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Four candles* for our fourth birthday

$_32THIS WEEK marks the fourth anniversary of Game of the People. The site has grown incredibly in that period, increasing hit rates and visitors every year. In 2016, the site is on target to beat 2015’s totals by at least 70%. I have been genuinely surprised and humbled by the reaction to the site.

Without an audience, Game of the People is talking to itself, so we listen to what people tell us, tailor content to meet the interests of various user groups and also try to mix current football affairs with in-depth articles on the history of the game. We’re interested in the finance of the game, the politics, the global reach and the culture of the game of the people.

In the past three years, we have ventured out to watch football in Europe and beyond: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. It has been enormous fun.

And through Game of the People, opportunities have come our way and will shape the future. The Non-League Paper features a column from GOTP on a regular basis and we’ve also written for Football Weekends, the Football Pink and worked on business-related content on football for clients.

The site has been recognised by a number of websites and bodies that hand out awards – we appreciate the garlands from Wordball, the Inside Channel and Left Wing Soccer. Around 30 football clubs use Game of the People content for their matchday programmes.

So what next for Game of the People? Next season, we will launch a guest column, encouraging aspiring football writers to share their content. We also aim to expand our Game of the People football consultancy activity. More of this to come later this year.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who clicks on our link and the kind remarks made by so many. Of course, you cannot please all of the people all of the time as comments by the fans of an East London non-league club demonstrated, calling us “middle-class twats from Hertfordshire”, but with almost 1,000 articles published, the pluses have heavily outweighed the negatives.

This was our first article, published on April 27, 2012. And unlike most of our predictions, we actually got it right – Chelsea to beat Bayern Munich on penalties!

Thanks again, from the editor at the Non-League Paper, Stuart Hammonds, to regular followers at my local non-league club, Hitchin Town to fans in Hungary, the Netherlands, Canada and Japan – and keep visiting our site!

*Apologies to Ronnie Barker and Corbett.

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