACT: accringtonstanley.co.uk, 01254356950, #asfc NICKNAMES: The ‘Owd Reds, Accy Stan

Shrewsbury Town

July 3, 2023

​​Sometimes held up as an example of small-time football, Shrewsbury is actually a lovely town with a nice stadium. LOCATION: Shrewsbury is in the West Midlands, just over an hour by train from Manchester and about 2.5 hours from London. CONTACT: shrewsburytown.com, 01743 273943, #Salop NICKNAMES: The Shrews or Salop, an old shorthand for Shropshire,…

Rotherham United

June 30, 2023

​​If there was a league between the Championship and League One, Rotherham would be a fixture in it. And even that represents progress over the not-so-distant past. LOCATION: Rotherham is about 15 minutes by train from Sheffield, which in turn is about two hours from London and one hour from Manchester.  CONTACT: themillers.co.uk, 01709 827768,…

Port Vale

June 30, 2023

Port Vale is a throwback in many ways. They also hold the record for most years in the Football League without ever reaching the top flight. LOCATION: Stoke-on-Trent, in the West Midlands between Birmingham and Manchester. CONTACT: port-vale.co.uk, 01782 655821, #PVFC NICKNAMES: The Valiants or just the Vale

Newport County

June 30, 2023

​​This scrappy club in South Wales has twice been saved by its own supporters, and though it has not been above the fourth tier since the 1980s, it has provided some memorable cup runs. LOCATION: Newport is in South Wales, around two hours west of London by train. CONTACT: newport-county.co.uk, (01633) 302012, #NCAFC NICKNAMES: The…

Salford City

June 30, 2023

​​A little club that was purchased by some big names and raced up the pyramid, Salford City today are an established League Two club. LOCATION: Salford is a city in Greater Manchester. CONTACT: salfordcityfc.co.uk, no phone listed, #SalfordCity NICKNAMES: The Ammies, which comes from their old name Salford Amateurs.

MK Dons

June 30, 2023

​​From an outsider’s perspective, MK Dons is probably the weirdest club in English football. It’s certainly unique, is nearly without history or support, and yet occupies quite a niche in the sport’s consciousness. LOCATION: Milton-Keynes is about one hour by train northwest of London. CONTACT: mkdons.com, 01908 622933, #MKDons NICKNAMES: The Dons

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