Nowadays new football magazines come along just like the turnstiles kept ticking over once people were still allowed inside football grounds, in a time before the pandemic. Fittingly, the magazine reviewed is called Turnstiles and its first number is looked at here.
In contrast to many other magazines, Turnstiles comes with a strong Lancastrian and North West England focus, in that almost all contributions deal with clubs from that region as the following will show.
Rich Beedie relives the agony of the days when his club, Bury FC were expelled from the Football League and the weeks and months after. He tells us what it feels like to have no club for a year. At the end a Phoenix club emerged, Bury AFC and it is run by the fans and, most importantly, owned by the fans. It seems a club has to go bust before fans can take over – Bury are just one example.
Janek Puzon asks where versatility has gone in today’s football as less and less players are capable of playing out of position. The names of players of them days he mentions – Colin Hendry, Dion Dublin – may be little known to the self perceived football hipsters of nowadays.
An interview with Iain Trickett not only brought an interesting story to read but also a book order along: Glove Story 2. Looking at the website you’ll find a host of devotional for Napoli – Iain Trickett is a lifelong supporter besides his local Accrington Stanley. Two things stand out from this interview. First is his care about socks: „Socks really maketh the man“ Trickett argues. Sadly, none of the socks are available via the online shop. In times of Brexit the label „Made in Britain“ will have far more importance for customers and producers alike.
The second point he makes is far more important and concerns all football fans. Due to corona his interest in the sport is low since matches are played behind closed doors but also because it is exclusively money driven. During the lockdown he has found so many things he could do that cost so much less than a football match. There is not much to add to that.
These two articles are joined by nine more in the starting XI and two on the subs bench. One is a book review and the other a classic: spot the ball with Brett Ormerod, a former Premier League player with Southampton, Blackpool, Accrington Stanley and Preston North End. In the middle there you’ll find two pull-out posters featuring Alan Shearer and Jay Jay Okocha, respectively. Both players feature in lengthy articles in the second half of the magazine. Shearer was part of Blackburn Rovers’ league winning campaign of 1994/95 – his only trophy. The other player does ring a bell with German readers: Jay Jay Okocha who once donned the shirt of Eintracht Frankfurt and mesmerised defenses and keepers alike. Just as he did that his career led him to various destinations in Africa, Europe and Asia.
There is one exception from the Lancashire rule however and that is the last article which is concerned with Argentina and two of its most iconic stadiums, La Bonbonera and El Monumental. Both grounds deliver a shock to the system to European fans as the noise and the commitment are on a very different level to what the Central European supporter is used to.
Remains to be said that Turnstiles is a worthy read, providing an insight, if only brief, into Lancastrian football which once was the stronghold of the Football League as five of the twelve founding members were Lancastrian: Accrington, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley and Preston.