Magazine/Fanzine Review – Are You The Clown?
Atherton Collieries are a non-league club based in the town of Atherton, surrounded by Bolton to the North East, Leigh to the South West, Manchester to the South East and Wigan to the West. As the club badge proudly shows, the football team was founded in 1916 from it mining roots. The Colls played in various Lancashire leagues during their history and were founder members of the North West Counties Football League in 1982. In 2016/17 Atherton gained promotion to the Northern Premier League (NPL) and in their first season caused an upset by winning the League Cup beating Coalville Town 2-1 in the Final. Building on that The Colls then won the NPL Division One West in 2018/19 to achieve their highest position in the Football Pyramid (level seven, taking the Premier League as level one). As we now know the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons were declared ‘null and void’ with all club results expunged.
With the prospect of no football until the 2021/22 season, clubs have been creative in getting revenue into their coffers and maintaining connection with their fans and sponsors. In the case of The Colls, this has taken the form of a magazine produced by their matchday programme team and curiously title, “Are You The Clown?”.
This first issue is an informal look through the club archives, with interviews, photographs and stories from throughout their 105 year history. Contained within its glossy colour 36 pages are an explanation as to the title of the magazine and some articles that will appeal to both Atherton fans and football fans of all persuasions alike. These include an exclusive interview with former Colls, Manchester United and Bournemouth player, Russell Beardsmore, and an interesting piece from Zach Pierce who discusses the differences between the theatres of football and the arts.
The content wonderfully sums up football at non-league level – some history, a volunteers story, an interview with an ex-player who went into the professional game, and pictures and features that connect with its fans community.
Why not help support non-league football during this difficult time and order a copy for £3 plus £1 postage and available via: