Friday, December 21, 2012

Festive Footballer's Names - A Christmas Club!

Yes, it's that time of year again!

Here are a list of well known footballer's with names that evoke the seasonal Christmas spirit!

Footballers with festive names

Starting XI:

Pepe Reindeer - Liverpool

Silent Zat Night - Bolton Wanderers
Ledley Good King Wenceslas - Tottenham Hotspur
Alex Wynter Wonderland - Crystal Palace
Evander Sno - NEC Nijmegen

Emmanuel Frimpong Merrily On Highbury - Arsenal
Jesús Navas González - Sevilla FC (right)
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Kieron Dyer - QPR

Away in a Nile Ranger - Newcsatle United
Gabriel Agbonla One Horse Open Sleigh - Aston Villa
Demba Bah Humbug - Newcastle United


Sleigh Given - Aston Villa
Gylfi Sing Us A Song - Tottenham Hotspur
Juan Pablo Ángel Gabriel - Chivas USA
Thomas Mince Pies - Blackpool
Stefan Elfenberg - Former German International
Andy Christmas Carroll - Liverpool
Santa Klass Jan Huntelaar - Schalke 04


Alan Pardew And A Pear Tree - Newcastle United

Other Squad Members: 

Edwin Van Der Star - Former Dutch International
Matthias Rudolph - SV Babelsberg 03
John Sherry - Chelsea
Roque Santa Clause - Málaga CF
Àngel Rangel Zaragoza - Swansea City (right)
Theo Walnut - Arsenal
Noel Hunt - Reading
Chrismas Hat Jarvis - West Ham United
Santa Clause Cazorla - Arsenal
Jason Euell - AFC Wimbledon
Cracker - Real Madrid

Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive/Press Association Images and Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The History of the Football Magazine - The Later Years!

In my last article 'The Early Years of the Football Magazine,' I outlined the birth of the football magazine from its inception up to the 1960's, where we saw the rise of publications such as "The Football Favourite," "Football Weekly," "FA Bulletin," "Voice of the Football Association," "Charles Buchan's Football Monthly" and "Soccer Star."

This week I am going to be concentrating on 'The Later Years of the Football Magazine,' from the mid 1960's to the present day.

We left 'The Early Years' following the merger of the "Soccer Star" magazine into "World Soccer" in the late 1960's.

"World Soccer" (right) remains the periodical authority on world football. It is part of the IPC media group, and a member of an umbrella group of similar titles published in other countries, such as 'Kicker' (Germany), 'A Bola' (Spain), and 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' (Italy).

"World Soccer" has always featured authoritative articles on the world football scene by writers such as Brian Glanville and John Ballard.

"World Soccer" is still going strong today and is in fact the worlds longest running football magazine, with a monthly circulation of around 52,000.

One of the next British magazines to show it's face was the "Soccer Review", ultimately to become the Football League Review (The Official Journal of the Football League) which started in August 1965. If you went to football matches from the late sixties and through to the mid seventies you will remember the insert from the Football League that came inside your clubs match day programme. However it did not appear in every football clubs programme. It was printed by Sport and Screen Productions in Leicester and was edited by Harry Brown. It qualifies as a magazine in its own right as it was always available either by post or from your newsagent right from launch. The Football League Review went through various name changes from "Soccer Review," to the "Football League Review," and finally the "League Football."

In 1967 we saw the launch of "Jimmy Hill's Football Weekly," (right) the first weekly football magazine in the world, if you consider the term 'magazine' as to incorporate a full colour glossy photographic front cover, even if the inside was black and white. Other weekly newspapers such as "Soccer Star" had been running before this time, but only with spot colour on the front page.

The JHFW magazine folded in 1970 when a large publishing group bought it as part of a portfolio - they went in for glossy, expensive publications but they soon decided that JHFW didn't fit their image and so it was ditched.

A former member of staff, Carol Davis, who worked on the JHFW magazine said "We never heard sight nor sound of Jimmy Hill during all the time I worked there - he simply lent his name to the mag and had no involvement; just another business venture for him I suppose." In 1968 Jimmy Hill became Head of Sport at London Weekend Television and rose to Deputy Controller of Programmes, before joining the BBC as presenter of "Match of the Day."

