(Picture: Alison Bagley/ Northamptonshire Telegraph)
Marathonbet’s search for lower-league football’s greatest goal celebration has come to an end – with Corby Town winning the 2016/17 #NonLeagueChallenge and a £10,000 cash prize.
Jason Lee’s swig of a beer trumped more than 39 other entries from across the National League, National League North and National League South, Northern Premier League Premier, Southern League Premier and Isthmian League Premier to run out victorious in the second-ever NLC.
As well as the huge cash prize, Corby will keep 90% of gate receipts from a home match against a team of Premier League legends including the likes of Emile Heskey, Danny Gabbidon and Sol Campbell. The other 10% will be donated to the Non-League Challenge charity partner Prostate Cancer UK.
The Steelmen can spend the £10,000 prize and gate receipts on whatever they want. From signing new players to improving Steel Park or training facilities, the huge kitty will give the club a huge lift ahead of next season.
Corby eclipsed more than 40 other clubs thanks to Jason Lee’s brilliant pint-swigging celebration. After his side netted against Mickleover Sports in the Northern Premier League Premier, Lee cheekily pinched a fan’s beer before downing a few gulps and running off again. His effort encapsulated all that’s great about Non-League football.
Speaking to The Non League Paper, Corby’s chairman Steven Noble beamed last night: “What a boost it can give us for the start of next season.
“We’ve just been relegated, but what a lift winning the Non-League Challenge has given us. The last two days have been great, all of a sudden the phones are going again. We’re buzzing!
“Jason is a lovely kid, it’s typical of him and he’s not even a big drinker! Things like this makes people come to football on a Saturday.
“To get all those ex-Premier League stars coming to Steel Park will be absolutely fantastic.”
Marathonbet’s #NonLeagueChallenge kicked off in November last year and welcomed an abundance of entries from clubs all over England.
Scores of teams sent in videos of their best goal celebrations before ex-Arsenal and England duo Ray Parlour and Nigel Winterburn helped whittle them down to a final shortlist of ten.
Aldershot Town, Basingstoke Town, Brackley Town, Gainsborough Trinity, Forest Green Rovers, Macclesfield Town, Needham Market, Salford City and St Albans also made it to the final shortlist of ten.
But in the end it was Corby who won the public vote with a 28% majority.
Joe Lovelace, PR on behalf of Marathonbet, said: “This year’s #NonLeagueChallenge has been phenomenal.
“The number and quality of entries, the enthusiasm shown from clubs and the response from fans pays testament to our brilliant and thriving Non-League community in England. It’s something Marathonbet is hugely proud to support.
“We’re delighted Corby Town drummed up enough votes for Jason Lee’s unique celebration to be crowned winners of the second-ever NLC.
“And as we saw with last year’s winners Wealdstone, the £10,000 cash prize will go a long way to supporting their future ambitions while their home match against our team of ex-Premier League Legends will be a date to remember for Corby players, staff and fans alike.”
Corby’s match against the Premier League Legends will take place at Steel Park on Sunday, July 30. Congratulations Corby Town – and good luck against those legends!