THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

December issue available online and in stores now

wsc346The new WSC is out now, available in all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the brand new WSC shop.

- Wales back in the big time
- Football & steel in Middlesbrough
- Howard Kendall remembered
- The old-fashioned amateur leagues
- Advice from Alex Ferguson
- The minnows of Madrid

Tensile strength Middlesbrough's steel links
"Middlesbrough v Leeds United, on September 27, kick-off drawing close in the autumn sun. Teesside has a cause beyond three points. The last of its steelworks, at Redcar, is threatened with closure by owners SSI, but defiance reigns. “SOS” (Save Our Steel) say the T-shirts the players wear during the warm-up, and the card display and banners behind each goal. This area’s anthem, Chris Rea’s Steel River, plays on the PA system, sprinkling goosebumps upon thousands of us. In the days before the game, Boro’s popular chairman and owner, Steve Gibson, has issued a statement beseeching Westminster to intervene and rescue industrial Teesside’s heritage and its future.Buy here to read the full article

346 MOTMRotherham Utd 1 Sheffield Wednesday 2
A trip to South Yorkshire's New York
"Approaching Rotherham United’s New York Stadium from the town centre it’s not immediately apparent that there’s a football ground nearby. There are the usual clues: fluorescent-jacketed stewards, a ghostly haze indicating floodlights somewhere in the vicinity and the reassuring aroma of gently burning onions. But the ground itself remains largely hidden behind the imposing three-storey frontage of the Guest & Chrimes Brassworks." Buy here to read the full article


Keeping it local Madrid's other clubs
"During my first week of teaching in Madrid I tried to engage my new pupils via the international language of football. As suspected, a show of hands displayed a broad 60-40 split of support for Real over Atlético, and several days passed before an alternative voice was heard – a young boy squirming in his seat under the mocking gaze of his peers before admitting his support for Getafe “porque mi padre insiste” (because my father makes me). A second dissenter later showed no such need to offer an excuse, rising with hand on heart shouting “Rayo, Rayo”. While by no means a scientific survey, these incidents highlight a broad attitude in Spanish football, with many smaller clubs clearly intimidated by the “big three” (Real, Atlético and Barcelona), whereas Rayo Vallecano keep going as Madrid’s poor relations with no such feelings 
of inadequacy." Buy here to read the full article


346 AmateurGood combination Amateur leagues
"I ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament in early June. Apart from the obvious discomfort, this event has reshaped my weekends until Christmas. Now free to go to watch football on Saturdays, I would rather be rolling around in the mud somewhere like Hampton. I play for Old Meadonians in the Amateur Football Combination (AFC). It is affiliated to the Amateur Football Alliance (AFA), unique among the English county FAs in that it does not represent a single region. The AFA was set up in 1907 as a separate organisation from the FA, ostensibly as the result of the professional-amateur conflict in English football. The FA banned its clubs from playing against AFA members and, while the rift was healed many years later, the organisation remains strictly amateur. Over the years, it incorporated the likes of Ipswich Town and Barnet. Current 
stalwarts include Civil Service, the sole surviving founding member of the FA, and the esoterically named Crouch End Vampires.Buy here to read the full article

Plus
Scotland fall short again
Holland's shock collapse
Fan activists at Wolves & Huddersfield
Germany: FIFA scandal grows
How computer games influence real life
Non-League Day 2015
Roy of the Rovers returns
FC United's TV protest
Cristiano Ronaldo massages his ego
Corncord Rangers and Canvey Island in photos
Harry Pearson: The "unplayable" players
Focus on Booby Moore
Albania's Euro 2016 surprise
When a stray cigarette cost Aberdeen the League
Grimsby go fishing
Still with us: Darwen
Book reviews ~ Wenger insights; microphone testing; forever blue; Stoke's local hero

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
2. Buy the latest issue direct from WSC 
3. Sign up for our digital edition and apps for iPhone, iPad and Android
4. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
5. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Photo by Paul Thompson, illustration by Adam Doughty

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