THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

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January issue available in stores and online

The new WSC is out now, in all good newsagents or available to order from the WSC shop. It includes Roger Titford discovering that Victorian fans had almost as much to moan about as we do, while Mark Sanderson and Richard Smyth explain how they fell for football without going to matches. Elsewhere, Mike Hodson walks us through the stages of grief for a fan whose club are no more, a real life steward tells us what it is they actually do and Taylor Parkes struggles to love Kidderminster.

Plus
Hillsborough police book fury | Dwight Yorke and the case for BAME managers | Female coaches making slow progress | Argentina – not good enough? | Gordon Strachan hangs on | Lucky rituals on matchday | The other teams in Bilbao | Greek league shut down | York City’s downward spiral | Video refereeing gets closer | Fans take control in Scotland | Tangerine nightmare | Focus on Don Revie | Qarabag’s success without a home | Season in brief: home counties on the up | Dover v Cambridge United photos

359 MOTM

Kidderminster Harriers 3 Gainsborough Trinity 0 Aggborough’s unexpected pleasure

The county of Worcestershire tends to be thought of, when thought of at all, as sleepy and pastoral: sun-dappled orchards and half-hearted cricket. Not an entirely false impression, unless you’re talking about Kidderminster. This is an urban area surrounded by businessmen’s villages and feet-up farms, and places like that are always like this. For miles around, bucolic tranquility; here it’s all about puking and fighting in a post-industrial shoppingscape. This is where I spent the best part of my childhood – by which I mean the longest part. I walk into the stadium with the strangest feeling. I’m supposed to be at home. Buy here to read the full article

359 Steward

Voice of authority  Being a steward

There are several thankless tasks in football. The linesman, destined to stand near the crowd and be barracked for every wrong decision and every right one that goes against the supporters’ team, is one. Each of the people whose job it is to tidy the terraces of spilled pies and trampled hot dogs hours after the fans have gone home may feel that their job is wholly unrewarded. And somewhere in there, gazing out with a fixed expression from under a black beanie hat and clad in a hi-vis jacket, is the steward. I know this because I am among their silent number. Buy here to read the full article

Back in the day Victorian fan experience

The Victorian football fan had as much to complain about as his modern counterpart. Nevertheless in the last 30 years of the queen’s reign the game boomed. Attendances at the FA Cup final rose from 2,000 in 1872 to 110,000 in 1901 while football burst out from being just another sport to its position as the pre-eminent winter game. For some time I have been trying to understand the outlook of the Victorian football fan as a way to explain the emergence or failure of clubs in my locality in that period. It has been a key theme in researching the history of Reading as an amateur club (1871-95) and the book that stems from it, The Lost Years Of Reading FC. While there were huge differences between north and south in the way in which football was enjoyed in the period, for the most part the same problems applied across the nation. Buy here to read the full article

359 Support

Fatal attractions Discovering football

Six in the morning on a sofa in Southampton and a ten-year-old boy has got up early to watch recorded highlights of AC Milan putting five goals past Real Madrid. That was me in 1989, before Sky Sports but reliant on TV; not just to watch what was broadcast past my bedtime the night before, but to get into football in the first place. There’s a myth that your interest in the game is something you inherit by osmosis from your dad, leaving you unable to remember a time when football wasn’t part of the fabric of your life. That wasn’t the case with me. Buy here to read the full article

Availability
WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £3.50. You should be able to find a copy in your local newsagent, otherwise outlets that stock WSC include WH Smith, mainline train stations plus selected Tescos. If you're having trouble finding the magazine, you could do one of the following:

1. Subscribe now and also get access to the complete digital archive
2. Buy the latest issue direct from WSC
3. Sign up for our digital edition and apps for iPhone, iPad and Android
4. Email us
5. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Kidderminster photo by Colin McPherson, Steward illustration by Adam Doughty, Fatal attractions illustration by Matt Littler

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