I LOVE sport in all shapes and sizes. I love professional sport – for all its faults – and I love amateur sport. And I like all sport in-between. 

I think I have paid my dues.

My sport of choice is rugby league and for a long time, Sunday mornings would find me on the touchline coaching my team.

In fact, for nine years, I was the head coach of a junior rugby league team with all the kit-washing, fundraising, injury treating responsibilities that went with it.

Such is our family’s love of sport, we once rearranged our summer holidays so we could go to the Olympics in Barcelona, and what tremendous sporting memories they provided.

But I also really like football.

As a teenager, one of my happiest moments came when I watched my team win the old Division One Championship.

I hadn’t missed a home game all season and it was a real joy to have all my investment – financial and emotional – rewarded with a splendid final home game that sealed the championship.

But what never ceases to amaze me is the level of passion and commitment people are prepared to put into supporting teams way down the football pyramid.

I was delighted to read that 1874 Northwich were to be promoted to Premier Division, the top flight of the North West Counties League, following Formby’s resignation from the league.

The fan-run 1874 failed to gain automatic promotion from Division One by the narrowest of goal difference margins but a phone call from league secretary John Deal to chairman Paul Stockton on Saturday confirmed the good news.

The club has my congratulations and best wishes for the future.

I don’t support any local non-league teams but I really rather like the idea of fans coming together to organise themselves into a successful venture, which 1874 appears to be.

But a quick look at the Northwich Guardian’s website shows not everyone is as quick as I am at passing on good wishes.

One comment seems to be indicating that perhaps 1874 has overreached itself and promotion will hasten the club’s demise.

Now that started me thinking.

I know 1874 was formed by fans of Northwich Victoria who were angry and frustrated about the sharp decline in the club’s fortunes under a succession of managements.

But why would someone seek to belittle the achievements of a phoenix club such as this.

The project may succeed, or it may not but surely that’s not the point.

How small-minded must someone be to have a go at another organisation’s honest endeavours? It beggars belief really.

I would hope that those who love the game would be happy to see something good happening in local football.

This is being achieved by hard work, dedication and application, not by a billionaire oil-rich sugar daddy flying in on his private jet to spread largesse and cash around the place.

Yet all some people can do is knock their efforts.

I don’t get it.

Maybe the anonymous poster on the Guardian’s website is a fan of another local club and is a bit worried 1874’s success story will continue and threaten his (I will assume it’s a him) team.

Or maybe the person who posted the comment is so devoid of good grace he just can’t help himself.

My granny used to say: ‘If you can’t say something good, don’t say anything at all’.

Wise words, I feel.

Irrespective of that – and here I realise I may be straying into dangerous and somewhat controversial waters – I do wonder if a town the size of Northwich can really support the number of non-league clubs it currently has.

Witton Albion are in the so-called Step 3 of the football pyramid; Northwich Victoria are in Step 4; 1874 Northwich and Winsford United are in Step 5 and with Barnton’s promotion from the Cheshire League, they are now in Step 6.

Now I am sure all the fans and supporters of each of those clubs are passionate and committed to the cause.

But just imagine if mid Cheshire had one non-league ‘super club’, able to draw on all the resources the area has to offer.

That’s something I could get behind, although I suspect Hell will freeze over before that could ever happen.

In the meantime, I’m throwing my support behind the true fans’ club and hope 1874 Northwich goes from strength to strength.