"Goal" magazine (right) joined the competition and was launched on 16 August 1968 with a "bash" at the Savoy, featuring Goal Girls and the assembled media, with Bobby Charlton signed up to do a weekly diary. It went on to became a successful magazine in the early 1970’s.

By 1971 "Goal" had weekly sales of 220,000, which gradually declined from that high point before the International Publishing Corporation (IPC) decided to incorporate it into IPC stablemate "Shoot!" magazine on 15 June 1974.

"Shoot!" magazines circulation had hit a high of 120,000 copies per week in 1996. It changed to a monthly magazine in 2001, selling in excess of 33,000 copies a month. It was relaunched as a weekly magazine in late February 2008 before publishers IPC sold off the brand in August 2008, a year short of it's 40th birthday.

"Shoot!" (right) was noted throughout the 1970's and 1980's for the quality of its news stories and articles on all aspects of football in England and Scotland. The magazine was also known for its 'Star Writer' features. Each season a selection of big-name First Division players were signed up to write columns, including Kevin Keegan, Bryan Robson and Charlie Nicholas. The magazine also featured the very popular Paul Trevillion's 'You Are The Ref' piece, which has since been afforded cult status and now appears in 'The Observer' newspaper sports supplement.

In 1974 "Charles Buchan's Football Monthly" closed and became "Football" and was maintained by IPC until 1995 when it was sold to Ken Bates at Chelsea.

"Match" magazine was launched on 6 September 1979, at a cover price of 25p. The original editor was Mel Bagnall. Kevin Keegan was the first cover star of  "Match" and supported the magazine with his column, 'Learn To Play The Keegan Way.' The first issue came with an 80-page sticker album and included columns by Tottenham star Ossie Ardiles, Manchester United's Steve Coppell and Nottingham Forest manager, Brian Clough.

On its launch in 1979, the magazine initially failed to catch the dominant circulation of its main weekly football rival, "Shoot!" In the mid 1990's the magazine was successfully revitalized and relaunched by Chris Hunt. Under his editorship "Match" was transformed, finally overtaking "Shoot" to become the biggest selling football title in Britain, with its weekly sales peaking at 242,000 during this period. "Match" continues to this date, but is more a comic than a magazine for grown ups.

No one really provided "World Soccer" with any monthly competition from 1974 until the launch of "When Saturday Comes" (WSC) in 1986. This magazine (right) started life as a 12-page photocopied fanzine in March 1986 on sale for 20p, and is still running today with a circulation of 21,000 at a price of £2.95.

There was an explosion of football fanzines in the mid 1980's. In January 1988 there were 22 fanzines in the "WSC" listing of like titles. A year later it was 121 and in January 1992 there were over 600. Many titles did not reach the list, but in 1995 it was estimated that in excess of 2,150 titles were available but only "WSC" survived as a mainstream football magazine.

"When Saturday Comes" aims to provide a voice for intelligent football supporters, offering both a serious and humorous view of the sport, covering all the topics that fans are likely to talk about, whether serious or trivial.

In the early-1990s the magazine began to take on advertising, and increased to 48 pages. WSC is still edited by Andy Lyons, who originally founded the magazine along with Mike Ticher.

"The Footballer" started in July 1989 and was sub titled the "Journal of Soccer History and Statistics". There were 36 editions of the magazine produced before it disappeared in June 1996.

"90 minutes" (right) arrived in October 1990 and stopped again on the 17 May 1997. It was started by Crystal Palace fan Dan Goldstein and remained independent until IPC took it over. It was launched at £1 an issue but was reduced to 65p quite quickly.

359 issues later when "90 minutes" ceased the editor in chief was Paul Hawksbee, now a presenter on TalkSPORT radio.
Dan Goldstein went on to write the "Rough Guide to Football" in 2000, which could be described as the only football book of its kind, in that it goes beyond the usual back page material to uncover the most amazing stories and unlikeliest personalities on planet football!

"Goalmouth" This monthly national football magazine was launched in May 1992 and lasted just one season. It was published by EPG Publishing and was edited by John Jackson. The price was £1.50 on launch and quickly went up to £1.75. This was reflected in the high quality paper used and the photographic reproduction work. It was a superior publication and it is a shame it failed after the one season.

