THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

December issue available in shops and online

wsc334 The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

- Ticket prices: fact and fiction
- The Battle of Highbury
- Chelsea's lost generation
- Paul Gascoigne at Radcliffe Borough
- Dulwich Hamlet: a model club?
- Premier League looks abroad

War wounds Battle of Highbury
"In November 1934, world champions Italy arrived at a packed Highbury to face an England team containing seven Arsenal players: Wilf Copping, Ray Bowden, George Male, Frank Moss, Ted Drake, Eddie Hapgood and Cliff Bastin. Benito Mussolini had claimed ‘Good kicking is good politics’ and described Italy’s World Cup victory the previous summer as a ‘triumph for fascism’. Although tempting to suggest that Italy were little more than a collection of 11 sporting soldiers, the England players were also expected to demonstrate the superiority of the Britisher." Buy here to read the full article


334 MOTMGillingham 0 Scunthorpe Utd 3

Two League One strugglers meet at Priestfield
"Floodlights! Proper floodlights. With football’s upper tier now generally going for more state-of-the-art torchlights arranged around the roof of the stadium bowl, it’s always heartening to see floodlights the way the gods of football intended them to be – formidable, looming on the skyline as if having stalked from the pages of War of the Worlds, visible for hundreds of yards around the stadium. The sight of floodlights, as well as the stench of fried onions, were among my first, formative experiences of going to watch football as a seven-year-old. Proper floodlights are reminders that clubs such as Gillingham, though their owners might wish otherwise, are where the soul of football resides." Buy here to read the full article


Flying visitor Paul Gascoigne at Radcliffe Borough
"Paul Gascoigne’s one appearance for non-League Radcliffe Borough isn’t listed in his official career statistics. He may not even remember it. But it happened on a Saturday afternoon in July 2004 thanks to Bernard Manning’s son, Jimmy ‘Five Bellies’ Gardner and a well-timed flight from Germany. Bernard Manning Jr, Radcliffe’s chairman, had come up with the idea of approaching Gascoigne through Gardner, a mutual friend. The plan was for Bryan Robson to join his former England team-mate in a pre-season friendly against a Manchester United reserve side; both said yes, but a doubt remained. Gascoigne had been out of the professional game for more than a year since checking into an Arizona rehab clinic with alcohol problems and depression. Would he turn up?" Buy here to read the full article


334 GlobalGlobal warning Premier League abroad
"When the original ‘Game 39’ proposals were floated in 2008 they were poorly constructed, poorly timed and poorly presented. So it should come as no surprise to anyone with even a passing interest in the game that such plans appear likely to be adopted. Not in the form they were originally mooted – too ludicrous even for our administrators – but in a modified, scaled-down version. The original suggestion, an additional round of fixtures to be played in a range of cities across the globe, should be regarded in similar light to a 300-dwelling planning application from a developer who, privately, would be thrilled to get clearance to build 80." Buy here to read the full article

Plus
The joy of hitting the crossbar
Scouting for stars at Wednesday
Swindon and the Spurs experiment
Season in brief returns
Focus On Rest of the World XI, 1963
Flag havoc at Serbia v Albania
Labour's plans for football
Hitchin's fight to save historic groundl
Artificial pitches move closer
Crossworld FC – working with refugees
Burnley v West Ham photo feature
You know you're old when you can't get angry
Lower-leagues struggling to attract new fans
London Sports Writing Festiva
Chaos at Nigeria before Africa Cup of Nations
Book reviews ~ Rio Ferdinand; Pep Guardiola; Raith Rovers; north-east football

Availability
WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £3.25. 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:

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5. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Photo by Simon Gill, illustration by Gary Neill

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