Match (magazine)

Match (magazine)
Dylan Grace James Bandy
Categories Football
Frequency Weekly, every Tuesday
Paid circulation 57,108
First issue 6 September 1979
Company Bauer
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Website Official site

Match! is a weekly British football magazine aimed at the teenage and pre-teenage market. First published in 1979, the magazine has a circulation of 57,108 as of December 2010.[1] The magazine includes interviews, a skills school, quizzes and a weekly round-up of results, tables and player ratings from the four main English divisions and the Scottish Premier League in MatchFacts. It mostly covers teams and players in the English Premier League, but also has a limited coverage of La Liga, Serie A and international football.



Match magazine was launched on 6 September 1979, at a cover price of 25p. The original editor was Mel Bagnall. Kevin Keegan was the first cover star of Match and supported the magazine with his column, Learn To Play The Keegan Way. The first issue came with an 80-page sticker album and included columns by Tottenham star Ossie Ardiles, Manchester United's Steve Coppell and Nottingham Forest manager, Brian Clough.[citation needed] Later columnists included David Platt, Mark Bright and Ryan Giggs.

In March 1980, Match launched its first Matchman Of The Month contest. The award, based on a player's match rating, was won by Ossie Ardiles. He pipped Trevor Francis to the title and won £100. Matchman Of The Month now has no financial reward.[citation needed]

On its launch in 1979, the magazine initially failed to catch the dominant circulation of its main weekly football rival, Shoot. In the mid 1990s the magazine was successfully revitalized and relaunched by Chris Hunt, an editor with a wealth of experience in teenage music and sport magazines. Under his editorship Match was transformed, finally overtaking Shoot to become the biggest selling football title in Britain, with its weekly sales peaking at 242,000 during this period.[2] This not only marked the highest point in the magazine's sales history (a record that still stands), but the high watermark of the British football magazine market in the 1990s.[3] In the face of such market dominance by Match, during this period many of its rival titles either closed or, in the case of Shoot, changed frequency to monthly. Shoot finally closed in June 2008.[4]

In February 2008 it became apparent that Match would once again face fresh circulation challenges when it was announced that the BBC would be launching Match Of The Day magazine into the weekly football marketplace. After a fierce marketing battle, Match Of The Day finally overtook Match as the UK's biggest selling teenage football weekly for the period Jan-Dec 2010. Match's current average weekly circulation of 72,861 is 15,753 down from its figure of 12 months earlier.[5], while despite also recording a falling circulation, Match Of The Day overtook Match with average sales of 58,447.[6]

Four Four Two magazine has now become the biggest-selling football magazine in the UK, selling 90,077 copies but aimed at an adult sports audience.[7]

While Match remains a strong brand in the teenage football magazine market, its circulation seems unlikely to again reach its 200,000-plus heights of the mid 1990s.

A number of notable football journalists have started their careers at Match, including Mark Irwin of The Sun, Hugh Sleight of FourFourTwo, Paul Smith of The Sunday Mirror, Ray Ryan formerly with The News of the World Adrian Curtis formerly of the "Mail On Sunday", "Evening Standard" and "The Press Association" and Rob Shepherd.

Match Also have a website on which has competitions, games, videos and a message board. Some well known message board members are; Lanny,DvD, Idy4Lyf,Mizlo,FartFace and much more.

Comic Strips

From 1983-85, Match ran a weekly comic strip called "Cannon". Created and initially written and illustrated by Steve McGarry, it featured the fictional adventures of retired footballer Harry Cannon who emigrated to Australia after being dealt a lifelong ban for bribery in football. His ban was lifted but was unaware until Martin Tyler ran into him during England's tour of Australia in 1983. He moved back to England following this and became manager of fictional Second Division side Stanton Town taking his two footballing sons with him.

The strip was Roy of the Rovers in style but it featured real life players and teams of the time, with the exception of Stanton Town and its players (although the players were signed from real life clubs). The plot involved not only his rebuilding of the fallen from grace club but the fictional bribery scandal from years past. The two-year run ended with Stanton winning the old Second Division and a gun pointed at Harry's head from a long range marksman uttering the words "This is the end for Harry Cannon". In 2011, comic strips returned in this comic, in a Match Xtra comic. The strips were: *Moneybags United Strip about a newly-rich promoted team who are always trying to sign Lionel Messi. *Galaxy Wanderers Team with not-so-super powers, who play in space, and have a tough manager. *Match-Man! Match's very own celebrity footballer, who hangs out with the lads. This is the most popular strip. *Footy Crazy! Similar to Match-man, but with a group of reporters who have to work out the crazy behind-the scenes action. *Jeff the Ref! The worst referee in Match-town! Will send anybody off. *Rafael van der Faart! Rafael van der Vaart finds his special fart-power is very useful. *Felli's Fro Maurouane Fellaini cant cope with his hair. *Lionel Messy Not just the best, but the smelliest footballer in the world. Similar to Smudge out of The Beano. *Robert Hoof Robert Huth and his pesky foot. *My Biography A short biography of a footballer. *Wayne's Brain It would appear that Wayne Rooney only wants to be alone in his posh mansion. The comic isnt in the magazine at the moment, but Moneybags United, Footy Crazy!, Jeff the Ref, Rafael van der Faart and Felli's Fro still appear.The known artists are Kev F Sutherland, and Shaun McGarry. All of the strips were brand new, apart from Match-man! (which is out of series at the moment), Footy Crazy! and My Biography.


External links

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