"Four Four Two" magazine (right) was launched in September 1994 and targets an adult sports audience. It has now become the biggest-selling football magazine in the UK, with monthly sales figures in excess of 100,000. The magazine features a mixture of authoritative and serious-minded articles together with irreverent humour and nostalgia pieces. Another reason for its success is its ability to connect to the needs and feelings of the typical football fan.

Popular features include: 'Magic Moment,' 'Upfront,' 'They Said What?' 'Insider,' and 'My Perfect XI.'

"Four Four Two" is published by 'The Haymarket Media Group' and it launched its 200th edition back in February 2011.

The magazine has had an array of high-profile people amongst its regular contributors. The likes of James Richardson, who presented TV's Football Italia, Jonathan Wilson, football journalist and author of Inverting the Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics and Michel Salgado, footballer formerly of Real Madrid and currently playing for Blackburn Rovers are all currently involved. Previous contributors include: Henry Winter, Bobby Robson, Arsène Wenger, David Platt, the late Brian Clough and Robbie Savage.

For the grown up magazine readers we have still the big three: "World Soccer", "When Saturday Comes" and "Four Four Two" still slogging it out for world domination!

Friday, December 07, 2012

The History of the Football Magazine - The Early Years!

Prior to the saturation coverage of football by television and radio and the growth of the internet, other than results and match reports in newspapers, football magazines and annuals were the prime source of information for supporters. Many have long since disappeared, but a few still continue to enjoy success.

Here is a look back at the birth of the football magazine and those magazines that are still in existence!

The first black and white printed football specific newspaper in Britain was "Football" which ran from 4 October 18 until 11 April 1883.

From the late 1890's football clubs started producing their own programmes and newspapers started to produce football based editions.

Early Club specific publications included:

"The Official Programme: The Official Organ of Manchester City, Newton Heath, Broughton Rangers and Salford Club" from 3 September 1898 until 28 April 1900

"The Official Programme: The Only Official Organ of the Everton, L'pool, New B'ton, R'k Ferry and Tranmere Clubs" from 1 September 1898 until 29 April 1899

In the 20th Century we saw the arrival of the "Football Chronicle" which ran from 16 September 1911 to 25 April 1914 and continued after the war from 30 August 1919 to 19 December 1936.

"The Football Favourite" ran from 4 September 1920 to 30 April 1921, and continued as "The Football and Sports Favourite" (right) between 7 May 1921 and 30 March 1929.

In the 1930's the "Football Weekly" marketed as 'the great paper for the great game -every Wednesday 2d' was probably the best seller.

The question to address is what is the difference between newspaper and a magazine?

East Germany produced the earliest periodical that resembled a football magazine, "Die Fussball-Woche" (pictured right) meaning "Football Week" which was first published on 24 September 1923 in dessen Verlag. This is the earliest publication that resembles what we would now recognise as a magazine format.

All these pre-war periodicals were still missing the crucial element of colour photography.

The "FA Bulletin" the "Voice of the Football Association" commenced on the 20 September 1946 and would run monthly for the period of the football season. It changed to the "FA News" in August 1951 until 1956. It changed again to "FA Today" and finally ceased production in October 1979. It is hard to call this a generally available magazine, as it was sold on a subscription only basis.

If you want to add to the definition of a magazine in terms of using better quality paper and colour then the first football magazine in the UK was "Charles Buchan's Football Monthly."

This iconic magazine (pictured right) was launched in September 1951 and the world had its first modern style football magazine. It featured on its first cover, Blackpool's Sir Stanley Matthews. In its first year of existence the magazine sold 60,000 copies per month, peaking at around 150,000 in 1961-62.

The first original colour photographs appeared in the November 1957 edition. For many readers the pictures of players in CBFM were the only way supporters could see what an opposition player looked like, unless you had seen them appear at your own home ground.

A popular feature of CBFM was that unlike newspapers it carried news of every player transfer under the heading 'Transfer Market Moves.' Due to a lengthy 'lead time' in those days - the time between submission of a copy and actual publication some of the information provided could be anything up to three months old! However, this information detailed transfers of players between lower division and non-league clubs, for many readers it was 'news.' Such information was not available from any other source.

Other 'in vogue' CBFM features included: interviews with players, readers' letters and 'swap your programmes.' A page was also devoted to a feature on an amateur club, invariably a London-based or Home Counties club as the writer of this piece Norman Ackland was himself London-based, and was working on very limited expenses.

