Monday, October 7, 2019

Nostalgia of Soccer (Football) Magazines Project-Part 15


In my continuing collaborative series with @1888Letter, I will ask the experiences of Mr. Graham Denton @gtdenton, Author of The Odd Man Out: The Fascinating Story of Ron Saunders' Reign at Aston Villa (2017), Me and My Big Mouth: When Cloughie Sounded Off in TVTimes (2019)


Name: Graham Denton
Twitter: @gtdenton
Personal Description:  Author of The Odd Man Out: The Fascinating Story of Ron Saunders' Reign at Aston Villa (2017), Me and My Big Mouth: When Cloughie Sounded Off in TVTimes (2019)


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

Response:  I was 7 when I saw my first game (live on TV). The hook was firmly in from then on. I think it was the following season that I began reading about the game in magazines.


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

Response:  SHOOT! In the days when it still had an exclamation mark in its title.


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

Response:  I was aware of GOAL, because a cousin (slightly older than me) had some posters from that magazine on his bedroom wall, but no others. Football League Review (The Official Journal of the Football League) was a very thin magazine inserted between the pages of match day programmes but, although I did start going to games (with my father, from around the age of 8) and having a programme bought for me, I don’t recall reading the Review.




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

Response:  SHOOT! was a mix of short and long features about certain teams/individual players, interviews, cartoons, snippets of news, match facts, stats, previews, etc. ‘Focus on’ was a staple. Plus there were both colour and black-and-white photos throughout. Early on I enjoyed the action photos the most, and often snipped them out for a scrapbook. I would only ever skim-read, but as I got older I started focussing more thoroughly on the written pieces.


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

Response:  In SHOOT! they did have the occasional round-up of news from clubs abroad – a devoted page, perhaps - but to be honest, I wasn’t that interested in it. Foreign football really was a mystery back then (early / mid-70s). As a young fan you had very limited knowledge about the make-up of club sides from other countries or international sides outside of the British Isles. When you watched, say, the World Cup, you really went into it with your eyes shut. Personally, that ignorance only made the game more blissful for me.

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

Response:  In my experience, it was limited to SHOOT! and GOAL. The latter had been launched on the 16th August 1968 (my later father’s 32nd birthday, coincidentally), and SHOOT! followed a year later. SHOOT! was far more children-friendly in its approach, whereas GOAL was written by actual journalists and took a more in-depth and ‘adult’ look at the game. Charles Buchan's Football Monthly Digest existed but I wasn’t aware of it. In 1974 that closed and became known simply as "Football" magazine. In the summer of ‘74 Goal also was officially incorporated into SHOOT!  So the reading options became even less. Towards the end of the decade there was Football Handbook (a monthly rather than weekly publication), which I used to get a copy of, but SHOOT! was always my go-to magazine. I have to add, though, that I also read comics like Tiger and Scorcher, and then Roy of the Rovers, both of which covered not just football but a variety of sports.



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

Response:  If there were any, I never saw them.


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 used to get SHOOT! delivered from the local newsagents. I am reliably informed by Greg Lansdowne @Panini_book that when it first launched SHOOT! came out on Monday. By December 1969 it was then switched to Friday. At some point it then moved to a Thursday delivery, which is my memory of it. As a young child, when you had very few possessions or spending power, knowing that once a week you were guaranteed this glossy-covered paper gift was wonderfully thrilling and comforting, too. The moment of expectation, waiting for the evening paper (in my case, a large Hull Daily Mail) to be poked through the letterbox bulked out by your magazine, or to land on the porch mat with a hefty thud was a sensation I’ll never forget.

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:  As I said before, there was a gradual evolution. But, even then, I would usually check out the images first. That said, I do recall when Andy Gray (of the team I supported, Aston Villa) became a regular columnist in SHOOT! I was always extremely keen to read what he had to say, so would be drawn straightaway to that. 

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

Response:  Not a question I can answer. I stopped buying football magazines in my late teens. A long time ago now!

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

Response:  I’m bound to say the 1970s/early 80s – more specifically, 1972-82, when my passion for the game was at its height.

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:  My dad used to get the Daily Express every morning. As far as its football coverage was concerned, it was chiefly transfer news/gossip and match reports from the day/night before. That obviously contrasted fairly sharply with the weekly magazines.

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

Response:  See my previous answers.


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, I do. I’m sure there were times when I did feel frustrations about being kept in the dark, but generally I was content. My enjoyment of the game wouldn’t have been increased by ‘knowing’ more about it through the written word. I was always more of a watcher and listener, anyway.

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:  I stopped reading magazines long before then. For many years after my magazine-buying days ended, I would still read about the game in a Saturday and sometimes Sunday paper, but even that gradually decreased and then stopped altogether. I will now occasionally go to an online piece that’s somehow come to my attention, but only if it’s about the game from the distant past.

