Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Nostalgia of Soccer (Football) Magazines Project-Part 10

In my continuing collaborative series with @1888Letter, I will ask the experiences of Mr. Matteo Sedazzari. Mr. Sedazari is the administrator of the Culture website ZANI.

Name: Matteo Sedazzari
Twitter: @ZANIEzine

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: At what age did you become a Football fan and how long after did you start reading Football Magazines?

Response:  I became a true football fan around the age of 11 in 1977, and it was an organic journey into becoming a fan. In fact, one of my first memories, when I was three and half, was seeing Gigi Riva in the capital of Sardinia, Cagliari after Cagliari won Serie A. The only time they ever have won the title. It was magical, as he held up the trophy. My family briefly lived in Sardinia for a few years, before moving back to the UK.

I had, still do have an older brother, who collected World Cup Specials and football sticker books, so I would flick through them. My father used to work in the old Covent Garden, so once a month he bring home Guerin Sportivo that he purchased from an newsagent in the Italian community of Soho in the 1970s. I couldn’t read Italian, but I looked at the pictures, and fell in love with Juventus.

I got my first football album in 1977, English Division One, I can’t remember who made it, but it wasn’t Panini. From this, I learnt about all the English players, and the teams, from swapping cards with friends in the playground. I was over the moon when I got the whole Liverpool set, as I remember the card for Steve Heighway (Liverpool) was like gold dust.

Also, in 1977, Gordon Hill of Manchester Utd and England, was a star player back then, and he went to the same Middle School as me, Springfield in Sunbury on Thames, so the whole school, teachers included felt a sense of pride. In fact, he was the first famous person I ever met, Gigi Riva, first I had ever seen, but the first one I ever spoke to, was Gordon Hill, when he popped down the local park, the kids went mad, a bit like Beatlemania. He even signed my football, but sadly I lost that a long time ago.

So football has certainly given me my first’s !

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: What was the first Soccer (Football) magazine that you read as a new young fan of the game?

Response:  It was World Soccer, my brother used to subscribe to it, and it was the only English publication that covered the Italian League, Brian Glanville was their chief writer, and was living in Italy in the 1970s, so I got a good insight into Serie A and the national team. As by the age of 11 I supported Juventus and Italy, and I still do. The English publications, like Shoot, I would read if a friend had a copy, but I never bought one, yet I still had a deep interest in English football, as I do today, I love the Premiership and the FA cup of late, have been great.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Were there other local magazines that you also read?

Response:  No, sorry, I really can’t remember.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Describe the general format of these particular magazines? What was your favorite section(s) of these said magazines?

Response:  I liked the format of World Soccer, as Serie A seemed to be the main feature, there would be news, interviews, features and loads of photos. Also, football in America, New York Cosmos etc, was taking off, I used to enjoy reading about that league. Without sounding arrogant, I was streets ahead of the other kids of my school, in terms of football, as they were just into division one. 

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Was the coverage of Football mainly local  British or was International Football news covered as well in a meaningful way?

Response:  NA

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: In general on a typical newsstand, how many choices were available for reading Football?

Response:  It was mainly Shoot and Goal, there was a real snobbery towards football in the 1970s from the media, a sport for the working class is how they perceived it. I mean the BBC would show live horse jumping but not a live football game, only the FA Cup once a year, and ITV would only show, if they could England World Cup Qualifiers, the Home Internationals and the final of The European Cup. And of course, the World Cup, and the Euros, but the Euros was not as big as it is now.

In 1980 Euros, Italy were to play Belgium in the third place play off, which the Euros have now scrapped, it was due to be aired on the BBC, but the beeb decided to cancel it and show Tommy Steele in Half a Sixpence. I phoned the BBC to complain. That was the logic of the media back then.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Do you remember foreign Football publications at your newsstands as well? If so did you read any?

Response:  As mentioned Guerin Sportivo

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: I will ask this from everyone, one of my best memories as a young football fan was the anticipation of the day when new issues were available on newsstands. It was a weekly ritual that would stay with me for decades. In your own words, can you explain your memories of these days?

Response:  I would get excited when World Soccer came through the post, but I would have to wait until my brother had finished reading it!

But in the late 90s to 2009, I did buy the Football Italia magazine, as they had great features, interviews and photos on all the teams and the Azzurri. I used to enjoy buying that, and my then local newsagent, always put a copy aside for me.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Did you enjoy your magazines for the scores/league tables, etc or did you prefer the writing? Or was there an evolution as when you aged you started to appreciate the deep written analysis more?

Response:  Both, and I mentioned Brian Glanville from World Soccer as his writing was and still is, well structured and detailed. Reading him at an early age, gave me a good understanding of football. I did like looking at league table all across the world in World Soccer.

By the time I was reading Football Italia, I was already into the deep written analysis of the game, yet a photo of Roberto Baggio would always inspire me.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: How has the quality of your favorite magazines changed (for better or worse over the years)?

Response:  I don’t really buy football magazines anymore, maybe if I am on a long train journey or flight. Then it’s Four Four Two or World Soccer.

But I do go on every day, even have the app on my phone. I find the articles these days are more structured for social media streaming, yet their blogs are good.

I like their blog writers Antonio Labbate, Susy Campanale, Giancarlo Rinaldi, Rob Paton and Dave Taylor.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Looking back what was the best era for your favorite magazines?

Response:  The 70s for World Soccer, late 90s and early 21st Century for Football Italia.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: The daily newspapers play a big part in the coverage of the game. Can you compare these daily papers to the weekly/monthly magazines?

Response:  I think The Guardian give a good coverage on football, but I can’t comment on the others, as I haven’t read them.

 Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Has your taste in magazines changed over the years or do you still read your favorite magazines?

Response:  I think the internet has changed my reading habits.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Looking back, do you feel these magazines kept you sufficiently informed about the events of the game as a whole?

Response:  Yes both did.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Did your interest in reading magazines wane with the advent of Internet and 24 Hour Sports Television channels or are you as interested as ever in reading?

Response:  In terms of football I think my reading has waned, but as an author, I still read, but none football related. Yet BT sports air some unique documentaries on football , which I thoroughly enjoy viewing.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Are there publications that have since been defunct that you miss?

Response:  I think Football Italia is only available on subscription, so I miss seeing the magazine on newsstands, yet the interest in England for Italian football has diminished over the years, as it is no longer the best league in the world. No Italian team has won the UEFA cup (now the Europa League) since 1999, and no Italian team has won the Champions Leagues since 2010, Inter, even though Juventus have been in the 2015 and 2017 finals.

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Getting back to my earlier question about anticipating the release of magazines. Given that now many receive their magazines on PDF, do you feel that a level of excitement has been lost as a result?

Response:  Yes, but thanks to sites like YouTube we can see classic games that for years were so hard to come by, or interviews with footballers, or a better insight into a player, team or fans via sites like Instagram. So, one excitement has gone, but there is a new one. For instance, after a Juventus game especially a victory in Europe, I jump straight onto Instagram for photos of the game, or Leonardo Bonucci posting a video of his team mates celebrating after a game. That’s the 11 year old football fan still inside me !

Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Once again thank you for taking the time in participating in this project.


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