Non-League Dog Day: vs Padiham, 3pm, Saturday 23rd March

Over the last few seasons, we’ve had many highlights at Brookburn Road – derby day wins, penalty saves, last gasp winners: memories that will last a lifetime (or, at least for a couple of days). But regardless of what we’ve done on the pitch, there’s one day that has outshone everything else we’ve ever done. With a misty eye, West fans still wax lyrical about 7 October 2017, when the rain came down heavy, the wind whipped in hard, and West snook a win over Squires Gate – but, most importantly, we ran our inaugural Non League Dog Day. Sky Sports News came down to capture the magic, BBC Sport got involved, and we have over 30 pooches came down to bark on the lads. And now – we’re bringing it back.

We’ve been blessed with both the quality and quantity of dogs at West: the names of Jed, Henry, RoccoSolJerryPoppy, and Chloe are evocative to regulars of the shed-end, but then: so are many, many others – the pup round up from our last Non League Dog day is a good starting point for those new to the club. Whether your dog is a season ticket holder, or has never stepped paw inside a ground before, they’re always welcome down at Brookburn Road.

For the visit of Padiham on Saturday 23rd March, we’re running our second Non League Dog Day. Any adult bringing down their own pup will be eligible for concessionary entry as a thank you for gracing us with their presence. Once you and your loaf/long boi/doggo (delete as appropriate) are in the ground, we’ll be showering them with free treats, before welcoming them onto the pitch at half time for an official attendance count. There will be a prize for the best dressed dog, and we can guarantee there will be pats, strokes, and head rubs aplenty for each pooch.

Having set the early pace with our quantity of dogs at a game of football, Maltby Main outstripped us later that season by welcoming 78 pups to their game against Pontefract Colliery. In a season that has been difficult on the pitch, this is a potentially winnable fixture for the club: we’d like to reclaim that crown. Whether Crufts or scruff, thoroughbred or thicc, protect or attacc (ideally, both) – we need them, and we need you. More details will be announced next week, but in the meantime – come on, dogs! Come on, West!

Our poster has once again been created by the amazing Liam Bane – a dog lover, illustrator and friend of the club from Somerset, England. You can find him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/_liambane

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