About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


The fanzine movement proved to many in footballing terms at least the "spark that lit up reality", as increasing numbers of supporters began to "do it for themselves" in the face of opposition from the football establishment telling the truth about watching the beautiful game in Britain. Although some fanzines such as When Saturday Comes remain in one form or another many faded as the internet took the mantle of providing a more immediate means of exchange between supporters. This was the normal trend for club based fanzines, but niche publications tended to persist.One such publication which is still going strong is Groundtastic, now very definitely a professionally presented magazine, which nevertheless retains the enthusiastic tone of the dedicated amateur.Groundtastic is purely concerned, as the title suggests, with the arenas that the game is played in whether that be in the Premiership or County League. This interest in the architectural environment was first brought to a wider audience by Simon Inglis with his landmark book, published in the early 80s, looking at the Football League Grounds of Britain. A few years later Kerry Miller produced a companion tome focusing on non league football, which revealed to me at least the debt Maidenhead United owes to its supporters of times past who provided the funds and the manpower for much of the ground you are standing in today.Still there was no periodical cataloguing the fast changing football grounds in the post Taylor report world. The growing group of football supporters known as groundhoppers who specialise in visiting in as many football grounds as possible (and let's admit there's a little groundhopper in all of us) proved there was a constituency to provide a readership. So it was no surprise that on a groundhopping weekend in the Northern League in Easter 1994 that the idea for a magazine was hatched.It was founded by Vince Taylor, Jon Weaver and Paul Claydon and the first issue was published in March 1995. One of the main outlets for the new publication was the late lamented "Sportspages" bookshop in central London where you could find Groundtastic alongside Maidenhead United fanzine "Born and Bred" in the non league section. Very much a home made operation in the beginning, the early issues contained actual full colour photographs and was well worth the high cover price.Published quarterly ever since, the magazine is the only one in the UK solely dedicated to football grounds and has built up a reputation as an authority on all grounds whether new, old or defunct, with a four figure circulation.This September the 50th issue was reached and a special 100 page full colour issue was produced. Virtually free of adverts Groundtastic represents excellent value for money.For more details including back issues and subscriptions visit http://www.groundtastic.co.uk/

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