A non league club receive backlash this week to an official club tweet showing their fans celebrate a recent win of theirs.
On Monday night, Hashtag United of the Isthmian League North Division picked up their first win of the league season, a surprise victory against high flyers Maldon & Tiptree.
The result lifts them into 15th place out of 20 teams, and so far have earned four points from five games played so far.
Hashtag United wrote on their Twitter come the full time whistle: “This is what our first 3 points means to the fans.
“350+ in attendance massive thank you to everyone who came to support!”
This is what our first 3 points means to the fans 🤩👏
— Hashtag United (@hashtagutd) September 13, 2021
MORE ABOUT HASHTAG UNITED:
The name is unique and rather baffling to many when they first hear of them, but indeed Hashtag United is a real football club, and on their way up the English football pyramid.
They are a semi-pro football club based in Pitsea, Essex and were founded in 2016 by YouTuber Spencer Owen, originally playing exhibition games and the 32-year-old achieved national fame through his YouTuber channel Spencer FC, which has nearly 2million subscribers.
Hashtag United’s games were filmed and uploaded to YouTube and became very popular, helping the club build a solid fanbase.
Spencer, who has since become the club’s chairman, entered the team into the football pyramid in 2017 and they’ve gone on to earn promotions, and now mixing in with Isthmian League sides.
They are still four promotions away from playing professionally in the English Football League.
According to Spencer’s YouTube profile, he has helped raise more than £200,000 for charity.
Spencer has also released his own book about Hashtag United and founded the Wembley Cup, a charity tournament that existed between 2015 and 2018.
Speaking to The Sun in 2016, Spencer revealed how a group of kids ignored football star Gareth Bale to talk to him instead.
He said: “After our interview [with Bale], they let these guys come in for a meet and greet with Gareth.
“A load of them ran past him towards me, shouting my name. I’m like, ‘What are you doing, Gareth’s over there?’
“And they were like, ‘We can’t talk to Gareth, but you’re our mate.’
“That was a little moment in my head when I understood how they look at me, as opposed to a footballer.
“It’s that feeling you get when you’re 14, you’re a bit nervous, you see a footballer like a celebrity, probably the same way you look at your headmaster or someone you don’t get to talk to on a day-to-day basis.
“Football, especially in this country, has gone into this hyper-inflation of tens and hundreds of millions of pounds being spent on players, players being treated like gods, and it’s left a bit of a vacuum.
“I like to think that the guys who watch my channel get to live vicariously through me as football fans. I talk to them like they’re my friends.”
Men’s Season-by-season record
2018–19 – Eastern Counties League Division One South – Level 10 – 1/19 pos – – Promoted
2019–20 – Essex Senior League – Level 9 – Reached FA Vase second qualifying round – Season abandoned
2020–21 – Essex Senior League – Level 9 – Reached FA Cup second qualifying round – Reached FA Vase second round – Season curtailed, promoted
The club operates a Sunday league side, which was established in 2017 under the name West Oviedo and joined Division Two of the Brentwood Sunday League. They were runners-up in their first season and were promoted to Division One. They went on to win Division One in 2018–19. The club also had a team named Hashtag Academy that played in the seven-a-side Next Level Football League.
The club currently operates a reserve and development mens side as well as a number of development men and womans youth teams. The youth section of the club was merged with Forest Glade for the start of the 2020–21 season. In April 2020 the club announced that they would have a women’s team, Hashtag United Women, from the start of the 2020–21 season as a result of a merger with AFC Basildon. The women’s team plays in the FA Women’s National League, the fourth tier. The club also has an eSports team.
Period / Kit manufacturer / Shirt Sponsor
2017 / Umbro / EE Limited
2017–2018 / Top Eleven / Football Manager
2018–2021 / Adidas / Football Manager
2021– / Hummel / UFL (Men’s) / TGI Fridays (Women’s)
After joining the Eastern Counties League, the club began playing at the Coles Park Stadium, groundsharing with Haringey Borough. In April 2019, following promotion to the Essex Senior League, Hashtag United announced that the club would move to Tilbury’s Chadfields for the 2019–20 season. In March 2020 the club stated that they would move to the Len Salmon Stadium, home of Bowers & Pitsea, for the 2020–21 season. The women’s team plays at Canvey Island’s Park Lane ground.
As mentioned, the non league club receive backlash to an official club tweet of theirs, see how it was reacted…
@Tommygunn2211: Joke of a club! Dishing out fifa points to get kids through the gate… hurry up and fold zzzzzzzzz
@Sixers_Charlie: people will make fun of this, but Hashtag is making Non-League so much more accessible for the new generation. Also, these kids are having fun, you love to see it.
@GingerByBlood: Just a genuine question, what is it Hashtag do exactly which makes non league more accessible over other clubs?
@Sixers_Charlie: they create immersion (through their videos) in which it feels as if you know the players who aren’t well know across Non League football. Name me 15 Non-League footballers not playing for Hashtag.
@GingerByBlood: I mean that would be a bit unfair considering I follow a non league team, but most non league clubs at Step 4 and below are often very local and family orientated clubs. Places like Hastings and Sheppey have been getting an incredible following this season with similar groups.
@Sixers_Charlie: it’s great to hear that you’re involved with non-league football, but a lot of this generation is it, and if even one kid buys a season ticket at his local non-league club because he saw one of Hashtag’s videos then that’s what matters, none of this purity testing bullshit.
@RyanC2408: When your mam says you can have an extra hour awake on a school night 🤣
@Sixers_Charlie: better than being miserable in your bedroom making fun of lads having a goodnight out..
@callum_g04: Huge win guys! So proud of all the boys, such a deserving win and definitely proved a lot of people wrong. To keep a clean sheet against a good Maldon side is unbelievable. Gutted I missed this game, but so glad we grabbed 3 points x
@ItsEmer_: Easily the best performance of the season. So many players stood up today and put in hard work let’s keep this energy up for the next few 💪
@steveparker007: Amazing result against probably the best team in the league.
@danielb29510423: Would love to see the tags live sometime but can still watch them at home great results lads #upthetags
@mandydand: No slander allowed here , great moment
@LeeDuggan7: Let’s keep the balling rolling now into the next, hon the lads
@rossinhosmith: Fans 😂😂 little fucking kids
@TommyWebster_: Hashtag is doing incredible things to engage younger fans to non-league football. It’s not easy to compete with top flight football but they’ve cracked it
@bufcshinns: back to school in the morning springs to mind
@TheseWanna: We’ve been quite lofty about ‘YouTube’ teams, but these appear to have a genuine match-going crew too.
@directhenri: State of this
@GME1982: What a night. The turn around of attitude by the team was visible last night. Every blade covered. Every ball chased down. The fans 100% behind the lads. @devs76 won’t rest in this and I’m sure the lads will not either. A pleasure to be part of the #Tags family.