Having commentated on non league football for nine years, Adam Summerton is widely regarded as the voice of the lower leagues of the pyramid with his voice synonymous with some of the league’s most iconic moments.

Having spent the first part of his career conducting seven day weeks, the commentator is now regularly commentating on some of the biggest matches in the world. But non league still remains at the forefront of some of his best work. 

Early Career 

Adam has always loved football, however after completing a broadcast journalism degree at university, he initially had aspirations of becoming a news journalist on the airwaves. Having started out as a newsreader on a radio station in Nottinghamshire, an opportunity arose for him to commentate on Mansfield Town for the station. Having admitted he got ‘pushed into the role’ he goes on to say that he ‘’absolutely loved it, my first game was a crazy match and i sort of got bitten by the bug a little bit, and i got to thinking that is what i want to do actually.’’ 

For around the next 10 years, he continued with the commentary all whilst working on the news aspect as his main journalism job, learning core skills. However he says that he ‘’always had the intention of specialising in commentary, it took about 10 years and a lot of seven day weeks however eventually it got to a point where i was able to just do football commentary.” 

Life in the non league circle 

To some people, non league may not always be the most attractive of propositions, and may be a reason why it regularly doesn’t always get the coverage that the leagues deserve. However, Adam comes at it from a different angle, and his long held passion means he is always grateful to be covering whatever game he can. “In terms of the non league side of things, i’ve just always been someone that is happy to do anything, it’s just where the opportunities come and it just so happened that i had been doing quite a bit of work for TNT sports and there became an opening when the commentator for non league decided he wanted to focus on other things and they kind of said that we wanted you to start working on it.” 

He had already been working on some of the top leagues throughout Europe such as the Serie A, but the sports journalist actually saw working on the non league level as a step up.

“The work on the European leagues was all from monitors in London however this work was all on site, at the stadiums themselves so i actually saw this as career progression. It sounds funny really because i moved down the levels in terms of football but from a broadcast point of view it was actually a step up. This was 2015 and fast forward to today i am now the full time main commentator for all things national league and other things as well.” 

Switching from non league to the biggest leagues 

Whilst still conducting his role as TNT sports flagship non-league commentator, Adam now does Premier League, Champions league and continues to do Europe’s top leagues, regularly being watched by millions of people. Balancing the workload can be difficult, but Adam says its something hes now used to: 

“It’s a lot of time on the laptop, a lot of time doing solitary work doing your prep but thats a key part of being a commentator. Some weeks I will have a Non League game on the saturday, a Serie A game on the sunday and then a champions league game the next week, i’m switching in between and some people find it hard to see how it is possible to do that but i really like the variety and it is something that i am very accustomed to doing now.” 

He admits that it takes a specific type of person to do what he does, maintaining discipline and making sure you are your own boss, with no one checking up on him to make sure he has done the prep. He explains that motivation is key, he emphasises that he never does too much or too little and it is that balance that has allowed Adam to become one of the leading figures in his line of work. 

Long standing non league passion and insight 

It’s obvious throughout the interview that no matter what, Adam’s passion for the lower leagues of the pyramid will always run deep, and with more and more money being injected into coverage of the top levels of the game, his role and importance in shining a light on non league can not be understated. 

“That level of football deserves the exposure in my opinion, theres so much good going on in non league football and I am not just talking about on the pitch but also off it as well, in fact i love stories such as Altrincham rising up the leagues from step 3 to the National League as much as a high profile story like Wrexham.” 

And its exactly the stories like Altrincham that show why coverage of non league football needs always to be in the mainstream media. In fact Adam offers his insight and states that the manager there, Phil Parkison, could be a manager that goes on to manage much higher up the pyramid in the future.

No matter whether it be, Non League or Champions League, Adam maintains the same passion throughout stating that “in the big moments its about enhancing the experience of the fans of that team watching.” 

And that’s something that he has certainly done. His commentary has elevated non league up a level and will continue to do so. From Hayes Lane to the San Siro, the Gallagher stadium to the Bernabeu, his long standing passion has got him to where he is today, and the lower leagues of English football have and will continue to have a key role to play in his ever growing profile.