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

Response:  No. I do slightly regret, however, no longer having the 100s of copies of SHOOT! that I once owned and kept in a wooden box beneath my bed. I either gave them away to a younger cousin, or they were donated to a local children’s home. I’d probably devour them with even more zeal these days if I still had them!

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:  Having an actual magazine in paper form was a very sensual experience. It wasn’t just a feast for the eyes, but something tangible you could feel between your fingers. The newness of the pages had a certain smell. Even a sound as your turned over those pages. That experience can never be replicated by scrolling up and down on a screen.

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
















Sunday, October 6, 2019

Nostalgia of Soccer (Football) Magazines Project-Part 14


In my continuing collaborative series with @1888Letter, I will ask the experiences of Mr. David Stuart of Scotland. The facebook and twitter page of Mr. Stuart (Scotland Epistles Football Magazine) is a tribute to Scottish Football.


Name: Scotland Epistles Football Magazine
Twitter: @davstu11
Personal Description:  former fanzine writer and co-founder of the Scotland Epistles football magazine. Co-author of two books on the Scotland national side along with Robert Marshall.


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

Response:  I've always been a football since an early age and although my main interest in the early 70's from about the age of six / seven was football cards I would also read or perhaps more in the early years look at football magazines


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

Response:  The first one I really remember is Shoot! in particular the early one with George Best on the front. I wouldn't always buy it as it all depended what my local shop would sell and if I had any pocket money. Around the same time though I would also read the Tiger comic which was more Sports orientated.


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

Response:  Locally in Scotland there was the Football Scot magazine in the early 70's and I would try to get a hold of that too as it would often have Partick Thistle players in posters, a much treasured Item.


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

Response:  I imagine the Shoot! has been discussed by other interviewees. One big difference is that Football Scot started out newspaper size making it a bit unwieldy and hard to store in many ways ‘Football Scot’ had a similar format with articles on players, teams etc. interspersed with posters. However, it was quite unique in also have weekly articles on the then Scottish Second Division, Junior (Non-League football), Schools football with a school team photo published too weekly too. It and the magazines that it more or less merged into Scottish Football Monthly and then Scottish Football Weekly also had articles on Women's football too.




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

Response:  As stated above it's coverage was on Scottish football but would also have articles on players playing in England but most of the pin ups were from Scottish clubs.


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

Response:  I came from Milton in Glasgow and rarely in my younger days would visit the city centre so really you were at the mercy of the lcoal newsagents and choice was not readily available. To be honest though if it was football card season I would have bought them before magazines.




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

Response:  Foreign magazines were not available at this time in Sunny Milton.


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 did not have a lot of money available to myself so I could go weeks without buying a magazine but then the likes of the League Ladders might be issued and catch the eye so would then be bought. Sometimes it was the front cover that caught the eye with a Thistle player on the front or a poster inside. One of my early memories is of the Shoot! printing a Thistle team photo in the late 60's or early 70's in the middle pages, unfortunately it was shared with an Ipswich team too.

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:  As a youngster it would be the photos but as I grew older some of the articles. Despite being the co-producer of a Scotland magazine and the co-author of two Scotland books I still have the terrible habit of skimming through articles at times. PS the answer to the last question should have read "I didn't have a lot of money".

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

Response:  My favourite magazine and those that followed are of course long defunct from about the mid 70's/ There have of course been other attempts at Scottish Football magazines including Scottish Football Today, The Punter, Fitba', Pride that all went by the wayside.



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

Response:  Naturally it would be the 70's for me. Football magazines, cards, collectables were all at their height back then with the exception of perhaps Panini stickers of course.

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 don't really read newspaper coverage mainly as I live in Glasgow so the majority of coverage is all about the Old Firm although I do think their overall coverage of other teams is perhaps better than ever before it is all about Rangers and Celtic!!

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

Response:  To be honest i don't really read them that often. The Shoot is gone but the monopoly of coverage for the English Premier League galls me to my core along with that of International teams. The kids magazines are extremely dumbed down too as are the cards. Occasionally I will buy Backpass magazine and did enjoy the fanzine type such as Stand and Football Pink, otherwise I glance at very few.



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

Response:  The input in the magazines was good and did keep you informed and from time to time I also enjoyed World Soccer in the late 70's and liked the depth of it's coverage.
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 football waned at certain points as Music took over in my life. Now if you want me to go on about Sounds, NME, the Melody Maker, Kerrang!, Smash Hits, Q, Mojo I could do also.

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

Response:  As I said I do miss a Scottish Football Weekly / Monthly based one but don't think we'll see a printed one return with the advent of blogs, twitter, Podcasts although Nutmeg Periodical is avaialble now ever few months.

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:  As I say buying a magazine is an irregular thing for me these days so there no anticipation and perhaps it's more a nostalgic magazine that will catch my eye rather than one covering today's football and footballers.

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