In my continuing collaborative series with @1888Letter, I will ask the Football (Soccer) magazine reading experiences of Glasgow-born Shareef Abdallah.
Name: Shareef Abdallah (Firmino on Twitter)
Personal Description: Hi my name is Shareef Abdallah. I was born in Glasgow in 1974. I’ve supported the Scotland national team, Liverpool FC and Rangers FC since 1981.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: At what age did you become a Football fan and how long after did you start reading Football Magazines?
Response: I started being a football fan in 1981 when I was 7. I used to read Football Monthly & Shoot magazine
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: What was the first Soccer (Football) magazine that you read as a new young fan of the game?
Response: Shoot was the first football magazine I read I used to buy it every month.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Were there other local magazines that you also read?
Response: I also used to read the Rangers News a weekly newspaper of Glasgow Rangers FC.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Do you remember foreign Football publications at your newsstands as well? If so did you read any?
Response: I didn't see any foreign football magazines on the news stands.
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 always looked forward to the new Shoot every week. I would look at it in the newsagent but only buy it if it had colour posters that I liked: Dalglish/Souness of Liverpool. I also liked the centre page colour team groups, like most kids I would stick posters on my wall: Liverpool team & players as well as Scotland and Rangers players.
1982 was my first world Cup so I got all the Shoot Match and Football Monthly magazines from that tournament, in fact I've still got them stored neatly in a folder!
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: when I was young, I just used to look at the pictures but as I got older 10+ I started reading the articles closely, I was never really interested in scores & tables.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: How has the quality of your favorite magazines changed (for better or worse over the years)?
Response: I actually think the quality of football magazines has got far worse today. I moved to London in 1983 where I still live, now the only two good football magazines are World Soccer and Four Four Two.
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: They had better coverage of football that the larger newspapers such as the Times in those days there was no football pull-out which all UK papers have every Monday with reports of all the Premier League games & world football results.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Has your taste in magazines changed over the years or do you still read your favorite magazines?
Response: I started reading World Soccer the best monthly soccer magazine in 1988 during Euro 88
I was very impressed by the quality of writing by Keir Radnedge the editor & legendary columnist Brian Glanville around that time World Soccer started using colour pics, which it didn't before.
I also used to love reading Football Monthly magazine, it always had a double page colour team poster in it's centre pages & included reports of England games & sections of football from Europe too.
I don't buy many football magazines these days, except the all colour Liverpool monthly magazine and sometimes Four Four Two magazine as I find things to read online.
I always buy World Soccer when there is a tournament review: a World Cup or Euros or Champions League Final
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Looking back, do you feel these magazines kept you sufficiently informed about the events of the game as a whole?
Response: I still have a huge collection of Shoot, Match, Football Monthly & World Soccer mags all in neat folders! reading them back they were high quality up to date with great reports and many unseen colour pics that is why I can't throw anything away! plus checking on ebay those old football mags are worth quite a lot of money. The old mags always kept me up to date and informed.
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: My interest in magazines did fade with the internet & 24 h news but I always buy a guide usually World Soccer before any World Cup or Euros then the issue after which reviews the tournament.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Are there publications that have since been defunct that you miss?
Response: I really do miss Shoot magazine which is no longer printed but has a poor website. Football Monthly was also a big favourite of mine, I still miss it and often read old issues I still have.
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: I am useless with technology so don't even know how to view magazines on PDF. I still look forward to buying the Liverpool fc monthly magazine especially after we won the Champions League & Super Cup.
I also look forward to buying magazine guided before World Cups, Euros & Copa America or Africa Cup of Nations tournaments magazine guides.
Soccernostalgia/@1888Letter Question: Once again thank you for taking the time in participating in this project.