Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Plea for Support to Help Keep Fanzine Flying High

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Plea for Support to Help Keep Fanzine Flying High

Article excerpt


IT'S become part of Middlesbrough's folklore.

A fanzine that found a disenfranchised audience at a time football, and Boro, were rising from the ashes of financial hardship and falling attendances, is entering its 30th season as an independent voice of the fans written and published by fans.

The nation's favourite sport was a very different beast 29 years ago.

Cash from TV broadcast rights was a pittance, many stadiums were more like Edwardian slums desperately out of date and, in some cases, desperately unsafe.

The players, excepting a handful of superstars, were paid decent salaries, but nowhere near enough to enable them to put their feet up and retire on when they eventually hung up their boots.

It was into that environment and era - three years after Heysel and the Bradford Fire, less than 12 months before Hillsborough - that the first inky edition of Fly Me To The Moon (FMTTM) was launched.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017 and the magazine still exists, but it needs a helping hand to get it through the coming campaign.

The climate has changed and, while the demand for independent, irreverent Bororelated comment and debate remains virtually insatiable, the explosion of the internet means there are many more outlets available to supporters. Boro fanatic Rob Nichols publishes the FMTTM fanzine and runs a website of the same name.

And to keep the print version alive, he's launching a subscription scheme.

Explaining his thinking, Nichols said: "The fanzine was initially named in honour of manager Bruce Rioch praising heroic skipper Tony Mowbray as the man he would want to take with him on a moon mission.

"Started by original editors Gillandi Schmultz, Robbie Boal and Tony Pierre, it quickly went from a handful of hand-typed photocopied pages to an institution and has now been ingrained as part of the match day routine. …

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