Meet the eight-year-old mascot for 36 non-league clubs

Three photos of Liam wearing different football kits in his role as mascot. He is wearing the yellow kit of Hailsham Town, the blue kit of Larkhall Athletic and the red kit of Alfold.Image copyright
Chris Priday

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Liam fulfilling his duties as mascot at Hailsham Town, Larkhall Athletic and Alfold

If you’re a keen fan of non-league football, there’s a chance you’ve already met Liam Priday.

The eight-year-old has earned a reputation as a journeyman mascot for lower league clubs across England.

His duties have seen him make 36 appearances for clubs you might not have heard of, such as Wormley Rovers and Biggleswade Town.

And all of this because his father noticed he was fascinated by the pre-match rituals in football.

Image copyright
Chris Priday

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Liam’s new role as professional mascot has seen him travel to clubs as disparate as Crawley Green in Luton (seen here) and Larkhall Athletic in Bath

“He first had an opportunity to be the mascot at Fareham Town at the end of last season,” Liam’s dad Chris told the BBC, “and he absolutely loved it.

“If we play football at the park he’ll make us do all the pre-match rituals now, players lining up and shaking hands and so on.

“I thought it would be good for him to do it again, so I put a tweet out just asking if anyone would allow him to do it.

“The response was unbelievable – we had well over 100 clubs asking for him. I couldn’t believe it.”

Chris said that there is more to it than simply being a mascot – he feels that the role has had a positive effect on Liam in general.

“You’d think walking out at 36 non-league clubs would be similar,” Chris said, “but every time has been different.

“He’s been privileged to be a mascot. Honestly, every week has been his dream.

“Liam’s quite shy, but he’s come out of his shell. He absolutely loves walking out with the players.

“People at the clubs have been brilliant, and honestly, it’s been absolutely fantastic to witness his joy every week.”

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Chris Priday

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Liam proved a good omen for Biggleswade Town in Bedfordshire as they beat Kettering Town 1-0

Chris said the reason for choosing to visit non-league clubs had gone well beyond the difference in price from the Premier League, which can charge upwards of £700 for a “mascot package”.

But he added: “The cost is of course very different,” revealing that no non-league clubs had charged Liam to be a mascot.

“Obviously, you’re paying £5 to get in and you get a programme as well.

“It’s just different in non-league… the clubs are communities. They make you feel like you belong.”

And he has wise words for any young people hoping to do similar in the future.

“Anyone who’s got an interest in football, just get down to your local club and ask. They’d surely be more than happy to have you walk out as a mascot with the players.

“For any young child, that’s an absolutely brilliant moment to remember. I’d recommend that to anyone.”

Image copyright
Chris Priday

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Liam was given a signed shirt by the Wormley Rovers XI after they battered Benfleet 4-0

The 36 clubs Liam turned out for, in chronological order

  • Northwood • Oxhey Jets • Concord Rangers • Brentwood Town • Hallen • Welwyn Garden City • Frimley Green • Witham Town • Chertsey Town • Harwich & Parkeston • Chichester City • Bury Town • May & Baker • Lewes • Racing Club Warwick • Clacton • Sporting Bengal United • Lingfield • Hendon • Harlow Town • Andover New Street • Newmarket Town • Reading Town • Storrington • Crawley Green • Sawbridgeworth Town • Stansted • Biggleswade Town • Larkhall Athletic • Hailsham Town • Wormley Rovers • Alresford Town • Evesham United • Cockfosters • Alfold • AFC Uckfield Town

By Tom Gerken, BBC UGC & Social News


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