In the days before Sunday football became an established and integral part of many people's weekends, CBFM also had a feature called 'Fixtures Wanted' which was a double-page spread of small ads from teams all over the country asking for friendly games within a certain radius. Many of these teams boasted elaborate names such as Internazionale Celtic or Real Bexhill.

In the 1970's, as coverage of football on television increased and newspapers devoted more column inches to our National game, circulation of CBFM decreased rapidly until it folded in January 1974.

Charles Buchan's Football Monthly (CBFM) was without doubt the most recognised name of its genre. However it was not the only football magazine available during its 23 year tenure.

"Raich Carter's Soccer Star" (right) was launched a year after CBFM, on the 20th September 1952. Unlike CBFM, Raich Carter's Soccer Star was a weekly publication. Its unique selling point was that it featured different team photographs every week, on the front and back cover. Though the cover was glossy, the pages inside were matt and did not carry colour photographs until the late 1960's.

The Raich Carter logo was dropped in the summer of 1955 and the the name was shortened to "Soccer Star."

A regular contributor to Soccer Star was the football writer and historian Jack Rollin, who later launched and edited "The Rothmans Football Yearbook."

Every week Soccer Star carried results, teams and attendances for every game in England and Scotland. Despite the fact that this information was two or three weeks old, it still suggested immediacy as at the time no other newspaper or magazine conveyed such detailed statistics.

Soccer Star had a policy of heavily featuring lower division and non-league football in its publication, something that is almost alien to modern day newspapers and
magazines, that tend to focus primarily on top-flight football. Refreshing as this was, it also contributed in part to its downfall, when the requirement of the majority of readers was exactly that - top-flight and international football!
Like CBFM, Soccer Star suffered from poor sales in the late 1960's and as a result it merged into "World Soccer" magazine on 19 June 1970.

"World Soccer" (pictured right) was the world's second oldest monthly football magazine when it started in October 1960 and is today the worlds longest running football magazine as it is still being published by IPC, with a monthly circulation today of around 52,000.

Next week I will continue with this article as I write  features on some other football magazines from varying generations, that you may also recognise including: "Shoot," "Match," "Soccer Review," "FourFourTwo," and "When Saturday Comes."

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Babe Of The Month - Merry Christmas/Fröhe Weihnachten/Joyeux Noël/Feliz Navidad/Buon Natale/Feliz Natal/Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia

 Kate dressed in a sexy festive Christmas outfit        ....and wearing a South London and Proud t-shirt

Kate Fletcher has literally flown the nest!

Originally Kate was a cheerleader for 'The Gully Girls' the cheerleading team of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club. However a month ago she defected to join 'The Crystals,' the cheerleaders of bitter rivals Crystal Palace Football Club.

And in a ironic twist of fate the singer/songwriter/actress and dancer joins her sister Kim, already a member of 'The Crystals' in her first performance of the season today (Saturday 1st December), in front of the Albion fans she used to wow, as Crystal Palace take on Brighton at Selhurst Park.

It echoes former Albion player Glenn Murray who made the trip up the A23 last year to join Palace, and then scored on his return a few months later, as 'The Eagles' became the first team to beat 'The Seagulls' at home in the league since they moved to their new £100m stadium in Falmer.

The 20 year-old's switch has propelled her into the spotlight much like a new star signing might expect! The move has created much discussion on Club messageboards and she has been interviewed by local newspapers in both Croydon and Sussex, who have been following the story in some detail.

'The Crystals' have added some much-needed vibrancy, glamour and pizazz to the Selhurst Park match day experience since they made their debut in December 2010. They help promote the Club through their media work, and last July they created their own dance routine to Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen's monster hit 'Call Me Maybe.' Their second video released in October sees the cheerleaders dancing to PSY’s number one hit 'Gangnam Style' in and around Crystal Palace’s stadium, and are joined in some scenes by the club’s mascot. Both videos proved to be smash hits on YouTube and made 'The Crystals' overnight internet sensations .

It will be no surprise if I tell you that the girls have shot a Christmas video, a cover of Marie Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You,' which you can watch exclusively here!

Find out more about the 'The Crystals' on Facebook and Twitter

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