Excerpts from The Football Pink Issue 3


The third issue of our very own fanzine, THE FOOTBALL PINK, is available to buy in print for the very first time and can also be downloaded to Kindle or Kindle app from Amazon. Priced at £2.50 (inc. postage) the magazine contains the usual mix of quality writing and interesting stories while including an EXCLUSIVE interview with Sky Sports Spanish football expert and author of the book ‘Messi’, Guillem Balague and a fantastic competition to win a FREE retro footy shirt from our friends at Campo Retro (www.camporetro.com).

You can buy the print version by clicking Buy Now Button

And you can download from Amazon HERE

To whet your appetite, here are a few snippets of what you can find inside:

From ‘MAINE ROAD MISERY’ by Johnny Phillips


City were rebuilding and Allison’s spending, which included the untried Mackenzie and Michael Robinson, just didn’t work out. Daley’s form suffered and he became emblematic of the side’s failings. Of that record transfer, Allison would later blame his chairman Peter Swales for going above his head and dealing direct with the Wolves board, which got the deal done quicker but at an inflated cost. The nadir was probably an FA Cup 3rd round defeat in 1980 to Fourth Division Halifax Town at The Shay.

“First Division against Fourth Division in the cup and we’re losing 1-0 with 15 minutes to go,” remembers Daley. “I looked around our team out on the pitch and it cost about £8.5million to assemble. NASA only spent £10m getting a man to the moon and we couldn’t get past Halifax.”

From ‘THE NUMBER 3: A STUDY IN NUMEROLOGY’ by Luke Constable


If you’ve ever seen the film The Number 23 then you’ll most likely hate being reminded that you’d ever done so. It features rubber-faced loon Jim Carrey getting serious in a dramatic role as a man convinced that the eponymous numerical figure is somehow cursed, and is somehow destroying his life. Sounds crazy, huh?

Well, this phenomena known as numerology is as real as the divorce papers your Mum handed your crap Dad that time. Carrey is a long-time believer in the ’23 enigma’ and cited various examples of the number’s eerie properties in promotional interviews prior to the film’s release in 2007. To wit – Michael Jordan wore 23 throughout his basketball career, Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times, and actor Jim Carrey nearly ruined his career by making a film about the number 23. Quite what these points are meant to prove is up to you, but to Carrey and other advocates of this eerie curse, it means something absolutely mental.

I can sense your excitement though, dear reader, gathering like the folds of a fat man’s pants in so much proverbial bum-crack. Could it be that a similar numerological curse presides over the accumulated weight of football’s past, present and future? That all events are pre-ordained, shaped by the whims of destiny? Might it really be true that one solitary number is responsible for controlling the very sport we love?

Why, yes, yes and yes. Issue number three of The Football Pink is the perfect place to share my life’s not insubstantial work. Extracted from my university thesis, I present my theory on The Number Three and its invidious influence on the world of football. Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.

From ‘FOUNDING FATHER – TOM WATSON’ by Michael Hudson


His contemporaries called him “the nicest man in football”, The Guardian the first truly great manager in the English game. He won five Football League titles, built Sunderland’s finest ever team, contributed to the founding of Newcastle United and managed Liverpool for nineteen years. But Tom Watson’s grave lay unmarked and all but unremembered for almost a century after his death. As recently as 2012, two years after Liverpool were first approached about funding a headstone for the club’s longest-serving manager, his only memorial was a handwritten cardboard sign in a corner of Anfield Cemetery.

Born in Heaton Terrace, Newcastle in 1859, Watson had an unremarkable amateur playing career with Rosehill Football Club before taking up the secretary’s post at Newcastle West End. The duties of a club secretary were normally restricted to arranging fixtures and recording match details, but the affable Tynesider’s genius came in his ability to spot and organise talented football players. Arranging for West End to take over the lease on St James’ Park, he oversaw their entry into national competition and massively raised the profile of the club by attracting Scottish internationals Ralph Aitken and Bob Kelso. Kelso, capped for his country and twice a Scottish Cup winner, later added an English championship with Preston North End and an FA Cup while at Everton, arriving on Tyneside as an unofficial world champion following Renton’s 4-1 victory over English cup holders West Bromwich Albion. But both the player and the man who signed him were soon on the move, reports suggesting Watson had become disaffected when West End’s board criticised his organisation of a larger than expected cup tie crowd.

In the summer of 1888, the same year representatives of twelve clubs met in Manchester to form the Football League, Watson crossed the city to Newcastle East End. The effect was immediate. Offering £5 signing-on fees and the promise of a Tyneside factory job, Watson was able to entice a further succession of Scottish players across the border. Within three years West End’s fortunes had dwindled, their remaining assets, including the twelve years left on the St James’ Park lease, transferred to East End. In December 1892, a team built around a spine of Watson’s remaining Scottish signings played its first game as Newcastle United.



After the league title was won, the players stayed in the club bar late into the night, dancing to old-skool reggae with the fans. Not, in case you were wondering how you missed this, at the self-styled Theatre of Dreams in Manchester, but in the clubhouse in the Tommy Jover Stand at Champion Hill, tucked in behind the Sainsbury’s on Dog Kennel Hill in south east London – just by the car wash – and home to newly-crowned Isthmian League Division One South champions Dulwich Hamlet.

I didn’t stay for the party. I was in the back row of the Tommy Jover Stand when Xavier Vidal thumped home the second-half equaliser that clinched the title, my young son and I leaping from our seats together and punching the air as the packed stand erupted in relief. Then the woman next to me, sitting with her son, said: “This is going to be the longest 20 minutes of our lives.” But The Hamlet not only held on, they never looked like losing their grip as they had in a nervy first-half performance.

At the end, the hard core packed in behind the goal into which Vidal’s 18-yarder had arrowed burst over the low fence onto the pitch. As they gathered in the centre circle with the players, they were joined by many more fans who strolled on to the grass and sand in one of football’s more sedate pitch invasions. “Do you want to go on there?” I asked my son. He gave the standard shrug and nod of the apprentice teenager. “Alright, yeah.” So we ambled on, soaking up the atmosphere on a spring afternoon that had, as if scripted, turned from showers to bright sunshine as soon as the scores were leveled and the title secured. We watched as the players fought their way up to the balcony in the stand; as midfielder Erhun Oztumer, ‘the Lionel Messi of non-league football’, unfurled a Turkish flag, and the trophy was lifted. And then we went off to catch the bus.

There’s plenty more where that came from. So pick up your copy TODAY!!

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