Alex Scott and Ashley Williams visit South Shields FC as Football Focus celebrates Non-League Day

South Shields FC took centre stage on the nation’s TV screens as BBC1 flagship show Football Focus came to town for Non-League Day.

Host Alex Scott presented the hour-long programme from the 1st Cloud Arena between noon and 1pm today. Saturday, March 26, as part of the show's On The Road series.

She was joined by former Swansea City and Wales captain Ashley Williams and a number of guests from the Mariners, including manager Kevin Phillips, chief executive Lee Picton and chairman Geoff Thompson.

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Even kitman George McLaughlin found himself thrust before the cameras, while the presenters chatted with some of the hundreds of fans who had turned out to show their support for the club’s national showcase.

As well as hearing from Kevin about his move into management and the club’s drive for promotion for the Northern Premier division, viewers were able to learn about the club’s off-field work, including its charitable foundation and the development of young talent through its academies.

Football Focus has been a key part of the build-up to Saturday games for generations of supporters across the country since it was first aired in 1974.

Usually broadcast from the BBC Sport headquarters in Salford, it has been taken on the road a number of times this season

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Alex Scott performs a piece to cameraAlex Scott performs a piece to camera
Alex Scott performs a piece to camera
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Alex said South Shields had been the ideal club to profile for Non-League Day, adding: “I love taking Football Focus on the road and when we sat down and we spoke about it, there is everything that’s going on at the club here, the fan base, the story, the history behind it, you have got everything in place to move this club forward.”

Geoff Thompson said the Mariners had been over the moon to be approached by the BBC to host the show and it had been a pleasure to highlight the club’s community work.

He said: “We are delighted that it has happened and it is great to see the club getting some national coverage.

"It is a real coup for us and we really want to thank the BBC for reaching out to us.

Kevin Phillips (left) catches up with Ashley WilliamsKevin Phillips (left) catches up with Ashley Williams
Kevin Phillips (left) catches up with Ashley Williams
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"It is a huge, huge event for us and it had really put us on the map.

“I would like to think the club had been making some real progress over recent years.”

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Some of the fans who turned out to show their supportSome of the fans who turned out to show their support
Some of the fans who turned out to show their support

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Alex Scott chats with fansAlex Scott chats with fans
Alex Scott chats with fans
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