Gaustad also created the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award


7 June ~ John Gaustad, the founder of the influential bookshop Sportspages, died over the weekend. The first Sportspages was opened on Caxton Walk, just off Charing Cross Road, in London in 1985 and became hugely important in the rise of sports literature, offering fans and journalists a dedicated place to go to find writing about football. The shop was also one of the early stockists of WSC, as well as many other fanzines at that time. Gaustad went on to co-found the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 1989 and opened a second branch of the shop in Manchester in 1992.

In WSC 105, November 1995, Andy Lyons interviewed Gaustad about how football literature has changed in the past decade. In it, Gaustad said: “Over the last ten years we’ve been trying to say that you don’t have to be stupid to follow sport.”

We have made the full interview with John from 1995 free to access here, where you can read all his views on how differently the UK and US publishers viewed sport, the influence of Fever Pitch and the changing role of the fanzine.

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