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The rise of football fanzines
by Asa Butcher
2006-10-04 22:13:01
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The growth of football fanzines in the 1980s emerged from a climate of hooliganism, Heysel, Hillsborough, I.D. card schemes, brutal policing, derelict stadiums and the responsibility was placed squarely at the feet of all football supporters. When Saturday Comes, one of England’s longest-running fan magazines, was born in this period, and it was the catalyst for a flood of club titles the length and breadth of the country. One of these was produced up on Tyneside by Mark Jensen, called The Mag and described as an independent supporters magazine rather than a fanzine.

Over the course of 150 issues it has amassed over 12,000 readers and is now a full-time job for its editor. My dissertation hopes to find an accurate label to apply to The Mag, is Mark Jensen’s publication a zine, alternative media or has it metamorphosised into a new hybrid genre? The two primary theorists that I have drawn upon are Chris Atton and his book Alternative Media, plus Notes from the Underground written by Stephen Duncombe.

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