Magazine Review: Black & Gold – The magazine of the Aberdeen FC Heritage Trust (Issue 3/May 2021)

Whilst lockdown deprived football fans of their ‘live’ fix of their team, it spurred a wave of creativity amongst supporters who looked to stay in touch and connect with those they went to games with week in, week out, until COVID struck. Indeed this was the inspiration behind Black & Gold, a magazine setup by Peter Elliot with the Aberdeen FC Heritage Trust.

Peter explains: “I set the mag up with the Trust to engage with the wider Dons support during the lockdown last year (2020). Seeing a lot of older film footage and other material shared by fans of all clubs opened up the fact that football fans were interested in historical writing. There’s a great team of contributors to the magazine who have their own interests, either in players, grounds, memorabilia or general reminiscences.”

The first issue landed in November 2020, with a second in February 2021 and the third edition (reviewed here) in May 2021. First things first, for many if not most people outside of Aberdeen, when you think of the club who ply their trade at the Pittodrie Stadium, you associate the side as playing in all red, as worn by the likes of Willie Miller, Alex McLeish and Gordon Strachan. However, at the turn of the Twentieth Century and up until the Second World War, The Dons wore black and gold strips, hence the name of the magazine.

Content wise there are thirteen articles, which range from more general football content such as book reviews to the Aberdeen focused pieces which look at players (Donald Colman, Alex Jackson and Chic McLelland), seasons (1939/40) and competitions (participation in the Tennents Sixes and UEFA Cup and Cup Winners ties in Belgium), from the past. The magazine though is not solely focused on the past, with articles on the present such as AFC Milestones, which round up statistical details and news in respect of players and games since the last issue, and an interview with Paine Profitt an artist who has provided covers for The Dons matchday programme.

Unquestionably Black & Gold is aimed at Aberdeen fans, but the well written and well researched articles contained within the 44 pages of this glossy and attractively presented magazine will appeal to anyone interested in football history and indeed the social history of the game.

(Publication date: May 2021. 44 pages)


For more information and copies of the magazine:

Website –

Twitter – @AFCHeritage

Magazine Review: Turnstiles (Issue 1/Spring 2021) Editor Chris O’Keeffe

Or to give the magazine its full title, Honest I swear, it’s the turnstiles that make us hostile, which to those who know their Morrissey, is a line from the track, We’ll Let You Know featured on the 1992 album, Your Arsenal. Trafford born Mozza, would no doubt approve of this first edition, dedicated as it is to his county of birth, Lancashire.

Contained within its pages are articles which cover various clubs from the Red Rose county, including, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool, Bury FC/Bury AFC, Colne Dynamoes/Colne FC and Darwen FC/AFC Darwen, as well as other with pieces with links to Accrington and Preston, with an international flavour added by some eye-opening musings on attending football in Argentina.

The magazine is the creation and idea of Chris O’Keeffe, who wanted to combine the feel and writing of what he read in his childhood, such as Shoot and Match, with his reading of today from publications like, Stand and Diego. And this first issue certainly hits the brief, with its fun element from the freebies with the magazine (including a Turnstile branded sticker, football related postcard and Merlin trading card – which for FBR featured Dean Holdsworth in his Wimbledon FC days) and features such as Spot the Ball, and 11 of the Best, with even a couple of player posters thrown in good measure. These sit alongside serious and interesting articles, such as that about Creative Football which seeks to help a range of people and their issues through football. Combined with the fun and serious elements, it also has a matchday programme feel, with a Starting Line-up (detailing the index of articles), and Notes from the Gaffer (an introduction from editor Chris O’Keefe).

At a time when we are all missing the ability to physically get to games, this is a cracking reminder of what we love and miss about football. Many of the articles seem to reflect the recent times we have experienced, with the despair of lockdown, replaced by hope that with the vaccine roll-out, by summer some sort of normality will return. This seems especially reflected in the articles about Bury FC/Bury AFC, Colne Dynamoes/Colne FC and Darwen FC/AFC Darwen, where clubs for differing reasons have been lost, only to rise in a new form once again. What is also evident, is that this a magazine which talks of the passion of the game below the Premier League, and as the Blackpool articles illustrates, whilst their season in the top-flight was one to remember, its legacy was a damaging one which nearly destroyed their club, leaving many fans in no hurry to return the top division.

Issue 1 has been hugely popular and is great start for this new magazine. If you can’t get a copy, make sure you don’t miss Issue 2.

(Publication date: Spring 2021. 56 pages)


For more information and copies of the magazine:

Email –

Twitter – @Turnstilesmag

Magazine Review: Soccer History (Autumn 2016 – Issue No: 39)

In an age when Sky would have football fans believe that the game only existed with the inception in the 1992/93 season of the Premier League, it is a relief to come across a publication that redresses the balance and which looks at the game and its history from its origins in the Victorian era up to the 1980s.

The magazine first appeared in 2002 with a focus as editor Ian Nannestad states that looks at, “the professional game in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although…also features articles on amateur football and the history of the game in other countries…mostly based on new and original research.”

Contained within this edition are articles about, amongst other things, Women’s football in Scotland in World War One, Upton FC – Great Britain’s first Soccer Olympians and Edinburgh’s Marine Gardens ground. The articles are supplemented by an editorial, which in this edition was an excellent piece titled, Why football needs to be more serious about its history, book reviews and an obituaries section.

Given the nature of the content, there is no doubt that this is not a fluffy, glitzy publication for those who want colour images and soundbites about the Premier League and its ‘stars’. Instead this is a well-researched and written magazine which brings to life stories of the game previously lost in the annals of time. Yes, Soccer History is a serious read, but is not without its lighter side, as the article on a fan’s memories of watching England abroad in the 1960s demonstrates.

If you want to read something that is an antithesis to the banal banter of Sky and the Premier League then this is the publication for you.

The magazine sells at £5 for individual copies through the website ( or from eBay. A subscription is available, of £16.50 for four issues. Please note, these are UK prices and International prices are detailed on the website.

Magazine Review: Cornish Soccer (May 2016)

There may not be a professional football club in Cornwall – the nearest teams in the Football League are Plymouth Argyle and Exeter City, both in Devon – but the game is very much alive in the South West peninsula county. Helping promote the football landscape in the area is, Cornish Soccer: The voice of football in the Duchy, a twenty-eight page glossy magazine (priced £2, plus postage).

The May 2016 edition focuses on the end of season for the clubs and leagues within the area and so features final tables and a summary of 2015/16 for the various Cornish teams. Amongst the content is a two-page spread on Truro City (the highest placed Cornish club in the football pyramid), who reached the National League South Semi-Final Play-off, but who exited to Play-off winners Maidstone United. This is followed by a look at local leagues, including, the South West Peninsula Premier League and its feeders, Division One East and Division One West, East Cornwall Premier League, Combination League, The Duchy League and The Trelawny League. In addition there is an extensive detailing of the various Cup competitions, including the rather interestingly named, Walter C. Parson Funeral Directors League Cup.

However, to classify this magazine as just a results summary would be unfair, as their is plenty of other content including a player profile, a feature on the Truro City v Maidstone United Play-off Semi-Final 1st Leg game as well as an update from the Cornwall FA, all supported with a number of coloured images. All-in-all a quality publication

The compilation of all this material is quite an achievement and is a must for anybody interested in the football scene in the Duchy of Cornwall.

Further details about the magazine and football in the county can be obtained at the following website: