Back in the late 1980’s I only had my weekly ‘Match‘ and/or ‘Shoot‘ football magazines for company until I spotted something called ‘When Saturday Comes‘ which I think I initially laughed at as it was only in black and white! What was going on? It seemed it was something called a fanzine offering an unofficial and independent view of football but I was actually laughing for the right reasons when I flicked through it in WHSmith’s.
Not so long after that, I remember seeing one of my mates copies of a Leicester City fanzine called ‘The Fox‘ which he kindly photocopied for me as these were different times and it was really quite difficult for a young kid to get hold of it. A couple of years later and I could finally start purchasing them properly as they became available at a newsagent in my hometown at the start of the 1991-92 season.
When a picture of mine (above) from the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong was used in the ‘#lcfc on twitter’ section of the Summer Special it prompted me to send an article to the editor about my experience following the Foxes in that tournament in July. I really wasn’t so confident that it would be approved though as my previous effort a couple of years ago about the Clubcall service of a bygone era had failed to be included.
Thankfully, the editor Gary Silke got back to me this time and said he’d make room for it in issue #205. That issue finally landed on our doorstep (well it was in our mailbox!) last week and I opened it cautiously fearing it may have been left out. What I wasn’t expecting were all the other extras such as my expensive Hong Kong Stadium beer appearing in the Opening Shots section.
To date, there have been over 200 issues as well as Summer Specials and other such spin-offs (including the ‘Got, Not Got The Lost World Of Leicester City‘ book) and I have all but just a few of them. I took some pictures of the early issues when I was last back home in the UK a few years ago. They appeared in ‘My Leicester City Memorabilia‘ post back in June 2015 alongside the long-forgotten rival ‘Where’s The Money Gone?‘.
Churchgate in Leicester used to have a shop called Turnstile which stocked some Fox-related merchandise (below) in the early 90’s including my trusted beanie hat and a ‘Cheat Fell Over’ t-shirt featuring David Speedie who eventually became a Leicester player just over a year after his dive for Kenny Dalghlish’s Blackburn Rovers denied us in the Play Off Final of 1992.
My short-lived role as co-editor of a couple of amateur fanzines (about the local football and cricket clubs in my hometown) in 1992-93 heavily borrowed ideas from ‘The Fox‘ such was its influence on me…..or maybe it was more down to my own lack of creativity and originality!!
It wasn’t just my piece on Hong Kong which made it into the latest issue as I am also featured in ‘Favourite Shirts’ which debuted in the Summer Special with an appeal for for readers to send in pictures of themselves as a kid in City kit from the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. I duly obliged and sent a couple of pictures in.
Finally, a picture (below) taken at Motonsosumi Inari Shrine in Yamaguchi-ken featured on the Facebook page for The Fox and managed to attract a record-low three likes from the 3000 or so people who follow that page! The caption said I was with my Summer Special and asked the question “Where did you read yours?” to which the one commenter inevitably said on the toilet!!
At a time when print media is disappearing more and more, it really is a privilege to have my article included within the pages of such an institution…..whether it’s just being read on the toilet or otherwise!
Click here to read ‘Hong Kong 2017 Pt I: Watching Leicester In The Premier League Asia Trophy’